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Merch Gwyar

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Towards the end of last month, two players were permanently banned from Runescape. They had not broken any rules.

 

When I first heard this story, I reacted like I guess that most of you are reacting right now. 'Yeah, yeah, they must have done something! Botting? RWT?' I've seen screen-shots of their ban logs. Fargrist and Vivathia were both manually removed from the game, no reason given. They naturally appealed. Their appeals were rejected within hours. No evidence supplied. Still no reason given.

 

Of course, we can all jump to one massive conclusion. Fargrist has been very vocal in his criticism of Squeal of Fortune. He orchestrated one of the biggest and most eloquently debated anti-SoF threads on the RSOF. It was called Tick Tock Jagex and only died with it reached max. posts. He also went to a national newspaper, the UK Gambling commission and other external people to express his views about SoF. He came to me.

 

But what about Vivathia? She did nothing but marry the man. She even used SoF on a regular basis, albeit only the free spins. She lost her account and we can only assume that it's through association.

 

I've agreed to allow Vivathia to tell her side of the story through my blog, as she has none of her own. Fargrist has just started one, which will be used as a back-up for the Tick Tock Jagex thread and other public documents. It includes their copy of Vivathia's Say.

 

What follows might look like a candidate for tl:dr. But I urge you to do so. It's a very moving testimony, straight from this lady's heart. Over to Vivathia.

 

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

 

Thank you for allowing me my own Opinion (rant).. yes I even rant at my husband (aka Fargrist)

 

As you know by now I'm his other half, Vivathia.. the long suffering wife.. ok, well I don't suffer that much, I just make sure I nod in the right places, I've sat here for.. I'm not too sure how long, my minds a blank when it comes to anything SoF related, and I've listened to my husband discuss it (this is the part where I nod in the right places) I'm neither against, nor for SoF.. heck, I take my free spins and run with it, it's got me a level here and there and it's got me a nice shiny new outfit too. But my husband feels strongly about it and I happily (but silently) back him for his own beliefs, but do my own thing regardless.

 

But, it seems that due to my association with Fargrist's account, my account has been banned, association through the same credit card used to pay for membership. I really don't know what makes me mad, I can admit to feeling mad at the man behind Farg for pushing this SoF thing, my main thought when he got banned was, "what about me?"

(Disclaimer, they didn't give a reason as to why we got banned, so I can only assume why he got banned and the reason I got banned was the association with him)

 

I'm more than mad, I was really upset, heck I got upset when way way back when I first started and I got trade scammed and I bought a mith pickaxe instead of a rune for 25K + my adamant pickaxe, when the guy did a last minute swap in the trade window without me noticing, I did the usual I'm not playing, but Farg went out and worked hard mining gold ore to make that money so he could buy me a rune pickaxe and cheered me up.

 

So I am very upset at the fact that I've lost my whole account. I had some great times and have some really good memories from the people I met in game, be it having been a brief meeting or something that became more of a long term friendship.

 

So, my point of view is just as important as fargrists and my anger is directed to the fact I've never voiced a like or dislike about SoF, Fargs side of his banning is very much SoF related, mine, I wish I knew.

 

how I feel, I've played this game for 8 years with my husband, our skills are pretty similar here and there, we've worked(skilled) together, we've helped each other out, one helping the other out with one skill as the other helps with another.. there hasn't been one quest done where we haven't done it together, we've individually solved quest problems helped the other out where and when needed during quests, we've stood and watched during big fights should one of us die.

 

I've never botted, never swore, never scammed or done anything against jagex rules and conditions.. it's not in me even if the above was allowed, I like fair play, I like a reason to play, to work hard for the rewards of all I put into it, I don't care about having the most cash or items in game.. you only have to look into my bank to see that.

 

For me it was the content of the game, the skills and quests, mini game and every other reason that makes a game interesting to me, including a shared gaming interest with my husband in which we've laughed over many silly incidents, more so when he accidentally attacks me in the wildy or so he tells me that is was only an accident, or he's escorted me to places I don't like and I die anywhere and I get to blame him.

 

The game meant a lot to me, for the laughs and teasings we had over it, I have so many stories to tell of the adventures Vivathia and Fargrist had, people will roll their eyes at and probably not find amusing, but it's stuff we still do laugh about. So many "do you remember when's" gone for and with no reason. This whole incident has really take away a lot from me because of their treatment and the loss of my respect in the company that took over a game I once used to enjoy playing.

 

I feel shocked at jagex company for their lack of caring, my appeal denied by an automated reply.. my ban status updated with "appeal denied". No one has read my appeal, no one has told me the reason I was banned, I know no one will, I'm happy for this to go to court, For me its not about SoF, but about getting my account back, I'm 99.9% sure I wont ever play Runescape again, I'm 100% sure I wont if Fargrist doesn't get his account back because it wont be the same playing without him.. but that's a different Story. I still want my account back because it has nothing but an immaculate record of fair play and I'm prepared to fight for that.

 

I can only think Jagex assumes we're a couple of kids who wont make a fuss, rather than a middle aged married couple, one of us *points at Fargrist* being hot headed enough to take it as far as he can.

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Despite not agreeing with Fargrist's ban (assuming he was banned for voicing his dislike about SoF), I can sort of understand why Jagex did it. But banning his wife too is just bloody ridiculous.

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A fascinating read, and another example of the uncaring, faceless money machine that Jagex seems determined to turn itself into. I wonder if somewhere in their spreadsheets is a formula that accounts for the damage caused to the game by losing literate, intelligent, kind players like Merch Gwyar and Vivathia, and replacing them with the kind of people who think it's good that they can pay to get an advantage in game.

 

I too have had conversations with the Gambling Commission and Advertising Standards Authority about SoF. I wonder if I'll find out one day that I too have been summarily banned?

 

Opening things out a bit, we're just at the start of a really interesting debate about what constitutes property in the digital age. Politicians are going to be making laws about this in the next decade or so, and drawing parallels between Redigi, the Geoff Luurs case, and maybe now we should add SoF and Fargrist's case to the list of things that currently fall through loopholes in our laws.

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Given Jagex's recent attitude with their community, I can't say this is surprising that Jagex did this - nonetheless, still unjustifiable. I feel that it has come to a time where it is effectively no longer the same company running the game, and, not knowing how to do it properly, they are doing any measure to keep it alive while it can. I only wonder how much longer it will last and what direction it goes in from here.

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Sadly, good will is easy for a company to burn, as it doesn't feature on balance sheets. There's a certain schizophrenic feel to Jagex at the moment, on one hand they are doing things like this, becoming Real World Traders, milking the player base for all it's worth, and on the other they putting out strong updates that clearly have a lot of man-hours put into them, banning bots and working on long-range projects like EoC.

 

My overall feeling is that the long overdue other game, Transformers MMO / Thirdscape / Stellar Dawn (or whatever it's called this week) will either make or break Jagex financially, and my guess is on break, given that it's 12 years since the company launched a game that managed to capture the public's imagination. Since then that have rolled out a constant stream of expensive duds (did anyone even notice 8 Realms closing down for good a while back?).

 

The bottom line is (and you can see this in so much of their recent non-quest content) Jagex don't really understand what makes games fun to play any more. I put SoF and EoC in the same category, things that show Jagex are drastically out of touch with their audience.

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This...I'm assuming you've sent them some emails asking for a reason? Or made a new account and posted on the forums for an answer? It just seems childish to me, pretend the problem doesn't exit and it will go away. Good luck with your quest for knowledge and I hope you get some answers soon!

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This...I'm assuming you've sent them some emails asking for a reason? Or made a new account and posted on the forums for an answer? It just seems childish to me, pretend the problem doesn't exit and it will go away. Good luck with your quest for knowledge and I hope you get some answers soon!

the pretending it doesn't exist thing id a technique they have been using for quite some time :/

 

and it's not unsurprising because it works for those who don't look any further

which is exactly the player base they are aiming at as teacup states

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I psychicly realized that you would post, so ensured that I'd turn up two mins later to blow a kiss.

 

*blows more kisses to those whose psychic messages arrived while I was too distracted elsewhere*

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