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Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:54 am
by philqw78
Seems the original V2 V2 Poll is locked??????????
However I thought I had to reply to this for which I cannot find the original but Jilu posted a copy
Tim wrote::
Phil
Time for me to assume the mantle of dave_r for a moment.
To be precice (some would say pedantic) JD has not 'announced a paper version'. What he wrote is
'
However, we have also listened to what you have said and we are now investigating as quickly as we can a method of providing access to a “paper” version as well. We are committed to finding a solution to this and there are various alternatives that we are looking into to assess cost and time scales.
'
That is very likely to lead to the announcement of a paper version but it most certainly is NOT announcement of a paper version. Don't doubt JD's, word just don't want to get people too excited (and I know how the very thought of Phil gets some people excited...)
Glad to see I can still excite you Tim, and you believe that I excite Dave. And if you were pedantic your spelling would be much more precise. JD did say Slitherine were commited to supporting the rules and they had listened.

As a further point I don't think locking a thread does much except create interest into the reason why it was locked. Conspiracy theories and stuff. Listening to us, hmmm :shock:

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:28 am
by IainMcNeil
The last post says why it was locked - no discussion of piracy is allowed on the site. Hope that's clear!

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:25 am
by philqw78
Its very clear Iain.

But any act of censorship, no matter how correct, evokes conspiracy.

And I judge your sense of humour is drying up at the moment, unsurprisingly after suffering so much critcism.

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:55 am
by IainMcNeil
There is no conspiracy theory but piracy is illegal and discussion of it are completely banned and any threads mentioning them will be locked. This has always been and will always be our policy. There isn't much else we get involved in and you can say you don't like our games without fear of a ban, but you can't do this.

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:52 pm
by hazelbark
Well Phil if you stop stirring the pot and focused on positive solutions then maybe this woudln't be an issue.

And by the way stopping the encouragement of theft is not censorship in either of our countries.

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:09 pm
by johno
Iain:

I take it the piracy issue is the reason why the simple and cheap option of a PDF version has not been chosen, despite the wide range of operating systems that support it?

(And before anyone chimes in to say that PDFs can be password protected, even the newest versions of PDF passwords/encryption are pretty poor, and have been widely cracked)

johno

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:10 pm
by shadowdragon
hazelbark wrote:Well Phil if you stop stirring the pot and focused on positive solutions then maybe this woudln't be an issue.

And by the way stopping the encouragement of theft is not censorship in either of our countries.
....not to mention what most if not all national legal codes have to say about encouraging criminal acts...

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:47 am
by philqw78
An American politician wrote:Well Phil if you stop stirring the pot and focused on positive solutions then maybe this woudln't be an issue.
Stirring the pot by quoting Tim and Dave as being excited by me. Then adding a side note about a conspiracy. Seems I excite more than just those 2. Perhaps there is a conspiracy. In fact all your interest in denying it has convinced me there is.

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:12 pm
by Polkovnik
hazelbark wrote:And by the way stopping the encouragement of theft is not censorship in either of our countries.
It doesn't matter which country you are in, if you ban discussion on a particular topic, that is (by definition) censorship.

But it is Slitherine's site, and up to them what they allow discussion of.

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:37 pm
by batesmotel
It is censorship but probably justified censorship. Censorship isn't intrinsically good or bad of itself, just particular applications of it. It's censorship to prohibit spam, personal attacks and similar. All of those strike me as reasonable as does prohibiting anything encouraging piracy.

Chris

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:39 pm
by shadowdragon
batesmotel wrote:It is censorship but probably justified censorship. Censorship isn't intrinsically good or bad of itself, just particular applications of it. It's censorship to prohibit spam, personal attacks and similar. All of those strike me as reasonable as does prohibiting anything encouraging piracy.

Chris
"Freedom of speech" as a citizen's right does not come without some limitations (e.g., promoting genocide is illegal in many countries). No one, for example, would (or should) object if Slitherine banned someone from the forum who was being abusive to others. Many internet fora have guidelines, reporting and policing mechanisms for dealing with inappropriate posts. Those that don't are hardly ones I would want to read let alone post.

With respect to the current "censorship" I see nothing wrong with a discussion of piracy as a problem but it crosses the line when a poll asks people if they will or would engage in piracy (a criminal act) under certain circumstances.

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:48 pm
by Strategos69
shadowdragon wrote:
With respect to the current "censorship" I see nothing wrong with a discussion of piracy as a problem but it crosses the line when a poll asks people if they will or would engage in piracy (a criminal act) under certain circumstances.
Indeed, asking a criminal if he will commit crimes is not the smartest idea, specially when the administrator is the one to be offended and he might be able to check who said what. I agree that the whole idea of the poll was not appropriate and it was just to attract the attention of Slitherine. The whole idea behind was very basic and in my opinion correct: if you don't provide something people demand, someone else will. You are better providing it.

In the other hand, copyright owners should not be paranioc about their product protection and instead more focused on making more clients. I have seen that Corvus Belli got that so right. They release many of their products freely (rules updates, troops profiles, basic game rules) but they charge you to get your tournament into their rankings (they also provide the prizes within that price). There is then an annual award to the best player, I think. The number of rulesets to be sold is always limited, but the number of tournaments depends only in your capacity to spread your game. I think that this is a winning strategy because you get a system to make profit out of it on the long term. If I were a copyright owner I would be the first one to be interested in engaging a debate on piracy. That is the best way to prevent it. You realize who is willing to buy what and at which price.

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:25 pm
by shadowdragon
Strategos69 wrote:
shadowdragon wrote:
With respect to the current "censorship" I see nothing wrong with a discussion of piracy as a problem but it crosses the line when a poll asks people if they will or would engage in piracy (a criminal act) under certain circumstances.
Indeed, asking a criminal if he will commit crimes is not the smartest idea, specially when the administrator is the one to be offended and he might be able to check who said what. I agree that the whole idea of the poll was not appropriate and it was just to attract the attention of Slitherine. The whole idea behind was very basic and in my opinion correct: if you don't provide something people demand, someone else will. You are better providing it.

In the other hand, copyright owners should not be paranioc about their product protection and instead more focused on making more clients. I have seen that Corvus Belli got that so right. They release many of their products freely (rules updates, troops profiles, basic game rules) but they charge you to get your tournament into their rankings (they also provide the prizes within that price). There is then an annual award to the best player, I think. The number of rulesets to be sold is always limited, but the number of tournaments depends only in your capacity to spread your game. I think that this is a winning strategy because you get a system to make profit out of it on the long term. If I were a copyright owner I would be the first one to be interested in engaging a debate on piracy. That is the best way to prevent it. You realize who is willing to buy what and at which price.
There are several successful business models. Having no business experience in the industry I don't think I have much to offer Slitherine in terms of recommedations for their business decisions. As a customer, however, I can offer my opinion about what I like or don't like. Reviewing the many, many comments offering Slitherine unsolicted advice about how to run their business you'd think that the wargaming community was over-flowing with sucessful business entrepeneurs, which makes me wonder why so many have commented that they can't afford a ipad or any other tablet.

I have a lot of respect for people who have the guts to run a business. Yes, they may fail - as many do - sometimes as a result of bad decisions and sometimes as a result of factors outside their control, but the risk is all theirs. As wargamers we will simply move on to a different set of rules - and there are many good choices - or stick with FoG v1. However, I wish Slitherine success.

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:57 pm
by Strategos69
Yes, you are totally right: it is quite easy (and with no risks) to propose how to do things when you risk nothing. Business are not easy and just surviving in wargaming is a success. In the other hand, in my profession I listen to all inputs and then I take my decision. New opinions are always good inputs and basically a forum is to chat about everything and nothing at the same time. In another forum people posted after they experience how much things costed. To me it is interesting and makes you realize that it is not that easy.

I can only talk as a customer too, but when I see a corporation doing well I think is worth sharing. Indeed Corvus Belli moved from historical to science fiction, which really means that historical wargame is not really very profitable.

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:10 pm
by shadowdragon
Strategos69 wrote:Yes, you are totally right: it is quite easy (and with no risks) to propose how to do things when you risk nothing. Business are not easy and just surviving in wargaming is a success. In the other hand, in my profession I listen to all inputs and then I take my decision. New opinions are always good inputs and basically a forum is to chat about everything and nothing at the same time. In another forum people posted after they experience how much things costed. To me it is interesting and makes you realize that it is not that easy.

I can only talk as a customer too, but when I see a corporation doing well I think is worth sharing. Indeed Corvus Belli moved from historical to science fiction, which really means that historical wargame is not really very profitable.
Totally true. Though I would hope for their sake that Slitherine is familiar with the various business models used by competitors.

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:00 pm
by hazelbark
Strategos69 wrote:Corvus Belli moved from historical to science fiction, which really means that historical wargame is not really very profitable.
Which is the history of the hobby.

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:34 am
by ravenflight
shadowdragon wrote:Reviewing the many, many comments offering Slitherine unsolicted advice about how to run their business you'd think that the wargaming community was over-flowing with sucessful business entrepeneurs, which makes me wonder why so many have commented that they can't afford a ipad or any other tablet.
I dunno if too many people have offered business advice. I for one have basically said that I'd vote with my feet - if it's not available in a printable format. I'm not about to assume that it was my voice that swayed the board of directors of Slitherine inc., but it may well have been the 85% (I think at last count) who answered the poll 'no, I won't buy it'.

Now, I'm not sure - I'm not a business analyst, but I get the vague feeling that losing 85% of your clientele is not a good way to do business. I'll go out on a limb here and say that someone who WAS a business analyst would say that 15% retention rate is poor.

Slitherine can and always will do whatever they want to do. They do what they do, and the customer will do what they want to do... and I've only voiced what I would do.

Re: Version 2 Poll, Version 2, Version 2.

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:47 pm
by shadowdragon
ravenflight wrote:
shadowdragon wrote:Reviewing the many, many comments offering Slitherine unsolicted advice about how to run their business you'd think that the wargaming community was over-flowing with sucessful business entrepeneurs, which makes me wonder why so many have commented that they can't afford a ipad or any other tablet.
I dunno if too many people have offered business advice. I for one have basically said that I'd vote with my feet - if it's not available in a printable format. I'm not about to assume that it was my voice that swayed the board of directors of Slitherine inc., but it may well have been the 85% (I think at last count) who answered the poll 'no, I won't buy it'.

Now, I'm not sure - I'm not a business analyst, but I get the vague feeling that losing 85% of your clientele is not a good way to do business. I'll go out on a limb here and say that someone who WAS a business analyst would say that 15% retention rate is poor.

Slitherine can and always will do whatever they want to do. They do what they do, and the customer will do what they want to do... and I've only voiced what I would do.
I've not counted up the numbers one way or another, but respectfully expressing your opinion / voting with your feet is entirely appropriate. Although in real life one should expect a range of opinions from respectful to less so. I fully do expect that the results on the forum are THE reason for Slitherine changing their position - as they have admitted. I did say I would buy the digital version but did write (way back) that at the very least a printable list of v1 changes for v2 (especially since v2, as someone pointed out, is really a "v1.1") is fair. It seems we are getting there....although, it seems with a fair bit of angst. I would also expect - IF v2 is successful and that may be a big "IF" - that digital versions for other platforms would appear.

As someone who has had to manage my own "retirement" investmenst for a long time, I've done a fair bit of investment analysis. I also contribute to a major on-line investment newsletter / advisory service. There are cases when losing a customer base is a good business decision - even if the company makes some proft for those customers. That is when the return is less than the company's cost of capital (i.e., the particular business line associated with the customer base is a capital destroying one). Slitherine is in a business which is very volatile - i.e., high rate of bankruptcy, unpredictable future returns, easily disupted, etc. Due to this risk investors reasonably demand a high rate of return. So it may very well be that exiting the tabletop games business would be a good decision. However, it is possible that a "capital destroying" business line is worthwhile if it draws customers into more profitable parts of the business.

But, since Slitherine is a private company it's impossible to evaluate any decision they make. It's hard enough with public companies. However, as someone in the hobby (and therefore a customer) I want as much choice as possible at the lowest price possible. Who wouldn't?