The spirit of the infamous UO lawsuit lives on, and it seems a revival is taking place. First, go check out the story on Dr. TwisTer (UO section) about someone taking OSI to small claims court for having his account banned. There’s not a lot of material here, so it’s unclear whether or not he violated the TOS, but it seems legitimate from a legal standpoint.

Now, check out a post on the Warhall (reproduced here since it will probably expire before you get to see it) about GM Cochese banning a player who happened to be a real-life lawyer (haha), who also happens to be filing suit in small claims court against OSI and Cochese. This story has a special spot in my heart, since it was this same GM who banned a friend of mine around the time that nightmares were being used to break into houses. This player was a GM tamer, and had “nightmare-proofed” his house and was testing to see whether it worked, when BAM off to jail, muted, and then banned. No inquiry about what the situation was. Several people wrote emails to OSI about this, and of course nothing happened. Keep in mind that a GM can see who placed the damn house in the first place, and were offering no support at all for people who were worried about the breakin bug… or any other exploit, for that matter. The case from Warhall, however, was a clear-cut case of the banned player being abused and harassed in game (and yes, GM’s DO get player logs so they can see what’s going on if they ever felt like reading).

At the same time, Lum, God of Ranting, has been piping up on GM’s abusing players who dare to use the harassment pager, or any other type of pager it seems, that might pull our beloved GM d00dz away from PKing and watching Nickelodeon.

All this time, all I can think about is my experience with Datura (see above rant.) True, I have heard about a few (VERY few) good experiences with in-game GM’s, but these involve things which could be done instantly, i.e. remove the LOA tag from Maraxus’ name, get something out from under a house (although I have also been there on 3 occasions where GM’s didn’t do squat about this sort of thing), and basically really simple tasks that can be accomplished within about 3 seconds. However, these sorts of good experiences are outweighed about 20 to 1 by horror stories.

I really wanted to write a rant about all this, but I find myself too disgusted. The ONE thing which makes a company unredeemable is shitty customer service. Even though I really loved Heavy Gear, I cannot ever see getting another Activision game because of their unbelievably bad support, shitty testing, ignoring their customers, etc. They have never, to my knowledge, gone so far as to actively abuse their customers as OSI has done REPEATEDLY for… God, is it years already? Ultima Online must have had the potential to be the greatest game of its time, to keep players around for this long while dumping barrels of shit over their heads and throwing them in jail if they complained about it.

There really isn’t much of a point to this rant (is there ever? 8P), except maybe to set the stage for my departure from UO, yet another game that sucks. However, if any of you out there feel inspired to take OSI to small claims court, please feel free! Down with the man!

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