Do you want to know the most flack I ever drew from Nasomi? No, it wasn’t the PCC incident. It wasn’t when my shell was accused of MPK in the aery; or account sharing, or anything you’re probably expecting. It was when I spelled out the mechanics of the crafting section on the wiki. One of the most important things to understand about Nasomi is that he wants the in-game experience to be somewhat of a mystery. He remembers how special it was when we were all discovering retail and wishes his server could have that same feel. He’s opposed to metagaming, and will often times forget his own code before he plays something he wrote. A prime example is fishing which isn’t terribly retail accurate here, but more of an impressionist painting with some scattered wiki articles as references. When I started listing the ways that the fishing system needed to be modified to be more retail accurate, he told me that it was intentionally not 1:1, and that sometimes having something new to discover was more important than having something retail accurate. I’m a retail purist at heart and at the time I thought the retail accuracy of our brand was supremely important; though as the years have gone by it’s easier to see things from his point of view. Fishing, coney, the ownms… they don’t bother me as much as they once did.
But yes, as I was saying, he doesn’t care for metagaming at all and having access to that page trashed any mystery the old crafting system may have held. I defended myself saying it wasn’t fair for only people who could read c++ to get the highest hq rates (the code was all public at that time). I had no way to change or obfuscate the code, so the only way I could see to level the playing field was to spell out how it worked for everyone. I felt this would push the ball in his court to change the code to be retail-accurate and private in order to invalidate the page. It was an early example of Nasomi’s principled methods clashing with my own more “ends justify the means” approach to fairness.
At this point you might be wondering how a “principled” server owner like Nasomi could possibly be okay with all of the scandals during “The Deadwing Show” era of endgame. To that, I would say my “ends justify the means” approach was not without ethical restraint, and that the specific details of each scandal matter a lot. I’ll be reviewing the specifics of each scandal with the intent to submit to you that I am, at the very least, not the bad guy; and when push came to shove put the server’s interests above my own when it counted.
Let’s get one thing straight from the start, in 2016 I was unnecessarily attention-hungry. I had done some genuinely innovative things with rdm in 2010 that no none was ever around to see, and then it was all nerfed. In 2012 I won the biggest pvp match of all time in front of hundreds and had my name trashed with false allegations of cheating. In 2014 I tore through nasomi server like a hot knife through butter, only to realize it was a small hill to stand on top of. By 2016 I was about to kick the server’s entire endgame scene into gear, and wanted everyone to know it. I’d toned most of that down by 2017, but once you build a certain reputation it’s not so easy to build a fresh one. Still, if you want to charge me with being an attention whore during The Deadwing Show, I’ll plead guilty to that one.
We’ll start with the Peacock Charm incident (this is still misrepresented by Nasomi antagonists to this day). This is how the situation was framed by Gweiveth while pushing Eden propaganda 10 months ago:
“This was actually a big problem on Nasomi when you had Deadwing around. It's the reason that the whole Peacock Charm thing happened with Deadwing, he knew that Argus was going to change because Nasomi adds things arbitrarily, and because he knew that was coming, he bought out the whole auction house in an attempt to jack up the price once he knew Argus was going to be changed to his correct respawn time. The biggest contribution to this was the fact that Argus had been on a short timer for literally YEARS before he made this change, and the advantage Deadwing had was that he knew the change was coming where all the other players were completley blindsided.”
Right off the bat I’m going to say that for a long time prices didn’t make sense on Nasomi. In 2015 you could sell a stack of prism powder for 30k and then turn around and buy a square of damascene cloth for 5k. This is because you had a significant portion of the level 75’s printing gil out of thin air, so anything they needed had an inflated price. Relic currency that was, on paper, ~10x easier to obtain than modern dynamis buburimu was selling for 500k a piece. On the other hand, no matter how much gil a person prints, they only need one or two vcloaks. Coupled with the fact there were maybe a hundred people online during NA prime time, so much less competition over NMs (and the treasure hunter was stronger). At the height of the 2005 inflation on retail nq Vcloaks sold for over 20M on some servers. It doesn’t take a genius to see what might happen in the event the server became more retail-like and/or encountered a large surge of players. So I started stockpiling. I converted the funny money sloshing around in the economy into real wealth at the best prices I could find. Either the server was going to become more retail like (TH fixed, KA fixed, 1-2k people online) or I was going to quit. I had no idea at the time I would be the one writing a lot of that code, it just seemed like an obvious bet. Well I eventually ran out of space for stacks of dcloth and had enough to keep the price in the 100-200k range even in the event of several thousand players joining at once… so I started buying other things. I had a suspicion nas might retcon gil once he got the leaks fixed, so I rarely had more than a couple mil of liquid cash at any given time. Vir subligars, okotes, vclaws, stacks on stacks of adaman ingots, investments into crafting levels, and famously forty peacock charms. PCCs were selling for 100k, at first, I didn’t really know why. After I’d gradually bought ten or twenty I caught wind that Argus was spawning on 1-2 hour respawn or something. To this day neither me nor nas have any idea how that happened. I was a bit worried that with a respawn that low nas might retcon pcc’s server wide. Still, at 100k a piece… I figured 50% chance of losing them all vs 1000% return if got to keep them was worth at least a bit more allocation. I was in a position where I could have written fixed Argus spawn code at any time, but I considered that a conflict of interest. So, I waited until Nas asked me to fix the Argus spawn. I recognized that what was about to happen didn’t look good, but I felt justified by the fact that I had been purchasing the PCCs since before I realized there was anything wrong with Argus. As I said, prices didn’t make any sense back then, 100k pccs could have been chalked up with 50k behemoth hides as just another stupid nas sever price. Well anyway, people flipped out. I told a shortened version of when and why I’d bought them and why I didn’t see it as a COI. It didn’t help. After several days of forum drama Nas approached me about the situation basically saying he regarded the PCCs as legit purchases, and wasn’t going to nuke them, but asked if we could work something out given how much drama they had caused. I thought about it for a few minutes and voluntarily de-listed and dropped all 40. He offered to refund me the 4M I had spent purchasing them; I told him not to worry about it, that their loss was an expected contingency. Anyone else would have been free to keep them, contributing as a server dev shot my in-game progression in the foot, but whatever. With all the talk of 40M worth of PCCs no one ever noticed or cared about the 150M of dcloth. In 2018 voluntarily retconned that too.
I’ve also received widespread criticism for patching things on a timetable conducive to my in-game interests. The two instances I hear quoted most often are: 1) The patching of relic currency rates after my Excalibur was completed. 2) Patching sky, and by extension, Suzaku, after I’d completed the server’s first level 100 clothcrafter.
Here are the specifics: in 2015 within days (hours?) of completing my Excalibur I posted a github issue (it's still there if you want to read it) to a public codebase nasomi would occasionally pull from. You see the old TH4 code would take a 1% drop, add +2 for Th3 and Th4, then roll three times (base roll+Th1+Th2). A 0% drop would be multiplied into ~6%, a 1% drop would be multiplied into ~9%. The goblins in Dynamis Jeuno dropped each variety of hq currency at a 1% base rate (meaning one in four goblins would drop an hq). The entry was free. The jobs were stronger. The goblins conned T. You think relic weapons are easy to make today? Ho boy 2015 would like a word with you. So anyway, I knew Dynamis Jeuno was a relic currency gravy train, but I didn’t know quite how much it was leaking due to the fact that I never farmed it personally. I completed the strong majority of my Excalibur currency by purchasing it (which was extraordinarily hard to do back then due to the gil printing). I benefited from the currency rates I was contributing to patching, but only second hand. It’s also important to note I had written 0.0 lines of code for Nasomi at this time. I simply did a public write up of the issue that Nasomi contacted me about for details, and proceeded to patch. I was not the first person to inform him of the situation, but I was the first person he listened to. I recognized that getting currency rates fixed before I finished my relic would have been more responsible; but I considered the dozens of other people riding the gravy train without saying anything to be even less responsible. When the nerf to dynamis jeuno rates (but not TH) came making currency 3x harder to obtain, I discussed with nas the possibility of retconning relics server-wide (replacing relic weapons with currency on a pro-rata basis) and heavily pushed this option. This would have shot me in the foot more than the people farming Dynamis Jeuno. For better or worse, Nasomi left the completed relics alone.
The 100CC thing holds a lot of more water for me. In 2016 I completed the servers first level 100 clothcrafter (The next highest was Tommi at 98.3). It was a 150M project, the largest investment per crafting level the server had seen at that time (unless excelyon had something going on that far back). A hundred or so of the 226 synths were dalmaticas which involve two sirens hairs. The best source of obtaining siren’s hair is Suzaku in sky. Sky NMs used to drop two triggers per kill like modern retail. When I overhauled Sky that summer, I patched this and made Suzaku stronger in the process. This made obtaining level 100CC materially harder to complete. I’ve heard it said that the sky adjustments happened when they did to prevent a crafter named Ambrose from completing CC100. This is patently false as I did not know who he was at the time of the sky patch. To me this situation fell in line with a lot of other non-ideal things. Drings gradually moved from a force pop HNM (with occasional bonus open world pops) dropping the ring at a TH4 effective rate of 21% to what we have now. Each knight crab used to have a substantial chance to pop KA, so if you wanted a Vbelt you only needed to walk up to the beach and grab one. Good lord don’t get me started on relic weapons; I mean all of this shit I was fixing was stuff I and many other had benefited from. None of it was an ideal situation, not if you think about the future generations who were going to be taking it on at full difficulty. I tried everything I could think of. I brought up the idea of augmenting the easy-mode drings (my own included) with -5% DT as way to retroactively restore the continuity of difficulty. I discussed dialing back crafting levels, merits, augment nerfing easy relics, rolling back relic stages, pro rating relic weapon currency through the dbox, I pushed for every option I could think of. When Nas pulled my TH code I finally got him to bite on rolling back relics one stage in tandem with the ~2.5x difficulty increase it would bring to completing relic weapons, the same people who criticize me over my clothcraft levels (the one thing of mine nas could have retconned without affecting anyone else) blew up IRC rioting over losing one stage of their easymode relics. That reaction by the elite more than anything convinced me that they were unworthy of prime endgame content, and is the direct reason that TestWing’s fully coded Omega has set on my hard disk untouched for the last two years. Nas caved and rolled back the change that he never deep down believed in. His principles dictate that a player keeping an item obtained in good faith is more important than difficulty balance for future generations. I believe that the ends justify the means when it comes to balancing server difficulty across generations. Both points of view have costs and benefits, but I do not believe it’s fair to say my level 100CC should be retconned when nothing else was. In 2018 I voluntarily retconned it anyway.