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  Click here to go to the first Rift Team post in this thread.   Thread: What happened to Elrar??????

  1. #346
    RIFT Fan Site Operator Xillean's Avatar
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    I pretty much logged in just to say how sad I am too see that Elrar was let go. Probably one of the worst things Ive seen happen during my time playing Rift. He was a great guy and ill never forget the first extra life with him or my time on beta and him getting me killed. Great times and a great guy.

    If your reading this Elrar ill miss you man, you were and are awesome.
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  2. #347
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laeris View Post
    Well, you guys can complain about openness and honesty all you want, but Privacy Act laws and other laws in the United States that govern Human Resources department actions kinda prevents them from discussing certain personnel information.

    It wouldn't be illegal for them to post what happened... they could get sued over it in civil court though. For example, terminations for behavioral problems tend to be kept confidential since such things are open to interpretation. What an employer might see as bad, the employee might not and it could be grounds for a civil lawsuit if they slander that person's reputation.

    Other things like medical leaves of absence and so on are protected by law. There's hundreds of pages of H.R. codes businesses have to try and follow... but what it all comes down to is this:

    1) It isn't a sound moral decision to air internal laundry to the public. That isn't something Trion or any business should do.

    2) If the employee (Elrar) wanted to make it public... then it is his and only his decision to speak on the details since it is his own privacy that is being discussed.

    3) Violating a person's right to privacy can and often does carry certain monetary damages in civil courts. Therefore, responsible businesses don't discuss internal H.R. matters of any kind.
    True, and even though Trion is perfectly within their rights to make a blanket statement about "recent personnel changes", they most likely don't think that they should risk it.

    But make no mistake, in CA, which is an "at-will" state, even though the courts in CA (as well as just about every other state in the union) have successfully won in court when they do discuss the reasons for a persons termination (it's generally called "qualified privilege").

    To claim "qualified privilege", typically the following elements have to be met about the statement:

    Fair.
    Accurate.
    Published without malice.
    Subject to the right of reply (ie Elrar is allow to present a rebuttal).


    So it is perfectly legal, in just about every state in the union, and especially CA, for Trion to issue a statement here on the forums, saying something like "Elrar was released from employment because of x."

    Now, I will agree with you that Trion will most likely NOT do this, because it is very evident from posts here and other places, that no reason for terminating Elrar will be "good enough". So in Trion's eyes, it's better for them just to say nothing.
    Last edited by Proclus_Lycaeus; 08-19-2013 at 11:35 AM.
    Retired from the forum community 12/19/2017

  3. #348
    Rift Disciple Serrina's Avatar
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    My sub was due to renew in a couple of weeks, so I cancelled it. It isn't because Elrar is no longer with the company, exactly. It is because there is so much happening that I am not completely confident in the game's future. Typically I sub for extended time periods with 3 months being the smallest chunk (usually 6 months). If I subbed month-to-month I may have chosen to stay a Patron.

    For now, I'm going to sit back and see what happens. If things become stable, and the company releases more information in general, I am sure that I will re-sub. If things do not stabilize or no information is released, I will not. I've been burnt by companies and regretted long-term subs in the past (not to mention a lot of other money that I put into the game) that I am definitely cautious.

    Good communication = more money and not just by me. Players in general will open their wallets if they feel things are fine, sincerely and truthfully fine. "Politician-speak" is best left to..politicians.
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  4. #349
    Champion of Telara Sargonnas_KoA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serrina View Post
    My sub was due to renew in a couple of weeks, so I cancelled it. It isn't because Elrar is no longer with the company, exactly. It is because there is so much happening that I am not completely confident in the game's future. Typically I sub for extended time periods with 3 months being the smallest chunk (usually 6 months). If I subbed month-to-month I may have chosen to stay a Patron.

    For now, I'm going to sit back and see what happens. If things become stable, and the company releases more information in general, I am sure that I will re-sub. If things do not stabilize or no information is released, I will not. I've been burnt by companies and regretted long-term subs in the past (not to mention a lot of other money that I put into the game) that I am definitely cautious.

    Good communication = more money and not just by me. Players in general will open their wallets if they feel things are fine, sincerely and truthfully fine. "Politician-speak" is best left to..politicians.
    This is exactly the problem with the whole situation. Elrar being let go really sucks, but for most of us its not that one thing causing many people to suddenly want to quit as much as a buildup of things that have happened since a couple of months after Storm Legion was released. Every time we look for something positive were hit in the face by more things that make people ask questions, like should I keep paying for this game? The fact that no real explanation has been given and no direction for the future after making some big changes only makes it all worse. Ive had a subscriber account since about three weeks after release and I'm even at the point I'm wondering if I should cancel. Its just not the same anymore. When the game went F2P it felt like things were slowly moving towards something better and now this. Ive played Defiance, but I personally don't care about any game except Rift and am truly tired of watching the resources taken away from Rift to make up for the failures in everything else they seem to be doing.

  5. #350
    Ascendant Laeris's Avatar
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    My advice:

    Games are not countries. They're not governments and they're definitely not religions. You don't need hopes, dreams and beliefs to have a good time.

    Around 90% of any game's population doesn't read the forums. If you didn't read the forums, you'd have no idea who most of the people are who were let go... and more importantly, you likely wouldn't notice if anyone was let go in the first place.

    So, my advice is treat your game like most players do. Most don't read the forums and play to enjoy themselves. Try it sometime, you might like it.

  6.   Click here to go to the next Rift Team post in this thread.   #351
    Director of Global Communications dahanese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laeris View Post
    My advice:

    Games are not countries. They're not governments and they're definitely not religions. You don't need hopes, dreams and beliefs to have a good time.

    Around 90% of any game's population doesn't read the forums. If you didn't read the forums, you'd have no idea who most of the people are who were let go... and more importantly, you likely wouldn't notice if anyone was let go in the first place.

    So, my advice is treat your game like most players do. Most don't read the forums and play to enjoy themselves. Try it sometime, you might like it.
    It's true that 5-10% of folks generally are on the forums (although what is it, 90% of statistics are all made up?) but generally those that come here are the most connected and those who talk are definitely very, very invested.

    Before I worked at Trion I never visited the forums. I commented to Amary when she first started working for me that the only thing I really noticed out of game was the tone of the patch notes since I religiously read them. We're all different types of players, though, so it's not about discounting one form of communication or one pool of people. It's about striking the balance between all of them (or trying to.)

  7. #352
    Ascendant Galibier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sargonnas_KoA View Post
    This is exactly the problem with the whole situation. Elrar being let go really sucks, but for most of us its not that one thing causing many people to suddenly want to quit as much as a buildup of things that have happened since a couple of months after Storm Legion was released. Every time we look for something positive were hit in the face by more things that make people ask questions, like should I keep paying for this game? The fact that no real explanation has been given and no direction for the future after making some big changes only makes it all worse. Ive had a subscriber account since about three weeks after release and I'm even at the point I'm wondering if I should cancel. Its just not the same anymore. When the game went F2P it felt like things were slowly moving towards something better and now this. Ive played Defiance, but I personally don't care about any game except Rift and am truly tired of watching the resources taken away from Rift to make up for the failures in everything else they seem to be doing.
    It couldn't that these changes are positive for the company and the players. Hey I know it sucks but any of us who have been in the work force long enough know good guys and gals get laid off so the company can keep others employed. We all know really nice people who were good workers in general bit kept doing one thing wrong to the point it could not be over looked. While regrettable these things are good. They are decisions, often hard ones, that keep companies in business.
    Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

  8. #353
    Telaran KaiserPhoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galibier View Post
    It couldn't that these changes are positive for the company and the players. Hey I know it sucks but any of us who have been in the work force long enough know good guys and gals get laid off so the company can keep others employed. We all know really nice people who were good workers in general bit kept doing one thing wrong to the point it could not be over looked. While regrettable these things are good. They are decisions, often hard ones, that keep companies in business.
    it's pretty clear now, that it's not worth sacrificing your secure job position to join one of scott hartsman's trips, for sure

  9. #354
    Ascendant Galibier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiserPhoenix View Post
    it's pretty clear now, that it's not worth sacrificing your secure job position to join one of scott hartsman's trips, for sure
    Actually I would say Lars Buttler's ships. He called the business shots. Scott was hired to come in and fix what Lar's screwed up. It sucks but sometimes the first thing you need to do to hear a patient back to full health is radical surgery if the previous doctor let an infection spread too far.
    Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

  10. #355
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machiko_Naguchi View Post
    True, and even though Trion is perfectly within their rights to make a blanket statement about "recent personnel changes", they most likely don't think that they should risk it.

    But make no mistake, in CA, which is an "at-will" state, even though the courts in CA (as well as just about every other state in the union) have successfully won in court when they do discuss the reasons for a persons termination (it's generally called "qualified privilege").

    To claim "qualified privilege", typically the following elements have to be met about the statement:

    Fair.
    Accurate.
    Published without malice.
    Subject to the right of reply (ie Elrar is allow to present a rebuttal).


    So it is perfectly legal, in just about every state in the union, and especially CA, for Trion to issue a statement here on the forums, saying something like "Elrar was released from employment because of x."

    Now, I will agree with you that Trion will most likely NOT do this, because it is very evident from posts here and other places, that no reason for terminating Elrar will be "good enough". So in Trion's eyes, it's better for them just to say nothing.
    Yeah treat the playerbase like a bunch of three year olds that cant handle a thing let alone the cold truth.

    We'd be pissed if it was over cutbacks but at least it is THERE. Ther'es a definitive point. And hell cutbacks would be a hard one to argue against for a lot of people. Silence has done nothing but let theories fly one of which was a possible sale to EA or SOE while that got quashed anyone who's been playing mmo's has SEEN this pattern before. I have seen this pattern before and it isnt anywhere near good. Maybe there will be a different end result but i wouldnt bet on it.

    As well liked and respected as Elrar knows as far as we the players know he got fired through no fault of his own but trion will not give a reason. That means personal bias. That means a blowup between him and hartsman.

    As far as i am concerned until i see otherwise Elrar was fired without cause. And i said it before i'll say it again i DARE Trion to prove me different. As a long time player of MMO's i've seen damn near everything. NEVER have i seen something like THIS.
    Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars. Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars. Fill my heart with song and let me sing forever more.

  11. #356
    Rift Disciple pwnguin's Avatar
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    I'm just a casual nobody and even I looked forward to livestreams with Elrar or any forum posts/replies he made. I actually find it very bothersome that with all the layoffs and moving around of the company that he was one of the people let go. I get he wasn't a developer and that they don't need that many people doing the communications thing, but I truly felt like he was one of us and there for us, the voice of us or what have you. He seemed genuine, I guess is what I'm saying. I hope he still continues to play.

  12. #357
    Ascendant Galibier's Avatar
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    Trion, by LAW, can not prove you wrong. If someone is terminated, discussing such a labor issue is actionable in court via a civil suit unless the wrong doing itself is a matter of public record (fired for being arrested is an example.)

    If Elrar resigned it would be different but even then all Trion could say is "Elrar resigned" it would be up to Elrar to mention the reasons. It sucks but Trion legally can't tell us and Elrar won't for fear of being black balled by other companies. Welcome to the Corporate world.
    Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

  13. #358
    Ascendant Laeris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahanese View Post
    It's true that 5-10% of folks generally are on the forums (although what is it, 90% of statistics are all made up?) but generally those that come here are the most connected and those who talk are definitely very, very invested.

    Before I worked at Trion I never visited the forums. I commented to Amary when she first started working for me that the only thing I really noticed out of game was the tone of the patch notes since I religiously read them. We're all different types of players, though, so it's not about discounting one form of communication or one pool of people. It's about striking the balance between all of them (or trying to.)
    What I was getting at was the issue with how some folks put so many unrealistic expectations on game developers. From a business perspective, game developers exist to produce media for entertainment and to market and support that media in order to drive and maintain revenues. That's pretty much the baseline driving force without all of the corporate mission statement engineering.

    Now, somewhere along the line, companies (and not just software developers) sometimes strike up an odd relationship with their customers. This relationship seemingly places the corporation in an ivory tower while the consumers huddle around the virtual foundation with their knees bent as they worship and/or throw stones at it. It doesn't matter what exterior face the company shows its customers... the fact still holds true that somewhere at the uppermost levels of said tower, there's a floor where the buck stops and the baseline need to increase and maintain revenues is the ultimate law.

    The people outside who are worshipping the ground around the tower get angry the instant they sense an evil corporate presence inside. For months or years perhaps... they had a nice existence where everything was butterflies and rainbows. The corporate PR folks and spin doctors did too good of a job in selling a false pretense (the notion that everything is SUPER FINE OVER HERE)... and when things all of a sudden weren't so SUPER FINE the worshiping fanbase took notice.

    Those fans then stand up and dust off their knees. Next, they start throwing stones. Once, the company could say, "We're going to have this patch out soon..." and the customers would go, "Sweet! You guys always fix stuff. I love you guys!" Now, instead, they go, "THIS IS SUCH BS! FIX YOUR BROKE GAME AND QUIT LAYING PEOPLE OFF!"

    Now, the reality of the situation in regards to Trion is this: The development pace hasn't slowed all that much. Our feature patches come out in similar passage of time as others and Trion never really had any in-game presence to begin with... aside from the very seldom appearances of Elrar or Amary. The most public face Trion has is with the livestream... which as other game developers typically do it, they farm that out to third parties (AKA people like Massively.com and their SWTOR livestreams and/or to interested players who volunteer).

    The reality is, for most people in-game... not much has visibly changed from launch day until now. The only thing that is changing is the ivory tower concept that people attribute to the company at large. In essence, they create their own version of what Trion is like and when reality is saying, "This is what this company is like... and by golly we need to make some money" and it doesn't exactly fit in with their ivory tower concept... you get forum rage. People tend to bring up morality and start making the company look chaotic evil and such... all because of the underlying core truth that Trion is a business and it needs to make money and keep costs down so they can continue working as a business should.

    While it stinks to lose good folks like Elrar and others... the core principle at play here is that like many other companies in the world... Trion exists to do one thing: Make money. They do it by being a software provider that makes MMO games. Companies are not in the business of selling cult memberships... although they do things like this in order to push marketing initiatives.

    It's great for fans to enjoy what they do and appreciate the company that makes their game of choice... but there needs to be an understanding that games are made by companies who have to make money. This doesn't make them evil or mean spirited when they have to see to their bottom line. My comment earlier was to do with how folks are I think, wrongfully criticizing a company for trying to make money... and they would never know the difference if they weren't emotionally invested in the company's marketing plan (that is, afterall, what people like Elrar are... they are the paint on the ivory tower... the fascia that the people see... and it's just a brand of marketing).

    So there you have it. My final point is to say that to me, it looks as if people are outraged over the development of the game's marketing and PR system... and not the game itself. This is why I suggested that some folks might be better off by stepping back from the forums and go back to playing the game... the two are not really related. It doesn't matter if the ivory tower exists or not... the product hasn't changed all that much... it's only the customers' version(s) of what the ivory tower looks like that has changed.

  14. #359
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom D View Post
    What exacly do you expect Trion to say?

    We know 2.4 is comming in September with 2 New Raids - so a lot of players will have things to do up untill November-December, then its New Year World Event, and 3.0.

    /speculations
    When a game developer fires it's CM's - it might mean that they don't need anymore Dev. to Community relationship. This might also mean they don't have any big plans after 3.0, which would mean Rift will end with 3.0.
    Rift Next or something will probably their next project.


    Honestly i don't know where they got the money to develope Defiance and End of Nations - since Rift wasn't as populer as WoW, and even Blizzard developers didn't had so many side projects as Trion did, but i am glad Rift survived untill now.
    I can't speak for EON, but Forbes was clear in a Defiance article that Syfy (aka NBCUniversal, owned in whole by Comcast now) funded 50% of development for Defiance, therefore putting Trion's personal investment at only 35 million of the 70 million.

    Syfy is also the financial investor in the show. Syfy also stated that they rarely make revenue directly off their shows, and in the case of Defiance they were counting on the game to generate revenue (thus a triple platform launch).

    So, even with NBCUniversal putting in 50% of the game's cost, and carrying everything else associated with an I.P. owned by Trion Worlds . . . the game studio still managed to screw it up so royally.

    DC Universe cost SOE $50 million to develop. If $70 million was actually spent on the Defiance game, my mind is boggled.
    Last edited by Kilmeran; 08-19-2013 at 10:54 PM.

  15. #360
    Shield of Telara Moklar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galibier View Post
    It couldn't that these changes are positive for the company and the players. Hey I know it sucks but any of us who have been in the work force long enough know good guys and gals get laid off so the company can keep others employed.
    Why do people keep bringing this up?

    EVERYONE knows people get fired and hired all the time, what is the point of saying that!!!

    The thing here is that they fired the person that was synonymous with Trion to most people and ON TOP of that they fired the two people that was like Elrar for the German and French communities as well - no matter how you look at it it is a HUGE PR disaster, and the way it happened made it even worse.

    (I'm 48 years old I don't need any lectures on how the real world of business is, I know it pretty well.)

    For now I ended my sub and won't be spending any more money on Rift until maybe when 3.0 comes, but I have a lot of credits still so chances are that I won't even spend any money ever again.
    Last edited by Moklar; 08-19-2013 at 11:09 PM.

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