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107 comments

The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#27847623)

... but contrary to official postings from 'General British' himself ...

If you bother to read the official document [libsyn.com] hosted by GamePolitics, Garriott claims that letter was fabricated while he was in quarantine from his space flight. And he claims its true intent was to deprive him of stock options he would have if he were terminated involuntarily. Since it sounded as voluntary termination in the letter, he no longer had these stock options:

22. Shortly after the "quarantine call," NCsoft prepared and presented an "open letter" to Mr. Garriott, announcing Mr Garriott's departure from the company. That letter was drafted by NCsoft but purported to be from Mr. Garriott to the Tabula Rasa players. The letter announced that Mr. Garriott was "leaving NCsoft to purse [new] interests." Though NCsoft's letter omitted details about the circumstances surrounding Mr. Garriott's departure, Mr. Garriott saw no reason at the time to object to these omissions, and he did not object to NCsoft posting the letter on the Tabula Rasa website.
23. With the benefit of hindsight, however, it appears that NCsoft's "open letter" was a prelude to the wrongful conduct by NCsoft to come.
E. NCsoft Re-Characterized Mr. Garriott's Termination as a Voluntary Departure, Depriving Mr. Garriott of the Full Value of His Stock Options.

Seems to boil down to whether or not his termination was voluntary or involuntary that determines if he could have exercised $27 million (not $24 million) in stock options.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27847701)

Let me guess... the options are worth about $700.00 now, right? I think he should just call SCO's lawyers...

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848887)

You better pay your $699 licensing fee you Linux-using, cocksucking teabagger!

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (5, Informative)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#27847743)

Seems to boil down to whether or not his termination was voluntary or involuntary that determines if he could have exercised $27 million (not $24 million) in stock options.

Actually, it boiled down to when not if he could exercise his stock options. If his leaving was "voluntary" he would have to sell his stock options right away or risk them not being honored by NCSoft. If his leaving was involuntary, he'd have until June 2011 to decide when to exercise his stock. Because of his "voluntary" leaving, he had to exercise his stocks in a down market rather than being able to pick the right time to cash in.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (5, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848431)

NCSoft is crazy to pick this fight. I guess they've never played Ultima, or they'd know that Lord British cannot be defeated.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (2, Informative)

ahmusch (777177) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848631)

Perhaps, however, they did play:

Ultima III;
Ultima IV;
Ultima VI;
Ultima VII (parts one and two); and
Ultima VIII.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_British#Assassination_of_Lord_British [wikipedia.org]

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849039)

Yeah, but practically speaking, I doubt NCSoft has any Glass Swords (as distinct from a glass sword, and much to my sadness there is a difference) lying around.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849601)

True, but since L.B. was in quarantine, maybe his Invul flag wasn't set and all they needed was a Wall of Flame.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848635)

I really liked dropping the sign on his head. The poison bread in Ultima IX was kind of weak sauce. Killing him in Ultima VII was especially rewarding because you learned a little secret about him in the process.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850851)

Unless you get him with the ships canon in Ultima ///.

  I can't believe I remembered that..

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#27854867)

Actually, I believe the only way to kill ANY lore character in ANY game is with *ahem* a canon.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27859125)

that was AWESOME!

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (2, Funny)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848067)

If you bother to read the official document [libsyn.com] hosted by GamePolitics, Garriott claims that letter was fabricated while he was in quarantine from his space flight

I find this sentence very amusing, but I think its because I'm working on the assumption that he is crazy and isn't actually going to space, and he locked him self in his room for a while.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848203)

That would be a bad assumption. Google "Richard Gariott space" and you'll get a long list of news articles on his visit to the ISS, topped by an official web site for the event. He launched on Oct. 12 and returned to Earth Oct. 23.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (2, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849449)

That would be a bad assumption. Google "Richard Gariott space" and you'll get a long list of news articles on his visit to the ISS, topped by an official web site for the event. He launched on Oct. 12 and returned to Earth Oct. 23.

Google Owen K and you get his dad - making them teh first father / son pair to fly into space and both did it to space stations. (Skylab and ISS)

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849597)

Yeah I saw that but it took a very long time to stop laughing.

Technically I haven't stopped I'm still giggling about it

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848691)

Richard Gariott was actually supposed to be the very first space tourist. I believe he paid first, but didn't go up until later. And it is a little known fact that his dad was an astronaut.

Actually I think it is extremely cool that he spent his fortune living out childhood dreams (building a castle with trap doors, jousting, going into space, etc).

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848213)

Seems to boil down to whether or not his termination was voluntary or involuntary that determines if he could have exercised $27 million (not $24 million) in stock options.

Seems to me that there also needs to be a determination of the real value of those options.
It's easy to claim that you were going to sell at the exact height of the market, but I bet Garriott wouldn't be willing to settle for new options from NCsoft at the price he sold the previous options at, and who knows where the market will be in 2011.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850821)

That all sounds incredibly fishy to me. The guy loses a fortune as the stock market tanks, tries to claim that his voluntary resignation was forged to get back that money, then says he didn't notice said forgery because he was in quarantine (they don't allow phones and the internet in health quarantine, wtf?).

Man that whole story stinks like an unemployed WoW player and raises more questions than the old guy in a college class.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#27855117)

Makes perfect sense to me. Tabular Rasa tanked and NC soft figured Garriott had to be fired as his game wasn't a WoW killer. NC Soft didn't want to waste money so they screwed him over. What's not to get?

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 4 years ago | (#27851801)

I thought his lawsuit was sour grapes until I got to this part of the article:

As a result, according to the filing, Garriott exercised the options within the 90 day window, "[forcing] him to sell into one of the worst equity markets in modern history."

I don't think there was malicious intent here by NCSoft (meaning, I don't think they purposefully tried to force him to sell his stock when the economy was potentially as bad as it was going to be for the next 3 years), but that argument does seem rather sound in that he could have been forced to miss out on a LOT of stock value.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27852021)

Perhaps you should bother reading the linked articles? They are written by people who have read the "official document" as well.

From the article:

"The filing stated that Garriott approved the letter, but in hindsight, the plaintiff suspects that NCsoft was setting up a means to show that Garriott's departure was voluntary."

He approved the letter in question. It's too bad so sad that he didn't realize at the time that he could lose money on the stock options. That's his fault; or his accountants fault.

It was obvious that NCSoft wanted to push him out. And he rolled over and let them. He could have easily taken steps to actually object to his dismissal. Not approving a letter that clearly indicates a voluntary leaving would be a very simple and easy step to objecting to your dismissal. He approved the letter and is now claiming that he thinks that was a bad choice he made. Boo hoo.

NCSoft did what all corporations do. They try to make people quit instead of firing them. He should have had the balls to say "No, I'm not leaving" when they first tried to push him out. He didn't.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 4 years ago | (#27854281)

It appears that he merely did not object to how NCSoft tried to spin his leaving - fairly reasonable, no need to feed rumors or anything. The statement had nothing to do with the conditions surrounding his actual termination and any pressure that he might have been under.

He should have had the balls to say "No, I'm not leaving"

You think he should have stayed where he wasn't wanted? This isn't really the wizard image he'd be trying for. Willing to step down without causing a circus isn't the same as leaving of his own choice.

No, he should deal honorably and assume that others do the same. He should also use his tremendous fortune to destroy those who cross him. Life is too short to run around in fear, vetting every response through lawyers.

Assuming that this case hangs on the tone of 'his' message, then it seems only fair that he not be held to the parts that weren't written by him.

NCSoft did what all corporations do.

And this means they shouldn't be punished for it? Perhaps they wouldn't all do it if it didn't work all the time. Unlike most of us he could afford to make sure it doesn't, and he has everything to gain from trying. He should commit to at least costing them that much in legal fees, even if he doesn't win - just to keep it from working out for them.

Should be fun to watch.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27855351)

"You think he should have stayed where he wasn't wanted?"

It wasn't a choice between leaving and staying, it was a choice between quitting and being fired. The fact of the matter is that the choice was his. He could have left or he could have said "Fire me". He chose the former. And if that choice really did cost him 27 million, then he has no one to blame but himself. He's causing a circus now with this lawsuit.

"Life is too short to run around in fear, vetting every response through lawyers."

If your employer clearly wants you to quit then you need to review your employment contract with them and see how quitting versus termination affects you financially. It's a huge, life-changing moment. It's really one of the times you need to talk to an accountant or a lawyer to understand how your rights and finances will be affected, especially with that much money involved.

"And this means they shouldn't be punished for it? Perhaps they wouldn't all do it if it didn't work all the time."

They shouldn't be punished by the courts in this instance. They wouldn't have gotten away with this if he didn't quit. If he had taken the initiative to make it clear that he wouldn't leave without being fired or done something to make his objections public, then he would still have the right to exercise his stock options until June 2011. He failed to take such action and I don't feel sorry for him.

And I, as a taxpayer, do not want him using our court system to simply "[cost] them that much in legal fees, even if he doesn't win - just to keep it from working out for them". Because that also costs me (and everyone else) money as well and drains our courts already over-taxed resources. Trying to bleed them in court also bleeds our courts and our taxpayers.

Not to mention, the way to fight big corporations is not through lawsuits. That's the stupidest way to fight them. They have more money than you and they will outlast you in court.

The way to fight big corporations is to not buy their products and to not give in to their petty tactics. If he hadn't approved the letter saying he quit and instead wrote his own letter saying "My employment is being terminated over my objections" then he would still have the right to his stock options.

What NCSoft did was wrong, morally, but not legally. They had an employment contract with him that clearly had certain financial rammifications based on resignation as opposed to termination. They wanted him to choose resignation and persuaded him to do so. That he was too dumb to know his own contract and too timid to stick up for his rights at a crucial moment is not reason enough to waste the resources of a court.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 4 years ago | (#27885051)

It wasn't a choice between leaving and staying, it was a choice between quitting and being fired.

Sure, but the issue is that one PR letter that he wrote, supposedly merely signed at their request, isn't the only piece of evidence in the case.

Far more important are the actual conditions of the case. Was there any realistic choice to stay? If not he was fired even if they didn't want to use the label themselves.

If your employer clearly wants you to quit [...]

No. That's just your guess.

Richard's story is more like, NCSoft said "We're letting you go", he agreed, and he thought the issue was settled. But they gave him a PR statement which spun the issue of how he was excited about pursing new things, would miss everyone, etc.

What's the relevant legal contract, between him and his employer and thus satisfied by his communication to them (laid-off), or with the fans making this PR statement, only assumed so far to actually say "I left by choice", a binding legal contract?

They wouldn't have gotten away with this if he didn't quit.

But again, that's their story and the only visible evidence is one PR statement.

They shouldn't be punished by the courts in this instance.

Not unless he can show that they planned the PR statement's slant for the purposes of unduly influencing his stock options. That'd be fraud and they certainly should be punished if it was true.

What should happen is that the actual statements and internal documents communicating the split between RG and NCSoft be examined, their intent probed, and a judgment made on who left who.

Assuming RG's story is true, this is where they're likely liable for quite a bit of his losses, depending on what the longer option would have been worth, as if he'd always had the full option.

If he hadn't approved the letter saying he quit and instead wrote his own letter saying "My employment is being terminated over my objections" then he would still have the right to his stock options.

That's one legal opinion. NCSoft's, I imagine.

But really, ask yourself why it's true? What would make that statement the binding one?

If I sell you a computer (collect your cash, hand over the box, etc.) does the deal suddenly change if you have a slip of the tongue and say to your friend that you just rented a computer? Does this statement, to someone not a party to the contract, override your already completed contract with me and impose terms that you never intended? Do I have a right to demand another payment next month or repossess the computer?

That legal view seems a little... silly.

What NCSoft did was wrong, morally, but not legally.

Maybe legally. If they floated the idea of him leaving and he took it upon himself to follow up, then they're in the clear. Even if they knew he'd lose money one way and didn't tell him.

The morality of that, such as such subjective subjects have any useful meaning in a real conversation, is decided directly by the sort of loyalty they'd have asked for. If they'd be happy with him exploiting some tiny misspelling in the NDA (Tabla instead of Tabula, or such, as the product name) and selling all their secrets to a competitor then I suppose this'd be moral.

But I think that scenario is highly unlikely. I imagine they'd cry bloody murder over that sort of scenario. He'd have been supposed to know which product the contract referred to, etc.

And I, as a taxpayer, do not want him using our court system to simply "[cost] them that much in legal fees, even if he doesn't win - just to keep it from working out for them". Because that also costs me (and everyone else) money as well and drains our courts already over-taxed resources. Trying to bleed them in court also bleeds our courts and our taxpayers.

Wah. If the country's legal system is broken and allows counter-intuitive results that could only enrich lawyers, who should it cost? Perhaps the taxpayers who are ultimately the government? Who else could we pass the buck to? Why should he eat the cost of a badly written/applied law when it's your(my/etc) law that's got the bug - and NCSoft who would be exploiting it? I think he's the only one in the scenario who doesn't deserve to lose some money if his story is true.

the way to fight big corporations is not through lawsuits. That's the stupidest way to fight them. They have more money than you and they will outlast you in court.

But that's the failure I was referring to in your legal system. If you don't fix it don't be surprised when tie-ups in court cost you.

And unfortunately since the system is that way we need someone like RG who's just been screwed over by a loophole and has the money to pursue the issue to hopefully make the situation better for all of us. Ideally he'd just beat NCSoft, prove fraud, and come out owning them. But secondarily I'll accept him hitting your pocket book hard enough that you get your head out of your apathetic ass and pressure your government to fix these bugs before they cost you even more.

He failed to take such action and I don't feel sorry for him.

Jealous much? Or just a jerk?

If this is the kind of legal system we've got, where this shit matters, then we should fix it because it has absolutely no relation to what most people consider reasonable outcomes. I've seen SLAPP lawsuits and such nonsense be used abusively and this seems similar. Use of the letter of the law, contrary to its spirit, to someone's great detriment regardless of the facts or justice. Personally I'd like to see it stop.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27888519)

"Sure, but the issue is that one PR letter that he wrote, supposedly merely signed at their request, isn't the only piece of evidence in the case."

And a blood-stained knife isn't the only piece of evidence in a murder case...but it's a damned important piece.

From his own filing (and this is my favorite part):

"Shortly after the "quarantine call", NCsoft prepared and presented an "open letter" to Mr. Garriott, announcing Mr. Garriott's departure from the company. That letter was drafted by NCsoft but purported to be from Mr. Garriott to the Tabula Rasa players. The letter announced that Mr. Garriott was "leaving NCsoft to pursue [new] interests." Though Ncsoft's letter omitted details about the circumstances surrounding Mr. Garriott's departure, Mr. Garriott saw no reason at the time to object to those omissions, and he did not object to NCsoft posting the letter on the Tabula Rasa website."

This particulare piece is damned important because they drafted a letter and asked his permission to post it on his game's website. He admits that they asked for his permission and he did not object. He even admits that it mischaracterized his departure and he still did not object. He failed to take the simplest of actions to see that his leaving was characterized properly.

This is not just a case of NCsoft did something and then told everyone that they did something else. This was a case of NCsoft did something and then asked Garriott's permission to tell everyone that they did something else and he said ok. So your computer selling analogy is moot.

"But they gave him a PR statement which spun the issue of how he was excited about pursing new things, would miss everyone, etc."

Exactly, and did he object to it? No. And that "PR statement" seemed to make everyone who reported the issue think that Garriott quit. So how is it that Garriott reads it and thinks "oh, well, this won't make it look like I quit, so no big deal"?

"What should happen is that the actual statements and internal documents communicating the split between RG and NCSoft be examined, their intent probed, and a judgment made on who left who."

Yeah, those would make great exhibits in this case. I really have to wonder why he wouldn't have printed out emails or letters exchanged between him and NCsoft employees about this issue and attach it to his original pleading. That'd sure make for a convincing argument. You seem to think I need to learn the "hard way" to "fix my government". I think the better idea is that Richard Garriott needs to learn the hard to way to not talk to slimey corporate executives over the phone and always get things in writing. Letters or emails from NCsoft saying "you are quitting" with letters or emails from him responding "no I am not" would be extremely convincing. So convincing that you'd be a terrible lawyer not to include them in your original complaint...

"And unfortunately since the system is that way we need someone like RG who's just been screwed over by a loophole and has the money to pursue the issue to hopefully make the situation better for all of us. Ideally he'd just beat NCSoft, prove fraud, and come out owning them. But secondarily I'll accept him hitting your pocket book hard enough that you get your head out of your apathetic ass and pressure your government to fix these bugs before they cost you even more."

Yes, thank God the selfless Richard Garriott is here to stand up for me by costing me money...

I never would have known that our legal system has flaws and that corporations use petty, underhanded tactics to accomplish their goals if it were for pious crusauders like Garriott.

Our legal system does indeed have flaws and I do what an individual can (which it turns out, isn't much) to expose them and fix them. But I still think it's a pretty damn good legal system. Good enough, in fact, that it doesn't need to be revamped for people like Richard Garriott.

It needs to be revamped for the family that loses their husband in an oil rig explosion and cannot collect any money from his employer because the supreme court of texas (that bastion of engineering brilliance) thinks that the meager safety controls that were in place were "good enough". It needs to be revamped for the dying sick who cannot get money from their health insurance providers because such providers arbitrarily classify their treatment as "experimental" and deny their claim.

It does not need to be revamped for a wealthy person trying to get more money from other wealthy people.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 4 years ago | (#27894117)

He failed to take the simplest of actions to see that his leaving was characterized properly.

You keep saying this like it matters. He could have come out and said, to everyone, 'I quit!' It doesn't change anything - the facts about his departure are dependent on the availability of choices, the party who initiated the departure, etc.

So your computer selling analogy is moot.

Not really, but let's make it more abstract.

Deal between A and B, completed. B mis-characterizes the deal to C.

How does the deal between A and B change? If they shot C and buried the body would the old deal suddenly take effect again?

Yes, thank God the selfless Richard Garriott is here to stand up for me by costing me money...

Oh geez, try again. He's not standing up for you, he's standing up for himself. He's able to because he has money. Yes, this costs you money because the courts are ultimately yours.

I never would have known that our legal system has flaws and that corporations use petty, underhanded tactics to accomplish their goals if it were for pious crusauders like Garriott.

Your ass, close it. Words are escaping.

Pious crusaders? No, simply a man like any other fighting his employer for the deal he thought he agreed to.

Our legal system does indeed have flaws and I do what an individual can (which it turns out, isn't much) to expose them and fix them.

This I highly doubt, given that you hardly recognize the flaws when they're pointed out.

... learn the hard to way to not talk to slimey corporate executives over the phone and always get things in writing.

Like that for example. You don't see a flaw in NCSoft manufacturing a letter that presumably they understood would have a tremendous impact on Richard's settlement and getting him to sign this without telling him why?

I don't suppose you have a problem with people who prey on the elderly either - having them sign a contract that is simply abusive starting around page 57 and counting on the senior being unable to find those sections.

Why should the law reward one party for having a bunch of small print they know the other party hasn't read? Why not simply examine the obvious intents of the parties and ignore the paperwork?

But I still think it's a pretty damn good legal system.

Why, it almost sounds like you'd be okay with tricking an employee into working in unsafe conditions as long as you call their workplace experimental. After all, they should know to consult a lawyer about their contract.

Good enough, in fact, that it doesn't need to be revamped for people like Richard Garriott.

And despite my wishes, nobody is offering to revamp the law over this.

Thankfully, unlike that Texas oil-worker's family, Richard has the means to fight this for himself.

If anyone revamps it for those people it'll be someone fighting a similar battle and setting a precedent they can use - perhaps that tricking a person into saying something without 'WITHOUT PREJUDICE' around it doesn't imply consent.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27903199)

"You keep saying this like it matters. He could have come out and said, to everyone, 'I quit!' It doesn't change anything"

It really does matter. That's kind of the entire point actually. That is the foundation of his court filing. You are extremely dense to not see that...

Your abstract example is no better than your analogy . This is not a case of A deals with B and then simply talks to C. This is a case of A transacts with B and then A goes on to ASK FOR PERMISSION from B to tell C and informs B of EXACTLY WHAT A WILL SAY to C and uses B's website to do so WITH PERMISSION from B.

"You don't see a flaw in NCSoft manufacturing a letter that presumably they understood would have a tremendous impact on Richard's settlement and getting him to sign this without telling him why?"

I do see a flaw in it. In fact, I said what they did was morally wrong. What I don't see is an injustice that rises to the level of necessitating court action. The US court system does not exist to examine and scrutinize every immoral act one commits towards another. If it did, then I would owe my sister a substantial amount of money for decapitated Barbies. The US court system exists to correct and abate injustices committed against its citizenry that threaten the establishment of ordered liberty.

Richard Garriott making a bad choice for himself and regretting it is not such an injustice.

"Why should the law reward one party for having a bunch of small print they know the other party hasn't read?"

What "small print" exactly? Did you even read the letter in question? It was all of 221 words long. That takes how long to read and understand? A minute at most if you're a slow reader? I dare you to find an EULA or any "small print" that is of comparable length that could be read and understood in such a short time span.

My favorite words from the letter, of course:

"I am leaving NCsoft to pursue [other] interests."

Richard Garriott may not have typed it himself but if he admits to being presented with it and approving it and approving it being posted on a website he presumably has control over, then it doesn't really matter who typed it.

And you may try to argue the semantic point that saying "I am leaving" and "I am quitting" are not the same, but the fact that every news organization that ran a story about this headlined "Richard Garriott quits/resigns from NCsoft" tends toward the conclusion that that is the impression the letter gives off.

This instance is far removed from your example of an elderly victim or person working under unsafe conditions.

First of all, Richard Garriott is, presumably, a grown man with functional mental faculties and has the capability of making his own decisions competently. That "they got him to sign off on it" is just your spin on the fact that he did, in fact, sign off on it. Which means he had a choice to sign off on it or to not sign off on it. Both of those choices had consequences. He picked one that apparently cost him a lot of money. Boo hoo.

He has, or should have had, sense enough to fully contemplate the consequences of his decisions. That he made the wrong choice is his fault and his alone and doesn't necessitate anyone else paying for his mistake.

Also, his working conditions were far from unsafe. Neither the life nor limbs of Richard Garriott were ever in harm's way because of his dealings with NCsoft. When physical harm is involved, it changes the dynamic entirely and necessitates a different standard to be applied. That is why saying "I'm going to shoot you in the head" and actaully shooting someone in the head have drastically different legal consequences...

Garriott was not saddled with mental incompetence nor tricked into doing anything dangerous to his physical well-being. So your example of an elderly man and the down-trodden worker are just irrelevant.

"Thankfully, unlike that Texas oil-worker's family, Richard has the means to fight this for himself."

Wow, I guess you are pretty dense. I suppose that's wrong of me to assume actually. Perhaps you just don't have a general understanding of US court systems.

If you re-read that portion you'll see that I mention the Supreme Court of Texas. That's the highest court in Texas. When you get to that court and lose, there is nowhere for you to go except for the Supreme Court of the United States of America. But the oil family's tort did not involve a federal question, so they could not appeal above the Supreme Court of Texas.

So, the family did have the means to fight, not as much means as a space tourist mind you, but means nonetheless. They had the means and they fought; they simply lost. And for them, the court system needs to be fixed, not for Garriott.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 4 years ago | (#27934709)

It really does matter. That's kind of the entire point actually. That is the foundation of his court filing. You are extremely dense to not see that...

I know NCSoft thinks that's the point... Or wants you to.

Your abstract example is no better than your analogy. [...] This is a case of A transacts with B and then A goes on to ASK FOR PERMISSION [...] EXACTLY WHAT A WILL SAY [...] WITH PERMISSION [...].

Yeah yeah. A and B have it engraved on a commemorative plaque which they send to C's house with a strip-g-gram saying 'B QUIT / Rented the computer!'.

Still doesn't matter. C isn't involved in the deal between A and B.

Richard Garriott making a bad choice for himself

Did he? Do you have the slightest clue what actually happened?

All we can be sure of is that NCSoft didn't just draft that press release for no reason.

If he was really quitting the situation will be obvious. He'll have told them and they'll have notified the appropriate people - there'll be a paper trail from his boss to their boss, to upper management, the PR and legal departments, etc.

If he didn't bring it up it's pretty obvious that they did, and if your boss hands you a resignation letter to sign it's pretty obvious you're being let go, even if the wording (meant for the public) might suggest otherwise.

What "small print" exactly? Did you even read the letter in question? It was all of 221 words long.

His contract. Remember the one you said he should have taken to a lawyer.

This instance is far removed from your example of an elderly victim or person working under unsafe conditions.

Not at all. It's all about an imbalance of power, and obscure contractual loopholes being used to screw people by making them appear to have agreed to something far different that what they obviously expected.

Yes, Richard is better able to fight this than your average senior can fight the abusive thugs these scam artists turn into, but look at the parallels: they get scorned because they "should have known better", much as you say that the company was immoral but right on a technicality, and RG should suck it up for not having gotten a lawyer at the right time.

That's how these scams work, they're technically legal but involve tricking the victims into what it's obvious they least want. They can point to your conflicting initialing of the box on page 13 and say that it means you did want them to proceed with the 'optional' work in section 1, etc.

All the time they're trying to fight this assholes like you are calling them retards for not reading the whole contract and understanding all the legal implications. As if this travesty would be fine if only people would just stop whining about being fleeced by misapplication of the legal system.

That he made the wrong choice is his fault and his alone and doesn't necessitate anyone else paying for his mistake.

No. If he made a mistake.

The US court system does not exist to examine and scrutinize every immoral act one commits towards another.

No, but it does exist to examine disputed contracts.

And if you support the rules that can be so easily misused, or at least care so little for change that you whine about how little one guy can do, then you do deserve your share of the bill for him having to push this through the courts to get some semblance of justice.

That "they got him to sign off on it" is just your spin on the fact that he did, in fact, sign off on it.

No, it's only the whole point. It's irrelevant, he quit or was fired, but that letter has no bearing on which.

As long as you support companies like NCSoft trying to spin shit like that into a valid reason to deny an employee their benefits, be it the word 'experimental', or the technicalities of firing someone, you deserve higher taxes for trying to legislate stupidity and fraud.

You're just making it easier for them to get away with it, and to do the same thing to their salaried employees who won't have Richard's ability to fight this.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27941049)

"I know NCSoft thinks that's the point..."

You know who else thinks that's the point? Richard Garriott. The distinction between being fired and quitting is kind of a key theme in his complaint, which I'm guessing you haven't taken the time to peruse.

"Still doesn't matter. C isn't involved in the deal between A and B."

Indeed C is not. But that doesn't matter. The point wasn't to involve C in anything. The point was to preserve the information for public record, which they did, with Garriott's permission nonetheless.

"If he didn't bring it up it's pretty obvious that they did, and if your boss hands you a resignation letter to sign it's pretty obvious you're being let go"

Yeah sorry but the world is slightly more complicated than that. You can't just agree to things and sign things (regardless of who writes them and hands them to you) and then turn around and say "Oh, even I signed those things or agreed to them, I didn't really because, in retrospect, I don't want to have agreed to them or signed them and my real intentions were something else, I just never bothered to make them known or fight for them". Sorry, sweetness, neither the world nor American jurisprudence works that way.

"His contract. Remember the one you said he should have taken to a lawyer."

Ok, now I know you haven't even read the complaint. He clearly understood his contract. I never said he should have taken his stock option agreement contract to a lawyer (though, he should have, and I would imagine he did). I said he should have consulted his lawyer or accountant when it was obvious NCsoft wanted him out in order to see how quitting versus termination affects him.

"They can point to your conflicting initialing of the box on page 13 and say that it means you did want them to proceed with the 'optional' work in section 1, etc."

Then here's a novel idea, don't fucking sign it. No one held a gun to RC's head and made him do business with NCsoft. You keep saying the "tricked him" or "acted dubiously". And I still say boo fucking hoo. If you don't want to be tricked or treated dubiously then don't do business with any corporation ever.

RC isn't some naive, innocent, doe-eyed child. He knew what he was doing. He got in bed with snakes and shockingly enough, they bit him.

I don't feel sorry for people who agree to stupid things just to watch them blow up in their face.

RC had lawyers and accountants readily at his disposal in all his dealings with NCsoft. So there was not enough of a imbalance of power to compare it to your elderly victim. Your example is still full of shit.

"No. If he made a mistake."

Again, his own complaint says he made a mistake.

"No, but it does exist to examine disputed contracts."

He's not disputing his contract. He recognizes the terms of the stock option agreement. He's disputing whether he was fired versus resigning.

"No, it's only the whole point. It's irrelevant, he quit or was fired, but that letter has no bearing on which."

Hah, yes, a letter saying "I quit" has no bearing on whether someone quit. That's just genius.

I agree there are flaws in the system. The only difference is there is not enough of a flaw here to merit anything.

NCsoft told RC to quit. He quit. He wishes he hadn't now. Too fucking bad.

Re:The Letter Was Written by NCsoft (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 4 years ago | (#27976849)

You know who else thinks that's the point? Richard Garriott. The distinction between being fired and quitting is kind of a key theme in his complaint, which I'm guessing you haven't taken the time to peruse.

No. Seriously, no. Pay attention here, this is key. They said "your time here is over", he protested but didn't fight their decision. That's merely not fighting being let go, quitting is much different.

Read paragraphs 43 and 44. There is always the possibility that Richard is just making this up, but if not that is pretty open and shut.

By the end of para 44 Richard has been terminated. Everything after that is irrelevant.

Hah, yes, a letter saying "I quit" has no bearing on whether someone quit. That's just genius.

Are you dumb.

Did Richard write that to his boss? No. His boss had it written as a PR statement - they put those words in there so not only have they got no reason to think they reflect on Richard's desires, but the letter was written after Richard had been let go. Without time travel that letter couldn't be relevant to the events in question.

There are standards for figuring out intent in verbal contracts - NCSoft is pointing out that this PR release is one way, Richard counters that it's a pretty crappy way when he didn't write the letter. He brights up the events leading up to the discussion - for one, who brought it up. It's unlikely NCSoft brought it up if Richard was the one who wanted to go...

And I still say boo fucking hoo. If you don't want to be tricked or treated dubiously then don't do business with any corporation ever.

Strange how I'd want the law to make corporations liable for their agreements.

And so should anyone who runs a real business, one that doesn't survive by changing their name just ahead of the backlash of angry customers complaints rolling in. Criminals and scammers freeloading on an industry's advertising/good-will hurt legit businesses and customers. Only by holding NCSoft to their verbal dealings with Richard can responsible business person have the ability to do anything other than in triplicate with a notary in tow.

hm (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#27847643)

However, Garriott's complaint claims that Chung had meanwhile internally "re-characterized" his termination as "voluntary." The problem is that the alleged re-characterization of the dismissal would have a significant impact on Garriott's stock options.

24 million dollars?

Lord British (2, Informative)

vaxt (894676) | more than 4 years ago | (#27847685)

It's Lord British, not General British. *scoff*

Re:Lord British (4, Informative)

Bai jie (653604) | more than 4 years ago | (#27847745)

Not in Tabula Rasa. Though I will always love Lord British of Ultima fame over the space British.

Re:Lord British (1)

Bob The Cowboy (308954) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848005)

Yeah, seriously, wtf?

His game persona should be pretty well known to anyone who would care about the games enough to post a story to /.

Re:Lord British (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849145)

In Tabula Rasa, he was General British.

Re:Lord British (1)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849153)

His game persona should be pretty well known to anyone who would care about the games enough to post a story to /.

So then what is your excuse for not knowing that in Tabula Rasa his persona was called General British?

In anticipation of next week's launch of Tabula Rasa, we would like to invite you to join us in our end of beta event. The Tabula Rasa team will be playing and challenging you to take on General British himself on Friday, October 26, 2007 from 10:00 PM to 11:59 PM Central Time.

http://www.playtr.com/news/latest_news/the_tabula_rasa_end_of_beta_event.html [playtr.com]

Re:Lord British (1)

mackyrae (999347) | more than 4 years ago | (#27851137)

The *game character* being General British doesn't change the fact that his *in real life* nickname is Lord British.

And his dad being an astronaut is "little known"? Huh..."I'm going to space just like my dad...." was one topic of convo at dinner with him.

Re:Lord British (1)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 4 years ago | (#27851497)

The *game character* being General British doesn't change the fact that his *in real life* nickname is Lord British.

And for the game Tabula Rasa he used the name General British hence that is why it was used in the summary.

"He clams to have suffered" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27847925)

those British are always a bit clammy...

Question (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848135)

I don't understand how stock options work. Did NCSoft save money by forcing Richard Garriott to exercise his options 90 days early? I'm guessing that the option contract is a right to buy a share of NCSoft stock at the price when the option was issued. So if NCSoft was worth $10 a share 2 years before, and it's now worth $20 a share, NCSoft has agreed to pay the $10/share difference. So if Richard Garriott had been able to wait a few more years, maybe NCSoft stock would be worth a lot more money, and he could have made more...the difference being paid by NCSoft.

Re:Question (1)

zoobaby (583075) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848453)

Or it could be the options are set at $30 a pop and the current share value is below that. So exercising them would be a loss.

Re:Question (2, Informative)

neurovish (315867) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848539)

The options are just an agreement to sell a number of shares at a set price. If NCSoft was worth $10/share when the options were cut, and is worth $20/share now, then Richard Garriott could buy the stock directly from the company for $10/share, then turn around and sell it for $20/share on the open market. If the stock is currently only worth $5/ a share, then he would still buy at $10/share, but wouldn't be able to gain any profit at all from a sale.

NCSoft isn't paying him anything at all, they're just cutting him an employee discount on their stock if it is currently trading higher than when he started working for them.

Options of this kind don't last forever though and usually have an expire date and a bunch of strings attached.

Re:Question (1)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 4 years ago | (#27851055)

1. Options usually need to mature or unlock if you will

2. There is something called a cash-less transfer (you can sell your options for the difference in the option grant price and the current stock value)

3. I don't know about the "don't last forever usually" - it all boils down to a case by case or company by company.

Re:Question (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#27855829)

They are not cutting him a discount. They put aside the shares when they are $10. So it doesn't matter if they go up to $1000, it isn't costing the company anymore, except in opportunity cost. They don't have to come up with $990 to pay the different, they just miss out on making $1000 instead they make $10.

Re:Question (1)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 4 years ago | (#27853441)

I don't understand how stock options work. Did NCSoft save money by forcing Richard Garriott to exercise his options 90 days early?

I don't know the specifics of this case, but it's very doubtful.
Usually stock options are extra stock the company issues at the set price.
In essence, they print up new shares - they don't buy them at the market rate - the cost to the company is close to 0.
Then they sell them to you. Far from costing them money, they actually make money.
But they're going to get the same amount of money whether you buy them today or 2 years from now.
(Because of inflation, money now is worth more than money later, but that's pretty trivial.)

Re:Question (1)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 4 years ago | (#27854427)

The way you explained it isn't completely true. The value of the options granted above and beyond the strike price is considered compensation, and therefore an expense. It comes off the bottom line for financial reporting purposes. It used to be the other way around for a long time, but FASB changed the rules based on the abuses of the 90's and early 00's. I think the rule changed around 2005? (Not an accountant).

Who the fuck? (-1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848575)

Who the fuck is Richard Garriott? Who the fuck is "General British?" What the fuck is going on?

Re:Who the fuck? (5, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848817)

Richard Garriott is one of the better-known fucking game developers, his first games came out at the end of the fucking 70's. He created the entire fucking Ultima series, including Ultima Online, which was one of the first fucking MMOs. He gained the fucking nickname "Lord British" in school because his friends thought he sounded like he had a fucking British accent (he's American though, and lives in fucking Texas), and in his Ultima series the fucking ruler of the land was a character called Lord British whom he fucking modelled after himself (visually, anyway), and he used the fucking name to credit himself ("a fucking Lord British game"). The game he developed with NCSoft, who he's now fucking suing, was called Tabula Rasa and his fucking in-game persona was instead called "General British". He alleges that NCSoft fucking fired him and did so in a way that they claimed he fucking voluntarily left, thereby forcing him to sell his fucking stock options for a lower price than he would have gotten had he been allowed to retain them according to his fucking employment contract, which said that if he was fucking fired (as opposed to leaving voluntarily), he was allowed to keep his fucking options until 2011.

So that's what the fuck is going on.

Re:Who the fuck? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849075)

So that's what the fuck is going on.

Fucking heck, I have no fucking mod points for that. Though, fucking insightful or fucking funny? Not sure which fucking which.

Re:Who the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849469)

Fucking heck...

Reminded me of this [xkcd.com]

Re:Who the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849623)

fuck the fucking fuckers

Re:Who the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849863)

You are fucking right, but your fucking language is fucked up dude... get a fucking language course :-)

Re:Who the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27850725)

So it really boils down to did they really fuck him over, or is he fucked!

Re:Who the fuck? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#27852169)

At 20 by my count, your post deserves some sort of award for the most gratuitous uses of the work "fuck". CmdrTaco, can you please add a new Achievement in honor of amicusNYCL?

Re:Who the fuck? (2, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#27854945)

You would only get the achievement if you did it in a serious screenplay.

-fractoid, the Learned, Impartial and Very Relaxed.

Re:Who the fuck? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27866287)

Saying fuck makes you cool. This proves it.

The thread about this news got nuked on L2 forum (5, Interesting)

Net_Op (1193791) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848657)

One of the new GM's("Moxie") at the Lineage 2 forum just locked the thread about this lawsuit and wiped all of the posts except for the original that contained a link to the Kotaku article. It was their right to do so, but this is the first time I can remember them actually taking this action.

EA Bought Bioware (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848729)

EA owns the Ultima license. Bioware needs to hire Richard Garriot tomorrow and remake Ultima. The first three Ultima games had plots going all over the place. Most of the games don't run on modern computers, and many gamers today never played a single-player Ultima. But thanks to Ultima Online, they recognize the name.

Use the Dragon Age engine that Bioware made, and remake the original Ultima trilogy. I know he doesn't want to work for EA, but working for EA under Bioware probably wouldn't be that bad. Please, make this happen.

Re:EA Bought Bioware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849297)

I think Garriot works best when he is not under a corporate umbrella. The Ultimas up through U7 were good. When EA came in they started to become junk. Either EA tied Garriot's hands so badly that he couldn't make a good game or Garriot himself is unable to work in a corporate environment. I am starting to suspect the latter. Garriot should pony up his own money and make games with that. Maybe that fire would put him in the zone enough to make good games again.

Re:EA Bought Bioware (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849415)

Bioware has no qualms taking as long as they want to make a quality game, and won't release something unless they are happy with it (like Blizzard). Look at all the time they are taking with Dragon Age.

I think it would behoove him to hook up with a company with established, talent RPG writers and designers, who also have a great piece of technology in the Dragon Age engine.

Bioware also started a MMO studio in Austin and hired up the last remaining remnants of his Origin staffers in Austin. Even though EA owns Bioware, I think it is the most natural fit for him.

Re:EA Bought Bioware (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849673)

All of the games minus Ultima 2 work just fine on my dual-core XP system, with or without DOS Box. Ultima 2 gives constant divide overflow when attempting to run.

I just whipped out my Ultima 1-6 Disc from back when I purchased the 6-pack games pack (Spear of Destiny, Ultima 1-6, Blackthorne, Stellar 7, etc.) just to check.

Re:EA Bought Bioware (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849765)

I've gotten the games to work with Exult, Dosbox and the like, but most modern gamers wouldn't touch archaic games like that sadly. And while the plot/concepts of the second trilogy hold up really well, the first trilogy was very inconsistent. I'm not sure he knew what he was doing or planning back them.

Re:EA Bought Bioware (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#27854903)

Ultima 2 under any system gives me a constant divide overflow. It just won't run. everythign else does.

I loved 5 and 6 the best. Having to learn another written language to play was fucking awesome (plus one of the most innovative forms of copy protection at the time,) and the geeks back in elementary and middle school that played and knew the runic alphabet would write notes to each other, which teachers could not decipher, and we never gave the code out, saying "You're not computer-literate enough to understand."

Yea, we got in trouble, but we were right - they certainly weren't computer-literate enough to realize we were using a game's written language.

Re:EA Bought Bioware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27856209)

It never was planned as trilogy it just turned out to be that way...

Re:EA Bought Bioware (4, Interesting)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849957)

One of the interesting things about the Ultima V: Lazarus project, which was a remake of U5 based on the Dungeon Siege engine, was that several spells and features from the original 8-bit release couldn't be implemented safely. (You can't teleport around in dungeons, among other things.)

The old-school 2D worlds had some real advantages when it came to game-design freedom. If you wanted to implement an airplane, you changed the player icon into a 14x16-pixel airplane, made the speaker play a repetitive clicking sound, and turned off collision detection. Need a teleport spell? Just generate pairs of random numbers from 0-63 and accept the first pair that lands on an empty tile. It took about 10 minutes to add a new monster via the 2D tile editor; no need to submit a request to the art director, coordinate with the animators, and hope you're not setting the schedule back another week or blowing the texture-memory budget.

Bottom line, the first three Ultimas were chock full of stuff that would be a nightmare to implement in a modern game engine. Lighting, animation, physics, sound, and so forth don't just complicate the code base, they complicate all aspects of production. It'd be comparable to the difference between writing a chapter in a novel about dragons attacking a city, and shooting the scene in a $200M movie. Not to say it can't be done, or that it shouldn't be done, but what you end up with will not be a very faithful heir to the originals.

Re:EA Bought Bioware (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850063)

I think it is largely forgotten how much RG pushed the technical boundaries. Ultima 1 had some weird elements like space flight. Would it be removed for technical reasons in a newer title, or would it be removed because it was wacky and took away from the original title?

From a story perspective, I'd like to see him revisit the original trilogy of kill-the-big-baddie and try to put a spin on it. He put that concept on its head, in Ultima IV-VI, but those games feature abstract concepts that are best handled in sequels to established properties when the fans have already bought in.

And the nice aspect of working with Bioware (and EA financing the affair) is that technical limitations should be minor.

I think the world of Ultima 1 has a lot left on the table. Those of us who know and love Ultima, basically only really know 1 of the 4 original continents. I'm really curious to examine a story that looks how magic affects a fantasy society. What kind of world is it when some people can afford resurrections? At what point is magic feared and outlawed? And what are the repercussions of a man like Mondain acquiring near infinite power?

Check out the Wikipedia page and tell me there isn't ripe potential for a good remake here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultima_1 [wikipedia.org]

As for limitations with DS/Lazarus, the Lazarus team was working within a toolset. They couldn't rewrite the engine for what they needed. RG working at Bioware would have programmers who could lift technical barriers.

Re:EA Bought Bioware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27851951)

There are ways to implement random teleportation. They're just not as fast or easy. I bet if you used something like HL2's AI nodes to get a rougher picture of the playable space than using the world geometry, it'd be easier to find somewhere to drop the player within playable space without getting them stuck.

And that's just off the top of my head.

Re:EA Bought Bioware (1)

DrWho520 (655973) | more than 4 years ago | (#27860281)

"But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

Pres. John F. Kennedy
Remarks at the dedication of the Aerospace Medical Health Center
San Antonio, Texas, November 21, 1963

Re:EA Bought Bioware (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#27853841)

And people wonder why Hollywood keeps making sequels, remakes, and re-imaginings.

Re:EA Bought Bioware (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27853957)

VASTLY different story here.

Jackie Chan is off making a Karate Kid remake right now. I'm not remotely kidding. Is that movie going to be better or really different? Will it add something the first couldn't?

Taking a computer game from 1980 and remaking it today is to completely reinvent it and do things that just weren't possible before.

Re:EA Bought Bioware (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#27855383)

No, it's not a different story at all. It's fanbois drooling and the media serving up what they know the fanbois will eat up without question.

Re:EA Bought Bioware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27856249)

Actually, if he wins this he might just be able to buy his company back from the tyrant, and actually MAKE it

Re:EA Bought Bioware (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27862843)

EA officially disbanded Origin Systems as a company. His company doesn't exist anymore. However, he might be able to purchase the rights to make single-player Ultima games.

Transcript of Richard Garriott's team of lawyers: (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849393)

Iolo: "...Ask Dupre about that."

Dupre: "...Ask Shamino about that."

Shamino: "...Ask Iolo about that."

Re:Transcript of Richard Garriott's team of lawyer (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 4 years ago | (#27857613)

Mr. Shamino, is it not true that you are in fact secretly Lord British?

He's got to pay for that space trip some how (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849441)

He said it cost him virtually all of his savings to pay for it. Or was that, it cost him all of his virtual savings? Either way....he needs more money. Afterall, Lord British can't be seen in a Hyundai.

This will be the plot of Ultima XI (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850605)

NC Soft and teh Guardian team up to destroy Lord British. With the crack lawfirm of Dupre & Fitzowen, Esq advising your moves, you'll have to collect the contracts from the Sandallwood Box, travel to the Shrine of Justice in Yew, convince the Magistrate there that Brittania law applies to South Korea, then track down the vile Chung Blackthorn II.

Confronting him in his underworld lair from which the Exodus Lineage Server farm runs, you will defeat them, take their funds for a return to space...

Re:This will be the plot of Ultima XI (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 4 years ago | (#27861001)

Hah, that's a good point. Look for a not-so-well-disguised anagram of "Chris Chung" in whatever LB's next game is, complete with a dastardly reputation followed by a horrible death at the player's hands.

Back in the day, it was "Pirt Snikwah."

They were hoping, (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850649)

They were hoping he would die in outer space. It was a calculated risk :/

I must say Tabula Rasa is pretty TERRIBLE. Though I do not know enough about the inside workings of NCSoft to just blame Garriott outright. But I assume he had creative control, he just took the game in a pretty lame direction. Nothing was innovative except for FPS combat.

If he is to blame for the state of the game however, he should have been terminated a lot sooner. Worst thing that will come out of this probably will be him using the money to go to space again. If he does, he better not return!

Re:They were hoping, (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#27857043)

TR was a collection of problems. First of all, when you look at trailers from 2004 (search them in YouTube if you're interested), you'll see a game that had nothing in common with what TR finally way. 2004 TR was more of a fantasy sword-and-spell game with the graphics and feel of TR.

Much like NC Soft's Aeon is now. Makes you wonder if they reused some of the stuff they scrapped back then.

How big a bomb was Tabula Rasa? (2, Insightful)

Trikenstein (571493) | more than 4 years ago | (#27854111)

I didn't play it. Pretty sure I don't know anyone who played it. In fact I don't believe anyone I know was even tempted to play it.

The reason I said these things is Mr. Garriott seems to have a lot of grandiose ideas, but is incapable of implimenting them himself. Has he coded anything himself since Ultima 2 or 3?
Anyway, he comes up with ideas, gets others to pay him for them, and when these ideas don't actually work. It's everyones fault but his own.

After all, he's the idea guy. It's not his fault, you couldn't make it happen. Or that you didn't understand. That you didn't *get it*

It was a great idea.

The failure is yours.

So of course, someone, somewhere, owes Mr. Garriott a great deal of money.
And he should get it.

He can use it to buy himself a sense of shame.

Re:How big a bomb was Tabula Rasa? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#27857193)

Now you know someone. Me. I even liked it to some degree, but it lacked a lot of important features to make it stay.

First of all, the game was ready for release about a month before its demise. It was shoved out the door a year too early. In the end, there was everything in that was lacking, and everything removed that bothered.

The game sorely lacked any kind of endgame at release. I don't mean "no huge raids, just petty 5-man-dungeons". I mean ANY kind of endgame. There was literally NOTHING to do with your level 50 than to shelf it and play another toon. Balance was HORRIBLE at best. When you have stealthers that kill in one blow with the second best armor in the game, I think even the most clueless person can spot the overpowered class. You had skills that simply outright didn't work, you had skills that were pulled somewhere 3 months after release and replaced by completely different skills (that also didn't work...). You had basically anything you'd expect to see in a closed beta, or maybe early open beta, but certainly not a finished game.

How much of this is RGs fault? If any, it's the amount of time that was already sunk into development when the game was pushed out the door in 2007. NC already sunk 6 digits (USD) into it and I guess it was a matter of cold feet. Was it RG's fault that the game took ages to get to the door?

What I find awesome is... (1)

itchyfish (20104) | more than 4 years ago | (#27857665)

The comment "Garriott had also been taking a working leave of absence for space exploration around that time." and no one bats an eyelash. A leave of absence for "space exploration"!! How awesome is that? I need to get me one of those.

Didnt Garriot get a reward already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27872517)

In form of a warm bucket of players "DNA"... What did he do with all that spunk anyway?
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