The eyepatch business of last week took longer than it sounds like, but just this week it was released in all of its smooth and unjagged glory. Hooray!
On the support front, we've been getting a lot of petitions lately from people convinced that poker is "rigged" and that winning hands are predetermined. I do not know if this is because too many people stay in with bad cards and then sometimes see unlikely hands turned/rivered or if there's a rumor going around.
One pirate claimed that people were "hacking" poker. The proof of this was because he had been beaten at poker by one of the hackers, so it was obvious there was a hack to win at poker.
Another of the petitioners said that it was obvious that less established pirates (with lower all around experience stats, I am assuming) got better cards. I had an amusing time trying to think of how we would code such a thing into the game of poker, while still keeping up the card randomization and reshuffling things every time somebody got up from a seat or joined a table, and how much longer it would take to program in this strangely illogical algorithm into the game instead of say, just programming a game of poker.
Mostly though, it reminded me that the human mind naturally looks for patterns. We search for a larger overall scheme in everything that we do. It serves us well in areas like battle navigation, where some people are so good at it that they can predict where the AI will move reliably, and makes things like programming an AI that people won't figure out quickly complicated, indeed.
Sometimes though, I feel that this ability to watch for patterns comes up with bizarre and convoluted scenarios that would be far harder to implement than they would be worth.
For example, as an OM I have been told that it's obvious we always side with the customer who has spent the most money. Actually calculating who has spent more money in resolving a dispute would take a long time. We'd have to add up all past purchases, look for alt accounts and purchases there, or in the case of subscribers, see who had been subscribing longer, take into account the discounted rate of discounts like buying a year at once, as well as see who had been gifting away months and things like that. In the cases involving multiple people such as flags, I suppose we'd have to calculate what every member had spent, add it all up, and divide by number of members?
It takes far less time to look at the case and try to decide as fairly as we can (though I admit that we are human and will certainly not always find a solution satisfactory to everybody) than adding up all of those numbers for a judgement.
Taking this to a greater extreme, I once had somebody petition that his friend was claiming to be a close friend of a specific OM's, which meant that she got all sorts of free gifts and that she could never be banned. The proof that this was true, in the petitioner's mind, was that this pirate was obviously not banned.
He was quite incensed that OMs were allowed to give away free gifts and be so biased as to promise people that they could never be banned, and no OM was going to tell him that this was not the case, since OMs obviously weren't going to tell anybody outside of their special circle of favored friends. Every new item that his friend bought was further proof to him that an OM was giving her free things and not banning her.
I couldn't convince this person to /complain his friend for claiming to get special treatment from OMs, as this was against the Terms of Service, since he had been told that his friend could get other people banned by her special OM friend for telling on her.
Now that I think back on it, I'm not exactly sure what he expected us to do if all of this were indeed true, nor can I figure out why he was petitioning an OM about it, since we were obviously paragons of corruption.
Regardless, please take my gentle warning readers: you are all very smart, and as this is a puzzle game, very good at disseminating and spotting patterns in the game. Beware of patterns that don't exist because in a game as social as this, word of mouth and rumors are powerful things, indeed. I just wish I could give them all old style male eyepatches, so you could see them coming.