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  1. [Beer]  Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 7:29 PM
  2. To: Cloud Imperium Games <support@cloudimperiumgames.com>
  3. Hello,
  4.  
  5. Has there been any progress with respect to discovering the reason for my ban? I ask because I was recently contacted by a member of the press who revealed that your PR representative, David Swofford, said that I "violated our TOS and was banned for his behavior on the SC forums". This seems difficult for me to understand since Patrick clearly indicated that my behavior off the forums was grounds for probation, and reinforced his point with evidence as such. Why does your Director of Communications know more about my punishment than you or the lead moderator? I'm also confused about you needing to find the moderator who banned me. Your own policy clearly states that permanent bans are only performed by Cloud Imperium Games, not volunteer moderators. Are you not following your own policy?
  6.  
  7. Since things are already out there I will be continuing to share this and all future communications. Thank you once again for being so open and honest with me.
  8.  
  9. [Beer]
  10.  
  11.  
  12. On Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 6:23 PM, [Beer]  wrote:
  13. Sandi,
  14.  
  15. I posted the exchange because I felt the community deserved to read your own words, and also see the lead moderator flat out declare that I was banned for something done off-site. I gave you several days to tell me not to post (and believe it or not I would have respected your request) and felt I had waited long enough. The fact that you confirm the David Jennison letter and also declare that if we don't wait we'll get "a shit game" is also pretty incredible to me.
  16.  
  17. I wouldn't know anything about your Twitter account, seeing as how you blocked me.
  18.  
  19. [Beer]
  20.  
  21.    
  22. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  23. Jan 5, 17:09
  24.  
  25. Hi [Beer],
  26. Why would you do that? Now I understand why I'm being trolled just now on my Twitter.
  27.  
  28. Thanks very much,
  29. Sandi
  30.  
  31.  
  32. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  33. Jan 5, 16:04
  34.  
  35. Sandi,
  36.  
  37. Unfortunately I have already shared the e-mails. I look forward to your investigation and finding out the truth of why I was banned.
  38.  
  39. [Beer]
  40.  
  41.    
  42. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  43. Jan 5, 15:56
  44.  
  45. Hi there,
  46. I only just received this and no I don't believe it is appropriate to publish any of this. Also looking at Patrick's email, that is not why you were permabanned. I will have to track down the moderator who banned you and get the real reason.
  47. Best,
  48. Sandi
  49.  
  50.  
  51. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  52. Jan 5, 06:49
  53.  
  54. Patrick,
  55.  
  56. I did indeed have a wonderful holiday. I hope the same is true of you and yours.
  57.  
  58. I am disappointed to hear that your policy is that behavior outside of the forums is now grounds for punishment inside. You may want to update your rules to indicate that. I am surprised that you would think such a thing should be obvious. What I post on Twitter or Reddit isn't exactly "multiple violation of forum rules 3, 9, and 11" since it has nothing to do with your forums. I do find it curious that you would consider what I did to be worse than say, posting child pornography, but they are your forums and your actions are vindicated by simple virtue of being the ones in charge. Clearly we have different definitions of what is toxic behavior.
  59.  
  60. [Inline image 1] (http://i.imgur.com/zlxgbB7.png)
  61.  
  62. I think this speaks for itself.
  63.  
  64. Thank you for your time. Please inform Sandi that six days is more than enough time to wait for a response and I'll be moving forward with posting this conversation.
  65.  
  66. [Beer]
  67.  
  68. Attachment(s)
  69. sJLktbh.png
  70.  
  71.  
  72. Patrick Probst (Cloud Imperium Games)
  73. Jan 5, 05:35
  74.  
  75. Hi [Beer]
  76.  
  77. Thanks for the mail and I am sorry I was not able to reply to you yesterday. I do hope you have had a most epic holiday!
  78.  
  79. I'm honestly a little surprised that you are not aware of what caused your permaban. I am not prepared (nor do I think it is a good idea) to discuss this in great detail but the final straw which caused the permanent exclusion from the forums was your collusion with one Derek Smart Esq.
  80.  
  81. You seemingly cooperated with him to spread secret information gained by questionable means. This could be construed as aiding and abetting corporate espionage
  82.  
  83. https://twitter.com/Beer4TheBeerGod/status/651797953183543297
  84. https://twitter.com/dsmart/status/651945987158712321
  85. https://twitter.com/Beer4TheBeerGod/status/651494946231451649
  86.  
  87. I think this speaks for itself.
  88.  
  89. Your opinions and associations are, of course, your business and certainly your prerogative. Preventing your toxicity and malcontent being spread on the forums is, however, ours. All things considered we felt the forum is better of without you. As you are aware the normal 5 step process was circumvented given the serious nature of your actions.
  90.  
  91. This permaban will not be revoked. Your game access is, however, not affected.
  92.  
  93. Pertaining to your request to have upgrades removed, I am very sorry but applied upgrades are permanent and removing them is not a standard service request. You are also advised via a system message that applied upgrades are permanent. We do, of course, sometimes make exceptions when a genuine mistake occurred, which doesn't seem to be the case with you. In any case, with the current workload we really have to restrict exceptions.
  94.  
  95. An alternative (albeit less favourable for sure) would be to utilise the 'Buy Back' system. Technically speaking the buy back system exists to get back pledges you had previously melted but a side effect of this is that applied upgrades would not be restored with the base pledge. In a round about way, then, you could remove the upgrades yourself by melting the base pledge which has the upgrade applied and then buying it back (without the upgrade).
  96.  
  97. As I mentioned this is far from ideal as the buy back can not be actioned with store credits and you may loose limited availability upgrades, but I wanted to mention it.
  98.  
  99. I do hope this helps somewhat.
  100.  
  101. Regards
  102. Patrick
  103.  
  104.  
  105. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  106. December 30, 2015, 20:51
  107.  
  108. Sandi,
  109.  
  110. Are you comfortable with me sharing our conversation with others? I feel a lot of people would appreciate knowing that you're pushing for further transparency with respect to financials.
  111.  
  112. [Beer]
  113.  
  114.  
  115. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  116. December 28, 2015, 18:01
  117.  
  118. Sandi,
  119.  
  120. So the response from Patrick will happen after the 4th. What about the CIG UK request for the removal of the upgrades?
  121.  
  122. Thanks again for all your help. I hope you had a Merry Christmas.
  123.  
  124. [Beer]
  125.  
  126.  
  127. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  128. December 24, 2015, 23:21
  129.  
  130. That's fascinating. So you're responsible for the business strategy leading up to release, but not after?
  131.  
  132.  
  133. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  134. December 24, 2015, 23:09
  135.  
  136. Hi [Beer],
  137. I will pass this to Patrick.
  138.  
  139. I don't know about the upgrades, I will have to send this to the UK CS team for their decision. I don't deal with this so much anymore and the UEC was not my decision.
  140.  
  141. Best,
  142. Sandi
  143.  
  144.  
  145. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  146. December 24, 2015, 22:54
  147.  
  148. Sandi,
  149.  
  150. Thanks, that would be sincerely appreciated if you could have Patrick contact me and let me know what justified the ban.
  151.  
  152. One last thing. I was wondering if it would be possible to un-apply the upgrades to the below packages:
  153.  
  154. Package - AMD Never Settle Space Edition #3274898
  155. Package - AMD Never Settle Space Edition #2629697
  156.  
  157. The specific upgrades are:
  158. Ship Upgrades - Mustang Delta to Gladius Upgrade #5112187
  159. Cross-Chassis Upgrades - Avenger to Mustang Delta Upgrade #3440990
  160. Cross-Chassis Upgrades - Mustang Gamma to Avenger Upgrade #3423295
  161. Ship Upgrades - Mustang Omega to Gamma Swap #3440994
  162. Ship Upgrades - Mustang Delta to Gladius Upgrade #5112215
  163. Cross-Chassis Upgrades - Avenger to Mustang Delta Upgrade #3440992
  164. Cross-Chassis Upgrades - Mustang Gamma to Avenger Upgrade #3423297
  165. Ship Upgrades - Mustang Omega to Gamma Swap #3440995
  166.  
  167. I know this is against your current policy and I completely understand if you have to say no. If that is the case, I sincerely hope you consider pushing to have this policy changed. The more flexibility you offer your backers the fewer CS requests you have to put up with and also the more they appreciate you.
  168.  
  169. For what it's worth I greatly appreciate you taking the time to converse directly with me, and to help me with these problems. I understand that you are extraordinarily busy (clearly, since it's Christmas Eve) and displaying this level of customer service is absolutely incredible. You have certainly made me feel welcome and appreciated and your candor has been refreshing.
  170.  
  171. On a partially related note, are you the one responsible for CIG's intent to directly sell UEC at a flat rate as a primary means of generating income? The reason I ask is because it's been a "concern" of mine for years, because in all honesty I genuinely don't see how you can sustain a business selling in-game MMO currency in that manner. If you look at other companies you'll see that no other game with a persistent economy uses the model you're using. Most business models rely on targeting high spending, highly involved players with assets and items of interest. I suspect this method has already shown to be effective in your crowdfunding. In contrast your company's proposed business model for sustained revenue actually excludes the "whales" since the thing you are selling (in-game currency) is the thing well established players need the least. I'd be happy to talk to you some more about the subject if you're interested, as it's something I've put a fairly extensive amount of thought into. Please don't take this as an attack on you or anything other than critical feedback on something that (for reasons even now I can't fully explain) I feel very strongly about.
  172.  
  173. Merry Christmas. I hope your day is going well.
  174.  
  175. [Beer]
  176.  
  177.  
  178. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  179. December 24, 2015, 22:32
  180.  
  181. I don't know all the details of it, I can pass this to Patrick but he is not back until the 4th.
  182. Best,
  183. RSI Customer Service
  184.  
  185.  
  186. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  187. December 24, 2015, 22:31
  188.  
  189. Can you tell me why I was banned?
  190.  
  191.  
  192. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  193. December 24, 2015, 22:22
  194.  
  195. Hi [Beer],
  196. I can't overturn that. Not sure what else to say.
  197. Best,
  198. Sandi
  199.  
  200.  
  201. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  202. December 24, 2015, 22:20
  203.  
  204. Any news on the moderation review?
  205.  
  206.  
  207. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  208. December 24, 2015, 22:00
  209.  
  210. Hi [Beer],
  211. Thanks and Merry Xmas to you as well!
  212. Sandi
  213.  
  214.  
  215. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  216. December 24, 2015, 07:47
  217.  
  218. Sandi,
  219.  
  220. I just saw that the hangar was updated. Thank you very much and I hope you have a Merry Christmas.
  221.  
  222. [Beer]
  223.  
  224.  
  225. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  226. December 20, 2015, 20:43
  227.  
  228. Sandi,
  229.  
  230. I managed to contact the account holder and received confirmation that my account was to have those packages sent to me. The attached files contain screenshots of the conversation between Mr. Parker and Mike Meaden. In it you can see that the following packages should be credited to my account:
  231.  
  232. Lightspeed - LTI - 1467960
  233. Digital Colonel - LTI - 1428838
  234. RSI Aurora - LTI - 1020540
  235. Shut Up and Take My Money! - 983849
  236. Blackbeard Stealth Skin - 983848
  237. You Got Our Backs (Electro Skin Hull) - 983847
  238. RSI Aurora - LTI - 1428843
  239. RSI Aurora - LTI - 1428842
  240. Rear Admiral - LTI - 1428841
  241.  
  242. Thank you for looking in to this. I'm sure you can verify the conversation on your end.
  243.  
  244. [Beer]
  245.  
  246. Attachment(s)
  247. CS1.png
  248. CS2.png
  249. CS3.png
  250.  
  251.  
  252. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  253. December 20, 2015, 19:19
  254.  
  255. Sandi,
  256.  
  257. This may come as a surprise to you but I was not entirely vilified by the community. Your own staff can point to numerous examples of me providing thoughtful feedback on topics such as ship modularity, treating ships as levels, the economy, and a variety of other topics. My first direct interaction with Ben was me directly criticizing him for his actions regarding a female member of my group and the way she was attacked for creating a women-focused social group in SC. Not every member of the community is pleased with CIG's progress. Before I stopped doing them my "translations" of your husband's 104TC answers were immensely popular even though they were extremely (and scatologically) critical of both development and him personally. Outside of that I'm not particularly worried about being unpopular. I don't need people to like me to provide feedback on game-related aspects such as ships and balance, which is one of my primary interests at this point.
  258.  
  259. I don't know what I said to receive the 10 year ban. That's the problem.
  260.  
  261. Perhaps you can't provide your side of things on Jennison specifically, but his arguments about things being mismanaged have resonated outside of the SC community "bubble". I would be very interested in your side of things as to why CIG is seemingly constantly in a state of delay. With the exception of the August social module release your company has failed to meet every release date they have ever specified. Why is that? Delays are an obvious part of any development effort, but Chris is the one who sets the path. He is the one who tells us what to expect. Why is it that he can't even see things a few months in advance, as was the case in January with the FPS module?
  262.  
  263. Thanks for looking in to the items for me. It's very helpful to know more about CIG's refund policy. I was not aware that having your account closed after a refund was optional.
  264.  
  265. [Beer]
  266.  
  267.  
  268. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  269. December 20, 2015, 18:20
  270.  
  271. Hi [Beer],
  272. I can look into both of these things. I still don't understand though if you are not fond of the executives, and how the company is run, why be part of the community? The executive group isn't changing any time soon and certainly not Chris. You are not going to be well received constantly disparaging the executives and most certainly when Chris is concerned. David Jennison is one person out of hundreds working for us and none of us can give you our side of the story so I don't believe even that one opinion accounts for much. The very people you praise may tell you a lot about Jennison and his opinions to the contrary.
  273. Also what exactly did you say for the 10 year ban?
  274. Sincerely,
  275. Sandi
  276.  
  277.  
  278. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  279. December 20, 2015, 18:12
  280.  
  281. Sandi,
  282.  
  283. I believe the user's handle was [REDACTED] with an e-mail address of [REDACTED]. Is there no way for you to check the history of the November 4 packages themselves? I was under the impression that each package had a unique identifier that would show where it had been transferred. There's no way for me to tell what the unique ID of the November 4 packages are so I can't look into their history myself. These are the packages:
  284.  
  285. Rear Admiral - LTI
  286. RSI Aurora - LTI
  287. RSI Aurora - LTI
  288. You Got Our Backs (Electro Skin Hull)
  289. Blackbeard Steath Skin
  290. Shut Up and Take My Money!
  291. RSI Aurora - LTI
  292. Digital Colonel - LTI - Upgraded
  293. Lightspeed - LTI
  294.  
  295. With respect to the moderation action I am saying that my history of warnings and probation does not correlate with the behavior of someone justified in being permanently excluded from the forums. By your own rules someone would be subjected to a warning, 24 hour ban, 7 day ban, and then a 30 day ban before a permanent ban was even considered. If my actions upset the staff and the moderators enough to violate the rules then I would naturally expect to have been warned and appropriately punished over the course of those "quite a few months". Before I was permanently banned I only received a 24 hour probation and no other punishment. You are right that I am not a fan of Chris, yourself, or the rest of the executive staff on account of their actions. However I have also repeatedly praised the efforts of your staff, particularly the technical teams and artists, as well as the customer service team in spite of the ridiculous response time. Clearly, as the Jennison letter suggests, I am not the only one who feels Star Citizen is being mismanaged.
  296.  
  297. What I am trying to achieve is very simple; I want to know why I was banned and whether that ban was appropriately conducted in accordance with CIG's own policies. I've copied them below for your convenience:
  298.  
  299. Punishment
  300. Banning on the forums operates on a nominal five-strike system. The first offense will result in a warning, delivered by a moderator via PM and/or a post in the offending thread. Continued offenses will result in a 24-hour cooling off ban, a seven-day ban and a thirty-day ban. Users who are issued a warning after returning from a thirty-day ban will be referred to Cloud Imperium Games for further review, with the potential for a permanent forum ban.
  301. If a user has no forum rule infractions for 3 months a strike will be removed from their account. Severe infractions (Posting obscene photos, abusive behavior, doxxing, etc..) and permanent bans are not eligible for strike removal.
  302. Note that forum bans are not game bans. Anyone banned from the forums will still have full access to their Hangar and anything they have purchased through the RSI store. They will be able to play the game without any ill-effects upon launch. Use of the forums is a privilege and not a right entitled to you by your pledge package; you are here to help us make the game!
  303. Moderators are also empowered to issue temporary bans in the live chat when a user is disrupting conversation there. As with the forum rules, punishment is a minimum guideline. If you do something especially egregious, we reserve the right to issue a lengthier (or permanent) ban immediately. (Moderators do not have the power to issue more serious bans.)
  304. Do not contact developers or Customer Service directly about bans. All forum bans are automatically reviewed by the community team. Developers post to the forums as a courtesy. They are here to answer your questions and to seek out your design input. They have a game to make and do NOT have time to take part in your drama. Anyone PMing the Customer Service department, Chris, Rob or others to complain about moderation will have their ban extended. If you have an issue with a moderator and feel that your post flags have gone unexamined, send an email to support@cloudimperiumgames.com with [Moderation Request] (including brackets) written in the subject line. Be aware that we will examine your entire posting history and will ban for anything actionable. Contacting the administrator is NOT a ‘get out of jail free’ card.
  305.  
  306. To my knowledge I have not conducted any severe infractions that would prohibit strike removal. I certainly was not subjected to the nominal five-strike system. In accordance with the instructions I have contacted the appropriate address, put the appropriate title in the subject line, and after two months I still haven't heard what actionable behavior I performed that resulted in me being banned.
  307.  
  308. Thanks again for your time.
  309.  
  310. [Beer]
  311.  
  312.  
  313. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  314. December 20, 2015, 17:10
  315.  
  316. Hi [Beer],
  317. I will have to look into the November 4th packages. Can you remind the handle of the other user?
  318.  
  319. Are you saying there are two other infractions from May and September? It sounds like there has been so much frustration and upset surrounding 'Beer4theBeerGod' from the community and the moderators that a permaban was issued. It was quite a few months with Beer4theBeerGod upsetting a lot of the staff and naturally the moderators. I know you say you only have a problem with Chris and the executives including me but all the other staff here are in support of those people so naturally they are upset. I don't think this is about being a cult, I think it is a natural human reaction.
  320.  
  321. The gist seems to be that you think Chris is incompetent and is mismanaging the company as well as the other executives including myself being in that same category. So I really don't understand what you are trying to achieve as 99+% of fans are not going to agree with this, nor our current staff and its going to get you banned.
  322.  
  323. Again - it comes down to what are you really trying to achieve?
  324.  
  325. Sincerely,
  326. Sandi
  327.  
  328.  
  329. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  330. December 20, 2015, 16:52
  331.  
  332. Sandi,
  333.  
  334. With respect to the November 4th packages if that's what happened would you kindly shift the packages into my hangar? I have been unable to reach my friend to verify things on my end, but my understanding is that you should be able to see which account they were transferred from and find the e-mail transcript for the refund. I will continue to try to contact him but it sounds like you already agree that the packages should be in my hangar.
  335.  
  336. With regards to the moderation, this is the text of my punishment:
  337.  
  338. "You have been put on probation until 2025-10-09 02:28. You can no longer post on the community forums and public chat channels.
  339.  
  340. You have been placed on probation indefinitely for multiple violations of forum rules 3, 9, and 11, in particular posting so as to get a rise out of others in a way not so good as you'd think. Note that this will not affect your access to the game itself."
  341.  
  342. My understanding from the rules is that the process is nominally five steps, and that the permanent ban process typically occurs after a 30 day punishment. There also appears to be a strike removal process after a 3 month period. Looking over my history the last three infractions were as follows, with only warnings received before that:
  343.  
  344. May 16, 2015 - Warned for posting JP content.
  345. September 25, 2015 - 24 hour ban by Maul218 for Rule 3 violation.
  346. October 8, 2015 - Permanent ban by unknown moderator.
  347.  
  348. There is a distinct lack of feedback in terms of precisely what infraction necessitated this particular punishment, nor do I have any information about which moderator initiated the punishment itself. I don't understand what "posting so as to get a rise out of others in a way not so good as you'd think" means.
  349.  
  350. I can only consider the information that has been provided to me, but a permanent ban does not seem to have been an appropriate action given my history. As I understand it given the length of time since my last warning the September 25th infraction should have also resulted in a warning, and subsequently whatever specific infraction occurred on October 8 should have resulted in a 24 hour probation. That infraction should also have been specified along with the moderator initiating the action.
  351.  
  352. I understand the participating on the forums is a privilege, not a right, and it's a privilege that I strive to respect. With very few exceptions the same tone that I have used here is what I used throughout the time that I posted on RSI's forums. After three years and over 6200 posts the idea that I would have done something on RSI's forums to warrant an immediate permanent ban does not make any sense to me. Thanks again for looking in to this.
  353.  
  354. [Beer]
  355.  
  356.  
  357. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  358. December 20, 2015, 13:47
  359.  
  360. Hi [Beer],
  361. The account is not closed in these cases unless the account holder requests it and acknowledges forfeiting those ships. If your friend said go ahead and return to X in which case you, then 'yes' that could happen - so it sounds like that's what happened in your case
  362. What exactly was the 10 year ban for?
  363. Sincerely,
  364. Sandi
  365.  
  366.  
  367. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  368. December 20, 2015, 13:43
  369.  
  370. Sandi,
  371.  
  372. I'm not sure I understand how that's supposed to work. If the person's account is closed then how would they transfer the gifted items back? Either way you may want to look into why I have those items in my unmelt pool in case it's a bug with your software. If my friend's account is closed, and he wishes to return the items to me, how would that happen?
  373.  
  374. So what you're saying is that my account was reviewed and the moderation action was found to be within CIG's policy? I appreciate you looking in to things but I'm confused as to what actually happened. I still don't understand what I specifically did to warrant a permanent ban (multiple infractions would imply multiple probations over time, but I only received one). Normally a specific post or infraction is indicated. Are you saying that the lead moderator looked over everything?
  375.  
  376. I assure you that I do not wish to have you breach anyone's privacy and I respect your desire to ensure that does not happen. That said I am very much interested in what you have to say on the issues I would like to think that my conversation here emphasizes that. You have a unique perspective on things that cannot be heard from anyone else and I genuinely believe that you've been honest and forthright about your side of things.
  377.  
  378. [Beer]
  379.  
  380.  
  381. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  382. December 20, 2015, 13:16
  383.  
  384. HI [Beer],
  385. I am not sure about the packages from November 4th. If someone is refunded and some ships have been gifted to them, those ships will stay in their accounts unless the parties make arrangements (not us). We cannot just gift it back to the person as we are un-authorized to do so. The original gifter may not want it back, may not have an account anymore etc....
  386.  
  387. Regarding your moderation, there is no way I can overturn this. I am completely outvoted by everyone and I have to respect that I am outvoted.
  388.  
  389. With regard to the discussion, I am confident the more I have to say are things you will not want to hear, nor likely to believe. A lot should also not be said and people need to have their privacy respected.
  390.  
  391. Sincerely,
  392. Sandi
  393.  
  394.  
  395. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  396. December 20, 2015, 13:08
  397.  
  398. Sandi,
  399.  
  400. In that case what are the packages from November 4, 2015? My understanding from the conversation with my friend is that the ships would have been returned to the original gifter, not refunded. That's certainly within your company's power to do. Obviously there would be edge cases (such as having to convert a physical package to a digital equivalent), but I can't imagine CIG simply wanting those ships to disappear with no benefit to the community.
  401.  
  402. Regarding the other CS-specific issue, what is the status of my moderation review?
  403.  
  404. Regarding our conversation I consider the discussion itself to have merit. It's remarkably refreshing to have such candid and direct answers from someone in your position, and it certainly has provided a significant amount of insight into things. That I disagree with you should not indicate the time has been wasted, if anything I consider the opposite to be true. I know you are extraordinarily busy balancing work, a personal life, and your family and I appreciate the time you have spent informing me of your side of things. I wouldn't want you to waste your time but it sounds like you have a lot to say and I would like to hear it.
  405.  
  406. [Beer]
  407.  
  408.  
  409. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  410. December 20, 2015, 12:46
  411.  
  412. Hi [Beer],
  413. On the CS front, someone who is refunded will not have gifted ships refunded back to the original gifter, we are not able to do this. So you wouldn't see something in your hangar.
  414. On everything else; we clearly have completely different opinions on all of this so I don't know what you want me to do as all that's going to happen is we will disagree. Its not really worth your time or mine.
  415.  
  416. Sincerely,
  417. Sandi
  418.  
  419.  
  420. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  421. December 18, 2015, 21:52
  422.  
  423. Sandi,
  424.  
  425. On a related customer service note I reviewed my "buy back" history and it seems like there are ten items in my account that were actioned on November 4, 2015. They are a Lightspeed - LTI, Digital Colonel - LTI - Upgraded, RSI Aurora - LTI, Shut Up And Take My Money! Skin, Blackbeard Stealth Skin, You Got Our Backs Skin, RSI Aurora - LTI, RSI Aurora - LTI, and Read Admiral - LTI. The last action that occurred on my account after the December 15 $80 credit was on October 11. I don't understand what those packages are doing there, but one of my friends (account name [REDACTED]) that I gifted several packages to said that I should expect to see something returned to me since his account was being refunded and he would not receive a refund for items that were gifted to him. Are these the items in question? If so, why were they not credited to my hangar?
  426.  
  427. Thanks for looking in to this.
  428.  
  429. [Beer]
  430.  
  431.  
  432. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  433. December 18, 2015, 18:22
  434.  
  435. Sandi,
  436.  
  437. I'm not sure what gaming communities you are familiar with, but Star Citizen's is incredibly insular and toxic. There have been numerous comments on it from a wide variety of people, and I'm sure you've encountered more than a few remarks as such with refund requests. CIG is also the only company I am aware of that goes out of their way to actively silence people who complain, particularly with respect to posts on other forums. It's one thing to have rules to curb toxic behavior and follow them. It's another to arbitrarily punish people without following your own set of requirements. Your moderation team does the latter far more than the former. My own punishment is a clear example of this.
  438.  
  439. If you could explain how that letter was "forced" I would be very interested in hearing it. From the perspective of an outsider your chairman, the person responsible for the entirety of your production, admitted to spending an entire workday writing something that ended up being longer than the original article (I checked). In his response he brings up multiple topics that were never mentioned in the article (notably Derek Smart and Gamergate), attempts to discredit the reporter by essentially stalking her Twitter feed, and then spends the remainder of the article attacking a strawman in Derek Smart. I'm sure many of your backers looked at what he did and cheered. You'll find that outside the community echo chamber the response was far less positive. That the chairman of an international company would even write such a thing, let alone have a relations staff that would let him publish it, is beyond unprofessional.
  440.  
  441. When you say the "vocal minority of people who get butt-hurt" who do you refer to?
  442.  
  443. I don't think it's at possible to sufficiently emphasize just how wrong I think you are when you say what you've released is remotely "enough of a game". Your company has received an incredible amount of money to bring about an expansive massively multiplayer online experience, with hundreds of systems and vast amounts of content. 16 players resetting comm-links if they can even stay on the server long enough is not even a fraction of that. Arena Commander 2.0 is an impressive technology demonstration, not a game. The fact that Chris couldn't even play it on the livestream should be evidence enough of that. With $100 million dollars and promises of content being delivered a year ago, saying that my options are either a "shit game" or to wait is frankly insulting. I didn't back Star Citizen from the beginning for a shit game, yet you're telling me that's what I would have received had you not quintupled your original scope.
  444.  
  445. As for other AAA titles like GTA V, Fallout 4, or Witcher 3, I suspect if those projects had experienced the number of failed expectations and missed deadlines that Star Citizen has then they would have either been cancelled or the developers fired. If they had instead been crowdfunded then they would have rightfully received just as much criticism as your company has. It's not the backers fault Chris told us to expect something to be released a year ago and that more funding would allow for more content to be delivered. It's not the backers fault that, with the exception of the release of the social module in August, Chris has failed to meet every timeline he has set. And it's definitely not the backers fault that significant quantites of work, such as everything done for Star Marine by IllFonic, is seemingly missing or wasted. The criticisms you are receiving are not because CIG are open about development, they're because CIG habitually fails to meet the expectations that they have created.
  446.  
  447. On something more specific, I was wondering if you could explain how your marketing policies are a reflection of your appreciation for the backer. Most recently you've enacted two policies that, at least to me, seem to be the exact opposite. The first is your referral program and the requirement that packages be $45 in order to count. Given the vast number of sales you've had for $30 packages that don't apply towards referrals this seems incredibly anti-backer. The second is your policy that packages being unmelted can only be obtained through dollars and not store credit. This came as an incredibly unpleasant surprise to many backers who were expecting to be able to use the money that had already spent to get the ship they wanted, especially since customer service requests have previously used store credit. Personally it seems like yet another reflection of how CIG has no problem putting all of the risk of a purchase on the backer. Such a thing is hardly a demonstration of being a good steward of the backer's trust.
  448.  
  449. As always thank you for your time. I know you're very busy and appreciate you engaging me in this discussion.
  450.  
  451. [Beer]
  452.  
  453.  
  454. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  455. December 18, 2015, 10:40
  456.  
  457. Hi [Beer],
  458.  
  459. I am not sure what outcome you are after? I don't see the community being much different from any gaming community I observe. In fact, it seems better. Who doesn't 'silence doubters?' -- I am a qualified teacher, I can't have rowdy teenagers in the class constantly disrupting the class, nothing gets done nor moves forward. As for AtV and comm-links etc I can look into it. The pace of our development is a lot faster than other gaming companies I see and we are also out there everyday showing what we do. I don't know any other gaming company that does that in the same way. You have to ask yourself why we have raised over $100M. I have respect for the audience and do everything authentically -- that is responded to whether the vocal minority who want to disagree with it or not.
  460.  
  461. Yes Chris' letter was forced, there was a lot going on behind the scenes and still is. Ortwin's letter was not hollow and that part is not over yet either. How did Chris' letter do more damage? In who's minds? I received hundreds of emails to the contrary and the funding was mirrored by this as well as new backers. Sure the livestream Chris wasn't happy - oh well, s*** happens and things go wrong, so we don't do that again - makes him look bad when it isn't actually his fault. Chat system - of course he knows about it, that's not what was said. We are a game development company first and foremost, our community team is very small for the size of the community and our video department even smaller. Just because we have $100M doesn't mean we go splashing hundreds of thousands on everything - we plan for the long run as any efficient business should. Everything has to be weighed up and if we didn't get a few hours rehearsal on the computer with Chris before the show, we didn't get it. Some ideas aren't so great and having Chris on live by himself isn't such a great one. Sounded good on paper, not so great in practise. Like I said, oh well, move on, don't do it again.
  462.  
  463. Look I'm not here to defend my husband but I wouldn't support something if I felt it wasn't a great thing no matter who it was, including my husband. I am one of the best saleswomen in the world without a shadow of a doubt and always have been since I was a very small girl and I know a great product when I see it. What I have seen this year is a vocal minority of people who get butt-hurt that they are not a special snowflake anymore and butt hurt their opinion isn't well received so they shout louder or find someone who agrees with them to try to validate their opinion. It is also interesting as a female as I receive quite a significant amount of harassment and abuse for no good reason other than being female. Used to happen a lot more earlier this year, thank god that's changed.
  464.  
  465. And I think there is enough of the game out and its being optimized. I see a lot of games and try them and I am just plain and simply Bored. For $45 we are a steal! There's plenty to do for that amount and tell me which game out there in the world hasn't been late??? You want a s**** game or do you want to wait? Thing is companies aren't showing it as they go. If GTAV had been open development or Fallout 4 or Witcher 3 people probably would have been doing the same thing they are to us and they've certainly taken more than 3 years for their game! Everyone voted for more, no-one wanted a $10Million game. That doesn't buy you much. There aren't more talented people out there for the CryEngine - we have the best. Want to ask the German team or Paul Reindell or Mark Abent or Sean Tracy or a genius at CryEngine what they think of Chris' coding? He re-wrote a bunch of the code to make it do what it does now that hasn't been done before! Like I said, I am one of the best in the world at what I do and I know something great when I see it. The pupil to planet video is absolutely mind-blowing and I haven't seen any other game out there that appeals to me more than that did when I saw it. 2.0 as the bugs are fixed is also amazing and I've had more fun playing that than I've ever had playing Elite.
  466.  
  467.  
  468. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  469. December 18, 2015, 00:24
  470.  
  471. Sandi,
  472.  
  473. I can completely respect your legal position with regards to former employees, and if that extends to the content of Jennison's letter then it's reasonable to avoid the subject.
  474.  
  475. I find it ironic that a company built entirely on donations would use the argument that it's a private business to avoid disclosing how those funds are being spent. Hopefully you will find a way to combat the external perception that you are running out of funds. Lawyers certainly do seem to ruin everything.
  476.  
  477. When I speak about media I am not referring to the press. I am referring to the content that you control. Shows like ATV, comm-links, live stream content, etc. While you certainly put out a large quantity of information the actual quality of what you produce is often very sparse. That is what I was referring to when I talk about the dearth of mechanics content. One would expect there to be design documents and plans in place that we could learn about, but it all seems locked behind a marketing strategy that doles out information about the game at a very limited pace. I wasn't joking when I said I knew more about serving drinks than I do about boarding a ship. A year past the original release date hearing Chris say "early days" just doesn't cut it.
  478.  
  479. My reputation is because I say what I think and mean what I say. Everything I have written is something that I believed. I upset the community by simple virtue of not agreeing with them, and of course my affiliation with a community known for being antisocial. Your company has developed a policy of silencing doubters and enabling sycophants. It has resulted in a community that is toxic, insular, and almost cult-like in its devotion to this game. It is not a well managed community.
  480.  
  481. Let's be honest here. We both know you don't have over one million backers. You have over one million registered accounts on RSI, but only 850,000 starships sold. Given the number of people with multiple ships I wouldn't be surprised if the actual number of backers was less than 400,000. Of course there's no way to know unless you tell us.
  482.  
  483. As for Chris's letter, nobody forced you to publish it. Nobody forced Ortwin to send a legal threat that was immediately mocked and ultimately proven to be hollow. You're right that I am not aware of what goes on behind the scenes, which is why I haven't talked about it. What I am telling you is that Chris's rant did more damage than the article. That nobody in the company was able to say "don't do this it only makes things worse" and be listened to is embarrassing for Chris, your company, and the people supporting you.
  484.  
  485. I understand that all of you work very hard, but can you understand how from the perspective of an outsider those labors seem to be wasted? This game was supposed to be out a year ago. Your own terms of service originally set the beginning of this month as a deadline for revealing a full accounting of CIG's financials. When first discussing the funding past the $23M mark Chris said that the goal was to provide more content without pushing schedule. Yet in spite of all this funding and all of his hard work he's apparently so out of touch with his own game that he doesn't know that the chat system is terrible.
  486.  
  487. I appreciate this discussion. It's a pleasure to be able to communicate in such a frank manner. I look forward to reading your response.
  488.  
  489. [Beer]
  490.  
  491.  
  492. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  493. December 17, 2015, 22:44
  494.  
  495. And I am only talking about myself because that is something I can talk about.
  496.  
  497. The question in which case, is 'if that, then what else?' -- if all the things said about me are not true, then what's the real truth about the management of the company, and why was David Jennison really writing what he did? As for the response from Chris to the Escapist - maybe you enjoy commentary from people like Lizzy Finnegan, in which case I can understand you found Chris' letter unappealing. He didn't stay up in the night by choice. Who wants to respond to people like the Escapist or the other press outlets that were hounding us at the time? At some point its completely frustrating and infuriating and I feel pretty insulted they never had the balls to come to me for comment. In this country, unlike most others you should have to prove the BS you want to write up and call as fact before you are allowed to print it. Of course 7 sources can get together and make up stories - how hard is that? There's no consequence and its great to hide behind anonymity. David Jennison, if I was a prospective employer, I wouldn't hire him. Trashing a former employee with your opinions in a post, which are just opinions, is highly unprofessional. I would love to reveal the truth about a bunch of our former employees but I can't and wouldn't as it isn't professional.
  498.  
  499.  
  500. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  501. December 17, 2015, 22:24
  502.  
  503. Hi [Beer],
  504. There are legal reasons for not discussing Jennison's letter as with all other employees which includes Chris as well.
  505.  
  506. Finances given that we are a private company do not need to be disclosed at all. I am not sure how many private companies do. Elite is not private. Having said that, I have often spoken up about disclosing these details to receive quite the backlash from legal and finance -- there are many good reasons this is not done, but we may put up something in the New Year, I will keep pushing.
  507.  
  508. Unmelting should be available tomorrow, UEC I would have to talk to platform, I haven't gone in to detail with them about melting options.
  509.  
  510. Media efforts are only so much in our control. They want clickbait headlines and a lot of surface stories. We try and focus them all the time on the actual game of Star Citizen but unlike big publishers, we don't pay them thousands of dollars so they write what they want. There are clearly a few who dislike us, well, what can we do other than keep on working on the game.
  511.  
  512. Ok now I remember this 10 year ban. In all honesty, I don't understand why you feel the need to be abrasive and upset the community you supposedly enjoy being in? You sound intelligent and reasonable but everything I've heard about Beer4theBeerGod sounds awful. We have a fan base of over one million people now, I work 16 hours a day pretty much everyday and so do most people here, certainly Chris who codes all the time early into the morning. This is all to deliver people a great game. Chris' letter btw was something that was not set for public but the editor forced our hand in that respect. You are not privvy to all the outrageous stuff behind the scenes and how much that wears on anyone, especially someone who is already busy enough making a game. That time was a few months behind the scenes that I never wish to repeat again, absolutely disgraceful showing of human behavior. I mean on a personal note all I've done is be here for the fans night and day to receive a bunch of hate from jealous people - I'm uneducated, I'm only here because I'm Chris' wife, I'm abusive, I'm a jealous person, jealous of women, allegedly racist, I'm spending backers money on my acting, I'm flying around on private jets, driving around in fancy cars. I mean really...people biting the hand that feeds you because they don't like to hear that their work might be sub-par or they want to self-project their own insecurities to try to make themselves feel better.
  513. Truth be known my life was way more grand before all of this started and I'm pretty confident I am the most formally educated person in this whole company. I'm hoping the truth will able to published sometime next year about all of that stuff and it will be the complete opposite to what the naysayers and agitators believe.
  514.  
  515.  
  516. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  517. December 17, 2015, 21:03
  518.  
  519. Sandi,
  520.  
  521. Your thoughts on Jennison's letter and Chris's response to the Escapist article would be welcome. From the perspective of an outsider, even someone as immersed in Star Citizen as myself, it's hard to see those two items as anything but a damning condemnation on how poorly the project is being run. The former because it seems like a reasoned and cohesive insight into the problems at CIG that have led to numerous delays and frustrations, and the latter because your husband admitted to spending an entire workday writing (and researching) what by all appearances is an incoherent rant. If there's some perspective that can put either of those in a positive light it would be very reassuring.
  522.  
  523. I don't doubt your workload nor your involvement in the marketing side of things. Clearly you deserve recognition for being responsible for the most successful crowd-funded project ever. Between that and being a mother (I have an 8 month old of my own) I genuinely don't know how you do it. You absolutely have my respect in that regard, just as Chris has my respect for what he's accomplished.
  524.  
  525. There are three things you could do to demonstrate better stewardship of the backers funds and trust. The first is to be more open about CIG's funding status. Ben once commented that CIG couldn't reveal financial information due to competitive concerns. It's hard to believe that when Frontier, the closest thing you have to competition, provides annual statements about their financial health. Last year Frontier earned £22.8M, made a profit of £2.5M, and has a net cash balance of £10.5M. They spent £11.3M in salaries and £8.0M in overhead and other expenses. Were you to provide a similar statement regarding CIG's financial health it would likely alleviate a lot of concerns. Derek Smart seems to think you have less than $12M in the bank, although how he would know such a thing is beyond me.
  526.  
  527. The second is to make your policies more friendly to the backer. As it stands right now your marketing strategy puts all of the risk on the person making the purchase. I will give you full credit for already making changes that fall in this direction such as revamping the upgrade system and the planned incorporation of the option to downgrade. Allowing UEC items to be melted would go a long way towards rectifying the frustrations of backers who are "trapped" with items that they cannot use.
  528.  
  529. The third is to focus your media efforts on the game of Star Citizen and not the spectacle of it. I have paid a significant amount of attention to the development of this product and to this day I do not understand what the extra $77 million is bringing us save more starships. The distribution of information about gameplay is incomprehensible. I know more about how drinks will theoretically be served on a space liner than I do about how explorers will discover jump holes, traders will make a profit, pirates will steal a ship, or how bounty hunters will track and capture their target. Given that the game is already a year past the original release date one would expect these core mechanics to be in a mature state and ready to be talked about.
  530.  
  531. Naturally these things reflect my own personal opinion and I'm sure you disagree with at least some of them. I'm sure there is a perspective here that you have and I lack, but the idea that I am not in a position to judge your efforts because I am not "in the trenches" is frankly ludicrous. I may not know every intimate detail of your company, but given that ultimately your company exists to deliver me and the rest of the backers the product we paid for I'm certainly in a position to render a valid opinion.
  532.  
  533. With respect to the forums my punishment was a 10 year probation. It's not an actual ban, and the track of my punishment did not follow the order of a warning, 1 day, 1 week, 30 day, and permanent ban. A lot of other backers who are criticizing CIG are experiencing similar things, with 10 year probations handed out seemingly without any regard to the process. The inability of your moderation team to follow their own rules is one of the reasons why I do not share your perspective on your community management team.
  534.  
  535. Thank you for your time. I know you're busy and look forward to reading your response.
  536.  
  537. [Beer]
  538.  
  539.  
  540. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  541. December 17, 2015, 19:23
  542.  
  543. I also haven't taken one day off since I started this project because if its not one person who needs help its another. Just this last Thanksgiving I worked and will also be doing the same over Christmas unfortunately as no-one else is going to do it. As for ship sales, whether development is behind or not, this is a business and no-one has to buy any ship they don't want to. Fans beg us to put up certain ships for sale, not the other way around and currently all these ships are ones that have already been promised. The community team as I see it right now is a great team, the CS team needs work and help which is why I'm flying to the UK in January. We've exploded in backer numbers in the past few months and CS staff though they may sound easy to hire, haven't been. Not through lack of trying, either, I've just hired two extra staff and interviewing more. In the beginning I was able to train the CS staff like Chelsea and Alexis to do CS as I wanted it to be and Chelsea especially I dedicated months of my time to helping her and training her up. Alexis is still going fine as she is right next to me and so its an easy evolution.
  544.  
  545. In any case, I am sure you have good intentions to help better the project, but unless you are in here in the trenches with us it is a little difficult to judge from an outside perspective.
  546.  
  547.  
  548. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  549. December 17, 2015, 19:01
  550.  
  551. Hi [Beer],
  552. Thoughts on what exactly? David Jennison's letter or Chris' response to the Escapist, or how open we are or not? I have completely different opinions to you and as such opinions are just opinions. I am also seeing things from a different perspective naturally, given I have a lot more insight to all these things. Would you like to explain how I could be a better steward in your eyes of backers trust or funds? From my perspective, I bet money on the fact that for more than 3 years I have done the job of at least 6 people and I am a shrewd businesswoman with a lot of experience in business. The project would not be here without me. I wrote up the full plan by myself before anyone else was on board. I have also been actively searching for more than two years, we haven't found someone to replace me yet nor work for the salary I am paid. VPs also in general, don't want to get their hands dirty in the trenches like I do and at the very least they have an assistant which I don't even have that.
  553. You've said that ultimately you would like to get what you have paid for, I believe that is happening. At the same time with forum status, this is a privilege rather than a right that you receive with any pledge. I do not know the status of your moderation review, is this a permaban or otherwise?
  554.  
  555. Sincerely,
  556. Sandi Gardiner
  557.  
  558.  
  559. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  560. December 17, 2015, 14:59
  561.  
  562. Hi Sandi,
  563.  
  564. I was having a good conversation with one of your CS reps about the state of the project and my own personal feelings about it. I didn't catch their name, but they offered to provide me with a refund and close my account based on posts that they felt indicated I did not support the project. I was explaining how I continue to support the project and the "dream" that is Star Citizen, but I feel those in charge (yourself included) have not been good stewards of the backers trust or funds. Please extend my appreciation to them for crediting my account with the $80 for the remainder of the subscription. Since you're here I am curious as to your own thoughts regarding what I have previously written. Your staff member was kind enough to engage me and provided some insightful comments that I respectfully disagreed with, and I would hope to continue that conversation.
  565.  
  566. I would also appreciate knowing the status of my moderation review, as I still have not heard anything in regards to that.
  567.  
  568. Thank you for your time.
  569.  
  570. [Beer]
  571.  
  572.  
  573. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  574. December 17, 2015, 13:16
  575.  
  576. Hi [Beer],
  577. CS passed this ticket on to me, how can I help? Unfortunately I can't have the staff distracted with long emails back and forth that are not directly CS related, as you can appreciate.
  578. Sincerely,
  579. Sandi Gardiner
  580.  
  581.  
  582. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  583. December 15, 2015, 21:36
  584.  
  585. I completely agree, Chris and the rest of CIG's executive team are absolutely responsible for everything that we've seen to this point. And that's exactly why my problems are with him, and those he has put in charge, while I continue to praise the efforts of the rest of Cloud Imperium Games. It's not customer service's fault that there is a two month backlog on tickets, or that backers are requesting refunds after years of broken promises and failed expectations. It's Chris's company, it's Chris's project, it's Chris's fault.
  586.  
  587. I find it interesting that you assume that some kind of insider information formed my opinion about CIG's executives. Frankly the Escapist article didn't really come into play nor did what Derek Smart said (although the letter from David Jennison that he linked was very compelling). What really swayed my opinion was how CIG responded to all of it. I've never seen such an amateurish, ill-conceived, and frankly ridiculous response in my entire life. Chris's attempt to refute the Escapist article was particularly damning. The idea that the head of the most successful crowd-funded project on the planet would waste an entire day writing that incoherent rant is absurd. That he would declare he spent all that time doing so, like it was something worthy of praise and not ridicule, is even more insane. That nobody within Cloud Imperium Games had the initiative, or the ability, to tell him to not do it is worst of all. I don't need allegations of impropriety or rumors of fiscal irresponsibility to see that CIG is being mismanaged. Chris makes that clear enough on his own.
  588.  
  589. With regards to CIG's marketing practices the fact that you call it a "product" and compare yourself to a traditional business is precisely the problem. Cloud Imperium Games is entirely built on the good will and dedication of its backers. The Star Citizen experience is closer to a religion than a business, with backers proving their "faith" in the project through donations. CIG has exploited this through pressure tactics and routinely going back on their word whenever it suits them. Every concept is a promise of the next best thing, every sale a limited opportunity. Meanwhile backers are forced to absorb all the risk. Should a ship not turn out the way a backer wants the only option is to give CIG more money since there's no option to downgrade, most of the ships are limited, and sidegrades are fairly rare. For a company that constantly espouses how much they appreciate their supporters their sales policy is ruthlessly unfriendly to them. If you were delivering a normal product then perhaps I could see the argument that you are a normal business making sense. But you are not.
  590.  
  591. I really don't agree with your assertion about CIG's openness compared to other companies. I think an easy comparison can be made between CIG and your good friends Frontier Developments. The majority of CIG's presentations are largely fluff and feature very little in the way of actual game content. I know more about how people will serve drinks than I do about exploration, navigation, or trading. I know more about how CIG captured Mark Hamill's face than I do about how I will capture a starship. Meanwhile Frontier routinely provides game-focused livestreams and content with an emphasis on showing the game instead of talking about it. I saw more game content in one hour of a Frontier livestream than I did in six months of CIG presentations. To me, and many others, it seems like CIG doesn't practice open development unless it's related to a ship sale.
  592.  
  593. From a financial perspective CIG is even less transparent. We both know that the Citizen number on the main page is not an accurate representation of the number of backers. If that were the case then the UEE Fleet number would be larger since so many backers own multiple ships. A few months ago Ben said something to the effect that CIG couldn't release their financials because to do so would give their competition an advantage. I find that argument hard to believe. Last year Frontier earned £22.8M, made a profit of £2.5M, and has a net cash balance of £10.5M. They spent £11.3M in salaries and £8.0M in overhead and other expenses. The fact that CIG doesn't offer the same information makes it easy for people to cast doubt on their viability. Derek Smart seems to think you have less than $12M in the bank, although how he would know such a thing is beyond me.
  594.  
  595. I understand that you're frustrated, and to be honest I appreciate this conversation. You're more than welcome to tell me what you think so long as you're comfortable with me responding in a similar manner. Clearly you feel very strongly about CIG and the folks at the top and I respect that. I hope we can continue to discuss things. May I know your name? You've asked me to essentially trust your words regarding the state of things within CIG, but not knowing anything about you makes such a thing difficult.
  596.  
  597. [Beer]
  598.  
  599.  
  600. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  601. December 15, 2015, 14:54
  602.  
  603. Hi [Beer],
  604. Thanks for your response. The issue is without the current executive team there would be no project and I can assure you they are accountable. There would not be 260+ people happily working here if not. Without Chris Roberts there is NO PROJECT. He is the project, NO ONE else has the expertize nor the vision and everyone works here because they are on his project, otherwise everyone should just go out and do it themselves. They are not, because it isn't that easy at all. If the executive team left, I would also leave and I am confident this whole office would walk out.
  605.  
  606. Wherever you have heard your information, it isn't coming directly from the people who know. They may say they know but you have to ask yourself what that is motivated by. Are they really a so called whistle-blower? I don't think so. We were supposed to be out of money this month, according to naysayers - I don't see that happening at all. Sandi is allegedly a racist but her facilities manager is African American and her editor is as well and they both seem very happy as far as I can tell. It is at the end of a day a business and like any business they push their product. Show me one business that doesn't -- it wouldn't be a business. There are thousands of businesses that make hundreds of millions and don't show an Nth of what we show to EVERYONE!
  607.  
  608. Having said that, I am not trying to have a go at you but it really is upsetting and frustrating for us all here who know the truth but have people who really know nothing about what is happening here, tell us otherwise. I certainly wouldn't work here if I felt any of that was happening in any way. All I see, is an executive team that work around the clock who give everything to make this dream possible which motivates all of us here on CS to do the same.
  609. Best,
  610. RSI Customer Service
  611.  
  612.  
  613. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  614. December 15, 2015, 14:41
  615.  
  616. Thank you for completing the change. Has a review of my moderation request been completed?
  617.  
  618. I'm sorry to hear that the staff feels they are constantly receiving negativity. For the most part their efforts should be commended as they are clearly working very hard and amidst very difficult circumstances, and more than once I've indicated an appreciation for the work they've done. Visually Star Citizen has been extremely impressive and playing 2.0 has provided me with a really positive insight into how the final game could feel. I find myself particularly excited for Squadron 42 since the single player experience largely avoids most of the networking-based problems we've experienced thus far. Your own staff within customer service have also been particularly pleasant to deal with, and I still fondly remember my interactions with Zane, Darian, Calix, and the rest of the Santa Monica staff when I visited last year. It's clear that Star Citizen is being worked on by very positive, very enthusiastic people doing something they love.
  619.  
  620. My own personal criticisms are primarily levied at the individuals responsible for project management, marketing, and community management. I feel that Chris has mismanaged the program to the point of being an unsustainable disaster, that CIG's marketing techniques are exploitative and reprehensible, and that the community management team has allowed a toxic culture to flourish while they focus on pushing product. If your executive staff are starting to feel pressure then to be honest I have little sympathy for them. Star Citizen is not only the most successful crowd-funded game ever developed but it also represents an immense level of trust in CIG from the community. I do not feel that CIG has been a good steward of that trust and those responsible should be made aware that there is indeed accountability. People are not criticizing Star Citizen without a good reason and frankly I feel those criticisms have fallen on deaf ears.
  621.  
  622. A few weeks ago Chris was asked to write on a board what Star Citizen actually is. He wrote one word: "Dream". In spite of being ostracized, ignored, and outright insulted by the very people who have taken my money I still support that dream. I want to play Star Citizen and Squadron 42. I want to have fun with my friends being the bad guy. I want Star Citizen to have the longevity of EVE Online and consume hours of my time.
  623.  
  624. I want what I paid for.
  625.  
  626. [Beer]
  627.  
  628.  
  629. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  630. December 15, 2015, 13:12
  631.  
  632. Hi [Beer],
  633. We have added $80 in credits. Wouldn't you rather a refund and closure of your account though as a lot of your posts suggest you don't support the project at all. It is really tough on the staff here, to receive negativity constantly.
  634. Best,
  635. RSI Customer Service
  636.  
  637.  
  638. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  639. December 14, 2015, 12:50
  640.  
  641. My ban does affect my subscription. I am no longer able to use the subscriber forums or submit questions to 104TC. For the last two months I was not able to even view the forums. Those are the reasons I subscribed in the first place and the remainder of the subscription is useless to me.
  642.  
  643.  
  644. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  645. December 14, 2015, 10:50
  646.  
  647. Hi there,
  648. You mean because you were banned you were unable to use your subscription? A ban should not affect your subscription.
  649. Best,
  650. Customer Service
  651.  
  652.  
  653. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  654. December 12, 2015, 10:13
  655.  
  656. Hello There!
  657.  
  658. Thanks for your support request.
  659. We would like to alert you to the fact that we are currently experiencing an unusually high load of tickets causing severe delays in getting replies out to you.
  660. Please rest assured that we have your ticket and will get to you as quickly as is humanly possible.
  661. Your patience and understanding with us during this busy time is greatly appreciated!
  662. Sincerely,
  663.  
  664. CIG Customer Service Team
  665.  
  666.  
  667. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  668. December 10, 2015, 07:18
  669.  
  670. Please excuse me, it's early over here and I misspoke. Please disregard my previous email. I am requesting a review of my ban and a credit to my account for the remainder the subscription from the point I was banned ($80).
  671.  
  672.  
  673. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  674. December 10, 2015, 07:05
  675.  
  676. I am asking for a review of my ban as it does not appear to have been performed in accordance with the rules. Going from warning, to 24 hour ban, and then jumping to a permanent ban goes against the "5 strikes" policy. The justification of "multiple violations" does not make sense since if that was the case I should have been punished multiple times.
  677.  
  678. If the ban is overturned, I am then asking for credit equivalent to the two months that I was banned.
  679.  
  680. If the ban is not overturned, then I am asking for credit for my subscription from the date of my ban.
  681.  
  682. Thank you for your time.
  683.  
  684. [Beer]
  685.  
  686.  
  687. Cloud Imperium Games (Cloud Imperium Games)
  688. December 9, 2015, 23:49
  689.  
  690. Hi [Beer],
  691. As I understand it you are asking for credit for your subscription from the date of your ban?
  692. Look forward to hearing back.
  693. Best,
  694. RSI Customer Service
  695.  
  696.  
  697. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  698. December 9, 2015, 07:02
  699.  
  700. Patrick,
  701.  
  702. It has now been two months since I have first created this request, and over two weeks since your last reminder that you have not forgotten about me. Have you forgotten about me? I do so miss our conversation. You, talking about how much of a priority I am and how you appreciate my patience and understanding. Me, indicating how ridiculously unacceptable it is that a $100 million dollar multinational company continues to demonstrate that appreciation through embarrassingly poor response times. I feel like we're nearing a breakthrough. Are things okay over where you are? You're in the UK right? Do you have all of your holiday shopping done yet? I hope CIG is giving you guys a hefty bonus as a way of saying thanks for your tireless efforts in dealing with all of these customer service tickets. With all of that money earned from the most successful crowdfunding project ever conducted, not to mention all of the cost savings realized by dramatically under-staffing the customer service staff, one would expect your company to have plenty of cash to go around. Either way I know it's not your fault, and I hope this holiday season brings you plenty of joy and cheer. Personally we're celebrating our first Christmas with our new daughter. She certainly is a joyful little thing.
  703.  
  704. Happy Holidays,
  705.  
  706. [Beer]
  707.  
  708.  
  709. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  710. November 24, 2015, 19:21
  711.  
  712. Patrick,
  713.  
  714. By your own admissions this process has been unacceptably slow. It has now been nearly two months since, by my understanding of the rules, I was inappropriately banned from the forums. That is two months of which my subscription has been unfairly devalued through, as I see it, no fault of my own. While I understand your company is under a significant amount of stress and staff is limited, and that you personally are trying to execute your job to the fullest of your abilities, I find it hard to sympathize with Cloud Imperium Games. If a multi-million dollar company suffers from customer service problems due to lack of staffing, then clearly the problem is with management and their failure to properly address the issue by hiring more people. Given the way your company has gutted the community team in recent months I find myself even less sympathetic. To be clear this frustration is not directed at you individually but at your employer. What few interactions I've had with you personally Patrick have been generally positive and it's clear you're doing the best you can in a difficult situation. That said these interactions have been unacceptable and the devaluation of my subscription is inappropriate. Given your employer's inability to address this problem in a timely fashion I am therefore requesting the remainder of my subscription be cancelled and the remaining funds returned to me.
  715.  
  716. I understand that the refund process is laborious and likely expensive for you. Therefore I would like to propose a compromise. Rather than issue a refund, I offer that you cancel my subscription up to the point where I was banned and credit my account with RSI credit equal to the value of the subscription in the remaining months. Since my account was inappropriately suspended in October that would be a total of eight months ($80). The end result is that CIG loses nothing, you do not have to go through another refund process, and we can all move forward. Alternatively I have no qualms whatsoever about utilizing a chargeback process if this is not satisfactorily dealt with. My credit union is very accommodating, particularly given how you have repeatedly documented your failure to address my issue in a timely manner, and they are clearly far more interested in keeping a valued customer than Cloud Imperium Games.
  717.  
  718. Thank you for your time. I sincerely hope your personal matter was not too problematic and that things are going well for you. I look forward to use resolving this problem in a mutually satisfactory manner.
  719.  
  720. [Beer]
  721.  
  722.  
  723. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  724. November 23, 2015, 11:26
  725.  
  726. What about moderation requests?
  727.  
  728.  
  729. Mike Meaden (Cloud Imperium Games)
  730. November 23, 2015, 10:39
  731.  
  732. Hey everyone,
  733.  
  734. This is just a quick update to let you all know that we still have your refund request in our queues and that we have spent some extra time today implementing some updates that should make it a little easier and faster to respond and take necessary actions.
  735.  
  736. Please note that refunds are still very involved and can take considerable time to process.
  737.  
  738. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.
  739.  
  740. Thanks,
  741. Mike
  742.  
  743.  
  744. Patrick Probst (Cloud Imperium Games)
  745. November 20, 2015, 13:41
  746.  
  747. Greetings Most Patient Backers!
  748.  
  749. A quick update to let you know that you are still in my personal queue and have not been forgotten!
  750.  
  751. As most of you are aware we have a considerable amount of tickets to take care of and are trying to get through them all as quickly as possible.
  752.  
  753. Me and the team really do not like writing templated or boiler plate mails such as this one, and I am really sorry for the lessened service provided to you of late.
  754.  
  755. You all deserve better. We know this.
  756.  
  757. Hopefully this will be the last template reply you will see from me before I get to address your ticket personally.
  758.  
  759. See you in the 'Verse!! :)
  760.  
  761. Regards
  762. Patrick
  763.  
  764. Customer Service Manager & Lead Moderator
  765. Cloud Imperium Games
  766.  
  767.  
  768. Mike Meaden (Cloud Imperium Games)
  769. November 13, 2015, 16:25
  770.  
  771. Hey Everyone,
  772.  
  773. Patrick is currently out of office to attend to a personal matter. This is just a friendly update to let you all know that your ticket is still in his queue an he will respond as soon as he can. None of you have been forgotten and we really hate sending out bulk messages like this, but it's really the best way to let you all know that your ticket is still here. :)
  774.  
  775. We are getting closer and closer each day to beating this backlog and hope that standard service will return soon. Please bear with us just a little while longer.
  776. Thanks,
  777. Mike
  778.  
  779.  
  780. Patrick Probst (Cloud Imperium Games)
  781. November 6, 2015, 12:55
  782.  
  783. Greetings Backers!
  784.  
  785. A quick update before the weekend to let you know that you are assigned to my personal queue and you're not forgotten.
  786.  
  787. I will endeavour to get a reply out to you as quickly as humanly possible!
  788.  
  789. For the inconvenience caused, I am truly sorry!
  790.  
  791. Regards
  792. Patrick
  793.  
  794.  
  795. Customer Service Manager & Lead Moderator
  796. Cloud Imperium Games
  797.  
  798.  
  799. Patrick Probst (Cloud Imperium Games)
  800. October 15, 2015, 13:40
  801.  
  802. Hi everyone!
  803.  
  804. Another automated response for you guys I am loathe to say.
  805.  
  806. We're still struggling with a severe influx of service requests and are working as hard as we can to get to your ticket.
  807.  
  808. Once again, you are not forgotten and we will answer your ticket as quickly as it is possible without compromising the level of quality service you are used to from us.
  809.  
  810. The whole team very much appreciates how patient and understanding you have been.
  811.  
  812. Regards
  813. Patrick
  814.  
  815. Customer Service Manager & Lead Moderator
  816. Cloud Imperium Games
  817.  
  818.  
  819. Beer (aka: Beer4TheBeerGod)
  820. October 9, 2015, 08:37
  821.  
  822. Hello,
  823.  
  824. Yesterday my account ("Beer") was banned, indefinitely, with the following justification:
  825.  
  826. "You have been put on probation until 2025-10-09 02:28. You can no longer post on the community forums and public chat channels.
  827.  
  828. You have been placed on probation indefinitely for multiple violations of forum rules 3, 9, and 11, in particular posting so as to get a rise out of others in a way not so good as you'd think. Note that this will not affect your access to the game itself."
  829.  
  830. My understanding from the rules is that the process is nominally five steps, and that the permanent ban process typically occurs after a 30 day punishment. There also appears to be a strike removal process after a 3 month period. Looking over my history the last three infractions were as follows:
  831.  
  832. May 16, 2015 - Warned for posting JP content.
  833. September 25, 2015 - 24 hour ban by Maul218 for Rule 3 violation.
  834. October 8, 2015 - Permanent ban by unknown moderator.
  835.  
  836. There is also a distinct lack of feedback in terms of precisely what infraction necessitated this particular punishment, nor do I have any information about which moderator initiated the punishment itself. I don't understand what "posting so as to get a rise out of others in a way not so good as you'd think" means.
  837.  
  838. I can only consider the information that has been provided to me, but a permanent ban does not seem to have been an appropriate action given my history. As I understand it given the length of time since my last warning the September 25th infraction should have also resulted in a warning, and subsequently whatever specific infraction occurred on October 8 should have resulted in a 24 hour probation. That infraction should also have been specified along with the moderator initiating the action.
  839.  
  840. I understand the participating on the forums is a privilege, not a right, and it's a privilege that I strive to respect. I respectfully request that these circumstances be investigated and the punishment corrected to the appropriate level, the moderator who initiated this punishment be named, and that the post that necessitated this action be provided. As this directly impacts my subscription (since I can no longer access the subscriber's den, nor submit questions to 104TC), if the permanent ban is indeed upheld I respectfully request a refund for the unfulfilled portion of my subscription ($50 for the 5 months remaining).
  841.  
  842. Thank you for your time.
  843.  
  844. [Beer]
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