Camelot Unchained Refund Received

What will likely be the last post on the topic of Camelot Unchained here for some time.

I got a refund on my Kickstarter pledge.  I got it very quickly and with no deductions for processing charges at the CSE end of things, just the money transfer fee from PayPal, a mere $3.49.  Op success.  I should be very happy.

And yet I am still a little prickly about the whole thing.  I still think that a transaction ID for a credit charge remains a pretty unlikely thing for people to have around nearly seven years later.  Mark Jacobs says that the company needs to use that to protect themselves from scammers, but it sure can make it hard on people who didn’t keep one specific email from that far back.

I am also a bit prickly about the fact that I got a refund so very quickly.  I have an egalitarian streak, and getting jumped to the head of the line and getting an expedited refund straight from the CEO for being the loud mouth doesn’t make necessarily make me feel good about myself.  I’m not giving the money back… dollar votes are still a thing in my mind, and that was a motivation here… but I don’t have to like the fact that others are going to be stuck.  I don’t want to be special, I just want to be part of a system that works.  But that is so rarely the case.

Before you declare this a victory proving that blogs are still relevant, I have to stop you.  They aren’t.  Blogging remains a backwater in the world of social media.  If Bree at Massively OP had not mentioned me to Mark Jacobs I might still be waiting for the Pony Express to deliver my request to the archives department of my credit card company in Wichita in the hope that they would be able to find a transaction ID somewhere in the Indiana Jones warehouse where I imagine they store their old paper records and other such these treasures.

I did not ask Bree to do this for me.  She had asked me to forward the email blast that CSE sent out to everybody asking for refunds last week, and I followed that up with the next message from CSE just to keep her in the loop.  Next thing I knew Mark Jacobs had taken up residence in my comment section.  It was a bit of a shock.

As for why I wanted a refund, there are a couple of reasons.  The first, as I mentioned above, is dollar votes, the idea that you spend your money on things you support and believe in and withhold it from things that you do not.  After years of delays and updates and things that have not come to pass, I began to feel my support was not warranted.  There is a whole story of a startup I worked for in the 90s that plays into this, but I will just say that enthusiasm fatigue is a thing.  Given enough changes, updates, delays, and excuses and your capacity to give a shit will eventually fade.

This is why I try not to get invested in games too early in their development cycle.  It rarely ends well as all surprise and sense of accomplishment tends to be broken by early familiarity.

I also pledged more for this campaign than I did for many other, largely due to Mark Jacobs visiting my blog back during the Kickstarter campaign.  This week was not his first visit.  Blogs were still mildly relevant in 2013 I guess.  And while $110 isn’t going to make a huge difference in my life, I pledged that much only because of him.

And then there is the fact that almost seven years down the road I am not sure I care about the game any more.  Part of that is the enthusiasm fatigue I mentioned above.  I unsubscribed from the updates email list because it was tiring to read after a few years.  (For whatever reason I have not unsubscribe from the Star Citizen weekly updates. I suppose their brevity makes them less wearing.)

But part of it is my, my life, my friends, and what I enjoy have all changed over time.  Seven years changes people.  What CSE is selling doesn’t really thrill me now, so a chance to redirect a bit of money into something that I might enjoy is something worth doing.

Now to figure out what that is.

Anyway, I won’t harp on this or be one of those people who has to post something negative every time Camelot Unchained gets mentioned.  That isn’t my style.  I got my money back and I can move on to something else and leave this in the past.

7 thoughts on “Camelot Unchained Refund Received

  1. Ula

    “But part of it is, my life, my friends, and what I enjoy have all changed over time,” he said, logging on to the version of an MMO released 15 years ago with his original guildies who include a friend from high school. Oh, Wilhelm…. ;)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. SynCaine

    Same boat on the people have changed. 7 years ago I was still very much ready to dive deep into an MMO and be ‘hardcore’ about it. I simply can’t do that right now. The stars aligned for me with Life is Feudal (working from home on a job you know you are leaving will do that), but outside of that short burst, I just can’t devote multiple hours daily to an MMO anymore. And casually playing a group PvP-focused MMO is, for me, not doable. I don’t want to be a nobody who is behind and just tagging along.

    What CU was selling 7 years ago was appealing. If CU had a kickstarter today, no chance I’m backing it.


  3. bhagpuss

    I wouldn’t underplay the power of your blog. I don’t imagine Bree makes a habit of drawing complaints of any and every M:OP commenter to the attention of development teams, let alone CEOs (if that’s what Mark Jacobs is). Being a very well-known name in the scene (such as it is) from having a longstanding blog will, I’m sure, have been a factor.

    As for using whatever platform you have to draw attention to whatever you feel needs attention, well, if it’s good enough for Pussy Riot and Blitzchung…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. SynCaine

    I just saw the comments from MJ in the other post, and I have to say, I think you are being a little unfair to them regarding refunds and the ID. He was pretty clear that without the ID, it’s easier for a scammer to request a false ID. Now assuming that part is true, it does make sense.

    Imagine if CU didn’t ask for the ID, and it was easy to scam a fake refund (which I’m sure would get around to the scammer community and the issue would blow up). Would you be happy that in their system, CU is showing that you asked for a refund on your $110, when in fact you did not? You’d blame them (correctly) for being so easily scammed via refund, and expect them to ‘make it right’ by giving you what you paid for with that $110, even though CU didn’t have your $110 anymore.


  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – well, there is what I knew then and what I know. I have that quote from Massively OP in that other post for a reason. He said send in your info and support will work with you even if you don’t have the TID. Then in the comments here he made it clear that was never going to happen.


  6. Archey

    I had the same reaction as you when I read in the other thread that you received your refund: special treatment isn’t very reassuring. It seems to me that a CEO should lead his team to creating a system that works instead of personally intervening, even if it is nice that he cared enough to track you down and take care of it.

    I’m inclined to be charitable to Jacobs for a few reasons: among them, DAoC is one of my favorite MMO memories, and I share his outlook on F2P from that article of a few years ago. But I still think a working system (or even a working game) is preferable to personal intervention from someone of his level.

    Liked by 1 person

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