Members of Alliance

This post wasn't made to point fingers or call out someone's failings

Of course not, because the original post was made by those that have had legitimate complaints brought against them, which they have still not owned or owned up to.
In all actuality they've been causing problems for years that have led to genuine grievances.
They've not owned up to or apologized for those missteps, instead attempting to brush them under the rug as rumors in an attempt to craft a narrative where they are the victims, grooming individual audiences instead of replying to questions on a more public forum where they can be properly addressed.
After grooming those mouthpieces, they're relying on them for defense instead of being open and honest about the mistakes and misdeeds they've committed.
 

Azmodeous

Artisan
Greetings fellow LARPers!

I am posting in solidarity with Rick Raddue and Cory Fliegel. I have not been an owner for as long as they have, but in my time, I have seen nothing to suggest that this sale of Alliance to Matt Watkins and David B. will be good for the game.

When I bought Alliance Seattle, I did so not to make money, but to help improve our game. In the first 18 months of ownership, I received no support from the then Chairperson, now owner, of Alliance. In fact it was like pulling teeth to get them to do their job. And, if you've ever redeemed your Dragon Stamps prior to the CMA, you have interacted with David B.

As was stated in the other posts, Matt Watkins was fired by the owners for gross incompetence. He repeatedly delayed votes and disregarded the owners requests to remain professional. At the time of his removal multiple Chapters tried to purchase Alliance from Mike V. and Jesse G., but all were turned aside in favor of selling to Matt Watkins, their old friend.

I believe the decision to buy Alliance by Matt Watkins was a vindictive power grab and that Mike and Jesse's decision to sell it to them shows just how out of touch with our game they actually were.

Our game and our community deserve better.
 

tieran

Duke
Alliance Rules
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
@Dragon Lady Barbour
Wow. I’ve been called mouthy before, but I don’t think I’ve ever been referred to as groomed or a mouthpiece.

I’m pretty free to say whatever I please, and I’m sure that Matt & Dave are working on responses, but as you’ve shown, everyone is more than happy to jump on them for phrasing and then complain when they don’t reply quickly enough, so I think it would be fairly obvious why they would want to take their time to reply to things.

I appreciate the fact that you’re super passionate about the game and making sure it’s in a good place, but I don’t think calling people names is really something that is warranted
 

RiddickDale

Knight
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Sita,

That is a fair request.

They will be responding. At present they are both away from the keys with their kids for the day. (They both have young families.)

I appreciate everyone's candor.

You'll have responses.

Stephen
 

Sita

Scholar
I think part of the reason for not addressing the “small group of chapters” is that none of the chapters that are discussing leaving are discussing that with them, so it’s hard to pin down who’s staying, who’s leaving, and who’s uncertain.

That information came from somewhere. They have a number, they can at least post that.


I’m sure that Matt & Dave are working on responses,

At present they are both away from the keys with their families for the day.

It appears they're replying in individual chapter Discords, but not here. So it seems more that they're picking and choosing where and what to answer.

I appreciate that they have lives outside the game. We all do. But they also chose to make a statement that was guaranteed to raise questions. It's unfortunate they chose to do that when they only have time to pay attention to Discord.
 

Suzanne

Newbie
Seeing as how we have been chapter owners for less than 9 months and I have spoken to other Alliance owners more than anyone else, a mouthpiece should not be something that anyone knows me would call me.

However, again, I will say. This will not change anyone's mind. Venting your frustrations was something that needed to be done by chapter owners when the new Allaince owners took over. If they did not do so, why? Was their mind made up? Is it still? Are they still wanting to remain? If not, then why continue the banter?

Pick up your toys and go, we ALL have the option to attempt to leave. Sticking around when your mind is made up, makes it look petty.
 

tieran

Duke
Alliance Rules
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
That information came from somewhere. They have a number, they can at least post that.

It appears they're replying in individual chapter Discords, but not here. So it seems more that they're picking and choosing where and what to answer.

I appreciate that they have lives outside the game. We all do. But they also chose to make a statement that was guaranteed to raise questions. It's unfortunate they chose to do that when they only have time to pay attention to Discord.
I’m pretty sure they have their guesses on what that number is, based on owners who just aren’t responding to them, but it’s got to be hard to say when no one has officially told them they are intending on leaving.

I’m sure they want to make certain that people have the opportunity to reply and get everything out there before they reply, especially given how much vitriol there is surrounding a lot of this.
 

Sita

Scholar
@Suzanne - I feel like there's some confusion here.

Chapter owners are making statements in response to the National ownership.

Players are asking questions that aren't being answered.

Players are already frustrated with the National response, and they chose to make the initial statement.
 

Auric

Administrator
Alliance Owner
While I am sure they are chomping at the bit to change some things now because they just spent who knows how much money on buying the Alliance organization, I do not believe that they will have the best interests of the organization at heart in the long term.

Rick,
You should know more than anybody the very limited power the President has. The organization and its policies and rules are driven by the owners themselves. We had received some suggestions that the bylaws should be posted publically, and I agree with that. I think allowing the players to see that will be helpful for them to understand how this organization works. What we can control, things like the rulebook, players guide, advertising, communication between us, players and owners are all things we are working hard to improve.

My early involvement in 2.0 is public knowledge at this point, myself, Jesse, Mike, and half of the owners were not completely on board with it. At that time I was asked to put a hold on putting up any new votes until Mike and Jesse could meet to discuss things. I attended this meeting, even giving suggestions on certain things. How this was presented back to the owners was not handled well, I admit that 100%. It is something I have learned from and improved on for the few years following as I continued the General Manager role. In full disclosure, a vote took place after this went down to remove me as well, among all the owners who were impacted by it, it did not pass. This delay did allow staff, ownership, and players (thanks to newly implemented playtesting) to work together to come out with a much-improved game. *As a bonus, due to the hard work of some, we were able to launch 2.0 with the CMA.

I've reached out to you a few times now since purchasing the game. Not to bury the hatchet but to have a real chat with you about things, to try and work to solve and correct problems we have had in the past. You did not even give us the chance to do this, going as far as banning David from your discord. I am still here to talk if you wish to do so.
 

Lurin

Duke
Raleigh Staff
As a one time game runner (Minnesota for just over 10 years, although Cory has passed my tenure now) I would hope that everyone could take a moment and reflect on how the player base will likely see anything you post. If you are leaving, your average player will accept that you are doing so because you believe it's best for the game, and your local folks will likely understand your reasons with better detail. If you are staying, your average player will accept that you are doing so because you believe it's best for the game, and your local folks will likely understand your reasons with better detail.

Let's not approach this as an argument to win (that's not going to happen) but instead with the respect we'd demand of any player that steps foot on our play field.

To those demanding answers, relax and give folks some time less than 24 hours is not a fair expectation, nor is a lack of immediate response grounds for being on the wrong side. (in example the first pointed question was posted ~ 17 hours after the announcement, and only waited 2 hours before starting to demand immediate answers. It seems unfair/unreasonable to demand an answer in 1/8th the lag time it took to ask the question)

To those completely uninvolved, Please understand from my prospective BOTH sides truly care about the game but there is a lot of built up bad blood from a number of reasons, but I also recall all the effort and timely responses I've gotten from Matt, Dave and all the owners involved here (granted I'm a few years out from that time) I've traveled and played in something like 15 chapters (some now defunct to our loss) and you know what? I never went to a game where I got the impression the people involved just didn't care.

TLDR -Let's try to avoid attacks and focus on the positives and any transitions needed because I want to play both Alliance and the new game and I want to be excited to share stories from both sides without it feeling like I'm telling the hatfields all about the macoys.
 
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Venting your frustrations was something that needed to be done by chapter owners when the new Allaince owners took over.

Pretty sure Firing him from his previous position was a venting of their frustrations. Trying to buy the chapter from the old owners was a venting of their frustrations.
Doesn't really look like they listened.
 

Draven

Count
This thread is the perfect example of why this needed to happen. The sniping, bickering, and bordering lack of civility is evidence that the National relationship has deteriorated to a likely irreparable level.

I, for one, will be celebrating those communities that choose to split off; to be empowered so they can cater to their local needs without needing to concern themselves with aligning with a larger organization.

Particularly when the leadership of that organization is, at best, lacking the degree of trust that such a position requires.
 

Auric

Administrator
Alliance Owner
I appreciate that they have lives outside the game. We all do. But they also chose to make a statement that was guaranteed to raise questions. It's unfortunate they chose to do that when they only have time to pay attention to Discord.

My access today was very limited, even discord. I was spending the day with my family enjoying fall activities. Giving a rushed response on here would just lead to more questions, and I feel you deserve more of my time than that.

Yeah... based on your public posts, I doubt that's the case.

Just searching through your public forum posts doesn't give me any sort of faith that either of you will be interested in listening and colaboting going forward.

Are there any specific posts you would like to ask questions on, I would be happy to discuss those with you.



So I'm curious. Since this is the first the playership has heard about a split from "a small group of chapters" - which you still haven't answered what that actually means - who is asking those questions?

Are those genuine concerns or just y'all getting infront of bad press?

If they're genuine concerns, then they came from somewhere - not just "bad feelings".

No chapter has officially given word they are leaving yet. I do not feel it fair to put them in a position until they come out and announce it themselves. Frankly, I'm still hoping to be able to change some minds so the loss and impact are not felt as hard to the player base. I want nothing more than to see this game grow and improve. You can tell by the responses here today the areas in which we need to work repair relationships.

As you know there are plenty of rumors going around. Some of them have made their way to us, we tried to answer them all in our post. We can't give our side of the story if we don't hear them or are asked about them. I feel everyone deserves to know both sides so they can make up their mind themselves. If you have heard anything you would like us to address, please let us know.
 

Sita

Scholar
Sooo... you did this based on a rumor and as a response to frustration within the ownership?
 

Paladin of Life

Newbie
Moderator
Like @Lurin noted, this is a public forum and both players and owners are able to view and see everything here. Let's remember that it's been less than 24hrs, and those that haven't responded may need longer if/when they plan to. As @RiddickDale mentioned, any questions/feedback are welcome to go to him, or you can reach out to your chapter's owner for any clarifications.
 

Auric

Administrator
Alliance Owner
About six years ago we, the owners and ARC, began work on the current 2.0 ruleset. There was a ton of work done by everyone. Votes galore, brainstorming, back an forth for years. As we began the ramp up Matt W came in as the Chairperson.

Then, about four years ago, Matt and Jesse decided that 2.0 was not a good system and went to Mike V to veto all the work that had been done up until that point (about two years worth of work). That set of a chain of issues and almost split Alliance at that point. The owners pushed forward with ARC and re-wrote so many items that it delayed 2.0 by 18 months in order to avoid the veto. Yes, 2.0 would have looked a bit different, but it would have been out sooner if not for Matt and Jesse’s interference.

Myself, and many others, were not a fan of the early version of 2.0 that was scheduled to go live without any feedback from players. It was seen as damaging to the future of the game. I felt that one of the most important things we could do was give the player base some input into how the rules were changed, with the added benefit of being able to see how things played out in the game, instead of just on paper. I admit, the way that meeting was handled, as well as the veto talks afterward, was not done well. That could have and should have happened much differently and I apologize for not trying harder to make that happen. Looking back on it, most of the problems seem to have come from the lack of communication between President and owners, which is a lot of what I’ve been trying to solve over the last few weeks.

That interference continued for the next two years as he slowed down the process of changes and organizing. Any perceived threat to power was met with constant roadblocks by Matt. The fact that Jesse only showed up every few months to ask for our chapter dues from the owners and then disappear did not help.

At one point, when approached by ARC to have a discussion, just a discussion, about the possibility of adding a high (very high) level cap in order to facilitate game design into the future and making ARC's life easier, Matt W replied, “I can say as a high level player nothing would drive me away from the game faster then a level cap. I have no interest where advancement can't be made on my character. Of the 12 of GB, my team among a few of those, we would be looking into other larps or perhaps trying to transfer to NERO.” That is who now owns the game, someone who was considering leaving Alliance because the owners brought up the very idea of a level cap, which, as he has the highest level character in Alliance, would definitely affect.

I think that all of us as players have an obligation to do the best things that we can for the game. Personally, I’ve been directly involved with the national organization since 2006. This put me in the unique position of having more access to more owners than most other players. If I didn’t point out something that would negatively impact the experience of other players unnecessarily, I would not have been fulfilling my obligations. Were there better ways for me to express that? Most likely, but I don’t think they would have had the same impact. Cory, you had no players in your chapter that this level cap would have effected, and you have the right to set a local level cap on your game. Why deny dedicated long-standing players the ability to continue to advance and enjoy the game? You once shared with me that your players usually only remain with your game for about 5 years, speaking as someone who has been here 22 years and can't even count on my fingers and toes the number of players I play with that have similar time dedicated to supporting and playing Alliance games, I find it completely unfair to push them aside.

Matt was so opposed to the CMA that he was removed from the project. Due to the continued opposition from Matt over the CMA, it was nearly scrapped due to the sheer frustration that Chris and the other programmers were experiencing from dealing with Matt. It was only through the dedication of the Tech Committee and the motivation of the owners with their support that it proceeded and went live.

Currently, the CMA license is with Mike V, not with Matt. One of Alliance's biggest hurdles is going to be figuring out if they are going to continue using it or go back to MS Access. We hope they come back to the neogotiation table so as to remove the pain that will be caused by converting Alliance back to MS Access.

There was a lot of discussion that went on regarding the CMA. For me, it boiled down to two issues. My first concern was the monetary value the CMA was estimated to be worth. When we got into discussions about it, I had conversations with a few software companies about the cost to develop this software and was given significantly lower costs than what we were getting from Chris. The bylaws have a strict money to dragon stamp conversion rate. It was very important to make sure that the value of dragon stamps for everyone as a reward system was preserved. We negotiated a bit and I feel in the end we met in the middle and this problem was resolved. I think that was one of the reasons why Chris was upset, but he can probably speak to that better than myself, and I hope that he feels that he can join in the conversation here.

My bigger concern with the CMA was one that is coming true right now. The contract written up did not protect the future of the Alliance. I brought this up with Jesse a few times as a major concern (Long before I even had thoughts about buying the game.). The contract does not transfer and does not allow anyone other than Mike V to use it. That puts us in a difficult spot, we are negotiating now with the CMA creators in an attempt to keep it. Even if the talks fail, we will not be moving back to MSAccess. There will be another CMA/online program to fill that gap, one owned by Alliance and one that will stay with it no matter who runs the organization in the future.

Matt was fired as the Chairperson by 63% of the ownership in May for his constant confrontations, his lack of actually doing his job (which was to coordinate committees, post votes up and moderate the owner’s forum).

He constantly delayed posting votes that owners or ARC proposed if he found the content of them upsetting to him, and only after he was confronted by the owners about the lack of leadership for the committees did he attempt to do something about them, after letting them flounder without direction for months. We wanted to remove the Dragonstamp committee so the owners could just reward them like we do goblin stamps. But Matt was against this because it would remove his co-owner, Dave from getting his plethora of monthly DS for doing virtually nothing.


As General Manager it was my job to assign people to committees and pass information between owners and committee members. The requests and direction of tasks they should be focused on come from owners. There was very little direction given from ownership and plenty of disagreement about which direction they should go. Both of these things went a long way toward holding up that process.


Removing the dragon stamp committee was fine with me, it was a committee overseen by Chris, as CTO, not one that I had any say in. My issue with your request to remove this committee was the way you demanded it be done, and how you treated Chris when he said he didn’t have time to work on implementing that function in the CMA as he had other items that were prioritized for development, because they were more player facing and would see more use.

After he left, there was another blow up with the owners and Mike V about the Player’s Guide. The owners never received it and after much confusion and anger did we find out that Mike V never received the Diversity Committee’s notes on the PG that was supposed to be sent to him by Matt. On top of that, Mike V had sent the edited Player’s Guide to Matt, who never passed it along to the owners.

I am not sure where this information came from, but it is incorrect. There has been a lot of things that have been thrown around about things I did or didn’t do, but this one really upsets me. I'm sorry that information got passed around, but things like this are a major reason I made this post open, so we can talk and clear up these rumors. I've attached a PDF of the emails between myself and Mike V. If anyone (especially @Krystina F ) has any follow-up questions about anything in there, please let me know, either here or privately if you prefer.

Related to this, I want to share something that Mike V shared with me. He made it very clear that the rule book (and later players guide) were his, period, and not something to be decided by committee. I’ve already expressed my intentions to clean up the issues that the diversity committee found, as well as the many inconsistencies and issues in the rule book.
 

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Ruki

Scholar
Big oof.
 

Auric

Administrator
Alliance Owner
Krystina, I’m sorry I posted that without redacting your info. I pulled it and fixed it as soon as you let me know. Please let me know if there are any other issues.
 

Draven

Count
@Auric

You should probably also redact Mike V’s personal contact info, such as his phone number.
 
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