Members of Alliance

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
All of Mike V’s info is easily accessible on google by searching his name.

He will probably appreciate the free advertising.
 

Draven

Count
All of Mike V’s info is easily accessible on google by searching his name.

He will probably appreciate the free advertising.
Ah, the life of a lawyer?
 

Kevar

Fighter
Marshal
I, as someone who is involved in the software industry, am really interested in the several companies that you contacted when attempting to get a valuation on the CMA. Put simply: It is easy to get a lowball estimate for a hack job. It is extremely easy to even give an estimate for a reasonably done job, but when the time comes to develop, test, and provide tools (or heaven forbid have a contract) to maintain the site for what we needed I am skeptical at BEST of your statement.

I don't know what you do - or does it really matter. The work that was done on the CMA was absolutely so legendary that Chris couldn't have been given enough Alliance based compensation for the work that he did. The target was moving and the demands were high.

Sorry, this really struck a cord with me. Be happy for the amazing tool that you got (rather, is sounds like you didn't get) for the organization and that the only that Alliance had to pay for the blood, sweat, and tears was some fake micro transaction currency. I can tell you a goblin stamp or a dragon stamp is worth a certain amount - but I have done enough customer service to know that is a joke. Rewards Points (sorry, "Dragon Stamps") are a tool to reward and motivate volunteers, donators, and assist in resolving intangible issues. That is their value, and always will be. Every company in the world with a reward system as a monetary value associated with them, but it doesn't mean that is the actual value. Alliance got a tool for practically free because they didn't foot the actual cash for the tool in years prior.

----

That part of your reply wasn't the only part that irked me. I want to talk about how absurd it is that you would consider the tenure and player retention a vital piece of information to call an owner out on when talking about game design. You know what design needs (literally any design - in any field) is constraints. I have played Alliance for a long time so understand that a level cap would have almost certainly impact me and the friends that I have played with - but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate that the game would be healthier for it. Do I want personal growth and achievement as a player? Certainly. So start designing and creating there - and don't make the fact that a characters numbers stop getting bigger the stopping point, but instead the starting point. Give me alt xp, give me unique "expenditures" for XP that are sinks, tell me that it will be fine because I play a game with plot so ya know...maybe I will just get to enjoy that and not have to figure out how to counter-gimmick every fight because I have more tools/resources than a small nation. Alright, I am getting a little ranty. Long story short, I don't care if you played Alliance the first day that it came out, because if you can't understand why a level cap would be better for the game I would encourage every owner and player to STRONGLY consider thinking about how that short-sightedness will eventually impact them.

----

Alright - I think I am done. I have no idea why you felt compelled to post this in the first place, but it has opened up a can of worms for you. I love this game to death and have had it as a beloved hobby for half my life. I am sad to see that this rift is being formed, but from what I have read here I can see why it has occurred. I don't want to stop playing Alliance LARP. So as amp'd up as I am right now because of some of those statements I do have a few questions:

- What are you going to do differently for Alliance?

- How are you going to improve the game for the players and mend relationships with ALL owners (even those you think may possibly be considering leaving)?

- What is your plan for the CMA and the fact that during the purchase it sounds like you didn't acquire it?

- Where was the National Customer Service when that train wreck (read: sexist, non-representative, and just repulsive) module in the back of the Players Guide made it out the door? Not a slight on Stephen at all, but a genuine question as to HOW that happened and you didn't do everything you could to stop it. I don't care that you sent along an email...show the follow up email where you fought for the players please.

- On that note above a bit - you didn't bring Stephen into conversations when you were Alliance GM often or at all (by the sounds of it from previous posts), so will you do that now? Why didn't you before?

- What, specifically, do you want to tell the players that have just read that you were removed from your position as GM by a 63% majority vote of the owners? You now own the game, and wow, that seems like some extreme favoritism and back room dealing went on. Please, I am honestly and sincerely asking, tell us why we should be interested in a game that has you at the helm.


Thank you for your time in reading my post. I apologize if I seem heated in some areas, but like many I have given a LOT of myself to this hobby.
 

Gilwing

Administrator
Alliance Logistics
Alliance Owner
I will leave most of your questions for Matt to answer as he was directly involved in them. I will try and answer what I can.

- What is your plan for the CMA and the fact that during the purchase it sounds like you didn't acquire it?
We are currently discussing things with our lawyer, having them go over the contracts and what was told to us by the parties involved.


- Where was the National Customer Service when that train wreck (read: sexist, non-representative, and just repulsive) module in the back of the Players Guide made it out the door? Not a slight on Stephen at all, but a genuine question as to HOW that happened and you didn't do everything you could to stop it. I don't care that you sent along an email...show the follow up email where you fought for the players please.
Mike V stated that he owned the rulebook and only he had a say in how he wrote it. This is something we all didn't agree with but at that time had no control over. Now it's different. We are working with the Diversity committee to make sure that we have all of the recommendations given and will implement them into the rulebook and players guide.


- What, specifically, do you want to tell the players that have just read that you were removed from your position as GM by a 63% majority vote of the owners? You now own the game, and wow, that seems like some extreme favoritism and back room dealing went on. Please, I am honestly and sincerely asking, tell us why we should be interested in a game that has you at the helm.
I feel there is some math that is inaccurate. According to the CMA there are 17 (it includes CT and Charlottesville) chapters. According to Alliancelarp.com there are 15 active chapters. There were 7 votes to remove. 7/15 is 46% of the total available chapters that could vote.


Thank you for your time in reading my post. I apologize if I seem heated in some areas, but like many I have given a LOT of myself to this hobby.
Don't apologize. Your concerns are very valid and deserve a thought out response.
 

norman b

Squire
I feel there is some math that is inaccurate. According to the CMA there are 17 (it includes CT and Charlottesville) chapters. According to Alliancelarp.com there are 15 active chapters. There were 7 votes to remove. 7/15 is 46% of the total available chapters that could vote.
I haven't been an owner, but I have been to symposium and have spoken with current and past owners. This is misleading as not ever chapter gets a vote if they are not up on their dues. At that point, only the ones up to date count in the voting pool.

If there are 11 chapters up to date and 7 vote to remove that equals 63%.

7/15 is still not looking good for favorable interactions.
 

Gilwing

Administrator
Alliance Logistics
Alliance Owner
I haven't been an owner, but I have been to symposium and have spoken with current and past owners. This is misleading as not ever chapter gets a vote if they are not up on their dues. At that point, only the ones up to date count in the voting pool.

If there are 11 chapters up to date and 7 vote to remove that equals 63%.

7/15 is still not looking good for favorable interactions.
Your right. One of the 7 that voted yes should not have counted as they were still behind on their dues
 
Your right. One of the 7 that voted yes should not have counted as they were still behind on their dues
You are arguing semantics at this point. 7 of 15 isn't a great number, and if you want to argue votes that "counted" 6/10 in your example after removing 1 for not being up to date is still 60%.

The point is a large number of owners were unhappy, and voted for this removal to occur. Now they are forced to deal with this person as they bough out their involvement. No matter how you spin the numbers, it's not a good look.

Being up to date on dues itself is another concern. What are the dues going towards? Seems like someone's pocket as they aren't going to national insurance, CMA costs, hell even Symposium comes out of the hosts/attendees pocket, not dues. Your startup coin worth 1k/year. Cause that seems to be all you are getting. I'm not involved in ownership, so maybe there is something else there I'm not aware of, but it seems like dues are irrelevant to an owner vote of removing the chairperson that has been actively against their interests.
 
I don't want to step on @RiddickDale 's toes as the official PR committee rep for Alliance, but as a player who has been running corporate PR for 15 years, I have some free advice:

I highly suggest the new owners, who were officially removed from a prior leadership role by a quorum of chapter owners, stop trying to quibble that it was in some way a minority or doesn't count on a technicality. This is, as the kids say, "not a good look."

The only effective way to address that, and all related issues, without making yourselves look worse is to wholly accept that removal and sentiment were justified at the time, eat every spoonful of anger that comes your way with an acknowledgement and commitment to improve, and then demonstrate with every policy action how your behavior has changed and will continue to evolve going forward. Anything else is just making your critics look absolutely justified in not trusting you and plays right into the broader narrative the initial post was trying to side step.

Giving into any impulse to the contrary is short sighted and ego-driven and will diminish audience confidence, which will, in turn, impact the sustainability of the game as this transition settles in over the coming year.
 

norman b

Squire
Your right. One of the 7 that voted yes should not have counted as they were still behind on their dues
These kind of condescending comments are why people view you a certain way. For many, these are the only interaction they have from you. As a figurehead for this organization now, you are going to have to do better.

A better rebuttal would have been to give accurate data, instead of as one player put it 'push a narrative' by trying to downplay the votes. How many votes were cast? How many of the no votes were not up to date?

If I can offer advice to both Alliance and the new organization that will inevitably form: Be humble and admit your faults. Currently, I see more effort from Auric in this regard. This doesn't bode well for this organization
 
I'd hoped that I wouldn't have to get involved in this discussion but, since this this thread has gone from an effort to address PR issues to smearing people who have worked hard for the good of the Alliance Players, my partners and I feel it's important to set the record straight.

In addition to being the Owners of the South Michigan Chapter of Alliance, my partners and I own the L.L.C. which licenses the CMA software to Mike V. In our time as Owners of an Alliance Chapter we have worked to operate our Chapter transparently and as a business, not an informal side project. We formed an L.L.C., publicly communicate with our Players about costs, and in general treat our involvement in as professional a manner as possible. As Chris I. developed the software he wanted to ensure that any rewards from his efforts were allocated so that they could be used to further encourage the improvement of the Alliance LARP. To facilitate this goal, our company acquired ownership of the CMA and we arranged the license agreement with Mike V. so that the rewards would go to the South Michigan Dragon Stamp pool. We've then used to reward players throughout the game with Dragon Stamps. This philosophy is in line with other efforts we and other Chapter Owners have made to pull back the curtain on Dragon Stamps and ensure that they became rewards that all Players could access, not just a limited few insiders.

The development of the CMA predates the 2018 Symposium, for months before that meeting of the Chapter Owners Chris I. worked on a proof of concept on his own time, without any compensation from the Alliance LARP. At the 2018 Symposium, he demonstrated an early version of the software for the Owners and got the official go ahead to make the CMA a reality. From that point forward Chris, along with a number of other volunteers, worked to make the CMA a tool that has dramatically improved the Alliance and for much of that time he did so without receiving any compensation for his efforts.

Following the Owners' approval of the CMA project it took months of negotiating to reach an agreement regarding the value of the work to the Alliance. Throughout the negotiations we were always clear that Chris was not seeking any monetary payment for his work and that we wanted to ensure the CMA would always remain available to the Players of Alliance. Initially we attempted to work with Matt W., as the Chairperson, but the value he placed on the CMA grossly underestimated the amount of time and effort put into its development and his attitude toward the negotiations made working with him impossible. We eventually went directly to Jesse and fairly quickly negotiated an agreement that ensured that the Alliance Players would always have access to the CMA, that the Chapter Owners would pay an additional fee (in excess of our regular dues payments) for host the CMA for the first sixteen months, and that compensated Chris, through the South Michigan Chapter, for his efforts. We have records of all of these discussions and have no problem sharing the emails if it becomes necessary to further defend our position.

Matt's W.'s statements regarding the CMA are, to be polite, inaccurate. To be blunt, they are a bag of lies.

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 CMA License, as written when we provided it to Jesse, specifically protects the future of the Alliance LARP . The CMA License provides for a "perpetual, irrevocable license to use the CMA for the management of characters and events operating under the Alliance LARP Rules". This provision applies to Mike, as the Licensee of the software, but also to the Chapter Owners and Players. At all times during this process we have worked to ensure that the CMA would be a tool that permanently improves the Alliance community.

The contract does not transfer and does not allow anyone other than Mike V to use it.
This is also not correct. Matt W. knows this because we have discussed the situation with him at length and saying otherwise is a lie. The CMA License, similar to the License Agreement signed by the Chapter Owners with Mike to run a Chapter, does state that the license cannot be transferred without our consent. We however have always acted in good faith to make sure that this would not interfere with any change in ownership. When Jesse initially announced to the Owners that he and Mike had a buyer for the Alliance, we contacted him and Mike requesting information about the buyers so that we could proactively approve that transfer, Mike first denied having a buyer and Jesse then refused to provide us with additional information. Following the announcement that Matt and Dave were the new owners of Alliance, we've sought documentation establishing the transfer and communicated openly with Matt and Dave regarding the continued use of the license.

Unfortunately, in these discussions it has come to light that while they may have purchased the rights to run the Alliance LARP it is possible that Mike did not include the CMA License in the transfer of assets. While not transferring the primary tool needed to run a business would be unusual it's not impossible that this is the case. The uncertainty on their end about what they own however does impact what we are able to do because we still have an irrevocable agreement with Mike. None of this actually threatens the Players access to the CMA in any way. We have communicated with Matt and Dave about how this situation can be resolved and are awaiting further communication with them after they've spoken with their lawyer.

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.
To be clear, we have at all times said that it is our intention that the CMA remain available to the Chapters and Players. We have never threatened any action that would impact Player access to the CMA and we have proactively taken steps to avoid any issues. We have reviewed our own options and are prepared to take action on our end to facilitate the continued availability of the CMA in the event that Mike attempts to restrict the continued use of the CMA by the Chapters and Players. At this time we are waiting on confirmation from Matt and Dave regarding their position so that we can act appropriately without violating any legal commitments we have made to Mike. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to ensure that the CMA stays a part of the Alliance LARP, whatever else may happen.

I will refrain for any comment on the other accusations being thrown around as this post is long enough already, except to say that Cory, Rick, and Luke's experiences are consistent with our own.

Stay safe and healthy,

Matt Ferrara, on behalf of the South Michigan Owners.
 
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mythic

Baron
I feel there is some math that is inaccurate. According to the CMA there are 17 (it includes CT and Charlottesville) chapters. According to Alliancelarp.com there are 15 active chapters. There were 7 votes to remove. 7/15 is 46% of the total available chapters that could vote.
Okay, now that is the biggest pile of BS and the reason many chapter owners are just fed up.

So kids here is how voting in Alliance works:
A proposal is put up
It is given two weeks to discuss
It is then put up for a vote of two more weeks

There are several owners that NEVER VOTE. Have not, will not and probably will continue to never vote. We, the owners rarely see anywhere near 15 votes. It has NEVER HAPPENED in 10 years. Even at Symposium, we have never had all Chapters in attendance. Period.

We "normally" see about 10-12 votes on any issue.

The vote to remove Matt was 7 in favour, 2 No and 2 Abstain. That is 11 votes out of the usual 12. For those following along, the Abstains "do not count" which means the vote was 7 to 2 to remove.

So, the above garbage statement by Dave is EXACTLY the problem that the owners have with these two.
 

Draven

Count
Frankly, I’m disappointed in Mike V and Jesse for apparently handing the organization off to new ownership without clearly discussing that with the chapter owners. That demonstrated a remarkable disregard for what has always been a partnership at the highest level.

I expected better.

Based on the posts from four owners, I don’t see this relationship continuing a great deal longer.

I would recommend an immediate transfer of ownership of the intent is to preserve the Alliance, because it is fairly apparent that neither Matt nor David have the reputations necessary to maintain the partnership that ownership requires.
 

Agnar

Newbie
The change of ownership is a done deal. It's understandable that those who it wasn't sold to would be upset. For the good of your players you should at least have a conversation with the new ownership before you make a decision to stay or go. And if you do decide to go your own way then do so gracefully. Most of what is being posted on this thread just sounds petty and mean-spirited. Have some dignity for God's sake.
 
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Agnar

Newbie
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Durnic

Knight
Frankly, I’m disappointed in Mike V and Jesse for apparently handing the organization off to new ownership without clearly discussing that with the chapter owners.
We did ask for exactly this and we were met with silence. We also asked to meet the potential new owners before the transfer occurred but we were met with silence again.
 

norman b

Squire
The change of ownership is a done deal. It's understandable that those who it wasn't sold to would be upset. For the good of your players you should at least have a conversation with the new ownership before you make a decision to stay or go. And if you do decide to go your own way then do so gracefully. Most of what is being posted on this thread just sounds petty and mean-spirited. Have some dignity for God's sake.
So you would rather those who have questions stay silent like you have on the boards for the last 3 years?

Okay that was ultra petty but I don't take kindly to attacking/silencing people who have obvious concerns. This game is as much the players as it is the new owners. And players want answers without being condescended to or withheld information from.

As I said before, Matt seems to be working on thoughtful answers and is working on relations. And I commend him on that.
 

Agnar

Newbie
If you feel like what I wrote was an attack then I would say that's your own issue. It's honestly light-years more measured than what I was originally going to write. I am clearly addressing the angry posts of the owners and not those of the players with legitimate questions.
Questions are one thing, but what is being written in this thread is another And honestly most of it is something that should be discussed among the owners, not on a public forum. Because whichever way this ends up going it doesn't look good to have all this dirty laundry aired publicly.
 

norman b

Squire
The problem is systemic and has been because of all the back room discussions. The owners are wanting to be transparent so their players can understand their frustration and decision making.

Where is the public post about removing Matt from his position? That should have been public.

This is the problem. Things were done secretly, knowing damn well that it would piss off a lot of players/owners. This visceral reaction is normal and should be listened to.
 
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