Sunday, June 1st, 2014
Issue: 6   Editor: FlameS


The Man of Mystery Joke

BSF2000 is a man who has always seemed to be shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Even though as impossible as it can be to command respect over the internet, he has earned it from many players of Bootleggers over the last decade. Yet for every player who has pledged their loyalty and respect, a dozen more can be easily found endlessly citing multiple examples of his shortcomings. Few players today know anything about him and more and more with new players joining every day, his reputation has become a living being arguably bigger than the man himself. Silently leading this site in the direction of his dream for over ten years now, he’s curiously allowed players to not only possibly develop misinformed opinions and complain of his inaction, but he works tirelessly nonetheless to provide a better service for the two thousand players that log on daily to participate in this great and wonderful free game.

We’re nearly two months into Round 8 and the big change advertised to appeal for new players was a new style for Crews. It was quickly discovered there were many bugs surrounding the Crews and the complaints were endless. Five weeks after the round started, he made an announcement that the bug preventing Gangs from upgrading would be fixed, and as a result, we saw the wipe of Event Horizon. Shortly after the first Crew was formed, we realized Families were still in unattainable feature, and with only six Crew spots, we witnessed another shooting as Congo and Friction wiped Mobb Figgaz from the stats page and freed up another Crew spot that could be formed. However, there was once again a bug preventing Gangs from upgrading. Obviously not the best start to a promising round.

When every player registers, they immediately skip reading the EULA and TOS and instead simply check the rules were read, understood and will be abided by. However, in the Terms of Service you will see “You understand and agree that the Service is provided ‘AS-IS’, and that Bootleggers assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, deletion, alteration, misdelivery, or suitability of any part of the Service for any purpose.” However that does absolutely nothing to prevent players from complaining justifiably because their gold coins haven’t been registered after eight weeks, or the bugs seem rampant and no end in sight for the extermination constantly requested by players on the Game Forum.

Over the years many members of staff have left because they were put in a weird place, or because they had creative differences than the man in charge, and there have been various accounts of unfortunate separations. Growing apart is a common problem that causes staff changes, but some argue the extent of which is seen on Bootleggers is excessive. The Buzz tried to get in contact with many ex-staff members, and most of them all agreed with the common belief that not only does it no longer seem that it is a top priority for BSF to properly maintain this site we all love to the standards we all request and at first were allowed to respect, but that BSF does not interact with players or take part in his game as much as he should. As VooDooDoll told the Buzz, “A lot of running a game like BL is ‘trial and error’ and sometimes you have to improvise. If it doesn't work then fix it. In the beginning I feel like bugs and glitches were usually handled in a timely manner. I just feel that over time that Bootleggers is no longer a priority of BSF. Perhaps it's real life distracting him or maybe he's just lost interest. It happens! Lack of compassion and understanding of the player base will end up with the demise of the game.” A very important point was touched on by VooDooDoll. Everyone must keep in mind that BSF is still a person in his mid-twenties, and as Magikarp said, “in my early 20s while cash, land, and work was a fairly big priority, chasing wenches and partying took providence. If he has any sense it is for him as well.”

However, back to the point, VooDooDoll continued on to say, “BSF no doubt has made a decent amount of money by selling points. It may not be his main income source but it's still a business. In reality he should be providing decent customer service with this service. I can't for the life of me understand why people spend money on points and are ok with receiving sub par service. Points or gold buyers if you will keep this game running. I'm sure we can all appreciate that. In real life at most of our jobs how long would it take to be fired if we treated our customers so poorly? On the other side of that coin if he can so easily make cash from points sales without having to put forth too much effort then why would he?” She obviously isn’t alone in feeling this way as you can now find a picture on many players’ profiles that signifies they are against BSF.

Many staff members have stepped away because his inactivity and apparent lack of concern for the players and the game, but there are others who have stepped away for other reasons and have nothing but respect for him. As brightstar said during an interview, “I am very proud of the kid (he will always be 15 in my head) Even if it isn't perfect, (Beta for lyphe) he has done something most game owners have failed at. Keeping the game up and going with a solid player base all this time AD FREE. BY THE PLAYER FOR THE PLAYER was the motto, and it still holds true. For all the hate he gets, no one stops to think how spectacular it really is that a ‘kid’ made this world we share (with a little help from some friends) and has sustained it this long.” The Buzz recognized many requests from players that BSF bring in another coder to help maintain the game, and when presented whether she thought he should, she replied, “I think there could be improvements of course, I'd be a liar if I said I didn't. Sadly, his trust over the years has been used and abused. It is understandable that he is reluctant to ask/allow help, but I feel at this time it is overdue.”

In researching for this article, The Buzz was contacted by eeve, a PHP programmer who told the Buzz that they are “astounded by the size and fun of this game. It's thousands of hours of work, for free, with no advertisements and as a programmer, I know that this is someone's life's work. This is their passion. You don't just abandon something like this. If BSF is dealing with real life stuff over major game issues, I’d bet it is something really major and I hope he and his family are ok.”

A look back through the years, it was discovered the Buzz already touched on this issue on November 14th, 2010. In Round 6, Issue 55, Aldarion wrote a very thorough and greatly worded piece about BSF and his inactivity and the consensus of the public whether he is fit to continue leading or whether he should sell. Although it was made apparent that he should sell, it’s now three and a half years later and not very much has changed. However, as many players told the Buzz they believed there should be another coder brought on to the team, there has now been one introduced. You can read about Caboose in another article published in the Buzz this week eloquently written by Illinois. He has big hopes to bring great changes to this game, and we may no longer see the bugs and errors riddled across this site we’ve become accustomed to. You can view that article by going to this link:
http://bootleggers.us/buzz/round-6/issue-55/Selling-The-Game-Pt--1.html

Many ex-staff members and players voiced their opinion to the Buzz that they think it is unfair the service they’ve been provided when, by buying points/gold, they’re lining BSF’s pockets. A few expressed to the Buzz their certainty that BSF has made millions over the years and returning little to the players. However, it is important to remember the cause for the creation the points/gold. In the beginning there was a limit of 100 players on the server at a time, and many were locked out for hours unable to play the game they began to love. By purchasing points, you’re not necessarily simply padding his wallet, but you are repaying him for all you cannot deny he has already provided you, an incentive for him to continue improving the service you’ve come to enjoy, but most importantly, you are donating for every player you know to have the ability to play this wonderful game with you. If you know someone who has ever purchased Gold or Points, please thank them for the ability to read the words you are right now, and for the ability to continue on playing as you will right after this.

Recently, Scarcio posted a ‘Thank You’ to BSF in the Game Forum, “I know lots of features are bugged, promises and deadlines aren't made, inactivity, people pay a lot of real money for gold etc., and I hate the fact that there's all these bugs and we can't play the game the way we expect it. But fact is that this game is free to play and we all enjoy playing it. My experience tells me people work better when you compliment them for doing stuff right than only point them on their mistakes. I know BSF makes a lot of mistakes but I think the guy has almost never received a compliment since I started playing this game.” And in response to that, many players, like TheArtistV2, agreed, “I do love this game and it can't be that bad if I've been coming back for 9 years.” While a few others, like Carcosa voiced their opinions saying that his appreciations is just “Stockholm syndrome at it's finest.”

You must keep in mind that BSF has devoted so much of his time and an incredible amount of his life to provide such an amazing service for so many people. If it weren’t for him, Claartje wouldn’t have found true love and married Imitation9, every single player that has ever played this amazing game would have had just a little less fun in their lives, fewer friends, and in all likelihood, more social or anxiety issues.

BSF said that he made the game, but it’s the community that’s made it as special as it is.

For any new players (or old players that may have skipped the last round and missed the tenth decade) who would like to see the video BSF made at the suggestion of Sky in recognition of the Tin Anniversary, the link is included below
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJKCeVdBcg8

Lastly, I would personally like to thank BSF2000 for everything he has done. You have my utmost respect and I hope to help you one day as you have me.
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