Friday, 19 March 2010

STO in the Long Run?

So far, I've still very impressed with STO. Although it has a few social failings at the moment, in that the game is relatively simple to solo, as almost every encounter scales with the party-size. But overall I think it's still a good game, well worth playing, and with some interesting mechanics too.

The one concern I have is 'end-game'.

In WoW, you take a level 1 character, play through 19 levels of content, and only then does the door really open up to a lot more content. Which you will strive to complete in order to 'improve' your character, and potentially reach even more content.

In STO, you take a level 1 character (Ensign), and level him / her up to become an Admiral. Each rank has several levels too. So far so similar. But while in WoW you only have 1 set of gear to aquire (not counting dual-spec's), in STO you have many sets. There's yours, at least 5 Crew Members, and your ships (and you may have multiple ships too).
Since STO isn't quite as expansive as WoW, I'm concerned that once I reach the maximum rank, I'll simply be on a grind to aquire massive amounts of gear, to enable me to... do nothing much with.

Cryptic are releasing fairly regular updates, adding new content, and mini-patches to add events. And I like that design. Trickle-feeding updates rather than making everyone wait many months between them keeps people much more interested.
In fact there's a whopping 2GB patch coming soon, that the downloader is already begging me to pre-download.
2GB in the STO universe must be a hell of a lot of content, since 'space' doesn't take much designing, so they must be inserting a lot of extra content. Maybe they're bringing in cities or something? Who Knows.

In fact, the more I write about this, the more I'm beggining to think that Cryptic have got the balance just right. And maybe I'm worrying for nothing. I'm enjoying levelling at my own pace, I'm not rushing for end-game content yet, and by the time I reach it, it'll probably be all that I hoped. There's just that little nagging doubt, but maybe that's a WoW-Syndrome.

WoW endgame got repetitive and felt un-rewarding to me. So I'm just painting STO with the same brush.

But... Elves, and Vulcans. Goblins and Ferengi. Monsters and Aliens. Is it really all so different?

For now.. yes.

Later... Who knows.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Needy-ness is not Attractive (except in certain circumstances)

Playing STO again over the weekend, and experiencing a bit more of the social aspect of the game. Joining the STO equivalent of PUGs.

The problem was, although the PUG was very succesful, there was very little social interaction. In fact, in the 35 minutes I spent in that team, the only chat was the spamming of "Help!" from a muppet who had wandered off in to the middle of an army of mobs on his own, and not realised he could click the 'respawn' button to just get out of there.
And one line from myself along the lines of "I'm guessing many of you don't know the difference between 'Need' and 'Greed'"... Literally, that was it... And that's not artistic license, to emphasize a point. It's exactly how it was.

Firstly, let's consider the problem of 'Ninjas'. It was rampant in the PUG. There was no particular leader, just people thrown together becasue they all wanted to be in the same instance at the same time.
Of course I started out by 'Greed'ing everything, as nothing serious was dropping anyway. But soon noticed that almost the entire group was 'Need'ing on every single item. From the STO equivalent of Bandages (Hypos) to the Ground-Weapons, and even stuff that they physically couldn't use. I.e. Engineers 'Need'ing on Tactical kits and vice-versa.

So, before long, I started to click 'Need' every now and again, just for kicks. Not the most mature or sensible thing to do I admit... but hey.
Considering almost everyone I've met in the game so far is an Ex-Wow (or other MMO) player, surely the 'Need' vs 'Greed' situation shouldn't have to be so bad?

Secondly, the lack of conversation didn't really hamper the progress of the PUG, we wiped the floor with all the mobs. But I believe that if we hadn't had the healer in the group then we'd have suffered much more. She single handedly kept many of the idiots alive. People to whom the idea of flanking, and pincer movements probably sounded like menu options in a restaurant.

The raid situation was a lot of fun, and doing it as a fleet would have been a blast. As it was, it left a little sour taste in my mouth about the lack of socialism, and made me wonder if the game balancing was right if a team who didn't know each other, never spoke, and many of whom appeared to have suicidal tendancies, could succeed so easily.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Spam, Glorious Spam.

War!.. Huh... What is it good for?

Selling in game currencies for real money apparently. Almost all big MMO's suffer from gold spam (or Credit Spam in this case).

Whenever I'm logged on I tend to get about 2/3 spam whispers per hour offering these services. And my in-game mail usually has a few each day too.
I report all of them to the devs, so eventually they will, presumably, get the account blocked. But it's more confusing how they are managing to make a profit from it at all.

Here's the gist of it:

There's only one way to get a trial account in this game, and that's for someone who's paid for the retail version to send you one.
Each copy of the full version has the chance to send 1 5-day buddy key to a freind. That's 1 per account. Not just 1 at a time. Once that key is used, no more can be sent out.
Bronze sent me his, I sent mine to Jeanie, if she buys the full game she will have one to send on too. But if not, the line ends there.

The cheapest you can buy the game for is just under £30. And they're selling the credits for about $2 per 1,000 (roughly £1.50). For that they get a main account for 1 month, and a 5 day account, which they presumably just use for spamming.
So, just to break even, they'd need to sell 20,000 credits. Farming on the main account, and spamming on the trial one. But the spam will end after no longer than 5 days, or before if the account gets blocked. So how do they continue to sell?

You can probably farm 20,000 credits quite easily in a day. But unless you have a way of selling it, it's just pixels.
So then you need to buy another main account, but that's another £30, and the minute that one (and the free trial that comes with it) gets blocked, you're back at square one.

Assume you have 1 main account that does the farming, and then need lots of other full and trial accounts who might also farm, and send their money to the main account, but are also spamming. And that each spamme ris blocked within 5 days (or expires if it's a trial account).

Here's what you'd need just to continue trading for one month (30 days):

1x Main Farming account (£30) (Does not spam)
1x 5-Day Trial (£0) (Lasts 5 days)
1x Main Account (£30) (Farms and Spams, blocked after 5 days)
1x 5 Day Trial (£0) (Lasts 5 Days)
1x Main Account (£30) (Farms and Spams, blocked after 5 days)
1x 5 Day Trial (£0) (Lasts 5 Days)
1x Main Account (£30) (Farms and Spams, blocked after 5 days)

So for the first month it's going to cost at least £120, and at least £100 for the following months (No need ot buy another main account, but £10 per month to keep it activated).
On top of that you also have the wages to pay for the farmers, and the cost of the IT and ISP you need to play, rent costs, etc.. etc..
I don't think a rough figure of £200 - £250 per month would be too far off the mark, as a minimum.
So, in this scenario, that means that each month they'd need to sell 166,000 credits before even begining to make a profit.
More farming accounts could easily make credits to sell, but it's the spamming accounts that are going to be getting blocked more steadily. And for each one you'll also need more IT and more farmers.
If an account get's blocked in less than 5 days, you're another £30 out of pocket, if it lasts a bit longer, then you might make a bit more.
Either I'm missing something, or that's just not a viable business.

UPDATE: The spam continues, although I am seeing a little less of it. But the prices have now incrased to about $12 per 1k Credits. Ridiculously high prices, considering that you can easily find a few thousand in an hour of play, without even trying to.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Allods Schmallods

I regularly read several other MMO and gaming blogs, and some of them have criticised the masses for walking away from Allods online because of it's problems since launch.

Personally, I was very excited by the game while playing it in Closed Beta. But that excitement soon vanished once the Open Beta arrived.
The inability to log-on and the lag once in there was a major factor. A little lag was to be expected, but to not even be able to get in to the game was a major put-off.
I've got a few hours spare, I think "I know, I'll log in to Allods and do some levelling". Only to find that I can't get in to the bloody thing. So I switch back to WoW out of boredom. I bet I'm not the only one who did this.

The other major issue is the cash shop. I'm not as naieve as some people out there. 'Massively' overpricing something so that when you slash prices to the level where you're simply 'Majorly' overpricing them it looks like you're taking positive action, will not work on me.

I usually consider things before doing them, and see right through tactics like this. Where is my incentive to play if the cost of the end-game is going to be so high?

The only time I see myself returning to Allods is to play with my son. He wants to get in to MMO's, and with Allods being free2play I wouldn't mind spending some time in there with him teaching him the basics of this type of game. It'll do him well if he wants to transfer to a more mainstream one later.

As I said, some of the bloggers out there have criticised people for walking away from the game in it's early stages. Seeing it as some sort of betrayal.
But at the end of the day, it's a game. I'm supposed to play it for fun. Not because I feel that I'm being loyal to it in some way. If the I don't want to put up with it's problems anymore, there's plenty of other games out there willing to take it's place.

If my mobile phone provider had absolutely terrible reception in my town, I'd switch to another provider, even if I'd been with that same company for years. I don't have to be loyal to them if they're not providing what I need. So why the hell would I do it with a game?
The problem is, millions of people wouldn't switch providers, either through laziness, scared of change, apathy, or simply because they like to feel that they're not 'quitters'... Idiots.

(Allods might be free2play at the basic level, but it only stays that way if you get your character to the level-cap and then celebrate by rollign another one and doign the same thing again).

Moving on Down (And Recruiting)

I'm trying to take a bit more of a back-seat in the MMO's at the moment, while still trying to stay active in the Munquis.

For this reason, I've handed over the GM'ship of the WoW guild to Knickerface, and last night Bronze took over the Leadership of the STO Fleet. (Although because of a feature of the STO fleet system, we're actually both still the leaders of the fleet. I promoted him to the top spot, but it left me there too. And I can't demote myself).

The Munquis are obviously going through a bit of a transitional phase at the moment. The next few months will be a turning point. And will probably define whether the Tribe survives and becomes bigger and better than ever. Or simply dwindles away in to history because there just aren't enough people interested in joining, or in staying as members.

I think we were quite unique in WoW. You used to be able to log on at any time of day and find at least several players online. Log on at peak times, and it would be in the 20+ range. Log on in the middle of the night, and there would probably still be at least 1 or 2 around.
Those days appear to be gone. I've logged in to find myself the only person online, the raiders have struggled to reach the numbers needed, and for the first time in a few years we're having to actively recruit to try and sort the situation out... It was bound to happen at some point but it's always a shame when things, that were once great, begin to fade away.

In STO we're at th eopposite end of the scale. We're a new fleet, but it's a new game. So we're going to have to actively recruit no matter how we look at it. We currently have a fleet of 2, and that's not going to help much.
I've posted a recruitment thread on the official forums, and we'll have to start advertising in-game. But some of the the other fleets have got much more of a head-start on us. Particularly the ones that played in the Beta. As they probably kept everyone they already had, and many people prefer to join established teams liek that, rather than come in at ground level and work hard to build things up.

Personally, I prefer the challenge.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Pitfall of Being an EU STO Player

I've been singing the praises of STO so far, so I thought I'd better take a minute out to point out some of it's flaws. Just to even things up a bit.

The first real nag that I had came only after I'd actually bought the retail version of the game. Buying it was no problem, activating it was simple, and when it came to the subscription method Paypal was a nice option to see too. But the one thing that did bug me was the monthly subscription price... £10.34

Now, I can only see one reason for that price, and that's exchange rates. I believe the EU and US players all share the same server. I certainly haven't been presented with any options of switching to another server.
The upside to this is that there's usually plenty of people around, and we all like to be freindly with our continental cousins, as long as they're not 11 years old and playing Call of Duty, and shouting abuse over XBox Live. The downside is that to make it fair, everyone should pay the same rate of subscription.

The problem is that $14.99 might be £10.34 today, but tomrrow it will be £10.36, the day after it will be £10.32 and in a few months time it could easily be £8.27 or £11.45.
So while the subcription price is staying the same for the US players, over here it's fluctuating.
When this is in the range of a few pence, I don't mind. But I do prefer to know how much I'm paying for something.

I was slightly dissapointed that it was so high. With Blizz only charging me £8.99 for my WoW subscription, I'm now paying more to play a game with less content. The difference might be relatively small, but it doesn't take long to add up to a lot, especially when you multiply it by the number of EU subscribers the game will have.

I don't know for a fact that the prices will constantly fluctuate, but at that strange pricing level it seems to be the case.
To avoid the 'not knowing' issue, I'll be paying in 3 monthly blocks. The downside to that is, if the rate changes by a lot, I could end up paying more for that block than if I'd just paid for a month at a time.
Watch this space for more info on this. I'll do a bit of research.

The other nag I have is that the difficulty of things scales with the number of players in your party. This seems a stupid thing to say, but I've often found that it's easier to solo many missions than it is to end up in a team with a moron, or someone who just refuses to join in with the rest of you.

As an example: (Figures have been made up to demonstrate)
In Solo Mode an enemy fighter has 2000HP
In 2 Player it has 4000HP
In 3 Player it has 6000HP
In 4 Player it has 8000HP
In 5 Player it has 10000HP

In solo mode I can easily handle groups of enemy fighters. And with a bit of tactical play, murder them all effortlessly.
But if I'm grouped with 1 other who refuses to join in, or co-ordinate attacks, it's becomes twice as hard for me.

If you find yourself in a group with 5 players, and just 1 of them is a muppet, the rest of you have a much more difficult task, as all the enemy mobs will hit harder, and take more to kill.
Sure the muppet might constantly get his ass handed to him while he tries to solo everything, but that doesn't help the rest of us.

Also, in some missions re-inforcements are called in by the enemy as a sort of final-boss stage, and these are often summoned as 1 per player.
Again, solo they're not too bad. In a good group they have little chance against a co-ordinated assault. But the 1 moron who won't join-in properly makes life very difficult for all the others.

"So don't team up with them" I hear you cry. Well, if only it was that simple. When you enter a mission area, if someone else is on that same mission, at the same stage as you, you are automatically grouped with them.
The only way to get out of the situation is to abandon what you've done on that mission so far, come out of the instance, and back in again. Otherwise, if your mission is to 'Kill 10 Tribbles' every one that the other guy kills will not count to your tally, and there will only be 10 of them around.

This isn't a major problem, I've only experienced it once so far. And in that case I managed to survive against the overwhelming odds, and got a good feeling of achievement for having done so.
But it is an annoying situation to be put in.

Star Trek On Track

After 5 days playing I’ve just reached level 11 (Lt. Commander). At this point I get access to new ships, and my skill choices start to make more of a difference to my gameplay.

Up until this point everyone starts with the same basic ship. You can customize it’s looks by quite a large degree, but the stats remain the same.

On promotion I was provided with a choice of 3 ships. I chose Escort (Tactical / DPS) since that’s the direction my character is focusing on.

But one of the things that’s impressed me about STO is that it’s not as restrictive as games like WoW on what you can do.

Because you’re ship also has a crew, composed of Science, Engineering, and Tactical officers just because you’re DPS doesn’t mean that you can’t self-heal, or heal others, or even act as a tank.

You might never be 100% as effective as someone who’s specialised in that area, but you will still be able to hold your own in most fights.

To give you an example, Engineers are the main sort of ‘Tanking’ role. They have the best regenerative abilities, and the most skills aimed at soaking up the damage thrown at them. Obviously they still have offensive capabilities, they’re just not as directly strong as a Tactical officers.

So, put an Engineer in the engineer class of ship (can’t recall the name right now) and you get a good tank.

But my Tactical Officer can use an Engineering ships too. As a WoW comparison, it’s the equivalent of a Rogue with Uber-DPS putting on some plate armour, and becoming a Ret Pally. You’d probably sacrifice some pure DPS, but you’d gain much more survivability.

And since you can own multiple ships, you’re given the freedom of choice about how to play.

This was a very clever move on behalf of the Devs. Essentially they only had to design 3 classes, But with all 3 classes of player, having the option of using 3 classes of ship, they get 9 combinations for the price of 6.

You also spend your skill-points to specialise in particular areas. So while my Photon Torpedos may be the bees-knees, they’re quite ineffective against a ship with it’s shields up. Once I’ve got those shields down though, whoever I’m aiming at is soon going to find themselves in trouble.

Another DPS player may specialise in Phaser Weapons, which do good damage to the shields directly, and moderate damage to a ship with it’s shields down.

Both of us will be effective, but in different ways. But put us together, and you get a much better tactical force. This is the way things should be.

A lot of the ship combat is simply about tactics. All ships are shielded on 4 sides, and those 4 shields operate semi-independantly. So taking down the rear shield opens the ship up to more devastating attacks. But if that ship simply turns to face you you’ll be confronted by a fully operational shield again, while the rear one begins to regenerate. It’s more than likely that you’ll also be getting shot at while you’re doing the attacking, so you have to keep an eye on your own shield status, and compensate accordingly. A full-Frontal assault may give you the best DPS, but if you’re front shield is penetrated, then you won’t last long. So you’re going to have to reposition yourself and sacrifice some of your advantage.

It’s actually much simpler than it first seems. But it’s effective, and in battles with multiple enemies, or allies, it can bring a lot of strategy to things.

The other piece of the puzzle is the ground-combat. You will also have to beam-down to planets, star-bases, other ships, etc.. and take on enemies in a more familiar perspective.

This section of the game is controlled by the same skill points, but they need to be spent in different areas of the talent tree. And here is where your main class choice is most important.

When you’ve beamed down to somewhere, you’re either on your own, in a team with other players, or with your bridge crew (as AI controlled Bots). You’re going to need the usual range of Tanks, DPS, and Healers to survive for very long.

When it’s just you and your bridge crew, you’ll probably have specialised them in to each of those types of area. Yes, that’s right, you not only have your own skill-points to consider, but your bridge crews too.

The AI functions reasonably well in these situations, your team will basically follow you around attacking when you attack, and performing their respective actions such as healing, and using special abilities. But much like most squad-based games, you can control their aggressiveness, and order them to take up a position while you flank enemies. Anyone who’s familiar with the Ghost Recon, or Rainbow Six games will recognise the type of thing I mean. It’s a simplified version of those games.

In fact, if you imagined a Rainbow Six RPG with special abilities on cooldowns, and lasers instead of machine guns, and aliens instead of terrorists, you’d be quite close.

Overall, I’m still quite impressed with the game. So much so that I splashed out my £30 and bought the full version yesterday.

With the ‘Munquis’ now formed as a fleet (guild) in the game, it’s going to be time to recruit.

Monday, 8 March 2010

To explore strange new worlds

Bronze was good enough to send me a 5-day free trial key for StarTrek Online. I've faniced the game since reading the reviews. But the idea of ship combat, and some of the bad ratings the ground combat recieved put me off buying it blindly.

Having now played it for a few days. (After finally managing to download the 8GB install file, and the 500MB of patches). I really like it.

It's already quite nicely polished, but it also has a lot of potential. The ship combat is difficult enough to keep it interesting, but simple enough not too make it too complicated.
The ground combat is basic, but only in the same way as WoW's is. You have an action bar with abilities that you can use, and they're on cooldown timers. You actually get to control your whole team, but it's mostly a case of positioning them tactically during fights. (i.e. "You lot go and stand over there, while I stand over here"). You get big bonuses for flanking your enemies, so once you've mastered the tactics it's pretty easy to handle even largish groups.

They've also added a few nice touches which WoW really should have too.
Firstly, you can see which of your freinds are online without logging in to the game, just by looking at the website. Secondly, on that same website, you can send and recieve your in-game mail.
So if you see someone online that you want to speak to, but don't want to log in, you can drop them a line... Nice touch.

The best thing about the StarTrek universe though, is that it's potentially limitless.
In WoW, you're pretty restricted by the lore-of-the-land. Look at the problems they had trying to tie Outland in to the main game,
In STO that doesn't apply. Firstly, there are any number of planets / zones out there in space, and StarTrek has always been about how things are different everywhere, while still being slightly familiar (can you tell that I was a fan of the shows?).
If Cryptic (the Devs) wanted to introduce a planet of gigantic pink-and-fluffy killer caterpillars, they don't need to explain much. 'Let's just beam down to this unchartered planet and have a look around... Oh Shit... It's full of gigantic pink-and-fluffy killer caterpillars!'. Last week I was fighting Klingons, yesterday it was the killer caterpillars, and today God himself has issues I'm going to have to deal with.

You can't argue with that sort of freedom.

If the devs actually considered something too over the top, they could always just make it a holodeck simulation, and that way they could get away with anything from a  1940's gangster shoot-out to a 2010 Gulf War scenario.

I'm guessing the devs aren't thinking along those lines right now, but they are doing something else that I've wanted to see in WoW for a while... More events.

And I don't mean 'brewfests' or 'Lunar festivals' I never really got in to the spirit of those anyway. But they have a calendar showing that every few weeks they'll be releasing a sort of mission-pack. Just to add that bit of randomness to the game.
What is currently a safe zone, could simply become the epicentre of a borg invasion, because the devs thought that would be the best place to put it.
Once the attack is repelled the enemies retreat and in a few weeks time, there's another incursion somewhere else, maybe by the same enemy, or maybe something completely different... Excellent idea.
Sort of like the pre-expansion events that Blizz do in WoW, but much more frequent.

Overall, STO has proven much better than I first expected. It's always going to be hard getting to grips with a new MMO, learning the combat systems, and pressing keys that used to do something, and now don't. But Cryptic are obviously well aware that most of their players will be familiar with WoW, and have kept things fairly familiar feeling, while also making them completely different at the same time.

No wonder it's currently the No1 PC hame in the UK charts. Hats off to Cryptic and Atari.

Unfortunately the UK apparently has an ISP issue at the moment, which is why I can't log in right now. But it's nothing to do with the Devs apparently, according to the headline they added not long after the problems started... For now, they've earned my faith, so I'm willing to believe them.

Monday, 1 March 2010

The Moral Majority

This isn't really an MMO post. Although it could turn out to be one, since my mind often wanders while I'm writing, and one train of thought can eaily turn in to two.
This is more a continuation of a debate that I had the other day, with a freind of mine (my father-in-law actually).

He is always a very staunch supporter of Unions, and strike activity, and believes that you should never be a 'strike-breaker' or a 'scab' (as they're also called), because you should show your support for the majority. Because you never know when you'll need the support of others yourself.
Now, personally, I'm a cynical bastard, and fully believe that people, even the nicest ones, are fully capable of turning on you when it suits them. No matter how much support you've shown for them in the past.

That aside, I tried to make the point that, more often than not, it isn't the 'majority' that leads. It's the ones who make the most fuss, and the true majority just plods along.
He never understood my explanation of why (or he did but was just being stubborn). But I'm going to explain it again here anyway.

Picture the Small Scene:

A factory has 100 workers. In the real world, only a certain % of them would actually be union members, but that confuses things even more, and doesn't really matter to this point, so we'll assume that 100% of them are in the factory union.

So we have 100 Union members.

5 of those members get together and come up with (what they think is) a great idea:
"Let's start an hour earlier on Friday mornings, so that we can finish an hour earlier on Friday afternoons"
They go to the factory manager, and ask about it. And are told to "Stop pissing about, and get back to work."

They take the hump, and think that everyone will agree with them. But before they can call a strike about it, to try and force the manager to listen, they have to have a vote.

So every union member gets a chance to vote on whether to strike.

31 vote "Yes"
29 vote "No"
40 don't vote at all.

So what happens?... It get's counted as a "Yes". And the strike goes ahead.
All 100 members are then expected to strike regardless of their feelings towards the issue.

So 31 members of the union, are then imposing their will on the 69 others. In what sense is that a majority?

The true majority are the 40 members who didn't bother to vote at all. Presumably because they didn't feel the issue was important enough to warrant a strike action, or couldn't really care about the issue one way or the other.

Add to those the 29 members who voted "No", presumably because they seriously opposed the change. (i.e. Their child-care or family arrangements wouldn't suit the new hours). And you get 69 people who were not in favour of the strike.

This is how unions are run. This is how decisions are made in the workplace. And this is why I can't stand most unions.
In theory Unions are powerful, and representative. in practice they're usually run by a couple of Nob-Heads who think they know what's best for everyone else.

How is that a fair system? And why should I lose a few days / weeks wages for the sake of some prat who's ideas I either don't care about, or totally disagree with?

The Bigger Picture:

The bigger the company, the bigger the union, and the bigger the imbalance.

Personally, I'm a civil servant, and our Union represents hundreds of thousands of civil servants, all across the UK.
So how many of our people vote to determine strike issues?

Well for a start, only about 60% of the staff are in the union. So only 60% actually get to vote. Even though the union has the final say on pay negotiations, and that sort of thing. If I want to negotiate my own wage, I can't. Because, once they're formed, the union are the only ones allowed to do that.

And on any single issue, how many people bother to vote? About 20%.
Remember, that's not 20% of the entire workforce, that's 20% of the union members. About 12% of the total number of workers.
And the "Yes" vote for industrial action is usually about 70%. Again,  that's 70% of the voters, not 70% of the total staff. In reality that means only 8.4% of the entire workforce voted "Yes".

But that's it. Decision is made. The union claim that the "People have spoken!". And strike action is approved.
And at that point. The other 91.6% of the staff, who disagreed, couldn't care less, didn't know there was a vote, or didn't even have the right to vote, are then expected to follow the 'Majority'.

100% - 40% (Who don't get a vote) = 60%
60% - 80% (Who don't bother to vote) = 12%
12% - 30% (who vote "No")
= 8.4% who Vote "Yes"

Thanks, but No-Thanks.

The Even Bigger Picture:

Still don't believe that Unions can work this way? Surely people can't be so stupid? No way would hundreds of thousands of people accept that?

For those of you non-UK readers, we have a political party in the UK known as the B.N.P. (British Nationalist Party). They are our political equivalent of the KluKluxKlan.
They don't directly preach about racism, and that sort of thing. But they're generally along the same lines. "Britain should be for 'White' British people".
I don't think anyone's ever pointed out the several thousand years of invasions of Britain, where we were occupied for centuries by the Romans, the Vikings, The French, and every man and his dog. The only reason the Greeks didn't have a go at us was because we had nothing worth travelling all that way for, and besides, half the Romans were Greek by the time they arrived anyway.
I think you get the picture though: The BNP are Prats.

So such a party would never get in to power... right?


The BNP currently hold full political seats in my Hometown of Burnley. Now Burnley isn't generally a racist place. There's a lot of racial tensions, there are enourmous areas of the town that are almost exclusively white, and others that are almost exclusively Asian. And then there's the Chinese, Polish, and other genreic populations in there own little corners of the place.

The average turn out for a local election in this region is about 40%. So only 40% of the voting-age population, bother to vote. The population of Burnley is about 75,000. (Let's just ignore that many of those are kids for now).

So that equates to about 30,000 people who voted. Out of those only about 6.9% voted for the BNP candidates. But it was enough for them to take 4 council seats. (Because there are multiple seats on each council, the top guys can get a huge 'majority' of the vote, meaning that only small percentages are required to take the other seats).
Do the math... This means that only about 2100 people actually voted for the BNP, out of 75,000 living in the town. But now Burnley has 4 BNP councillors.

75,000 - 60% (Who don't bother to vote) = 30,000
30,000 x 6.9% (Who voted BNP) = 2070 People
2070 / 75,000 * 100 (To get the %)
= 2.76% of the population voted BNP

It then got worse, when the BNP also went on to take regional council seats, and they now even have a member in the European parliament, because he got 8% of a vote. Dumbasses.

People are sheep. Every now and again a wolf will come along and eat a few, and that's just nature. But bring along a man who thinks he knows best, and scares the wolves off sometimes, and the sheep will follow him just because all the other sheep are.