An open letter to nUI "users" and supporters...
This is a hard letter to write, but one I nonetheless feel I must.
I have been a WoW player and modder pretty much since vanilla WoW. If memory serves me correctly, the first version of nUI released was for WoW patch 1.2 – or maybe that was the first big nUI update? -- What I remember of the early days of WoW was the sense of gamer community… guilds were large and players worked closely together to help one another achieve their levels, dungeons and instances. There was no shortage of jerks in those days, but they were the outliers and largely ostracized by the community.
The nUI community was much the same… large, active and quick to help one another.
I have long sensed that the game was different after the introduction of the dungeon and raid finder… there was less need for a guild among the average players and only the hardcore raiding guilds really had a purpose. The game changed. There was really no need for cooperation and dungeons and raids became a place where it was a race to see how fast it could be completed, no one spoke to anyone and rudeness and crassness were the norm. In this environment, the jerks thrived and multiplied.
Sadly, the last few weeks have led me to believe the same has become the case in the nUI community. While there remains a select few truly wonderful and caring people in the community, the vast majority just wants free software and free support and couldn’t care less about anything else. And if the crap I have had to put up with in my email inbox over the last few weeks is any indication, a non-trivial segment of the nUI user base are “users” in the crassest form of the word. The volume of expletive laced, crude, insulting, vitriol I’ve read has put me off in the biggest way. I won’t quote the crass things that have been written to me.
nUI has well over 1 million downloads in its history. Likewise, it has had well over 100,000 unique users over the years. At present, it has close to 14,000 subscribers to the newsletter. Each and every download, unique user and newsletter subscriber is someone who has used nUI… they play the game using the fruits of my labor, send me forum posts and emails asking me to solve their problems using nUI, fix bugs, add features, etc. This I have happily done for many years during which time I have rarely asked anything of them… I ask only that they consider making a donation to support the time, energy and resources I invest in keeping nUI alive. Historically, when I have reached out to the community over one need or another, they have responded with kindness and consideration and come through for me.
Recently I undertook a cause that was very near and dear to me on the most personal level. It isn’t about global warming, or socialism, or even political. It was about a lifetime desire to conserve something precious, create a legacy, a place for education, research and relaxation and a place from which I could work in the future. I asked just three simple things of the nUI user community in regard to that…
The common thread being that I had no right to ask the people who use my software for free to read an email from me about something that was important to me and “not about nUI” – well, I have news for these people… I am nUI. I write it and maintain it for the enjoyment I get from the challenge and for my love of the nUI community. Trust me, I make next to nothing in donations and I don’t need my ego stroked. I do it because I love(d) the community of nUI users and WoW players.
Sadly…I can no longer make that statement. I am disgusted by the (a) apathy and (b) hatefulness I have been witness to over the last couple of weeks.
At present I am traveling (in support of the eco-geeks.org project) with very limited data access, so I have had a great deal of time to contemplate these recent events. In addition, each time I have gotten access to data, my email box has filled itself up with more hate from the people who use my software.
It leads me to ask myself a singular question: why am I bothering to do this anymore?
The answer to that is, at first, “because I have loyal and caring supporters” – then I realize there are so many more people who are willing to call me expletive filled names and yell at me than there are caring supporters and I left with the answer “I don’t know why I do this anymore”
So, there it is.
I have come to the sad conclusion that I will no longer support nUI publicly. I will no longer make public releases of nUI, either. The vast majority of the nUI user base has made it perfectly clear they don’t give a crap and a non-trivial segment of those users have gone the extra step to kick sand in my face and tell me to piss off about what’s important to me and to just keep giving them their free support and updates.
Well… in the real world, when you kick sand in the face of those who help you for free, you can’t be real surprised when they tell you to go pound sand. And that’s where I am.
To the existing nUI supporters and those who have contributed to my campaign at http://igg.eco-geeks.org, please know that I will continue to support you and I will continue to provide updates in the supporters only (premium) section of nUIaddon.com and that I will not abandon you. Sometime next week I’ll send you direct private email on that subject. However, if you feel that my decision to stop providing free public support and updates to nUI is in contradiction to your donation to nUI, please e-mail me and I will gladly issue you a full refund of your donation, no questions asked.
As already noted, I am traveling with limited data access, and therefore cannot respond to emails or posts until next week. Nor can I implement any of the changes I’m calling out here. However, after I get back to the States next week, I will be closing the public nUI support forums on both WoWI and nUIaddon.com and setting up a single-support forum for the past nUI donors and those who have been contributing code changes and fixes. I will also be discontinuing all new public releases and will not respond to any public or email requests for support from anyone outside this select group.
I would like to remind everyone that nUI is NOT public domain software… unauthorized distribution of any future nUI releases or modifications to the existing publicly released versions of nUI is strictly prohibited from this date forward. I will actively protect my intellectual property rights and work product.
I’m truly sorry it has come to this, but I have, frankly, never been so offended by so many and I cannot rationalize any reason why I should continue to freely support tens of thousands of people who couldn’t give less of a damn about the person who provides them the software and support they use daily, or worse, see fit to ridicule, harass and offend him.
I’m sorry… but I’m done.
Again, I thank every single person who has supported nUI over the years be it donations, contributing ideas, code fixes, or helping others, and I assure you that I will continue to support each and every one of you in private. To the rest, I will say only that in this world, you get what you give. If you give nothing, you get nothing and have no right to expect otherwise. Consider this a teaching moment.
For those of you who saw fit to email me with your hate, insults and vitriol… you have much to learn about life and you also now have a large community of people who think you are dirt bags. They are not wrong.
And on that note, I say a sad and somewhat heartbroken goodbye to the WoW community. This is the last newsletter I will be sending and the last public statement I will be making in regard to nUI.
This really makes me sad. I haven't played WoW in two years but I still get my nUI newsletters. While I was playing, Scott made my life easier with his interface. I'm sorry you feel this way Scott, but I definitely understand your reasoning. I'm glad you are going to continue supporting nUI for the few who have helped you along in your journey. Good luck in your future endeavors!
Let me start by saying how very sorry I am to hear this. When I first received your email regarding your new endeavor I was not offended in any way. You were expressing your concerns over something you obviously hold dear to your heart. And I commend you for that. For everyone who felt the need to berate you in any way for that, sucks to be them. It's sadly still surprising to me to see how many people get offended at other people for no reason at all. If you don't like that he sent you it, fine, just delete it, and, if necessary, remove yourself from the mailing list. But to personally attack him for that just shows how childish and immature you really are. I totally support and understand your decision in this matter. I would probably do the same thing. As a paid subscriber, I appreciate the fact that you are going to continue to help support this addon. I don't play WoW nearly as much as I used to, but, when I do, I can't imagine playing it without nUI. Thank you for not hurting those of us who do a little more than just ride your coattails in this endeavor. While I was not able to financially support your new endeavor, I do hope that you manage to succeed on that project. I know it will make a big difference to many people.
Scott, I can't blame you. Nobody deserves that kind of crap. Sad to see the declining game environment bled into the real world.
I have also quit playing WoW, when I did come back for a month or two, the first addon I reinstalled was nUI. It seems sad to think that the next time I return (if I ever do), there will be no public nUI.
The sad thing is, the changes you listed in your public letter are the every reasons why I lost interest in the game. They are also the main reason which stops me paying for a game which will very quickly become a third unpaid job.
If I do ever come back to WoW, I will most likely (if you are still supporting) come and give you some money for access to my core UI.
P.S. This is the first e-mail I have had off you for about a year, so have only just know that you where trying to do good outside of the game. I will have a look at it now.
My jaw dropped when I read this email. To keep this very simple:
1. I was not offended by your emails regarding your eco-geeks project. In fact I visited the site and was impressed with your love of things outside the gaming community.
2. Although I'm not guilty of apathy, I am guilty of complacency. So in my small way, as soon as this post is finished, I'm heading to your eco-geeks site and making a contribution. I know this is a little too late, but my hope is that it relieves some of the disappointment and hurt you've had to endure.
3. I'm not currently a nUI premium subscriber, but cannot imagine playing WoW without it. Hopefully you will continue to accept new premium members. Your email mentioned supporting current members, but nothing about new members. Does that opportunity still exists for those of us who love nUI?
4. There are good people in this world, sometimes we just need a hearty dose of reality to spur us into action.
Best of luck in your endeavors.
So I woke up this morning to a very disturbing email in my inbox. It is from you, Scott. And I'm shocked to read it.
The very notion that people can be so damn selffish... All you have done is ask people to read an email... for 5 minutes of their time. I personally have read the email you sent, and while I can't afford to contribute at this time, I think you DO have the right to ask for a bit of our time. After all, we use a software that you have spent hours upon hours working on.
There is no such thing as free software. Every piece of software out there, from something small like nUI, to Firefox, to Windows itself, all takes time and effort, and even money, to create. We should be grateful that you, the Mozilla foundation, and other companies, people and organizations, are willing to let us use their hardwork for free... I mean, at no cost to us, the end users.
I'd like to say thank you for your years of effort. I love nUI, I don't ever want to stop using nUI in my WoW interface set up. Please don't let the bad eggs get to you.
I am sorry you had to endure what, somewhere along the line, has become "acceptable" behavior both on line and the real world. I can't blame you for how you feel. I too have been one of those silent nUI users. That is until now. I have signed up for premium. It maybe too little too late but at least I can pay you back a little for the time and effort you have put into nUI.
I too visited the crossroads where I had to make a decision about still playing WoW. Being a tank I have abuse routinely rained down on me in LFR to the point where if I am lucky to get in a good group I am shocked. I also had my guild, that my ex-girlfriend and I worked so hard to build, made irrelevant by LFR. After all that I found I still love playing WoW and I will continue untill I decide not to and not the rude, abusive people in LFR. I can appreciate how others have decided that the drama has sucked the fun out of it for them.
Anyway, Thank You for all your efforts!
I am very sorry that you have had that level of response Scott.
I myself quickly read through your initial email when I first saw it but didn't fully read. Whilst I didn't donate (yet, I'm still debating internally), it wasn't because I didn't agree with the idea but more because there are so many good causes that need money out there that I feel equally about that I would feel guilty singling one out. In fact as recent as yesterday I was still thinking about it, when I saw cairenn's post on the main pages.
I commend you in doing what you are doing. I can understand how you feel and don't blame you for making that decision. nUI is your baby. It is a complex piece of work I can only dream of being able to put together, I am sure most of your users understand that and probably feel as bad as myself for not being one of the few that said it's great what you're doing or here's something to help you along.
Please do not take a no comment/no donation as a negative effect on what you are doing. Who knows .. it's possible that people were simply still making their decision like myself, or waiting to see what money they could afford, or waiting for when they would have money to spare.
I just now read your email, and I can whole-heartedly understand why you're so upset.
I suppose I should be shocked by the amount of abusive email you received but, to be honest, I'm not. If there's one thing I've learned over 30+ years of using the usenet/web is that there are a lot of vocal immature 'me first' people out 'there'. It may seem otherwise, but as obnoxious as they are, they're still a minority. My cousin and I call them "Hooray for me, F* you" people.
Don't let them keep you down Scott. You have a lot of "quiet" supporters.
Even though I no longer "subscribe" to the newsletter, I always appreciated knowing your project would continue to be available in the future should I decide to return to nUI. If I did, I would renew my subscription.
The rain forest does not tug my heart strings as much as other needs do, so I chose to ponder the donation for longer than you probably wished. My small contribution would not make much difference, but I know every little bit counts.
I understand all the vitriol, hate, and other totally useless and irrelevant emails you received weighed heavily on your heart. In essence, you laid your heart bare to all of us and you feel we let you down. I understand that. I hope that some kind of reconciliation can be reached.
Please keep your heart open. I am sure that some day, you'll be rewarded.
To be honest, I'm not surprised by this. Kinda sad I suppose, but the first thing I thought was "hope Spiel is prepared to receive a lot of crap mail". At least you got 2 people mailing you with good stuff.
Haven't been able to contribute as of yet, been planning on doing that on the last day, thats a day or 2 short of payday. (Didn't expect mr Taxman asking for a "donation" this time of the year).
Good to see it went from around 700 dollar to 2000 dollar in 1 or 2 nights tho.
As always, thanks for nUI to you and all the rest like X keeping it up and running.
First of all I want to thank you for the countless hours of enjoyment I had playing WoW using nUI.
I'm sorry that things have reached this point. I understand and sympathize with your indignation. This world is full of people who do not deserve the air they breathe.
Once the public support will cease to exist and only users who pay / paid or somehow contributed will have access to updates, this situation does not violate the policy of free addons by Blizzard? Or this affects only the nUI +?
an apathetic user.
sorry to see nui come to a end i can not beleve how pethtic ppl are that are getting something for free
ihave use nui as long as i rember dont know how i am going to play without it but then wow ant what is was eather.
i am one the quite sporters back for when we buy u a coffee :)
good luck in the future and most importantly have fun
I don't even know what to write. I am stunned. How people can take something like this for granted to such an extend that they would offend someone for promoting ideas and creating the tools which they use in their game is beyond me. (Grammar is botched - forgive me)
I know it is way too late - but thank you for making my time in WoW much more enjoyable over the years.
Scott, it has been a VERY long time since I've visited these forums and even longer since I played WoW, but I happened by here and seeing your post felt a need to respond.
I'm very saddened by the passing of nUI from being a publicly distributed addon for WoW and especially the reasons for your decision, which closely match my own reasons for quitting the game in the first place.You're absolutely right that no one should have to put up with the things that you have, both recently and over the years since you started nUI. I guarantee that its absence will leave a large mark on the overall WoW community as it has become an undeniable institution and rightfully so.
I'll always remember the nUI community with much fondness and as the most fun I had with WoW, both in-game with our alliance and horde guilds and here in these forums. I'm so glad to see some of the oldest and best of friends we had are still around and commend them for their continued support of you and nUI in general. Xrystal, todd0168 and DesertDwarf in partilcular I'd like to single out to say a much-belated hello to. You guys (and Scott, of course) always made these forums and the game itself a very worthwhile place to visit.
Scott, you should be incredibly proud to have created such an enormous paragon in the lives of so many WoW players over the years and you shouldn't leave with any regrets at all. You gave it everything you had and more.
Your friend always, voodoodad
I donated to nUI+ some years ago, and haven't played WoW for over a year; let it lapse because I just got too busy.
Like some others here, I continue to receive Scott's emails and was impressed by his dedication to a cause that is dear to him.
I thought I already had a WoWInterface account, but I couldn't find it, so I joined up just to make sure I could continue to access nUI in the future if I ever go back to WoW.
But I also wanted to join to post this message and join the rest of you in voicing support for Scott and dismay at the unbelievable reaction that he has received.
The anonymity of the internet, message boards, and online games has really brought out the worst in people. And nowadays some people don't even care about the anonymity. Witness the yahoos who post the most incredibly racist crap right up on their Facebook walls UNDER THEIR OWN NAMES!
And the incredible sense of entitlement that goes along with it, too, is amazing to witness.
So, anyway, Scott, even though I generally don't agree with the idea of "group punishment", I fully support you in your decision. You've always made nUI as a labor of love, and if you're not getting any appreciation from people who are using your work FOR FREE, then screw them.
I'm just sorry you had to experience such a torrent of abuse. I'm really flabbergasted. I know some people on this thread said that they saw this coming, but I for one am shocked and depressed that so many people think this kind of behavior is OK. :(
Sorry Scott and thank you
I agree with you Scott and have been saying that as ugly as pugging it used to be before, since lfg/lfr was introduced I have witnessed vitriol and pure nastiness spewed out into chat on a level not witnessed before. No allowances made for people who have only just hit 90 or are doing the fight for the first time.
I'm in a guild and that is the only reason I still play. As for your e-mail I am terribly sorry for the lack of supportive response, and disgusted by the idiots that took offence. I have kept the e-mail as I am planning to contribute, I have some former guildies for whom this would be a perfect memoriam, and was just waiting for payday. Have discussed with other former guildies (First guild died a few months after our GM and RL (brothers) were killed and then later we lost another, sort of took the heart from the guild) and I know some who have asked me to forward the e-mail to them (hope this is still okay). Whilst not a continuous user ( although am currently using nUI) I have always appreciated the time and effort you and others like you put into your craft. It's why I've always clicked on the donations tab when able. Here's hoping a wellspring of support appears for your project.
I only learned of this beautiful dream a few days ago. Unfortunately I get paid on the 22nd so I'm planning on donating a bit during the second round of fundraising. Yesterday I did get a link to your site up on Fark.com in the meantime. That site gets a lot of traffic and the people are generally nice. I said generally. Hehe. Hopefully that'll help.
I too am guilty of being complacent when it comes to helping with nUI. I had been thinking of trying to beta test nUI for you but considering my technical ability I probably would have caused more harm than good. You would have been lucky if my bug reports didn't cause your computer to explode somehow. :) As for suggesting ideas, well, I could never think of a way to improve it.
It's sad to lose access to your great addon but I guess we do deserve it. Thanks for making our time in WoW as enjoyable as possible. And thank you for trying to do some good in the world by helping to preserve an important part of it. I hope you achieve your goal.
I have tried your UI off and on for some time. Unfortunatly I have not been able to play much in the last year. I have been able to get a few friends to try your UI and I do not know if they have subscribed.
I have tried to subscribe. The wow-interface link to payment is bad. I went to the web site and found a payment method there. Something is wrong with the security because the pay-pal lit up like a christmas tree with secruity warnings and would not allow a payment. I am about to be playing a lot more and I would like to contribute. Perhaps you can take a look at what is wrong that would prevent anyone from contributing.
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