WorldsAway Marketing E-mails

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Official communications from the WorldsAway team can be found here.

1996

November

Subject: missing

Date: 06 Nov 1996

Dear Community Members of Phantasus and the Dreamscape,

On the morning of November 5th, FSC released a fix for a bug in the WorldsAway software that represented a security problem, caused client synchronization problems, crashes, and other problems.  Unfortunately, this release adversely affected users who had modified their software with the get/put patch.  These users lost the ability to place objects facing front or back and they face greater difficulties in operating in the Dreamscape.  

Some of the Dreamscape Community gathered in the Temple Street Terrace Lobby this morning to protest the removal of this feature.  Oracle Vaserius appeared and the concerns of the community were heard.  Suggestions ranged from removing the software fix to providing get/put ability in turfs.  

This is an open letter to address the issues and concerns raised by the release of this software fix.

Normally, when getting or putting an object not next to your avatar, the client software would issue a "walk" command before doing the actual getting or putting.  This was implemented prior to our first beta because there were concerns that the remote ability to "get" could promote the incidence of theft and cause problems in operating certain in-world machines.  The get/put patch operates by disabling the check to see if an avatar is next to the object being acted upon.  In this case, the get/put command is issued without any movement by the avatar.  Allowing the client to dictate actions to the server is a violation of our rule to "not trust the client" and requires everyone to have a similar world experience and common context from which to interact.  Simply put, allowing an altered client to produce a result which is accepted by the server is a bug.

In this case, the user-created patch caused produced some features which many appreciate - mainly the ability to place objects in a particular direction with enormous ease.  It also produced some side-effects such as causing clients to desynchronize when operating vendos quickly and removes the common context of the users.  The bug needed to be fixed with the intent of including some of the benefits while removing the negative side-effects.

Unfortunately, this did not happen as planned.  In the process of testing and releasing the fix, the benefits were overlooked and the ability to place objects any which way with ease is gone.  We have taken and will continue to take the suggestions from the protest and from the forum to use in reviewing the options available.  We would prefer to resolve our security issues while giving you the benefits you seek.

We cannot give a specific time frame what the changes will be and when they will be implemented, but we will keep the community up to date with information regarding the development of the changes through forum posts and spreading the word in the Dreamscape.

Those who currently have the get/put patch will find that getting and putting are extremely difficult with the new fix.  This is because the client is altered to not check to see if the avatar and object are next to each other.  The server now (properly) does not trust the client and so the get or put fails until the user issues the "walk to" command manually.  We sincerely regret that we did not provide "clean" .DAT files prior to the release along with adequate warning that those with the patch would experience additional problems.  We have now provided "clean" .DAT files available in the WA Software Library #2.  Using these files will allow the server to properly handle walking to an object.

It is FSC's sincere wish that our customers will understand our desire to fix what we considered bugs and allow us the patience to bring back the features you desire.  There will be more information regarding the subject of get/put as we develop a solution to satisfy all concerns.

Sincerely on behalf of FSC, 
Oracle Teresias and Oracle Vaserius

Subject: missing

Date: 08 Nov 1996

Dear Community Members of Phantasus and the Dreamscape,

The WorldsAway development team has met and discussed the implications of the
get/put patch, security issues, and the needs of the Dreamscape community. 
Customers have enumerated many of the benefits of the get/put patch. However,
the get/put patch was able to be implemented by our customers be
cause of a hole in the security of the WorldsAway client.  Because it is a
security issue, and a secure environment is essential to WorldsAway, this bug
cannot be placed back into the WorldsAway client or server.

Taking into consideration customer feedback, client stability, and security,
the following plan has been put in place.  FSC will be implementing the
following features:

1] Get from containers in pockets

This will allow users to place objects into containers in their pocket, as well
as retrieve objects from containers in their pockets.  This will allow our
customers to rearrange and sort objects without having to place chests on the
ground.

2] Turf Velcro/Turf Glue

This will allow users to place objects anywhere in their turfs, including
walls.  It restores the features of the get/put patch to turf owners and then
some.  It will also allow customers to "glue" objects to the floor so that
other avatars cannot remove them.

3] Rotate Object Facing

This will allow users to rotate the facing of any object just like an avatar. 
The user will have to walk to the object to do so.  We are currently
investigating telekinetic rotation in turfs.

These items have been placed at the top of the Dreamscape priority list and are
currently being coded.  As they proceed through the development process, we
will keep the community up to date through forum posts and spreading the word
in the Dreamscape.

At this time, telekinesis will not be implemented beyond the functionality of
Turf Velcro/Glue.  We are currently investigating the possibility of
telekinesis in the future.

It is important to understand that the FSC development cycle is not linear. 
That is, while some developers are working on the server, others are working on
objects.  As development is working on their tasks, the World Development Team
is working on new art and new areas.  These tasks are not mutually
exclusive--the fact that a new area is opened or new object is released does
not mean that these priorities have changed, or that FSC is not working to
implement customer feedback.  In this case, other objects have already been
through the development process and are going through the QA 
process.  This means that new objects will likely be released before the above
features are implemented.  Again, this does not mean that we have reduced their
priority.

We thank you for your feedback and suggestions, and appreciate your continued
patience as we work to develop and implement this plan.  If you have further
questions or comments, please address them to dream@worldsaway.com or to the
WATEAM account [76710,162].

Sincerely on behalf of FSC, 
Oracle Teresias and Oracle Vaserius

Subject: missing

Date: 15 Nov 1996

Dear Community Members of the Dreamscape, 

This is a letter to inform everyone the intentions for the Kymer New Years Vendos and items.

All changes, vendos, etc. will be taken out or reversed around Noon on Monday, Nov 18.  We feel this should give a lot of time for everyone to shop with a minimum of stress.

WHAT WAS PUT IN:
- Confetti and Champange Vendo in V-Mart Center.
- Food items in V-Mart Left
- Balloon vendo in Visitor's Center (center)
- Mask Vendo #1 at South Fountain Center and between Temple Street Turfs and the Magic Shop
- Mask Vendo #2 at East Fountain Center and at the first left locale of Starway Cafe.
- We reduced the Body Changer Price to 100T per change.  Last year on Nov 15, we introduced the Athletic and Stocky bodies.  For a week we cut the price so people could experiment with new bodies.  As New Years can be a time of new changes, we cut the price again for the weekend.

WHAT WAS TAKEN OUT:
- Nicknack vendo at V-Mart Center
- Keepsake Vendo at V-Mart Left.

OTHER ITEMS:
- Banners and Countdown clock will be removed at about 5PM Saturday, Nov 16.

FUTURE PLANS:
- The Balloons are so neat we want to find a spot for them very soon.
- The food items will wind up somewhere (Maybe finally having food in Starway? <g>)
- We unfortunately found that the sashes have an "invisible" oritentation which will cause the same lost problems at the ponytail. For this reason we limted the sashes to Karnival Host as a thank you for their effort.  We will be fixing the sashes and adding a few versions for more events or general release.

THANK YOUS:
I want to thank Sunray Ann for pulling the Karnival together.  She put in a huge amount of effort in organizing and making sure things happened when and where.

I would also like to thank the Acolytes for pulling extra duty today.  They answered questions and helped make sure everyone was having a good time.

Our server group deserves no small credit for working out the server problems of October in time to give us a (server) crash-free day!  May Morpheus grant us many more.

Various groups and individuals helped distribute masks to as many people as they could get to.  They ran around loading up and passing them out.  Because of their efforts, 2000 masks were freely distributed.

There are a host of names I could not possibly remember or even know.  It was to the whole of the community who worked together on this event.  Everyone should be very happy and proud of what they helped achieve.  I have not heard of any major incidents (yet) and we had record numbers of people on the streets of Phantasus.  This was truly a community owned event.  I thank you all for being a part of it.

Sincerely,
Oracles Teresias, Vaserius and Uni

1997

April

Subject: WorldsAway 2.0 Beta Test

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Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 13:37:03 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <199704012137.NAA10560@charlotte.fsc.fujitsu.com>
To: e@mail.com
From: beta@worldsaway.com
Subject: WorldsAway 2.0 Beta Test 

Person


Are you ready to enter the world of WorldsAway?  The last step is
to use the web page at:

     http://www.worldsaway.com/Into/enter.html

to go into the world.  You will be prompted there for your name,
email address, and password.  The name and email address that you
provided during registration are:

        First Name:  Person

        Last Name:  Surname

        Email Address:  e@mail.com


We have generated the following password for you to use:

        Password:  tint$fall


When you first enter your avatar will be standing outside a hotel.  Go inside
and sign the guest book.  (This will let you choose the name for your avatar.)
There is some spending money on the desk to the left of the guest book that you
might want to pick up too.  Then continue inside.  To your right you'll find the 
entrance to the Exchange where you can change your avatar's body and head.

We'll see your avatar in world!

May

Subject: Latest WorldsAway Beta Test News

From ???@??? Wed May 21 01:54:28 1997
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Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 17:45:12 -0700
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Reply-to: beta@worldsaway.com (WorldsAway Beta Program)
From: beta@worldsaway.com (Greg Oberfield)
To: e@mail.com
Subject: Latest WorldsAway Beta Test News
X-Info: Evaluation version at mailhost.e-mail.com

Dear Person,

Things have certainly changed quite dramatically since the last email was
sent out! In that time we've started the Dreamscape beta-test, gotten
Virtual Key working, changed the web site around a bit and gone through a
couple new versions of the client and the server.

It's that last piece which we need to talk about. One of the previous
clients has a major problem updating itself to a new version. Since the
ability to "auto-update" is a critical component of the 2.0 technology we
had to fix it quickly, and we have!

We now have a new client, version fc8, which fixes that problem and a few
others. Unfortunately, since the previous client won't auto-upgrade that
means that everyone must download a new version. We apologize about the
inconvenience, but it has to be so. This should be the last time you have
to download a new version - all other updates should happen automatically.
This changeover to fc8 should happen Tuesday afternoon or evening. You can
check to see if the new client is available at
http://www.worldsaway.com/Into/download and if it is - grab it!

We certainly appreciate your efforts to date! The Dreamscape is now in
testing (for those of you who have not used the Dreamscape before, you're
in for a real treat), and we're finally to a point where we can see the
light at the end of the tunnel! It's been a long, hard road you've all
walked with us but it's been worth it. WorldsAway 2.0 is a great product,
in no small part because of you testers!

If you have any questions or comments about beta, please feel free to email
us at beta@worldsaway.com at any time. We read everything that comes in and
try to respond to all of them - sometimes though we get so overloaded that
we can't. Also, don't forget to visit our web-based discussion board at
http://www.worldsaway.com/Forum where you can leave us a message, or just
talk to other WorldsAway users!

Thank you,
Greg Oberfield
Senior Producer, WorldsAway Studios

June

Subject: WorldsAway 2.0

From ???@??? Wed Jun 11 07:02:37 1997
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Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 17:01:49 -0700
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Reply-to: beta@worldsaway.com (WorldsAway Beta)
From: beta@worldsaway.com (Greg Oberfield)
To: e@mail.com
Subject: WorldsAway 2.0 

Dear Person,

It's been about a week since I sent out an email to everyone and I wanted to make sure that we're all on the same page with WorldsAway 2.0 Beta.

The end is in sight, many of you have enjoyed testing the Dreamscape, our flagship WorldsAway environment on the web (available only to CompuServe members currently) and more of you have enjoyed testing WorldsAway 2.0 in general with our open beta world (or "hallway world").

We have been experiencing some difficulties with our Macintosh client and expect them to be resolved very soon.  However, until then, Macintosh users will not be able to access any of the beta environments.  As a long-time macintosh user myself I know how hard this can be, but we want to make sure we deliver a high-quality product to you!

On another note, we will be upgrading from our current version FC12 to FC13.  We will be auto-upgrading clients so you won't have to download anything new.  You will be automatically moved from one version to the next!

Some of you have expressed having difficulty in logging back into the beta world and for this we apologize.  It happened because of the timing of a database snapshot we had taken and converted to a newer version.  Some accounts were "lost" because of this - however another file thought the accounts were still there so didn't let those people create new ones!  Suffice it to say that we have been working at resolving this for you.

Finally, I want to mention what is beta and what is not.  The open beta world ("hallway world") is specifically a test environment and will not become a production environment.  What does this mean?  Basically the open beta world will disappear when we release 2.0 -- our other production environment (the Dreamscape and Pride) will not .. they will be available to everyone.  The open beta world does not have a customer service group working on it like our production environments do -- just our Quality Assurance people who are making sure the product (WorldsAway) is bug-free.  They work really hard to make it as good as it can get!

All of us here at Fujitsu Software Corporation appreciate the work you testers have done to help us out.  We hope you have enjoyed your experiences with WorldsAway and that you will continue to use it!  If you have any questions or comments about WorldsAway please feel free to email us here at beta@worldsaway.com.

Thank you,
Greg Oberfield
Senior Producer, WorldsAway Products & Services
Fujitsu Software Corporation

1998

March

Subject: 4 Little Girls Chat Suite Confirmation

From ???@??? Mon Mar 02 08:14:19 1998
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Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 12:36:50 -0800 (PST)
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MIME-Version: 1.0
To: Person@e.mail.com
From: wa_webmail@worldsaway.com ("WorldsAway Registration")
Subject: 4 Little Girls Chat Suite Confirmation
Content-Type: text/plain


Hello Person,

You have successfully created an avatar named "Avatar1234" in the 4 Little 
Girls chat suite.

To use your avatar, proceed to our entry page at:
http://www.worldsaway.com/4littlegirls/enter/

When you find the World Entry Form, submit the following things including 
your new password:

   First Name:  Person
    Last Name:  Surname
Email Address:  e@mail.com
     Password:  haft&ceil

Subject: Important! Hotel Account Information

From ???@??? Thu Mar 26 00:00:05 1998
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Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 15:53:57 -0800 (PST)
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Reply-to: wa_webmail@worldsaway.com (WA Team)
Errors-to: madaras@worldsaway.com
From: wa_webmail@worldsaway.com (WA Team)
To: xxx@xxx.xxx.xxx
Subject: Important! Hotel Account Information

Dear Hotel Members,

It's hard to believe that it has been almost one year since Hotel Silicon 
began as a beta world. Thanks to all of you, it has matured into a real 
community of its own. In order to keep up with the growth, we have added 
Concierges Claudette and Jean-Paul as well as a full valet staff. We have 
added many new heads, accessories and pieces of furniture in the vendos. 
We have also added the gaming room among other locales. Have you seen 
the new disco?

In order to continue supporting and growing this world, we've started to 
charge for membership in the Hotel (via our billing partner, iBill). Depending 
on your current membership status, there's an account that's right for you. 
If you created your Hotel Silicon account prior to March 2nd, you will need to 
convert your account to a Mercury, Silver, or Gold billing plan by April 1, 1998. 
We thank those of you who have already converted, and encourage those 
who haven't to do so soon!

You will be able to keep all of your avatars and possessions when you convert, 
and you will be able to enter the world with your old account through April 1. 
But time is running out!!!! 

On April 2, 1998, unconverted accounts will not be able to enter the Hotel. 
However, you can still convert after April 2; your avatars and possessions 
will still be available to you for 90 days. 

We've included instructions below to ensure a smooth and easy transition. 
Choose one of the two options that applies to you.

1. I'm a current Hotel Silicon member but I'm not a member of Dreamscape.
 
Open an Internet Billing account and all your avatars and possessions will 
automatically be transferred to your new account. For $9.95 per month (Mercury 
plan), you'll get unlimited access to Hotel Silicon including two avatars. You will 
be able to enter Hotel Silicon with one avatar at a time. The server will not allow 
simultaneous logins in a flat rate world. To convert your account go to the 
bottom of:
https://www.worldsaway.com/hotel/conversion/ 
and enter your current Hotel account information.

2. I already have an iBill account for Dreamscape, and want to convert my
existing Hotel account 

Your Gold or Silver Dreamscape Passport account now includes a new two-avatar 
account for you in Hotel Silicon at no additional cost. Current Dreamscape 
members with Bronze Passports can also convert their Hotel accounts by 
upgrading to the Mercury plan (see the Account Manager at: http://www.worldsaway.com/Members/acctmanager/ ). 
You will be able to enter Hotel Silicon with one avatar at a time. The server will 
not allow simultaneous logins in a flat rate world.

NOTE:  If you have existing avatars in the Hotel (especially with lots of stuff), these 
avatars will not convert to your iBill account. So, to get your stuff:
 
1.  go in with your old account,
2.  put ALL your possessions into one turf, even from your pockets
3.  add a trusted friend or Valet to your turf lease
4.  go change your name three times to something else
5.  enter Hotel with your new account's avatar
6.  have your friend add your new avatar back onto your turf lease
7.  remove your friend from the lease
8.  repeat this process with your second avatar if necessary
 
If you do not have a trusted friend to help you with this transfer, please contact a 
Concierge or Valet. 

NOTE: What you want to avoid is converting your free Beta/Hotel account to 
a second Ibill account and thereby incurring two monthly bills. We do not have the 
capability to 'merge' multiple Ibill accounts. We are sorry for any inconvenience 
this might cause. 

We hope that together we can continue growing Hotel Silicon. We look forward 
to seeing you in the Hotel!

Sincerely,

The WorldsAway Team

Unknown Date

Dear WorldsAway CompuServe Member:

Effective May 17, 1998, U.S. CompuServe members wishing to participate in
Dreamscape will need to utilize the WorldsAway billing service as provided
by our internet billing partner, iBill. For our European members, we will
soon have a service offering direct debit from all German bank accounts as
well as the acceptance of eurocheques throughout Europe. For most current
Dreamscape participants, this change represents significant savings in your
usage, as now you'll be charged a flat $19.95 (U.S.) per month for
unlimited access to Dreamscape.

Dreamscape members will not lose their current Dreamscape avatars, turfs,
or possessions. All that is changing is the way you are paying for your
account--CIS will no longer be offering its own billing service for
Dreamscape.

You can convert your WorldsAway account to iBill by May 31 and receive a
free 14-day bonus for doing so. Best of all it's quick and easy to convert.
You can complete the U.S. iBill process at the following site:

http://www.worldsaway.com/rpa/convert/

After May 31st iBill will charge an additional nominal fee for a shorter
trial period. However, we have arranged to allow you to convert your
Dreamscape account through May 31, 1999 and still receive the 14-day free
bonus. Upon completion of the free trial, subscriptions will convert to a
30-day recurring charge of $19.95 per month. Remember, to get your free 14
days in Dreamscape you need to convert your account by May 31, 1999. You
will not be able to access your avatar _via CompuServe_ after May 17,
however your avatar(s) and possessions will remain safe and you can still
convert for 90 days after your last log-in.

If you prefer not to use a credit card, you can send a check or money order
(U.S. funds) for 6 months or more. You can find information on this under
our Billing FAQ, located at:

http://www.worldsaway.com/help/billingfaq.html

Thank you for your continued interest and membership to Dreamscape. For
help or questions, please write to: dr...@worldsaway.com.

Best Regards,
The WorldsAway Team