Ok, this topic bugged me enough all day/night at work that instead of coming home and going to sleep I had to express my thoughts on the whole situation. I will try and keep it short and to the point and limit my angry ranting I have 2 main points I want to make. Point 1 The decision of Portalarium to allow gifting of founder pledges is a slap in the face to all real founders. It is completely opposite of all info that has been spread up until this point that said nothing after a certain date could be considered a founder, and in my mind it shows that Portalarium cares more about getting a few extra $45 "upgrades" than they do about the group of people who supported them during the earliest times. However, that is their decision, and we will just have to live with it. I am a little hurt by it but ultimately having more people with more rewards does not affect my gameplay or enjoyment of the game and it is overall a good thing for the company to have more money and people to get more stuff. I don't care about being 'special' or having more 'stuff' than other people. I do care about how the company treats its supporters and what a move like this says about how they will make decisions in the future. So even though I don't agree with it, I will not comment more on this aspect of it. Point 2 The part that really bugs me, and the ones I feel the worst for right now, are the benefactors. As it stands, there are 2 features that we have had for a long time now, gifting of pledges, and referral credit. Gifting of pledges made a lot of sense, for people that wanted to get family members or friends in on the game. It has been understood by most people up until now that gifting after the founder date would result in the recipient being a benefactor, and most people were just fine with that. I myself just asked that question in the pledge rewards sticky last week because I am planning on gifting a pledge for my younger brother. It was confirmed for me that my gift would make him a benefactor, and that was fine with me and with him. Referral credit is another feature that makes a lot of sense, you want to get more people into the game, word of mouth is great for that, and a bonus for recruiting new people into the game is a good incentive. More people coming into the game is always a good thing. With the decision to officially confirm/endorse founders 'gifting' basic pledges to benefactors to upgrade them, these 2 features are now being abused and exploited. A founder can 'gift' a basic pledge to a benefactor, who pays them back. The giver gets a referral credit applied, and the receiver gets to send an email in to support to have their pledges 'merged' which makes them now founders. This is not at all in the spirit or original intention of the gifting system, these are not real gifts. This is also not the spirit or intention of the referral program, as these are not new players being brought into the game. Now, the reason that I feel bad for benefactors is because there are plenty who will miss this bit of news. There are plenty of people who only check forums occasionally, or during the pre-releases, or who don't even check the forums and just read the updates that are emailed out. There are plenty of benefactors who will never see that this is an option for them, and there are plenty still who, even if they know it is an option, will not feel comfortable begging a stranger to gift them, or setting up money transactions with people they don't know. All in all, there will be a lot of benefactors missing out, and there are a bunch of founders profiting very well from this setup. The benefactors missing out are now getting fewer rewards or perks because they paid Portalarium directly instead of doing a shady, backdoor method through a middleman. This is just purely wrong. The right thing for Portalarium to do right now is to give all benefactors an upgrade option right on their account page. They want the extra $45 pledges, we know that, and they don't care about keeping founder status as anything special, we know that now as well. So there is NO reason at all to force benefactors to go through a middleman in the form of a financial transaction with a stranger. Portalarium, since you are already going this route, do the right thing, the fair thing, allow benefactors to upgrade themselves by paying you directly.