Category Archives: Meta
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Shakespeare would probably LOVE EvE Online. The raw expression of human behavior would probably tickle him all over. One of the points that shows up repeatedly in EvE is the toll it takes on its players. Burnout is a frequent foe of leaders and plebs alike. Recently Montolio resigned as the leader of TEST Alliance (please ignore) starting his resignation with the line “Shit was too much work, it wasn’t fun anymore.” which I can sympathize with from my time running a single crappy corp bouncing between mediocre alliances.
I can’t begin to speak about all the things that Montolio would go through. He made decisions so far above my level that I can barely bring myself to care. I want to talk about something else. Fifty cents a day per member. If you run a corp that’s what you are being trusted with. Sure you might split it up with alliance leaders, with other leaders in your corp, but the bottom line is that someone in the world has said “You know what, the best value I can get for my 14.95 a month is with CEO Timmy and his Fancy Pants Corporation.” So let’s say you have 20 guys in corp, that’s 10 dollars a day, 70 dollars a week. Can you provide 70 dollars worth of value in EvE? Probably. It’s not that hard, and let’s face it once people know what they are doing in game all you really have to do is set up a couple of roams a week/month. However it quickly breaches into the realm of obligation. When I lead I don’t feel like I can enjoy the game unless my corpies are enjoying the game. When I start shedding people it hurts because I’m doing things wrong, clearly, or else they wouldn’t be leaving.
This may explain why I burn out on EvE so badly.
Now imagine what Monty’s share of the 13k + members of TEST is. If he thinks of it as even a penny a member, that is, 2% of what they are paying, his “Obligation” runs over 100 dollars a day. Over $4,000 a month. Just over $50k a year. That is, if I assume he is accepting responsibility for providing 2% of his alliance members amusement, he is bearing a burden of 50,000 dollars a year for his performance as an alliance leader. Just a penny a day per member. He may not have ever thought about it in those terms, but I bet the weight was there anyway. Just as it is for other alliance leaders. Just as it is for any leader. Have fun, and remember to tell your boss if they are doing a good job.
So I’ve had some issues with an internet connection that was too frustrating for EvE. EvE is odd in that it can support TERRIBLE ping numbers, but will close your socket in a heartbeat if the connection gets wonky. My connection redefined wonky. Paste tense. Got THAT sorted finally.
But I still haven’t done anything interesting. Should soon, but for now time to talk about some ruminations I had during my unwanted EvE Exodus.
YOU ARE WHERE YOU PUT YOURSELF
Your decisions led you to the place you now stand. They built your skills, they built your wallet, they built your hangar, they built your shipyard. All that you are is the sum of your choices, your reactions, your interactions. Yes other people have a say in things. They do that, it’s a massively MULTIPLAYER online role-playing game. You can still change things. You can’t change it all at once. EvE does not work well with fast changes. It is hard to make them at the micro level. You cannot simply move all your inventory at the snap of a finger through the magic of vaults, the hobbit postal service, or any such gaming flim-flammery. Red Frog can move you across highsec, your alliance can move you to the fringes of space, but it takes time. It takes effort. It takes resources. Mostly it takes planning.
You make the choices. Set up the skill plan, and skill queue. You acquire the isk, the ships, the modules, the munitions that make you the pilot you are. You travel from gate to gate, from cyno to cyno, from wormhole to wormhole forging your own story. Your own history. Your own destiny. As the ancient trailer says: ”For their can be no other destiny but our own.”
Your destiny is yours to create. Your choices are your own to make. You do not make them alone. Build alliances. Cultivate friendships. Make adversaries. EvE is but a stage, and we are all players. No, really, in the old sense. You know. Actors. We play our parts in the great dramas. We create heroic epics, tragedies, comedies, satires and farces. Mostly farces. We can all write our own parts, but in all events we must remember our destinies intertwine. They splice, flow together, or crash headlong and are re-written. We do not always choose the outcomes, but our choices create the endgame. Write your story. Play your part. Create your history.
And fly dangerous.
Goons published their latest CEO Update on TM.com today. There’s a lot in it that will raise eyebrows (one or both) including: Free carriers, a rundown of who is doing what to who and where, and hints at a full-out DREAD giveaway which would be quite a windfall for the CFC folks.
What struck me was a little throwaway bit at the very bottom:
We do not do things that way: any alliance admitted to the CFC will understand our focus on both offensive war and metrics to prove collective effort.
This was what really raised my eyebrow, especially as it was thrown in with talking about recruiting newer alliances to CFC. It brought me back to some musings I’ve had on how an Alliance so publicly and self-admittedly bad could be so GOOD at what mattered in the game.
Short version? People like winning. Goons have isolated the “winning” elements on a strategic level and devoted themselves to it.
Long version incoming so settle in or X out. There’s two kinds of winning, tactical and strategic. Alliances like R&K and old-skool PL¹ had isolated the surprise + leadership = victory core of tactical winning. They used tactics their enemies couldn’t respond to to score hard fought but surprisingly bloodless victories, and pumped up their members by trumpeting their wins to the high heavens, while brushing off their losses with their ability to replace ships themselves. They keep themselves lean, because that lies at the core of tactical brilliance, but they alone aren’t a threat to take and hold sov, they don’t have the raw mass required to weight the scales in a mass war.
Strategic Victory in EvE requires an ability to set your nose to the grindstone on two scales. Leaders must bear an incredible weight, both leading and managing their alliance, and the rank and file have to respond to their leaders, be active and take part. This requires something more than killboard l33tness, which is a good thing as Goonswarm’s 68.48% on EvE-kill is rather… bad as PvP alliances goes. Yet Goonswarm Federation leads the most powerful coalition, with the most valuable nullsec space, in EvE. How does such a bad alliance get to hold this position? Leadership and determination.
Now how do you rate that? Because clearly killboard efficiency doesn’t quite catch it. So let’s dig in and catch some glimpses. Goons use the term “Metrics” quite a bit so let’s start our search there (from http://www.businessdictionary.com)
Metrics: Standards of measurement by which efficiency, performance, progress, or quality of a plan, process, or product can be assessed.
So a metric to Goons is a tool that allows them to measure the effectiveness of a sub-unit. They don’t hand out directorships to that cool guy who shows up all the time. Nor do they ally themselves with people who consistently underperform by their standards. Now to be a true “Metric” Goonswarm has to set up standards which are quantifiable, that is, they can be measured objectively, they have to be relevant to whatever they are trying to measure, and they have to be capable of being scaled for large and small entities.
So Goonswarm leadership has set up two sets of Metrics, one for leadership, to determine who can generate the best quality and quantity of useful “Leadership” and they have applied this to themselves and to their minions, I’m not sure where to begin on this. Certainly revenue is important, driving participation is important, and filling the markets is important. What else is important and how it is generated, measured, and compared is beyond me. There’s a reason I fly in fleets rather than lead them.
The other set is for members as a group. I’m even less certain how this is measured, what it measures and how it it is applied internally and externally is frankly outside of my horizon. Clearly efficiency isn’t that big. Raw participation has to be a factor, as well as both unique members joining fleets, and how often each person joins said fleets will likely be a factor, who brings what, what they lose etc, but how is it measured and evaluated? What are the standards?
Moneyball was a book written in 2003 about the revolutionary new way of thinking that the Oakland A’s had been doing for a few years. Rather than looking mostly at “counting” stats, especially ones like Steals, RBIs, and Strikeouts for hitters, which often didn’t have as much impact as conventional wisdom would lead one to believe. Instead the A’s went with “rate stats” focusing in on new stats generated by the SABR community, which served as indicators of overall contribution, like OPS (On Base Plus Slugging) for hitters and ERA+ for pitchers, or simply stats like VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) for anyone. This gave them a competitive advantage over other teams over the course of a season, as they could find bargains on players who weren’t highly regarded, but generated wins. Most leaders in EvE are the old-skool types. They equate pure l33t PVPness as espoused by killboard stats, big shiny fleets and vaunted FCs as the be all and end all of EvE success. The new leaders in the game are people who have cut away the traditional stats, and look for what wins.
By creating their own metrics, the Goons have done what SABR did for statistics. Creating their own methods of reporting information gathered, and doing so in a way that contributes to the overall success of their coalition. Moreover they have done what Billy Beane did for the A’s, by using those stats to build both an alliance that wins, and train other alliances to contribute as part of their “team.” Goons were successful before OTEC. Sure their current success is greatly aided by Tech, but they didn’t get Tech to get successful, they got successful to get Tech.
¹New-Skool PL manages to do both with rather admirable success.
So over on Reddit there’s a link to a thread on the EvE Uni forums where CCP Basically crushes Kelduum and company over some suspected botting by a former member.
TL;DR of events to date
CCP Temp-bans a EvE Uni guy over a program that looks illegal from CCP’s side but may or may not have been illegal.
Player very politely flips his shit and gives Kelduum “His stuff” to include a measily 317 billion isk. With a B
Kelduum then takes the step of partitioning off that isk and petitioning CCP, who promptly takes said isk and more or less slams the door in his face when he presses for answers.
All petitions opened by Kelduum are answered by the same guy, and basically consist of him blowing off Kelduum
Some tin-foil hattery abounds and the forum thread quickly descends into the full blown lead skullcap land of lawsuits.
I’m not gonna talk about the event. I’m going to talk about a couple of related issues.
Number one: Kelduum is both a CSM rep, with a VERY large and motivated base of players behind him, who has literally done no wrong in this instance. This isn’t CCP punishing The Mittani for being drunkenly stupid, this is CCP stupidly sideswiping a guy who was trying to do the right thing, and then not having A) the decency to tell him why and B) not giving him a chance to talk it over with anyone other than the original GM.
I have been very lucky in my communication with the GM teams. While I may not have always liked the final response, I certainly felt that I had at least enough information to figure out what DID happen. That is: Very few of my petitions have ended with “The logs show nothing” (Which CCP should fire GM’s for using btw)
Kelduum was not so lucky, his petitions got taken prisoner by one GM which seems especially idiotic being that it seems patently obvious that this guy has other channels to reach. It makes it look like the GM is being unreasonable when all he’d have to do is bring in a third party either an investigative person or just a senior GM to say “We have looked at this from other departments and are doing XYZ because of ABC.” Right now this GM looks like he’s just being a neckbeard picking off all the petitions and ignoring them. Whether or not that’s what is actually happening.
Number Two: At what point does a corporation or alliance leader go from being a random third party and go to being someone actually involved in the process? I know I filed petitions as a CEO on behalf of several members of my corporation that got rather ignored except for the portions where I myself was directly affected. CCP can do a great service to itself and to its players by granting them the ability to work with their in-game mentors and leadership in order to resolve issues arising from in-game issues. There’s a saying among lawyers: ”An attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client.” It is nearly impossible to be detached and rational about your own loss/weird bug / total confusion regarding the mechanics of EvE and having someone you knows the issues, and mechanics is far more likely to result with a successful resolution of the issue from the side of the player who feels wronged, and the GM can work to communicate effectively with someone who is probably more knowledgeable and less involved. This is a case where it is clearly in CCP’s interest to work with Kelduum as the alliance leader, to come up with a positive resolution (even if it still means Kelduum doesn’t get the isk)
However the current EULA doesn’t allow for this, and I can see at least some reason to keep the inner workings of the GM crowd private, but the CSM and CCP should look at revising this in the next year, they should look at some kind of program to “share” petitions between a player, the GM group, and designated folks withing that player’s corp/alliance to facilitate useful solutions. Because what EvE needs is MORE lawyers. Of course if this happens I am totally hanging up my shingle as a petition advocate.
Color me a stunning shade of not-surprised-at-all. It’s kind of a very noncommittal grey.
Let’s review the last little while for miners.
- Their products weren’t worth diddly squat because there were a dozen other sources for them. CCP nerfed the other sources, removing all T1 drops from missions. Prices haven’t skyrocketed but they have gone up gradually since then.
- They were getting ganked constantly by dirt-cheap destroyers, cleaving through their naturally low hit point buffers like a chainsaw through lard. Rather than say HTFU and “Tank Your Ship” CCP buffs the hell out of mining barges. Which the miners hilariously still fail to tank all too often.
So now they are getting bumped, and ganked again. BIG surprise. CCP has even said bumping is not a petition able action. So far anyway. The mountain has come to Mohammed before and I suspect it will again. The big difference between the two groups continues to be not one of playstyle, but one of outlook. One side sees challenges, finds ways to have fun within the system, and when their sacred cows are smashed they find a new one. The other side treats their sacred cow as an irreplaceable object and regards interference with it as heresy. When the gankers/bumpers/jerks are made to change things, they find a way to adjust their playstyle to continue having their fun. The other side lets their public face be completely dominated by rubes who simply do not want to be playing a multiplayer game (except for the part where someone else pays them for their efforts) while displaying a very unwholesome disregard for their own responsibilities with regards to things like safety.
Now I’m not saying all carebears are like this. Fancy Hats slid by many a target during Hulkageddon that was well tanked, that was well prepared, and we whiffed on a few that managed to surprise us as well. In addition there’s people like Mabrick show a very different face for the bearish folk of EvE. The problem is the forum warriors are, well, caricature-ish and the drek they spew in local when folks like James 315 start bashing on them makes me cringe. The issue with these folks isn’t that they aren’t being pandered to, because they have been, the issue is they want to have their cake, eat it, be able to sell it to someone else, and STILL have and eat it. Eventually they will run into EvE and they will A) Grow or B) Leave and EvE will be better for it.
I don’t mind people leaving EvE because they aren’t compatible with the game. It reminds me of the old Winston Churchill Quote
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
if you aren’t offending anyone, you probably aren’t driving anyone wild with delight. I’ll take the days I squeal with joy in return for the days I bash my head against the keyboard, throw my headset across the room or crush the power button and start drinking heavily immediately, without bothering to try to get my pod out. Yes I’ve done all those things. I learned. I grew. I do them less now. They are the price of admission for the awesomeness I get to experience some days.
James 315 has put up his CSM Manifesto and I tend to think he is someone I more or less agree with, except that he’s using a ton of stick and too little carrot. Nerf’s don’t sell games, buffs do. If you want to sell more and bring more people in don’t nerf the undesirable, buff the desirable.
But that doesn’t matter a damn bit. The problem with James is he doesn’t understand in the slightest what his power as a CSM will be. CCP doesn’t call in the great and powerful CSM and say “Oh mighty warriors for Truth, Justice and the Almighty ISK! Speak to us of your wisdom and direct our efforts that we may remold EvE in your image!” it’s a bit more like “Ok guys here’s what we think is a good idea plus something Greyscale thinks isn’t as daft as his normal offerings, look at it for five minutes, talk about it for a bit then lets go get wasted.”
The CSM doesn’t design things, the CSM puts pressure on CCP to do things differently. Whether or not I believe CCP should redesign the Dominix into something that looks less like a turd and more like something I’d want to fly as much as I’ve actually flown it doesn’t matter unless CCP actually asks “What order do you think the art team should be redesigning ships in” in which case my answer is
- Dominix Navy Issue
And yes I know most of those are hulls shared between multiple ships. THAT’S THE IDEA! LET’S GET THESE ABOMINATIONS REDESIGNED AND SOD THE REST!
Back to the topic at hand: James 315′s Manifesto is a great piece for a position as a dev, or an actual power broker. The CSM is still struggling to get a meaningful share as a stakeholder, and the only thing they can try to manage is expectations. That piece does not manage expectations, it inflates them. He promises to fight for many things, but he’s as well armed as a high school actor playing the Herald in Henry V. In fact, should he win (and I hope he does, I cannot get enough of the guy) his job will be mostly the same. Come up, beg Harry to accept a ransom, leave disappointed. Show up, beg, leave. Show up, beg for permission to bury his losses, leave depressed.
I’m not hating on James’ ideas, i’m just beating my favorite dead horse. The CSM doesn’t run shit. Trumpteting yourself as the man with the plan to solve all highsec problems may or may not have ANY relevance to what CCP needs from CSM this next term. If the CSM is just working in null, and not really concerned with highsec then some of James’ concepts may be relevant, but the main force will be wasted as CCP doesn’t even ask for input that allows James to bring his research, his experience, and his persuasiveness to bear in any relevant manner.
All that said, as a blogger I sure as hell hope he makes it. Him on the CSM makes me feel like this:
Also: I promise I’ll blog more. I have a ridiculous list of drafts to finish, I’m just trying to not rehash so many old ideas and provide you guys with good content.
For those that haven’t heard, massive fight today in lowsec. Someone Leeroyed in a Titan, and hijinks ensued. Goons lost 2 titans, at least 1 super, likely with several more still needing to die/be posted. PL has apparently lost a couple supers themselves. I didn’t make it anywhere near before massive lag waves convinced me to give up
Fallout should be interesting. No one wants to be the FC the day after a fiasco like this, TESTies that want a fight with CFC will certainly be emboldened by this. PL is quite pleased with themselves even with the losses. What had looked like a complete denouement last night suddenly looks like it might just become a big deal again. This will not appease the peace party on either side. CFC will want revenge, HBC will smell blood in the water, and other sharks might just be emboldened to try to carve out some space if the superpower start fighting each other. The big blue doughnut might crumble a bit about the edges.
I still don’t think this will turn into the Great Western War. It certainly won’t turn into a territorial war. I do think there will be a lot of fleets sniffing around for the next few weeks. Certainly this fight will escalate the situation. DBRB is not going to be in the good graces of CFC high command for a while, and the need to replace these ships, as well as the dozens of caps, and subcaps will likely not do anything good for even CFCs wallet.
A year that had promise to look like a “Victory Lap” for the Big Blue Doughnut now looks like it might simmer and boil into a nasty little war. Should be fun.
I have spent a lot of time in highsec. I’ve lived there before, I’ll live there again, and I can comfortably consider myself at least a highly informed person when it comes to the highsec population. I’ve noticed that highsec people tend to be 1 of 3 types.
- Alts. Lots of people have “highsec alts” whether it’s for market games, missioning, spamming Jitamart, whatever. Highsec alts make up probably 40% of highsec. They tend to be completely isolated from anyone in highsec as they are talking to others in null… who may also be alting it up in highsec but let’s not get into recursion here.
- Carebears these are people who have chosen to avoid null, avoid low, and avoid wormholes. These are not nullbears, or WH bears, these are the true Carebears. They form small, insular groups, which function as “echo chambers” where their own “knowledge” is shared between them gaining more and more weight as they all “hear from someone” that whatever they want to think is true is, in fact, true. Funny story, we had an infiltrator in a mining corp convinced they could build carriers in highsec to kill the “ebbil piwates” who had savagely smartbombed their mining fleet a few days before. They very rarely seek any form of outside information and often end up with wild misunderstanding of the rules and even basic mechanics of EvE.
I’m not just throwing that out there, look at how long it took to get even most of the Incursion community away from missiles. There’s a few that picked it up fast, but nearly everyone looking to get into Incursions seemed to be trying to bring a Raven or a Drake even with several established websites telling you what to bring that you could Google.
They make up another 40% of the normal highsec population. They tend to be the least interactive and I tend to be pretty hard on them, but they don’t usually read blogs so meh.
- Griefers Hi there. Seriously though, these tend to be communicative and interactive, and by definition they are reaching outside their circle. They run the gamut from being brutally sociopathic, seeking only to drive people to the game, to being people who play a game for fun, in a way that occasionally victimizes other people, but also willing to offer a hand back up to those they “dust down” a bit. They make up 5-10% of the population, but they generate almost all of the multiplayer content accessible to outsiders in highsec. They may not WANT to be part of the content, but that’s rather the idea of EvE.
I said in the comments of my last post that I was imprecise, and that is possibly the worst thing to be in a blog. I am perfectly OK with people playing in highsec. What I really want them doing is creating content for ME. A highsec player who does nothing but accumulate isk running missions, mining, doing whatever, doesn’t really add value to MY experience. A griefer potentially does. Alts have mains, who potentially do. A carebear? Meh. His replacement is a dime a dozen. The ore he mines will rapidly be acquired by someone else and my prices will stabilize The isk injected by that mission runner who got horribly ganked will be replaced by another mission runner and the prices will stabilize. Again I don’t care what you do much, or where you do it. I care that you bring something to the table, that you contribute to this game, to this community, to me. If you can do it by moving, great, if you can do it by blogging, great. If you can do it by doing what you are doing, fantastic, but if you aren’t doing anything for me, why should I give a rats ass about you?
Well, now you’re just ignoring me. Why do you believe people should be forced out of highsec?
I haven’t been ignoring you Mord. I’ve been puzzling out a proper, non-flippant answer. The short version is: I don’t want to force people to do anything. This is EvE. I want them to move of their own accord, for reasons that make sense to them at the time.
I write a blog so you get the long version for free -
I think it’s fantastic that there’s people who stop travelling out when the sec status starts looking yellow. They turn around and scamper back. They find their rut and they travel it doing the things they like for as long as they want. It’s fantastic. They are enjoying the game their way.
The problem is they are likely engaging in single-player EvE. It may actually be a small group, but they are not really doing much to create content for the greater community, and they aren’t terribly likely to stick around according to CCP’s metrics. CCP has stated repeatedly that players are far more likely to stick around if they are engaging with other players socially. Usually this means a corp/alliance. I think there’s two reasons for this. A player who works with other players is more willing to share in risks, and a player who is confronted with adversity is far more likely to recognize the scope of them, and overcome them either by getting advice before the adversity and mitigating their risk or by having a support network that can soften the blow with recovery efforts.
Let’s zoom out a stage.
Many, if not most, highsec-only players believe that they are, or at least should be, totally safe as long as they are playing in highsec, and not doing anything aggressive towards another player. They think that their sole responsibility for self-preservation is to keep themselves out of 0.4 and lower sec status systems. They do not think to protect themselves from people willing to lose a ship to destroy what they are flying. When they do lose a ship to people willing to make that effort they blame it not on themselves for failing to protect themselves, but on the gankers, and not in such a way as to give them credit. They do not recognize that self-preservation is forever and always their own responsibility and that a reliance on CONCORD and other players forbearance is a fickle means of protecting ones hard-earned isk.
This is not to say that gankers are all wonderful people that shit rainbows. Some of them are bullies, some of them are jerks, some of them are people playing the game their own way. Just like the miners. The difference is in how they define their way, and how they understand the game.
Now if a miner belongs to a corp that does have a support they can still lose their shit, but they aren’t likely to leave the game. As long as the corp supports them. I have lost some EMBARRASSING ships. However I had corpmates who supported me. I had a community I belonged to, and who helped me see the scope of things and how unimportant one miserable Drake was.
Eventually that community led me to branch out. To see PvP not as an evil practice to be avoided, but a fun and challenging (but hopefully not too challenging) focus of the game. I want people to see as many reasons as possible to leave highsec, and I want highsec to be as limited as possible in pursuit of that goal. Not every player is going to get involved in blowing up other players spaceships. At least not directly. However, at some point in his EvE career, every player needs to realize that pvp is the foundation of the game, and can happen to anyone at any time. The players least likely to understand this are the highsec carebears who never venture beyond 0.5 for fear of encountering… well… EvE.
I want production to be more practical and useful in low/null to make the decision on where to manufacture goods to actually involve a choice other than “Safest area with the most available slots = win for me!”
I want resources to be more accessible and valuable in low/null to create an economic push so that veld isn’t always a “top 3″ mineral when it comes to value.
I want low/null to have useful and unique mechanics that make them more fun and enjoyable.
Some of these already exist. The last one especially has quite a few options, but there still isn’t enough to drive the great hordes out of highsec empire. Having unique resources that cannot be collected in highsec space helps. Having unique gameplay opportunities, like wormholes, or FW, helps. Having organizations that help even the newest players capitalize on the opportunities to be found below 0.4 helps. Look at Goons and TEST. They can and will take players still in awe at the power of their reaper, slap them in a rifter and throw them to a system with a name like VFK. They will bring them in, teach them to play and understand the game, and give them an opportunity to grow. Sure they can be an embarrassment to the community, but they also contribute to the community. Look at the rage being spouted by highsec carebears almost every day over at minerbumping.com and you will see just how “noble” the pvp-averse carebears can be.
So no. No I don’t want to force people out of highsec. I want them to want to move out themselves. I want them to go out and create content of their own and discover the real awe of EvE. The ability to drive your storyline wherever you want it, not just Motsu station.
So somehow something escaped my notice the first time I read through the CSM notes. I came home from work determined to find something worth posting on well after everyone else has already ripped it to chunks, and somehow just noticed this “gem”
Ytterbium informed the CSM that supercap rebalancing was not on the immediate horizon and that there was no concrete vision for changes to them. Fozzie added that, while they wouldn’t promise to rebalance supercaps balance in 2013, they wouldn’t exclude it either. Fozzie continued by saying that supercap balance was an issue, but that they believe other
balance issues had a higher priority. Alek, Seleene, and Elise disagreed.
Fozzie has abruptly gone from being the shining savior of EvE to the Black Knight.
Seriously. Supercap issues are the widest ranging, most crippling issue in the game outside of Highsec. Fights do not happen, alliances do not move, and EvE does not grow because of two shiptypes, and it’s at the bottom of Fozzie’s totem pole.
Another staggering fact? The word Technetium shows up once. ONCE! Not even talking about a fix for it, whether it’s reformulating advanced materials to limit the need for it to something less than… well…. everything; or maybe redistributing the moons themselves (more a patch than a fix really) or maybe creating a whole new source of moon mud. But no instead we get this:
Alek noted that Technetium income was not a faucet, but did represent a transfer of wealth. Dr.EyjoG
commented that this increases the velocity of money in the system. Alek reiterated that Tech is wildly
unbalanced and needs to be addressed quickly.
At which point EyjoG sidesteps because it’s a game design issue. Well FFS was it brought up with a dev? I know the CSM has a very limited ability to force CCP to talk about certain topics, but I would think that getting Supercaps, Tech, and the head of Greyscale on a Tupperware Crisper should have been easy to work in at some point.
Now I’m not all gloom and doom. Some of the discussion was enlightening. It’s nice to know blackops are being looked at. It’s good for CCP to really engage the CSM as high level idea sources when it comes to null, and I liked some of the concepts that emerged. EvE Achievements sound like they could be neat, and any discussion of paint jobs on spaceships gets all 12 of my thumbs up. Also amusing was this:
Sisyphus mentioned he is considering making improvements to the Science and Industry UI. Two step
suggested he would gain a lot of beers next FanFest if he did.
He’s well named to take on that task. I think it has to happen, and the sooner the better because I hate it and I barely build anything, but DAMN son. Making it more interesting to look at than spaceships “Oh look, there’s my Archon building, you can actually watch the skeleton take place, the armor plates being installed” or “Man those scientists are taking that Neutron Blaster apart. Should be interesting to see what they come up with” would be a lot more fun than “Pick the blueprint, pick the installation, damnit misclicked.” In fact It’s so bad CCP did a Chronicle on how boring invention is. As someone who used to build T2 things all the time: I can say it’s 100% true.
The biggest takeaway is still that CCP is simply not working on the biggest problems of the game. Whatever neat and shiny things they are developing will be stunted and limited in their impact until and unless they can effectively kill the elephants in the room.
And these aren’t tiny elephants. They take up a simply staggering amount of space and they squeeze out a lot of good in the game, and the directions it’s going. You can only walk so far in a room with two elephants in it. With supercaps on one side and Tech on the other the nullsec power-broker alliances have crowded the room to the point where anyone else trying to enter and grow really has to kill an elephant to do it. Normally I’m against CCP changing the way things work to make life easier for players. In fact I’ve railed against it, but this time I will admit that my normally rabid stance would be wrong. I say this knowing full well that as a member of CFC it could crush my alliance and coalition, but the vicious cycle of “Tech to fund supers, supers to defend tech” doesn’t seem to have a way to break it that wouldn’t require a herculean effort. Admittedly it’s hard to imagine a paradigm that doesn’t involve the rich getting richer, but damnit that’s what CCP gets 15 bucks per player per month to solve! They need to get on it, these issues need to be #1 and #1a and we can skip numbers 3-18 and put Greyscale at #19.
But enough of my ranting. I will probably return to these elephants soon. I’m not as dissatisfied as some bloggers are by this CSM, although they are hardly “Exciting,” or “Inspiring.” I’m jaded when it comes to excitement. I like my politics to be a bit more boring. I’d like them to do more. I’d like them to push CCP in the right direction, but they have limited tools, and limited leverage. The players are generally happy. There may be clouds in the sky, but there’s no thunder and lightning. No monuments are being wrecked, there’s no clear mandate from the players for the CSM to use as a lever and without that they cannot force the issues as effectively as the last CSM did. Maybe a new CSM with new members would help, maybe not. Hopefully CCP takes a good look and starts talking more about the elephants.