Unholy Rage Indeed

CCP has been staggering from land mine to land mine for the past month.  It’s almost as if, as a company, they have said “OOOOOOH look at the shiny bomb on the ground!  Lets pick it up!” *whoomp* “Hey look THERE’S ANOTHER!  SCORE!,”  Indeed it seems that CCP has made deliberate decisions to violate principles that the large and vocal majority of its user base have declared anathema to their experience.

The first landmine was the terribly worded memo regarding 3rd party apps.  This began a threadnaught of classical proportions, filled with a mix of intelligence and… well… other stuff.  CCP has retreated from the most egregious of its errors in that, and I think is working towards what could become a very positive development despite all the people who will rush to scream “THE SKY IS FALLING” at any change that is made.  However this does not change the fact that CCP, an international company with almost 400,000 customers released a memo that was vague, poorly worded, and massively offensive to its most die-hard supporters.  Had this been shown to a small, bound focus group, like the CSM, it never would have made it past there.  The fact that CCP did not avail themselves of the resource they had is rank, amateur BS.

Staggering along CCP ran into the FAMC (Forever Alone Minmatar Closet).  Honestly as CCP expansions go I’ve seen worse.  It would be nice if it didn’t overheat my brand new gaming machine, but it set reasonable goals, and for the most part delivered.  It would be nice to see it a bit more ambitious, and it certainly needs a LOT of work but it is a step towards a goal that CCP has had for a long time, and a goal I think will be good for the game in the long run.  Bringing a more identifiable avatar along and making it a bigger part of the game will bring in new customers, particularly the female gamer if certain surveys and polls are to be believed.  The new turret effects are AMAZING.  Very slick looking, and much more effective than the old graphics, frankly this part is the one absolute unqualified success of the expansion and I will defend that until I get into a huge fleet fight where the added load completely melts my system.  Additionally the “throw-in” prize of the new Maller skin.  Its awesome.  I love it.  I’m training to be able to fly a Devoter in large part because of it.  I do have to ask why the Maller?  Here’s a list of ships that BADLY need to be redesigned before the Maller did.

  1. Dominix
  2. Moa
  3. Raven
  4. Blackbird
  5. Aeon
  6. Nidhoggur
  7. Hel
  8. Prophecy
  9. Brutix
  10. Celestis
  11. Exequror (and rename it so i can spell it please)
  12. Imicus
  13. Burst
  14. Old Maller (if even here)
But its not an unqualified success.  Most people are running with FAMC turned off, its a clunky interface, it doesn’t offer a lot of features, there’s no “social” aspect to it, oh and it might melt your machine.  What do you get when you take this entirely sensible action?

I feel like I just finger painted the walls of my Archon

This.  Standing in the corner like a naughty 5 year old.  Kind of a let down from this:

You're Damn Right its Big.

But at least standing in the corner doesn’t result in the smell of melted plastic.  Would it be too much to ask one of the art weenies to come up with something better?  Heck give us back the old “Ship hovering in the hangar” to play with.  Ship spinning is a time-honored tradition in EvE!  Now the only people that can really do it are wormhole folk!
However I don’t consider the time-out corner to be a major flaw.  Its something that I hope is fixed, and fixed soon, but its not game-breaking.  A predictable, easily-avoidable mistake, yes, game-breaking?  no.
The latest and greatest land-mine was revealed when some partisan inside CCP leaked what is alleged to be an internal document laying out CCPs strategy for mictro transactions.  http://www.evenews24.com/2011/06/22/greed-is-good-purportedly-leaked-internal-bulletin-shows-ccps-refreshing-new-direction/  about 1/3 of the way down (Near the bottom of the actual story) there’s a link.  Read it.  Seriously, you need to.
Now for a quote
“Not all virtual purchases will focus on customization:  some will simply be new items, ammunition, ships, etc. that can be purchased outright.  The devil, as always, is in the details,”
Does CCP have someone on staff to explain economic ramifications to them?  Let me take you through the life cycle of my last harpy I lost.  Minerals were produced, either by a miner, or a missioner, who generated the minerals by reprocessing either ore or modules.  These minerals built a Merlin.  Profit to the people generating the minerals.  Datacores and BPCs were generated by people who pulled them from agents, and copying from BPOs (one of the few things available only from the NPC market for pure isk)  Invention happens to produce a Harpy BPC.  Profit to the Datacore and BPO owners.  FINALLY its time to build a Harpy.  Moon minerals are pulled from moons in lowsec and nullsec, reacted several times, combined with the Merlin, the BPC, and some more minerals to produce a Harpy.  Profit to the moon miners, reactors, some more miners, and whoever built the Merlin.  Lets look at the final tally of people who at some point in the process benefited from my purchase of a Harpy.  Miners/Missioners (twice) Manufacturer, moon miner, moon mud reactor, datacore harvester, and the BPO copier.  Now lets look into the future, where CCP is selling ships directly for Aurum, or Plexes, or Isk.  Who profits?  CCP.  Who is cut out of the deal?  Everyone else.
So not only does this change directly profit CCP, it removes the profit for all the other people involved, this decreases demand for products produced by people, reduces their profit, and transfers that profit to CCP.  Meanwhile the player that bought the Harpy from CCP receives an in-game benefit without any in-game cost.
CCP has long promised that there would be no micro-transactions that generated an in-game benefit.  The forums caught fire when the plex for remaps idea was floated, to think that the response would be less extreme with a much more aggressive program is naive and frankly stupid.
So what we have is a company that has repeatedly made poor choices, ignored opportunities to test potential bad ideas on a small audience, and taken steps towards violating promises that they have made to their playerbase, and steps which will hurt players to the benefit of the company.  Greed is good CCP, when tempered by wisdom.
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About Corelin

An Eve playing Fool who occasionally writes about the shenanigans he and his minions get up to.

Posted on June 24, 2011, in CCP Hijinx, Things You Should Know About. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Certainly this looks to accurately capture the tenor of conversation not just on the forums, but also elsewhere in the wider EvE blogosphere. It’s interesting to note that the heavy apologists are eerily quiet for the most part on these topics. On the other end of the scale, there is some truly epic rage (such as that leading to a permaban for Helicity Boson and all related accounts). It would be most interesting to see a neutral third party analysis of the feedback to know the scale of it … but in the end, I’m not sure anything instructive would come. CCP will do what they will do, and the playerbase will react as it will react.

    As regards the “Greed is Good” leaked document; it’s not hard to understand the upset. The part about that being missed, however, even by our blogger here is that what was put forth in that document was NOT policy – not toward EvE, at any rate – but speculation/thought on the part of some of its employees. I certainly tend to be in camp of those who thing MT for _anything_ other than vanity items is bad (m’kay?) … however, no matter how CCP has botched things up, we’re not there yet, and their playing public is _clearly_ on record about what will and will not pass muster.

    So what we’re dealing with is PR … and it certainly is evident that on every front in the communications regime, CCP is an utter unmitigated disaster. And yes, it is perhaps true that their small group of luminaries known as the CSM might have been able to show better ways of packaging this info (if not outright avoiding it). Alas that didn’t happen … but given the relative invisibility of the CSM in _all_ of these topics, I have to wonder about that as well. Where is the mighty Mittens, who – as CSM chair – should by rights be leading the charge on all this stuff? Silent. Trebor? A post here and there, otherwise silent. Seleene? Same. The others? Nada. Perhaps it’s time to call _them_ on the carpet, as well, for the lack of attention or soft-peddling that’s all we see in these critical moments.

    Just some thoughts …

  2. @tMmM!
    You missed where last year around this time we were told point blank by CCP devs that there would be absolutely no MT. So they either lied to us then or misled us. Which is worse? Now we read in their internal publication they are discussing MT for ammo, more fitting slots, etc, why should we believe they are only discussing it and that it not has already been decided? We can’t take the chance. Hence the rage on the forums.

    • @Belloche – Don’t think I don’t understand the elements of that rage. I do very well indeed, and you’re absolutely right. I merely take a more Shadai-like approach (read the latest Sleepless, I think he’s captured it very well).

      I should also say that I’ve seen at the very least Seleene’s appearance in what I think I’m going to term the Ultimate Threadnought, so kudos to him at least for stepping forward.

      CCP continues to massively bomb out on this, and right now, I find the only real position I can take is one of reclining and throwing popcorn into my mouth whilst watching the fireworks. So many have said it far better than I can.

  3. Pffffhahaha, what?! Greed is good? In your dreams perchance.

  1. Pingback: TOP POASTS OF TWO-THOUSANDY-ELEVEN « Mad Haberdashers

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