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.
- Exequror (and rename it so i can spell it please)
- 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.
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.