Category Archives: CCP Hijinx

Shaving it Close

A recent “Feature” of changes discovered by some intrepid explorers and confirmed by numerous POS bashers and gankers is that SMAs, and large containers are simply not dropping big cargo.  Fozzie says (and I quote)

I think I can clarify a few things.

When it changed to its current behavior that change was made intentionally for performance reasons. Therefore it is not a “bug”, but that doesn’t mean it will always stay the way it is now either.
When something is considered “working as intended” that doesn’t mean we’re happy with every aspect of the design, but it does mean that there is a reason for the status quo.

We are aware of the significant downsides to the current mechanic and we’re not married to the current design for SMA destruction but we can’t promise anything specific about it at this time.

The GMs were not mistaken in their communication on this issue.

So let me take a look to see how this is playing out economically.  Traditionally, successful POS bashes could offer a wealth of loot to the victor, ditto for big freighter ganks.  Wealth was destroyed, but it was also redistributed.  Now I’m not talking about wealth redistribution in a political sense, but in a military sense, that is, to the victors go the spoils.  This keeps a large amount of goods in circulation and, while there is upward pressure on prices due to increased demand to replace destroyed goods, it is somewhat counteracted by the spoils of war being collected.  Pretty good for players not currently having POS towers blown up.

Now the victors get the parking place on the moon, some loot from the small end of the table, and not a lot else.  No shiny ships, no big packages of items, just… siftings of the debris.  Not exactly inspiring loot to be honest.  So what is happening?  Goods are being destroyed.  That is: removed from the economy.  Permanently.  Even as the demand increases a bit because both sides will have expended ships, POS modules, and munitions in the destruction of the towers.  This increases prices, and does so at a sharper rate.  This means more rewards for people mining, manufacturing, and trading.

Fozzie has said this isn’t the end-state.  He sees tweaking happening, but I don’t think we will end up back where we started.  I think CCP wants to see how much they can limit the loot drop without completely removing the incentive part of WH clearance for fun and profit.   He wants things to be destroyed more.  He wants there to be less reward for the shooters, and more for the miners, manufacturers and traders.  He wants them to play more, to profit more, and to create more (and, incidentally, to plant more sticks to get blown up.)  THIS, however requires people to want to blow the sticks up, so there will be some adjustments made to see just how little candy the piñatas can drop before people stop whacking them with sticks.  I suspect loot will drop a little more, and little more, until he sees a better mix of people bashing, and third parties profiting and playing more.  I’m not sure how they will measure this, but I clearly see CCPs profit motive in reducing the profitability to the players of bashing POS towers and ganking freighters.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Much Ado About Something

So.  CCP Hired Mintchip.  It caused a bit of a firestorm.  How bad?  Well.  They had to lock, and then REMOVE the forum thread welcoming her to CCP.  I only saw bits and pieces of it I don’t even see it on eve-search.  Apparently it got over 52 pages fast.  It got ugly, and it got personal.

Minchip is a pretty polarizing figure, and all the more so because she is female.  As a Youtube video blogger she has 25,854 subscribers at the time I bothered to look it up.  If they all played DUST they’d double the active playerbase.  Maybe more than that.  This is significant because, despite the 52 page thread on the EvE-O forums, she’s actually a DUST Community Representative.  The Dust welcome thread is at 12 pages btw.

So what’s got people all worked up?  Well first we’ll pick one of my pet peeves.  Her Youtube channel has a wishlist.  To me that’s a bit unprofessional.  I *really* hope someone at CCP pokes her and has her take that down.  She uses the same name and has the same identity as a CCP Member that she does on Youtube.  Time to be a pro.

Next, she’s bashed EvE.  I have no problem with this.  Mostly because a good part of this blog is me bashing EvE, CCP, and while I may not agree with the way she chooses to bash the game/company, I have no problem with a CCP Dev who I disagree with.  Especially when it’s in DUST which can frankly use all the publicity it can get at this point.

She’s also a female.  This doesn’t make people react positively or negatively necessarily, but it DOES make them react MORE positively or negatively.  People just get worked up about women whether they are being outright misogynistic, “White Kniting”, providing well reasoned support, or just trolling.  People LOVE Punkturis, people LOATHE Mintchip.

Frankly, it’s a non-issue.  For all we know she has years of experience doing CR professionally.  Most of us haven’t seen her resume.  I’ll wait to see her work before setting her world on fire, thank you very much.

So here’s my fix.  Mintchip removes the wish list from her Youtube page.  Second she does a video, and a Dev Blog talking frankly and openly about her history with EvE.  She talks about CCP’s goals with DUST and how she fits into the picture.  Finally CCP needs to make quite clear that the comments thread is very much for responses to the situation going forward, not blasting the past, not exhuming corpses and de-closeting skeletons.  We all know the thread will be heavily moderated.  It has to go up, and it has to STAY up.  Otherwise he value to CCP is blown.  If CCP cannot let her interact with the audience she cannot be a community relations rep.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Power Underwhelming

So Dust 514 is out.  Everything about it is pretty much… meh.  It’s a fun game, an engaging one, but not terribly rewarding to play in the beginning, nor is it intuitive.  It’s fun to read about.  It’s interesting to see others play it well.  It’s not really my cup of tea.

And I’m not the only one.

Ugh

These numbers aren’t pretty.  Two weeks after release and this game hasn’t exactly roared onto the scene.  CCP needs this game to succeed.  They need to show potential investors that they can do more, and compete.  They need to show investors that they will get a payout predictably and this… this doesn’t show it.  This isn’t enough customers, let alone paying customers, to recoup the money spent on Dust in years.  Let alone the ongoing cost of maintaining it.

Why do I think CCP is struggling with Dust?  Well, resources don’t help.  They simply didn’t have enough to make a real first rate, first person MMOShooter.  It’s an okay game, but it’s doomed against even the likes of Planetside because it struggles with very basic things.  Like aiming controls.

Even if they got the fundamentals down, and made the game more playable for people who already love console shooters, look at the list at the beginning.  Think about what all your friends who can’t stand EvE said about EvE.  Now nod your heads.  Baa like sheep while you are at it.  That’s right people.  CCP really made an EvE first person shooter.  Right down to the core issues.  That’s a problem.  There’s no real competition for EvE’s niche.  The ultra-dark, hardcore, sci-fi, sandbox MMO niche is rather vacant with only EvE chained up frothing at the mouth guarding it’s food bowl and a bunch of scared other developers wondering whether a couple nibbles of kibble is worth fighting the Cerberus guarding it.  The first person shooter market is rather more like armies of well-disciplined soldiers armed to the teeth guarding their own farms with acres of food at stake.  Sure there’s a TON more people out there than there are for EvE’s niche.  How many of them aren’t already in one camp or another?  How many are likely to wander in and get snared unawares?

Dust is a niche product trying to establish itself in a realm that is well staked out, well established, and with some baffling “advantages” that look like handicaps.  I’m going to take a moment to talk about my favorite.  The “Meta”

So Awoxing is a bit of a thing in EvE.  Ok it’s a big thing in EvE.  It’s not that big out of EvE so on the off chance that you like shooters and you are reading this I’ll describe it.  An Awoxer is someone who joines a corp in EvE with the intention of killing its members for fun.  Or profit.  Mostly fun (and profit.)  In other games this is horrendous.  In EvE it is hilarious.  And profitable.  What does this have to do with shooters?  Well I’ll tell you.

So now you can take over planets to support your EvE buddies.  Of course you can also sabotage your enemies to ensure that you win your battles.  The best way to do this is to infiltrate the enemy merc corp and awox the ever loving shit out of them.  That’s right, joining their army to reduce their numbers and cripple their efforts.  This is a simply infuriating tactic.  For one thing Dust doesn’t let you pour 200 people into a fight like EvE.  Or 2000 for that matter, so one person who is a double-agent can really upset things.  3 or 4 and it’s all over but the crying.  This means that not having a good means of sniffing out spies and awoxers can really hurt your DUST corps in a hurry.  Then there’s e-honor.  FPS players LOVE their stats.  They love their kill ratios, their damage ratios, everything.  Throw them in a match where they get murdered to hell and gone by an awoxer and the bloom is off the rose fast.  Overcoming your own losses to win the battle may sound glorious, but it stinks on the stat sheet most of the time.

This creates a first person shooter that basically appeals to EvE players.  Rather than exposing a wider world to the opportunity to participate in the EvE Universe, the initial impact has been more like exposing the daring souls who choose to approach to the scum and villainy that we EvE players celebrate and the world applauds.  From a safe distance.  Like, behind the electric fences.

For EvE and DUST to coexist in a useful and meaningful way DUST players have to be exposed to the meta game.  There’s simply no way for the games to overlap without backstabbing, face stabbing, and general shenanigans being part of regular events.  HOWEVER this will limit the general appeal of DUST.  People want the battles to be decided in the field, and that’s just not the way EvE is played.  Major battles in EvE might be decided in the field, but no one leaves a really important fight to chance.  People like The Mittani, Shadoo, and fallen giants like Sir Molle, Bobby Atlas and others all rise and fall based on their ability to win, then fight.  They meta-game the shit out of events so that the enemy comes to the field in ruins, outclassed and without hope.  That doesn’t sound like a first person shooter to me.  That doesn’t sound like a casual game someone plops on the couch to play while waiting for their mac n cheese to finish.

DUST 514 isn’t doomed, but CCP needs to really figure out how to not only fix the basic mechanical problems that plague it, but how to get new types of players into the EvE universe, even at a remove from EvE itself.  It’s not an easy problem, and there’s no easy answers, but if CCP is going to save DUST (and it needs saving) they have to come up with the answers and soon.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Dat Geddon

So CCP announced some changes to ships.  ‘Dat Geddon.

Amarr Battleship Skill Bonuses:
+10% to Drone damage and Hit Points (replaced large energy turret rate of fire)
+10% Energy Neutralizer and Energy Vampire range (replaced large energy turret cap use)

Slot layout: 7H(-1), 4M(+1), 7L(-1); 5 turrets(-2) , 5 launchers(+5)
Fittings: 14500 PWG(-2000), 550 CPU(+65)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 6800(+1331) / 8500(+1859) / 8000(+1789)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second) : 6200(+887.5) / 1087s / 5.7
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 100(-5) / .13(+.002) / 105200000 / 18.96s (+.29)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 125 / 375(+250)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 65km / 110 / 7
Sensor strength: 21 Radar Sensor Strength (+4)
Signature radius: 450 (+80)

HELLO NURSE!  Welcome to the new age of dead caps.  Seriously this thing is a beast.  It looks like you can fit a plate, a full rack of neuts, two heavy cap boosters, an MWD, and hardeners / DCU with an RCU II and then just rig for buffer and make caps cry a LONG way away.  Almost 38km away in fact.  Oh and 125m of heavy drones for flavor.  Throw in a DDA II instead of one of the hardeners and you can get a quite respectable 550+ DPS.  The changes in slots make the ships a bit more interesting, and the lost PG will absolutely be missed, but this is still a monstrous ship.  The Geddon has long been my favorite Amarr battleship, now it might be my favorite battleship period.  That much neuting turns this into the swiss army Dominix on crack.  Depending on the changes to the Dominix the new ‘Geddon might be my favorite ship.  Depending on how expensive they are, and I do expect the price to go up; although probably not as high as the current Abaddon prices, it should be quite economical to bring in dozens of them to hammer the cap of capfleets if you have the time to get them in place.

One of the safe assumptions is that all the soon-to-be-former-tier 1 Battleships will become EWAR ships.  Not much will change for the Scorp.  It might even get a nerf.  The Domi will be interesting.  Massive buffer + sensor damps should be real interesting.  The ‘Phoon is the one that might be real real interesting.  Target painters on a frigate are kind of a waste.  Target painters on a BS are potentially less so.  If it manages to acquire a web bonus it might become a monstrously popular ship.

Gallente must have done something to CCP.  The Mega still looks like a lot of fun (even more fun actually) but the Hype is still a hot mess, and the Domi isn’t looking nearly as standout as before.  Not because it got worse, because it didn’t, but because a lot of other ships got better.  I suppose this isn’t a bad thing as Domi’s can be pretty OP in small fights, but reading the forum thread feels like watching your favorite athlete walking into the locker room at the end of the season and realizing he didn’t have it this year and he’ll be older next year.

Winmatar seems to be adding a but of luster to the rust fleet.  Pests will get that much nastier (and I can’t WAIT to see the navy ones) with more PG, HP and cap.  Phoons get some love too.  They trade some drones for torp bonuses, and add some toughness as well.  Torps may not be the best weapon ever, but they certainly have some uses.  Especially backed up by plenty of webs and a TP or two.

The Caldari Rokh gets a nerf.  No more no-effort 140k ehp Rokhs.  We’ll have to settle for 130k now.  Ravens lose a high, gain a mid, some fitting space, lose some hitpoints and gain speed.  I don’t think it will bring cavalry ravens back just yet, but it should be interesting to see them as something other than cast iron tubs filled with lead spraying missiles.  Scorps get a bit tougher, a bit more cap and that’s about all.

I can’t wait for the Geddon.  I can’t wait for the fun of seeing it murdering cap on ships.  I can’t wait to see capfleet panic from a handful of geddons on D-scan.  I can’t wait for Odyssey.  I can’t wait to hear what the Gallente did to CCP Rise to make him so angry.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

The 4th Estate

Next year could be a very interesting year in the blog community.  Ripard Teg seems to be almost a lock to earn a seat, and maybe a ticket  as a CSM.  Mike Azariah is also running, so is Roc Wieler.  Riverini has also thrown in his hat.

I don’t get it.  I really don’t.  Any one of these guys has the ears of New Eden to a greater or lesser extent.  They can influence both the activity and thinking of the game sitting at home in their boxers and bathrobes.  What’s more they offer a check on both the players and CCP by having the ability to raise the bullshit flag when things go crazy.  Ripard Teg us a fantastic example.  His clear, well written analysis is obviously brilliant, communicative and almost always spot-on.  He’s volunteering to wear a muzzle for a year to serve on the CSM.  If he wants CCP to hear what he has to say he can do it.  He can post a blog and watch for the hits from Iceland.  If he wants to influence and communicate to the players he can post a blog or send it to The Mittani Inc.  Ditto for Mike.  Ditto for Roc.  Even more so for Riverini.

Sure they get to strut on the stage.  Fly overseas a couple times, enjoy the limelight, but they trade off a lot.  They get access to CCP directly, both formally and informally.  They get to hear CCP’s plans and have some influence on where they go.  Sometimes that even works.  They have to sign an NDA too.  They are limited in what they say by their agreement with CCP.  Some of the most outspoken and capable critics of CCP, the communities, the structure of the game, and even other bloggers are going to be strictly limited.  It’s one thing for an alliance leader like The Mittani to bear the muzzle, or even a middle manager like many of the current crop.  Their responsibility is to their alliance.  The muzzle sits lighter and they just have to avoid “insider trading” type moves.  Their conflict of interest is in putting the profit of the alliance over the knowledge they gain.  Bloggers are the whistle-blowers.  When they get inside information that they disagree with their need is to trumpet it.  When they get inside information that something amazing is coming out, they want to trumpet it.  Their goal is to be a seamless conduit.  Information spread openly and completely.

I know the CSM is supposed to communicate, but it’s far from seamless.  Minutes take forever to release.  They are heavily edited.  CSM members are strictly limited in what they can say on their own.  Sometimes they may not take full advantage of everything they can say, but other times they are very limited and suffer for it.  The responsibility of the 4th Estate, the price for the pleasure we take in blogging is a responsibility to share.  To take ourselves seriously (because internet spaceships ARE serious business) we have to hunt down stories, break them, follow up, and find out what we think EvE players need to know, and make sure they know it.  A CSM might know things players need to know.  They also might not be able to do a damn thing about them.  Hopefully the muzzle rests lightly on the mouths of the bloggers.  Hopefully those that serve on the CSM are able to maintain their level of service to the community.  Their voices are valuable, make no mistake and if CCP wants to know what they think, you know they have the blogs bookmarked.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Sometimes the Easy Thing is the Correct Thing

So CCP said “Fuck No” to Fon Revedhort.  Good on them.  I’m a defender of free speech.  You have the right to say any damn thing you want.  You also have to deal with the consequences.  Fon has made his statement.  He truly believes he is blessed to be a member of the ultimate race and that he has the right and responsibility to defend it at the expense of everyone who is not pure.  Fan-Fucking-Tastic.  He has spoken publicly about his beliefs, and expressed a degree of extremism that casts doubt on his ability to work on a multi-national group, that will be required to communicate well with multiple groups of people, of multiple ethnicities and genders to be effective.

CCP finally got off the fence (they are uncomfortable) and decided that the Stellar Advisory Board aspect, which requires communication and teamwork, is more important than the “Stellar Management” aspect that requires votes and is subject to the tyranny of democracy at times.  CCP has decided not to hold themselves hostage to the voters and simply say “no” to Fon.

Frankly it’s an easy call.  It’s also the correct call.  It might not be the “right” thing to do from a “Freedom of Speech” standpoint, but CCP has a bigger responsibility to ensure that they provide their paying customers with the best experience possible, and the feedback and communication provided by the CSM is a key to that service.  CCP decided, with the help of feedback from the players, that Fon did not offer enough upside to offset the considerable downsides of:  Bad Publicity, Communication Difficulties, Outright Hostility, and possibly full blow PR Disasters.  CCP attaches its brand to the CSM.  They’ve already had a nightmare with The Mittani a year ago and they decided to pull the plug BEFORE the potential issue could become a real issue.

Poetic Stan talked at length about why he should have been allowed to run.  He makes good arguments, and I can’t say deconstruct them or destroy them.  I can simply say that the responsibility that CCP has to provide services to its players, and the utility of the CSM in that role, is too important to risk on the chance of having a bomb in the room whenever the CSM meets.

I do wholeheartedly support Poetic’s call against hate-speech.  I think it has no part in the game.  Casual hate speech, whether towards Jews, Gays, Women, people of any ethnicity, has no place in recreation.  If you wouldn’t say it to your mother, you better be careful saying it in a public forum.  You are probably offending someone, and you never know who.  Fon spoke out publicly.  This is his right.  Today he faced the consequences.  This is CCP’s responsibility.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

 

SREEGS HAS SPOKEN

Silence Ye Mortals!

Some interesting new facts:

Kelduum has spoken to Sreegs about this directly.  Hmmmmm somehow missed that.  Somehow Sreegs has gathered conclusive proof that John was botting.  At least proof to him.  Sreegs admitted one mistake, and he ran down the list of people that look at their petitions.

What looks like it may have happened is a petition from a CSM member went straight to the senior security guy, and was reviewed (likely by Sreegs) and the IA folks to make sure I’s were crossed, Ts dotted and niceties ignored.  Which is how I assume the GM team operates as while I tend to have some success there are times when it’s like pulling teeth from an angry T-Rex.

Kelduum’s allegations are basically struck down by Sreegs, but partisans will believe who they will as there is not and, under the current rules, cannot be a third party involved.  A third party is just as likely to cause this sort of ruckus, but then there can at least be a degree of collusion between the other parties to say the essential “Shut the fuck up” and draw a clear line between the reasonable concern and blatant tinfoil hattery.

I tend to believe Sreegs, because he has a professional reputation at stake, because he’s established himself as someone who takes stock THEN acts decisively, and because I dislike Kelduum’s general beliefs about EvE, nothing personal against the guy, he is clearly an EXTREMELY effective leader, I just don’t like his style of the game and that colors me against him in matters like this.

Which is the last point I’ll make today.  Odds are there are one or two GMs that I myself have rubbed the wrong way.  I don’t know if any of you have noticed but occasionally I am a bit…. aggressive with my language and I can land on people.  I know I’ve blasted a GM or two, and while I have on occasion gone back and apologized on the survey, I’ve also used a survey or two to fire a missile at the GM when I felt things were mishandled.  If a GM who had dealt with that in the past saw my name again he might not have much ability to say “Ok he’s a jerk but he makes a point” and it might help to have a third party say “Ok look, we both know he’s a jerk, but here’s MY point.”

I think it would be interesting to see more information from the GMs in response to petitions as well as more transparency, for example have the GM’s submit a “redacted” report with information on some petitions for release if it has to do with a particularly public event, like this one.

TL;DR GM TEAM: BLOGGERS WANT GM TEARS!

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

The Great POS Lie

You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.
– Inigo Montoya The Princess Bride

So for years we’ve been calling them POS towers.  Player Owned Stations.  The problem is they aren’t really owned by any given player.  They belong to corporations.  The CEO can access anything in them.  So can Directors.  This presents a massive problem for people trying to use them.  Granularity to allow Players to own and operate their own towers simply doesn’t exist.  Recently I put a Archon in to research.  Well.  I didn’t.  I only have access to the hangars available to everyone.  So I have to trust it to one of the higher ups to put it in. Which means that only 4 or 5 people can access it at any time and potentially rip me off.  Do I think any of them would do it?  Of course not.  Well.  No more than anyone else in EvE would.

The real core of the problem is that I can’t have my OWN station.  I can’t build my own facility belonging to Corelin, unless I go back to Fancy Hats and start stripping roles.  It’s a trade off that doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose.  I think CCP needs to once again call a spade a spade and admit that it’s a Corporation Owned Station (COS) and follow up by re-introducing the POS as a small structure that can fill some portion of the functions served by a modern Corporation Owned Station, CCP can offer players the opportunity to do their own research, their own light industry, maybe even their own reactions, CCP offers a stepping stone even the lone miner can use to find something he likes more, and maybe a stepping stone to the more powerful functions of a full-up Corporation Owned Station.

I would make the core module of the new POS a fairly cheap component.  Modules would also be fairly inexpensive, except for reactor and computing modules.  Those would allow you to use more reactors, labs, what have you, and would cost exponentially more for the utility.  Each player and only anchor one, and they have to be anchored near something warpable in the system.  Could be a planet.  Could be a moon.  Could be an asteroid belt.  Might allow more than one at certain beacons.  Planets might allow as many as a dozen.  Defenses would cripple the utility of even a fully upgraded POS, with enough guns to disturb even a small battlecruiser gang rendering the POS nearly useless to anyone else.  It can only have two ships docked at it at a time (bonus points for them to show up mated to docking collars rather than hidden in a hangar) and the bubble would be tiny.  Forget hiding your Titan in one, your Mach is gonna be showing it’s ass outside the bubble.

The goal here is not to completely replace the current COS system.  They serve a purpose, and should be kept in some form.  Certainly alliances wouldn’t want to be utterly dependent on one person being around to keep up its cynojammers, its bridges, let alone the wealth of its moon miners.  POS structures will allow players their own base for a secure, safe operation divorced from the godawful Corporate Interface.  It reduces the strain on the corporate interface by making POS towers less of a necessity for the individual.  This won’t actually make players too much more independent though.  Readers of my blog already know I hate people who try to never interact with their fellows.  Instead I suggest having no more than a 24 hour timer for reinforcement.  Notifications will be sent to the entire corp letting them know that they have a friend in need.

This system creates a new choice.  Do I accept a penalty to research time and cost to secure my own resources, or do I put them at risk in a communal structure in order to save time and resources.  It creates opportunities.  It allows players to dabble in something they might not have access to otherwise, and provides new conflict drivers.  Imagine finding your rival running a POS in a lowsec cull-de-sac.  Think you wouldn’t be drooling over the chance to set a trap for him?  As a conflict driver they offer a real target for small gangs.  I think a decent BC gang, or even Tier 1 Cruiser gang should be able to smash up a cluster of these things to drive fights without the horrible monotony of a 2 hour POS bash.

Finally I don’t want them in highsec.  I want them in null.  I want them in Wormholes, and I really want them in lowsec.  The thought of hundreds of alts in NPC corps clogging up highsec beacons with stations is horrendous.  NPC Corp?  No POS.  Highsec system?  No POS.  These are conflict drivers.  These are enablers for individuals.  These are not traffic obstructions.  The last thing we need is more clutter at the Jita 4-4 undock.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

It’s Just a Flesh Wound

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.

It's just a flesh wound!

It’s just a flesh wound!

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.

It’s like This. With Two Elephants.

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.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Plow, then Plant

So CCP has been slowly preparing to expand EvEs population base.  New graphics on the noob ships, vastly improved tutorials, a cornucopia of usable ships in the Frigate, Destroyer, and Cruiser classes, the fields are well prepared for a new crop of players.  What will be interesting will be where CCP goes to find new players to plant the fields.

CCP has long been banking on Dust 514 to bring in a flow of players, but with Planetside 2 being an astounding success, and Dust having a lesser lineage to most of the gaming crowd, as well as being only on the PS3, I have to wonder how well Dust will catch on.  I do think that some players will join the EvE universe, both as Dusties and crossing over to become capsuleers.  Recently CCP crossed over into E-Sports with their rather uninspired tournament.  This may have generated some interest in EvE, but it seems that it generated the ever present confusion that people unfamiliar with the game get while watching EvE as well.

So what can CCP do to “Sell” EvE?  Start with more trailers.  The bass dropping, careening ships with pewing lasers is exciting, but not always true to EvE.  I would like a series to follow the Causality trailer in more detail, and perhaps slightly less grim.  Follow the development of a player, from the early days zooming around in frigates, to standing in a battle line with battleships trading heavy blows, or mining in a Venture while working up towards a Mack (or a Hulk if you are old fashioned)

The goal is to show that EvE has three things to it:

  1. Natural progressions, every ship type, every ship role, every weapon type, and every module has superior and inferior versions.  
  2. The opportunity to excel.  EvE will put you in positions where you can succeed and fail, success brings rewards, failure brings penalties.
  3. Eventually you can overcome nearly anything.  EvE rewards patience, planning, and persistence.  You set a goal, you figure out a realistic plan for doing it, and you carry out that plan and you can topple empires.  Ask Band of Brothers.

Show the scope and scale of the game, link to the other trailers (Dominion especially) but show that humble beginnings are part of the game, that a wallet under 100 million isn’t a handicap, and reach out to players, talk about real EvE Corps and players, whether it’s EvE University and Chribba or Goonswarm and Helicity Boson.  Show people that there’s a REAL mark to be made, that someday YOU might be the guy in the videos.  Show the CSM, show that there’s a LOT in this game, but that it’s ok, because there’s people out there to help.

Whatever you do, don’t do this again.  EVER.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can