Category Archives: CCP Hijinx

Collecting the Bones to Beat the Dead Horse Again

Ok I’ve already said CCP doesn’t seem to have a plan and is staffed with people who don’t seem to get the game most of us play, or at least the one we want to.  I blame CCP for this of course, it is their company, but that’s only because they’ve set themselves up with the wrong advisory board.  Yeah, THAT dead horse.  The current CSM is a very knowledgeable group.  Their prowess within EvE is well know, but this isn’t a “Revolutionary” group.  These are established people, with their own niches to tend to, and their own document talking about future development of EvE doesn’t talk about a specific vision, merely the mechanics that would improve the game we inhabit.  In their defense this was not the intention of the document, but still they seem to be listening to the same music as CCP, if not dancing the same dance.

The CSM is a grand experiment in democracy, and it’s achievements should not be ignored, however if the purpose of the CSM is to “represent society interests to CCP,” then they really aren’t built to do the job.  They represent big blocs of voters, because that’s who wins elections.  They respond to issues that hit them hard, and work best when responding to issues that affect them or those near them directly.  Their fields of expertise are limited, and while they are at least familiar with most of the game, there’s a lot they just don’t know.

CCP first has to pick a direction.  The current CSM can certainly serve to advise them on that.  For the next CSM, CCP needs to engage with them both as a council, and as individuals.  They also need to screen them to some extent.  CCP needs to be proactive at seeking out and finding advisors who can provide good and useful input as much on what CCP *NEEDS* input on as well as people who can represent every aspect of EvE from the most ignorant, blissful carebear to the most unrepentant pirates.  They need to bring in people who run Large POSes all by themselves, an people who think triple tanking their new retriever is a good idea.  More on that in a moment.  They need to reach out to people who join, run, and help organize 10,000 man alliances, and people who start solo tax shelters.  They need to find trainers who take the time to teach this game to new players and work HARD to bring their lessons to Iceland.

New players offer a very important resource to CCP.  I know GMs reach out to new players, I had a new alt that got convo’d by a GM a while back.  I think picking out a few (screening for real name and billing information to make sure they are real) and getting them on skype to talk about what perceptions they have about the game might be very illuminating.  Heck a survey to see what information they have gleaned about the game could be quit interesting.  CCP recognizes players as a resource of more than just money, but they haven’t acted to capitalize on that resource.  As a result CCP often grasps at straws and has even fallen into the dreaded “It was not intended” mindset so hated in WoW devs.  Now CCP has the right and responsibility to make sure game-breaking behavior doesn’t happen, but it is a VERY powerful and loaded phrase.  Unintended consequences are what makes EvE awesome.  Whether it’s battle-badgers, Hulkageddon, triage-coasting, or any of a host of other creative responses to tactical problems or boredom, what players achieve should far outweigh what the devs intend.

The bottom line is CCP lacks vision, it isn’t using its tools and resources well, and while it continues to maintain an interesting game it’s improving by increments, and giving itself no chance at revolutionizing its niche.  Some of this is by design, but failure by design is still failure.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

I’d Nuke my ISP

But they are practically next door so I think it would cause far more problems than it would solve.  Alternately it would solve ALL of my problems.  Permanently.

Anyway.  I finally got my net up long enough to run a mission or three.  I first tooled around in wormholes in a Proteus, then realized how rusty and sloppy I was and got OUT of the 400 million isk pod in a 900 million isk ship in 0.0 sec space and headed to “safer” territory.  Setting up a Paladin was a matter of a couple of minutes, and the new market makes picking out faction fittings pretty simple.  Oh and that’s FACTION not DEADSPACE in case you were planning on ganking me.  I have no problem putting some shinies on a billion isk ship.  I will not turn it into an isk pinata.  I plan on learning how to play again then heading back to places where 0.0 never goes away for weeks.  and lose some isk doing stupid shit.

The new UI is interesting.  I’ve noticed the “LOCKED” keeps flashing forever.  I don’t like that.  I do like that I can see who is hitting me and how hard, and targeting rats that happen to be using some form of EWAR is easy, which I like even more.  I like to think that CCP is getting up on the curve they’ve been behind on with regards to the UI providing information.

The new CCP seems to be very good at solving the little things but missing the big things.  There doesn’t seem to be a “Vision” for EvE, let alone a plan to get there.  The mission statement for CCP Games could very well be “We’ll muddle through” mixed in with a dash of “OOOOOOOH shiny!” for spice.  Look at the Dev Blogs.  Chartsville, Dev roam, General Tso’s EvE, MOMA announcement, UI fix, hangar fix, Dev video, Wardec fix, EON modernization, Drone Region fix, UI change (which I hate, which was coincidentally penned by Greyscale…) BOUNTIES!  YES!  SOMETHING THAT INCREASES RISK IN THE GAME FOR THOSE BEING JERKS, and yes I’m aware that I’m quite likely to be a victim of the bounty system later, and I think that that is AWESOME.  UI fix, UI Fix, ship balancing, Sound updates, Community Spotlight, New Eden Open.

So… what’s the goal of EvE for the next while.  Where does CCP see the meta moving in the next 3, 6, and 12 months.  What is the “horizon” for Highsec, Lowsec, Nullsec, NPC Nullsec, and Wormhole Space, where are they moving towards for the foreseeable future.  I certainly don’t have an answer going back who knows how far.  The closest we see is the Halftime review of Retribution, written on 30 October, which gave a look at what Retribution would be, but it really just shines a spotlight on the problem.  CCP isn’t steering a warship across a stormy ocean with a firm hand and rock-solid nerves, they are floating an inner tube down a river and hoping like hell that there aren’t any jagged rocks waiting for them.

See this? This is the clearest stretch for the next 2 years.

EvE is an amazing game, and they have amazing people working for them.  Hell even the much maligned Greyscale is clearly an intelligent guy, he just doesn’t seem to get EvE.  Saturday I’m going to go over WHY CCP doesn’t seem to get EvE, and what they can do to help themselves.

Oh and for those wondering about Warmachine, Deneghra + Nightmare + Prey + a well positioned Arc Node + Satyxis Raiders = a turn 3 assasination that should NEVER have worked in a million years.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Fine I’ll Write About the Money

But mostly the Meta.

So apparently CCP has decided to get into E-Sports tournaments.  Funnily enough I think EvE is kind of the original E-Sport tournament, at least for people who ignore the EULA.  That’s a different story however.

E-Sports are big.  MOBAs like League of Legends (which I suck at) pump millions into tournaments.  I’m not kidding.  Millions.  Teams are rigid, rigorous, and have strategies planned down the the second.  None of this “Garmon’s passed out at the keyboard, who’s ready to jump in?” nonsense.  CCP is starting with a modest $10k pot.  However they are emphasizing the “sport” and ignoring the “game” that it comes from.  Sure the Alliance Tournament produces some memorable moments.  However the meta-moments are the best ones.  AT IXs, final was hilarious and as EvE Online a moment as you could get.  How about the famous AT IV match where BoB had the counter to their setup gamed out by their opposition and losing to Star Fraction.

Then CCP did the suddenly popular “Double Down” not only are they going to ban anyone attempting to meta-game this tournament, they will go after all their alts (mains) as well per THIS post from Sreegs.  This pretty much means any involvement in the tournament exposes potentially ALL your EvE assets to banning.  Never mind that what exactly constitutes meta-gaming isn’t exactly covered in the Dev Blog, you’ll know it when you do it.  Or at least when you get banned for doing it.

CCP doesn’t even have the excuse that it’s the sponsor’s money so they want transparency.  They apparently want this to be completely above-board to show it off to bring more people in.  Fine.  Here’s the problem.  Someone who comes in thinking EvE is all neat with two teams neatly divided by a line is not gonna like what he finds.  Spais are EVERYWHERE in this game.  I assume them in every fleet that involves more than 1 person who’s IRL address I do not know.  To put in this steam-cleaned, sanitized tournament as an example of EvE to the outside world is disingenuous.  EvE does not have neat dividing lines.  There’s always potential to metagame, to play the system more than the game, and to win by doing so.  The e-sports tournament puts the tournament before the game.  That’s a decision CCP is certainly allowed to make, but it doesn’t make it a good decision.  CCP claimed shame at the AT IX results.  I think they should have done what they always did.  Laughed it off over a beer.  Congratulated themselves on, once again, having the only game where that would EVER happen.

Spying happens.  Ask The Mittani.  Metagaming happens.  Ask… shit ask anyone.  Denying these facts, these tools, upon which EvE is built in what will soon be a very public facet of EvE is just silly.  Having such stark punishments under such vague rules?  The first time someone huge gets mega-banned get ready for ALL the major players to step back and stop involving themselves.  I sure as hell wouldn’t put Corelin at risk in this format, which means not having any of my alts involved either.  Punishments are too high, rules too vague, and even the benefits are iffy.  Unless you have the PL or Hydra train taking you to the top you are just showin’ yer ass for a chance to get banned if some chain of inferences means you might have metagamed.  Like if I blogged the wrong thing.  Or maybe the thought police caught a whiff of something.  I love Big Brother.

I’m using it every time I can

More Meeting Madness

I’m a bit of a preacher on the topic of “Meetings” as I feel they are badly misused over 90% of the time.  Most people in real life are non-confrontational, they don’t want to speak up and rock the boat, and meetings are often convened for the express purpose of letting someone stroke his ego.  Several days of meetings wouldn’t improve this.  If I’m a CSM rep am I going to choke-slam Fozzie on day one meeting one knowing that for the next three days I have to work with him?  Hell no, he’ll stop responding to me productively and we’ll be wasting our time, so I go cautious, I go neutral and I save my bullets.  The minutes is full of this sort of thing.

Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs when everyone in the room adopts the stance of the “Alpha Male” if you will.  The person presenting is in a position of authority, the people in the room, unless primed to resist, will tend to agree unless things are egregiously wrong, or the presentation is actually a question.  We see this on gate guns, we see this on Seleene and Elise talking about Supercaps like having 16 or 17 titans is “Not a lot.”  We see this throughout.  The minutes don’t read like a concerned player group holding the game developers responsible, but instead they generally read like a long meeting on a friday afternoon, heads nodding let’s get to the bar.

I don’t lay this at the CSM’s feet though.  Because it isn’t.  It’s meetings.  It’s the environment.  On the forums and even on their blogs the CSM’s will rail strongly for or against, not bleating, not head bobbing, strongly voicing their opinions.  Hans has been extremely candid whenever I’ve been able to corner him on Skype whether on the record or off.  These aren’t timid people.  You don’t get on the CSM by being timid, but, except for the CSM 6 emergency summit and the CSM 5 laying some smack down, there’s no real urgency, there’s no fire, there’s no confrontational push.

In the absence of that we get a CSM that head-bobs on an issue that should have ticked them off, that should have lit off some warning flags, that should have gotten their spider-sense tingling, if not their common sense.  Instead we get non-confrontation, followed by months of silence, followed by the minutes, followed by GAMER RAEG!!1!!1!!!!11!one!! followed by Hans waking up from his Icelandic booze and women induced coma and saying:

“After the flood of player feedback as well as my own urging for him to reconsider this, its no longer an idea that is being pushed forward anyways.”

It’s one thing for CCP to present in Iceland.  It’s certainly more productive than emailing PDFs with super-secret-squirrel youtube links to their CSM reps.  It’s another to plan on three days of meetings being productive when, in order to fulfill it’s duties as a sounding board, the CSM has to be free to be confrontational, even harsh, in an environment that is conducive to anything but.  The more impersonal the contact is, the more people in the meeting are free to “Be a dick.”  When people on both sides need something from the people on the other side, there tends to be either very little conflict, or tons of it.  When the goal is to be at the bars in three hours there tends to be very little conflict.

The presentations in Iceland need to be just that, presentations.  If there’s any feedback sought it needs to be open proposals, not “We want to make this change” but “What changes would you want to see with regards to this.”  Details need to be picked over with more time available, with more distance, and with more gravity.  It’s much easier to tear apart your shiny proposal when I don’t have to depend on you to buy my drink in a few hours.

CCP is and should be lauded for their use of the CSM.  The last three CSMs should be highly regarded for their activity and impact, but there’s always a way to improve.  There’s ways to make this better, more effective, and more useful both to CCP and the players.

I’m using it every time I can

Aasimov’s AI?

Probably Not

No more bringing in a defenseless logi alt to power your Nightmare through L4s without a care in the world.  No more sitting in a AFK Domi for hours on end, no more sitting in a mining ship with a good tank until… wait that still works.  This is a nerf to multiboxers and professional mission runners who use more than one account.  It’s also a big nerf to new players.  One of the first things I did in EvE was joining corp mates for level 4s in my pitifully badly fit and under-equipped ships.  Caracals, Feroxes, who knows what garbage was on those, I’ve long since destroyed the evidence.  The only reason I don’t have 30 additional losses on my history is because of Marvin MartianVII, an out of game contact who was kind enough to tank for us nooblets so we could tag along.

Newer players will be forced out of missions which is both good and bad, it’s good because it puts them back on the track of self-sufficiency, of learning how to tank, how to participate, and how to contribute.  However it excludes them from content; and, more importantly, from group content.  Before my rather rude introduction to EvE PvP, the most enjoyable part of EvE was playing these missions with friends.  This will make that far more difficult to do.  No longer will the NPCs just bash against the toughest brick in the fleet, now they will spread fire to all and sundry, reducing those newer players who don’t know how to tank to fiery metal hulks.

On the other hand maybe an object lesson like every cruiser and BC in some missions hitting my Ferox (one of the more easily tanked ships in the game) and crushing it like an egg would have made me learn my tanking lessons before I started PvPing.  Maybe not.

The overall effect?  Less money in the game, this will slow down the rate of money entering the game, by an admittedly small percent, and it will change who it goes to.  Now new players are going to struggle more to make isk.  They will have to either cram enough tank in to survive the odd aggro they will now pick up in level 4s, or find another source of isk.  Or they can stop playing because EvE is to hard.  It’s generally impossible to make a change that nerfs older players without nerfing younger ones harder.  Older players are infinitely more adaptable, experienced, capable, and generally wealthy.  New players will have to pick from a lot of other, less desirable choices, either mining.  Tedious, dull, newly competitive mining.  Faction warfare, which I suspect will see a huge nerf as a “profession” in the near future, and the normal trading, buying plex with real money, manufacturing etc, all of which match them head-on with higher SP toons who can do it more efficiently.

I’m not saying this doesn’t need to happen.  I think improving the AI in missions is long overdue.  At the same time new players might be struggling.  I don’t think it will be terribly serious.  The newer, tougher frigates and destroyers replacing the lower tier ships should do great things to ease the pain.  The new mining frigate will certainly help a great deal for those of that mind.  Still this is the kind of nerf that can REALLY affect people disproportionately.  The exact methods and timing of the target shifting should be studied carefully to avoid brutalizing the poor nooblets of EvE.  There should be a smoother transition between the levels of missions.  Each one is significantly more rewarding than the last, to the point of utterly obsoleting the previous tier once you don’t have to do them anymore.

Old players will adapt, new players will learn or leave.

I’m using it every time I can

ASB Nerf

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=1943554&%20#post1943554

CCP is tweaking the ASBs so they aren’t quite as ridiculously powerful as they are now.  Fewer charges in the ASB down to 7/9, Raising the timer on the X-Large and increasing the cap need of the module overall.  Not sure exactly how the last will be implemented.  Other things on the table include:  Limit of 1 per hull, and possible even smaller navy charges down the road.

I’m using it every time I can

I Have Been Elected as the King of Cheese

Why does Cheese need a King?  Why not!

Kinda silly when you think about it.  Almost as silly as being elected the Chairman of the Council of Stellar Management.  What do they manage?  Well let’s look at what Management means:

1.  the act or manner of managing;  handling, direction, or control.

2.  skill inmanaging;  executive ability: great management and tact.

3.  the person or persons controlling and directing the affairs ofa business, institution, etc.: The store is under new management.
4.  executives collectively, considered as a class ( distinguished from labor).

I think we can throw out #2 and #4 in this case.  Neither really applies in context, so what does the CSM control what affairs do they direct?  None and None.  The CSM is not a management board and it is not a governing body.  We treat it as such and we elect it as such but they have no responsibility as a government or a managing agency.  The Council for Stellar Management serves two functions.  They advise CCP on such matters as CCP deigns to bring them in on, and they report to the players and to CCP on matters of concern to both parties.  I think this is where Ripard’s “Customer Relations” bit comes from, not to put words in his mouth, but it does seem the shortest chain of inferences.  The CSM talks to players as a sort of adjunct to CCP, and talks to CCP as representatives for the players.  They do not manage anything, they advise and council on key matters.

And yet we elect them like it’s a political matter.  We vote on them as if they were senators, not advisors, the Chair is treated like the presidency, not a “First Councilor” or some such.  This is silly.  This needs to change.  Any discussion of “election reform” in EvE that doesn’t take this into account is just kicking the can down the road.

I know I’ve advocated for this before, but somehow it didn’t stick so I’ll just wave my own flag again:

Stellar Advisory Board

The Stellar Advisory Board is an elected body of variable size, chosen by CCP and the players in concert.  CCP determines its needs for the year based on planned expansions and hot issues.  They take the slate of positions to the players, players announce their candidacy and are vetted by the current SAB and CSM in concert to make sure they are somewhat relevant.  Having Kelduum as a Null rep is about as asinine as having The Mittani as a dedicated PvE expert.  There’s better people for both jobs and having people from unassailable blocs filling those spots wastes time and resources and denies both players and developers valuable assets in that area and elsewhere.  Once the candidates are vetted we go into the election cycle.  Each account will get three votes to put in three different candidates, letting them pick which areas (plural) are important to them.  Yeah in theory the superblocs could potentially sweep by covering all the bases, but they will still need to pick what’s *really* important to them and cover the bases.

Imagine next year CCP says “Ok we’re going to commit to Nullsec here’s what we need”

  1. Alliance Management – 3 people
  2. Fleet Management – 3 people
  3. Group PvE – 2 people
  4. Large Scale Industry – 2 people

That’s 10 people and covers the areas CCP wants to hit hardest, now they turn to the secondary areas, all of which get 1 for the year

  1. Lowsec Specialist
  2. Wormhole Specialist
  3. Dust Link Specialist
  4. EvE Community Expert
  5. At Large Seat (3)

Total number is 17.  I would bring all these people to Iceland, but just once.  With the technology available to do meetings between continents and without the need to have all 17 there for many of the meetings I don’t feel that bringing them all there for a special summit is absolutely necessary howeve; I am told by Hans Jagerblitzen that “… you cannot undersestimate the value of having people in Iceland, in person.  And also, on record, other than the summit, which is highly publicized, all the other meetings we have with CCP are smaller number of people involved and ARE done electronically” which goes two directions, first it says that the CSM needs face time with CCP.  Second it says that there’s a lot that can be done with technology.  Bring them all in, couple days after fanfest, instead of 14 trips this hypothetical SAB is doing 17.  CCP can handle it for the far more directed information they will get.

Hans brought up another point which I hadn’t considered.  The CSM can help get CCP on to some sort of long-term vision for EvE Online.  The sort of “We want to see changes along this philosophy” from the perspective of the players who really do contribute the most to the game.  I think that CCP needs to have an “Emeritus board” of the most well-regarded CSM / SAB members to help CCP find that long term vision that has been notably absent from more recent developments.  I think it would be excellent to get the advice of people like Mynxee or Z0D or Sokratesz, especially as they’ve seemingly all left despite long and storied careers, on not just the nuts and bolts of the progression of the game, but the actual underlying philosophy.

Imagine if there were people representing the players who helped instruct new employees on why the game exists a certain way.  You think CCP Greyscale would have ever even briefly entertained the notion of having a situation where an agressed player was prevented from defending himself by game mechanics if someone like Mynxee or The Mittani had sat down with him at some point and said “Undock = consent to a level of PvP.”  You think that whole “Greed is Good” fiasco would have happened if T’amber had had the standing to make a statement to CCP on other ways to implement the RMT store?  Also to plug T’amber check him out on Facebook and check out the photo galleries.  You will be floored.

Bottom line:  The CSM doesn’t make sense.  We elect politicians to advise, we don’t select advisors to advise, or elect governors to govern.  We need to fix that.  We need to use this resource, this incredible community that supports EvE Online and match it up more precisely with CCP, not politicians, but advocates, not managing, but advising.  Not wasted.  Used.

Attack Cruisers – ATTACK!

So CCP Fozzie just threw down another post on ships.  (Here) where he lays out the changes to the new “Attack” cruisers.

All of them get a huge speed boost.  Nearly 50m/s on average.  Not 5.  50.

Most get new fitting abilities going from generous (Omen) to meh (Stabber, Thorax) however there’s also a general reduction in fitting requirements for weapons.  This mean you can fit an Omen without 2 RCUs or something equally ludicrous.

Frigates are going to have a rough go of it with the Caracal pretty much turning into the heavy machine gun against the frigates unsupported infantry.  A related post (here) on the missile rebalance shows that T2 penalties are going away and Tracking Disruptors / Computers / Enhancers will now effect missile launchers.  I may have to give up my contempt for missile boats someday!

The Thorax looks like it will end up being used mostly as a ganky shield boat, as it seems to lack the fitting to do anything with a good buffer tank and blasters.  Shields on the other hand seem to slide right into it’s new slot layout, even with the loss of a big number of shield hitpoints.

The Caracal, as I mentioned gets turned into a frigate hunting menace with more damage mods, I mean low slots, a range and ROF bonus.  It actually looks a bit evil now.

The Stabber can now kite damn near anything, with a nearly 300m/s base speed and most likely will see lots of arty fits for zoom and boom gunning.

The Omen might be my new favorite.  I admit I’m a huge fan of laser boats, but MAN does this beast look sexy, enough speed to dictate range against most foes, very generous fittings and with the reduced fitting impact of lasers, especially beam lasers, makes this an interesting boat to fit armor or shield for long range ops.

I’m using it every time I can

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Some thoughts on the notes:

Ship Balancing:

One thing jumped out at me as I read through the ship re balancing portion of the CSM notes.

CCP Ytterbium went on to share his ideas for the Frigate rebalance. Part of the balancing involves
giving all Frigates more slots – somewhere around ten, with slightly fewer for support ships.

I suspect that this won’t be the last time we see “Re-balancing” meaning “more slots” for some ships.  I think all of the soon-to-be-former Tier 1 and 2 cruisers will be found lacking in this regard.  Making Destoyers, Frigates, and the new mining barges match up in the new paradigm will be all we see for a bit, likely December, and there seems to be a system of “Fast attack, Ganker, Brawler, Support” being set up.  Certainly simplifying the roles of the ships seems a good option, and having clear bonus sets for each SHOULD make it easier for new players to see what ship to pick for whatever it is they want to do.

It also amounts to “Generification” a word I made up to describe making everything more similar to make balancing easier.  Certainly balancing in EvE will NEVER be easy.  CCP always faces a ton of challenges in balancing because the law of unintended consequences will absolutely MURDER you in this game.  You could make a small change to one ship or one weapon system and find that because of the synergy effects of other ships with their equipment you’ve just made another race the FOTM until the nerf bat whacks them.

My concerns tend to lie with the fact that 8-8-8 is the theoretical limit on slots.  Smaller ships can certainly add slots without running into walls, but for larger ships with larger numbers of combinations, balancing by adding presents a problem.  The Dominix is already an excellent ship with a 6-5-7 layout, if they want to balance it for a certain role, what do they do, add a utility high?  Another mid and you will see tons of XL ASB Gank Blaster Domis roaring around doing 1500 DPS.  Add a low and… well… you’ve added a low.  A Celestis on the other had has a (Go ahead, take a guess) 4-5-3 (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  3 LOWS?) layout.  Even for a support ship this thing looks awful on paper.  Of course if sensor damps become better again they will likely show up, but even then they’ll be utterly gankable.  With < 30k EHP the ship practically begs to be blasted, especially if it starts causing trouble with the logis with its damps.  4 damps on a Celestis can make your guardian take 10+ seconds to lock up a battleship for example.  Think the Celestis will last 10 seconds?

So more slots for smaller ships, which helps them a lot, a possible change to cruisers to make them faster than most BCs.  I’m betting tier 3s are still more or less even with them.

One thing that surprised me was the hate on Logistics ships.  I was shocked that there was anyone who really had bad things to say about the one ships class that unquestionably requires excellent teamwork to make work.  The argument that they make “small gangs smaller” seemed bizarre.  You know what else makes small gangs smaller?  Incoming DPS you can’t do anything about.  I do think frigate-class logistics ships might be stretching things a bit.  Here’s my suggestion, those new dessies?  They will have a T2 variant.  Make THAT the small logi.  Thank me later.

Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Two step raised the issue that the massive amount of money in the game has taken a lot of the
meaning out of losses, with players less inclined to defend assets or get mad and take revenge for
losing them.
Two step: “It used to be the case in null sec that you’d have a giant battle, it would hurt, and it
would mean you’re mad at the other guys and want to take revenge. Now it’s like ‘meh I lost my
battle cruiser and who cares?’ The money stuff needs to get looked at. If that means lowering
income across the board…”

And before we all jump on Two step… no one argued.  No one said “Hey there’s thousands of players who aren’t space-rich.  Maybe we should consider the perspective of people who can’t afford to lose 3 or 4 BCs a week” and later on they missed the point again.

Two step was quick to point out that Tech isn’t actually creating any ISK and went on to state that
half a trillion ISK comes into the economy every day, and for every 2 trillion coming in only 1 trillion
is going out. He believes the many faucets this is coming from should be cut back across the board.

Heh.  He’s right.  Tech doesn’t put ISK in the game.  It takes ISK from players who don’t have it and gives it to the ones that have.  This is a wealth transfer from people who are not part of the clique to people who are, and it’s utterly unavoidable.  OTEC’s elite can sit back and roll in isk knowing there will be more until whenever the effective nerfs take hold.  They can provide SRP to keep the minions happy.  People who don’t have access to Tech aren’t likely to get it.  In fact, Bruce Campbell did a PSA on it.

And it’s not the only example of the rich getting richer.  Just the easiest one.  Yes there’s more isk, but there’s also a couple individuals running around with “low single-digit trillions.”  Hey space magnates, throw some at a poor blogger 🙂 I’ll stop saying mean things about your filthy-overly-successful capitalist pig-dog ways.

Just kidding, these guys really do deserve their success in this game.  They have most likely (in their own mind) won EvE.  Certainly they should enjoy things in this game, and if you don’t like it, you can do 1 of 3 things.  Deal with it.  Take it from them.  Quit.

Still this was probably the low point of the CSM.  A bunch of people, many of whom represent folks who aren’t space-rich, nodding together about how bad it is that losses don’t mean anything because everything is so easy for them to replace.

Mismanagement

Reading the comments on Corp Management one thing jumped out:

Kelduum then proceeded to give everyone a brief tutorial on how they worked and could be used
to group players by access to a particular station.

Why has this tutorial not been put out by CCP.  Hell I’ll play nice to EvE Uni for a week if they send it to me.

Now roles still need to be fixed.  Badly.  Corp management is a nightmare, and the CSM and CCP seemed to be in agreement, but I didn’t sense a huge priority on this.  As awesome as some of the stuff is, this affects everyone in a player corp, or everyone looking for a player corp.  It needs resolution.  More than just making ethnic relations into merc relations.

Crimewatch:  We got Mugged

I’ve come to admit to myself Greyscale has his uses.  Even more than just as a doorstop.  He shouldn’t design anything that I’d think of as a system, and crimewatch is clearly beyond him.  The change to sentry guns is interesting.  It will certainly change the character of lowsec gatecamps.  I didn’t hear him say anything about reducing the GCC timer.  If the guns will kill a triage carrier by 4 1/2 minutes then the timer doesn’t need to last past 5.  Making entire fights “mutually recognized” might make lowsec much more interesting, but I will be surprised if they come up with an implementation that makes anyone want to use it.  Remote reps will be changed.  They will get a timer, but apparently if you are out can flipping and someone remote reps the miner the repper won’t be agressed?  The system for lesser criminals seems like it’s broken and confusing.  Not a good replacement for the current system which, while broken and confusing to some people, is at least understood by some.

No change on GCC, better Sentry gun mechanics, but much harder to gatecamp.  Not a huge fan.

Null-Sec

Null-Sec finally seems to be on firmly in the devs sights.  It might take a while, but EvE players have come to recognize that good expansions take time, and CCP has becomes more effective at communicating.  They won’t take my (Seleene’s) awesome idea, but they’ll find something to fix on and give it a try.  Hopefully they clear the bar set by that excellent Dominion expansion.  If you are looking for it it’s actually underground, they’d have to work to not clear it.

To me, this CSM is doing a great job.  Mittens may have been a fantastic chair, but his presence overwhelmed a lot of the work and felt like a distraction.  The folks that showed demonstrated dedication, and usually perspective and intelligence in their dealings.  I may not agree with everything, and I seriously think that the money problem is a lot more complex than “We have too much money” (looks forlornly at his wallet) but overall I think they’ve done good work, if unexciting, and I really like the format, if not the length, of the new minute system.

I’m using it every time I can

See Little Slavers? Uncle Hans Loves You.

From The Minutes.

CCP Ytterbium then proceeded to comment on Hans’ own suggestions regarding system upgrades,
the first of which was to move the station lockout consequence to an upgrade feature, instead of a
static consequence to system ownership. This would enable the underdog factions to gain a
foothold in the system they are trying to conquer, by plexing a system enough to bleed the I-hub
and enabling docking rights for the duration of the siege.
Hans explained that it would embolden groups like the Amarr that currently feel “stuck” to make
plans and execute system takeovers with greater tactical flexibility.
CCP Ytterbium offered up the idea of attaching the lockout to a level 3 or level 4 upgrade level,
agreeing that “this would be a fair compromise.”

The blogosphere has been erupting all day with defenses and attacks on Hans as a result of his “Exploit” and of course reading through the minutes (because studying banking materials for my new job 2 weeks before taking 13 credits of accounting classes isn’t dull enough) I fall on that gem.

Hans has been a thoroughly solid CSM.  He has his bailiwick and he generally sticks to it, without prejudice.  As a member of the most dominant FW group he has established a solid coverage of Faction Warfare not Late Night Alliance or even Escaped Slaves Anonymous as a faction.  Or whatever they are called.  He has repeatedly called for folks from all factions to join his Skype channel to share ideas on how to make the community better.  This isn’t Mittens railing for/against whatever the windsock is indicating, or sometimes shoving the windsock around to allow him to rant more clearly, this isn’t Mynxee shouting into the dark for months before finally getting CCP to commit to some reforms, this isn’t even Meissa accruing enough tenure that he probably is getting health benefits from CCP at this point.  I should mention that I actually admire all of these CSMs as players and reps, but I think that Hans gets the whole “Service” portion of being a representative, and has used his voice, position and luck in being selected at the right time to make his voice heard.

Seleene and Trebor seem to have run large portions of it, or at least run their mouths a lot, and all of the CSMs seemed involved, even Kelduum shined for moments, and seriously if you want to whine about a CSM taking advantage of exploits think about his Dec-Shield that he had running forever.

Hans didn’t get the trip, the tour, and didn’t even get to see much of the material presented because he wasn’t on-site and they couldn’t transmit to him, but he was there for damn near every meeting I can see missing only 4, and made his contributions known.  His inability to project a real presence probably hurt him but as a community we literally have only ourselves to blame for it.

I had hoped CCP, in reconsidering the role of the CSM, would focus on having CSMs run for specific positions even possibly using my own writing on the subject.  Clearly that didn’t happen and it looks like the CSM will continue in a slightly modified if at all election format.  Also take a look at the ship rebalancing.  SOOOOOO much goodness in there.  Need to get un space-poor, need to log in more and play.  Stupid job + school coming up.

I’m using it every time I can