I was going to write about my weird weekend but……..

Evidently the shit has hit the fan in New Eden.

Of course, I wasn’t aware of what was going on in Jita and Amarr with the “protests”. I was happily camping gates in Curse.

Except traffic was light. Like 0200 on a Tuesday light. Yes, we had the typical -A- fleet roll through, off to go kill something, which they’re damn good at (I rarely see -A- in pods from those fleets). But small gang and indy traffic was very, very light.

Of course, we checked the stats and it showed approximately the “normal” logged-in numbers. So, WTF was going on?

I thought it must have been me….but then I found out about the “protests”.

Now, I do use the word in quotes here, because it looked more like ass-hatery and lulz than protests, but whatever. I can only read about it and watch the Fraps of the rainbows hitting indestructable objects. Um, that’s fun?

Not for me. And the notion that you could crash Jita is nonsense. It runs on it’s own node and is capped. That means that is the system is full, you ain’t getting in. Those who trade there know this sickening feeling, waiting at the gate in Perimeter for your “turn”. A better choice would have been something like Dodixie, but I digress.

Whatever. Why the rage? It couldn’t have been what I wrote about, could it? People pissed at, well, expensive avatar jewelry?

Evidently not. There has been a stream of leaked CCP documents as well as oddly worded and insulting Dev blogs. Also, financials have been inerpreted as CCP going broke by October.

So, after some thought and on-bubble chat with my fellow corpies and alliance mates, I thought I’d weigh in on some of these topics-

 

  •  Incarna and Captain’s quarters.

Evidently, CQ doesn’t run for shit on ATI cards. Well, since that affects about 50% of the marketplace (purely a speculation), that was not a good move by CCP. As pointed out by a fellow blogger (I forget who, sorry. I don’t take notes and I read a lot of em), EVE ain’t Crysis. Perhaps CQ’s development team jumped too far ahead in technology. Not everyone in EVE pilots from behind a Falcon Northwest. My Quad Core XP-32bit machine with maxed RAM and dual 8800 Ultras in SLI ran CQ ok, but not enough to keep it turned on. Loading was long, which added to my session timer issues. I want to go fight.

Incarna is pretty much an annoyance, IMHO. But, not enough to get pissed about. I don’t like the small blaster looks or sounds, but that is just a preference. Warrior II’s sound like they’re shooting large artillery, not autocannons, but that is amusing. The lack of spinning ships in stations (and no, spinning them in the fittings window isn’t the same) is purely a loss for nostalgia. Again, no biggie.

Not having any true content in CQ is very disappointing, though. There was a lot of development for just what really amounts to as a demo. I develop code, but it is for industry, using a language developed in the 1980’s on equipment built in the early 1990’s. It has to be more difficult to develop an immersed 3-D environment, but really, this is it? I don’t think CCP got their money’s worth out of this product, at least not yet.

 

  •  Noble Exchange

There is nothing inherently wrong about the Noble Exchange. Buy Aurum using PLEX, buy shit, sell shit, buy some more. Easy peasy. Now, the prices are ridiculous and border on the insane, but that is more of a marketing blunder.  Thus, NE is totally, 100% not my game. Just like ice mining, moon goo, R&D, trading, etc, there is plenty of things in game I have no direct use for. Now, NE currently is the only thing that doesn’t affect me indirectly in game, so that is even better.

Except, of course, if one could buy “useful” items from it. Then, NE will directly affect my gameplay. And it would affect all other aspects of the game directly as well. Researching a blueprint which someone buys, using ISKies I gave them for a PLEX they bought, then selling it to another, who builds a ship from it, in which I contract for, indirectly affects our collective gameplay. Each transaction is direct, but overall the play is indirect (following me on this?)

Buying stuff from NE would directly affect all of our gameplay. No PLEX to pay for the blueprint. No need for the blueprint (ship is in store). R&D couldn’t sell blueprint because the ship manufacturer would not have a customer (me, cuz I bought my super shiny direct from a phantom nobody).

It is not synonymous with buying PLEX with cash and ISKing it out.   That just frees up capital to keep the EVE economy going. NE selling shinys and ammo pulls out capital from the EVE economy and makes it disappear. There is a big difference.

BUT……………………………… 

I have found nowhere in all of this mess that NE will actually sell the non-vanities.  The leaked memo/newsletter/shit-storm-starter shows an argument by some for selling stuff for profit. Now, remember, this newsletter is an internal CCP brainstorming-style item. I haven’t read it 100% through, but neither has 99% of the pitch fork bearers out there. And it doesn’t matter. It wasn’t a press release. Also remember that although CCP is a public corp, it is majority owned by…. the founding members and staff (along with a venture capital corp General Catalyst Partners and the “mysterious” Novator Partners). So, it would make sense that staff, owners of said corp, would like to increase revenue. Of course, well hopefully, common, business and economic senses would really drive the decisions.

 

  •  Lack of CCP saying they won’t do non-vanity NE business

They cannot say they won’t. They’d be lying to you. They’d also might be lying to you if they said they would. They know it is a touchy subject. Say yes, and the player base gets nicked. Saying no and then later having to do so nicks the player base as well. It is a no-win situation for CCP. Silence is the best alternative here for CCP.

“Business” and “future” are words that should not be used in the same sentence. One cannot predict accurately what the real world economy will do in 6 months, much less 2 years. Who knows? So, saying 100% no is not a wise thing for CCP to promise. It’s like Schroedinger’s Cat: both possibilities exist simultaneously, until you open the box and measure. We won’t know until the future, and until then, they will AND they won’t.

Some want at least to have CCP say there are no plans for the vile micro-transactions. This may be some key words and tricky phrases that allows CCP to save some face…unless they do have plans, in which some rabble-rousing would be justified.

Again, silence on this subject is probably the best.

 

  • Total smugness by CCP senior devs.

CCP devs have a lot of leeway in they communicate with the EVE gamers. Unforunately, that leeway seriously bit them in the ass. NONE of the Dev blogs addressing the issues here should have ever been posted. If the blog entries were reviewed by the PR department, the PR department needs to be canned. They were smug, full of condescension, and very insulting. Rule #1 when addressing an audience: never speak solely from emotion. CCP Zulu did, and he made himself look like a jerk. In fact, he made himself look as petty and immature as the forum flames he was addressing.

He stooped to their level, and looked stupid for doing so.

It isn’t that he shouldn’t be filled with emotion. This is his work people are raging about, and that gets taken personally. He needed to write it, sleep on it, and then have staff review it. And not just Icelandic senior staff. You see, Americans are a funny lot. We tend to think of Europeans (and especially Nordic ones) as being pretty stuck up. They aren’t generally, but Yanks are sensitive. What would seem perfectly acceptable between Icelanders may be totally misconstrued in, oh let’s say, California. That’s the PR rep’s job to make sure that doesn’t happen.

But, the freedom of the blogs added fuel to the fire. Add to it the utter cluelessness and  loss of grip on reality during the explanation of NE prices as well as why people were upset made it a billion times worse. I sincerely hope he mispoke and that what he meant didn’t come across properly. He’s a smart chap, so I’ll give him some leeway.

 

  •  Financials

Another item that has hit is the public financial statements for CCP  Games. Now, I have yet to number crunch them, but on the outside it looks like CCP is making dough. Ok.

But, remember, EVE is full of very smart bean counters. And the beans they see is that CCP will be short some dough come October. I am assuming it is so that they have some money that they can secure some long term financing, but I am not 100% on that. Regardless, does any of the above issues apply to this issue?

No.

Why? Because the amount of money to be collected would nowhere be close to what the supposed amount (8 million from last I read) needed is. And, during expansions, companies tend to run in the red. Short term finances should give way to long term ones after a while. I see business cycles like that at work constantly. And the rumor that CCP is about to be bought? Only if the majority share holder cash in….remember, those same devs…..

 

  • CSM to the rescue?
You know how I feel about this CSM, and really about any CSM not led by Mynxee. The emergency meeting and flying people to Iceland is overly dramatic and a bit, well, bizarre. Anyone ever hear of Skype? You know, not every one can jet off to Iceland on a moment’s notice. I don’t understand it.
Are things really that out of whack that CCP needed a face-to-face? And what issues do you think meeting with the CSM will resolve that a decent, well spoken message to the players couldn’t? Do you think I’d ever listen to The Mittani?

 

 

All in all, things have gotten quite out of hand. The breakdown of player responses are:

  1. Incarna is great! Just lookies! LOVE IT
  2. Fix sov, dammit!
  3. Fix lowsec, dammit!
  4. None of this stuff applies to me. Who cares?
  5. HTFU everyone! Pussies.
  6. Fucking CCP trying to rape me!
  7. Fucking CCP is going to rape me, so I quit!
  8. Continuum! Continuum!
  9. My faith in CCP is gone. I quit. And no, you can’t have my stuff.
  10. My ATI melted. Fuck you CCP.
And on and on………………..
Just go shoot shit.
-Ze
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