The Wrong Question

So, CCP are set to remove the daily opportunity system with the next patch. While the system worked in one way; more PVP kills generated, it failed in its main purpose. This was to entice more players to log in.

The whole debacle is centered around a question; how do we force them to log in? That, CCP, is the wrong question. In fact, it is so hilariously stupid a question, one wonders just how brainless this company really is.

Let’s just take a step back, and have a quick reality check. First, what is the definition of a game? According to the Oxford dictionary, after the first definition which covers competitive sport, the definition is, and I quote, “An activity that one engages in for amusement: a computer game“. There you go, CCP; that wasn’t too hard, was it? Amusement. That’s why nearly all your customers play your game; to enjoy their leisure time in a way that suits THEM.

So, to follow a simple logic chain: Eve is a game, which, therefore needs to offer amusement to prospective customers. Said amusement must appeal to those you wish to log in. For years, PVE players have been enticed by the ability to do what amuses them, even though Eve’s PVE is, for want of a better word, terrible. PVP players have been enticed by the opportunity to gank said PVE players. It is to defy those few that entire communities grew up around a raised middle finger.

Now, a quick refocus here. Most Eve PVP players will tell you its all about the good fights, and for some, mostly those in low sec, that is true. But, by far the majority of the minority who PVP in Eve, its all about being a jerk to someone else, and ruining their day by killing them with overwhelming force, under conditions that mean the target has no chance to fight back.

Naturally, this environment requires that the targets, the PVE players, are, you know, logged in. Here is where the problems really begin. CCP’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the needs of their PVE customer base has led to a steadily increasing exodus of potential targets for those who would be dicks; the minority who are the focus of CCP’s myopic vision. FozzieSov removed any stable space available to industrialists, and the skill injectors saw a sharp rise in cloaky camping, with campers now able to field 30 or 40 alts.

But Blastie, some will say, null-sec isn’t supposed to be safe. I agree, and it never was, in my experience. However, even though the gankers were protected by game mechanics every step of the way, this was overcome by player organizations, intel channels, HD fleets and so on. Now, null-sec is set to become a new low-sec with bubbles. This, it would appear, is what CCP want.

Words fail me. Let’s just pull back a bit, and see the bigger picture. Eve is a unique game. A single-shard universe of infinite possibility. No other game comes close in its ability to get adrenaline pumping, create addiction to the levels of serious mental health issues, and even see real-life relationships both created and destroyed over it. It should have a player base in the millions. Yet, it remains a “Niche” game, double talk for something that appeals to a stupidly small amount of people. A game that staggers along with a declining player-base, loss of long-term player interest, and now with ever-more desperate but incredibly misguided attempts to bring in new customers.

Idiocy. That’s what this is down to. All the qualities which are the hallmarks of an incredibly stupid person are manifest with this product. Stubborn refusal to accept the blindingly obvious needs of the majority of customers, arrogance and nepotism at insane levels, and the allowance of RMT activities that see a game become a job to those foolish enough to drink the Kool-Aid.

Well, I can only say this; what goes around comes around. The problem CCP now faces is the increasing amount of competitors products that, while not replacing Eve in its niche role, offer amusement satisfying enough to see many players doing what I and my entire group are doing; playing other games.

We continue to rent 2 systems in null-sec, but only a handful of us actually use them anymore. Nearly all of us are playing a dedicated server of Ark Survival Evolved. It offers much better PVE, awesome graphics and industry content, and, most of all, nobody trying to just be a dick. I have no need to unsub from Eve, though. Plenty of ISK to keep the skills training for a year or so, until it runs out and I make the final decision. But, I’m not logged in. Neither are my friends, who were the only reason I kept logging in. No content for the gankers, sorry.

I have long said that Eve is a game made by griefers for griefers. I have never seen the need to change that view. CCP’s refusal to rein in said griefing has seen an exodus of players to other games. Their pandering to the minority of PVP players is repellent to those who would be their targets. The only good space for the majority outside of high-sec has been destroyed by FozzieSov. I don’t expect to see a change of course at all. CCP are spectacularly stubborn, or just plain stupid, depending on your viewpoint.

Well CCP, you have what you wanted. You continue to foster the minority of mentally unwell people who wish to take their disturbed frustrations out on fellow players and harvest tears.

Oh, yes. What was the right question? The one you never asked? It’s not how do we make them log in. It’s WHY ARE THEY NOT LOGGING IN. You idiots.

Well, what you now have is what you deserve. Best of luck to you.


Sympathy For The Ignorant

It’s an amazing phenomena, ignorance. And, of all the various facets of this fault, the inability of some to see that others have likes and dislikes, motivations, goals, aspirations and ideas different to their own is the one that captures my fascination the most.

Football fans are mystified when they’re told that someone else doesn’t share their fascination with grown men running up and down a field, trying to get a leather bladder full of air across a white line for some vague reason. Golfers can’t appreciate why some have no desire to wear silly clothes while they try to put a little white ball in a hole in the ground with a metal stick. Car and motorcycle racing fans decry any who aren’t interested in the results of a group of machines going round and round a track, only to be the first person to return to where they started from in the first place.

But it’s not just sports, goodness me no. Foodies gush and enthuse about a small piece of meat that cost $170.00, when it will end up going down the toilet as a turd tomorrow, no matter who cooked it. House renovators, weight reduction and fitness fanatics, music, art, and literature buffs, the list is endless.

And they all share one thing in common; the assumption that everyone would enjoy what they enjoy. Because, hell, who wouldn’t, right?

So, what has this got to do with Eve? Our beloved game is no different. PVP’ers think everyone would love PVP, if they just tried it. I’ve tried it, and I find it mildly entertaining, in very small doses. Most Eve players, though (about 80% roughly), simply have no desire to ruin the day for someone else. They would rather do what amuses them without being a jerk to someone else. Many argue that it’s the thrill of the risk of the loss of their ship, but most of the ones I know get a thrill from inflicting that loss on someone else, in truth.

I have read many times that Eve PVE is boring, and none more so than ratting. But, our guys prefer to rat and chat above all else. Except for the industrialists and miners who prefer those activities. The enjoyment of Eve PVE is, for the reason of ignorance, decried as something no sane person would engage in, so those who do, must do it for the ISK.

Now, I am going to shoot this particular piece of ignorance so full of holes it will resemble one of The Mittani’s fireside chats, by the time I’m finished. Because, dear reader, the members of our corp may not be the sanest people in the world, but none are locked away in the funny farm (yet).

We rent two systems in deep null-sec, but the reason is not to make ISK. For starters, most of us are space-rich enough that we need never rat again, me included. For myself, it was the timely purchase of some alts a few months before skill injectors were introduced. Said alts were subsequently stripped of their SP, and a 15 billion ISK character reaped about 60 billion ISK a few weeks after skill injectors went live. Yoink! Thank you, CCP.

Others in our corp are industrialists, with BPO collections years in the making, while some are just compulsive ratters. A few are even well-off in real life.

Naturally, as we live in null-sec, some losses have occured. That is part of the game, and nobody minds. Really, Eve would be very boring without that ganker minority to keep the danger ever-present. What is most fascinating to me is the impact of those losses, from the viewpoint of those who killed them, as opposed to the viewpoint of those who lost them.

First off, let’s get some perspective. Very few of our members (with the exception of yours truly) PLEX their accounts. I personally guarantee one of our members would take a year off my life if I ever had to guide him through how to use a PLEX to pay for his account. So, what is, let’s say, a 3 billion ISK Golem loss going to cost one of our guys in real terms? Remember, ISK is meaningless. Well, 3 billion ISK equals 3.5 PLEX, which equals $52.50 AUD.

That’s the cost of a decent lunch, for those who use RL dollars. I would never pay $52.50 for a lunch, but most of our guys fly at a different RL altitude to their CEO. Hell, a couple of them are RL CEOs. For those who are wealthy in-game, 3 billion ISK is probably a couple of weeks worth of casual ratting, which they would do anyway, because they enjoy it.

Let’s counterpoint that view with the obvious perspective of those who kill the ships. They crow in local, link the kill-mail, try to troll a reaction, and, occasionally (usually due to the victim’s level of inebriation at the time) get an angry retort. However, I think these guys may not comprehend the difference in viewpoint. Whenever one of our guys loses a ship, the first question asked is whether they need a replacement. Most of our guys who lose ships on anything that resembles a regular basis already have a spare already fitted in the hangar. It never occurs to anyone, it would seem, that the claim of  ‘It’s already replaced’ might actually be true. Because they would never have a spare, nobody else would either, right?

Those who live on ISK are more circumspect, myself included. Though, to be honest, my caution is out of ingrained habit, not necessity. I actually enjoy denying others the PVP. For some reason, it really upsets them to see my kill-board totally bereft of ratting ship losses. What can I say? I’m paranoid.

There’s another angle to this, too. That is the campers. Due to the same skill injector system which burst my wallet at the seams, campers now run literal armies of alts. Naturally, rental areas are prime targets. However, their motivation misfires on us. They like to think we need to rat to pay rent, and that is a huge faux pas on their part. They also think we rent systems to make ISK, but, again, uh-uh. We rent our systems to rat and chat in. If we’re camped, we rat in groups, which we often do, anyway. Some just play something else, like WoT, or WoWS, or Fallout4, or Minecraft, or whatever. The group ratting pays the rent, anyway, because we put the tax to 100% when we do it. Thus, military stays at 5, ADMs remain high, and we sit in TS3 and act the goat regardless.

One recent incident highlighted the difference of viewpoint beautifully. A camper dropped and killed an Eos. He sperged in local, having a good gloat. Two of our Kiwi members got stuck into a verbal ding-dong with this guy, and doubtless gratified his need for tears. However, at the time our two sheep-oriented friends were raging at this guy, they were sitting on a beautiful timber yacht which one of them owns, in the Bay of Islands on the North Island of New Zealand, drinking beers while playing on laptops and watching pods of dolphins swim around them. They’d caught a nice snapper that was on the cook for dinner, which they gloated about (cheeky buggers). They showed us some video of the dolphins, just awesome, there were dozens of the damned things.

For the rest of us, it was amusing as all get out. The poor sod of a camper probably thought he’d ruined the day for these guys, but really, how the hell could he?

Yes, ours is an unusual situation, I agree. But, that’s just us; we’re different. Anyone who can’t appreciate that, or thinks I’m lying, is just ignorant. Which is a pity. The world needs less ignorant people, really.

P.S. I don’t like Snapper anyway, so there Mal, you lucky sod.