Friday, March 06, 2009

The "W" Sapce is here...

The Darkness at The End of The Tunnel
reported by CCP Abathur on: 2009.03.05 14:56:36

Where are you going?"

"If I told you, you'd never let me go."

Greetings, warriors, mission runners, pirates, miners and hapless victims! I'm not sure if you've heard or not but we've got a new expansion coming out that has these things called wormholes. This blog is intended to help familiarize you with what you can expect from this new feature and try to remove some, but not all, of the grey area. Before we begin, I want to clarify a couple terms you are going to see throughout this blog:

K-space = Known Space, the current systems of New Eden. These are the systems where, depending on your play style, you run your missions, mine your rocks or just plain bash the crap out of each other on a daily basis.

W-space = this is Wormhole Space. This is where the wormholes will take you, should you be brave enough to scan one down and enter it.

So, where are these wormholes?

Well, they are all around you! They are not limited to just one area of space. You can find them in every class of system in EVE. Chances are if you go out looking for one that you will find one in short order by using the new scanning system that CCP Greyscale will explain in greater detail in another blog. What you are searching for will look somewhat like this:

Now, it might be that this particular wormhole takes you on a trip directly to another K-space system but bear in mind that the end destination is going to be random. It will most likely to take you somewhere within the same security class as you started (hisec, lowsec or nullsec) but there is always enough of a random chance that it could land you anywhere. A wormhole stumbled upon in Jita might link to New Caldari (bah!) or to Rens (profit!) or to Rancer (yikes!).

The other place you can end up is what I'm sure you all really want to hear about: W-space.

Descent into Darkness

W-space is where the wonder begins. It is where the riches are. It is where the monsters lurk. Out here is where you will find things you've never seen before in EVE. Some will amaze you while others will probably make you wish you'd left your faction-fit Nightmare docked back in the comparative safety of ‘normal' space.

Of course, not all wormholes are created equal. If you enter a wormhole in a hi-sec system you'll likely end up in the W-space version of the shallow end of the kiddie pool. Enemies here are still quite a challenge compared to ‘normal' NPC's, but if you've made it this far then you're prepared for that, right? Proper preparation, a well fit ship and maybe a few friends along will allow you to explore with confidence.

However, no matter where you start, there is always the risk that you will land down in the deep end. This is more apt to happen when your entry point is low or null sec. Regardless of where you come from, if you enter, be careful what you awaken. Out here, the NPCs are big, angry and carry around baseball bats with nails in them. Obviously they are also guarding the most lucrative rewards.

Lack of foresight out here will result in you being in a pod and having to rely upon a friend to use his probe launcher (he did fit one, right??) to help you find a way home. This is not an altogether easy thing either.

While there will always be a way ‘out' of whatever W-space system you are in, there are no guarantees that it will take you where you want to go. The mechanic is deliberately designed so that you can get lost and it may take some time for you to escape back to K-space with whatever treasures you've managed to salvage. The only sure fire option that will get you where you want to go is to eject in your pod and clone jump home the old fashioned way.

One additional point - none of the above takes into account the other intrepid explorers who you might run across... or who might run across you at the worst possible time. Don't bother glancing at your ‘Local' chat channel; out here in the darkness, the only warning you will get is what your eyes or your scanners give you.

This is what true exploration is all about.

The ‘Mass' Effect

In the end, everything about wormholes comes down to one factor - mass. You can think of the ‘mass budget' of a wormhole much the same as fuel in car; once it's empty, everything stops. Wormholes become more and more unstable as things pass through them, things like your starship. Once a certain threshold is passed, the wormhole collapses and hopefully you are on the side you want to be when this happens because there is no going back and you'll have to find a new way home.

There are several ‘indicators' that can assist you in determining if a wormhole is close to closing. For one thing, as a wormhole's mass budget is reduced you will actually see them get physically smaller. Additionally, you can always right-click and ‘Show Info' on any wormhole and be presented with the following information:

The text in the information box is dynamic and changes as the stability of the wormhole is altered.

Wormholes come in different ‘sizes'. In simple terms this means that your ship may not always fit into the wormhole you find. Wormholes have a maximum ship mass that can transit through them. This prevents ‘bad things' from happening like... a squadron of carriers ending up in Jita or something. This will present you with some interesting dilemmas if you are in W-space looking for a way out. Not every ‘exit' may be one you can use!

As a wormhole's mass budget does not regenerate, any expedition into W-space will require careful forethought. A wormhole may be a two-way street but every passage deducts from the overall budget. This means that once you commit to an exploration and go through there are no ‘do-overs'. Be sure of what you want to take with you.

Lastly, there is one other factor that affects wormhole stability and that is time. Once you find a wormhole that you want to use, you will need to move swiftly to take advantage of it as all wormholes have a maximum stable lifetime after which they will collapse whether anyone has gone through them or not.

Laws of W-space

As fun as it is to let you find out things for yourselves, there are a few things that I need to tell you without being ‘mysterious'.

  • Starbases are allowed to be anchored in W-space but cannot claim sovereignty. Additionally, there are no minable moon minerals in W-space.
  • The wormholes into W-space are too small to allow the transit of Titans and Motherships. All dreams of Quad-DDing a Sleeper fleet, as much as they might deserve it, are now shattered. (Awww!)
  • Even though you can bring your Rorquals into W-space, their clone vat bay functionality will be unavailable.
  • You cannot activate a cynosural beacon in W-space nor can you activate your jump drive (on those ships equipped with one) to escape.

Tactical Environments

Oh, yeah... one last bit of info. Far too often does the dangerous turn mundane so we've introduced a final element that lends itself to destabilizing that. As I've said, in W-space you will see things you've never seen in EVE before. Black Holes, Pulsars and Red Giants are just some of these wonders.

So when you enter a wormhole system and see something ‘unusual' off your port bow, proceed with the knowledge that some of the things you know about how your ship performs may no longer be true. Your ship drives may push you faster, your weapons may hit harder, you may find yourself with no shields or less effective armor... and just when you think you've got it all figured out, things may change again!

Welcome to W-space and enjoy your stay... however long it might be!

- Abathur

Asteroids: Redux

New Dev Blog: Miners Rejoice!
Reported by CCP VanishingPoint on 2009.03.04 17:53:37

The asteroids are getting a facelift. Better than that actually, the asteroids are now going to communicate their value through brilliant graphical treatments.

I am CCP VanishingPoint and I am directing Team Hot Rocks the team responsible for delivering the new Asteroid and Ice content for Apocrypha. The team has been hard at work creating new meshes, normal maps, textures and shaders that work to communicate the complex composition of each Ore with a unique style. Our artists have been painstakingly sculpting new meshes from which we are rendering all or of our Normal Maps, Ambient Occlusion Maps, and Depth Maps while others researched and built textures to represent the minerals peeking through the cracks of each rock.

Most exciting for me is the shader tech being created to facilitate the over 70 unique looking asteroid and ice styles being delivered with this new expansion. We built all of the assets from the ground up to take advantage of a specific blending and rendering technique used within our new asteroid shader. This shader can yield dozens of unique graphical styles while using the exact same base assets. That is not the extent of what is getting packed into the Asteroid shader either. The graphics gurus here are throwing around terms like BRDF, Bent Normals, and Sub Surface Scatter with reckless abandon…

It is worth noting that we were not satisfied with simply replacing each of the current assets with a single new replacement asset. Instead each Asteroid now has many different potential rock meshes that could be loaded into a Belt. These different meshes we have dubbed “Shards” since many of them look as if they shattered from a single larger Asteroid at some point in time.

The low-sec asteroids received some additional care and feature some truly spectacular graphical effects making them desirable both for their potential yield as well as just to behold. In the posted screen shot you will see a mixed field of Veldspar, Pyroxeres, Plagioclase, and even a few bits of Bistot. We are in the final tweaking stages for each and every asteroid and expect to deliver some of the finest rocks known to gaming.

- CCP VanishingPoint

Thursday, December 11, 2008

An update to the: EVE Biggest Exploit Issue...

Look at that... what a shocking surprise. I have seen something strange going on with the advanced materials prices for more than a year and a half now, this explains allot.

Personally this is what we should worry about: "Working with the Research & Statistics team we have established that the effects on the markets have been considerable and far reaching." and "On December 7th 2008, a date which will live in infamy, a petition from a concerned player alerted us to a serious problem with Starbase reactors."

This inconsistency bothers me allot. Because, after doing some research, gathering admittedly anecdotal evidence from sources inside and outside the game - this exploit is older than 12 months. What is shocking is that certain entities at CCP knew of its existence and chose to ignore it. Why I think this is the case? Because, CCP never addresses an issue until it become a nightmare, they never act unless their backs against the wall - we have seen this over and over again, repeated over many years.

The issue with the cost of T2 materials has been going on for too long, and most of EVE players have experienced it. We cannot rely on the fact that this has been an isolated incident, this was a widespread exploitation, and we were all touched by it.

Questions and needs.... now... are these:

CCP needs to make clear the extent of the exploit, and come clean as to why it was overlooked for so long. And try not to repeat the "Ghost Training" fiasco - hey T0rfi, I hope you doing well mate.

CCP needs to explain to all the players which actions were taken against which entities, because from what I have learned, the real culprits have not been punished. And, number of out of EVE Online Forum sources have listed the speculation that "ALT/MAIN" accounts were purchased by these people specifically to safeguard themselves for such an event as we are experiencing now.

Alliances, and corporations that were involved in it need to be disbanded. Something like this would not go unnoticed in an alliance of 10,000 players, much less in something like what 500-2,000 players that were supposedly part of those involved. If not on personal level, then on CORPORATE level they are responsible, and such need to be terminated as entities. They were all complicit, if only by observing the code of silence because "it helped their alliance."

All assets, all corporate, and alliance assets must be seized. All assets of CEOs, and ruling elite have to be seized. And recent transfers from corporate hangars traced and seized as well. And, I do not care if they ban them, just make sure to let the players know the names, the EVE population will deal with them swiftly themselves.

Oh well, I am not surprised at CCP, I would not be surprised if CCP Employees were involved in this as well, or that they have learned through petition about it, and have been abusing this mechanic themselves for personal gain. I am also fairly certain that the amount of ISK collected did not all go to wars and T2 BPOs, I am sure a significant amount of it have wound up for sale on E-Bay and other RMT places.

Biggest Exploit in EVE History?

Update Regarding The Starbase Exploit
Reported by GM Grimmi, 2008.12.11, at 13:29:29 GMT

On December 7th 2008, a date which will live in infamy, a petition from a concerned player alerted us to a serious problem with Starbase reactors. The petition had been filed five days earlier, a far longer waiting time than we can accept with our current queue status and we have now taken measures to fix that. We immediately started investigating the issue and found that there was indeed a problem and that it was being exploited to gain unfair advantages.

We discovered seven corporations with multiple Starbases set up for the express purpose of exploiting the issue. Three of those corporations were members of two alliances. We took immediate action against the offenders and banned over 70 accounts and destroyed all the Starbases run by the corporations in question. All the offending corporations are now effectively inactive as a result of our actions.

The corporations were producing high end materials for T2 production. Working with the Research & Statistics team we have established that the effects on the markets have been considerable and far reaching. The effects of our actions against the exploiters will also be felt on the market as the production of the materials has been cut substantially. However, supply should increase again once players have mastered the alchemy process.
We are still conducting operations to deal with this matter and we will keep you posted on the progress and results as things develop.

Update: This matter will be brought up at a CSM and CCP meeting this upcoming weekend.

Please discuss this news in this forum thread.

Friday, October 24, 2008

CCP Zulupark - A Good move forward... finally!

What does 5 Dev Blogs, New Expansion, a Nerf, and a Dev Chat have in common?  Well, and the answer is: CCP Zulupark

By the way, I have found the reason why I got banned from the forums, I shall discuss that later. What is imperative right now is to do the right thing and encourage CCP on the road to redemption. We have all heard already about the infamous thread (participation in which had caused my ignoble downfall from the forums) or, the new Live Dev Blog: Introducing CCP T0rfifrans - well what do you know it did not go so well.  But, I am not gleeful, I am actually quite impressed with how CCP Zulupark handled the disaffected masses.  

Since everyone was already upset about the upcoming nerfs, and combine it with the recent nerf to the "Unsubscribed Training" aka "Ghost Training, tensions were running high, and the community was getting really angry about the uninformative blog. Following that, CCP Zulupark announced that he will answer every single question from the EVE community, asked on forums between Friday the 24th of October, and Midnight, Sunday the 26th of October. The announcement by CCP Wrangler can be found here, and the actual "answers" thread can be found here.  By the way, I did get a chance to ask my questions, with my trusted sikrit [sic] ALT - and no, you can't know who it is, the character is in case I get banned forever, and actually need to ask a question! 

This is what I call courage, and dedication. This is what reminds me of what this game was like 5, nay, 3 years ago! This is how CCP used to handle things. They would go out of their way to answer player questions - they would never insulate themselves from the community, well in the past anyway. 

Now, I am very much impressed, and I think that it might actually start healing up allot of wounds within the community which were caused by years of neglect, and half-truths, and outright and deliberate misinformation. 

Question is, will this practice continue? Will the people who are in charge of CCP realize that it might be the greatest opportunity they have ever had to win their community back, and over again. Will the developers, who would come following in CCP Zulupark's footsteps find themselves bored, inattentive, and bothered by the questions? Will they find strength to answer them honestly? Only time will tell. 

Until then, I want to congratulate CCP Zulupark on finding courage, and showing dedication I have not seen in many years.  Thus far CCP Zulupark has made a personal decision to do this, and I encourage CCP, if any CCP Member ever reads this, to take his example, and turn it into a monthly or bi-weekly practice. All cutsie wootsie "Live" and mostly uninformative dev blogs aside, this is how things should be done. Q & A Session for 48 Hours, we ask questions, then a Developer comes back and answers them. 

Perhaps CCP Wrangler should take up that responsibility, he is the community manager, he should take the questions and forward them to the appropriate people, and then post the answers, if the other guys are too busy. This is what Kieron used to do. 

Developers need to come to the forums, and answer questions, allot of questions, alway answer questions. Do not hide behind a paragraph in a blog that tells us nothing, be open, be accessible, be approachable, come down from the Hig-Tech Ivory Tower and talk to us.  

A good start CCP, or rather CCP Zulupark, my hat is off to you sir. 

I now know why I got banned by CCP

As many of you are aware, by now, I have been banned by CCP from posting on forums for 14 days due to the "personal attack" on CCP T0rfifrans. My so-called "attack" can be seen here:

I believe that the ban happened due to this:

As you can clearly see that CCP T0rfi has experienced some degree of personal emergency, and thus was unable to attend. 

Due to misguided personal, or corporate loyalty, a CCP Moderator took it upon themselves to "defend" CCP Torfi from the "evil" Jinx Barker, who so callously suggested that he be fired, or that CCP further cover up the muddling and miscommunication by checking him into rehab, at the time of his "personal need." 

First, notice the time stamps on the messages, this further reinforces my theory that CCP Moderators went on the offensive without actually thinking through what their actions will entail. My question is why did they not tell us initially as to why CCP Torfi was not attending, thus fueling speculation and further suggestions of the cover up? 

I think my, admittedly edgy, comment has hit close to home with CCP. The suggestion that CCP use some sort of "medical emergency" to remove CCP T0rfi from the participation in the Live Dev Blog just happens to be true, granted it is not a "rehab" story, but any intelligent person can see the correlation between the comment, and the actual event. 

I have already mentioned the self-censure of the expletive, and that I made sure I have stayed within the forum rules. 
The comment above has nothing to do with CCP T0rfi personally, it simply states a hope that he be dismissed from CCP for his dismal handling of the "Ghost Training" debacle, and then suggest, very much "tongue-in-cheek" manner that CCP will attempt to cover everything up ala "US Senators caught drunk driving" or "US Senators caught with underage boys" - where they promptly go into rehab to "deal with their problems" - thus trying to elicit public sympathy, or at least minimize calls for investigation, because: "poor man, he has to go to the rehab, we must feel bad for him, it is the alcohol, that is what caused the problem, he is not really a pervert, or a drunk!"

Whatever the case maybe, the unexpected medical emergency of CCP Torfifrans has certainly put a dampener on the whole thing. We as human beings can not help but feel affinity and sympathy for someone who is going through a tough time, of whatever sort. This in turn played right into the hands of CCP, and allowed them to go on the offensive, because, god forbid anyone hurt CCP T0rfi's feeling at such a time - EVEN IF THEY WERE NOT AWARE OF IT (this is where the time stamp on the messages comes in) - such an evil person Jinx Barker is, suggesting CCP Torfi be fired, and or that CCP would stoop so low as to claim some sort of medical issue! 

Bottom Line: 
Anonymous CCP Developer or CCP Moderator has taken a very personal approach, and had a knee-jerk reaction when my post appeared on the second page of that thread. They have chosen, in the fit of smug self-righteous fury to punish me as best they could for my vocal opposition to the cancelation of the "Unsubbed Training" aka "Ghost Training."  This was a ban of opportunity, nothing more, nothing less. They have found a way to remove me from the forums, and thus remove any and all "non-meme" arguments I might present in defense of the player base. The hope is, that by the time I return things would have quieted down, and dust settled, and the "New CCP Order" would be established. 

To all EVE players, I urge you to argue and fight for your game. Do not allow some misguided and greedy elements within the CCP to shut you up, or to force you out. They, the developers, are just like us, yes, we can be petty, and childish, and slightly ornery, but when the time comes, we should also do the right thing.  

When you are a developer of the game like EVE Online, and have to deal with the large and diverse community, one must put aside infantile tendencies, one must put aside personal smugness, one must think and act like an adult, which did not happen, unfortunately, in this case. 

Best Regards, 


Thursday, October 23, 2008

CCP New Low....

CCP Wrangler Recently Posted this: 
"It's time for another Live Dev Blog and this time we're introducing CCP t0rfifrans. CCP t0rfifrans started as Lead 3D Artist but is now the Senior Producer for EVE Online and will answer all your EVE related questions and as always the Live Dev Blog will be hosted by Mindstar. This event will take place on Thursday, 23rd October, in the in-game channel "Live Dev Blog". It starts at 20:00 GMT and lasts for about one hour.

To ask your questions, please post them in this thread!"

Update: Unfortunately we just heard that CCP t0rfifrans is unable to make it for this Live Dev Blog. CCP Zulupark, Associate Producer and Content Director, will take his place. As CCP Zulupark reports directly to CCP t0rfifrans he will be able to answer all your questions just as well."

I have replied to the "update" 
"Shocking... please tell me you fired him, or at least that he had to "go to the rehab" and he is very sorry about unauthorized dev blogs about removal of "Ghost Training" and he will get all the help he needs to come back better than ever!

Hey, it works for the USA politicians when they f**k up - its REHAB TIME!!!!"

Full image of my response - and now deleted post can be seen by clicking this link: POST Image

I have received a 14 day BAN from posting from CCP/EVE Online - Stating that I personally attacked CCP T0rfifrans!!! My POST WAS NOT CENSORED - IT WAS DELETED BY CCP. Not only that - but I have not even used foul language in that post to raise the flags, I self censored the 4 letter word with the stars myself. 

So it is now a crime on forums to even suggest that CCP fire one of its employees for incompetence, it is now a PERSONAL ATTACK. CCP is going all out to stifle any piercing descent from its new "hard line" views. Using humor is now outlawed as well.

It is a crime, ladies and gentlemen, to use a little humor, because to suggest that in order to cover up their misdeeds CCP will send one of its employees to the fictional rehab is A PERSONAL ATTACK.  

CCP sinking pretty low - I fully intend to file a complaint with the CCPs IA department - and if any CSM should read my blog, you guys should think as to what is happening. 

If any of the sensible people read my blogs,  I would ask that is brought to CSM attention as well. 

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Question from a Newbie....

Jaben Thore asked me on forums, in the "Newly De-cloaked" thread on Ghost training:

"Mr Barker, as I'm new, could you please help me out on the main point you made..

If CCP wanted more money, wouldn't it be more profitable for them to keep ghost training in? As you (and many others) have highlighted before, many of the alt accounts, along with a significant proportion of the main accounts, will be deleted as a result of this controversial bug fix. Surely this will result in an overall loss of revenue for CCP?

As CCP have presided over a successful MMO business for quite some time now, i'd be surprised if they hadn't taken this in to consideration before hand. Perhaps their reasoning is based on a fundamental belief that the current ghost training set up goes against the interests of the average player and a sense of fair play. *shrugs*"

Since you are new, I want to explain a few things to you, and other new players:

1) For years CCP has been a flagship company, catering to the most "hard-core" gamers, elite of the elite. CCP itself was created by a bunch of rabid PVPers and pretty disturbed bunch of individuals. And I mean it all in the best way possible. 

2) They have made an extremely competitive game, where the players could be compared to packs of rabid dogs fighting for the carcass of the same wildebeest - the territory, and it's resources. 

3) The "offline skill training" took into account the unique approach to skilling up one's character, and allowed the skill system to be upgraded exponentially, creating more and more complex skill-sets available, thus taking more and more time. As the complexity of the skill-set has increased, as the complexity and intensity of the game has increased, the burn-out rate of the players increased with it. I can attest to it, since it happened to me number of times over the years. Major one was in the beginning of 2005, when got rid of my 2003 character because EVE has gotten too much for me personally. I subsequently came back later in 2005 with Jinx Barker. 

4) So, we were talking about the complexity of the game, and the skill system. Now, since 2005, in particular, more and more players have experienced similar situation to mine - and since that time CCP top echelons, I should say former top echelons, since most of them have been relocated to the "vampire MMO," have always told the "burnouts" to "take a break, and set a long skill" let the account expire, and "come back when you ready to something new!" The so called "Ghost Training" didn't even have a name, it simply WAS. Was a major part of EVE that allowed people to take a break, and come back reinvigorated, and with a new desire to play, and to find new things waiting for them. 

5) The now "evil" Ghost Training was a major selling point, and a major part of EVE. It was not available to "only few and elite" it was not available to "only veteran players" - it was a feature which allowed ALL EVE players to have a special relationship with the company itself; because it showed that CCP does understand the complexity of the game, and the need to take regular breaks. At the same time they have also recognized the need to keep the players interested and involved, to have them coming back for more. Because, lets face it, we were the loyal players, we were the few who were there when server began to climb from 3k to 5k, and then to 10k and so forth, we were rewarded for our loyalty with loyalty by the developers. We were family, friends, co-creators of the world. 

6) We, the older players, having been involved with EVE for such a long time, know intricacies, or learned intricacies, of what it takes to run a massive database like EVE, we learned many details from Developers - who were very open about the game design - everything we could learn about the game, and all the "possibles" and "impossibles."  Basically the players did become, to a degree, experts on EVE. 

5) So, when, five years down the line, we have a new developer come to the community of the dedicated and loyal players, and very much educated EVE players, and tells us that the "evil Ghost Training" causes issues with EVE Database, and it was a bug! There is only one response, to laugh, or giggle like complete crazies, and then to get angry - because it is pure and unadulterated HORSE MANURE. It shows that CCP thinks EVE players are complete morons, or it shows that the dev is so blinking new he does not even know how the game works! 

6) To then backtrack,and bring issues of balance into it, or "fair play" is just an excuse. What gets my goat is that they have had chutzpah [sic?]/gaul to actually try and sell us this load of shit thinking we would swallow it! It shows disrespect, it shows complete disregard, and utter indifference to ALL the loyal players of this game, new or old. The old guys just had enough sense to call CCP out on this. 

7) Further, fiscally, and long term, the move makes even less sense. Since it will only decrease CCP's "partial" revenue as people consolidate to either single or less account[s]. However, short-term financially, the move makes perfect sense, it forces players to a) shell out $20.00 for transfer fee, b) forces those who have not subscribed/canceled to re-subscribe and pay overall higher premium, and finally c) to re-subscribe, in order to retrieve the character[s] + $20.00 transfer fee as they consolidate. 

8) Has nothing to do with the Game Balance either, since the feature was open to anyone and everyone, as mentioned above. And even less with the DB costs, and maintenance, since the way skill mechanic works in EVE is this: the DB compares your initial training time, with the actual training time at the DT, and calculates really quickly what you should have SP-wise. It is almost completely passive, just like the character information DB is completely passive while the account is disabled, just a couple of entires in the DB. 

9) We have to conclude then, that what CCP is trying to do is grab some cash, and that they have sank so low as to outright lie to the community, hope it will pass, or get unnoticed.

I hope that clarified a few things. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

CSM - The Council Of Stellar Management...

Well, it is this time of the year again. Almost six months ago the first CSM has been elected, their mandate was to oversee CCP's actions and to bring ideas to the developers of the game, to better the environment for the players. 

I think, although with some reservations, that CSM was a success on a number of levels. First, it actually introduced players into the insulated environment of CCP. Second, it was able to function, albeit sluggishly, and on minimal life support, for the entire duration of it's six month tenure. 

I must say, however, that with the exception of the few CSM members and their alternates, the general communication from CSM to the player community was very poor. There were many incidents of infighting, and staking out of the territory, including a fair number of virtual brawls on the forums.  While I understand that some disagreements might take place, I do not think that CSM as an entity was able to grow on each other, with each other, and with the general EVE community. Six months was too short of a time to actually justify the validity of CSM existence, and served more to cement the position of CCP, and CCP's general agenda, than actual player community as a whole. 

Above reservations notwithstanding, I believe that CSM, if it functions properly, is a good idea for the Pod Pilots of New Eden. Should they find a way to work together on things that really matter, and that would affect majority of the pilots. 

At the moment I have submitted number of questions to a number of candidates, and, since I have two active accounts, I shall pick maximum of two candidates to vote for based on the replies I receive, and their platforms later on in the election process. 

Of course, as soon as I pick a candidate, or candidates, I shall officially endorse them on this blog - not that they would ever need an endorsement from a troublemaker such as myself, or that any benefit should come from such an endorsement - but, I want to delude myself into believing that my voice counts, and, perhaps, will help others make up their minds.  

Until next time, yours truly... 


Thursday, October 16, 2008

The CCP Debacle...

As I have mentioned in my previous post, CCP has disabled what they call "Ghost Training." It is 16th of October, and the feature has been officially removed. 

Bellow I am outlining the process CCP has taken to cover it's tracks and to prevent most of the outside world from knowing the actual degree of discontent this has sewn within the EVE player community. 

1) October 13th: a Dev Blog by CCP Fallout explains that CCP are canceling the "Ghost Training" because it was an exploit, and a bug.  A huge outcry is created on EVE Online forums, and the community at large pointed to number of CCP CEO and Lead Producer statements, as well as an Official Player guide that lists the so-called "Ghost Training" as part of EVE, and one of its features. 

2) October 13th: old Dev Blog and the post are promptly deleted.  CCP Wrangler Posts the news that a "New Dev Blog" will come out with explanation.  Post Edited - and Blog by CCP TorfiFranse further states that it is now a measure to prevent players running accounts on a "shoe-string budget" and it is a BUG... again with the Bugs CCP.... 

The thread, now 40 pages long, goes "stealth" still accessible by the forum regulars, but no longer accessible by an outside world, nor by just looking at the forum. It is actually a link within an existing announcement. 

Thread reaches 80 Pages long...

3) October 14th: CCP TorfiFranse posts the apology, and that they have been completely "oh so busy", and did not realize their own Player Guide called it a Feature, and now they are calling it 'A Bug That Became a Feature,' the thread is still in stealh. 

Thread reaches over 90 pages long.... thread is still in stealth mode.....

4) October 15th: CCP Keeps Quiet...... Thread still in Stealth Mode, reaches over 100 pages long....

5) October 16th: CCP releases 4 blogs, announces new expansion, and generally makes allot of positive noises trying to drown out over 4,000 (that's four thousand) outraged users who are still shouting their chagrin to the deaf ears of CCP. Thread is still in stealth mode at the time of this post and quickly approaches 5,000 posts.

Final words:
In the last few days I have been greatly disappointed by the company that I held in the highest esteem and regard for over five years. They have clearly betrayed their player base for a short term monetary gain, and the only thing I can compare their actions are to SOE the NGE expansion that lead to the sharp decline and eventual demise of Star Wars franchise.  Only time will tell what effect the removal of this feature will have on EVE online population, I hope that we will survive it, and the long term players find a way to adapt.