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. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Dark Day for a Veteran Player...

CCP has decided that they will no longer support the "Ghost Training" feature of EVE Online. 

Let me explain a bit further what it means, for those who might be coming after me into this wonderful game - and for those who will be searching for EVE history at some point in the future.

  • "What is Ghost Training?"

It used to be possible, until October 15th 2008 to finish training skills even if the account became disabled. As many of you know EVE is a demanding game, and even though the skills can be trained while the character is "offline," they still tend to take a good chunk of "real time." Some skills can take up to 45-60 days to train to Level 5.  

CCP Developers always touted this as one of their "major" features of the game itself; they always presented it as a sign of how "flexible" EVE really is, well, was. Just 24 hours ago CCP announced that they will not allow the "Ghost Training" and called it a "Bug." A "bug" that they themselves had in the "Skill Training Guide" for almost five years, a touted feature that attracted so many people to EVE.  

To make it a bit clearer, I am going to post what the Developers have told the community, three posts, and subsequently my sincere opinion on the matter:  

  • Player News Article:

A statement by CCP Fallout:
"Ghost Training To Be Removed"
Reported by CCP Fallout on 2008.10.13 15:59:54 

A long overdue and much needed change will be put in place with the Wednesday, 15 October 2008 patch. Ghost Training, the continuous skill gain on accounts in an inactive or expired state - will no longer function after Wednesday, 15 October 2008. This practice upsets the balance of the game, and capsuleers who actively put their time and energy into working on their characters will no longer be unfairly affected by those few who have not.

Please read Dev Blog for more information. 

  • Dev Blog In Its Entirety:

"Why Ghost Training Was Disabled"
Reported by CCP Torfifranse on 2008.10.13 23:17:25

As many of you know by now, on Wednesday, Oct 15th, CCP will put out a server update disabling "ghost training". Ghost Training was an unintended feature where unpaid accounts of EVE Online were able to continue training skills. While this allowed players to run multiple characters on a shoestring budget, in all effect, this was a bug.

It should be noted that we're not changing offline skill training for active subscribers in any way. This change only affects those who do not have an active subscription.

Does that mean that CCP is a greedy money chewing monster that just loves nerfing things? Of course not. We're a company like everyone else, we make a game, that we happen to love making and for most of us is the passion of our lives. But it's also a company. We make a product, sell it, get salaries and then continue maintaining the product and making it better. 

Now I'm not saying that if me personally would be at the other end of this Dev Blog I wouldn't be annoyed by CCP's actions. We are gamers. We game the system. We figure out how to maximize our returns. There's no surprise that people have done this for the simple fact that it wasn't banned per se and also for the fact that it was possible. But recently we have seen a surge in this behavior in a way that we were essentially supporting and maintaining a large number of customers that weren't paying us regular subscriptions. That's not fair towards CCP as a service provider and it's not fair towards other players that pay a subscription but don't make use of this bug. 

Now a single customer that doesn't log into the servers may not weigh heavily on our database infrastructure, just as a single snowflake isn't that heavy, hardly a measurable quantity. But it's hard not to notice an avalanche if it hits you. And that's what was starting to happen in our database. 

We can look at this from a variety of angles, but it all comes down to:

There was a way to progress a character in EVE without an active subscription

CCP noticed a surge in the trend and decided to fix the leak Players now have to pay a subscription for characters to have them progress. We truly hope that the community will understand our actions and continue to enjoy playing EVE as much as we enjoy making it.

Torfi Frans Olafsson

Senior Producer of EVE Online. 

  • And, finally, the back-pedaling:

Posted on by CCP T0rfifrans on 14/10/2008 23:18:00
“The bug that became a feature” 

On Monday, we released news that we are disabling “Ghost Training”, the ability to train characters on inactive accounts. This resulted in strong reactions from the community as many people were routinely making use of it. We explained the matter in more detail and pointed out that this had been a bug in the original game code. Those of us who were involved in the process of making the decision and communicating it to the community did not realize this bug had been so accepted as a feature that it was listed as such in our own documentation on our own website.  

How can we not know what‘s in our own documentation? Well, to be frank, it was a case of insufficient communication on our part between various teams – a regrettable mistake and hard lesson to learn at the expense of the trust you‘ve placed in us. There‘s no way to spin it and we won‘t add insult to injury by trying to do so. It was a mistake on our part and for that we sincerely and humbly apologize. 

Many would hope that in light of this we will decide not to cancel ghost training and keep it active as an option but we‘re cannot to do that. EVE is already one-of-a-kind in allowing players to progress their characters through offline skill training. We stand by our policy that if you want your character to progress in EVE, you should pay the subscription fee. The fact that so many people have been able to do so for several years was our own oversight. We know this change, and our misstep in telling you about it, has created some discontent and we hope that over time we can prove our commitments to make EVE better than ever for you will be evident as you enjoy the fruits of our labor.


  • And now, my humble opinion and response to this fiasco:

I am sorry Torfi, but this is damage control, pure and simple, and do not think for a second that most of us do not see through it.

What your superiors have done is taken away a feature that was a major selling point for many people.

EVE is an addicting game, and a major hobby for the most of us. Because CCP has encouraged dual-boxing, and dual-accounting, for so many years it has become a major part of the game. After a while EVE will have an effect on a player where we simply have to take a break, and having the so-called "ghost training" was one bright spot - we could set that "special" skill that we did not quite get to, and walk away for a month, knowing full-well that when we come back we will have another avenue to explore within the game world.

It was exciting, and nice to know that you as company pretty much understood us, the adult players, with families, jobs, army service, business trips and mortgages, and car payments. It was very nice to know that despite being bogged down by real life there was a small pleasure to come back to when I hit that "reactivate account" button.

You have taken it away because you want money, pure and simple. And, in short term, it will bring you more money - in the long term, all those short attention span kids with daddy's and mommy’s credit cards will go away, and you would have most likely have lost your core gamers, the ones who stuck with you through 5 years, and would have probably stayed for longer still.

I know, I am sounding like a broken violin, but I am so very much disappointed, ever since Oveur and others have left CCP you guys act and deal with us, loyal players like strangers. I have always felt more like family with the other guys, what happened guys? What are you doing? Is EVE not important anymore?  I guess things change.

I never said "I would cancel my bazillion accounts", I only have two, but I am seriously thinking of consolidating into one, and just seeing how it goes, and where you guys will take us next. I am an adult, and I will deal with it like an adult, no whines from me, just wanted to let you know how deeply I am disappointed in what you have done.

Jinx Barker, a Loyal CCP Customer for the last 5 years.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Glimpse at the coronation footage of Empress Jamyl The First...

Ministry Of Internal Order releases coronation Footage

Amarr - Amarr Certified News secured permission from the Ministry of Internal Order to release exclusive footage of the historic coronation of Empress Jamyl I. Withheld for security reasons, the media contains rare footage of the famed Imperial Domain Fleet as it gathered before the Emperor Family Station in Amarr last week for the spectacular event. The fleet has since been deployed to its "undisclosed wartime assignments".

The video can be obtained here and a higher quality feed is also available here.

Jamyl Sarum - The New Empress of Amarr Empire

Full News Coverage can be be seen by following the linked file. 

Coronation of empress Jamyl launches new era for the Amarr empire 

Amarr - Jamyl Sarum, the resurgent heir to the Sarum royal family, was today crowned Empress of the Amarr Empire. In a ceremony that began with her arrival amidst a huge assembly of Imperial Navy warships, interim Court Chamberlain Hemirin placed the sacred crown upon Her Majesty, declaring her the "Holy Ordained Empress of Creation".

Delivering a powerful opening speech, Empress Jamyl boldly announced the start of a new Reclaiming, calling on all those of faith to "stand by her side" as the Empire recovered from "the excesses of a misguided path". Seemingly mindful of those questioning the merit of her rule, she ended her address with a forceful demand for loyalty, possibly directed at the remaining heirs, with a vow to return "what others give to the Empire [sic]".

If there were any doubts about the legitimacy of her ascension, no such sentiment was present among the thousands of Holders and clergy present for the historic occasion. The spectacular coronation was held within the massive vaulted chambers of St. Kuria the Prophet Cathedral in Amarr, which has also witnessed the mourning of Emperor Heideran; the coronation and funeral of Emperor Doriam II; and the proxy rule of Chamberlain Dochuta Karsoth, who is believed to have fled during the Minmatar Elder's invasion of Amarr earlier this year.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ohhhh Goodies... Black Ops Level 4... erhmm.. WTF...

Anyhow, just a short update, since if you look at JB's skills you will see that I am somewhat anal when it comes to keeping him trim and nice. So, we can't have any skills bellow L4, or L5. And, Black Ops was the last skill at L1 since my hiatus. 

By the way, by the time it finishes I should be well on the way to 57 Mill SP... I am thinking of buying a Fedo when I reach 60. Too Bad CCP does not allow us to have them. 

I will update again on a project I have been supporting for close to two years now - those of you who frequent EVE-O forums would probably know it. But, anyway, just tootles for now. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Titian Project....

Well, an interesting thing happened... I have commissioned a local EVE artist to create a work of art with Jinx as the subject. 

One of my favorite paintings is called A Man In A Red Cap, by Titian. If you must know
 more, well, then follow this link on Titian in Wikipedia.  

But, no matter, one peculiar point is that the original subject is not known, and I thought it would be interesting to incorporate Jinx into it. 

So, I contacted Leonardo DiJita, look him up in game, and he came up with this pretty amazing rendering of the original: 

The full version can be seen here, I have uploaded it to EVE Files, please note that the file is rather large, but the rendering is pretty good. 

53 Million SP +

Finally had little time to update the blog. 
JB has reached the 53 Million SP, and is climbing. I feel little odd, was thinking I would want some special skills, maybe. Something unique, or rare? 

Intelligence Analyst, that was an interesting sounding skill; of course I forgot that it was never introduced into the game, and is just part of the DB, figures. 

Still, would be nice to have, if it was possible. 

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Still Working....

Got Widow and Golem BPCs today, will have my trusty "Sancho Pansa" of an ALT build the toys, then off to try and get them blown to bits! 

Other than that, slowly climbing to 50 Million SP. As a matter of fact, trying my hardest not to go and splurge on different skills needed to fly a Capital Ship. Still, will focus on the T2 BS variants, before I go for the Caps. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

An update, of sorts....

Jinx is currently inactive. Time to take the much needed rest, and train that Caldari Battleship to Level 5!
Will do a little update once the account is reactivated in March.

I have switched to using Apple Computers a while ago, till very recently I had to use Bootcamp to play EVE in XP. However, since CCP has added Mac Client, I am really happy again. Hence, the new "Apple" logo link.