Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Hey, it works for the USA politicians when they f**k up - its REHAB TIME!!!!"
Monday, October 20, 2008
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
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.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
- "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
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".
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.