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.