Sad Sensationalism

It’s the same everywhere: the media is not so interested in informing as it is in selling papers (or in today’s age, just making money). I’m writing today specifically to comment on Dirk MacGirk’s article on TMC published on the 7th, but also to address a number of the Eve is Dying issues that are going around this summer. My overall point is to let you guys know that you’re being played by our amateur game media in order to get you hyped up so that you’ll visit their sites and buy their PLEX or whatever it is that they want you to do rather than trying to intelligently inform you about what’s going on.

So in this article, we can see that Dirk is very disappointed in Fozziesov and wants to hinge nullsec’s general success on the success of Fozziesov, which he doesn’t support. His disappointment is completely related to his own situation and not to any real contemplation about the overall health of the game. Basically, he is in a sov holding alliance that deals frequently with attacks from NPC nullsec dwellers. Therefore, his argument will be that Fozziesov favors attackers too much, especially attackers from NPC nullsec, where defense of the attacker’s own sov will not be a factor. His conclusion, actually stated at the outset of the article, is that there’s no reason to want sov outside of an idealistic loyalty. His end is merely a challenge to CCP to get everything right this time. Ultimately, he has laid an unwinnnable trap for CCP: design a system that favors him all at once perfect on the first go or there will be a failure that will contribute to the destruction of the game.

Now for an interjection about the Eve is Dying force of nature that will never leave the game and is being used to generate a lot of reddit karma and website clicks. The subject has been talked to death, ultimately generating no relevant conclusion. We know that people aren’t logging in. We know that it’s summer. We know that an awaited update is on the horizon. We know that CCP has been specifically focused on killing Alts Online with damage to input broadcasting and RMT focused farming as well as specifically stating a preference for more players with fewer accounts over fewer players with more accounts. We know that revenue is now being generated with multiple queue training and SKIN sales, and that determining CCP’s financial health and player activity is harder now than ever before, especially since CCP has recently taken its financial statements offline. We know that concurrent logins still matter somewhat, but the information about the health of the game that is derived from them is less clear than ever before. Yet despite knowing all these things, the Eve is Dying community is making everything they can out of these reduced numbers and in many cases trying to lay the blame for the death of Eve on Fozziesov. What can I say? Humans fear the unknown, and fear of the unknown generates media revenue. The less information that is available, the more money there is to be made by crying about doom.

Now returning to Dirk’s article, the primary contention is that nullsec will not be worth having because Fozziesov favors the attacker, despite the considerable defensive bonuses and the limited vulnerability windows, and despite that nullsec mining is far more valuable than ever before and nullsec anomalies, signatures, and incursions will be receiving buffs. His challenge is to get everything right (even though he thinks everything is wrong), despite CCP being committed to developing systems and code that are easily iterated upon.

The real crime of the article, though, is in its overstatement of Fozziesov in general. This is what I really want to focus on. What is coming out is a sov capture mechanic. That’s it. A lot less is changing, at least right now, than we think. There are major changes afoot, but these changes are tied to the new structure system. There are huge unknowns about the implementation of the structure system. In fact, there are so many unknowns that I have foregone writing about them. Initially, outpost flipping will be tied to sov flipping. With the advent of the citadels, however, this may well change. Then there are the other structures that will in some cases affect the tactical environment significantly. There are promises of capital ship changes that could affect the tactical situation significantly. Many of these changes are sure to be affected by the situation that is created by the implementation of each previous phase of the nullsec update.

What I am trying to get at with this is that the upgrading of Eve is a comprehensive process where the different components (structures, caps, sov mechanics) are all highly integrated and ongoing. If you are staying logged out because you are expecting your entire world to change 100% on July 14, you’re not being wise. There are plenty of opportunities to adjust capture mechanics and affect existing mechanics via changes to other areas of the game such as ships and structures. This is an ongoing thing. The sov mechanic represents a commitment to principle more than an ultimate redefining of the game. It represents a commitment to multiple smaller battles over fewer, larger ones. It represent a commitment to keeping Eve’s sandbox mentality via creating environments where more groups have more options for success, a situation that must be given attention given that Eve’s virtual world is a simplified facsimile of reality where certain groups have figured out the iWin components that keep all others at bay.

Ultimately, my message is not to buy into the hype. I have a friend who quit Eve before Fozziesov has come out because he has become convinced that Fozziesov ruined Eve and that Eve is Dying. My message is that as long as you’re having fun, keep playing. Players talk about the glory days when Eve was so much more fun even though it had fewer players than currently. Letting your game experience be defined by a sense of doom and destruction promulgated by an amateur media that, like all other forms, just wants to make money, will not only result in your missing out on the fun of the game that is always improving, but may even affect your attitude such that you miss out on opportunities to achieve victory in the game. Eve’s evolution involves a number of cultural changes. Gaining victory by grinding out a super or subbing a bunch of alts is giving way to an environment of working with other players to overcome an increasing variety of challenges and increasingly complicated tactical and strategic landscape. Eve being a game that is played by a sizable portion of the player base while watching TV or playing League of Legends is something that CCP seems to be intent on changing. Basically, CCP is breathing more life into Eve by variegating the paths to victory. If you see this process simply as doom and quit the game because that which is familiar to you is changing, you’re letting yourself be bested by the very processes that CCP is implementing in order to overcome your boredom with the game as it currently is. Don’t let Eve’s media do that to you.