Another Day Another Drama

Well, after not blogging for months, returning to an “occasionally log in” status, and promising that I wouldn’t be blogging for months to come, my foray into Eve Media was just so perfectly timed that I can’t resist piping up. The occasion of course is the Fountain War book that I just praised a couple of days ago. Since praising it, Sion Kumitomo has written a dramatic little missive to the Eve community and then Kirith Kodachi, Gevlon Goblin, and my buddy Seraph IX Basarab have offered hard counters to Eve’s dastardly diplomat. Now this situation is just too much fun to keep quiet about, so I am taking pen to paper. I mean you all give a shit about what Jan Irvam has to say, right? (Please say, “yes!” so I don’t get triggered 😰)

So my little post is going to actually be a defense of what Sion is on about. Not because I’m in league with the little bees or anything, but because I think there’s a certain lack of awareness that makes the community look bad. I myself used to be pretty Grr Goon on account of all the ganking and recruitment scams, the allegiance to the SA forums, and the typical reasons. Lately, though, when they rebranded to the Imperium and actually made their cocksuckerness a matter of lore, I got a bit more neutral. KarmaFleet, while it pissed me off at the time as a member of the pre-implosion Brave Collective, also helped my opinion some in the long run, so at this time the Grr Goon in me is more a matter of Jan being an Amarr loyalist who has no love for Max Singularity than a legitimate feeling that the Goons are bad for the game. If the Goons really do become bad for the game, I’ll be the first to lock lips with Gevlon and pick up my torch and pitchfork, but this book just ain’t the occasion for that.

Now Seraph’s (not Kirith’s) counters to Sion are actually pretty sound for the most part, and what he says should be considered, so I am not actually out to contradict him. Edwards, as an artist, does have to read the bad reviews. It’s part of making art. Some like you, some don’t. But in a number of areas I’ve come to the conclusion that the culture of the player base can be toxic for Eve. So I would like to highlight a few things pertaining to the book and Sion’s post from a different corner than the reaction to Sion elsewhere.

There are a couple of things to have in mind before even starting on the issue of the current media drama. First, we don’t know what the book will be about beyond the Fountain War. The Goons are owning their eternal asshattedness, and they may actually commission Jeff to portray them as the bad guys in this book. Unfortunately, much of the criticism of the book as Goon propaganda or whatever just isn’t going to be known until it comes out. When it comes out, if it’s a shameless plug, we can say so and make sure nothing is ever attempted again. We can ensure their work is perpetually derided. It could, though, be pretty cool. I might even get the tickle of seeing Jan Irvam as a bad guy in the book. Which brings me to point two. The book actually does represent a new approach to generating Eve lore. CCP has not with any book attempted to bring player actions into the mythology. They’ve done a bit of toying with player lore via the Scope, but that’s pretty much it. This attempt, if it works, could be pretty cool. Finally, there are all the financial accusations. I really can’t comprehend these. CCP Fozzie makes money off generating Eve content. Do we crucify him? Now Mittens’ wife needs to eat too. He has chosen to make Eve a career. I personally would have him making money providing content via Eve lore before having him put bread on his family’s table as a PLEX reseller. It’s a capitalist world. Do we shit on someone for choosing to be a nurse because they will get paid for it? No, we congratulate them for choosing a healing profession. If we get something for giving Mittens our money, where is the harm?

So with these things in mind I’ll dig in a bit to the actual situation.  At the outset, though, if you back up from the trees and look at the forest, Sion’s moralistic condemnation is quite obviously personally motivated. He does devote a lot of attention to the point of not taking out a hatred of the Goons on Jeff. But overall Sion is defending Jeff, not really the Goons, and really, not even the book. He’s actually apologizing to Jeff on behalf of the Eve community by crapping on the Eve community. This guy likely trades e-mails with Jeff. He may well have received from Jeff “what’s with all the hate?” and felt really bad and embarrassed. His lack of diplomatic obfuscation and high-handed condemnation are actually a statement that he cares more about what Jeff thinks than what we think.

Concerning the reactions, well, Gevlon’s were hilarious as usual while being insightful, but really don’t warrant significant comment here. Kirith’s were quite disappointing, really. He actually takes the bait and devotes a lot of attention to how criticism is warranted because Goons really are total fucks. However, this is diving straight into the hole that Sion dug for him. Sion’s whole point was, “hate the Goons all you want, just take it easy on Jeff please.” Kirith’s, “but the Goons are so bad, so we should hate” just accomplishes nothing beyond “ra ra ra how dare Sion be pissed!”

Now on to the community. I’ve said before that Eve cynicism actually prevents the game from getting better. Player retention remains low because after every effort CCP takes to improve the NPE, the newbro can’t help but run into you guys. Also, the stagnant veteran attitude has rotted to the point of resembling a Metallica fan who hates everything the band did since Master of Puppets but still goes to concerts anyway for some damned reason. Anymore I hear nothing but cries to CCP that “I hate your damned blob, but if you kill it I’ll unsub my 30 accounts.” When new players come to the game, they see that shit. When investors look at CCP, they see that shit. Whatever anybody does for the damned game is met with cynicism. In this case it’s just a blathering admixture of grrgoonsjeffedwardssucks. Like we can’t even differentiate between shitting on a writer and commenting on Goon negatives. What measure THC bludgeoned intelligence we have is completely drowned in a sea of shit from our inner asshole, so it all comes out like meaningless garbage. Garbage that stinks, looks bad, and just isn’t cool to Jeff Edwards.

Now on to the peripheral matters of the Cloud Ring Campaign and the Viceroyalty issue. Frankly, while I retain my Grr Goon t-shirt, if you want to talk about a cosmic cancerous turd floating through New Eden, you need to read up on the PanFam. These guys have people convinced that they are elite by winding up for a pitch when the umpire calls “play Barve!” At least NC. gave us the courtesy of obviously sucking. For some reason, people still believe Pandemic Legion when they say they didn’t want that sov anyway. I hope they get a kick out of not docking up their Titans when they can’t hang on to an XL Citadel (CCPLEEZ get rid of supercap logoffski! You’re our only hope!). So the Imps are doing us a favor by getting rid of the Pandemic Family Farce that they can stand up and fight when there is an enemy. Same goes for the Viceroyalty thing. The galactic south is just a tragedy. CCP makes it easier than ever for people to take space and everything just collapses. The Viceroyalty thing is another way of saying, “if you’re scared, say you’re scared!” Basically, the Imps need to create content just like everybody else. Gevlon reminds us every day about how they sit in Deklein and rat. So, if there’s any truth to what’s been put out, it looks like the Goons are forcing content by being the same assholes they’ve been for decades, and consistently with their Nazi role-play motif. Nothing more. And the result will be content, or the illusion of the galactic south will be shattered.

Anyway, I’ve said my peace. Seraph, your article was pretty good in stating that our community is the final arbiter of what’s been said and anti-Goon reaction is to be expected. On the other hand, though, it’s easy to see where Sion is coming from. He’s protecting Jeff, as he really should. The reactions to the kickstarter have just been dumbassed, and the reaction to Sion has been predictable and pretty much proved his point. Trying to tie Cloud Ring and the Viceroyalty thing to the issue with Jeff actually isn’t fruitful, even though the relationship is very close on the surface. They’re just playing along, getting press for being dicks like always, and generating content.

Ultimately I’ve just wanted to say a few things. Eve players, don’t be dumb cynical shitheads. It’s not cool. It doesn’t get anybody anywhere. Be smart, clever shitheads instead. I’ll give you a hint. Don’t shit on Jeff Edwards. All else is fair play. Finally, if you want to see a book on the Fountain War, support the kickstarter. If you don’t want the book, don’t support the kickstarter. In advance of the book, comment on the possibilities. Try and influence it. Don’t just explode into an autistic outburst with no meaning. When it comes out, go to town about how much you love it or hate it. Should be simple stuff, really.

Not Twiddling My Thumbs

So I haven’t posted anything regularly in a few months. Not that I particularly think that the Eve community cares what I’m up to in the game, but one of the reasons I started this blog was to chronicle a bit of my personal adventures so that those who consider recruiting or otherwise playing the game with me will know my story. Therefore, I just thought I’d throw a post on the blog since I haven’t written in a while just saying what I’m up to. I’ll also end with a bit of rambling about the good things on the horizon in the game.

So for me, I had a number of real life changes occur that are still going on. I basically took the summer off as a result. My experiment with starting a corp didn’t really work, and was probably a knee-jerk reaction to all my drama in Brave. Even though I said above that I am not Eve famous or anything, I am actually the reason why people talk about being “triggered” by Eve, LOL. I am happy to have had the opportunity to make my little contribution to the culture! Anyway, my real life is still fairly unstable, and I have not started up any massive industrial or economic projects, nor have I committed to any social group. I don’t expect to do so until sometime next year. However, I have returned, and been back for a bit over a month. I’ve just been doing low-key PvE in highsec, getting standings and doing Cosmos missions, and I hope to have some fun with the events CCP is putting together as I am able. When I am able to return to my more committed play style, I may well get back with GCLUB, though I could check with various friends and start up some other venture if anyone has any good ideas. So that’s basically my story. I’m back, but not really engaging. I wouldn’t say I am just twiddling my thumbs, though.

Now CCP definitely hasn’t been twiddling their thumbs. They say they have plans for the Rorqual, but are checking on the feasibility of it. I suspect they are working on some kind of a structure to put in a mining belt so the Rorqual can boost while moored. Or tethered, as they are now calling it. Fozzie Sov sov has been tweaked a few times, and looks like it is working as intended, a solid success. I was a bit shocked and dismayed by all the stuff that was said in reaction to the capture mechanic and its overall dismal reception. My takeaway from it is that CCP is trying to innovate too much, and the player culture is really only capable of so much change at once. People say they don’t want the blob, but the players resist its demise as much as possible. People told CCP they wanted occupancy sov, but they expected this to mean bonuses for defenders (aka ratters). Nobody really expected a system that rewarded those who live in their space by making space harder to defend. After a few cycles of tweaking, though, it seems like trolling problems have been handled alright. I’ll have to find out in earnest when I return to sov next year.

The next big hit to the blob looks like it could come with these new Command Destroyers. Now Fozzie would always talk about “dials” that he could tweak. Well, these things aren’t so much a tweak, but an entirely new dial. With the right adjustments to the jump drive cycle time and radius, and speed, signal strength, and sig radius of these ships, they could wind up being anything from blob damagers to blob destroyers. In addition to tactics such as pulling a fleet’s logi away (and bubbles and all the stuff mentioned), I have thought that a pair of them could jump into an enemy fleet and then jump out with part of that fleet, effectively slicing it in half. These things could really do a lot to kill blob warfare if players can think up tactics and CCP adjusts stats to open paths to tactical options. My only concern, though, like with Fozzie Sov, is that the player base might not be able to actually tolerate the death of the blob that they disparage. We will only see.

Other good news is the tethering, which will have a nice effect of eliminating shooting cyno ships. I campaigned a bit about removing station cyno ships, but with some subscriber losses at the beginning of the summer, implementing a mechanic that will result in the cancellation of a bunch of cyno alt subscriptions might not be a good idea at this time. So a safe zone around a citadel will be a good compromise. I hope that NPC stations in null and lowsec will also have safe zones to keep the cyno ships alive. They should be able to be shot in combat and tactical situations, but having to replace a cyno every time you jump a JF is just an annoyance.

The Gallente Navy EWAR frigates will put a hurting on the DSTs, but won’t kill them, and will really help a lot with the warp stabbed faction warfare plexers, and a new line of brawling frigates are going to be a nice addition. Also, though the new ice mining frigate is touted as intended for the frigate wormholes, my hope is that they will provide options for lowsec ice mining. The highsec fields are always crowded, but lowsec ice mining is really not a reasonable option with the current ships. I’m actually quite excited about the Discovery. It is one ship I will be toying with while I putter around empire space.

The capital ship balances look very, very cool. I am not enough of an expert to really get involved with the subreddit and working group and all that. I do think less than 2K DPS for dreadnoughts will be too low. 3K sounds reasonable. The Doomsdays sound amazingly cool, but very scary, and should really be thought out. Those things have broken the game in the past. I hope they don’t do so again. Everything else, from the high angle guns, the Force Auxiliaries, the expanded number of modules for caps, the difficulty refitting, the love for the Nidhoggur, and just about everything I can remember from what I’ve read sound like excellent ideas. I am really looking forward to this overhaul!

Finally, I was glad to see CCP get some investment and is doing some reposturing to present itself as committed to VR gaming. VR could take off quickly or slowly, but it is definitely the future. It looks to me that as CCP has aged, the creativity of the game designers is matched by some innovative business operations. Valkyrie may or may not take the galaxy by storm, but orienting the company toward VR gaming with an intent to create VR shooters and expand into other projects like Gunjack really bolsters my confidence.

Now while Jan is an Amarr loyalist and in game is and will be anti-Imperium and Grr Goon, I am glad CCP and Mittens are working together to give us a new book! This one looks to be very cool, the first effort to really integrate player history with Eve lore since True Stories. I pushed a bit for player contribution to lore advancement, and I am so glad these guys are doing it.  I just haven’t seen this kind of stuff in support of a video game before, and look forward to reading!

Overall, I am really looking forward to 2016 and beyond with Eve and CCP!


Fly safe!