Tuesday, January 7, 2014

CSM8 August 2013 Summit Minutes (part 1)

Been a little while since I have had a post. Been a little while since I have been motivated enough to write a new one. I have a few that are in draft mode but never published them because other Eve bloggers out there have beat those topics to death. Still, I may still publish them at some point. Oh yea, happy 2014...

I just printed out the minutes this weekend as as time allows I will read them and formulate my own opinions to share with all of you. Ever since 2013's fanfest I have found Eve to a a largely divided player base. Interestingly enough the minutes seem to reflect that in great detail. So lets proceed into the fist session. Download them here:

Session 1 Basic Introductions and Design Theory

FIRST PARAGRAPH I have issues with what CCP Pokethulhu says and I quote:

"Pokethulhu pointed out his role as an interim EP was needed to handle the basic day to
day tasks of the role. Pokethulhu stressed that he doesn't intend to take or hold the
position. He further stressed that his full-time job has nothing to do with his marketing

"It doesn't signal any intention on CCP's part that marketing is going to drive the development of the game."

"The CSM was satisfied with this explanation and understood the needs of day-to-day operation"

Did we forget something here? This is only a half truth. Let me refresh your memory and while I am SHAME on CSM for giving this a pass. Only a few of the things that I will discuss in this article were brought up before they were releases to the Eve player base and most of them were not. They were not happily accepted at fanfest either. There were times when they spoke about these new things and CCP was greeted with silence.

Here is a link to the video at Eve Vegas by CCP Pokethulhu (David Reid
EVE Vegas 2013: The EVE Universe - A possible future

Representin‘ for CCP will be Creative Director of EVE IP development Torfi Frans Olafsson and Art Director of EVE IP development and one of CCP‘s key concept artists Borkur Eiriksson. Both have been part of EVE‘s core team for a very long time and in various roles have contributed significantly to what the EVE Universe has become over the years.1

While I was at fanfest I took notes and pictures. While he was onstage he spoke about many things and his connections to marketing and making Eve succeed in larger things are rest assured a top priority for both CCP and himself.

He not only spoke about the present and the future, just like ALL of the CCP developers did at this fanfest. They spoke about:

  1. True Stories is a comic book loosely based upon a story from True Stories from the First Decade, crowdsourced from the EVE community and adapted to comic book form. It is something that we plan to do more of in the future, since the stories of EVE players and their antics continue to amaze both us, the mainstream media and the EVE community itself. The comic book will be seperated into four chapters, each illustrated by a different artist, which will be released digitally free of charge and then available for purchase in pretty printed form.
  2.  EVE Universe – SOURCE takes a different approach. In this thick, stylish lore-rich book, we are given an insight into the EVE Universe, the races, the back story and the setting in more detail than ever before. Loaded with both classic and original art from the Universe, not only will SOURCE look splendid on your yin-yang coffee table, but it will also provide you with a deep understanding and immersion of New Eden, home of the immortal capsuleer (you).
  3. Eve Stories which might be made into a Television series like Game of Thrones
  4. EVE: Valkyrie
  5. Dust 514
  6. World of Darkness
They also spoke about micro-transactions which we all know went over SO well this summer. Here if a video on that as well.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_M3xPZSK_c

...and with this chart they are DUPLICATION this for every division that they cover.
So this will dilute the funds even more, stretch staffing out that further and make it to where it will take forever to get anything done. Remember the this blog in in response to the minutes from the August Summit!
CCP is going to continue to promote Eve into bigger and better things and in turn they will dilute the one thing that got them here to begin with. Eve Online. The fact that the CSM gave them a pass on this is horrible and the CSM should be ashamed. I am not impressed with the minutes so far. The integrity of the sandbox has been compromised.

1 http://evenews24.com/2013/10/02/dev-blog-eve-at-new-york-comic-con-this-october/
2 http://massively.joystiq.com/tag/torfi-frans-olafsson

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blog Banter #50 - Changes

Being the bitter vet that I am I decided to take the challenge and write my corps and coalitions viewpoint on the new expansion that is coming out in just a few more weeks, Rubicon. Why write about this? Here is what made me do today's post:

Blog Banter #50 - Changes
Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 50th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

* * * * *

With the Rubicon expansion being announced and the SOMER Blink scandals (or non-scandals depending on your point of view) that have erupted on the community at the same time, it truly feels like an age of EVE has passed and a new one is dawning.

But which direction is it going? This blog banter can be about several different topics:


OK, I'll take the second option. I am Eve's new EP!
  1. Where do you think EVE is going? Is it a good or bad vision ahead?
  2. If you were EVE's new Executive Producer, where would you take the game?
  3. What comes (or should come) after Rubicon in terms of the mechanics and ship balancing we've seen? (CSM8 not allowed to answer this one!)
  4. Is there anything in EVE's ten year past that should be resurrected? Or buried and forgotten?
  5. What is the future of the community? What should or should not change?
To answer question #1 I have to say that Eve is going in a good direction but they are doing it the wrong way. They have wandered off the path and don't know how to get back on it. How can I say this? Let me explain it to you! Go get something to drink and or a snack. Yea, this is going to be a long post. For those with short attention spans your going to hate it.

I want there to be proper immersion. CCP has left that aspect to the players and the players SUCK at creating the vision that CCP wants for the game. You can't have it both ways. To have a properly immersive game it has to be created that way. CCP has to have a clear vision on this and they have to stick to that game plan. The moment they veer off of that path the immersion breaks. This means involving SOMERblink, this meand involving all the gambling sites and this even means them listening to the CSM.

I want lore and let me be more specific, I want my lore NOT to be changed. I purchased all of the Eve books, read all of the Eve stories and all of the Eve created stories when they were created. Over the years CCP has stopped producing them and they fired their book creator. CCP is not very good at keeping their lore are they?! How can you have a good deep Eve story and immersion when you keep breaking it?

I want exploration through PvE. I do NOT want exploration through the means of PvP. I do not care how many times the PvP folks will say that this is a PvP game. I have been playing it now for OVER A DECADE and PvP is NOT my reason for playing this game. Stop trying to cram it down my throat at every opportunity you can. This includes YOU Jester and the rest of CSM that this applies to also!

I do NOT want Dust. Dust is NOT the future of Eve. Get it the hell out of here and sell it to some other company that cares. It is and will never be Eve online and it is NOT what I pay for. When I went to Fanfest this year I was highly dissapointed that 50% of it was about Dust. I did not go to the top of the world for Dust, I went for Eve online. Give me what I pay for.

To answer question #2 if I were Eve Online's Executive Producer I would be doing things more with croudsourcing and customer feedback then just listening to the CSM and a few loud mouths on the forums. I think Rixx Javix covered this pretty good in his post so I +1 what he said.
To add what Rixx did not cover I think that every time you log on you can have the option to answer a poll or questionaire. This would give the feedback that people like CCP Seagull are looking for without having to get it off the forums. We all know that 80% or more of the people that play Eve online don't read the forums. So why would you go there to get what your paying customer base is asking for or playing for? Mine the data you have with the methods available. This is something that CCP fails miserably on.

Hell, I could spend all day answering question #3 since it will take a lot of room to give it justice. I will shorten that into 3 main things.

First you need to improve on the Jove story and how the Sleepers work into that story. Good lore here, lots of information. CCP has let the story fail.

Second you also have to work on the other technologies out there that have not been explained fully from the lore yet. Those being the Takmahl, Talocan Technology and Yan Jung Technologies.

I would move along on the Sansha's arc. CCP had a good thing going there and crippled it horribly killing off the new community that was forming at that time. They need to get that back to where it was going, in a good direction with lots of player involvement. Right now it is stalled and not gaining any new players.

To answer question #4 I can easily give you a list of features that are what made me want to sign up for Eve Online that have been removed. Here is a good list for you to work off of.

1) Ghost Training - major good feature that was senselessly removed.
2) Motherships - Spent a lot of time training to get into one only to have it nerfed.
3) etc
4) etc
5) etc you all can add more in the comments if you like. Those are my biggest 2 complaints.

Things I also want to see removed from Eve online are what it has become. What do I mean? Well here are some other names for what it has become lately:

    1. Goonswarm Online
    2. Killboards online
    3. Make Tears online
    4. Bullies Online
    5. Politics Online

Eve is being turned into any one or all of those things listed above. Each one of those could and might turn into it's own blog at some point. Time will tell. Talk to any new player that eventually rage quits and this is one of the reasons why. Eve is becomming a very hateful game that does not encourage anything that is resembeling "good" lately.

Most of all I want to feel like I did when I was in this photo while at fanfest. Click on it to see the note I added. I am in the picture and thanks to Freebooted for having the photo! Eve has taken a turn for the worse. I THINK (and I hope) that Rubicon will take it in the right direction. Time will tell.

For more Blog Banter's on this subject, please visit this here link.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Rubicon: The Bitter Vet view...

Interesting name for an Eve expansion. Has absolutely nothing to do with the current Eve lore that I can figure out but one that they went with regardless. I wonder if the CSM gave the green light for that also :-P Anyways, I figures I would give you my corps view on the 20th free expansion of Eve online. These are the current top 6 things

  1. Control Hi-Sec Customs Offices
    This is just going to be a HUGE ISK sink that Dr. EOG has been looking for. How do I know this? Well the good Dr and I spoke about 2 things while I was at fanfest. One was PLEX, which is a whole different story and PoCo's which I am covering now.

    Here is a quick spreadsheet for you and no I am not in favor of this. This is just making NULL sec mechanics on Sovereignty control through a new mechanic. MORE forced Pew Pew and needless griefing.

    Thanks CCP Soundwaffle.

    Empire Sovereignty Listing     # of planets

    Amarr Empire

        Aridia 80
        The Bleak Lands 35
        Devoid 52
        Domain 192
        Genesis 103
        Kador 85
        Kor-Azor 61
        Tash-Murkon  103

    Ammatar Mandate

        Derelik  118

    Caldari State

        The Citadel 86
        The Forge 93
        Lonetrek 98
        Black Rise  49

    Gallente Federation

        Essence 67
        Everyshore 54
        Placid 71
        Sinq Laison 109
        Solitude 43
        Verge Vendor  44

    Khanid Kingdom

        Khanid  84

    Minmatar Republic

        Heimatar 83
        Metropolis 159
        Molden Heath  38

    Total Empire Planets (includes high sec and low sec planets) 1907

    Estimated value is $190,700,000,000 which I based off the 100 million ISK figure I came up with for the Gantry and upgrades. Is is exact? No. Will it do for this illustration? Yes.
  2. Deploy Mobile Structures
    To early to tell on these. To me this seems like the new version of player controlled modular POS's that were spoken of before with several of the mods. I think I am right on this and God only knows why they are putting this "spin" on them. Either way I think they are a good idea in theory but we will see how it shakes out in game.

  3. Sisters of EVE Faction Ships
    All I can say about this is JOYGASM!

  4. Ship Re-balancing
    More of the "Same old, same old" ship tierside. I am one of the few I believe that thinks that this was NEEDLESS work. Eve was fine for the first decade with everything the way it was. There was lore to support the ships they way they were and I was fine with that. Changing things for the sake of changing them is pointless.

  5. Guerilla-style Warfare Support
    Some of the ship speed changes and additions are things that SHOULD of been in the game from day one. This should have been added to a POINT release much earlier then this and not in a major release.

  6. Interbus Ship Identification System
    This is how the certificate system SHOULD of been introduced to us. This is a very good step in the right direction for new players. Who ever got this into the game finally is a DEV that CCP should thank over and over again. THESE are the kind of changes that give the new player experience the life that it needs.

    Now for us bitter vets I don't see it really doing a damn thing but then again it is not all about me now is it?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

How to tell when the CSM is overstepping their bounds...

Hello fellow Eve online Lurkers...

Here is a topic that really gets me on my soapbox and wants to fire up my ranting to whole new levels. Let me quote the latest one from Jesters Trek that has inspired today's blog.
  • So I quietly watched the F&I thread about the links and mind-links and waited for it to explode into a threadnaught, which didn't really happen.  CCP Fozzie dev-blogged about it, still no threadnaught.  Here's a little secret: the CSM's influence is cut by about half to two-thirds when there's no player revolution behind it.  I nudged forward the industrial rebalancing because I helped create, guide, and shape player reactions to the first pass of those rebalances.  But if there was going to be a revolution on this topic, I wasn't gonna be the one leading it.
 Are you kidding me?!? This is the latest in about a dozen blogs from Jester about how he has help "CREATE, GUIDE and SHAPE PLAYER REACTIONS to what he thinks his vision of Eve should be. Not the majority of Eve players but his alone.

This was even more obvious when he was talking to us about how all of the Reasonable Things was being viewed by CCP and left out all of the industrial information. That information was later taken up by Unforgiven Storm as he championed what Jester intentionally left out.

Now this is a topic that has been covered since CSM1. So you have 8 different groups of people that has lists of what the players want to see fixed in game. Why is it that year after year, CSM after CSM that there are items on these lists that are just not taken to CCP for them to address?

You can find current information for this year found here:]

 Eve Online: CSM Guest Blog “Reasonable Things” Crowdsourcing

and past information here:
August 2010 Prioritization Crowdsourcing (CSM)

You can go back further and further if your so inclined :-)

I believe that I am starting to regret voting for Jester and some of the other CSM members. Jester was my first choice and that is turning out to be a mistake. I did NOT vote for Unforgiven Storm and I am now thinking I should of. Eve is a very hard game both inside and out. It is both why I play it and also why it is giving me a huge headache like right now

Things ROCK MELTER is not happy with:
  1. CSM8
  2. Odyssey expansion (all point repelases)
  3. Ship Tierside
  4. Loss of Lore
  5. Removal of Beta features
  6. Lack of Beta promises
  7. Current CCP Devs taking credit for past Devs ideas and works.
Your guys have any insight for me?

Friday, August 2, 2013

So I'm cautiously optimistic...

I did not post anything in June...

I did not post anything in July...

I thought of making todays rant titled "Cautiously optimistic vs giddily optimistic" but I am going to stick with cautiously optimistic. Why? Because every other blogger out there lately says the same thing when they do not want to take a stand on something and speak their mind. So I am cautiously optimistic.... so lets set the tone for today's Eve online rant.

I'm an optimist in the sense that I believe humans are noble and honorable, and some of them are really smart. I have a very optimistic view of individuals. As individuals, people are inherently good. I have a somewhat more pessimistic view of people in groups though.

Steve Jobs

I thought that I would at least put out there that I am watching and trying to figure out a lot of Eve things since Eve Odyssey was released. I have at least a half dozen blogs in "draft" form that I wanted to publish but they are very different from what my peers are posting. So much so that it made me NOT want to post them until I could figure out if we were playing the same game anymore. Then Poetic Stanziel pretty much summed up what my thoughts were today over at this post. I will post it here for those that are to lazy.

The CSM, after skipping it for a year, is back to their crowdsourcing initiative. Unlike previous years, where the CSM just went ahead and asked people to vote on development ideas and then those ideas being ignored for a few years, this year CCP has actually asked the CSM to go out and determine what people want CCP to work on. A list of reasonable things. Basically they're little things, but with a tad more scope. The CSM has whittled a list of 1300+ suggestions down to 99 suggestions.
(One of the problems with this list, is that there are quite a few items that repeat previously listed items. Changing characters. Logi on killmails. Ship velocity vectors. Fitting increases. Alliance fittings. Clone timers. To name a few, all appear at least twice. I'm not sure why repeats weren't culled from the final list.)

With CCP asking for the list, and the CSM having a reasonable idea of what sorts of things CCP will look at seriously, there's a good chance a large number of these items will make it on to the winter expansion development slate.

We're supposed to choose between one and ninety-nine of the suggestions (the CSM suggests choosing around ten items), arrange them in an order that is important to us, and then submit them to the CSM.

You can read the entire list, as well as links on how to vote and where to vote at the "Reasonable Things" Evelopedia page.

I find #49 the most amazing in the list:

Get rid of the CSM. If they're not actually thinking and promoting issues they have no value left. CCP already pays game designers.

Keywords: csm, useless
Notes: Selected by 4 CSMs: James Arget, mynnna, Sort Dragon and Trebor Daehdoow

This was selected by 4 of the CSM members. 3 of the 4 that I voted for on THIS CSM and I couldn't agree more!

I went to fanfest this year. A lot of people did. All the hype and all the expectation about what was going on that led up to this years fanfest has NOT happened so far. Not even close. A lot of the bloggers out there have not only been  way off on what they THOUGHT Odyssey was going to bring but they are putting themselves out there as "cautiously optimistic" so they do not look bad on what they DO say. Anyone have enough of this sunshine being pumped up our backsides yet?

Now I love reading everything that Poetic Stanziel blogs about. I would say that 50% of the time I agree with him and the other 50% I would pod him if I could. Either way he writes it as he sees it and you have to respect him for that. I think I am going to do a lot more talking with him in the future if he is up to it since I missed him while at fanfest.

For those that were thinking this post is TL:DR here it is for you.
  1. NOT happy with how the CSM is telling CCP what we want.
  2. NOT happy with this list of 99 items that they say are important, hell, they didn't even fix the list that they posted for duplicate items.
  3. NOT happy with CCP handling things lately with a bunch of "little things" and I can see this coming to a head real soon.
  4. NOT happy with Odyssey as an expansion. I have passed the 50/50 mark. I am not at 49% approval rating and falling. I might go into a blog on that later but that is not why you guys come here.
Am I excited about the future of Eve Online? What what I have seen in the latest expansion I am only "cautiously optimistic". If you want more details tell me below in the comments.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Eve Fanfest and what it is all about.


For the record, I went to Eve Fanfest 2013. He is a picture of myself with CCP KarKur

Do people really go to Fanfest? Yes! Thousands!

 36 degrees - 2C - and very happy people!
 We got their early too!
Queuing lines for Jita?
Lots of Eve fans!
Quafe - the REAL thing!
 CCP Dolan
 CSM 8
 Iceland is a very cool place to visit!
 The Hilton Wormhole
 Reykjavik City
 Reykjavik City
 Reykjavik City
Reykjavik City
Reykjavik City
 Reykjavik City
Reykjavik Hot Dogs RULE!
 This is where the new UI is from.
ROCK MELTER questioning Dr Eyjólfur G
 ROCK MELTER with Trebor Daehdoow

These are just a few of the pictures that I took during Fanfest while I was there. I hope they give you a different perspective of what Fanfest is all about. To me it is is about more then just Internet Spaceships :-)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Eve online - The tale of 2 sandboxes (Part 1 of 2)

Today’s rant is mostly observation on what I have been watching over the last 10 years in Eve online and what I learned first hand at this year’s Fanfest. I think that the trend I am looking at is nothing short of an evolution of MMO game playing.  

Let me explain why and yes this is going to be a long post!

  • PvP players. You know who you are. You’re the bastards that try to, and occasionally go catch myself and my corporation members when we are playing poorly :-)
  • PvP players. Usually work in teams. In high sec we normally see gangs of 2 to 3 pilots doing successful ganks on the afk miners every day. Sometimes it is larger groups up to 7 players but it gets hard to tell if it is actually 7 players or someone that is ISBoxing it. (1) 
  • PvP players. Usually just want to log on, get in a group of like mined people and blow stuff up. The higher the value the better it is for them. The easier it is to blow up makes it even better!
  • PvP players. They have changed in what they want to shoot. Will explain in another blog (2)

So now that we have loosely defined how a random but current group of PvP folks operate lets now take a look at the other half.

  • PvE players – usually work solo but do it socially. In my corp we talk about eve in both alliance and corporation chat. We sometimes will be mining in the same fields at the same time but we are not really doing it “together” so to speak. There is no dedicated “Veldspar asteroid – POINT!” when your mining this way. We will usually have an Orca (Rorqual) boosting us all through the system and everyone is happy.
  • PvE players – when they run missions usually have their main running the mission and their alt cleaning up after them. You might find 2 people actually playing together when they are newer to Eve but as their skills develop this tends to migrate over to a single player play style.
  • PvE players – that are in industry will have one alt that is good at trading while another alt is doing the hauling while still a 3rd or 4th or 5th alt is working another region doing the same thing. This is more a single player way of doing this because we have all been taught to play Eve this way. There will be a blog about this as well in the near future. (3)
  • PvE players are the players that are playing the game for a reason other than to blow things up. They play longer per day, have long term goals and are for the most part the backbone of Eve’s economy. Without them doing all the above work there would be no PvP.
  • PvE players – in some cases are the PvP players that have to do the PvE things so they can afford to do the PvP things that they like.

The above statements would not be accurate without some kind of graph or slide right?

50% play solo
25% play in a group
the other 25% do both.

So what can we draw from the above?

Well the first thing I see is that PvP takes money out of the economy and PvE puts it back in.

What are you talking about? How do you know this?

Time for another slide!

Here is just one item from the beginning of Beta till now. I have this data at home but it was also very nice to see Dr. Eyjólfur G also show the same data :-)

What does this show other then the obvious? It shows you the increase of Tritanium in both price and in volume. As larger ships are introduced to the game, there is a need for more Tritanium. Since there were not enough miners in the game to meed that need the price goes up. Simple economics.

You can see this trend again and again from item to item in Eve. This blog is not about that. I am just trying to justify what I said above with cold hard proof. That is one of the nice things about going to fanfest. You get to see and hear a lot of things that do not make it into Dev Blogs and you also get to spend the time talking with the Devs and ask them direct questions. It is well worth your time if you are that hard core of a player :-)

The next thing I see is that this was not how Eve started. It shows me that it is indeed a sandbox.

ok, ok! Why did I tell you all of this?

Because, Eve HAS changed. It has evolved and while it has evolved its player base has also changed. Players now use Kill boards to rank how well they are playing the game. It is not about the ownership of space or controlling the regions of the game any more. It is about who's kill board is the best. Who has destroyed the most and that is the bottom line.

When you can take a few million ISK in destroyers and add a few hundred million in miner kills to your kill board you view yourself as a winner. That is how the PvP people track their progress. They developed the tools to make sure that they could show how good they are at the game.

Just for clarification, I DO NOT SEE YOU AS A WINNER but I know some of you view yourselves that way. I don't mean any malice in that statement, just stating a fact is all.

I will add more to this theme in later blogs. This one is reaching the "wall of text" that most people try to avoid so I will let you add your comments below. The PvP people have their kill boards as their sandbox. What do the PvE people have? I will write about the PvE Sandbox soon™...

(1)      ISBoxer is software that lets you control all of your accounts with one interface. Interesting software. http://isboxer.com/multiboxing-eve-online
(2)      PvP players are looking for all the low hanging fruit.
(3)      How Eve teaches us to play solo.