CCP Celebrates 10 Years of EVE Online by Reminding Us to Train Long Skills on Patch Day May 22, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Ads, CCP, Splash Screen
Whoops, the new launcher than came out today had… issues.
Which I think makes it an official EVE Online feature!
It even got Winterblink to make a Warp Drive Active comic about it.
CCP took their old launcher, which just used to show some news and ads along with checking to see if you game was up to date, and downloading updates if you needed them, and moved the whole login/authentication process into it.
So when it had problems, people couldn’t log in.
And if you could log in, and you had multiple accounts, you might have noticed that using the tab to get to the password field changed which account you selected. I also saw a message from somebody saying that the new launcher ate their UI settings. And that it was made from asbestos.
I was able to get in myself, though I came along later. And others who had problems found that you could still launch from the ExeFile.exe.
All in all, no big deal. We’ll get a fix soon. Just another day in Iceland. It isn’t like they went after the boot.ini file again!
We are never going to let that one go.
But it is a change, and there is one thing I will miss.
I will miss the big splash screen that came up every time you launched the game. I always felt that was part of the game.
I will also miss the little ads that CCP would pop up on the splash screen, ads that informed us about sales on PLEX, EON subscriptions, new features, DUST 514 beta, Burn Jita, the Alliance tournament, Skyward Sphere, and a bunch of other such things. Even the old launcher was so announced. And, of course, they made fun of Diablo III launch issues.
Last year I captured as many as I could and put them together in one picture. The old launcher ad is in there.
I have been capturing them again this year, with an eye to creating another such picture. However, now we appear to be at an end of such ads. So I suppose I should get to work on putting that together.
The Word I am Looking for is “Gerrymandering” September 19, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: CCP, Council of Stellar Management, CSM7, Gerrymandering
Gerrymandering may be used to achieve desired electoral results for a particular party, or may be used to help or hinder a particular demographic, such as a political, racial, linguistic, religious or class group.
I live in California. I know all about Gerrymandering. We provide source material on the topic these days.
And apparently somebody is taking this idea from real world politics to try and “fix” the CSM election process.
Somehow I don’t think creating a convoluted election mechanism to punish players able to organize (in a game that rewards organization) is really addressing the issue when only ~15% of accounts even bother to vote for the Galactic Student Council. (~60K votes cast out of a population of ~400K accounts.)
One of my comments on the meeting minutes from the Spring summit of the CSM was that, based on their output, “the favored topic of CSM7 appears to be CSM7,” which certainly fits the student council model. (As opposed to the UN model, which would have been equally useful, but more entertaining to watch.)
My opinion on that remains unchanged.
But it does look like CCP is really the force driving this particular issue. CCP seems to want a “better,” more broad based council and is frustrated by the fact that the groups successful in most political part of the game… null sec… are also successful in CCPs sandbox political game. What a surprise!
That is the problem with creating democratic institutions. It becomes hard to rig them to get the results you want without looking like you are rigging them merely to get the results you want. But that isn’t going to stop CCP from trying I guess.
Maybe CCP should scrap the whole thing and go the SOE route. Just create a “by invitation only” advisory group that they can whistle up and fly out at need for discussion and otherwise ignore.
What do you think? Does the CSM have any value for the player base?
Addendum: CSM7 loses another supporter and Seleene is in there trying to quash criticism again by insisting that you can only know the real story if you talk to the CSM in person. That worked out so well for Jester.
Somebody Thinks MMOs Still Have Value – CCP Raises 20 Million in New Funding, Talks IPO Again August 10, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: CCP, Dust 514, Trolling Tobold
With Star Wars: The Old Republic pretty much failing to meet expectations all around, there has been a lot of talk about the death of many things: Monthly subscription MMOs, big budget MMOs, and well… MMOs in general.
Aside from a burst of asylum level crazy talk about SWTOR somehow claiming as many as 10 million monthly users once it goes free… which I am going to guess is what they will need to make it profitable in that mode… to whatever, the news seems to be grim.
Then there is CCP, which seems to be bucking the trend… as usual.
It still has a the subscription model going. And while it has eyed the cash shop idea longingly at times, it really hasn’t gone very far in that direction, barring some useless cosmetic items.
And they continue to buck the trend by getting $20 million in new funding in these dark days, according to Tech Crunch.
Of course, this should not really be news. CCP was talking about more funding and an IPO back in February when they announced that they had not only defied some dire predictions about going bankrupt, but actually made a handy profit for 2011. This despite the whole Incarna thing.
What will a publicly traded CCP mean? Is that even a good thing?
I couldn’t tell you. Then again, I live in Silicon Valley where IPO generally means “screw the company, I’m cashing out!” so I sometimes have a dim view of the whole process despite having “cashed out” at least once myself.
But somebody out there thinks there is value to be found in MMOs.
CCP Clearly Victorious in “Burn Jita” Event May 2, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Burn Jita, CCP
CCP has a Dev Blog post up today that details what was going on behind the scenes for the Burn Jita event this past weekend. It is a worthwhile post and you should read it if you are at all interested in the game.
The post sets the stage for the event:
For several months now, a coalition of thousands of players have been planning the “Burn Jita” event, aimed at disrupting the biggest trade hub in game in order to wreak some terrific, universe-wide changes by shaking the very pillars of EVE’s economy at its metaphorical heart. Surely there was some sort of larger, meta-economic objective that likely would cause them great profit. This planning happened both in game and outside of game, via voice over IP chat, secret forums, Twitter and more. A sci-fi plot of the new information age if there ever was one.
Then talks about what CCP was doing to accommodate the event (including a hotfix):
Since the “Burn Jita” event was announced well in advance and CCP wants to support player-driven events (as long they are within the rules of the game), we reinforced the Jita solar system on our beefiest hardware, further reinforced all neighbouring systems and set out to monitor the event and provide the best experience we could to willing (and unwilling) participants. Then things started to unfold a day earlier than announced on Friday morning. We gathered data and fine-tuned the systems and as CCP Veritas put it: “It’s okay, didn’t want that Friday night anyway.“
And then they start to trot out the charts and graphs… something CCP does better than any other game developer I have seen… to show what happened, culminating in the actual short-term impact on economic activity in Jita.
(Graph cropped and annotated by me. You have to go read the post to see the whole thing. CCP_Diagoras posted another version of the chart here. He also posted some kill totals in the forums. You should follow him on Twitter, he is the EVE Online stats master.)
People can (and will) argue as to whether the impact was significant and whether it will mean anything at all in the medium to long term as far as the game economy goes.
But the whole event allowed CCP to send a message as well, that player stories, that players creating the content of the game, is what they want. As the post concludes:
Make your stories happen!
Clearly they mean it.
And still, people will persist in not getting the message.
Travel Advisory – Conflict in Jita April 27, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Burn Jita, CCP, Community
And The Mittani went into the temple of Jita, and cast out all of them who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold tengus,
And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of fear; but ye have made it a den of pubbies.
-Endie, Goonswarm Minister of Communications
CCP may think that the Jita event is “f***ing brilliant,” but they appear to still want to cut down on the number of people who are being taken completely by surprise by the event. Proof again that the forums and the blogs are only a small part of the community of any game.
So when you launch the EVE Online client, you might see this.
Despite the disclaimer at the top, you might even see it more than once. I tried it, and I see it every time I launch the client.
And the part about surrounding systems is serious. When Jita stopped letting more people in… well… all those auto-piloting targets sitting stuck at the gates to Jita in Perimeter, New Caldari, Sobaseki, and so on became too rich of a target to resist.
At one point the call went out to remind people that this operation was to burn Jita and not every single neighboring system.
The burning continues.
And if you are wondering if things are really happening in Jita, take a look at this map.
That is the EVE map set to show the relative amount of player owned ships killed in the last hour. The giant flaming red spot is Jita. That is close up, so you can read the system name. Zoomed out so you can see the whole of EVE and…
The big red spot that is Jita still dominates the map. And if I change that to the last 24 hours…
And the red circle of Jita is so big that it covers a sizable proportion of high security space.
So while I saw quite a bit of “Goon Fail!” baiting in local in and around Jita, this event appears to have turned Jita into the center of PvP play in EVE Online.
So that travel advisory is well warranted.
Oddly, when it comes to pods, while Jita is again the big red spot, Perimeter, an adjoining system, is not that far behind. I think somebody smart bombed all the pods that were stacked up at the gate due to traffic control after their ships had been destroyed.
The Mittani Removed from CSM7, Banned from EVE for 30 Days March 29, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: CCP, Council of Stellar Management, CSM7, Null Sec, The Mittani
It was determined that his behavior violated the terms of service of the game. The Mittani voluntarily stepped down from the chairmanship of CSM 6, which runs out its term early next week, and from the chairmanship of CSM 7.
CCP issues a 30 day ban from the game and declared that he had also forfeited his right to sit on CSM 7.
A more detailed look at this and what it means can be found here.
So The Mittani, who had just received an unprecedented 10K votes in the CSM 7 elections, securing him the chairmanship for another term and giving him a clear mandate to continue his policies, has seen all that come to naught due to his actions at the alliance panel.
The ban will not affect his position as the leader of the Goonswarm. The Mittani is famous for running the alliance while rarely ever logging in.
As Jester pointed out, and The Mittani confirmed, one of the The Mittani’s problems has been wearing hats that represent conflicting roles. Being the leader of Goonswarm, the mastermind behind the most controversial alliance in EVE, is a role that does not mesh well with being the chairman of the CSM, which is a political position that requires being a good citizen.
Relieved of the second responsibility, The Mittani now returns to the role that built his reputation, the leader of Goonswarm.
And his first post-ban declaration is that Tenal must burn. The State of the Goonion broadcast announcing this can be found here.
The war with Raiden will go from harassing cross-board exchanges to a full scale conflict.
The fury of the Goons will be thus focused.
April 4 Addendum: Seleene has been elected Chairman of CSM7.
CCP Makes $66 Million in 2011, Talks IPO, and Hires David Reid February 22, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: CCP, Tabula Rasa
CCP announced that 2011 revenues for the company were $66 million, up from $59 million in 2010, and that the player base for EVE Online stands at more than 400,000 subscriptions, an increase from the “nearly 360,000″ reported in their 2010 financial statement.
2011 was quite a year for CCP, with the double whammy of the Incarna expansion features disappointing a large segment of the player base and the realization that they were over-reaching their financial abilities juggling EVE Online while developing both Dust514 and a World of Darkness MMO.
The former ignited in-game protests and a confrontation with the CSM that lead to a refocus of development and eventually to the much heralded Crucible expansion this past fall, while the later lead to layoffs and putting World of Darkness MMO on the back burner.
A tough year and quite a bounce back from a precarious state.
I was a little bemused to see that their new chief marketing officer was David Reid (now officially @CCP_Pokethulhu.) formerly of NCsoft and Trion Worlds and famous in my mind for the “Tabula Rasa is Triple-A and Here to Stay” interview, given just before they announced the game was going to close. That interview and other weasel words that have come out of his mouth in the past tends to taint anything he says in my mind. That is my bias however, and may be unfair.
But when he says things like, “the company has been excited to embrace new models, in addition to the traditional subscriptions offered by EVE,” I start to wonder which side of his mouth he is speaking from at any given moment. Did he not get briefed on the whole Incarna, Noble Exchange, gold ammo rumor fiasco? Did he think he was just speaking to investors and that EVE players might not read his statement?
Granted, he is not saying that EVE specifically will be embracing new models… well, except in China I gather… but would you think after the summer of protest the company as a whole might be more circumspect on the subject. Again, he might just be saying what he thinks potential investors want to hear, since Free to Play and items stores are still hot stuff and the CCP CEO is talking bring the company public with an IPO.
The IPO thing is a bit a jolt as well. Coming from Silicon Valley and having been through the IPO thing a couple of times, you only go public for two reasons.
You either need a cash infusion to finance an expansion of the company and the new projects that come with it or the founders/investors want to cash out. (Or, in the US, if you have more than 500 stock holders or people are transferring enough of it around that the SEC makes you go public.)
Now, given that they had to cut back on staff in 2011 and put the World of Darkness MMO on hold, this could be a play to expand operations so that the company can afford to do three things at once.
Or this could be a large investor who wants to get their money out of the company.
I suppose we shall have to wait and see.
Half Off EON Magazine and More February 10, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: CCP, EON Magazine
1 comment so far
In one of those happy accidents, yesterday I went looking at the EVE Online store to see how much a subscription to EON, the official EVE Online magazine was.
Over at the EVE Online site it was still listed, but unlike most other things in the store, there was no way to actually buy it. You could not put the subscription, or anything else related to MMM Publishing, into your shopping cart.
This being the modern age of communication, I poked the EON Magazine team via Twitter.
I got a quick but coy response about there being changes in the works and that I might figure it out if I went to the magazine’s blog site.
And a big sale. Everything was… and remains for the moment… half price!
Well, that sealed the deal for me. I like the magazine and it is certainly longest running magazine dedicated solely to a single MMO. Blizzard let World of Warcraft Magazine fold up shop after five issues, and don’t get me started on SOE’s hot and cold… mostly cold… approach to magazines.
I did have a bit of trouble with the checkout and payment. Yesterday it was taking a long while… call it nearly five minutes… for payment processing to show up at the end of the order. Fortunately I took some time to harangue them on Twitter again and by the time I was done, the payment interface had loaded.
There is still no EON Digital yet, but at least we are still able to get the physical magazine, and there is something very pleasing about EVE Online pictures printed on glossy paper that you can carry about.
Here is hoping that the order actually went through. I got receipts from MMM and the payment processor, but my order number was in the low 2 digit range, so I was clearly an early user of the system, and we know what that can be like.
Next on my list, where can I get null sec sovereignty maps printed on a T-shirt?
EVE Online Trailer – CDIA Files Pilot Orientation February 7, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: CCP, YouTube
1 comment so far
And just because I am on something of an EVE trajectory again, here is a new EVE trailer that CCP just put up.
Seven Million Missiles Per Hour February 7, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: CCP, Statistics
CCP has another post up dragging out statistics from EVE Online.
Amongst the numbers was the fact that players in the game manufactured 62 billion missiles in 2011, from which comes that 7 million missiles an hour metric.
Excluding shuttles and frigates, the mighty Drake battlecruiser was the most produced ship in the game last year. (Hurricanes, the Minmatar battlecruiser was in second place.) All those Drakes have to be driving some of that missile production. Each of those glowing missile tracks going down range in the previous picture can represent up to seven missiles in flight.
And in 2011 5,381,636 ships were blown up in the game. 65% of those ships were killed by other players, while the remainder were destroyed by NPCs of one sort or another, including CONCORD.
In the same time frame the third most commonly destroyed ship, after frigates and pods, were battlecruisers. But there were a lot of them out there to destroy.
There are more stats in the post if you are interested, including facts like the most popular system for planetary interaction is Sobaseki, which just happens to be one jump from Jita.