There is no 85%

In which I had a simple point, then buried it somewhere in a wall of words.

Last week… or so… Neville Smit put up a post under the heading of Occupy New Eden wherein he made the claim that CCP was spending too much time focused on null sec.

The root of his claim is that only 15% of population of New Eden operates in null security space and that they are getting a lions share of features which are dedicated solely to their benefit. This is followed on by what feels to me like a rather spurious assessment as to what counts as a null sec feature.  Citadels are grudgingly admitted to affect more than null sec, though he attempts to shove them back in the “null only” in the same sentence along with capital ships, and industry and drilling structures.

Left off of his list is… well… everything of interest beyond null sec.  If you read his post, CCP has literally done nothing for anybody besides null sec in however long.  Yes, it would be too much to ask him to list out everything ever, but this sort of “we got nuttin'” approach is belied by the patch notes over the last year, when CCP was alleged to be focused solely on null sec.

He then goes on to conflate the CSM 11 election results with CCP neglecting the 85%, with an extra helping of “the sky is falling” because of all those null sec players on the galactic student council.  That manages, in a single blow, to sell CCP short, misinterpret the power (or lack there of) of the CSM, and misunderstand the election results.

For the first two, if you believe CCP’s course is somehow charted by the CSM, you might as well give up right now and start weaving conspiracy theories.  On the third, the election results are the ongoing reflection of who is most engaged with the game… engaged and concerned with their well being.  Null sec, as noted, just went through a whole series of changes, some of which are not universally loved by some of the residents, and some of which were not well thought through by CCP before being thrust upon us, despite the fact that the CSM and players in the forums pointed out, in advance, the very flaws that CCP had to go back and correct.  Null sec players are rightly concerned, and concern (plus organization) turns into votes.  Meanwhile, the rest of New Eden didn’t seem exactly worked up about the election.  What burning issue did the rest of New Eden have that stacked up again, “CCP has completely changed our part of the game?”

This all gets pulled together in the false dichotomy that is “I am the 85%!”

CCP can apparently only work on null sec or everything else.  They can make null sec happy, or they can make the 85% happy.  Null sec has had their turn, it is time to leave them alone for another five years and concentrate on what is important.

The whole thing has me a bit irked, an emotion that might have come through up to this point.

There is no 85%

Almost every facet of WoW is an activity that caters to a minority of the playerbase … [WoW] is not a narrow game, but rather one that can be enjoyed in numerous different ways, by people with hugely diverse playstyles … We are [listening] – just to many, many different voices. And it may be that a given change, feature, or reward is simply aimed at a different portion of the playerbase. Or we could be wrong and we haven’t realized it yet.

Ion Hazzikostas, WoW lead designer, in a Forum Post

The fallacy of the whole concept of there even being an 85% was the first thing that sprang to mind when I read Neville’s article, and I immediately put up a placeholder post with that as the title… and then let it sit for a week.

I think we might all agree that EVE Online, with its sandbox nature, is a more complex game than World of Warcraft.  Yet there is a WoW designer holding forth about how nearly every feature in Azeroth is for a minority of their player base.  So how do you think that translates into New Eden?

I could go on for ages about the various groups that make up the alleged 85% and how they can actually be divided up into their own little minorities factions.  Instead, I’ll just whip out this chart again.

What to do in EVE Online - A Chart

What to do in EVE Online – A Chart

Have you seen this chart?  I put it up as part of a post about four years ago, and the chart itself is about five years old at this point, so is probably incomplete.  And yet it conveys the complexity that is our New Eden sandbox.

Edit: There is actually a spiritual successor to that chart available if you are interested.

So go ahead and put an X through any of the boxes that are exclusively null sec features.  If you have knocked out more than five boxes on that chart I would be very much surprised.  Remember, if it is wormhole space AND 0.0, it doesn’t count.

That leaves a lot of boxes.

And you can jump straight to “Well, that’s the point, look at all those neglected features!” but you’re going to have to leave off any of those boxes that got some attention over the last year.  Did your favorite box get a new feature or two?  Does that box represent a small minority of players as well?  Because where this line of reasoning leads is down a path to exclude other small, and thus undeserving, groups.

You know who gets less regular players than null sec according to the year old chart used to prop up this argument?  Low sec.  How do you justify working on something that has less players than null?

And what about wormhole space?  That has less players than low sec!  How do you even justify working on such a small sub-section of the game?  How can you think about that when 75% of the game is in high sec?

Oh, right… Neville Smit is in Signal Cartel and lives in wormhole space.  Funny how that 3% of players got their agenda mixed in with the majority.  I’m going to guess if CCP spent many months dedicated to his part of space, which represents one fifth of the player base of null sec, we would not see a “We are the 97%” campaign spring up on his site.

EVE Online is large and complex and the various parts of the game are interconnected.  Making a demand that CCP focus on this alleged 85% is a hollow shell, because there is no such group as a single, unified entity.  CCP literally cannot focus on 85% of the player.

If we were going to go for truth in advertising on this campaign, it should simply be renamed “Screw Null Sec,” because it comes across as thinly disguised petulance about somebody else getting the attention.

There is Common Ground

There are a whole range of features that I would say crosses groups.  Particularly bothersome for me was Neville putting the new player experience on his list of demands for the 85%, as though null sec doesn’t care about new players.

And, to double down on my annoyance, CCP had just dedicated a chunk of the keynote at Fanfest to talking about how they want to improve the new player experience.  That seemed to me to be a pretty strong indicator that this is clearly marked with double underlines on the CCP development agenda.

But CCP didn’t have a solution, a new proposal, right then and there, so out come the pitchforks and demands.

We know the new player experience is bad.  CCP, which is on its fourth iteration since I showed up in New Eden, has given us depressing numbers to illustrate this.  A failure here is literally money out of their pockets and I am pretty sure if they had an answer as to HOW to introduce people to New Eden that made them stick with the game, that would have been front and center.  But they didn’t.  EVE Online is a busy yet subtle experience and they are still searching for the mix that will get the depth of the game across..

Null sec alliances are keenly aware of this.  For years Goonswarm has had their own introduction and training program to bring new players from Something Awful into the game.  I have seen day one Goons in fleets in null on many occasions.  Then along came Brave Newbies, which showed the power of harnessing new players, an idea which was stolen by the other groups.  So today somebody with no null sec experience can get into a corp like KarmaFleet and get the help they need to get going.

But that is all for naught if CCP consistently drives people away in the tutorial, or whatever passes for a tutorial these day.  This is a 100% issue, not an 85% issue.

Okay, that might have been an overly specific item.  But one of the magic things about EVE Online is its interconnectivity.  You cannot draw a circle around a group of players and say that they don’t matter to you.

Jita is probably the best example of the confluence between the various parts of New Eden.  For as long as I have been in a null sec alliance the one thing you could depend on was a jump freighter service that would deliver things to and from Jita.  We buy our stuff from the main high sec trade hub.  When we have a fleet doctrine and are losing ships, manufacturers benefit.  The economy is the web that binds us all together in New Eden, and when null sec is neglected and stagnates, it is reflected in the market, because we blow up more shit than anybody else and ships exploding drives the economy.

Maybe Null Sec IS a Bit Special

This isn’t my first time reading this sort of divisive demand on a developer in which a player claims that the devs are focusing on something that doesn’t represent the majority of their customer base.  I think I have seen that in literally every fantasy MMORPG ever that has had raiding or dedicated PvP or arena combat.

And EVE Online has all three!  Holy balls!  Incursions are raids, PvP is pretty much everywhere, and then there is the alliance cheating tournament for your arena fix.  And I haven’t even put null sec specifically in the picture yet.

These sorts of features, what I would call “aspirational content,” has been a pretty solid part of the MMORPG landscape in the 21st century, and I have long been on the other side of the fence.  No raider I.  And yet I have seen the point of having such features and have come to their defense on the very rare occasions when companies have decided to trim such features.

I think it is important that MMORPGs have options that may seem narrowly focused when viewed against the whole of the game’s population.  In the last 17 years of what I will call the “post-EverQuest age” of MMORPGs most of my time has been spent in solo or small group content, but I have generally not begrudged a disproportionate amount of resources going to such content, because it gives people something to aim for, a goal to achieve, and something special for those willing to put in the effort.

And this has especially been the case in EVE Online.  From 2006 through to the end of 2011 I spent my time in high sec pursuing various careers.  During that time titans, wormhole space, factional warfare, and Dominion sovereignty all showed up and were all hugely interesting to me despite them not really touching my play time directly.  But they were all there and made the game a more interesting and complex place.  Tales from other play styles are fun to read.

But null sec has a special place in that regard.  There have been some headline grabbing events in EVE Online that haven’t been about null sec… the great bank scam and tales of the Guiding Hand Social Club spring to mind… but for bringing attention to New Eden and driving people to try the game, nothing beats null sec alliances blowing each other up.  How many articles on gaming sites that don’t focus on just EVE Online (or even just MMOs, like Massively OP) has the game gotten this year?  And how many of those were about something other than null sec wars or a certain book written about a null sec war?

Like it or not, you have to admit that null sec grabs attention, making it a marketing engine for the game.  So to spin this whole thing on its head, the 15% is doing most of the work to get people to come try the game.  Maybe that has earned null sec a bit more developer attention.

So What?

Okay, I have probably been riding Neville a bit hard in this post.  He is a good person and an asset to the game and the community and probably doesn’t deserve as much push back as I have given.  And I get that part of his whole shtick is to get people to simply consider whether or not there is an issue here to be resolved by being provocative.  But when you go that route, you have to expect return fire in kind, as I have done above.  Consider this counter-provocation I suppose.

That said, I tend to agree with the actual list of things he has on his site.  CCP does have a large garden to tend in New Eden and barely enough resources to even keep the weeds in check.  I just don’t think we need to call for the company to ignore one part or another.

In the end, I think what primarily sticks in my craw… though I’ve been all over the map here, so I don’t blame you if you are confused at this point, because I certainly am… is this public and unnecessary divisiveness.  It is a call for the community to war with itself.

EVE Online already has a bad reputation.  Go read the comments on just about any related post over at Massively OP.  You will read about how it is a horrible game, maybe the most boring game ever, spreadsheets in space, populated by horrible people who do horrible things and you had better not bother playing because you will be scammed, ganked, and podded within five minutes of staring the practically non-existent tutorial.

We are already under siege.  And we, as a community, already fight amongst ourselves pretty viciously.  We hardly need a movement to encourage it.

So, in summary, I think we should give up the 85% idea and simply join together, link arms, and shout down anybody who suggests walking in stations as a feature, because I am not sure we can handle any more boxes on that “what to do” chart.

I look forward to your adoring agreement in the comments below.

Spaceships über alles!

24 thoughts on “There is no 85%

  1. SynCaine

    To go back to the ‘only X% raid’ thing, what that thinking always leaves out is the percentage of people who aspire to do that content and remain playing to do so. If you don’t have a long-term ‘end goal’ in mind, people will create their own, and when you let them do that, most will quit far sooner than you want them to.

    Plus, as you pointed out, even if null is just 15%, null drives far more than just 15% of what makes EVE the game it is today.

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  2. luobote kong

    Well good for you for you for putting your view out there. I don’t agree with you. I think there is an issue of Dev development focusing on a narrow player base. Picking on Signal Cartel seems a bit harsh though. Aren’t they the sort of emergent play that Eve’s sandbox was famed for?

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @luobote kong – I didn’t pick on Signal Cartel, I picked on Wormholers in general and Neville Smit in particular. But are you literally saying that spending time on features for 15% of New Eden is wrong, but doing so for 3% is okay? And what part of New Eden isn’t a narrow aspect of the game when we get down to things? Your logic escapes me.

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  4. luobote kong

    @ Wilhelm Well I could write yet another bad essay about this but my pitiful blogging days are done. For the record I played in all parts of New Eden. But in short, no I am not saying it is wrong, Null needs love too. However, the last 18 months have been predominantly (but not exclusively) about Null and the next 12 months will be predominantly the same as CCP trumpeted at fanfest. If I recall CCP_Quants charts at the previous fanfest, for every hour of PVP (including Hisec ganking) there are 7 hours of other activities. How important those 7 hours are depends on your perspective (chicken or egg), but they are content one way or another and deserve attention because ultimately PvP suffers if it is deprived. So TLDR dev attention should be more balanced and offer more for more (including Null).

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  5. Fenjay

    Here you go – a dose of adoring agreement.

    But seriously, several of the points I thought of when reading were later brought up by you, taking the wind right out of my sails. The “aspirational” aspect of nullsec as well as its appetite for spaceships and other hardware are great reasons to spend more time on it.

    For the record, I like Neville a lot, having followed him on Twitter and his blog for a long time. But one thing that bothered me about Neville’s post:

    “We want piracy and mercenary careers to be viable and entertaining professions.”

    As far as I know, they both are viable and entertaining already. And I can name several games that have had perfectly fine features that have been ruined by too much development. Sometimes too many rules or too much structure around something that has grown up organically isn’t the right move.

    That said, his first three (NPE, PvE, and Exploration) I agree 100% with. But there again, they’ve added Opportunities, burner missions, and sleeper data caches and ghost sites in the past year or so. So the idea that they are neglecting them falls a little flat.

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  6. Catalina de Erauso

    It is wise to spend 80% of your attention with 20% of your customers when that 20% represents 80% of your income. This is what F2P MMOs do with “whales”.

    Yet CCP’s investment on a little part of the customers while the other feel they’re not getting enough attention is not wise, because in EVE 1 player = 1 player worth of income.

    It doesn’t matters if the 85% exists. If enough people feel that they’re getting the short end of the development plan and stop hoping and trusting CCP, EVE will be in serious trouble.

    Or maybe it is already.

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  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Fenjay – Oh yeah, if I wasn’t clear enough in the post, Neville is a mensch. I put off posting this for a couple days in part because I didn’t really want to attack him, but dammit his whole post just irked me.

    And I have a whole additional post brewing about high sec PvE that will probably annoy somebody.

    @Catalina de Erauso – But that is just vague hand waving, saying it *could* be a problem if *enough* people are unhappy. But last I checked, the PCU was up.

    And it actually does matter if there is an 85%, because the implication is that there is something CCP should be doing for all of it. If you claim to speak for the 85%, but then you send development after some other small slice of the population of New Eden, is that better? Trading one fairly significant 15% for some other similar (or smaller) slice of the population doesn’t equate to a win in my book.

    Plus, as noted, CCP HAS invested in other groups.

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  8. Lyssa Solace

    @ Fenjay – As a new player (with a few hours experience back in 2008), I’m mixed on the Opportunities. I like them for the immediacy, how to fly, lock on, shoot, and get to station aspect. After that, I think they should either link people to the career missions for a further tutorial, with a recommendation of it being a great place to get in-game assets to help out, or be revamped to be the actual tutorial they initially appear to be.

    There are just so many questions in Rookie on “what’s a cheap low-slot to buy to equip?” and other similar things that make it clear that some number of people think it is the tutorial. Which I get – it is the first thing I saw when I started up my character, and I thought it was until it wanted me to buy something from the market when (1) I wasn’t sure what I wanted to yet and (2) I had about 7,000 ISK. It’s so great seeing the official advice in Rookie of “Ignore opportunities, hit F12 to do career agents”

    Just wanted to comment on that – I think the experience would be greatly improved by this minor change while CCP figures out what they want to do for a better NPE. And this from someone who ignored opportunities and the career agents to go solo on my own path :)

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  9. Fenjay

    @Lyssa – that is interesting information. Many vets, like me, have no idea whether the current NPE is good, bad, or indifferent, except by the evidence of how many new players are staying.

    My original point was that they are making changes to the areas mentioned (NPE, PVE and Exploration), but I don’t mean to insinuate that they are the final state or even necessarily any good. But they’re iterating, and that constitutes not neglecting them.

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  10. Lorelei Ierendi

    That is a lot of words in order to basically say that “I have never talked to High Sec Carebears”…
    Of course… no one can talk to high sec carebears, because we are just AFK mining… and such.

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  11. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Lorelei Ierendi – And reading isn’t your forte I would guess, since you missed a major, major point. (You didn’t read Neville’s post very well either, since he went on about low sec and wormhole space and not just high sec. He is the 85%, high sec is only about 75%, so your own linked post is incorrect.)

    Sure, I could talk to high sec care bears… hell, I spent over half of my 9+ years in New Eden being a high sec care bear… but which one of those many roles in that picture I included… you’re good with pictures, right… represents a big enough slice to satisfy? Mission runners? Haulers? Industry people? Incursion runners? Role players? Miners? Station traders?

    What about other people in that high sec number? How about suicide gankers? They live in high sec. How about wardec griefers? How about those high sec citadel owners?

    The idea that there is an 85%, or that they have been overlooked, is a fallacy.

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  12. Lyssa Solace

    @Fenjay – Sorry, didn’t mean it to sound as confrontational as it did. It is better than it was from what I remember in 2008, other than the presentation of the opportunities. I remember reading that CCP had hired someone to look at the NPE so they are definitely looking to improve it, even if they aren’t sure of what they want to do yet.

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  13. Kevan Smith

    I am in Signal Cartel and don’t live in a wormhole. I’ll day trip every so often, maybe visit Thera once a month or so. But, for the most part, I’m out in null every day.

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  14. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Kevan Smith – Welcome fellow fifteen percenter then? Or were you implying that Neville might be a secret null sucker?

    Can I name drop and say that I had dinner with Mynxee and some other Signal Cartel members at EVE Vegas last year? A fine crew, and my daughter, upon hearing tales I brought home of them, aspired to be a space hippie. And then she ran into the opportunities focused tutorial, which is why I am totally on board with yet another new turn of the NPE wheel.

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  15. Easy Esky

    Neville’s view was from the context from returning from Fanfest and largely seeing that much of what was presented was directed to null. Plus coupled with the significant null dominated CSM. From this prospective – it can viewed that Null-Sec does have the lion’s share of CCP/developer attention.

    I would ask why has the Orca been skipped in favor of the Rorqual? So far ship re-balancing has followed the training paths. Thus the Rorqual follows the Orca. Not to mention that the Orca would see (out of thin air, pulled) 100x the use?

    Why is high-sec industry receiving yet another nerf to the refining of ores, since ores below Omber do not receive the same scale in Citadels with the Refinery Rig? Refining was already nerfed in high-sec to provide incentive for outside of high-sec industry.

    So far from this sideline, looking from the hype from fanfest. It bare for high-sec bear. The Upwell industrial platforms?! Until we get more info – are a hollow promise.

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  16. Rob Kaichin

    I’m finding it really hard to reconcile numbers with what various people are posting right now. The last “breakdown of the playerbase” piechart I saw put NS at 5%, not 15%, (2014 chart).

    Anyway, the problem with long, rambling posts is that they provoke many questions without providing a structure to respond to. I really don’t want to indulge in the awfulness that is spaghetti quoting, but i appears I might have to,

    “misunderstand the election results.”

    What’s there to misunderstand?

    “Null sec players are rightly concerned, and concern (plus organization) turns into votes. Meanwhile, the rest of New Eden didn’t seem exactly worked up about the election. What burning issue did the rest of New Eden have that stacked up again, “CCP has completely changed our part of the game?” ”

    Well, C4-6 Wormholes had “CCP is about to completely change our part of the game”.

    “Null sec has had their turn, it is time to leave them alone for another five years and concentrate on what is important.”

    (My reaction to the post linked, not to you)
    Nullsec got a big expansion, worked great for 3 years, suffered for 2 whilst producing some very loud marketing. Would it have been better to fix NS 2 years ago? Yes. But pretending that there’s somehow a “turn” system for fixing space is stupid. CCP should be triage-ing what needs addressing.

    But if there *is* a turn system, when does traditional HS missioning get a go?

    “But CCP didn’t have a solution, a new proposal, right then and there, so out come the pitchforks and demands.”

    “CCP promised some things at previous Fanfest and Eve Vegas, and delivered nothing. The lack of news is what you deserve”. Fixed your post :P.

    “Like it or not, you have to admit that null sec grabs attention, making it a marketing engine for the game. So to spin this whole thing on its head, the 15% is doing most of the work to get people to come try the game. Maybe that has earned null sec a bit more developer attention”

    The way I see it is this: It’s easy to sell NS stories because it’s simple. “War, Kill, Death, You” with a side of “Possibility, Shard, Graphics, Excitement”.

    It’s much harder to tell a more complicated story. Would the rise of CQB from nobodies to leading an Militia warfront to becoming Pirates be a good story to tell/sell? We won’t know, because CCP can’t devote a 15 minute trailer to them. So instead we get a 3 minute trailer about a basically meaningless battle in the Drone lands.

    Telling a story with progression is hard, selling pretty graphics and some voicework is much easier.

    But really, I think all the things I pulled out need a proper addressing beyond 4 lines in a comment box, so I’ll endeavour to write them.

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  17. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Rob Kaichin – Your comments simply provokes a long list of exasperated questions. Do you come here just to troll?

    I mean, did you not see the chart that Neville Smit provided? Are you saying it is wrong? Are you saying there is a turn system or not? Have you not heard about burner missions? Do those count as a turn? Who gets to claim things like new ships as “their” content? Are you going to put blame the CSM election results on CCP because there aren’t enough C 4-6 WH residents to get somebody elected? Are you saying that the CSM is even relevant to the discussion, because I was saying it wasn’t? Are you going to run again with your claim that Goons own the gaming media? Are you saying that the size, scale, and number of participants in null sec wars isn’t related to the coverage they get? Do null sec wars not have progression and history? Did Andrew Groen choose the wrong topic? Is somebody else telling that CBQ story, or does everything need to be legitimized by a CCP trailer before it gets press coverage? What promises are you even talking about? My comment, which you quoted, was specifically about the NPE, so how you fixed it seems completely nonsensical. Or are you claiming that CCP has some news and they are keeping it from us because they are mean?

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  18. Catalina de Erauso

    “And it actually does matter if there is an 85%, because the implication is that there is something CCP should be doing for all of it. If you claim to speak for the 85%, but then you send development after some other small slice of the population of New Eden, is that better? Trading one fairly significant 15% for some other similar (or smaller) slice of the population doesn’t equate to a win in my book.

    Plus, as noted, CCP HAS invested in other groups.”

    No, it doesn’t matter if the 85% exist as a single coherent group. CCP is effectively backburning certain playstyles, giving them the short end of the deal, and the users behind those styles massively outnumber those who are being touched by CCP’s magic wand.

    It is right that there is not a one-thing-to-please-them-all for CCP, but slowing down the implementation of structures which serve nothing to the bulk of the population and increase the trickle of lesser features could be wiser. Because, here I will openly contradict you, PCU is going down compared to 2015, and back then it already was at 2008 levels.

    This is not what you’d expect as return for the massive investment behind Citadel. A expansion, the first in two years, which manages to barely stop the decline of population is a fizzle in my books. And Citadel is notorious for doing very little for the 85% who don’t owe a capital ship, don’t move out of high sec, don’t use structures, don’t PvP, don’t…

    …and no matter how you call them, they don’t have anything to look forward after Fanfest 2016 and out from the CSM 11.

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  19. Rob Kaichin

    If I came here just to troll, why would I post with my IGN? Wouldn’t it be better to pick a nasty, provocative name?

    Anyway, Your response is why I hate spaghetti quoting. It makes (attempted) humorous rebuttals into whining.

    “I mean, did you not see the chart that Neville Smit provided? Are you saying it is wrong?”

    http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5183c058e4b065e39b3de2ee/t/572641daf85082b93e0e93f1/1462125065113/?format=1500w

    This is character by space. I’m talking about players by space. I don’t know if I’m right or not, which is why I said so. If HS players have less alts and less accounts, that means that that 85% of characters could be more *players*.

    Do you see?

    “Are you saying there is a turn system or not? Have you not heard about burner missions? Do those count as a turn?”

    There is *no* turn system. Burner missions aren’t *traditional* HS missioning. That line was meant to be a joke anyway.

    “Who gets to claim things like new ships as “their” content?”

    No-one? I don’t think I mentioned that at all.

    “Are you going to put blame the CSM election results on CCP because there aren’t enough C 4-6 WH residents to get somebody elected? Are you saying that the CSM is even relevant to the discussion, because I was saying it wasn’t?”

    That line was meant to reference Noobman, who did get elected from high class WH space.

    “Are you going to run again with your claim that Goons own the gaming media?”

    That wasn’t my claim. My claim was that Goonswarm had cultivated the out-of-game communities that had come from gaming media websites, which is totally verifiable. Then I said that there was perhaps a feeling amongst the journalists of those communities that telling the story of “how my allies and I lost everything” wouldn’t be the happiest story they’d want to tell.

    Which you’ve boiled down into “the Goons own the gaming media”, so who’s trolling who here?

    “Are you saying that the size, scale, and number of participants in null sec wars isn’t related to the coverage they get? Do null sec wars not have progression and history? Did Andrew Groen choose the wrong topic? Is somebody else telling that CBQ story, or does everything need to be legitimized by a CCP trailer before it gets press coverage?”

    At least you could react to what I actually said.

    “It’s easy to sell NS stories because it’s simple. “War, Kill, Death, You” with a side of “Possibility, Shard, Graphics, Excitement”.

    It’s much harder to tell a more complicated story. Would the rise of CQB from nobodies to leading an Militia warfront to becoming Pirates be a good story to tell/sell? We won’t know, because CCP can’t devote a 15 minute trailer to them. So instead we get a 3 minute trailer about a basically meaningless battle in the Drone lands.

    Telling a story with progression is hard, selling pretty graphics and some voicework is much easier.”

    Not much about numbers, size or scale there. I’m not saying that numbers don’t have a role, they totally do, as I acknowledged with the “very loud marketing” comment. I was thinking, as you worked out, specifically about CCP’s trailers. It’s a matter of no small irritation to me that CCP repeats the (as I see it) easy stories. (Which often over-emphasise the small Null-sec proportion of players at the expense of everyone else.)

    “What promises are you even talking about? My comment, which you quoted, was specifically about the NPE, so how you fixed it seems completely nonsensical. Or are you claiming that CCP has some news and they are keeping it from us because they are mean?”

    I was trying, in a semi-joking way, to express my frustration that after so many years of “we’ll fix it”, it appears that CCP is still talking about the high-level concept stage. CCP Ghost is talking about things that I read in a blog banter in *2013* as though they’re bold new ideas. Hiring a new guy to fix these issues is good. If CCP is once again trying to reinvent the wheel, that’s a bad thing.

    (As an aside, time spent in Keynotes talking about stuff that never happens and never will happen is an Eve tradition as old as Fanfest itself. That’s why CCP is talking about merging the TQ and Serenity cluster, which they’ve previously talked about at least twice. It’s just a fantasy idea, which is why I don’t think it’s very meaningful by itself.)

    Anyway, I said I needed to write a blog post about each of these things, so give me a chance to do it!

    Like

  20. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    Altrue – Very cool! Thanks for including that link. I’ll add it to the post!

    @Rob Kaichin – I think that the name you use, which I see almost everywhere commenting on EVE topics, to the point that this comic comes to mind when I see it, is actually a perfect name to troll with.

    And trolling isn’t just being nasty. It is often about getting people tied down in side issues, so when I saw your comment and couldn’t tell if you agreed with my main premise (I do not think there should be “turns” or that there is an 85% that CCP could effectively focus on without that number actually jumping to 100% and including null sec) because you went after a bunch of what I would consider side topics.

    So I peppered my response with a series of likewise irrelevant question in return, so you kind of get how it feels. Also, yes, humor in text on the internet is always problematic.

    Like

  21. Rob Kaichin

    This is very possibly the first time I’ve got into trouble with you for choosing *not* to write something :P. The post was already *way* too long, so I didn’t write that bit.

    I don’t think that there’s an “85%”, but for completely different reasons to you. I think the whole 85% idea is a misnomer, (and using Occupy, despite the good works that they’ve begun, is even more so.)

    The way I see it, Occupy New Eden is more of a consumer movement than any political revolution. It’s a response to people’s … underlying concerns about the direction of the game and the game’s developers. Despite a whole year (and more) of time, there wasn’t (according to Kirith and Drackarn and others) anything new *at all* to be announced for Low-sec, high-sec or PVE.

    People don’t like being ignored, and people like the prospect of being ignored for the next 3 or years even less.

    All of this does beg the question: “What would have satisfied the dissatisfied?”

    Things that were previously promised is the answer, I think. Suspect timers on entering complexes (which I don’t believe ever got implemented despite confirmation from Devs, CSM and CSM minutes), roaming NPC patrols (didn’t happen), and breakdown of militia alliances (didn’t happen).

    For Highsec, I can’t really remember what they’ve recently been promised. I know that CCP was looking at a complete rewrite of the mission creation tool, but unfortunately that seems to have slipped away along with the PVE rebalance.

    As an aside, I do think people forget the minor things to focus on the major things. Long-term, line-of-code changes don’t stick in your head like big, new things.

    As for the trolling, I’ve learned from experience that a point you ignored becomes a point you conceded, then a point you concurred with. (Sometimes in the space of 5 or 6 lines!). I’ve developed an unfortunate habit of writing comments which are meant to address one thing only, but sprawl to avoid the “but you agree with me here!” response. (I’ll give you 10 ISK if you guess which SMA guy I learned it from :P).

    In future I’ll endeavour to state my disagreement/agreement up front, instead of at the end.

    Like

  22. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Rob Kaichin – Didn’t you threaten to write a blog post? I mean, I see you have a blog, yet you’re throwing away all these words in my comment section which, I hate to say, is like consigning them to oblivion. Nobody reads other people’s comments. I see time and again people writing things that were clearly covered a couple comments above what they wrote.

    Of course, as a blogger I chafe at wasting too many words in the comment section, especially other people’s comment sections. If I am still going after a couple or paragraphs, I throw the whole thing into Notepad++ and make a blog post out of it, linking back to the source, which probably ends up doing both the owner of the original post and myself a favor.

    Back to the topic at hand.

    My response has to be that even if CCP isn’t delivering on their promises, attempting to scapegoat null sec is a bad answer.

    Like

  23. John

    I like this:

    “You will read about how it is a horrible game, maybe the most boring game ever, spreadsheets in space, populated by horrible people who do horrible things and you had better not bother playing because you will be scammed, ganked, and podded within five minutes of staring the practically non-existent tutorial.”

    I played for around 8 years. That’s really a pretty good description IMHO. You can’t trust anyone and you are forced to participate in PVP whether you want to or not. Even hanging out in a high sec system mining or running missions does not mean you can’t get ganked. You can.

    So I agree that it isn’t right to blame a focus on NS for the problems in the game, but I also very much agree that the game has problems. Chief among them is CCP forcing the player base to play they way CCP wants them to play by breaking and/or providing extremely strong disincentives to “undesired” activities.

    If I could quietly mine and manufacture and chat with people occasionally without having to sit on the edge of my seat watching for the next person to try and fuck with me, I’d do it. But I can’t sit in an NPC corp. If I run my own corp I can be wardecced (among other things). I can’t get a lot of the mats required to make manufacturing enjoyable without going to nullsec, where the worst, meanest players live. The major trade hubs are some of the worst places to go (see: Burn Jita and related items). And, of course, you have to pay close attention to patch notes and watch for unannounced changes because CCP likes to move the earth beneath your feet; randomly messing with things that affect you, your playstyle, and your business model.

    I’m a carebear and proud of it. They obviously don’t want the USD I was spending on my three accounts. At least Eve keeps the undesirables centralized in one game, instead of messing with the other games I do play! Even after all I’ve been through, I’d STILL play at least one account if I could just log in and quietly mine or rat or run missions if I didn’t have to worry about people messing with me. But that wouldn’t be Eve. Eve lets you get set up with your nice mining ship, listening to the lasers and the music, then lets half a dozen asswipes in throwaway trash ships blow you up and loot half your items and all your ore and possibly pod you. Not relaxing.

    I doubt if 85% of the players feel like I do. But I bet a lot of the ex-players do.

    Like

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