Tag Archives: CCP Guard

Summing Up from EVE Vegas 2019

Let me explain.

*pause*

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

-Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

I am back from EVE Vegas and my brain is full of stuff.

EVE Vegas 2019

Lots of things were said and shown over the course of the event, too much for me to lay out in any detail in one post… at least if I want to get the post done today.  We haven’t unpacked from the trip yet, save for essentials.

Keynote

As I wrote on Friday, I went to Vegas with the hope that CCP would give us a vision as to where they are headed.  A plan.  A roadmap.  And the keynote is where you set that sort of thing up.  You can have other sessions for deep dives into details, but you have to lay the groundwork at the keynote.  The keynote is important.  This session easily had the most people in the room.  Even CCP seemed to agree about its place in things.  They got the keynote up on YouTube that night.

All the other sessions are still just part of day long video files on their Twitch channel, but they keynote is readily available.

So did they set the right tone, one enough to give everybody hope?

Maybe.

I spoke with quite a few people that evening about the keynote contents and either we’re a bunch of cynical bastards or CCP held back too much.  To me it felt like a promise for a promise.  They did, in fact, use the word “Roadmap” on a slide, but they didn’t have an actual path charted out in any but the most vague, hand waving way.  There were many nice thoughts, but not enough detail to satisfy.  Afterwards out in the meeting area there was some grumbling and a lot of comments about CCP needing to have something to back their statements up.

EVE Portal

One odd thing that stood out from the keynote for me was the brief pass by plans for the EVE Portal phone app.

EVE Portal

CCP has taken the mobile app development in house and has some plans for it.  CCP Burger specifically mentioned the ability to “trade PLEX in Jita” from the app as one of the goals.  I am not sure the ability to trade PLEX from your phone is something people are dying for, nor necessarily a good idea.  And I hope he meant “in game” rather than specifically “in Jita.”

EVE Core and Team Talos

Saturday morning at 11am was the EVE Core presentation, which was done by CCP Rise.  CCP Rise is serious and low key at times, but he presents well and you can sense his passion for this game as he talks.  If you have to pick one session to watch, this is the one.  It is the first one up on this video on Twitch.  Lots of information about what CCP would like to do and plans to do.

Part of what came up was the new Team Talos, which is a small group which is doing special updates every two weeks.  The warp speed increases from two weeks back was their first project, and this week’s Howling Interceptors changes was theirs as well.  They sketched out the next couple of updates as well.

Overall, lots of good things were said here which backed up the keynote.  People were happier after this presentation.  However, there was also skepticism if CCP could pull this off.  We found out later that Team Talos was just three people and some items on the bigger list felt more like things they want to do rather than items they have committed to.  We shall see.

The EVE Variety Hour

Worst name ever for a presentation, which may account for the room emptying out quite a bit after CCP Rise’s talk.  It was mostly about new player retention, the things CCP has been doing and is planning to do with a look at what impact the changes have had.  It was full of good info, if that aspect of the game interests you.

Larrikin Numbers

Billed as “Data & Botting” it was mostly CCP Larrikin throwing fun and interesting bits of data at the audience.  I have to go watch this again full screen to grab some of the charts.  He may have inadvertently given us a bit of data to help figure out how many people in total have played EVE Online in one of his graphs.  It was Americas only numbers, but still a starting place.  That is a figure that companies like Daybreak specifically won’t say publicly.

Over 1.8 million players (people, not accounts or characters) from the US alone

There was also quite a bit on income inequality and people deemed as “cheaters,” those who bot or use other illicit means to gain ISK, what ship classes generate the most, and what impact the blackout and the cyno changes had on things.

NPC Kills by Ship Class for 2019

There is a lot more like that in the presentation, as well as the odd fun bits, like Goonswarm Federation pilots having been on the most kill mails.

Kills by Alliance

However, the most common kill was a Mobile Tractor Units, at 32,466.  I was surprised to see TNT made the cut for top ten, though I am usually surprised when anybody mentions my alliance at all.

This was the first presentation on the Sunday video if you want to dig in right now and see more.

Ghost Talk

CCP Ghost gave a presentation about the social effects of being online.  If you want to feel good about spending many hours of your live logged into EVE Online, this will help.  It turns out we build real, deep friendships through the game and, in turn, develop resiliency in ourselves by playing.  This comes up in the video after CCP Larrikin’s talk.

The Hotel

This year the even was held at The Flamingo Hotel and Casino.  We checked in on Friday and ended up with a room with a great view.

The view from the 27th floor

I sat at the bench by our window and watched the Bellagio fountain show over and over.  Of course, not everybody got that sort of view.  Also, in the foreground on the lower right is Drai’s night club, where CCP held the party.  Our room was nice, though we had what was perhaps the busiest set of shower controls I have yet run across.

How many knobs do you need?

At first glance I thought it had two USB ports.  They were, in fact, spray nozzles.  However, water pressure on the 27th floor was pretty weak to start with, so turning those on reduced the shower head to little more than a dribble.  Oh well.

Overall The Flamingo was better than The Linq in almost every regard, save for not having a nice central bar to congregate around.  The price of a poolside cabana was so high that the Open Comms crew went back to The Linq to hang out.  It was right next door.  Pools aside though, Planet Hollywood was still better in almost every regard.  Heart Bar, best bar.

The Party

This year the party was held at the Omnia, a club at Caesar’s Palace.  Overall it was not as good of a location as Drai’s.  A huge number of people turn out for the party, and we filled up the Omnia.  It was crowded.  However, for a tight club experience for watching Permaband, it was pretty good… if you secured a spot downstairs within sight of the stage.

In the Omnia

Permaband did an excellent set.  Having ex-CCP Guard back was great, though many say it was CCP Tara who stole the show.

A good party, though it was crowded and tough to find a spot where you could have a chat, though I can’t hear anybody in those circumstance unless they shout, so it might just be me.

There was the usual, last minute “Oh, there is a dress code!” panic though, as usual, the dress code seemed to only apply if you were going to hang around after the club opened up to the public.  I saw enough people in violation to feel pretty sure on that point.

We left just before the general public was going to be let in and there was a line through the casino and out the front door of people seeking that honor of being in Omnia.  Given that Dirk and Dreydan were talking about the club charging $60 for a vodka and Red Bull once our time was up, I am not sure I get the appeal.  But I was never in the “love to club” group.

The People

I spoke with a bunch of people.  I almost only ever talk to players for whatever reason, but there were lots of familiar faces as well as a few new ones.  Among the new people I got to talk to, if briefly, were Katia Sae and Olmeca Gold.  Katia had a Signal Cartel coin for me, which I greatly appreciated, and Olmeca was mellow and fun to talk with, as most players tend to be in person.  It is on social media where we’re all jerks.

I also got to meet some of the Liberty Squad people, including Cainun, Zed Starshine, and Mapache Doom, and handed out buttons with the Liberty Squad bee.

The buttons I had on hand

That big button was a special for Zed, who is from Canada.  Drakes are also the ship Cainun refuses to FC, so that was a natural for the flag shape.  As usual I made too many buttons, so put some on the swag table every once in a while, so hopefully they spread far and wide.  I saw some of the bigger Liberty bee buttons around.

Sandy Eggo

The only time I heard the audience go really negative was during the closing ceremonies when CCP Dopamine mentioned next year in San Diego.  It wasn’t really people “booing,” but there was a loud, low, grumbling “ooooooo” that was clearly a negative reaction.

CCP hasn’t adequately explained why they chose San Diego, and “trying something new” doesn’t really cut it.  It is tough to hear about Vegas being the biggest meetup outside of Iceland in one breath to hearing CCP is giving that up in the next.  And San Diego, as nice as it is, still seems like an odd choice.  There are lots of other nice conventions towns in the US.  Even LA, 90 minutes up the highway, has more attractions and better transportation options.

But plans are well under way for a fan run event in Vegas next year, as EVE Vegas was before CCP stepped in.  There was even word that the group organizing Vegas for next year had already negotiated with CCP in order to keep the two events far enough apart on the calendar.  That is good for both sides, as it would be shitty for CCP to be seen stepping on a player event with their own, and embarrassing if that player event drew more people all the same.  And if CCP is smart they will send somebody to Vegas no matter how things go.  They were sending people to the Vegas player meet as far back as 2009.

I am still waiting for more info before I make plans for one or the other or both.

Home Again

Three nights in Vegas are enough for me.  I’d happily hang out with the players longer, but I want to get away from the smoke and noise and prices… dinner on the strip is much more than dinner in already pricey Silicon Valley… and back to our house, cats, and extra firm mattress.

I’ve been to five EVE Vegas events in a row.  I suppose that says something.

Vegas badges and lanyard

As I said above, there is still a lot of information to process and presentations to watch over again.  There may be another post or two based on all of that.  If nothing else I have to get all my swag together for a picture.  I also need to see what pictures my wife has on her phone.  My phone was in the process of crapping out last week, so I took very few pictures myself.  Oh well.

A good time seemed to be had by all.  We will see what happens in the coming year.

Changing of the Guard

The news came as something of a blow when I found out that CCP Guard announced in a forum post his departure from CCP.  What do you say when that sort of thing comes to pass?

What does this even mean? And did he interview in that suit?

He has been for years the happy face of EVE Online, appearing in videos, streaming shows, and live events.

CCP Guard on the stream

And, of course, he was the front man for PermaBand.

It says in the info about that most (in)famous video, lyrics and vocals by Sveinn J Kjarval.  That’s CCP Guard.

Nobody is indispensable.  The company will go on.  He didn’t write code or design game mechanics after all.  But he was generally liked by the people who played the game and he was passionate about EVE Online.  I was on his team for a trivia contest at EVE Vegas a couple of years back and he was clearly carrying us posers with the depth of his knowledge of not just the game itself, but the player driven history thereof.  You are unlikely to have ever have been as into EVE Online as he was.

Hat tip to Rhavas…

In the end, he made the game a better place.

I am sure a lot of people have stories about him.  One thing I remember was back during the dark days of CSM 10 and the sparring between the community team that was their interface.  When it was announced that CCP Guard and CCP Logibro (another fine former member of the community team) would be taking over the management of the CSM, I remember thinking that things would get better.  CCP Guard simply inspired that confidence.  And things did get better.  A year later, as the election process for CSM 12 was ramping up, I noted how drama free CSM 11 had been under their stewardship.

I still have my own issues with the whole CSM idea, but CCP Guard helped at least make the best of what it was.

Anyway, CCP Guard, after 16 years with CCP, is moving on to a new opportunity.  He says in his post that it is time for him to take a chance after spending most of his adult life so far with one company, so it probably isn’t CCP Falcon continuing to purge anybody from the community team that is taller than him.

Pretty sure Falcon is standing on a box in this pic

While his departure no doubt makes a lot of people sad, you wish your space friends well when they go on to different things.

CCP Guard and I – EVE Vegas 2018

As he has often said, the best ship in EVE Online is friendship.

Other posts about CCP Guard’s departure:

 

Quote of the Day – CSM members have no agency

CSM members have no agency.

-Sion Kumitomo, Now We Got Bad Blood

The quote was so small that I put it in the title of the post.  Saved you a click… unless you’re already here.  Ah well.

The post from which I took it however is somewhere in the 4,500 word range, or about double the number of words at which I start thinking that I might be rambling too much.  So many words in order to build up a context, set the story, explain the machinations, and try to tease out some of the nuances of the whole saga. (And then there is the comment section which seeks to compete on the total words front.)

The words of Citizen Sion

The words of Citizen Sion

Yes, the post was put out there to tell a story and justify an resulting action, and that can require many words.  Sion gets to have his say.  Yet, for me, the essence of the whole issue was delivered in five words nestled deep in the heart of that enormous post.  This all came about essentially because members of the CSM, for all their hard work and devotion to the game, cannot make things happen.  They cannot make CCP listen to them.  They cannot make CCP like them.  They cannot make CCP disclose information to them.  They cannot make CCP fly them to Iceland.  They cannot make CCP acknowledge their existence.

The members of the CSM hold almost no power in their relationship with CCP unless they take the game out of school, so to speak, and start getting players riled up directly.  And even that has worked exactly once, back during the Incarna brouhaha.  Going out of school mostly just gets you ignored or ridiculed or excluded from the proceedings so far as I can tell.

School is, of course, the apt metaphor.  I called the whole thing the Galactic Student Council back in 2008… and I am not going to let that piratical Rixx Javix steal my lead on that insight either with his 2011 observations!

Not that I begrudge CCP their hold over things.  They have a business to run, and adding a bunch of well meaning outsiders to the development process can be a hindrance to getting things done.

But CCP also set this whole CSM system up.  They have encouraged players to step up and pitch in, on their time, and generally work at what I once described as essentially a “horrible middle-management job,” all for the love of the game.  It is not unreasonable to expect that, if you’re going to ask people to put in the effort, that you not jerk them around.  You don’t tell people they matter, that the whole process matters, and then consistently prove to them that they really don’t without some blowback.

And so Sion boycotted the latest CSM summit.

Part of me doesn’t agree with his choice.  After all, what does a boycott of one accomplish?  And doubly so, how effective is a boycott when you’re alleged to be the member that CCP changed the whitepaper, without consulting the CSM, just to exclude from running for CSM again?  Staying away seems to be giving CCP exactly what they desire.  It would be better, to my mind, to show up and bang your shoe on the table like a latter day Khrushchev just to let people know you’re there and won’t be ignored.

Then again, I haven’t been in Sion’s shoes.  After his experiences, it may be that exercising about the only agency he has left within the confines of the CSM Whitepaper seemed like the better plan.  In the end, he made the choice and gets to live with the consequences.

Anyway, the management of the CSM at CCP has traded hands, with CCP Logibro, a friend to all fan sites, and the perennially popular CCP Guard taking over the helm.  Perhaps that will change things a bit for CSM 11.  Putting one of the most well known and well liked members of the CCP team on the case does send a message.  But CCP Guard also seems like one of the busier people on the CCP team, at least when looking in from the outside, so I hope he and CCP Logibro have the time to do something with the CSM.