Tag Archives: Gevlon

Quote of the Day – Goblin Gets His Due

Gevlon was right

-The Mittani, Imperium Fireside May 4, 2019

I previously mentioned the ongoing conflict in Perimeter over control of trading citadels.  Last year the Imperium and Legacy Coalition began to assail the trading citadels set up by Pandemic Horde.  Those were blown up and replaced by citadels run by TEST alliance, including a Keepstar.

Shop at the sign of the middle management dino

Why Perimeter?  Well, it is one of the eight systems that connect directly to Jita.

Jita and Perimeter

More importantly, it is one of the five neighboring system in The Forge, the same region as Jita, so if you are in Jita and searching for something to buy, goods in Perimeter will show up in your results as well.  As to why Perimeter won out over the other four, my guess is that being on the direct route to Amarr, the second trade hub of New Eden, probably tips the scales.  People try to set up in the other systems, but the listings there are even more meager.

Anyway, since the swap over to Legacy Coalition holding the trade stations in Perimeter a low scale conflict has carried on to try and wrest control away or at least make life annoying.  I had not heard much about that conflict of late.  As it turns out that was likely due to negotiations going on over the whole thing.

At yesterday’s fireside The Mittani announced that a deal had been reached and that going forward the Imperium, Legacy Coalition, and Pandemic Horde would all work together to defend the structures of the Tranquility Trading Corporation, consisting of the Keepstar, two Sotiyos, and one Tatara in Perimeter.

Instead of fighting, each of the three groups will now share in the profits from the trading complex.

This is where Gevlon comes in.  Somebody sent the link to one of Gevlon’s posts where he predicted something like this would come to pass to The Mittani, and Mittens had to admit that Gevlon was right on that particular point.  Some null sec powers did come together to hold a trading citadel together rather than fighting over it.

Of course, Gevlon was wrong on just about everything else in that post.  It is debatable as to whether or not the Imperium, led by Goonswarm Federation, Legacy Coalition, led by TEST, and Pandemic Horde add up to being “everyone significant” when it comes to null sec powers.  It most certainly does not mean peace between the three powers.  Even as I was writing this I got a ping to log in and shoot Pandemic Horde and expect to continue with the campaign against them and NCDot in TKE and The Spire, striking straight at their rental income.  These are not staged “gud fites” but an actual campaign meant to hurt them.

And then there is the effect on Jita.  While some trade is going through Perimeter, it seems to be mostly focused on some high price density items, things like PLEX, skill injectors, and the like.  Trade at the station at Jita 4-4 carries on pretty much as before, three years after the Citadel expansion brought this player run trade center option to the game.

Whether people keep trading in Jita out of habit, ignorance, or mis-trust or player run citadels… some of those trade citadels have been blown up after all… doesn’t matter, people still do most of their buying and selling in Jita.

This means that Gevlon’s assumptions and ISK estimates are all completely bogus.  If his prediction had come to pass we should have seen some sort of drop in the Broker’s Fees collects on the ISK sink side of the chart in the MER.  However, compared to his numbers from the February 2016 MER, the broker’s fees collected were actually up in the March 2019 MER.

As for how much the owners of the trade citadels have to discount their fees in order to attract business… well, he was way off once more.

Fee comparison

In Perimeter they had to cut the broker’s fee to the bone to get the business they have, and that hasn’t moved very much out of the much more expensive Jita.  Even if they got the level of business he predicted, the net profit would be nowhere near his cataclysmic outlook.

And Gevlon said he left EVE Online because of this, because of his grim predictions of what was to come with player run markets in citadels.  I guess he could have stuck around.  The null sec empires are still getting rich, but it doesn’t have much to do with markets in Perimeter.

Malcanis Picks Winners

We can’t win against obsession. They care, we don’t. They win.

-Ford Prefect, Life, The Universe, and Everything

There are a lot of words here, so I’ll get to the point up front.

TL;DR – If your conspiracy theory is more easily explained by Malcanis, your conspiracy theory is probably wrong.

There, saved you 3,000 words.  Also, don’t take this all too seriously.  This was very much a stream of consciousness “blast it out in one go” sort of post.  More so than usual even.  Of course, in saying that I know people will take this as seriously as suits them.  Such is the way of the internet.

Malcanis’ Law.

If you play multiplayer games… online multiplayer games… and you are not aware of Malcanis’ Law, then let’s correct that right now. Here is the most common version.

Whenever a mechanics change is proposed on behalf of new players, that change is always to the overwhelming advantage of richer, older players.

Examples of it show up all the time, especially when you consider that “older players” is a category that includes not just age but skill, experience, depth of knowledge, and even a commitment to a game and its mechanics well beyond any new player. It explains why game companies do not do certain things and why, when they do, they do not turn out as expected.

Like any such “law” it is a general statement and applies to trends in a population rather than specific individuals. New players, after all, do not remain new players forever. Well, some do, certainly. We’ve all seen them. But many become the rich(er) and older players who then become the beneficiaries of change. Others become former players, but that is another story. But the law continues to apply even as individuals move from one group to another.

Sometimes the exchange doesn’t seem so bad.  Sometimes you just let the vets have their thing just to get something to new players. Blizzard giving a level boost out with the expansion gets new players into the current content and up with the bulk of the player base, the latter probably being more important than the former. It doesn’t make a new player a good player or given them much in the way of special insight into the game or how to play their class, but at least they are likely to be in the same area as their friend.

A veteran player with a character boost will quickly have a potential new alt with all of the account-wide advantages and the knowledge and gold to make that character a winner quickly enough. That isn’t an overwhelming advantage… I think Malcanis overstates that in the law… but it is clearly an advantage.

If you want a more egregious example of the law, we need only look at skill injectors in EVE Online.

EVE long had a perceived problem with its skill training system. Since it runs in real time, there was no quick way to gain skills. You had to fill up your queue… or pick a skill regularly in the days before there was a queue… and wait. You could optimize a bit with attributes and implants, but in the end time had to pass.

This meant, as an example, that somebody who started in 2003 was always going to have more skill points than somebody who, like myself, started in 2006, so long as we both stayed subscribed and actively training. Thus one oft heard complaint was that new players could never catch up, and as the years went along the perceived gap between new players and veterans only grew.

The solution to this problem was the aforementioned skill injectors. Now a new player could… by spending real world cash on PLEX since they certainly hadn’t earned enough ISK in game to pay for it that way… catch up with veteran players. And I am sure a few did.

Mostly though it wast the rich getting more powerful as a result. We saw IronBank use their casino ISK to max out all possible skills. What happened more commonly was that rich players were able to bypass the nearly two year training cycle for a titan alt. That was likely a greater limiting factor on the number of titans in the game than anything else by the time skill injectors rolled around. That the Imperium was able to field nearly 500 titans for the final Keepstar battle at X47 was largely due to skill injected alts.

Basically, to avoid Malcanis you have to make changes that are so crappy or so innocuous that they don’t really impact new players or old.  Something like Alpha clone skill injectors you have to buy daily and which only boost you up to the point of Omega skill training speed, which no vet would likely bother with.  But since we already have regular skill injectors, why would they?  They’d have to unsubscribe and go Alpha for no reason.

LOL! Drink a pot noob!

The thing about Malcanis is that it works both directions. The corollary to the law might well be that any mechanics change that is proposed to limit or retard richer, older players will harm new players even more so. There was an example of this in EverQuest II. Back in EverQuest there were complaints in the forums about twinking. Yes, there were complaints in the SOE forums about almost everything you can imagine, but the company seemed to listen to this complaint.

Twinking is using your high level friends or alts to power up a low level character in order to speed up leveling. Back in the day in EverQuest this was pretty common, something inherited from its DikuMUD origins. Gear wasn’t bound to a character and had no level restrictions, though sometimes a proc would only work if you were above a certain level. I recall Ghoulbane, an undead smiting paladin sword, having a level limitation on its proc, though the sword itself could be wielded by a level 1 pally. And, likewise, high level buffs that gave huge boosts to stats and hit points were free to be applied to low level players.

When EQII rolled around SOE seemed to have gone way out of its way to close off twinking. Gear had level restrictions. Buffs were of very short duration, scaled down to low level players, and in some cases could only be applied to people in your group. There was a formula that dictated the maximum level range of players in your group, so players too low in level would not gain experience. And then there was the whole encounter locking aspect of things. Gone were the days of happily buffing low level players. The only thing they missed initially was bind on equip gear, which they fixed as soon as that started to kill the market for player created items.

And this created the usual divide. Sure, at launch the difference between new players and veterans was paper thin, but it was telling. People entered the veteran class by showing up with friends, forming a guild, and grouping up to play. A regular group was a ticket to success, especially since a lot of the content past the fields in front of the opposing cities of Qeynos and Freeport were heavily skewed towards group play, which caused the minor gap to become a major one past level 20 or so for a lot of players.

While SOE eventually reversed course on nearly everything I just mentioned, this somewhat overt hostility to solo play and helping anybody who wasn’t near your level and in your group was another nail in the coffin for EQII once solo-friendly WoW launched later in the same month. (Why solo was, and remains, important is a whole different topic that I might have to revisit.)

So when I hear people suggest that the Monthly Economic Report indicates that sovereignty fees or structures ought to cost more, I know who can afford any price increase:  The rich can.  Goons can.  Raising those prices would only harm smaller organizations and put a limit on the ability of newer organizations to enter null sec.  And that was what Fozzie Sov and increased population density was all about, giving those sorts of groups that opportunity.

Because, of course Malcanis extends itself beyond players to groups as well. As noted in the EQII example, a situation existed where being a part of a group gave an advantage and went far towards setting up the optics of the veteran/new player, rich/poor, winner/loser split.

Malcanis favors those ready to take advantage of change, which brings me back to EVE Online. Gevlon, who once swore he was done talking about the game, cannot let go and has recently been back on his “CCP picks winners” excuse for leaving the game. Well, there was that and the fact that CCP Falcon made fun of him, but that was so mild and of absolutely no consequence as to sound crazy as any sort of excuse.

Anyway, his note of late was that citadels were a gift to Goons, proof that CCP favors them over other groups in the game.  This was a change from his original position, that citadels were a gift to whoever ran the trade citadels in Perimeter, but the base angle remained.  It is, as always, a corrupt developer story (the corrupt developer career path being a thing in his world view), his usual fall-back to explain the world when it isn’t working out as predicted. (I can hardly wait to see the tale he weaves when lockboxes aren’t universally banned this year. I expect a lot of explaining about what he really meant and how the Netherlands are essentially the whole world so he really was right.)

From my point of view, which is from within the Imperium and thus on the side of Goons, this theory looks more than a bit off. Certainly anybody who spends any time in the GSF forums will start to get a sense of the institutional paranoia Goons have about CCP. While they may be Lowtax’s chosen people, they certainly do not feel like Hilmar’s favorites. Some of this is just paranoia I am sure, but the relationship between Goons and CCP has been peppered by enough events over the years, from the T20 scandal (one of the rare cases of actual developer corruption, but did not favor Goons) to the “No Sions” rule for the CSM a couple of year back.

I don’t buy into it myself. CCP seems ready to ignore input and inflict pain on all comers at times, but the downtrodden under dog origins of Goons seems so essential to their identity in game that I doubt it will ever go away. To merely survive against the odds you see stacked against you is to win, and to actually win in that situation can be transcendent, even if it is founded in a fiction.

Were citadels a gift to Goons? They sure didn’t look like it when the hit. The Citadel expansion went live in late April of 2016. And where was the Imperium living then? In the Quafe Company Warehouse station in Saranen. I mean, we still held much of Pure Blind, and Vale of the Silent was technically not lost yet, but that was all well on its way to being lost. Circle of Two had betrayed us and swapped sides, SpaceMonkeys Alliance was spent and left the coalition to recover (only to fold up shop), FCON headed out the door without bothering to stop in Saranen, RAZOR looked to be on its way out, and membership in the surviving alliances was in decline. Darius Johnson, having somehow been given possession of the original GoonSwarm alliance was calling for “true Goons” to come fly with him, an offer which found few takers but which was exploited for propaganda value.

The North – April 28, 2016

And in the midst of that, while we were living in a low sec station and undocking daily to take the fights we could manage, citadels showed up. Soon there were three Fortizars and an Astrahus on grid with the Quafe Factory Warehouse station, all hostile, while in 93PI-4 there was an enemy Keepstar anchored so the Moneybadger Coalition could dock up their supercapitals just on gate away from Saranen, from which they could drop on the near portions of Black Rise as well as covering Pure Blind.

That was a hell of a gift for somebody. It sure didn’t seem like it was addressed to us though.

The war was lost. We obstinately held on until June before calling it quits, after which we began the migration to Delve. There we had a region to conquer, though the weakness of the locals meant there wasn’t much of a barrier to entry. The only worry was if the Moneybadger Coalition would live up to their promise to keep us from ever forming up again. As it turned out, that was mostly empty talk. The new north was too busy settling into their new territory to bother and thus only made a few minor attempts to thwart us in Delve before giving up to fight amongst themselves.

At that point pretty much all of the major null sec changes were in place. The regions had been upgraded so there was no more “bad sov” to avoid. Any system could be made a ratting and mining paradise with the right upgrades. Fozzie sov was in place.  And citadels were now the new thing, allowing groups to setup stations wherever, with the Keepstar variety allowing supers to dock up, allowing those alts to escape their space coffins.

While we had to police Querious and Fountain to keep hostiles at bay as well as dealing with the dread bomb threat from NPC Delve, much of the months after taking Delve were relatively peaceful. We were not at war and we weren’t keen to get into another one having been soundly beaten. Instead, the institutional paranoia served us well as the coalition began to work to stockpile ships, material, and ISK to defend our space lest our foes unite and come after us once again.

But nobody did. PL and NCDot turned on TEST and CO2 and threw them out of the north, while the rest of the sov holding victors settled into their new northern fiefdoms. So the Goon drive to restore its power was mostly unchecked. Soon we had our own Keepstar, then two, then many. They were a part of the game and we were going to use them. KarmaFleet expanded to become an even more essential part of GSF as the long insular Goons sought to expand the levee en masse option that Brave Newbies had championed and that Pandemic Horde used so effectively during the war. Ratting and mining was deemed important, both to raise defense levels of systems and to feed the expanding war machine of Delve, so incentives were offered including, for a while, PAP links for mining and ratting fleets. You could fill your monthly participation quota by making ISK.

Then there was the Monthly Economic Report which, as Ayrth put it, became one of the Imperium’s best recruiting tools. Come get rich with us in Delve! We were not only getting rich, but we were living out the “farms and fields” idea that had long been proposed for null sec. If you lived in your space you benefited. If you just held it but lived elsewhere you did not.

And yes, this is all a dramatic over simplification told from my own point of view, omitting various details, both pertinent and not. But the overall point survives even if you tell it from a completely Moneybadger perspective, call it World War Bee, and emphasize the failings of the losers.  The Imperium lost the war and won the peace.  That’s what the Monthly Economic Report tells me.

As an organization the Imperium was both prepared and motivated to adapt to the changes in the game and to take advantage of them in ways that almost no other null sec entity was. When external casinos were cut off as a source of wealth in the game, did those who depended on them change their ways? Last year, when moon mining went from a passive activity to the new active collection method now in place, how many other groups adapted as well?

The only old school revenue method left is rental space, which I am told NCDot does very well by. The lack of bad sov anymore means their rental base can be smaller… once a huge swathe of null sec… yet viable.

But overall Goons adapted to the changes, and worked very hard at it along the way, while other groups did not. So if you are putting forward the proposition that CCP picks winners, that they have chosen Goons to win EVE Online, whatever that means, it is pretty much on you to explain what CCP should have or could have done differently that would have changed the outcome.

  • Did Fozzie sov changes favor Goons? It sure doesn’t look like it.
  • Did null sec density changes favor Goons? They didn’t save us during the Casino War.
  • Did citadels favor Goons over others? Just saying it doesn’t make it so, you have to prove that their lack would have changed something.  Otherwise no.
  • Did removing casino wealth favor Goons over others?  Only over the groups that depended on it. Who will raise their hand and claim to be in one of those?
  • Did moon mining changes favor Goons? It seemed like we were doing fine mining moons the old fashioned way.  Goons had to change like everybody else.

That is four negatives and a semi-sorta for specific entities.

In the end, saying that CCP favors Goons sounds a lot like an excuse for those who would not put in the work and adapt to changes. But I guess “Well sure they won, they took advantage of the changes!” doesn’t sound as good.

Basically, it is all on Malcanis here.  The group willing and able to take advantage of the changes rather unsurprisingly came out on top.  That is what the rule always sums up to in the end.

And now there is a new war in the north and the Imperium is spending its accumulated wealth and putting hundreds of titans on the field.  Keepstars are dying and the combined losses overall reach into the trillions of ISK.  We’re throwing ISK and resources onto the fire of war.  I don’t know if we’re going to end up like the Serenity server in the end, where one group emerges as so dominant that null sec is effectively over.  But if EVE is dying at last, it won’t be because CCP picked the winner.

Follow on thoughts:

  • It would also be very much against CCP’s best interest for them to pick a winner, so why would they?
  • Not picking specific winners is different from not favoring specific play styles.  CCP’s vision is clearly that null sec is the end game and other areas suffer for it.
  • Null sec coalitions are inevitable.  There will always be a blue donut.  While there were a bunch of new groups in null with Fozzie Sov, eventually everybody had to find allies to survive.
  • While I poke at the Moneybadger Coalition for not following the Imperium to Delve to keep them down, it is remarkably difficult to suppress a group that otherwise holds together.  I am not sure it can actually be done.  Lots of groups have suffered catastrophic setbacks and returned to be a power.  Some examples of this are the Goons in the Great War, TEST after the Fountain War,  and CO2 after The Judge betrayed them and GigX was banned.
  • Real world analogies, especially WWII analogies, are always wrong.  New Eden isn’t the real world.  We don’t live there and, more importantly, we don’t die there.  We respawn and carry on.
  • If your comment on this post immediately jumps into RMT… then welcome back Dinsdale.  Haven’t seen you for a while.
  • If “Winning EVE” is leaving the game behind, is quitting and being unable to let go actually “Losing EVE?”

The Corrupt Developer Career Path

In which we see how logic is useless with bad data.

This all started innocuously enough with Wolfshead angry about life as video game developer.  His ire, deflected momentarily from his usual target of Blizzard, was aimed at the video game industry itself and the fact that being a game dev can be a really crappy career choice.  The pay is low, the hours are long, job security is fleeting, and there is a long line of gullible young people willing to take your place if you try to buck the system.

This is not a new tale.  Having lived close enough to Electronic Arts for them to be covered by the local paper regularly, word of how shitty the video games industry can be is something I have been aware of since at least the late 1980s.

Fun created here… on an Orca graveyard!

Wolfshead called it an example of  the “worst excesses of capitalism,” by which I assume he means supply and demand.  Seems legit.  Oversupply usually lowers pay and working conditions while scarcity tends to raise them. That is the whole “invisible hand” that Adam Smith was going on about indicating that you should look for work elsewhere.  Sort of an invisible middle-finger.

Oddly though he also went off on progressives who run operations where life is not intolerable, which comes off a bit muddled and counter to his main point.  He rather ironically denigrates people who care about fair trade coffee, then turns around and says gamers need to demand better working conditions for developers.  Progressive ideals are fine when they benefit you I guess.  I expect him to follow up with a post calling for fair labor video games.

But the net message is that being a video game developer can suck.  Another brick in the wall that should block you from ever wanting to work in the video game industry.  You go down that path despite the reality, not because of it.

However Gevlon was having none of it, even doubling down when challenged.

In Gevlon’s world, nobody does anything without getting compensated.  Young developers don’t line up for crappy pay, long hours, and no job security simply for passion or to follow a dream.  That whole “do what you love” is bullshit.  If you go there, there has to be a payoff!  These young developers go into the video games industry intent on lining their pockets by becoming corrupt developers!

Artist concept of the decision process

This whole idea fails the sniff test almost immediately.  It smells like bullshit and defies the logic Gevlon himself lays out.

First, if money is actually the REAL motivator, as opposed to the dream of working in the wonderful fantasy world of video games, then there are a lot better ways to go about it than risking your career, future employment options, and possible legal and tax complications, by becoming a corrupt game developer.

A developer could, for example… and I realize this is a huge stretch… get a job elsewhere in software development.  There are many jobs in software available.  Most of them pay better than the video games industry.

Basically, ample other opportunities exist.  You do not go into video game development as an individual contributor with an eye towards making bank.  And doing so with the idea of essentially creating a criminal enterprise is absurd in the extreme.

It isn’t as though there are no corrupt devs.  Stories do surface now and again about somebody taking advantage of their position.  But those are more matters of opportunity rather than somebody’s career goal.  People are weak.  Oh, and their careers got ruined once they get caught.  Like a lot of segments of software development, video game development is a small community and word gets around even if you don’t make the front page of Kotaku.

That leads us to one of the key arguments against this corrupt developer proposition; the lack of news stories about this.

If being a corrupt developer was a career path people going into video game development were actually, consciously pursuing we should be seeing a lot more news about corrupt developers.  His argument pretty much needs this to be taken seriously.

Where are all the stories?  Please, post links in the comments if I am wrong, but I’ve got nothing.

We know all about Kickstarters taking your money and running and about game companies over promising and under delivering.  Players complain incessantly about price gouging by greedy companies  But the biggest developer “corruption” story of the last few years was an unsubstantiated allegation that a indy developer used personal contacts to get a better review.

The stories just aren’t out there and the only way you can explain that away is by turning the whole thing into a conspiracy where management and the industry are in on the corruption and we enter the realm of Dinsdale where players are paying off companies.  At that point companies are working against self-interest allowing corrupt devs, since even Gevlon insists that protecting the integrity of a game is vitally important and why would they share the booty with line devs in any case.

Well, that, and the fact that the number of game developer positions where being corrupt would get you paid is probably pretty limited in and of itself.  Further evidence that people don’t go into this industry with corruption in mind as a career goal.

The only real evidence that Gevlon can produce to support his theory is that bugs in code exist and some of them take longer to get fixed than he thinks they should.

That has an easy response.

Gevlon, as I have noted elsewhere, is an ignorant amateur outsider when it comes to software development in general, and all the more so when discussing the situation involving any particular video game, so his determination as to what should be easy to fix and how long it should take carries exactly zero weight.

This is not an insult, but a statement of fact.

I am an ignorant, amateur, outsider when it comes to treating cancer.  It seems like you should just be able to cut that shit out and be done with it.  Also, Jesus, doesn’t radiation give you cancer?  And the chemicals in chemotherapy were derived from mustard gas!  Why would you use that on people?

So if you see me hanging out the oncology department at your local hospital, feel free to discount any advice I might give you.

The difference between those two situations is that I know and admit that I am the ignorant amateur outsider and Gevlon does not.  He thinks his assessments are meaningful.

They are not.

Which leaves him with very little to support his hypothesis besides his idea that people don’t spend time doing things that do not bring them the greatest financial benefit.  At that point you have to start asking why he spends time blogging.  That is giving something away for free, something that has value.  Imagine the page views his posts would get from enraged fan boys on a site like Massively OP!  He doesn’t even run ads on his own site, so he fails by his own logic.

To summarize:

  • The alleged financial motivation to become a corrupt developer is nonsensical and counter productive; there are easier way to make more money and people do value things besides a paycheck.
  • Positions where being a corrupt game developer would pay off are extremely limited; real money trading has to be involved somehow.
  • No substantial external evidence exists that anybody is pursuing this career path in any numbers; where are the news stories?
  • The remaining evidence offered lacks credibility; Gevlon is not in a position to know and his own logic argues against him.

So while I would not deny that corrupt game developers may be out there, it seems more like something subject to occasional circumstances where opportunity arises and not a career path anybody set out on to offset the poor pay offered by their chosen industry.

The burden of proof lies on Gevlon to prove that that the situation is otherwise and so far he has failed completely on that front.

Quote of the Day – The PCU Will Crater

As you can see, going free-to-play and increased botting activity could only stabilize them for one year, the concurrent logins are exactly where they were a year ago and the summer dip is just coming. Unless they have one more “free to play” level stunt in their sleeves, a year from now they’ll be under 20K concurrent players.

Gevlon, Seems I was right about New Jita

More proof that EVE Online is a special game, Gevlon cannot stop writing about it.  And not just derisive comments in the flow of a narrative about another game, as he does with World of Warcraft, but full on posts about New Eden.

Anyway, he is on the “EVE is dying” path, ever popular with those who dislike the game, with what can be construed as a very specific claim.  He is saying that the average concurrent player logins will be 20k in a year.  (Data source: EVE Offline)

PCU for the last 12 months with avg at 35K

In a post rife with abductive reasoning, unsupported declarations about RMT and botting, and an ongoing tendency to strip facts of their context in order to give them new meaning, he has foreseen the death of EVE Online.  Or, if not death, then a state of decline well beyond anything witnessed previously.

But you cannot argue with him, because he won’t admit any possibility beyond his own conclusions.  His world view is set in stone.  So I’ll just put this post up and we’ll come back to it in a year and see how things have played out.  It is very easy to apply your own narrative to things that have already happened, to claim that CCP “knew” things.  It is altogether a different beast to be able to predict the future.

Finally, I borrowed the term “crater” in the title from Dinsdale.  He likes to say that the PCU has already cratered, while Gevlon is saying that is a coming event. It amuses me that two people who are so angry about the game differ on that front.

Quote of the Day – CCP Picks Winners

Goons were untouchable until they failed to deliver the $150K. Then they became outcasts overnight and the IWI RMT block became above the law – until they met with real life gambling law. Then IWI got banned overnight and the devs found their next “winner”: whoever controls the trillions-for-nothing Perimiter citadels.

Gevlon, You can’t compare reality with a dream

So there you have it, the Imperium lost the Casino War because it failed to raise a $150,000 payoff for CCP.

Signs of a vast Goon conspiracy

I love me a good conspiracy theory, and here is Gevlon continuing to justify his leaving EVE Online… so long after he left that you have to wonder who he is really addressing here… the goblin doth protest too much methinks… by claiming that CCP picks winners.  It also seems to invalidate his claim that he beat Goons by funding Mordus Angels.   If CCP picked the winner, then I guess he didn’t really enter into it.  After the failed Kickstarter, Goons were doomed already.

This is especially timely as the CSM 12 elections are going on right now and CCP is working to try and get the non-null sec part of the game to actually give a shit and vote.  CCP isn’t actively campaigning against null sec.  But getting out the vote clearly works against null sec sweeping the election yet again.  Is this how one picks winners? (Cue “CCP could be doing more!” comment)

I would actually like to put Gevlon’s conspiracy up against Dinsdale Pirannha’s, because the Din/Vin spin is that Goons run CCP and that every thing they do is strictly to benefit them.  In his world, Goons were slated to win the war (quote on record), banning IWI was just removing an RMT competitor, and Goons really own whatever citadel is making money one jump from Jita. (Also something about fellatio now and again because Din is so angry he has to personify the imagined collusion into a sexual relationship.)

My own observation of the current “winners,” which is anecdotal, but which has persisted over months, is that citadels one jump from Jita do not have all that much impact on the market.  I extract and sell a skill injector every week at the Caldari Navy Assembly Plant at Jita Planet IV moon 4, and the prices listed in Perimeter have no bearing on what I can get for the injector.   I look at the market, sort the prices low to high, scroll past all the low ball Perimeter listings to where the Jita price stands, list in that range, and the injector sells within hours despite being priced as much as 20% above the Perimeter citadel price.

I am sure some people buy in Perimeter.  I would if it were my ISK.  But clearly the habit and the implied safety of Jita 4-4 is strong enough to be worth a bonus.  Plus it is still the place to buy everything else.  Perimeter is really only trying to corner the PLEX and skill injector market.  Nobody is hauling all of their production to a third party citadel.

And those citadels are not even that safe.  A reader sent me a PLEX in game for answering some questions, contracted to me from a citadel in Perimeter. (Thank you, btw!)  Only when I went to collect it, I found it was in the safety tab of my assets window with a timer before it would appear in an NPC station.  The citadel it was in had been destroyed.  Oops.  Now I have to wait until I can buy it out of hock.

Anyway, this sounds like a classic choice of malice over ignorance.  Do you think CCP is picking winners?  Is CCP just bad at predicting consequences?  (Or believing when players point them out in advance?)  Or is this just along the lines of Malcanis’ law (another Gevlon favorite), where anything aimed at helping newer players ends up helping the entrenched older players even more so?

Looking forward to the inevitable Gevlon and Dinsdale comments on this.

Friday Bullet Points Come Around Again

We are at the last weekend before taxes are due in the US… I am not sure why we got a reprieve until Monday, but I won’t argue… and I just got a “so sorry, but not really” message from one firm informing me that they won’t be sending me that last tax document I am waiting on for at least three weeks.  So I will be learning about filing for an extension this weekend.  Go me!

Meanwhile, I am back to things on my list that I want to mention but couldn’t quite get a whole post together for.

The Goblin Leaves New Eden

I knew when Gevlon left WoW and came to New Eden that sparks would fly.  I have said on multiple occasions that Gevlon and EVE Online seemed like a perfect match.  And, I must say, I was not disappointed.  Over the years he has managed to stir shit up and annoy people on a regular basis, which speaks to a certain level of effectiveness in his mission.

However, his “ISK = power” theory having been proven on the large scale by I Want ISK in the Casino War and the shift in ISK earning potential to the major military powers coming with the Citadel expansion… the rich get richer… has led him to liquidate his assets and leave the game.

I will miss his focus on New Eden. Of course, that is probably something a social would say, so it will likely just annoy him.  Where will the Goblin land next?

Brave Bastion

CCP announced the return of the Alliance Panel to EVE Fanfest 2016, because nothing ever goes awry there.  The lineup looks like an odd mix.  Certainly one of these things is not like the other.

Fanfest 2016 Alliance Panel

Fanfest 2016 Alliance Panel

There is only one alliance on the panel, Scary Wormhole People [WHBOO], that isn’t directly involved in the current Moneybadgers vs. Imperium war.  They seem to be shooting everybody about equally.  In addition, WHBOO is an alliance with only a single corp, so I think they might be pushing a definitional line somewhere with this.

Meanwhile, I suspect that, in being the only Imperium alliance amongst four foes, things will be rough for The Bastion [BASTN] on the panel.  Given the strong “if you are still in The Imperium then you are a horrible person” vibe running through the war’s narrative, I am not sure I would want to show up at EVE Fanfest this year, much less stand up and speak.

Leaks Bite Mittens in the… Press

There is an article up over at the International Business Times which, among other things, calls EVE Online “The Most Boring Video Game In The World.”  Not a great article, though I did get a chuckle when Richard “Lord British” Garriott was identified in a picture simply as “another “Eve Online” player.”

I have to think that the whole article was at best a mixed win for CCP’s marketing group.

Focus on The Mittani makes up a good chunk of the post, which includes this caveat about what he says,

But it is almost impossible to take what Gianturco says at face value. An arch manipulator, he is keen to promote his side’s view of the current conflict, and in leaked chat logs shown to IBT after an interview with him, Gianturco boasts that the media (and IBT in particular) are “eager to print whatever I’ll tell them.”

And so it goes for the self-described Vladimir Putin of New Eden.  I am pretty sure GARPA is even now working on an unloggable chat tool.  The hellwar demands it!

Still Smarting

Speaking of hellwars, the persistence and effort Derek Smart has put into his personal war against Star Citizen continues as epic post number 11, Star Citizen – Extinction Level Event, hit his blog this past week.  The legal threats seem to have subsided from his posts, as have the almost constant references to his own game, Line of Defense (which itself is set to leave Steam).  Instead he is focused on savaging Star Citizen business plans, schedules, promises,  customer relations, and the current level of quality… and memes, his post has lots of memes in it.

Diablo III Season 5 Ends Today

Diablo III Season 5 ends today.

Hrmm, that seems a bit redundant.

I wanted to note the date, but I do not really have much else to say other than I enjoyed Season 5, right up until the moment I finished the set dungeon and got the last of the base achievements…

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

…and then I totally stopped playing Diablo III again.

Still, I will probably log in again once the season closes to see how my crusader integrates back into my regular cast of characters.  He certainly brings a lot of gold and recipes to the mix.  We shall see if I come back for Season 6, which starts on April 29th.

Anyway, that is what I had on the list

Making Friends and Influencing Capsuleers the Gevlon Goblin Way!

A couple years back Gevlon left the warm, themepark embrace of World of Warcraft to try his hand at the wild west that is EVE Online.  This was a match made in the heavens.  He tore into the game in his usual way… heaping scorn and derision on morons and slackers.

Not green in EVE

Not green in EVE

His start was a little rough… or at least a little rough to watch, as his lecturing tone pointed towards long known truths as though he were the first to discover them.  We all have those moments of discovery… just as a blogger you tend to announce them to an audience that is often a few pages ahead of you.

Some predicted from these early posts that he wouldn’t last long, but I always knew that he would be hooked on New Eden.  It is a Goblin’s delight, a game with no actual game except for what you define for yourself.

At some point, as is natural, Gevlon came into contact with Goons, which was one of those “Sparks, meet my friend kindling!” moments.  Gevlon’s demeanor is exact match, if you were looking for something to provoke Goon mockery.  A conflict was born, filled with ISK and stilted rhetoric.

Gevlon eventually decided to use the huge wealth has had amasses to fight the Goons.  During the Fountain War he threw in with TEST, paying them to let him join in.  Eventually he founded Grr Goonswarm in order to finance people willing to oppose the Goons.  Forever war it would be.  He has a summery up of the first year, and even mockingly offered Goonswarm an option to surrender. (The option and it’s reply is covered here.)

And you think, in a community where two of the main news sites can be loosely defined as “pro-Goon” and “anti-Goon” and the Goons already had plenty of enemies, that forming a coalition of the willing would be easy.  But that does not account for Gevlon.  It is reported that he can be trying to deal with.  He had problems with TEST back in Fountain.  He has had defections from his mercenary ranks for various reasons.  One of the ISBoxer stealth bomber pilots flipped sides, stopped camping YA0, and came along on a Reavers deployment because it seemed like more fun.

ISK is not everything.

And then something new came down the grapevine today which, if authentic, is a double punch of hilarity.  From Tora Bushido, head of the Marmite Coalition, it takes issue with Gevlon’s claims.  The killer here is that Marmite was already declaring war on null sec corporations in order to hunter their logistical operations.  Gevlon was paying them to keep CFC alliances on the list.  But he still managed to annoy them and now they want compensation.

I suppose we will hear about this from Gevlon if it turns out to be true.

—–

Gevlon : You’re Fired!
From: Tora Bushido
To: Gevlon Goblin, [and a few other interested parties]

Gevlon,

Of course we are doing these wars for free, as we make 0 isk on them. You are getting the service of killing your enemies for cost price. You know any businesses who would sell you anything for cost price? Exactly, none of them would. Not even the non-profit ones. For someone who is good with numbers, you can act pretty dumb. And we are doing this without any extra effort? Who do you think is paying for the ship losses we have every month because of these wars? Yes, we are, not you. So don’t give me this crap.

We have tolerated your blogs long enough, where you keep telling everyone how you are ‘destroying the CFC’. I call bullshit. You havent done shit. If anyone has done anything, it was Marmites doing the killing. It’s like buying a painting and telling everyone what a great artist you are. We knew this had zero impact on the CFC, but we were enjoying the killing, smacktalk, blogs, content. It’s time you get your wake up call.

Price just went up to 15B / week. You not willing to pay it, fine, we’ll go talk to the CFC and see if they want to support the wars against BL, Mordus, TRI, etc. and we will cancel your grrr….Goonies project. You can have it any way you want.

Go luck with finding people who work for free.

Tora

Ps. You are fired!

—–

Gevlon has his response to this posted.

The letter is being covered over at TMC, where I am sure the comments will be more… interesting.