Tag Archives: Gevlon

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 the games industry can be is something I have been aware of since 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 lowers pay and working conditions while scarcity raises 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.

A Postcard from the Imperial Academy Hangar

I haven’t done much in New Eden recently.  I have spent a lot of time in a high sec station that sells skills.

Somewhere in Amarr space

Somewhere in Amarr space

Some of it has been that I haven’t had the time to get in on fleet operations that have been going on in Curse since our redeployment back down there.  But more of it has been around the fact that I have a long list of things I want to do in World of Warcraft and it is frankly easier to log in and get busy on that list than it is to hang around hoping a fleet op will come up.  Accessibility wins for the moment I guess.  Plus my corp leader, El Supremo, has been slacking even more than I have.  I see him playing Farming Simulator 2013 on Steam some nights.

Still, things move along all the same, so I have a couple of items to bring up.

Naglfar Capable

I am finally fully skilled up to fly the Naglfar in CFC capital fleets.  Back when I started down that path, I put the timeline as ~20 days of training.  Of course, I ran into a couple of additional skills I needed along the way, but it only added a couple more days.

Now I just have to purchase one.  I have held off on that just in case there was another doctrine change and in hopes that Naglfar production will ramp up and there will be more choice at slightly lower prices.

Alts and Skill Points

Jester has been thinking on skill points and alts and the distribution of the skills we train and so on.  Good stuff.  Worth looking at just for the charts.  There are two posts so far:

And there is a promise of more.

Anyway, it got me thinking of my own approach to alts in EVE Online.  They always start out as an attempt to cover a segment of skills that my main does not have.  But over time I seem to aim my alts back at my main in order to let them act as a backup pilot in the same roles my main fills.  Meanwhile my main, now at 116 million skill points, tends to eventually pick up some portion of the role I was attempting to fill with the alt.

Right now I am only running a single alt, but his skill plan has been to try to catch up to all the subcap doctrine skills required for CFC fleet ops so I can be two places at once in space.  I have cloned jumped with my main on a couple of occasions only to have a fleet called and 16 hours left on the clock until I can jump to the start point.  So my alt is purely about operational flexibility at this point, allowing me to show up at one of our staging points able to fly.

Because Gevlon

The Greedy Goblin has found a new purpose in EVE Online.  A purpose is an essential part of sticking with a sandbox-like game.  This time Gevlon has decided to war on Goonswarm.  He has a declared a forever war against Goonswarm in high sec.  He also has a thread up about it in the official forums looking for allies.

Now the question is, how will this play out?

On the one hand, there is no shortage of hate for Goons.  At no time since the Goons appeared in the game have they lacked for some alliance opposed to them.  There is a whole EVE Online news site devoted to hating them.  So a “shoot Goons” platform seems like one for which there might be a line trying to get in, especially since it will be in high sec.

On the other hand there is Gevlon.  He is space famous.  In fact, he is probably more famous in game than many alliance leaders or a couple of the members of the CSM.

Not green in EVE

Portrait of the Goblin as a Spaceman

And while Goons might be hated, Gevlon is not exactly the Dale Carnegie of New Eden.  I admire his fortitude and his ability to set his own rules and proceed to win according to them.  He clearly belongs in EVE Online and the game would be a poorer place without him.  But if you haven’t been categorized as a moron or a slacker by his definition, you are a rare person indeed.  So I am going to guess that there is a not insubstantial Goon-hating demographic that wouldn’t mind watching Gevlon attack as much for a chance to see him get stomped on as to see him pester the Goons.

We’ll see how this one plays out and whether Gevlon has a new purpose in a month or two.