Serious Business Overload

I’ve said it before before on this blog (ok who am I kidding, I say it entirely too often), but I’ve always felt that when it comes to Eve, if you aren’t having fun, you’re doing it wrong.

Lately, I’ve found that Eve isn’t fun, which leads me to believe something is wrong.

Whats wrong is the recent community meltdown over the SomerBlink-gate or whatever we’re calling it; the tl;dr being: CCP endorses an in-game lottery which receives huge in-game, yet more importantly, real-world monetary kickbacks through the sale of game time codes as a result of this endorsement.

Now, first off; do I have some strong opinions about what comes across as CCP favoritism towards whats looking more and more like a roundabout RMT venture? Certainly; especially when that favoritism towards an in-game entity is apparently garnering an out-of-game business close to $90,000 USD a year. When Roc Wieler and PyjamaSam wanted to charge something nominal like 99 cents for their incredible and hugely popular Capsuleer app, they were shut down by CCP. The lack of support or ability to earn, purportedly for proprietary reasons, off their creation resulted in the shutdown of the app. But do I think really anything CCP does is malicious or part of a nefarious plot? Not at all; they’ve got a company to run and internet spaceships to make fly right, so when things like this crop up, its without a doubt probably a matter of opinion and viewpoint that no one realized was appearing as biased.

CCP fucks up sometime; it happens. Luckily, post summer-of-rage/monocle-gate, we have a far more transparent dialogue with them via a far more involved and informed CSM. Again, yes, I think CCP goofed up hard here, and yes, I think the company implicitly showing favoritism towards a for-profit company that happens to play Eve is absurd.

During the summer of rage, when tensions were high, players revolted both in and out of the game. IN Eve, a demonstration so popular and industry-changing that it garnered some fairly heavy publication news rocked Jita, and on the other side of the screen, players unsubdued their accounts in protest; at the end of the day, money talks. CCP is a for-profit company, and subscriptions are their lifeblood. Players deciding that their $14 a month could go elsewhere besides Iceland turned heads, and an agreement was reached.

This time around though, things seem a little bit darker. Instead of just leaving the game, we now have players who want to burn down the system on their way out. They’re mad, their emotions are running high, and instead of just quitting, they decide to have a EULA-breaking meltdown trying to RMT their characters in grey-area ways as a form of public protests against SomerBlink, effectively setting fire to the sandbox on their way out. To me, all this says is “I’m not having fun and neither should you“. Its as if we finally ran out of ideas on how to game and meta each other and started doing it to the system.

Is SomerBlink the evil empire? Of course not; they have an incredible business model that nets them ludicrous isk in-game (bonus points, it preys off people’s naivete and foolishness; I certainly can’t be mad at that), and a healthy, and most importantly, CCP endorsed affiliate program out of game that allegedly nets Somerset Mahm $90,000 a year. Can you honestly tell me you wouldn’t ride that train into the ground if you were in his shoes?

And on the same thought, is CCP a malicious, cheating, nepotistic corporate entity, playing favorites towards a certain in-game entity since that entity happens to help their bottom dollar through GTC/PLEX sales? Well, ok, a teeny bit, but again, this is a for-profit company. Should CCP have seen the writing on the wall with that out? Certainly, but again, CCP fucks up sometimes. Look at it from their perspective: an in-game, player-run group becomes wildly popular, hugely philanthropic, outwardly takes no sides in either in-game or out-of-game politicking or issues, and as a result of that, starts helping to sell a ton more PLEX, effectively becoming a charitable financial donor to both players and company. Again, put yourself in CCP’s shoes and see how that looks objectively; even though we know its not, it sure seems like a win-win doesn’t it?

So sadly, I’ve found that even when I do find some time to set aside for some mindless gaming, I’ve regrettably been unwilling to log into Eve. Heck, the past week or so, I’ve been passing over spaceships in favor of freaking Age of Empires 3; thats how much this has been bumming me out. Now thats not to say I haven’t been playing at all, and no, I’m not quitting/taking a break/quietly disappearing/etc, but when I do jump into Eve I’m working on a lot more back-burner type stuff rather than high-stakes adventure. I play internet spaceships to have fun, and while I certainly enjoy some drama here and there, this current round of it is just over-kill.

The upside to all of this is that Poetic Stanziel has decided to officially stop shitting out poorly conceived thought-diarrhea about Eve and calling them posts. In my mind, this is like Bill O’Reilly and the Fox News of Eve closing down so, you know, score one for the good guys (edit: wait no I lied, he’s just expanded to shitting out rage-posts about things besides Eve at a new address. Oh well.). Also, literally as I was proof-reading this post, it appears that CCP just unilaterally shut down giving isk incentives for buying ETCs/GTCs; way to go guys.

Now, can we just all agree that favoritism looks terrible, RMTing even in roundabout ways, is bad, that the house always wins when it comes to gambling, and that we’d all be having way more fun right now if we could get back to blowing up space pixels?

 

-Aiden

 

~ by Aiden Mourn on October 29, 2013.

3 Responses to “Serious Business Overload”

  1. I’m trying to just focus on giving credit to CCP for what they were trying to achieve (even if they got it wrong), and ignoring what has been a darker sort of response from the bitter brigade. I think you are right – for some it seems less about saving the game, and more about damaging it on the way out the door.

  2. The players trying to burn it down are a minority. Noisygamer and many others were presenting legitimate concern over the RMT and rightly so. The blaze of rage Poetic and DNSBlack were threatening to burn down the game with was out of line, but if the “cash out” RMT that was opened up by GTC kickbacks wasn’t closed, CCP was threatened by a slower fire burning down the game over a longer time. I want to game to be about blowing up spaceships and my past-time which is building them =D, rather than turning the game into an exercise in building up your wallet and then cashing out. Closing the loophole was the right thing … now lets get back to the usual nefarious deeds (and Somer can still make bank off gambling and satan bless his corrupting soul).

  3. Having just re-subbed to EVE last week after a 5 month break my first impression was “Wow, SOMER blink is now giving out 1 billion isk credit for each GTC, this is awesome. I’ll take 4.”

    Then, I started to gather that there had been some sort of scandal. Having read up a bit on the details, I have to say that I’m having a hard time understanding why people feel that this is such a big deal. Sure, CCP has made some questionable, probably vaguely unethical decisions. What else is new? CCP is not a governmental agency, they are a video game developer, and as such they are more or less free to set their own ethical standards and enforce them as they choose. How does this all affect my gameplay experience? I can’t say honestly that it does.

    No, if I’m going to ragequit EVE I don’t think that it will ever be over some silly little scandal like this. Rather, it would be because of the continued nerfings of popular and entertaining playstyles in order to cater to the least creative subsets of the EVE community – the carebears, nullbears, etc. As things stand, though, in spite of everything EVE is still the only video game on the market that is worth playing for more than a couple if hours of casual entertainment.

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