Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Incarna, MT, Riots… and The Director’s Retreat.

With the advent of the Incarna Patch, we have seen things in EVE never before seen… Riots. Real, honest for god riots…

As I and my corp live in a WH, we are just a little out of touch sometimes re the goings on in Empire… and I found out about the riots in Jita (and elsewhere) cause I was on a store run from our C2 WH w/ like 50Mil I$K of sleeper loot & salvage… and I was unable to jump into Jita due to server load… wha?? When I finally got in, there were like close to 2000 players IN Jita… and many of them were firing on the monument... WTF??? So I started running Google searches and reading up, etc. and that was my intro to the Incarna/MT et al Rioting and in general all-round crazyness that had started up while we were down in the hole.

Over the last few days I have looked in on the Riot in Jita and been out to the Caldari Leviathan, the scene of another riot as hundreds of pilots fired on the Leviathan (causing only the barest sliver of red in shields and armor)… One of the most fascinating things I saw was the Caldari Navy NPC Fleet, which normally acts as a protecting force around the Leviathan (usually around 30 to 40 BSs and BCs) respawned right in the middle of all this and was basically wholly melted in under 2 to 3 minutes…

I’ve been out to the Leviathan many times. Good money to be made there preying on the Cal Nav fleet. If yer willing to take the sec hit, you can use a weird drone agro mechanic to attack individual ships and loot and salvage them. The “weird drone agro mechanic” is to primary and attack a single ship with your drones. Many of the nearby Cal Nav ships will agro and attack the drones. You start your attack on the primary ship and immediately recall your drones. Once target lock is broken, either through the drones melting or jumping into your drone bay, ALL Cal Nav NPCs deaggro and you can safely fire at will on the primary until it pops. Then loot and salvage… if you can, cause there is usually a small ninja salvage ‘fleet’ lurking openly in the Cal Nav fleet ball w/ you… I know… cause that’s the other thing I do out there.   =]  but I digress…

I waited, a bit… but like so many I have decided to jot down my thoughts and reactions to this latest ‘Incarnation’ of our favorite shared virtual life... and the problems and issues concurrent with it that have raised the passions of so many of its inhabitants, myself included.

All of what I have read about boils down to really one basic Issue as I understand it:

A break in trust between CCP and its client base, (We) the people who pay for game time on the Servers that host “EVE Online”.

Everything I have read, and my personal experience over the last 7 months, leads me to this one basic conclusion. We trusted the DEVS and Executives of CCP to stay the course of their stated mission, to create an unscripted MMO(RP optional)G using the “sandbox” ideal where in CCP creates and maintains the Sandbox we play in, and We create, and live in, and fight over, the sandcastles therein.

Why? Greed. Simple, age old corporate greed. Greed is NOT good. Greed sets the desire for ‘profit’ over the desire to provide a ‘good service or product’ to your clients. Create a great service or product, for profit, as CCP did when it created EVE and you will have customers flock to you and you will greatly profit thereby… But sadly, if the service or product is good enough, as it is with EVE, and you will make so much money that eventually greed will raise its fugly head and you may even abandon your original goals… for greed. I fear CCP may have reached this point, I hope not.

Allowing the ‘foot in the door’ of MT, “Microtransactions” for vanity items, which is nothing more than CCP leagalized RMT (keeping in mind buying PLEX for RL money, then selling it for I$K is a form of legalized RMT too…) wherein CCP is the benefactor of the RMT (not someone else, which is still a banning offense)… allows for the ‘possibility’ of increased profits (IE Greed) one day from non-vanity game play items such as faction standings or actual items (the oft referenced “Gold” ammo, etc.). Yes I know CCP is saying that is NOT ever going to happen…. But they have provably lied to us already and hence the break in trust.

Break in Trust: I will list just two I know of as one may be a mistake, more than one is the start of a pattern…

I.                    “Captain’s Quarters will be optional.” The only ‘option’ is to disable it and instead of Ship Spinning or anything interesting, you get an extremely unpleasant static pic of the CQ non-functional door that is supposed to (but doesn’t yet) lead out of the CQ to the rest of the station.

II.                  Is CCP going to introduce Pay-To-Win MT's into Eve Online?
It's a yes or no question that doesn't need days or weeks to answer. The fact that there has not been a definitive answer to this point in time screams a resounding "maybe" or "yes" because no would be so easy to say if they have no plans for it.

If they do, I will leave. You will have hordes of children flocking into this game because they can then PAY to circumvent the time honored (and time consuming) Skill & Grind of the World Famous EVE Learning Cliff… and using legalized RMT, beat players who have paid their dues, in skill time and I$K grinding… the way it was always supposed to be.

I love this game because I am a 50 year old guy who does not want to play games w/ kids… got two of my own and can play “Go Fish” w/ them anytime I want… I go to EVE to play with ADULTS. or at the very least extremely bright and socially mature young adults…. Though I cannot say I know for a fact of anyone under 21 that I have flown with so far, and MANY I fly with are well above 25 with a few near my age.

I have turned off the CQ. It is less than useless in its current form, it is extremely laggy; gives us some (but not all) of the functionality we had before but in a far less friendly and vastly more time consuming format. It does not replace ship spinning w/ something as, or more, interesting to do than ship spinning was.

If One Whines, One should be able to give Alternative Solutions… my ideas are:

(1) Options other than docking (speeding up actual gameplay and possibly helping to reduce lag):
Give us the option to contact our agents and conduct business w/ them OUTSIDE of the stations (within docking range) via comms like we do now for Agents in Ships. Getting missions, completing missions and getting paid all do not REQUIRE one to dock. Docking is required ONLY if cargo needs to be loaded/unloaded for missions, or to change or refit ship(s).

(2) Make CQ more interesting until WIS is ready... (this is my pet request):
(a) Strike a deal w/ Netflix so we can rent moves, TV shows and watch them on the CQ big screen. I personally would LOVE to watch "Firefly", "Star Trek", "BSG", or "Clear Skys" in the CQ.
(b) Possibly add a change of view from 2nd person behind your toon to 1st person on the couch watching HoloV.

(3) New Ship Spinning:
(a) Give us the ability to click on the Ship Hologram and see our current ship either full screen and rendered similar to the old ship spinning in dock view
(b) Possibly a change of view to 1st Person with a fully rendered model we can manipulate and spin.

(4) For the sheer hell (and fun) of it... put in a bathroom, allow the toon to enter, shut door, and... well, you know... w/ flushing sounds as toon exits... Make it last long enough (on average) so a player can go too. =]

OK on to the fun stuff… Part the Second: The Directors Retreat

This past weekend SL, AI and I got together in South Carolina ostensibly for a wedding of a friend of AI’s… but “WE” knew it was actually a cover for the HB Directors Retreat! Oh the wedding was real enough… my wife made the wedding cake and the groom, AI and his staff Sgt. were in their Dress Blues, swords and all… The bride was, well, quite simply stunning.

But from Wed night (well, Thurs midday) through Sun afternoon, aside from the timeouts for the wedding and food and the guys chasing my 8yo daughter and her best friend around the apt for tickle fights, oh and the obligatory bar hopping on the last night in town…   =]  we had our systems setup on the same table and discussed Corp matters both of deep moment and of little consequence to our little corp.

There are few things better in this world (on a par with hearing your friends and allies warping to your rescue) than the three of us, the founding directors of our corp, flying together and in person. You get so very much more understanding from face to face than you ever can over chat or even TS.

Plus, we’re close friends… it was just plain ol fun.

Fly Safe and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

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