Tuesday, November 19, 2013

CARBON™ Chauvinism…

~Adapt or TiDie…

Aren’t we just sooooo LUCKY we live in the “Goldilocks Zone”? Just the right distance from the Sun… not too close, not too far… jussssst right! oh really?

Ripard said “In order to survive in 0.0, you have to learn, develop, and practice a whole skill-set around managing deficiencies in the so-called "game" you are playing.

And yes, my blogging of late has sorta become all knee jerk reactions to stuff Jester (AKA Ripard Teg, CSM8) posts over on his blog Jester’s Trek… But I am not really ‘playing’ much as RL still has a firm grip on the short hairs as twere… but I am keeping up with the blogshere and Ripard tends to delve into topics that moar oft than not cause said knee jerk reactions in my brain… thence causing :words: to pour from my fingers… and as I still like writing about EvE, here we are.

Just FYI for them as what cares… I got on a KILLMAIL this past Saturday!!!  First one in what, 4 months or moar… and then, of course, I died, was podded and ended up wakin up in SYJ’s NPC Null base… yuch. I had done fergot to reset my Med Clone back to Empire… then I missclicked and accidentally jumped (swapped) clones in the same effin Null station when trying to blood jump back to Empire and hadda wait out the 18.5 hr timer (Yea clone skills!) until late Sunday night… oh well, I whored a KM and made two… creating content for those around me in the verse (and I had some fun and lost my Gnosis too…) now back to our irregularly unscheduled programming…

I have issues with the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ thing. The basic idea has a very strong carbon based bias… a sorta carbon chauvinism. A race evolved on the dwarf planet Pluto (and if one had/has/could arise there (and might not THAT stick a wrench in the moon/planet debate… I mean, who wants to have evolved on a moon?) or one evolved on say Saturn’s moon, Titan (a moon that is most definitely NOT in the Sun’s Goldilocks Zone yet has strong evidence of surface water in a liquid state, a prime ingredient in what we call ‘life’)… these races would definitely not define their Goldizooks Zone near the same way we do even if they too be carbon based in their chemistry.

I strongly feel, as is stated in the wiki on carbon chauvinism, that this limits us. It limits our imaginations as to what constitutes ‘life’ and that means we run the risk of not recognizing other forms of life as ‘life’… this could have serious repercussions in mankind’s future if we ever DO actually get off this one lone rock and GO out there, “where dragons be”…

“Why, Tur, are you going on about this and WTF should I care?” doth you ask, (and if you dint, you should have and I’m gonna assume you did so…) glad you asked I am, and tell ya I will… I see CARBON chauvinism taking place in EvE.

“How does ‘carbon chauvinism’ equate with whateverthehell ‘CARBON™ chauvinism’ is?” you ask of me… (curious one aren’t ya?) OK, 

Carbon chauvinism states that there is only one kind of life 'possible' IRL...

CARBON chauvinism states that there is only one 'acceptable' way of life possible IVL... (and we'll argue about it until the End of Time, or we go into permanent downtime, whichever comes first.)

I define ‘CARBON chauvinism’ as:
A neoturlogism meant to disparage the assumption that the CARBON Coded Mechanics of virtual life in New Eden (EVE Online) are as they are and should be, e.g. as designed by their creators, but instead must be rewritten, edited, changed and iterated upon by the creators for the edification and benefit of the most vocal members of the playerbase.

Because those particular players are whiney, needy, entitled, self-indulgent, juvenile and LOUD… and ‘they’ want EVE Online to be the way they want it and they want it NOW.

Gankers want a Gankers Paradise… War Deccers want War to be FREE… Nullseccers want ALL OF SPACE to conquer… Industrialists want taxes outlawed and Invulnerable Transports… Losec pirates want CONCORD removed… and Griefers want to be able to attack anyone anytime anywhere at zero cost… (because everyone knows noobs and pubbies DESERVE it and the game would be far better off if they quit, right?)…

Jester pegged it… managing deficiencies…
What did he mean by ‘managing deficiencies’? He was referring to the ships/fits/fleets/tactics and strategies one uses within the bounds/limits/constraints/rules/laws and mechanics of EVE Online. How one Manages (works/plans) around the Deficiencies… around the ‘Deficiencies’… now here’s where things get sticky. What makes up Deficiencies in the Mechanics of EVE Online is a highly subjective subject… What is the definition of ‘deficient’ anyway?

Merriam-Webster Online: Deficient
de·fi·cient - adjective \di-ˈfi-shənt\ : not having enough of something that is important or necessary
1:  not good enough, not as good as “x”.
2:  lacking in some necessary quality or element <deficient in judgment>
3:  not up to a normal standard or complement:  defective <deficient strength>

As with most things in life, real or virtual, the definition of “(not) enough of”, “(not) good enough”, “(not) as good as”, “(not) lacking”, “(not) up to standards” are all highly subjective assessments and definitions. A Griefer’s Deficiency is a Carebear’s Sufficiency, and vice versa…

A Max Stabbed Cloaky Nano Blockade Runner with unscannable cargo hold is, to a Carebear, “adequate” while Gankers cry “UNFAIR!”…

A Cloaky Cyno CovOps sittin quietly in local is, to a nullsec PvPer, “working as intended” while Nullsec Industrialists scream “UNFAIR!!”…

The 2000 man fleet Bridging in on your 500 man POS bash fleet and crashing the server “saving” the Titan you had just bumped out of the POS shields is “UNFAIR!!!”…

The 100 man sniper gate camp sitting 100km out from a densely bubble caged gate slaughtering the 1000 plus Hisecers who came for a CCP Sponsored Live Event is “UNFAIR!!!!”…

IE before Time Dilation (TiDi), ‘Lag’ or server overload issues such as black screens, client crashes, server crashes, etc. created by large fleets of players in one system (on one node) limited the sizes of workable effective fleets and fleet fights… This caused CCP’s ‘War on Lag’ which ended up with the stop-gap of TiDi being rolled out. With TiDi we are now able to field fleets approx. twice the size of pre-TiDi fleets and still have (barely) workable fleets and fleet fights, granted s-l-o-w-l-y, but ‘slow but up’ is a far cry better than the ‘down and petitioning’ of a server crash on contact. Frustrating yes… but unplayable? Seems like most of those who get involved in these now HUGE fights and events stay even after things go to shit TiDiwise…

So back when managing deficiencies meant dealing with/coping with/planning for the (based on your gameplay perception of) ‘reality’ at that time, IE the virtuality of New Eden’s Laws of Physics/Mechanics of EVE… well TiDi changed those Laws of Physics/Mechanics, so now managing deficiencies meant dealing with/coping with/planning for the changed (improved?) Laws of Physics/Mechanics.

One of the things I love most about EvE is that it IS a virtuality… a virtual life… and you know what?

Life is hard.

IRL the MOST one can do is slaughter sheep and goats by the herdful, paint your arse red then genuflect, dance and pray to whatever pantheon of deities you dream up… but the Laws of RL Physics just keeps them apples a fallin, birds a flyin and worlds a turnin… God (singular or in committee) dunt rewrite his code for no man…

But in New Eden we dunt pray to our gods do we?… we email em! And when we do we rant and bich and cuss and moan and demand and complain and whine and cry like self-absorbed children… and they listen… and then, very often, they actually DO change the Laws of Mechanics in this virtual verse we share… based on the ‘prayers’ of the loudest (and largest income source?) group…

Now I don’t mean new ship hulls, or modules or even changes to the EHP/DPS/range/speed et al of a line of ships or even new anchorable structures… oh no, I am talking about basic CHANGES to the Way the World Works… And so the tactics and strategies one uses within the NEW & IMPROVED Mechanics of EVE Online change. And we have to adapt or die… and guaranteed many of us will post and forumwhine to the Gods on High… well, the ones far to the north at least.

IRL we rail against the vagaries of life… we shake our fists a the sky when the earth shakes and opens up and swallows our homes, we beat our breasts and curse the gods when tornadoes spin down from heaven and trash our trailerparks… but in New Eden, we curse CCP when Nullsec Tornadoes trash a fleet of noobs and Hisecc PvEers…

I am not an old MMO gamer (I’m OLD and I’m a gamer ok?, just not an OLD MMO gamer…) I have however played FPS’s since Commander Keen and setup and ran Doom Servers for small and large groups… but I never once asked ID Software to change the Mechanics of the Doom ‘verse… I accepted that up was up and down was down and that you could stand on someone’s head and they would never know you were there unless they looked up… (and when you killed em by whacking them in the head with an axe it was hilarious!)…

I have personally never played any game before EVE where the Devs would CHANGE the Mechanics of the game simply because the players bitched… and TBH, I am not really sure they should… CCP needs to remember, you can’t please everyone, and trying to do so will only do two things… piss off everyone and leave them beholden to them as are paying the most… and that aint the majority of EvE players. Right now it’s a few large groups that came from outside of the game and they have NO allegiance or care for the rest of us… the majority of us… at all.

CCP has chosen a path in game development that puts them in a situation where they could pay dearly if they don’t listen to those who pray the loudest, and tithe the most…wonder what the gods make of that?

Personally, I’m glad God doesn’t have an email address… imagine the RW if he ran things the way CCP does.

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


  1. I can't imagine a smart company ignoring customer feedback. Complaints and suggestions are valuable sources of information, and can give you an idea of where to progress your game.

    You didn't see that with earlier games, because, usually, when a product is shipped, that was it, that's what you got. Now we can get rid of bugs and exploits, and unwanted play styles. Quite what is an unwanted play style is up to CCP, but it's usually better to make that decision based on what players want. After all, they're the ones who will play it.

    For example, I'm a language teacher. I know the best way to study is to practice all skills (reading/writing/speaking/listening). However, if my students want more reading practice, then that's how I will adjust my lesson. If I don't, all I'm going to do is demotivate my students, and they won't learn as effectively.

    Yes, you can't please everyone, but you can find a damn good compromise. That's what CCP does on a daily basis, and they're one of the best games developers because of it.

    And frankly I would like God's email. I have a suggestion about Pi, to see if we can make the lives of every Maths student easier.

    1. @Behind, I agree CCP should not ‘ignore’ feedback and that customer feedback is very important.
      I agree you didn’t see as much interaction between players and Devs early on, most games were one shots, or at best serial in nature with mechanics that on the whole were simply sims of RL physics… such as Doom, Halo, CoD and even Diablo use fairly standard world mechanics, if you accept energy weapons and magic as a std. mechanic.

      But you have hit my issue on the head with… “Now we can get rid of bugs and exploits, and unwanted play styles. Quite what is an unwanted play style is up to CCP, but it's usually better to make that decision based on what players want. After all, they're the ones who will play it.”

      CCP has created and supported mechanics, and repeatedly publicly stated that they support, ALL game playstyles in EVE. They support solo, small, med and large gang (via corps, both NPC and Player from single player to hundreds) and multigang (multiple corps with thousands of players in Alliances). Even ganking, griefing and scamming (IE lying, cheating and stealing) playstyles are supported in EvE by CCP… and they have explicitly said so. The ONLY “officially ‘unwanted’ playstyles are those as derive RL income from activities associated with playing EVE Online (RMT as defined by CCP) and playstyles that CCP defines as ‘harassment’ per the EULA & ToS.

      There are at least 13 officially accepted playstyles are listed on the EVE Wiki page, (https://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Careers) and 12 are listed on the Main EVE Site (http://www.eveonline.com/sandbox/). Of these, half are solo or small gang playstyles.

      Unofficially we have this large clickable poster of Things to Do in EvE (http://swiftandbitter.com/eve/wtd/)… This AMAZING poster lists 5 primary occupation categories: PvP; PvE; Industry; Mining, Player Driven; Ship Carousel (IE Metagame) with 54 listed occupations in PvP/E and 44 listed under Industry… 98 player identified playstyles…

      Here’s the rub… you say “…get rid of unwanted play styles…” What I want from the Gods of my virtuality is that they NOT limit the available playstyles… but instead, INCREASE them. WiS for one… Avatar based gameplay IN EvE, not attached to it, but inside it… and all the possible occupations/playstyles (and need I really say increased INCOME for CCP?) that could come from that.

      It’s this ‘limiting’, ‘reducing’, ‘getting rid of’ through the changes to the Laws Of Virtuality in New Eden that I worry about… changes made not for all, but because a few large groups have vocal and financial leverage… Changes made not for the good of ‘the’ game, but for the good of ‘their’ game…

      There are many who see any compromise as losing, and act like it. I am not taking an anti-CCP stance here… just voicing a concern from my web based, recycled electronic soapbox. Hopefully stirring the metapot a bit and trying to give my readers something to think on that mebbe they hadn’t afore… I am, as always, very flattered when I get comments, I feel mebbe I have touched on that goal a bit, not something I do often here… thank you.

      As for Gods email… for all we know Pi may be all that’s keeping this old verse from imploding in some fugly version of the ‘Big Suck’… who knows? I dunt want risk it, do you? =]

  2. Interesting and thought provoking. Thanks for sharing.



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