Monday, September 29, 2014

Should the Passengers be Allowed to Fly the Plane?

~or “Should the Coalitions allow CCP to change Nullsec?” 

On Sept. 28th 2014, a TMC post entitled “The Null Deal: A Statement from Sovereign 0.0” by Das Mittens. This is a “…joint statement agreed upon by the leadership of sovereign nullsec.” 

This “Joint Statement” is signed by 28 Null Alliance Leaders and 11 current CSM members (of the 28, 3 have ‘CSM’ after their names denoting past CSM membership). There are also 4 “Opinion Leaders” who signed…

(This one baffles me a trifle TBH as 2 of em are Goons, 1 is from PL and the last is from EVENews24... none of whom represent MY opinion nor the opinion of anyone I know ingame... so meh).

Basically it specifies 3 key points;

They (the Nullsec Alliances) are deeply concerned by the risk of: 
   a. another Dominion-style expansion that would make the SOV mechanics even worse than they are today… and 
   b. They hope that this ‘announcement’ “gives game developers at CCP the freedom they need to make the following drastic yet necessary changes.”

Due to this they propose the following changes to EVE Online SOV Mechanics.

1. Occupancy-based Sovereignty: 
Ownership of conquerable space should be reflected by Alliance occupancy using an “occupancy index”. This should: 
   a. Shrink the footprints of current absentee empires, 
   b. Free up large sections sov space for smaller entities and 
   c. Remove the need for Coalitions.

2. NPC 0.0 in every SOV Region: 
   a. The belief that NPC regions inside SOV null are good for PVP and small Alliances, 
   b. They wish to see small footprints of NPC 0.0 in every SOV region that does not now have them.

3. Increased Player Density:
   a. Belief that ‘vast swathes’ of SOV Null are worthless to THEIR line members and can support limited numbers of players. 
   b. They want the value of these systems increased to support a larger player population.

OK, let’s take this a step at a time… Please understand this is just one (wormholer, not nullseccer) 4 yr veteran player’s reaction…

Intro A
   - Current Nullsec SOV and power projections mechanics are not healthy for the game as a whole  - Agree
   - (inference that) CCP is incapable of making good changes without Nullsec Leadership advice and consent - Disagree

Intro B
   - This one bothers me greatly as it makes the assumption that the players in nullsec have the power to stop or allow CCP to do ANYTHING they want to or feel is necessary to THEIR intellectual and real property.

Point 1.
   - Reduce current SOV holdings – Agree
   - Free up space and systems for ‘other’players – Disagree
Does anyone seriously see CFC/GSF et al NOT immediately taking full advantage of this the second it drops? I mean really?
   - Remove current need for vast coalitions - Disagree 
As I see it there never was a NEED for Coalitions and they are, in large part, responsible for the reprehensible peaceful situation in nullsec today. Coalitions were and are a political and power tactic that happened between the nullsec Alliances as they grew in power and size. And I doubt they will “just go away” with these or any changes that don’t break the Large Alliances grip on Nullsec SOV.
   - WTF is an Occupancy Index? and who gets to code that? Goons? Too much grey area, not enough "Here is what we propose." for me.

Point 2.
   - NPC regions inside SOV Null are good for PVP & Small Alliances – Agree… except
I see CFC et al being careful to use these ‘surrounded’ players as ‘diversions’ and ‘training grounds’ for their bored line members…  They would have to be very careful to not force their new ‘chew toys’ back to Empire.
   - Increased NPC regions inside SOV null – Agree 

Point 3.
   - Vast Swathes of Null are (underused) worthless to THEIR line members - Agree
   - Systems value increased to support larger populations – Agree… except
Again, does ANYONE believe the CFC et al will just ALLOW non allied players, corps and Alliances to freely move THROUGH their SOV and take over these systems??? Oh please.

So let’s sum up…

Sov Null needs fixing, that’s easy for anyone to see… but these are not the changes that will do it. Reduced or removed Power Projection via Ttian bridges AND decreased Coalition political power will. But Das Mittens and his followers have left those little points interestingly off the plate and not up for discussion.

And the sheer damned hubris that THEY can write anything that can stop or allow CCP to do ANYTHING that they want to their game actually pisses me off just a bit.

Reducing SOV holding to just those systems their members ACTUALLY live in and HOLD via boots-in-station as twere is fine… but to play it off like the null alliances/coalitions would not take full advantage of these changes FOR their members benefit is just more of the ‘same ‘ol same ‘ol’ line of BS from Mittens… never ever forget his origins and experience as a spymaster and propagandist. Yea I bet they want to see all those poor systems values increased for OTHERS to enjoy the benefits and income from… yea… right.

No, as I see it these changes are more of the same shit we always get from nullsuc… all dressed up to sound like it’s for the good of ‘other’ players while actually being of real benefit to the large nullsec Sov holders and members. Nothing offered here makes ANY guarantees that non allied corps and non coalition groups or individual players would actually be able to effectively fly and live in any of these freed up null systems… and I would bet much we never will see any such guarantees unless or until CCP gets the balls to make it so.

Remember the guy who wrote this is here to ‘Ruin YOUR game’… he does not believe in honor in this game (I can quote him on this) and he is NOT on your side. Believing he is doing anything for YOUR good is like believing a gunbarrel is a lollipop…  go on, suck it.

OK, some additional info has come to light...

I think I agree with blastradius1 over at his blog, Blastrad Tales. His post, "Hmm..." he also looks at the "Null Deal" and I agree with his assessment.

He says generally the same thing I did, that you have to be wary when it comes to the leaders of SOVnull (and evidentally even some NPCnull entities). He asks two very pointed questions...

"Why did they do this?" His answer... and I quote; 

"These interested parties are doing their best to ensure that CCP has a tough time implementing any changes that fall outside of their manifesto by giving it the strongest unified voice possible."

Changes that fall outside of their manifesto huh? And it is in Evehermit's post, "Invalid Space" where he takes us to the first episode of CCP's WebTV show, "o7" where I believe we find the answer to this and Blastrad's second question...

"What the hell have CCP come up with that might actually make a difference to null-sec that these chaps don’t like?"

In the show "o7" there is a segment with CCP Nullarbor (Sr. Software Engineer) and CCP Greyscale (Sr. Game Designer) about 0.0 and some 'changes' that they are working on. Changes that are not about adding some NPC null inside SOV null and are not about Occupancy Based SOV... oh no...  =]

Go here... "o7". The segment in question starts at 33:30 and at 34:30 CCP Greyscale states... unequivocally... that Nullsec has become boring. That the Nullsec players have "won" EVE and you aren't supposed to be able to do that... and this needs to change.

At 35:24 they discuss changes... Imminent changes to...

Capitols, Force Projections, jumpdrives and Movment in Space. They want to "slow down" and "constrain" Force Projection in Null.

Oh my. Now that would 'bout piss off the Great Nullsec Coalitions, now wouldn't it? CCP Nullarbor speaks of "...groups of players refusing to engage because they know of the threat of a huge force that's just within a few minutes reach..."

OK well I don't know about you but I am pretty fairly convinced that the whole "Null Deal" manifesto was exactly what Blastrad thinks... A premptive " statements to head unwanted disturbance of the status-quo off at the pass."

I mean, do the great Nullsec Coalitions really wants to lose their biggest tactical and strategic advantage, Instantaneous & Overwhelming Force Projection?

CCP Greyscale and CCP Nullarbor both flatly stated these are, "significant changes" and they are "in motion" now and WILL BE included in a release BEFORE the end of 2014. 

All I can say is... FFS CCP... finally!

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Too Much Talk Talk, Not Enough OMFG…

~or “Telling Us What to Expect is Expecting Too Much of Us.”

I was perusing Noobs latest post… “Day 832 : Roid Rage and the End” and at the end he tells of a “thing” he found in space… something unusual… something unexplained… something… weird.

As he puts it,
“…encountered some weird station scenery attached to the bizzaro Gallente science station model. I'd go and make sure it's common scenery of some form but I'm rather attached to the notion that it's an alien UFO.”

It was a UBGL… (Unidentified Blinking Green Light)... seemingly attached to nothing… like a beacon, but (mebbe) not. Now Noob didn’t say if he tried to pull a show-info on it or whether it was something he could even click or target, but I prefer not to know if it was… you see, I really really liked that it was mysterious… unknown… weird.

And I think we need more of that in EvE. What I mean is I think we need less from CCP…
Less “discussion” about what is to come…
Less “transparency” over the mechanics of what is to come…
Less “What do YOU want?” asked about what is to come…

No, what we may really need is more of CCP responding like this on the forums…

“Wait, what did you say you ‘found’ out in space?”

“What’s that? You say
/you were mysteriously pulled out of warp
/you warped to a mission and instead were confronted
/you were attacked at a [wormhole/gate/sun/planet/moon/etc.] 
/your POS was camped
/your POS was bubbled
/your POS was attacked
/your POS was taken down

/[unknown] NPC faction(s)
/NPC pirates
/NPC fleet(s)

that had 
/X ship(s)
/X fit(s)
/X mods

and that you
/watched them from a distance 
/barely escaped from them
/killed them
/got totally pwned by them
/had your fleet wiped out by them
/ran screaming from them
/got PODDED by them(!?!)

and they
/used mods you had never seen before
/dropped loot you had never seen before
/had salvage you had never seen before 
/looted and salvaged YOUR ships!!
/LOLed in local... using your NAME(S)?”

"Oh my... Now that’s very strange aint it?... I wonder just where (that/them/those) came from?” “Please keep us updated on what you find ok?”

IRL we don’t get updates and blogs posts from the almighty or the gods on high entitled; “What’s Coming Soon to a Universe near YOU!” So why do we in New Eden? I mean it’s a Science FICTION Space Game right? OK, so when I read a new Sci-Fi novel or see a new Sci-Fi movie the LAST thing I want is all the spoilers given to me ahead of time… so why do we expect, or even want, all the spoilers laid out in advance in EVE? Not just laid out for us but laid out in detail, with forums and debate and even voting FFS?

I actually do wish CCP would reintroduce the wondrous element of DISCOVERY, bring back an air MYSTERY and add a touch of THE UNKNOWN to our game. Oh maybe not on every planned, proposed or considered change and/or addition (but in truth would that necessarily be ‘bad’? Really think hard on that for a bit before you answer…) but to make some, mebbe lots of the smaller but impactful, additions or changes… like say the burner missions and/or frigate only wormholes… as UNANNCOUNCED changes and/or additions… and allow us to DISCOVER them all on our own. Imagine being offered a mission or scanning down a wormhole NO ONE has EVER even heard of before…  Now THAT would be something wouldn’t it?

So CCP, if you want players to get or stay interested in EVE then let us DISCOVER the game on our own.… consider shutting up for a while, write some new and interesting code, and let the ships fall where they may. You sorta did that back in ’03 and you did a bang up job of it when you released Apocrypha… and that worked out fantastically.

Give us back a ‘verse like the one that those very first players in ’03 undocked into and the verse those lucky players first found when wormholes first appeared in the skies of New Eden… a ‘verse full of DISCOVERY and WONDER.

Modern day EVE has wayyy too much talk talk… and not nearly enough WTF and OMG… and we NEED more of that… lots more.

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

PS.  Cripes... my brother and sister bloggers will understand this...

I have re-read this post a few times since I published it...  and the problem is... now I know I have no choice but to try and come up with some :words: for a post entitled

"Let the Ships Fall Where They May...."

<facepalm> gods help me...   =\