Monday, November 3, 2014

BB60: The Measure of the Game…

~or “Shit or Get Off the Pot…”

Blog Banter # 60 - Measuring Success
Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 60th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

* * * * *

Jakob Anedalle of Jakob's EveChecklist blog asks:

With Phoebe about to land, CSM Minutes now out, and more of CCP Seagull's vision from Eve Vegas it appears CCP has a bold roadmap, is making big changes, and is willing to take a hit in the short term to see it through.

Long term, what do you see as the measurable signs that will tell us that they've succeed?
What do you see as the outcome that we'll see as players?
Is it concurrent player count or something else?

Get writing!


You have been weighed.
You have been measured.
And you have absolutely...
Been found wanting.
Welcome to New World. God save you, if it is right that he should do so.

This Blog Banter landed in my mailbox as I was reading the Minutes of the 2014 CSM Summer Summit which I had found the link to over on Aggressive Logistics. In that post CCP Seagull is quoted and I immediately looked it up in the Minutes… the quote is located in the ‘Veteran Player Retention’ section (in the PDF, pg 120)…

It starts with Sion Kumitomo -“I recognize the cultural blow that incarna was. The risks that you take by being more risky. I understand that there are real legitimate concerns now.

CCP Seagull – “For the record. This was so many years ago and we have done so much work to reach now. I, as the executive producer, am in a risk taking mode. But, in the new way that we work. Not just random things. We need to be bolder. We should be able to get over our trauma of Incarna. We need to own our game and be courageous with it. I think our players want that of us.”

Örvar Halldórsson – “We feel excited but also mildly terrified every release. We don’t try to break things or let things out of hand. But, leaving them open ended means in the long run we don’t know the unpredictability of what people may do. That has to be an accepted thing. It is an exciting thing. But, we cannot be in too much control. We can’t keep it safe because it gets boring.”

CCP Seagull - - It's time to get over incarna and start taking risks again, educated and calculated risks of course, but we need to make sure that we deliver solid content to veteran players. We have trained players to be afraid of us doing big things. It meant we put something big out that was half done and it never got touched again. Us doing something big, such as industry, means CCP is going to mess it up again and we will have to pick up the mess. We, internally, have become scared in a sense of making bolder changes to the game so that we know we can control the outcome. Because we do not want to be perceived as messing up again. We can predict what is going on. That predictability is boring everyone to death now. We need to challenge and move forward with solid plans owned by teams that are building the vision in their hands. We need to turn up the volume.


Now, what will the fallout be? Will players who’s gameplay turns on Jump capable ships, who are deeply invested in the mechanics of pre-Phoebe Force Projection and Logistics unsub in droves? Will Cyno alts, Lo and Nullsec Industrial, Capitol and Titan pilot char owners vote against the changes with their RW wallets?

Will das mittens quietly ping the CFC… “Everyone unsub for a month or two and CCP will learn to do as their told… or else.… ugly picture that.

I don’t believe so and personally I, and I believe a majority of the playerbase... even Goons, will keep the faith with CCP and with CCP Seagull’s determination, vision and her belief in US. She answered to this point, unsubs due to changes, quite directly at EVE Vegas. CSM Sugar Kyle posted the minutes she herself took at the Eve Vegas 2014 - Ship and Module Round Table with CCP Seagull & CCP Manifest. CCP Seagull was directly asked about one type of potential lost subs due to the coming Phoebe Jump changes…

Q: The reduced need for cyno alts means fewer subscriptions. Is CCP worried about this?

A: We absolutely expect there to be a reduction due to cyno accounts. We think that the balance this change is bringing will be good and bring other people to the game or back that will compensate.

And she very pointedly responds to this entitled Nulltroll (in the comments Sugar says she was pretty sure the inquirer was in PL)…

Q: …Some changes seem made to stop emergent game play which seems against the sandbox. If a group oppressively dominates, the sandbox should allow that but you are making changes to stop that.

A: When we add things into Eve it is a form of behavior shaping. Our responsibility is to make a rule set and a landscape that makes it as good a game as it can be for many people. If the environment is unbalanced it is our responsibility to try to correct the flaws or change them and not be afraid because they have always been broken. It is not a simple system. We have avoided changes for fear that changes are bad. But we want an interesting and viability world for as many people as possible so we have to make things change even if some things won't be liked.

This harks directly to her above statements that “…it’s time to get over incarna and start taking risks again.” CCP is no longer afraid of us, ‘bout fukkin time.

Long term, what do you see as the measurable signs that will tell us that they've succeed? …concurrent player count or something else?
Long term signs CCP is succeeding in the new paradigm of RW Risk vs Reward will of course be increased player activity (PCU) and over time, hopefully the sub levels will not only bounce back but start to increase once again. But it will also be in the…

…outcome that we'll see as players?
For me and my mates, the answer will be increased excitement and more enjoyable gameplay… more things to DO. Players having to figure things out once again… challenges and obstacles to overcome, riches to be won and lost, opportunities taken and missed… New players in space, new stories, new wars, new maps as new lines are established… a reinvigorated, almost New, Game… almost.

I did this once… let’s see if lighting can strike twice…


Dear CCP Seagull,
In the Minutes also in ‘Veteran Player Retention’ section this is stated…

CCP Seagull - Do we care about the veterans? Yes we do. It is on the agenda in a way it has not been in many years.

CCP Rise - After a long period of neglect around and post Incarna we need to look at more game health, maintenance and balance. Our attitude is moving from the best way to take care of veterans being just game health is to include game health and also look at newer and bigger things to add to what people can do in Eve. Stuff like the sov discussion is part of that. Things like star gates are part of that.

CCP Seagull, do you mean this? Do you really mean it? Then you HAVE to take a hard look why Incarna failed… Take a fresh look at the promise that was Walking In Stations.

The failure of Incarna was not that players didn’t want Avatars… yes, some didn’t, but many did… very many, and I feel MOST would have been very interested in FP Avatar gameplay had there just been CONTENT to USE the new Avatars IN. THAT was the only failure of Incarna… no content.

CCP Seagull, do you want new players? Do you want old players to resub? Do you want to really change the face of EVE? Let us OUT OF OUR SHIPS!!! Open the gods damned DOOR and I believe in my heart you will be AMAZED at the flood of new players… Give us a NEW WAY to play EVE… one CCP once failed at.

Goddamit I want my friend back… here is part of why he left, “A huge moment for me was Incarna.  I actually thought Incarna should have been the start of something great…” and it could have been… it should have been this.

Come on, CCP Seagull, make the dream come true, show us CCP really wants to open EVE up, to create NEW CONTENT and give us NEW THINGS TO DO… show us CCP really can deliver on its promises.

And, the dream…
Fly Wreckless and see you in the, Station… =/|)=


  1. Incarna was, probably, the biggest missed opportunity in the history of videogames. EVE could have been... something else, larger, more solid demographically speaking and better fit to face the kind of competition now coming its way. Incarna could had added a whole new universe within the universe. The possibilities where endless. And the 2007 plans were fascinating... How those plans were scratched (developers tell stories about whole sets of assets being deleted) and ended up being Incarna, maybe we will never know.

    Anyway, I don't see CCP going back to avatars anytime soon. CCP Seagull answered on that pointing that the EVE client is already too complex as to add avatar gameplay to it (her words, not mine), but that CCP didn't discarded adding that content as part of a franchise game. That was in 2013, and provided how Legion is not that kind of content, I don't count on seeing anything else than starships gameplay at least for the rest of the 2013-2016 development cycle.

    And yes, I am aware of the EA guy and the microtransaction store for avatars. But almost all of CCP's Carbon based avatar talent was fired in the closure of the Atlanta office...

    1. I agree completely. And I do know all about the lost talent, the deleted and discarded assets and content and that it is a very long shot… but long shots carry the highest odds and what a win if it came true!!!!

      Also I live my life on the premise that “If you don’t bet, you can’t win.” IE If I don’t climb up on my soapbox, face north and SCREAM from time to time… no one will ever know my thoughts and feelings on this and other matters dear to my heart… and I will never, ever, get what I want. Not that the above soapbox riding and northerly screaming will, but you never know unless you TRY...

      Hey, mine is but a small randomish moar journal than meta blog in the EVE blogshere… and yet CCP Seagull herself herself once graced my pages with her thoughts…

      Always remember, “If you don’t bet, you can’t win.”

  2. I think you'd probably spontaneously combust if you didn't climb on that soapbox from time to time Tur :)

    Haven't had the chance to formulate a response to BB60, but I can tell you one thing - I'm damned impressed with CCP. Decisive, smart, and oh my god, willing to listen. Hot damn!

    They've been daring pilots to be bold for as long as I can remember. It's very much their turn now. They took the first steps in transforming SOV. Possibly the biggest and hardest step, but they did it. Without flinching or apology, fine tuning the changes where and when it made sense.

    Wow. Can I say I'm impressed again...?

    DAMN impressed.

    1. Well… yea, there’s that. =P

      It was soo funny… I was reading the CSM Minutes and a post had already started boiling away in the grey matter when BB60 hit my inbox… I wrote the thing in like 15 minutes… already knew exactly what I was gonna rant about!

      In the years since Incarna I have wondered in my heart of hearts if the Summer of Rage had really scared CCP that badly. I mean, yea it was a strong protest, and I even took part in shewtzing the Jita monument and out at the Caldari Titan… but it was for me more just “I was there” than any rage on my part… at the time I still expected that the next patchspansion would include CONTENT for the new avatars… my rage came later when CCP backed out on FPgameplay in EVE due to :fear:…

      Their response to Incarna was not “Fearless” it was ‘fearful’ … CCP became scared of their own customers, us, their playerbase. THAT was the real outcome and that is what WE are responsible for…

      Yes, I say WE. That was not CCP’s fault. The loudmouthed assholes of New Eden, the ones who smelled fear… attacked and kept on attacking… and we got exactly what we asked for… a company no longer willing to take chances, to do BOLD things... because we didn’t back them up when things were not ‘perfect’… I blame us for that.

      But I also blame CCP for not telling us to “Shut up, we know what we’re doing and if you don’t like it… HTFU or go play WoW.” THAT should have been their response. And that should have been followed by WiS and all it promised… but we can ‘shouldha, coulda, woulda’ all we want…

      What we needed, and thank the gods finally have again, is exactly what CCP Seagull is doing now.

      Impressed? We got our old CCP back… OH HELLS YES!

    2. As long as it's the old CCP that came up with things like Apocrypha and not the constantly promising things they don't deliver on, etc :)

      I think CCP overreated to Incarna. The protest and rage was more about players fed up with being promised the moon and CCP failing dismally time and again. Instead, CCP decided to button up.

      My dream for the game would be if CCP could combine expansions and additions like Apocrypha with the very much needed work they've been doing on bug fixing and polishing/tweaking existing items.

      Let's hope the days of "two steps forward, one step back" are gone and they'll aim for Two steps forward.

  3. By the way, great quote. Happen to be watching KT atm :)


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