Thursday, 5 May 2016

Neville Smit's Occupy campaign is bullshit, here's why

Over at his blog, Neville Smit has called for player uproar because of his view that new content is "mostly to the interests of players who operate in null security space."

I think this is simply a mistaken impression, a result of what CCP is hyping, not what CCP is doing.

Certainly in the trailer for the new Citadels it looked a lot cooler to be one of the wreckers rather than one of the builders. On top of that CCP's excellent staff band released a new number, "Bring on the wrecking machine."

Smit goes on to add: "It was my hope that CCP was going to turn more of their attention to enhancing game play options outside of null-sec."

Well, sir, how about a whole new type of space, that isn't null-sec?

 For the past two years CCP has worked on a grand project: player-built stargates. This isn't an addition to lowsec, hisec or nullsec. Like the Apocrypha expansion of 2009 this is a whole new type of space, different from anything we've seen before.

How's that for enhancing game play options outside of null sec? A whole new type of space.

In addition there are a lot of things happening that are huge enhancements for the game play of people all over New Eden. Citadels have caused a huge and lasting boost to the profits of miners and PI managers. There simply aren't the materials to meet the expected demand, a problem that will become more acute as more structures are added to the game. This is great news in particular for people who make P4s, which are traditionally concentrated in high sec. This is because P4s are equally profitable anywhere while extraction of P0s is much better in lower security systems.

In addition to the Citadels that support player organisations there's the new player-made stargates to be built, another huge industrial project.

For the first time Eve players destroyed more than they built. The April Monthly Economic Report shows Empire looking very healthy relative to nullsec: it has 4 of the top 5 mining regions (over 1 trillion isk worth mined in each); all 5 of the top producing regions, the top 5 regions for market value (dominated by Jita) and. in incursions, one of the highest isk/hour activities in the game.

Meanwhile in nullsec the safe and tamed North West has been burnt to the ground and is now an unrecognisable mosaic of interceptor gangs, broken POSes and new immigrants. The vast industry of The Imperium is broken allowing miners and industrialists in Empire to claim a larger share of the profits.

Low sec is flooded with content. 28,000 homeless people have moved in and are clumsily flying around trying to belt rat or do sites or fight the locals.

High sec is flooded with value - isk has become worth more, accounts are easier to plex, competition has been disrupted or destroyed, demand is up.

Now there was a time before when something similar happened, and I'd say for a similar root cause.

In 2011 outraged players shot the Jita monument in a player rebellion against the introduction of a cash shop monocle. This was ridiculous. Who gives a shit if someone puts on a cosmetic item? Monocles have now been in the game for 4 years and I couldn't name a player who has one - not because I don't interact with such but because I simply don't notice. No one does. It's negligible.

The reason players objected is from a kind of bad place: "he's getting something that I'm not." Reacting in a kneejerk way to something that really doesn't matter, that doesn't really affect you. So what if they put something in that isn't specifically for you that isn't all wrapped up in a bow in a parcel with your name on it bestowed on you with a thank you thank you thank you? Throughout its entire history Eve has worked on certain elements of the sandbox one at a time. When they worked on battleships it was not a slap in the face to anyone who does not fly a battleship.

Consider. One of the occupy Eve bloggers, Drackarn, explains his outrage by referring to the crimewatch round table. A few years ago we had a whole 6 months expansion devoted to Crimewatch, frankly an amazing amount of time for something that's really rather incidental. But CCP fixing that formed part of a greater whole, where they make the overall game better. The rest of us didn't riot when crimewatch was added even though it has zero affect in nullsec, in wormholes or on peaceful people in high sec.

It really feels to me, like the Monocle, that this is a vanity issue. Sure CCP have added a ton of things that improve PVE like burners and new drifter content, that improve industry like citadels and Crius but they didn't specifically yammer about it at Fanfest and now some poor entitled bloggers are feeling insufficiently pampered.

Everything on Neville's list of demands is something they are actively adding to the game if only he'd pay attention. NPE? They've just hired a new guy who gave a major presentation on it at the Keynote. Lore-based PVE exploration? They've been developing drifter content for a year with continual updates and new features. Variety in harvesting? They've just added new frigates designed for extracting resources from danger zones. He wants mercenary to become a viable career? Wake the fuck up, Neville, half the game is currently on mercenary contracts.

So here's my message to the "85%." Rant less, play more. The content you want is in the game and more is coming. So what if CCP has picked some other people in the community to fawn over and tell them how special they are. Get over yourselves. The road map is not for nullsec. The road map is new space, it's for whoever wants to go there when it's unveiled. Just play the damn game.


  1. Agree, always going to be someone unhappy with the outcomes. I base in High and live in NPC null. Best of both worlds. If the game isn't enjoyable, then maybe you are doing it wrong and need to try something new rather than blame CCP for not pandering to your specific needs.

  2. I don't really understand your complaint. Presumably Neville and other players are well within their rights to argue for how they think developer time should be spent, and you saying that enough time is already spent there isn't really relevant. They obviously disagree.

    > "For the first time Eve players destroyed more than they built."

    I don't think that's correct. More isk went out of the game than came in, primarily due to people buying expensive Citadel blueprints.

    1. I didn't mind when Neville posted his opinion. I got annoyed when several other people hopped on the bandwagon and started posting 85% articles.

      Also I suspect strongly that most of these people bitterly arguing for things like lore-driven exploration pve haven't done that much of the substantial drifter content.

      I take your point about the distinction between destruction and isk sinks.

    2. "Also I suspect strongly that most of these people bitterly arguing for things like lore-driven exploration pve haven't done that much of the substantial drifter content."

      In saying that the Drifter content is substantial, I think you reveal a ... lack of experience with it.

      I've been into every hive, I'm killed multiple drifters, I've done ... all but one Hive site to completion (I died in the final room). I led Brave into Conflux and multiple other capsuleers around the cluster using them.

      And the truth is, it looks deep, but it isn't.

      Every hive is essentially the same: lots of cool looking things and an absence of meaningful things to do beyond look and examine.

      The most interesting Lore-*driven* exploration are the Sleeper Caches. In 'professional' terms, the Drifter Hives aren't exploration at all.

      In the absence of development beyond a very wide, shallow aspect, don't the people who hoped for the ability to analyse the lore in depth, in the game, have a right to feel angry?

    3. @ Rob Isn't the drifters thing ongoing with new layers continually being revealed?

    4. In the sense that nothing happens until the devs realise we've done everything so far, and that they have to keep us stringing along.

      Which is a fair strategy, but it's a little obvious after the first three releases.

  3. 'Just keep trucking, in 3 years something might be done.'

    Great, I'll resub in 3 years when that stuff is done.

    "The rest of us didn't riot when crimewatch was added even though it has zero affect in nullsec, in wormholes or on peaceful people in high sec."

    Did you read the forums, blogs or whatever when they were working on Crimewatch?

    I can recall many comments specifically saying "Highsec is unimportant, there's no need to fix things, this will only be a waste of time" and so on.

    (Also, Peaceful people in Highsec still get canflipped and so on.)

    If you want a laugh, the first player response to one of the crimewatch threads is "I'm so glad I live in WHspace and don't have to deal with this".

    Seriously though, we have 0 knowledge of what the new space will be. I would not be unsurprised if CCP reveals the new space as "Jove space, which is nullsec without stargates or stations or anything, have fun building an empire which is identical to all the others."

    1. If "what do I get?" had been the criterion then Apocrypha, Eve's best expansion, would never have been released. And that was a kind of "nullsec without stargates."

    2. "was a kind of "nullsec without stargates."

      And with a whole new race, a whole new lore, a whole new everything.

      So, not exactly. :P

      (the double negative in my previous post was a mistake.)

    3. My problem with calling Eve a true sandbox is that we still cannot do the basic things that most civilizations have to make living in a country bearable.
      For example, create our own police force. In the real word, we pay taxes to get 24 hour security. In the game, I would see this as the ability to pay a certain amounts of ISK per month for varying power levels of NPC ships with infinite respawn that note when people commit crimes in your space (attacking your people) and then attack those people whenever they enter your borders.
      Another example would be that in the real world things require maintenance. In Eve, there's the famous line that a PvP corp that does industry on the side will always beat an industry corp. In real life, one does not have time to be great at industry and PvP, and you run the risk of dying and losing your knowledge forever. While this would not be a popular mechanic, death in Eve could cause a decreases in ability to craft big or Tech II ships/items, so without high-level industry characters in your corp it would be impossible to have access to higher-level tech, as things in your hangers would degrade over time and need repairing. This would also make killing industry players a strategic goal and not just a griefing one.
      Finally, in the real world people do not give all their wealth to someone else. Eve's ability to trade huge fractions of wealth from one player (for free) is highly unrealistic, as few individuals in real life would do that. Fixing this problem would help solve the problem of industry alts (or at least alts that do things for free for the benefit of only 1 character).
      The first 2 reasons, I think, are part of the reason that Null v2 (new space) looks unappealing for the majority of High-Sec players, as we lack the ability to create the security and contribute the value that exists in almost every developed society in the real world, so we stay in the one area of space that simulates it and sort of allows it.

    4. Also Rob, how are YOU complaining now? You've been dancing the happy dance non-stop since the CFC got invaded.

      You're probably the happiest player in the game right now, judging from your reddit posts.

    5. @ Sjaandi

      Sure but the game isn't simulating a world that has seen no major conflict for 70 years. Is that what the players want?

    6. Based on the fact that the majority of players choose to live in the area of space that most closely resembles that, yes.

    7. @Sjaandi

      That's an excellent, hilarious point.


      I'm feeling a little burned that "the apogee of the sandbox" is even more lacking than I imagined.

  4. CCP Seagull notably didn't offer any roadmap although she used the word a lot. She did offer an X marks the spot and begin sandboxing now magically starts here message. What was on offer was Citadels and their variants for another 12 months. That is fine but limited in its appeal. I'm sorry but overclocking my PC doing PI probably won't keep me on the edge of my seat or even sub. A medium citadel with market services would have but that is apparently too sandboxy for CCP to handle.

    1. I was sorry to see you and Gevlon quit and in posting against the Occupy idea I'm certainly not trivialising the negative impact that recent development has had on some players.

  5. Excellent reply. Neville really missed the boat on this one.

  6. I had a different problem with his post that I pointed out. He replied to it and when I shut him down on his reply he never approved that comment even though it was civil and logical.

    Go figure, I guess some people just care about starting drama than holding logical discourse.

    1. If you included foul language/rudeness, then he probably deleted it, as his guidelines say he will.

    2. Oh I didn't though. That's the funny part. Maybe he just stopped paying attention to that blog post but I doubt it. Worst thing I said is that he shot himself in the foot with his comment.

    3. Post it here if you like Niko.

    4. Niko - I appreciated your comments, sincerely, but your secondary reply really did not add much more to the discussion. And I must admit I found the tone to be very argumentative, almost hostile, so I decided not to publish it. I think you made your point more succinctly in your initial comment, and I reserve editorial privilege on my own site. But if you'd like to comment further here, please feel free to do, per Stabs' invitation. I'll read them with interest.

  7. I read and I read and I read... and then I think and I think and I think... and I still can't come up with a better reply to the 85% and all the hubbub around it than my original comment, so...

    (Basically this is a copy n paste of a comment I made over on Dire's blog, CasualEve)

    I rather preferred Hermits take on the whole thing TBH… felt it was more on point. It’s the age old razor’s edge I believe CCP has knowingly been walking for over 13 years… the Griefer and the Bear.

    The PVP Elite such as Tal who believe that EVE is, at its core a PVP Game… and all else is window dressing and in support of PVP etc., etc. etpuke…

    And the PVE players who, well IMH 5 yars of Experience, mostly believe EVE is a sandbox. Yes there are a vocal few who actually want a really SAFE game… but there are really safe space games out there and those who ‘really’ want that simply don’t play EVE…

    I believe, and again it is my experience that many if not most PVE only players here like the danger, the risk is real of the sandbox… but simply don’t enjoy PVP for its own sake. And PVPers just don’t fukkin get it.

    And CCP? Well CCP has been walking that fine razor’s edge between PVP and PVE doing all they can to keep them forever in balance and thus for ever at each others throats. They try to give each enough to keep them playing their different games, but not enough for one to overly affect the other.

    Hence that backbone of PVE, the mindless soul numbing activity, mining… so maligned and hated and yet… it is absolutely essential… without it the player run market DIES and EVE grinds to a halt. And ships, loaded with goods and fitted with modules… ships exploding, whether in PVE or P is just as absolutely essential… for without that there are no sales, the markets would quickly be glutted, stations filled to capacity and everything, “every” “thing” would be worthless… the player run market DIES and EVE grinds to a boring halt.

    No… it is not 'this' OVER 'that'… or 'this' is BETTER than 'that'… it is the eternal Yin and Yang, the male and female, the two sides of the coin… the Griefer and the Bear…. both needing each other, for without one or the other all we would have is Farmville OR Doom… but together… together, we have EVE.

    Good job CCP… keep the faith.

  8. Stabs - thanks for your passionate response to my post. I am flattered by all the attention it has received, and I do appreciate your point of view, but I'm afraid we simply disagree on how CCP is focusing their developmental efforts at present. Yes, all types of space benefit, to some degree, whenever there is a change in the game - that is due to the interdependent nature of the game's design, which is an attribute I like a lot. And yes, CCP *is* working on much of what I listed in my "manifesto", which is more of a wish list for an ideal EVE Online. But you are wrong in thinking that I feel entitled to any of it - this is CCP's game and they can build it as they see fit. Our only choice as players is whether or not to engage in the content that is provided. At Fanfest, my hope was that I would hear more about new content and features of interest to my preferred play styles, outside of 0.0. I do not begrudge those players who operate mostly in null-sec space, believe me - I'm very pleased to see that they have gotten the development attention they needed for too long. But I heard little news in the keynotes or roundtable discussions, other than a hopeful new direction for NPE, that pertained explicitly to players who play mostly in high-sec, w-spece, or low-sec. CCP's focus clearly will be on perfecting Citadels, releasing more structures, and tweaking capital ship combat, at least for the remainder of the year, if not longer. It's a fact I've come to accept, and I will be patient, and wait in hope. I'm eager to see the new space that CCP Seagull described - but from what I saw and heard, that is likely to be years away. My concern is that we will lose too many good players who don't have the patience to "play the damn game" as it is today, in hopes of something more down the road - someday.

    1. I think my somewhat kneejerk reaction was triggered not by your initial post but by seeing several other bloggers join in. We've seen these emotional shoot the monument protests before and they're not good for the game. After Incarna CCP had to lay off 150 people.

      Part of that of course was due to CCP's own poor choices but I think a lot of it was because of the player revolt.

      That said, I agree there are real grounds for concerns about design direction and the CSM but I don't think a player revolt is the best way to address those concerns.