Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Few Controversial Opinions

When it comes to the CSM, I believe honesty isn't the best policy--it's the only policy. Candidates should put their ideas on the table, make the case for those ideas, and let the votes fall where they may. Too often, voters have been presented with candidates who tap dance around their ideas. That's not the point of the election, though. An EVE player's vote should not go to the candidate who most impressively skirts around the fact that he wants to remove non-consensual PvP from highsec. Instead, voters should cast their ballots for the candidates who are in favor of changes that would actually benefit EVE. When asked whether highsec income is overpowered and needs a big nerf, a candidate should respond, "Of course it is, and of course it does." Such a question should not be an invitation to make an evasive panegyric about protecting "new players".

With that in mind, I would like to disclose some of my more controversial opinions about EVE, the CSM, and CCP--ones that I have not spoken of very much up to this point. I know "real talk" isn't in the title of this post, but you'll permit me, won't you? The picture of my face should serve as ample warning of the realness ahead.


1. I'm not interested in maximizing the number of EVE subscribers.

It has become fashionable of late to justify changes to EVE based not on whether they would make the game more enjoyable or interesting to play, but rather, whether the changes would increase or decrease the total number of EVE players. In following the CSM campaign, if you have dipped your toes outside of MinerBumping, it's likely that you have heard CSM candidates fretting over how to get more people playing EVE, and how to prevent new players from quitting. The answer always seems to be to make highsec safer and more lucrative.

I find the concern over increasing the number of EVE players to be extraordinary. I can see why the bean counters at CCP care, but why would the players care? When was the last time you played another video game where the players gave much thought (or any) to the total number of players? Maybe if a game was dying, and there was a risk of not being able to fill a server, or something. By contrast, EVE's subscription levels have been rising.

Some people act as though they think increasing the number of players, even at the cost of compromising the core of the game, would improve the experience of playing the game. Having spent some time in highsec, I can tell you that this is absolutely not the case. There are a lot of highly-populated systems in highsec. There are many players in those systems, but that in and of itself doesn't add anything to the experience. Adding 20% more silent, AFK players to a system doesn't make a difference. Boosting EVE's subscription numbers by adding more risk-averse theme parkers would, likewise, make no positive difference to any of us. Why sacrifice anything about EVE for the sake of attracting them?

Imagine you live in a town with a bunch of greasy burger joints and one good Italian restaurant. Assuming you enjoy Italian food, would it make any sense for you to encourage the restaurant to change its menu in favor of serving hamburgers, for the sake of driving more traffic into the restaurant? Unless the restaurant were going out of business, it would probably never even occur to you, as a customer, to give thought to how the restaurant should attract more customers. You might say "why not serve both burgers and Italian food?" But remember, you can't cater to both the risk-free theme park crowd and the non-consensual PvP crowd at the same time.

The bottom line is, whether you log on to EVE at the same time as 50,000 other players or 60,000, you won't notice any difference. You will notice a difference if game mechanics or features are changed in a negative or positive way.

2. I'm not interested in maximizing CCP's revenue.

In the same vein, it's extraordinary to me that so many CSM candidates care so deeply about maximizing CCP's revenue. Not just making sure that CCP stays in business, mind you, but maximizing the money they make. It's astonishing to see EVE players go into cost-benefit analysis mode about whether fixing risk/reward will cost CCP money, or whether non-consensual wardecs drive away more subscriptions than they bring in.

Again, I can understand the accountants at CCP stressing over this stuff, but the players? To borrow the restaurant metaphor again, when was the last time you ordered something from a restaurant's menu based on whether it was the most profitable item for the restaurant? Probably never. Yet EVE players are suddenly very concerned about how non-consensual PvP--which has been in the game for a decade--will affect CCP's financials, at the very moment subscriptions are at an all-time high. Something very peculiar is happening, no?

"But James 315," you say, "Don't you know CCP is a business? The CSM needs to convince CCP that their desired game changes will benefit the company, as well as the players. They're just speaking in a language CCP will understand."

I don't buy it. CCP is a company, but it's a company that makes computer games. There should be at least one person on staff whose "language" consists of "this will make a better game" rather than "this will make you money". Besides, where's the precedent for this? Did people say "Nerfing missiles will boost subscriptions" or did they say "Drakes and Tengus are overpowered"? Where are the people telling CCP "if you fix the sovereignty system, you'll make a lot of money"? I've said it before, and here I go again: When was the last time you played a game where the players advocated a fix--or advocated the continuation of a broken mechanic--based on whether it would make the company money, as opposed to making a better game?

To illustrate my point further, I'd like to take a quote from Trebor Daehdoow's interview with Crossing Zebras. I often pick on Trebor, partly because he's the only CSM representative who's declared for reelection, partly because he wants to be the CSM Chairman (and might get the job), and partly because he's the most open about his bad ideas. Here's a quote from that interview, where Trebor explains the cost-benefit approach:
Trebor: "...If non-consensual wardecs are costing CCP a lot of subscriptions, then that's resources that could be used to hire more devs, to fix other areas of the game."
This is an interesting argument: Give up war, and CCP will have extra money to improve something more important. Of course, there's no guarantee that CCP would use that extra money to fix your favorite part of EVE, or even to spend it on the development of EVE at all. What happens once you start taking CCP down that road of carebearization for profit? You don't need to marathon a bunch of The Twilight Zone episodes to predict the ironic plot-twist at the end of the story. Here's a quote from the December CSM Minutes:
UAxDEATH disagreed and brought up an example of priorities like POSes, "you promised us those things". [CCP] Greyscale replied that coming into meetings with the mindset of CCP promising a certain feature is a fallacious, and flat-out wrong, mindset. With conversation now completely deteriorating, [CCP] Unifex took control of the conversation and spoke about POSes. Unifex stated that what CCP did was spend effort and prototype what would make a good POS system. It would, however, only affect the group of people who manage POSes. Focusing that amount of time and effort on some small singular aspect of the game and delivering only that "is what will kill the business".
Is it possible that instead of hiring more devs to fix other areas of EVE, CCP might be inclined to put extra resources into the further carebearization of EVE (since you've conceded that theme parking boosts revenue), or to spend it on Dust or World of Darkness, or some other profitable enterprise? That might be something worth considering before you make the Faustian bargain of trading a little theme parkification for an extra feature somewhere else.

I said this was going to be real, so let's be real. Do I care about CCP's subscription numbers and revenue? Of course I don't. As long as EVE is a game worth playing, I would prefer that CCP stay in business. Apart from that, it makes no difference to me how much money they're making. It doesn't necessarily follow that EVE will be a better game if CCP is fat and happy. (In fact, most artists and creative people don't do their best work under such conditions.) Don't get me wrong, I'm sure CCP's employees are nice people. I'm equally sure that the employees of CCP's competitors are nice people, too. If and when I am elected to the CSM, I will represent EVE's players, not its owners. What matters is that EVE is a good game, and that's my only agenda.

3. For CSM candidates, being right (or wrong) on the issues trumps everything else.

The good, decent people of the EVE community may be horrified by Trebor's desire to wipe out non-consensual wardecs in favor of making CCP some extra cash. On that basis, you might think it would be a bad idea to have Trebor on the CSM, right? Not so, according to these people: In Trebor's reelection thread in Jita Park, he quotes many members of CSM7 and even a few of his rivals for CSM8, who each endorse him or encourage others to vote for him. It's interesting to note the content of these endorsements. His supporters repeatedly cite his knowledge, experience, and hard-workingness. Not a single one of them cites Trebor's policy positions as a reason to vote for him.

It's difficult to argue against knowledge, experience, and hard work. But isn't it also kind of important to know toward what purpose all of that knowledge, experience, and hard work is going? Let's suppose, hypothetically, that I'm against making highsec into a risk-free theme park so CCP can maximize its profits. Wouldn't it be better, from my perspective, for someone like Trebor not to work hard? If I want to keep wardecs in the game, wouldn't it be better for me if Trebor had less experience and knowledge? Fellow CSM representative Hans Jagerblitzen says Trebor "is respected by CCP and his advice is listened to." That's great, if and only if Trebor gives good advice. It's bad news if Trebor gives CCP bad advice.

I'm not sure where people with the opposite view are coming from--do they want to have "gudfites" on the CSM with a skilled opponent? Do they want CSM to be a reflection of the views of the entire community, on the assumption that CCP will somehow magically agree with the right ones? Personally, I feel that if a CSM representative is in favor of disastrously bad ideas, it's better that he be incompetent and show up late to meetings (if at all), and to do as little work as possible. In the same way, it would be better to have a row of empty chairs at the CSM meetings than to have a bunch of polite, diligent people hard at work trying to convince CCP that they'll make more money with a theme park.

80 comments:

  1. "What matters is that EVE is a good game, and that's my only agenda."

    Good luck.

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    2. You figured out that my poster was sarcastic? :)

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  3. The only thing that i don't like about your platform is that you consider high sec as a "newbie area".

    In this regard, i much prefer Malcanis plans for highsec, which allow end game activities that put player interactions as the center of these activities.

    However, i pretty much agree with most of what you're saying.

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  4. A player who represents the players best interest and not the company. To show the company what the already existing players want and not players that might sign up. To help make Eve a good game and continue that path rather than make CCP more money that could go anywhere based off players who *might* sub vs. the players who already play Eve... Yeah, sounds like this is how it should be.

    It's reassuring that someone has stepped up to do this, James 315. Whether you're a miner, industrialist, mission runner, pirate, ganker, FW, blob warfare, sov warfare, trader, FC -whatever, what makes this game great is that anything can happen. But it seems slowly over time this is being reduced. And if non-consensual PvP is the next to go, then this will become a sad, sad game.

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    1. If non-consensual PvP goes, I'll go with it. The concept of the galaxy being a harsh place where anything can happen is what drew me to the game. I was disappointed to find it wasn't quite as harsh as the promos made it sound. Mining is actually the most dangerous profession in hisec, because you pretty much have to sit in the open. I bet if all I did was run missions I could do so virtually unmolested forever in hisec.

      Luckily for me, I'm also an early backer of Star Citizen. So if Eve goes to the carebares, maybe Star Citizen will take up the mantel of PvP.

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    2. Exactly and well said Starfox. A big part of why we log in to EVE is the thrill of the unknown. The fact that at any time something random can happen that may result in the loss of your ship or some other form of non-consensual PvP (combat, market, wardec, anything).

      For those wanting a safer Highsec what do you think has contributed to EVE's longevity and increase in subscriber base. I will guarantee it isn't sucking ice out of a rock eight hours a day.

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    3. Malcolm, Star Citizen will almost certainly *not* pick up the mantel of PvP. I *think* they're planning on being the place non-consensual PvPers will want to go, so if anything, back them so people who disagree with your playstyle in this game will leave.
      -Bantara

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    4. Star Citizen will be different "shards". There will be PvP, but it will be mostly PvE "missions" ala Wing Commander on steroids from what I have heard as its primary game. So I predict you will have a Trammel/Fellocca UO type split with dead PvP servers and SWTOR missioners. Even on "PvP" shards, I doubt you will be able to affect the world through your actions other than what is scripted. Nor will there be penalties for bad decisions.

      Please tell me if I have misread but this is what I gather from SC.

      While this is fine and good, a substitute and replacement for Eve, it will not be.

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  5. Today is the start of the application process. I hope you've scanned your passport and filled out the requisite forms already.

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    1. The Dev Blog on the application process is at

      http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=74594

      for anyone who wants to know how it works.

      Bing

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  6. James, how about we get some answers to these questions? Is it not important for a CSM candidate to answer questions players have about their platform and CSM qualifications so we know if they're going to be a wasted seat or not?

    * “- Concord and faction police will take twice as long to respond, effectively making it twice as easy to be ganked.

    - The firepower of sentry guns in highsec will be cut in half. I think it's excessive at the moment.

    - The "boomerang" will be brought back. Concord will still kill you, but you can warp away as before. Boomerang ganking required sufficient skill, effort, and luck that I consider it a fair, legitimate tactic.”

    How is the ability to gank in high sec currently unbalanced? People like gevlon (http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/) have been showing how to make pretty much risk free piles of ISK via solo ganking. Why does the risk/reward of this career need to be further made easier?

    * “- We'll shift the focus back to belts. I don't like anomalies, grav-sites, or whatever it is that people scan for. I'd prefer to have PvE done in belts. Probing is an activity few normal people enjoy, so it adds nothing to the game, and it makes things more difficult for predators. Pirates should be able to find their prey by D-scanning the asteroid belts.”

    What evidence do you have that probes add nothing to the game? Plenty of people use exploration as a career path, and combat probes sell at a brisk pace. Since you want to promote active PvE why do you want to take away the ability of an active player to put some time in to make themselves a harder target? Is this not a legitimate tool that the industrialist can use in the industrialist <-> pirate interaction of the PvP food chain? If you want to take this tool away, what tools should an industrialist use to “win” the industrialist <-> pirate interaction other than not playing (running away) or forcing other players to just sit there waiting in defense for a pirate to decide to initiate an encounter?

    *“ Remember, no pirates, no food chain.”

    If you succeed in driving industrialists en masse into low/null sec, and force them to work in already provided warp points that pirates don’t have to expend effort to find then everyone’s going to want to be a pirate. Remember, no industrialist, no food chain... What do you say to that?

    * Since your only power as a CSM member is via discussion and synthesis have you shown any evidence anywhere of doing this? Or will you just be repeating your current stance on issues throughout the year and not adapting to the realities of the situation?

    * As a CSM candidate how are your going to interact with your constituency? If you are already not responding to any comments in MinerBumping.com, how do we know you’re going to find the time to do this when you’re busy with the CSM workload? Other candidates show no problems being able to interact with the players on their blogs. Do you have a twitter account?

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    1. I believe Gevlon is stating the loss his victims take, not the value that he actually scoops/salvages from the wreck.

      Gevlon is famous for overstating his earnings.

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    2. Gevlon is famous for being followed by a herd of folks that hate radical individualism, and spend a lot of their free time calling him a retard and a liar.

      His earnings in station trading are as he has stated. TEST had to give up billions of Gevlon donated ISK each month because a bunch of reddit hippies were offended by his Randite posts in reddit, and threatened to sit down strike TEST.

      As for his statements about ganking, you are correct. He is talking about ISK efficiency, and losses by his victims.But by sticking with Catalysts, he is doing a bit better than breaking even on the loot.

      He has announced in his blog that he has left the New Order, by the way. He feels we aren't serious enough about "winning" EvE. He's decided that "winning", at least at this time, consists of generating the highest ISK losses of any group. I'm not sure where he is going to recruit for this.

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    3. @Poetic, yep you're right he's just going off damage done, dropped modules is around half of what he's losing on the gank. High sec ganking is not making him money but will that be the case after the above high sec changes are done? Still, I guess one might question if being able inflict 40-50 mil of damage at the cost of 5m in a pretty much risk free solo way is balanced? The only cost is security status which New Order has shown with ganking alts is really not much of an issue.

      You can obviously get a better tank and choose higher sec status systems to mine in, but after the high sec changes James is championing, that is most definitely not the case. James is campaigning on barges should only be used in low/null but over there, and with the other platform points I've highlighted its even worse for the industrialist. James please correct me if I'm wrong but seems like your platform is about making PvE a group only activity while expanding the ease and profit of the solo pirate to prey on it. Does the person that enjoys the PvE aspects of the game have to be a slave to group logistics to play the game while at the same time moving ganking and pirate gameplay to be as solo and effortless as possible?

      I think his statements such as "Probing is an activity few normal people enjoy, so it adds nothing to the game" and then advocating for an immediate removal from the game are very telling that James has no understanding much less empathy for people who play the game in different ways than him. He's lacking in foresight that if he drives everyone away from the other roles in the PvP food chain he's doing just as much destruction or maybe more than he's trying to fix.

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    4. @ Agent Trask in either case if Gevlon is actually making a profit on a high sec gank or not the point still stands that suicide ganking being at all time lows doesn't have much to do with how easy it is to do. Its plenty easy and very low risk for how much damage is done, what are the reasons to move things further in that direction? If you're doing it for as james said "just in case some players don't get the message" and expecting that to send them to low/null where things are stacked even more against them and its even easier for their predators to maneuver then that shows a fundamental lack of knowledge of game design. Its a one way ticket to no industrialist activity occurring outside of highly protected coalition space.

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    5. Ermmmm, no, gallego.

      If highsec mining becomes difficult, the AFK crowd will leave.

      The price of minerals will go up.

      Highsec mining will attract coordinated and defended groups out to make ISK at that point ( provided nothing else is done to nerf highsec mining income ).

      Ships will become more expensive.

      CCP will end up selling even more PLEX to pure PvPers, if you are worried about CCP.

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    6. @Agent Trask Do tell how does one defend a high sec mining operation? Warp ins are provided by scouts that can operate with impunity, station camps are avoiding by insta bookmarks and ECM defenders are counter ECMed themselves. And the most important factor of it all is that these "defenses" require combat pilots to sit there and wait while its the attackers that can just move on and keep playing an engaging game. There is no point where the highsec mining will attract a player base when the pirating is far more lucrative, far more interesting and with far less risk in the James CSM platform world.

      If the industrialist can't "win" an interaction with a pirate or ganker with equal resources then there will no longer be industrialists for those pirates or gankers to interact with. James's platform is an entitlement rich handout to the pirates and gankers without any foresight that it will bankrupt the very resource that drives their gameplay. It has no understanding of the symbiosis between the industrialist and the pirate / ganker.

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    7. Defending hisec mining operations is very difficult. The very rules that are there to protect the risk-averse also keep them from being able to protect themselves. They've given up responsibility for protecting themselves to CONCORD. If they were in lowsec or null, they could more easily protect themselves, but yes they'd have to do it in a group. Instead of mindlessly mining all day by themselves, they'd have to schedule corp mining ops. The op would need miners, orcas, scouts at gates and stations, and defenders. All those players working together to accomplish the task. That sounds like a ton of fun to me.

      "And the most important factor of it all is that these "defenses" require combat pilots to sit there and wait while its the attackers that can just move on and keep playing an engaging game."

      Yes, so the miners would have to split the take from mining with the other players. It would be part of the mining op.

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    8. You defend it by having scouts in the nearby systems.

      You try to stay alligned.

      When red flashies show up in an adjacent system, you dock up or leave.

      This stuff is pretty simple. But AFK miners can't do it.

      This is NOT an entitlement. It is a simple expectation that miners have to play in the same game we do, and must stay at the keyboard, and use their minds and skills to avoid destruction.

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    9. >you dock up or leave™
      >you dock up or leave™
      >you dock up or leave™
      >you dock up or leave™
      >you dock up or leave™
      >you dock up or leave™

      >play in the same game we do

      emphasis on "play"

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    10. @gallego

      It's not clear what you mean by "win", but an industrialist shouldn't be able to destroy a ganker's ship. That'd be silly, seeing as how the ganker certainly can't out-mine the industrialist.

      But for industrialists, like rabbits, living to mine another day can typically be counted as a "win". Furthermore, when other miners are ganked out of the business the surviving miners will be in position to reap the rewards that come with a reduced supply and increased costs.

      Basically, good miners will be rewarded more and bad miners will be punished more. That seems like a good outcome.

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    11. @Malcolm Shinhwa

      "Yes, so the miners would have to split the take from mining with the other players. It would be part of the mining op."

      yeah but look what you're asking here, you're asking that for industrials to play the game they have to convince people who enjoy fighting to just sit there and wait for maybe a pirate to come and engage when they could just move on to another target. Why would I ever want to do that as a combat pilot? Especially when I could be the pirate actually getting into engagements when I want? No thanks, mindlessly farming a spawn in Everquest sounds way more fun than that.

      @Anonymous

      ">you dock up or leave™"

      Exactly! Not playing the game is not a valid game mechanic.

      @Anonymous 2

      "It's not clear what you mean by "win""

      No I certainly don't mean that an industrialist should be able to out dogfight a pirate 1v1 but there are certainly a host of other outcomes and mechanics that can be considered a "win". For a game to have a healthy player v player interaction which promotes players wanting to play both roles in the game it needs to offer mechanics where players of equal resources (skill points, players involved, etc.) have ways to "win" the encounter. If that's not the case player population will quickly gravitate to the side which is easier / more powerful and that interaction ceases to exist because there's no longer players on the other side.

      So for pirate v industrialist, combat is obviously going to favor the pirate both by being in a combat ship vs indy ship and the combat SPs the pirate has that the industrialist has spent on industry skills instead. So lets look at possible things that could be in the game that could give the industrialist a "win":

      *Probe sites (currently in the game but james wants to nix them). These offer the indy more secluded places to operate buying them a time buffer against the pirate or even an immunity against the pirate that doesn't care to fit probes. That pirate needs to fit probes or bring a friend that does.
      *Add low/null sec only modules that increase the tank of an indy ship dramatically but prevent the use of warp stabs. Now the indy ship could maybe tank the pirates long enough to send the bat signal to his friends and have them come in to help protect him. Maybe force a little having to guard gates and scout nearby systems on the pirates.
      *Add some sort of active evasion device that when used skillfully allows the miner to avoid the pirate. Hell so many are content with just having someone at the keyboard actively monitoring things is all it should take to avoid pirate attacks than a simple cloaking device that stops you from mining would suit that purpose. Pirate could try to decloak them, etc. but I think it should require more engagement than simply clicking a button to cloak and have more vulnerability to being discovered somehow.

      I'm sure we can think of other things, that are hard or easier to implement, etc. etc. But you see all those mechanics require an active miner, being active at the keyboard and playing the game. But they also involve a miner _playing the game_ and not just docking up because that's his only way to interact with a pirate.

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    12. gallego: ... But they also involve a miner _playing the game_ and not just docking up because that's his only way to interact with a pirate.

      Excuse me? But exactly how else does an UNARMED ship interact with a pirate?

      1 ) They get exploded.
      2 ) They run like hell.
      3 ) They run like hell, while someone else engages the pirate in combat.

      And now you want to add a fourth option:

      4 ) CCP has the hand of God reach down into New Eden, and prevent the evil pirate from harming miners in Hello Kitty EvE.

      Delete
    13. It is easy to defend a mining op. Instant locking ships with strongest medium guns, ecm, shield logistics and fleet boosts. It just would require socialization for it to be anything but hideously boring for all involved. That rules out AFK mining.

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    14. @ Agent Trask

      How in the world do you take a quote from a post to ask "how else does an UNARMED ship interact with a pirate?" when that very post has 3 such examples??

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    15. "how else does an UNARMED ship interact with a pirate?"

      Arm himself? Seems pretty basic to me.

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    16. Gallego: Your three example all fell under what I described as option four:

      "4 ) CCP has the hand of God reach down into New Eden, and prevent the evil pirate from harming miners in Hello Kitty EvE."

      Play the same game we do, Gallego. Not current Ultima Online, or some othe3r obnoxious carebear themepark. If you have a problem with other player's acts, harden the fuck up, in the words of CCP, and band together and deal with the problem in game.

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    17. @ Agent Trask

      lolz, You're stuck on pirate bingo space of "I demand the welfare of targets that I don't have to work for and don't shoot back". It is you that are demanding the very shooting gallery that's in every themepark around the world...

      Pro tip, you might enjoy this game a lot more than eve: http://www.mobygames.com/game/nes/duck-hunt

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    18. @gallego: So, in your understanding and interpretation, by arguing that his targets should use their brains and be harder targets, Trask is demanding easy targets? That's inane.

      Let's examine some of your proposed alternatives:

      "Hell so many are content with just having someone at the keyboard actively monitoring things is all it should take to avoid pirate attacks than a simple cloaking device that stops you from mining would suit that purpose"

      This sentence looks like the result of google translate. Do you speak English, or are you using GT? I'm going to take a wild guess that what you're trying to say is that CCP should put in a cloaking device, which can't be used while mining, to protect miners. You're in luck. That already exists!

      "Add low/null sec only modules that increase the tank of an indy ship dramatically but prevent the use of warp stabs."

      This is irrelevant here, we're not talking about low/null.

      "Probe sites (currently in the game but james wants to nix them). "

      As you stated, these are currently in the game.

      Looks like you have no actual suggestions for fixing high-sec mining, as 2 of your 3 suggestions were already in the game, and the third is not a highsec suggestion. Apparently you're the one demanding easy targets :)

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    19. @ Audrik

      I am talking about low/null sec mining. I'm asking James 315 to clarify, and get into specifics about his platform. Which as he states drives mining into low/null, his whole platform is about driving miners out of high sec so why we'd be talking only about high sec mining in a post James platform world? Not sure where you got that impression.

      You're right about being able to fit a cloak on a barge, for some reason I was thinking there were fitting issues which there doesn't seem like there are. So in a post James 315 world industrialists would have that one option, still not sure why he wants to take probe sites out of the game?

      Where have I ever asked for an easy target?

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    20. " his whole platform is about driving miners out of high sec so why we'd be talking only about high sec mining in a post James platform world? Not sure where you got that impression."

      I got that impression from reading the thread. It's not my responsibility to know why people talk about what they talk about, I'm only responsible for observing what they are talking about and then staying on topic.

      Whatever, though, I'll respond to your actual proposed module: it doesn't make sense. A module that increases tank, but only while you're in low/null? That is not a reasonable module, and there's zero chance CCP will implement it. So I'll revise my earlier comment: two suggestions that are already in the game, and one that has zero chance of ever being in the game.

      " So in a post James 315 world industrialists would have that one option, still not sure why he wants to take probe sites out of the game?"

      I think he's referring to specific types of probe sites which people complain about, certain heavily farmed HS sites, and the nullsec sites which spawn from system upgrades, I'm not sure about it though. He hasn't been mentioning any changes to the probing system recently, so it's dropped from being a not very important topic, to one with zero importance. Moving on.

      "Where have I ever asked for an easy target?"

      In your penultimate comment in this thread, as I've already explained.

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    21. "I'm only responsible for observing what they are talking about and then staying on topic."

      BWAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA. HAHAHAHAHAAAA.

      Going by most of your other posts in other threads, you do the exact opposite. You always replace your inability to provide competent logical arguments by derailing & going off topic and/or being very childish/abusive. Then you'll start crying, kicking your legs and throwing your toys out of your pram because someone pointed out you how stupid and silly your comments are. They usually have a point, but for you that's too much. You'll carry on kicking and screaming and get very upset because you were made to look like the incompetent fool you portray. You'll keep crying about the naughty internet people who called you a bad name (again, they often had a point). You try to drag any discussion down to name calling and who has been naughty, all of which is a billion AUs away from the original discussion. Inevitably, people get bored with your howling and bawling and they leave. You'll then sometimes declare yourself "victorious".

      That in a nutshell is your way of interacting on forums audrik. I do feel sorry for you, I really really do.

      Delete
    22. @Audrik

      There's already of modules and ships that only work certain security zones, why would an industry tank module be off the table? The idea is that the industrial would take a while to kill, at least by the solo pirate, enough time that if the industrial has help near by they can survive long enough to have the help come if they immediately mobilize. There's nothing new about a fat target that takes a long time to bring down but can't really fight back themselves, its been a MMO standard for a long time. The reason for it not working in high sec is because its not right that an industrial can tank for that long while under the protection of concord, industrial ability to tank in high sec is already fine as is.

      You're going to have to connect the dots for me audrik on this me asking for easy targets thing. My penultimate comment references pirate bingo and agent trask's desire to shoot ducks and win oversized stuff animals rather than play eve.

      Is the suggestion of a low sec long tank so that friends can be called to engage the pirates a call for easy targets? Are pirates unable to engage ships that have guns on them?

      You're very good at quoting me, please be explicit here too.

      Delete
    23. @anon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

      @gallego: Those modules that don't work in high or high/low, don't work there because concord has forbidden them. It is not sensible that concord would limit a pure tank module, they never have before, have they? I don't really want to argue about this, I say CCP will never implement that, you say they will...now we can see who is right. If I turn out to be wrong, then I'll say "wow, I was wrong, I never thought CCP would implement that module" It's not a big deal, why make it one?

      "
      You're very good at quoting me, please be explicit here too."

      Ok, combine these three quotes, with what I've already explained:

      " Its plenty easy and very low risk for how much damage is done, what are the reasons to move things further in that direction?"

      "@ Agent Trask

      lolz, You're stuck on pirate bingo space of "I demand the welfare of targets that I don't have to work for and don't shoot back"."


      "So for pirate v industrialist, combat is obviously going to favor the pirate both by being in a combat ship vs indy ship and the combat SPs the pirate has that the industrialist has spent on industry skills instead. So lets look at possible things that could be in the game that could give the industrialist a "win":

      *Probe sites (currently in the game but james wants to nix them). These offer the indy more secluded places to operate buying them a time buffer against the pirate or even an immunity against the pirate that doesn't care to fit probes. That pirate needs to fit probes or bring a friend that does.
      *Add low/null sec only modules that increase the tank of an indy ship dramatically but prevent the use of warp stabs. Now the indy ship could maybe tank the pirates long enough to send the bat signal to his friends and have them come in to help protect him. Maybe force a little having to guard gates and scout nearby systems on the pirates.
      *Add some sort of active evasion device that when used skillfully allows the miner to avoid the pirate. Hell so many are content with just having someone at the keyboard actively monitoring things is all it should take to avoid pirate attacks than a simple cloaking device that stops you from mining would suit that purpose. Pirate could try to decloak them, etc. but I think it should require more engagement than simply clicking a button to cloak and have more vulnerability to being discovered somehow."

      So, you say suicide ganking is currently easy. You refer specifically to Agent Trask and wanting easy targets. Since he only operates in highsec, his only targets are highsec suicide ganks. You made a list of suggestions to benefit industrialists. Two of your suggestions are already in the game. The third is only in low/null. Whether or not low/null is relevant to this subthread, whether or not CCP will ever implement your third idea, it is definitely true that low/null modules have nothing to do with highsec suicide ganking. Therefore, you've asked for changes that leave Trask's easy targets completely unchanged--i.e., you've asked for easy targets to remain in the game. Simple deductive logic.


      Delete
    24. @Audrik

      hmm, you're missing quite a bit of the picture here, let me fill it out for you.

      Agent Trask asked how could an indy "win" the indy <-> pirate interaction without just fleeing, I gave those examples at ways that could be done. Those have nothing to do with the discussion point of making concord slower to respond which is a separate issue having specifically to do with making suicide ganking even easier than it currently is. Let me explain my position on suicide ganking in greater detail so you don't have to jump to the incorrect conclusion that you have.

      The interaction between Indy tank and concord force/response is currently fine. The problem with suicide ganking that makes it currently too easy is not that, its that all suicide ganking comes down to currently is a mathematical equation that can be done ahead of time, under no time pressures and in complete safety. Once the decision to initiate the gank is made, the outcome is determined, no risk is taken by the ganker unless they just don't know what they're doing. The ganker pays a paltry sum to inflict a disproportionate amount of damage commensurate to the amount of risk & effort they've put in. And the very rules of high sec prevent the ganked side of the engagement from defending, guarding, etc. in a reasonable way. Kill rights and outlaw status are complete failures in discouraging this activity because the ganks are committed by alts that are never logged in outside the gank and are provided with instant warp points by other characters that operate with impunity.

      What is in need of a change concerning suicide ganking, is not limiting the ability to gank, but increasing the risk/pressure to perform on the ganker.

      Delete
    25. Here's my response to your new argument: I mine in highsec, on the character named Audrik Villalona. People have tried to gank me many times. Every time, the ganker has gone down in flames, while my mining ship has survived intact. This is because I train the relevant fitting/tank skills, and fit tank to my barge, mine ATK, etc.

      You can argue until you're blue in the face that it's impossible for me to defend against ganking in a reasonable way; but if you really want to convince me, come gank me, succeeding where others have failed. Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is, and agree to prove your point in game? Let me know if the challenge is on, or not.

      This may not seem like a fair challenge;
      but it's my response to your unfair scenario, where you start the discussion with the ganker already having spent time and effort searching out an improperly tanked target. I reject your scenario and replace it with my own, where we start with a ganker presented with a challenge to gank a properly fitted mining ship. If you reject my alternate scenario, it makes it clear that the "unfairness" in your scenario, where the ganker is very likely to succeed against the untanked and unwary mining ship, is actually very fair. The ganker put in effort to fit properly and search targets, at the point where you start the discussion: " Once the decision to initiate the gank is made, the outcome is determined, no risk is taken by the ganker unless they just don't know what they're doing. ", this effort and skill has already been expended. You start the process in media res, in an obvious attempt to hide the fairness of the activity through skipping it. When the decision to initiate the gank is made, the gankee has already failed to tank properly, and failed to notice the scout and take appropriate action to evade it. He has chosen his fate.


      p.s.

      " Kill rights and outlaw status are complete failures in discouraging this activity because the ganks are committed by alts that are never logged in outside the gank and are provided with instant warp points by other characters that operate with impunity."

      Why do these other characters operate with impunity? I thought ganking was impossible to defend against? If there's a threat which is impossible to defend against, then operating with impunity is not possible, no? Don't you see the contradiction in your own argument?

      Also, saying that outlaw status is a complete failure in discouraging the activity because the ganks are committed by alts that only log in to gank is false logic. By analogy, you could say that a rule allowing only people at least 7 feet tall to enter a specific museum was completely ineffective in discouraging people to go to that museum, because you went to the museum and only people 7 feet tall were at the museum. This observation actually proves that the rule was effectively enforced, keeping everyone below 7 feet in height from going to the museum. In the same way, your observation that the ganks are performed mainly by outlaw alts proves that the rules of high sec discourage all pilots other than these alts from ganking in high sec, which is the majority of pilots, proving that the rules of high sec are actually very effective in discouraging this activity. Simple logic, sirrah.

      Delete
    26. "Let me know if the challenge is on, or not."

      I don't have to, if you have read minerbumping.com you've seen that no tank is tank enough. Obviously you can go to extremes and tank really well, but how much are you going to have to tank in a post James 315 platform world with reduced concord times? Is the game currently in a state where tanking against suicide ganking should be harder? As is what one of my original questions is.

      And no, I include the scouting, ship scanning, etc. all as part of the gank effort. I even include the moving of ship stock, creating of insta warp bookmarks and the whole kitchen sink. But that's still not a whole lot of effort especially since its all done in complete safety. And that's who's operating with impunity, the gank setup as I said in my post. Don't see the contradiction there.

      I don't know what you're trying to say in that last paragraph but the bottom line is this:

      *What good is a kill right on someone that is never flying anything but a gank ship?

      *What deterrence does outlaw status have on a character where the only time that they are not aligning and warping is when they're already expecting to be killed by concord?

      The ease that you can create that ganking alt and not have it affect anything else you do in game has never deterred anyone from ganking. The only people not doing this are those that don't care to do it, because those mechanics are certainly not standing in their way. Again as someone who reads this blog, I thought you'd be familiar with that.

      Delete
    27. "I don't have to, if you have read minerbumping.com you've seen that no tank is tank enough. "

      No, I haven't seen that. I haven't seen any fit similar to my current mining ship ever suicide ganked, on this website or any other. They've ganked orcas, but my ship is both much, much, cheaper, and has more EHP, than those orcas.

      "*What good is a kill right on someone that is never flying anything but a gank ship?"

      None. Kill rights only realistically deter characters that sometime fly something other than a gank ship--i.e., 99.6% of all characters on Tranquility. (except kill rights also don't do anything on characters that are low sec status, which is greater than 0.4% I'm sure, although I don't know exact %'s)

      "*What deterrence does outlaw status have on a character where the only time that they are not aligning and warping is when they're already expecting to be killed by concord?"

      Outlaw status doesn't DETER that character, outlaw status CREATED that character. If outlaw status didn't exist, then that ganker alt would never have been made. People who aren't willing to make ganker alts are thus deterred from ganking by outlaw status. The majority of players don't make ganker alts, therefore the majority of players are deterred by outlaw status. What you call the bottom line, is in reality just you asking the wrong questions. If you ask the wrong questions, you can't get the right answers. Your question is like me asking "what deterrent effect does restricting museum access to only 7 footers have on 7 footers". Answer = "none". If we're concerned with analyzing the deterrent effect of that policy on the population as a whole, then that question is intentionally deceptive.

      "The ease that you can create that ganking alt and not have it affect anything else you do in game has never deterred anyone from ganking. "

      Yes, it has. Plenty of people have full accounts and don't want to add another account to their collection to fit a gank alt, or don't want to divert 3-4m sp to a gank alt, or who find it annoying to have to fly around at -10 never sitting still, etc. It's not a very large deterrent, and anyone who really wants to make a gank alt will still make one, but it is a deterrent that probably effectively keeps the majority of EVE players from doing very much ganking. There are plenty of reasonably effective deterrents in the real world that are really rather small, which are effective in modulating the behavior of a large majority of citizens due to their inclination to perform the deterred behavior being rather small as well. Also, on a side note, since freighter/hauler ganking is significantly harder to do with -10 sec than miner ganking is, CCP changing ganking to no longer lower sec status would have an even larger effect on hauler ganking.

      If the upcoming tags-4-sec change increases highsec ganking, then you will have been proved wrong, as obviously that means that there is pent-up ganking demand that the current system is deterring. If the upcoming tags-4-sec change doesn't affect highsec ganking, then I will have been proved wrong. It's always preferable to proceed scientifically and test hypotheses, than to go back and forth forever on these interpretative calls. You've already denied a scientific test of your claim that there's no reasonable defense against ganking, are you going to deny a scientific test of outlaw deterrence as well? however, fortunately for us, this latter test depends more on CCP releasing statistics, than on anything you say or do.

      Delete
    28. I just performed a scientific test on audriks 10,000 words. Turns out it's all insane waffling nonsense. No surprise there then.

      Delete
  7. only one anonymous post. if you think James will not bring the needed changes, a simple thing like almost everyone putting their name on their opinion should be evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Having come from other MMOs, specifically theme parks, I have seen what concern with the producer's revenue can do.

    My first MMO was DDO, a group-oriented theme park which launched with next to no solo content. Its strength was its group play - for cooperative PVE it was one of the best games on the market in the theme park genre.

    Over time the publisher decided 'We need to attract solo players'. They made a lot of the game easier and dynamically lowered the stats on monsters when they were facing fewer than four players.

    Now - the game looks in serious trouble. It's changed from a 'pay for content' microtransaction model to a 'we sell every power item in the store and run microtransaction lotteries' model. It also stopped banning cheats and instead looked for ways to integrate the main cheating methods into the store. And the engaging group play is gone, replaced by speed soloing while the new player in group tries to follow you and gets abused for getting lost.

    Had the game stayed with its unique strengths, it would probably still be going strong, not just being milked for the last few profits before shutting down.

    ReplyDelete
  9. New order is illegitimate because they discriminate against non English speakers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That could not be further from the truth Mr. Anonymous. Agents of the New Order enforce the use of Mining Permits no matter what race, color, creed, nationality or language you speak. We are champions of equality and diversity.

      Delete
    2. Enforcement of the Code assumes the target knows the Code. Enforcement is illegitimate if the target cannot read the Code.
      A Russian player killed by the New Order will simply continue to cuss at you in Russian... and will not consider buying a permit if s/he does not know that the permit is.
      If the Code was available in Russian, the Russian miners will greet New Order agents with blessings instead of insults.

      www.minerbumping.com MUST put in efforts to translate the Code and make said translations available to all of high sec so that players of all kinds can understand it.

      Delete
    3. so why has this guy not yet been ip banned, he literally pastes this comment onto every blog post

      Delete
    4. I think it is the start of Mine Teck's "Resistant" campaign against New Order.

      Delete
    5. So... if I go to Russia, it's illegal for the police to arrest me no matter what I do because I can't read the Russian laws?

      Delete
    6. Or, sticking with EVE analogies, the CFC can't blow me up if I fly to VFK without providing me with translations detailing their operations first? Communication is the communal responsibility the players...all players, not just one side or the other. If either side in a conflict decides not to communicate with words, then the players as a group have chosen to communicate with antimatter.

      Delete
    7. Hey Mine Teck.. hows it going ?

      Delete
    8. @AnonymousMarch 12, 2013 at 10:58 PM

      We must do nothing. Non-English speakers generally use tools such as Google Translate to give an approximate understanding. Russian players in particular make use of it; the results are often entertaining for both parties.

      Furthermore, modern web browsers have built-in tools to automatically translate pages. We provide the link, the browser does the rest. Some even translate Latin.

      GIYF and so is James 315.

      Dr Tyler

      Delete
    9. 81702-6 (that was his character name) used to share this sentiment, before he unsubscribed from the game. If I had to bet, I'd but my money on this being SPIONKOP.

      Delete
  10. After reading a lot of forum posts saying EVE is to hard for new players, wouldn't it be a good idea to have a list of "Internet Spaceship Themepark Games" out there to give some choices to the folks who are willing to leave EVE behind?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you know there really aren't any?

      Delete
    2. Play Star Trek Online. There is industry. Missions. PvP is consensual. Its even free. Sweet Jebus, you can even walk in the stations.

      Delete
    3. http://www.net-7.org/. Earth and Beyond lives again.

      And the mining in that game is way better. And they have walking in stations.

      Delete
  11. Every time I read "food chain" I wonder who is going to be part of the bottom of such chain.
    Who is going to play fish in a barrel more than once?
    MY guess - you will end with a "food chain" without prey. Just like it is in low sec nowadays.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People would mine in lowsec if it was rewarding to do so. You see lots of Ishtars running exploration sites in lowsec, and those Ishtars are the bottom of the food chain just like miners would be.

      Delete
    2. My guess is that you will end up being the bottom.

      Delete
    3. Hi, I play a miner. Bottom of the food chain, and I love it. I love being able to outsmart the "lions", run away, grind my ore and make money under the lion's noses. I get a real kick out of doing my thing, knowing that I'm using "brains over brawn" in the EVE food chain.

      To continue the food chain analogy, you don't have to be the fastest antelope to outrun the lion. You just have to be faster than the slowest.

      Delete
    4. Do you remember the kid's game police and thief? The point of being a thief was to run away, and it was fun. I personally think that running away was more fun than chasing. It was also easier, only a few of the thieves were caught. If you think that being a prey is no fun, that's great, but don't assume that everyone is like you.

      Also, you know who will also be at the bottom of the food chain? PVPers. They need money too, especially the lone ones. Right now they make their money with high sec alts, but if low sec was rewarding enough they would go there with their industrial or ratting ships and turn into preys.

      Being a prey is just a role in a game...and you also have it easier than the predator. There's nothing bad about running away.

      Delete
    5. Why would anybody want to be at the bottom of the food chain?

      Well, despite being soul-crushingly boring, mining has a lot to offer players that ganking can't:

      1) Stable income stream. A miner's income doesn't depend a great deal on luck, so swings in income are typically small.

      2) Low barriers to entry. You don't need a lot of ISK, skills (player or character), time or knowledge to get started mining.

      3) Teammates not required. One doesn't need to be an expert on Huis Clos to understand the appeal of an activity that can be done alone.

      4) Easily done while watching TV.

      This isn't to say that mining is better than any other activity in game, but there are enough points in its favor to keep attracting players to it. And, in the event that the number of people mining declines, the prices will go up and attract miners back with higher prices. Basically, mining is self-stabilizing as an activity.

      Delete
  12. Out of courtesy, I keep a Russian and German version of my standard termination notice handy, and will add more languages as translators become available, so don't talk to me about discrimination.

    -Galaxy Pig

    ReplyDelete
  13. -Anyway, the Savior of Highsec just had a truth-gasm all over your face, you're welcome.

    -Oink

    ReplyDelete
  14. This goes all the way back to the old saying "a good product sells itself." Themeparking highsec doesn't make the game a good product.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because we all know that people only started playing EVE due to it's awesome themepark mechanics.

      Delete
  15. And that's why you won't be elected to CSM.
    For someone who brags about the $315 million they were "responsible" for making, you sure have bad business sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is this I don't even

      Delete
  16. James, this is why you have my 5 votes.

    The carebear plague killed Ultima Online, let's hope you can save EvE Online from the same fate.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is the kind of critical thought that makes me think James will be a great candidate for CSM. He shows that he can recognize the differences between the groups of EVE with posts like these, and quite frankly it's refreshing.

    ---Alistair Drake

    Friendly Neighborhood Scoundrel

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sounds like yet another ponzi scheme. You all have invested so much time and effort into James - yet where is the pay-off? Until there is a post by the man himself in Jita Park there is no return on your investment. An election in April and here we are half way through March. So, a self-confessed con artist succeeds again, this time through gullible gankers.

    Welcome to Scamville, population you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jita Park is completely irrelevant. I'm not looking for a "return", but if I were, Jita Park is absolutely the last place I would look. It has nothing to do with the election.

      Welcome to stuck-in-2012ville, population you.

      Delete
    2. Any return is found in emergent game play that anyone can be part of at the cost of an Eve subscription, also the joys of reading well written cohesive posts.

      At a very small price too.

      It's a real shame that he'll have to disclose his true identity as there are some really nasty individuals around that has already threatened him and other agents with harm - I think it's a silly CCP policy and should only be required at Live-in person- events i.e Fanfest, Iceland summit.

      Delete
    3. It shouldn't be required at all. The logic behind it is CCP wants to protect themselves should the information become public knowledge, but using that same logic, they might as well publish everyones credit card details just to protect themselves.

      Delete
  19. If non consentual wardecs and suicide ganking was costing ccp money, it should be removed. However it is emergent gameplay that makes eve so attractive, so it should not be removed.

    Nevin Dread

    ReplyDelete

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