Ripard recently wrote a lengthy response to my CSM platform. Not surprisingly, he strongly disagrees with most of it, and I strongly disagree with his disagreement. The purpose of today's post is to take a stroll through Ripard's post and see what we can learn from it. Spoiler alert: I'm going to conclude that Ripard is wrong. But the way in which people are wrong can occasionally be enlightening.
Off we go!
For this reason alone, I am against most of James's proposals: they are too radical and are likely to be game- and company-breaking. Even more than that, though, I am against most of them for a more fundamental reason. EVE is a sandbox, and that means that EVE is a sandbox for everyone. I value every type of EVE player. I'm all for making some parts of the sandbox "better" than others, but not at the expense of destroying other parts. There should be room enough in New Eden for every type of EVE player.Ripard is concerned that my proposals are too radical, which sounds innocent enough. CCP has radically changed highsec risk/reward to boost highsec rewards and decrease its risk, but they didn't do it all in one fell swoop; it was done incrementally. As I said, reasonable people can disagree on how best to fix this problem. But if the problem is that my proposals are too radical, we should see people like Ripard Teg explaining how they would, in a more cautious manner, accomplish my goal of restoring highsec risk/reward. We shouldn't see them doing the opposite--by supporting nerfs to suicide ganking, for example.
Someone who agrees with the direction of my ideas but thinks they're too radical should also strongly oppose the radical efforts of others to reduce highsec risk. Take CSM member and candidate Trebor Daehdoow, another common target of my criticism. During the Winter Summit, he advocated the removal of all non-consensual wardecs. In his subsequent Crossing Zebras interview, Trebor doubled-down on his position. Starting from the 21:10 mark, Trebor goes on at some length about the need to make highsec safer, to accommodate the people who think highsec is just too dangerous right now. (Who else but theme parkers believe this?) And he explains in detail his efforts to convince CCP to remove wardecs. Trebor's agenda would send EVE further in the wrong direction, and in a radical way.
So what does Ripard think of a radical like Trebor? He wholeheartedly embraces him. Ripard has often showed Trebor with praise, supports his reelection, and has even gone so far as to say he will cast all of his own votes for himself, except for one vote, which will go to Trebor.
Now let's consider the rest of the quoted section, where Ripard talks about the sandbox and making room for "every type of EVE player". Anyone who's followed this debate for any length of time knows that it's not possible to accommodate everyone. You can't please both the EVE player who just wants to be left alone in the ice field, and also please the EVE player who wants to suicide gank or wardec the industrialists. The latter says "let me shoot spaceships", and the former says "don't let them kill me". Both sides say they're for the sandbox, but enabling either side always comes at a cost. On the one hand, you have people like Trebor who favor removing features like wardecs. On the other hand, the people who want to engage in non-consensual PvP necessarily make it impossible to play EVE as a peaceful, single-player game.
I support the spaceship-shooters because I believe that at its core, EVE is a game about shooting spaceships. Yes, people mine, manufacture, trade, etc., but they do so to facilitate the building of spaceships that can then shoot at each other. EVE players don't create civilian goods, they create PvP equipment. The consequential, non-consensual PvP of EVE is unique, and is really the only thing it has going for it (people don't play EVE for "spreadsheets in space"). Trebor supports the carebears because he believes it's better for CCP's subscription revenue to follow the theme park model. So which side is Ripard on? Hint: Probably the guy he's endorsing, not the one he's criticizing.
Officially, Ripard Teg is undecided. From an earlier post, where Ripard wrung his hands about unfair wardecs:
This sort of thing happens every single day in EVE and most of us have just come to accept it -- and the cost it wreaks in player unsubs -- as part of the game. The question that started the philosophical debate: should we? I still don't know.According to his post, Ripard doesn't know whether or not CCP should allow wardecs--at least, wars in which strong corps attack weak ones--to continue. If true, Ripard may be the only player in EVE who doesn't know if CCP should get rid of wars or not, and a vote for Ripard is a roll of the dice. Then again, is it possible that Ripard isn't as conflicted as he says? He's already announced he's voting for the guy who wants to get rid of wardecs. To put it another way, how surprised are you going to be when Ripard takes a seat on the CSM and Trebor persuades him to support nerfing wardecs?
Among reasonable people, there's no need for this kind of inner conflict, feigned or not. It's not as if this is a difficult question, really. Of course wardecs should be accepted as part of the game. Wardecs should not be nerfed, and highsec does not need to be made safer than it already is. War should continue to be part of EVE, even if that means people who want a perfectly peaceful gaming experience won't play EVE or give CCP money. This is the kind of thing that no one should need to say, because it's so obvious. But we've come a long way, I'm afraid.
So that covers what I wanted to say about a paragraph from Ripard's post. In Part 2, I plan to cover the rest of his post.