Sunday, July 1, 2012

Players Guidebook to CCP Developer Interaction

Welcome new and existing EVE Online players and the new DUST 514 players to the Players Guidebook to CCP Developer Interaction. As a player in the EVE Universe you will find that you have an unparalleled access to the developers of the EVE Universe. This guidebook will help walk you through the various ways you can interact with the developers and guide you with pro-tips and hints to getting your voice heard.


EVE Online Player – Someone who past or present has played the game EVE Online. More often than not the player will be a current subscriber who regularly logs into the game to play. But there are those who no longer play but still wish to interact with developers.

DUST 514 Player – Someone who past or present has played the game DUST 514. As of writing of this guide the game has just started beta so all players are new. As with the EVE Online Player this doesn’t stop non-players from commenting on DUST 514 topics.

Player – The generic term for any of the EVE Universe players.

Developer – Those who currently work for CCP Games and develop the EVE Universe. This includes all employees from the janitor all the way up to the CEO (there is some debate as to the difference but not the focus of this guide). Past employees are not considered a developer even if they have achieved CSM chair status.

Interaction – Any method of communication with a Developer where you provide your thoughts, opinions, images, ideas, problems, solutions, desires and wants. Remember, you have a unique level of access and ability to interact that just doesn’t exist in other games. As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility.

Methods of interaction

EVE Forums – This is one of the first places that a player will have interaction with a developer. There are new rules for interaction that have been implemented. I will paraphrase them here for you: “Assholes will be banned.

Pro-tip: You can avoid becoming an asshole by remembering that developers are real people with a job to do. Most of them love their job so much that they are willing to spend personal time to interact with the players or to simply do more than their job requires. As most people who have a job will tell you, when you have to deal with assholes every moment of your work day you immediately lose interest in doing anything extra and eventually you don’t want to even continue getting paid to do the job.
Developer Interaction Hint: You will have a huge chance to have your voice heard if you are not an asshole to the developer! Note there are some assholes that get to interact with developers because they have learned to suppress their asshole nature while interacting with developers. If you are normally an asshole you may need to take advantage of this technique. This hint is also applicable if you are a dick.

In Game Mail – Most developers do have an in game name (CCP_something). There is evidence that they do read their in game mail from time to time. The rules for the forums will also apply here. Again, summarized for you: “Assholes will be banned.” Previous pro-tips and hints are applicable her as well.

Pro-tip: If you are concerned the developer might not read their in game mail copy CSM chairman Seleene on all your correspondence. He will follow up with the developer for you.

Twitter – A number of developers are found on twitter. Some are here as their CCP_something personas and some are here as their developer selves. Twitter offers an interesting level of access to the developer. Some developers use it as immediate feedback and will engage in long conversations with players. Some developers like to tease and simply reply “Lets do it!” or “Sure, would love to” yet never offer any other way to contact them to continue with the interaction. And then there are those developers who enjoy posting about Hello Kitty, their latest snowboarding adventure or a simple bike ride up a volcano (sometimes all in the same day). This is simply proof that these are real people with real lives which should strengthen the bond between players and developers. Here, if you are an asshole, the developer can simply block you. Besides, only a few people are pro enough to be serious assholes in 140 characters.

Pro-tip: Interactions are the same as those between friends in that they will often go beyond the EVE Universe and that’s ok. Frankly, it’s hard to yell and call someone a dick about a feature in a game after seeing a picture of a fantastic green dragon birthday cake. Embrace the interactions on twitter, mingle, and get to know the developers as people. And let them get to know you. Your EVE Universe interactions will be all the better for it.
Developer Interaction Hint: It’s is yet unconfirmed if CCP_Diagoras is really a person or just a computer endlessly churning out statistics. It’s rumored that the CCP_Diagoras computer sits on the corner of CCP_Soundwave’s desk. Don’t however let this be a deterrent to interacting with him. He loves requests for data!

Blogs and Podcasts – Don’t want to settle for one on one interaction? Then start a blog or a podcast. There are many venues out there to get you started. And you can now gain access to the developers in the form of interviews and guest spots. While being an asshole or dick on your blog or podcast is your prerogative and maybe appropriate just keep in mind it may limit your opinion being heard by a developer.

Pro-tip: If you want developers to read or listen to what you have to say then don’t be an asshole. This is super important if you ever hope to interview on or have them on your show.
Developer Interaction Hint: Patience is needed for obtaining interviews. Stick with it but be polite in your requests for their time. Remember, you are more than likely using their own personal time regardless of the time of day your interview occurs. Treat them the same as if you were volunteering your time!

Player Gatherings – The developers are often willing to put themselves into horrible situations to interact with players. Places like the beaches of Greece and Las Vegas are very hard places to be serious about the serious internet spaceship business. Players who have joined the developers should recognize the plight the developers face. On the flip side, be very ready to talk spaceships and have your data ready if you plan to bring your interactions in person.

Pro-tip: Bring a spare liver if you have one. If you don’t use it someone will. Drinking will often be a part of the serious working environment found at a player gathering.
Developer Interaction Hint: The in person interaction is often in the middle of a thousand other personal interactions on the part of developers. Help the developer remember your very important point by bringing flashcards or a presentation. The very serious player will provide a USB memory stick with a full on PowerPoint presentation complete with years of data. If that seems too much provide it written down somehow so they can review it later.

FanfestOne would believe that being an asshole here is the key to success. Well, that maybe true if you are looking to be the leader of a gang of other assholes. But this is not true if you are looking to have serious developer interactions. Remembering that you are guests of their country, the company and their sponsored celebration of the game they love to make is very important. The player will find hundreds of opportunities to interact with developers while at fanfest.

Pro-tip: Come a few days early to adjust and explore Iceland so you can turn your focus 100% upon the serious internet spaceship business come day one of fanfest. There will be no time for any sightseeing.
Developer Interaction Hint: Learning to live on 3 hrs of sleep will be important to maximize your time at fanfest. Much of the best interactions come after hours at the many bars around town. Being an asshole here will probably just get you beat up by a giant Viking (possibly one only wearing underwear) so consider yourself warned. The hints from the player gathering is double important here unless you want your thoughts buried under a thousand other peoples opinions.

So armed with this handy guide I wish you luck in your interactions with CCP as we all continue working at making EVE Online the largest gaming universe! 

I will try to keep this guide up to date to reflect the new methods of interaction with CCP and to take into account the ever changing world of New Eden!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Blog Banter 36: Riddle me this!

"With the Inferno expansion upon us, new seeds have been planted in the ongoing evolution of EVE Online. With every expansion comes new trials and challenges, game-changing mechanics and fresh ideas. After nine years and seventeen expansions, EVE has grown far more than most other MMOGs can hope for. Which expansions have brought the highs and lows, which have been the best and the worst for EVE Online?"

I had a friend tell me that "Expansions are much like movie sequels. Rarely are they better than the original."

I disagreed and pointed out that expansions are more like the various episodes in a long running series. And what he was most likely referring to were game titles that were attempting to milk their franchises by releasing them under II, III, IV monikers.

And this got me thinking about blog banter 36 and prompted me to sit down and actually write something. As a side note, I've had lots to say but most of it seems to be coming out verbally as I've been challenged to write. Sorry for the diversion, back to the banter.

My answer:

Which one is best? All of them.

Which one is worst? All of them.


Much like in a series of books or television shows or movies there are elements within each that I like very much, find simply ok, think sucks, and don't even notice. And that's the beauty of a well designed ongoing series.

If I didn't like it, I wouldn't keep coming back. I wouldn't be engaged. I wouldn't care to spend the time to pick it apart.

You must pick!

So I often play the "what if" game complete with rules like "you must pick". So if I apply my game to this problem (crap... really? do I have to?) of the best and the worst my answer becomes the following.

Which one is best? The latest one!

Which one is worst? The first one I played!


That's not in the rules! You have to pick! Is this some kind of riddle?

Well, the best one is the one that's keeping me here. It's giving me enough to continue to pay. To play. To have fun. It's fixing things and adding things and changing it all up to remain enjoyable.

And the worst one. Well, that was the first one I played. It clearly was flawed: look at all the changes, fixes and additions since then! And, on a personal note, it is the one that changed my gaming experience. Pulled me in. Gave me a new dark master. The one that dangled the new addiction and feed it to me. Fucking game!!

Riddle me this!

Which one will be the one that is neither the best nor worst?

Why the next expansion of course! For it is unreleased!

When it is released it will either continue to support my first answer of All of them or it will break my second answer and be the expansion that changes the magic of the game and makes me put the story down and walk away. My answer will then become:

Which one is best? The previous expansion. It kept me playing.

Which one is worst? The latest one. It made me quit.

A serious moment

This is the challenge that CPP faces with every expansion. To not release the one that drove people to put it down. But look at what's been created! 17 expansions. Thousands of things to do. Player driven content. No single way to play and enjoy the game. 

What a daunting task! 

But guess what. We can help.


Even if you do nothing else in this game recognize the daunting task that CPP has in front of them to produce a game that makes everyone happy. And realize that you can't make everyone happy all the time. Also recognize that with each release more variables are added to the problem.

Play your part

Player feedback in EVE is different than other games. We get to be more personal with the keepers of the sandbox than in other games. They want the feedback so give it to them. But do it with the recognition that it might not change or change the way you want it to. 

Then go enjoy the parts of the story that you do like. And let them do their job of creating the next best expansion that will keep you playing. Or be the one that made you quit. 

In the meantime, enjoy the best and the worst of what EVE Online has to offer right now!

P.S. If it wasn't clear... I was the friend. :)

P.P.S. Looking for other ways to help? Go to to take part in the crowd sourcing project I started.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Blog Banter 35: The Society of EVE - 2400 years in the making

Now approaching its tenth year, the EVE Online player community has matured into an intricate and multi-faceted society viewed with envy by other game developers, but is frequently regarded with suspicion by the wider gaming community. 

Is this perception deserved? Should "The Nation of EVE" be concerned by its public identity and if so how might that be improved? What influence will the integration of the DUST 514 community have on this culture in the future?

[Unrelated and random bonus question sponsored by EVE News 24: What single button would you recommend be included on an EVE-specific keyboard?]

I'm very happy that this is my first blog banter. I'm here because I've decided to get more involved in the EVE community and I am very proud that my How can we help? blog was an influence on the 35th question for the blog banter.

I want to start with something that might seem off topic so please, keep the "Noob! That's now how Blog Banters work!" to a minimum.

None of what I propose below (or in the previous blog) is in any way shape or form a request for CCP to change the game. EVE is hard. EVE is tough. EVE is unforgiving. I do not want this to change. If this changes then the very fabric of the EVE universe will change. In my mind the questions for this blog banter don't even suggest altering the game where as some other bloggers have decided to approach the questions from the view point of change and change management. To me the questions speak of a larger more transcendent element of the EVE universe that goes far beyond game play, beyond meta-gaming and reaches into the very core of social constructs. The identity and formation of a society. Philosophers have been thinking and writing about this for years because it's as much part of being human as eating and sleeping.

And it's a HUGE part of EVE.

“States (societies) are as the men, they grow out of human characters.” 
― Plato

Some 2400 years ago Plato wrote about society in his greatest work, The Republic. In The Republic, he designs (through Socrates) a society in order to discover the meaning of justice. Along the way, he compares elements of his society (a utopia, Greek for “no place”) to the three souls: The peasants are the foundation of the society. They till the soil and produce goods, i.e. take care of society’s basic appetites. The warriors represent the spirit and courage of the society. And the philosopher kings guide the society, as reason guides our lives. [Reference]

Seem familiar? 2400 years ago! He could have easily been writing about EVE.

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” 
― Plato

Perception is subjective. It is the formation of an opinion based upon intersection of information provided and ones own experiences.  And in our case the perception of EVE IS deserved. The events that have led to these perceptions are not fictitious. They happened. And in the absence of any other information people will form an opinion based on that input. With no counterbalance to the stories of treachery, lies, deceit, and ruthlessness the image and perception of EVE moves quickly beyond the drama we all love to follow and into the realm of uncomfortable ideals and memories.

To be indifferent to the impact of negative news and the lack of a counterbalance means a further strengthening of the perception that EVE is ruled by evil men and women.

"Our object in the construction of the State (society) is the greatest happiness of the whole, and not that of any one class."
- Plato

The Nation, nay, The Society of EVE is THE owner its own identity. We build the society. We write the story. We are the stakeholders of our future. It is our identity that will determine the future success of this wonderful universe of EVE. While EVE and CCP has enjoyed an unheard of consecutive nine years of growth, like all things in life, nothing is guaranteed. Past growth is not an indicator of future growth. At some point, this game will end. The question is, when? I want that to be many, many, many years from now. I want to be a 90 yr old grumpy old man blowing up the Titan of that punk kid down the street who keeps throwing my morning paper in the bird bath. I want to go on epic roams with my grandkids so we can laugh about the goons whelping a fleet of battleships to our T40 frigates. And the concern should be for all of EVE to prosper so we can continue to help grow the game we all love to play.

I want to make sure I'm clear here. I'm not advocating "cleaning up EVE" or removing the evil part of EVE. I am however talking about how we tell our stories. Quoting from my previous blog: The dark side of EVE is as much a valid part of the game as any other area. It is a necessary part of the beauty of EVE. Without it we would not have the complex ever changing world that we love to participate in. That can't change.

"We must reform society before we can reform ourselves."
- George Bernard Shaw

Mr. Shaw is reflecting on the fact that we are products of our surroundings. In the case of a game we are bringing both the Society of EVE and that of our real life into the game. I believe one key element in improving and taking the marketing of EVE to the next level is to turn the community stories outwards from inwards. The double edge sword is that our internal society will be judged and gauged by the outward society of the audience (which of course changes depending on where they live). While George maybe talking about true reform of society, I'm admittedly taking creative license with the quote and talking about reforming how we tell our stories and how we communicate with the larger gaming communities. Change how and more importantly what we communicate and the image will adjust. Subsequently the perception will adjust along with it.

“Those who tell the stories rule society.” 
― Plato

If we change how we communicate as a society it will in turn influence all individuals. EVE needs to improve in celebrating the good stories and developing counterbalances to the bad stories. This is even more important when focusing the stories outwards. At CCP there are only four community members responsible for helping us get our stories out yet there are 350,000+ of us. Now out of the 350,000+ people I would hazard a guess that only a small portion are responsible for "negative press". When approached from this angle one of the most powerful solutions is one of the most simple in nature. 

Tell more positive stories!!

Stories of helping other pilots, of achievements in space or economy or manufacturing. Lore, fiction or role play stories. Feel good stories of comebacks, against the odds victories, etc. The sheer volume of all the good things in EVE easily overwhelms the bad. EVE players are a smart, clever and creative group of people. I'm darn sure we can collectively come up with positive stories. I'm just waiting for someone to come up with an in game response to the CCP Skyward Sphere! Come on now, be honest, will the person who has already made a Hal Sagan character please identify yourself!

It has been proposed to CCP to provide features in the game to make it easier to tell stories but the key there is "easier". Easier is nice and we would get more stories but nothing is stopping EVE players from working on promoting EVE in a positive light. As an example, I found this following video on the Intergalactic Summit:

I don't know how hard or easy that was, but someone took the time to put it together. There has to be many more people like that in EVE.

Here's another one by my fellow -A- member Nashau who also happens to be DJ Starstream on EVE Radio:

All awesome stuff! Additional tools to make it easier and to increase participation in story telling would be nice for sure but in the meantime that should not stop us from working on promoting the other eighty percent of EVE. (That is a total guess based on the good old 80/20 rule, nothing more scientific than that.)

That's all I have. After all that deep thinking it boils down to telling more positive stories. Flood the world with good stories of EVE to counterbalance the negative. In the end, people outside of EVE will perceive EVE based upon the stories they read. Will the negative stories go away? No. I don't even propose we stop telling them. They are as needed as the positive. It only needs to be balanced to be an honest representation of the society of eve.

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” 
― Plato

Onto Dust 514. Frankly, I don't know. I can speculate and hope all I want, we'll only really know once those people start doing the same things we do. Building videos, blogging, podcasts, forum posts, etc. What I hope happens is they are as enthralled and immersed as we are. I hope they are excited about 7 years worth of training and of being part of a single Society. And I hope they add lots of positive stories along with negative ones. I think existing EVE players can help set the tone of much of this in the beginning but if there ends up being many times more 514 players versus EVE players then their stories will be the norm. I can also speculate that most people are wise enough to realize that while we share a universe that the two player bases are not the same. I hate to cop out on this but time will tell. And I'm darn sure we will know fairly quickly after it all goes live.

[Unrelated and random bonus question sponsored by EVE News 24: What single button would you recommend be included on an EVE-specific keyboard?]
After all that writing, this one is easy. A button that will record my video. A "frap this" button!

Thanks for reading. I can honestly say I have no clue what the next blog will bring! But I will leave you with one last quote.

“He was a wise man who invented beer.”
― Plato

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The EVEolution : How can we help?

As I stated in the previous blog: I have a desire to do more. I want to promote this game.

I love EVE and want every gamer on the planet to play EVE.

I want to help make David Reid's vision of EVE being the world's largest gaming universe happen.

As a player in a sandbox game I believe it is upon us to dictate how we are seen as a community. It's not sufficient enough to shrug our shoulders and say "That is CCP's problem". No. It's not. It's our problem. CCP is a business. If there isn't enough of us to sustain the business then good bye EVE. Poof. Gone. And we all lose.

They can only say so much and do so much precisely because it IS a sandbox. They would have to remove the sandbox element to be able to have full control over the game universe to the degree where they could dictate the vibe of the community. Look at other MMO's as examples. I don't want EVE to go down that path. EVE is hard. EVE is tough. EVE is unforgiving. But EVE is ours. Every CCP employee from Helmar and David Reid on down has talked about the EVE community, the uniqueness of our universe and how WE WRITE THE STORY. They are telling us we ARE stakeholders. And as such we as the community have to take ownership and act as stakeholders for the success of this game. Yes, in the end CCP and their investors are financial beneficiaries of our game play. But we also enjoy a benefit. It is what brought us here and keeps us here: To enjoy ourselves.

Every action has a counter reaction.

In the context of EVE an event at fanfest reinforced a perception about EVE that the majority of EVE players know not to be true. The natural response is to counter that perception. The dark side of EVE is as much a valid part of the game as any other area. It is a necessary part of the beauty of EVE. Without it we would not have the complex ever changing world that we love to participate in. I for one am looking to tap back into the energy of the community and of CCP in a way that supports David Reid's vision of EVE being the world's largest gaming universe.

It boils down to a simple question:

How can we help?

One of the first steps in my mind is to get all the bloggers, podcasters, radio people, etc. to come together. And then identify the correct people at CCP who should be working with us. Aradus Gunnell of T.E.N. tv started a great forum post to that end. Please go find it here on the EVE forums and speak up with your support and ideas. I have also posted some ideas but I want to be clear about one thing: I don't want the thread to turn into a pissing match about who's ideas are better. Lets just farm ideas! Then we can start working with CCP on what is and isn't possible.

Of course we should also start working on what we want our image to be. A large part of our community energy, messages and our information flow has been focused inwards towards existing members of New Eden. That is already dramatically changing with the inclusion of Dust 514. For EVE to be the largest gaming universe we now need to focus our attentions outwards. Towards those people who just don't know it yet that they will be pilots in New Eden.

What is our message outside of EVE? Our image?

I'll start: EVE Online is full of good people.

Please share your own thoughts and ideas! More next blog!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How did I get here? Confessions of a fanboy!

I don't know when or how it happened but I've developed a serious man-crush on EVE Online. It has slowly been developing over the last couple years because a few things have fallen into place. Well, ok, more than a few things.

Perhaps this will be boring or even a bit of "so what" for you. In fact, it will probably verge on TL;DR. Please hang in there! I think it will be important to know how I got here. Here's a rough timeline of how I became an EVE fanboy.

I stopped playing Everquest. I had started my EVE life a few years prior to this but didn't really play for three years. I was at least smart enough to realize I couldn't be hardcore in two MMO's. There were a number of factors that lead to the decision (fuck you Charsi) but overall I guess I was looking for more. I wanted more control over my game time and wanted more control over how I interacted with players. Don't get me wrong, EQ was fun. I played it for 8 years, 4 accounts, hard core raiding, all that good stuff. But I just wanted more. I always loved how I felt when playing EVE so it was clear where my gaming time was going to go.

I hooked up with an EQ buddy who had first sent me my trial invite, got into his corporation and off to the races we went. We did lots of things. We were focused but not at the same time. That was partially my fault because I wanted to experience all of EVE. We did the mining bit, both ore and ice. We ran some missions. Tooled around in Low Sec where I lost my raven on the gate back to high-sec because I thought I was being smart sitting with the door to safety at my back. Of course, that door was locked. We did wormholes the first day they were out and we learned lots! I like to think that because of the efforts of our corp and one specific pilot that we helped unlock a secret or two of wormholes because I know he was passing on things we learned to the community. Then we went to 0.0. Providence to be exact. I loved the lofty and idealistic goals of NRDS (Not Red Don't Shoot) policy but saw first hand the challenges of not being NBSI (Not Blue Shoot It). At the time there was lots of action in Providence and I got a taste of blood and I wanted more.

I did my research and saw a couple corporations were consistently responsible for the kills in the area. So I did the only rational thing in EVE. I stole a billion isk from my EQ buddy's corp wallet, contacted one of those top corporations, played spy and helped coordinate a strike against my current alliance and then joined the enemy. (To be fair, I did pay back my buddy with a full 1 isk extra. But man the tears were sweet up to that point.) That was a couple years ago. Becoming part of an amazing corporation that has forced me to work on being a better pvp pilot (jury is still out as to if it has actually worked) has been a big factor in the flight to fanboy status.

About a year ago we joined Against ALL Authorities which allowed me to see an amazing series of events across the south from losing almost all our space (/waves from the Dead Alliance) to gaining it back and then some. It also allowed me to experience a large number of situations, events, fleets, and fights than I had before. I can't say yet that I've done it all but I'm a hell of a lot closer than I was a year ago. It's been an incredible time for AAA and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Skill point accrual crossed the point where I now have enough to get into ships that really catch my attention. This has driven the interest in getting them blown up while trying to blow up the rest of you! By the way, I think this is a critical point for CCP to consider as they look at ship balancing and even introduction of new ships. Sure T1 ships can be fun but there is an attraction to having bigger and better bling! Ships and modules are the hooks that drive serious interest (and subscriptions). Don't make all the cool ships so far down the chain that new players can only get to them after years of training. They are heading down that road with Crucible and Inferno.

CCP & Crucible. I can't underestimate how important this expansion has been to my man-crush. First off it re-energized most of EVE and with that came more fleets, more fights, more opportunities to play, more blogs, more podcasts, more tweets, more developer blogs, and so much more I can't list them all. End result was more love for EVE.

Twitter and the community at large has all been energized by Crucible. I decided to start a twitter account and quickly found myself surrounded by others who share the same passion for the game. Most days it's odd if I don't get my dose of daily stats from CCP_Diagoras. I've started to read more blogs too. I keep my eye out for posts from other CCP employees and CSM members. And if that doesn't fill a few hours of my time I can always get involved in a any of the ongoing conversations that are happening right now in real time.

One of those tweets was Jade of Lost In EVE looking for a co-host. I had been toying with a few ideas concerning my own podcast or even looking towards eve-radio as an outlet. I saw the tweet and jumped on it. Hopefully you have all listened to the result of that decision. I find myself just giddy with excitement over this opportunity and it's only thrown more gas on the fanboy fire!

As if letting people listen to my opinion wasn't enough I decided to start a blog. Again, something I had been thinking about for a while. Really not much else to say here. (Well, maybe thanks for getting this far!)

So what does it all mean? Why outline all this? I can assure you it's more than just me blabbing about who I am. I'm hoping there is some commonality in who I am and who you are because I have a desire to do more. I want to promote this game. I want to be part of the success. And I hope you do too. In other words, how can we help?

Friday, March 30, 2012

A blog you say? Special for ChYph3r

Shit happened.
The Mittani kicked a player in the nuts but apologized and made amends.
The Mittani got kicked in the nuts and stood there and took it like a man.
CCP should do the same.
I wrote about it and talked about it.
Many others did the same.

A blog you say?

Well, what an interesting time to start an EVE blog. 

The last couple of weeks I've wondered "What do I blog about?" I know the words and thoughts are in there but it's always so much easier to talk than write (as those who know me will attest to). So I worked on laying out the blog and learning (kind of) the mechanics of the site you see around these words.

No, really. What to do with a blog? It's really a lot harder than it sounds even for an opinionated and talkative guy like me.

Should I be self-serving and promote the Lost in EVE pod casts? (By the way, I'm the new co-host with Jade over at so check that out!) What about my alliance or corporation? (By the way, I'm in Against ALL Authorities in Blackwater, USA. o/ BUSA!) That would probably be a boring use of a blog and frankly I have more to talk about than these things.

I've never been shy of confidence and once I start writing I tend to create walls of text. People at work will attest to the fact that I don't write lots of emails but when I do they usually grab lunch or go the bathroom before sitting down. Did I want to try to build on that? Or go for a more "twitter" approach with lots of small messages? I struggle with 140 characters so perhaps wall of text it will be.

Damn it. What am I going to write? News? Riverini I am not. Game mechanics? Maybe. Well, sure. Ok. But every blog? And the first one? No way.

Fanfest was wonderful, even if over free EVE-TV. I was kinda there! It really jazzed me up. I was so excited and the energy at the fanfest spilled over into my gaming world. Sure, lets start there!

But first a podcast. Jade and I had the same view - share the excitement. Share our fanboi zeal about the game. Be part of the EVE universe and promote the game we love! We want to help CCP (and David Reid) in making EVE the largest game universe! As I've already written to a few CCP people: How can we help?

In the first session we talked for over 4 hours, recording around 3 of those for the podcast. Life was good. EVE was good. So F'n excited to be part of the EVE community! I was tired as it was 6am and we called it a wrap. I went to bed with a thousand things to still talk about. Then I woke up and checked twitter.


Read some blogs. Do some research. Watch videos. Talk with Jade. Well, guess we have only 1 thing to talk about now. I had plans that evening so it was going to be another late call to do a recording. Topic was obvious and singular. I did as much research a I could do before going out. When I returned I dropped into Skype to find Jade and a couple guests already an hour into discussion! 3 hours later we wrapped up after the topic had been thoroughly dissected. Even at that time I wanted to move on and I even directed the conversation and our guest (thanks Seleene!) to discuss Fanfest. 

Jade published our 8hr+ show and I went back to thinking "What am I going to write about?" There was already so much said about this situation EVE was in that I just didn't feel I wanted to add to it. So, fine. I won't. The next day I went to the podcast forums where there were a number of comments about our latest show, especially concerning some of the opinions found in the podcast.

There was a particular comment in the forum that called into question the position Jade took that asked about blame being directed towards CCP. In the comment it seemed Jade was singled out for the "conspiracy theor(ies)" that were tossed around the show. Jade defended himself but I felt I had had to also reply as I had been thinking about this for a couple days now.

The question we were all dancing around was "who's responsible?"

I'll step up and say that I also threw around some "ultimate troll" theories as well concerning the mocked player. I even said something was a bit fishy or a bit off (or close to that). The whole thing was just, well, odd. Let me expand on this over what I said in our forum. When faced with the potential of a loss (anywhere from 1 to 20+ Mackinaws based upon various reports, which is a 100M to 2.0B ISK hit) I'm certain most EVE players would say almost anything at this point to prevent a loss. It's not out of the realm given these conditions to assume anything said under these conditions is false (i.e. a troll). One of the main rules of this game is "Scam or be Scammed." That element is celebrated in this game! 

However, as I ALSO said, Alex/The Mittani crossed a line. Even in that kind of forum and this kind of game a line was crossed. I also went on to say that for ME he apologized and made amends. Done.

While I didn't jump to the same "CCP has fault" conclusion right away I do support Jade in his conclusions. Here's why:

1) They have a ZERO tolerance policy for suicide based statements. Even in jest they will report statements about suicide to the authorities. At least according to this post by a GM:
the GM department has a strict policy of informing local and international law enforcement agencies of any suicide threats issued NO MATTER THE CONTEXT. In other words, do NOT joke about that. When a RL life is threatened we do not take any risks, ever.
2) The slides were vetted prior to display. In a single line the player states:
Since my divorce all I want to do is die, and I have been doing that allot in this game.
This should have been a HUGE RED FLAG to the CCP employee doing the review. They should have just removed that slide and investigated as PER #1 above.

Where I give CCP a tiny bit leeway in ownership is due to: 

3) The slide went by without concern. It was the Q&A section that caused the biggest issue. How was the CCP person to know what he was going to say. But still, see #1 and #2. The slide should have never happened and then the question would have never happened and the answer would have never happened. 

But I do toss it back upon CCP for the following:

4) The feeds were LIVE! No buffering, no delay. At a alcohol fuelled session where HTFU was going to be the battle cry and a big steaming cup of GO FUCK YOURSELF player X, Y and Z who fell prey to our ass kicking was going to be the bulk of presentations. That was not a good decision on the part of CCP. Do all the sessions need some sort of monitoring? No. Had they needed it in the past? Probably. I don't know the decision process behind this so I can't even guess why it wasn't part of this fanfest. I just know it wasn't.

I do applaud Alex (and his persona's) for standing up and taking responsibility. That speaks volumes for me. 

CCP should do the same. They should also do an internal review and take appropriate action and steps for the future.

I too am sad about the outcome of the last few days. If you listen to the show we were SO exited about the fanfest. Like two kids let loose in a candy store. Then the fall out. A significant change in our emotions. Let me be clear about one thing. I want to be an ambassador for this game. I want to be more involved. I have even stated that I along with Jade would like to do the Fanfest hosting (along with other podcasters). Despite my fanboy feelings and man-love for CCP, I must still say they have some ownership in this and must acknowledge it in some fashion.

I don't want this to change EVE. I like it the way it is. I do want it to be a hard, difficult and unyielding gaming universe. I want everyone to HTFU. I don't want the instant gratification WOW players to be welcome here in their current form. They need to evolve and grow and flourish in EVE.

I just feel like that dream might have died last week.

What an interesting time to start an EVE blog.