Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The ten and the one

Yesterday, riverini from EVE News 24 contacted me and asked my opinion of who I felt EVE Online's most influential player was.  And that was the easiest question I've been asked all year.  I replied:
Teg: Mittens.  No question about it.  Love him or hate him, he's had the biggest impact on EVE as a game this year.
Teg: Hell, he's had major influences on two aspects of the game: positive in the first half of the year, pushing CCP as the Chair of the CSM.
Teg: And then negative in the back half of the year through the ice interdiction, hurting not only cap-using vets, but newbies that just want to mine ice.
riverini has said that EN24 will be announcing the selection of the "EVE Online 2011 Most Influential Player" on January 1 sometime, and explicitly compares the selection to TIME magazine's annual Person of the Year.

TIME has already chosen their POTY for 2011, and they chose "The Protester", pointing primarily at the multitudes that drove the Arab Spring in the Middle East and the Occupy and Tea Party movements in the U.S.  But of course, we had a bit of an Occupy moment in New Eden as well this year, didn't we?  ;-)  It'll be interesting to see if EN24 picks an individual player, or goes the same route.

The same EN24 piece asks what players felt were the ten defining moments for EVE Online in 2011.  The top five things on my list are not only important moments in EVE history in 2011, they will also drive the future of the game.  The remaining five are important but not so influential.

1. The Jita riots and mass player unsubscriptions
Easy selection, and far and away the most important moment in EVE's history this year.  It's already had a profound impact on how CCP views their customers, and put an important new weapon in the EVE player's arsenal.  'nuff said.
2. The creation of the BTL and Ditanian Fleet incursion-running channels
This is probably a surprise pick, but the more I think about it, the more I think putting this choice as number two is the right way to go.  While I certainly don't support the position that incursions are ruining the EVE economy the way some people do (I feel the opposite, in fact), there's no question that the creation of a structured support system for running incursions had a profound impact on New Eden's economy this year, and the PvE options for both newer and more experienced players.
3. CCP's public apology and declaration of change in development direction
This one was driven by number one, of course, but it deserves to be mentioned as a separate item in and of itself for one reason: Crucible.  It was clear that once the impact of the Jita riots was felt within CCP, it fundamentally altered how CCP approaches its development process.  It's already had a major impact on the development teams, and the change of direction affected everyone up to Hilmar himself.
4. Destruction of the Northern Coalition by DRF forces
This was far and away the most important event in null-sec sovereignty this year.  Though the NC collapsed primarily from internal rot and burn-out, the implications of the super-cap in null-sec warfare were made plain through their use in this fight.  Though it was initially shaping up to be an epic clash of the titans, the NC's effective surrender left the bulk of their super-cap arm intact... and unless I miss my guess, the bulk of it is still intact, though now distributed to a large number of alliances.
5. The consolidation of the null-sec bloc to take control of CSM6
CCP Greyscale and CSM5 coming together last December to say that they didn't see any reason why jump bridges couldn't be removed from the game had a profound influence on the CSM6 election come the beginning of the year.  Even more than that, though, it showed CCP that their customer service and support mechanisms could be gamed by the very same players that had become so good at gaming EVE's internal mechanisms.
6. Interdictions
Some of this was right out front -- the GSF Oxytope interdiction and the Pandemic Legion Technetium interdiction, for instance.  But I'm becoming increasingly convinced that control and denial of resources is happening under the covers as well (and I'll have more to say about that in 2012).  What comes out of this, though, is the veteran player's increasingly strong desire to hurt and control the ability of the newer player to succeed in EVE... driving resentment on both sides of the line.
7. The fall of IT Alliance
IT certainly wasn't the first alliance in EVE to fail due to internal rot and back-biting.  But unless there's another I'm aware of (TCF, perhaps?), they were the first alliance in EVE to say "You know what?  Fuck this game and the un-fun things that it makes us do."... and actually mean it and follow up on it.
8. The sanctum/haven nerf
I don't have too much to add to this one that I haven't said already, but the end result is clear: thousands of EVE players were driven out of null-sec and into the waiting arms of the public incursion channels.  The small sov-holding alliance may never recover.
9. The rise of the machines
2011 was the year that botting went from being a cancer that was destroying EVE to a practice that's accepted in this game with a wink and a shrug by a solid minority of EVE players.  "If you can't beat them, join them" has become the order of the day.  Anything CCP Sreegs has in mind to attack the bots is probably going to be too little, too late at this point.
10. The flavor of the month
Finally, this was the year that -- for many ships -- the number of acceptable fittings dwindled from the infinite to the few.  From the Hellcat to the Thundercat to the Alpha Maelstrom and beyond, this year EVE players made it clear to each other that there was a right way and a wrong way to fit and fly a ship.  How far this will spread remains to be seen.

That's my one and my ten.  What are yours?  Discuss.

Happy new year, everyone.  :-)


  1. I've always belonged to the "big bears" (can take that either way, really) of the nullsec world, and thus there's never been but one way to correctly fit a ship. That one correct way changes all the time, but especially in this new Alliance we get our faces punched in and get splashed with obscenities in the forums and chat channels whenever we have more than one module incorrect. It's always bored me that I'm not "allowed" to take whatever ship I want fit the way I want, but oh well.

  2. Yes unfortunately it's becoming increasingly a dual-faction game, and I don't mean between major coalitions in null-sec. It's either you're in one of the major nullsec coalitions, or you're going to be doing your carebearing in highsec, and there's nothing in between. Maybe you can find some dumb small gang stuff in npc null or regions that havent been completely taken over yet, but even npc null has gotten more boring with those people now having to do stupid poco defending (structure shooting is not a fun activity csm/ccp!!!)

  3. For me the largest thing was starting to play Eve 4 months ago.
    After I started I read alot about the history and drama that happened in the past and your blog helped alot with that.
    So a big thank you for your blogging activity.
    I enjoy it very much.
    After that there was Crucible, my first expansion and I think it was a good one.

  4. Interesting list and in an order I mostly agree with. I sure hope you're wrong about #9 though; bots are the scourge of Eve.

  5. The player in 2011 who has had the most impact on my EVE experience has easily been Ripard Teg. Reading the blog has taught me so much about the game and slashed the learning curve to pieces. By far the best thing about the blog is that you explain WHY things are/aren't/should or shouldn't be the way they are rather than just dictating it... often via a long winded metaphor or film reference ;) It keeps me interested and makes my warp time that tiny bit less tedious.

  6. Speaking as the "nothing in between", I find it sort of interesting that non of this really seems to apply to the game I've been playing. I completely agree with your list, both content and order, but would be curious to hear your thoughts on how the other areas of EVE affect its Meta Game.

    I for one have always found the stories and characters of Bloggers in Lowsec far more interesting than the somewhat newscaster-esque reports from Nullsec. I have a hard time understanding how anyone except the members of their alliance, or perhaps those they're currently fighting, find Nullsec blogs to be an interesting read. I'd enjoy hearing your take on what, if anything, you feel the players of Lowsec bring to the story of New Eden.

  7. @ Anon 0603: Seconded.

    I've been reading this blog for over a year now, and never commented. I just didn't think I had anything worth adding until now. By far and away my most influential EVE player has indeed been Jester.

    Sure, that list of stuff that happened is important to EVE as a whole, but to an average player like me, without Jester, I wouldn't have known or cared about *any* of them.

  8. I'll add my two ISK to agree that Jester, FNG, the Altruist, Letrange, and the other bloggers are far more influential to the game than Mittens.

    Mittens rants, raves and makes claims/statements which are simply impossible to take seriously, even by CCP. No surprise, then, that both CSM6 and the Gallente ice interdiction utterly failed to achieve their goals - goals, as stated publicly, by Mittens himself.

    If "influential" = "loud and failed", then, yep, Mittens is your guy. Otherwise, if "influential" = "contributing to the game", then Jester gets my vote.

  9. The question is rather funny. On the surface Mittens has done a lot to present an impact, an effort which has succeeded quite well.

    Beneath the surface though, it seems more like he has gotten on the stage, but the work for the show and the preparations for it were done elsewhere.

    Kinda normal though. And the stage part does fit well with CCP (if you've ever been to a fanfest you'll know).

  10. I find low-sec blogs to be almost universally (barring GamerChick) dull. The oft repetitive roamings and ransomings of filthy pirates often fail to inspire, whereas the clash of thousands brings me to the edge of my seat.

  11. I agree with FNG.

    In that light, well....I've decided to join the sov-null grind as part of En Garde. We'll see how that goes. ;-) But I do thank you (sincerely) for sitting down and penning your advice and the EVEmails we've exchanged.

    At least so far as my personal EVE-life goes, I'd say you've been extremely informative and helpful, and definitely helped shape some of my worldviews and actions as EVE goes.

    I decided there are enough "super srs bizness" EVE blogs ... adding to that my naturally irreverent nature, and I've decided that my blog is to be a lil more.... "entertainment". Like the court jester, I may very well make valid points at times, but in the end you will hopefully be too busy laughing/smiling to give it much "super srs" thought til after the fact.

    Here's to moving to Somalia.

  12. @ ooz662
    Why would you stay in an alliance like that? Putting up with that kind of treatment is ridiculous when you're playing a freaking game.

    Anybody who abuses another player for a ship fitting is bad but if you voluntarily subject yourself to that then you're just a tool.

    There are alliances in nullsec that seem to do just fine without punishing people for flying what they find fun in fleets. Find one and enjoy the game again.

  13. @Hong WeiLoh
    Welcome, fellow dark blue.

    I love my corporation dearly, and while we still fall a bit into the "perfect fitting" category, you don't get berated over it; we're more about fun. Problem is on the Alliance level: we have a specific high up "someone" who scours the killboards looking for our "bad fits" and launches attacks on the "offender." A prudent Kugu reader will recognize who I'm talking about.
    Three Alliances now and they've all had that same tendency; I'm tired of selling or moving my stuff for more of the same.

  14. Jester for CSM7 main chair guy!

    And yeah...None of the above listed affected me as an individual in an immediate way (hello upcoming AF ship changes! Soon...) and Im pretty sure I didnt really care when it all happened outside the stories and tears that came from it.


  15. @ooz662 I know exactly how you feel. I've recently joined a null-sec corp and they, and their alliance, has a rather nasty fitting culture. I just wish I'd know that and/or know there were corps out there that would let me fly what I want to fly. Problem is, almost every corp recruiter says the same thing, whether they are or are not fitting-friendly.

    @smg77 Putting on my military hat, I completely get where standardized fits come from. Putting on my player hat, I pay CCP to play the game the way I want, not the way some other players want. The trouble is, finding a corp/alliance that's a good fit is far too much like looking for a RL job. And that's not fun. Plus, for a null newb, one often doesn't find out one has made a bad choice until too late, and by then, facing the prospect of moving/selling everything yet again often causes one to stay :(

    @Jester I would argue that point 10, while on the surface a minor one, is really going to be the Trojan horse that turns out to be one of the game's true Achilles' heels.

  16. Regarding FOTM Fittings: as a small fleet FC, I like to know the capabilities of the fleet I'm in command of, and standardised fits are a great shorthand for that. Just the other night I ordered a pilot to point a target, and they told me they didn't have a point. They were flying one of the best heavy tackle boats in the game, and they were pointless. Sigh.

    So I do pretty much insist on set *capabilities* for different ship types but, so long as it can do what it's meant to, pilot skill counts more than exactly matching some theoretical "best" fitting. I love to play with ship fittings, and I won't deny my pilots that so long as they don't "break" the ship.

    I've never publicly berated anyone for a "badfit"; I might privately post them some constructive suggestions if it was particularly egregious. I find it's most effective to lead by example: kick some serious ass in a good fit, and pretty soon people are banging down your door to learn your "secrets" :-)

  17. ...and of course, if everyone were to always use the "best" fit, then new and better fits will never be discovered.

  18. Fitting Fascism was a contributor to my having left a high-sec alliance I was in. (Much of it was "military discipline" in general... which as others have noted, is a bit much for a game.)


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