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...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Quote of the Week: Change

QOTW honors this week go to one of Rote Kapelle's FCs, who made the following sardonic comment:
The only thing worse than a stagnant game is when the developers dare to change things.
The context, of course, was one of the recent changes to EVE that was implemented in the Inferno patch.  I forget which change, but really: does it matter?

Good Lord, EVE players are never happy.  ;-)

It's fun to compare this year's "summer of discontent" with the full-on summer of rage last year.  We're about one month shy of the one year anniversary Jita Riots.  The larger reason that precipitated the riots was the "Greed is Good?" copy of the CCP Fearless internal newsletter and the "up with micro-transactions" philosophy that it quietly espoused.  As I wrote last year, it was literally the pebble that started the avalanche.  Still, a secondary casus belli was the :18months: meme.  CCP made it quietly clear that they were going to be concentrating on Incarna and Incarna-related features for 18 months and during that time, changes to the spaceship game would be few and far between.  And only a massive wave of unsubs convinced CCP that this course was the wrong one.

I'll have more to say on this topic later in the week, but now CCP has committed to exactly what the players want: more space ships and more space ship game play.  And sad as it is to relate, that doesn't happen without a lot of changes to the underlying code.  EVE players seem to want the first without any of the second.  And they get disgruntled when it's made clear CCP can't really do that.

I caught hell when I came out in favor of the new inventory system.  I still seem to be in the minority on that one, but I'm OK with that.  But the carefully worded and NDA-safe Tweets and blog posts coming out of the CSM say -- when you read between the lines -- that we can probably expect a lot more changes of this type as CCP works on the underlying architecture of "all space ships, all the time."  And I'm sure a lot of those changes are going to prompt a lot of low-level player rage from differing quarters, further confirming that CCP just can't win no matter what they do.  ;-)

I'm not sure what cliche sums it up best: "Be careful what you wish for, you might get it"?  "You can't please all the people all the time"?  They both seem to apply.  But they're summed up in that QOTW.

31 comments:

  1. The new inventory is vastly better and has directly improved my EVE quality of life.

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  2. I'm a fan of Unified Inventory myself, and it was just bonus to hear all the rage.. particularly from Botters. There was much joy in my heart when botters kinda outted themselves by complaining how UI was so terrible that this or that was no longer profitable.

    Not saying there aren't bugs, not a big fan of the wreck looting because of the change.. but dealing with the rest of it merely required a minor change in habits.

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  3. I'm not sure why people mind that CCP is overhauling and revamping shit that has been duct-taped and rubber-banded since 2003. I mean, I'm fairly inept technically, but even I realize that this is a necessity to have a proper foundation for the game as they continue development.

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  4. CCP's changes are akin to when a diet's working and your underwear no longer fits.

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  5. Well Jester, this Whiny Lttle Carebear loves the Unified Inventory....FILTERS!!! I love them!!!! Fitting a ship is so easy. No more cans I can't see into from 20 jumps out (ok I can but it's a pain)....I'm also loving that it broke the the bots for a week...

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  6. I'm not too sure what all the fuss is about the Uni Inv. is it perfect? Nope. But it's light years better than the old system, IMO. Thank you CCP!

    -Amari

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  7. That doesn't really seem fair to say. There is nothing about the new backend that makes the old front end unable to function. And I don't mean the code of the front end, but the user interaction.

    Trading an old usability frustrations for fresh new usability frustrations is not them making "progress" it's them making the same mistakes that gave us the old usability issues in the first place. CCP has very easy PR wins available to it, but it specifically chooses not to because of :effort:

    In a game as competitive as EVE, if you make it better people will use it. The day that they suck it up and start doing soft feature releases like they originally attempted with the Neocom is the day they begin mitigating significant portions of the release-rage that they bring on themselves by pushing out half polished features. Assuming of course that they actually respond to community feedback and make improvements as they're attempting now with the inventory system, and not just ignoring them as they do with large amounts of the Sisi tests.

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  8. Jester I think you (and I) are in the Silent Majority on the UI. The people whining are the people who would whine if CCP had 50 EvE time codes delivered by stripper-gram because they didn't get to pick the hair color of the girls.

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    Replies
    1. Very precise comparison right there.

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    2. It took me a while to get used to it. Now, hey, it's all good.
      Except that whole looting cans thing... one window for can, one for cargo, so I can drag-drop what I want and move on, is that really so much to ask?

      Also, I'll take my strippers with blue hair, plox. :-D ICE blue. Not royal, or navy, or royal navy, but ICE blue.

      Delete
  9. So far, I dislike the unified inventory; it takes a few moments for it load when I open it each time because its not only just loading my individual containers that I had organzied all my loot and various items in, it pre-loads every single one of them. Thats roughly 10 containers in my home base with anywhere between 5 and 100+ items per container. Im sure there are alot of people with more than me in their home stations too. I also dislike the lack of my insta corp hangar button too, but thats a minor inconvenient extra step.

    Its just annoying to have functions that were working perfectly for me to be removed in favor of an unfinished, clumsily, half-assed concoction of UI features that have been perfected in multiple different venues for over 10 years now.

    CCP is trying to reinvent the wheel doing their own UI instead of using the ideas (and code) of other people and adding their own flavor to it. And its a clusterfuck in its current iteration right now.

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  10. The new Inventory has a few bugs, but, it is pretty good and a vast improvement over the obsolete "zillions of windows" method of inventory management. Same thumbs up for the new Neocom.

    People always complain about change, good or bad - esp. when it requires them to alter years of habits - good or bad.

    Too much of the "community feedback" these days are whines, flames or trolls. CCP needs to learn to better distinguish between the useless noise and valid criticisms.

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  11. You know what people say about old habits. And Eve players seem to be very addicted to habits.

    Especially funny is it when they complain about things like the new inventory and suggest that the time should have been spent on titan fix. Just like anyone could do everything with that company. There are very talented guys and girls at ccp whom do a great job but a UI designer can't be thrown on ship balance.

    "Changes" are the only thing in the universe that will be always present. It is what keeps things alive. Long life for EVE :)

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  12. Change always means having to adapt. Wait and use the new system for a month. If you still have some gripes after that you can voice them else you are probably just a dinosaur unwilling or unable to adapt to change.
    Dont tell CCP to go back. Tell them to move forward and how improve the new unified inventory.

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  13. If change is for the better. I don't have an issue with it!
    It its for the worse however, there is an unholy rage!

    "If it's not broken, don't try and fix it"
    Always applies, However CCP decided it was broken and broke it even more.

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    Replies
    1. "Better" is in the eye of the beholder.

      Delete
    2. "If it's not broken, don't try and fix it"
      is the worst statement ever!

      why would you need a smartphone or a pc, writing and talking was made available centuries ago through pen and paper and talking with the invention of languages which is a few thousand years ago. talking over distance was made possible with the good old analog phone. Still there were some genius guys out there who thought about making it better and improving it. Some went wrong but at least they took the risk and dared to change something in hope for the better.

      why buying a new car, your old one hasn't fallen apart right?
      "even if nothing is broken there is still room to improve it"
      Thankfully you aren't the one building the future, we would get stuck in current state.

      Delete
    3. Yes Jester it is.
      But i have sofar talked to people that spew out more negative stuff about the new inventory system than they are praising it.
      Even with the changes that has been brought forward from the devs the last few days/weeks. Its still subpar compared to the old one. And most of the stuff they are fixing now, they should have fixed when it was still on SiSi.

      And Chanina, if you would have read the entire post, not just the last two lines. You would have seen that im not against change. But change for the sake of change is bad.
      Always have been, always will be.
      If there is a purpose for the change and a clear goal on which to pursue, go right ahead.
      But right now. They changed it just for the sake of changeing it.
      And that is not a good way to go.

      Delete
  14. I think the naysayers may have had a point given that CCP's response has been several extended coding sessions to enable similar functionality in the Uni Inv to what the old inventory provided out-of-the-box.

    A lot of the rage hasn't just been "You changed it now it sucks", it's been "You had lots of feedback saying it wasn't fit for purpose in its release state and that it needed more work. You ignored that and released it anyway and now we're having flashbacks to the old days of :18months: and 'we watch what you do not what you say' while we wait for you to do the same work SiSi testers said it needed, but on the live copy instead".

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  15. Most of the rage on the new Unified Inventory changes are becouse the Developers at CCP didn't heed the reports, and suggestions from the SiSi feedback threads. All the problems that were present at release were documented in the SiSi feedback forums, and regardless, they went live with a half functioning, very important part of the game.

    If u read the comments' threads of the UI blogs u'll get a lot of problems we still have with the new inventory.
    A lot of EVE players aren't against changes, but against this kind of half assed changes.

    This step from CCP also came at a very delicate time. Seems like they had bad luck, or just didn't pay enough attention...
    We are still feeling the aftermath of the Incarna fiasco.

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  16. Honestly, most people don't see the unified inventory for what it really is. I kind of wish they would.

    As a programmer, everything is dependent on your back end. If your database is so convoluted and unwieldy that you have to code around it, sooner or later your code begins to depend on this abomination of a database. Then, even the smallest change takes months. Now, if you fix this database, clean it up, suddenly thousands of impossible changes are in reach. This happened to the database in EVE not to long ago, much to collector's dismay. However, we are now seeing direct results. The Unified Inventory appears to be a now direct view into the item database, which is more than a step forward.

    With a cleanly coded database, you can make small changes quickly. I think this is primarily when we saw CCP go from long waits between patches to many small patches.

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    Replies
    1. well, that sounds hopeful. maybe it's why they pushed to release it now for the database benefits they could see and we couldn't. Takes a bit of the bite out of the "well, hell, why didn't you listen to Sisi feedback?!"

      Delete
  17. Honestly, most people don't see the unified inventory for what it really is. I kind of wish they would.

    As a programmer, everything is dependent on your back end. If your database is so convoluted and unwieldy that you have to code around it, sooner or later your code begins to depend on this abomination of a database. Then, even the smallest change takes months. Now, if you fix this database, clean it up, suddenly thousands of impossible changes are in reach. This happened to the database in EVE not to long ago, much to collector's dismay. However, we are now seeing direct results. The Unified Inventory appears to be a now direct view into the item database, which is more than a step forward.

    With a cleanly coded database, you can make small changes quickly. I think this is primarily when we saw CCP go from long waits between patches to many small patches.

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  18. I myself prefer the new UIS to the old IS. The Eve-O forum threads about it are just so annoying/frustrating that the supporters stopped posting due to all the rage,

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    1. The old inventory system was "big pile of stuff", though. You really preferred that?

      Put another way, every file on your computer -- document, photo, picture, movie, porn, etc. -- are all in the same folder on your desktop, right? Because you really prefer that?

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    2. He said he prefers the new one, Jester. ;P

      Delete
  19. The UI changes were a horrible performance hog out of the gate. They fixed those issues and now I have no complaints. Overall I'm pleased with the direction and I'm finding it easier to work with as I get used to it. That being said, you're right. Some people aren't happy unless they are miserable. Its Human nature I think.

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  20. one thing that comes to mind about filters is: god i hope they eventually allow 'blueprint copy' filter to exist

    As for changing the game impacting the community population? Regardless of the forum trolls, irritating the customer base (within reason) actually improves longevity of said customers...i forget where i read it (jessica mulligan of Biting the Hand fame? not sure)

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  21. The new inventory system came out 1/4 baked.

    If you have a large number of BPCs and wish to move them it goes nuts.

    If you have a large number of items to repackage it goes nuts.

    If you want to move stuff from an orca's corp hangers to a station's corp hanger you either need to allocate a huge amount of space to the new system or break it into the old type.

    It doesn't seem like people that played the game actually had a say as to when it was released. Will they get it decent? Sure.

    This isn't what I imagined when they said they'd be focusing on flying in space though. That is my gripe with the whole 'change' issue.

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  22. I expect CCP has bigger plans for the underlying infrastructure that supports the new inventory UI. I'm thinking POS management, Science & Industry jobs management, and maybe even corp management. If that's true, then there are reasons to be optimistic about these current changes. Given CCP's track record of seeing every problem as a nail (because the only tool they have is a hammer), however, I forsee much hilarity and fail in store as well.

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