"Is that true?" one of the other kids asks, and suddenly all of them are asking it in a chaotic chorus: "Is that tr--" "Yeah, is tha--" "Is that tru--" Like I said, it's a funny scene. But I can't help feeling a bit like Roger Murtaugh right now.
A number of you have asked for my opinion and feeling about Poetic Stanziel's recent announcement that he's going to stop blogging and/or stop playing EVE Online. And given the number of accusations leveled at CCP in this announcement post, I suppose it's not too surprising that many of you want my take on them. Poe says CCP shoots EVE players! And just maybe also CCP Sreegs! Is that true? ;-)
So, let me apologize right away: this is a long post. But Poe brings up a lot of stuff.
Let's start with the easy bit: how do I feel about Poe leaving EVE? I've said this before a number of times, but every person reading this right now is at some point going to lose faith with EVE or the EVE developers. If this hasn't happened to you yet, then you just haven't been playing this game long enough. Sometimes people just need a break, and that's what this feels like: I think Poe will be back. That said, I am sad to see him go. Even though I've described him as the "anti-Jester" and even though I disagree with a high percentage of what he writes, he both occasionally writes some really winning stuff and he's a valuable voice in the community. I follow what he writes and I know a lot of you do as well.
In the big picture, we've lost at least four player voices this year I wish we hadn't: Poe, Jadefalcon, Azual Skoll, and Arydanika.(1) But new player voices and content creators pop up fairly constantly. Some catch on, some fade away. Poe's departure creates an opportunity for someone else to step up.
Next easiest is Poe's accusation that CCP Sreegs left CCP because CCP wouldn't let him fight the war on bots his way. I can tell you from experience that I'm occasionally sent stuff by readers that is unsubstantiated rumor presented as fact. I've learned not to trust anything that's single-sourced and to go out and look for backing evidence. Too many of you charming people love to troll bloggers into publishing something that isn't true for me not to be pretty careful. Even so, I've had to issue a few retractions over the years. Am I saying that's what happened here? Let's just say that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
About Poe's reaction to the ToS changes, I will say again that I think the player reaction here is -- with a few exceptions here and there -- an over-reaction. Yes, I'm concerned! Yes, I'm still watching it! But I honestly think this is a case of CCP unintentionally shooting their own foot with an elephant gun. I do think the GMs involved do think they were simply clarifying a position that they've taken for years and weren't actually intending to actually change much of anything. The unexpected player reaction was then fueled by GMs making poorly-worded public statements without properly vetting those public statements in advance. Players took those public statements as gospel and here we are.
I continue to believe that we're going to see a much better explanation from CCP about what they meant by these changes and their intent is not to ban you for impersonating you. When that explanation comes, it will come from a higher level than the GMs themselves. But yes, I think Poe is over-reacting.
Regarding the hacking mini-game, I'm going to tread very carefully around the :nda: mine-field here. Speaking as a player and not a CSM member, I honestly feel like the mini-game is an attempt by CCP to do two things simultaneously:
- make one small part of the PvE experience more interesting; and,
- increase the risk to players participating in the PvE experience.
But comparing the hacking mini-game to Valkryie is ridiculous. EVR as displayed at Fanfest was a technology demo, not a game. Games need to be secure enough and stable enough and intuitive enough to put them in front of hundreds of thousands of people without a lot of hand-holding. Don't get me wrong: EVR is fantastic and Valkyrie looks even better... but it's nowhere near that level yet.
Poe is disappointed with the last few expansions and says...
I blame it on CCP's short development cycles and their unwillingness to stretch feature development across cycles. Thus we continually get features that fit into four to five month development windows, which means we continually get features that are light on actual features.And while that was once a valid criticism, I've said right here on this blog -- with good evidence -- that CCP recognizes this issue and is moving forward with a lot of long-term planning and thinking and development. And Poe should know this. Heaven knows he's been told enough times by enough people. As we follow CCP Seagull's three-year road-map, you're going to see more and more of this become self-evident. Hell, on this very blog I let slip that one of Team Five-0's major projects "for winter" is actually set-up work for a follow-on expansion.
He brings up disappointing EVE PvE in general, too. Am I disappointed with EVE's PvE? Obviously, I am. I bring it up often enough as an area where EVE needs the most improvement. I sat in a chair in Iceland and flat-out told the CCP developers responsible for PvE that if I want to do PvE, I go play another game! Doubt many of you have the stones to do that. ;-) Trust me: the devs in question are not blind to EVE's faults in this area. Know that they need to make it better? One of those long-term multi-expansion projects that Poe claims doesn't exist, but which CCP Unifex made clear in January before he left the EP job were going to be the cornerstone of EVE development going forward.
Anyone remember this graphic? I invite you to examine what's on it, other than POSes and exploration and ship balancing.
So. To sum up, I am sad that Poe is stepping back from EVE Online. But this particular post is unfortunately a mix of misinformation and over-reaction, with a dash of flat-out wrong mixed in for flavor. It's precisely the sort of post I mean when I say I disagree with a goodly percentage of what Poe writes. Any other questions on this subject?
(1) A couple of them may or may not continue playing EVE, but they've stopped creating content for and stopped talking about EVE.