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...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fly safe

I was going to delay writing this post a few more days, but events seem to be getting ahead of me.

CSM9 member FunkyBacon is reporting based on social media information that CCP Bro and CCP Dolan are leaving the company. Normally at this stage, such "announcements" would be unsubstantiated rumor... but neither man occupies a position "important enough" to warrant any sort of formal announcement or press release. Therefore, a social media announcement is all that we're going to get.

I first met both men last year at Fanfest. Both worked for CCP as "Community Specialists". For Bro, it was our first conversations in person after my having talked to him several times on Teamspeak and Skype relating to Syndicate Competitive League work. His primary role was EVE's eSports Coordinator but he also had a number of responsibilities in dealing with player streaming as well as petitions. He'd been a Game Master for two years prior to that and was just stepping into this new role.

At the time, he struck me as a man just coming to grips with what he was realizing would be a difficult job. CCP's support of tournament play has always been enthusiastic but a little... half-hearted. It's always felt a bit like step two or three of CCP's plan for this has been "Then it will go viral, and..." Over the last year watching him work, I've been struck by his enthusiasm and dedication to pushing this rock uphill.

I've been extremely tough on Bro a time or two this year, but I really really like the guy personally. We had some great conversations at Fanfest this year, both before I learned of his departure and after. He's a thoroughgoing professional and I have no doubt that he's going to do a fantastic job where he lands... and given the different strategies between there and CCP around his first love, I suspect he's going to be one hell of a lot happier. Bro has the distinction of having his last "work" day at CCP be at the Party at the Top of the World. ;-)

I'd chatted with Dolan a time or two on podcasts and the like before Fanfest last year. Like Bro, he was a "Community Specialist". And as a Dolan-watcher, he first came to my attention as a commentator for the first New Eden Open in late 2012. Now the funny thing is, I'd never encountered michael boltonIII so I didn't have any pre-conceived notions about what his performance was likely to be. Lots of you knew of him well before I did but I wasn't nearly that smart. So I was willing to give him a chance and see what he could do.

And oh dear Heaven did I rip that man to shreds. I said nearly every nasty possible thing you can imagine about his performance and I was not alone. And damn if he didn't take it to heart... and then try to improve! By two weeks later, I was cautiously praising his work. Over the 18 months since then, that's been Dolan's pattern: he gets better and better at what he does, doesn't make the same mistake twice, takes informed constructive criticism and learns from it.

By the time I met him at Fanfest last year, we had a couple of really good conversations and soon learned that we'd be working together on CSM8, me as a member, he as the CSM coordinator. And I've said again and again all year how much respect I have for his work. He has great organizational skills, was dedicated, hard-working, persistent as a bulldog, and committed to doing the best job he could possibly do with the tasks put before him. He did a terrific job as the CSM8 coordinator, as good a job as anyone else in the same position could have done, and better than most. He didn't always succeed, but he always gave every job his best effort. But his biggest strength is that this man is "game for a laugh", to use the British phrase.


I have never met another human being who takes himself less seriously, and few people with thicker skin. These are both rare and incredible strengths. I really look forward to watching his career develop and am sad to see CCP let him go. He was an easy pick to receive one of my famous hoodies. Like Bro, Dolan and I had several good conversations at Fanfest this year and I look forward to talking to him again in the future as an EVE player. I doubt very much New Eden's heard the last of him!

Here are the farewell threads for Bro and Dolan, respectively. Feel free to send your personal messages along. Bro's replacement is CCP Gargant. I had a chance to chat with him twice at Fanfest and he's just a terrific guy: smart, enthusiastic, dedicated. He'll pick up Bro's responsibilities fine. Dolan's replacement is CCP Leeloo. I didn't have much of a chance to talk to her -- I wanted to leave her free to talk to the CSM9 members in place. But in the past week, she's shown herself to be an able replacement.

So... fly safe, gentlemen! It's been a sincere pleasure working with both of you. I expect to hear about your future success! o7

31 comments:

  1. http://evenews24.com/2014/04/27/submissions-three-years-i-hope-im-wrong/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They got hired by Riot who undoubtably pays more. They even hired "Ghostcrawler" from Blizzard wich is funny given his reputation among pvpers in WoW.

      Delete
    2. Out of morbid curiosity, what's funny about GC? Save the usual "don't nerf me bro" stuff, that is. When I started playing WoW, the difference between DPS specs was close to 40%; by the time I left the people were losing their shit over < 5% differences. That's not bad at all. Grats to Riot for getting the guy.

      Delete
    3. I pointed at this post in my Junk Drawer post 10 days ago. I respect Wiggles a LOT but I think he's wrong about this. EVE has been declared dead a silly number of times and yet despite a few hurdles and obstacles is still going strong. It's going to take a really impressive competitor to kill it and that isn't going to happen in three years.

      Delete
    4. I, for one, believe that in the gaming market it is not necessary a strong competitor to take a product out. A series of weak competitors may have the same effect over the years. At least that's my understanding of the current WoW situation and I don't see why this would be impossible to happen to Eve, unfortunately.

      Delete
    5. According to the logic in that evenews24 article CCP and Eve already shutdown around 2005 and around 2010.

      Delete
    6. "I pointed at this post in my Junk Drawer post 10 days ago. I respect Wiggles a LOT but I think he's wrong about this. EVE has been declared dead a silly number of times and yet despite a few hurdles and obstacles is still going strong. It's going to take a really impressive competitor to kill it and that isn't going to happen in three years."

      No, Jester, it doesn't takes any competitor to kill an MMO. It just takes that enough people go away.

      And that's what has been going on since Incarna, what CCP has not adressed, what CCP plans will make worse and what CCP won't be able to tackle before it's too late.

      "Stay tuned until nullsec cartels get some stargates to some new content" is not going to save EVE as it is the peak of everything CCP has been doing wrong since Incarna. And I already saw that coming since the "Crossing the Rubicon" letter by CCP Seagull.

      This is why I spent a PLEX so my main was at the monument; she deserved to be present at EVE's only tombstone.

      Delete
  2. So many well known dev's left lately, should we be worried?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. The hard core of the team -- the people doing the heavy lifting -- is intact. Worry a lot if Fozzie, Masterplan, Rise, Veritas, Bettik, Ytterbium, Scarpia, Arrow, or even Greyscale leaves. Worry a little if Punkturis, karkur, SoniClover, Affinity, Goliath, or Xhagen leaves.

      Delete
    2. What Jester said.

      Bro and Dolan were let go, because CCP management thought their work was poor did not meet expectations sufficiently to warrant renewing their contracts.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for your insight into CCPgames.

      You did not mention CCP Torifrans, I feel he holds a place holder function within CCP lower management cloud but he could maybe be responsible for up to 2.5% of the other revenue and cost of sales stream within the Company.

      We have not heard from CCP Ripley in a while as Senior Producer for Release Development, any thoughts ?

      Then the obvious non-mention of Andie Nordgren, she was Senior Technical Producer at CCPgames and now is the Senior Producer of EVE Online.
      Did you forget CCPgames follows her 3-5 years plan for Eve Online?

      Regards, a Freelancer

      Delete
    4. PS: we forgot CCP Explorer to

      source: http://i.imgur.com/abgBUok.png

      Wasn't he CCPgames software "Wiz-Kid", I remember reading about it in poe's blog, is he now CCPgames interim executive producer for eve online ?

      Delete
    5. My list wasn't intended to be all-inclusive. I also forgot CCP Arrow and a few others.

      Delete
    6. But how many names used to be on that "hard core of the team" list that are now gone?

      I don't think the loss of these devs alone has been enough to endanger the game or company, but it certainly has changed the direction of things. One could easily make the argument that such a change has not been for the better of the game as a whole.

      For a game that becomes a long term investment the way that EVE does, selling your players on a vision, then never reaching that vision but instead constantly replacing it with the "new guy's" vision tends to put people off as they see the goals they stayed subscribed for tossed out. Then, even if they like the new goals brought in place of the old, they wonder how long it will be before those goals are discarded as well, and what real progress the game will ever make. When the future of such a game is uncertain, it becomes less compelling to keep paying for it.

      Delete
  3. +1 to CCP for letting go of these two losers.

    And, don't insult Gargant and Leeloo by calling them "replacements". If CCP wanted to "replace" Dolan and Bro, they would have hired chimpanzees or donkeys...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Braying donkeys

      Delete
    2. Best news I've heard about CCP this year....

      Delete
    3. They got axed? About damn time. Maybe now we'll see a more professional attitude during the tournaments and not have to endure all of that self-involved verbal masturbation.

      Might be hope for CCP yet.

      Delete
  4. http://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/CCP-Reviews-E159347.htm has quite some interesting reviews of former and current employees. (Almost) All have in common that the management at CCP is bad and lacks the vision and competence to be effective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any news about a(ny) Executive Producer for Eve Online ?

      Delete
    2. Severance is a bitch. No one has a good thing to say about it - ever.

      Delete
    3. I must be getting old. New faces don't appeal as much as the familiar these days.
      Less ass-hattery would be welcome though. CCP Leeloo just might be cool enough for that. Gargant needs to grow on me. heh.

      Delete
    4. I read the reviews back to 2011 and I have to say they sadly strike me as true. The upper management needs a complete overhaul as evidenced by the moronic way project legion was announced.

      Delete
    5. People who get fired rarely have anything good to say about their former company, and esp. their former management.

      Delete
  5. I concur with Dolan's impressive ability for self improvement. I think a lot of people got a bad first impression and never realized that with Dolan, what you see is not what you are going to get down the road. This will carry him far.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really liked Dolan. Whatever his faults, he always come off as sincere and earnest, and definitely had potential to grow. I had less of a read on Bro, but he seemed like a decent guy.

    Wish them all the best, even if I personally care little for Riot and LoL.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "He did a terrific job as the CSM8 coordinator, as good a job as anyone else in the same position could have done, and better than most."

    Apparently, most of your fellow CSM8 members did not agree. At least three members made formal complaints in private to CCP, and several others contributed corroborating remarks. This is part of the reason that Dolan was given his exit visa.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Source?" CCP employee, ofc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that is usually where I get my information, too.

      Delete
  9. No one will miss Dolan. No one. EVE is better without him, literal addition by subtraction.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.