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...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Something in the air

Just a quickie.

Find the thing on this Blink page that makes me wonder what has gotten into the air-handlers at CCP headquarters.

Trebor Daehdoow designed a little CSM logo that shows the six stages of being a CSM member, starting from the 2 o'clock position and then going in a counter-clockwise direction.  For the most part to date, I haven't been much past facial expression #3.  But this makes me jump straight to facial expression #6, the classic face-palm.

What the hell was CCP thinking here?  I wish I could tell you, but I can't.  It's pure :awesome:.  And no, this was not shared with the CSM in advance.  I assure you had it been, we would have jumped up and down all over it.

EDIT 26/Sep/2013: Mat Westhorpe has written a lovely short piece that covers some of my concerns.  Go read it.  He gives several good reasons why this shouldn't happen without even going dark side.  Now briefly remember that there are EVE players involved in this.
EDIT 26/Sep/2013: Irony, thy name is CCP Goliath.
EDIT 26/Sep/2013: CCP has addressed one of my four concerns with this promotion.  The other three remain.  They are:
  1. showing favoritism toward a particular fansite over others;
  2. giving trillions of ISK in give-aways to a for-profit gambling site that one must join in order to participate in the give-away; and,
  3. putting control over the give-away of a unique ship that will not be available in any other way into the hands of an EVE player, no matter how apparently trust-worthy.
I'm glad that CCP is listening to my and the rest of the CSM's significant concerns about this give-away and are adjusting their strategy.  And I realize it's probably too late to abort the give-away.  But this was and continues to be a bad move on CCP's part.

Just wanted to make my position on this clear, in case you were curious.


  1. Please rip CCP up and down for this one. I completely agree with that article

  2. This sounds like a David Reid PR stunt. Once I saw the dev blog yesterday, I knew something crazy was going to happen.

  3. this is, without a doubt, the worst decision they could possibly make. How are they going to ensure the lottery is conducted fairly if they don't control the mechanisms of the lottery?

  4. CCP's Marketing Department is really handout-happy with the exclusive ships. It's starting to get vexing, and I say this as a terribad roleplayer.

    CCP has a bunch of reskinned ships in the database already. They should give us a means of selecting paint job from the stock ones, or linking paintjobs with LP store 'navy' versions of the ships. (IE, the Scorpion Ishukone Watch Issue has the stats of a Scorpion Navy Issue, but the current skin, and comes via the Ishukone and Ishukone Watch LP store; uses existing balance, gives a shiny ship a use, and fractures the navy market a tiny bit.)

    Voila. Content. Easy to make, uses lots of 'new' assets CCP started making ages ago, and sidesteps this terrible marketing love of digital incentives. ("It's free! Doesn't cost us anything! Except the satisfaction and support of the existing player base.")

  5. It's almost like theres people in high positions that don't care / understand the game. A terrible gut feeling I have is Soundwave leaving is writing on the wall

  6. Only one of these ships (used to) exist in the entire universe!
    Oh look, there's another one....

    Making 'new' versions of ships should be easy. Change the colour, give it a name - if you want more, adjust some stats as well - and hand it out via lottery (or whatever else you want to do with it/them). They will still be rare and sought after in their own right.
    Just leave the historical versions as that.

    CCP get their new shiny to hand out at minimal effort.
    EVE vets (and EVE itself) get to keep their history.
    All EVE players get to marvel at the new shiny.

    If there is a down side, I'm not seeing it.

  7. Kinda' makes me wonder how big Somer's influence on PLEX sales has become. It's all about the bottom line people.

  8. CCP is still trying to promote the monocles? But seriously, adding more rare ships to the game is cool. Adding more of the same exact rare ships only makes them less rare, and is not cool.

  9. Hire guys from EA they said. It will help business they said.

    On a more serious note, I hope you guys give them hell, Ripard.


  10. I particularly enjoyed the part where CCP Navigator claimed there wasn't going to be any reissuing of tournament ships.....in defense of CCP handing out a tournament ship.

    The saddest part is that the community teams are the ones that the community should have the most faith in, and blunders like this just torpedo trust they've worked hard to build elsewhere.

    This also just smacks of lack of creativity - there were a hundred ways to go about issuing a unique and valuable prize that doesn't shit all over consistency and trust in what CCP says and what they end up doing years later. I mean hell, they could have issued a "Pyrite Magnate" and it could have had a cool, "fool's gold" skin that was unique enough to respect the historical value of the Gold Magnate and its loss, while still being a unique and valuable prize in the present - but instead they just delivered copypasta.

    Regardless of what their policy is moving forward, priority one needs to be consistency in what the community teams say and do - If CCP is going to claim that a prize is unique, they need to NEVER ISSUE IT AGAIN. EVER. And people can trust them. If the policy is instead that "nothing will be issued for a while, until we decided to trot it out again" than there just needs to be a posting that explains that all prize ships are fair game for reprint, and suck it up and take ownership of their policy.

    Trying to do both - issuing unique prizes and promising they'll be unique but releasing them later anyways, is a huge failure and I sincerely hope that CCP is reconsidering their decision here as we speak.

  11. Jester and the rest of the CSM: please ensure that whoever thought of this inside CCP is duly chewed out for such an idiotic idea. I would not mind at all, if the blame was pointed at the new Ex-EA hires to use it as an excuse to get the fuck rid of them.

    Thanks for all that you do.

  12. I'm more upset with the favoritism than diminishing the history of EVE, though they are both troubling. Also, I believe CCP Navigator is, in fact, violating the ToS in his post in the SOMER Blink thread.

    "- Implying favouritism (section 1).

    CCP Games or ISD does not vouch for the trustworthiness of any player."

    "SOMER Blink have a history of being trustworthy and honoring every blink played without exception." - CCP Navigator


    Does this mean SOMER Blink has been audited by CCP, and is definitely not a scam (up to this point)? That CCP has verified that all Blink winners and their accounts are in no way affiliated with Blink?

  13. I don't see why people are confused. After the whole Monoclegate thing CCP went back to the drawing board on how to implement microtransactions.

    CCP need to remove the idea that everything in game should be made by the players. We have to get used to the idea of large numbers of items going **poof** and appearing in game without any in game activity. this will smooth the way to sell us crap in the future.

    To do this they stopped adding many **cool* things into the game as drops/craftable. They began giving things away in a variety of way to make them go **poof** into the game. We get golden pods and tattoos only available from the collectors edition. We get custom catalysts from the buddy program. We get super rare ships being given out as competition prizes. Special clothing options for buying Plex or subscribing to a livestream. The whole intention is to get us used to the idea of when we pay money we get cool stuff in game.

    The next will be the mobile side of the game. that was never free so we will pay for that. But I am sure we will get special items in game when we pay for it. Eventually as we get used to the idea they will slowly fill the aurum store with the things they already gave out "just to allow the people who missed out to get them" and then "a special anniversary/party/whatever special item exclusive"

    Its all part of a bigger plan

    1. Golden pods for RL cash. That was the shot across the bow that should have raised more than a few eyebrows when it was announced as part of the Collector Edition. It is all part of a bigger plan, and the writing on the wall is becoming clearer. PLEX sale this week at Amazon? The writing becomes a little clearer.

  14. This does feel like a big step backwards in terms of CCP's communication with the CSM and their understanding of their customer base. I'd very much like to know the answers to these questions:

    Was this decision universally agreed by all parties at CCP or was it an edict pushed from on high?

    Did the decision-making personnel have a good understanding of the community prior to pushing the decision through?

    Did anyone point out or were given the opportunity to point out the potential ramifications of the strategy?

    My fear is that this affair might be as a result of the kind of senior personnel detachment that has led CCP into dangerous waters in the past. It's not that this is a Defcon 1 rage-inducing issue, but I'm concerned it's indicative of a regression of the culture at CCP.

    This feels like the result of a big disconnect somewhere in the chain of communication above the CSM.

  15. I own an Ishukone Watch Scorpion. Frankly, let CCP add more of them to the game! Lore is only as important as players allow it to be. The Gold Magnate wasn't famous because it was unique, but because it was unique and destroyed.

    Giving it to Somer, though, was a terrible mistake. Even if Somer hands them out fairly (and I'm sure that he will), he makes a massive take on Blink, and CCP just drove an absolute boatload of traffic to his site. They've basically handed him a windfall -- not that he needs it.

  16. REALLY? Okay, CCP, I sorta see why you're sad to see some exsisting ship models being underused.

    But this is NOT the way to deal with that. First off, ships that were supposed to be UNIQUE became PART OF THE HISTORY of EVE because of that. You wantonly re-introducing them is damaging the credability of that history. You know, one of the things you often use as great selling point of your game? You re-issuing a Gold Magnate is, basically, not unlike your GMs putting all the old BoB corps back together, recreating any closed ones if need be, giving them their alliance name back and insta-sov over delve. it's, if not QUITE the equivalent of traveling back in time and killing your own grandfather, at least doing so and killing a great-aunt.

    Secondly: If you feel a BURNING NEED to do such a stupid, stupid thing, AT LEAST MAKE FUCKIN' WELL SURE it's done entirely fairly. IE, keep the distribution in your own hands. Somer-Blink is a mostly respected organization. But it's also known to be used as a way to "launder" RMT-ed ISK. Also, IT'S COMPLETELY OUT OF YOUR HANDS! How WILL you feel if it later turns out Somer-Blink was completely honest up to that point, but decided to cash out taking your precious new ships and, oh, the current balance of their clients? I'm sure they'd beat the previous record for a scam, so, well, at least you'd be making some NEW history... But it'd still be a PR nightmare.

    Taross/Giel M

  17. Looks like there has been an update, and some (or all) of the prizes are to be revised.

  18. In order to win you have to go do some gambling at a casino we don't own. That's what CCP is saying here. Outright selling the shit for cash can't be far behind.

    I don't do blink. I mute people on voicecomms when they start going on and on about blink. I close chats when people turn the subject to blink. I don't have anything against them, nor do I "hate" anyone who plays blink. I dumped a couple hundred mil into them about a year ago and haven't been back since. The house ALWAYS wins in the long run. I enjoy casino gambling, so I'm not preaching that gambling is immoral or anything like that.

    But it's gambling, something I no longer do with my ISK. And I have to gamble in order to be eligible for some CCP EVE Online swag? Fuck that sideways.

  19. The last time you guys showed this level of favoritism for a player or group of players, you had to create the CSM. Think about it for a minute. ~PotatoOverdose on the official forums

    Seriously, I think this is the time for the CSM to straight up batphone whomever the highest person in the chain of command they can get ahold of at CPP and tell them they are about to make such a huge mistake that no CSM could stem off the coming Winter of Discontent that will make the Summer of Rage look like a day at the beach. Its like nothing was learned from T20 or monaclegate or any of the other lessons. Hell, the damned giveaway has monocles! It's like they are trying to rub their stupidity in our faces!

  20. I am SomerT20 and I approve of this great and totally unbiased promotion!

  21. I'm finding it hard to care about reissuing a handful of classic ships that I will never be able to afford, wouldn't dare fly if I could, and could never sell more than once if I did manage to acquire one. I see CCP bowing to pressure from players, though, and that's good.

    I haven't cared enough about Blink to know exactly what it is they do, either, so I am similarly unable to muster outrage about their special relationship with CCP.

    Far be it from me to spoil a good rage, though. Y'all keep squawking, because CCP clearly is listening.

  22. Here's how I would do the PR thing: issue tickets directly from CCP, let the tickets be market-sellable. List the draw date for each ticket. Issue some tickets directly to players, others through LP stores in limited numbers. Players must reverse-redeem the ticket to participate in the draw, with ticket numbers showing up through Account Management (perhaps in the voucher centre). Then draw the prize and whoever has the winning ticket gets the prize in the redeeming system.

    Showing favouritism to sites by issuing rare/unique ships for free is totally unacceptable.

    1. Don't you think that making the tickets market-sellable would strongly go in favour of the game's ISK-Trillionnaires?
      You might as well just give them the prize right away.

      Anyways, I can see why gambling is an issue. It's a mental health hazard and EVE is NOT sold as a mature-only (18+) game to the public.
      It might not impact the majority of EVE players but I'm sure that will concern some parents.
      How would you feel if your kid's favourite console game would start to include marketing stunts about for-profit gambling websites?

  23. Put your tin foil hats down folks. Did you ever think that, maybe, if you do enough business with a company they may give you a little better treatment than they give someone else? If you have a site that has given hundreds of billions of isk as backing for prizes over a number of years (Alliance tournament, the SCL, etc...) you may get a thank you in the form of some special things from CCP. It's the same reason that they slobber all over the alienware gear during Alliance tournament (hint they are a sponser).

  24. I'm not particularly unhappy about the proposed guardian-vexor reissue. It's not ridiculous though if it had been me making the decision I'd have done a bunch of advance preparation of the ground. The rest (Gold Magnate, Somer Blink favoritism, Gambling, etc.) is clearly the product of someone very out of touch with the eve playerbase.

    I think that this raises an interesting point which is going to have to be dealt with someday...each of these limited build ships takes up a lot of dev resources considering that they aren't used for more than (optimistically) an hour or so a year (less in the case of the Gold Magnate). I can see that CCP might want to change the policy on rare ships for similar reasons to the ones they used to change the policy of ship balancing....to more efficiently use the existing assets.

  25. CCP has claimed you can't have them vouch for you and is now vouching for someone. CCP Falcon literally said the best argument against this a week ago. Please at least try to make them stop.

  26. I'm assuming CCP either have or will shortly hear Garth's opinion of this sequence of events?

  27. Suspicious, what is in the other hand while our eyes are fixed on this flashy and outrageous nonsense gaff?

  28. This whole episode makes me worry that CCP is completely out of touch with reality. Or only cares about filling their pockets. It is simply outrageous.

  29. New guy comes on board from EA, without perspective on the history of Eve. Another PR blunder ensues. I know where I'm placing my bet on the source of this brilliant idea.

  30. So the fix is to replace the old unique ship with a new unique ship. Except the new ship is not just a new skin, but unique stats also!

  31. I'd love to see how offshore US gambling law applies to Blink. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) bans the use of credit cards. And then there's the Wire Act. Interesting if you're a final year law student looking for a challenge.


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