A Response to CCP Hellmar’s Letter.
The estrangement from CCP that many of you have been feeling of late is my fault, and for that I am truly sorry. There are many contributing factors, but in the end it is I who must shoulder the responsibility for much of what has happened.
I appreciate both the sentiment and the spin, as well as the effort you are putting forward, to be honest I doubt many other game companies would bother to write the letter you’re writing but let’s be honest, the problems with EVE and with CCP are endemic, and asking us to swallow this guilt trip is not coming off as humble as you’d think. I mean saying that you are responsible for the the current state of EVE is like saying Lee Harvey Oswald really shot JFK, sure, that’s the official story, but no one really believes it.
I was impatient when I should have been cautious, defiant when I should have been conciliatory and arrogant when I should have been humble.
No, You were greedy. We aren’t children, well most of us aren’t. A few of us have lived long enough, and participated in business long enough to recognize zealous hubris from gluttonous greed. You got greedy and you fucked up. You started to look at us like we were just dollar signs, just consumers.
…growing the company to 600 people, increasing our subscriber count beyond that of the population of Iceland and on and on, one resounding success after the next despite earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and even a world economic collapse.
This is why we are still here, why you are getting second, and third and fourth chances, because you have done right by us in the past, and you can do again, but this is also the same reason why you are being held by the community to a higher standard. It’s at the top of the hill that you must walk the hardest.
I was wrong and I admit it.
No biggie, most of us just turn it off, it’s pretty much useless and a drain on resources. Most hard core players run multiple clients, we turn the audio and the detail way down. You really would have done better to speed up the client.
I for instance run EVE on my laptop, running 2 clients at once on a laptop sucks.
Virtual goods have no place in EVE, that is something that is successful with companies like Zynga, and casual gamers. EVE is not a casual game, it’s a substantial monetary and time investment just to play normally, plus all of the addtional skills and information you need to learn. There are thousands of modules, and combinations and little rules to remember. We love that stuff.
What we don’t love is bullshit useless vanity items.
This is something that simply boggles my mind. You have PLEXes, either get rid of them or add to them, but quit with this idea that’s it’s unfair. Time is money. I personally think it’s unfair for me to get suicide ganked by a 10 year old when I undock because he has such good pilot skills because he can spend his every waking moment online waiting for someone with the right cargo to undock, but I, a busy adult, have to get something moved now.
I consider that an unfair advantage, I work for hours to get my money, I should be able to convert that time into game value. It’s a sword that cuts both ways.
If something takes 3 hours of game time to do, and I don’t have 3 hours of game time, I should be able to trade 3 hours of work time for 3 hours of game time. That’s not an unfair advantage, that’s a balance. So whether you sit in a chair in front of the screen and grind it out, or pay $30, you have still spent 3 hours of time at something.
You wanna talk about unfair advantages…
EVE is filled to the brim with iniquities, selfishness, and rewards only for the most psychotic and psychopathic behaviors.
Something that you completely avoid in your letter, what are you going to do about griefing. We aren’t asking you to ban it, we are asking for some kind of method to get back at people who harass us, within the game, that actually matters.
Killing us matters to us, but to a griefer, getting killed is just funny. We want a non-destructive community beneficial method of punishment that we can reciprocate with.
I think eve should be the first, or one of the first games ever to implement a prison system, where griefer players can go and have to pay a debt to society. Like mining ice in a frigate.
I think the players should have player Judges, appointed by the CSM who can hear complaints and take action. I think players in Empire space should be given the ability to work WITH CONCORD and State governments. The whole Pirate Faction stuff is fun, but we want incursions against Pirate Corporation, against other players.
We want laws and rules, and the ability, the tools, to enforce those laws within the space that we live.
Though the introduction was clearly flawed, our plans for virtual goods are intended to make your playing experience better, not to disrupt it.
No, they weren’t. They don’t make anyone’s lives or player experience better. Your intention was to make money and cash in on this digital item craze. Christ man, we are already paying you guys a minimum of 14 euros a month. Most of us pay a lot more. How much money do you really need?
There was another way, but you were too blind to see it. You already have digital goods, that mean something, and that are bought and sold all of the time.
Your staunch and inflexible policies on selling ships, modules, and ISK is just bad business practice. Obviously it is something people want, so you should find a way for them to do it, and there’s no reason why you can’t make some money while you do it.
Imagine for a moment, you have thousands of players grinding, inventing, market trading. They would love to convert that time spent into some cash. Why don’t you just provide them with a way to do it? Why not create real player stores on the eve website, allow them to list their goods, and you process the payments and pay them at the end of the month, keeping a transaction fee for yourself?
Instead of punishing people, unfairly, and to be frank, retardedly and sometimes meanly, for doing what they want, why don’t you see this as an opportunity to have your cake and eat it too?
Monthly subscriptions are a thing of the past, and micropayment systems are coming into their own. But that doesn’t always directly mean you must sell digital goods.
You could sell embedded advertising.
You could institute a micropayment, pay as you go, only pay for the time you play system. So if this month, you don’t log in so much, you don’t pay as much.
You could split the game up a bit. Many of us just do market trading, we rarely ever leave stations cause of griefers, and it’s a waste of ISK. Why not have an iphone, web based interface to market trading with per-transaction costs? Why not create something like EveTrade. This would link back in nicely to player stores and selling digital items, for which the market is key, so you could charge a bit extra, or charge differently for different aspects of the game.
You guys really had blinders on with this one, greed blinders, and you were lazy. Those things are difficult to forgive because they aren’t honest mistakes, they are dishonest.
EVE will be more personal, and thus more accessible to general audiences. Visual self-expression in a virtual setting is a core psychological component of gaming; most people need to see their avatars, or something vaguely humanoid, or else they don’t connect with the game.
You can please some of the people all of the time, or all of the people some of the time, but you can’t do both. You will just have to choose.
It’s a bit like Chris Rock’s comedy routine about new pussy. It’s about 1:42 into the video. It’s about commitment, versus new pussy, because you have to look at things in the long term. Yeah, there are a lot of finicky casual gamers out there who want an identity in a video game to tranquilize their minds from the horrors of their mediocre suburban existence, but those customers are like new pussy. Hardcore gamers are a bitch, we can be cranky, hard to please. But in the end, we pay. And once we start something, we stay with you for years. We bought your cars, we bought your houses, we buy your vacations. After all we’ve done for you, you wanna go fuck around on us?
EVE is not an easy game. It is not a “fun” distraction. EVE is a challenge, it always has been, and it attracts people with a grandiose sense of self and ability. We are too narcissistic to give attention away on a fucking avatar. We want world domination, mayhem, power, we want to overcome obstacles and triumph. We want our game experience to have meaning. We don’t want Gallenteville on Facebook. Or Angry Khanids on iPhone. That’s not innovation, that’s copying off others, and that’s a losers game.
A dog with two bones
It seems to me that you, and the whole of CCP are like a dog with two bones, it’s an Aesop’s fable, look it up.
You can’t decide which one you want, the one you have, or the one you could get. But you don’t have a casual gaming product. You have a hardcore gaming product. And as more and more companies flood the market with pointless casual games, you think you want a piece of that pie, without realizing that those companies are alienating their hardcore player base. Where are they gonna go? If you play your cards right, they could go to EVE.
EVE is still unique in the real and virtual world. This is our vision for her, and we want so badly to take you there.
The pointless paramoralism of that video aside, taking EVE in that direction is going to require a lot of work, which we all know you can do, but you cannot do it alone. You need your hardcore player base, you need your testers, you need your feedback, and you need to make the process of feature design and even implementation more transparent and more dynamic. I am not talking about development by committee, I am talking about agile development with constant feedback.
Ships in EVE
More ships, and not just T3, or T2, I think you should decommission old ships and create completely new ones. Decommission old modules as well.
You should fix the SB, we all keep saying this, but it needs more range, and less torpedos, in fact, Fuck torpedos.
SBs are Artillery, it’s supposed to be a positional warfare kind of ship. But since it’s the only one, it’s fucking useless, the best way to fix SBs is to create more AOE weapon types, and ships that actually have to be flown.
Also, you should make it harder to kill ships. I don’t mean easier to escape, I mean it should take longer to kill them.
You should also allow for more customization of ships, if you hadn’t spent so much time on that fucking useless character customizer and spent more on customising ships we’d all be happy bunnies.
While I am on the topic of character customization, I want fat short characters. I find it insulting that every character must be average to anorexic. I want a midget, I want a fat midget.
You don’t just have to fix nullsec, you have to fix combat in nullsec,and combat entirely. It’s too easy for a bunch of assholes with too much time on their hands to run around ganking people.
Get rid of bubbles. Just fuck bubbles entirely.
P.S. Please comment below 🙂