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
Categories: Computer Science, Game Reviews, Information, Reviews and Rants, Writings | Comments (0) | Permalink
There’s a general tendency in the world to cruelty and sadism, a kind of malaise that affects the hearts and minds of those who for all intents and purposes appear to be normal human beings. You never know who they are in your daily life, but they exist, some are called sociopaths, others psychopaths, but I tend to think that there is something more too it, a kind of awful yearning in the human heart to burn everything in your sight. But more importantly, to burn it alive.
There’s a river deep in the soul of man from which springs eternally all the goodness that could ever be, and next to that river is a textile factory, weaving a cloth of iniquity and ejecting the raw sewage of its manufacture into said river. The toilets also flush there, at least from the smell.
If there is only one truth you ever learn in this life is that most people you meet, even if they aren’t hurting you now, will probably not think twice at hurting in the future if they ever get the chance. This unfortunate reality dawns on most of us a little too late.
Thus enters the game of EVE Online. The Sandbox.
EVE Online is the sci-fi cesspool of all the worlds most childish and sadistic and hopeful and nerdy and intelligent and dimwitted. It is a melting pot of every type of player from every type of game somehow all living in the same space, something that CCP prides themselves on.
But EVE isn’t finished, it’s a work in progress, a work that seems to have stalled in favor of an already successful company irrationally going retarded and trying to monetize a game already monetized, to hook a hard core player base deeper with casual social network game strategies. They aren’t fooling anyone, and most of their dedicated player base has become that much more irritated with their latest antics.
The question that has been on my mind, and I think the minds of so many others is: What the hell do we keep playing this damn game?
My only theory is that we must be complete and total masochists, EVE Online isn’t so much a game, it isn’t fun, it’s nothing but one heartache, or betrayal, or frustration, or bore after another. EVE Online is like a shitty fast food restaurant being installed in the middle of a famine, of course everyone is going to eat there, they’re starving, but that doesn’t mean the food is actually any good. It’s probably killing you just as much as starving would, only a bit slower.
The problem is there are so few games out there that are even decent, and even fewer that have the theme that attracts us. So few sci-fi games period, so few with player driven economies, so few that aren’t split up on to 11ty billion servers.
The truth is, EVE Tricked Us®, EVE claimed to be freedom from the grinds of WoW and EverQuest, they sold us on time based training, and no leveling, they promised us “career paths” that would allow us to choose our own style of game play. They promised us variety, and cool ships, and meta game elements, and they fibbed their fucking asses off because EVE is a perpetual grind. The time based training is the great un-equalizer. You will always be at a lower footing than someone who started before you.
The careers in EVE are a joke if you take them seriously, which you shouldn’t, there’s another way to understand EVE. EVE is all about the long con. It’s a trick, and we are the Rubes, the Marks, we are being taken for a ride because we signed up for a fun space game and what we got what 101 ways to be victimised by everyone.
EVE Online is fundamentally a sandbox for psychopathic endeavors. Everything is geared to attract unsuspecting players to the game in hopes of something new, or different, or more challenging, but all of that is to rope you in. You become little more than the scratching post of griefers, the slaves of corporations. Hell, in EVE you aren’t even a wage slave, you have PAY to get into a corp most of the time, either actively with corp dues, or passively with corp tax.
EVE is fundamentally about exploitation, all of the features of the game are geared not around how you can have fun(unless you are having fun by hurting others), but how others can have fun screwing you. Corporations are set up in such a way as to be primed for theft and betrayal. Everyone is trying to be the top dog, it’s a fundamentally pyramidal self-service kind of game.
Combat in eve is a farce, there is no real strategy to it, you click on someone and then shoot them, you can try to spiral around them, and that can be effective, but fitting your ship right is less important than having 10-15 “corp-mates” to fly with you so that it hardly matters how you fit your ship at all.
EVE is more of a gankbox than anything, how many different ways can you find to get together a gang of like minded sadists and hunt around for some lone ship. I was in a Pirate corporation, all we did was move from system to system trying to catch loners. And we were a highly ranked Pirate Corp. There was no challenge or strategy to it, we would look at the opponent, if they were stronger than us, we ran, if we were strong than them we fought. If it was at all ambiguous, haul ass out of there.
How is that fun? I missed the member, I signed up to use my mind, not just my mouse. But EVE is mindless. It requires no mind. I can’t tell you the number of people I met in the game who were perfectly capable of fitting up ships and having high kill/death ratios and couldn’t even read my characters name. I felt like I was awash in a world of complete dyslexics. But if they had been dyslexic, it would be forgiveable. EVE is like a massive Idiocracy that doesn’t seem to realize how bad it really is.
And yet we keep playing. I wonder why.
The game isn’t fun. It’s not worth it. The friends you make are hardly friends. Most of them you barely like, and the ones you do, you’d remain friends with them anyway.
Eve is the dream that never was, because it was a lie. Now I see the slow and subtle signs of an impending death and I have to say: What can I do to help?
How can I bring the monster down, break the cycle, break the mold, break the chains, we have been so long in the servitude of the delusion that is EVE Online, the farce, the fake, the flippant and mealy mouthed propaganda about the sandbox and freedom, and emergent gameplay. The only gameplay that emerges in EVE is psychopathic gameplay.Categories: Game Reviews, Information, Reviews and Rants, Writings | Comments (2) | Permalink
DCUO is about as original as a Xerox of a tracing of a photograph.
I love online games, ever since I played my first MUD back in 1998, I have loved the idea of online gaming, especially the social aspects, call me a weirdo, but I don’t see much difference in the kinds of friendships you have online, and those you have offline with regular people in your own town, or school or work. They are just as shallow and pointless.
I have even made a small number of friends that, long after we both stopped playing the games we met in, we still communicate outside of games.
I love the idea of online games, I just hate the execution.
Nothing about online games has really changed since the late 1980s early 1990s. It’s all theme and variation, you might think that this is due to the intrinsic nature of games, especially the limitations of computer games, but really it has a lot more to do with the general intellectual degeneracy of content generators and providers. I say this only because, every so often, someone does come out with a really good and creative game that breaks all the rules and succeeds. DCUO might succeed, but not only does it not break all the rules, or any of them, it basically embraces the most static and mindless game model ever. Like evar.
If you have ever played card games, then here’s an analogy for you. Imagine if every single card game was exactly like 5 card draw poker, except the names and colors of the cards were different. Same exact method, strategy and rules, just different pictures. There you have the entirety of online games, same dance, different tune. Not even really that different.
Don’t get me wrong, if you have the mentality of an attention deficited 13 year old with low grade psychopathy and a penchant for wanking, this game will be right up your alley.
The graphics of the game are impressive to say the least, some of the best I have seen, and considering the level of customization of the way your character looks, it’s a bit marvelous soaring through a well designed and awesome looking Gotham or Metropolis. The areas are just massive and detailed, and even on my dinky laptop, which hardly meets the hardware requirements, the game flies with nary a glitch. If that’s all it took to be a good game, then DCUO would just PWN. Unfortunately, how a game looks is only important to newbies, and by newbies, I mean people who don’t know what a MOB is.
Character Creation In DC Universe Online
Character creation in DCUO is basically copied directly from City of Heroes, in fact, 99% of the game is stolen right from City of Heroes, and they probably stole it from some other game that I just didn’t play or hear about. It’s confusing, and there are a seeming lot of options which are, for the most part, pointless. You have classes in the most proto sense of the word, Tank, Healer, Magic Wielder which manifest as Ice/Fire tanks, Magic/Nature healers, and Mental/Gadget controllers. These classes come with mentors, one of the DC Universes heros or villains, and can be meshed with weapon skills, like Bow, Brawling, Sword, Dual Pistols and the like. The combinations are not entirely irrelevant, but obey the usual rules of RPGs. There is one thing that I particularly liked that was, to a certain degree outside the norm. It is usual in RPGs for Healer/Shaman type characters to suck really really bad at solo leveling and PVP. In DCUO, this is not the case, and to a certain degree, Magic/Nature characters have some very good advantages in both leveling and PVP, especially because quaffing has some serious limits, so getting heal pots into your tank is hard, so suddenly Magic debuffs and the ability to heal yourself play a more reasonable role.
On the whole, the only thing that is remotely good about the game is the PVP, although it falls down in the normal, “we really didn’t think this crap through” ways, at least healers can hold their own.
You’ll have to make several characters and play a bit of the mindless quest/mission system before you figure out a good combination, which in my opinion is Magic/Bow or Magic/Nature/Dual Pistol, mainly because an important aspect of play is that “mana” is regenerated not by time or quaffing, but by the number of combinations you successfully land, which is dead easy when you spam the bow/pistol ranged attack. The bow also has some pretty cool combos, though in my opinion, they are a bit cumbersome, so the argument that to be good at the game and PVP, you have to have some personal skill is accurate to a point. More or less you have to have a cool head and decent fast twitch muscle response in your index and middle finger, which I do, so I had some fun.
The thing that irritated me the most, and I never really bothered to figure it out is: I spent a good amount of time developing a visually appealling character, well dressed and totally awesome only to have its appearance modified by the eq I got, which was irritating. There is supposed to be a way to style your character, but to be honest, the whole buff/stats from eq method of enhance is about as tired as a 2 dollar whore in Texas, they could have come up with something that didn’t mess up my totally sexy character, and figuring out how to use the “styles” to get it back to the way I wanted it was too much of a waste of time. It’s a small complaint, and to be honest, one that does have a solution, i.e. said styles, so this really shouldn’t be considered a negative point against the game.
The other aspect of character creation is movement mode, the only ones really worth considering are flight and acrobatics. Nothing against super speed, just being able to fly/glide is just…BOSS! One of my very favorite things to do was to climb to the top of the highest building and glide to the boring mission destinations. This is where flying comes in, because most wank gankers will be hovering about and snag you mid glide/flight.
The acrobatics movement mode is very well done and a pleasure to use. There was a small complaint, in that sometimes it went all wonky and you gripped onto the wrong thing but that’s really more user error than anything.
Leveling Your Character in DC Universe Online
There are a few ways to level in DCUO, but it’s mainly the Quest system that we’ve all come to know and love, for nearly 30 years. When you create your character, you can pic either being a hero, or a villain (where have I seen that before?), which is cool, personally the heros are a bunch of nancy boy carebear, let’s help everyone, and the villains, while being slightly humorous follow the old school formula for villainous dialog: “something something Blood Of The Innocent, something something Rule the World!” The Joker missions were kind of fun, and the voice acting for the DC characters you interact with is pretty good, I think James Marsters is back doing Lex Luthor.
The basic idea is: Find character and interact, accept mission and find location, spend 6 hours trying to complete the very basic requirements while dodging 3-4 man wank gank squads of people 20 levels higher than you. Rinse, repeat. If you don’t like it, roll to the PVE servers.
There is apparently a level cap at thirty, wow, that is sooo…arbitrary. Maybe they got as tired of making those retarded missions as I did playing them.
Missions by name aren’t the only way to level, you also have races, which can be kind of fun but you have to practice using your movement mode to be able to win them, and some are actually very tough.
What I would have liked to see was either moving away from the level/XP system, no chance of that.
You have to watch out because sometimes you’ll be offered a mission that you just cannot complete until you level up.
PVP In DC Universe Online
PVP in DCUO is actually pretty fun once you figure it out, but don’t worry, there’s almost no way you will figure it out without some help. You class/weapon/movement mode is really important here.
The system is based on the idea of interrupting and stunning the opponent and blocking/dodging. The main idea is to wait for them to try something and stun them or interrupt their casting. It’s easier said than done. It would take a lot of time to get good at this system, I managed a few kills of people around my level, but got bored pretty quick with the lameness of the spells/skills and the monotony of it all.
One thing that is both cool and annoying about fighting in DC Universe Online is: Combos.
It’s pretty obvious that the combo system was created mainly for console versions of the game, as you will wear your mouse out really quick. It’s usually a collection of mouse button taps and holds as well as using the directional keys. Doing the combos under pressure is pretty tough at first, but pretty soon you get it down and it does become fun…for about an hour.
Summary of DC Universe Online
If you really love comics, especially DC, then you will enjoy this game a lot more for the nerd qualities. Also, the artwork is just…so hawt. All of the characters really feel right, especially the Joker and Batman, Superman is his normal lame self, and Lex Luthor is pretty spot on. As an interactive comic book, it’s pretty cool, same hollow comic storylines, glib and fatuous dialogue and the usual contrivances you get with executive driven money hungry content providers. As a game, for gameness, DCUO is an almost complete dud. Nothing you haven’t seen before, and hardly worth the effort, you’ll be bored to tears halfway through the leveling.
For the social networking aspects, DCUO basically provides a chatbox and the usual clan system, mostly populated by 12 year olds and wankers, or 12yr old wankers…whatever. It really doesn’t have anything to keep players happy for long, and for the price, $50 up front and $14 a month, it’s just a waste. The few good things, art, combos, sexy characters get old faster than Scott Baio.
I strongly recommend you pass this one up. I wish I had.Tags: Game Review, Rant | Categories: Game Reviews, Humor, Reviews and Rants, Writings | Comments (0) | Permalink