Blog Banter – Truth for the Masses

In recent months, the relationship between CCP and it’s customers has been the subject of some controversy. The player-elected Council of Stellar Management has played a key role in these events, but not for the first time they are finding CCP difficult to deal with. What effect will CCP’s recent strategies have on the future of EVE Online and it’s player-base? What part can and should the CSM play in shaping that future? How best can EVE Online’s continued health and growth be assured?

Relationships, politics, religion, assured futures. What do they have in common? Uncertainty.

It has always been our nature as a species; concurrent progression and regression.

Many of our technologies have advanced tremendously, some beyond our wildest imaginings, while others have remain unchanged for centuries. Why is that do you think? Businesses, politics, religions; all advancing their own agendas at the expense of the masses.

Every company wants to succeed; there is no reason to start a business otherwise. Far too often lofty ambitions and undying passions give way to harsh reality checks, poor management from the top down, loss of direction, unethical conduct, challenging competitors, etc, etc. Each company wants to be the first to advance their market space, the first to create a new and necessary market that people cannot live without. Occasionally it happens. More often than not it fails. It’s simply business.

The masses are fickle and easy to lead.

Throughout the ages politicians have overpromised and underdelivered, and yet populaces continue to fall for the ruse each and every time, like the desperate man believing the hooker he’s employed is a virgin and this is her first night. We want to believe. We want to hope. We need to because often when we look at our own lives we do so with disdain and dissatisfaction, yet also with abject apathy. Changing our own lives would require too much effort. Letting someone else be in charge of making things better is so much easier. Occasionally it happens. More often than not it fails. It’s simply business.

The masses are fickle and easy to lead.

It’s that same hole in our souls that leads to believe any positive message that resounds within us. Some businesses call themselves religion and monetize this inherent human flaw. That’s not to say that we don’t have a strong spiritual component, nor is it to say that nourishing that part of ourselves isn’t important, but it’s like everything else. Holding ourselves accountable to a moral standard with constant vigil is too much effort, and we all fall short. Much easier to be forgiven, to know that we’re allowed to screw up and continue on blindly. We hope our lives are made better by our spiritual and moral beliefs. Occasionally it happens. More often than not it fails. It’s simply business.

The masses are fickle and easy to lead.

How does any of this relate to Eve Online and CCP?

CCP have created perhaps the greatest sandbox ever to exist online. It’s what allowed their business to succeed. It’s what has allowed all of us to escape our realities for the last eight years. It’s what has allowed us to form tangible friendships from intangible avatars, learn real world skills from digital simulations, and more.

People say recently CCP hasn’t been paying attention. Recently they’ve lost focus. Eve is dying. Seleene had a very well written post with some great statistical data showing the steady decline in subscriptions recently with the hope that CCP will suddenly wake up and see that their game is dying. Occasionally it happens. More often than not it fails. It’s simply business.

The masses are fickle and easy to lead.

Here’s another harsh reality for us, as players; CCP won’t fail.

There’s talk about how all the borrowed money for development of Dust and WoD will result in both of those games tanking as Eve drives itself into oblivion before either of those titles make it to market, leaving CCP in a position where they have no income and unfinished commitments.

Won’t happen. Here’s why.

Dust – Inherently, FPS games are simplistic. Point. Shoot. Repeat. They have to be simplistic or they wouldn’t be able to hold the attention of the ADHD generation of kiddies and neanderthals that religiously buy every new title that comes out simply so they can swing their ePeen around instead of focusing on improving their real lives and maybe enjoying some occasional sunlight.

World of Darkness – How did WoW make it so big? They applied the FPS mentality. Point. Click. Repeat. They took away all the complexities of previous MMOs, overcame graphical processing limitations by using cartoony graphics, and sold millions to the ADHD generation of kiddies and neanderthals that religiously buy every new title that comes out simply so they can swing their ePeen around instead of focusing on improving their real lives and maybe enjoying some occasional sunlight. World of Darkness reinforces that behaviour. Being pale is cool. Stay in your room and play longer. We have prettier graphics. We have hundreds of clothing items you can buy to make your sexy virtual self even more attractive to the other virtually sexy selves out there. If Second Life taught us anything, this strategy works.

What is the cost to us? EVE Online. Our beloved game has become nothing more than a test bed for these other pursuits. Nothing new there. Players have been saying that for months now. It’s not going to change. Will it matter in the end? Not at all. Players will go onto new games, CCP will continue to profit, and the circle of life will continue.

Is it right?

That really depends on your own personal moral sense of right and wrong, but at the end of the day, it won’t matter.

Will us protesting the inevitable change the outcome? Occasionally it happens. More often than not it fails. It’s simply business.

The masses are fickle and easy to lead.

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5 responses to “Blog Banter – Truth for the Masses

  1. OOC: Look to the global-scale bankers and the media they manipulate, which manipulates and distracts the people. That much is true. I’m not sure about what you said about WoD, that it encourages the behavior of “ePeen” swinging and staying indoors any longer than other indoor computing habits.

    As a gamer, artist, developer I will say that all of these activities keep me indoors.

    People are responsible for what choices and ultimately, habits they make. It IS much easier to capitulate against others than change oneself, I agree.

    Control your hobby, don’t let it control you… Be who you are, don’t worry about what others think.. they are too busy worrying about themselves.

    As a long time user of Second Life, MMO’s, IRC, BBS, Usenet, and many other technologies, platforms, applications, online communities, I can say that it is all about your personal decisions to either merely be a consumer or a producer. What I mean is, if you want to leave your mark in the virtual world, make something. If you want to get outdoors and breathe the fresh air that’s also good. Balance is good.

    For me, it’s not enough to be a consumer only. When it comes to society, when it comes to government, and even Eve or other online attractions, I must be a producer. I must make a mark, I must create and shape and change. My virtual/online marks are simply filtered expressions (filtered through the story or media involved) of who I am as a person, or as a storyteller.

    Here’s how I see the games. WoW? Sucks. Too repetitive, too cartoony, not bleeding edge. Eve? The exact opposite, thought it’s been around for awhile. WoD? Will probably be darkly beautiful as Eve is. Dust 514? A great looking FPS that’s connected to a very rich story and universe that is still to this day being fleshed out.

    Of course, I think CCP is pouring more into both games, but as you say, I don’t think they are dropping Eve, nor do I think Eve is dying. Eve has such a large playerbase and also a large influence in the gaming community. It is a living legend for, if anything, it’s uniqueness. It will continue to attract people who have heard of it.

    Perhaps it’s a test bed for the other two games, but are not all games test beds for game development companies?

    It is the quintessential thinking man’s beautifully complex Sci-Fi MMO, and I don’t think CCP would want to give up the bread and butter that it is. They are just seeking to put some jelly on the bread.

    • I have to agree with Roc on this one, not that I’m one to mindlessly follow. But that was very eloquently put. I also agree that EVE is probably not going to die, as right now, there are many creative storms in CCP’s productions right now, so if anything, this present lull? It is the calm before the storm, or the eye of the storm. I have been an EVE player for over three years now, and just recently have given a larger part to flesh out my character through my own blog (Roc’s suggestion). I started as a roleplayer long ago, and I’ve never found a MMORPG that really ever suited me, or kept my interest until a friend of mine in a roleplaying group over three years ago got me to sign up for a trial account.

      That trial account led to my creation of Jack, and starting an industrial pilot, as that was pretty much all I could do that was profitable. And now? Jack can do a large number of other things, and I have created stories outlining his past, and his connections to character owned by a good friend of mine, and one that is yet to be created in game.

      So our sandbox isn’t going anywhere, and in my humble opinion, CCP has just closed it to clean the proverbial leaves and cat defacation out of it, only to reopen it, larger, and with much more sand than before.

      As for subscriptions suffering? As long as there are those dedicated players and communities of players, EVE will continue to thrive. Because while not grossly advertised, this game that we have come to know and love is the best word-of-mouth advertised product of all time. So find your sci-fi loving friends, and tell them about EVE, and take advantage of the buddy program? Hell, getting a free month to advertise one time? Sounds like a good deal to me.

      Everything goes through seasons, and our beloved internet spaceships are no different. Because everyone will come to the realization that yes, internet spaceships are serious business.

      Fly safe.

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