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This is an opinion piece and only reflects my own views and not the views of EN24 or it’s affiliates.


It’s been a rough couple of months, and I haven’t really weighed in on the anger and discontent at CCP’s recent shenanigans regarding our beloved game. I feel it, this unsettling feeling of anger and confusion, and like most of the player base, I am way too close to the situation to be able to be objective. Any post I have started on the subject over the last two months I have tossed halfway through as it all just sounds like a lot of subjective doom and gloom about Eve dying. For me, it’s just too hard to write about the subject and be objective about it.

Why is this?

I have in my personal blog, been very critical of CCP in the past. Many aspects of the current unrest have been brewing now for a couple of years with unhealthy changes to the meta. I am hardly the only one, we all weigh in about what we feel is bad for Eve, a cacophony of ideas and feedback, and we have dozens of ways of expressing it. In Reddit threads, forum posts, and any number of other social media sites, great ideas, valid points, and reasonable discussions come and go every week by the people who care about Eve the most, it’s players. In the same place, at the same time, we find the other side of all that and in that is the problem. The ambiguity of the internet, coupled with the nature of Eve players to ‘be themselves’ has brought us to a place where I personally think that even if the Devs wanted that information, to discuss or act upon, wading through the giant pile of bullshit we create would be completely overwhelming.

Everyone who plays Eve, or even who has played Eve, is too close to be completely objective about it.

A person outside our circle might have trouble understanding the emotions that Eve motivates. If it’s just another game to you, you definitely won’t understand how changes, even small ones, galvanize us into heartfelt and emotional discussions. Game developers screw up games all the times, or they get stale, or they just get outclassed by the next new hotness. Most of us are longtime gamers, and have seen games we liked to play fall by the wayside for all of these reasons. I think it is safe to say, that you never fought for these games like you fight for Eve. Why?

Because it is not only a game. Eve is our social circle, we happily sit in comms with our friends flying our spaceships, and for a lot of us even on our mobile devices as we go throughout our real lives. Eve facilitates friendships. As corny as that sounds, I really believe that. Eve is not a game in the traditional sense, it is a hobby we are all participating in at the same time. People take their hobbies seriously and want to be good at them, that is human nature and while Eve is not a tangible hobby, that should not take away from that desire. If you are an Eve player, it is healthy to want to be a better pilot. Along those same lines, if you are serious about your hobby and your social circle, it is healthy to be vocally upset about what you perceive as a threat to that. How we have been expressing that discontent as a ‘player base’, though, is just not effective.

Complaints now often take the form of long, in-depth essays that make angry one-sided arguments just as often as they make rational level-headed ones. Often such posts include both, and separating the two becomes an enormous grey area. Perhaps, even worse, what sometimes starts as a coherent idea dissolves as people pick at it in a negative way. At the end of the day, at the end of the thread, all we end up left with is no conclusions and a lot of opinions. Who can tell what’s right. There is really nothing specific to work with, nothing to point to and say, ‘Here, this is the thing we are upset about’. We are all just too close to the argument to be reasonable and cohesive as a group.

This is usually the part of my post where I break down missteps, analyze why I think people are upset, and start to lay out ideas for ‘fixing’ the game as any good post about Eve would, but I am going to take a different approach. I am only here to make one point, and one argument. If CCP cares about what we think, I would like to tell any one of them here, this is literally the thing we are upset about.

We don’t feel like you have our backs anymore.

In this mad universe you have created, in this monster you have unleashed on your biggest fans, that is the only thing we lay our trust in. Trust in New Eden is nothing to squander, and it is not given easily, and it is not often earned a second time.

I really am pointing to this thing, and saying this is the thing we are upset about. This right here is the thing we are all getting upset by, and recognizing it would go a long way toward getting us to think you have the best intentions of our hobby at heart. As I type this, I hear you, the reader, muttering about carrier balance passes, but I think this was a clever distraction from legitimate criticisms about ghost training and marketing strategies that are making us all feel dirty. The call was made to drown out the legitimate cries with the pitchforks and torches, and it worked as intended.

It is hard to see past the opinion that CCP is selling out the game. I am full of conspiracy theories, but I don’t have to go there as this clip of a recent ‘offer’ says everything.

 

This has to be the worst thing in history you could spend 5 dollars on. There are so many things wrong with what CCP is trying to do here.

We all know the dedication that it takes to be passable at Eve, let alone actually good. We all have heard the adage that while you can buy things with money in Eve you can’t buy piloting skill. There is no doubt that sitting in something you aren’t ready to fly is never going to go well for you. Sure, a day old player can buy 50,000 PLEXes and be space rich on day 1, but still needs to follow the natural progression of the game to take advantage of his means. As Eve players we know this, but potential players do not. Seeing that for just $5 more they can get ‘MORE WEAPONS MORE DAMAGE MORE TANK’ coupled with all the talk of PLEXes and injectors is enough for anyone to see Eve as a pay-to-win. There’s no reason not to. It’s not encouraged that the potential player know that he has better ship stats as compared to a corvette. It is not explained in any depth. CCP is breaking its own rules by scamming new players into thinking that 1/5th of a PLEX and 10 cents worth of ships is going to give them a starting advantage. When they gain the in-game knowledge to realize what they have actually bought, they have fostered a distrust of CCP.

If we saw this scam in Jita we would report it, and clown on the fool trying to get over on us with Rifters.

If you’ve played Eve, then you know this is no kind of deal, and so you distrust CCP and wonder if they are just cashing out. You begin to question whether they have your best interests at heart. This isn’t the Eve you started playing, and if it was, would you still be at it? There are cries all around that Eve is dying. If our overlords are blatantly selling out their own game, do they really believe in it? Should you and I?

There are a dozen other ads like this I could link, and a dozen other points I could make about this topic, but this picture linked here is at the end of that argument, and this is the thing we are upset about. If CCP keeps this up, they lose our trust. They have spent 14 years teaching us not to give it back.

Old CCP had our backs on the individual level. We looked up to you, we trusted you as the keeper of our hobby and our social circle, and we hoped someday that with your help, we might someday get our 5 minutes of fame. As with our ‘corpmates’ in New Eden, we drank and danced and were goofy together and called each other friends and CCP facilitated all of that. They gave us stuff to dream about, and when New York’s Museum of Modern Art installed a permanent Eve Online exhibit, we were all proud to be a part of something special, the largest and most in depth interactive sci-fi story ever told. That story is Eve, and at this point CCP, we can’t tell if you see that story even going forward or not. Why else would you be scamming newbros for a fiver?

This picture is an allegory for this entire ‘Summer of rage’ situation, it gives an exact look into the ‘feeling’ we are all getting from Eve right now. For the lot of us, it’s not likely we will reach a common ground on most issues having to do with our beloved game, but this thing, this feeling CCP is giving us lately, it’s a lot like getting dumped.

CCP we still love you, please return our calls. I’m too old to start over.

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