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Salty Sion

July 20, 2016

By Seraph IX Basarab

Head Diplomat of the Goonswarm Federation Sion Kumitomo has once again penned an article, this time making the argument that CCP is milking Eve for profits and diverting funds to their VR project. He argues that this action has taken funds away from bettering Eve and is the reason for lower subscription rates. I recommend reading the article first by itself and then go back over key pieces as I address them here.

Where to start right? Well how about with why Sion chose to write this article with another quote of his own before this article was published:

sion_kumitomo: they’re extremely understaffed because they’re focused on vr, pretty much
sion_kumitomo: yeah, that’s not too far off. ccp saw gsf as the reason 0.0 wasn’t doing well
sion_kumitomo: figured if they could kill us, everything would be wonderful
sion_kumitomo: now that I’ve more or less wrapped up some other projects, I’m going to start writing again
sion_kumitomo: will be covering a lot of the internal stuff at ccp and fun stories from the inside

In case this is the first thing you’ve ever read about Eve, here’s some background. Sion is the head diplomat of his alliance which used to lead the largest coalition in Eve, essentially the single super power of Eve, which has in the past few months lost all of their territory and the majority of their allies. Sion seeing no fault on his side logically blames CCP on this. The game just had to be rigged to favor their enemies or else how could such a thing happen. It wasn’t that his coalition tried to get a book kick started asking for an absurd amount of money but failed to explain where large amounts of the money would be going, or that when the Eve community mocked them on reddit for it, Sion came out and disparaged everyone, or even that this coalition antagonized everyone else in Eve, or that they wrote checks they could not cash when they came to lowsec for their ill planned Viceroyalty campaign. It was the damn game company! Oh the victim complex is real ladies and gentlemen.

Not to get off topic too much but let’s analyze this sentiment a bit. GSF leadership argues that CCP has somehow designed the game to disfavor them via the sov mechanics. But let’s take a look at the narrative GSF has been spinning in the past year.

1. When the CFC or “Imperium” was attacking Provibloc, the sov system was great even before the entosis link got a max speed cap in order to nerf trollceptors. Mittens said that essentially all the system needed was some general and vague polishing up.

2. Then when the CFC started losing territory up north to MBC the sov system “clearly favors the attackers” but “when MBC forces have to settle in the space they’ve conquered the real hellwar starts.” None of that actually happened and the fire of the CFC’s “hellwar” was hot air.

3. Next with the CFC all in Saranen and their coalition in the “attacker position” suddenly Mittens and Sion cry that the sov system now favors the defender. And this was even before citadels came out. So which is it?

With this kind of inconsistency you really have to be a special kind of salty to argue that CCP was actually working to destroy your space guild. Sion’s article follows the same traditional method of GSF leadership as shown by Mittens when he tried to threaten CCP Manifest’s job through his “real life media contacts.” – See more at: http://evenews24.com/?p=63377&preview=true#sthash.3EjhhjQk.dpuf

This sort of “take my ball and go home” attitude was also seen when Sion was barred from running for CSM again because he was a shareholder of TMC, the CFC’s gaming website which is used ironically to promote other non-Eve related games. Certainly this compounded the salt for Sion prompting him to drag out the old cliché and often mocked “Eve is dying” narrative and coupling it with half baked arguments. Eve has been “dying” for at least half a decade by now but it always falls on those who have felt catastrophic loss to remind us how “no really guys it’s happening this time for real.” But what arguments does Sion really bring that Eve is dying and that CCP is at fault? Sion has 3 main arguments we’ll debunk:

“CCP is shifting to VR at the expense of Eve”

Sion claims that in a recent interview CCP’s CEO, Hilmar focused on VR. What a mind blowing discovery we have here. An article about CCP’s involvement in VR would have their CEO talking about the VR project. Spectacular insight. Sion’s desperately trying to paint this as evidence that CCP is abandoning Eve for VR. He uses phrasing that’s intended to scare people such as “Unlike fans and customers who are driven by passion, the venture capital that now runs CCP is driven by one factor and one factor only–money.” Oh wow how scary! But this should be a good thing for you and your alliance, right Sion? Because if Goons are in fact good for Eve, and CCP is driven purely by profits now rather than their supposed blind hatred for Goons, then this new model should see CCP make the changes that will see your alliance becoming a success again. After all profits are the only driving point for CCP now.

(A bit after I made exactly this point on Imperium discord I was banned by their admins. Censorship is a key feature of a weak regime.)

Goon line members always ask me why I always pick on their leadership. It’s examples like this where Sion directly contradicts his own point that he made that motivate me to do so. It’s because although Eve is full of people that can be criticized and mocked, it’s really only people like Sion that consistently owe their relevance to the lowest denominator: the stupid people that really get scared by phrasing such as “venture capitalists.” The arguments are generally bad, but at least if they were consistent it wouldn’t make my job so easy.

Anyway…Sion then goes on to recall a discussion he had with CCP leadership (or rather how he imagined it happened anyway) where he asked by what metrics CCP considers Phoebe and Aegis to be a success but never really drives his point home. He ends this segment claiming that CCP’s attempts at other projects turn out bad, has a quote from 2014 from the former CCP CEO regarding World of Darkness, and then claims that Hilmar wants CCP to move away from Eve. Everything is aimed at playing this narrative that CCP has done little to nothing for Eve. Unfortunately this contradicts the mass amounts of content CCP has provided. The sov mechanics, citadels, the completely reconstruction of how all the capitals are used and handled are all evidence of this. I can see however how Sion may not have had much of a chance to experience sov, citadels or using capitals in recent times.

“Mere numbers”

The metric Sion had been talking about is numbers. The first numeric issue Sion addresses is how the various websites such as EN24, TMC and CZ have gotten less traffic. He quickly claims this is due to CCP’s failure to provide meaningful content for players causing lowered interest in the game. However he doesn’t even consider the possibility that these 3 websites have less traffic now because reddit has become a more immediate tool to find news out. People generally now use the “news sites” for fuller articles whereas reddit can publish updates at a moment’s notice.

In terms of raw numbers, subscriptions have objectively gone down, but this is not necessarily due to CCP’s failure. Sion is quick to claim that it is. However let’s look at some other factors which would contribute to this decline:

1. Banning of ISboxer input automation is a huge factor. Before you had one individual controlling dozens of mining ships, stealth bombers, carriers for ratting and other things artificially inflating numbers.

2. Cracking down on botting/RMT operations is also relevant. This has happened in two ways. First by CCP going in and hunting down these individuals, and secondly the breakup of nullsec from 2 large stagnant coalitions to multiple entities has made botting less reliable due to the volatility of nullsec.

3. Eve’s an older game. Let’s be honest here. On top of that it’s still extremely niche, complicated and downright difficult. On top of the previous reasons, this is certainly a factor as well.

4. Eve’s largest coalition has for all intents and purposes died. Thousands of people’s way of life has been destroyed with the fall of the CFC in large part due to the poor policies and leadership choices made by Sion and Mittens. See instead of fighting, heaven forbid outnumbered, the CFC decided they were going to be ~meta~ and go sit in Saranen to fly ceptors while beating the internal propaganda drum about how everything is “part of the plan.” But oh no we can’t even speak of this. Doing that would mean taking personal responsibility. No instead let’s write a whiny article about how bad CCP is.

All of these factors certainly play a bigger role than Sion’s claim considering all of the major new added features in Eve. Just because your alliance is failing to adapt, does not mean there are “no features.” Of course all of this is extremely ironic considering the CFC’s modus operandi had been to blue everyone around them while peddling games like Hearth Stone, H1Z1 and whatever else was profitable to the Emporium Merchants. But no, Sion doesn’t consider any of this. He’s so blinded by his own narrative of putting CCP in a bad light because of his personal bitterness.

“CCP Enters the EA era”

In furthering his portrayal of CCP as evil profit driven capitalists, Sion levels charges that CCP has adopted an EA method. He’s specifically referring to the Aurum store in Eve where people can buy clothing and skins for their spaceships. None of these features actually change the gameplay and are merely cosmetic. This completely logical business practice of giving customers what they want in exchange for payment is somehow evidence of something much more nefarious going on. Somehow this is proof that CCP does not care about Eve and only cares about “gutting the old spirit of Eve nickel by nickel.” To back this assertion up Sion provides an out of context quote from Maria Sayans making mention of VR when asked about it.

Okay Sion…

Here’s what this is really about. Sion’s being ignored by CCP because he’s acting like a whiny manchild over a video game and the only way he thinks they’ll pay attention to him is to write these little petulant and petty attempts at stirring the pot. Nobody cares Sion. Get over yourself. At this point it’s just getting pathetic. For you to try to take a very normal business practice of using existing profits to fund future projects and transform it into some seedy conspiratorial narrative, truly shows how low you’ve sunk. Never mind that the website where you are a shareholder does basically the same thing by exporting your membership to other games. I love laughing at the nonsense you write but even I’m starting to feel embarrassed for your show of impotent rage. You can write your salty articles for your bitter audience I suppose, furiously fapping about how it “took CCP to take us down” and portraying like the game is going to die just like every other egomaniac whose empire has fallen in the past. The rest of Eve is going to continue to undock and have fun.

~Seraph IX Basarab

Edit: Asher and DBRB along with some other CFC whoevers jumped on me on reddit regarding my claim that the CFC leadership’s narrative toward the sov mechanic has flip flopped depending on the CFC’s position. I knew from the fireside chats that Mittens had flip flopped a number of times but I honestly couldn’t be bothered to go find each individual quote just to appease the koolaid drinking crowd. However fellow alliance mate actually found quotes from Mittens himself and posted it up: https://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/4tp78h/salty_sion/d5jaini