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An Open Apology to CCP Games

Protovarious
Protovarious

Dear CCP,

I would just like to take this opportunity to say:

south-park-bp-sorry1

Once upon a time, we were a community that embraced the challenges and difficulties of playing Eve Online. Examples such as the famous picture of the learning cliff, which accurately and vividly described the learning process of Eve Online, was not just a picture that put into context how players related to the game, but something that set us apart that we actually took pride in. CCP Soundwave’s brilliant and iconic verbal illustration of the new player experience by stating, “Welcome to Eve Online. Here’s your Rubik’s Cube. Go fuck yourself.” was also something that we in the player base embraced. We were able to get over this hurdle all by ourselves. That challenge of the game was something that we were proud of and felt that it set us apart from the communities of other games. This said however, while changes may be necessary to enhance the new player experience, expand the player base, and retain  old and new players alike, some of the suggestions that have been made by this and previous CSMs have been the equivalent to adding water to glue then wondering why things don’t stick together.

While some of us still may mourn the loss of the learning skill process, we agree that this was a change that was necessary to simplify and enhance the new player experience. The tutorial process has undergone major evolutions of its own and is drastically better that what players like myself started with years ago. For that I applaud and thank you. Some suggestions such as giving more core ship skills or removing them entirely, while seeming to be far reaching and ludicrous at times, I see as an attempt to basically open up the door for conversation and get the ideas flowing.  Sometimes in an effort to expedite the process of implementing some of these improvements, we get caught up and carried away in ourselves. We don’t want to see these core skills go away. We are proud of the differences and individual decisions that go into creating and growing our character’s.

We don’t have all the answers, but sometimes we make it seem that we expect you to have them as developers and for that…

were-sorry

So we got our “Tierside” balances under the guiding hand of CCP Fozzie and began to take ship balancing in the right direction. New ships were introduced to the game and well as changes in mechanics to the existing ones. Fast forward and we come to the implementation of the Sisters of Eve vessels. While on the surface we perfectly understood the purpose of the frigate and cruiser, it has been somewhat difficult to wrap our heads around the Nestor battleship.

I’m ashamed to say that instead of embracing our mantra from years ago of HTFU, the learning cliff, and the Rubik’s cube, I’m afraid to say that the vocal community has discarded these principles (and dare I say it), turned to a mentality of demanding instant gratification regarding why this ship was implemented and what your ideal use for it might be. Just because the community has not come up with a cost effective solution to this question now,  does not mean that we won’t eventually come up with one once it hits Tranquility. It may plague us as an enigma for many years before we finally figure it out and the light bulb turns on. Instead of saying thank you for the puzzle to solve, we’ve scorned and mocked your development attempts instead of providing productive feedback and for that…

Sorry

In the meantime, since we can’t see all the reasons behind closed development doors, could you maybe consider lowering the costs on these ships just a little bit so that it would be more affordable to try these ships out in various roles while we continue up the learning cliff of this new ship? Now, I understand that we don’t want these ships flooding the markets and take away the exclusivity of having one, but I think it should be more accessible to the casual player and corporations. This is largely because I believe that the solution to making this ship viable is going to come at the hands of smaller groups who aren’t afraid of breaking out of the “doctrine” state of mind and trying new ideas without fear of killboard ridicule or alliance rejection. I don’t believe this will be a ship that is going to be shoehorned into a predefined role by a large corporation or alliance.

The deployables by themselves are a refreshing addition because of the controversy some of them cause. I, myself may never use half of them, but the melancholy and WTF is strong with these.  Again, your intention on giving us tools without holding some people by the hand and showing them how to use it has shown the true image of what the Eve player has devolved into. We used to take something as simple as a small container and turn it into a trap, advertising, suspect timer generator, or bubble trash. Now, the vocal negative demand that you bend to their closed minds and conform your ideas to already known uses or doctrines. Don’t do this, please. Even if these things don’t get used right away, there will be the ONE person who makes it click. Keep filtering the productive suggestions to make the products better, and we’ll take it from there. :)

South-Park-rabble-rabble-rabble

There has also been sharp criticism toward you and your development team regarding sov mechanics and system performance during “large fights”. While the powerful null sec blocks attempt to battle it out like Ali vs. Frasier, the focus on single system battles continues to be the only methodology that satisfies their need for escalation. Despite your best attempts to deal with the technology that you have to pacify this playstyle, GrrCCP still continues.  Knowing what the results are going to be, thousands of drone laden pilots make their way to a single grid knowing the limitations, but acting surprised at the results. Instead of adapting their methods of warfare to the current limitations of your technology, I’m afraid that most have accepted the idea of being the embodiment of insanity by doing the same things over and over, but expecting different results. When multi-faceted battles become more attainable and worthwhile given current mechanics, perhaps this mindset will change. In the meantime, the ones like myself who got tired of this one dimensional style of gameplay will be waiting on the wings ready to return to what has been deemed by some as “null-suck”. The mechanics are fine for now while you focus on continuing to build the game. We’ll be here.

Anyway, thank you for continuing to put yourselves out there despite the naysayers. Yes, there’s things that we’d like to see changed, but we trust our CSM whom you meet with at this very moment. As they are our eyes and ears, we cannot see nor hear most of what you tell them because of NDA. We can only contribute to what they speak on our behalves. May this winter summit be productive and fun for all of you and fly safe.

8 thoughts on “An Open Apology to CCP Games”

  1. Well written. I might not agree with every point of your article, but I think that this article is one of the more upgrown attempts of criticism and constructive feedback. I’d really like to see more people adressing their concerns in the way you did. Keep it that way! o/

  2. Agreed. I find the butthurt of these players to be annoying at best and totally out of line at worst. We can fit roughly 8x as many players in a system as we could a few years ago, and yet everyone is pissed. I say come out to wormholes. I am having the time of my life out here, great PvP with smallish gangs, and no TiDi. The game si not broken, your playstyle is broken.

  3. There is a phenomenon in the MMO world where small, and vocal groups demand the changes they feel entitled to until the game becomes something that not even that group is willing to play anymore. I feel like your article addresses this phenomenon, and hopefully helps to combat that mentality because Eve is one of the few great games left that doesn’t compromise its integrity for the sake of a few. Great job!

  4. A very good post. I think it’s important for us to be objectively critical, but I feel that there has definitely been a mood swing in EVE’s playerbase over the last few years that has been quite damaging. I’m almost ashamed of how much I support CCP and believe in their vision sometimes because of all the cynicism. Regardless, keep it up CCP.

  5. The Rubiks Cube and the Sandbox and the no-holding-hands mentality are what I love most about you, CCP. Please don’t cave in to pressure from johnny-come-lately former WoW players who cannot help but dribble diarrhea from their mouths (they don’t know any better, and that’s what happens if you talk whilst being full of shit). EVE is a truly unique thing, its like is not found anywhere else in the world, and it’s made better, more awesome people out of many of us in diverse ways. It’s given us a rich fount of content and stories and politics and hilarious killmails and so much more. This can only happen while EVE remains a sharp-edged, unfriendly chinese finger puzzle that traps you and cuts off your limbs if you aren’t careful. I recommend you guys halt development of your Vampire MMO and continue to invest in EVE development. Believe in us and we’ll believe in you! Focus a few of your community reps on encouraging complaining players to realize how they sound and what they’re really doing when they try to solve their problems with petitions and tears instead of with the intended methods: education, adaptation, and the lessons of pain.

  6. I agree that it feels a bit like the pendulum has swung out to the opposite side with the player base. I can’t speak much before 2007, but it felt as though once CCP admitted its mistake with walking in stations that it put them on the defensive. This mentality was easily seized upon by EVE players (as they tend to seize on opportunity) and it has given us a sense of entitlement – which is bolstered by a subscription fee in a shifting/shifted gaming marketplace. I agree that it’s refreshing to remember the other end of the spectrum, to be critical but ultimately resolve challenges with the (many) tools provided in-game.

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