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EVE Online Answers Your Questions

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-have-been-podded-someone-help-me dept.

Role Playing (Games) 249

Last week at GDC I had the privilege of sitting down to speak with a representative from CCP, the folks who maintain EVE Online. The week before, we'd asked for questions to pass on. I had the chance to put them directly to Magnus Bergsson, CMO at CCP. He very directly tackles the recent scandal involving a CCP developer, the reason why EVE's hardcore gameplay is so appealing, the balance between casual and hardcore players, and some information on the future of the game. Read on for his answers to your questions in a transcript of the interview, as well as audio live from the GDC Expo floor.Note: This interview was recorded live on the show floor of GDC 2007, at around 2pm on March 7th. The transcript here has been edited to eliminate repeated words and 'umms', and to provide a clear reading experience. If you'd prefer, the full, unedited audio recording is available for your listening enjoyment. (reduced bitrate: 48 kbps, 32 kbps)

Slashdot: So, for the record could you say who you are?

Magnus: Magnus Bergsson, the CMO at CCP.

Slashdot: Excellent. Thank you sir. The way that we got these questions, basically, was we spoke to the Slashdot community, and the way that we do interviews is we ask people what they're interested in hearing. So, most of these questions are basically directly from the readers, what they want to know. So, if they're bad questions, or you get angry, don't get angry at me. (laughs)

Magnus: I don't get angry.

Slashdot: That's good. There was that scandal thing ... (laughs) Unfortunately, I'm going to start with that one. There was that scandal thing that happened recently. Could you sort of ... explain to folks I guess, what happened, so we can hear directly from you what your take on the situation is?

Magnus: Ahh ... people need to know when the issue with this one developer happened, which was last summer, all of the management team was actually on a summer vacation. And the people in charge then they basically decided to handle it the way they handled it. And they just made a really bad decision the way they managed that whole thing. But they did the best they could, because we had never done anything, nothing like this had ever come up. And this goes so much against the CCP mentality, and the corporate culture that, in our naiveness, we never really thought that anything like that could actually happen. Because CCP is our baby, and this basically is like hurting your own baby, which you just don't do. And the person that did it, which I know really well, he doesn't understand himself, it just doesn't make any sense. Anyway, they mishandled it, absolutely, and we've stated so in our blogs. From that came a number of rules that we have now for our own employees. We have an internal affairs department that does nothing but monitor our employees, to ensure that nothing like that will ever happen again. But some still think that CCP as a whole is trying to help one alliance in-game. And, it's so ridiculous for anyone to think that. Why would anyone at CCP want to do something like that? So, we just mishandled it and we tried to correct it, and we I think we handled it as best we could, and that's what it basically was. We made a mistake, we'd never dealt with something like this before. It's part of growing up, getting a bigger company, we have people in shanghai, we have people in Atlanta, we now have all these rules and regulations in place that we've set for our employees, they're good. People have to realize that we're working on EVE because we have a passion for the game, we will be playing the game. It would be horrible for the community and the game if CCP employees were not playing. Because the game gets created in the hands of the players. It's critical for us to have people playing the game just to know what's going on. We actually did a survey, and we found it's an even distribution of CCP employees in the top ten alliances. And those people would never allow somebody to be working against their alliance, so ... it's a mess, in the end we came and did the right thing. People know at the company, people know that if you were to do something like that you'd basically get fired. We couldn't double judge in that case, you know, double jeopardy if you want to compare it to that. You know, and that's basically the short of it.

Slashdot: Well, thank you. Thank you for going into that. I know it's probably not something that you guys want to touch on a lot right now. Do you think with the internal affairs department set up right now, and the action you've taken against the people involved, do you folks consider this matter closed right now? I just know that some of the comments were in the area of there is still some mixed -- and since it's still so fresh in people's minds -- there's still some mixed feelings there. Do you consider this matter closed at the moment?

Magnus: That case, from our end, is closed. I mean, we've done all the investigation, we know it was only one person and not the whole company like some like to believe, and ahh there's nothing more that we feel can be done, um it was just an unfortunate case, and in the overall scheme of things it didn't affect the game in that like some people like to thing. And, in the end, we're just damn sorry and it hurts our feelings to see some of the players say some of the things about us; we love this game and we'd never do anything to hurt it, and to have people think that this is a widespread thing within CCP: that's as far from the truth as it possibly can.

Slashdot: Right, okay, so I think one of the things that people were really frustrated by with that, is I guess, the hardcore ... EVE has this reputation as a very 'tough' game, and obviously there are a lot of people who really enjoy that. Why do you think the hardcore nature of the game appeals to so many people?

Magnus: Uhhh wow, that's a big question. EVE can be very hardcore, and it can be also a very casual game. It really depends on how you play it. But most of these people who are commenting on the forums and so forth are the hardcore players, they've been with the game for many years. If you live in 0.0, it's very hardcore. It's a very you know, dog eat dog world, and I for one, I live there, I am one of those hardcore players. You know, it's just the threat the, big death penalty and the amount of strategy you have to employ and the amount of thinking you have to do, and I think it's a big big challenge, and I think these people really enjoy the challenge.

Slashdot: Yeah, um, so you in your estimation the fact that it's not more like a World of Warcraft, where death is not really a big deal, you guys see that as a definite strength for the game?

Magnus: Absolutely. The reason that people team up in corporations and then corporations team up in alliances is because there is this inherent big threat of dying and losing a lot of money. You can lose months of work in 30 seconds, and this forces people because of human nature, to band together and form relationships. I'm saving somebody's life, saving their three, four, five, six months of work, so you create very strong relationships, where you don't have an opportunity in real life to rescue your friends from death.

Slashdot: Right, hopefully.

Magnus: Yeah, hopefully, but you get to do that on a daily basis. And that's what creates these really strong feelings, the really strong relationships, that are such a big part of this game. And because it's so totally open ended, so totally different from a game like World of Warcraft, which is a really structured game experience. A great game, but it's just different. So when people have done that type of game, it's kind of a natural progression for them to step into something that's heavier and deeper, and more rewarding in the end.

Slashdot: Totally. So, another thing that came up a lot in comments were the um, the sort of backseat designers ... you mentioned the folks on the forums who have been playing this for a number of years now, and they obviously have very strong opinions on where the game should go. How do you balance making those folks happy with attracting new players, people who might be looking at the more casual aspects of the game?

Magnus: Well, we have to satisfy most people, so it's always a balancing act, sometimes we take an upgrade, and we say now we're going to focus on this part of the game because we haven't done it before. And often when you dive into one part of the game, there are a lot of associated things that come with it. So sometimes we might actually be focusing a lot on the newer players, sometimes we might be focusing a lot on the hardcore players, but we try to do our best to have our expansions so that they touch on something for everybody. But sometimes we do more for the other, we always try to do something for everybody, it's a balancing act, and there's a big group at CCP that discusses this on a daily basis. Of course, we get input from the CCP employees that are playing the game at every single level. We have empire dwellers and people living in 0.0, let's call them Carebears, I like to call them that. Everybody has their input, in the end some features get selected as the best ones, it's a long process and a difficult one.

Slashdot: Could you point out a feature that was added recently, or with the last group of features, that you thought was really good for the more casual players?

Magnus: Yeah, the new player experience, which we spent a lot of time and effort on. That was just for the new players, just to make it easier for them. We are still working on adding a lot more to that, we have a team that is just dedicated to that aspect of the game.

Slashdot: Really?

Magnus: Yeah, so we're always trying to improve that part. Because, when you get thrown into a game like EVE, which is so open-ended, and there's no hand holding you really need to ahh, help those people. Those people are going to see a lot of new things this year. There' s a lot of new things were working on helping them getting into the game and understanding it. Of course, you don't really see it - you get thrown into this world, and if you don't already have a friend that's already playing it can be a little tricky.

Slashdot: Yeah, that's interesting, because a friend of mine was recently trying out some games and she tried out your game, and she was a little offput because EVE has this reputation for being such an intimidating game, but she found the new player experience very intuitive. In fact she said it was more intuitive to her than like an EverQuest 2, which is ... well, it's directed, but in EVE it's like a step-by-step thing. So this is going to be a focus in the future, is there's going to be a team that stays on the new player experience?

Magnus: And it's been on there for a long time, this team. So we are always extremely aware of, and we're always trying to make it easier. It's not easy trying to make those first steps real easy without making them real boring. But I think the new player experience is really good, it takes people in the right direction. It shows them a lot about the game, but as with EVE in it's nature you have to bring something to the table. You have to take some action, you have to take responsibility with what you're doing, just as in real life. There's no manual for this side of the screen, so we'll do our best, there's a lot of things we're going to be doing from now on to get people in ...

Slashdot: Can you give an example?

Magnus: Ahh, for instance, just helping people in the tutorial, just pointing things out to them in the email. Ahh, staying in touch with them, that's a huge thing because right now you might skip something in the tutorial but there's nothing that really pulls you back, nothing that points 'you why don't you check this out?' So we're going to be tracking what people are doing and sending them appropriate notifications about, hey you should be trying this out.

Slashdot: Okay. I guess just to pull back and deal with, obviously Slashdot's a very technology-oriented site, and some of the questions were very much on the technology. There's been PvP wars in the past few months that in the opinion of the posters highlighted some server limitations, some hardware limitations. Are there any plans in the future to change the scale of the world at all? Perhaps move to multiple servers?

Magnus: No, we will not move to multiple servers. What we are doing right now, there is actually and has been for the last four or five months, all of the developers are focusing on one thing right now - the need for speed. In EVE you have larger battles than in any other MMO. We had the other day, not too long ago, a battle of 1000 in the same system, and we want to continue supporting that, allowing them to have these large battles, but we also want to create incentives to create smaller engagements, which in the end are more fun for the player.

Slashdot: Right. They're certainly more understandable.

Magnus: Yes, but having 1000 people combat in the same system, is a massive requirement on the servers. Today they weigh two tons, the whole cluster weighs two tons. There's still a lot of work being done, we're still implementing new optimizations for the client and the server, and the hardware it's running on, we can't get any better hardware, so we have to focus on the code, so there's a lot of effort to allow people to have these big battles.

Slashdot: Excellent. I know you're probably disinclined to give out exact details, but for the technology nerds, for the server nerds, can you give any details about what you're running the game on. You mentioned the weight, I mean what are some of your specs?

Magnus: For instance, the we don't have hard disks on our database server. Those are solid-state harddisks, which are only previously only been used for military applications, those are extremely high output, they're called RAMSANS, and that's one applications. We're now moving everything to 64 bit architecture. Everything is running on IBM hardware. IBM has been a really great partner for us to work with, so we get the latest hardware from them as soon as they can possibly deliver it. We're always updating the hardware so we invest and have invested many many millions of dollars just on the hardware side.

Slashdot: And uhh... i'm not sure this is a question you'd be all that interested in answering, but there was one gentleman who was very interested in Stackless Python, and how that's worked out for you? Do you find that it still meets the demands of the many thousands of players that are playing the game?

Magnus: Absolutely, Stackless Python because it's a stateless environment is one of the keys of why EVE is actually capable of supporting all these users. And we have been working very closely with the Python community, we had a Python convention in Iceland that CCP actually orchestrated, and we've supported the PyCon conventions. We want to see more development on that end, and there's some interesting things happening there, so we will continue using that.

Slashdot: Okay, so looking back you definitely wouldn't have done it differently?

Magnus: It's one of the best things that has happened to EVE in the beginning, was to actually select that.

Slashdot: Okay. Do you feel that way about MSSQL?

Magnus: (pause) It has actually worked really well for us. We have worked really closely with Microsoft and ahh, it has performed really well. So that was the right decision, and still is. There are no issues with the database, and no other database would be able to perform better, in our opinion. So there are no issues there. And Microsoft has been really good to work with.

Slashdot: Excellent. Um, so as I was talking about a little earlier ... White Wolf. I know a lot of people are very very interested in what you're planning. I know you can't talk a lot about plans right now because you're very much in the initial phases. First of all, can you shed some light on why you folks got together? What was the rationale there?

Magnus: White Wolf has some assets we didn't have. They are extremely good storytellers, they have a lot of expertise in physical distribution, they can create board games, they are now writing the EVE manual, the EVE strategy guide. They're going to help us getting EVE into physical distribution, into stores, Then they have this fantastic IP, which we are converting into an MMO. But, ahh, I don't have any more information on that because it's early stages. We're still designing the gameplay and everything else, but we're very committed to making that into an MMO, so that relationship has been fantastic. The team at White wolf is actually working on some aspects of EVE online. To add more storytelling missions, and so forth.

Slashdot: That's very interesting, do you know when we might see that stuff in the game?

Magnus: I don't know the release schedule for the missions and so forth, but the strategy guide and the player guide which is badly missing right now, that is an ongoing project and should be ready as soon as possible.

Slashdot: I know you really can't .. you're already in the planning stages, but I have to ask. Are there plans to use the whole World of Darkness license or, is right now thinking moving more towards one of the specific parts of the World of Darkness, moving there?

Magnus: We just don't know yet, this is exactly what we're doing right now, is thinking about how the game will play, so anything I would tell you about that right now would probably be a lie. I don't want to make a liar out of myself.

Slashdot: I appreciate you not lying (laughs).

Magnus: That's something we are working on right now, we just don't know yet.

Slashdot: Okay, ahh, I know you folks, you spoke with Brent from VirginWorlds the other day, and I know he was very impressed with some of the Avatar elements you folks are putting in the game. Do you want to talk about that a little bit?

Magnus: Sure. The project is called Ambulation, and what it does it will allow the pilots to step out of their spaceships and walk in the stations and in the stations you will have corporate meeting rooms, you will have services like recruitment centers in certain stations, people will be able to make and sell items like clothing. We are not going to turn that like into a first person shooter, people will not be able to shoot each other in the stations, that's a whole different game. But the gameplay in the stations, works well with what happens outside of the stations. We put a lot of work in Iceland into behavioral analysis, they have a specialized team that has been studying that for years. And our AI is going to be quite interesting, you won't see avatars going through a routine of animations when they're standing still. They're actually going to be emulated out of human nature, human behavior, so we are doing everything we can to make the avatars as human like as possible. We're going to put a lot of work into making them realistic. Hopefully we'll be something of a breakthrough in avatar development. At least, we have some ambitious goals for it.

Slashdot: Okay, alright, when you talk about gameplay on the station, does that mean there will be more than just meetings and recruitment, there will actually be gameplay elements as well?

Magnus: Yes ... we're still deciding exactly ... some of them have been determined. Until it's finalized it's better to let the designers and developers have some leeway to work with, but yeah there are definite ideas of what will be allowed in station. There will not just be you stepping out into the station and that's it, there will be something else in the stations.

Slashdot: Good deal, usually, when I do an interview in person I like to ask, is there something that you want to say to the people you're working with, the customers, is there something about EVE that you find particularly interesting that you want them to know about?

Magnus: Well, I think anybody looking for a game experience that is, let's call it smart gaming without sounding arrogant, if people are looking for something like that, I think they'll find eve quite interesting, it's a very strategic game, some people hate it but I hope more people actually love it and try it. It's the type of a game that you grow with, it's probably more of a commitment than most other MMOs right now, and it's the type of a game that leaves a lot behind. It's quite rewarding because all of the things you accomplish in the game are the results of your actions. It's more than a game in that sense. We at CCP then don't really consider ourselves so much as a game developer, we are more like a service provider. We are providing a sandbox, or a universe for these people to live in and we are very much a hands-off company on what happens in game. We don't want to be caught up in what users do , we just want to influence a little bit here and there and respond to the users.

Slashdot: Alright, great. Well, I think that pretty much covers it, so thank you very much for your time, I really appreciate it.

Magnus: Thanks! Good questions!

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Uh, hmm, uhh, ahhhh (3, Funny)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365269)

Dear Slashdot,

We don't need a literal translation of every sound made during the interview.

Thank you,
LK

Re:Uh, hmm, uhh, ahhhh (2, Insightful)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365309)

Except that in some cases, they provide a fuller experience of what was said.

Like grammar, such words can make it easy to tell what the person was thinking (or not thinking as the case maybe).

Which is another reason to always try and use good grammer and speling;

Re:Uh, hmm, uhh, ahhhh (5, Funny)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365333)

(laughs)

Re:Uh, hmm, uhh, ahhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18365685)

Look, man, I've got certain information, all right? Certain things have come to light. And, you know, has it ever occurred to you, that, instead of, uh, you know, running around, uh, uh, blaming Slashdot, you know, given the nature of all this new shit, you know, I-I-I-I... this could be a-a-a-a lot more, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, complex, I mean, it's not just, it might not be just such a simple... uh, you know?

Re:Uh, hmm, uhh, ahhhh (1)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365721)

Yeah... um, you need to, like... be the worlds most compulsive typist to ahhh, summit... *coughs* excuse me - where was I...

As I was saying, you have to be really compulsive to, um submit something like that.

*click* -submit-

Awww crap!

Profits? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18366529)

(reposted, piggybacking on a highly moderated early post in order to increase chances of being read)

I still want to know the annual profits from EVE. It was the only important question. I know the profits must be obscene, but the question is how obscene. I think it is important for the players to know just how little it costs to run the game in comparison to the revenue it brings in.

I guess I'll look into whether CCP is publicly traded and if any financial reports are available.


It appears they are not publicly traded. From their website: "CCP Games is a privately held company".

Lets do a rough calculation then...

300 000 players
x $15 per month
x 12 months per year
---
= $ 54 000 000 annual gross revenue from EVE online

That's 54 million dollars annually!

Hardware upkeep and service contracts are probably maximum $5 million annually (a gross over estimation).
Salaries, maximum of $10 million annually (perhaps an under estimation as this is the easiest way to make profit magically disappear).
Bandwidth charges, probably run maximum $2 million annually (again probably a gross overestimation).
I'm sure any debt from initial capital outlay is long gone.

So that gives me an estimate of:

$54 million gross revenue
- $5 million hardware upkeep
- $10 million salaries
- $2 million network service
---
= an estimated $37 million annual profit!

Pay to play makes me sick.

Re:Uh, hmm, uhh, ahhhh (1)

meme lies (1050572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366539)

I agree; I understand that this is an informal interview and the editor is trying to present it as such, but you are doing neither yourself nor your subject a favor by presenting it "warts and all." It's expected, if not obligatory, for a transcript like this to be cleaned up a bit for publication and not doing so makes both parties seem amateurish and awkward.

In addition there are some points where I don't believe the transcript is even accurate; key words are mis-transcribed.

For example:

That case, from our end, is closed. I mean, we've done all the investigation, we know it was only one person and not the whole company like some like to believe, and ahh there's nothing more that we feel can be done, um it was just an unfortunate case, and in the overall scheme of things it didn't affect the game in that like some people like to thing.

A real journalist would "translate" this for publication as something along the lines of:

"The case, from our end, is closed. We've done the investigation, we know it was only one person and not the whole company as some would like to believe, and there's nothing more that we feel can be done. It was just an unfortuate case, and in the overall scheme of things it didn't affect the game like some people like to think."

(Yes, he says think, not "thing.")

I know you're trying for realism or accuracy but really, it's only fair to smooth it out a bit for public consumption. This man is doing you a favor by granting an interview and by including every awkward pause you make him seem inarticulate and unprofessional.

You're an editor, Zonk. That means you should, you know, um, ah, edit.

Porn. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18365271)

I don't know what this interview is about. But EVE seems interesting.

Mod me up. Or I will come to your house and kill you while you are sleeping.

Fuck you.

Don't say that sort of thing about my mother! I'm going to fucking kill you!

No. Shit for brains.

screw ccp (1, Interesting)

stim216 (881386) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365325)

i just canceled my account today, and i look and see that they are on slashdot, small world.
I'll just have to say that despite that the game play is innovative and different, and that they supply loads of free content upgrades their customer service is garbage. They treat you like you like scum if you ever deal with them directly. And GM's interfere with the game play playing favorites, on gm even is the ceo of a major alliance i hear tell!

Re:screw ccp (1)

stim216 (881386) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366297)

lol i make the same posts as others, I'm a troll and they are insightful. figures!

CCP? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18365331)

Chinese Communist Party is into games?

Must alert Whitehouse!

I love these things (1, Funny)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365339)

Eight minutes left... I wonder how far I'll make it.

The transcript here has been edited to eliminate repeated words and 'umms'
McDonald's has a great program for this. A speaker stands in front of an audience. Each audience member is holding a handbuzzer. Every time the speaker uses "ah" or "um" or a similar spacer the members of the audience ring the buzzer.

Magnus: I don't get angry.
I've prepared all the proper doublespeak.

Magnus: Ahh ... people need to know when the issue with this one developer happened, which was last summer, all of the management team was actually on a summer vacation.
What a rough life--a whole summer of vacation.

they just made a really bad decision the way they managed that whole thing
Understatement of the year so far.

this goes so much against the CCP mentality, and the corporate culture
Actually this kind of backstabbery is par for the course in corporate culture.

we never really thought that anything like that could actually happen
He's really acknowledging that they never thought that anyone would ever be able to infiltrate the ranks and bust the ruse.

We have an internal affairs department that does nothing but monitor our employees
The EVE corporate gestapo.

to ensure that nothing like that will ever happen again
To ensure that we cover our behinds more effectively next time.

it's so ridiculous for anyone to think that. Why would anyone at CCP want to do something like that?
Quick! Look over there!

we'd never dealt with something like this before
Now we have experience, and we won't let you users figure out the scam again.

we have a passion for the game, we will be playing the game
And we'll still be making use of every advantage we have at our disposal--only now we know how we need to better cover our tracks.

And those people would never allow somebody to be working against their alliance
No. Shock and awe. Never.

people know that if you were to do something like that you'd basically get fired
He forgot "to do something and get caught like that".

That case, from our end, is closed
We don't want to expose our secrets anymore.

we know it was only one person
One minute left... so I'll close with raucous laughter.

Re:I love these things (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365397)

Did these guys run over your cat or something?

Dead p*ssy (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365625)

People just like them--running the exact same type of scam and making the exact same bullsh*t apologies, excuses, and coverups--did.

Re:Dead p*ssy (1)

mahmud (254877) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365911)

Hey! Get a life! It's just a bloody videogame!

Re:Dead p*ssy (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366119)

I've never played any online MMORPG. I'm noting absolute similarities. I could have written the whole situation (at least five years worth) verbatim, in a different scenario, including this interview, the moment I read the first release about EVE. I've already seen it inside, outside, and inbetween.

Re:Dead p*ssy (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366273)

Bullshit. It's a major part of the entertainment in the lives of thousands of people. It's a service for which they pay. I think they have the right to expect a lack of corruption. That's the same asinine argument as when someone hops on irc, talks a mad load of shit, and then when you get pissed off says "Hey, it's only irc". Well, bull fucking shit. Guess what? With the exception of bots, those nicknames you see on irc belong to people, real humans with emotions and all that jazz. Well, all those people you see running around in-game are the same. If we shouldn't be upset when someone cheats in a game, then what are professional sports all about?

Re:I love these things (2, Insightful)

torchdragon (816357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365935)

I suppose you're one of those bitter EVE players that got your mad l3wts blowed up!!!! while having a casual relation to any of the parties involved in the employee "scandal." While I can't really blame you for being angry at a mis-managed situation, I can blame you for being a short-sighted twit that needs to get out and see the sun once in a while.
And, yes, that was a rather personal attack against you but I figure its alright because you seem perfectly justified to attack another stranger's character with absolutely no evidence. Maybe next time you could actually attend the GDC, speak with some of the developers, and possibly be able to create a more accurate rendition of the situation.
Have a wonderful day.

Whoops! (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366211)

Hey look [slashdot.org] ! You missed me!

cancelling (2, Interesting)

superid (46543) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365431)

Kind of a coincidence for me that this article came out today since I'd already planned on canceling my account tonight. I skilled up to get a retriever and whooot I can strip mine now. I've got 50 days left to get my Covetor and then....what exacty? I have found no meaningful group activities and mining is boring.

It's back to DaoC for me while I wait for Warhammer.

Re:cancelling (1)

tsalaroth (798327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365629)

You're in the wrong space, then. Join a corp that's in one of the larger alliances. Just last weekend, we went patrolling the connecting jumps between two stations in a very large group (80+ fleet). We then met up with a fleet of 20 or so at the end point, and decided to join them on their station raid. The target station never had a chance. The "fleet" they had guarding it lasted maybe a minute.

Re:cancelling (2, Insightful)

will_frag_for_food (1063768) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366701)

gawd was it really 50 days for covetor? no wonder my character still sucks :(

seriously though... what you are describing is the same experience you would get in DAoC if you never left Mag Mell in Hibernia... the game is 'open ended'... it is what you make of it... so if you choose to farm rocks solo in a mining barge then that is what you get.

that being said... skilling up for other ships/mods and running some different mission types should feel very different... and there is always lo-sec and no-sec... who knows what is going to happen out there from day to day?

for a start at PvP that is not in 0.0... look up Privateer Alliance and see if you can't get into one of their corps... they declare war on 0.0 alliances and then fight them in 'safe-space'... you would be a quick sell to them because you can mine... and in return you will be able to hunt war targets without having to go into the depths of lawless space to do it.

good luck!

Scandal? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365445)

People need to know when the issue with this one developer happened, which was last summer, all of the management team was actually on a summer vacation. And the people in charge then they basically decided to handle it the way they handled it. And they just made a really bad decision the way they managed that whole thing. But they did the best they could, because we had never done anything, nothing like this had ever come up. And this goes so much against the CCP mentality, and the corporate culture that, in our naiveness, we never really thought that anything like that could actually happen. Because CCP is our baby, and this basically is like hurting your own baby, which you just don't do. And the person that did it, which I know really well, he doesn't understand himself, it just doesn't make any sense. Anyway, they mishandled it, absolutely, and we've stated so in our blogs. From that came a number of rules that we have now for our own employees. We have an internal affairs department that does nothing but monitor our employees, to ensure that nothing like that will ever happen again. But some still think that CCP as a whole is trying to help one alliance in-game. And, it's so ridiculous for anyone to think that. Why would anyone at CCP want to do something like that? So, we just mishandled it and we tried to correct it, and we I think we handled it as best we could, and that's what it basically was. We made a mistake, we'd never dealt with something like this before


Can someone explain what the actual scandal was?

Here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18365619)

Try this. [bluesnews.com]

Re:Scandal? (5, Informative)

Nananine (967931) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365627)

It was originally published in The Escapist [escapistmagazine.com] . There's three parts to it.

Basically, a player gained access to the private forums of one of the top alliances in the game, Band of Brothers. After sifting through chat logs and tracing IPs, he then alleged that the head of BoB's Capital Ship force used to be, in fact, a CCP employee. He also claimed that the same employee gave himself valuable Tech 2 original blueprints which he eventually donated to his corporation after he left.

After a big brouhaha that resulted in the "hacking" player's banning, the employee in question revealed himself as T20, one of the developers of EVE Online. He also confessed to have illegally spawned the Tech 2 blueprints for himself.

Eventually, CCP set up an internal affairs department headed by an impartial and well-regarded GM, Arkanon and placed the improperly spawned blueprints into the lottery pool (Tech 2 blueprint distribution relies on a lottery system which I'll skip explaining). The "hacker" remains banned, T20 remains employed at the company and the profits that BoB gained from the blueprints have yet to have been stripped.

Re:Scandal? (1)

slothbait (2922) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366431)

Magnus: Magnus Bergsson, the CMO at CCP.
Magnus: I don't get angry.
Magnus: I live there, I am one of those hardcore players.

Oh boy

The followup is
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/68604-Ju mpGate-EVEs-Devs-and-the-Friends-They-Keep-Part-2 [escapistmagazine.com]
here

I thought I would take a break. But with all the Corp Directors that are actually GMs and Devs poping up I guess I'm not going back. Eve is dead to me.

None of their 'hardcore' playerbase should still be playing and giving money to these people so they can build their private little playground with their old skool band of buddies.
Enjoy rotting in your elitist club masquerading as a sandbox.

Maybe I go try WoW or some thing I though was shit back when I loved Eve.

Re:Scandal? (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365643)

Can someone explain what the actual scandal was?

Jesus H. Christ with a crutch in a sidecar on a pogo stick. The very first hit [bluesnews.com] on a google search for "eve online scandal" [justfuckinggoogleit.com] (no quotes) tells you all about it.

Can you please explain why you're here? This is news for nerds, and a nerd would know how to use google.

WHy are you here? (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366261)

You seem to hate people so much, you'll rant at them about asking a damn question. A question you could have easily ignored.

Cluebat:
Slashdot is a community.
People in communities usually like to communicate within that community*
It's a simple question.
Many people would rather communicate then use google.
Everybody uses Google, you don't need to be a nerd. In fact If you think you are a nerd because you use google, you are wrong.

FInally, and most importantly: Fuck you.

*Thay also have trolls and asshats like you

Have a nice day.

Disappointment (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366317)

>Jesus H. Christ with a crutch in a sidecar on a pogo stick. The very first hit

Now that's a letdown - I had read that far and thought I was in for some beatnik poetry...cue the bongos!

Re:Scandal? (1)

epiphani (254981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365697)

I know nothing about this scandal, but one specific thing comes to mind when reading this:

What company has ever allowed the entire management team to go on vacation at the same time. I cant book vacation at the same time as a co-worker in my team. Nevermind managers trying to book vacations at the same time.

This answer wreaks of bullshit. Someone fucked up when someone else was on vacation. So they fucked up. Leave it at that and be done with.

Re:Scandal? (2, Informative)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365897)

You're obviously not familiar with European - especially Scandanavian - vacation practices.

It's quite common for an entire company to go on vacation for the same several weeks of the year.

I experienced this directly several years ago with a simulation (physics simulation, that is) software company based in Sweden.

Re:Scandal? (1)

Crizp (216129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366785)

Companies that have customer contact and depend on having their systems up and running usually have a skeleton crew that can handle things while the others are away, i.e. both sysadmins in a company are not on vacation at the same time.

Re:Scandal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18365699)

A dev was in the leadership of one of the big alliances. (It's since come out that there are more GMs leading major alliances) His identity as a dev was known by his in-game corporation. Eventually it was leaked to the public and he was forced to step down. On his way out he gave illegitimately acquired items worth incredible amounts of money to his corporation. Several months later this became public, CCP tried to cover it up but it was leaked onto places such as slashdot. They then issued a statement admitting that the dev did this and was sorry, and removed the items from the game months after the fact. The dev in question is still working for CCP.

Re:Scandal? (1)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365979)

You ought to search for the article, but here is the situation as I understand it (as a non-player). Basically a CCP employee spawned in some ultra-rare recipes for making items and gave them to his company in exchange for being promoted into a management position. CCP only got busted when a non-employee player got access to the SQL logs and found some incriminating conversations. CCP proceeded to attempt a cover up involving massive post removal and player banning.

Re:Scandal? (2, Interesting)

joelleo (900926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366825)

The scandal that blew it all into the open has already been posted. However, Magnus insinuates that this was an isolated event - a single dev doing a single naughty thing. Unfortunately, that is not true in the least. There have been numerous incidents of CCP employees' favoritism exhibited in-game, some of which have been noted by the eve playing public - scorp with all officer equipment spawned by a gm for instance that was blown up by a player gatecamp for instance.

I, personally, have been involved in numerous actions over the course of 3 years, including outright wars, against the corp and alliance of which t20 was a member and have seen first hand some very questionable events and decisions.

For instance, a corporation was involved in an event - essentially "Take back NOL-M9" which is the alliance in question's home system. The event coordinators within CCP assisted this corporation with a SINGLE carrier and a few other actors in faction battleships. A carrier can't take down pos - a fleet of a hundred carriers couldn't - yet they were supposed to take back the alliance's home system. Of course the attempt failed and the reward for the corporation involved was a few tier 1 battleships and some tech 1 cruisers.

ok, no big deal you say. True, but for events that transpired a few weeks afterwards. Essentially the same event but against a different target - a different alliance in the North - and the corporation involved is one of the founding corps of the alliance in question. For their event they received the assistance of several (I've heard variously 5 through 9) dreadnaughts, carriers and numerous faction battleships to assist them. On its own, the fleet provided by CCP would've been enough to do significant damage and take down many pos. In combination with the player forces it was unstoppable. I don't know the specifics of the rewards given to the corp involved but my understanding is that they received a few capital ships as well as several faction battleships.

This sort of lopsided favoritism is blatant and rampant in the game, unfortunately. After 3 and a half years of telling myself it couldn't be that bad, I've come to the realization that it is. CCP's bungled handling of this situation and the ones that preceded it and lack of acknowledgement of the scope of the issue constituted the final nail in the coffin - I cancelled both of my 3 and a half year old accounts already.

Re:Scandal? (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366885)

Can someone explain what the actual scandal was?
Someone figured out what the scam was, exposed it [slashdot.org] , and the mods (company employees abusing in-game advantage) smacked them down for it:

Moderation -1
    20% Flamebait
    40% Funny
    20% Troll
Extra 'Flamebait' Modifier 0 (Edit)
Subscriber-Bonus Modifier +1 (Edit)

Total Score: 1
I've seen this happen so many times I could script it in more than one language.

Eve? Online? Hardcore? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365481)

It's not what I thought it would be.

Re:Eve? Online? Hardcore? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365527)

It was on slashdot [slashdot.org] a few months ago. Basically, a developer was giving one of the in-game corporations (somewhat like a guild in other games) blueprints to powerful ships and other things.

Re:Eve? Online? Hardcore? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365557)

Oops! Gave the wrong link. Here's the actual link [slashdot.org] .

Management team on vacation excuse? (5, Insightful)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365491)

I would never allow this excuse to come from any company where I am paying from something.

For example, what if there was a major server issue where the replacement management had 2 choices
1) Cut the capacity of players in half and queue the rest
2) Allow all players, but the performance of the game would be reduce

Well since management is on vacation, and since this "never" happened before, the replacement management thought #2 was the best option. It doesn't really matter what they pick, the community is going to be pissed. Then management gives an interview afterwords, and tries to use the excuse they were on vacation? Are you f-ing kidding me? No matter how this "cheating employee" issue was handled, a big chunk of the community will be pissed. The worst thing you can do is blame on it summer vacation.

Re:Management team on vacation excuse? (3, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365755)

CCP has repeatedly handled this whole issue in pretty much the worst ways possible. Basically their response has been excuses for not handling it properly at first, and assurances that it's been handled properly this time. Not much specific information, just a "trust us, it's fine" attitude, completely oblivious to the fact that they have already lost credibility with much of their player base.

And in this interview, he sets up a nice little strawman argument about how it's not CCP's official policy to unfairly favor one particular alliance/corp/group. That's not what people think or are upset about. We're concerned about individuals within CCP unfairly favoring particular groups, and CCP's (un)official policy of not giving a damn.

He then goes on and talks about how hardcore EvE is, and how 30 second events can determine the results of months of work. That being the case, why won't he understand why even a single individual at CCP cheating within the game is so damaging and frustrating.

I got better answers from... (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365511)

ELIZA online. Why, I think I corrected at least two neuroses today!

For you Scientologists, that would be "engrams".

A Dangerous Assumption (1)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365577)

Magnus: "Absolutely. The reason that people team up in corporations and then corporations team up in alliances is because there is this inherent big threat of dying and losing a lot of money. You can lose months of work in 30 seconds, and this forces people because of human nature, to band together and form relationships."

That was the prevailing mantra in fantasy based MMORPG's. And then WoW and GW came along and defied that mantra. ... and kicked everyone else's asses.

Its pretty clear that from a market/business/popularity perspective that the "You can lose months of work in 30 seconds"-thing lost-out in a huge way to the "safer", "nice-warm-bath" approach. Which is why I think EVE is ultimately doomed -- more doomed than its management knows. When the space-based equivalent of WoW hits the shelves ("World of Starcraft", perhaps?) EVE is going to see far, far more attrition than they know. And for those who say "Yeah, but all those people with all that time invested -- those guys won't jump-ship"... well... that ain't what happened to DAoC, EQ, Asheron's or any of the others when WoW launched.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365687)

Its pretty clear that from a market/business/popularity perspective that the "You can lose months of work in 30 seconds"-thing lost-out in a huge way to the "safer", "nice-warm-bath" approach.

It's pretty clear that from any perspective there is room for more than one kind of game in the market. If EVE were doomed it would have died already.

It's not the investment in time, it's the array of people who WANT the life-or-death experience, or don't. Those who don't will jump ship. Those who do will stick around. Some people will leave and come back. Some people who have never tried either EVE or their future competition will go to EVE because of the difficulty level. Most won't. That's okay, because the market continues to grow.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18365693)

That's a good point. You can't simultaneously pride yourself on how your game makes it possible to lose everything you've worked for very quickly and expect people to stick around because they've spent so much time at it.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (3, Insightful)

merreborn (853723) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365713)

There's always gonna be a market for "hardcore" MMOs. I don't think EVE is in direct competition with WoW -- they're different subgenres, really.

There are MMO players out there that *want* death to matter. You're right, they're the minority, but they're out there, games like EVE cater to them, and that minority isn't going to dissolve.

The guys who are out there in lowsec space (the most dangerous areas) every day don't *want* to play World of Starcraft. It'd bore the hell out of them.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365857)

I disagree. These two are in direct competition like every MMO. It is just too hard to play multiple MMOs well. I am sure there are people who do this, but I know if I am playing one MMO, I don't have time to play another. If I do, that other MMO will be cancelled because it doesn't have enough content to keep me playing.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (1)

merreborn (853723) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366059)

I disagree. These two are in direct competition like every MMO. It is just too hard to play multiple MMOs well. I am sure there are people who do this, but I know if I am playing one MMO, I don't have time to play another. If I do, that other MMO will be cancelled because it doesn't have enough content to keep me playing.


I'd suggest that EVE online and World Of Warcraft are only in competition as much as Honda and Porsche are -- sure, you probably choose one or the other, but the type of people that choose to drive a Porsche aren't very likely to be tempted away by the latest Civic.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366719)

I play both Eve and WoW. I know some other people who do the same.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (1)

squidbeast (763718) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366855)

As do I. Sometimes even at the same time.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18367125)

Not really. Eve likes to make itself out as a more intelligent game for a different type of gamer...but it is really just more of the same. It has a bit more of a learning curve...but complexity has more to do with the piss poor interface because you have to click through multiple menus rather than actually requiring any true intelligence. They seem to confuse making things tedious with skill (but I digress, this is just me venting on how a good game could be so much better).

In any case, people get tired of WoW, FFXI, etc and want to try something different. So they try Eve. Some hardcore people stick with Eve, some stick with WoW, some float between the two. People who have been playing the longest have the most invested, so they are going to stick with their game. They sing the praises of their game and belittle the other one not because they like it so much more...just because they need to justify why they have spent 3 years playing the same game (generalizing here, obviously there are exceptions). I did enjoy Eve for awhile when I first played but eventually grew tired of it. I don't have time to play multiple MMOs...it is just the nature of the beast.

I would compare Eve and WoW to Counter Strike and Quake 3. One takes a bit more time to get in to, but they are both fun. People can enjoy both but they tend to prefer one or the other. The long time players of one put down the players of the other. Just that WoW and Eve are MMOs...which require massive amounts of time to play. Only those without a family or good job can really progress in multiple MMOs unless they are extremely casual in both. Thus they really are in competition with each other as people have a finite amount of free time to play.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (1)

Miniluv (165290) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365887)

The death penalty in EvE is one half of the double edged sword of Damocles waiting to smite CCP. The other is the barrier to entry, which they didn't actually "fix" at all with the last upgrade. I spent about 4 months as an active player, with a couple months in the middle not logging in except to change training skills, and still couldn't do much of anything interesting without having to join a corp, do the shitwork they assigned me to at the outset, and maybe eventually working my way up to a cool ship or something interesting. To me if a game isn't solo-able to a large extent then its a waste of my time, as I refuse to be dependent on other people for my leisure time.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (2, Insightful)

fitten (521191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366239)

The death penalty in EvE is one half of the double edged sword of Damocles waiting to smite CCP. The other is the barrier to entry, which they didn't actually "fix" at all with the last upgrade. I spent about 4 months as an active player, with a couple months in the middle not logging in except to change training skills, and still couldn't do much of anything interesting without having to join a corp, do the shitwork they assigned me to at the outset, and maybe eventually working my way up to a cool ship or something interesting. To me if a game isn't solo-able to a large extent then its a waste of my time, as I refuse to be dependent on other people for my leisure time.


Whether your not you are in a corp (or even an NPC corp) has no bearing on whether your not you can get into a cool ship or 'something'. You train up for it and buy it on your own and *pow* you're in your cool ship or 'something' as soon as you can afford to buy it and no one can stop you (as long as the ship is for sale somewhere). The game is soloable to a large extent. I've been playing for just over a year now and the only time I join gangs are when I want to do so, usually to help a newer pilot out finishing a mission, inviting newer players to join me on tougher missions so they can make some money and have fun shooting bigger npc ships, or when we gang up to go hunting in lowsec/zerosec for other players.

Sounds like you may have spent that four months waiting on someone to hold your hand and give you stuff. That won't happen unless there's some reason to do so and/or you are somewhat trusted already. You can't expect to join a corp and get access to the coffers right away because there's too many spies and corporate thieves around. You have to earn trust before you'll get handouts. So yeah, you were wasting your time.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366001)

I hear what you are saying.. but what I think makes Eve different is that it isn't just that you *could* lose months of work in 30 seconds, rather it's that almost everyone *does* lose big, and more regularly than they'd like in most cases. I've played game where there were risks of losing, but only in Eve are those risks so ever present and real. And there are so many ways to die :) It's like we've all been through this and so we band together to fight a very real threat of massive loss, not just to make some ingame money or clear a level like in other mmorgs I've played.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366383)

Eve has been around for 3+ years now and is still growing, slowly, but growing. Even one year ago when I first signed on, the record for simultanous players was around 16000. These days, it's normally in the high 20s and the record is double that a year ago (around 33000 simultaneous). Granted, it's probably two orders of magnitude lower than WoW, but it doesn't try to cater to the masses... it's a niche game.

Here's a quick comparison. I never once in WoW got very excited about anything and I've done most all the content before BC (didn't do the Slithus stuff because I quit before that was put in). In Eve, I've had so much adrenalin pumping that my hands were shaking so hard I couldn't control my ship.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (2, Interesting)

ifrag (984323) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366419)

Its pretty clear that from a market/business/popularity perspective that the "You can lose months of work in 30 seconds"-thing lost-out in a huge way to the "safer", "nice-warm-bath" approach.

Having been in that actual situation several times, I can say that's a distinct feeling you cannot find in most other games. Maybe it really is a bad thing, it certainly feels bad when it happens. The extreme sense of loss and 'wasted' time when you watch in horror as a Vagabond with T2 and faction items fitted explodes, well... there's almost no way to describe exactly how that feels but it's very bad indeed.

However I can say being on the other side, the extreme sense of victory and triumph is also something you cannot find in most other games. I guess it's just the full knowledge of the amount of pain, agony, and destruction you just inflicted on another person's in game existence. Obviously to experience this very opposite feeling requires that hardcore game play setup needs to be there. It's like the bitter / sweet analogy.

I've won countless battles in the WoW battlegrounds and none of them have left me even near the satisfaction of getting a great kill in EVE. In EVE I know that my opponent has been deprived of his ship, its items, and possibly even his implants. To top it off, I even get to further my own characters wealth by scavenging through what was left of the opponents ship. In WoW, I get the nice little medals which, if I grind through the exact same battleground, doing the EXACT same battle day after day, I might get something worth actually equipping, at least as a secondary item anyway. I also can rest easy in the knowledge that nothing was really taken over, and nobody really died or lost, or gained anything at all, other than a few cheap medals which are actually worth almost nothing. Yea... nice-warm-bath is just far too much to compete with.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18366901)

EVE does allow you situations where you can lose everything, but the way to manage the risk of losing everything is to use tactics that prevent it. you don't HAVE to fly your most expensive ship with your best mods and your best clone all the time, with no awareness of what lies beyond the next gate. you can jump to a clone with no implants, grab a cheap ship with cheap mods, and rely on your alliance's intel for information on risky places.

when i joined my alliance, we popped a hauler carrying expensive blueprints through our gatecamp, and he sent this heart-wrenching message to one of the guys that popped him. if you know how EVE works, you'd think to yourself "what the hell is this guy doing flying a hauler through 0.0 with no escort, no intel, carrying valuable blueprints?"

the moral of the story is that EVE gives you the opportunity for risk, because you can manage the risk if you play smart and have teammates that play smart.

Re:A Dangerous Assumption (1)

will_frag_for_food (1063768) | more than 7 years ago | (#18367189)

That was the prevailing mantra in fantasy based MMORPG's. And then WoW and GW came along and defied that mantra. ... and kicked everyone else's asses.

Actually WoW rode on the success of a previous generation of 3D MMORPGs, of which your friend DAoC is a member. They were not the 'first' to any of this... DAoC and others already did the whole 'die and keep your gear' thing and yes, it was well received and made for some fun gameplay where people go totally balls-out because they know the worst that can happen is that you might need to drop a few plat to repair your stuff.


Its pretty clear that from a market/business/popularity perspective that the "You can lose months of work in 30 seconds"-thing lost-out in a huge way to the "safer", "nice-warm-bath" approach.

Years later, UO is still running as a 2D/crappy3D game... the ONLY reason many folks left Ultima Online (which still enjoys a subscriber base) is because they ditched the client revamp and people wanted eye-candy. Put the DAoC or WoW interface on UO and I am back in an instant. The move from UO to DAoC and the like is the move that you are giving WoW credit for.


When the space-based equivalent of WoW hits the shelves ("World of Starcraft", perhaps?) EVE is going to see far, far more attrition than they know. And for those who say "Yeah, but all those people with all that time invested -- those guys won't jump-ship"... well... that ain't what happened to DAoC, EQ, Asheron's or any of the others when WoW launched.

How does this comparison work? Ultimately you are talking about the 'price of death', right? So WoW's success over the other MMOs mentioned (same 'price of death') has some relevence to the ability of your "World of Starcraft" (totally different 'price of death') to deplete the EVE player base? WoW succeeded because it gave players of similarly styled games more of what they wanted, arguably the advantage of NOT being first to market. This argument loses steam when you start predicting the effects of a totally differently styled game on the player base of EVE.

Idunno, I guess some of the shallow grave stuff from the fantasy MMOs just doesn't feel like it would quite fit in the Sci-Fi ones... I can get into the idea of my Shadowblade respawning after death and still having armor and weapons and stuff, but watching my ship blow up and then respawning in it? That feels more like a spacefighter sim, or FPS (first person shipper?).

Top 10 Alliances.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18365651)

He mentioned there's an even distribution of CCP employees in the top ten alliances.

Intriguing. Are they the top ten alliances because of the CCP employees are in them?

Or are the CCP employees in them, because they are the top 10 alliances?

I'm going to go with the former. Must be nice to have GM/Dev help in the game. As a member of a top 100 alliance (wihtout a dev in it, and we are fighting an alliance that DEFINITELY has a dev in it), I'm pretty annoyed.

Re:Top 10 Alliances.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18365775)

Eve is pretty crazy in the amount of dev activity inside the game. This one guy, tomB, actually challenged me to a duel! I called him a faker or something, and next thing I know hes sitting outside the station im in in a battlecruiser! Was pretty exciting actually. I had no intention of fighting him (kestrel tech1 ftw), but it was still interesting.

The fact that they can see where any char is and basically warp to them in whatever ship they want, makes them definately seem like gods.

Re:Top 10 Alliances.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18366015)

As a member of a top 10 Alliance I wonder who the GM/Dev is in my alliance. Just because they are out there doesn't mean we know who they are.

Re:Top 10 Alliances.. (1)

Saint_Waldo (541712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366081)

As a member of a top 10 Alliance I wonder who the GM/Dev is in my alliance. Just because they are out there doesn't mean we know who they are.


Just because you don't know who they are doesn't mean it isn't suspicious that the only GMs he mentions are in the Top 10.

Re:Top 10 Alliances.. (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366599)

> Intriguing. Are they the top ten alliances because of the CCP employees are in them?

To become a major player in the game requires a huge amount of resources and people working for you. It has dick to do with what happened with ONE GM. Maybe you should focus on that instead of just blaming it on imaginary enemies.

There have been major corps/alliances that have been on top that never had a Dev in them. Take m0o for example who actually through their own skills forced CCP to change major portions of how the game works.

One GM spawning a couple of T2 blueprints (and not great ones at that) did squat in the grand scheme of things.

He didnt understand? (4, Insightful)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365671)

"And the person that did it, which I know really well, he doesn't understand himself, it just doesn't make any sense."
What kind of bullshit is that now? He doesnt understand that he gave some of the rarest items in the game to his corporation? Or he doesnt understand how his corporation was subverted to make that all public. Perhaps he doesnt understand why developer cheating is the worst kind of wrong?

What a statement. Maybe he should take a month long holiday to "find himself". Hes certainly the one WORST affected by this scandal isnt he. The only thing that doesnt make sense is that this guy still has his job.

And zonk, please, pauses in speech do not warrant a literal "ahh" translation. English probably isn't this guys first language, or he is merely pausing to compose his thoughts.

Re:He didnt understand? (0, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365765)

The ahhhs and ummms are used by authors writing literature to convey stupidity, and transcribed by journalists verbatim for the same reason. It's called "spin".

You can add lots of h's to an ahhh to make them look even stupider, its completely up to the author of the piece.

Zonk simply wants the guy to come off unintelligent, to vent his nerd rage.

See, I'll show you:

Today George Bush said: "Our resolve is strong in Iraq, and we will stay until the fight is finished."

vs

Today George Bush said: "uhhhh durrrrr Our resolve uhhh aahhhh eehhh is ummmm we... uhh strong in ummm whatsit uhhh Iraq until all the fight is uhhhh finished."

Which quote is likely to run in the NY Times, and which is likely to run on foxnews?

Re:He didnt understand? (1)

Crizp (216129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366983)

And I ask, which is more accurate? There is a clear difference in perceived intelligence between the two quotes. The more stalling, mumbling, mmm-ing and aah-ing, the less intelligent you seem. A person that instead formulates a sentence before speaking it comes off as more intelligent, coherent and not to say concise. Even though there are one-to-two-second pause between each sentence and before a reply, it's better and quicker than a person that um... have problems being aaah... able to construct sentences like aaaaahhhhhn... edumacated fella.

Re:He didnt understand? (1)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366167)

You misinterpreted the statement. The CCP representative was saying that the developer didn't know why he cheated. Obviously he wishes he hadn't done it now, but that doesn't change that facts. It is almost irrelevant to the discussion (see appeal to emotion--we are to feel sorry for the dev.) In my opinion the answer about the scandal was basically making feeble excuses for an even more feeble official response.

TLA WTF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18365759)

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Exalted MMO (1)

flymolo (28723) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365783)

I really carefully phrased, my question to include non-WoD White Wolf property, and nothing about them got asked.

Still hoping, but annoyed they didn't use the real question posted like normal.

Lack of events (2, Insightful)

epr (826666) | more than 7 years ago | (#18365853)

Scandals, server specs and new features is all very interesting to read about, but when will for example the Amarr get a new emperor? The lack of ingame events and essential halt of certain ongoing ones (the Gallente election for example) has done nothing but to diminish the immersion factor of the game, which certainly is a shame considering all the material the backstory contains. Anyway, it would have been nice with some sort of update on what the future holds in that area.

Profits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18365987)

I still want to know the annual profits from EVE. It was the only important question. I know the profits must be obscene, but the question is how obscene. I think it is important for the players to know just how little it costs to run the game in comparison to the revenue it brings in.

I guess I'll look into whether CCP is publicly traded and if any financial reports are available.

I quit Eve (3, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366019)

I quit the game due to the scandal and how it was handled. They just delete posts on forums that are damaging to them. I know a forum isn't free speech, but I have never seen a company so heavy handed about removing people's posts.

And the group that benefitted from the corrupt CCP employee got a huge advantage by this despite his denial. He is either clueless to how his game works or he is just trying to cover up (clearly the latter). The amount of in-game money these items allowed them to generate made them most powerful alliance in the game and the balance will be forever skewed because of it. The took the items away, but the damage is already done...they didn't take away the money those items generated to allow them to take over a large part of Eve. And since they only have one shard that everyone plays on, the game will be forever screwed for everyone in the game.

They didn't fire the corrupt employee, they didn't reverse all the damage he did, and I am sure things like this will happen again...they will just cover it up better.

Seriously, if you are looking for a new MMO, move on. Eve has to be one of the most boring, time sink filled game I ever played. Yes, their skill system is brilliant and removes one time sink...but with losses being so high, you have to spend tons of time grinding to make sure that you can replace what will get blown to bits. CCP is tainted and the taint has not been removed.

I hope you see this CCP. Thank god you can't delete posts here.

Re:I quit Eve (1)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366349)

How, in what way shape or form, did the "scandal" affect your play?

Re:I quit Eve (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366585)

Dude, you should have seen his play before the scandal. Great actors and actresses, expensive props, and a elegant light show to boot. Then that horrible scandal in Eve happened and everyone became very upset. Everyone stopped pouring their hearts and soul into the show like they used to, and everyone ended up leaving. Fucking CCP.

Re:I quit Eve (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366937)

It changed the whole shape of the galaxy. Whole sections of territory were owned by an Alliance that was able to control it due to the ill gotten BPOs. This is just one instance where they got caught. How much other crap are they doing? What's the point in investing time and money in to a game where the devs can get away with giving their friends and allies whatever they want? Why should I play a game where I get blown to bits by people with unlimited resources because of devs hacking the system?

Sure, the dev's character is deleted now and they reseeded the BPOs...great. But they didn't remove all the ISK generated by the BPOs. They can't take back the large advantage they gave this alliance over everyone else.

Can you see how this is fairl significant?

Re:I quit Eve (1)

Phier123 (1076271) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366429)

What the hell are you smoking?

A sabre BPO and ammo BPO's did almost NOTHING to help out BoB, you are either a empire carebear noob, or just looking to stir the pot here.

Seriously, if you think BoB was built on the back of those BPO's you have very little understanding of game mechanics.

A better question would be why RA was allowed to keep TRILLIONS of isk they got from bugged complexes that they have sold for RL cash.

I'm not saying CCP is very good at handling security, but if you think this is the big eve scandal you need to wake up.

Re:I quit Eve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18367245)

BoD alt found

Re:I quit Eve (1)

HellKnite (266374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366707)

Perhaps removing your head from your rectum is in order... a single Sabre BPO did NOT magically turn the tides for BoB's industrial machine and grant them ISK beyond measure. The rest of the BPOs that he spawned for himself were even less important than the Sabre, and likely all they did was save pilots in BoB from going out and buying that ammo. Honestly, with BoB's size, this has more of an impact on other producers of the ammo not having their product purchased than it gives an "advantage" to BoB.

I'm glad you quit, one less imbecile in a game I still think is the best around with one of the best companies backing them. Have fun playing WoW.

Re:I quit Eve (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18367229)

Just the sort of attitude typical of Eve as well. You just didn't ask me for my stuff. They got other advantages from having the dev in there as well (they knew exactly what to train for and what to do for new content). But if you want to live in a world where CCP didn't screw up the universe, that's fine.

But really, if a community full of elitist assholes is your idea of a good time, you too will enjoy Eve. I always love how you guys put down WoW. Shows you have the maturity of a 6 year old. Really, you shouldn't be jealous that so many people like WoW more than Eve. Eve servers can barely handle the current population, much less anywhere near the people playing WoW.

Re:I quit Eve (2, Interesting)

aafiske (243836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366811)

"The amount of in-game money these items allowed them to generate made them most powerful alliance in the game and the balance will be forever skewed because of it."

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. Most of the BPOs were ammo, which is _not_ that profitable to manufacture. The only stinger was the Sabre BPO, which _is_ very profitable. But you know ... there are at least 19 others out there in the hands of other alliances. And other ships that are more in demand and more profitable are owned by other people too.

So while, yes, it _did_ earn them probably billions of dollars they were not entitled to, every other large alliance has BPOs like that _also_ pulling in billions of dollars. Hell, even small Alliances can have impressive portfolios of BPOs. (I am in one.) To suggest that it was the sole, or even primary cause of that alliance's success is ridiculous. You are either a troll or a fool.

CCP's customer service is repulsive. (4, Informative)

silentsentinel (1067234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366047)

I flat out refuse to give CCP another cent, ever. They have moronic, technically inexperienced GM's and lousy customer service.

I played EVE for probably 4 months, and had terrible experiences with their customer service reps.

To make a long story short, a player thought I was macroing Escrow Missions, and reported me. Well anyone who played EVE with the old Escrow system knows there's no point in macroing it, it just doesn't take that much time to do legitimately. We're talking 2 to 3 minutes of work.

Basically the scenario devolved into my trying to defend myself, and explaining that I was merely copying/pasting Escrow text-lines from an outside text file. Not a real huge technological marvel, copying/pasting, eh?

Well, I got banned for 1 month, and every petition I filed was answered with a canned reponse that showed very obviously no one had spent more than 10 seconds reading my extremely detailed account of the situation, and suggesting that hey, duh, if I'd macroed, at the very least the server log timestamps for the escrow submissions would have been on even intervals. They had to have been completely random, in truth, as I myself know I wasn't macroing and I'm not a robot, I was only copying-pasting lines from a text file.

I re-activated my account about 3 months after that, (this was last September `06), figuring I'd give CCP one last try. I got bored of the game very quickly at this point, and decided to file a NEW petition on the GM that banned me (GM Arkanon, I believe he's pretty high up in the company, whatever.)

I read on the forums that if you believed you'd been mistreated, then file a harassment petition on said GM. I did so. I waited 1 month, and finally got a 1-sentence response from their GM's that said, essentially "there's no way you're telling the truth. You could not have copied and pasted this from a text file. We are banning this account permanently."

Must not like their customers' money very much. Not another cent, idiots.

Re:CCP's customer service is repulsive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18366847)

I've been playing about a year and half and I have no idea what is you are talking about macroing Escrow missions. Sounds like there is more to the story then you are letting on.

Why could they do this to begin with? (1)

Darlantan (130471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366133)

My question is, why could the devs do this sort of stuff on the production server anyway? For troubleshooting purposes, use the freaking test server. Anything spawned on the production server should be logged. Any time you allow people with infinite power to play with the average joes, this sort of stuff is going to happen. Either A) Remove their ability to play, or (much better) B) Remove that infinite power from the area where regular players are.

There's no way that spawning multiple T2 BPO's for BoB should've gone unnoticed. Given the rarity of T2 BPO's, spawning one should throw up a red flag worth at least token investigation. Spawning more than one for a single corp or player should almost never happen.

Game caters to griefers (1)

entrophos (1076259) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366247)

The gameplay itself isn't bad, and it looks pretty with a nice system and all the candy turned on, but there isn't so much of a skill curve but a skill CLIFF. Most people that try the game don't survive to the end of the free trial because there's nothing fun about puttering around for a couple hours, getting a shiny new frigate and then making the mistake of wandering into a low security zone. They get OMGWTFPWNBBQ's by a gank squad camped at the warp gate consisting of a bunch of players with far, far more skill points as soon as they appear. These players don't care that these new people have nothing worth taking, they do it for kicks and e-peen enlargement (omg killmails!111one!one!). This kind of deliberate griefing, scamming, cheating, etc. is rampant through the whole game. CCP actively caters to these types of players (hell Magnus even used the derogatory term "carebear" to refer to players that don't want to PVP by staying in "safe" Empire space). EVE has a well-deserved reputation for being a cesspool where all the a$$hats that get kicked out of other MMOs thrive. Unlike Blizzard, don't do seem to do anything about a rampant and out-of-control gold-farmer problem (think whole fleets of macro-miners). Not to mention that they gave a certain, privileged group of players licenses to effectively print money via a limited number of blue-prints for critical items (which is why people got so irate over the dev scandal). This game will have a niche following, but they just won't ever expand beyond a certain point. I guess you could say it's successful from the point that they have made some money at it, but if they would make the game a bit less harsh and predatory, especially towards newer players, they'd be able to pick up a LOT more subscribers.

Re:Game caters to griefers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18366559)

Go play WoW, you pansy!

Re:Game caters to griefers (1)

entrophos (1076259) | more than 7 years ago | (#18367061)

Go play WoW, you pansy!
I have an active account in EVE Online ATM and have for over a year. Shows how much you know, eh?

I'm just sick of trying to get new people to play only to have them griefed out of the game or throw their hands up in frustration because it's too hard to figure out what to do in the game to progress before the trial is up. The game and a large segment of the population are downright hostile to new players. You don't throw a person with no combat training into a live combat zone. Same principle here.

They have made a couple stride in the right direction but the game NEEDS to do a better job of easing new players in. After this period (when they're properly lubed up) THEN they can get a real taste of human nature at it's worst.

Re:Game caters to griefers (1)

hivemind_mvgc (823238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366987)

That comment makes the game seem more attractive to me than anything else I've ever read about EVE...

Re:Game caters to griefers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18366999)

I take issue with your "wandering into low security zones" statement.

The game pops up an alert, clearly, in very certain language, states that you are entering a hazardous area and you are advised to turn back.

Re:Game caters to griefers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18367075)

On the other hand, there are quite a few of us who enjoy going around kicking the asses of those "A$$hats". You need to find the right people. Once you do, hang on to them and be loyal; a competent pilot is worth far more than an expensive ship.

Secondly, reputation and image > loads of money. There is an active movement against BoB, the alliance that benefited from the dev scandal- many of their pilots left, and many more are joining their opposition.

1000 Players - Lies! All Lies (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18366335)

Sure there where a 1000 players who where ready to be part of that battle but CCP's servers cannot handle it.

The entire Lotka Volterra Alliance (2000+ players) lost a titan under construction, an outpost and a very nice system because every member of the alliance who was able to stay up until 3am had to look at a login screen for 4 hours! (guys thats right we as group could not play the game or defend while our enemies where destorying years of work and well over $12,000 USD (in ISK terms) of assets.

The node crashed 4 times and allowed our enemies to enter the gate while we where still looking at the 'logging in' screen because their code and servers gives priority to those jumping in thus stopping others from logging in.

This has been known for years and alliances take advantage of it, CCP servers are very unstable and cannot take any kind of battle over 200-300 players at the best of times. There was no 1000 player battle just a 600 player rape while the defenders could not log in.

Examine every battle report on the EVE Online forums everyone complains about massive lag, buggy behavior, node crashes etc, etc, etc.

Frankly EVE is not scalable up, only down. Magnus needs to work on this problem as the highest priority or see subscriber numbers fall due the fact we cannot play the game!

Re:1000 Players - Lies! All Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18366995)

You forgot to mention the fact that LV's commanders ordered LV to log in anad back off at two minute intervals in a vain hope of keeping the server crashed.
The actual result was that LV's players kept getting bumped to the back of the que, while the attackers waited patiently and got in just fine.

The scandal goes beyond the T2 BPOs.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18366395)

For me the biggest problem with the scandal was that there certainly was more than the T2 BPOs handed out.

Information has no price tag.

Information about which regions are getting the 10/10 plexes (dungeons if you will) before they're in the game. Information about the next 'secret event' so your corp can be ready long before anyone else. Information on where your enemy bases are (whatever happened to the GM ship that was found scouting BoB's enemy system less than 24 hours before BoB declared war on them?)

Let's not also forget decisions that can be influenced by corp loyalty.. Where should we put that new 10/10 plex? In our enemy's territory or ours?

BoB has a long, LONG and well documented history of abusing bugs that the average person doesn't know about (using passive targeters to shoot through enemy PoS shields). Who would have first hand access to all the bug reports filed by honest players?

Oh, that's right, a dev.

I also think it is funny that BoB has NEVER been punished for metagaming (using pretexting to be able to post enemy message boards onto the official EVE forums and/or disrupting enemy TS/Vent channels during a war op, etc) yet Kugutsman (the whistleblower) gets banned for metagaming BoB's message board (obtaining and looking through a sql dump of their messages).

1000 players... (4, Interesting)

pacman on prozac (448607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366547)

We had the other day, not too long ago, a battle of 1000 in the same system, and we want to continue supporting that, allowing them to have these large battles

Strange example to pick, if this is the battle I'm thinking of then it pretty much finished off one of the biggest alliances in the game due to the server being unable to handle the load.

The server crash disconnected everyone in the system (the defenders) but when the node eventually came back online it gave priority to people jumping into the system (the attackers). The end result was the defenders lost the system and all of their assets within it and were unable to do anything to defend it. You may think "so what it's only a game" but the assets lost equate to around $20000 at current rates. This was all earned by the work of the thousands of players in that particular alliance.

Re:1000 players... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18366815)

But that's ok, because Lotka Volterra had ANOTHER titan under construction, right?

right?

And you didn't want all those stations?

right?

Nails in their coffin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18366735)


The onus is on management to make amends, show that the game is fair, and show that it will never happen again.

This interview not only shows that they have done none of the above, it shows that they fundamentally don't understand the problem.

For a game company to require an insane amount of level-grinding AND to foster a broken culture of internal favoritism is financially suicidal in the long run.

Magnus: I don't care how good a buddy this guy is of yours. He broke the rules, and in doing so seriously endangered the company's image and the loyalty of its customers. You need to let him go. You also need to kick players who knew about this at any level. Stop downplaying the issue.

Two things jump out at me in this interview... (2, Insightful)

Arsaidh (960031) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366813)

"We actually did a survey, and we found it's an even distribution of CCP employees in the top ten alliances." I'm sorry, but that's not a reassuring fact. Does that suggest that many of the top ten alliances have devs and GMs in them? Oh, well then surely there can't be any misbehavior going on there! "And the person that did it, which I know really well, he doesn't understand himself, it just doesn't make any sense." And just what the Hell does this mean? "He doesn't understand himself"? What, was he working late one night when he accidentally clicked on the "Abuse Position and Give Ph4t L3wt to Teammates" icon on his desktop instead of Microsoft Outlook?

Missing items in EVE? (1)

no1nose (993082) | more than 7 years ago | (#18366831)

When are they going to release all of the missing items in EVE? For example: the Large 'Hope' Hull Reconstructor. I looked for one for months and even offered huge sums of ISK on the buy/sell forums.

I got frusterated and stopped playing about 8 months ago. I made a trial account last week only to find they still haven't released it.

mod [0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18367293)

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