Archive for March, 2012


Not as predicted

I predicted (and expected) this.

I did not expect this.

As some of you might have heard, one of the Alliance leaders speaking at the Alliance Panel during EVE Fanfest 2012 breached our EULA/TOS with some ill-advised remarks about a fellow EVE player. It goes without saying that CCP deeply regrets this incident and will work towards reducing any possibility of this happening again in the future.CCP requested that all panel PowerPoint presentations and discussion topics be handed in beforehand for approval. Regrettably, the offending comments were made during an unscripted Q&A session after the main presentations.Following a thorough internal review CCP has decided to respond to this clear violation of our Terms of Service and wholly inappropriate use of the Alliance Panel. According to our existing policies, we have issued a 30 day ban from EVE Online to the panel speaker.

The policy of CCP is not to publicly discuss warnings and bans on an individual basis. This situation is entirely unique because the panel was displayed via CCP’s Fanfest video stream component, a platform analogous to our forums. As a result we have published this statement due to the special circumstances involved. However, our policy remains that we will not publicly discuss warnings and bans.

The panelist has subsequently posted a public apology as well as a private apology to the victim of his attack. He has also resigned from his position as Chairman of CSM 6 and has forfeited his right to serve on CSM 7. As per our policies, this candidate may be eligible to run at a later date subject to candidacy review.

The Council of Stellar Management is a democratically elected council that represents the players of EVE Online. Although council members may represent the players in any manner they choose, being a council member does not permit actions or playstyles that violate our policies.

(emphasis mine)
So, what happens now? Jester has some ideas.
Losing the chairmanship was manageable for Mittens.
Being kicked off the CSM entirely is another thing entirely. He will not be happy about this at all.
I wonder if this is the price you pay for embarrassing CCP…

As predicted

As predicted earlier:

Though I have received many letters of support (my inbox is full of these, and for them I thank you) and the major bloggers have called for me to remain on as Chair, there are still some who doubt the sincerity of my apology to the player concerned, who – unlike those attempting to make hay from my mistake – is the person that matters here. I said that I would resign; to demonstrate the sincerity of my words and my apology, I will do just that.

With the increasingly high profile of the CSM in the wake of the Incarna Emergency Summit and the amazing turnout we had for the CSM7 elections, I have come to the conclusion that my two roles in EVE – that of the Chairman of the CSM as Alexander Gianturco, and the leader of Goonswarm as “The Mittani” are increasingly incompatible. It is, fundamentally, a problem of hats.

As the leader of Goonswarm I must be willing to make ruthless decisions and take actions that many players find objectionable – griefing, ganking, scamming, ‘dishonorable’ fleet tactics, espionage, metagaming, blowing up everyone who tries to mine Gallente Ice, sponsoring Hulkageddon, et cetera – whatever it takes to defend my people in this, the most exceedingly hostile galaxy to grace the internet. As Darius JOHNSON, the previous Goonswarm leader once said, “[Goonswarm] is not here to destroy /the/ game, but /your/ game.

Yet as Chairman of the CSM and Alexander Gianturco, I need to put a good face on CCP’s experimental player democracy and keep my nose clean. Inevitably, these two roles conflict with one another; when Goonswarm does what it does in EVE, this reflects on the CSM as a whole, purely due to my position as both Chairman and alliance leader. If I abandon the brutalist tactics of an alliance leader in hopes of keeping the CSM’s image pristine, I hamstring my people ingame and do a disservice to the line members who rely on me. In addition, the enemies of Goonswarm assault the CSM and CCP itself unfairly due to the in-game actions of our alliance.

After the successful restructuring of CCP, I am convinced that most of the hard work of the CSM is already done – CCP is now focusing on spaceships instead of avatars, and the success of CSM6 has led to a solid and competent crop of player representatives in CSM7 with a much greater turnout, demonstrating ever-more faith and trust from the playerbase in the concept of the CSM. This changes things for the CSM, as well as the Chairman title.

During Goonswarm’s highly successful Gallente Ice Interdiction there were calls for my resignation as Chairman; those calls increased when Goonswarm began to use false supercap sales as a method of closing the gap between us and our in-game enemies’ supercap fleets. We are now planning an attempt to destroy Jita itself. All of these actions are entirely legitimate within the brutal world of EVE, yet, in the coming months, if I continue to hold the title of Chairman, CCP will be enduring one PR nightmare after another as Goonswarm’s in-game actions unfairly reflect back upon the CSM as a whole through the Chairman title. It is increasingly important that the Chair be a ‘good citizen’ in the game itself – and I cannot be a good citizen and simultaneously lead my alliance of magnificent bastards.

With CSM7’s term beginning on April 4th, I now exercise my right as the winner of the election with 10,058 votes to decline the office of Chairman. It will then be up to CSM7 as a group to decide how to proceed regarding the Chair. As a member of the CSM without a title, what I do as the leader of Goonswarm will no longer unfairly reflect on the CSM as a whole – leaving me and my people free to do as we please without needing to consider corporate, political, or media ramifications every time we make a **** joke, offend someone, or sell a supercap made of vapor.


To qualify my position, I’m neither happy or unhappy about this announcement.

I believe that Mittens does not need the chairman hat to operate successfully; it is merely something he wanted for personal reasons. By resigning from the chairmanship, he regains the freedom to act as he pleases, having encountered for the first time the constricting expactations of being a spokesperson for Eve rather than just his alliance of like-minded bees.

I guess that’s the way of politics; live by the sword – die by the sword.

or in this case, fall on your sword.


Mittens, and the hole he has dug for himself

So, The Mittani said something outrageous (at about the 1hr 2 m 55s mark – now censored but Liang’s got you covered) and the gaming media picked up the story and people are arguing about it.

A brief summary of events is that on the alliance panel, he was talking about a player who mailed goons something about being extremly depressed after he got ganked in the Ice interdiction. During the Q&A, he disclosed  the name of the player and said something like “grief him some more so he actually kills himself”

Bearing in mind that it’s a possibly bannable offense:


An immediate permanent ban of an account may result if a player:

* a. Organizes or participates in a corporation or group that is based on or advocates any anti-ethnic, anti-gay, anti-religious, racist, sexist or other hate-mongering philosophies.

Severe offences may result in an immediate ban without warning; however, warnings may be given for first time offenses, followed by account suspensions of varying degree and ultimately a permanent ban if a player:

* a. Is abusive, obscene, offensive, sexually explicit, ethnically or racially offensive, or threatening to another player or an official EVE Online representative.

Soon enough, Mittens posted from his phone:

A comprehensive apology was posted on the forums.

I’m fairly certain that Mittens, being an ex-lawyer, knows how serious this can get. He didn’t just troll someone in a game; he incited others to commit cyber-bullying, in public, on the record, on broadcast media and at the request of CCP Games.

A case can be made about cyber-bullying under US laws because he mentioned wanting to get him to kill himself in real life. I don’t know the European laws but he might have something to answer for there as well. He was obviously(?) joking, but that’s the sort of talk that could get him, Alexander Gianturco the real-life person, disbarred and/or cause him real-life career and reputation damage, make it difficult to re-enter Iceland and generally cause him the same sort of grief he is willing to inflict on someone else.

Some people think he’s overreacting by resigning from the CSM chair – personally I think he needs to overreact as a means of damage control before it spirals out of control, for his own good, and to salvage the good working relationship he has with CCP developers.

Just don’t mistake it for remorse for the guy he abused.



Turns out I’m terrible at paying attention to local.



Aspirational Film-making

T’Amber, former CSM delegate and Photoshop Hero, has a new vid out.

It purports to be a preview of the Inferno release, but even as a fake it has some very interesting suggestions and neat features that would be a great addition to the Eve experience.

Also, gender reassignment, ha.

Trolling and off-the-wall ideas aside, creating mockups of a suggestion is a high-impact way to convey an idea and I’d like to see more player-created ideas presented this way.


CSM 7 Candidates from a noob’s perspective

Gevlon is a experienced in the ways of making money in an MMO, and has recently started playing Eve. He is strongly in the ‘Spike’ gamer psychographic profile, which makes for some amusing reading.

He has made his choice of vote for the latest CSM elections with the same thoroughness he uses in his gaming, unfettered by knowledge of Eve’s political history. I suggest you give it a read and see whether you agree with his assessment.


Signs of Desperation

I noticed that Blizzard is getting desperate for players to resub:

World of Warcraft’s Scroll of Resurrection has received a rather considerable buff. The feature previously allowed currently subscribed players to invite a retired friend to come back to Azeroth for a time. Now, however, the resurrected player will be provided a treasure trove of freebies to further entice retired players back to the game.

The returning player will be able to boost one character directly to level 80, which seems pretty amazing in and of itself, but there’s more. Scroll of Resurrection will also supply its target with a free upgrade to Cataclysm, seven days of free game time, and free realm and faction transfers so that returning players can join their friend right away. So, retirees and recovering addicts, if you need a little more Azeroth in your life, now’s the perfect time to jump back in.

Compare this to the rewards that most MMO players get for multi-month subscriptions, and CCP’s handing out of implants, cerebral accelerators and other gunk. Past a certain point, you lose the respect of your player base, and I think WoW has reached that point.

Where do you draw the line between an incentive, and blatant bribery?