Posts Tagged ‘fanfest


Sion Kumitomo’s Guide to Utilitarian Realpolitik

Sion’s talk at Fanfest is well worth watching.


Dust 514 and the Osborne Effect

There’s a term in business circles called the Osbourne Effect. For those not around in the 1980s to experience it first-hand, the story goes:

The name comes from the planned replacement of the Osborne 1, an early personal computer first sold by the Osborne Computer Corporation in 1981. In 1983, founder Adam Osborne pre-announced several next-generation computer models (the “Executive” and “Vixen” models), which had not yet been built, highlighting the fact that they would outperform the existing model. A widely held belief was that sales of the Osborne 1 fell sharply as customers anticipated those more advanced systems, leading to a sales decline from which Osborne Computer was unable to recover.

Sound familiar?

One can see the parallels between Osbourne and CCP’s handling of Dust 514. Immediately after the announcement of Eve:Legion, I noticed a noticeable drop in active players, and a corresponding spike in bitterness.

Damage control on the forums didn’t work, neither did gifts. It’s ridiculous that damage control even needed to be applied, since the CPM is on record as warning CCP about the sensitivity of the announcement for five months, but were overruled because :fanfest:

In short, this announcement was poorly announced, poorly prepared, and smacks of interference from other departments inside CCP, to the short- and long-term detriment to Dust’s bottom line.


Fanfest 2014

So, Fanfest was last weekend and there were quite a few revelations and bombshells, so I thought I’d leave the topic lie for a day or so, to let the dust settle. Ahem.

I’ll break up my thoughts based on the games they belong to, in order of keynote.

First up is Valkyrie.

TMDC has a good writeup which I won’t duplicate. I will note that it looks like it’s shaping up to be a great game, but I wish there was a single-player campaign as well (note that this kind of campaign is very theme park esque, but hey, so are the epic mission arcs and everyone loves them)

Next up was Dust 514.


The keynote was an example of a communication failure.

The first failure was of CCP not listening to the CPM and CSM when they raised the obvious and most important issues (‘what’s the transition plan?’, ‘will it come back to console?’, ‘what will happen to Dust?’).

The second failure was waiting until fan fest to make the announcement. FF is a toxic environment for Dust players for a variety of reasons, which further set the existing player base off-side. Whether intentional or not, it was an insensitive way to tell the player base that their favourite game was being EOL’d, in direct contravention of David Reid’s ‘there will never be a Dust 2’ comment less than six months earlier.

What’s sad is that I think Legion is a good idea, both from the technical side (unreal engine (4?) + PC) and from the thematic side (Eve + DayZ, no fixed match size, just open world), but the presentation was just handled terribly.

Please improve.

Onto Eve.

The keynote went over a lot of industry changes released a week beforehand, so there were few surprises there. The Mordus Legion and Exploration ships were a welcome addition, the change to six-weekly agile iterations should improve delivery, and the hull rigs, transport ship and unspecified freighter changes sound promising. As a vaguely industry-focused player, it’s shaping up to be a good next few months.

The CCP Presents keynote was suitably visionary. The prospect of Eve/Legion/Valkyrie single sign on is quite nice, as was the impressive trailer, including a sick reference to Eve lore.

Finally, congratulations to CSM9, and thanks to everyone who voted this year. Fly safe.


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.


Eve Fanfest 2009 Retrospective

CCP’s Eve Fanfest 2011 just concluded. A number of aspirational videos were aired, grandiose claims were made, and promises taken at face value.

This, dear readers, is not how Eve players behave.

Eve players are wily – they dodge scams and thefts on a daily basis (when they’re not perpetrating one themselves), and have learned not to trust anyone else. So, I am saddened and disappointed at the rampant wide-eyed naivete displayed recently about all the magnificent changes that will happen in Eve Real Soon Now ™.

To give you a quick dose of Standard Reality Booster, let me present, from the hazy past of forgotten promises and missed deadlines… Fanfest 2009.

Fanfest 2009 Highlights

  • COSMOS social network (later renamed to Eve Gate) DELIVERED but terrible
  • Tech III Frigates NOT DELIVERED
  • Tech III Loot / Modules NOT DELIVERED
  • Fleet formations NOT DELIVERED
  • Alliance Treaties NOT DELIVERED
  • Comet Mining NOT DELIVERED
  • Planetary Interaction DELIVERED eventually
  • Planetary Interaction feature development NOT DELIVERED
  • Dust 514 NOT DELIVERED
  • New Doomsday weapons DELIVERED
  • Multiple displays DELIVERED
  • Dominion Sovereignty changes DELIVERED then not iterated upon

And there’s likely many more broken promises buried in round-table discussions, such as the Eve font, corporation logos on ships (2007!), faction warfare and so forth. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

So, settle down, take a deep breath and stop believing everything you see.

Or if you can’t do that, I have a station in Delve that I’m willing to sell you for a very reasonable price…