Failing In So Many Ways


Liang Nuren – Failing In So Many Ways

CSM Minutes: Misleading

Let me begin with a quote from the CSM minutes:

CCP Greyscale moves on to explain his work on sentry guns. Sentry guns will now shoot anyone with a criminal flag, suspect or otherwise. Sentry guns will also start with smaller amounts of damage, and ramp up with time. Ideal tuning will be to where triage carriers will die at around 4 1/2 minutes. This way, if you want to use triage carriers in lowsec on gates you can, but you must commit to the cycle for a length of time before starting your reps, if you want to deactivate triage before the sentry guns kill you and jump out. CCP Greyscale also points out that another goal is to make it so that the first couple of hits won’t kill an interceptor immediately, enabling a quick tackle, and then a warp out.

Aleks remarks that this would be great for enabling more frigate use in lowsec piracy.
Aleks asks when all of these changes will be released, and when there will be dev blogs released for this information.
CCP Masterplan explains that this is where everything is at in the design process, that they’re looking forward to working more on this as the Inferno stuff dies down.
CCP Soundwave: “It is looking like a December release.”
Aleks and CCP Greyscale briefly discuss community response to these changes, Greyscale acknowledges that the changes to “suspect” flagging would upset some players, particularly canflippers.

I want to be clear that presentation of this section of the CSM minutes is very different from this following section, which is clearly a brain storm:

On the subject of sniping, Greyscale tossed out a high-level idea for a fix to sniping. He asked for CSM input on one such idea, an interdiction probe that would be launched a certain range before the bubble would deploy. In essence it would work as a drag-bubble to protect the sniping fleet, or at least give it ample time to react and reposition.
Elise was receptive to the idea and added that the biggest hindrance to sniping is the speed of ongrid probing.
Seleene and UAxDEATH agreed strongly.
CCP Soundwave chimed in with an idea of putting probes on grid and making them destructible. He argued that it would give small support a more pronounced role.
UAxDEATH was very receptive to the idea of giving support a stronger role.
Two step spitballed some ideas where probing would become less accurate with more results, and another idea where there was a probe-killing-probe.

The rage was further fanned on by certain CSM members who seemed to be all but directly confirming that it was already in development and would be hitting TQ in a form very like it was presented in the CSM minutes.   The problem got worse when many other CSM members refused to clarify that section of the minutes or actively defended it.  There were many suggestions by both the CSM and CCP to post on the forums – because obviously this is a good place to hold a discussion.  The only official answer was “It isn’t final until it’s on TQ”, a phrase that’s preceded a great many things that have in fact made their way to TQ.  It truly surprises me that the CSM feels that the community “jumped the shark” and was unreasonably angry given the presentation we were given about what was said.

However, after much discussion with various CSM members via blog post comments, forum posts, twitter, and Skype… I have to say that I’m pretty sure that the CSM minutes probably did not reflect the spirit of what was said at the CSM summit.  Both Hans Jagerblitzen and Seleene specifically said they’d not support any changes with ramifications so broadly destructive to PVP in low sec.  Hans even went back and watched the video and says that the context surrounding the fact it was brain storming was simply not put in the CSM minutes.

And as a final recap, here is a sample of the enormous list of problems with what was represented in the CSM minutes:

  • Gate camping is a hallmark of PVP in Eve because travel chokepoints are where you are going to find people.  This is true in high sec, low sec, null sec, and WH space.  Why should low sec suddenly become very different without core game mechanics changes that support that change across all of Eve?
  • Any sentry fire that was heavy enough to kill triage carriers at 4.5 minutes would be dealing somewhere between 35k and 150k DPS – obviously much more than any subcap can work around.  This means that the overall implication is that most non-gank subcap fights would also end up with everyone just getting blapped by the sentries.  Gate camping and ganks would still be possible via ninja camping and sniping, but real PVP fights would simply become untenable to have on a low sec gate.
  • The suggestion allows for gate camping with triple sensor boosted stilettos.  While it won’t materially change my own travel through low sec, this would make travel for non-flashy people much more dangerous – ostensibly something that we’re trying to avoid.
  • The suggestion does nothing for the core reasons why low sec is an underutilized area of space.  Provably, gate camps were never the problem – after all, we can look to null sec with it’s perma bubble camps to know better.  It’s must be a risk vs reward thing.

So obviously the suggestion itself is not fully thought out because of it’s ramifications for PVP in low sec, so let’s come up with something that sounds reasonable.  From everything I can gather, these are the primary motivations:

  • Get more people in to low sec
  • Allow different kinds of engagements on gates (eg, frigates)
  • Prevent perma camps
  • Prevent capital camps
  • Prevent orca camps?
  • Prevent blob camps?

For the sake of full disclosure, here’s what I personally think of each:

  • More people in low sec is great, but I don’t care so much about carebears coming to low sec.  They will never leave the relative safety of High and Null sec for the much more dangerous waters of Low sec – and that’s perfectly fine.  Give me your casual and small gang PVPers instead – all of them you can round up. 🙂
  • I’m kinda -1 to letting frigs engage under sentry fire.  On the one hand it’d be cool, but on the other it makes travel through low sec much more dangerous for carebears.
  • While I don’t tend to gate camp (it’s boring), I see absolutely no problem with perma camps.  I feel like places like Amamake and Rancer provide interesting geography and places of legend.  I see this as literally no different than the perpetual camps in PF- and M-O and other null sec entry systems.
  • I see absolutely no problem with capital camps.  I feel like low sec tends to small gang PVP and dropping a triage carrier or two is a pretty big signal there’s about to be an epic fight.  Well, it would be if you weren’t about to have PL drop a few hundred supercaps on you anyway.
  • Yeah, nerf the shit out of Orca/Carrier stowing under aggression.
  • I’m not a big fan of blob camping, but it’s allowed in every other area of space.  I see no reason why it shouldn’t be allowed in low sec too.

If the goal is to allow more types of PVP in low sec, I’d say that the first thing that should be done is just remove sentries entirely.  The key distinction between NPC null sec and Low sec would be the lack of bubbles, bombs, and certain supercapital features.  It’d mean that people no longer hesitated to pull the trigger on who would aggress because there would be no sentry fire to worry about.  There are a number of really good things about this approach – however it’d also kill the “heavier ship” fighting style that only blooms in low sec.

If the goal is to get more carebears into low sec, I think we’re looking entirely in the wrong direction.  The simple fact of the matter is that anyone that can stomach any risk at all is already in null sec – where the best rewards are.  There’s no reason for anyone to go to low sec for carebear rewards, ever.  So the first thing to do would be to provide that.  Then we should keep sentry guns or perhaps buff them a bit (with the added “benefit” of further encouraging the heavier ship doctrines I mentioned earlier).  Even if we neglected the fact that most established pirate corps have dozens of max skill scan prober alts, the instalocking frigs would simply be the doom of high sec carebears coming to low sec for PVE.

If the goal is to nerf Orca/Carrier stowing, then simply prevent stowing when you could not jump through a gate (eg, you are aggressed).  You could also transfer aggression to the Orca.

If the goal is to nerf capital camps and encourage frigate PVP under gate fire, I’d say the right answer is to turn sentry guns into missile batteries firing relatively slow missiles.  This means that you can scale damage by sig radius and speed, so capitals are getting hit by a dread while frigs and fast cruisers are getting tickled.  I hesitate to point it out, but it could also be used as a mechanism for ramping up the damage and would provide a visual indicator of how angry the sentry guns are becoming – warp out or die when this Ball O Rage hits you.

One thing I know for sure is that I am not a game designer and don’t really want to be one.  But, I will do everything in my power to help the game move in a direction that’s a bit more friendly to everyone without simply deleting my play style.


Filed under: Eve, Gaming

Calling the CSM to Account

So recently the CSM spent a great deal of time discussing their role and how important they are to CCP as a reality check/sounding board. I use the term “recently” a bit loosely, mind you – it’s been months since the CSM met with CCP, but only just now have the minutes come out. Inside those minutes, on pages 93-96 or so is some interesting information about CCP’s plans for gate guns in low sec:

Present: CCP Masterplan, CCP Greyscale, CCP Unifex, CCP Explorer, CCP Punkturis, CCP Tallest, CCP
Tuxford, Alekseyev Karrde (Lync), Hans Jagerblitzen (Lync)

CCP Greyscale moves on to explain his work on sentry guns. Sentry guns willnow shoot anyone with a criminal flag, suspect or otherwise. Sentry guns will also start with smaller amounts of damage, and ramp up with time. Ideal tuning will be to where triage carriers will die at around 4 1/2 minutes. This way, if you want to use triage carriers in lowsec on gates you can, but you must commit to the cycle for a length of time before starting your reps, if you want to deactivate triage before the sentry guns kill you and jump out. CCP Greyscale also points out that another goal is to make it so that the first couple of hits won’t kill an interceptor immediately, enabling a quick tackle, and then a warp out.

Aleks remarks that this would be great for enabling more frigate use in lowsec piracy. Aleks asks when all of these changes will be released, and when there will be dev blogs released for
this information.
CCP Masterplan explains that this is where everything is at in the design process, that they’re looking forward to working more on this as the Inferno stuff dies down.
CCP Soundwave: “It is looking like a December release.”
Aleks and CCP Greyscale briefly discuss community response to these changes, Greyscale acknowledges that the changes to “suspect” flagging would upset some players, particularly canflippers.

There are several overall implications here:

  • The first sentence describes this work as already being somewhere between in progress and finished.  Either way, these changes are expected to be complete and ship in December 2012.  CCP and the CSM have indicated that this is a miscommunication in the CSM minutes.  It was apparently not presented as it was presented in the CSM minutes – it was more of a brain storm session with much rabbit holing.
  • Sentry guns will now shoot people with a criminal flag (GCC, sec status below -5) as well as people who are flagged as a suspect (can flipped, minor crimes of aggression).
  • It will now be reasonable to run a 3x sensor boosted Stiletto on the gate for initial tackle with long range sniper tornados for killing the captured prey.  Solo travel through low sec will become much more dangerous.
  • The goal of killing triage carriers (2-3M EHP, 25k DPS tank) at 4.5 minutes means that the scaling on sentry fire will average much higher than 25k DPS at 4.5 minutes.  Some basic exploration of the matter says that the sentry guns will be dealing somewhere between 60K-125k DPS depending on when the exponential scale starts to invoke (at 2.5 minutes and 4 minutes respectively).  Pretty much no matter how you slice it, at 4.5 minutes into a fight we’re going to be seeing super tanked subcaps blapped off the field by sentry fire.
  • The net implication is that it’s a massive boost to gate camps and a massive nerf to actual fights on a gate.

The community is, of course, split over this:

  • Carebears are trumpeting about how pirates have systematically killed low sec through over hunting and gate camping.  Why, it’s about time that CCP did something to push pirates into getting real fights in belts like they did back in 2003!
  • Issler (CSM, ultra carebear who desires to eliminate PVP in Eve) is pointing out that gate camping has never been an allowed mechanic, which is why gate guns were first implemented.  They’re just fixing the bug that allowed pirates to gate camp in the first place.
  • Gate Camping pirates don’t seem to care or are excited that they’ll now be able to tackle with a 3x SeBo’d Stiletto and snipe with Tornados.
  • People who roam are crying bloody murder because virtually no fight of any size resolves within 4 minutes.
  • Very few people have noticed that pirates are going to be shot for simply waiting on the gate, regardless of aggression status. This is wrong.

In response to the pure ignorance displayed by CCP Greyscale and the CSM, I have offered to sacrifice my main character (-10 sec status, 90M SP, pure Minmatar PVP spec) for the purpose of forcing CCP Greyscale to play a pirate for the next 6 months.  I will furthermore fund the account for this endeavor so that he can keep skill training with his 3 free (presumably industrial) accounts.  While it would be ideal if I were to get the character back, I would understand if it weren’t possible.  I feel that offering to sacrifice my 90M SP main, the name my friends know me as, and $100 USD of my own money is the most sincere way that I can express myself on this matter: CCP Greyscale cannot possibly have played the game as a pirate (or PVPer in general!) in recent memory.  I feel that his education is absolutely critical.

Now, while I am disappointed with CCP on the matter, I am even more disappointed with the CSM.  So it is at this point that I demand an accounting of the CSM.  They claim their job is to protect CCP from making boneheaded mistakes, yet not even one of them objected to these sentry changes.  Not even one of them had the foresight to understand the catastrophe that is going to happen to low sec.  Not even one of them realized that this is effectively deleting the entire pirate profession from the game.

So what gives, guys?  Why didn’t you object to deleting PVP real PVP from low sec?


Clarification from Masterplan [1][2]has stated that pirates will NOT be blapped by gate guns without first having done “bad things”.  Furthermore, the suspect flag will probably not cause blapping.

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , , ,

Making ISK

I was responding to a post [eve-o] about L4 missioning and concluded with:

I typically ran with a Tengu/CNR/Golem combo in high sec and a Vargur in 0.0. Then I realized that level 4 missions are one of the worst ways to make ISK in Eve and stopped doing them.

Obviously, this lead to the natural question of just what I actually do for ISK.  And this was my answer [eve-o]:

If I had to scrape up some ISK quick, I’d do one of the following (in order):
– Sell some stock on the market. This is how I make the overwhelming majority of my ISK.
– C2 WH with a C2 static. I think I’d like to try this with a Kronos, but I know that Sleipnir + Noctis generally pulls in 100-150M/hr. This is where I make my “PVE ISK”.
– Low Sec FW. My bomber pilots are hands down the most profitable thing I’ve ever done. My peak ISK/hr over an 8 hour period was around 450M/hr and the price of Slicers is looking pretty good [hint, hint].
– Low sec L5s. I’ve done this in a solo PVP (triage fit!) Nidhoggur, but I think I’d like to try it in an actual mission fit with a marauder on the side. Solo Niddy pulled in ~100M/hr and I’m betting an actual mission fit + marauder could bump it to above 200M/hr.
– 0.0 L4s + High sec AFK L4s. I guess this was pulling in ~120-170M hr, depending on whether I got camped in 0.0. I was using a Vargur in 0.0 and an overtanked FOF Tengu in high sec.

Just to be clear, I make most of my ISK from the market. The goal here is to do what I want to do in Eve and not spend time hamstrung by a lack of ISK.

Also, I forgot that I spent several months training up a series of PI alts and still haven’t done anything with them. Invading a C1 WH for them would be a good plan too.

The thing about it is that I don’t currently have any hard and fast ways to prove what my income stream has been during any particular part of my career in Eve.  I used to, but time has worn away the information.  But, I feel like these are reasonable ballparks.

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, ,

Drunk Liang, Best Liang

First off: let me apologize for my extended absence.  It’s not that I’m not thinking about posting, it’s just that life’s been a bit unkind.  My wife is pretty sick and the project at work is Epic Failing, so I haven’t had any time, effort, or energy to devote to forum warrioring and blogging.  I have, however, had time time to get absolutely smashed and miraculously type the password to log into Eve.

Man, there’s been so much inner-corp crap happened since last time I blogged.  Here’s a quick rundown:

  • We moved out of the C2 / Low Sec + C2 wormhole.  The core problem was that the wormhole always opened up to the same set of low sec systems, and those systems were pretty bad.
  • We moved briefly to Minmatar low sec while everyone regrouped out of the wormhole.
  • Several people started playing League of Legends.  I think they died or something.  Haven’t seen them since.
  • We moved to Syndicate and have started to slowly reform under the old No Salvation banner as Tomin took over again.

Of course, there’s a lot that could be said about each of those times, but this will have to do for now. So somewhere around the time we move to Minmatar low sec, my wife’s condition deteriorated pretty severely and my time for personal projects (including Eve) began to suffer.  Things deteriorated again recently, and lately it’s become the rule that I’m pretty lit up by the time I log into Eve (if I I log in at all).  I’m told of how I recklessly charge ahead and kill anything that’s nearby, finishing the night by chasing down and killing an X-type fit 100mn PVP Tengu for us.  I also apparently try to solo Sleipnirs in a Brutix with the rest of his gang on the way.  Got him into armor, amazingly.  Without the gang there I might have even got him into structure or even won, judging from the fraps.

I briefly mentioned the work front, but that section of the blog post grew substantially, so I’ll put it in it’s own section.

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , ,

A Modest Proposal for the CSM

Tonight I listened to Eve Radio where the CSM spoke about The Mittani Scandal and then The Mittani and Nyphur talked about the consequences and fallout of associating real life name with overly sensationalist terms. The conversation was much less dramatic than I expected and I’m very thankful that Nyphur was so willing to work with The Mittani. Eventually they even made up and almost e-hugged. How cute.

However, there’s an important take away to be had here: what could have been a story about a drunk mostly anonymous asshole making an exceptionally stupid comment at Fanfest became so much more because of the use of a real name. The news elements fed off of each other with all making various untrue allegations towards not The Mittani – but the player behind The Mittani. And really, this is hardly the first time that someone’s real life name has come up in terms of their actions on the CSM – for instance there are several people who have been accused (but not “convicted”) of breaking the NDA and now their real life is similarly affected. So effectively: the use of a real name takes things to the next level. And this is going to be true any time someone’s real life name is used – whether that person is The Mittani, Jade Constantine, Liang Nuren, or yours.

At any rate, at the end of the show, someone posted The Mittani’s real life address and someone else said they were headed that way to rape The Mittani’s wife. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen something like this said, but I’ve learned a lot about the way CCP handles it since the last time I saw it so directly. And just to be clear: CCP takes these threats very seriously and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone’s received a visit from their local law enforcement tonight.

So with all of this in mind, I believe that the CSM white paper should be amended in such a way that the CSM candidates (and eventual CSM members) real names and countries of origin are not given to the player base as a whole – but strictly to CCP. The real life information of current CSM members is already available, but that’s no reason for future members to potentially be put in similar real life situations.

We as a player community have proven that we are not responsible enough, not mature enough, and not sane enough to be trusted with this information and this proposal is meant to help our upcoming CSM candidates – those whose real names aren’t known yet. Maybe even people like you.

If you agree, please drop by my Assembly Hall Thread [eve-o] and give your support.

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , ,

The Mittani: Conclusion

Today saw two new developments in the ongoing (but likely concluded) Mittani scandal.  The first was the announcement [eve-o] made by The Mittani with approval from the CSM (and almost certainly CCP?):

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.

The CSM seemed (almost) unanimous behind him with a couple of obvious political dissenters:

Two Step:

I don’t think this decision is the best one for the game, but it is Mitten’s decision to make, and I support him 100%. What he is doing is what he thinks is best for the game as a whole, which is what he has been doing during the entire CSM 6 term.

Trebor Daehdroow:

I have watched Alex wrestle with this decision over the past few days, and I hope I have been helpful in some small way as he came to it.

It’s the right decision for him, the community, the CSM, and our friends at CCP.

I look forward to serving with Alex on CSM7.


This has been a difficult few days and Alex did not make this decision lightly. The next CSM has a lot of work ahead of it now. Mittens has helped shape the CSM into it’s current form and I’ve no doubt he will help where he can as he always has. I am glad that he has taken this step so that we can all move forward to doing what the community elected us to do.

Elise Randolph:

A new hat: Mittani the altruist.

While the CSM did not ask for this action, I do respect and support it. From my perspective, which is not infallible but quite keen, Alex was the most successful CSM chair in that he helped usher in a new era of the CSM where the rigid bureaucratic processes were thrown aside to streamline the process and allow all voices to be equally as significant. A solid change that has borne fruit in what has been an incredibly effective CSM term. As a member of CSM 6, I have nothing but good things to say about how useful and effective Mittani was. I have no doubts that Alex will continue to work hard as a CSM 7 member and I look forward to working with him in the coming year.

I was personally relieved [eve-o] that we would at continue to have the effective player advocate that The Mittani has been on the CSM.  Over all, most of the responses in the thread seemed positive towards The Mittani staying on the CSM but declining the chairmanship.  However the drama wasn’t quite done for the day as later in the afternoon, CCP released what appeared to be a carefully coordinated dev blog entitled  “Alliance Panel at Fanfest 2012: The Conclusion” [eve-online].  I’ll quote it here:

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.

GM Salmon

VP of Customer Relationship Management

The CSM responses to this were pretty telling in my opinion and indicate (yet another) disconnect in communication between CCP and the CSM:

Trebor Daehdroow:

The entire chain of events that have lead to this action are extremely regrettable and sad.

Alex was an extremely talented and energetic member of CSM6, and his absence will be keenly felt during CSM7. I am deeply saddened that CCP felt they had no choice but to take this action.

This unprecedented situation raises significant questions — such as representation and disenfranchisement — that CSM6 will be discussing with CCP and with the new members of CSM7 over the next few days. I think I can speak for everyone on CSM when I ask for your patience while we work through these issues.

Two Step:

I disagree with this decision, and am working hard with CCP to make sure the 10,058 voters that voted for Alex have their voice heard.

More to come, just wanted to make sure I had a spot on the first page


This was an unexpected development and we are now working toward resolving both the issue of Mitten’s 10k voters and figuring out the process for CSM 7 Chair. Straight

While this is obviously a sub optimal solution and one that I am supremely unhappy with, I think the thing that bothers me most about this is that the CSM obviously had no clue this was coming before it actually happened.    As The Mittani said in the State of the Goonion, he didn’t even know until it happened.  I’m enough of a realist to recognize that this was always the most likely outcome and its even a solution I suggested on Twitter as I pondered the situation as the news initially broke.  Its just not the solution I wanted though.

Another interesting thing is that no reasonable interpretation of the the EULA/TOS shows just how The Mittani breached them.  However, as so many people don’t seem to understand: it doesn’t matter.  CCP can ban any of us at a whim – just because.  There isn’t any required justification, even for someone as internet spaceship important as Mittens.

However, now we have a unique situation – 10,000 votes have been disenfranchised before the CSM has even been seated.  Two Step and Seleene seem inclined to fight this decision, and this makes me really glad that I voted for both of them.  Realistically CCP is under no obligation to re-enfranchise these votes and I don’t think CCP is going to.  They are under no obligation to back down from this and the most likely outcome is that they’ll just shift one of the alternates to the CSM proper.

At this point I think I’d be remiss in my duties as a blogger if I didn’t cover the next dev blog too.  Its longer, so here’s the relevant parts:

Such behavior crosses the line of acceptable player conduct and breaks the Terms of Service.  CCP finds this behavior morally reprehensible.

To be absolutely clear: directly calling for people to pressure someone into suicide, no matter the situation, is not acceptable in an official CCP forum.

CCP in no way condones the harassment of players, especially those who suffer from depression or suicidal thoughts, as we understand the possible consequences of such abhorrent behavior…. Our Terms of Service (TOS), which can be found here, mirror our company’s stance on this matter.

While the content of online interactions between players cannot realistically be gated within our game worlds, we do take very seriously accusations of such behavior between our players.

Furthermore, we have a suicide hotline protocol which has, in specific cases, made a difference for several unfortunately troubled players…CCP will be very vigilant in monitoring any behavior directed towards the individual named in the presentation.

We are undertaking a full internal review of this panel as well as the process used for vetting the panel’s materials. Even though this panel was billed as unfiltered by CCP, we expect public presentations to be courteous and professional towards others. ~ CCP Manifest and CCP Navigator

The larger point.

This speaks to a larger point. We need to revise how we showcase the culture of EVE. It was clear in some comments from attendees and internet observers that while Fanfest was a massive success there are aspects of it that we can improve upon even more.

This solemn effort has already begun. Time for us to grow up a bit.

“Internet spaceships” are often called “serious business”, but increasingly they actually are serious business. It is moments like this that remind us that there are people beyond the characters we encounter and everyone in the EVE universe should always treat other players with a base human level of respect and decency—whether enemies or not. We would be remiss not to use this as a chance to revise our event and communication strategies.

CCP and the community of EVE Online need to understand this, and we, CCP, will be taking serious steps towards fostering a better environment at our panels and beyond.

This is almost disturbing.  While I believe I have a pretty solid handle on the social contracts in Eve, I’m concerned what formalizing them is going to do to the game and its culture.  I think The Mittani put it best in the State of the Goonion: we’ll see where things are in a month after he’s unbanned and razed Jita to the ground.  On the flip side, I’m a big fan of everyone knowing exactly where the lines are so that they don’t cross them.  And in case that isn’t clear enough, I copied a GM response [eve-o] below to make sure we all know where the lines are:

DISCLAIMER: I will not comment in any way, shape or form on the recent events and decisions made in relation to those events. I will only clarify how customer support enforces our policies to provide clarity on the day to day application of those policies.

I am going to explain this only once; and this really should have been clear to anyone bothering to apply some common sense to the EULA/ToS.

What happens inside the The Magic Circle is allowed as long as it abides by the rules of The Magic Circle (this is why you are allowed to hit someone in a boxing match, but not outside the ring). However, as soon as any action steps outside The Magic Circle and threatens harm to anyone in real life in any way shape or form, or when you incite others to do so (or when your in game actions are specifically geared towards that, joke or no joke), you break the EULA/ToS; even if you are only stating intent.

Any GM will always take immediate action when this is done.

And for those who think they can force an in game situation out of The Magic Circle to avoid in game consequences by threatening with suicide; the GM department has a strict policy of informing local and international law enforcement agencies of any suicide threats issued NO MATTER THE CONTEXT. In other words, do NOT joke about that. When a RL life is threatened we do not take any risks, ever.

And that, as they say, is the rest of the story.

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , ,

Social Contracts and Political Maneuvering in Eve Online

I believe that the recent drama relating to The Mittani is an example of Eve Online’s social contracts and political maneuvering in action.  I think it’s important to explore these before setting it all aside and fortunately there was an extremely interesting follow up [blog] written by almost-Doctor John Carter McKnight, a 4th year PhD student at Arizona State University.  His particular focus is on emergent governance in online communities, so it wasn’t particularly surprising when he talked quite a bit about Eve Online and Second Life.   Amusingly, he appears to hate them both.

In his blog post, he calls Eve Online and Second Life the last of the “magic circles” and refers to them as “fairy lands” where players believe in game rules completely supercede real life rules.  Real life laws just don’t apply when in game.  He makes an interesting analysis of the controversy surrounding The Mittani, but I believe his domain knowledge and underlying analysis were flawed and this lead him to a less than perfect conclusion.  In his blog post, he states the definition of what he calls “circle jerks” (he appears to be ignorant of the term’s actual definition [wikipedia]) and goes on to characterize the community of Eve Online as such:

In short, the elements of the circle jerks’ genetic code are:

  • a belief that when you sit down at a computer (game), you’re entering another country
  • that country’s denizens have sole jurisdiction over what is or isn’t permissible behavior
  • that country’s denizens can perform “extraordinary rendition” on anyone, any time, because their laws and customs are superior

Look back at that bullet list above. This – and this thread is far from unique; it’s one of the core tenets of the whole griefer/ganker realm – isn’t just circle-jerkery. It’s not just saying, “we suspend real-world law and morality here in favor of our own.” It’s “the laws and customs inside our fairy forcefield trump the law and morality of the ‘outside world.’” It goes beyond “destroy your game roleplay character or digital persona in a fit of pique” to “you, specific real-world person with suicidal ideation, should act on it.”

The world turns inside out: the circle jerks would see game rules (primarily emergent social norms rather than Monopoly-like rules) trump real world rules*.

Speaking as a trained anthropologist chock-full of postmodernism and cultural relativism, I can say professionally, that’s fucking nuts.

*I see Anonymous, WikiLeaks and the various Facebook/Twitter revolutions not as cultural imperialism by circle jerks, but folks with real-world ideologies and agendas using digital tools to advance them – which, IMO, is how the tech should be used – no fairy forcefields to be found.

In his rush to lampoon the community of Eve Online as a “circle jerks” in a “magic circle”, he claims that we believe that real world rules do not apply in game and that we believe its perfectly acceptable to do things in game which would result in dire consequences in “real life”.  That is to say that he claims most of us believe that The Mittani’s words were fine and justifies this by pointing at the “plenty of people” who were saying there was nothing to apologize for.  At this point, I believe his analysis fails on two points, despite 4 years in a PhD program studying “emergent governance in online communities”.

My first point is that he doesn’t accurately understand the social contract of Eve Online.  He claims that we believe in game rules trump real life rules to their near total exclusion.  At the risk of falling prey to what almost-Dr. McKnight would call a “magic circle” and becoming a “circle jerk”, I’m going to say I’m in favor of drawing distinctions between what is real vs what is not real.  This seems to be the most realistic and sane response to any situation – from night terrors and fear of the dark to fiction and even to games.  In fact, I’d go so far as to classify his “magic circle”/”circle jerk” characterization as being an almost perfect mirror of the characterizations made by the classic “carebear” that is unable or unwilling to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not.

For those who are unaware, the typical “carebear” argument goes that someone’s avatar is an in game extension of themselves.  As a general rule, people adopting this stance bring their real life morals into the game and expect everyone else to play by what they perceive the rules of the game to be.  They tend work within the rules of the monopoly-sandbox to create and to build.  To them, I’m unable to hide behind the name “Liang Nuren” when I suicide gank their hulk in high sec.  To them, I become a morally bankrupt terrorist with no purpose in life save to destroy years of someone else’s hard work.  To them, I was simply fulfilling my deepest, darkest, most twisted fantasies of achieving power and ultimate control over my fellow human.  They fully believe that I would do depraved and unspeakable things in person to real people if given the opportunity and a reasonable guarantee of a lack of personal consequence.

However, I do not believe this to be the case.  Its simply that one of the most basic skills of Eve Online is discerning what is real vs what is not real.  People who are not capable of this distinction are frequently at extreme odds with the community as a whole and are frequently encouraged to leave the community.  They tend not to stay long – both because of self selection and constant encouragement.  Really, I think this is for the best all around because I don’t want to be anywhere near someone who isn’t able to personally distinguish between what is real and what isn’t.  Just because I blew up your 80 billion ISK / $4,000 USD Titan doesn’t mean that you should make it your real life’s work to destroy mine – by virtue of destroying my professional career or killing me/my family/my dog.  Its just that us building things and blowing up each other’s ships is part of the game and not any more interesting to the real life law than me stealing your hotel in our game of monopoly – even if you paid for it with real life dollars (bad you).

With that out of the way, I feel safe in saying that the social contract in Eve Online fully specifies that what is real takes absolute precedence over that which is not real.  If you look carefully, you can see it in the above paragraph too.  Truly, the social contract in Eve Online requires the ability to simultaneously follow both real life and in game laws.  From there we see that actions which break real life laws can, should be, and will be prosecuted to the full extent of applicable real life laws.  Where applicable, there will be additional in game consequences in the form of bans and public mocking for forgetting the difference between what is real and what is not.

While it can be difficult to see from a distance, one of the core tenets of the Eve Online community is that attacking someone’s real life is out of bounds.  Briefly poking back to the subject of The Mittani: the core truth behind the threadnaughts wasn’t that he broke the TOS or the EULA (though there were certainly allegations of that and CCP themselves seems to have taken that stance), but that what he did was morally wrong both in and out of game.  And that’s why he issued his apologies and fell on his own sword.

Moving on: I said that there were two critical failings in almost-Dr. McKnight’s analysis.  The second is that he doesn’t fully understand the politics or government of the emergent community in Eve Online.  This is obvious because he didn’t even passingly mention the political maneuvering and “get out the vote” efforts that took place in the “threadnaughts” mentioned, despite it being highlighted by both bloggers he cited as sources (me being one).

To those who are unaware, the controversy was not solely fanned on by moral outrage.  In fact, a huge part of it was fanned on by feigned moral outrage on the part of The Mittani’s many political enemies.  In the real world, we are utterly unsurprised when politicians see a political enemy stumble and incite the mob to frothing at the mouth riots.  Its simply expected behavior in the real world… and sadly in game too.  In game we tend to call this meta gaming, “The Great Game”, or even just “gaming the game”  And most people have similar opinions about it as they do conerning real world political maneuvering.

In a very real sense, a large part off the controversy was fanned on by the fact that Goonswarm is a hugely successful alliance and has at one point or another alienated almost the entire politically active player base.  They’ve done this in a variety of ways, from virtual force to political maneuvering.  This is important because the easiest and cheapest way to take space is to convince your enemy to give it to you, while the nature of the game makes it such that the only way to really “kill” an alliance is to make the people just give up.  Thus just as in real life, propaganda and misdirection plays a central role in large scale warfare in Eve Online.  It follows that all major player run political organizations (known as alliances or coalitions) have highly effective political propaganda machines… and these machines were out in force to attack Goonswarm (not just The Mittani).

Now we get to one of the central tenants of his argument: the people who said there was nothing to apologize for in the first place.  These people were almost universally Goons, and frankly I doubt many of them really believed what they said – just as many of the people they were arguing with didn’t really believe what they said.  This was CAOD level political “ship toasting” brought to General Discussion by everyone with an ax to grind… or just for fun.  Because that’s just how The Great Game is played.  In my personal opinion, this wasn’t an appropriate time for the metagaming we saw, because The Mittani’s real name was at stake.  In effect, we all broke our social contract over this.

In conclusion, I contend that almost-Dr. John McKnight did not fully understand the social contracts involved with the Eve Online community, and nor did he fully appreciate the political maneuvering taking place.  One might argue that his “magic circle” argument is in fact utterly fallacious, and I question the good almost-Doctor’s ability to pass judgment on CCP and the players of Eve Online as fucking nuts.

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , , , , ,

The Mittani – Hero?

So there’s been recent drama over the Eve Fanfest Alliance Panel.  Most of the early threads decrying the Alliance Panel were aimed at gratuitous f-bombs and public drunkenness, but Mittens particular outburst slipped under the radar for the most part.  At some point people decided that Internet Spaceships is Serious Business and these threads started to take on a decidedly political tone – people began to shit post in earnest.  From the tone of the complaints I expected sex with barnyard animals and The Mittani to have personally lead a public verbal beat down of someone physically present at Fanfest.  Imagine my disappointment when I actually watched the video stream last night.  This is what was in the stream – a slide with Mittens mockingly reading the following:

So now it looks like you still gank me and I work hard to keep going in this game. Sorry I am very mad that was more plexs for my guys. Yes I can make that back easily mining if I could mine. Now I will just get popped by you guys no matter what, and 400mil is nothing. That is like 3 maybe 4 hours mining for me. Sorry it is hard when I have had own alliance members send people out to gank me. Now I fell I have been suckered into giving away 1.3 bil isks.

Since my divorce all I want to do is die, and I have been doing tha tallot in this game.

I am sorry I did not understand. I am just sick and tired of sitting here allone and having to play with myself. Everyone that I have helped out in this game and in real life just takes what you have and that is it. Never to hear from them again. l I am getting tired of everything. It was nice mining ice while it lasted took my mind off everything.  Even though some people may say I am a bot I am not.  I run all 22 accounts myself it is not easy but it keeps me sane.

Sorry for making you mad at me. I will leave you allone now and never enter your space again.  I will be off looking for a nice quiet corner somewhere.

Sitting through the presentations was pretty painful aside from the two wormhole presentations, but I did eventually make it to Mittens presentation.  Overall, I’d say it was just about classic Mittens and overall his presentation was pretty good for having 3-??? Jager bombs in rapid succession and being stumbling drunk.  By his own admission [twitter], he was so drunk that he couldn’t even remember what was said.  The Q&A is where all the interesting parts are anyway (@1:11:30):

Questioneer: Just something about the guy with 22 accounts.  I think he moved to the Drone Regions and now he’s got kicked out of there as well.

The Mittani: Incidentally, if you want to make the guy kill himself, his name is The Wiz. Its “T-H-E SPACE W-I-S”.  He has his own corp. Find him.

It wasn’t until I really sat down and watched the video that I came to my own conclusions.  My initial reaction was that Mittens crossed a line when saying what he said – and I stand by that.  At some point, Eurogamer and Massively picked up the article and Eve-O suddenly was filled with pastors, popes, and lawyers as the noise to signal rose to well over 200 pages of shit posting.  Of course, the overwhelming majority of it was The Usual Suspects posting to attack or defend Mittens – and while I’m a massive forum whore my guns were mostly silent.

However, there’s a huge amount of misinformation floating around.  First off, let me just say that the rumors about the guy killing himself or being put in the hospital are just plain wrong – someone reached out to the miner in question who jokes about the situation himself (conversation follows).  Second, let me point out that US cyber bullying laws [] really haven’t been broken because those laws are almost uniformly directed at the bullying of school children that do not have a choice but to face their bullies physically at school.

[21:10:18] Xeross155 > Heya
[21:10:22] The Wis > Hello
[21:10:29] Xeross155 > Getting swarmed with interviews I can imagine
[21:10:50] The Wis > No why?
[21:11:57] Xeross155 > With this BS and all
[21:12:21] Xeross155 > Pretty sure the name Mittani called out was “The Wis”
[21:12:31] The Wis > Oh I will have to check that out.. What is going on?
[21:12:58] Xeross155 > You sent him a mail when you got scammed and your Mackinaws destroyed or smth
[21:13:41] Xeross155 > Or at least one of his alliance mates
[21:14:13] The Wis > Could have.. been a long time. Might have been when they had the safe mining offer when you guys were doing your anti ice thing.
[21:15:08] The Wis > I did have someone ask me if I was ok.. Becouse he said that I had killed myself afterwards and he thought it was funny.. I did not see it so I have no clue what was said.
[21:15:52] Xeross155 > Basically some idiots are all butthurt and are calling for him to step down from CSM and shit
[21:16:51] Xeross155 > Basically, enjoy your 5 minutes of fame, multiple gaming press websites are putting the story up
[21:16:58] Xeross155 > Leaving out your name though
[21:16:59] Xeross155 > one sec
[21:19:54] The Wis > Well I am not sure what is going on.. I know I have had some people say I should put a pentition in. Witch I have not. Since I have not seen the video or anything. But that would also explain why the goons are moving into my system now and starting
[21:19:57] The Wis > ganking here.
[21:24:54] Xeross155 >
[21:26:17] Xeross155 > That’s basically the snippet that people are upset about for some reason
[21:29:34] Xeross155 > Anyway, CCP is doing an internal audit and shit about it, 3 game news websites have reported it so far, basically tagging it cyber-bullying
[21:30:50] The Wis > Ok.. Well that is nice. Hmm.. wait.. If i do kill my self they might arrest him and prosicute him since he is in the US.. That would really be bad for him.
[21:31:01] The Wis > Just kidding of course but a thought.
[21:31:20] The Wis > Fly safe. I have real life stuff to do now.. ANd to watch for goons in system.. Fun Fun.

At this point, I feel like I would be remiss in my duties as a blogger if I didn’t point out my personal biases.  So let me start off by saying that The Mittani is an asshole and I don’t like him.  And I hate Goons.  And BOB and MC and Tri – you know, those ~elite PVPers~ were all cool brosefs.  And did I mention that I hate Goons?  However my voice, where I’ve given it, has mostly been a voice of moderation – yes Mittens said something incredibly stupid.  Yes, it was over the line.  However, we all say really stupid things all the time – especially when drunk so bad we can’t even remember what we said.  When The Mittani got off the plane from Iceland, he had this to say on Twitter:

  • Just landed. Step one, apologize profusely. Step two, resign. Step three, send all my isk to the victim. Entirely my fault and unacceptable.
  • Sadly, due to my failings, I was so drunk at the time that I didn’t remember what I said until I saw this article. Shameful.
  • However, being drunk was no excuse – I got myself there, after all.
  • I’ll be posting a more detailed annd thorough apology on the forums as soon as I get to a laptop, on my droid atm.
  • I’m not sure about the article as brendan drain has a well known grudge against me, but I hate when people use alcohol as an excuse
  • So I’m just going to own up and fall on my sword, regardless of quibbling about it
  • @theiggep I didn’t remember what id said, so assumed people were just mad about slides. P horrified now that I see how bad I actually was
  • @NorthernGoblin not to the public, but to the dude I said that shit about, its the least I can do. In addition to apology, actions > words
  • I’ve gotten stable internet and have now posted my apology to the community: #tweetfleet #eveonline

My initial reaction was that he was joking, but as time goes on it appears he may not be.  And issue an apology he did:

This has been hanging over my head since Thursday when I stumbled away from the Alliance Panel with a vague sense that I had done something horrible. I didn’t know the extent of how much of a shitheel I had been until today, when footage of the presentation went up. As many of you now know, I gave out the in-game character name of a Mackinaw miner if anyone had wanted to blow him up – except that I was so smashed that I didn’t recall exactly what I said (as anyone who was there can tell you). When I came to the forums the other day and saw threads complaining about my behavior – not remembering what I’d said – I assumed that I was enduring the usual anti-Goonswarm trolls, and posted something like “deal with it~” in my usual “The Mittani” way.

Then I landed, and saw the article listing my actual quote.


I feel absolutely ashamed of my behavior at the Alliance Panel. It’s one thing to play a villain in an online roleplaying game – when I post on these forums or on twitter, I usually do so as ‘The Mittani’, and do my level best to convince everyone that I’m an unrepentant space villain, as that kind of facade provides an in-game advantage to me and my alliance. But I am not that character in real life, as anyone who has met me can attest. I went way, way, /way/ past the line on Thursday night by mocking the Mackinaw miner at a real-life event. I, as a person, am not the entity that I play in EVE; I am not actually a sociopath or a sadist, and I certainly don’t want people to kill themselves in real life over an internet spaceship game, no matter what I may say or do within the game itself. CCP may say ‘EVE is Real’, but EVE is not real – and the line between the game and reality should not be overstepped.

I’m relieved to discover that the Mackinaw miner is doing fine and mining away, despite being blown up by Goonswarm in-game. He deserves, and he has, my heartfelt apologies – here in public as well as a private apology. There’s no excuse for what I did – while some might try to use my inebriation as a mitigating factor, I put myself in that compromised mental state, and the guilt of that is entirely mine.

If I could go back in time and not have included the slide mentioning the miner, I would do so. While the Eve Online character “The Mittani” would never apologize for any sort of villany in game, I myself, as Alex Gianturco, feel utterly ashamed and sickened by my behavior.

At this point, I am inclined to accept his apology and move on.  We all say and do stupid things while drunk and I do not believe Mittens should be banned or resign from the CSM despite my personal bias (above stated) against him and Goons in general.  However, whatever you or I or even Mittens may be thinking, the final result is up to CCP.  Even if that weren’t true, the fact that the controversy has been picked by gaming media might force the issue.  Mittens’ offer to step down may even offer CCP a much needed legal out – and so once again Mittens shows his willingness to work towards the good of CCP and the player base in general.

As I wrote this, Eminem’s “Without Me” came on Pandora and I was reminded that Mittens is Eve Online’s very own King of Controversy.  What would a post-Mittens CSM – or even Eve Online – look like?  If he steps down, will that make him a martyr and hero?  Why do you people make me have to cast Mittens in such a light?

Update 3/26/2012 8:59 Pacific: The Mittani has apparently followed up on “Item 1” by issuing both a public and personal apology as well as “Item 3” by giving The Wis all his ISK.  He’s come to his senses a bit with “Item 2” and is asking CCP and the CSM before just out and out resigning.  Source [Eve-O]

One is done, both here and to the miner. Three is done. Two takes a post, and I should probably discuss it with the CSM before I mash butan.

I think Two Step would make a fine Chairman, though.

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , , ,

Fanfest and Crimewatch: Resolved

CCP Greyscale got some sleep and came back to the forums to talk to us a bit more about yesterday’s shenanigans with Crimewatch and the “Suspect” flag. Earlier in the conversation he said this to us:

And yes, I know “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU EVEN CONSIDERED THAT OPTION”; we consider all the options, and yesterday I threw one out to gauge the player reaction to it, which generated some useful feedback.

So, for all intents and purposes I’m reading this as him unconsciously trolling the player base for some reason. There’s no way that solution could possibly have flown – but he says he drew inspiration from our feedback and has a superior plan. Today, this is the money quote on the state of affairs:

We’re extremely keen to pin down a design where you’ll always be able to defend yourself from aggression without getting CONCORDed. I’m not going to promise anything because I can’t actually predict the future.

This is the direction they’re thinking about with the exact implementation, taken from one of Greyscale’s early position posts on the Suspect flag:

What we’re actually considering right now, based on player suggestions, is to formalize the concept of a “limited engagement”, which is effectively needed for both wardecs and some kind of duelling system, and carry that across to here too. To whit, anyone who engages a suspect becomes part of a “limited engagement” with the suspect on one side and all their aggressors on the other side, and any further interference by anyone else in that engagement gets a suspect flag.

The important thing to note is that they really aren’t going to be able to have a “limited” engagement and still keep the conflicts from spreading via neutral RR and other beneficial effects.  It doesn’t change anything about neutral RR and still leaves us with a similar situation to the one we have now where aggression games will remain confusing.  In my opinion I’d have to say that the right solution to high sec aggression is to reduce the system down to a single flag: are you PVP flagged or are you not PVP flagged?  I would say that taking any PVP action (from can baiting to shooting someone that’s PVP flagged) should flag you for PVP – and thus shootable by anyone else nearby.  Seeing how I’m -10, I’m obviously already fine with anyone (or everyone!) in system shooting me so this wouldn’t be much difference for me.

Yes, that might mean that high sec belts become blood baths as corps, alliances, and friends escalate over a can flip… but why is this a bad thing?

Just to be clear though, they are addressing neutral RR by giving the logis the aggression timer from the people they’re repping.  The net effect is that everyone will be able to deaggress and jump out as soon as everyone’s stopped shooting back.  It works like this (thanks Tippia!):

Confirming: this is exactly what was said, and we asked them about it in very precise terms.

  • BS1 attacks a target and takes a timer.
  • RR1 comes in and starts repping BS1 → RR1 inherits the exact same timer as BS1.
  • BS1 deaggresses and timer countdown starts → RR1 deagresses and countdown starts
  • RR1 keeps repping → Makes zero difference. It still has BS1’s timer — BS1 sits at 40s = RR1 sits at 40s.
  • BS1’s timer runs out and he docks/jumps → RR1’s timer runs out and he can dock/jump

I think its a semi reasonable change, but I feel like Logis are already in a semi delicate position (especially in small gangs).  I’d really like to see the logi aggro change restricted docking instead of simply jumping. The core difference between docking and jumping is that someone can position people on the other side of a gate to catch fleeing logis… but there’s nothing that can be done to catch docking logis.

But overall the changes look far more encouraging than the initial sound of them.  While at first it seemed that CCP had simply lost their ever loving minds, it does seem that they at least listen to the player base far better than they did before.  Greyscale, thanks for working with us to hammer this out.

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , , , ,

Fanfest and Crimewatch

So there’s been some furor around the new Crimewatch mechanics.  This was announced at Fanfest, and someone was kind enough to post the details on Eve-O for us all to read.

New “suspect” flag
– Minor crimes. Anyone can shoot you without penalty.
– Flipping a can for example
– Shooting someone makes you a suspect (I think)
– Anyone assisting a suspect becomes a suspect
– Not sure if gate guns will attack a suspect. Undecided yet.

There’s been a lot of back and forth between the devs and players in the thread (and you should read it), but some people have pointed out that from the presentation it sounded like people wouldn’t be able to defend themselves if they were a Suspect.  My initial take on this is that it has the ability to be the coolest thing since sliced bread: aggression becoming more like a PVP flag would mean that more people have the opportunity to shoot me… and thus more people are going to die when they do.  Can baiting with fleets could turn high sec belts into 20 man bloodbaths in just a few seconds… this could be awesome!

However, CCP Greyscale clarified with this:

Defending yourself while you’re suspect-flagged is an ongoing conversation; we’ve not decided on anything yet, and we’ll devblog when we’ve got it better nailed down

It turns out that he was more forthcoming in the round table afterwards:

One of the most disturbing moments came when, under the proposed rules, the following scenario was given:

1) Player A flips the can of Player B and gains a Suspect flag, making A shootable by everyone

2) Players C-Z go to town on Player A as a result.

Here’s the kicker – going into this preso, CCP Greyscale said that once Player A gets aggressed by Players C-Z, Player A will not be allowed to shoot his aggressors back. Yes, this is basically making anyone with a mere Suspect flag the equivalent of GCC, just without the sec drop and CONCORD spawn. Many people in the audience, including myself, collectively WTF’d and suggested that he’s off his rocker… and he seemed a bit surprised at this reaction.

For the uninitiated, the net effect is CCP has announced the intended behavior for the PVP flagging mechanic in high sec is for you to be killed by other players without them similarly flagging for PVP.  In other words: players will not be PVP flagged for attacking and killing other PVP flagged players.  This bodes very poorly for the upcoming war dec changes being announced on Day 3 of Fanfest, which are rumored to all but remove non-consensual war decs.  I am extremely disappointed by the announced changes and am very glad that I didn’t take time off to attend Fanfest.

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