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Charlatans and Space Cliques

 

Charlatan

noun

1. a person who pretends or claims to have more knowledge or skill than he or she possesses; quack.

I am not a charlatan. My entire career is an open book and can be found relatively easily through a solid Google search. I worked hard for three years to convince CCP to open the door to fan-created art and the creation of a better store. I survived several threatened legal actions, ban hammers, and many other obstacles before that finally happened. I created over 150 posters, each of which took between 8-40 hours of my own personal time, in order to offer 8 of them to the Eve community. I did it to prove a point and to open the door for myself and others, to work more closely with CCP and to create legitimate and legal solutions for selling Eve merchandise and other fan-based products. And yes, I would like nothing more than to continue doing so. If that makes me a charlatan, then so be it.

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As a life-long risk taker, entrepreneur, business owner, advisor and creative professional, I’ve gotten used to the idea of rejection. It comes with the territory. Ultimately the market is the deciding factor in what succeeds or fails. Many great ideas have failed to capture the hearts and minds, much less the wallets, of the marketplace. It is often a cruel and unforgiving world. Not all projects of merit succeed. I’ve seen this and experienced it firsthand many, many times over the past thirty years. So it is with a seasoned perspective that I sit and write this response to a recent article over on TMC, an article written by Sion Kumimoto entitled “Shake It Off”.

I’ll be as up-front about this as I can be. I supported the Fountain War Kickstarter despite serious reservations up until the very moment I finished reading this article. I have expressed those reservations publicly on my own blog and on Twitter. I have tried to present both sides of the argument as to the project’s own merits reasonably and thoughtfully. On the one hand, I have serious reservations as to the overall merits of the project. On the other hand, I do think a book about Eve would be great to have. As always, I am rather passionate about Eve Online, and our community.

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Our community is much like the marketplace. It can be a fickle, constantly moving, rapidly changing, and incredibly diverse entity. This is, after all, the strength inherent in the entirety of the player-base. It is global, constantly changing, and for the most part, incredibly passionate. I am a part of this community. I’ve spent the last eight years supporting it, helping it, creating content for it, flying in space with it, and learning more about it. Meeting some amazing people. In-game and out.

In this light it is hard to fathom the roots from which Mr. Sion’s article springs and the understanding from which it approaches our community. It is incredibly disingenuous to blame the community for acting exactly like a community is supposed to act. A community, like a market, is a filter through which ideas, products and services succeed or fail. There can be a thousand reasons why one has success and another thousand reasons why another does not. But none of those reasons are the fault of the community to which you wanted to sell the idea in the first place. Perhaps he had some other charlatan in mind when writing his article?

“And let me be clear before someone claims I am simply using ‘Grr Goons’ as an argument. I have nothing against Goons… / …This has nothing to do with GSF/Goons/CFC/Imperium.”

Specifically in this case, the success or failure of the Fountain War Kickstarter has nothing to do with the Eve community and everything to do with another, smaller, community. And no, this smaller community is not Goons/CFC/Imperium. Those are Eve players and they are amazing and wonderful people just like you and me. And let me be clear before someone claims I am simply using “Grr Goons” as an argument. I have nothing against Goons. Anyone who knows me knows this. This has nothing to do with GSF/Goons/CFC/Imperium. Instead I am referring to a much smaller clique headed by a person that has made it clear he fully intends to make a living from his position. A declaration and desire that is not inherently wrong or right by the way, it is after all only another “sell” that the community either supports or doesn’t. But the entire history of this clique has been insular and self-serving, a self-created world unto its own. They are not part of the greater community and have no desire to be. There are countless examples of this over the years, so it would be difficult to argue otherwise. This group created and perpetuated an identity that has served them well over the past decade. They created this, no one else did. And let’s be frank here, it has worked extremely well for them. As far as Empire building goes inside of New Eden, well done.

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But like a bully that suddenly finds salvation, they are now astonished that the rest of us are wary. And that we might have the audacity to harbor reservations about their pet project. A project sprung fully formed from those self-created minds that form the basis of that small insular group. And like any rejected bully, they now see no other recourse than to lash out at the very people they wanted help from. Our community is suddenly hypocritical, we don’t understand, we must hate Goons, or Jeff Edwards, or something must be wrong with us. You people just don’t get it.

“You people” is what I kept hearing while I read his post. Not us. Not our. This is the pure unadulterated expression of the very guile and arrogance from which many of our reservations stemmed. As if to prove the point of those already inclined to pounce.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve sat with a business leader and listened to them tell me how incredibly amazing their new gizmo is. How it will change the world. How simply telling people about it will guarantee its success. And I can’t begin to communicate to you how few of those gizmos actually make it. So few do. The “idea” of this Fountain War Kickstarter is a great idea. An idea full of merit, potential and reward. It would be amazing to have. It would have been cool.

“You cannot ignore the marketplace and then expect it to welcome you into its arms.”

And it isn’t Jeff Edward’s fault. And it isn’t the Eve community’s fault. And it certainly isn’t CCPs fault. Despite what anyone says in the next few weeks there is only one small group to blame for the ultimate failure of this project to gain traction with the Eve community. You cannot ignore the marketplace and then expect it to welcome you into its arms. You didn’t ask the community for help. You didn’t approach any community leaders for support. You didn’t build consensus. You didn’t garner a ground-swell of grassroots passion. You haven’t participated in anything other than your own self-interests for so long, that you forgot that the community has its own interests.

If this Kickstarter fails there are a thousand reasons why. It was launched without prior support from the community. It was launched during Holiday season. It was launched without proper thought given to the rewards. It was launched with an overly aggressive and confusingly large initial goal. (They are called stretch-goals for a reason.) And it came from a source that immediately garners suspicion, distrust, and wariness. All of which is self-created and perpetuated by that very self-same group.

If this Kickstarter fails it is not a failure of the Eve community, it is a success. This is exactly what community’s like ours do, they filter, decide, and ultimately judge what they will support and what they will not.

If this Kickstarter fails then it does so because it was ultimately judged not to be worthy.

That is, and always has been, the power of the Eve community. Ignore it at your own peril.

 

Tags: Fountain War Kickstarter, rixx javix, Shake it Off

About the author

Rixx Javix

Artist, video maker, blogger, lowsec pirate and overall a pillar of the EVE community for years - Rixx Javix wears many hats (and makes them!).

  • Saint Michael’s Soul

    Fabulous writeup and mirrors my own thoughts; I think the CFC illuminati need to take a look at themselves first before pointing the finger of blame at everyone else.

    Have ordered an industrial sized vat of popcorn to see how whole thing plays out over the next fortnight. Its a great time to be an Eve player.

  • Messiah Complex

    Did you get an advance copy of Sion’s article? Because, holy shit, that’s an impressively cogent response in less than 24 hours.

    • Timezones support this timely reply. For a man in the EVE meta as much as RJ this a rather timely response

    • rixxjavix

      Lol, no. I write very fast, a side-effect of having worked in advertising and marketing for the last thirty years.

      • Kamar Raimo

        Also, contrary to most of our contributors you actually write readable English 😀

      • tHe TrUtH

        Being unemployed helps too, eh brother?

    • Niden

      This was actually his 3rd draft even!

      • rixxjavix

        True story.

  • Happy to see you made a post for this Rixx. As I stated, there is a demand for your work. Sometimes jealousy can make people do and say dumb things. Not excusing Sion, he is aledgedly an intelligent guy who articulates well.

    There may not be enough popcorn to last the next few weeks.

  • Bill Bones

    Well said. I was upset to see “them” calling charlatans to people who has contributed more to EVE and the community than “them” ever have.

  • nanogen

    “If this Kickstarter fails then it does so because it was ultimately judged not to be worthy.” – Very good point nothing more to say about it. They (the small group as you call them) should accept that and move on if they ever want another shot at a project like this.

    good writeup!

  • Cabon Scout

    Outstanding article Rixx! You are spot one…

  • Fat Elvis

    Spot on. Nail firmly hit on the head.

  • Jimmy

    If it fails it has nothing to with it being judged “not worthy”, it has to do with a community who can’t see beyond their prejudice to support a project born from the community. Mittani may have put the idea together, but the stories that would build the book come from the whole community and the benefits of a well written sci-fi book would be for the community. Rejecting it sends the message that the EVE community isn’t strong enough to even support a book. I can’t imagine we’ll see many further attempts from anyone like Jeff if this fails. This is a prime example of the EVE community cutting off it’s nose to spite Mittani’s face.

    I don’t even suppose Mittani will really care if it fails from a commercial point of view. He wasn’t taking a cut of the kickstarter, and the state of book sales in general, let alone a niche book like this tells me that it’s unlikely to be a big moneymaker. I’m guessing influx of hits from the hundreds of discussions on this subject has been enough to make it worthwhile whatever the outcome.

    It’s worth noting by the way that this article comes from another player that not only also strives to make a living from the community, but one that has recently begged for donations from the same community for a new computer.

    • GrouchyOldGamer

      Here are some numbers:

      16,000 pilots in the GSF (at least another 15,000 in CFC allies)
      1600 pilots listened to the recent SOTG
      700 people (so-far) backing the kickstarter.

      The suggestion that it is prejudice and grrr goons which has made it fail is nonsense – even people within the CFC are overwhelming not backing it.

      What you’re currently seeing a tantrum because people assumed that their loyal player base would stump up $10 just … well …… because.

      • Jimmy

        You can’t honestly say that it’s nothing to do with it though. I mean some of it obviously has to come down to whether an individual wants the book, but much of the toxicity is coming from “grr goons” and that what’s likely to ensure writers like Jeff don’t even bother coming back. When people are crying “why oh why won’t serious content producers make stuff for EVE” they can be pointed at the vile filth they’ve spewed at people like Jeff for a reminder.

        • GrouchyOldGamer

          Are you seriously suggesting that Goons are influenced not to support a GSF project because other people are ‘grrr goons’?

          The CFC has more than enough real human beings to back this kickstarter – but the players haven’t wanted to.

          The CFC has had larger move ops than people supporting this project.

          No one is ‘crying’ for third party content because no one buys it.

          The failure of this project wasn’t because of some external forces down-voting it on reddit .

          It was because TMC wanted $150k for a book only 700 people want to read it.

          • Jimmy

            No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that of the goons, the ones that support it are those that also want a book, but the success or failure of a project such as this relies on the entire community not just goons. And the community is often driven by irrational dislikes of people that shot them once in game. Of course it comes down to people who want an EVE book, but I don’t believe that out of the entire community only 700 people to see a successful EVE novel.

          • GrouchyOldGamer

            700 backers from the CFC alone is pitiful when you consider they get double that on a STOG.

            So even Mitten’s own community don’t care about this project.

            If you believe it or not the fact is only 700 people are prepared to pay for something which is the most advertised kickstarter in Eve history.

            If the Eve community wanted it, they’d back it.

            They don’t, simple as that.

        • AFK

          “When people are crying “why oh why won’t serious content producers make stuff for EVE” they can be pointed at the vile filth they’ve spewed at people like Jeff for a reminder.”

          Firslty, that’s a very liberal definition of “filth”, nothing that most authors haven’t come across in any review on amazon. Secondly, we don’t need to cry because this is already happening. A book, itself funded by kickstarter, is itself just about to be released. And Ridley Scott is also in talks to do a film/show.

          So no, just because some goon scum tried to pull another heist and it didn’t come work doesn’t actually mean the world stops turning. Your delusions of grandeur are out of control.

          • Jimmy

            The book that is currently going to be released is already known to be shite, which is what happens when you get a nobody writing a book.

            lol Ridley Scott. No way is that EVER going to happen. You’re absolutely delusional if you think this dying toxic community will drive enough demand for Ridley Scott to do anything EVE related, and a Rixx pointed out in his previous post about this kickstarter, it’s failure will have and impact on future project, whether you want to admit it or not.

        • Joe

          It’s not grr goons it is gag mittani. Jeff probably figured out he associated with the wrong guy.

          The other kick starter book that really got no big Ccp endorsements was well supported by the community,

          Again never expect sociopaths to accept responsibility for their own failures. Expect them to lash out at everyone else.

    • strawsteehee

      “but one that has recently begged for donations from the same community for a new computer.”

      Looks like the community decided his project was worth backing.

      • Jimmy

        Sure they did, but it still seems a bit hypocritical to go on about how “self-serving” Mittani is while begging for free money.

        • GrouchyOldGamer

          You know this is a response piece after he was called a “self-interested charlatan” right? Responding to public criticism isn’t going after anyone.

        • Marc Callan

          There are many significant differences between the two situations, though. For one, Rixx didn’t assume he was entitled to help from anyone; for another, Rixx hadn’t built a reputation as someone who would cheat you without blinking an eye.

          Reputations matter, and when you’ve built up a reputation as a ruthless villain, that comes with a price tag attached. When you’ve built up a reputation as an a**hole, that comes with a different and higher price tag.

          • rixxjavix

            Not to mention I didn’t “beg” anyone, I only stated what was going on and why I needed help. The community responded on their own and supported me. A fact that I am eternally grateful and appreciative of them for.

          • Aaron Rook

            It seems like you may not be able to discern Mittani’s EVE persona with real life. You may have a mental problem.

          • Marc Callan

            I may have a mental …

            …would someone else care to tackle this one?

          • Joe

            You realize mittani himself said he couldn’t tell the difference between his character and Andrew right? Can you you be consistent and admit he was either lying or has a mental problem?

      • Cabon Scout

        Ditto, I guess the community gave Rixx’s project a big thumbs up and fortunately for all of us it did.

    • Dlem

      If Monsanto suddenly released a new line of organic tomato seeds, how many people do you think would buy them? Same deal here, if you don’t trust the seller, how can you trust the product they’re peddling?

      • Jimmy

        I don’t know who Monsanto is and have no idea how many people would buy organic tomato seeds regardless of who they are from. What I do know is that regardless of who came up with an idea such as this book for EVE, the official support of CCP and the openness of the writer would allow me to look past any in-game bias against a made up enemy. People are allowing a “grr goons” attitude to affect how they respond to third party content created for a game they love.

        Whether you like Mittani or not is irrelevant, the book itself would be good for the community and if it never gets created it’s a tremendous loss. And for what? Because some dudes lost a freighter once or couldn’t hold some moons? That’s what most of this hate boils down to, in-game disagreements.

        • Jimmy

          I can almost hear the furious typing of the responses now.

          • Utari Onzo

            It almost seems like you don’t live in the real world of business.

            Many products seem amazing, but never take off. Many projects are backed by companies with widely reported issues in their business practices, and they succeed (Primark for example continues to make top buck off of some shady supply practices in regards to welfare of factory workers in developing nations)

            People buy products they want or are marketed well. If it fails at one or both of those, it fails. There is no one to blame for a business proposition failing than the proposers themselves.

          • Joe

            Anyone want to buy a OJ Simpson football?

            If you are like “well if it is cheaper and just as good as any other football” IMO you are the oen with the problem.

          • Jimmy

            Well actually I was thinking that it’s value would probably go up. also the dude was acquitted so maybe that’s another bad example. That said, it’s pretty much irrelevant who is associated with products I buy. I just don’t care, not even enough to check and if there was a product I wanted associated with someone I dislike it would still be irrelevant if the product was made by someone I trusted. Whatever I think about Mittani, I like Jeff’s books and I like EVE, so it’s irrelevant who in the community introduced him to the subject matter.

        • Dlem

          So you’re saying if Bernie Madoff starts a company as long as he’s selling a product you’re interested in, you’d trust that you’d get the product as described? I think that argument makes for good theater but it doesn’t hold water in the world we live in, in game or out.

          • Jimmy

            Not if he was the only one involved, but if Bernie Madoff had an idea for product (let’s call it Product B) that complemented another product that I used (Product A), got official support from the developers of Product A and lined up a good designer and manufacturer for Product B, then yes, I’d support it.

            If Mittani was like “I’ll write a book” and had no support from CCP or a well known writer, then no, I wouldn’t support it. But he hasn’t said that, he’s got a good writer and IP rights from CCP to team that writer up with a good story and got members of the community from all sides to support and provide input for it. Any opinions I have for Mittani are irrelevant.

            On top of which, it doesn’t even make sense to hate it. If we are to believe these haters and Mittani actually hates the community and wants it to die, then he would only achieve that if the project fails. Because if you think about it, the success of this book can’t be bad for the community even if that’s what Mittani wanted.

          • Lump of Coal

            The Bernie Madoff comparison is actually pretty shit, because no official would be caught dead promoting anything associated with him.

            A better analogy is if the Koch brothers tried to get funding for some project from a bunch of democrats, and touted the support of some well known company or government official/agency to lend credence to the project. Even if they’re not implementing the project, they wouldn’t get a single cent from democrats, because they’re the Koch brothers, and democrats hate their guts.

            The Mittani hasn’t done anything ‘wrong’ (though that might not be true anymore), but the fact he and Goonswarm spent years giving the rest of EVE the middle finger will tank any project their associated with. Because, at the end of the day, no one outside of Goonswarm trusts Mittens not to fuck them over.

            It doesn’t matter if all this is irrational and if Mittens actually does care for the rest of the EVE community like they’re trying so hard to say he does. He should have known his association would do nothing but harm when it relates to getting the support of the rest of EVE. To blame Reddit for this stinks of either poor planning or massive ego.

          • Jimmy

            OK, so that still leaves the question, how?

            Say it does pass. Now there’s a book being written by Jeff, overseen by CCP with stories fed directly from the existing community to Jeff. How would Mittani fuck them over? I honestly can;t see any way that the success of this book would end with Mittani somehow fucking over the community, and since it’s directly tied in with CCP, even if he attempted to (still not sure what he could attempt) CCP would see to it that his EVE days are over.

            The funny thing is, there’s only one way Mittani could realistically fuck over the community with this book, and that’s by getting the writer and CCP agreement then tanking the project to put Jeff and other writers off of basing anything off of EVE, blaming the toxic community for it’s failure. Seems like if that was the plan, it’s working out quite well.

          • Lump of Coal

            The ‘how’ does not matter. The project is associated with TMC/CFC/Mittani, so people are going to be suspicious. People aren’t usually rational. Especially if they’re dealing with a group that beat them in a war and constantly shits on them. Is it dumb? Maybe. Is it constructive? Probably not. But Mittens should have known this going in. CFC seems to pride itself in manipulating human psychology to win at EVE. How the fuck could they not know associating themselves with the book so blatantly wouldn’t be taken well?

            Maybe, if the process of selecting material for the book was made completely transparent, then the rest of Eve might be more accepting. Then again, the first excerpt from the book I read was something about a spy among goonswarm shitting himself because he realized he’d been identified and was thus screwed.

            Ultimately, even if the book is utterly and completely unbiased and gives everyone a fair shake, CFC still won. That in and of itself is incentive for any new player drawn into the game by the book to join up with CFC when they can. To people in TEST/Reddit/those of us tired of Goons, a book written about a war CFC won, backed by CFC, just feels like self-aggrandizing wanking.

          • Jimmy

            “The ‘how’ does not matter. The project is associated with TMC/CFC/Mittani, so people are going to be suspicious.”
            Of course it matters, because without a feasible idea of how he can possibly fuck them over they are literally being afraid of nothing. That brings me back to the point that you seem to agree with which is that people are irrationally disliking this and thus destroying this project for no reason other than them being retarded.

            “Maybe, if the process of selecting material for the book was made
            completely transparent, then the rest of Eve might be more accepting.”
            It is. People directly email Jeff. Not @themittani.com, but directly to his own email address. He then picks that and CCP sign off on what is written. This was all covered in Jeff’s AMA.

            “That in and of itself is incentive for any new player drawn into the game by the book to join up with CFC when they can.”
            And getting rid of the book won’t change that. If anything, the book gives other players a better chance of getting their story out. Search the internet for information about the fountain war and most of it is articles written by goons or written by third parties with information provided by goons. And like you say, they won, so that comes across loud and clear.

            Also, most of the leaders of the opposing forces are in support of the book. And from what has been said TEST have put in a lot of stories themselves to go towards the book. This is the problem Sion is addressing, that most of the people complaining have nothing to do with it and are just butthurt they lost a mining barge once, or worse still are players who no longer play but lurk on reddit shitting on everything. Some people seem to think that if they destroy the book it will destroy the goons. It really really won’t. If anything it will simply guarantee that in the future they really do go out of their way to fuck over the community.

          • Joe

            If the book goes through Eve suffers because it continues to be associated with a douchebag.

            Thats the answer of how eve would suffer from this.

          • Jimmy

            Whether it goes through or not, EVE will continue to be associated with Mittani. Nothing will change that. In fact even speaking out against this book promotes him further. The only difference the book would make is that non-EVE players would have a book written by an established author telling a story about EVE, and may choose to try it out because of that.

          • Joe

            Allot of The dislike for mittani has nothing to do with blowing up spaceships. Or even in game scams.

            The book was biased from the start. Why the fountain war? Did Jeff choose that or is it the only mentionable war where Mittani lead and won? People Jeff was going to promote Mittani’s character that was the whole point of this book. They never would have picked a war mittani had a minor role in.

          • Jimmy

            Why the fountain war? Maybe because it’s the biggest war so far in EVE and hit international news sites multiple times. You say “it was biased” but it really wasn’t, in fact they’ve gone out of their way to source information from as wide an audiences as possible. That it will likely end with the goons winning doesn’t make it biased, it makes it accurate.

            Of course though Mittani is likely to pick a war he was involved in as he knows a lot about it and enjoyed it. But there’s no reason people can’t come up with their own ideas and get writers in to write the book. Well, there is now, because other writers won;t want to touch a hostile community like this with a barge pole and any future project is likely to be trolled into the ground much like this one was if only as payback.

          • Joe

            Bernie is not a bad analogy.

            Nope I and (many others) won’t support Bernie no matter what he is selling. And any companies that try to partner with Bernie are stupid.

            Of course Mittani wants eve to do well if it dies he can’t milk it. But just because he shares that one common interest with ccp that doesn’t mean they are not fools for jumping in bed with him.

            I just hope ccp learned that the community really can’t stand mittani. I also hope they learn not to try to support any alliance leaders propaganda it was all a bad idea from the start.

        • Marc Callan

          I’d challenge whether the pushback was mostly due to dissatisfaction over the results of in-game combat. The article here stated very clearly that there were significant problems with how the project was launched, including overly ambitious goals, a lack of groundwork in preparing for the Kickstarter, and total indifference to the relationship between the GSF/CFC community and those outside it.

          This is an organization that deliberately built a reputation as untrustworthy – am I the only one who recalls that the inauguration of the CFC’s rental program had to be accompanied by direct orders from GSF leadership not to scam renters? Or that when The Mittani was CSM chair, he used that position to pose as an honest middleman for supercap sales, scammed people, and readily admitted it?

          And there are also unsettling examples of in-game attitudes leaking out of the game. There’s the case of the Goon counter-intelligence guy who doxxed targets, for one. And there’s the wizard hat incident, for another.

          Bad reputations linger. And stick.

          And the Fountain War Kickstarter project failed to take that into account, which was a massive, potentially fatal oversight on the part of its sponsors.

          • Jimmy

            But think about it. Even if they are untrustworthy, what could their objective be? If the kickstarter succeeds, EVE now has a novel being written by a popular author, full time with the support and oversight of CCP and direct, unfiltered input from the community. So what is it we can’t trust them to do?

            To be quite honest it’s more reasonable to suggest that as untrustworthy people they set out with the intent of causing the project to fail, as that damages the community, in which case people have played right into their hands.

          • bob@wormholes.com

            Have you even seen the backer rewards?
            A chance to bask in the glory of the mittani for a private party here, or there ,… .
            All the rewards are for goon/mittani worshippers.
            That only makes me not want to back it!

          • Jimmy

            Only 7 of the 20 rewards have even a loose attachment to Mittani. Most of them are for variations of the book and things with Jeff. So you’re saying the existence of a reward related to Mittani, even if there ware rewards that don’t involve that, make you not want to back it? That’s literally retarded. That’s like saying “I like mars bars but I’ll never eat them as they also make revels and I hate revels”.

    • DaReaper

      So let me see if i understand you correctly. You believe that TMC and the kicks tarter were done perfectly fine. That the rewards were reasonable, the price was reasonable, and the media blitz (begging) was also reasonable? The rough draft which i skimmed (and yes i support the project) was embarrassingly bad. But it was, i hope, a rough draft.

      The blame for this failure is on mittens and the guys who set this up. They dropped the ball. “other authors won;t want in on this” is actually bull. Others shall, but maybe the next time someone will have learned from this mistake of a kick starter and actually make one that will get completed.

      Rix did not beg for a new computer. He did not post about it every day in multiple areas, nor pull random people to tell us they support him getting a new pc. He merely laid out his case, said that to make more stuff for us he needs a new pc and if we could assist. Its the same as the guy dying of cancer asking for help so he can make his last few weeks a bit easier on himself and his family.

      This kick start failed because the people who made it forgot that we are not his servants to do his bidding. We are players from all over with our own ideas and agendas. The blame is square on the shoulders of those who made this capeiagn. Its time to pause, take a look in the mirror and as Max says ask why this failed and learn, not who caused this to fail.

      go back to the drawling board and try again.

      I already posted on tmc why i think this failed and i have no dog in the race. So stop blaming others for your failures and learn so you can do better next time.

      and to Rixx, you do wonderful for work for the community, keep it up, and i’ll have 4 posters i need you to sign at fan fest please.

      • Jimmy

        “The blame for this failure is on mittens and the guys who set this up. They dropped the ball”

        How so? From what I can see the only mistake they made was assuming that the EVE community would support a renowned author writing a book with direct support from CCP without letting in-game disagreements get in the way.

        “Rix did not beg for a new computer. He did not post about it every day in multiple areas, nor pull random people to tell us they support him getting a new pc.”

        By the definition of begging, yes he did. Of course he didn’t pull “random people” to support him, but that’s mainly because few people of importance are likely to support charity to another player for the reason of “my mac is old”.

        “This kick start failed because the people who made it forgot that we are not his servants to do his bidding.”
        lol, nowhere at all did he suggest you were. See it’s exactly comments like this that prove beyond a doubt that the reason for you not supporting this is through a personal dislike of one guy. He certainly wasn’t claiming you were a servant to do his bidding which is why you got something for paying into a the kickstarter.

        And as I’ve said in other comments, no matter what you think of the Mittani, there’s no way that the success of this book would be bad for the community, but there’s every chance it’s failure could. I too have no dog in this race, I just don’t let my ingame dislikes for alliances affect decisions about products that direct support EVE.

        Of course if you think after all of this other authors will really want to write about EVE, by all means prove me wrong. I’m in full support of you already if you can.

        • Joe

          What’s with the constant “no matter what you think of the mittani” stuff. The book was a propaganda piece to make the mittani a larger than life character. That’s why mittani needed it to be on a war he was the leader of.

          Having the mittani be the poster child of eve more than he is already would be horrible for this game.

          • Jimmy

            How in any way was it a propaganda piece? Other alliances have direct contact with Jeff and Jeff makes all decisions about what to write with only CCP overseeing him. And that doesn’t come from Mittani, that comes from Jeff himself. This book is far more likely to tell a true picture than mainstream media, since most mainstream media took a lot of their information directly from Mittani himself.

            And I disagree, Mittani already is the poster child for EVE and this book wouldn’t change that. What is horrible for EVE is projects like this failing.

          • Ouso

            I am totally agnostic about goons; I’m mostly a FW guy. I’m also the sort of person who’s inclined to support this sort of project (lots of patreon and kickstarter stuff, such as the coming history book and multiple podcasts) – and yet I haven’t. Why?

            Because the underlying economics were absurd – author advances rarely run more than 10k to 20k for genre fiction – and the sample was god-awful. No hostility towards CFC or Mitanni needed. The spergy, ridiculous follow up on TMC was really just the denouement.

    • Joe

      Well you know the eve community has already supported a book right? Of course you might not know the mittani only gave this other book some short press. After all it doesn’t do an exclusive on the only “war” mittani ever won as leader.

      The fountain eviction was by and large never in doubt since most third parties couldn’t or wouldn’t join to make it epic. Instead test just yelled hodor and burned through their ships. Not many cared then, and fewer care now.

      • Jimmy

        Of course I know, I supported that too, though it’s a completely different thing as a “history” book and to be quite honest will probably do little to bring in new players. It’s only really interesting if you are an EVE player already. It was also a long time back when the community was larger than it currently is.

        Enough of TEST cared to send in stories and have their own AMA with Jeff, not to mention much of their ex leadership supporting the book. The people that “don;t care” are invariably people that had nothing to do with it and who spent the vast majority of their EVE time frothing at the mouth.

    • Danmal

      Almost all of what you write is prima facie false. And I am not normally one who makes strong statements of that nature:

      1. The community is strong enough to support a book, as Andrew Groen’s kickstarter on the history of the great empires of EVE shows. He started with a modest goal of 12.5 k and the project was supported almost 8 times over.

      2 The claim that this is to the benefit of the community is highly dubious. The fact that $10,000 support buys you a private party with the Mittani or TMC and Jeff Edwards in their suite in Vegas could be considered evidence of delusions of grandeur of the value of meeting either of them. It also provides direct evidence against that he or TMC would not directly benefit from it.

      3. If even a community who rarely ever reads a book tell you that it (the sample) is horribly written, then it probably is. So while “the benefits of a well written sci-fi book would be for the community” might be true, there were serious doubts that this would be well written and that therefore the benefit would be as large as the kickstarter asserted.

      I cannot comment on the last point, as I have no knowledge about it and it is not related to the value of the project of the book under question. However, it is legitimate to question the motives of any author.

      • Jimmy

        1. The community WAS strong enough to fund a book, and a book written by a nobody. I don’t think the community was ever strong enough to get a well known writer, and it certainly isn’t these days.

        2. So don’t pay $10k. How much each individual pays for the book is irrelevant, the only thing that matters for the benefit of the book to the community is that having a book written by a well known author about EVE Online brings more people to the game. Not having that book doesn’t. Regardless of who sets that up, the benefits are the same. Of course TMC would benefit, but only after the kickstarter. They get none of those funds, the vast majority goes to ensuring Jeff can take a year out to write it and the rest goes on production costs and backer rewards. Mittani is loaded, so I doubt very much that the tiny amount of money a niche book like this makes would really be very important to him.

        3. The samples were written before he’d had any contact with the community at large and before he had any experience of the game from chat and comms logs and some rough descriptions. If you read Jeffs books the quality is top notch, so after research and editing I can’t see the end product being anything short of amazing.

        Well now you have knowledge of it. Rixx also makes income from EVE as well as taking donations for a new computer to make more things to sell to the community. He also has his own book project in the works which leads me to question his motives.

  • A well-thought out response to Sion’s article, whose use of the (imho) inflammatory term ‘charlatan’ was disappointing. In fact, I’m disappointed by many aspects of the EVE community’s response to this entire project. Some of that was certainly predictable but the levels of snark, vitriol, and vicious meta-gaming in the last week or so has become staggering. It’s tempting to tune out of everything but my beloved Signal Cartel community, frankly.

    • Kinis Deren

      “…. but the levels of snark, vitriol, and vicious meta-gaming” …. you mean just like goonies do every day in and out of EVE? It’s almost as if goonies can’t handle what they dish out. You should have included doxxing and cyber bullying for the full house of incorrigible goonie behavior. But I digress ….

      Calling a sample of the proposed book rubbish is not vitriol, it is a critique. Some may say such criticism lacks depth others may opine that it is a succinct overview. You can ignore it and follow directorbot orders to fund the kickstarter or make an informed decision on your own – it would seem the vast majority of the CFC and the wider EVE community chose the latter regardless of anyone’s stated opinion.

      Calling out a clear money grab for TMdC Media LLC (or whatever the TMdC shareholders are calling themselves) is not vitriol or viscous meta-gaming. It is a statement of belief that seems to have been completely validated by Endie’s leaked discussion with Zander.

      • ltl-b

        You know that conversation was manufactured right? It never happened. Endie is a liar who, for reasons unknown has decided to try to metagame his way to destroying Imperium.

        You say that you’ve formed a critical opinion of your own, however you’re merely parroting the lies and misinformation that everyone else has been.

        • AlloK

          Found the dude who is still drinking the cool aid.

        • Knobber

          Manufactured eh? No, it’s certainly not. It’s the result of a private conversation that was leaked because Xander is untrustworthy. I told endie he was a bad egg.

          • ltl-b

            Liar.

          • GrouchyOldGamer

            I trusted Xander once and woke up with only one kidney

          • Kamar Raimo

            I never trusted Xander, and one day I woke up with three kidneys!!!!

      • Kamar Raimo

        Goons were never able to handle the same level of shit they are dealing out.

        Remember Smoske? He was just a random BoB guy who died in an unlucky accident and many Goons trolled people with the death of a friend.

        Remember Sean Smith? If anybody even tried to imply that he was anything short of an American Hero and paragon of the EVE community Goons would descend upon them like the moral majority on and abortion clinic.

        Goons can hit hard but they can’t take it if they are hit back.

      • Bob

        There’s a significant difference between playing a game acting like douches in that against your enemies, and projecting hate at a guy looking to write a book in conjunction with CCP. This is where you guys tend to fall down, when you can’t draw the line between game related character behaviour and real world hate. It’s why at fanfest you can sit down as in-game enemies and have a laugh and a pint with goons, but many of the “nice” players still act like pricks.

        • Joe

          Ah yes that is what mittani says. But then if you read his apology he claims he somehow blurred that line. The dude has all the markings of a real life sociopath. (And sadly no I am not talking about the character I am talking about Andrew who ran for csm and started the mittani.com). He constantly talks about himself. Refuses to ever admit mistakes. And constantly makes questionable boasts about himself. And manipulates ignorant people for his own gain.
          The fact is some players of this game are real life douchebags. And andrew has given us every reason to think he is one. I hope Ccp learned not to associate with him. If they do they will continue to paint our community in a horrible way.

          • Bob

            Who’s Andrew?

            “He constantly talks about himself. Refuses to ever admit mistakes. And constantly makes questionable boasts about himself. And manipulates ignorant people for his own gain.”
            This is literally a description of every EVE player ever.

            The reality is that Mittani isn’t anywhere near as bad as people pretend he is, and he’s done a heck of a lot more than most people to help with this game. He made a drunken mistake once and he aimed to be a warlord in a game that encourages people to be warlords, that’s all.

            Why don;t you tell me exactly what is is that Mittani has done, outside of his fanfest mistake with he haws apologised profusely for and without including everyday game related activities (like ganking noobs and scamming). I bet the list comes out a hell of a lot shorter than you originally though it would.

          • GrouchyOldGamer

            I don’t think he’s the evil genius he’s portrayed as and he’s done an astonishing amount for this game – no doubt.

            I do however think that the reaction over their failure to monetise their player base as expected is somewhat telling.

            Jester once wrote an excellent post about mittens wearing two hats; one as CSM and the other as Alliance Leader. I think he finds himself in a similar position but this time as community leader and business owner.

            He’s played the game and he’s played it better than anyone else.

            But the fact is for this project not enough people wanted to see it happened to back it. To blame the community for not backing a project they see no value in seems somewhat childish.

            The point Rixx makes that GSF revel in playing the anti-hero against the rest of the Eve player base it well made. If TMC wants to widen its appeal maybe it needs to widen the distance between its out of game persona and its ingame one?

          • daniel

            “He made a drunken mistake once”

            gevlon points out very nicely that the “mistake” was planned while sober.

          • Falin Whalen

            Ah, so you did note that there wasn’t any name on that mail that he posted up on the screen. No names on the tear mail means it is all good from CCPs point of view. He only named him when someone egged him on to name him, after the end of the Q&A, which was horribly over the line, or do you just blindly swallow the Gevlon, GRR Goons, kool-aid?

            Also Gevlon never tells what the Mittani did afterwords. How he messaged [NAME REDACTED] to find out if he was okay, apologized to him, and gave him all his personal ISK. Gevlon never tells you that the Mittani, supports Broadcast for Reps, because that doesn’t fit his ‘the Mittani is pure evil’ drivel, or if he does ‘he doesn’t really mean it because he is a sociopath and evil.’

          • Joe

            No not everyone in eve acts like I describe the Mittani.

            Have you listened to his csm interviews or other posts onscrpheap? Where he claims he was some big successful corporate lawyer who made so much money he could retire early. He claimed that due to that real world experience he would be a big help to Ccp. Was that the case or was he just a trust fund kid who could remain unemployed an play computer games full time because of other people’s efforts? That was clearly part of his campaign and I heard his supporters talking about his successfull legal career,

            Also I normally don’t care about what people do I real life but he raised the issue so why can’t we get the scoop on how true his claim is? Because if he is in fact a trust fund kid then he seems to have mislead players during his csm campaign. Maybe you think that is just an in game scam.

            His whole apology was full of it as well. He would constantly say people who can’t tell the difference between in game and out of game are morons. Yet that was his claim in his apology. Sorry I don’t buy it. He knrw he was giving that speech in Iceland and he didn’t think he was in new Eden. He knew he was talking about a game and didn’t think he was literally a character Ina game, He just falsely Made That claim in a desperate attempt not to get banned, You can believe that was heartfelt all you want but don’t expect logical people to buy it.

            And yes the whole I got drunk and said something stupid is clearly a lie. Was he drunk when he prepared the PowerPoint for his remarks? Did he not have a sober moment from the time he prepared those remarks until after he said them? Seriously the lies don’t even make sense.

            Lots of people see this and that is why lots
            Of people cringe at the thought Ccp would ever partner with him.

            I could go on with his claims about what he accomplished on csm6 and his other boasts but I am not sure it will not effect those who worship him. I am just glad he doesn’t say as much as he used to.

          • Kamar Raimo

            “And sadly no I am not talking about the character I am talking about Andrew who ran for csm and started the mittani.com”

            I think you mean Alexander. Easy mistake to make. Two names with Greek origins which both begin with an A. Happens to the best 🙂

          • Joe

            Yes I had his name wrong. Thanks for the correction.

    • Kamar Raimo

      I understand that you would feel like that. I even understand the people who develop a negative attitude towards anyone who is part of that coalition. However, as Rixx points out very succinctly, it is a certain clique who are driving forward this toxic agenda and it is unfair to collectively condemn everyone who is allied with them.

  • Karma is a bitch

    The simple fact is that Goons have been calling the rest of us pubbie shitlords for years. Now that we are treating Goons exactly the same way they’ve been treating us, Sion wants to cry and rage. Well Sion, think about all the people Goons have fucked over the years, lay back, and think of England.

    And that’s before you consider the aspect that every single topic EVE-related book (the Dark Horse comic, Templar One, Empyrean Age) has (a) not made money, and (b) not been very good. And those weren’t built on $150k advances with every cent on the back end being pure profit.

  • AFK

    “You cannot ignore the marketplace and then expect it to welcome you into its arms. You didn’t ask the community for help. You didn’t approach any community leaders for support. You didn’t build consensus. You didn’t garner a ground-swell of grassroots passion.”

    In short, everything a real media company would do, and know how to do. But then, they are no such thing. Their only income revolves around sucking money from their computer game guild.

    Whether you are excited by it, whether it’s good for eve, are entirely by-the-by, since next month it may be something else entirely, perhaps hawking another zombie MMO to their members (and of course, taking EVE players to a competing product and having them log out of EVE can’t possibly be construed as love for the game, but, like I said, it’s by-the-by).

  • Talvorian Dex

    This is a damning article, specifically because it is well-constructed. The last few days – both Sion’s article and the Endie leaks – have certainly given us a lot to think about. We’re witnessing a complete collapse of good faith that is going to have consequences, regardless of whether CCP takes any steps themselves. The level of open self-serving and selfishness focused around generating real profits from Eve that we’re seeing emerge is staggering.

    Excellent write-up, Rixx. You hit the nail on the head as far as tone and focus, neatly avoiding any of the pitfalls associated with it.

    • Niko Lorenzio

      Endie leaks?

      • GrouchyOldGamer
        • Niko Lorenzio

          Interesting to see that about Endie but honestly there’s nothing new there. This was obvious from the start.

          • GrouchyOldGamer

            I does expose that Xander is shit at the Internet 🙂

    • Dysc

      the target caller gives a head nod.

  • Viince_Snetterton

    goon leadership are evil. Period. Fullstop.
    And karma is a bitch, eh goons?

    But don’t sweat it goon leaders, I am sure that goon line membership will pitch in when ordered, and CCP will make up the difference. You will get your cut, just fine.

  • Niko Lorenzio

    Thanks for writing this up. I was planning to write a letter to Sion and Jeff Edwards saying basically the same exact thing. You have saved me the trouble.

    It’s sad as I really wanted this book to succeed but Mittani’s arrogance in handling this kickstarter is why it failed. From their recent actions and Sions article it is obvious they still don’t understand that and instead look to offload the blame on others. Because of this, the book will never succeed.

    What was needed now was some humility and admitting that they are not all they pretend to be. Instead they have managed to alienate everyone even morev than I thought possible.

  • Nihi

    Awesome post. Sums up my feelings on this nonsense perfectly.

  • Freelancer117

    Dear Rixx Javix,

    One day I would like to proudly hang your eve online ship posters in my home o7
    I understand why you had a gofundme, and the personal reasons concerning that.

    Could you really have expected a Goon diplo from SA forum, to be.. diplomatic ?!
    just “Shake It Off” imho, you are definitely not a charlatan good Sir

    Regards, a Freelancer

    PS: the success or failure of the Fountain War Kickstarter has nothing to do with the Eve community and everything to do with another, smaller, community.
    Instead I am referring to a much smaller clique headed by a person that has made it clear he fully intends to make a living from his position.

    Indeed, from corporate lawyer to Space Tyrant
    source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304887104579306663398628476

  • Niko Lorenzio

    I don’t think he was calling you or anyone else a charlatan though. He simply compared what you do to what they are doing.

  • Utari Onzo

    Pretty much sums up exactly my feelings about the whole thing. Mittens/Sion etc have completely lost touch with the rest of the Eve Community. Their business project failed, and now with an entitled attitude they blame “us.”

    So people don’t want to buy what they’re selling, big deal.

  • Excellent Rixx. Stated with dignity and intelligence. Also totally correct.

  • Kurbanis Araeleus

    Rixx these well thought and constructed arguments and insights are problematic. How can the mud slinging continue with an overabundance of sense kicking around.

  • Aaron Rook

    The kickstarter had CCP support. A large swathe of the community decided to ignore that and peddled unfounded rumors that it was a cash grab. They specifically addressed that criticism to reassure people. The fact that the kickstarter is still contentious shows how weak and ineffective the EVE general community has become. It’s not a community anymore, it’s a kindergarden, with the same ability to get things done.

    • GrouchyOldGamer

      So it has nothing to do with not enough people wanting to buy the book?

    • rixxjavix

      That’s weird, the community I’m in gets things done all the time. Charity support, Podcasts, Blogs, Parodies, Songs, Books, Fan Art, Posters, Wallpapers, Comics… it is a long and varied list. I wonder what community you are referring to?

  • YOLOSWAGTRON69

    Well said, Rixx.

  • Sickening

    *supports fountain war kickstarter*

    *starts own book idea*

    “MITTANI IS THE DEVIL! DOWN WITH KICKSTARTER BOOK”

    Good show Rixx, good show. Like you said in your blog post about it, “its potential failure might have long-term consequences”, yet now here you are pushing for its failure, likely in part to give your own product a better shot at success. To think you were once respectable.

  • teppers

    Well said!

  • Irya

    Very good writing.
    I think mittens shouldn’t have never never been around this project

  • Dexter Lofe

    Thanks for this response and the energy you put into Eve. I didn’t know about the fan art / fic stuff but it’s really great. Love the poster. Also loved flying in Frosty for a while.

    This episode reminds me of the legalization thing in Ohio where they tried to legalize a monopolized system where only a few wealthy backers would control the market.

  • Jake Lanks

    Nice article Rixx…But the main problem is with the bad reputation that support this project and that’s the reason that will fail. Also he ask 150.0000$ !!!! he must be crazy or he believe that the community is idiot. No book in the world cost so much money to be published…I love eve books but this is redicilous…