EVE-is-dying-2

EVE is Dying and We’re the Ones Killing It

 

EVE Online has always been a harsh cold reality, filled with those who wish to undermine and harm anyone who seeks to build within it. This coldness is one of the things that makes EVE fairly unique in the gaming world. The harshness makes accomplishment even more meaningful, as you know you’ve earned every step you’ve taken in the universe of New Eden.

Not all harshness is created equal however, and while the in-game actions of EVE are highly competitive, for years the EVE community has been one of the strongest communities in gaming space. Many have theorized that players take their aggression out inside of the game, making their out-of-game actions a part of the most generous, effective, and supportive communities in the world. While there have always been some who fail to separate game conflicts from real life spite, overall the community worked together to build, grow, and communicate, both with each other and with the developers. This is important, as CCP has always struggled to give the players what they want. Locked away in their icy fortress, historically CCP has been oblivious at best, and hostile at worst, to the community needs, and while some of this can be attributed to cultural differences, much of it lies on the feet of our community’s inability to clearly communicate with the developers of our game.  

a strong shift towards listening and responding to feedback was enacted

This point was exemplified in the events of Incarna and the Summer of Rage, which served as turning point for Hilmar, and the rest of CCP. No longer were they forging forward in spite of the naysaying of outsiders, and a strong shift towards listening and responding to feedback was enacted. Year after year the quality of discourse improved as CSM were trusted more and more, and additional sources of feedback were used to communicate between CCP and the player base. CCP Seagull expounds the concept of “design by participation” and communication through things such as Tweetfleet, Reddit, and the official forum has gotten better year over year.

That is of course, until this year…

It seems as if the hostilities of the game have spilt over into the real world. Breaches of trust in the CSM gave way to a hostile takeover of the system, followed by near silence. This is one of the most uncommunicative CSM since the 5th, Tweetfleet Slack is all but abandoned by the devs thanks to the vitriol spread there, /r/eve has forgone communication and information for just raw shitposting and circlejerking, and more and more real life attacks and accusations are emerging as core community exercises such as lotteries are coming under fire. The community I once loved, the supportive and strong community, has all but fractured itself, and it is seemly getting worse rather than better.

Kickstarting the Problem

While many will argue the seeds to this problem were planted long ago, and many will argue over the various faults of the project, it is obvious that the failed Kickstarter of the Fountain War book stood as a turning point for the EVE community. The Kickstarter was first presented at EVE Vegas, an official EVE gathering now ran and organized by CCP, during the Keynote address. By all accounts this should have heralded a new era of fan content and CCP content coming together to make awesome things for everyone, following up from the previous success of Rixx Javixs posters.

It is easy to blame one group or another, and one reason or another for why the Kickstarter failed, and the Imperium has made no shortage of enemies over the years. What can be said is within a week or two it was clear that the project was suffering, and the detractors picked up steam, using this an an opportunity to levy all kinds of grievances to the organization famous for saying “We are not here to ruin the game, we are here to ruin your game.” Many of the detractors used mediums such as /r/EVE predominantly because it was out of Imperium control. Years ago, TMC was banned from Reddit for vote manipulation, and while that relationship had mended some, their power over the outlet was minimal.

The whole situation may have been resolved here, but the Imperium, specifically Sion, reacted to the hostility with his own, dismissing the “community” and creating a strong “us vs. them” mentality that had already been a strong current within his organization. Thus began a blitz by the Imperium, aggressively striking out against the “outsiders” both in game, and in various social media outlets. By this point the Kickstarter was doomed, the relationships between CCP, Imperium, and the non-Imperium playerbase was galvanized like never before.

nmBzkyp

The War Of Social Media

While many of the pieces were already in place, over the next few months various social media outlets and other out-of-game services chose, or were forced to choose, sides. Pandemic Legion leveraged this opportunity to be an organizing force for the counter-Imperium movement. Eventually every sub-community based on social tools (Twitter, Slack, Reddit) had been transformed into propaganda machines for either empire. This process finally culminated in the otherwise neutral gambling site “I Want ISK” transforming into a resource for the greatest war EVE had seen in almost a decade.

World War Bee was unlike previous wars that EVE had seen. The in game component of ships and explosions and territory took a back seat to out-of-game attacks, media smear campaigns, and accusation of foul, potentially illegal practices from both sides. In this war the target wasn’t only the Imperium and the Money Badger Coalition, but CCP itself.

House of Cards in EVE Online

Soon the war found a new ground to take their conflict: the CSM campaign. The CSM had already been struggling under the scandals of the year before, and it was announced that Sion, the defacto leader of the Imperium’s CSM efforts, would not be allowed to run for the CSM. This was just one in a series of vollies that seemed to come from CCP and TMC as companies, as opposed to a function of the game itself. Regardless of the cause, the Imperium felt that CCP had become openly hostile to them after the events of the Kickstarter and because of this the solution the Imperium went with was to bring doubt to the whole process and accuse the CSM of impotence. As a result, the election itself had the lowest turnout in years, and Pandemic Legion managed to secure far more positions than was originally expected. Meanwhile, the in-game war was not going well for the Imperium as the sins of the past seemed to continue to haunt them, instead they often opted to play a victim card. By this point the overall message from the Imperium was that the game was broken, unfun, and the system was in ruins. They were not altogether wrong.

The result of the election was an all-time low faith in the CSM, and as a consequence we have gone from one of the most communicative CSMs, to having almost no word from either CCP or the CSM on the state of the organization.  

Signal VS Noise

Also during this time was the ramp-up to the Citadels expansion, the first EVE expansion in over two years, and the initial deadline of the two year plan CCP had been following since CCP Seagull took over as executive producer. However, the quality of the conversation involving feedback was reduced to ashes as the war raged on. Between social media takeovers by the warring factions, and feedback that was more focused on destroying enemies than constructing a good system, CCP slowly retreated from most of the tools that had been using for public feedback. Around this same time more and more features became delayed, dismissed, or left to radio silence as CCP failed to get players excited about new features thanks to the rage consuming all sources of news.

Make no mistake, this is not to say that this degradation is the Imperium’s fault, or PLs, or even CCPs. Each faction blamed each other, which is the very reason why the system is not only destructive, but self referential. The shift in focus has gone from in game entities fighting over in-game resources, into a real life struggle for control of the message. While this has always existed in EVE, the tendency to seek advantages by suppressing the other voices is at an unprecedented level.

 

The Fallout of War

It is time for all members of the community to take a step back and gain some perspective

With the Imperium in full retreat, we now have the formal end of World War Bee, but the damage is already wrought. The true victim of the war has been the community. The trust in each other, and in the company that builds the game we all purport to love seems lower than it has been since Incarna. It is time for all members of the community to take a step back and gain some perspective. Ruling over the ashes is no fun, and the creativity and power of the community is stifled. We can either allow this and continue to blame each other for the broken state of our community, or we can each attempt to do our part to allow all EVE players to have a voice by supporting creative efforts, and ensuring powerful and clear channels of feedback both from and to CCP.

During the course of this war, and its surrounding “meta conflict” we have seen the attack of the Drifters, the release of Citadels, Valkyrie, and Gunjack, the addition of real life biological science into the game, and much much more. However, for all the awesome things that have been done and built, it all seems overshadowed by this descent into bitter rivalry. While obviously not all of the blame can be placed on us, one must wonder what would have happened if the energy used to tear each other apart would have been used to build up excitement for these features. Where would we be if the library of Alexandria was never torched thanks to the inability for man to come to terms with one another?

This war, and the fallouts from it were not about territory, or resources, or membership. It was about a playerbase that failed to empathise with one another. A playerbase that chose animosity over creativity, and spite over forgiveness. These are seeds that have been planted for many years, but now more than ever these qualities are damaging not only the entities within the game, but the very fabric of the game itself. Even the projects such as Rixx’s have been put to rest, and probably not in small part thanks to the growing animosity. Regardless of fault, the world and EVE is an objectively worse place where creative people cannot get the support to bring their creations to others. The Kickstarter failing so spectacularly makes any future endeavor more difficult if not impossible. The suppression of news and feedback to silence one another makes the game and our community objectively worse. In the end, it isn’t falling subscriptions, or dailies, or even bad balance that will kill EVE. Rather, the enemy is ourselves.

 

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Tags: Ashterothi, community, World War Bee

About the author

Ashterothi

Ashterothi has spent the last five years learning and teaching EVE Online. He is a host on the highly successful High Drag and Hydrostatic Podcast.

  • Niden

    While I do understand Ashterothi’s logic, I could not disagree more. Sometimes you have to burn the brush in order for new things to grow and this is _exactly_ that WWB was. Saying that the war simply killed creative projects and only left destruction in its wake is simply not true. I’ve not seen people create more content and get involved more than during this war for a very, very long time. It has shaken up a stale world picture and shuffled the deck of who lives where, owns what and fights whom. Yes, we all paid a price for this war, but I strongly disagree that we didn’t get anything for it, and even more so that we’re worse off for it.

    • I have to say I almost agree with you niden except for backing up claims. The community has suffered? Have you not read the latest blog banters by many bloggers and not just myself. This seems like a personal approach to how one player, pr even one group of players might feel. Not the rest of us.

    • Vertigoe

      While I would like to agree with you, I cannot. I have listened to podcasts for years, they are mostly dead. I used to listen to new ones every week, now the only weekly one really left is Talking In Stations which is great but creativity outside the game is down. The rabid vitriol outside the game has hurt the game.

      • Kir

        I’m not sure the podcasts example is actually all that relevant.
        Podcasts (and long-form blogs) seem to be a bit beyond their prime on the modern internet. I’ve noticed similar trends in three non-eve areas where I used to follow both.

        We’re seeing more aggregation around dedicated media providers (such as CZ and TMC), and individually-developed short-form mass commentary (such as reddit and tumblr).

    • Nihilaus Vause

      Got to agree with Niden here.

      Personally I think WWB was one of the best things to happen to EVE for a while.

      I think its kind of odd to chose the failed kickstarter as an example of the community using in-game hostilities to ruin something creative. From a somewhat neutral outsiders point of view that kickstarter was ruined by the people running it. If you want to blame anyone, blame them.

      I agree with the sentiment that some take the in-game squabbles too far, but I think that’s just as true now as it was before.

      This article is highly negative imo. I still see people making creative content in EVE and I still see very positive people in the community.

      • Kamar Raimo

        “that kickstarter was ruined by the people running it. If you want to blame anyone, blame them.”

        Indeed, it was a demonstration of incredible hybris. Mittani & Co probably thought that they can coast through this on the support of their own peer group alone, but for once that group silently refused to do so.

        The collapse of The Imperium during WWB also showed that many were done with propping up the leadership one one alliance that presumed to speak for them and move them around the map like chess pieces. Forget IWI ISK and massive MBC blobs. What brought this coalition down was the monumental hybris of its leadership.

    • Rob Kaichin

      “Yes, we all paid a price for this war”

      What was it, to you?

    • Freelancer117
    • Blacklight

      Being even handed and fair with your editing is one thing Niden, publishing histrionic clickbait is another. I hope we don’t start to see a trend.

    • Bill Bones

      When I read the headline I wondered what would be the line of thought. Personally I don’t think that the biggest issue is what people say about EVE, but about what they don’t say with words, rather with their feet. I read yesterday that PCU for this July has been below last July’s, and turns it’s true. People is leaving the game despite of Citadel, despite of the Serpentis event and despite all of CCP’s efforts to a) retain them and b) milk them on their way out.

      And I’d bet 90% of those people don’t even read *any* media outlet. They’re 100% inmune to propaganda wars. They’re 100 % inmune to the expressed concerns about EVE’s unhealthy trends. They’re 100% inmune to community action.

      They just leave without as much as a word or a second thought for EVE.

  • wtf

    lmao pls stop posting

  • Kamar Raimo

    I have to say I find this article to be slanted way too much towards the doom-and-gloom side of things. Sure, there are some who may have created bad blood between players and devs, and it appeared that certain elements were actually prepared to attack CCPs efforts out of spite, but to say that this has such a far-reaching impact is overstating the case.

  • Xavi Bastanold

    I couldn’t disagree more with the author. EVE actually feels more open than before. Imperium/CFC were the main reason why EVE was losing its luster, so to speak. The MBC put an end to that. Finally. Possibilities have returned where once they didn’t. Having that 500lb. gorilla on EVE’s collective shoulder was a major drag on the game, and I can’t thank PL, PH et al enough for their service to the community.

  • Longtimegone

    I love how the old school insiders have finally come to the realization that they’ve been killing the game. Too bad the insight didn’t come until long after their actions crippled the game and ensured that there will never be a sufficient supply of new players. Eve isn’t dead yet but it’s in hospice care. This recent spate of eve is dying articles is just palliative care for the remaining player base.

    • Free Can

      CCP has done more to kill the game with phoebe and fozziesov, than a handful of players shitposting ever could do. CCP set the house on fire but will blame the crayon on the wall for bringing down the value.

      • Kamar Raimo

        If at all, the mechanics of bridging and sovereignty only adversely affect a certain part of the EVE players and by far not the largest group. I really wish people would stop viewing EVE in its entirety from the position of a very thin layer of specific nullsec players.

  • Messiah Complex

    Maybe the author is just more tuned-in to Eve’s ‘social media landscape’ than I am, but I don’t see a tenth of the game-killing drama he apparently sees. Serial shitposting and propaganda have been part of Eve for over a decade now, and nothing about the aftermath of WWB seems any worse to me than what occurred when BoB was disbanded. Nothing about r/eve is any worse than what I used to read on Kugutsumen.* Even the cesspool that was CAOD is long dead, and without an heir on the official forums.

    There was something of a lull in intensity during the period between B-R5RB and the Kickstarter. That drama downtime dragged on for about two years, as basically nothing happened while we all waited for a sov revamp. That might be why the latest theatrics seem so extraordinary to Ashterothi. IDK.

    At the relevant moment, Goon leadership did what all good villains do: they took a big shit on the carpet and dared anyone to do something about it. I say without irony that I love them for it. For my part, I think that the run-up to WWB is a great story, even if the war itself was rather dull. And I don’t see that the community is any worse for it (that is to say, it’s no worse than it was).

    All of these lamentations about the ~ascendance of animosity and spite~ in the last paragraph are purple prose, and border on the histrionic. This whole exercise is creating the very drama you’re complaining about.

    * Kugu was far worse, actually.

  • Tornike Khomeriki

    It has been a symbol of years-long regression of this game to see all the ignorant, childish shitposting go on around the game that has so much potential for intelligent ideas, projects and interaction.

    • Messiah Complex

      You just described the internet.

      • Tornike Khomeriki

        Depends on a community on the internet. In fact, even within the EVE community there are groups dedicated to intelligent representation and development of the game (official forums’ Interstellar Summit and Ideas sections are some examples), so you can’t just dismiss all of it with a blanket statement.

  • LOL all u wunt

    People dismiss with lol, stop posting, etc… articles like these pertaining to Eve and its “health”. IMO that’s a mistake. I agree with Ash.

    Eve has taken a dump ever since the players decided to turn Eve into an OOG community and push it over in game play. It started with a once a year Fanfest. Then Eve meets popped up. Now there are multiple, large meets and gathering: Eve NT, Eve Vegas, Eve Northeast. Throw in the Twitch thing that was primarily players streaming themselves playing eve turned some kind of freak community organizing/building platform and dating/boyfriend snatching platform. Toss in fam this and fam that along with communicating in the form of memes stirred with the desire by some to “own” or dominate everything ingame and out and smear their mark of ownership on everything to build some kind of elite gaming organization spanning multiple games and it’s easy to see. The community that was once united around Eve is now united around their own little community over anything else. That creates fractures in the foundation. Now it’s Pam fam first. Goons led more for real life profit and fame over gaming fun. Test is, well, Test. Brave is drag queen-like drama whores for attention. And so on. Most everyone is out for themselves now. And it seems more centered around real life income and fame than in game. For their in game fame has helped propel OOG adventures.

  • Mike Dawe

    The recent election did not have the media candidates, those who had a strong presence prior to the campaigns. Sugar, Ripard, Trebor, Aleks, were noisy before and during their terms. The list goes on but overall? We elected a quiet group and cannot complain that they are still quiet.

    m

  • levi

    what a load of bull. Nice to see another goon crying about losing his space and blaming ccp. Goons are dying, eve is fine.. its been dying since i started playing (2008)

    x levi

    • Ashterothi

      You do know that I am not only not a Goon, but fought for the MBC right?

  • Free Can

    Goons have metagamed, smeared, and done personal attacks in EVERY war they’ve been a part of for the last 10 years. But when they get a taste of their own medicine suddenly it’s a problem and hurting the game and we all need to psychoanalyze ourselves ?? lol

    Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!

    • Ashterothi

      The Goons are defeated. The issue I have is not just the inappropriate behavior of Goons, but those who use those behaviors as justification to become inappropriate themselves.

      I look to other gaming communities and they celebrate the art, the writings, and the efforts of others, regardless of in game “teams”. We polarize out content and it hurts creators, as well as the development of the game.

      • Rob Kaichin

        Could you point me to this polarised content?

        Apart from the kickstarter, I can’t think of any Imperium videos I’ve disliked enough to ‘censor’ via downvotes, apart from one, which was just Red Alert 3’s Hell March over a spacescape. (And that was because it was unimaginative, insipid and bland.)

  • Fuzzysteve

    https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=486400&find=unread

    Jin’taan has been keeping records of what we’ve been doing.

    • Rob Kaichin

      *grumbles*

      Get a blog!

      Well, not *you*, but the rest of them!

    • Ashterothi

      Thank you for the correction Steve!

  • Vertigoe

    Thanks for writing this. While you were a part of the reddit vitriol against the Imperium which has served no good purpose but silence a large and vocal community and moved them to other areas to communicate I do respect that you recognize the detriment that these attitudes have had on this game.

    • Rob Kaichin

      And yet, no-one who had something factual to say was silenced, impinged upon or affected.

      • Vertigoe

        believe what you must but that isn’t true. Most were bandwagoned into silence no matter their post. It is a fundamental flaw in reddit that allows it and why reddit should never be used as a way for the game community as a whole to communicate with each other when one group can shadowban another group it is never good.

        • Kamar Raimo

          So why was Kyle Aparthos not shadowbanned?

          Edit: Also don’t try to push that “poor victim” when it concerns a group of players who have programatically stated that their goal is to “invade” and “shut down” tweetfleet slack.

          • Vertigoe

            there is always someone you can find and say hey he wasnt so you are wrong. But the vast majority of Imperium was shadowbanned.

          • Rob Kaichin

            Kyle is hardly the lone person that was’t silenced: even BBTB2 (who posted under a variety of racist usernames) wasn’t admin-ip-banned. RetributionZero, of SMA, multiple TNT players, some EXE members, all remain unbanned.

            Their shared, common attribute? Posting that’s accurate and factual.

          • Vertigoe

            So you have named names, exactly what I said you would do. You can point out names and say hey it isnt true that people were not shadowbanned. But it is true whether you say it isnt or not. There is a concept called “Tyranny of the Majority” and reddit suffers from this to it’s detriment.

          • Kamar Raimo

            It sure does, but I take that tyranny of a majority over your tyranny of leadership-prescribed echo chamber any day.

            You can say what you want, but if your public spokesperson is busy with RL character assassination against reddit moderators, you can’t act all flustered if people get a bit defensive.

          • Jacqui

            So, admittedly a minority opinion is often silenced.. doesn’t that create another echo chamber?

          • Kamar Raimo

            I’m not so much defending the people of /r/eve here as I am debating the merit of the griping about it coming from Imperium members

          • Vertigoe

            I am anything but flustered. I am as sure of my opinions as you are of yours, and I can speak to all of you about them here without being downvoted into oblivion so I do. I do not on reddit because it will just be voted down and no on will see it.

          • Kamar Raimo

            FWIW I always read the downvoted comments to see what they are about. I do not trust redditors at all, they are as I said a mob in many ways.

            I do find it all very hypocritical though. Nobody from GSF ever complained about that mechanism back when TEST were still allies and everything anti-CFC got downvoted. To pick and choose like that is pretty disingenuous.

          • Vertigoe

            We all talk about the past in this game, yes it does matter. I wasn’t around for much of that, my nullsec career really started around the Fountain War. I was in TEST for a bit before that but I do not consider that my beginning in nullsec as I did not get involved as a new person. But remember this is an old game, with players who have grown up with it. The past might just be the past and people acting badly as young people. I know I was not always on my best behavior as a young adult and said some really dumb things so please don’t hold that against them.

          • Kamar Raimo

            It’s not like I am nailing people down on some trolling and drunken shitposting they have done when they were young. What I am talking about is a consistent and deliberate revisionism and manipulation of facts.

            I can understand if a younger player says “I wasn’t there for all of that”, but the unfortunate fact is, that if you join a group in this game, you will inherit their history with that alliance ticker. It’s also not exactly the case that GSF leadership have acted any better as time went on, in fact the opposite is true. You as a person may not be responsible for their actions, but for as long as you do not speak out against them or leave, you provide implicit support. They will point at their alliance numbers as justification for their course of action.

          • Vertigoe

            All those things you point out one group has done, has been done by every other large group in this game. Pull out your checklist and start going down the list, they have been done by them all. No one is innocent. By singling out one group and saying they did this, they did that without acknowledging the fact that other groups did the very same thing you are condoning the very actions you are saying you despise.

          • Kamar Raimo

            I have regularly called out people when they acted horribly, but as far as checklists go:

            Not every major group (or their leaders) has

            – mocked people who went through personal tragedies in their family
            – tried to personally slander players’ RL personalities
            – declared that they will make CCP developers bend to their will
            – actively wanted to sabotage the CSM
            – claimed that others want to destroy the game just because they didn’t support their pet project
            – threatened or peer-pressured members to not contribute to media sites except their own

            … and those are just a few salient points from the last year or so from the top of my mind

          • Vertigoe

            We will just have to agree to disagree then. Fly safe.

          • Rob Kaichin

            Oh, I’m certainly not saying that people weren’t shadowbanned. I’m just saying that the people who followed by the rules weren’t.

            Self-moderation does work slightly.

    • Kamar Raimo

      They have silenced themselves. It was a top-down decision that /r/eve must be shunned.

      • Vertigoe

        you speak as if the Imperium is some monolith and we all follow blindly. I hope you don’t believe that.

        • Kamar Raimo

          I hope you are not.

        • dino

          I think I remember some CFC members getting kicking for commenting on reddit

          • Vertigoe

            Didn’t happen. you may have heard someone say it happen but in reality it never happened.

  • Kinis Deren

    /r/eve is thriving tyvm. I will miss WWB because between fleets, the /r/eve community created some of the greatest pieces of propoganda I’ve ever seen. The Mittani on his spinmaster bike gif is my favorite.

    Ash, you have been somewhat economical with your backstory such as why IWI became involved & the CFC trying to leverage devs to their cause aka Manifest “bending the knee” as well as attempts at manipulating the gaming press. At the end of the day CFC were well & truly beaten in & out of game & no amount of QQ’ing is going to change that.

  • Ashterothi

    TL:DR: “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”
    – Friedrich Nietzsche

  • rixxjavix

    I think it is possible to both agree and disagree with this post. Ash and I talked about this article on Slack the other day and I expressed these opinions at that time. From my perspective things are both better now than they have ever been before and also worse. But that is and always has been, the very nature of the Eve community. It is always in flux, always changing, evolving and transforming right before our eyes. But ultimately it continues to move forward, not backward.

    I have eight Slack channels that I belong to. Communication on those channels happens daily. Just last week, in various and sundry channels, I helped about 12-14 people resolve issues. I designed and delivered about 6 different graphic images, logos, t-shirt designs, and more. I helped two people get in touch with B4R, talked to someone about how to develop an NPSI Public Fleet, encouraged several new players to join Newb training corporations and worked with various individuals on other projects – like music, videos, etc. And that was JUST last week. And that was just on Slack.

    That doesn’t take into account what happens over on #tweetfleet or in forums or in-game or on Reddit or any of the other avenues we have access to. I see CCP engaged, communicative and open to dialogue. I see players helping players. I see a community working together to build websites, apps, services, projects, fleets, events, and some extremely creative projects. I see engagement every single day.

    Granted, a lot of this is behind-the-scenes and isn’t necessarily public. But so much of it is. Right now we are in the midst of a creative bonanza from the Eve community and it would be hard to argue otherwise.

    Having said that, there are some causes for concern. As I expressed the very weekend the KS launched, its failure would have repercussions that might last for years. Those repercussions have had an impact and much of it has been negative. At least for the near future. But I don’t believe it will last. I think lessons were learned and we can pick ourselves up from our bootstraps and move on. I have reasons for optimism.

    • Kamar Raimo

      Thanks for the evidence-supported counterpoint

    • Freelancer117

      o7 Rixx Javix,

      Do you know what the real business reason is for the delay(s) of the eve store, and hind side being 20/20 was the musterbrand store it ever “successful” ?
      source: https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/an-update-on-the-eve-store-spaceships-swag/

      Regards, a Freelancer

      • rixxjavix

        The new Eve store store should be up and running here shortly, it will be a scaled back version with basic merch and eve books available, like keychains, mugs, etc. If the new store is successful CCP will consider expansion of the offering into more creative merch, like posters, etc.

        As for the old Eve store it was poorly managed and considered, as a consequence it left a very sour taste in everyone’s mouth. There are new people in charge now and I do believe they are trying their best with limited resources.

        I remain optimistic that we will eventually have a store and licensing solutions that make sense. This is what I continue to strive for.

    • The Nigerian

      Bro you are seriously the best. If you need anything please hit me up on Nigerian Banker Prince (this is Lenny Kravitz2 btw)

    • jasperwillem

      If CCP devs in projects would be more visible in official forums, I could fully agree with this. But they abandon threads after a day or two and are then surprised that defects get into game.

      The community is great though, while this “OOG” piece and reactions is good for consideration for this OOG environment.

  • Rob Kaichin

    I won’t lie, Ashterothi, I think that by omission and phrasing, you’ve been very misleading in your article: I’m going to pull out a couple of things that are misleading.

    1) “In this war the target wasn’t only the Imperium and the Money Badger Coalition, but CCP itself.”

    Only one side in the mess that WWB became targeted CCP, CCP employees or CCP’s decisions. Only one side’s leadership declared “make CCP Manifest bend the knee” and that he would target members of CCP personally.

    2)It is easy to blame one group or another, and one reason or another for why the Kickstarter failed, and the Imperium has made no shortage of enemies over the years. What can be said is within a week or two it was clear that the project was suffering, and the detractors picked up steam

    Or we could use the reason The Mittani himself gave, which has the advantage of being agreed on by *both* sides…

    “The funding goal for 150k was dumb as hell”

    This was the main reason that people on Reddit hated it, which DertyDan described well enough. (You could’ve mentioned the RMT and yacht trip as well, but they’re just side reasons that the 150k goal paid for.

    3) “While many of the pieces were already in place, over the next few months various social media outlets and other out-of-game services chose, or were forced to choose, sides. Pandemic Legion leveraged this opportunity to be an organizing force for the counter-Imperium movement. Eventually every sub-community based on social tools (Twitter, Slack, Reddit) had been transformed into propaganda machines for either empire. This process finally culminated in the otherwise neutral gambling site “I Want ISK” transforming into a resource for the greatest war EVE had seen in almost a decade.”

    This entire paragraph seem so to be out of touch with reality.

    4) “the Imperium went with was to bring doubt to the whole process and accuse the CSM of impotence. As a result, the election itself had the lowest turnout in years, and Pandemic Legion managed to secure far more positions than was originally expected”

    I feel that you’ve either chosen not to, or deliberately forgotten the action of the Imperium’s political/politicised candidates during the CSM election: I can’t link you to specific timestamps on the CSM watch interviews, but Aryth’s candidate interview is enlightening on his views of how CCP should be treated.

    I can link you to this though:
    https://www.themittani.com/news/csm-voting-imperium-candidate-slate

    I’d like to point out that the CFC (now the Imperium) also picked up more candidate’s positions than usual, but lost those candidates to in-game defeats.

    5) (Unrelated) “The shift in focus has gone from in game entities fighting over in-game resources, into a real life struggle for control of the message. While this has always existed in EVE, the tendency to seek advantages by suppressing the other voices is at an unprecedented level.”

    What’s unusual is that there are now two sides fighting for message control. When it was only the CFC doing it, it was much quieter: the individual people they targeted left quietly.

    And finally, 6)

    ” Even the projects such as Rixx’s have been put to rest, and probably not in small part thanks to the growing animosity.”

    You’re mistaking this as an unusual event. It’s not nice to say, but CCP’s handling of merchandise and player creativity over the last few years has been nothing short of catastrophically bad. If you were willing, you could go back through Rixx’s blog to find 3 or 4 blogposts all covering the same general ground “CCP’s legal department doesn’t do anything, this sucks”.

    • Matthew

      About your first point, if you read the Pastebin Papers, IWI is shown to be discussing having CCP employees help them or rescue them several times.

      • Resnar

        they do, that’s why IWI still here, that’s why IWI have win propaganda war (anti IWI tread in official forum about how casino is bad for eve get closed everytimes and i know what i say) Real CCP should stop get involved in internal politics of the game like that, that just ruin the fun, maybe CFC have done bad thing in the past, but CFC is 15K+ player and you can’t shit in them face without create shit after that. tbh i loved the game before WWB, now i asking my self why going in null if a casino protect by dev can ruin it like they want

        • The Nigerian

          I posted a response to the individual above. You probably won’t believe it and that is fine but that is what happened.

          As for IWI, IWI is comprised of bankers from all over Eve. We are corp of alts and we used to have a large number of bankers in the CFC. So much in fact that a lot of people thought we were a CFC Isk farm and wouldn’t play on our site. Many of those bankers have either been a victim of theft or coercion n the CFC and left.

          As for IWI’s involvement, they provided emergency funds for me as needed. I funded most of the war and got help from IWI and Ironbank. IWI was not part of the war in terms of establishing, maintaining, or canceling contracts. That was me.

          So you should instead consider playing Eve when a person with large sums of Isk can start a war (which the CFC and others have those people too).

          • Resnar

            You are a scrub you kill the game that’s all

          • The Nigerian

            RIP

      • The Nigerian

        That has been covered multiple times. Contacting CCP employees and contacting the IA department are two very very separate things.

        We contacted IA because bankers who had the bare minimum to bank were temp banned and going through the math, they couldn’t RMT and maintain banking at all. When you have 4-5 dudes out of 11 be in that situation, it raises red flags. Then pulling our own server logs and looking at the bankers APIs confirmed that we had bankers erroneously temp banned.

        After that we contacted Internal Affairs and gave them all the info we had.

      • Rob Kaichin

        If you think I meant “became targeted by CCP”, that was an unfortunate grammar mistake. I meant “targeted CCP”.

        As for the actions of IWI, talking to IA is not the same as attacking, in and out of game, CCP devs.

  • Industrial Mining

    Glad to see somone is noticing our war on CCP. Either EVE will die, or CCP will die and EVE will live on. Either way, you are going down, CCP. Might take a few more years, but we will never stop.
    P.S. Blocking everyone who doesn’t kiss CCP ass leads to a forum of CCP asskissers.

    • Kamar Raimo

      Good troll, would feed again

      • Industrial Mining

        That’s right. Keep thinking we are just trolls. When CCP belly flops into bankrupcy and the 2nd worst gaming company in the history buys EVE, aka EA, you can thank me. Because even that pile of shit of a company can do a better job than CCP.

  • Alt153

    eve would be a really great game if it wasn’t for all the other players

  • bob@wormholes.com

    Could it maybe be that many of the creative people just burned up after month of propaganda making?
    Combine that with summer, vr availability ,pokemon go, and quite a big number of good games and the end of the war(always burns out some people) and you will always get a lower number of people who login …

  • frankster

    There was a successful, independent, self-published book about EvE that occurred at the same time…

    • Kamar Raimo

      IKR, weird how that works innit 🙂

      • Freelancer117

        All of a sudden I also crave for a newly released E-On magazine kickstarter that’s NOT tied into a(ny) alliance/corp.

        • Bitter-Tea

          I subscribed to E-On for a while, and boy was I disappointed – not by the magazine itself, as such, but by how out-of-the-loop it was with CCP’s plans – everything from ambulation to ship crews were highlighted as a bright new future, but almost nothing I read was ever delivered.

          On the plus side, the fan-fiction was superb – and the illustrative artwork that accompanied it…!

    • Ashterothi

      I really wish I had worked that in somewhere. Thanks for bringing it up, excellent point!

    • DaiTengu

      To be fair, that occurred a year prior.

  • Stralisemiai

    Id like to put together a solid reply to this, but im mid vacation so this maybe rushed. I disagree totally with this article, and it will end up falling into the cookie jar with all the other “EVE is dying” articles that gets dipped into when people are hungry for content.

    There are a large number of players who never indulge in external EVE, this being podcasts, twitch, reddit, blogs, news sites.. even social media such as facebook. They play quite happily without the need to constantly read drama, opinion or bias. They experiance the game in a very different way and before i joined a null sec alliance, its how i also played for a long time.

    The meta extention into OOG is as much a good thing as it can be bad, all gaming communities come together and thrive at expos…relationships are built, strengthened and broken when real life gets involved.

    For me, the OOG content during Fanfest and through World War Bee was one of the greatest experiences I have ever played through. It saw people who i play with step into the world of this wider OOG content, the propaganda, vitriol and shit flinging was (although harsh at times) part and parcel of the entire war, and everyone who chose to indulge had vast opportunities to be neck deep in content, the memes were gut bustingly hilarious. It lead to accounts being reactivated, and new players had the chance to jump in at this time, everyone helped and it was great. We were even hitting the wider media, attracting a totally new audience to peek into this world which we are part of.

    In addition people changed the way they streamed , Zarvox and Crasskitty for example added new insights and dimensions to players who wanted to understand what was happening, who was doing what etc… the game was absolutely on form! (Even if the battles were at times… drawn out or blueballed) The sexist attacks from BigCountry on how women should know thier place also went on to further expose the jealousies that exist between eager new players, and old bittervets who attempt to dominate this external meta.

    There is now a lull, the dust of war is settling. Theres only so much stamina that can be generated at the peak of war, so it was obvious burn out would follow such an event, for both the ingame player base and the external outlets. Could we suggest a period where the game returns to being just that? The MBC just crushed one of the biggest enemies ingame, the displacement is simply part of the game, in wars which are far from over.
    Focus at this time could be applied to lore, industry, new player retainment instead of the whoa is me, and the end is nigh posts.

    I am happy with the contact between CCP and player base, for i know no better. Ive never relied on the CSM to represent me, nor do I have much faith in the way they have historically worked. I am not upset with the game, and i am enjoying playing through the challenges new content brings.

    On a final note, EVE is by far, hands down the slowest ever game i have played, everything takes time, so i fully expect to see the impact of patches and content take months to really reach fruition. I am very interested in what will happen when new content is added, to see how the meta changes to adapt. If you fear that all you are reading or seeing in the OOG meta is bittervet whine and cheese, maybe you need to stop consuming that, and start participating ingame with players who want to play.

    • Kamar Raimo

      “The sexist attacks from BigCountry on how women should know thier place”

      I missed that one. What happened?

    • DireNecessity

      If I may elaborate on one piece of your response Stralisemiai, while Eve may feel the slowest game ever (and in many ways it feels that way), it’s that very slowness that enables her long enduring burn. Eve proceeds at a regal, stately pace as all queens who’ve captured our hearts should. I’ve made in game agreements that won’t trigger for a year more than once. And mind you, I don’t mean agreements that will last for a year, I mean agreements whose labors won’t really begin for a year (and whose payoff stretches even longer out than that). This reveals great confidence on my part that Eve will 1) still be here in a year and 2) will either function in reasonably similar ways to how it functions now or that CCP will signpost well ahead of time when groundbreaking changes approach allowing generous time to review and update long term agreements. There’s a difference between momentary infatuation and long term love. Pokemon Go elicits infatuation, Eve elicits love.

  • Freelancer117

    “The harshness makes accomplishment even more meaningful, as you know you’ve earned every step you’ve taken in the universe of New Eden”

    Should the Company earn their income or be just given to it every month in the form of Plex or a Sub ?
    Secondly and important, should the Company’s decision makers earn respect or be just given to them ?

    Regards, a Freelancer

    ps: any time a large group of capsuleers flexes it’s consumer power muscles as a “community”, it creates content and drama.

  • luobote kong

    I always enjoy your work Asterothi but you are off the mark this time. Null is not the be all and end all of Eve and WWB only provided a dead cat bounce in player activity in any case (plus the vitriol predates Rayonar which was probably the real precursor to the kickstarter shambles ). Most Eve players have not been involved in either. If Eve is dying it is not Null or social media killing it. It is those that aren’t engaged in those cliques who are drifting away – as they did from voting for the CSM. Being nice on Reddit won’t address that.

  • dino

    After a war, a number of people on the losing side will quit the game, at least for a short time. It happened when the CFC killed TEST 1.0. It will probably be even worse in the case, because the CFC just gave up without a fight, in game or out; AFAIK, they didn’t try to match TEST or PL propaganda.

    Note: maybe I am wrong and the CFC did a good propaganda job but it was down-voted by the MBC or banned by the admin. If so, please post some material Reddit managed to censure.

    • The Nigerian

      Actually the CFC put out some good pieces just not many on Reddit. They probably had a good bit though on their forums though.

  • Blacklight

    What a load of overblown hyperbole. That’s a terrible overly dramatic article and I completely disagree with it.

    If you think the recent meta gaming over WWB was some unusual peak in the depraved self destruction of the Eve community you’re either naive or wear rose tinted spectacles. The community has been like this since day one and it’s certainly been this bad since the first great wars kicked off and the spotlight was shined more publicly onto the meta game shenanigans back in 2007/8.

    I would argue strongly that the passion with which Eve conflicts are fought actually does more to build community over the long run than any harm that it creates. There are outliers yes, the doxers and cheaters and criminals are a problem (as they are with most online communities) but they’re fringe cases which are often given way too much attention and allowed to disproportionately colour the narrative.

    From my perspective and what I see of the Eve community there’s high levels of engagement, lots of activity in forums, twitter, discord etc. I see lots of old faces playing again (although often in different ways) and in game a ton of interesting and fun activity going on. I don’t see some great Eve is dying community driven apocalypse.

    What I do see as issues are the same ones other people have pointed out very eloquently, the game is old, it’s player base has aged with it, we all have other commitments now and the game is still at it’s core a pretty invasive timesink. Alongside that the age old issue remains the fact that not enough time and attention is paid to developing content for the quiet masses who like to mine, mission and explore in peace and quiet. I would bet decent money that if CCP built and launched a massive great PvE in high-sec expansion they’d probably see a significant up-tick in sub and concurrent user numbers. Even those crusty old PvP vets like me who don’t like to admit it would spend many hours carebearing it up in peace and quiet if it was fun to do – instead of logging on to answer a ping, flying in a fleet for a few hours and then logging off again.

    The issues CCP still face are how to cater to the masses, how to lessen the time required to have a meaningful experience and how to retain more new players when they step through the door. Jumping on the bandwagon of “goons and PL vitriol is killing the community” is frankly cheap clickbait.

    The community is fine, there’s just not enough of us because Eve’s never been able to retain enough newbies and we’re all too busy to play all the time anymore.

  • Provi Miner

    Not a good article, the lack of csm participation is not an indication of no faith but rather acknowledgement of the facts: CSM were never supposed to be “creators” rather they were created to be a backstop against really stupid ideas that found purchase within CCP. Now that people realize the CSM is not about stake holding but rather about consumer oversight the need to be vested with them is limited. An example of why the CSM is not what people thought it was and why few still care about it: core walks in and says “we need larger contacts” CCP looked at him and said “no one else has this problem”. The point is CSM is not about improving but limiting. There is a saying about politicians “I vote for the person least likely to screw with my life” the CSM can be seen as “people who exist to make sure CCP doesn’t screw everyone at once”
    As for the war you speak of let me break it down:
    when bob fell bob pretty much accepted the demotion and eve rolled on.
    When goons fell they refused to accept the demotion and yes eve is suffering for it right now.

  • Nyjil

    Question: how many ruinations of ‘your game’ would it take to, in fact, ruin ​the​ game?

  • Yeva

    a very good article!

  • Cabon Scout

    Ash, great read, however, I think you might be surprised at the number of players that don’t even know or care about the media meta game. I bet the players that do are a small number when compared to the overall player base. I’m retired navy and teach young sailors IT, I will usually get about one Eve player out of every 20 students (perhaps 6 in a year) and frankly none of them even know about TMC, EN24, CZ or blogs. As long as subscriptions stay constant, or rise, Eve will be fine.

  • Warren Edwards

    Or you know, limit the amount of CSM reps that are all tied to the same corp/alliance… so we can actually represent the PLAYERS not a few super alliances. It’s a joke. I know about all the shitposting, trust me, but the fact people simply want to ‘ruin’ the game brings issues on itself. I love eve, played for 12 years now? But man, it’s a sinking ship…

  • Ron Peppers

    This isn’t really an argument I have much sympathy with. If you can break the game by playing it, fundamentally it comes down to the game being broken, not the players. Expecting players to respect unwritten rules so as not to ‘break the game’ always goes badly and a decent game is developed with this in mind.

    And when has the CSM ever not been a sham and a shambles? It relies on the odd good egg going above and beyond to carry it kicking and screaming through the year. You don’t even particularly have to have bad members to make a bad CSM, just most people don’t have the time or inclination to decicate so much time for so long for so little reward. Focus groups seem a far more reasonable way of working, you get hyperfocused nerds who really care about this particular aspect of the game and all you ask is for them to chat and shitpost about it. The day those become a regular thing and we can fire the CSM into the sun will be a great day indeed.

  • JZ909

    I personally feel that this is an angry post from a bitter fringe of the game that spent more time on Reddit than playing the game. While it was certainly a grudge match for some, for many, WWB was fun. Coffers were opened and billions or even trillions of ISK were spent.The interceptor market soared, courier contracts out of Goon staging went wild, ships exploded. It was great fun.

    Communication with CCP has probably never been better. Citadels released, almost without a hitch, which is probably due to an extremely open dev team that made changes directly due to the hundreds of pages of forum posts by the community. Capital gameplay improved immensely. When instalock carriers became OP, the devs dealt with it swiftly.

    I’m not sure what the complaining is about. I feel the game is much stronger than it was 2 years ago when I started playing.

  • Nick

    The kick starter failing was just because the huge amount arrogance, and entitlement of the people at the top. EVE empires had no problem being published because a) The amount of money being asked for was not insanely idiotic, and b) Wasn’t a book based on how smug our group can be over that other group.

    The fact that Sion went around and told everyone how awful the EVE community is because they wouldn’t toss money at their inflated kickstarter goals was just classic Sion. In the end, it was pretty clear they didn’t even understand why the kickstarting failed, and comically this CZ writer doesn’t know ether.

  • The Observer

    Sadly CCP needs to take a majority of the blame for this as well due to many changes that made holding Null sec space not even worth it anymore. The Imperium rather then fight gave up it’s space to live in NPC space just like a majority of alliances. “Why hold space when we can do so much more from low sec and NPC systems without spending the isk.” The introduction of Jump Fatigue was probably the opening death call for Null sec space and content. The biggest most powerful ships in the game were relegated to home defense instead of being able to project power. While everyone likes to point fingers at Sion, The Mittani and goons in general, they helped create content wiether it be in high sec or null space. The use of an outside game influence (the online casino funding the Latest war) is something that CCP should not have allowed period. But they did and it’s too late now to fix that. The CSM the last copule times have been jokes. CCP didn’t listen and did things they wanted to do without even going to the CSM. Fozzie Sov was and still is another one of those changes that did not need to happen but because they wanted to “Balance” the game well you now have the results. The death of EvE online. But i will give very high praise to the graphics dept of EvE. It is prob the most beautiful game ever developed but all beauty does is cover up the cancer inside.

    • Concerned_Citizen

      There is a couple of things that are inaccurate about your statement. First, the CFC did not “give up” its space, it would forced out of it. Perhaps the only intelligent thing that the Goons did there was realize that the writing was on the wall and crawl into the hole called Saranen. Second, the introduction of such things as Jump Fatigue and other limitations on the ability to project power has helped more than hurt the game. With such limitations, one alliance is limited in their power projection abilities. That allows for more participation in null by a variety of groups since one group cannot hit them from across the galaxy with impunity and run back to their relatively safe home when things get too hot. Lastly, the Goons never created content. On the contrary, they worked very hard to deprive the rest of the EVE player base of content. They would form massive fleets to smash their enemies and remain docked when they could not field a vast numerical superiority. That is not content. Additionally, the blue donut they created resulted in vast amounts of nullsec in the North being unpopulated. You could have flown around for hours and barely seen a soul as long as you avoided their staging systems. A little about the CSM. CCP does not have to ask the permission of the CSM to make changes in the game that they own. The CSM is merely an advisory committee formed of “player representatives.” That fact that CCP even has such a formal relationship with their customers is rare. If the “results” that you speak of are the Goons turned into another band of nomads and the future of EVE looking bright for the first time in a long time, then I applaud all of these changes and can only hope for more.

  • schwaboy

    There are a handful of very power, very vocal, very horrible people that push toxicity throughout the community. Both sides of the war had some of those people. It’s hard to stomach some of it.

  • dagger906

    This isn’t 2003. More and more space themed games are coming out. WWB has little relevance to the 85% of population that lives in highsec. Dropping sub numbers are to be expected.

  • Concerned_Citizen

    I have to completely disagree with the majority of points that you tried to make. The problem was that a single individual, we will call him “Kittens”, was trying to make EVE into his own personal playground. He used the game to fuel his own self-involved endeavors and he did so by stomping on the majority of the player base. This guy started to believe that he was somehow above the rest of the player community. Naturally, any sort of power will be able to get others to follow it. For a variety of reasons such as wanting to be on the “winning” side to dreams of developing their own power by riding on the coat tails of those they believe to have it. Like a body responding to a virus, the player community of EVE recognized when the threat to their internet lives had become to great and decided to excise this rot. I certainly do not believe that this signals the death knell of EVE. On the contrary, I believe that it symbolizes a resurgence. CCP and the player community only have to capitalize on this rare occasion to change the game in a meaningful way.

  • Grunt

    I also would like to point out. That certain sides have tried to leverage there ingame position. Into getting a monetairy gain. Which certainly helped alienate the other sides. I think that created aditional tention between the sides. Maybe it is time for CCP to limit outside activity especialy if its for monetary gains. And put on stricter guidelines for monitisation of this game. So instead of certain sides trying to broker it into making a living. It actually can become about fun again.

  • Luso

    Shure EVE is dying because CCP are a bunch of narcisists and egocentric asses.

    They should stay in the shadows and focus on what theyre suppose to do: Development and a Friendly support with very defined rules.

    Otherwise, yes…they will dye like a bunch of amateurs!

  • Olmeca Gold

    “The Kickstarter failing so spectacularly makes any future endeavor more difficult if not impossible.”

    Apparently Eve is dying also because the kickstarter failed.

    Seriously fuck anyone who tries to monetize Eve community like this, back then and in future again. Is it just me or usually how books work are like if you have a great book idea, you write it, and if it’s any good, it will sell.

    Fuck CEOs making deals with other games and advertise those games in their alliance. Fuck RMTers. Fuck people who do Eve websites for IRL money.

    If Eve is dying it is mostly (directly or indirectly) at the hands of people who made it their IRL source of income.

  • Alison King

    off to play bf4

  • Saint Michael’s Soul

    So, like real world politics, we’re ending up with an us v. them kind of polar politics. That doesn’t mean Eve is dying, it means yet again it’s a great simulator for how mental humanity is. Enjoy it while we have it.

    Asterothi becoming a true Bitter Vet? Now that’s a day I didn’t think I’d see.

  • Grrr Mitten

    Goonswarm and their philosophy of “breaking the game” should have been removed from EVE by CCP as soon as they became relevant. CCP could have done it without any excuse. Its their game, they can act as they see fit against an organisation aiming at arming it.

  • Juvenius Drakonius

    Pokemon GO and the New Warcraft Expansion Legion! dam right bring fun back to EVE! EVE has gone from been this fun nerd ubber game that you can get into massive fights and great space sim….to a drama lama shama gama….EVE is dying?…..EVE more like it’s not as fun anymore….

  • Axel

    Eve Online has some of the most toxic people I have observed and interacted with. Take the alliance tournament commenters; Take an example of the community so called elites Aponthe, Chessur & sir squeebles some of their commentary is overly critical and are typical in Eve.

  • Abraxis

    EvE will get even worse before it will get better. We successfully dealt with the moloch that was the CFC. Now we need to root out the cancer that is PL and poke the russian bear into mingling with the rest of EvE.

    Death2all supers.

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