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Reader Comments (35)

Posted: Jul 6th 2011 10:18AM Raikulxox said

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Hmm...I can't say if this interview will help or hurt them in the long run. They danced around the question over non vanity items being introduced a bit too much for my liking.

Posted: Jul 6th 2011 11:05AM GaaaaaH said

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@Raikulxox
I agree, most of Arnars answers dodged the questions and did not instill faith.

Strong answers would probably have worked better.
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Posted: Jul 6th 2011 11:56AM ndessell said

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@Raikulxox
they didnt, its wright there that one day they will sell you item xyz if you dont want to buy it from another player; they just don't want to screw the (plex) economy up to much
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Posted: Jul 6th 2011 12:48PM Raikulxox said

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@ndessell I would agree with you, until he said this:

I'm going to refer back to the line I gave in the statement that the investment of money in EVE should not give you an unfair advantage over the investment of time. Saying "never" puts me in an awkward position, as EVE has been running for eight years now and hopefully if we do our job right it's going to be running for 80 more.

So no resubbing for me until they add the word never.
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Posted: Jul 6th 2011 1:11PM Eamil said

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@Raikulxox

The thing is, no developer likes to close off paths completely. If hypothetically they decide in five years that a free-to-play model would be good for EVE and they could then do some microtransactions that would currently be considered "game-breaking" (buying faction standings for example) they would then be faced with the choice of not doing so or being seen as breaking their promise. From the rest of the answer he gave I think he understands what players think should be off-limits and why.
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Posted: Jul 6th 2011 10:41AM DeadlyAccurate said

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I think CCP should consider hiring some PR specialists to train them on how to communicate with their customer base. I do believe The Mittani is right that a lot of this could have been cleared up much quicker and a lot less painlessly if they'd taken a step back and really thought about what they were saying.

But some good did come out of this. Hilmar learned he was right to look at what the players did, not what they said. And what they did was remind CCP they don't have a game without players. Yes, the number of unsubscribers was probably miniscule in comparison to the subscriber base, but that sort of thing can start a slow, steady death spiral impossible to come back from.

Secondly, Perpetuum and other games gained a boost in players. I'd like to see some real competition for EVE some day, something to remind CCP that no, they really aren't the only bad boys in town, and if they want to remain on top, they're going to have to work at it.

Posted: Jul 6th 2011 10:47AM mikejr said

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This whole debacle has done nothing but stifle my (already waning) enthusiasm for EVE. I'm long overdue for a nice long break anyway.

Posted: Jul 6th 2011 11:09AM (Unverified) said

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I'm not Eve slamming, but man it seems like CCP is getting really dirty really fast. The tone in the interview is very pompous and pretentious. They have their vision of how to make more profits and it's a bleak future. Feel bad for Eve players, they're a loyal fan base, looks like their getting spit on.

Posted: Jul 6th 2011 1:57PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) I didn't read any pretension in any of this. Zulu seemed just about as forthright as a company guy could be.
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Posted: Jul 6th 2011 11:13AM Gaugamela said

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Damage control mode uh? It seems that the players speaking with their actions worked well with game disrupting riots and mass unsubscribing.

The way that Hilmar skirted around the question of introducing "game-breaking items" as a politician would have done isn't very reassuring.
CCP had one thing over the other MMO developers: the trust of their player base and an enviable level of interaction.

They burnt the trust of their playerbase with this.

Posted: Jul 6th 2011 11:27AM Irem said

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Fascinating stuff. I'm looking forward to seeing how things level out in the coming months and if CCP shows that they've learned from this.

Posted: Jul 6th 2011 11:56AM StClair said

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"Incarna is really aimed at new players", "the captain's quarters are designed to be attractive to newbies", "New players don't really read the forums or care about microtransactions"...

So all you vets can just go #$%^ yourselves, we don't NEED you. We're banking on thousands of new players willing to drop real-world amounts of cash money to play dress-up.

Posted: Jul 6th 2011 12:03PM ndessell said

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@(Unverified) go read the interview they actually have MORE poeple in game now than before, hell the only reason for this CSM meeting and press conference is to curb the lose of the skill point whales that feed the economy
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Posted: Jul 6th 2011 1:12PM Brendan Drain said

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@StClair That was The Mittani, he's the CSM chairman and not a CCP employee or developer. That said, in that same paragraph (directly after the quote), he said:
"What we had to go to Reykjavik for was to prevent veteran players who are pillars of the community fleeing the game, because those are the people who provide a lot of the content for everyone else."

And he's largely right. New players checking a game out don't really care much about the high-level politics of the game, but veteran players do and they're the important thing to keep as they provide players with a place in world. They're the corp leaders, event organisers and instructors.
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Posted: Jul 6th 2011 12:39PM MailDeadDrop said

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I understand Arnar's point about not handcuffing CCP in the future. I'd be happy if he simply committed to running all MT concepts past the CSM for input before proceeding to implement them. I have some confidence in the CSM's ability to say loudly "that is a VERY BAD IDEA."

Posted: Jul 6th 2011 12:58PM Brendan Drain said

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@MailDeadDrop From what I can tell with discussions with the CSM, they have been involved at every stage so far in selecting items for the cash shop. At the emergency meeting, they also hammered out firmer plans for what is acceptable and what isn't. So far so good.

I trust the CSM to call bullshit on CCP if they try anything game-breaking, the only issue being whether or not the CSM can accurately determine if something is game-breaking. But as long as CCP keeps doing things through the player market when items there are items you can get through normal in-game means involved, and as long as the CSM is being kept in the loop, I'm happy.
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Posted: Jul 6th 2011 12:41PM (Unverified) said

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All this is, is just more fluff. Still directly avoiding the question as to whether or not MT items will give other players in game advantages. Yes or no will suffice. dancing around the issue as CCP has will only fuel the rumour mill and hearsay train. The fact that they are downplaying everything shows that there is a massive disconnect between what CCP believes is right and what the community sees.

It is understandable that CCP wants to develop new featyures to attract new players and ease the learning curve and transition into eve,

Incarna was supposed to do that. It has not, instead its another half finished expansion with overview bugs that make the game unplayable (client patch #5 was out last night for borked overviews). In addition players are miffed at the fact that COSMOS, exploration and SOV/Faction warfare has yet to be looked at and re-balanced.

Ive been playing since 2004 (somewhat bittervet) and the stream of half finished expansions and addons is getting stale. Unfortunately MT are becoming the de-facto standard for MMO's, and even EVE as a bastion of MT free enviorement is not immune. CCP needs to stop *******g into the proverbial player base tulip patch and start listening to the community feedback.

Posted: Jul 6th 2011 12:48PM Brendan Drain said

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@(Unverified) Honestly, I think this is just something a company just can't promise. No company promises adherence to one strategic direction forever, even if at the time it seems like a no-brainer. They could just come out and say "never" just to shut people up but then might have to go back on their word a decade later. The other issue here is that non-vanity items in a cash shop are NOT inherently a bad thing. There are plenty of non-vanity convenience options EVE players would probably be OK with buying, like functional corp establishments in Incarna or the ability to change skills from EVE Gate. The issue is big gameplay-changing mechanics.

At some point I think we have to trust that the response CCP has given (and the only one it's really able to give) on a topic like non-vanity microtransactions is good enough. Because if you can't extend that tiny bit of trust to CCP after what they've delivered in the statement and the press conference then maybe EVE's not the game for you. Ultimately, we always put our faith in the companies whose MMOs we play and if we lose that faith then it's not unreasonable to stop playing.

But that's all just my personal opinion on the matter. I'll expand on the issue more in this Sunday's EVE Evolved column as I try to work out what CCP's plans might be based on the fact they wouldn't promise no non-vanity items. There are some pretty acceptable non-vanity options they COULD be developing.

Posted: Jul 6th 2011 12:50PM Anubikan said

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Is it only me thank thinks zulu was being incredibly arrogant, once again he came across as ccp is awsome and we dont care we will do whatever we want, this combined with hilmars email just shows their so full of themselves its incredible, i like the sub statistics question, their answer

was basically, we dont care old bittervets are leaving because were getting more people who are attracted to shinies..........i have already canceled my 3 accounts but from the looks of it im not coming back, these past couple of weeks reading the direction that ccp is going just makes me feel dirty.

Posted: Jul 6th 2011 1:08PM Brendan Drain said

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@Anubikan I can confirm that during the press conference Zulu did not give an air of arrogance. There's a lot that goes with the tone of voice someone uses, and unfortunately that's lost in text. I did get the impression that there were things he had to say positively, either because that's the company line or because he's proud of CCP and was in a (virtual) room full of press.

But from meeting him face-to-face at Fanfest and talking to CSM who have dealt with him directly, I can say the impression we normally get of Arnar is that he's a very practical, direct and reasonable developer with a genuine affinity for the player perspective. See things like our interviews with him from fanfest (http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/04/15/eve-spotlight-an-interview-with-ccp-zulu/ and http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/04/20/massively-interviews-eve-senior-producer-arnar-gylfason-on-incar/) and his response to teh $99 devblog (http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/06/22/we-hear-you-loud-and-clear-ccp-clarifies-third-party-applicat/). That this didn't come across much during a press conference doesn't really surprise me -- it was a press conference on a very sensitive issue.
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