Blogbanter 52 – Flogging a Dead Horse

A new blogbanter is up on Kirith’s site and I feel to compelled to participate.

“Is there any path for CCP to follow to raise those numbers upwards for a sustained period, or is EVE going to enter a decline to lower logged in numbers from this point? How soon will we see an end to this plateau? Months? Years? Or will you argue that ‘never’ is a possibility? Or you can look at the root causes of the plateau and tackle the question if it could have been avoided or shortened if CCP had taken different actions in the past.

Also, what would EVE be like with an order of magnitude fewer or more players?”

Ok, lets start with the elephant in the room or the dead horse needing to be flogged, whatever analogy seems fitting.  Does EVE actually need more players for it to be fun and commercially successful?

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one year

My friend Orea over at his blog realized that we have been in the same wormhole corporation now for one year and reflects on the good and bad times we had.  Its a great review of what happened and I recommend the read.  Its also one of the very times I can’t find anything he says where I vehemently disagree so he is clearly coming around 😉

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The Empire Strikes Back…

Carebears Unite!  Gather your pitchforks, arm your Covetors, the enemy is upon thee.

Hulkageddon is one of those things in EVE I never understood.  Basically it is community organized event that incentivizes players to charge armed combat ships into unarmed mining ships and blow them up.  The combat ships are then targeted by the “police” (Concord, whatever) and themselves killed.  So, its suicide missions. The idea is to kill as many as possible and receive prizes and “tears”.  Its about as sporting as whacking a toddler, clubbing a baby seal or torturing a frog. It is straight bullying without cause, reason or – in EVE – online backstory.  Mindless, destructive aggression.  In other words, it is “terrorism” in its true form.

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The role of Bloggers

The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.  Vladimir Lenin

This site started in 2009 a more or less private site – the aim was to collect my scattered thoughts about online social interactions with specific views to gaming.  I neglected it for over 2 years and only recently began writing a little for a genuine audience.  The first round was fiction, not because it was easy but because it was hard(1).  Honestly, I had never done it, had time over Christmas and was egged on by the great stories of my corp mate.  It was hard work to knock the first three chapters out – 90% in the review and editing, 10% actually writing.  Maybe in the future I do the Neal Stephenson thing and write longhand 😉

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Blog Banter 32: Non-Consensual Combat Restrictions

EVE Online is a cruel world.  Click “Un-dock” and you consent to be raped, pillaged, burned and mutilated.  If you don’t like it, HTFU or play World of Warcraft.

EVE Online is a peaceful world where you can mine for resources, trade with friends and travel in peace, protected by Concord’s benevolent and ever-present police force.

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The proximity of pixels…

In the real world, satellite offices for large companies often have the highest productivity, best morale and attitude.  But in badly run companies they are allowed to develop a very distinct culture that – if left unchecked – drifts them away from the heaquarters.  I have noticed this in all large companies I have worked for or with, most of the time with/in their international sales and marketing groups, which are – by definition – geographically very spread out.   The companies who were good at managing it were excellent, the ones who were poor went out of business or should have been.  The  only difference between the failed and the great companies were the frequent in person visits by the leaders, technical experts and the occasional regional or even global piss-up (err, Strategic Goal Setting Roundtable Convention, something like that).  I want to stress, no amount of internet connectivity, no amount of “team” motivational structure and teleconferences can compensate for an afternoon with the team in a pub.

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My last post got a a little bit of attention in EVE Online community.  Ender Black for example left a nice remark despite me being rather critical of his conduct.  Very gracious but I think I owe him and myself a post on my attitude towards criminality, MMORPG and the real world.

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With great power….

.. comes great responsibility. A saying attributed to Voltaire and widely used as a caution to the opposite side of the insight that ““Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” by Lord Acton.  Both are written from the viewpoint of someone without power, of course and that is where the dichotomy lies.  We are aware that power carries a burden but we seek it nonetheless.

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How do you motivate gamers?

I am not CEO of my Wormhole corp in EVE Online – thank god.  It is about as much work as being a real CEO but it will never put real bread on the real table.  As a pure hobby, it is an inordinate amount of work and often thankless.  CEOs of MMORPG routinely burn out and quit the game or have other forms of personal events that are upsetting and unsavory.

So while I know little about leading a game corp, I know a fair amount about how real life (RL in gamer parlance) companies work.

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A rough day in EVE Online

I described before that the MMORPG EVE Online has a very different dynamic from other games when it comes to social interaction.  The risks are higher and consequently, when something goes bad it can ruin the fun in the game.

We had such a day yesterday when a group of us decided to take on another group of players, was badly outgunned, out-maneuvered and out-thought.  We were not neccessarily outmanned since our team had 3 people with 4 characters on the deck and the opposition about that many but the fight did not go well.  We lost 3 ships, the others none and what started as a solid charge turned into a cluster****.

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