Monday, June 27, 2011

Burning Eden, part deux

iRabble at work... thx for the term Let :D

First of all, I will not go into the numerous reasons why just over a month ago I parked my Internet Spaceships for an indefinite amount of time. The links to my past blog posts are right there on the right ---->

So for the first time in 3.5 years I experienced an EVE expansion as an outsider. I had a rough idea of what would be new in Incarna but as of now I still haven't even seen it. So last week during Patch Day I paid a visit to the EVE-O forums... and already the uproar was starting. This was shortly followed by a post on Letrange's blog with a very short text: "15$ for a pixel skirt?!?! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL !!!". Because I know Letrange personally and also know he's usually a lot more eloquent than that, I immediately phoned him up for a "WTF?!", and that's when I learned about the 70$ monocle. I almost pissed myself laughing !!! Seriously, if you're one of those crazy rich fucks I love to hate, who have to buy every single toy they can lay their hands on just because you can, go ahead and blow your money, I couldn't care less. But this was the very tip of the iceberg.

First in my book were the reports of CCP's specialty: breaking what already works. Please stop hoping that someday they will learn something from past experiences, they never will. It's simple, when CCP patches EVE, something breaks. It's inevitable, like death and taxes. This time it wasn't just the game acting up though: reports of GPU meltdown were heard, especially from ATI card owners. Note to gamers: when a game is optimized for one brand of video cards, in this case nVidia, expect the other brand to work at an inferior level. But if the game also fried good nVidia cards, then CCP is simply full of fail.

But the most important thing that turned the masses into a lynch mob was CCP's laughable attempt at public relations. Citing designer jeans to justify the high-priced pixel goods only made CCP Zulu look stupid and disconnected from reality, but it's not as bad as avoiding critical questions the players had, mostly regarding the vague possibility of RMT for non-vanity items, the dreaded Pay2Win syndrome. The lack of respect and communication sent the mob into a frenzy, and that's when the trade hubs got blobbed by protesters. And to spill just a bit more fuel into an already raging fire, the message carried by Hilmar Petursson's internal mail that got leaked a few hours after the mayhem started fanned the flames to heights I've never even imagined possible for a video game. A. Fucking. VIDEO GAME !!!!!

So being the outsider and not able to participate directly in either a constructive solution or pointless demonstration I followed the events on Twitter (this was the first time I actually found Twitter useful), the EVE Radio special hosted by DJ Funky Bacon and the EVE-O forums where all hell was breaking loose; it's pretty much already loose when all is cool so this weekend was just over the top. At some point I was just happy I had pulled the plug before all this crazy shit started, and felt sorry for my friends who are still playing. And all of a sudden my Hate-Love relationship which caused my own retirement turned from 95%-5% to 99%-1%. Yeah, the chances of me getting back into EVE are very slim indeed. So my position in the various debates I was seeing was that of someone who had already made his peace; even though Tranquility will most probably be up forever and the CCP devs will die rich, to me EVE is dead, or if not dead then in a serious near-unrecoverable coma. I didn't encourage people to do like me and quit, but I didn't defend CCP's stupid PR skills either. Shit like this weekend's does not get my money. Period.

Of course on Sunday CCP Zulu promised a blog "with 100% more love" to the players. When I saw that I simply couldn't believe how thick-skulled vikings could be. I tweeted directly to him "How about a blog with 100% more answers?", not that I expected an answer. CCP, you guys need to hire PR people pronto. If you don't it will be just like with your wrecking ball expansions, you'll have learned nothing.

And to the rioting players, for the love of Frank Zappa, LIGHTEN THE FUCK UP !!! You guys get this angry about a pixel life in a pixel universe?! If you start hating EVE then do like me and unsub, and/or just don't log in. Want to play a game where the devs care? Play something smaller scaled. "But EVE is epic!" you say. EVE is what the players make of it, and this weekend it was anything BUT epic. Surprising yes, and as the videos showed spectacular to look at, but riots of any kind aren't epic. I should know, I'm a Montreal Canadiens fan!

Fly, or don't. You decide.


PS: The next time I will cover something about EVE Online will have to be something positive or I simply will not cover it. There are many other things in life that are better.

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