You can’t fire me I quit! [Drops mic]

Oh fresh, sweet air of freedom.

I resigned from all alliance leadership last night, in what was a tough decision but also turned out to be a huge relief for me. Frankly, I was a bit of a relic of previous times, increasingly at odds with the current direction of the alliance, so I’ll skip the e/n details (moderate betrayal, some scenes of backstabbing unsuitable for younger children) and just say that I hope to get to join (and even badly FC) more Bat Country roams again.

I debated not even posting about this – it is hardly huge news beyond corp chat since pretty much all I did in alliance leadership recently was to say “I think that’s a bad idea” and be tolerated in my dissent.

I’m not quitting the CSM (I got nominated by alliance leadership but elected by a huge range of people inside and outside of the Imperium) nor Eve and certainly not Bat Country.  I intend to stay committed and active and to keep interacting with the community.

I also don’t intend to get into a bunch of he said she said stuff about what went wrong.  I’m still a filthy, freeborn goon and have huge numbers of friends in the alliance.

Dammit, since I have your attention, here is some of the Stuff I Did. This post is about me so I get to do this introspective boasting shit, even if it is alien to every bone in my Scottish body.

  • Got Deklein for Goons. We were homeless, fucked, and about to reset the NC and move to Venal to die, shortly after being unable to get two squads in fleet in Syndicate and losing Cloud Ring to Ev0ke.
  • Served as Chief Diplo whenever VR was burned out, with important successes like the Curse deployment where we went from 15 man fleets to killing alliances: our first post-Delve success and a huge gamble at the time
  • Took over the GIA when it had literally zero agents left and used it to win several whole wars (White Noise/NCdot in particular, Fountain vs Test to a large extent), and ran it for four years
  • Made Bat Country, a tiny corp which at one point had more supers than all but three *alliances* in the CFC, which has created and ran the Ministry of Love, rebuilt the GIA (three directors), has repeatedly came top for participation in wars above every corp in the Imperium (including the last war) and which I believe has the best posters in Eve.
  • Very unpopular this one: nearly stopped the Goons vs Test conflict. These days, Goons hate Test, and Test hates Goons in general and me in particular, but I came within an ace of peace in our time on this one, to be stymied by the staggering misjudgement of some guy called Viktor Villiance or something. Talk about might-have-beens.
  • Cut the resulting war far shorter by running it for the first week while Mittens was away, and stopping the then-Skymarshal (this was before Blawrf) pulling back to a single system in Fountain, which we would have lost at once, and instead using the indefensible outlying systems to buy time using our spy access to hostile command channels (both N3 and Test).
  • Launched the mittani dot com and spent six hours a day for months on end editing awful, unreadable articles into content that won the news wars in Eve, all for free because my friend needed a hand (and I am a sucker)
  • Created European Goonion and put it under the care of a week-old newbie called Dominionix who I thought had what it took. I was told I was stupid.  He’s still there and EG has decided wars
  • I have played the game hard but fair, and have friends across just about every group in Eve.

And so on.

Stuff I came up with that proved influential but which I kinda regret:

  • Participation. I put tables of kills-based corp performance as a fun  competition thing in war updates for the eight or nine tight-knit corps then in the alliance, but then came up with the paplinks idea based on stuff Mynas had done in Mostly Harmless in the old NC. In my defence, I argued against actually doing it, on cultural grounds. It’s a brilliant tool but I think on it not without some regrets.
  • Plex for [whatever] It seems natural now but when we were having difficulty getting FCs, logisticians etc (the best part of five years ago) I suggested that in Bat Country we paid corp FCs a plex for every four fleets per month they advertised that anyone in corp could join. Now everyone in the Imperium gets paid for everything. I never accepted payment though, because I was a weirdo amateur that did stuff out of love of my fellow-goon. Awwww.

Sovereignty should cost more for unused space

Sparked by a discussion with u/HendrinkCollie on Reddit, it occurred to me that the bills for holding sovereignty for systems that are used lightly or not at all should scale rapidly upwards.

So instead of the old system of a flat fee for an iHub, for cyno jammers etc, the cost for each would rise rapidly as an inverse of the system activity indices, making holding sov that one doesn’t use much more expensive. This could only be partially mitigated by the roaming ratting fleets that we see.  In some cases (EC-, HED etc) such underused systems would still be worthwhile for strategic reasons.  In others, far less so.

I don’t suggest this as a replacement for any existing feature, just an additional feature to further open up unused systems to the sort of small stakeholders that we see in places like Cloud Ring. What do people think?

Capital Systems Jump Fatigue and the Fcon goodpost false alert

For much of this evening I was mulling a lengthy and over-complicated post chock-full of mathematics and graphs and symbols explaining how jump fatigue should change and why the square of the hypotenuse of jump distance should equal the log base e of the distance from the starting point.

I had high hopes I could get this baby to twelve thousand words pages and finally give that wordy blowhard James 315 a run for his money. I was fresh from a double triumph on Gevlon’s blog: first slipping a lengthy quotation from Mein Kampf into a comment with the word “Goons” substituted for “The German race”, then getting him to refuse to publish a comment, which meant he couldn’t think of an answer. I knew no boundaries. I had just got my first reddit gold and I was king of the internet.

Then Aryth suggested I read this comment on the eve-o forums:

“Move-Mode for Capitals for move ops (e.g. Transforming into move mode (24 hour process) reduces combat capacity to near 0) ”

I won’t lie to you: I was rocked. Dumbfounded. This was a member of FCon – generally acknowledged to be the worst posters not to need four legs for locomotion – who was in a corporation named after condoms and was posting on a forum whose apparent goal I had always believed to be to check how long it would take infinite poop sprayed at a virtual wall to spell out the complete works of Shakespeare.  But it was genius.  The more I thought about it the better it seemed. I won’t lie to you*: the next thing I did was to check whether the following post started “to be or not to be…”

Fortunately, I quickly worked out that we could stand down the Goonswarm drill for “The Rapture is probably coming and Jesus will most likely arrive any minute now.”  This was simple a case of the Fcon poster not knowing how quoting works on a forum.  The idea belonged to Larrikin.  He is a CCP dev so him having a good idea, while not exactly in line with the general expectation, is at least not an outright sign of the end times.

Imagine that your capital system, and only your capital system, cleared your jump fatigue when you jumped into it.  It wouldn’t help you project power above the couple or three regions CCP said was their target in this week’s roundtable.  But it would let you defend your own space well.  It would let you use that blops to drop on people without worrying that you would miss that night’s capital fleet.

It’s a bonus to sov nullsec and a reason for holding it, which has been a consistent complaint. I imagine that even PL would find themselves gradually moving more and more ships into citadels and stations in a capital somewhere with a wide jump range that hit a couple of bad-player-soloing-nyxes pinch points, and we all know what the inevitable result of that would b, sooner or later: maybe Progodlegend could offer to manage their sov payments for them.

A beleaguered alliance, under attack from all sides, could jump around over a space of hours as nodes came out.

It’s not going to fix everything: doubtless ranges and fatigue caps and more will be on the table.  My own advice has consistently been that if you have a thirty day subscription cycle and a thirty day cap if you mess up your jumps, then people are quickly going to work out the value of not paying you money for long periods.  But it is a brilliant idea that addresses swathes of the game.

To avoid gaming of the system, you would want to make firm rules for the delay between capital moves and the time it takes them to come into effect, but that is the complicated stuff that I pay subs to people like Larrikin to go bald worrying about.  At this rate, we may make an exception and let him and his family put on their hats with eir best corks hanging from them, polish up their alligator-tooth belts, and return to the mother country for a visit: let the whole sheep-stealing episode be bygones, that’s what I say.

*This was, in fact, a lie.  I did not read the next post.  I’m a glutton for punishment but I don’t actively self-harm.

P.S. I wish to say a hearty apology to members of Corps Diplo who will now have to deal with the fallout of me being rude about Fcon members’ ability to post through the medium of interpretative pooping.

People of Reddit, you are being lied to…

As the patron saint of unpopular causes, my subject today is “why I am super-angry about last night’s round-table”. And not for the reasons you might think.

Like Sion, I was a little dubious about the whole event, beforehand: I was worried that, faced with the CSM’s critiques of certain areas, elements of CCP were keen to bodyswerve that and go straight to players. As someone who is on the receiving-end of a huge amount of player feedback, I thought that was fraught with potential problems, and so it proved.

In any case, I arrived home from work near the end of the session, so I sat around and talked to the players who had atttended for a bit over an hour afterwards: a really interesting group mainly from PL, NCdot, Black Legion and Goons (yes, that should ring alarm bells). Then, because I support the Scottish football team and am therefore used to suffering, I listened to the entire two hour session. Twice. If you want to know what that was like, then imagine a giant boot with “USERS IN YOUR CHANNEL IS RECORDING” written on the sole stamping on a human face, forever.

Let me deal with the first thing first. Someone malicious or stupid claimed that Fozzie said “You can have sov or you can have fun”. One of my fellow Goons, notorious shitposter Kcolor, promptly posted this to Reddit in search of easy upvotes. This naturally caused an uproar and whoever sells pitchforks and torches at the base of Castle CCP made an absolute killing. And quite right, too: how much disdain this shows for the playerbase! Something must be done! Who will pay for this outrage?!?

Except that this never happened. My hunt for this shocking expression of disdain led me to listen to the whole two hours for a second time. Not only does Fozzie not say this, but he doesn’t say anything that sounds a bit like it. Not once.

Larrikin – and what whitebread, redneck, small-town cracker can’t tell Australian from American? – does say that people, when choosing where to live in sov null, should think carefully about how much conflict they want before choosing where to live. And he is right: you cannot choose to live in Tenal or Omist, to take the most extreme examples, and then complain that all you get to do is rat. Nor can you move to HED- and then complain people are always shooting at you. But such reasonable and thoughtful statements don’t matter when someone spots the chance to grab some upvotes, so people lied to reddit and a lot of people got very angry about a bunch of devs who were, completely unpaid, choosing to engage with the community.

One other thing: we in the CSM messed up here, not the devs who gave their time to talk to the players, and not the players who came with unrealistic expectations. Us.

We didn’t make it clear enough that this was a session for CCP to listen to the players, and not to make announcements or judge peoples’ game design ideas. We left the devs to have to keep saying that they couldn’t announce how they intended to fix one thing or another, when frankly we should have stepped in and done that instead of leaving them high and dry like that. And on occasion one CSM member seemed to be acting as lawyer for the prosecution, demanding answers of people in the most aggressive terms. You can hear, a couple of times, the intense frustration in the CCP employees’ voices and they were more restrained than I would have been in their responses. But then again, I am Scottish. We covered that bit already.

There were things that I disagreed with, or that I thought were needlessly optimistic and so on, and I intend to blog about that in the next day or two as well, but whoever is to blame for how that panel went, it wasn’t CCP. And the people who told you lies about what happened owe you an apology.