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.