I’m going to do something rather unfashionable – not to say unpopular – today: I’m going to defend CCP Zulu’s infamous devblog. As a reminder, the text was as follows:
Intrepid pilots of New Eden!
Over the past days and weeks, CCP has been doing extensive and intense introspection and revitalization. The result of this is a refocusing and reprioritization on a scale unheard of within our company.
These are indeed defining times.
Torfi’s most recent dev blog provides some indication of what’s to come. We have decided, to focus our collective efforts on the areas you have asked us to focus on.
We will reveal more over the coming weeks. As certain details are prone to change, we want to make sure we have absolutely concrete information to give you. You’ve often told us that we promise too much and deliver too little, and this time we want to be certain that doesn’t happen. We are listening to you, we have heard you, and plans are already in motion.
Watch this space.
My first reaction was that this was classic Sir Humphrey Appleby from Yes, Minister. What he was saying was that, having considered the issues, CCP were amenable to the idea of appointing a sub-committee to look into the possibility of nominating a working party with the task of suggesting potential terms of reference to the committee itself within which a taskforce could operate with the ultimate goal of, at some future point, writing another devblog. Erm… Continue reading CCP bad at PR you say? Surely not!→
CCP twitter accounts have been ablaze this week with hints of upcoming news and reasons for excitement in the world of Eve Online. CCP Fallout started things off with “OH MY GOD I HAVE THE BIGGEST SEEKRIT EVER AND THIS TIME I WON’T TELL!” a few days ago. CCP Guard, yesterday, said “This is going to be an exciting week” Today, no less than CCP Zulu – Producer Arnar Hrafn – tweeted “What a day for spaceships”.
These comments, together with other developer teases, sparked off intense speculation on blogs like that of RipardTeg; on twitter amongst even CSM members like Seleene and The Mittani; on Kugutsumen; on Goon jabber (in several channels that I was in). As Goonfleet Intelligence Agency director I saw the same thing happen in other alliances. A successful piece of viral marketing, then? Continue reading Guys Guys It’s a Wolf!→
There are a lot of dull and dreary little corporations in Eve. And, strictly speaking, each of those has a story arc. That story tends to go like this: someone decides that he wants to run a corporation, with no goal beyond the office, the title, the importance and perhaps the riches. Babes would be nice but one even self-important oafs are not total fantasists. He trains the skills; he forms the corporation; he invites some people from the godawful linguistic desert which is newbie corp chat; he advertises for a few more members and buttonholes people that he notices running level 4 missions in empire who are in NPC corps; he collects tax at 10%; they get wardecced and lose some ships; they join a nullsec renter corp; they jump alliances when their ratting space is taken by an invading space and they can no longer rat; he stops logging in as much; they atrophy and die; they sit there with 17 unsubscribed and unbooted members until the servers go dark. Continue reading What Makes a Great Corporation: The Big Story→
“Oh dear,” I hear you say. “Yesterday was about hard, eve-online basics like Fleet Commanders and this time you’re going to waffle on about touchy-feely social-worker nonsense with no relevance to Eve.” Fear not, gentle reader! This one is going to be more practical even than “find a willing FC“.
If you are looking at leading a corporation in Eve, then you have to know what your real job is. Just as the job of FCs is really entertainment, so the job of corporation leadership is actually less Mussolini and more maitre’d. Every month or two you’ll get to make a “big decision” about where to deploy to; which alliance to join; which faction in that horrible alliances’ interminable backstabbing and infighting to back; who to blame for its fiery and embitttered collapse. Stuff like that. But your day job is less glorious.
You need to take fifty or a hundred people who have never met and turn them into a community so sticky that they care not one jot about the loss of their ships, their assets or even their space in comparison to the continuation of their group of friends. This means being Solomon in a hundred petty disputes, yes, and in that bit you are on your own. But there are solid, practical things you can do.
In my role of consigliere to The Mittani, CEO of Goonswarm, one of the roles I have is advising him on how healthy and active corporations within the Alliance are. This enables him to cull the weak, headshot the unworthy and reward the faithful and doctrinally pure.
As a result of spending about a year and a half sorting the wheat from the chaff, corp-wise, in one of the most successful alliances in the game, I have learned to spot patterns in what makes corporations healthy and what kills them. Contrary to what you might think, being on the winning side is barely relevant. Good, well-run corporations will thrive, even in times of adversity for the alliance, while peace and prosperity will kill weak corporations even more surely – though less dramatically – than war. Continue reading What Makes a Great Corporation: Fleet Commanders→
What is there to say about Delve I? We were within days of victory. The Band of Brothers lay shattered, inactive, supine. And we failed.
At the tail end of the Southern campaign, we had attempted to take Period Basis on the bounce. That had failed, and we realised that there would be no soft underbelly, no Thessalonika or Dardanelles. Delve and Querious would have to be taken. The (then) logistically weaker northern allies would take Querious, while Goons and Red Alliance pushed into Delve.
The South was the key theatre in the Great War, but as Band of Brothers concentrated more and more on that theatre, and as their facade of invincibility crumbled, other power-blocs began to feel that they could settle old scores. This post will be a short diversion from the southern theatre. Although my main character is in Goonswarm, I fought on both these fronts, one as part of an expeditionary force, the other on a spy alt on a different side.
This episode is a little longer than the others so far. But there is a lot of ground to cover.
We are now a year into this story. Goonswarm stands at bay, morale cracking and leaders left, our fall eagerly awaited by a host of enemies.
In Indonesia, a Frenchman called Kugutsumen had once infiltrated Goonswarm’s IT infrastructure, at the request of their enemies. Not the sharpest tools in the shed, those enemies had then refused to pay him his fee. Further, his time spent reading the Goon forums had impressed him with how much fun they seemed to have had during their time in Eve, compared to those he had dealt with. This was the first of two Goon Cultural Victories that would shape Eve.
If, like me, you read virtual worlds sites like Terra Nova, you soon come across the idea of “player-created content.” Some games let you make horrible little missions for your friends. Some let you sell prosthetic penises to men pretending to be women so they can Goonfleet corporation was very young, and most of its pilots had been members for only a few weeks or months, they came to the attention of the greatest power in Eve: Band of Brothers. Sensing an easy target, they manufactured a crusade against Goonfleet, harassing and griefing their newbies for weeks, preventing them even undocking and turning the greatest powers in the game against them. After doing so, they declared that “There are no Goons. Goodbye.” They stated that Goons would “never be allowed to build up again in 0.0”
And so the Goonswarm alliance was crushed forever, Eve cleansed, and the Band of Brothers’ position in Eve secured.