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My name is Hallan Turrek. This is my blog.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Taking Over An Alliance Is Broken

So, CCP, I know you're booked on your fantastic new content for the next two years, but I've got a few ideas on how to improve your current game. You know, so that people who spend half a decade creating that player based content you rave so much about aren't so easily kicked in the teeth by griefers.

So I'd like to start off by saying that I think turning a director should be an easy path towards destroying an alliance. It absolutely enriches the EVE experience for that to be possible. But even with that said, there should be a 24 hour timer on executor corp actions, which are cancelable if the CEO notices it in time. I think that strikes a good balance between the two extremes.

Beyond that, CREATE A FUCKING DIPLOMAT ROLE. Make a role for setting standings that doesn't require directorship. If you do nothing else do that. How much development time would be required for that? Seriously. Just fucking do it. Take a week and get it done.

But while those changes would've helped the CVA's, and BoB's of the world, it would've done nothing for UK. UK was taken over by a shareholder vote. So what's wrong with that? Legit game mechanics and UK being dumb led to their downfall, right?

Only the mechanic is unrealistic and dumb in and of itself. Lets take a real life example, since we're talking about corporations here. In almost every state, there is a legally required quorum of 51% before a shareholder vote can be considered carried. Even if you weren't required to do that legally, it seems very much like the kind of thing you'd write into your charter.

Only in EVE, that's not even an option. Anyone with any shares can start a vote(assuming they are in that corporation). A quorum of 1 vote is no real quorum at all. There should be a field that allows you to set a quorum or not, or 51% should be the standard. Anything else is unrealistic.

CCP: It is not complicated, it is common sense. Seriously.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ushra'Khan: Infiltrated and Destroyed

I'm sure most of you've noticed the latest news, but it's worth going over I think. My opinion hasn't changed since CVA was disbanded. If it is legitimate, which this one almost certainly is, then it sticks, and no one is going to dispute that.

But the point of contention I'm going to take issue with is the swath of people that seem to have some sort of inclination that UK deserved to die. Why is that? Sure, they screwed up, and they're paying for that mistake, but deserved it? That's just being petty. UK might've had some dicks, but so does every corp and alliance.

As for Hydra, for the longest time I heard rumblings about Hydra. Their stated targets were the only ones I was sure they weren't hitting. I had no idea they'd go this far, but it's an interesting strategy. It's also one that absolutely ensures that CVA will fail to take back Provi. It also indicates that Hydra is uninterested in keeping any Provi space for the long term.

Why would I say that? With UK gone, CVA is on the cusp of taking back provi, right? Not even close. Old Providence was a collection of holder alliances... not just CVA. UK alone could beat CVA in a fight(or at least be on even footing). It was the inclusion of Libertas Fidelitas, Paxton Federation, Aegis Militia, VVA, and Cold Steel Alliance(among others) that made Providence untakable by UK alone.

The only two of those Alliances still in serious operation are VVA and Cold Steel, and they've taken space elsewhere. CVA isn't completely alone, but it's been cut off from everyone it once counted on.

In another vein, the combined numbers of New Providence is on the order of 6000 people. Combined, it's a serious obstacle to anyone wanting to take space in Providence.

So what about Hydra?

They are not serious about taking space in Providence. They're in it for the fun of sov warfare. I think they'll find it's not fun at all, but I could be wrong. In the last month they've added about a thousand people to their alliance. This has been a lead up to an invasion, or so the common intelligence will say.

I say their UK trick has proven they don't have the heart for real sov warfare, and they took the easy way to having stations. They've screwed CVA in the public perception(more than they have already), and the manner in which they did it has mobilized forces against them that otherwise wouldn't've gotten involved in Providence.

Not to say they made a mistake. They wanted that. They want to fight outnumbered, get in their victories and move on later. This "invasion" is transitory. They'll get bored of it at some point, and find other shinies to play with. If CVA is counting on them in the long term, it's a serious mistake. But in the short term, in Hydra, you've got an alliance of people still smaller than Circle of Two(who've absorbed a large number of former UK corps) where maybe 2-5% are among the best PvPers in EVE. And the rest... well...

So what happens next? CVA loses all their systems, and UK space gets taken by Circle of Two, or whatever new Alliance pops up to replace UK.

In the long term that is.

In the short term? We may have a fight on our hands.

I'm going to post tomorrow about the shitty mechanics that made this possible, but for now, I'll leave it alone.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Your Call Is Very Important To Us, Please Stay On the Line.

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
Saul Bellow

Here's what I got in the mail for the latest blog banter:

This months topic comes to us from @evepress, who he asks(sic): The CSM: CCP's Meta Game? The CSM, an EVE players voice to CCP. Right? In the grand scheme of things yes, the players bring up issues and the CSM presents them to CCP. But in its current iteration the CSM was supposed to be given small authority to assign CCP assets to projects that the CSM thought needed work on. As it has come out, this was not the case. So fellow bloggers, is the CSM worth it, has the CSM improved the game in any way, or is it just a well thought out scam by CCP to give us players a false sense of input in the game? What's your take?

Say it with me guys: The CSM is a stakeholder in the development process. Convinced? Yeah... me neither. Apparently CCP's development process is a game of musical chairs, and the CSM was told told about the game after the music had stopped.

How many ways can someone say, "That's a great idea, but we're already booked up on great ideas,"? Take a look and you tell me.

I accept that developing new ideas is time consuming. I understand they aren't going to bend to every whim the CSM comes up with. That is not what is happening here. The CSM is coming up with very good ideas that've been championed by the playerbase. Some of it is invariably fluff. Some of it is goddamned important, and CCP can't tell the difference.

Let me say that I've nothing at all personal against the liaison mentioned in the meeting minutes. I imagine he's a nice guy and every thought in his head involves trying to do what's best for everyone. This is not sarcasm: I don't know him, so I won't impugn his motives. However, and this must be stated clearly: Someone on the CSM should be the liaison to CCP. Giving them a middleman can only muzzle them. It can only limit their ability to get things heard, and get things done. It's a built in limitation on their abilities.

Other departments in CCP almost certainly have department heads, and those guys handle the job that the liaison is handling for the CSM. That puts the CSM on uneven ground with the rest of the stakeholders in the development process.

Also, CCP: I don't give a shit that you're developing new and fantastic content. Fix the old stuff. Factional warfare, treaties, the bounty system, cosmos missions, and for god sakes the lag.

Incarna is not so important that we're going to forget about all the problems that are here now. We won't forget that 150 people managed to lag out a low sec system when you were warned with more than 24 hours that they'd be there. We won't forget that factional warfare is not fun at all. We won't forget that you need to fix the bounty system so it doesn't reward money to the guy that's been bountied. We won't forget the corp interface is as atrocious as it is. We won't forget that the POS interface makes the corp one look sophisticated. These are longstanding problems that you've ignored. Consistently. My issue is that they aren't problems that should be ignored. It's important.

If they just came up in the last few months, or the last year... alright fine. I could see you saying "well we're working on some new stuff, so let us finish that and we'll get back to the stuff you want fixed." But that isn't the case, these have been problems for multiple years, and you've consistently moved on to new content before fixing them. Please forgive us if your promise to return to it in 18-24 months leaves us wondering about your sincerity. Stop what you're doing and make a good faith effort to fix something. Anything. Be conscious of public perception instead of corporate culture for gods sake.

But hey, when you do introduce this new and fantastic content, assuming you want me to care: do it right. There were a number of very easily avoidable problems with the release of PI, and you didn't avoid them. You ran at top speed into them with a full tank of gas. Please learn your lessons and avoid the serious ones in the future. We won't thank you for not screwing up, but you'll hear from us when you do. If that's a problem, tough shit. Man up.

For gods sake try to pay attention to the winds of player opinion. We pay for the game because we want it improved.

Is anyone left wondering why I picked the title I did? The CSM has been told explicitly that the wants and needs of the playerbase are on hold for the next year and a half. Can you imagine how pissed off you'd be after being on hold for anywhere between year and a half to two years?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

No Hiding Place - Contract Review

And the sinners are gonna be running,
At the knowledge of their fate.
They'll run to the rocks and the mountains,
But their prayers will be too late.
They forgot about Jesus,
Not knowing the end was nigh.
At the end they'll try to find a hiding place,
When it comes their time to die.
Dorothy Love - And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place

Did you know that a disbanded alliances war decs stick to the executor corp? I didn't. But that's such a good thing. We had a contract against an alliance called "Galactic overseers of domination", and within an hour of dropping the dec, they'd shed 20% of their members. Within a day, they'd disbanded. So we hunted them in the first 24 hours, and then the next 24(those timers can be real bitches sometimes) after they dropped alliance.

This led to some kills, and a lot of smack:

Before the kill:
SKSBone > shoot me
SKSBone > if you got a pair
SKSBone > whats the matter
SKSBone > you worried we will kick your ass?

After the kill:
SKSBone > is that all you guys got is blob tactics
SKSBone > weak

There's a huge log of him trash talking, and I pulled out some of the kinder words. But the whole log went up on our forums, and we decided to make an example out of them. We found the executor corp's POS, and then found the wormhole SKSBone used. He had three fairly nice POS' set up. First we took out one of the wormhole POS, then we downed the one left in empire, then we caught them trying to take one down, and blew it up as well. After the first POS, we got a request or two to stop from the targets:

BL00DH0PPER > were sorry
BL00DH0PPER > this shit sucks

SKSBone > well what can i do to save my assets here?
SKSBone > can we pay isk?

Finally Alek relented, and asked the employer if them paying us more money to stop would be worth it to him. He got a yes, and we got paid to leave their last POS alone(but we were still contracted to kill them, just not the POS). We killed quite a lot of ships belonging to the original smack talker as he tried to evacuate his assets, but I'll part with this one. It's pretty funny.

I kinda hope someone pisses us off that much again, that was quite fun.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CCP, CSM, Details, and Openness

Ankhesentapemkah has been removed from the CSM. One may begin to wonder why, and yet, the details are pretty fuzzy.

I've no personal affection for the carebear bitch, but if people from CCP think they can just make this go away, they are incorrect. Removing people who disagree with you is a delicate business. You need to have real concrete reasons, and you need to be able to justify it to the people. It is NOT a personal issue when an elected official is removed because they're a representative of the people.

I don't want to jump to conclusions, but everything I've seen about CCP following the Iceland summit seems to indicate a bunch of pissed of people. I see mysterious ghost commenters leaving well thought out, well written, but very biased comments on blogs about the summit and never appearing again. I see in the blog posts that CCP was openly hostile to being held accountable to the playerbase. Or in the CSM exercising any power, whatsoever.

It's not to far of a leap to imagine someone in CCP has done some serious investigations to ensure that those who disagree with them will be removed. If the carebear bitch is the first one to go, others may follow.

Here's hoping CCP gets their heads out of their asses and actually disclose something worth knowing about this, so we can all stop being paranoid.