Friday, October 28, 2011
Russian Roulette - CCP vs. Goonswarm
But, highsec players are surprisingly vocal when it comes to complaining about any disruption to their style of play. This year, CCP has begun to take notice. Perhaps the need to retain players and attract new ones has decided this change of direction, this move from the HTFU attitude of old.
The HTFU years, the heydey of CCP, are long over. The hardcore Hilmar the Viking, fan of everything devious and diabolical about EVE Online, has been replaced with Hilmar the businessman, willing to forgo the old harsh reality for a kinder, gentler EVE, now that the financial demands on the company are so much greater. The new model? That of consensual PvP for the highsec player. Already there have been changes in that direction, and concerns expressed by Hilmar the Businessman about other aspects of nonconsenual PvP in carebear territory.
Flying in Space (FiS) development may be back. And everyone is happy and excited and optimistic. And that's all good. I'm happy and excited for new FiS development as well. But there's this undercurrent of urgency on the part of CCP, that player retention is tied to highsec and changes need to be made. Radical changes. And without them, CCP will continue to bleed subscriptions. They seem ready to do something rash, when perhaps there's nothing at all that needs to be done.
Thus The Mittani (CSM Chairman) and his Goonswarm enter the picture.
There seems to be a game of Russian Roulette being played. The only two people at the table are Hilmar and The Mittani. Each seem to be pushing towards something from which the other can't back down. Hilmar is playing more subtle hands here, tossing out hints and innuendo. The Mittani is running up and down the halls, arms flailing wildly, daring, screaming at CCP to do something not to Goonswarm's (or the Sandbox's) benefit. What is at stake seems to be high security space and how it will interact with the Sandbox. Will highsec continue to be a member of the Sandbox, or will it be removed from the combat, ship-to-ship, aspect of the player-driven content model?
Already, the war declaration system has been gutted. Recent policy changes make it a very simple process for any corporation to avoid any war declaration called against them, either through alliance hopping or setting up low cost corporate decshields to protect alliances (low cost decshield, high cost wardec.) This new change of policy apparently passed through the CSM with nary a word of dissent. Even if the CSM chairman could give a rat's ass about high security space, he has always expressed the opinion that the sandbox should not be fucked with. Yet, this policy change removes all corporations (but especially highsec corporations) from a major component of non-consensual PvP, one of the cornerstones of the sandbox philosophy.
So what gives? The CSM either cares deeply for the sandbox, or it doesn't.
So what does The Mittani do? He wages highsec piracy (ganking) upon Gallente ice miners. Now, I'm all for this. It is what EVE is about, after all. But what about the timing? With CCP already giving concessions to the screaming carebears, does making them scream ever louder help the situation? Hilmar has already suggested that CONCORD needs buffing to curb ganking. No word yet on whether this is something CCP is currently working on, but Arnar Hrafn Gylfason (Senior Producer for EVE Online) readily agreed with Hilmar. Two top CCP dudes agreeing that ganking needs to be curbed. Take from that what you will. If it happens it will be the final nail in the coffin and non-consenual PvP in highsec will be officially dead.
The Mittani, whatever agenda he might have with his Gallente Ice Interdiction (and the agenda certainly isn't financial -- Goons were fucking rich before the interdiction and they'll be fucking rich after the interdiction), it's certainly working to change the sandbox, maybe even removing one entire section of space from having to participate in an important aspect of it (i.e., combat.)
I'm beginning to think that The Mittani's agenda is scorched earth. That he decided sometime in August that he was leaving EVE Online after his CSM term was complete, but that before he left, he was going to leave EVE in such a state, that he would feel absolutely no compulsion to return. The agenda is to force CCP into fucking with the sandbox, change the face of EVE for good. He'll leave the game come early 2012, and a good portion of the Drone Clusterfuck Federation will follow. And there'll be no desire for any of them to return to the game they all just fucked up, left in a shambles.
How much more meta do you get than that? You don't scam some corporation out of 50 billion ISK, you actually scam the game developer into fucking destroying their own creation.
It's a thought and a possibility, at any rate. He certainly seems hellbent on forcing CCP into some highsec changes that aren't going to bode well for the game overall.
Or The Mittani is a bull in a china shop and is actually as unsubtle as he appears to be, and has no idea what he's doing or the consequences for the game his actions might have.
Do people honestly believe that CCP is not seriously considering/or actually in the process of de-PvPing highsec? Consensualizing it?