Monday, September 16, 2013

Poetic Closure?

Over the weekend prolific and occasionally controversial blogger, Poetic Stanziel announced he is quitting Eve. A major blow to the Eve-O, and specifically the blogging community. Whether you regularly agree with him or regularly disagree with him (I regularly do both, sometimes together) he has provided some great discussions. You can read his full post here but the TL;DR is he appears to give the reasons of the 'dumbing down' of Eve and the lack of decent expansions.

When I first read his post on Saturday my initial reaction was "Woah! Calm down there Po!". Now I've had some time to reflect on that.

ToS Rewording
TL;DR - Agree somewhat with Po.....

If you haven't been living under a rock you'll have heard that CCP changed their rules to say it is now bannable to claim you are someone else or falsely claim to represent someone or an organisation you do not. Now this "new" rule is both right and wrong. It is too ambiguous in its current form. Nobody really knows what is within the rules and what will get you banned. Here are some examples.

"Hi, I'm Rixx Jav1x/Sinde11 Pellion, I'd be happy to do that art commotion/song parody for you. Just transfer 500m ISK."
This shouldn't be allowed. This is scamming by creating a character with a name spelt slightly different to another character. It wouldn't happen in 'real life'. "Hey wife, why don't we have a kid and call it Chribbah. In 20 years and if he's capsule-compatible he could make a lot of money!". Yeah, bit silly.

"Hi, I'm Colin. I'm an associate of Rixx Javix and take care of payment for his commissions  Oh yeah, me and Rixx go way back."
This should be allowed. You could do this in real life.

"Hi, I'm so-and-so's cyno alt, can you accept me into corp as I need to awoxx a freighter.... I mean I need to light a cyno for my main!".
This shouldn't be allowed as technically it refers to OOG mechanics. You are saying you are an 'alt'. In real world terms there would be no way of doing this. If you walked into a bank and asked to withdraw money from someone else's account and claimed to be an alt of that person would it work?

"Hi, I'm Bob! I light cyno's for so-and-so."
This should be allowed. You might think its exactly the same as the one above but it is not. This is the same as walking into a building and claiming you're someone else and know someone in the building to get past security. If they are doing their job right, security would check. If not..... whoops. It's possible in a 'real' situation.

"Hi, I'm Norman and I am The Mittani's alt. I've got a prime spot in Fountain that you can rent. Fantastic deal."
This should not be allowed. You are claiming OOG to be someone else. 'Alts' don't exist in an in-game sense. There are no alts in New Eden, just other capsuleers.

"Hi, I'm Alan and I represent the CFC and I am best buddies with The Mittani. I've got a prime spot in Fountain you can rent. Fantastic deal."
This should be allowed. Standard scamming and could happen, and does, in real life. Think time-share scams!. But technically it is now breaking the ToS and naughty Alan could get banned for it. I think a ban would be wrong in this case.

Providing you are not claiming something that is OOG like using the term 'alt' or a name too similar to an existing person you should be able to scam away. Serious what is the difference between the above rental scam and many of the Jita scams. You would like to buy my Vindicator hull? Great, I'm out of contract slots so open a direct trade window. They you go (drops Megathron Navy Issue into window, its same hull shape and has an special icon saying its not T1 or T2. It looks a bit like a Vindicator). Just stick in the money and we're done. Thank you for your custom sucker.... I mean sir!

The other worrying thing is the application of these rules by the GM's. I know of situations back in the day where a fight has been ruined by lag. We petitioned our losses and some got their ships back, others got "The logs show nothing, NO!". This was from the same fight! If nobody really knows where CCP are drawing the line, what chance have the GM's got?

Lets get this clear, I do not scam. I don't like scamming. But do I think scamming should be banned? No!

Eve Online is a dark, nasty place in the far future. Scamming, ganking, trickery, deceit, all of that is part-and-parcel of our universe.

I agree with Po that it appears CCP IS boiling the frog here. Slowly we're dying a death of paper-cuts making Eve safer and safer. Survival of the fittest is no more. The CONCORD 'death laser beam' mentioned by CCP Soundwave at fanfest now has a very ominous feeling to it. Eve is a harsh world, are CCP trying to make it more pink and fluffy? Are the tears from the carebears and the stupid encouraging them to make Eve easy? What happened to "Eve is hard! Are you up for the challenge?"

Are the accountants and business managers influencing Eve development more than the people who know what makes Eve, Eve? Are the senior Dev's struggling to make their argument against the "If we make Eve more friendly to players, we'll get more subscriptions and make more money." argument of managers?

Eve should replicate real life, I've used this before, but it needs repeating:-

Mugger - "Give me your wallet."
Suit - "You cannot mug me. I'm in a posh part of the city. There is a police station over there!"
Mugger - "What? So? Just give me your wallet or I'll stab you!"
Suit - "This area is high-security. You're not allowed to!"
Suit - "Oh, I am going to petition you for that!"
*stab stab stab
Suit - "Man you are soooo going to get banned from life."
*bleeds to death

Funky Bacon made an excellent point about Star Wars Galaxies and what happens when you dumb a game down! I'm worried, Po is REALLY worried, are you?

CCP says it is situation normal and nothing has changed. They have simply clarified the wording.

Totally agree with Po here. Just under a year ago, I did a post on how the lack of a 'Jesus feature' will harm Eve. The last four expansions haven't really been expansions, they've been mostly fixing stuff. Tiericide isn't an expansion, its playing with a few numbers to balance the game which should have been the case in the first place. Yes we've got a few new ships, but not a lot. New graphics, sounds, menus, inventories and all the other bits have not really 'expanded' the game, they've just improved it.

I really cannot see that there can be same number of Dev's working on Eve Online these days as there was at the time of Apocrypha. Remember expansions like that one? Expansions that tempted those who had left, back to the game. Expansions that encouraged new players to try Eve. What in Odyssey had that potential? Nothing really massive. Admittedly it was the best out of the last three for that "Look at this new stuff" but there was nothing major to bring back bitter vets or encourage new players to try the game out.

I maintain my position that I had a year ago. Well done CCP, you've fixed a lot of the issues in-game and made some great 'little thing' improvements. BUT, if you don't get round to some big expansion features like we used to have, we're going to have a major problem.

So CCP, here are some ideas for the winter expansion:-

Anyone else remember the first time they saw a wormhole? Some comedian shouted over comms "DRACK! Don't get too close! You'll get sucked in!". Funny! But nothing since has given us that sense of the unknown. I still stand by my guestimate that I made clear at Fanfest, I think Jove space will be opened up for the end of 2013. But, will it have the same level of wonderment as Apocrypha.

Something New!
T3 ships, faction war, wormhole space, new ships with a new role (not existing ships with slightly different stats and a different paint job). These of the kind of things we want. The initial ideas of the POS revamp. You know, the "home in space" that you were talking about at Fanfest 2012? No recycling please.

Fixes, Balances and Little Things!
We still want these, but you cannot fill an 'expansion' with lots of these and still call it an expansion. We need them, no doubt, but you cannot wrap a group of these up and label it an expansion OK?

The Door.
Bloody well open it! (yeah I know this isn't going to happen, although may be it'll open on a countdown and lead to a short corridor with another locked door? CCP troll best troll!).

Come on CCP, lets up that game here!

P.S. On the ToS topic, I've seen lots of people against it, but yet to see someone suggest an alternative wording that works!

P.P.S. Don't go Po!!!!!


  1. I have to disagree with your alt cases. In my opinion, claiming to be someone's alt is no different than claiming to be their associate and it can be checked if proper security is done. You just have to ask the main. Scamming of this nature should be allowed.

    Personally I don't scam, but I do like it. I get a good laugh out of seeing some of the scams.

    1. More importantly CCP fully ENDORSES alt accounts, the fact that Power of 2 exists means it should be absolutely reasonable to play yourself off as an alt.

      When things like this happen you should ask on TS "Hey bilbo32, is ripjakc your alt?"
      "What? No."
      "Lol, nice try scammer/awoxer/spai!"

  2. If you believe this story on TMC, I think this is why they clarified the TOS.

    I think almost all of your cases above (except for the l33t spelling of names) are still okay under the TOS. Creating a fake page on Eveopedia, making it look like it was locked and maintained by an ISD member, and using that page to scam several people out of supercapitals...that's a bit too far.

  3. And holy mackerel...he even put a claim on the page that modifying it would result in a temporary ban...

  4. I really like Mynnas proposed wording for the TOS I think it hits most of the things you said in this post right on the head.

    Concerning the TMC article, I fail to understand how so many people in the comments don't see that there is a big red line between ingame and out of game.
    If your scam uses ingame mechanics and social engineering its ok. If you need to manipulate out of game resources its not.
    The same reason why "I'll camp you in station and blow you up every time you show up outside!" is ok and "I know where you live!" is not.

  5. Word on the street is the new expansion will not be another iteration. As the diplomat said - "It's gonna be ****ing awesome....", he didn't reveal anything - you know - NDA.

    And yesterday CCP did and announcement of an announcement :D we laughed so hard... CCP is strange bunch.

  6. This is a good read on the subject -