Whiners and Winners

When my younger daughter was in kindergarten, her teacher organized the students into pairs, and handed out a simple jigsaw puzzle to each team. She told them to assemble the puzzle as fast as they could, and announced there would be a prize for the quickest team. As the contest began, my daughter's teammate buckled under the pressure, and started weeping.

"Stop crying and get busy!", my 5-year-old daughter admonished her teammate, exasperated. Her teammate complained that she was mean, and cried harder. They didn't win the prize.

When I picked her up from school that afternoon, her teacher took me aside and told me what happened. We had a chuckle about it. On the way home, I asked my daughter about the contest, and why she was so hard on her teammate.

"He's just a big whiner," she said, disgusted. "I wanted to be a winner."

I told her she was, just for trying hard by herself. She smiled.

My daughter learned an important lesson that day: there are two kinds of people in the world - whiners and winners. 

So it is in EVE Online, as well.

How unappreciative are we, really?

One thing that I have always loved about EVE Online is that it never stands still. CCP Games constantly invests in improving and expanding it, revising mechanics and adding new functionality. Sometimes this works out great, and sometimes less so, but no one can say that CCP's dedicated developers don't care and aren't trying to make New Eden a cool place to be.

Clearly, they do care - a lot - and they are trying - hard - to make EVE Online the best space game possible. One only has to do a quick review of all they've accomplished over the last year to see how many improvements they have made to the game. My friend and fellow blogger, Noizy, did an excellent job summarizing all the dev blogs that CCP has published about the twelve updates since last summer. Go ahead and take a moment to read through the list - it's amazing.

Back now? Good. I'm sure you are just as impressed as I was, seeing all the progress that CCP has made in so short a period. There have been so many updates, it's no surprise that we in the EVE Online gaming community have not been able to give a fair share of attention to them. They've all gotten a bit lost in the constant stream of fixes and content additions that CCP has been sending our way. This is one of the reasons why CCP Seagull announced that they are going back, at least to some degree, to releasing major expansions, in addition to the shorter cycle updates.

This is good news for we in the EVE Online player community, as it means we will have some very impressive releases that we can all get excited about. Those who remember the days of huge twice-a-year releases will recall fondly how much fun it was to ride the EVE Online hype machine. Now we get to ride it again, at least every once in a while. I'm looking forward to it.

But make no mistake, this change is also a necessary response, at least somewhat, to how obtuse and nescient - I would even say insensitive - that many of us in the player community have become to how much and how persistently CCP's devs pour their heart and soul into our game. We have become so spoiled that we no longer recognize the incredible value we are getting out of the more rapid release cycle from CCP Games, and so, they have to change the cycle in order to bang the drum more loudly, at least a couple times a year, to get our attention. It's kind of sad, really, and I feel a little guilty about it.

Ridiculous Tears

Since the release of the Entosis Link and Aegis sovereignty (a.k.a., FozzieSov), criticism and complaints from some quarters of the null-sec player base have been a persistent drone in the background, punctuated by occasional blasts of intense debate. Is the new sov system working, or not? Do people like it, or not? Can it be made better, or not?

I have to give a lot of credit to the CCP dev team, especially CCP Fozzie, for their dedication, as they continue to listen intently to the players and the CSM. They could have easily claimed victory after the release of the new sov system. As I said in a prior post on this blog

The old Dominion-style sov system, which relied on long, boring burn-downs of structures with astronomical amounts of hit points, has been replaced with exactly what null-sec players have demanded for years - a system that:
- Eliminates structure grinds
- Makes topography more important
- Provides more tactical options
- Makes territory more defensible
- Drives more frequent and smaller-scale combat
- Encourages development of conquered systems
- Supports a higher density of players in a system
It's a brilliant design, and CCP Fozzie and all the devs who have been working on it should rightfully claim victory, and receive copious kudos and praise from all denizens of 0.0 space.

However, despite the fact that it does nearly everything that everyone in 0.0 has asked for, it turns out that the Entosis Link capture system is not playing out as well as hoped - for instance, it lacks the "excitement" of seeing your enemies' structures slowly burn down to nothing, which apparently some players secretly liked about the old Dominion sov system, although they once complained about how boring and awful those grinds were. Even so, to their great credit, the CCP devs have accepted these complaints, and they continue to gather player feedback and work on their design to improve upon it.

Evidence of this extraordinary level of dev responsiveness can be found in a profound change to how the new structures will be captured, once that new game mechanic is released, as explained in a dev blog by CCP's Team Game of Drones - the first line of which is: "ENTOSIS LINKS ARE NOT GOING TO WORK ON NEW STRUCTURES".

And yet, despite all evidence to the contrary, there are still some players who insist that the CCP developers are turning a deaf ear to their complaints. They continue to complain on reddit and the EVE Online forums, saying that CCP does not care about "fixing" the new sov system.

The CCP developer team has been impressively restrained in their response to this annoying and unproductive whining. I applaud CCP Ytterbium's pithy response to one such post, which I happily share here:

Bravo, CCP Ytterbium, and well said.

Please Just Go

I want to cite a brilliant post by Rixx Javix on his blog. It's a great read about the kind of negative attitude that some EVE Online players embrace, and what they should do if they refuse to change. To summarize, Rixx says to the chronic negativists, "It would be better for all of us, if you just got out of the way."

I could not agree more. It's fine to complain about issues in EVE Online - heck, I do it all the time in this blog - but to do so without offering any potential solutions or ideas is simply lazy and unproductive. If you don't like it that much, and you aren't willing to contribute to a better potential alternative, then just go, please. Leave the rest of us in peace, so we can get back to work and build something great.

Are you going to stop crying and get busy, or are you just going to sit there and whine?

There are two kinds of people in EVE Online: whiners and winners. Which one are you?

Fly safe! o7