That made both of my eyebrows spring upwards in curiosity. So I opened up the dev blog page in the EVE Online community site, and found a wonderful write-up on my corp by CCP Eterne, Community Representative and Live Events Author for EVE Online.
Go ahead and give it a read, if you haven't seen it yet: http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/community-spotlight-eve-university
It's very nice to be recognized for good work, and also a bit humbling. Thanks, CCP Games, for the recognition of the UNI's contribution to the community. We do appreciate it very much.
More is Better
Probably not coincidentally, CCP Eterne is also leading a series of new pilot training sessions, and the EVE University leadership has been talking with him about ways we could support this initiative. Now that he's run a few training seminars, I'm sure he realizes the amount of work required to do them well - something that we in the UNI have known for a long time. It's a lot harder than it looks.
When CCP Eterne first announced that they were going to offer public training sessions, I received a few messages and tweets from players, asking what the UNI was going to do about it. Apparently, some people thought that the CCP seminars represented some kind of mortal threat to the survival of the UNI.
My reaction - and that of all the UNI management - was the exact opposite. We can't have enough classes and events to educate EVE Online players, and we really don't care who does them, as long as they are being done, and done well. In fact, we were very pleased to see CCP's initiative. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", as Charles Calem Colton once said - and that is certainly the case here.
We're very sincere in supporting CCP's efforts to host more training events. We've offered instructors, replacement ships, fleet commanders, and squads of pilots to spar with. We've offered use of our public Mumble channel, like we provide for the CSM Town Hall meetings, and other UNI resources, if needed. We've not yet arrived at any firm plans, but I'm confident that we'll be involved somehow.
Teacher's Pet? Hardly.
At last year's Fanfest event, a couple EVE Online players asked me why CCP Games gives EVE University "special privileges". I almost did a spit-take on my beer.
"Ha! What special privileges are you talking about?," I inquired, amused.
"Doesn't CCP send all the new players your way?," one fellow asked. "Yeah, and didn't they fix the wardec system to protect the UNI, so no one can afford to attack you?," another asked.
"No, sorry, we don't get any help from CCP," I replied, while doing a quick mental count of the many wars since the Inferno expansion changes.
"Oh, yeah, sure," they said, with knowing smiles. One of them gave me a playful little nudge and a wink. "I understand - can't say anything official in public. We get it."
I hear this sort of thing from time to time. I don't know why, but there
are some EVE players who think that the UNI enjoys favoritism from CCP. And no amount of denial will deter them from their belief.
In fact, CCP seems to goes out of their way to avoid doing anything that might even appear like favored status for the UNI. Make no mistake, they like our corp. One CCP dev told me at Fanfest that their statistics show that if a new player joins the UNI, they are far more likely to continue subscribing, compared to other corps. The UNI is good for CCP's business. But that's as far as it goes.
And that's why the community spotlight from CCP Eterne was unexpected, and so much appreciated. It's nice to be recognized for good work, every once in a while.
We do it for love
Last week, a former corpmate asked me why I returned to the UNI to once again take on the burden of director duties. To be honest, I simply missed helping people, and the UNI provides an opportunity to do that. When I really think about it, that's where I have found the most satisfaction out of "playing" the game: giving those new members of our community a helpful hand.
I know that probably sounds like carebear gibberish to those players who see New Eden only as a place to assert their power and dominance in a cutthroat and hostile environment. And I agree - it certainly is that kind of universe, and I wouldn't have it any other way. But the harshness and difficulty of EVE Online just makes having a group dedicated to nurturing the interests of new players all the more special.
Those who make the UNI what it is - the staff and teachers and mentors - do it out of love for the game. And because they want to help others love it, too.
If you want to be part of that, as a teacher or as just a guest lecturer or fleet commander, let me know. I guarantee you will like it.
Fly safe! o7