Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CCP Fleets and other fails . . . post mortem

     This is an old draft I had started and failed to finish or post before "life" went and happened.  I think the points are still relevant though, for the most part, and I find it interesting that there have been no more dev events.

     Well, another fleet came and went a couple weeks ago.  I wasn't around for it, but maybe next time.  PL managed to show up again, but this time, some more null alliances showed up as well.  For those in the epeen crowd that think the CCP fleets are awesome, good for them, but I imagine all the blood flow rushing from their brain to their epeen has diminished their already short sighted ability to reason.  For many of these epeen expert players, despite their inference that they know so much about the game, their scope of vision is remarkably small.

     I see lots of  "experts" on the fora and blogs simply claim that all you have to do is fleet up and go fight the CCP fleet.  Yeah, well, that's fine coming from players in null that have a huge background in fleet work and can form up a fleet with a few dozen ships in no time flat, but fleets in high sec aren't common, and certainly not pvp fleets.  That's also fine to claim from a pirate point of view where all you do is run around looking to shoot people, so forming up a corp/alliance fleet of the same is common practice.  Incursion fleets aren't hard to get into or form up, but those aren't pvp and no one is going to bail from an Incursion fleet and go take their shiney to get blobbed.  Mining fleets can sometimes be formed or joined in organized corps or alliances, but again, not pvp.  Point of fact, few of the ~80% of the Eve populace, which are high sec, are going to eve be able to get into a PVP fleet to go "play" with CCP.  Of the few that can, all they have to do is make it through the gate camps on the way to the system, and then make it through all the macro-funded null sec alliances that blob the fight.  Then, they can get blown up by the CCP shinies, which is fine (because that's why they went there in the first place - to fight the devs) but actually firing off a shot at CCP is a low percentage opportunity. Sure, there are a few players who managed to snake and scoot around and get a little loot, but the number of players who fought in the battle is small, and the people who got lot, even smaller.  Of course, the big null alliances that showed up didn't really give a shit about the loot, and why should they?  The loot value is small potatoes compared to moon goo, and macroing rats and asteroids for trillions a month.  Even the one clown who pointed out the "billlions" it cost for their "poor" fleet to cyno across null to fight CCP is a perfect example of how clued out some of the ~10% of the player based (that are the null sec players) are.  So, with all the isk faucets in null, how long does it take to make up a couple billion isk?  A day, maybe?  Less with a couple good rat bots?  How many high sec corps could afford a few billion for cynos if they needed them?  Very few.

     So, it's like a casino.  The percentage of the populace that gambles is small because people understand that the chances of them winning anything is small.  A portion of them will be gambling for the fun of it, for the experience, but the vast majority of the populace doesn't do that either.  There are a million other ways to have fun that doesn't involve throwing money into a slot or onto a table in a system that is mathematically stacked against them.  The CCP fleets are the same.  Forgetting about the loot, even the "fun" of shooting at the devs is improbable based on the response of a small minority of the players.  Of the total number of players available to attend the little event, what percentage of the online players showed up?  A fail percentage, that's what.  I've been in a lot of multi-player games, and when there were dev events, the devs made sure that maximum participation was possible.  If the event could suffer attendance issues due to game mechanics like transportation, they made sure there were multiple events, in multiple locations.  In theory, any Eve player can fleet up and supposedly go fight against, or in defence of, the CCP fleet.  The reality is pretty much completely the opposite.  What's the point of the CCP fleets then?  Is it a "game event"?  Was there a notification in-game?  Whatever it is, right now, part of the mission is to apparently cater to far less than 20% of the player population.  Whether CCP has some great "master plan", or whether they're just clued-out, their fleets are a fail at anything other than the devs going out and blowing up some ships.

     Another fail is CCP ganking the players who joined their fleet at the invite of the devs.  As mentioned above, you have a number of players who have a slim-to-none chance of fleeting up, so some of them answered the dev call to join them in a defense fleet.  Cleverly though, the devs decided to turn the tables on the players, and blew them up anyway.  That's funny on the face of it, especially coming from game developers, but then once the bell rings, recess is over.  Fairly short sighted thinking on the part of a business to do shit like that to paying customers, which again, begs the question, what was the point of the fleet?  So how many of those players, whose main chance of participating in the event was to fleet up with CCP itself, are going to go back to a CCP fleet event?  Fail.

     Another fail is the no insurance bit on getting Concorded.  Being still fairly new to Eve, I still can't imagine that CCP thought that this would have a big effect on high sec ganks, especially since they powered up destroyers and hybrid guns.  A pretty cheap but very powerful gankboat can be made for likely under 5 million, so a 5 million loss is a pretty paltry thing.  A little low sec ratting or even running a single level 4 will sort that right out.  Add to that the fact that l'il Mittens, our very own player representative to CCP, is paying platinum level replacement insurance to gankers of ice barges, as well as for the upcoming Hulkageddon V, and that whole "no insurance" thing is a moot point.  Apparently, high sec players that were calling for it, hard, assumed it would make a difference.  Maybe I thought it would make a bit of a difference too.  Apparently not.  Not really a surprise I guess, considering the trillions and trillions that null alliances make every month.  I think maybe CCP is relying on the naivety of many high sec players.  I wonder if that is going to bite them in the ass long-term?

     Another fail is putting pods on killmails.  Yes yes, I know Eve is all about the pvp, but aside from epeen, what does adding pod values to killmails accomplish?  Yeah, it will create a small and likely temporary surge in demand and prices of implants as more effort might be expended by the epeen crowd to go after pods, but then more implants will be supplied and the prices will stabilize, like every other market item.  More likely, it will take the skill point grind and slow it down even further for those who are not interested in losing, or can't afford to lose, billions worth of implants.  It could quite easily take the most expensive implants, and make them even more expensive because their markets numbers will dwindle as fewer people are interested in buying and losing them, so fewer will be put on the market.  Epeen pvpers have settled with low bonus implants because it's less expensive for their style of play where they regularly, voluntarily, risk losing them.  That chosen play style, by a small minority of players, now gets translated to the entire player base, especially high sec, because hundreds of millions of isk can be destroyed by a fast locking frigate worth a couple million isk.  So, with clever new "initiatives" like Podageddon  by the player base, this opens up the opportunity for yet another small minority of the player base to have a negative effect on the rest of the player base.  Huge fail.

     There are others, but that'll do for now.  :)

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