Wednesday, December 5, 2012

If Greyscale had a clue . . .

     I've been listening to hundreds of podcasts, from a number of different sources, as I do my indy thing in Eve, and also at work.  A recurring theme, back to 2008 at least, is that this dude is consistently involved with half finished features that are fucked up, right out of the gate, or that he comes in after the fact and completely fucks it up later as he "fixes" it, and then it stays fucked up, sometimes, permanently.  He consistently dismisses the opinion of players, and seemingly looks down on them/us as rather stupid or uninformed people who know considerably less about Eve than he does.  I think of the Wizard of Oz music track, and unlike the Oz characters, once greyscale got to the Wizard, unfortunately, we'd likely find he really DOES need a clue.

     Most recently, he has decided that (due to lack of coding supervision) a number of areas of game code are going to have their complication reduced.  It doesn't matter that it works fine for players, he's only interested in what will make his job easier, apparently, because regardless of whether Eve sinks due to all the dev fuck-ups, he's still ensured a job.  The removal of separate cargo holds, announced a month ago, is, I think, a prime example of how "features" are going to be removed to make incompetent coders' and CCP supervisors' jobs "easier" by "simplifying" code.  Either the devs like Greyscale are too incompetent to properly supervise the coders writing clean code (and adding sufficient commentary about function), or they have sloppy code writers (still the supervisors' fault for employing them) writing fat and sloppy, ill described, code.  Every time CCP can't be bothered to do something, they spin a long (most likely bullshit) dirge about how badly it was coded and that they are scared to touch it lest the entire Eve universe implode.  In the real world, if someone is working on something that is broken, and the admit they are not competent enough to fix it, why the fuck are they still working there?

     I have a few theories on that when it comes to Greyscale.

1.  The fucker owns majority shares in CCP and they couldn't fire him even if they wanted to.
2.  He's a close relative of Hilmar (married his ugly sister, cousin, et al), and there's a heavy familial obligation to give the driftwood a job.
3.  Hilmar owes Greyscale a pile of money, and Greyscale leveraged a job out of it in lieu of the debt, or until it is fully repaid.
4.  HE owes Hilmar a shitload of money and Hilmar is keeping his dumb ass around until it's paid off.

     Maybe there are others, but I can't seriously see how it has anything to do with talent.  Granted, it's possible that not all his projects fucking suck, but you know how the adage goes, "You can spend nearly your entire life building bridges, but suck one dick, and guess what your title will be?"  Looking at Greyscale's "bridges", he can claim the LP store function, the booster building process, Factional Warfare, null sec design/mechanics, scanning, T2 invention and production, the Primae, and most recently, axing corp hangars on ships.  There are more things he's been involved in, but seriously, how many of these things didn't hit the servers fucked up or completely broken/useless?  Obviously, not so much "building" at all, but a whole lot of sucking hard.  He's been responsible for some of the most fucking horrendous click fests in the entire game, and NOW, he's all about "complexity"??  Fucking really!?!?

     His "official" bio is a fucking joke too, but then, it can't be much of a news flash.  His "motto"?

     "One half of game design is having solid, well-reasoned opinions about everything. The other half is figuring out why they’re wrong"

     Oooooh, how profound!  So, yeah, no news flash that he has "solid" opinions on everything, he's got his ego to thank for that.  Not much is "well-reasoned" from an actual game play or customer/player perspective though, because he doesn't play the fucking game, and he's too arrogant to listen to people who DO play the game, and DO know.  What the "well reasoned" part is, is how it will make his job easier.  If he was competent, that right there would make it easier.  If he actually listen to people who knew more than him, like the players, that would make it easier too.  The second sentence of his motto?  Well, lucky for him, he's wrong very little.  Doesn't take a lot of effort to find out where he's wrong when he knows he's right, right?  I wonder where he plagiarized "his" motto from?  His "bio" is precious too.
     "It turns out that if you don’t bother doing any homework at school, you can go on to study a subject with no obvious applications at a really good university and then end up designing computer games in Iceland. I am not a good role model"
     Now THAT is far more accurate and far more believable.  It's one of those cases, I think, where the truth is supposed to be taken as an ironic statement.  Fake humility.  He didn't specify the "subject", I noticed, but I can't see in my wildest imaginings how it would be game design, but if the "subject" was, then by logical extension, I can't see how it was a "really good university" either.
     I think the Eve player base, while pretty damn happy with the ship re balancing (at least they have ONE dude, in charge of ONE team that has a fucking clue), is still on a low boil.  I think that while they announce (in May '12) 360,000 "active" subscriptions, the number of actual people that pay for those subscriptions, is considerably lower and CCP can see the numbers that put Eve in a precarious balancing act.  In 2010 CCP said they had the same number of accounts and that the I would bet that the actual number of real people behind those accounts is less than half.  I wouldn't be really surprised to discover that "real people" numbers are closers to 120,000.  Maybe less, and that's why CCP was/is pushing so hard on that useless captain's quarters and the highly coupled NEX store, DUST and it's pay-to-play model and all the recent "extra" uses for PLEX.  I think they know that Eve is stagnating hard, and the anemic increase of 25,000 SUBSCRIPTIONS (NOT players) per year since 2008 isn't going to pay the bills and it makes Eve extremely dependant multiple times over for each and every customer.  They were at 300,000 at the end of the first quarter in 2009, so that's really only 60,000 accounts in three years.  I believe they are well aware that the majority of subscription increases are due to players buying multiple accounts once/if they stick with Eve for a while and see the advantages of multi-boxing.  I think the shitty numbers forecast for Eve are why they stopped doing quarterly reports.  Teh numbers show that the players aren't going anywhere close to the direction CCP is trying to  force them in their "brilliant" game vision being pushed by clowns like Greyscale.  I'd love to know what the real average daily PLAYER count on Tranquility is, because the number displayed at log in is ACCOUNTS, not players.  What is the average time an Eve player is logged in?  4 hours?  5?  6?  Less than 4?  Take 24 hours, and divide that by the average hours played per PERSON, then multiply that by the actual number of players online.  What's the real number?  Scary-low?
     Anyway, I think they are playing a dangerous game of roulette where they throw out these half baked "iterations" in an attempt to appease the masses, including completed fucked up shit like the FW mess, that fucked up inventory, and now things like the corp hangers, and who do they have steering their boat?  A moron like Greyscale.  If that isn't a recipe for disaster, I don't know what is.  they talk a lot of pro-player, pro-CSM bullshit, but I think it's predominantly bullshit.  Null sec is too scary for CCP.  POS are too scary for CCP.  Inventory is too messy for CCP.  Ship skins are too low a priority for CCP.  I don't think CCP has a real plan, and neither do the CSM members either when you listen to them on the most recent podcast appearances.  They seem to be pulling at straws, and unless people like Greyscale gets their heads out of their asses, Eve is going to tank while the loyal and dedicated players doggedly try to plug her holes and keep her afloat.
     I'm not all gloom and doom though, there IS good news.  Punkturis is knocked up, and supposedly she'll be stepping down and out for a long hiatus.  That's a good thing.  While she's gone, she can't fuck up any more things like she helped fuck up the inventory.  I hope she'll focus on motherhood for a long, long time instead of stupid fucking game design ideas.  Now, if only there was a way for Arrow and Greyscale to get knocked up too, Eve might have a chance if it could survive 9 more months of meddling.  Give Greyscale a job collecting dirty towels at the local hot springs.  It can be one of those corporate character expansion bullshit things.  I can't see how someone can have a job picking up wet towels, and still have an ego about it.  It'd be a good thing for him.
     On a side note, "bullshit" is in a spelling checker.  That's awesome :)

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