Tag Archives: rambling

The Root of All Kinds of Evil – BB58

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10 (New International Version Bible)

The latest blog banter is about money.  We are invited to comment on the SOMERBLink drama, RMT (real money transactions), monetizing services, offsetting costs, selling goods, requesting donations, EVE events, and converting PLEX into cash.

Gone are the simple days of playing games simply for fun.  Games and gaming are now huge business.  They have “journalists” and fan sites and major conventions and merchandise and movies and IPOs and spinoffs and in-game monetization and third-party services and in-game services and “gold making guides” and blah blah blah.

I suppose it is an interesting phenomenon.  Harvard Business School will probably do a case study on the rise of The Mittani someday (if they haven’t already).  As games have gotten more complex (and interesting), it has fueled the rise of gaming blogs and guides and services that are external to the game company itself.  In fact, most of the guides done by passionate players are orders of magnitude better than the guides provided by the company.  Personally, I like this.  It adds to the richness of the game and the gaming community.  EVE has been at the forefront of this.  Given its relatively small size (compared to say World of Warcraft), EVE has a huge meta footprint in gaming blogs, sites, guides, services, etc.  EVE has also pioneered the use of PLEX as a company controlled way of buying in-game currency without destroying the game.  I think EVE is richer and better because of PLEX and certainly it helps CCP’s bottom line.  This is not easily done.  Diablo III’s auction house as designed by Blizzard pretty much ruined the game and was eventually removed.

EVE as a game is designed around both pvp and a market economy.  Everything in the game is designed to be built and destroyed and rebuilt (with only a few exceptions).  The complex nature of this lends itself to specialization and niche businesses.  Things like courier companies (Red Frog, Push-X)  and clone services (Estel Arador Corp Services) come to mind.  Things like that don’t really exist in other games..

So what does all this have to do with money?  Well, here is my simple opinion.  In-game actions and services should be paid with in-game currency (ISK).  Out-of-game actions and services should be paid with out-of-game currency.  When there are entities that have large dealings in both in-game and out-of-game actions, then they need to be closely monitored by CCP.

Examples:

Website services:  Out-of-game compensation.  If it is a high-traffic site, it should sell ads (including to EVE), get an EVE referral bonus, and possibly get some support/compensation from CCP if it fits with their engagement strategy.  I think it should be able to accept monetary donations (however, if this entity and associated accounts have a ton of ISK, they would need to be monitored to be sure they are not giving out ISK in return for donations).

Blog about EVE:   Out-of-game compensation.  I think the CCP compensation of one paid account is sufficient for a fan site.

Running an in-game event:  In-game compensation.  I think CCP should use reward/prize ships for those that run useful and successful in-game events.

EVE “Journalism”:  If the site meets the requirements of the “Website Services” above then those that write for the site should receive out-of-game compensation (ETC’s for articles, etc).  I don’t think they should be paid directly in ISK.

Bookmarking Service:  In-game compensation.  The bookmarkers should be paid in ISK by those that use their services.

PVP training:  In-game compensation.    The trainers should be paid in ISK by those that get the training.

New Player Training Corporations (EVE University):  Primarily in-game compensation.  CCP should provide in-game assets and support to corporations that support the new player experience.

Gambling “Services”:  This one is a mess.  I know that they are gambling with ISK, but they are using an out of game resource to do it.  If I were CCP, I would stay away from this one.  It generates limited in-game content and is ripe for scams.  I would certainly no provide it with in-game resources and I would closely monitor it since it is likely to have large dealings in both in-game and out-of-game activities.

EVE RL Events and Gatherings: I think CCP should support the hosts of these events with out-of-game resources and compensations if the event meets CCP’s marketing/recruitment goals.   I think CCP could support the attendees with token in-game resources as door prizes.

I don’t think that PLEX should ever be able to be converted into cash.  Directly or indirectly.

Personally, I like to keep my recreation activities and my work completely separate.  I also value being able to walk away at anytime.  I have no aspirations of ever making money in EVE.  I am an adult with a career and I don’t have much interest in trying to make money off my hobbies.  I think once money starts getting mixed in, all kinds of bad stuff happens.  On the flip side “all kinds of bad stuff” being possible is one of EVE’s selling points.  And I know there are many gamers who consider “going pro” and supporting themselves by their gaming habit to be the ultimate success.  I am just not one of them.

I think that once it starts to be a way for you to make money, it is more about the business than about the game and the game itself is corrupted for you.

 

 

 

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Snippets

I feel like I should blog something, but I have just have a bunch of unrelated ideas.  Jester used to do a “junk drawer” post, so this is something like that.

I have been jaunting in and out of null sec.  I hit a couple of nice ghost sites and ran a couple of 6/10 Blood sites.  Nothing memorable happened and it didn’t seem to justify an exploration log.  My main and my backpack are about 20 jumps apart so I am slowly working my way back to that area.  I still want to try out my “mobile PI” idea, but I haven’t gotten around to it.

Hyperion came and went.  I am largely unaffected.  Supposedly the spawn rate of Mordu ships in asteroid belts has increased.  I still have yet to see one.

Killmail Archivist had a post up about Fixing the Nestor.  I joked awhile back that there was a bet at CCP to see if anyone could design content where the Nestor was actually useful.  So far I would say CCP Seagull lost that imaginary bet.  I don’t know about actually fixing the ship, but in order for a battleship to actually be useful in exploration it needs the following:  probing bonus, bonus to virus strength, bonus to hacking range, strong tank, strong dps, the ability to travel safely (warp cloaked, or covert cyno jump or cloak + fast align, AND bubble immunity).  So that probably isn’t going to happen.  The only thing I could suggest is if the ship had an “exploration mode” similar to “siege mode” on Marauders.  In exploration mode, the ship has its power cut by 50% (reducing tank and/or dps), but it gains probe and hack bonuses as well as bubble immunity and the faster alignment.  Covert cloaking would be nice, but probably not required.  I don’t really expect such a ship, but it is probably what is required to replace a T3 for exploration.

I didn’t post anything on the SomerBLINK scandal because I don’t really care.  It is related to the next blog banter though so maybe I will say something.

WordPress has been a pain lately.  For awhile I couldn’t access the editor to do new posts or change existing ones from my computer.  I could only do it from my phone.  That seems to be fixed now, but I will blame my lack of blogging on that.  Also the weather has been gorgeous so I haven’t been playing much.

Training wise, I switched over to Heavy Assault Missiles V for the final 2% bonus.  Not really needed, but I wanted a long train since I am not logging in very often.

CCP Falcon has raised a bit of a stir.  I actually think this quote is quite poetic although he overstates the dangers of EVE by a serious amount.  I think it is what separates EVE from other games.  The rest of the thread is depressing (on both sides).

Finally, I haven’t restarted my UNDOCK project.  I am undecided if I will.  I went about 45 days give or take.  It changed the way I look at possibilities made me spend all of that time out in space, but in the end it was more of an inconvenience than anything.

 

 

 

 

Leaving EVE

Leaving EVE seems to be the topic of conversation at the moment. It is practically a blog banter at this point.

Jester started it with the 7% solution (currently at 260 comments and counting).

Ardent Defender has a short  series about it, culminating with his 1000th post and decision to leave EVE.

Eve Hermit weighed in.  So did a Journey through the Mind.  And so did A Carbon Based Life, (who also wrote an open letter to CCP, and got a response from CCP Seagull!! )

The last time I commented about something like this, I was fairly ambivalent about it.  My thinking was CCP will do was CCP will do and I will either play because I like or leave because I don’t.  It still is.  But, I am going to write about it anyway, because I have some time to kill.

I probably get more “contact me” emails from this blog than I do actual comments.  One fairly recent exchange went something like this:

Been playing EVE for about 4 years now and I am considering whether I should continue. I am a solo player.  I was in a couple of corporations for a short time, but it was unsatisfactory and I can’t say I really liked it. Roaming for 2 to 3 hours and finding nothing seemed quite pointless. Mostly I just mission in hi-sec

I gave some of my experience as a solo player and then I wrote this:

EVE can be a lonely game. If you are going to play solo, it is helpful to find some level of interaction, either by reading and commenting on blogs or the forums or participating in some player events. Or even leading a player event. Or going out of highsec and forcing some level of interaction either as hunter or spy or runner. 

Yeah.  So I am probably not going to cut it as a GM anytime soon.  I probably should have given better advice.  But honestly, I didn’t know what to say.  EVE really isn’t designed to be played solo.  Yes, there is solo content out there and several of us find satisfaction is setting our own goals and achieving them within the game.  And I have heard that mining is relaxing for some people (kind of like fishing in WoW).  Not surprisingly, the player responded with this:

Just wanted to thank you for your advice and let you know I came to a decision.
 
I unsubscribed my two accounts.
 
I gave as an explanation that there was no encouragement for the solo player. That the corporations were too big and controlling, and EVE wanted everybody in null sec.

 

I know this happens a lot.  And players (and presumably CCP) are concerned about it.  Much of the blowback seems to be that CCP doesn’t care about solo players or high-sec only players.

And there is an interesting set of viewpoints from CCP.  On the one hand, we have CCP Seagull stating as a response:

I want EVE to have more things to do for small scale groups and solo pilots– and all over space, not just in null sec. 

But both small groups and solo players are very important in the design work we are doing now and to our vision for the future of EVE.

First project where this should be visible is the corporation and alliance system work we are starting after the summer – that will look deeply at small and medium sized groups, including corporations where all characters belong to a solo player.

 On the other we have CCP Rise noting that the players that stick with the game are the ones that are “..trading with other players a lot, they’re in corps more often, they’re talking in fleet chat more often, they’re on PvP kills more often. These people tend to stick with us.”

I don’t see these 2 viewpoints as being in direct conflict.  EVE does have solo content and small group content and several of the changes (particularly the deployables) have really opened up options for solo or small group players.  But player interaction is at the heart of what drives EVE.  And if you are missing out on that player interaction, you are eventually going to get bored and leave.  Also, I would consider retaining a player (especially with multiple accounts) for four years to be a success.  Four years is a long time.  For most of us, a lot changes in four years, so while someone leaving after 4 years is still a loss, I don’t consider it a failure of the game.

In upcoming posts, I want to talk about what CCP can do to encourage that vital player interaction as well as give some tips to solo players on how to make the most of their gaming experience.

 

 

 

Laundry Day

Sunday, I clone jumped back to Jita and spent the day selling stuff.  I had around 3-4 billion ISK worth of stuff shipped there over the last month or so and needed to sell it off.

Back when I really needed the ISK, I couldn’t wait to cash in.  Now it feels almost like a chore (this may be a hint that I will never be a market guy).

I enjoy selling the big items, but I had a whole bunch of low-end faction/deadspace modules in the 10M isk or less category.  I think they may end up as bonus items in a newbie treasure hunt.  Salvage has bottomed out so much it doesn’t even seem to be worth selling.  I have about a thousand tripped power circuits as well as other lesser items.  I would love to have a “clear junk” button.

Anyway, I think I converted about 2-3 billion to liquid isk with another 1 billion still in sell orders.  I didn’t really need to buy anything since I am still sitting on an extra PLEX and didn’t need any new equipment.  I bought an Astero BPC and a Stratios hull just for kicks.  Not sure when I will use them yet.

Training wise, I have been a bit indecisive since my last skillpoint update.  I maxed out my scanning skills (astrometrics rangefinding and pinpointing) picked up some E-war skills, maxed out a couple of Navigation skills, and am currently training armor skills.  Intelligence is my highest stat at the moment so I thought I would pick up some of these before remapping.  I think I am going to remapped to Perception/Willpower and train some ship skills next.

Several months ago (before I started blogging) there was a blog banter about the subject of “space rich”.  Most bloggers came down on the side of “it is a matter of perception”.  With that in mind, I am definitely feeling “space rich”.  My Tengu’s are nicely upgraded with high-end deadspace/faction mods and rigs without going over the top.  I am easily PLEXing my account and have enough left over for giving away in contests without touching my liquid ISK reserve.  I have no aspirations of a carrier or funding multiple accounts as of yet – I am content exactly where I am.  We will see if it lasts.

 

 

 

Milestone: 10,000 page views

This is a blogging post.  Feel free to skip if such things don’t interest you.

Sometime on Saturday, I crossed over the 10,000 page view mark.  This is pretty small potatoes compared to the more established blogs, but I like to celebrate little things.

My last blog review/milestone was on Dec 19 where I celebrated my 50th post.  At that time, I think I had about 1500 page views, so I have picked up a bit of steam since then.  I am now up to 90 posts total and averaging about 150-250 views per day.  Considering that I am writing about a niche topic in a niche game, I am satisfied with that.

About 70% of my daily (linked) traffic comes from Google searches.  About 15% comes from Lowsec Lifestyle (thanks Sugar Kyle!) and the remaining 15% comes from all other blog links combined.  Blogspot blogs have the HUGE advantage of being able to show (and sort) blogs that have been recently updated.  Most of my hits from Lowsec Lifestyle come shortly after I post.  Once my post is more than 24 hours old, the incoming hits from there drop to near zero.

At my last review, I had traffic from 38 countries.  My current count is 76 (now including Iceland!) with the top 5 being US, UK, Germany, Canada, and Australia.  Canada is new to the top 5 and pushing Switzerland to #6.

Top posts for the last 90 days are:

Ninja Salvaging in Rubicon – This was linked on Sugar Kyle’s blog, but most of the traffic to it is internal or from searches.

Tengu Fit: Blood raiders 5/10 and 6/10 – ship fittings generate lots of search traffic

Tengu Fit: Lowsec DED Complexes – see above

New Player Exploration Career Guide (part 1) – this also gets a lot of search traffic.  I linked to it twice on Reddit as part of a response to someone’s question, but that has only generated about 10 hits so far.  Also, I really need to finish part 2.

Sisters of Mercy? A review of the Stratios – this is dropping down the list the farther we get from the Rubicon launch.  I still haven’t actually FLOWN this ship.  Maybe that will change soon.

My top outbound traffic goes to Deep in Eve, Eve Hermit, Markets for ISK, Jester’s Trek, and Intellimoo’s Corner.  3 of the 5 of those have RSS links showing when they have been updated (a poor substitute for blogspot’s features).  The average is still only about 1 click per day per site so I am not sending out a lot of traffic.

The poetry contest generated about 100 hits to the forums, but it generated almost zero inbound traffic.  Exploration Seekers and Forum Poetry Aficionados are clearly separate groups with very little overlap.

I am not sure that I have found a blogging rhythm yet.  Probably my favorite posts to do are the Exploration Logs, but those require actual playtime which has been in short supply recently.