I’ve dabbled in EvE Online for over four years now, with my longest continuous stretch being about a year of that time. I’ve played the Empire side of things, co-owned a research POS in low-sec space, and lived, ratted and mined in 0.0 for a while.
I’m familiar with EvE Online, to put it mildly.
CCP has a unique corner of the MMORPG landscape; there’s truly nothing else like it. However, CCP seems determined shoot themselves in their foot (public relations-wise) on a regular basis; the latest shot was fired on the official forums earlier today by CCP Fallout:
A long overdue and much needed change will be put in place with the Wednesday, 15 October 2008 patch. Ghost Training, the continuous skill gain on accounts in an inactive or expired state – will no longer function after Wednesday, 15 October 2008. This practice upsets the balance of the game, and capsuleers who actively put their time and energy into working on their characters will no longer be unfairly affected by those few who have not.
This immediately prompted a Threadnaught to spawn, running to 49 pages in the six hours following CCP Fallout’s post, sprinkled with…well, with what you would expect, ranging from the attempts at logic:
Please try to explain this a bit better. How are people actually putting their energy and time into clicking on a skill? Since skills train automatically without any actual practice.
I believe if this will be implemented, EVE will not just lose a lot of players but a unique feature which made it attractive among other MMO’s.
This idea is full of fail.
Ghost skill training has NO effect on active players, so why do you tell us this bullsh*t about ‘unfairly affected’ and game balance? Why not just admit that this change is implemented to try and get more income from players?
Lying to your playerbase does NOT make the situation better, only worse.
Perhaps instead of having everyone complain about the change, why doesn’t everyone just post the number accounts they’ll be letting lapse without renewing thanks to this change.
I’ve already got one I’ve written off.
However, that was just the response to a forum announcement, with the promise of an official dev blog addressing this rather sudden change. Surely that will smooth the waters somewhat. Right?
As many of you know by now, on Wednesday, Oct 15th, CCP will put out a server update disabling “ghost training”. Ghost Training was an unintended feature where unpaid accounts of EVE Online were able to continue training skills. While this allowed players to run multiple characters on a shoestring budget, in all effect, this was a bug.
It should be noted that we’re not changing offline skill training for active subscribers in any way. This change only affects those who do not have an active subscription.
Does that mean that CCP is a greedy money chewing monster that just loves nerfing things? Of course not. We’re a company like everyone else, we make a game, that we happen to love making and for most of us is the passion of our lives. But it’s also a company. We make a product, sell it, get salaries and then continue maintaining the product and making it better.
Now I’m not saying that if me personally would be at the other end of this Dev Blog I wouldn’t be annoyed by CCP’s actions. We are gamers. We game the system. We figure out how to maximize our returns. There’s no surprise that people have done this for the simple fact that it wasn’t banned per se and also for the fact that it was possible. But recently we have seen a surge in this behavior in a way that we were essentially supporting and maintaining a large number of customers that weren’t paying us regular subscriptions. That’s not fair towards CCP as a service provider and it’s not fair towards other players that pay a subscription but don’t make use of this bug.
Oh yeah; that’ll calm’em right down.
So basically, CCP is saying it’s taken them five years after launch to fix a bug? A “bug” that was mentioned in their own knowledge base on their official website? (No, really…it says “Skills continue training even if you are logged off or if your account is inactive.” Allow me to illustrate:)
Did this “fix” need to happen? Who can say, although in my opinion if it hadn’t been a problem for five years I don’t see the issue now. However, what I can say with one hundred percent certainty is this…you don’t spring what you know will be a controversial game change on your playerbase 48 hours before you implement it, especially so soon after completing a promotion to encourage folks to start alt accounts (The “Power of Two”)?
C’mon, guys…you just made me add “public relations stupidity” as a category here. You make great internet spaceships, and are the unparalleled masters of pewpew…for crying out loud, could you at least occasionally put ten seconds’ worth of thought into your announcements?
(Credit where credit is due: DigitalCommunist made the “ninja” graphic above for the aforementioned Threadnaught, and did a darn fine job of it, too.)