Thank you very much everyone for placing me on CSM 6 and now on CSM 7 where I am currently serving as the Chairman! If you would like to contact me directly, do not hesitate to just send me an eve mail in game. Keep your eyes here and watch for new posts.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hilmar's 'Apology'

A Letter to the Followers of EVE
Last night the CEO of CCP unleashed a political masterstroke and a heartfelt plea to the EVE community all at once. The politics of business: making a stand as a man, with the gesture of an apology, but without the recognition of root causes and concerns. Commendable and smart in many ways, but is the mere gesture sufficient?

A Letter to the Followers of EVE

I've been very vocal about my support of this letter both on the forums and on Twitter. It reminds me of why I dropped everything in my life back in 2006 to go to work for CCP. This sounds like nothing else that has come out of CCP in a looooong time. I'm very impressed with the candor and tone of this letter. Hilmar has done something that few CEO's do in public which is outright admit he was wrong and say so effusively and sincerely.  For that, the man has my thanks and has re-kindled my hope that EVE might one day reclaim the wonder that caused players like me to crusade for new subscribers and even end up working at CCP.

Almost exactly a month ago, I released what I considered to be my 'last straw' blog.  Reality Check was my attempt to get across a message that summed up everything I felt about where EVE is and the black hole it seemed to be spiraling into. Over this past weekend, the Reality Check blog surpassed 15,000 reads making it the most viewed article I've written so far. While I received comments from several CCP employees about it, which were unanimously positive, I have no idea if Hilmar read it but his letter did address several points I made and that's a good thing.

I believe Hilmar's letter represents the first tangible step required to take for CCP and the player base that has spent most of the last 18 months in a state of disbelief with regard to the direction CCP seemed to be taking their product. The reactions to the letter are very warm, with players welcoming the sentiment of the letter.  The most telling of those reactions are those of CCP employees on the forums, Twitter and Facebook roaring their approval for this admission of wrong thinking and change of course. Hilmar spoke of not paying attention to people in the company "raising red flags"; it really makes you wonder just how much the internal communications of CCP need to be improved so things do not get to this point again.

Regardless of what happens in the future, things are never going to be as they were again. Many in the playerbase have compared Hilmar's letter to the old Peanuts cartoon, where Charlie Brown trusts Lucy to hold the football for him to kick and she always pulls it away at the last second, sending Charlie crashing to the ground. Over and over, she promises to not do it and over and over she does it anyway. It's an apt analogy because EVE players have seen ~words~ and heard promises before. This time it is going to take more.

This reminds of of something I saw a while back and I'm going to include a link to it here:

Remember how we got growth?

There's a lot of wisdom in this chart that should be heeded.

The next CSM summit in Iceland is going to go a long way toward my (and other CSM's) continued investment in it all. I know a lot of folks don't want to give us any credit but the CSM has spent a shitload of time these past few weeks hammering away at every mis-step and reminding CCP of where their mistakes are / how to fix them. I am satisfied at the moment that we, as a community, have successfully managed to get our message across. I have a much different outlook going forward than I did a few weeks ago but I won't stop pushing for iterative gameplay that allows players at all levels of EVE to enjoy the game again.


  1. CCP Took fun out of eve when they started chasing money more than ever. (here I talk mostly about how they handled the plex / gtg matter in last 3 years, I used to pay 300-350mil for 3 months of game time meaning ratting for 4-5h and I was set for 3 months. They took that out and now not just me but across the eve universe people fear the "plex day". They talk about getting a bc in a pvp fight since a hac is to expensive and plex is 2 days away... And that's just a example)

    We pvping type of guys have to include a special isk making time (boring as hell time) just to pay for the plexes. Today's plex price is 410 mil I'l need 2 in 14 days from now. That's 820mil in 14 days under war decs and constant 0.0 wars where I lose so many ships that I can't count. (not to mention the anom / system true sec nerf)

    So yeah the entire blog is a fake msg, even a average guy can see it contradicts itself in many statements.

    Did it work?? .. Sadly Yes, I felt sad and started wondering about the intelligence of the eve players when I saw the replies of some people.

    Will eve ever be fun again??...
    No... not as long as CCP chases money more than the respect of the players.

    Will people move to another MMO if/when they find it?
    Yes.. I already play more WOT than eve and I think I'm not the only one.

    Will Eve eventually die under the greed of the leadership like many other companies?

    Can eve be saved by stupid blogs where ceo's beg for people not to leave game instead of actually showing respect to the people by losing some of the profit and making the game more accessible?

    PS: Dont even wanna get started on the incarna / vanity store. That accentuates even more the greedy appetite of the CCP leadership.

  2. Good PR piece, but I have some experience in real life in "estimation" on very large software projects and the accompanying list of things they are doing definitely made me chuckle. Remove ship spinning, fonts, cq and td and ... what is the f.i.s. dev doing for the second half of the sprint?

    2d Hybrid weapons balancing
    3d Factional warfare
    2h Assault ships
    3d Capital ship balancing
    1d New T2 modules
    3d Starbase logistics management
    4h New EWAR-Drones
    2d T2 Rigs

    ? Ship spinning
    ? New font
    ? More captains quarters
    ? Time dilation

  3. Thanks for the hard work, Seleene. I've been there, done it, and that was when I still had fun actually playing - and we had not been as involved in CCP's loop.

    I'm sure you will stay vigilant in future and hammer out good priorities with Zulu.

  4. Excellent progress made. Rather impressed, and I'll be keeping an eye on how things develop from here.

    Perhaps may end up playing again.

  5. Kudos on the work done, but anyone who fully trusted CCP at any point in their history was terribly naive. CCP is, after all, a corporation.

    They have a shitload of work to do and a lot of cultural/workplace baggage to address before things can be said to look objectively positive.

  6. Will see...all accounts are still suspended, entire corp is on hiatus.

    some 8 years of my (gaming) life invested in Eve, I'll be sad to see it fail ultimately. But if it doesnt return to the focus of 'space combat' and some semblance of a wargame where actions have real effects on your opponents abilities and resources, I cant see wasting any more time on it.

    Eve as is makes me sad.

  7. In short a man wrote that he is sorry we didn't like what they did with the game, but he does and he thinks its amazing and will continue doing exactly the same thing.

    It is very well written and I'm sure 5 or 6 people in out of the 600 staff of CCP are speechwriters.

    Great except the game will continue on course to F2P and microtransactions just as the letter from their CEO states. Yet somehow people read what they wanted to read, and got the impression it isn't...

    Just as some gentleman on the Eve forums has stated:

    "We are not going to change to f2p unless something changes"
    "f2p however is the future for all mmos!"
    "things are changing for all mmo's"

    So I'm sorry but this -to me- is a clear indication that f2p proper shall soon be there for all of you guys who pay/play Eve game. My acc's duly expired already :)

    Then he goes on about how they will add more features to Incarna... Great but... well I've heard that one before about virtually EVERY single expansion they released...

    Selee above says that "this time its going to take more than words" well looking at the forums it took just that for the general public to go "Wow" and "omg amazing" which is imo frankly disgusting and servile. "The boss threw us a bone and said a kind word we must bow!"

    Well who cares eve's pretty much dead in the water now anyway. Even goddamn Aion is more attractive nowadays and that is a one TERRIBLE game.

  8. I want to believe that this is a new direction. I will continue to wait until the expansion that brings these promised changes. Though Hillmar is contrite, the arrogance of his initial response has left me feeling no reason to trust CCP without seeing the change first. Posting with my main and alts,

    Tom Dering (main)
    Hoary Neasy (alt account)
    Pinochle (alt account)