Archive for the Come On! Category

I Didn’t Want To Play EVE Anyways

Posted in Come On!, When RL Invades on July 25, 2012 by khalia

My connection issues – which prevented me from participating in the Thukk You, Frill Me events – have gotten so bad that I can barely log on long enough to change skills. Sometimes the client doesn’t get past the “Loading …. ” bar. Sometimes I get a socket reset after logging in. Sometimes it just plain hangs.

This has been going on for about two weeks now, and it sucks. It’s not my local internet connection, as everything runs spiffy, and none of my network hardware or configuration has changed in months.

My best guess is that some hop between me and CCP’s data farm is screwed up. Anyone else having problems like this?

Jita Lag Still Sucks

Posted in Come On! on July 10, 2012 by khalia

Here’s what happens when I try to open up market details in Jita, after a few hours of having the client open:

Usually a client reboot fixes this, but come on CCP. Fix this crap. =)

Thukk You, Frill Me: The Vagabond Protest

Posted in Capers, CCP, Come On! on July 1, 2012 by khalia

In an update to my previous report of the Vagabond’s now-missing “frill”, and a call to CCP to return it, an offical protest event has been organized:

Thukk You, Frill Me

This July 15th, 1900 EVE time in-game event will bring together those who demand the return of the distinguishing feature of the Vagabond. Rally starts in Jita, and then heads to the nullsec Thukker Mix Factory headquarters station (makers of the Vagabond). Expect explosions. Fly a Vagabond.

IN ADDITION, I am supporting this with my own event to raise awareness. One hour before the offical protest – that’s 1800 EVE time on July 15th – I will be holding a raffle by suicide gank. >:-D

I will be flying a Vagabond in Jatate (three jumps from Jita), at a moon to be specified. At the appointed time, anyone who gets on the killmail for this Vagabond will be entered into a raffle to win:

1 x Vagabond
2 x Stabber Fleet Issue
1 x Stabber BPO

Only pilots flying a Stabber-hull will be considered! Getting on the killmail with a Stabber Fleet Issue will get you 5 entries in the raffle, and getting on the killmail with a Vagabond will mean 10 entries in the raffle.

Come explode your ship, protest the Vagabond change, and get a chance to win some stuff! A later update will give more details, and I’ll certainly be covering the winner in a later blog post.

Bad Ship Changes: The Vagabond loses the “frill”

Posted in CCP, Come On! on June 28, 2012 by khalia

As you may have read on EVOGANDA, the recently introduced Minmatar V3 ship models removed the distinguishing feature from the player-favorite Vagabond – the lizard-like frill just after the head of the vehicle.

Before:

After:

I really can’t figure out why CCP would remove this nifty-looking part. This distinguishes the ship apart from Stabbers and Stabber Fleet Issue; now the only real difference is in color.

EVOGANDA has “announced” a “benefit concert” to fix this, which you can read about here. Click the link, the poster is hilarious.

CCP, fix this shit!

The Faction Warfare “Stupid ISK For Little Work” HOWTO

Posted in CCP, Come On!, The More You Know on June 23, 2012 by khalia

Now that the cat is out of the bag about making a ton of loyalty points with faction warfare for little work – WITHOUT EXPLOITS – I’ll provide the real details on how to do this yourself.

Why am I doing this? Because as Paul said in his previous post, the current behavior is highly unbalanced and needs attention so that CCP will fix it. And we figure we already made all the money we can make. 😉

Overview

You make or reuse an alt that will join Minmatar factional warfare. You’ll fit him in a cheap frigate with a low-cost clone, fly to contested Caldari space, and capture factional warfare complexes. These will yield a lot of LP, which you can translate into items or ships, which you sell for cash.

Background

First an explanation of how factional warfare “tier”s and LP works: As your faction controls more systems, and upgrades them (with LP), your “tier” value increases, every 20% gain. 0-19% is tier 1; 20-39% is tier 2; 40-59% is tier 3; 60-79% is tier 4; and 80-100% is tier 5.

The rewards you get from completing factional warfare sites (also called plexes) increase with each tier, by 5% per tier after tier 1. At tier 3 a small size complex gives 11k LP. Tier 4 is 11.5k LP, and tier 5 is 12k. More importantly the cost in both ISK and LP for items in the LP shop are decreased by 50% for EACH TIER.

Let’s say you want to invest in some Republic Fleet ammunition. At tier 3, one purchase of 5000 units of Republic Fleet EMP M will cost you 1600 LP and 1.6m ISK. At tier 4, it will cost 800 LP and 800k ISK. At tier 5, it’s a shockingly low 400 LP and 400k ISK.

Here’s an example using the same Republic Fleet EMP M ammo:

Tier 3
Cost to buy 5000 units of EMP M: 380,000 ISK
LP Store ISK cost: 1,600,000 ISK
Sell value of 5000 units of Republic Fleet EMP M: 3,420,000 ISK
Total profit: 1,440,000 ISK
LP cost: 1600
ISK per LP: 900

Tier 4
Cost to buy 5000 units of EMP M : 380,000 ISK
LP Store ISK cost: 800,000 ISK
Sell value of 5000 units of Republic Fleet EMP M: 3,420,000 ISK
Total profit: 2,240,000 ISK
LP cost: 800
ISK per LP: 2800

Tier 5
Cost to buy 5000 units of EMP M: 380,000 ISK
LP Store ISK cost: 400,000 ISK
Sell value of 5000 units of Republic Fleet EMP M: 3,420,000 ISK
Total profit: 2,640,000 ISK
LP cost: 400
ISK per LP: 6600

When running missions for LP, a conversion ratio of about 2000 ISK/LP is usually considered about standard. Heavily traded items will sell for less, and infrequent items for more. At tier 4 this is above average money, and at tier 5 it is *insane* money.

Pressing The Button

So here’s what you need:

1) An alt that can join Minmatar factional warfare. Only Minmatar is even close to tier 4 right now; Amarr is stuck in tier 1, the Caldari are just into tier 2, and the Gallente are also down in tier 1. At tier 1 and 2 prices, it’s not even worth trying; you should go mission or run Incursions instead.

In order to join the Minmatar milita, you need positive Minmatar faction standings. An easy way to do this is to run the 10-part tutorial mission series “Cashflow for Capsuleers” which you can get from an agent in Hadaugago. It takes about 40 minutes to run all 10 if you bash through it quickly.

2) Your alt needs to fly a tanky frigate. We’re looking for 100 dps or better with kinetic and thermal resists of 75%. Currently the best way to do this is with the new Incursus. With a 10% bonus to armor repair amount per Gallente Frigate level, it has a superior tank advantage over all the other frigates. I’ve seen people do this in Rifters, or Punishers; but the properly fit Incursus can even tank the Major faction sites that give close to 30k LP on completion.

Here’s your target Incursus fit:

[Incursus, FW]

1MN Afterburner II
2x Cap Recharger II

Small Armor Repairer II
2x Armor Kinetic Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II

Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
2x Small Capacitor Control Circuit I

You will need the following skills for this:
* Gallente Frigate IV
* Repair Systems IV
* Energy Systems Operation IV
* Energy Management IV
* Hull Upgrades V
* Afterburner IV
* Energy Grid Upgrades III
* Armor Rigging I

With these skills, you’ll be cap-stable, flying at least 900m/s, and should tank around 138 dps. This can tank the Minor and the Medium complexes. Since I know some of these skills take a while (Hull Upgrades V for example), swap to T1 resists while waiting, and a T1 afterburner before you get Afterburner IV.

With T1 resists and a T1 afterburner you should still be doing at least 850m/s and tanking about 120 dps against our target damage profile, which is Caldari’s kinetic and thermal. This will handle Minor complexes but may give you problems with Medium size complexes.

If you max out the Gallente Frigate and Repair Systems skills, you’ll tank almost 160 dps. You’ll be able to run Major sites which have the best LP per time. You can also drop a CCC for another Aux Nano Pump, but you’ll need both Energy Systems Operation V and Energy Management V to make this be cap-stable, or implants. The 2x Nano Pump Incursus has a stupid 178 dps tank.

Receive Bacon

You’ve got your guy and your ship. Now set sail for the Black Rise region, where the Caldari are battling the Gallente. Wait, aren’t you Minmatar, shouldn’t you be fighting the Amarr? Well see, the Minmatar and Gallente are allies; you can complete Caldari complexes for LP. The Amarr FW space is also much more busy, and you don’t want busy. You want as quiet as you can get. Black Rise is quiet.

When you get to Black Rise, fly around until you find a system owned by the Caldari – you want to see “Factional Warfare System: Caldari” on your screen. Running Gallente sites will make those guys angry at you and give you no LP. When you’ve found a system, fire off your system scanner (no probes needed). You’ll find sites like these:

Minor Caldari Outpost
Caldari Stronghold
Major Caldari Installation

“Medium” size sites have no label, they just appear as the faction and the type. The particular type does not really matter to you; except for Majors, you should have no trouble tanking each type. Pick a Minor, and warp to it. You’ll notice a beacon will appear on overview; *everyone* can now see that you are running this site.

You arrive on a gate. Minor gates only allow T1 (including faction) frigates and destroyers. Medium sites also allow T2 frigates, and T1 cruisers. Major sites allow T2 cruisers and T1 battlecruisers.

Enter the site. You will see an item on overview that looks like a bunch of circles, about 50-60km away. This is the capture point. You’ll also find a number of NPCs. You now need to fly in-range of the point and continue to stay in range until the timer on the counter finishes.

Range on sites: Minor is 10km, Medium is 20km, Major is 30km
Times on sites: Minor are 10 min, Medium are 15 min, Major are 20 min

Orbit the site, turn on your repper, and wait out the timer. When it finishes, you get the LP. Horray! Repeat a zillion times.

You Damn Dirty Pirate

So what can go wrong here? A number of things:

1) The Caldari militia and local pirates take notice when you start doing these sites. Sometimes. If you pick an empty system or one with harmless looking people you can pretty much AFK while doing this. If you have possible hostiles in local, set your directional scanner to 100,000 km and zap it every so often. If you see anyone, warp away. Since these guys have to hit a gate AND start off at 50km or more away, you have plenty of time to GTFO.

Though if this happens, you might just want to move on to another system.

2) Don’t forget to turn your armor repper on. Yes, I lost at least one ship that way. Derp.

3) Don’t bring a buddy. Your reward is split if both of you are in range of the site timer when it ends.

4) Sites take a little while to respawn; when you run out in system A, go to B and run a few, then return.

Counting My Eggs

Let us pretend that you are doing Minor sites, at tier 3, and getting 11k LP per site. You pick quiet systems and manage to get an average of 5 done per hour as these sites only take 10 minutes.

At tier 3: 5 sites x 11k LP = 55k LP x 900 ISK/LP => 55M ISK per hour – this isn’t bad, it’s at least as good as most missions.

At tier 4: 5 sites x 11.5k LP = 57.5k LP x 2800 ISK/LP => 161M ISK per hour – This is *great* money.

At tier 5: 5 sites x 12k LP = 60k LP x 6600 ISK/LP => 396M ISK per hour – You may actually have trouble liquidating all your LP at this level, but you can see the insane ISK it represents.

Final Words

So to wrap this up, you can right now make about 55M ISK/hour with a totally new alt and a few days training. If tier 4 returns, you can make as much as 161M ISK per hour. Risk exists, but if you get popped and poded, you lose a T1 frigate with some T2 fittings and a cheap clone. Worth it? Entirely.

Can you do this hour after hour after hour? Not really. Eventually someone will come gunning for you and you’ll need to safe up or move systems for a while. Still worth it? Yep.

Is this unbalanced? Jesus H Christ, yes. The main problems are the ability to tank a complex and win it without killing a SINGLE rat, and the huge imbalance each level of tier gives out. 50% is just so big of a bonus for each tier that it puts everything out of proportion. The poor other militias at tiers 1 and 2 are getting totally shafted, their LP is barely worth anything.

I would solve this issue by requiring that a certain number of NPCs had to be killed in order to capture a site. I would also change the tier levels to be closer to a 20% difference between levels, and making tier 2 be as good as regular missions are right now in terms of LP required for similar rewards. Members of factional warfare could still make some ISK, and upper tiers would still be worth fighting for, but not massive firehoses of ISK.

Review: Incarna. Also: Where’s Paul?

Posted in Come On!, Site News, When RL Invades on June 21, 2011 by paul

Welp, at least they didn’t break anything that mattered this time. Actually, they did break a lot of things in addition to the fail extra content. Sigh. 🙁

I knew that they could make a relatively pretty walking-in-stations game, but I was holding out to see if they actually had some applications for it. As in, something that’s as fun or more fun as a biped than as a pod.

I rolled a new pilot to see if Incarna made the New Player Experience more tolerable. The New Player Experience asked me to open the agent window. There weren’t any obvious clues about where to find that window. I figured after a few minutes that it probably wanted me to open my agents tab in People and Places. It didn’t. I eventually found the window it wanted me to open. It told me to get into a conversation with an agent before I could continue. The problem was that the only agent in station was a storyline agent, and he didn’t want to talk to me.

Keep in mind that this was in a Pator Tech School station, where one would expect to find what one needs to get started on the tutorials. The tutorial didn’t tell me that I needed to change stations, much less tell me how to do that. Since I, the newbie, was on foot instead of in a ship, I didn’t know that I could very easily and quickly fly to another station and continue the tutorial. Instead of making the tutorial easier to swallow for players by taking them out of the spaceship, CCP made it HARDER by making them feel trapped and looking for the next step in the FAMC (Forever Alone Minmatar Closet).

I mean, if Incarna 1.0 is a tech demo for some killer new gameplay paradigm you’ve got waiting for finishing touches, then wouldn’t it make sense to tell us what it is? Because I’m not sure how we’re supposed to be impressed with this.

I’m not mad at you, CCP. I’m not quitting. I’m just sad. I hope that I’m wrong about where this is headed, which is to yet another major feature (more major than any other expansion in CCP history) that is hailed as the next big thing, but eventually sits unused by players while major problems that cause grief for all subscribers go unfixed. Please prove me wrong.

Where’s Paul?

Some of you have it figured out, but I’ll let the rest in on a little secret. When I first started this blog, I was a church office manager. Then I was a city cop for a couple of years. Now I’ve hung up my badge (but not my gun! So don’t try to find me.) and purchased a used video/board game store. Until that business stabilizes, I will continue to be scarce.

CCP Cancels War Early, No Explanation Given

Posted in Come On! on November 16, 2010 by paul

Threadnought here. I’m posting this blog entry because I know that most of you wisely avoid the C&P Forums but I want this issue to see as much daylight as possible.

CCP: If you want this game of yours to be the same one you brag about in your trailers, where actions have lasting consequences, then you can’t have GMs canceling mercenary wardecs without explanation. I pointed out in August why Eve is the greatest MMO on the market, and scandals like this kill that just a little bit each time.

Please visit the thread, read the first three pages (after that so far it has devolved into in-game political grandstanding) and add to the growing chorus of demands for more transparency in such issues.

Update: As most expected, this happened due to flawed assumptions about game mechanics and failures of communication within the GM pool. GM Lelouch posted an explanation (scroll down a bit, it’s outlined in red) that included the following:

We have taken measures internally to ensure that all current and future GMs are familiar with in-game war mechanics as well as the policy listed above and we hope that these mistakes will not repeat themselves.

This post was the correct response to an ugly situation. It’s a little frustrating that wardec mechanics which are very well-known by even fairly casual eve players are completely misunderstood by the folks that are supposed to be administrating the gameplay. I hope that incidents like this encourage CCP to make training and communication priorities for the GM staff in the future.

Blog Banter #20 – Griefing in EVE

Posted in Come On!, E-honor, Ninja Salvaging on August 25, 2010 by paul

With the recent completion of the 3rd installment of the Hulkageddon last month, @CyberinEVE, author of Hands Off, My Loots!, asks: “Griefing is a very big part of EVE. Ninja Salvaging, Suicide Ganking, Trolling, and Scamming are all a very large part of the game. What do you think about all these things? You can talk about one, or all…but just let us know your overall opinion on Griefing, and any recommendations you may have to change it if you think it’s needed.”

Now, normally I don’t do the Blog Banter competitions, because, well, I’m lazy. However, seeing as I’m one of the “public faces” of the hi-sec Griefer scene, I’ve gotten about a dozen requests for my thoughts on this.

Most of the responses I’ve read to this Blog Banter have actually ignored the question entirely. Instead of posting their opinions on Ninja Salvaging, Suicide Ganking, Trolling, and Scamming, they’ve posted pages of text about how none of these activities are “Griefing”.

So I’m going to do something similar and ignore the actual question. Instead, let’s talk about words and what they mean. I’m thinking of a particular word: Piracy.

When an Eve player self-identifies as a Pirate, you know EXACTLY what he’s talking about: A player who hangs out in lowsec, looking for “good fights” against other “Pirates”. Sure, once in a while a foolish carebear stumbles into their domain, but for the most part Pirates are merely engaging with consensual PvP with other players of the same class. I’m not knocking it because I know it can be fun, but piracy it ain’t.

Being a pirate means preying on the unsuspecting, the weak, or the foolhardy. It seems to me that Ninja Salvaging, Suicide Ganking, and Scamming would fall neatly into the definition, while e-honor “good fight!” piracy would not.

So we call ourselves Griefers because our actions cause grief, not just as a byproduct but often as a primary objective. The truth of the matter is that a better term for us would be pirates, but that term was hijacked by low-security PvPers who had no real reason to use it. Folks are trying to deny us the title “Griefer” because our actions are within the intended mechanics of the game. This is missing the point entirely.

I understand the confusion, since in most MMOs, ruining someone else’s game is out of the question due both to rules and the game mechanics. In Eve, the universe is such a cold and unforgiving place that such behavior is not only allowed, but is required by a certain segment of the population in order for successes in the game by the law-abiding to have any meaning.

We’re Griefers. If you come up with a better title for those who prey on the weak in Eve, I’d love to hear it.

CCP: Aggro Extension is a Bug. Just say it.

Posted in Come On!, The More You Know on August 16, 2010 by paul

From my most recent exchange with GMs:

As we have stated in our replies, what you are referring to is not an advertised or supported feature. It may, at our discretion, in the future be declared an exploit. Current available information indicates that this is not as it should be, until we have more information we will not be announcing anything nor taking action against those making use of this.

Our actions have been fully within the boundaries of the EVE Online reimbursement policies which are available to you on our website.

URL: http://www.eve-online.com/pnp/

If you have any further questions or concerns then please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Best regards,
Senior GM Spiral
EVE Online Customer Support Team

CCP Spiral,

So it’s a bug. Why all the pussyfooting around? Why state that it’s “not an advertised nor supported feature”, a statement that is open to interpretation? If it’s a bug, call it a damn bug and be done with it. Instead you continually leave us wondering if it’s an emergent mechanic that is valid, or something that we really shouldn’t be doing. It took a week, thousands of words written on the subject here and elsewhere, and no doubt dozens of petitions that your staff had to deal with, and NOW you give a half-confidence “current information indicates that this is not as it should be”. Well, do you know how your game is supposed to work, or not? Do the other GMs?

I strongly suggest a memo to all your GMs informing them that this is a bug and reimbursements are valid for it, because there have been as many different answers to these questions as there have been GMs responding to petitions on it. I know that it only takes a GM 30 seconds to produce a noncommittal answer to an exploit petition, but for us it impacts the core of our gameplay. Next time, hold a damn meeting, decide on a stance, and start responding appropriately. These milquetoast responses from folks that are supposed to be authorities leave a tremendously sour taste in our mouths.

Phew. Sorry you all had to see that.

So if CCP won’t say it outright, I will. Aggro extension is a bug, and if taking advantage of it isn’t an exploit now, it certainly should be. I’m considering this “resolution” for my purposes, but I’m very unhappy with the way CCP has handled this. Customer service fail, CCP. Maybe the GM training program is taking an 18 month break just like development on your flagship software product?

The Little Things Matter

Posted in Come On! on August 13, 2010 by paul

I’ve been asked recently in public comments and private messages by friends and detractors alike why I am so butthurt about the recent aggro extension kill reimbursement fiasco playing out in forums, blogs, and dozens of separate petitions. I feel that an explanation is in order for the Griefer Tears that I have been giving during the last few days. This comes in the form of an explanation of what I think makes Eve great, and why I think that even minor encroachments on that are worth fighting passionately.

Eve is a Sandbox

Eve is a single-shard game where every single player has an opportunity to interact with every other player. There is no segregation according to time zone, language, or play style. If you have a problem with someone in this game, there is nowhere to run. You can scamper off to 0.0 to avoid an opponent, but if he is competent he will pursue you. You can join an NPC corp and be immune from wardecs, but you dare not undock in anything expensive and fragile for fear of suicide ganks. If you’ve pissed off some aggressive player, you have to deal with him, either by fighting back or by making hunting you more trouble than his anger is worth.

(It should be noted that for now, the Eve China servers are an exception to this unity. New rumors are circulating that CCP may be merging the Chinese player base into Tranquility. The thought of thousands of new potential victims is super exciting. I wonder if there are many Chinese mission griefers? It’s possible that I may have to change the Jerks logo to avoid confusion.)

In Eve, Your Decisions Matter

The “Butterfly Effect” promotional video presents the story of a rifter saving a mining barge from pirates and then joining miner’s alliance in a fleet fight that very day. While hilariously unlikely, the idea of a world where what you do has impacts far beyond your personal avatar is indeed another of Eve’s distinctions in a genre dominated by MMOs full of predictable, scripted, endlessly looping events. In Eve, you are the content for other players, and the other players are the content for you. The things that happened in your little corner of space today impact the game for everyone, forever.

In Eve, Your Actions Have Consequences

In World of Warcraft, the consequences of failure in PvP involve little more than a quick trip from your respawn point back to where you were when you died horribly. Usually this means less than five minutes of time lost. In Eve, failure in PvP can mean anything from the loss of a disposable ship to the destruction of the basket into which you’ve placed all your eggs, so to speak. This means that if you’re foolish, you can transform in moments from a badass flying a state-of-the-art ship capable of incredible force projection to a pauper who can barely afford to fit a cruiser.

In Eve, Knowledge is Survival

Knowledge is more than power in Eve: Without a thirst for it, the gameplay experience becomes worse than mediocre. The five-year-old character in a multi-billion ISK faction-fitted marauder will fall every time he engages a six-month-old character who has 100 million ISK to spend on the right tool for the job. This works both for the ninja and against him: Witness my billion-plus ISK JerkTengu being slaughtered by a handful of cheap battleships. With knowledge of what you’re facing, any ship can be killed.

Not only must one understand ship fittings and damage types, but the mechanics of combat aggression, gate jumping, and station docking/undocking must be understood if one is to escape a life as a pod-pilot punching bag. Most lowsec pirates can tell you about the first time they died to sentry guns before they fully understood criminal flags. Most nullsec players can tell you about the first time they encoutered a warp disruption bubble. I bet that nine out of ten of my mission gank victims will tell you that it’s the first time they’d dealt with the PvP aggression timer. Most will never make the same mistake again. Knowledge of little gotchas like these are the real power in Eve, not fancy ships or piles of ISK.

In Eve, There are No Takesie-Backsies

In most MMOs, the fact that time is a one-way street and you can’t revert to the last save point isn’t all that big a deal. The worst case is that your party wipes in a dungeon, and you get to start back where you died to try again. In Eve, because your actions have consequences both for you and your friends, mistakes are permanent and whether the price is high or low, it must be paid.

Without These Distinctions, Eve is Just Another Crappy MMO

If you take away the sandbox, the significance and consequences of player actions, the importance of intelligence, and the finality of events, what does Eve start to look like? WoW? I haven’t looked into the new Star Trek MMO, but I imagine that there would be parallels, and by all acounts Star Trek Online sucks.

Much Ado About Something

Now, for the aggro extension reimbursement thing. To be quite frank with you, I don’t really care for the mechanic. It’s confusing and unreliable, but the same could be said for a dozen other Eve mechanics that get ships killed on a regular basis. A lot of folks are mistakenly assuming that I’m crying big Ninja Tears over the aggro extension mechanic, when my problem is really with a senior GM that granted a petition from a carebear who had a warning from the game that he could be blown up, undocked a faction battleship, got blown up, then asked for a replacement. Yes, this is a minor issue, but allowing it to stand speaks volumes about what the GM staff and CCP as a whole think makes their game, in my opinion, the greatest video game ever launched.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: It would take ONE GM 30 seconds to fix this, and not a byte of code need be involved. Just like the POS RR mechanic, all it takes is a forum post either declaring it an off-limits exploit, or working as intended. To say that it is not a bug, not an exploit, but that they’re still going to reimburse players who fall victim to it is to cut a neat little chunk out of the very things that keep Eve from being just another short-lived niche MMO.

“But Paul,” you say, gazing longingly at my stunning physique, “How is ONE freebie from ONE GM worth all this stink?” Do you really think that this is an isolated event? Stop and think for a moment about why you know about even this one occurrence. It’s because the carebear in question posted his petition and the results to his public blog. How many more victims featured on this blog have had their mistakes forgiven, to cost them no more than the proverbial graveyard run? It could be half, or a quarter, or one in twenty, or one in a hundred. It could be any number and we’d never, ever know, always assuming that CCP was doing the right thing. Yeah, it could be an isolated event. The odds, however, of this being the only incident of a carebear entering into PvP and losing more than he wanted to lose, then having a GM crap a new faction battleship into his hangar are absurdly low.

But why raise such a fuss over such a minor encroachment? Because there is nowhere else to go. If Eve isn’t the harsh, unforgiving world that CCP says it is, then where can I go where what the player does matters? My entire game revolves around causing players to put more on the table than they wanted to lose, and then lose it. If I can’t do that here, or if, as it appears is the case, CCP is slipping ships to players who lost them because they weren’t aware of some game mechanic, then I’d just as soon cancel my accounts take up woodworking. At least then I can count on nobody coming behind me and feeding a portion of my finished work into a wood chipper.

To CCP: All we want is a statement from you on this. Is aggro extension an exploit that will cause reimbursement? Is it a valid tactic whose victims are worthy of no mercy? If it’s not an exploit, but reimbursements are still an option, then in what other cases can a player request reimbursement after he ignored in-game warnings and lost big?

Eve is indeed the greatest game ever made, but the temptation to discard the ideals that made it great when nobody is looking is surely strong. It is important that CCP present a unified front when talking about the policy decisions that make Eve distinctive, or the game will slip into mediocrity and die with a whimper. The little things matter.