Saturday, 12 September 2015

What you know for certain that just ain’t so

It ain't what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
     - Mark Twain

There are many, many things that the EVE players and opinion makers know for sure, that just ain't so. And there are many, many things that the EVE players and opinion makers know for sure, that are in fact just so.

The trouble is in reliably distinguishing the latter from the former.  In the absence of a proper metric, who's to say which is wrong and which is right?  Concerning matters of opinion right or wrong often depends on who the judge is.  Worse still there may be no right or wrong, but merely difference.

But what of the cases where there is a metric?

          Which is a long winded way
          for your author to say
          he takes issue with beliefs
          that he sincerely believes
          just isn't so.  ;-)

Naturally he comes armed with borrowed data (without permission), that he may be using out of context. Further more said data is only connected to the points he wishes to argue via weak arguments. Of course you dear reader are at liberty to say, but Absence... that just ain't so.  And that too is OK.

First up is the Blue Doughnut

Now this blog is not the first to contest the idea of the blue doughnut, but the distinct impression your author has is that it remained widely accepted.  Arguments of proponents of the blue doughnut largely hinged on the non invasion pacts and lack of daily wars as proof.

Opponents of course argued that EVE is a game, one can only war so much.  Pacts were needed to build.

In the end arguments of pacts and wars or the lack of did not sway. What did, in this instance, was the numbers from the very unlikely source of Greedy Goblin.  He did a series on the the kills of 2014.

Now your author is but a simple man and the data may not say what he thinks it does.  In addition Gevlon compiled it with a very different aim in mind.  Never the less, reading those numbers, there sure seemed to be an awful lot of killing and dying in null sec.  The blue doughnut was anything but.

Next is "EVE is a PVP game"

If you haven't heard this you probably haven't heard of EVE.  This is the often repeated mantra of what this guy refers to as "chest beating knuckle daggers".  Of course this also depends on the judge of the argument and who sets the parameters of what exactly PVP is.

I recall a discussion where self styled PVP'ers proclaimed that undocking in EVE is PVP and therefore all of EVE is PVP. Q.E.D.

I was ecstatic. I was a PVP'er!

Except, I was not. I had played EVE for years.  I was a slow starter (this was before null sec) . I had undocked thousands of times.  I had 3 kills and 8 deaths.

Forward a year or two and what do you know,  CCP comes out with this keynote.  Watch it if you want, but Blastrad does a nice job of breaking it down for us.  8% of players are true PVP'ers.

Damn, I was but a scrub again.

Now I know what you are thinking.  But Absence... why bring this up now?  With the collapse and withdrawal of many large alliances from null surely your first point is moot?  And even if you are correct on your second so what?

Ahhh... you see now, there is the rub.  The problem is not the statements themselves.  Or whether they are correct or not.  The problem is that they were widely held beliefs that may have been incorrect.  Beliefs that drives decisions that shapes the game.

I believe belief in the blue doughnut and the furore it caused pressured CCP into Aegis sov. Aegis sov feels rushed.  Incomplete.  Figure-it-out-as-we-go like.  Maybe I'm wrong.  But possibly if someone had debunked the blue doughnut myth in time, things could have been easier for all of us.

And you're right, that horse has bolted, BUT maybe there is hope for the future.  Maybe the PVP mantra can be dialled down as a driver to pressure CCP.  Maybe metrics can be used to manage expectations.  I have a feeling CCP is getting around to doing just this.

Of course it doesn't stop at doughnuts and PVP.  There are a number of looming questions.

What to do with capitals.  What to do with battleships and battlecruisers.  What to do with links and logi.

It's nice when someone comes up with the numbers.  Numbers debunk myths.

Instead of merely claiming a certain frigate is overpowered, crunch the numbers.  Ditto cruisers. If you disagree with that, bring your own.  Bring substance not rhetoric.

I know CCP is doing this.  I have seen graphs of ship types in use.  Graphs of gun types being used. Just not recently (drat - See Edit 1 below).

There is a lot of speculation about subscription numbers and alts.  Of course CCP is under no obligation to provide this, but it would be nice.  Even if it is bad news I think the EVE community will survive.  Not knowing however only drives frustration and speculation.

Edit 1:  This post was compiled on Friday 11 September and scheduled for publishing on Monday 14 September. In between the initial writing and the publishing, CCP brought the numbers. Thank you guys! With the edit I thought I might as well release it today.

Edit 2: There is also dev blog regarding sov, signed "Team Five 0".  In keeping with calls not to play the man but the ball so to speak, I have decided to drop the term Fozziesov in favour of Aegis sov. In a company like CCP one would expect that decisions like sov would not be left to one person.  

Sure, it may be that one person's idea's mainly drive it, but that is not necessarily so - we don't know how big a hand CCP Fozzie had in the Aegis sov system.  What I do know is connecting the PERSON to the sov system in a game produced by a COMPANY makes for an environment where said person may be unnecessarily maligned.  That does not mean that we have to like the Aegis sov system.  Or stop criticising contributing to it.

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