Before I get to the meat of today's posting, I think it's only fair to touch on the IWantISK situation. I've known about the site for some time, but haven't really cared one way or another. My primary form of gambling in Eve is in PVP, and that loses me enough money these days without the benefit of FW LP to make up losses. I had a brief stint at EOHPoker, lost a few hundred million, and came to the determination that I suck at Poker. I also tried betting on some AT matches on Eve Bet lost some money there too. Basically, gambling is bad for me.
Eve's meta is kind of unique in the land of modern day MMO's. I don't know of any sites where you can bet your WoW gold playing poker or bet on real life sporting events, nor where it can be used to gamble on lotteries for in game items run by players. In fact, off the top of my head I can't think of ANY other MMO that allows this, which is kind of a pity, because I suspect there are a lot of people paying subs right now in Eve that may not be if it weren't for the meta game.
So that brings us to the temptation that hits guys like Somerset Mahm when their meta game gets a little too good, and they start seeing opportunities to turn it into real money. IWantISK has apparently been doing well, and when the site was black listed from the in game browser a while back, it was fairly obvious that something was afoot. Supporters of the site were calling for calm, the guy that runs it was asking why, and anyone with a level head on their shoulders had a pretty good feeling someone, or more than one person got caught with their hands in the RMT cookie jar.
So much shit was posted in the wake of the black listing, it's hard to separate the bullshit from anything that might have been substantiated, but we've come away with 2 facts at this point. 1: Some of the bankers for IWantISK were dirty. 2: the more the IWantISK guy opens his mouth to speak, the more I'm convinced he's either a clueless idiot, or he knows more than he's let on.
The thing that eats me on this stuff is just how unnecessary it all is. EOHpoker and Eve-Bet have been operating for years without this stuff happening. Maybe they're not raking it in to the point where the temptation is too great to pass up, or they're just honest dudes trying to make money in game creatively, I don't know. One thing I do know is that you might gamble and do ok, but if you keep playing long enough, the house always wins. In this case, it looks like the house is CCP, and they've called in their chips.
Nosy did a great writeup on what he's collected to date. If you don't know him, he's THE guy when it comes to blogging about RMT stuff in Eve, and should be on your reading list.
Lazy Game Development Part Deux
Over the last couple months I've been working hard to curb my inner bittervet. I got out of FW, I've been playing Eve more, and I've been having fun doing it. I've even had some positive things to say about CCP and Eve on the weekly Eve Radio Show! I'd been making some real progress, then someone brought the o7 show from this past week to my attention and I think I'm having a relapse.
When I saw the fleet warp change announcement on the o7 show my initial reaction was "WTF?!" The more I've read about it since and come to figure out exactly what is changing, I'm even more confused. Warping your fleet to 0 or range on a stargate or celestial or fleet member is fine, but it's lazy piloting to fleet warp to a bookmarked tactical? Are you effing kidding me?
I have linked the relevant section of the show below, it should start right when the fleet warp discussion begins.
"We want to encourage more specialized play!" In a word, bullshit. I kept waiting for a Feel, Felt, Found sales pitch somewhere in there which thankfully never came.
I will admit that I'm a little out of touch where large nullsec fights are concerned. I typically fly in small to medium gangs, hardly ever more than 20 people. We rarely probe, but when we do, we always send a cloaked guy in first because if someone is sitting there aligned we NEED to make sure our tackle lands at the right range with as little time to get away as possible.
We do, however, maintain an extensive list of tacticals in many of the systems we routinely operate in. Gate perches, off grid pounces, instant dock and undock bookmarks are a few examples.
In lowsec, we're lucky because the stuff we bookmark tends to not move around, and I have few enough people I fly with that if I can remember how to copy my bookmark sets, I'll only have to copy a couple hundred BMs to pass around. It'll be a complete pain in the ass, but maybe not as bad as a null FC that would need to pass them around to a few hundred people.
There was a time when the mass copying of bookmarks had a really negative effect on the server performance, which is how we ended up with warp to 0 (warping to something used to land you 15k away, our autopilot is a legacy of that system). If this ends up becoming a thing again for fleet ops, I'm wondering if CCP has considered whether this will rear it's ugly head again.
So, what exactly is CCP trying to fix with this change? Well, they've talked about flying "mostly afk" and warping fleets to probe results (specifically bombers?). Bookmarks it seems weren't the real target, but got caught in the collateral damage category because you can bookmark your scan results. I'm not buying the mostly afk thing, because if that was the case it would make more sense to remove the entire fleet warp mechanic... of course maybe they wanted to, but then thought the tsunami of tears would be too strong and decided to baby step this instead.
That being said, lazy here begets lazy. It strikes me as an FC that if a bomb drop was a legitimate concern of mine, I'd spread my fleet out a little bit. Maybe a tweak to the explosion size of a bomb is in order if fleets are getting hit too easily?
Further, in a non stealth bomber situation, fleet warping your interceptors and tackle with the bulk of a fleet seems kind of dumb, since all ships will warp at the speed of the slowest ship in the fleet warp. Maybe by wing or squad, but then wouldn't you need a prober in every squad or wing leader position to pull this off? Surely no FC would warp an entire mixed fleet at battleship speed right?
So again, I'm a little confused.
This wasn't brought up on the o7 show, but another casualty of this change is the time honored tactic of inviting someone undocking to your fleet, and if they accept, fleet warping them to a nice, good old fashioned, passionate ass whupping at an insta a few hundred km off the undock. Recalling a few.... impassioned discussions I've had with one of the people present for this change's unveiling, I would not be surprised if the protection of "players who don't fully understand game mechanics" getting taken advantage of (ie: noobs and/or dumbasses in capital or other blingy ships) did not come into play at all here.
There are a few issues going on here, and looking at the proposed change from the angles I just don't see what's being "fixed" outweighing what's getting broken. I don't think CCP Fozzie and Larrikin are telling the whole story. This seems like a poorly thought out change, or a change for the sake of change. There's no quality of life improvement, nor does it make the game any more fun or intuitive.
good outcome for bomber fleets, but the bigger picture makes this look like a change meant to kill a fly with a bazooka. There is far too much collateral damage if the act of fleet warping itself is not the perceived issue.
And that brings us back to a modus operandi that seems to have taken increased hold at CCP over the last few years: putting more emphasis on getting things done the easy way, not necessarily the right way.
The changes to POSs and space structures appear to be an exception to this, and I have to say I'm very excited for what I've seen so far on that front, but I'm still left shaking my head with some of these "Delete key" changes.