Thursday, September 26, 2013

Its Not The Ships, Its the Venue

UPDATE: CCP Navigator responds on the forums.

Last month I wrote this: 

I've been in the Eve blogging community for seven years, podcasting for over two, on twitter, and paying attention to Eve during that whole time and not ONCE do I remember hearing of this guy., however, has been visible in the community practically during that whole time and Diana Dial has supported podcasts frequently. Battleclinic has widely recognized loadout section, forums, killboards, hosts EFT and supports the community as well as selling Game time codes for Eve. So I'm not sure how I missed Markee Dragon.
I think it was a poor move on CCP's part to choose to highlight one authorized reseller as a "community spotlight" while ignoring all others that have also contributed to the community in arguably equal or superior ways.
Am I the only one?
Now we have this:

25.09.2013 11:32 By CCP Navigator
Spacefaring Capsuleers,
As we move in to Autumn and closer to our winter release I wanted to let you know about some cool Community events planned for this coming week. The big reveal for the winter expansion will be streamed live from ourTwitch channel on Thursday, September 26 from 20:00 UTC.
After the success of the 1 Quadrillion Bonk at SOMER Blink and to celebrate EVE Vegas 2013, we wanted to do something extra special that would allow players to participate in a lottery for some exceptionally rare ships and items. Starting today, an ‘EVE Vegas Blink Blast Party’ event will be running in which players can win currently unreleased items from the NEX store, Collectors Editions, Ishukone Scorpions, Guardian Vexors and Gold Magnates. I will be talking more about this along with Somerset Mahm on the Blink Forum Thread so feel free to pop in with your questions.
Later in the week we will be bringing back the Dev Incursions. CCP Unifex will be leading three Marshal Class CONCORD SWAT battleships and a sizeable support fleet into an unknown low security system for good fights. During the rest of this week we will give teasers in this forum thread and through our Twitter and Facebook pages.

(Emphasis mine.)

There appear to be two big objections to this announcement, one I think is relatively minor and one I think is another poor misstep. 

The first is the re-issuing of a limited number of hulls of the Guardian Vexor and the Gold Magnate. I've written about these ships before (see links) but they were one time rewards for events early in Eve's history and the single Gold Magnate was destroyed and there are about 20 Guardian Vexors left, unique in its ability to field up to 10 drones instead of only 5 for subcaps.

The objections I've heard centered around a belief that CCP has gone back on their word, i.e. they said they would never release them again after the special events and now they have changed their minds. This somehow lessens Eve's rich history as well as devlaues the remaining ships. I'm less opposed to the Gold Magnate being released since there are none in game and nobody is loosing any real ISK value (only emotional value), but I can sympathize with Guardian Vexor owners that might see their net worth dip slightly. As I've said in skype channels, they are only internet spaceships and I don't think we should say that CCP is never allowed to change their mind on the uniqueness of ships or the rarity of them. 

The second major objection is using SOMERBlink's lottery system to raffle them off. The problem is that SOMER Blink is a for-profit organization that sells Eve Time Codes as well as hosting their well known lotteries. By using SOMER Blink, the reasoning goes, CCP is directly benefiting this company and that is seen as favouritism over the other ETC sellers. 

For the first objection, I have some minor sympathy for current Guardian Vexor owners but not much; the devaluation will be minute and I think CCP should be allowed to re-release these old ships as they see fit within reason. I don't buy into these emotional appeals that this will somehow cheapen or lessen Eve's history; I think it can enrich it by making the history more alive and relevant to today's players and not just the players who were around 7-10 years ago, much like the current Alliance Tournaments keep the old ones in the forefront of player's minds more-so than the would if they had stopped completely three years ago.

 For the second objection, I generally agree. I think CCP has the wherewithal to build its own lottery system quite easily and they are taking the cheap way out by using SOMER Blink, and it does show favouritism over other ETC sellers and lottery sites. 

CCP, I think you should reconsider (but I somehow doubt you will).

(By the way, anyone who was not upset at the community spotlight for Markee Dragon but is upset over SOMER Blink being used as the lottery for these ships is a hypocrite.) 

For the record, I do not hold SOMER Blink in fault for any of these proceedings/events that have occurred. Full disclosure: I do advertising for them on this blog which I am paid for, and have used their services happily in the past for my own lotteries.


  1. A spotlight can only shine on one person at a time. That somebody is in the spotlight at any given moment doesn't seem to be any sort of favoritism to me, so long as, over time, others get their turn if they deserve it. (And CCP has a set of rules for who counts as an official community site.)

    As for SOMERBlink, I am still not sure I care. CCP is throwing something out to their ecosystem, which helps keep it going. Companies that screw their ecosystem by building their own whatever tend to end up without health ecosystems. Like the spotlight, that they partnered with one company over other possibilities might have resulted from a number of different reasons.

    As for the rest, I am probably more concerned about the phrase, "currently unreleased items from the NEX store." If I parse that whole sentence the right/wrong way, it seems to imply that these ships might, at some point, be released as for sale items, which I think would get us back to a state of Incarna rage.

  2. I'm wondering how Somer is helping to sponsor Eve Vegas. I suspect these ships are a reward for there sponsorship of a real world event. If Somer is laying out real cash for the event, this may simply be a hearty thank you for making things happen. :)