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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

EVE Online - Be Vain, But Not Angry!

Posted by BillMurphy Tuesday July 5 2011 at 7:39PM
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Well folks, as we reported early Tuesday morning as you were all washing sparkler dust from your mitts, and cleaning dried up beer flakes from your gulliver (yes, gulliver), EVE Online isn't going to die in a fire.  The dust hasn't exactly cleared but it looks like just about everyone except those vehemently against any and all forms of microtransactions can breathe a collective sigh of relief.  Here are the basics:

  • Only vanity items will ever be sold in the store.
  • Nothing that would ever risk "unfair" advantages given to one player for money will be sold.
  • Pricing decisions and the like are under review, and explanations are forthcoming.
Pretty much everyone involved at the emergency CSM meeting in Iceland agreed that the communication on all things involved with the store could have been better, and CCP basically flatout apologized for the way the whole thing was handled.
 
Now I know there are some who will say, "Yeah, but still they should have never let that memo leak" or "the prices are still way too high".  You're probably right.  In fact, even as a non-player I know enough about this industry from surrounding myself with it for nearly a decade to say that's exactly right.  But then all of this is over, you know what's going to be remembered?  Just that memo.  Just the "scare" and the threat of mass exodus.
 
It will serve as a future reminder to CCP and if we're lucky other companies that players are not afraid to band together and stand up for something they believe in.  These may be "games", but they're so much more than what that word implies, and I think CCP realizes that.  Heck, they probably know that more than most devs based solely on the love and care with which they interact alongside the community.  They don't just offer a forum and say "Go bark there, peon."  They brought the CSM into the company as a part of the development staff so to speak. What other developer has ever done that?
 
I know this has been a hairy situation for all involved, and I don't want to sound like a CCP apologist, but give the guys and gals a break.  They're gamers like the rest of us, only they do it for a living.  If anyone realizes how valuable we are to the game, it's them.
Xondar123 writes:

You kinda sound like a CCP apologist. :P

Tue Jul 05 2011 7:49PM Report
BillMurphy writes:

/whips out ban-stick on Xondar123.  :)

Tue Jul 05 2011 7:56PM Report
Lateris writes:

I agree that they do see how valuable we are but they really need to lower those prices. It is just rubbish.  At least the server proved it can handle a lot of people in one spot. 

Tue Jul 05 2011 8:05PM Report
P2PGamer writes:

The only reason why the players tossed a hissy fit was that the players were being cut out the action.  If CCP would have sold a game code for said items that a player turns into a special code that converts into an item when redeemed and that item can be sold for ISK to a player, then there would have been happy sheeple all the way around.  CCP just found out they created a very greedy player base that doesn't like being cut out the equation. 

Tue Jul 05 2011 8:28PM Report
Styij writes:

Of course they are sorry. When you catch a murderer and put him in box in front of 12 peers and the State procecutor watch how sorry and appologetic he becomes. You let him out of that box and back into society and watch him do the same behavior over and over. If CCP ever cared they would have never found themselves in that box. They did it because they thought they could shove it down their customers throats and no one would lift a finger. Well CCP you have been served and make sure you appear before the State on the date indicted.

Tue Jul 05 2011 9:18PM Report
Nesrie writes:

Sounds like they were only sorry that they got caught and apparently their predictable sheeples, sometimes called people and customers, weren't as predictable as they thought in such a situation.

Tue Jul 05 2011 9:50PM Report
maplestone writes:

Through PLEX, the entire game of Eve is already an item shop.  It seemed like a near-perfect transparent, self-correcting implementation of RMT.   The Noble Exchange makes no sense to me - CCP is diverting sales from actions that create sand in the sandbox (value to their product) to passive, non-interactive spending.

But if all people are complaining about is the price of items, it proves there is demand and it's just a matter of setting the price points and engineering the perception of value.   So although it has driven me out of their game and left me feeling alienated (towards them and towards the whole industry), I guess that's just business.

Tue Jul 05 2011 10:26PM Report
someforumguy writes:

Seems that the players were able to talk some sense into CCP. I agree with Nesrie.

Tue Jul 05 2011 11:03PM Report
Druid_UK writes:

This is one time where I will be looking more at what CCP do than what they say...

Tue Jul 05 2011 11:16PM Report
Inktomi writes:

I'm glad this story came to a close. Watched the video and read the release from the company. You don't sound like an apologist, you are just relaying their apologetic tone. They, (CCP) knew they goofed and felt the wrath of a collective, dedicated playerbase. 

Although I feel that they might have reacted rashly, they got their point across. The CSM being added into the company is a result of a successful revolution, but will it be totally beneficial for CCP? I feel that they might risk more leaks in the long run. But now they have some of the player base in their pocket. With this new developement for the CSM, which side does this put them on?

Tue Jul 05 2011 11:31PM Report
GnatBug writes:

We all missing the point ...ping ... The reason they did this was because they are looking to increase there Liquidity before there loan is due.

I do give them credit for backtracking  but that has not negated the actual motive for the cash grab... !

Wed Jul 06 2011 2:25AM Report
Wraithone writes:

As I've stated, I suspect they got dollar signs in their eyes, from discussions with their Chinese partners about the sweet cash shop profits that are typical in the eastern markets. That blinded them to the big differences between the two markets, and then hubris took over, and self justfication... Then nature took its course.  Only time will tell if this is just a tactical retreat, or if they really mean it. 

Wed Jul 06 2011 3:49AM Report
toxicmango writes:

Their contempt for their customers showed through in their leaked email and they deserved every bit of the uproar they got.  It is clear from their long history of misconduct that only when customers hit them where it hurts (i.e. their wallet) do they pay attention.

Wed Jul 06 2011 4:16AM Report
Jowen writes:

Ahem, CCP did not actually *DO* anything; there were some speculations in an internal company newsletter but no game advancing items were ever placed in the NeX store on Tranquility. Not even Singularity.

Do you ever read your own company's newsletters (assuming you ever worked for one) and realize what a bunch of hogwash those are?

The other thing CCP did not do is communicate well their long term plans and pricing strategy for NeX before introducing the store. That is what they did wrong.

Wed Jul 06 2011 4:24AM Report
ZoeMcCloskey writes:

Thanks for the updated info, not active in Eve at the time but watching what goes on with interest.

Wed Jul 06 2011 4:38AM Report
Tardcore writes:

The only things I feel that CCP really did wrong was Arnar Gylfason's first and rather condecending and snipy reply. That is when the $#17 really hit the fan. Had he taken the time to come to grips with the issue and then posted a more mature response rather than his "ah shut your pie holes" rant. I'm sure things would not have got as bad as they did. And who ever made the "we pay attention to the players actions, not what they say" comment just made things worse.

Wed Jul 06 2011 10:53AM Report
tawess writes:

actually... those who did not get the clue after NGE are... in my humble opinion rather daft... but this does show that NGE was not a one off reaction and that as said present and future MMO Investors(since we all know developers don't control crud these days)  should take a deep thought if it is worth to "push a game out" and then running the risk of having to make major alterations later. After all you never know if your investment will turn out to be a several years in the running golden egg. 

And as all the little happy campers proved, you do not even have to do something bad... Heck you could do something that in the long run is good, but if it is a change to the game theyt play... they will stalk you and nail you to a cross.

Wed Jul 06 2011 11:08AM Report
Harafnir writes:

I agree, and at the same time... not. Really... Gah, I am really split in half here! I do agree we should give them a break and at least some room for doubt here... They are a small company of gamers that built something they believed in, without following the lastest market trends... and it was bad from the beginning. they worked hard, really hard to make it the success it is today. Because they love the game and they love the idea of the game.. At the same token... Bad memo... Bad bad memo. And yes, they meant every word in that memo, even if they are trying to damage control it. And bringing players into the office, all expenses paid, let them see the work behind it and spin a little story... still damage control. I really stand in the middle here. I love CCP. I just do not want to see them turning into.... the rest. Just too few actual game fans in the corporate world.

Wed Jul 06 2011 2:31PM Report
BattleM99 writes:

Considering CCP's problems with helping players against other players, I wouldn't put anything past them.

Wed Jul 06 2011 6:50PM Report
InEccess writes:

The thing that I got from reading the "Fearless" newletter was more about using the PLEX and converting it into multi-game currency (Aurum or just AUR).

Dust514 is a console FPS that will have implications on the EVE universe (hypothetically). This Aurum will be used to purchase weapons for the ground troops in Dust, making DUST a game with a built in cash shop used to fund the maintenance and upkeep plus new items being introduced into the game. Alliances in EVE will buy Plex, and be able to buy mercenaries to fight the ground war for whatever the prize will become.

I get it. I understand that we here in EVE are paying for console games to play a game that interacts with my EVE client. What I don't understand is why I would want/need ground troops in a spaceship game.

Wed Jul 06 2011 7:15PM Report
Khalathwyr writes:

That's fine and dandy for Eve. What I haven't seen addressed but that was very prominently talked about in the company newsletter / memo was the Item Mall in World of Darkness Online. In it they listed both Cosmetic (vanity) items as one type of item sold and they also listed "Power Items".

 

That moniker certianly deliniates them from cosmetic items and does imply that these items will have an effect on gameplay and give advantages to those who buy them.

 

As a potential customer I'd like to see this site query CCP on this and I'd really like to hear their answer.

Thu Jul 07 2011 1:11AM Report
DarLorkar writes:

"

  • Only vanity items will ever be sold in the store.
  • Nothing that would ever risk "unfair" advantages given to one player for money will be sold.
  • Pricing decisions and the like are under review, and explanations are forthcoming."
Sorry where exactly do you get this info?
 
Last i saw was that they "had no plans" to do the above.
 
I have never seen a flat out statement from CCP Dev's of what you say here. Sorry but have no plans and "never" are completely different things IMO.
 
Sounds like more wishfull thinking than any good info, even the basics as you call it.
Thu Jul 07 2011 11:37AM Report

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