EVE’s former story and history overlord is publishing a new book.
The EVE blog scene has been a bit heated as of late. Transitions for sites to new owners, and shakeups between similar sites have proved that in game and out of game, EVE Online drama knows no bounds.
Currently in the middle of both of those mini-whirlwinds is Cyber (@CyberInEve), the new manager of Eve Bloggers. I wanted to catch up with him about the site, and to discuss some elements of the recent interview done here by a competing site.
Winterblink: EVE blogs have caught a lot of attention lately, so what does Eve Bloggers bring to the party?
Cyber: I’ve still got a lot of ideas running through my head for Eve Bloggers, but for the most part I want to keep it the same concept that it started as, a stream that allows people to easily follow the blogging community.
I have plans to add a few more community type features to the site (secret for now :)), as well as other useful resources for the blogging community (and hopefully the greater Eve community itself)
I actually posted a shortish post on the Eve-O forums that explains it a little more in-depth. (Link to thread)
Winterblink: You’ve inherited the site from Marc Scaurus recently, can you talk a bit about how this came about, and how you feel about taking on the responsibility?
Cyber: Perfect timing I think was a major factor in it. I recently got back from a little over a year off of eve due to real life issues, and when I came back I heard rumors that Eve Bloggers wasn’t being updated anymore. I’ve always been a huge fan of the site, and as an avid blogger and webmaster I immediately wanted to see what I could do to help.
When I saw Marc post about looking for a new owner, I jumped at the opportunity. I actually didn’t think he’d pick me since I had just got back from a long absence, but I guess my expertise in the area made me a good candidate. As for the responsibility…I’m deeply humbled by taking ownership and from the feedback I’ve gotten so far. Marc did an awesome job with the site (and Alexia before him), so while I have changes in mind, I also want to stay true to the initial concept of the site and not change it too much. As we both know…the bloggers are a rowdy bunch so I want to make sure it stays a resource that they approve of.
Though, I guess that got off the topic of responsibility I bit…which I guess you’ll find out, I ramble a bit at times. I know it’s going to be a time consuming job but I have a feeling it will be very rewarding to watch the site (and more importantly the community) begin to grow.
Winterblink: You mentioned Alexia; I recently did an interview with him about his own EVE blogging site, and there seems to be some drama with regards to the two services. Assuming you’ve read that interview, I’m going to put you on the spot and ask whether you had any response to some of the assertions made about Eve Bloggers.
Cyber: Well, to start with, I think most of the drama that popped up was more about his new site than Eve Bloggers (or with what he wanted to turnEve Bloggers into if he got it back). Eve Bloggers was create by Alexia to be a “stream” of blogs for the community…yet somewhere along the line he decided that he wanted to confine the blogging community to one website rather than allow people to remain individuals. I do think he had good intentions, I have no issue with Alexia personally…just with that idea, I don’t think it works well for this type of thing. A good example would be podlogs, it was a good site while it was around…got new people into the blogging community…and then it disappeared, leaving tons of people stranded and having to find a new place for their blogs.
While I’m not going to say that Alexia is going to disappear, what happens if he does? What if he loses interest, gets bored, has personal issues, etc. It will put whoever is using the site to host their blogs into the same predicament as podlogs did…having to find a new home for their blog with very little notice. A bloggers domain is his identity…changing it is a big deal. I originally was interested in working with Alexia, somehow working together with the two sites, although we never could figure out how to do so.
Then, when I read your interview with him…where he seems to have lost his temper and decided to bash those of us who prefer to run our own blogs…I realized that working with him would not be an option for me. In my opinion, the blogging community is a group of people…we don’t all have to have our domain at noidentity.blogsite.com.
I’m not sure what he was thinking with those comments. I know it personally made me decide not to support his endeavors…and while I can’t speak for everyone, I’m sure there are plenty of other bloggers that thought the same thing. Not many people enjoy being told to go screw themselves and that their opinions don’t matter…especially when everything we do is based on our opinions as bloggers.
Winterblink: There is an important distinction to make between the two sites really. Alexia is building a blogging consortium of a sort, hosted on his service. You’re administering a kind of Google Reader (RIP) for EVE blogs, aggregating the existing community. Is this assumption generally correct?
Cyber: I think that’s a safe way of putting it. Eve Bloggers intends to be a resource FOR the community, while it seems Alexia is trying to make a site to BE the community.
Though I do intend to add other features to the site that aren’t just based on aggregating content (guest blogs, guides, other eve related links, etc)…I intend to allow the eve community itself to help form the website into what they want it to be through the use of polls and suggestions. I want it to be about the community and not about me.
Winterblink: The blog hosting part of his site is certainly useful (and free) to those who want to start their own, though it will be a bit of an uphill battle against full featured blog hosts like WordPress and Blogger. That’s definitely going to be a challenge for him, and frankly anyone trying to be the EVE Online Uber Community.
You mentioned Alexia potentially leaving his site stagnant, and how that would affect users of his service. I have to point out, isn’t that exactly what happened to Eve Bloggers in the past?
Cyber: That did happen to Eve Bloggers, and funny enough Alexia was the one that had to give it up, but it went stagnant because of Marc (not Alexia). However, Eve Bloggers does not host peoples blogs so even if Eve Bloggers ended up stagnating again, it would cause no danger towards peoples blogs. (although I do run my own hosting company and have been debating opening a hosting service for isk up sometime, but that’s another story for another time :))
Winterblink: Thanks very much for taking the time to chat with me between fights in EVE. To wrap up, if folks out there are interested in trying out your site as a blog owner or reader, where should they go?
Cyber: For readers, heading over to http://www.evebloggers.com/ will take them to the main page where they can see the most recent blogs from the community, and then from there find different feeds for different topics, or the full community blog list (coming soon). For owners, http://www.evebloggers.com/get-added would be a good place to start.
There’s no shortage of opinions in EVE, and blogs allow people to formulate those more than a simple forum post or tweet. In the absence of Google Reader, aggregating the RSS feeds from all the different EVE blogs can be done with newer services, but finding the blogs in the first place isn’t always easy. With EVE Bloggers now under new committed management, it stands to become another valuable source for people to go to for discovering new and interesting things from the EVE community.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on social media over the last week, you may have noticed Alexia Morgan (@Alexia_Morgan) talking about a new initiative for current and aspiring EVE bloggers. Titled The EVE Online Blogging Community – A Network of EVE Online Blogs, this new site is intended to take over for the incumbent EVE Online Bloggers Portal.
I wanted to catch up with Alexia to find out some more information about the site and what he hopes it will provide the EVE community.
Winterblink: Maybe to start off, give us the sales pitch. A blog of blogs seems to be a bizarre concept to some.
Alexia Morgan: I hadn’t called it that before – a ‘blog of blogs’ is a great way of putting it. I had just seen it as a portal for Eve Online bloggers, allowing them to access blogs and resources from the one site. It’s still a work in progress, but there’s going to be integrated blogs that will be published and shared along with the sharing of independent blogs and their updates. There’s also Groups and Forums for sharing of common interests, activities and even focused discussions around individual blogs. The whole idea is to build up a single community focused on Eve Online bloggers and helping them communicate and share with each other, while presenting it to the world, inviting more to get involved.
Winterblink: You make the distinction between integrated and independent blogs. I’m assuming that means that you will not only host blogs for people who don’t have one of their own, and support some sort of aggregation of blogs that are privately hosted, correct?
Alexia Morgan: That’s right. I know there’s been some resistance in the community at the distinction, but I’m not sure why. I’ve had some independent bloggers complain that they don’t want to be known as ‘independent’ bloggers, compared to those blogs built and published within the portal. While I understand their issues, I don’t accept them. There’s no easy way of putting together internal and external blogs on the one site. Internal blogs are auto-published to the front page, while the external blogs are auto-displayed via RSS feeds. You can’t please everyone all the time, however, so I don’t bother trying. But yes, Eve Blogs is for all bloggers, and it’s doing its best to share everyone’s blogs that want to be involved.
Winterblink: Being an independent EVE blogger myself, I enjoy the freedom that a privately hosted solution can bring, especially from a technical perspective. What kind of features or services will your site provide that you think are competitive to an independent blog?
Alexia Morgan: Well, firstly, independent blogs don’t have integrated forums. Depending on their blogging platform, they can certainly set it up, but it’s a mighty pain in the butt to do so. I’ve already done it, so it’s available to integrated blogs without them needing to worry about it themselves. They just ‘plug in’ and start using.
Secondly, independent bloggers are ‘mostly’ clueless about their site security and administration. One of the first things I did was setup extensive security hardening protocols for the site, to mitigate risks of hacking and losing content. I’ve also got all content being auto-backed up every three days, so if there’s any issues I can restore from backup. The security and continuity of members and their content has to be an important element of this, and it is, and so I’ve done what most independent bloggers never do.
And finally, I am the administrator of the site, so that if any integrated blog owners have issues, they have me to help them with it.
I think that overall, it’s the ease of setup and administration of an integrated blog compared to having to setup a blog yourself that will make this an attractive and competitive option for new bloggers that don’t know how to get started, and don’t have the time or interest in learning. I suspect that there are many Eve Online players out there who would just LOVE to blog about their experiences, but are hampered by the daunting prospect of having to set up a blog and maintain it, when they know nothing about it, and all they want to do is start writing. I help them get over that hurdle.
Winterblink: I’ve not seen anything yet on your site with regards to content ownership policies; for example, sites such as Facebook and others infer ownership and usage rights to images uploaded to their service. After having a taste of how magical life as an EVE blogger can be, some users may decide to branch off and go independent. Is their content considered theirs with all rights reserved by the authors, and will their content be made available to them freely if they decide to move on?
Alexia Morgan: When it became clear that I wouldn’t be taking over evebloggers.com, I knew I had to create something to take over the responsibility that evebloggers.com had. I built that site, so I knew it was based on RSS feed outputs provided by Google Reader – which was completely shutting down on July 1st. The result would be that evebloggers.com would no longer be providing its service. So I worked hard to build a replacement, which was eveblogs.net. The site went live the same day Google Reader shut down (five days ago now), and has been a work in progress since then as of this interview, I haven’t had a chance to formalise the content ownership policies yet, but this is a good time to let it be known what those policies are going to be.
All blog content provided by any individual is theirs, and theirs alone. This includes text and images. There will be restrictions, however, on the size of individual files uploaded as part of their blog, so the use of external image hosting sites will be encouraged. There will be backup plugins in place that can automate backups of individual content and sent to their email for their own personal storage. At any time, blog owners have the right and the availability of exporting their content to be used on an independent blog, and to delete their internal, integrated blog. There will be no restrictions with this.
Winterblink: There is some element of controversy behind this site, specifically with regards to evebloggers.com. Can you give us your own perspective on what happened there, and why you ended up having to produce a whole new site instead of updating the old one?
Alexia Morgan: Now there’s a contentious issue, and one which I already discussed in detail here (http://eveblogs.net/tours/2013/06/the-evebloggers-com-conspiracy/). However, the quick summary is that I gave evebloggers.com to Marc Scaurus back in 2012, when I wanted to pass the mantle to someone else who would have the same passion for it as me, so that I could focus on some RL distractions. He gave me the impression he was dedicated, so I transitioned ownership over to him. But he did nothing with it, and then joined themittani.com as senior editor. He also took ownership of the Eve Blog Pack, and did nothing with that as well. And then, this year, when the evebloggers.com domain was coming up for renewal, he announced that he was letting go of it and would give it to someone who had never managed it before. Since I was the only one who had managed it before, it was clear he didn’t want me taking it over again, even though I had attempted to contact him numerous times over the past year to take it back, when I saw he was doing nothing with it.
Based on his actions, his words, and the background of his involvement with themittani.com, I came up with the conspiracy theory that themittani.com wanted to destroy the Eve blogging community, so that they could drive all traffic to their domain. It’s only a theory because there’s no direct evidence, but if there’s enough dots then a pretty clear picture can be seen.
So, because he wasn’t interested in giving it back to me, I had to create a new site to take on the responsibility of what I had started. I was extremely disappointed that he was engaging in actions to try and bring down the community portal, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from continuing what I’d started in 2009.
Winterblink: You recently blogged that you have a “change of focus” in mind for your site already, which seems pretty early in a site’s lifecycle to happen. Can you describe what the new focus is all about, and why you chose to do this so soon?
Alexia Morgan: There was a lot of controversy about the ‘internal and external’ labelling of Eve blogs and bloggers in the context of the community portal. Some bloggers felt that such labelling was actually ‘dividing’ the community by considering them as separate. I thought it was ironic that this was coming from an independent blogger who wanted to remain independent, while complaining about someone else commenting on their independence. As I said in a comment on their post, “I’m hearing the cries of independent bloggers who don’t want to be labelled as independent, even though they are, and who want to be known as members of the community, even though they’re struggling to remain separate.” It was sarcasm, trying to present the irony in their arguments. But they didn’t see it. And it’s probably silly of me to expect those who are engaging in irony to actually see it.
But a number of bloggers are talking about the same thing. The controversy is real and seems to enrage them. It’s not beneficial to me to try and bring a community together by enraging them. So the ‘change of focus’ is to, put it bluntly, tell them to go screw themselves. If they want to remain independent, they can. If they want to struggle against the concept of community, they can. If they think creating ‘competition’ amongst various community sites or blogs is a good thing, they’re entitled to their opinions. What’s left for me to do is simply focus on those that want to be in the community and support the community. Those that don’t, so be it.
However, I’m pondering on whether or not I should allow independent bloggers to use Eve Blogs Network to promote their blogs if they’re adamantly against the idea. If you’re an independent blogger wanting to have your blog listed on a community portal, I think it’s a bit ripe to sign up to have your blog updates presented on the portal, and then start blogging about your resistance to the concept of community and a community portal.
So the change of focus is going to take all this into consideration as I move forward. Community is community – those that don’t support it, well, you’re obviously not into community and shouldn’t be part of it. Rotten apples, and all that. I’ll instead focus on those that do support it and want to be part of it.
I think that this is going to bring a lot of ‘new blood’ into the scene, and I’m completely in favour of that.
Winterblink: Thanks for taking the time to speak to me about the new site, Alexia.
If anyone out there is interested in trying their hand at being the “new blood” of EVE bloggers, feel free to go to eveblogs.net/register to sign up.
CCP Gargant gave us some initial details about the upcoming Alliance Tournament XI, and there’s no shortage of controversy with some of the changes.
…we will do away with the usual format of qualifying rounds and group stages and go for a double elimination bracket format from the start.
This time around there will be no qualifying and group stages to deal with, as the tournament is entirely defined as a double elimination bracket. I always found those other stages to be a bit of a drag, doing more to provide intel on the other teams’ composition and tactics. I imagine that this change will result in more espionage of teams testing their fleet compositions on Singularity. That kind of metagaming is something I’ve always chuckled at, since its such a quintessential EVE thing.
This Alliance Tournament will also include bans, similar to popular competitive games such as DOTA. This is new to Alliance Tournaments, but was featured in the New Eden Open where it seemed to work pretty well.
The big controversy so far is over the final change, where by the dev blog posted on May 15th states that you can only fight alongside an alliance you’ve been on since downtime… on May 15th.
Now people come and go from alliances all the time, and often the friendships between pilots and their former corpmates will persist. Historically, some Alliance Tournament teams have been assembled like an internet spaceships version of The Avengers, with some teams made up of PVP pilots from all over the place. Alliances will bring in others to either buff their teams with highly skilled pilots, or sometimes just to let someone they know compete in the limelight for fun. CCP Fozzie explains the spirit behind this change to the rules:
Alliance Tournament is essentially the Olympic Games of EVE. People can move from one country to another, but it’s intended that you represent the country that you claim as your own the whole year round.
You can probably predict the resulting action on the forum. To be honest I agree with points on both sides. The Alliance Tournament isn’t necessarily about stuffing your team with ringers, however there are those who might have floated away from their alliance that would like to compete with their friends. For the latter cases, there is a silver lining:
In cases where a corp or member are caught by surprise outside of *their* alliance for one reason or another, we can make exceptions to get them back in. What we don’t want is people jumping from one alliance to another just for the tournament.
If you have a request for an exception, send a petition to the community queue and we’ll take a look. But if you’re trying to move from your home alliance to another one just for the tournament, I don’t expect we’ll grant those requests.
A simple petition to “Other Issues > Community” to present your case should do the trick.
Along with the announcement comes a call for more commentators. If you think you’ve got the skills to present the tournament to the masses, feel free to hit up the dev blog for details on how to do so.
We will once again be opening up the application process for players who would like to be PVP commentators. These elite players are handpicked by us to fly out to Iceland for the tournament finals played over the final two weekends, joining the team here at CCP HQ to help us run the live broadcasts.
A free trip to Iceland isn’t a bad deal, however commentating Alliance Tournaments is not really a vacation trip. Raw knowledge of EVE gameplay isn’t going to guarantee that people are excellent presenters, and I can’t imagine the challenge it is for CCP to hand pick those with the right combination of game smarts and people skills. Nobody wants to see someone flip to “deer caught in headlights” mode when the cameras hit them.
Applications for the position close May 26th, so if you’re interested definitely throw your name in sooner than later.
One of the fun things about doing commentary on the EVE universe is watching what the rest of the community does. There are people out there who sink massive quantities of their own personal time to producing community material and services, from simple blogging to full on feature length machinima.
So far though, nobody’s actually sat down and tried to chronicle the history of EVE in documentary form. Sure there have been some Wiki attempts but nothing like an actual documentary. Enter A Tale of Internet Spaceships, a documentary about EVE and its community being produced by a group of media students in Sweden. Following the recent crowdfunding trend, they’ve chosen to launch an Indiegogo campaign to help with production costs.
I wanted to know a bit more about the project and its team, so I recently sat down with them in my inbox to discuss the documentary, the team, and the campaign.
Winterblink: First off, congratulations on what looks like a pretty successful start to your campaign. In just a short amount of time you guys have already received a respectable percentage of your end goal.
Philip Raivander: Thanks!
Winterblink: This is an ambitious project, once which will be trying to chronicle the history of a ten year old game and it’s expansive community, both of which have evolved significantly over the years. What do each of your team members bring to the party that will help the project succeed?
Petter Mårtensson: We’re not trying to chronicle the history of EVE. That’d be insanity, trying to figure out all the things that happened during the Great War, or the rise and fall of BoB, the origins of Goonswarm or… Yeah, you get the picture. Instead we’ll try to ask very specific questions about the actual nature of the game – the forming and evolution of the community and how its relationship with CCP looks. The latter is a complicated issue in itself and the one we’ll put the most focus on – it’s interesting not only from an EVE-perspective but from a consumer perspective. Personally I’ve worked in games journalism since 2004, I am an experienced interviewer and journalist, so I bring that to the team. I also worked with video for many years.
Philip: I’ve been working with recording and music production intensively for the last 6 years, that’s probably the main reason why Petter asked me to be a part of the project; to save some money on music rights. And when we arrive in Iceland, I’ll probably be in charge of checking white balance on cameras and carrying stuff. I seem to be made to suffer, it’s my lot in life. Elin is sadly sick and can’t speak for herself at the moment. But as a producer she has the great ability to make sure that we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, when we’re supposed to do it, in a bossy, but fair way.
Petter: We also have Seismic Stan on our side. ‘Nuff said.
Winterblink: You will never be able to satisfy everyone. You realize that, right?
Petter: I can see it now. “OMFG GOON BIAS!”
Philip: Isn’t that the case with everything in life? We know some parts of the community are sceptical about this documentary, but we can only do our best to try to satisfy as many as possible.
Petter: We’re also very open to feedback and suggestions, so get in contact if you have any thoughts or fears.
Winterblink: The site states that you have previously covered CCP and EVE, has that been along the same lines of what you’re proposing to do here or has it been a part of some other community coverage?
Petter: I’ve been covering EVE in various forms since 2006, interviewing people like Hilmar, Zulu, Torfi, Nathan and others. I’ve been to Fanfest twice, to cover the actual convention in 2011 and the big push for Dust 514 (Swedish link, you’ve been warned) last year (which also resulted in a podcast with various people, including Seismic Stan and Manifest). I also covered Monoclegate quite a bit (and interviewed The Mittani about it, OMFG GOON BIAS), the event that inspired A Tale of Internet Spaceships. I grab hold of any CCP employee and shove a mic in his or her face whenever I get the opportunity.
Winterblink: What role, if any, will CCP be playing as part of your production? Will there be any kind of collaboration happening between them and your team?
Philip: They’ve helped us out with press access to Fanfest, and they’ve promised to help us get interviews with employees. Other than that, we have no collaboration with them and they have no say in the editorial process of the movie.
Winterblink: How are you planning on keeping the end product an honest and impartial one?
Philip: When it comes to filming documentaries, I believe that it’s hard to be completely impartial. Instead, we should be very clear about our subjective look into the questions we’re trying to raise, while making sure this doesn’t become some sort of propaganda film.
Winterblink: The EVE player community is, shall we say… a passionate one. There are plenty of sensitive topics in the history of EVE that will be like little landmines during your production. How are you planning on handling tougher issues, and more importantly how will you deal with any potential fallout in game? Remember, there’s a shiny new bounty system in place now.
Petter: There are absolutely some very sensitive topics that we’ll have to treat with utmost respect, especially since some are personal for both players and CCP employees. We’ll have to figure out which are relevant to the documentary and go from there. Speaking of the bounties, I gave themittani.com my character’s name… That might have been a mistake.
Winterblink: You’ll be present at Fanfest this year — that’s a handful of you versus hundreds EVE folks. Where will people be able to find you to get involved?
Philip: We’ll give out our e-mail so that people can stay in touch with us if they want to participate during fanfest, and plan to we wear t-shirts with the logo on it so people can find us on the showfloor.
Petter: We’ll be the guys that, together with people from CCP, look the most stressed out. Also, Philip’s flowing, golden hair and great looks should stand out in any crowd.
Winterblink: Outside of Fanfest, what are your plans for getting the views of the EVE community into your documentary?
Petter: It’s about budget, right? We’re only focusing on Fanfest at the moment – it’s the biggest gathering of EVE players and gives us easy access to CCP. If there is an EVE meet somewhere that we have the opportunity to go to, we’d of course jump at the chance.
Winterblink: I’m worried that relying on Fanfest coverage will result in only a more recent perspective of EVE. If you’re going to get into the history of EVE, what are your plans for making that content interesting beyond just a nicely produced recounting of events?
Philip: As mentioned above, we’re not getting into the history of EVE. But that would also be an interesting documentary to watch. Maybe the EVE-community themselves can make that happen?
Winterblink: What kind of EVE players are those on the team?
Petter: I’ve turned ship spinning into an art form. Weeeee! Seismic Stan, who helps us with research and other things, sends his regards and says that he’s been ”a carebearing industrialist missioner, a member of a low-sec alliance attached to CVA in the Providence NRDS era” and that he later led his corp to certain doom in null-sec as part of a -A- pet alliance. I was actually in that -A- pet alliance too. No, I’m not proud of it, but it’s not like we actually did anything. Except lag out in some huge, 1400-player scrap against Red Alliance (I think it was).
Winterblink: I have to applaud the thriftiness of your campaign, it seems you folks want the money to go straight into the production and not fluffy perks. If the campaign goes along at the pace it has been, you’ll be past your goal before the end of the funding period. If that’s the case, what can we expect the extra money to go towards?
Petter: Stretch goals are always tricky, especially since we want to keep the perks modest – there have been way too many Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaigns that lost a lot of money promising all kinds of toys, t-shirts and posters to their backers. When we’re closing in on the $6000 we’re hoping to raise, we’ll talk more about it.
Winterblink: How can we expect to watch the documentary once it is complete?
Philip: We will release it on a variety of social platforms such as Youtube, Vimeo and file sharing sites. Since this is a non-profit project, we want everyone to be able to watch the documentary without paying for it.
Winterblink: What do you and your team plan on doing after the documentary is done?
Philip: Probably celebrate! After that, most of us are getting back to school for our final year for our bachelor exam. If everything goes as planned with A Tale of Internet Spaceships, we’ll start to plan our next project straight away.
Winterblink: Thanks to you and your team for taking the time to answer these questions, and good luck on the fundraising campaign!
Petter: Thanks for having us! I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all the people that have supported us, both financially and by spreading the word. I should also mention that while me, Philip and Elin are the most visible, we have several other people helping us out behind the scenes – production assistants, graphical artists, researchers, consultants… Without them, this documentary would probably never happen.
If you think the idea of a community-made documentary about EVE Online is a cool one then head over to the campaign page and toss these guys some of your hard earned cash. In lieu of there being no “Taranis Love” option, I went with “Battleship Love” myself. There’s only two weeks left on the campaign, and this is a neat way to support the EVE community.
HolidaysChristmas is once again upon us, and the giving spirit of CCP has emerged from its gross cocoon to terrorize the universe once again. This time the festivities are spread across the next couple of weeks.
Just in time to ring in Acadian Remembrance Day, you’ll be able to log in and smack the Redeem Items button. Your reward for doing this will be a brand new snowball launcher and a pile of snowballs to use with it. Anyone who was around the last time CCP did this knows that this is a terrific tool for fun AND griefing of the unsuspecting. In other words, perfect for EVE players.
Hilariously timed to interrupt the festivities of International Human Solidarity Day, arrives your mystery box. Fuck knows what’s in it, my guess is a new ship, however others have thought it might have something to do with all the Special Edition Assets items visible on the Market these days.
Finally, celebrate the creation of the Constitution along with the citizens of North Korea with the final gift from CCP. The description suggests we will be gifted with some fireworks to mess around with, items which have also recently appeared in the game’s Market. As fun as fake explosions are, the real ones are always more fun. Hopefully using these in densely packed areas of the game leads to someone’s demise.
All in all, CCP has a lot planned for us this year now that Retribution is live. If the campaign banner is any indication, space will be sparkling like a Cullen in the sun.
EVE Online’s history of competitive gaming is nearly seven years running now. That’s an impressive run for any game, however it’s a hell of a lot more impressive since EVE is a MMO. With each successive outing, CCP has refined the formula, accomplishing two things: a more structured set of rules for players to abide by, and the hilarious player drama which surrounds interpreting them.
Competitive gaming in general has been increasing in popularity recently, migrating globally from its popular roots in Asia and including other games who’s titles do not end in “craft”. The last few EVE tournaments have aligned themselves more and more with the way other games handle these affairs, and CCP are finally offering the most flexible prize of all: cold hard cash, divided up for each of the players in the top teams.
This tournament will have four prizes as follows:
- 1st Prize – $6,000 plus in-game medal
- 2nd Prize – $3,000 plus in-game medal
- 3rd Prize – $1,000 plus in-game medal
$10,000 in total is a nice round figure, and only slightly cuts in to the CCP Lead Designer Ferrari Fund.
There’s also a giant pile of PLEX numbering 375 that will be given out as well. That’s no small amount of game time.
Double elimination brackets, check. Cash prizes, check. Entry rules, check. The only thing missing is a sponsorship from Razer or nVidia or something. Oh wait… it’s sponsored by own3D.tv.
The whole thing sounds interesting and exciting, however the one glaring omission from the whole affair is the community feel of previous tournaments. May it’s the bitter old EVE vet in me, but a little voice keeps pointing out the fact that this feels like more of an advertisement than a service to the community.
That being said, I look forward to seeing the EVE community take this on as its own anyway, along with all the fun drama that comes along with it. If the match casts are as high quality (ignoring outages) as the last Alliance Tournament, there should be entertainment enough to go around for current and future players.
EVE is one of those games which tends to unleash the inner soapbox in people. Often the result of this is ends up being something best avoided entirely, lest you waste what precious time you have in this life on what amounts to little more than random keyboard mashing.
The Mittani is one of those who you want to pay attention to. As a long time EVE player and CSM legend, Mittens has been afforded the rare opportunity to not only work closely with people in EVE but also the people who build and maintain it. This isn’t some random occurrence however, it’s based largely on him being a pretty smart guy who has smart opinions on things, and has a way to deliver that opinion in a way that doesn’t make him look like some knuckle-dragger.
Enter his new and improved site, which bills itself thusly:
Our goal is to create a combination of news and commentary for you that is both up-to-date and insightful, and one which combines old-fashioned fact-checking with a broad range of contributors in order to provide an authoritative source of updates for Eve Online and everything that interests Eve Online players.
“Insightful”, “fact-checking” and “Eve Online” in the same sentence? What the fuck?
If someone had told me that someone out there in EVE had some up with a news site that did this I’d tell them they’d been smoking were smoking their own bullshit, but Mittsie has apparently been successful and getting things off to a great start. Timely news, featured articles, and even book reviews presented in a nice and easy to read package, written by people who … well, can write. In a word: refreshing.
There has been a lot of EVE news sites in the past that have tried to do this kind of thing, but end up getting mired in their own bias so deep they choke to death on dwindling reader statistics. If Mitts can keep a strong hold on the reigns to ensure continuing quality, the new site will be one we can all enjoy going to for years to come.
Unless he puts up a Fifty Shades of Grey book review up, then I take all of this back and Mittens can go fuck himself. :)