Saturday, September 1, 2012

Informavore Feeding

Information is important in Eve Online, nay almost mandatory. While there are players who thought the game looked interesting, downloaded it, played it, and never advanced beyond that their existence does not disprove of the need for information.

It is the validation of it.

Let me dust off this soap box. I have spent too much time reading the forums over the last day. My thoughts are almost redundant. I cast them out into the interwebs where they may be received. If they are, they are picked up by the very people who are not doing what I speak about.

But it still bothers me. It also amuses me. I want to understand it as well.

A few weeks ago CCP changed mining barges. They changed them for many reasons publicly announced and theory crafted. The basics of the changes were that mining barges were made out of paper mache and players were destroying them as if it were a sport. CCP decided to step in and correct the situation, use the blanket of change and rebalance as their reasons.

What was not expected was the backlash from the miners themselves. Some changes were made to how much ore they could take in. Adjustment proved hard. Yet weeks later people are still coming forward and complaining about their suddenly broken ships. Some have not noticed the ore bays existence. There are now complaints that people are mining too well.

No information was consumed by these players. I do not believe that force feeding Eve's reality will reach out to people with their eyes closed.

The case of Oddball Six is one of my favorite examples.

Oddball Six is not a new player. He started September of 2009. He does not appear to be an ISK poor player. He however was a wantonly ignorant player by choice. He wanted Eve to be a game where he relaxed, mined stuff, built stuff, and played his game. he got that. But, like every other person that logs into Eve Online he also got the sandbox. In the sandbox there are billions of grains of sand. There are also hundreds of thousands of people playing with those grains of sand.

Not a single grain of sand exclusively belongs to anyone. That is a point often missed. "You can do anything," applies to everyone. It does not mean, "You can have anything you want." It simply means that you can go and do it. Success is not guaranteed. The button my not produce bacon.

So Oddball wandered onto the forums and spread his almost embarrassing ignorance. Under it I believe is an intelligent person wrapped up by a terrible player.

The CSM elections are another area where this comes into play. Complaints that the CSM does not represent Eve's population are nonstop. Yet, the lack of representation was a blatant choice made by the player to ignore the game around them. The election banners were on the log in screens, on the websites, spammed eve mails were sent by candidates and their supporters. For weeks it was CSM Elections online.

16% of the player base voted. That was the best result ever. To vote one had to click a link that took you to the vote screen and allowed you to log in. it was neat and it was simple. The screens were everywhere.

People ignored it. Now some cry out that they are not properly represented. But their own group chose not to be represented.

Ignorance is a choice. it is a valid choice. I cannot began to argue that it is an intelligent choice. I'll stand firmly on my belief that it is not.

But Eve is not a game that can be 'won' in ignorance. Even if a player never learns to PvP, understanding aggression mechanics is an important skill. Not understanding them causes you to die without a clue as to why or how to correct it because other's manipulated your ignorance. Dying with a clue about why or how to correct it isn't a terrible thing.

Information is so valuable that players dedicate their personal energy into making charts such, summaries and tools for access of complete strangers. CCP has said that they wish to avoid duplicating what the players make.

But that personal energy is not always positive. The Alliance mail pulling website Eve Skunk is a perfect example of it. Yet, people cry to CCP instead of fixing the problem internally. The solution? Instead of arming themselves with the information freely given by other players or taking suggestions or even using the options granted by CCP when it comes to making forums they whine about it.

I find Eve relaxing. I also find puzzles relaxing. If I want to turn off my brain I go to sleep. For this game its about thought. Its an elaborate quest in game and out. The support structure created by the player base is so intricate and vast that it has begun to prop up the game itself.

"Google" is a valid answer to many a help question. Even "YouTube" is valid.

I have no idea why I ranted about this today. I maybe need to stay off the forums for the rest of the weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment