Monday, October 26, 2015

Eve Vegas 2015

This hotel room looks over the Bellaigo fountains.  At this time of night they go off every fifteen minutes. The larger shows where the foutnains shoot up high enough to top the hotel peak also start.


It is a beautiful view. I just crawled out of a tub where I soaked my tired and sore legs and feet. Eve Vegas is over and unlike other times, I did not come home in the evenings and blog. Instead, I came home and curled up with my husband and slept. There was some debate to hang out until the late hours of the night but I decided not to. Fatigue does not feel particularly good.

Last week I logged out of Eve and decided not to log back in for a while. Tonight, I have no way to log in but feel myself wishing to do so. I savor that thread desire. It means all is not lost and the negitivity and bitterness that has swamped me for weeks has not corrupted me to the core of my game play.

Even at seven hundred tickets the event feels intimate. There is a tangable excitment in the air. People greet people and ask them who they fly with. So much of the clicquish feel that was present at the first and second Eve Vegas events that I attended is gone. My note taking is no longer unique. I feel replaced by recordings, recorders, and live streams. I still wielded my notepad and my pen. Just as I still retreat to my blog to ponder events.

I can say that I needed the positive vibe. My own depression was evident. I wish that no one saw that I was worn down and exhausted., Yet, discussing it I realize that I had promised to represent things and share what the CSM was like. I didn't promise to be a cheerleader and pretend that every moment was created in utter perfection. I do wish that the bad times and exhausting times didn't happen. But, they do and to hide it creates a level of falsehood I don't want to be a part of.

It was nice to have people tell me that they appreicate the time that i've put into the CSM. The every day is more often filled with negitives than positives and it becomes easy to drown in it. I'm embarassed that my vision becomes blurred and my energy sapped by it. It will be odd when it is gone but not completly unplesant. For now, there is another six months worth of time to complete projects and set up others to finish. I have a bag full of well wishes to help me not get lost in all of the dark comments.

Not everything is happy, excited energy. I've ease dropped on conversations. There is an underlying unhappiness there. Vegas is a gritty city that is made beautiful by vast archatcture and stunning neon lights. In many ways, I am reminded of the city as I watch players enjoy the event with tight lipped smiles. It was a mixture of enjoyment and unhappiness as they processed the changes while meeting friends old and new.

As for me, I have decided to put aside my efforts to understand parties full of loud music and alcohol. I watched the fountains from the party on saturday, and admired a street preformer with three hulahoops. I waited for the apiffiny to strike where I'd find the party to be amazing and full of memorial events. I wound up leaving as the music level reached unbearable volume and going off to have dinner with Dire and Vov.

I look forward to next year. There will be no CSM to loom over my head. I will have disolved back into the primordial soup of nothingness. The old adage to be careful of your wishes has been true for me. I think obscurity is where I belong.

As I was finishing up, my husband asked me what I was writing. I told him that I was writing about why I had not written. He looked down and looked back up and said, "I didn't write because I didn't want to. The end." I guess that's the TL;DR.

Bast and Anubis say good night.


24 comments:

  1. Heh, rest well and take it easy, Sugar.

    There's been enough coverage of all EVE Vegas, negativeness included. I have the impression that everybody noticed one way or another that EVE Vegas has been a repeat and iteration of things known (some fine detailing, but no big surprises) and maybe some felt uneasy about the cold reality outside of the little party; both the Vegas reality and the EVE reality.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're fine Sugar. Ultimately, you blog because you want to. And if you stopped, it's because you want to. Same with your work on the CSM. We're thankful for what we get out of you, but in the long Eve's a game, and it isn't worth sacrificing yourself to it. No matter what promises you think you gave us on Monday, if something happens on Tuesday we really don't expect you to keep them on Wednesday. I'm at least rational like that. Take some more time off if you want. Everything will still be here afterwards. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. It definitely sounds like you need some you time. You have certainly earned it!

    Even from my distant perch I could see some nervousness and tension in the keynote. There were some applause lines that fell dead, and some that obviously fell short. It all looks interesting, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and CCP's attempts to change the game have run into massive resistance before.

    It will be interesting to watch. Maybe I should log in again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You can visit Vegas and experience it as a total party of non-stop fun and excitement but that requires two things: unlimited money and an uncritical eye. All you have to do is line up in front or behind someone with more money (which is always) and you'll notice the deep stratification ingrained in every experience based on your ability to part with it. Turn a critical eye just away from the carefully managed cityscape of the strip and witness the billboards for cheap lawyers, prostitution cards handed out of the streets, and the ubiquitous advertisements for the high life offered on the cheap (super car rentals by the HOUR!). Scratch Vegas too deeply and depression is sure to follow.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have followed and joined in from your first post about the possibility of running until now... and I cannot even begin to express my appreciation for all you have stood for and done... I can't. It's too much... You have been a shining, funny, invested, involved, bright and passionate star in New Edens dark, harsh, unfriendly and cold Spaces.

    I must admit to an ill feeling pervading my time in EVE these days... my son's have left the game, my corp has all but disappeared, I saw on corpmate on last night and he was pissed off (possibly joking but I worry not) that his sub auto-reupped... cause no one is ever ON anymore... and I have been...

    mining...

    in hisec...

    THAT'S how bad it is has become for me personally.

    I still login, and I still play, but like so many everything is changing... mebbe too much change, too fast... I just don't know anymore.

    Sugar, I will always remember being on one of the lucky ones who got to be here and a part of EVE when you were on the CSM... and to be lucky enough meet you IRL too.

    Thank you dear lady... o7

    ReplyDelete
  6. Glad to hear you made it bak w/no problem. Not un-surprised that such an event could go off w/o a ton of memorable mini-occurrences. That being said, with teis latest huge round of changes I am more excited to play and dive deeper into EVE than ever before.

    I have added Capital ship training (the non Freighter type) to my characters - something I had vowed to never get dragged into but w/all the new changes and a more focused direction for the delivery of CCP's ideas -- I am all in. Heck I must have drunk deeply of the koolaid since I am even considering picking up an Occulus/VR rig so I can dive into Valkyrie :O

    ReplyDelete
  7. First of all the Icelandic chocolate you gave me is amazing and I love it. Secondly I am fairly sure we ended up having more fun at dinner than most people did at the party. All in all Vegas was really fun and something everyone should go to atleast once, probably more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. VoV! - Was glad we met and were able to hang out as much as we did.

      Sugar! - Glad you're getting at least a little time to recharge. Thanks again for making sure this mostly-solo player was well integrated into things. Our time in las vegas was better for it.

      By the way, it seemed like half of our airplane was full of old people that were in the rodeo thing next door to our venue. :)

      Delete
    2. The view from Dire’s room . . .

      Unlike Sugar Kyle, DireNecessity is a late planning cheap skate meaning her room (OOC his) was towards the more seedy north end of the strip. Unsurprisingly, Dire is OK with this.

      Thursday Evening – Dire drops on grid where Sugar Kyle drags her up to the Mezzanine to 1) Meet Noizy Gamer and 2) Watch the Open Comms show taping. Standing in the right place with the right people at the right time nets Dire several shots of Tito’s vodka and fancy T-shirt swag . . . auspicious beginning.

      Late Friday morning – Dire queues up for official check in. At the far front of the line she sees CSM Sugar Kyle working the crowd. Make no mistake people, just because Sugar doesn’t enjoy politics doesn’t mean she isn’t good at it. The warm greetings to those she respects is palpable from the far end of the room. The frigid cold shoulder delivered to those she doesn’t respect freezes the entire venue. Feeling a little lonely Dire texts Sugar to dispatch Noizy who, of course, checked in long ago. Noizy ambles down the line, finds Dire and walks her through the check in process. Dire beams.

      Saturday Night – Dire insists she must have eaten some bad food but the truth is most likely hangover. Accordingly Dire goes alcohol free at the Chateau . . . a loud raucous venue clearly designed around the open bar. As neither Sugar Kyle nor Viceorvirtue are drinkers and Dire is forced to abstain, all three pretty quickly make their escape. Now folks, Sugar Kyle is a night owl. Accordingly, around 9 or 10 PM she starts to sparkle. Despite being a morning person, Dire stays up late. It’s worth it.

      Early Sunday Afternoon – After the PvE Roundtable Dire chats with Mr. & Mrs. Deurden explaining how she used to attack NPC convoys to create tasty out of docking range bait to lure the greedy but unsuspecting to their doom. The Durdens, having been around forever (beta?), explain the convoys used to drop valuable harvester drones making attacking them worthwhile in its own right. Dire smiles noting her circle includes knowledgeable historians.

      Late Sunday Afternoon – Following the Data & the Eve Economy presentation, Dire admits despite earlier mocking that something is indeed screwy with Incursions. Being the third highest ISK faucet when only a small portion of the community partakes ain’t right. VoV effortlessly fills in Dire’s ‘small portion’ hand waiving with the actual 1.8% statistic. Dire smiles contentedly knowing her man VoV already has the details down. (If you happen to read this VoV feel free to correct me because I’ve already forgotten the actual number while it’s very probably still locked away in that steel trap mind of yours.)

      Sunday Evening – Ambling out after the closing ceremony Dire chats with Sugar and the Durdens. Passing The Mitanni, Sugar Kyle quickly greets him by reaching out to brush his back. Dire excitedly states, “I saw that, I saw that! You’re scratching the Mittani’s back!” Sugar Kyle corrects, “I was raking my nails across his back Dire.” DireNecessty cannot dispute this interpretation and cackles with delight.

      I arrived at Eve Vegas a soloish ‘lone wolf’ but left a member of the crew. I had an absolutely delightful time. Thank you all.

      DireNecessity

      Delete
    3. It was 1.5%, so in total you have approx. 1.5% of players making around 22-23% of all liquid isk in the game. While this doesn't speak to actual wealth generated and only raw isk (the amount of wealth is much higher because they get to liquidate lp for free since the amount of raw isk given is enough to liquidate the lp given for incursions) it does mean that a small fraction of the population is able to make nearly a quarter of the games total liquidity. I do not see how this is inheraintly balanced and view it to be just as broken as fw which has a much lower raw isk generation but higher wealth generation.

      Delete
    4. I don't really see that statistic as broken, Incursions come with some massive overhead headaches that nothing else in PVE Eve comes with. One in particular is super important. Incursions are limited enrollment. That one thing spawns a whole lot of issues that makes me avoid the things like the plague. If people can putup with the stuff that comes off that decisions when the devs were creating the things, more power to them.

      The reason it's 1.5% btw, that's all that can get into them. Most of us see that waitlist, look at our limited time.. and go.. "nope".

      Delete
    5. But that 1.5% buries the unsubstantiated anecdote that Incursions act as a magnet "draining players and content" from Null and WHs - the excuse that is usually trotted out as a reason to nerf the content into stone age. (closely followed by a please kill L4 missions and nerf L3)

      Molon Labe. Yes. Seriously. It is a player driven content game. But the aggressors more likely to shoot miners and freighters. If a miner does not fit a tank and dies, that's "as intended", but if an Incursion runner has a tank, that's too safe and should be nerfed?? Anybody else see the irony here.

      Delete
    6. @Halycon & Anonymous,

      After the presentation and a little discussion I came to the conclusion that Incursions are half broken. As Anonymous points out, the idea that they are draining players from NS/WH is absolute nonsense.

      That said, 1.5% of the player base fauceting in 22% of total new ISK feels a little off. From my point of view it's not a pay problem exactly (as Halycon points out Incursions are terribly troublesome limited opportunities and thus deserve good pay) but rather the type of pay (so much ISK) that feels problematic. Shifting around how the pay comes out (less ISK & more LPs or some such?) seems a good direction to me.

      Importantly, as best I can tell the game's economy doesn't appear broken by Incursions so I won't jump up and down screaming payout iteration is absolutely urgent but stills seems a matter deserving attention.

      Delete
    7. Does the statistic represent players or does it represent the percentage of characters participating in a particular activity?

      Delete
    8. We're kinda hitting a make or break LP saturation point. If we shift enough LP out of liquid ISK for Incursions to LP payout to make the sorta dent in that 22% number so it's more in line with sanity... it'll destroy the LP market for other activities. We'll just have the same problem with Incursions, but instead of ISK it'll be LP. Lowsec would have a collective heart attack. Personally, if I were going to balance it.. I'd go the other direction, leave ISK payouts mostly alone.. maybe a slight dip.. but completely remove LP from Incursions. Total ISK entering the game doesn't do too much, but it gives a stealth buff to other income generating activities in the rest of the game.

      Delete
    9. Dire, I really enjoyed our chat about Incursions between panels.

      Was thinking about it on the flight home and realized that it's a moot point anyway. Will be interesting to see what kind of scope gets put in the pending Dev Blog by CCP Affinity, but I don't see CCP messing with the existing systems unless there's an emergency or they want to conduct a specific incremental experiment (i.e. like they have with Burners, using old tech to prove out ideas for new). Said another way: I bet they don't make any big changes to Incursions.

      I know this frustrates some who'd like to see highsec incursions die in a large raging fire, but if I had to choose, I'd rather CCP be investing in the new tools, advancing the Drifter stuff, anyway.

      Delete
    10. I was disappointed to see that PvE was the poorest covered section both in terms of player participation at Vegas, and also from the Eve blogs and news outlets. The article on TMC contains a series of potential changes. Other than the ominous - "incursions running forever does not make sense". I want something more substantial before allowing any hope of the horse's resurrection.

      Keeping calm, and deploying drones.

      Delete
    11. @Viceorvirtue - I thought the 22% figure was kind of high according to my notes, so I went and looked at the tape. It was only 13% (8.3 trillion out of 63 trillion). Still a lot for 1.5%, but not the only group pulling in numbers out of proportion to the number who play. People who warp in w-space only make up 13% of players but are 23.8% of the ISK coming into the game via Sleeper loot sales to NPC orders. And that number is probably inflated by people running through wormholes to get to distant areas of New Eden. Trust me, I warp a lot in w-space and I've never killed a Sleeper.

      Delete
    12. I will confirm that I had more fun eating with various groups of people than I did drinking. The conversations were much better.

      Delete
    13. @Halycon - If you remove the LP from incursions, you are taking away an ISK sink, which would make incursions an even bigger ISK faucet.

      Delete
    14. @NoizyGamer Ah you're right. That's slightly more comforting, it just means that with an average of 30k players online you only have 450 of them splitting 8.3tril. That's less than 20b per person on average and since there are plenty of ppl who may casually incursion and only make a few bil it is safe to assume there are people grinding them making 30-40b or more.

      That's just the raw isk, when you liquidate the lp you end up with anywhere from 2 to 4 times that amount in wealth, so its completely possible to have a small group of people being able to acquire around 100b each a month or whatever the time metric was.

      This is only about the same amount of income you can expect from current fw if you aren't holding lp for market swings and you get the natural benefit of all the mechanical protections of hisec. I still believe that incursions are currently broken on a fundamental level since they both have such a high payout and a population cap in terms of availability but I still don't expect ccp to do anything about it since its still less than 1/4 the income of prenerf fw.

      Delete
    15. @NoizyGamer - I know. But I wouldn't worry too much about it at the moment of the change over. Removing that LP would cause a price spike on what it's used for, which should push more players toward activities that generate LP to cash in on it. Hopefully pulling isk out of the game that way. A couple months of extra isk without the sink won't hurt the economy too much, and after that LP can be adjusted to put things back in equilibrium. The secondary change on the LP front should be smaller than the one made from pulling them completely out of Incursions since the market pushed people toward LP generating activities. One big change, and then a couple smaller corrective steps. It's less of a game change, and more social engineering.

      @Viceorvirtue When I ran Incursions is was more like.. 20-30 people who farmed the things professionally. They were raking in serious bank. Everyone else was closer to a few billion. It's more than 450 because 30k is average user load, not player counts. Player count is somewhere north of 100k. So at least triple 450. Which drops the average considerably. There are people grinding out ludicrous amounts each month in pure Isk from Incursions, then add in LP for them. But most people are only pulling in a couple billion. Incursions are a nice tight knit core community, and the core of that is pulling in stupid amounts of ISK. They skip wait lists and sometimes people get bumped for them. The average Incursion runner. Not so much. When you can run them, the payout is huge for highsec PVE activity. The issue is getting to run them. The group aspect of them make it harder to balance than simple numbers.

      Delete
  8. The CSM will be worse off without you next year but it has benefited from having you there for the past two years. I think the community spoke volumes of their appreciation for you when they overwhelmingly elected you into a permanent seat after seeing all the work you did on CSM9.

    Hopefully the time away from the CSM will let you find happiness in the game again.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm interested in reserving this beautiful place. Placing a music show which does not have cultural preferences becomes difficult in a banquet hall environment. It requires planning and decorating imagination. The party venues have the right décor for any event.

    ReplyDelete