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Sovereignty scandal
November 3, 2010 6:31 AM   Subscribe

A scandal is brewing in Eve Online.

Test Alliance Please Ignore(TAPI) is the fourth biggest alliance in the game and it is composed mainly of members from the Reddit community. Over the past 24 hours members of TAPI have been spamming the Eve Online forums in response to what they view as Dev favoritism of the IT alliance. (formerly known as Band of Brothers) This issue of favoritism has come up before in what the Eve community refers to as the T20 scandal where a Dev, who was a member of the Band of Brothers alliance(BOB), was spawning in game items for members of BOB. It was this scandal which led to the formation of the Council of Stellar Management.

As of yet CCP has made no official response.

Previously and previously.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar (92 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Another one?

Does CCP never learn?
posted by empath at 6:34 AM on November 3, 2010


I don't understand why they don't 'stop the clock' during downtime.
posted by empath at 6:36 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Bovine Love at 6:37 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why they don't 'stop the clock' during downtime.

I came here to say the exact same thing - I've never played EVE, but that does seem like the obvious solution.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:40 AM on November 3, 2010


ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS, INCLUDING EUROPA, IF YOU CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO GAME THE SYSTEM.
posted by nomadicink at 6:41 AM on November 3, 2010 [19 favorites]


Meanwhile in real life, reactionaries took over the government while everyone else was distracted by things like this.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:42 AM on November 3, 2010 [51 favorites]


Zerg would eat all these guys for lunch.
posted by newdaddy at 6:44 AM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile in real life, reactionaries took over the government while everyone else was distracted by things like this.

You don't want Eve players voting.
posted by empath at 6:46 AM on November 3, 2010 [19 favorites]


EVE has real-time skill training as a rough equivalent to levelling up. If CCP stopped the clock during downtime, bickery forum fights over exploiting game mechanics would be nothing compared to the roar of anger from everyone whose skills stopped training for a half a day because downtime was extended.
posted by Catseye at 6:46 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile in real life, reactionaries took over the government while everyone else was distracted by things like this.

Seriously. I was trying to tune in to the election results last night and it was all 'Test Alliance This' and 'CCP That'! It's been so frustrating to try to talk to people about politics these days when all they go on about is rigs and T3 cruisers.

I'm just glad the downtime is over - if I have to see one more attack ad complaining about CONCORD's heavy-handed record, I think I would throw my mouse through the TV!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:48 AM on November 3, 2010 [50 favorites]


Is this something I'd have to be 24 and living in my parents' basement to understand?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:51 AM on November 3, 2010 [11 favorites]


A scandal is brewing in Eve Online.

Is it Wednesday already?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:53 AM on November 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


haha what a bunch of loosers video games are such a waste of time

f5f5f5f5f5 favorite count+1
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:54 AM on November 3, 2010 [17 favorites]


Is this something I'd have to be 24 and living in my parents' basement to understand?

No. You'd just have to be slightly more imaginative, open-minded, and willing to let go of the tired old cliches to which you cling tenaciously.
posted by explosion at 6:57 AM on November 3, 2010 [90 favorites]


Players of Eve Online are able to participate in a number of in-game professions and activities, including mining, piracy, manufacturing, trading, exploration and combat (both player versus environment and player versus player).

Maybe they need to think about adding "lawyer" to this list.
posted by rocket88 at 7:00 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Has the DragonCon community been consulted?
posted by falameufilho at 7:12 AM on November 3, 2010


I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the Northern Alliance (which TAPI is a member of, if I'm not mistaken) uses this as a casus belli to start another war with IT.
posted by Kattullus at 7:13 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ditto on the clock stop. But it does look (to me) like the final resolution - everyone who got "something" out of the downtime got zapped.
In any case, I think using this "hack" was actually pretty spiffy. I don't get the agnst about it.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 7:19 AM on November 3, 2010


This is pretty hilarious. I am a member of the Test alliance, so watching the organization of hundreds of trolls, acting in unison is amazing.

To give everybody some context, here is a daily-updated map of player controlled eve space. TEST is in the upper left, and IT is the giant blob on the left.

The Test Alliance has also declared war on the CCP Engineering Alliance.
posted by cschneid at 7:20 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile in real life, reactionaries took over the government while everyone else was distracted by things like this.

There is absolutely no question in my mind that Rand Paul plays Eve Online.
posted by The Bellman at 7:21 AM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


As Eve scandals go this isn't very interesting. Alliance exploited a game downtime loophole to take some territory. Eve's administrators rolled that back, saying it was an exploit. Alliance is annoyed that previous exploits weren't similarly rolled back. It's a minor disagreement over how the game rules are enforced, the kind of thing that happens every single day in any big online community. The only reason this has any flavour at all is that a couple of years ago a CCP employee was caught cheating to benefit a similar group of people. CCP has cracked down hard on that, though.

Eve Online has always proceeded in real-time whether the server was up or down and every single player tailors their activities somewhat to that fact. Skill training, logging off in the right system, making sure a prodouction job doesn't end in the middle of downtime.

For you IT nerds, what's really fascinating is CCP is re-engineering their system to minimize downtime. Originally the system had an hour of downtime a day to allow for database maintenance and resetting and reseeding a bunch of game stuff in the world. Over tmie they've gotten that window down from 60 minutes to 12, and they're about to make a big switch that gets it down to 5 minutes (4 of which are startup/shutdown). They have a plan for no downtime at all, too. This kind of change is a real challenge to pull off in a working system.
posted by Nelson at 7:23 AM on November 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


I don't have nearly the time that I would want to devote to something like EVE, but reading about it is kind of fascinating. I almost wish there were some novelizations of the history involved, because good lord, it seems convoluted enough to be pretty good reading.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:26 AM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


To give everybody some context, here is a daily-updated map of player controlled eve space.

Nice to see reddit and goonswarm apparently joining forces. Penny Arcade is in Goonswarm, too, right?
posted by empath at 7:27 AM on November 3, 2010


The summary doesn't make it clear that Band of Brothers self imploded and reformed as IT Alliance. It's commonly believed by the main alliances and coalitions that IT has a disproportionate number of dev alts.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:28 AM on November 3, 2010


i hope EVE online is eventually exposed as a real life Enders Game, and Something Awful or Reddit ends up owning half the universe.
posted by Mach5 at 7:29 AM on November 3, 2010 [32 favorites]


Why can devs spawn items in the production game? I used to be a developer for an online retailer and they made damn sure I couldn't "spawn" an iPod to my house. This should be no different in principle.
posted by Riki tiki at 7:30 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have never played even one tenth of a second of EVE ONLINE and I never will but I *love* stories about big EVE brouhahas.
posted by TheManChild2000 at 7:31 AM on November 3, 2010 [21 favorites]


Why can devs spawn items in the production game? I used to be a developer for an online retailer and they made damn sure I couldn't "spawn" an iPod to my house. This should be no different in principle.

Well, in most any MMO someone has to be able to do this. Usually to correct for legitimate bugs. If not a developer, a GM. I don't know if EVE has those, though.
posted by mrgoat at 7:43 AM on November 3, 2010


I'm also a member of Test Alliance, and while this is rather troll-tastic on the part of our alliance leadership, it does raise concerns over uneven GM enforcement of rules (written and unwritten ).

Many people in EVE have criticized TEST Alliance for "out-gooning" Goonswarm (the Something Awful based EVE group), but then again, like any other games, there are people that take it WAY too seriously.
posted by Ninevolt at 7:45 AM on November 3, 2010


Mach5: i hope EVE online is eventually exposed as a real life Enders Game, and Something Awful or Reddit ends up owning half the universe.

And the French. Tau Ceti Federation (the old Francophone alliance) has joined GoonSwarm. And the Chinese have their own server. It's like 2300 AD all over again!
posted by Kattullus at 7:56 AM on November 3, 2010


The summary doesn't make it clear that Band of Brothers self imploded and reformed as IT Alliance. It's commonly believed by the main alliances and coalitions that IT has a disproportionate number of dev alts.

Actually BOB didn't self implode it was dis-banded by a director who defected to Goonswarm. Goonswarm later after taking over BOB's old space lost it when they forgot to pay their sov bills. The whole sordid tale can be found here and here. Sorry I didn't include this in the fpp but I thought adding too much eve drama in one fpp might make some people's head implode.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:07 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also if you are interested here is an analysis of the political situation in Eve as it currently stands.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:08 AM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I do find it interesting how conflict dynamics play out online and how/if they are different than the ways in which they would play out in the real world. I'd never heard of EVE however, so I looked it up on wikipedia (so take this with a grain of salt), but I found this demographic information interesting:

As of October 2006, the average age of an Eve Online player was 27, of which 95% were male and 5% were female. The average weekly playtime is 17 hours, or just under 2.5 hours per day on average.[link]

I found that interesting because I wonder how such a skewed demographic affects the conflict dynamic I mentioned above. Also, if people are playing it on average for more than 2 hours a day, you can imagine that there are those out there taking it all very seriously indeed.
posted by modernnomad at 8:15 AM on November 3, 2010


This is why I stay in Empire space and harrass mission-runners for a living. Yes, I'm less likely to be involved in a scandal large enough to make the news, but on the plus side, I dont spend days at a time building space stations only to lose them when the game mechanics change; I just get to fly around and steal stuff and shoot stuff.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:18 AM on November 3, 2010


2 hours a day

On the other hand, people use it to chat with people half the time ("Station Spinning"). It's like going to the bar to play trivia. Some people get into the game, others use it as an excuse to hang out and talk with people.
posted by cschneid at 8:21 AM on November 3, 2010


I feel like I'm reading a script for The Guild.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:22 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Two hours a day doesn't really sound like much, compared to some of the stories you hear about World of Warcraft players.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:22 AM on November 3, 2010


As EVE Online scandals go, this is pretty minor. When circumstances outside the game can provide an unintended advantage to one party, the GMs usually make a statement that taking advantage of it will be considered an exploit. It happens all the time.

The only difference here is the scale of the unintended advantage, and the inevitable complaining that resulted when it got rolled back.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 8:28 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


That last link was interesting, AElfwine Evenstar. It seems like EVE is getting closer to a Triple Alliance/Triple Entente balance of powers, with a similar emphasis on advances in capital ship technology. I would not want to be the Ottomans in this scenario. Time to stock up on gold braid and fancy mustaches.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:36 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


What the hell happened to AAA/Atlas?
posted by empath at 8:41 AM on November 3, 2010


Atlas was taken out by the Russians and their hired mercs Pandemic Legion. AAA was taken out by IT and The Initiative.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:51 AM on November 3, 2010


Out of curiosity, are you in a null-sec alliance, AElfwine Evenstar?
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:55 AM on November 3, 2010


Yeah I'm in IT.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:56 AM on November 3, 2010


At what point does the Kwisatz Haderach reveal himself?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:21 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


For you IT nerds, what's really fascinating is CCP is re-engineering their system to minimize downtime.

Wow, planned daily downtime in a global production system? You're right, I am fascinated that was ever designed in.
posted by smackfu at 9:21 AM on November 3, 2010


EVE has always been something that sounds fascinating (in no small part because of all the drama and politics) but that I haven't been able to get into - in part because it seems like there's a fair bit of a learning curve, and in part because it seems like the game requires a significant amount of time investment. Is this still true? I know from our prior EVE posts that we have some players here, so there's probably someone who can speak to it - but the last time I tried to play it, I was kind of baffled by the whole thing, and can't remember finding any good resources online. A shame, really, because this whole concept of political intrigue, factions, etc. just sounds so damn appealing.
posted by Pontius Pilate at 9:35 AM on November 3, 2010


Why can devs spawn items in the production game? I used to be a developer for an online retailer and they made damn sure I couldn't "spawn" an iPod to my house. This should be no different in principle.

If you really could "spawn" an iPod ex nihilo, as opposed to using a computer to steal and then hide the theft of an actual physical object, it would probably be a lot harder for that retailer to make sure no one ever did it.
posted by straight at 9:37 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aren't CCP the folks who run New Detroit in Robocop?
posted by klangklangston at 9:41 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Snarky snark is snarky, smackfu. Scheduled downtime is a feature of pretty much every MMO I can think of. I think partly it gives the devs cover to push game changes. I'm guessing it is also driven by tightly intercoupled database designs that have real time performance requirements. Back in the early days of the MMO industry it was unremarkable but over time there's been a move to shortening or eliminating downtime.

MMOs are a fascinating example of large server backed Internet applications. They're more open than most web companies, they write a technical post every few months. Here's some more info: database architecture, hardware (280 cores, 2.3TB RAM), concurrency scaling measurements, an example of fixing data loss caused by a bug.
posted by Nelson at 9:50 AM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Pontius Pilate, it's not necessarily something that requires a huge time investment in game, because you don't have to grind to increase skills; you continue to train skills even when you're not logged into the game. In comparison, something like World of Warcraft requires you to be actively playing in order for your character to improve; you can't log off for a week and then come back to see that your character has increased a bunch of levels.

That said, there are a lot of potential time-sinks in EVE Online, but it depends on your playing style. If you get involved in the null-sec alliance warfare that this and other articles discuss, you can spend hours helping to build space stations and security towers, only to see them destroyed overnight. On the other hand, you can be a trader or a scientific researcher and just log in for half an hour a week to check your market orders or your blueprints. Personally, I'm a ninja salvager, which involves scanning down other people running solo missions, then sneaking in and stealing their stuff. It's fun, riskier than mining, and not particularly time-consuming, plus it's a more exciting way to make friends (and of course lots of enemies) than mining or trading.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:52 AM on November 3, 2010


Snarky snark is snarky, smackfu. Scheduled downtime is a feature of pretty much every MMO I can think of.

Yeah, and it blows my mind when I think that EVE is a significant fraction as popular as WOW (a real accomplishment in the MMO world), and there's no instances. That's amazing.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:59 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


it seems like there's a fair bit of a learning curve

MMORPG learning curves

Eve is really at it's core a social game. If you can't put in the time to socialize and create working relationships ingame it is really a lonely and confusing place. I was lucky because I started playing eve with several of my rl friends and now although we are spread out all over the country we all still play eve together. My rl group of friends went on to add several other wonderful people to our social group. While I am part of IT and am loyal to the alliance my real impetus to "play" eve is the small core of people I consider my rl and now internet friends that I made before I joined IT. Without this core of friends eve would be much less fun for me personally. As we started playing together we learned how to play together helping each other along the way. Now that we are in IT we have the ability to do what we want as far as endgame play without having to deal with the insanity of running our own alliance. Wanting to run an alliance level organization borders on sadomasochism in my opinion.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:04 AM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


At what point does the Kwisatz Haderach reveal himself?

For a long time I've thought it would be cool to add a 'chosen one' plotline to an MMORPG. A series of prophecies, etc. And only one person on each server could actually be the Chosen One, and they'd have to do it by completing a bunch of complex, ARG-ish tasks and getting a bunch of followers without much guidance from the developers. Talk about end-game content. You could even have a Light Side and Dark Side Chosen One, similar to the David Eddings model, and have it constantly resetting each time the two of them have their "Final Conflict". Permanently retiring those two characters as Demigods and then starting the search over from scratch for the next ones.
posted by empath at 10:10 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah the single-server aspect of Eve is part of what makes it interesting. They regularly have 40,000 people playing and have peaked at 60,000. The only other MMO that tries to have that many simulataneous users is Second Life, which peaked at 85,000 users.

The Eve problem is simplified somewhat in that the universe is very distributed. Each solar system is essentially a separate instance and can easily be run on a separate server, there's very limited interaction between solar systems. The load balancing gets tricky, though. And the set piece of Eve, the fleet battle, happens when 500+ pilots all go to the same system and go pew pew pew. That's never worked very well, but they're working on it.

The other side of non-instanced and non-sharded design is game balance. A big part of the reason World of Warcraft has so many separate realms is they only have so much space for people. Killing 10 rats is fun; killing 10 rats with 50 other people trying to kill them too isn't. Instances solve that problem for WoW, as well as realm. Eve takes the opposite tact, looking at all those players competing as a feature, not a bug. It's a big part of why it's such an interesting game in contrast to all the other MMOs out there. (Then again, CCP did introduce a sort of instance-light recently with wormhole systems.)
posted by Nelson at 10:12 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Snarky snark is snarky, smackfu. Scheduled downtime is a feature of pretty much every MMO I can think of.

Hey, if they can get away with it, good for them. Even 12 minutes of downtime per day would only be 99.2% availability, which would be outside the SLA on every project I've ever worked on. That's why I was surprised.
posted by smackfu at 10:15 AM on November 3, 2010


Each solar system is essentially a separate instance and can easily be run on a separate server

That's not totally true. From the Gamasutra article:

"Some might argue that a single solar system thus acts as a kind of shard, but that is not correct. Any player from the global player base can enter any solar-system, and all economic activities will have immediate repercussions to the whole economy."
posted by lumpenprole at 10:23 AM on November 3, 2010


I'm baffled that people on EVE seem to think anyone else gives a damn what happens on EVE.
posted by chairface at 10:25 AM on November 3, 2010


But chairface, in every single EVE Online thread, there are numerous comments saying things like, "I find reading about EVE fascinating but would never, EVER want to play it." Which is, coincidentally enough, exactly how I feel about Dwarf Fortress.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:32 AM on November 3, 2010


Here's a tangentially related reflected...

I ran a MUD for a while back in the day - no names, to protect the less than innocent - that I inherited from its previous administrators. The 'imm' ('immortal' = 'wizard' = 'administrator') culture in which I honed my admin skills was, to put it bluntly, one of naked corruption. It was more or less expected that you'd have multiple mortal characters helped to max-level status through a combination of elbow grease (grinding) and flippant cheating. We killed unaided, purely mortal characters with relish, sowed intrigue, and died ourselves plenty of times. Grumbling fell on largely deaf ears (unless, of course, a genuine bug was being exploited) - or at least ears that were connected to completely apathetic hands. (Hilariously, though, when I was an entry-level admin, I got seriously reprimanded for cheating, and had some characters deleted for it. I hadn't earned it yet.)

"But mister-o, that's disgusting! How awful! What about fairness!"

I don't expect you to take my word for it (not least after admitting to virtually definitional reprehensibility), but the game was many times more entertaining, engaging, and passionate as a result of our shady involvement. Once, in a player slump, I was running two opposing clans at once, with my two clan leader characters logged in at the same time, insulting and attacking one another. The other clans were so galvanized by this flurry of activity that our logins spiked up nearly twofold and stayed that high for months. When I got lazy and just worked on the game without playing it, players tended to get pretty bored, and fewer people would play. The politics of the game, the enjoyment of the players, and the development of not a few in-game personalities was shaped on the grindstone of my buffed stats and cheated equipment. I don't regret a single 'advance' (magically up a character's level) or 'oset' (set the stats on an object) command.

"Couldn't you have just played the game fairly and worked on it at the same time?"

Not really. It takes a frankly mind-boggling amount of time to max out a character (on any game worth its salt (not that my MUD was), let alone grind the gold to start a clan - and to hell with the idea of doing that multiple times in addition to spending entire weekends coding a free game that would never pay any dividends, social or otherwise. The output for the investment wouldn't have been high enough to warrant the time spent. And it was a rule-violation to log in two characters at the same time, so the whole thing was foul from the ground up.

"But on EVE Online, it's different... This cheating hurts people because blah blah blah..."

If your cheating is making the game worse, on balance, for your playerbase, then you're doing it wrong. Get back to me once you've read "Confessions of an Archwizard" and understood it.
posted by mister-o at 10:34 AM on November 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


From what I've seen, chairface, a lot of people are interested in it even though they've never touched it. In fact, if you had read the thread before complaining, you would have seen several people say that exact thing!
posted by flatluigi at 10:39 AM on November 3, 2010


What I do in Eve:

1) Set skills
2) Mine
3) Run an occasional mission
4) Wish I had friends

:( 45 million skill point n00b seeks friends, bemoans collapse of MetaFilter's corp, Hurf Durf Moon Eaters, EVEmail Wolfe Lem
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:41 AM on November 3, 2010


I'm a member of DarkStar 1 (part of Goonswarm, TEST's allies). This really isn't much of a scandal, just a few bored forum trolls trying to incite drama.

Background for those who don't play EVE:

The alliance Band of Brothers has been involved in various accusations of developer favoritism over the years. Most notably: So with all that in mind, the first thing anybody thought when CCP reverted TEST's structures was "Oh god, not this shit again!".

However, CCP has been in communication with leaders of TEST and other affected alliances, and have pretty good reasoning behind their actions. Specifically, they have stated: Which seems to have satisfied all involved parties.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled mocking of video game players.
posted by John Millikin at 10:43 AM on November 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


flatluigi, you need to expand that into an article. That's some interesting inside baseball stuff there.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:46 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mister-O: I'm sure that was a blast.... for you. I'm sure a lot of the users putting up with that bullshit got negative enjoyment from the bullshit antics of petty admins.
posted by absalom at 10:47 AM on November 3, 2010


For everyone who's scoffing in astonishment at that "2.5 hours a day average" statistic: the average American watches five hours of television a night.

I'd say playing Eve - or any MMORPG - or really doing anything at all other than watching TV is a much better use of people's time.
posted by ErikaB at 10:49 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Actually BOB didn't self implode it was dis-banded by a director who defected to Goonswarm.

Previously.
posted by elizardbits at 10:51 AM on November 3, 2010


I'm baffled that people on EVE seem to think anyone else gives a damn what happens on EVE.

Because as plainly stated in this thread and elsewhere, they clearly do, your ignorant snark notwithstanding.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:55 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm baffled that people who play NFL football believe that anyone else cares what goes on in their game.
posted by empath at 10:57 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


so watching the organization of hundreds of trolls, acting in unison is amazing.

I guess, in the way watching a herd of elephants march through your living room and taking urns evacuating their bowels would be amazing.

Trolls don't tend to make things better.
posted by rodgerd at 11:00 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


A scandal is brewing in Eve Online.

Might be some violence in Team Fortress 2 later today.
posted by straight at 11:06 AM on November 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


Mister-O: I'm sure that was a blast.... for you. I'm sure a lot of the users putting up with that bullshit got negative enjoyment from the bullshit antics of petty admins.

But absalom, that's clearly not true from his experience. I'm not saying it's a good idea for admins to abuse their power, but this is an interesting topic, and you're ignoring the evidence.

He's saying that interest level rose and stayed high for a period of time after he would abuse his powers. There might be a way you could compare this to the Greek gods stepping in arbitrarily and stirring stuff up.

(oh, and mister-o, sorry for mistaking you for flatluigi)
posted by lumpenprole at 11:11 AM on November 3, 2010


Count me in as another outside fascinated by EVE Online. To me, it seems like a long-running TV drama, or some kind of awesome political thriller, except that it's actually real people doing real(-ish, you know what I mean) things. To read stuff like this:
Atlas was taken out by the Russians and their hired mercs Pandemic Legion. AAA was taken out by IT and The Initiative.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:51 AM on November 3 [+] [!]
about a video game is so interesting. Look at it this way: most of us will never be diplomats or politicians engaging in backroom deals and trying to make or break alliances, most of us will never be generals or cabinet secretaries trying to equip armies and figure out what the enemy is up to. In EVE Online, people can do all these things, and for many of them, probably only in a few hours per day.
posted by !Jim at 11:28 AM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


a herd of elephants march through your living room and taking urns

This happens to me depressingly often. My budget for replacement urns is staggering.
posted by Skot at 11:34 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


At what point does the Kwisatz Haderach reveal himself?

Yeah, nice try, Revered Mother. Say hi to the Emperor for us.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:34 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the first few MMOs, particularly Ultima Online, it was expected that game company employees would act in-game to make things more fun for people. Scripted events, ad-hoc battles, just like having your own virtual dungeon master. It's fallen out of favour now, I think mostly because it's just too expensive. Now games like Warcraft create all their content algorithmically, no live acting.

Eve Online, again, is different in that the players create the content for each other. It's a different direction, one I wish more online games would learn from. (Hello, Minecraft!)
posted by Nelson at 11:35 AM on November 3, 2010


Revered Mother

Insert n-space joke here.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:36 AM on November 3, 2010


most of us will never be diplomats or politicians engaging in backroom deals and trying to make or break alliances, most of us will never be generals or cabinet secretaries trying to equip armies and figure out what the enemy is up to. In EVE Online, people can do all these things, and for many of them, probably only in a few hours per day.

Most players in Eve don't get a chance to do this either, though.
posted by empath at 11:40 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


BitterOldPunk, you pretty much described my own EVE experience. The game is just not fun unless there are some strong social ties involved. (I had upwards of 20m skill points and still felt like a newbie at anything related to PvP combat. It was awkward.)
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 11:52 AM on November 3, 2010


Reminds me of some of the Shadowbane intrigue. That game stalled more than a few undergraduate academic careers.
posted by Xoebe at 11:56 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Shadowbane was completely brutal. I can recall so, so many nights, holding on at the bare edge of my Time of Useful Consciousness tearing down cities against impossible odds. In a very real sense, what brought me to EVE after SB was the brutality of the PVP. I wanted _consequences_ dammit, and WOW was a joke. One of the things that was so great about SB was that the inhuman brutality of the game forged lasting bonds through shared adversity. Friends I made back then, I still play with. (See below.)

Aelfwine and I share the same corp, Gunfleet Logistics. I've been unable to actively play EVE for almost 10 months due to an explosion in my real life responsibilities, but I can say with absolute sincerity that they are a fantastic group of people to play with. If you are looking for a group of people to play with in EVE - Gunfleet.

Oh, and I am outing Aelfwine

(Mods - apologies if this is self-linky. Feel free to delete.)
posted by Cathedral at 12:41 PM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Damn you Cathedral you're blowing my cover!!!!!
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 1:06 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm also baffled that people commented on my bafflement.
posted by chairface at 1:10 PM on November 3, 2010


I like the look of your corporation, but as a member of Suddenly Ninjas I'm pretty sure I'd be rejected.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:31 PM on November 3, 2010


I think you will find that being a member of Metafilter with a good posting history of thoughtful posts will go a long way in your favor, infinitywaltz. Besides which, you are talking to about 25% of the directorate right now, with Aelf and I. ;)
posted by Cathedral at 1:45 PM on November 3, 2010


The game is just not fun unless there are some strong social ties involved

Yeah, I did the trial period and came out thinking of it as playable Excel. I still get really interested in these stories, though.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:47 PM on November 3, 2010


Thanks for bringing this out AElfwine; I don't have any interest in playing EVE, but I love reading about the drama. Fascinating example of the social systems set up in such a freeform game.
posted by clockbound at 2:03 PM on November 3, 2010


I'm also baffled that people commented on my bafflement.

Have you considered a career in acoustical engineering?
posted by cortex at 3:28 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


They call themselves "Test Alliance Please Ignore"? That's pretty awesome.
posted by delmoi at 3:32 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


most of us will never be diplomats or politicians engaging in backroom deals and trying to make or break alliances, most of us will never be generals or cabinet secretaries trying to equip armies and figure out what the enemy is up to. In EVE Online, people can do all these things, and for many of them, probably only in a few hours per day.

Yeah, but my impression is that most people won't get the chance to do this in EVE Online either.
posted by delmoi at 3:55 PM on November 3, 2010


delmoi, it's my understanding that you can get to do those things if you're good enough at them to form your own corp/alliance.

It's a lot harder to create your own country so you can be general than to create an in-game organization.

But, yeah, people without both aptitude and ambition aren't going to fare better in the game than they do anywhere else.
posted by Netzapper at 4:11 PM on November 3, 2010


The name comes from this legendary Reddit post.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:35 PM on November 3, 2010


I have never played even one tenth of a second of EVE ONLINE and I never will but I *love* stories about big EVE brouhahas.

Can we at least agree that most Sci Fi would be immeasurably improved if 'brouhaha' was the standard space term for 'galactic trouble'?

E.g. "I sense a brouhaha in the Force. Obi Wan is here."
posted by Sutekh at 7:37 AM on November 4, 2010


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