Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The Butterfly Effect

The story begins with our hero enjoying a quiet night in. Let's call him "SpaceRich". SpaceRich has had a busy day but now he has got the time to sit down to do his favourite activity. A noise erupts from his computer. He is needed urgently to bridge a fleet. "Darn!" he thinks, "There goes my quality time with World of Warships" Reluctantly he logs into Eve. He logs into a character he barely uses now and his ship comes to life. But something is wrong. The system should be emtpty but someone has already latched onto him. How? Bugger, the POS shield is down. Someone hadn't fueled it. He urgently pings his corp mates. They are busy ratting and the fleet he was meant to bridge has stood down as the op was cancelled. Its just him and the hunters and the hunters will win. "Titan down in XXX" will be the news and its all because of the watchlist he concludes. The hunters will have watching him for days, waiting for a chance to shaft him and have a Titan on their kill mail. The hunters savour the moment and post dank memes.

Our hero is obviously annoyed. He will never get back to World of Warships now. Buying a new Titan is complicated. He can afford the ISK but the time is a pain. And then there are all the embarrassing comms to deal with and the fact that the character is clearly compromised. At least a new character can now be brain filled quickly so anonymity can be restored. But it all takes time. World of Warships time. Something needs to be done. Eve is obviously broken so he talks to his frenemies. "Our titans are at risk!" They agree. The watchlist must be nerfed. 

Posts are made and back channel conversations are had. There are some dissenting voices but the mob has an angle. "Nothing should be free!" and certainly not intel. And as we know nothing should take less than a month to do in Eve. CCP lap this up because Eve can remain pure and compliant to the design ideology. Hurray! The CSM lap it up because nobody likes watch lists and people might like them again. They don't even need to ask anyone. It's obvious so they take the decision - well at least the ones that turn up - just do eeet! The smell of burning rubber is overwhelming as they frantically stamp the proposal. Job done, our hero returns to World of Warships until the next ping.

Meanwhile, in the shadows lurks villain of the peace. Lets call him SpaceMercenary. SpaceMercenary really liked watchlists. He misses them. It helped him do his job efficiently and effectively for he is , well, a mercenary. Mercenaries are the uncomfortable byproduct of the wardec system which they use with demotic zeal. Typically they are regarded with scorn and for being the lowest of the low. But the same critics probably pay them to do their dirty work with discretion. But no one listens to them because mercenaries are the untermensch. And this is a shame because although SpaceMercenary now has a watchlist problem, he also has a wardec solution. He still needs the kills and still needs to carry out the contracts. If you can't track you target in space then full time hub hugging and blanket wardecs of everyone in Highsec are a suitable and viable alternative. He issues the command and heads to Hek. One by one the corps of Hisec receive and email.

"SpaceVermin", a month old miner, is happily bothering asteroids in Highsec with his friends. The friend who introduced them has set up a corp although he is still trying to figure out the interface. He has been away for a couple of days but that doesn't matter because SpaceVermin is getting the hang of it. His skills are up, the yields are improving, and soon it will be time to move up from his Venture. He's played a number of different games with his friends but they think they might be onto something with Eve. With their cargo bays full they head to Hek towards offload their booty and cash in. They never make it. One by one they are picked off by SpaceMercenary's henchmen. Spacevermin and his friends are confused and sad. Why are these mean people shooting newbros and isn't Hisec supposed to be safe? Eventually some kind soul explains the reality. But the good news is if they are lucky they will be safe after waiting a week if they are not wardecced again. They decide to play World of Warships instead.

And thus we have the butterfly effect. The simple wish of a Titan pilot could have the unintended benefit of ridding Eve of a plague of SpaceVermin as well as keeping our Titans safe. Amazing isn't it?


  1. Remember, the loss of SpaceVermin and SpaceMercenary are optimal for Eve! By removing competing interests, we can focus on Eve's unique selling point of 4,000 man battles which run slower than Powerpoint 2005.

    COO Aryth's presentation to the Shareholders of CCP, ~2017

    One of those changes that wasn't really as well thought out as it appeared to be, this was.

    1. A worryingly plausible hypothesis :)

    2. The oft repeated "They play checkers and we play chess" begins to become more and more ironic...

      At some point, Aryth's going to realise that he's playing both sides of the chess game with himself. It's the strange delusion that people *want* to be playing his part of the game (where he has essentially no chance of losing, and they of winning), and that this (and this alone) is the way Eve should be played.

      I confess I don't fully understand it, but considering he'll be on the CSM, (bar a heroic awakening of conciousness by CCP), I guess we mere mortals should bend our puny minds to considering the magnitude of this thought?

      Or we could just not.

    3. I am going to sound even more pretentious here. Or just mad. But I am inspired by the Argentine ant. They are currently fighting a Sov war against Fire ants for San Diego. They have already conquered Richmond, Oakland, San Francisco to Long Beach, and Los Angeles. They own the mediteranian sea, melbourne and Tokyo. This is just one colony. Their tactics are increadibly human and follow the WWI analysis of Frederick Lanchester. It goes on but I should probably better stop. Point being, ants don't meta. They just be ants. Subtract what ants do from what we call "meta" in Eve and it only really comes down to betrayal or incompetence. The rest of it is just natural instinct. Eve lets us express our natural instincts more freely than many games and that can seem shocking. But it is just instinct and it can be countered if there is a desire to do so. A fox can be cunning but that doesn't mean it is clever. I really should stop now :/

    4. The ants are interesting, thanks for that.

      I don't really *get* Sov Warfare: by any measure, it's the struggle of the few vs the few, where the actions of the many are inconsequential: how many times does a single 'F1 pusher' win a fight? We even have a derogatory name for how useless they are!

      And yet there are 40,000 characters who swear by how entertaining and fun they are. People who swear up and down that their being part of Delves 1 to 16 was meaningful and challenging. It just doesn't add up.

      There are a *lot* of people on one side clamouring "Come fight us, Come beat us" as though their inconsequential actions in a multitude are integral to their living in their space. The mechanics and logic of doing it are just opaque to me.

    5. I sort of get the capture the flag thing and the motivation to unite against a common enemy. I can also understand the logic of not fighting because you can't win, But the almost consensual nature of a lot of the fights because - content and gud fights- does go over my head. Thats not unique to Eve though. WWF does it too

  2. Your stance of encouraging for no-votes only makes vote blocs stronger, and ensure that your so-called one-angle highly selective butterfly effect from the influence of "SpaceRich" will continue to happen. What is your point, really?

    1. You flatter me. Do really believe I have that this pathetic little blogger has such influence? At best I might have reinforced a couple of peoples existing predujices. I severely doubt I have changed a single person's mind but I would be delighted to see any evidence to the contrary. Not that this has anything to do with my post but everything to do with your campaign.

      Now it might be hard but imagine I have had no impact on people's voting intentions but try it for a minute. In that scenario do you seriously believe the blocks will not be heavily represented? That voters will somehow magically turn their back on their blocks and vote for you instead? Really? You sole argument is a negative one. Vote CSM to stop something. Something that you cannot stop.

    2. You blog and you are passionate about the game, so this is influence. I am in no position to judge the extent of your influence, but any contribution is valuable.

      Of course the blocs will be heavily represented, and I do not see the bloc voters follow the no-votes. I simply would like to see more independent voices on the CSM, I am not the only independent player .

      I am not saying vote CSM to stop something, but vote CSM to bring different players that can offer different perspectives to CCP, rather than the echo chamber the null sec blocs create.