In perspective.

Mandrill of “i am keith neilson” has recently posted on his blog an open letter if you like, entitle ‘Loss of Faith‘.  First off I’m a great fan of Mandrill and his blog.  He puts in a great deal of effort into supporting other bloggers, or by running google docs updates through fanfest or by de constructing the latest dev blogs in a erudite and illuminating fashion.

Unfortunately in this case I just can’t agree.  Whilst the latest forum debacle is hardly to be admired or applauded ‘stuff happens’.  In fact, in terms of EVE’s development ‘stuff’ is always happening.  Sometimes that stuffs great other times not so much but to suggest to a triple A developer how to run their business or how to manage their staff is simply put – absurd.  It’s all to easy, after the come down from Fan Fest, to find that the glossy sheen of the slick marketing just wears to tarnished reality.  EVE is by no means the finished article and frankly I don’t think it ever will be.

We, the players, can jump up and down and rant and wail all we like about bugs, unfinished features, poor communication and the like but unless we are razor sharp in terms of precisely identifying what’s wrong we cannot expect much of a result.  Do we really want CCP Games to fall into the corporate mould, a soulless corporate body run by men in suits with an eye to the bottom line? Or do we want a developer who tries to hang on to their near indy routes, prepared to fly by the seats of their pants creating rather than imitating?

EVE has its faults.  There are aspects of the game that have gone untouched for years (yes Bounty Hunting I’m looking at you).  It’s also a game written years ago atop a shaky pile of code that quite probably nobody entirely understands.  But it still remains the best science fiction MMO, quite probably the best MMO, ever produced.  It’s entire premise is an experiment – a singular universe of open possibilities.  Some elements of that premise have natural flaws built in.  When everything is possible, anything is possible – and that includes stuff that doesn’t work well.

Is the forum fubar the last straw for me? Certainly not.  In the same fashion that the T20 incident wasn’t the last straw, or the boot ini patch, or the PI reproc problems, or the host of other minor dramas that lie in the wake of EVE’s passing.

Ultimately EVE’s in good shape and has a bright future ahead of it.  Trust me, I’m a capsuleer ;)

C.

 

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6 Responses to “In perspective.”

  1. I agree with this post.

  2. [...] seemed great. Of course, that is not to say that all is lost, but only rather that there is simply more work to be done. A view of the craggered nucleus of the comet, looking back towards the station [...]

  3. Congo Squirrel Says:

    Your missing the point of his article. It is not specifically about the forum issues, its about the underlying culture at CCP that has continually caused things to be pushed out too soon, unfinished or hardly tested.

    The point is that CCP is not small, they need to start acting like big company. They can’t just wing things like they used to. Also, being as Mandrill has a loved one who has worked for CCP in the past, I would say that he probably knows a little more about the inner workings of CCP that you or I and can speak to this.

    I agree with his message, for the most part.

    • Sorry, I was referencing the forum issues as an example rather than the core of Mandrill’s post. Big companies can’t wing things, but then that’s often where the innovation comes from – experimentation. It is I would agree an unpredictable methodology that’s prone to mishap and rough edged products but I think a more (this isn’t the right word but you get the idea I hope) “professional” approach restricts that innovation. EVE might not be well polished but is that really so very important if by honing CCP’s production values we end up with a game that lacks a soul?

      C.

  4. [...] his loss of faith in CCP over its recent incident. While others pointed out that it needs to be kept in perspective, the points remains that CCP is damaging its most important asset: its [...]

  5. I’m inclined to agree with your perspective here. The company that Keith described is not one I have confidence would produce a game I like. It sounds like a company that would perhaps lean too heavily towards “mass appeal” as a development strategy.

    There are faults in the game, and I can see why people are getting upset at the security aspect of the forum issue. But this and other underlying issues are solved not by writing an open letter that tries to dot point management strategies; if a letter must be written, it should be one that outlines the issues and concerns, and describes an alternative vision for the future, not dot point symptomatic solutions.

    Sure, demand change. If we get change but it’s not sufficient, demand change again. But don’t try and micro-manage a company a company from the outside, it’ll just create more of a clusterfuck than we already have

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