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