Friday, March 22, 2013

The scam of James 315

How to get rid of an unconfortable idea? Champion it yourself.

I grow up in Hungary which was a communist dictatorship back then. The secret police did large efforts to infiltrate democratic underground movements. Not to find their members and lock them up, but to become them. As the documents of the communist secret police (which are still secret, 24 years after the fall of communism) are leaking, more and more prominent democratic "champions" were found to be secret police members. Why did they do it? Simply to outcompete genuine anti-communists who would put the communist to trial. After the fall of communism, the "democratic" underground refused to pursue communist crimes. Despite the communists killed up to hundred thousand people during the Stalinist period, during the 1956 revolution and after it in retribution, not a single communist were punished. After the fall of communism, the former communists re-emerged as rich businessman.

When a year ago I started to write that the money is in highsec, people were laughing and called me a troll. Now it's more or less common sense and the argument is shifted to "we must keep this clear unbalance or the carebears quit". Today no serious person would write "if you want ISK, join an nullsec alliance to get access to anomalies or top ores". Isn't that making a change in EVE?

The opinion about the profitability of highsec slowly changed and on August 7 an unlikely hero emerged where was only murmuring and postings: James 315 started bumping miners in Kamio to show that AFK mining is widespread and easy money print. A week later, - which did not take any submissions by then - published his lengthy opinion piece. His blog was well-written from the start, unlike the "real" blogs where the author is grasping for his voice at the first weeks. Like Jester and me after years, James instantly posted lengthy posts in a regular manner, both on his site and

Due to his relentless work, he became the central figure of fighting the economic unbalance favoring highsec. Those accepting this became his supporters. He disappointed me about a month ago, at the end of February when I posted my mind-blowing results as ganker and suggested the New Order (the movement of James 315) to step up to this level and become #1 on the killboards as an unquestionable proof of the imbalance of highsec. He refused and sticked to the "for fun" approach that is unable to reach any goal - by definition, as the goal of "have fun" is to have fun.

Still, I kept endorsing him as my CSM candidate as the one who has the best platform. Recently he withdraw from the CSM election, based on excuses that were known months or years ago. Yes, NDA is a tool of CCP to silence CSM, but it was always there, along with the counter: leaking. The fact that not all CSMs go Iceland was always here too. The move that CCP decides who talks to CCP is indeed a disgusting one, clearly aimed to punish those CSMs that don't perform their intended role: protecting CCP from player anger on media the CCP can't control. But this change was published a month ago and doesn't actually silence the CSM. You can still post, practically you are only excluded from bar crawls in Reykjavík. None of these are acceptable excuses to quit the CSM election now.

The purpose of James was was to prevent any other CSM candidate to build up a campaign on the platform of fixing the economy. Everyone on this platform naturally accepted him as the CSM candidate and did not run himself. To be honest, we were happy that someone was nice enough to do this pretty work-demanding and unthankful job. It's much-much easier to post "why James is a good candidate" than go to the idiot-ridden forums to get support, then participate in endless skype nonsense about DUST with devs for the chance to grab 15 minutes pushing your agenda. CSM isn't a dream job. It's a disgusting job but someone has to do that. We were all happy that someone else did it for us.

Except he didn't. He quit the race at the very last moment, removing even the theoretical chance of a new candidate arriving, making sure that CSM8 will not have a member who talks about the elephant in the china shop: the money is in highsec and the optimal way of playing EVE is to never PvP if you want money and gank in highsec if you want kills. CSM8 will get lost in POS changes and ship rebalances which are nice to have but not really important, since if you are win-oriented you don't have any POS-es and fly only Catalysts.

Who sent James to sabotate the "fix economy" platform? My guess is as good as yours. He was a Goon and he instantly got a place on the Goon Fox News, so my suspicion is Goons, who are interested in keeping nullsec worthless, since this way no one serious want to take it from them. Would Shadoo call off a grindy but guaranteed victory if the Goon regions were actually useful?

James succeeded to keep the "fix the economy" issue out of CSM8. However he gained lot of supporters for the idea. I have to accept that his tear-extracting posts gained more attention from the average players (majority of voters) to the topic than my economic posts. I also have to accept that he taught me how to suicide gank and without him I'd never think of it as a mean to prove my point. Without James my 52B/month solo kill would have never happened. Championing your enemy is a double-edged sword, you can help them in the long run more than you hurt them in the short.

There is no point to cry over the broken teapot. CSM8 is lost for us. The rest of the candidates are either openly pro-carebear like Trebor and Jester; Goons themselves who preach griefing and competition and work on nerfing and risk-free play silently; or lost on some irrelevant issue (typically POS). I will figure out which one is the least of evil, but it is just damage control. CSM8 is not something we can win. CSM9 is a year from now, enough time to build up something that can finally fix the EVE economy.


Anonymous said...

How is Jester, a man who flies in one of the most reknowned PvP corps in the game a champion of the carebear?

What? because he doesn't support the brutal beat down of underskilled newbies?


Kana Casul said...

Yes he is, go and read his blog, if you can read of course.

And since then loling around in t1 cruisers while real pvp'ers scannning and killing titans, make you "most reknowned PvP corps"?

Anonymous said...

I don't think so Gobby. Hanlon's razor.

"I'm also aware that my departure from the race will generate its fair share of tin foil. Rest assured, I did not leave the race because I was disqualified by CCP, or because I'm really someone else's alt, or because I was afraid of being hunted down by angry carebears IRL (I have a very common first and last name), or because I want to spend more time with my family."

I think he just chickened out when he had a good think about what releasing his real name might mean to his out of game life. The whole post could just be an elaborate face saving exercise, not the culmination of a grand conspiracy.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: having to go by your real name is also known years ago. If he'd bother about that, he wouldn't start to run.

Von Keigai said...

All your tinfoil hattery is just silly. This is not the Communist Party struggling to stay in power. Real world power is money is women. This is one man who toyed with the idea of trying to get a crap job in a spaceship game, and then decided it was a dumb idea. Being on the CSM doesn't get you anything, other than a lot of hard work and maybe a trip to the sunny vacation paradise of Iceland.

Meanwhile, as you said, merely by extending the possibility of running 315 has raised the salience of issue of highsec balance. This does not just go away. And he has also raised his own salience: James can easily endorse a slate. And if you agree with his analysis, that slate will probably be a good one to vote for.

Anonymous said...

@Kana Casul: I am a regular reader of Ripard's blog. Nothing on his blog indicates that he is a "champion of the carebear". He is a champion of common sense and reality - in that you cannot have a video game whereby veterans slaughter 3 day old newbs and claim that it is good for the game.

The cognitive bias is strong with you.

Eaten by a Grue said...

I don't know - this seems like tinfoil hattery. Maybe the guy just got nervous once he was actually becoming viable. Maybe something happened in RL, new job, relationship, something requiring time and he did not want to get into explaining that for whatever reason. Maybe it was something else we are not thinking of. It really could have been anything.

Gevlon said...

@Eaten by a Grue: and this thing happened JUST NOW, not a few weeks later or before. Please note that both would be good. If he cancels candidacy just a few days ago, we could still find a replacement within the Order and mobilize the people to vote for him. If he resigns after the election, at least we can say "X votes are behind the idea". Please note that several nullsec powers wanted to put him to the STV list.

He picked a the only time when no replacement can rise and no votes are counted. CCP can claim that highsec economy is OK, just a few roleplaying gankers murmur.

Chris K. said...

@Kana Casul

And since then loling around in t1 cruisers while real pvp'ers scannning and killing titans, make you "most reknowned PvP corps"?

They kinda proved it when they beat PL in ATX.

Also, T1 cruisers? Do you even know who Rote is?

Nielas said...

I was born in a communist country so I kinda get why you would jump to the conclusion you jumped to. However, I think you are overthinking this.

People have known that the real ISK was in high sec for years. When I first played EVE in 2004, we knew that if you wanted to make a lot of ISK, you stayed in high sec. CCP knew about this issue for years and refused to really do anything about it since it propped up the whole game. James or someone like him getting elected to CSM would have changed nothing.

The simpler explanation is that New Order was formed by a jackass and now he decided that he milked it for all it's worth and decided to move on. He then picked the most jackass time to do it, ie right before he has to do any real work.

Anonymous said...

EVE functions as a real world environment as it is. Money will always be the most common in areas where it is the most secure. You've made trade tutorials yourself Gob on how one should avoid joining a corp if they want to make money - because a corp can be wardecced - thus the risk to your assets is profoundly less manageable.

Bobbins said...

I notice your blog list has one less blog listed. Is this the end of your association with the New Order?

chequers said...

James will never put himself in a position where he can potentially "lose". He was too worried about not getting a seat.

Anonymous said...

It is a good enough theory. There are people who will do anything to win eve. It have often marvelled at James's eloquence, which is strangely matched by the coarseness of his followers. The clever obfuscations and the Isk to pay for it.

I do not have to believe it but it is plausible. It is is politics as it is really played. Why not.

Another anon

Alrenous said...

He claims he'll use the absence of the NDA to keep campaigning for a better highsec.

If he's indeed a shill as you accuse, what do you expect him to do instead?

Anonymous said...

have you considered that he isn't, and never was, interested in fixing the game - and this campaign is/was just part of his rp-ego-trip ?!
this is his style of earning lot's of isk - as trading is yours.

btw, my conspiracytheory: ppl constantly harassing noobs and miners are part of the "give ccp a good reason to transform highsec into a super safe themepark, because this is what ccp really wants"-network.

Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

It is true that James hurt the chances of people for economic nerfs of highsec to establish any sort of cogenial movement before the next big political decision event.

It is also true that James galvanized the very same people and it is highly likely that they will be able to form said movement in the coming year.

Neither of these absolutely means that he was hired / convinced / plotted himself to do this. The Goon thing is circumstantial evidence, but not proof.

Though... Gevlon the Goblin is seriously getting into Eve politics? Color me curious :D

Rohan said...

As an outsider to Eve, I do have to admit that this sounds pretty far-fetched. But on the other hand, this is Eve Online, which does have a reputation for crazy scams and spying and infiltrating schemes. This rather fits in with that reputation.

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