Greedy Goblin

Friday, May 15, 2015

API: my own story

If you've been following my blog, you know that I joined TEST in 2012. And once again in 2013. I gave them about 100B and flied every stratop I could as a logi. Yet not only they failed and wasted my effort, but I wasn't really happy there. How could this happen?

I saw their numbers, I saw their conquests, I saw them being blue to PL, I saw their Foxcats, so I considered them awesome. I saw no conflicting evidence besides their annoying "we are bad at EVE" gimmick. The data needed to realize that they are bad was already available, just not to me or the general public. I could access it in 2015, years after it was important.

While both Goons and TEST had the same declared values and the same "we are bad" gimmick, Goons were killboard green in practically ever regions, time zones and against most enemies, TEST was horrible everywhere. From these one could easily see that Goons just have good propaganda while leading their fleets well, TEST means what they say and mixes defeats with Pyrrhic victories. Knowing this I wouldn't poke them with a stick.

But I had no way to know. There was no Zkillboard dump available and I lacked the coding ability to get the necessary data from its API. Collecting keys to get it from CCP API was out of question. Finally, I didn't even know what data I needed. On the contrary those "in the know" had the data and the IT power to get more.

Since then I realized what data I need, found an IT expert who downloads it for me and re-learned coding to be able to process it. Using the monthly CFC losses I realized (and shown to everyone) that CFC loses most of its ships to small gangs of pirates and highsec deccers instead of to large fleet enemies. The point is that despite my in-client gameplay didn't change (I make ISK by trading and mining missions and donate it to some group), my effect on New Eden increased a lot as now I give the money to able groups. I got better not in playing the game, but in analyzing third party data. The stellar results of the GRR project is because of my increased knowledge in programming, not EVE.

This isn't OK. Success in a game should depend on your game skill and overall management and planning skills, not coding skills.

PS: without third party tools, I couldn't present the latest ship design by SMA. Or this FCON well-fit triage carrier that might missed one module.


S Riojas said...

Another aspect of EVE that is not present in other games: how data analysis can help you in your decision process.

But paying attention in general is a key part of EVE; something you don't need data analysis to tell you: Goons propagandize and TEST is a bunch of hope-full hype.

Zyan said...

As I said before, ask ccp to shut down the API. So everybody is treated the same - noone has any informations.

But is that the better solution? Without the API feature you still wouldn't know that Test was bad at Eve.

This API and Data handling is a part of the game - my personal opionion.

Eve has a lot of things you can do for instance:

in Game (client):
- Mining
- Trading

some way out of the client:
- Meta-Gaming
- Data-Mining

Anonymous said...

I'm really confused. Having access to that info hasn't made you better at the game. No API info makes anyone better. the main reason big groups excel due to their IT has nothing to do with API, it's to do with creating tools like SSO comms and intel tools - nearly all of which rely on copy paste data from the client. Even if CC turned it off, you'd still find big alliances excelling due to their IT infrastructure, the only difference is that "normal" people wouldn't stand a chance of matching up because the free tools that we all use wouldn't exist.

Gareth Jenkins said...

And what about third party tools that don't rely upon the API?

Should we be trying to ban those as well?

The API gives everyone an opportunity to make use of third party tools or roll their own. It _does_ require a different set of skills to those used in-game but why would those skills be any less valid?

The API is part of EVE as much as planetary interaction or wormholes or exploration sites. Having the skills (player skills, not character) to exploit those gives you an advantage in the same was as having the skills to exploit the API.

And, to be honest, what would the vast majority of what most players would get out of the API by personally programming for it? About the same as they get using third-party tools like zKillboard, EveMon and the fitting tool of their choice. It's not a skillset that the vast majority of players would gain much benefit from. There are a few that would and some of them learn the skillset.

It must be a real slow news week for this to have got more than one person heated up. Aren't there fonts to moan about?

Anti said...

your personal success in game is measured in Billions if ISK.

the success this post describes is success in the meta-game, which you came closer to by getting better at meta-game techniques. I don't see a problem.

Zaxin said...

You misrepresent the API and put others off of using it by saying you needed an IT expert and to learn coding to be able to use it.

This is fine if you wish to perpetuate a myth that it is impossible to access the API without being a leet coder.

You need to be able to read, and to follow instructions if you want to put XML into a spreadsheet.

There are aspects of the metagame that require different tools, and some knowledge, but reading and copy-pasting is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

Goblin, its because You think of spreadsheets and others, more sophisticated tools (which are mostly spreadsheets changed to be more accesible for people that are lazy/stupid) as addition to EVE. While it is other ways around.

EVE is addition to spreadsheets. Think about it. Everything that EVE got and others games dont is the fact You can put it into spreadsheet and work on it with minimal-to-none logging into game (player driven economy and content).

Everything that EVE posses that others games have (grinding missions/resources/pvp), others games do mostly better.

Foo said...

Your success or lack there of is due to your management, not due to API or lack thereof.

Asking questions that were not asked/explored before.

It is only recently (with the recent crest changes - that are API based) that the killboards have become as 'accurate as they are' - even if they are deliberately misleading.

Don't for a second believe that just because CCP does something, that means that it still can't be misleading, especially where vanity is concerned.


I *do* believe that you are either Moron or slacker if you do not use the tools that a simple google search can provide.

Some tools that I use that are API based
Eve droid (primarily for evemail)
Eve central.
My PI spreadsheet (made publicly available - but there were others before me)

All of the above require programming skills, but not by the player.

To find these requires google skills, which today in any MMO, I believe should be a required skill.