Greedy Goblin

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Flying in spaceships vs drinking at Fanfest

To my yesterday post where I called the comments of Falcon insulting, he answered and to that, someone answered too:

I'm afraid I wasn't the only one who misunderstood him. Let's get back to the starting point of this mess and see all the replies to Falcon:
Well, the complete consensus is that it was hurtful. Sure, many of them stated enjoyment over seeing me hurt (they are Goons after all), but they also agreed that it was hurtful. Now two things are possible:
  1. Falcon was a bully and now wants to get away without apologizing with "being crazy is a good thing, I like crazies"
  2. Everyone misunderstood him
Let's go with the second because it's far more interesting. It's not as unlikely as it seems, considering the wisdom of ReganomicsLamborghin. This means that CCP communicates in a way that all people wrongfully find hurtful and dismissing (Falcon is community manager, if he does it wrong, the community team will do it wrong). They just want to be friendly over a beer at Fanfest and customers get offended instead. Let me expand on this theory:

I believe that CCP is getting engaged with an easy-going, social butterfly minority and with that communication style they alienate the majority of (prospective) players who are finding this level of socialization way out of their comfort zone. This is extremely dangerous combined with the "meta-gaming" and "smoke filled room" nonsense, which implies that you must engage with the community to be successful and customers quit considering it an impossible or uncomfortable task. Since EVE Online inside the client is often harsh, it's not the game one would recommend to the Facebook princesses, letting EVE slip into a crack: the extroverts quit after their first uneventful roam/ratting session, the introverts quit after their first Reddit engagement.

To make it worse, this type of community involvement gives the ears of CCP to the extrovert minority, who can get their messages to CCP on blogs, Reddit, twitter and over a beer, while the introvert majority who are uneasy to engage in such unstructured talk get objectively isolated from CCP. Seriously, how can a solo missioner tell CCP his wishes and needs? I'm not saying that CCP should surrender to these wishes, but I'm sure saying that he has no less right to be heard than The Mittani or me. I also think that miners and missioners should receive more content (=/= ISK or safety) even at the cost of less development resources to nullsec. But it won't happen because they are invisible under the current community policies.

If I'm right, CCP should disengage from this loud and extrovert Fanfest-going, blogging, tweetfleet, podcast minority and should communicate in more formal way, allowing players to get in touch with them in a client-shopkeeper manner (which is the distance they feel comfortable with).

Of course all of the above lies on the assumption that majority of the EVE playerbase are not like the social butterflies going to Fanfest. They are more like me in their unwillingness/inability to socialize and can be described as loners staying in the client. This is crazy like a box of frogs, right?

Right?

Of course I'm not against EVE players meeting each other. Here are some meetings that I'd like CCP to support instead of pub crawls, twitter banters and Reddit noise: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Call me an autist, but I believe EVE should be a game about flying in spaceships, not drinking in Fanfest.

22 comments:

Sugar Kyle said...

I am an introvert.

Gevlon said...

It seems not as introvert as most EVE players.
It's like "I'm not rich" said by someone earning $30K a year. (Which is top 5% on the planet)

We measure ourselves to society standards and they are often extremely untrue. Like the people we see on TV. You are indeed less extrovert than The Mittani or Sort Dragon or Vince or Progod or other EVE CELEBRITIES.

But your EVE playing is not mining alone while talking to no one, is it? It is for a lot of players.

S Riojas said...

I have no problems with CCP being communicative and friendly with the community. The problem is when that communication and friendliness can be interpreted as biased one group or another. Games and sports are a breed apart from your typical service delivery. However, any communications have to be above and without any hint of bias.
Lets take a sport familiar to a lot of people, within the US at least: Football. If the referees and commissioners were seen on a regular basis palling around with a particular team for years and years and over time tweaked rules that seemed to favor that teams play style, it would not be inappropriate for people to call that behavior suspect. Then, for a referee or commissioner of that sport to criticize a reporter, not based on factual evidence but ad hominem by calling them crazy, people would be perfectly in their right to look at that referee/commissioner askance and call for them to resign.
CCP Falcon should rightly step down as community manager and an unbiased representative take his place - someone with actual customer service experience in a professional field.

Irregardless of what CCP Falcon intended to say, he seriously stuck his foot, down to the upper calf, in his mouth. Instead of trying to back peddle his words and "spin" them into something favorable, he should have apologized without trying to justify his wording.

Gevlon said...

@S Riojas: you misunderstood me. The problem is that the community team created an atmosphere which is overly fraternizing and "into the face", scaring away everyone who isn't fine comfortable with getting drunk together with a thousand loud strangers.

The strange thing is that I do believe now that Falcon didn't want to insult me or trying to damage my blog to help Goons, it's just how he interacts with people. Thoric Frosthammer (who is in CSM, so interacts with Falcon regularly) described him as "equal opportunity dispenser of Fook off mate" https://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/3lxbx3/diary_of_an_angry_customer_ccp_falcon_is_too/cvabxua

The thing is just that 90% of the people out there don't expect or tolerate that kind of interaction outside of his closest social circles. If I'd tell "fook off mate" to anyone in my workplace, no matter how badly he behaved before, I'd lose my job. If I'd "have a beer or two" during working hours, I'd lose my job without a letter of recommendation. If a truck driver would have a beer or two at work, he'd face felony charges.

The weird thing is that while I'm absolutely not fitting to the EVE community, I'm probably more fitting to the ordinary world out there than them, reinforced by the fact that most customers do not interact with this community and play as loners.

S Riojas said...

@Gevlon, I do, in fact, understand you. My main point is a matter of perception. Things can seem a certain way without them being a certain way. Ultimately, it is an issue of self-regulation: to avoid unwanted appearances he needs to carefully consider his thoughts before voicing them.

That said, I think it would serve CCPs best interests as a whole to have Falcon change positions. Someone who demonstrates clumsy customer relations such as his should seriously reconsider what they are doing. But I'll moderate my thoughts this way: Falcon remaining where he is would be fine, if he demonstrated better self restraint and avoided being baited into making perceptively bad comments in public forums. Otherwise a change in position for Falcon would be better as it would also set precedence for future CCP employees in that position to be more careful.

As to drinking etc. Considering the context of the sharing of a beer was at a Fan Fest: I take it not be unlike a professional and their customer getting together after work to talk and share a meal - with adult beverages. This is not uncommon in business - even high end businesses like Banking.

Where the line was crossed, in my mind, was the perceptive attack on the character, not the content itself. He then compounded it by trying to justify it as a friendly jibe.

Gevlon said...

I don't think he should demonstrate better self restraint in public forums. I think he shouldn't be on public forums, because that forces customers who want to be informed to go to public forums. And public forums aren't a place where a decent person wants to be unless paid for it royally.

Raphael said...

Depending on where you look, statistically introverts make up around half the population, or substationally less; some estimates go as low as 15%. A large percentage of players may 'mine alone without talking to anyone', but it's unlikely that that means that they're psychologically extreme introverts in real life - not unless 90% of EVE's playerbase is drawn from the most introverted 10% of the wider population, or the entire psychological industry has completely screwed up every study they've ever done.

johnhoward said...

To an extent that's on them as they are missing out on the most fascinating aspect of the game. As a solo player I still took the time to engage with others in local whilst mining or mission running. In fact I frequently still do on alts, if only so I can edge my mining barge ever closer to theirs for the perfect warp in...

S Riojas said...

@Gevlon "I don't think he should demonstrate better self restraint in public forums. I think he shouldn't be on public forums, because that forces customers who want to be informed to go to public forums. And public forums aren't a place where a decent person wants to be unless paid for it royally."

Oh, completely. It happens to be one of the problems with fracturing communication: you have to run all over the place to pull it together. I have no desire to check Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, EN24, etc. just to see what the Devs are saying about the game. All of it should be, in the very least, referenced back to the official EVE site.

Now... why anyone would want to be involved with forums like reddit it beyond me.

Gevlon said...

@Raphael: because playing a video game is a typical extrovert activity, right?

islanadeepsorrow said...

I never understood your flame against Reddit and other public forums. I don't like them either, I try to salvage relevant information from them and then fly away as fast as possible. Now I get it:

"I don't think he should demonstrate better self restraint in public forums. I think he shouldn't be on public forums, because that forces customers who want to be informed to go to public forums. And public forums aren't a place where a decent person wants to be unless paid for it royally."

But in the meantime, I don't think CCP only communicates this way. This is the communication which gets the most publicity. I mean it wont be on any EVE-news site, that
"On the official EVE Forums there is an interesting conversation between one of the devs and some player's ideas about XY." Like once in a year you can see something like this, but I am sure there is more.
I don't like Reddit either, and this situation forces me to visit webpages like it, but I don't think it's CCPs fault. I think every information on Reddit can be found on the EVE Forums too. But the fastest way to access it is Reddit.

Or do you consider EVE Forums to be public too? (I mean anyone can register without an EVE account right?)

Gevlon said...

CCP devs have full monopoly on development news, so it's not like they can "miss out" on something interesting if they don't participate on Reddit. Where they go the people must follow or THEY miss out.

Official forums are moderated by CCP so they at least have the ability to limit the toxicity.

Anonymous said...

Introvert does not mean "I am socially inept", or "I am a misanthrope".

You can be social as an introvert, it does mean however, that you do not need social interaction, whereas extroverts thrive on it, whether it be real world face to face, or blogging.

Anonymous said...

(Forgot to add this onto my previous post).

The reason they (devs) do player interaction, is....well, it has worked with you, you have written several posts about being name-checked by a dev, even if under the guise of "I hate CCP devs interacting with players, but look, here is one mentioning me".

It is also what eve is known for (as well as being full of evil people and spreadsheet geeks), above and beyond any other game, the way the devs are connected to players.

You may prefer the distance wow devs have, but people like to feel, however superficially, that their voice is heard, even you know that.

Anonymous said...

>Seriously, how can a solo missioner tell CCP his wishes and needs? I'm not saying that CCP should surrender to these wishes, but I'm sure saying that he has no less right to be heard than The Mittani or me.

CCP is not with you on this, Gevlon. According to CCP Leeloo, who is a Community Developer, alliance diplos who don't even have an active subscription are more important to CCP than a solo missioner:
9 out of 10 nullsec diplomats play EVE at forums and in chat conferences. I don't see a single reason why we should not listen to those people. Their commitment to the game is in no way lower than that of some carebear Vasya who spends 10 hours a day in an asteroid belt. More than that, diplomats who don't actually play the game are much more familiar with the player's community than Vasya whose social circle is limited to npc agents and drones in his drone bay.

If you need a proof that this post was not made by an impostor: https://twitter.com/ccp_leeloo/status/572804231050227712

So, it is the opinion of the community, of a crowd, that matters. Not the opinion of players outside a crowd.

dobablo said...

I thought the original post had a generally positive tone with a few cheeky comments thrown in. It is easy to find it offensive if you clip up some lines and take them out of context. That is the point.

CCP Falcon plays the role of a social gadfly. Other MMOCs have their GMs drive in-game bosses or events. CCP promote EvE metagame so they have an interest in monitering, provoking and steering metagame conflict. The only debatable point is whether CCP Falcon's choice of direction is in the best interest for EvE.

CCP have always played into the weirdo Icelanders doing crazy things cliché. If their external facade was more corporate they would be held to higher professional standards. Since they pretending to be a bunch of loons and social butterflies the player-base is more forgiving of their misplays. That is what we expect from CCP.

Anonymous said...

I don't drink alcohol and hate cons of any kind. From fluffy furry cons to hardcore tech cons, huge spectrum of people same pattern same bullshit. Since bbs (80s) throughout the early internet (90s) till social media (00s) it is and always will be the vocal minority. Somehow vocal minorities seem to represent the majority. toxic text waste and companies who believe in that myth will close. look at startup closures since early access and crowd funding.
There are a lot of people that don't chat or write anything or keep it to a bare minimum. People will ask "why do they play MMOs" obviously to play instead of typing the next holy flamewar.
I'm for more flying in spaceships and less drinking at fanfest!

Anonymous said...

CCP's business model may more about pay to spectate than pay to play. CCP caters alliance leaders, bloggers and redditors who produce an amateur soap opera for rest of the playerbase to enjoy.

Hamlyn Medley said...

Hey!
In the link number 4, the Mammoth is in the wrong place!
It's listed as a Mordus Angel friend but it was shot down by MA...
https://zkillboard.com/kill/49202188/
So... change it to goons side and increase the Efficiency even more :)

baltec1 said...

"The thing is just that 90% of the people out there don't expect or tolerate that kind of interaction outside of his closest social circles. If I'd tell "fook off mate" to anyone in my workplace, no matter how badly he behaved before, I'd lose my job. If I'd "have a beer or two" during working hours, I'd lose my job without a letter of recommendation. If a truck driver would have a beer or two at work, he'd face felony charges."

This is the norm in North East England/Scotland. We will toss insults at each other as Complements, buy a beer for people we just met, go out after work for a pint (yes truck drivers too) and if people at work are being knobs we will tell them to fuck off and nothing will come of it.

Gevlon said...

The problem is that the soap opera went boring a year ago. "Everyone is in peace and ratting" isn't interesting to watch.

Link fixed

EVE Online not a local tabletop game in Scotland. I'm sure no Scot would get insulted for being treated nicely. On the other hand some people don't take it well if their business partners treat them like shit.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon,

Don't assume that the majority of eve players are introverts with no social skills who get excited over spreadsheets and are unable to communicate over anything but the most formal of channels.

Where do I fit in in that case? I'm in sales, marketing qualified, just as likely to be lining up blow off hookers breasts as I am to pew pew in spaceships.

I play eve because it's a social game and I do very well in it, having gone from newbie to a senior role in a goons Corp (not karma either) in less than two years.

I appreciate that the devs make themselves available to the player base. I enjoy the fact that I have talked shit with CCP Logibro or that I have had the chance to have a cigarette with and failed at flirting with CCP Mimic.

These are the kind of things that have kept an otherwise easily bored extrovert playing eve and not some other game (or even just going out and not playing games at all)

The things is that I don't expect eve players to be as outgoing as me but in the same sense you shouldn't expect them to be as introverted as you. Most I have met are very much in the middle outside of senior alliance members who need to be extroverted to do their job of herding cats effectively.