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Jade Constantine
Gallente
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2008.10.26 14:40:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Jade Constantine on 02/11/2008 17:24:47

A couple of weeks ago we had biggest long-running soap opera in Eve PF resolved at last by the coronation of Jamyl Sarum as empress of the Amarr Empire. This is the resolution of a very old plotline – tied into the Eve novel, the Empyrean Age backstory – important to faction warfare and should be of vital interest to anybody roleplaying a character in the game of Eve Online.

Only somehow it wasn’t

And I don’t think you need to be a rocket scientist to understand what was missing: the potential for player interaction. The coronation was handled “off screen” – it didn’t happen in space in any kind of event that players could get involved with. There were no ill-advised player “assassination attempts” no show of strength from the Amarr Navy. No centre stage for Amarrian PC corps and alliances, no focus point for dissidents and protests or a hundred little stories of actual players trying to involve themselves with this thing.

It was in short, a canned show-and-tell snowglobe style happening that doesn’t really deserve to be called an “event” since there was literally nothing that any player in the universe of Eve could do to affect it. And it doesn’t matter how beautiful and glorious the canned video imagery is – and it doesn’t matter how many times we’re told that the speech was “inspiring” – unless we’re there in space to see it, to hear it, to experience it – this is just uninspiring fluff and deeply below the standards we’ve come to expect from the Eve online.

Now a little history.

I remember an event almost 4 years ago that I attended that came to be called “the Elarel Massacre” by those players present and who heard about the things that happened there second hand and in the news reverberating in the days afterwards.

The premise of the event was pretty simple – it was the launch of the “Quafe Ultra” product range by Quafe Corporation – and they were hosting a huge party for the best and brightest of the Federation celebrity set alongside screenings of some racy holodrama with semi naked brutor girls cavorting in tribal costumes. Quafe had deployed a prototype “outpost” for the proceedings – a pleasure garden station.

I’d been contacted by storyline people role-playing Quafe executives a week or so before and asked to a) organise a player party around the events and b) provide a security detail for the event to ensure “nothing untoward would happen.”

So, I did what I was asked really, invited pretty much everyone in my address book and ensured that Elarel was going to have every famous/infamous/acclaimed and notorious player that I could nail down. And meanwhile Jericho Fraction decided to do the security duty with some style and we all flew the brand spanking new Interceptor class ships (30 or so) that we considered back then were simply better than battleships  (remember that crows used to be able to fire cruise missiles!)

Anyways – the night of the event rolled around and everybody came. Elarel was packed out – the pleasure gardens station was in place (none of us had ever seen a capturable outpost back then). Local was full of chat and repartee, and the events team had provided what seemed like dozens of fully briefed npc characters – Quafe organizers, celebrities, holoactresses and musicians, politicians and security liasons – the whole shebang.

And these celebs sure turned up in style – flashy ships, escorts, Opus Luxury yachts, real opulence and atmospheric decadence. So we had our show and tell moments sure, but it was all IN SPACE. We were there, we could lock onto the ships, we could settle our own scores and feuds while the event was going on. Players tried ganking celebs, players got counter ganked and podded, curses and brutality – but the event rolled on.

Jade Constantine
Gallente
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2008.10.26 14:42:00 - [2]
 

Edited by: Jade Constantine on 27/10/2008 11:23:57

Then all hell broke lose. The plotline had provided an entire attack wing of right-wing zealot lunatics called UDI – who turned up in waves of cruisers and heavier ships and attacked … well everyone! It was carnage and chaos. Streams of missile bombardments and gunfire, celeb’s going up in flames, the player guests joining in the adhoc defense, our heavily outgunned interceptors dog-fighting, event team characters pleading and begging to be spared in local while the pleasure garden’s station begin to take heavy damage and everyone was warned to get to minimum safe distance.

This was epic stuff. Some of the best couple of hours gaming I’ve ever had with Mmorgs. The players took heavy losses, but some of them made out like absolute bandits – I took part in the “rescue” of one celeb from UDI attack guiding another player in with a Tempest to pick up the celeb’s crew (okay cargo can) under heavy fire and meanwhile another guy was convincing some other celeb’s to eject from their opus yacht to save their skins. (Opus was subsequently stolen and sold onto the private market).

Eventually the Gallente navy turned up with President Fouritan in personal attendance and the event turned into a Q/A speechifying session and plenty of conspiracy theories were in wild attendance. (It was certainly the case that fundamentalist UDI murders did wonders for Fouritan’s eventual re-election campaign.).

But you see the point?

This is an event I still remember 4 years after it happened. Hell, this is an event that a great many old players still remember fondly. It had a huge impact at the time. It was exciting, it was bold, it was something I’d never seen before in online computer games and it was closer to full on interactive storytelling with player action really counting. Hell, if we’d come with battleships we’d probably have aced the UDI and routed the buggers – but our choice to be gung-ho flashy so-and-so’s in our brand spanking new interceptors meant we couldn’t effective counter the multiple waves of UDI ships and the pleasure gardens blew up! But so many smaller tales – the guy that go away with the opus – the victims that got assassinated during the party – the nationalists that got to rant at the president in real time. The pure chaos and conflict environment – it seemed real, it was all about suspension of disbelief and it was absolutely a perfect slice of eve.

Is anyone going to remember the Jamyl Sarum’s coronation “event” in four years time?

So enough reminiscence, lets get down to some practicalities.

The reason we don’t have events like these any more is partially down to the maturing of Eve online as a game (and ccp as a company) they have become more risk adverse over time and as the game has become “serious business” we see less and less of this kind of crazy Icelandic thinking (lets run an event where all the devs get to play murderous fanatics shooting celebs at a quafe party and any player that brings a ship to get in the way) – and more and more routine boring workaday hands off canned event mediocrity.

And it’s partly down to fiascos and disasters of the past – make no mistake. Aurora (the old events team) was very far from perfect – it made some terrible events alongside its great events, it did sometimes have a stink of corruption in some of the things it got involved in. Free motherships for 0.0 alliances? Massive event rewards for following scripts? God-modding/ “private events” volunteer actors using aurora to benefit their friends and allies in game. Who knows how much of this stuff is true, how much its urban myth, jealousy or just simple confusions and mistakes. But Aurora did end up with a bad reputation at the end of it that led to its virtual dissolution in the wake and continuing fallout from the t20 scandal.

Jade Constantine
Gallente
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2008.10.26 14:43:00 - [3]
 

Edited by: Jade Constantine on 27/10/2008 19:16:36

And of course we the players need to take some blame too. Event’s team was always plagued with a player “events crew” that spent their whole lives camping IRC/RP channels and jumping on the merest suggestion of an event with all the firepower at their fingertips to score those epic “event drops” by shooting anything that needed protecting, by exploiting the aurora rules of engagement and generally acting like hungry hippos rather than roleplaying with Aurora.

But it comes down to this.

Have we lost too much? Has CCP’s (understandable) reaction to the accusations of bias, cheating, stuff spawning, corrupt events and whatnot actually denied a huge number of honest and decent players from access to an ongoing and active events team? Has the baby been thrown out with the bathwater here?

Now, I’ve been to CCP’s HQ. I’ve met the guys and girls there. I’m convinced these are decent, passionate, committed people who love the game of Eve, love the mythology and have a lot of time and energy to commit to the player base and community. I’ve also met Internal Affairs and been briefed on the scarily efficient procedures that now exist to ensure we aren’t going to get another T20 scandal in a hurry. I’ve been shown around; I’ve been given unrestricted access to employees of this company, I’ve asked hard questions and I’ve come away convinced that CCP’s house is “in order.” So now I’ve got to ask myself (and anybody reading this thread):

Given the improvements that CCP have made to the accountability of developer/employee behaviour and the checks and balances that have been implemented, why should live events of the kind that used to enliven and promote this game immensely, still be sacrificed on the pyre of last years developer misconduct?

Screw T20 to be quite honest. That stuff happened, it’s been addressed. CCP have moved on and so I think, have we. But lets not cheat ourselves out of all the great things that we could have from a dynamic and exciting live events team by dwelling on the misdeeds of one set of virtual sticky-fingers a couple of years ago.

***

So, I’d like to propose quite simply that CCP fund and implement a new live events team that works as a combination of old (Aurora) and new (Mercury) and unites the best bits of actual in-game event running, player-involvement, dynamic plotlines with conflict and explosions, and the current excellent storytelling and news publication we are seeing around Empyrean age and related player actions.

In order to make sure it avoids the pitfalls of the past this new live events team will need to have its events properly audited – it will need to list the “props” and justify them – it’ll need to fill out a record of what happens at events and where the good stuff went of course. But that shouldn’t be considered a huge onerous burden so much as just “good practise” when running a vast interactive roleplaying game of the sort that Eve Online can truly be.

Now, sure, this is expensive in terms of manpower – CCP would need to spend money to make this happen, but then again – everything takes money. Development of the tiniest code alteration takes loads of it! Ultimately part of the role of the CSM was to advise CCP on what the players wanted to see from them – which priorities were most pressing, where people wanted to see the game going in the future. And I feel quite confident in saying at this point that a substantial number of players want the bold, exciting, non-conformist CCP that were prepared to take risks and do things that Sony and Blizzard would never dream of. This is a single server with a united history and the greatest community that any game of this kind is ever likely to get.

Jade Constantine
Gallente
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2008.10.26 14:44:00 - [4]
 


Fundamentally, Eve needs live in-game events that we’ll be talking about in 2012. To get these we need a live-events team and we need to CCP to stop panicking about corruption scandals and bad press and have the faith in the procedures they’ve established and actions they’ve taken and restore the functionality that Aurora once had in an improved form with the accountability and trust required to take events forward and keep Eve as the unique and exciting game it truly can be.

Herschel Yamamoto
Agent-Orange
Nabaal Syndicate
Posted - 2008.10.26 15:10:00 - [5]
 

That sounds like a rather impressive event. I'd love to see more of them on that level. As long as you avoid abuses, and I think they will, this stuff adds a whole lot to the game.

Omber Zombie
Gallente
Frontier Technologies

Posted - 2008.10.26 16:20:00 - [6]
 

still annoyed i didn't get the yacht...

Dex Nederland
Caldari
Lai Dai Infinity Systems

Posted - 2008.10.26 16:47:00 - [7]
 

I caught the tail end of Aurora, entering CAIN after the Brothers of Freedom storyline kicked off. This storyline lead to a larger story of a conflict between the now defunct Acheron Federation (closed Phoenix Wing and STRIX) against CAIN and the now shadow of its former self APEX Conglomerate (if it even still exist, the big names from it became pirates, anarchist, and freespacers it seems). This is where I first got introduced to PvP beyond pirate gate camps on low sec gates. My first kill, a new STRIX member mining in an Iteron (I hope he is still in STRIX) and the lose of a few of my own ships to good fights. The storyline making the news is what got me into RP in the first place!

Now I have to watch as my character's Megacorp is dragged through the mud and research halts because NOH is diverting supplies from Lai Dai cause SuVee wants to mine instead of farm. How do I get to interact? I don't and nothing changes in world because I don't; all those research alts still will get their datacores even though the research agents are starving.

RP is what causes to stick to with EvE.

Esna Pitoojee
Amarr
Knighthood of the Merciful Crown
Posted - 2008.10.26 22:15:00 - [8]
 

Sounds like pretty epic stuff... pity I missed it.

I'd love to see it come back, but you also have to take CCP's view of it:

With the number of people playing EVE increasing monthly, in-space events have the potential to draw many hundreds, maybe even thousands of players to a single point in a single system. This would create a lag-bomb rivaling the greatest 0.0 alliance fights, which would then lead to all the familiar lag-bomb effects:
- People unable to load the grid / outright crashing.
- People losing ships (which they may very well have out fitted with their best stuff due to the nature of the event) due to above effects.
- Hundreds of petitions being spammed at CCP due to lost stuff.
- The potential of crashing the node, which could ruin the whole event.
- Etc, etc, etc.

So, you see, creating an in-game event these days could produce a truly incredible headache for CCP. This could be remedied by temporarily instituting a population cap on whatever system the event was to be in, but then people would be complaining about it.

I'd still like them to return, though. Just playing 'devil's advocate' here.

NereSky
Gallente
RETRIBUTIONS.
Legion of The Damned.
Posted - 2008.10.26 23:55:00 - [9]
 

Yeah i remember that and more more events - when these events happened battles were forgotton and everyone jumped in - every event i remember was epic and a epic read - great fun

I remember one where Salvadore Sarparti was flying through Tribute area with a fleet all flown by (i assume) GM's and Dvs - gate camps forgotton and everybody hustled to get there,

Too many events to mention and ignoring the shouts of hax etc the events were well intentioned

Wasnt there one transporting supplies and a prize given to the winning Corp?

There was a planet that sort of died, Mordus legion fleets flying around

Everyone of them fun to read about or try to participate in.

Definately has my vote Smile

Joss Sparq
Caldari
Deep Core Mining Inc.

Posted - 2008.10.27 00:00:00 - [10]
 

I was only able to take part in a few minor events as these were (usually) ran while I was asleep in bed but those few events were always interesting and enjoyable to be a part of.

One of my favorites was simply joining an ad-hoc gang to escort a Freighter across a dozen jumps to deter any attack from the competition of the freighter pilot. In the end, the only thing the event actors fired at each other were words but it was fun to do it all the same. I think I got a few thousand units of electronic parts in payment for my time, nothing fancy.

There were a few others and they always (at least for me) helped build up the living, breathing world of EVE. I was very sorry to see the Aurora shut down and while the coronation video was quite an impressive bit of work, I too would have liked to see a great deal more interaction with the customer base over a short flick.

Gaelenus
Gallente
Society of the Crimson Flame
Posted - 2008.10.27 04:48:00 - [11]
 

Edited by: Gaelenus on 27/10/2008 04:47:53
it certainly sounds like something that would breath life into eve and i'm all for that. It would certainly provide greater immersion

Venkul Mul
Gallente
Posted - 2008.10.27 07:53:00 - [12]
 

Yes, it would be nice, but think about the event you remember so fondly and add a 400 man Goonswarm or Privateers gang coming to crash the party, with capitals and all.

What would have been the result? Something memorable or a hated massacre without any story?

How many people was really there in Elarel? 100 players?

The number of players present in the server has killed that kind of events.

Then there is the people that will scream "cheating" every time they are not the one getting some profit from the event. Even if no one was getting any profit from the event. CCP don't want the bad publicity of those wild accusation has sometime in the past they had reason to be so some people will take them for real forever. So in the end CCP will go for very bland events for now and I doubt it will change in the foreseeable future. Sad as it would be nice.

Still, supported for future developement.










Molock Saronen
Posted - 2008.10.27 10:00:00 - [13]
 

Originally by: Venkul Mul
Still, supported for future developement.



I agree on his arguments, and his sentiment.

Jade Constantine
Gallente
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2008.10.27 11:38:00 - [14]
 

Edited by: Jade Constantine on 27/10/2008 11:39:03

Originally by: Esna Pitoojee
Sounds like pretty epic stuff... pity I missed it.
I'd love to see it come back, but you also have to take CCP's view of it:
With the number of people playing EVE increasing monthly, in-space events have the potential to draw many hundreds, maybe even thousands of players to a single point in a single system. This would create a lag-bomb rivaling the greatest 0.0 alliance fights, which would then lead to all the familiar lag-bomb effects:
- People unable to load the grid / outright crashing.
- People losing ships (which they may very well have out fitted with their best stuff due to the nature of the event) due to above effects.
- Hundreds of petitions being spammed at CCP due to lost stuff.
- The potential of crashing the node, which could ruin the whole event.
- Etc, etc, etc.


Yes, I do certainly see the issue with a particular large event drawing hundreds of players to empire/lowsec wherever of course, but then there are remedies. Take the Goons for example - if they come en-masse to empire to disrupt an event that means they are IN empire and open to attack from the people maintaining wardecs against them. If you tell me there are going to be a couple of hundred Goons in X system I'd be inclined to wardec them myself just for the free kills Very Happy

Also, (beyond the realm of player counter-intervention) there is the empire sanction - and thats something CCP have toyed with in the past (going so far as issuing threats in the name of npc factions) but never so far actually doing it.

I see no reason why you can't have the Amarrian Empire staging a coronation for their Empress and making it explicit in the publicity material that ANY corporation or alliance attempting to disrupt the event would face punitive sanctions that could involve global standings setting against the organization, temp flagging to faction police, temp docking restrictions - anything like that.

And in this way the universe can become more real. Want try to suicide gank the Sarum heir on her coronation as empress? Sure press the button and take the consequences - and those consequences will hit you and those you associate with.

Yep this will take an events team with the absolute trust of the player base to administrate - but if all event plotlines, assets, and potential consequences are audited by internal affairs then I have no trouble trusting it will be fair and extremely good for the game.

+ Of course, CCP have worked a wonder getting Jita to work properly on a sunday evening - I suspect event fights won't be quite up to the scale of BOB vs NC cap slugfests in 0.0.

Quote:
So, you see, creating an in-game event these days could produce a truly incredible headache for CCP. This could be remedied by temporarily instituting a population cap on whatever system the event was to be in, but then people would be complaining about it.
I'd still like them to return, though. Just playing 'devil's advocate' here.



Yeah ultimately though - "its a headache for ccp" ain't reason enough for us not to ask for a return to excellent live events that make the game environment feel real and help remind us why Eve is a singular achievement in the mmorpg landscape. Dare to dream is my alliance motto and to be honest it should be Eve's motto too - these crazy Icelanders have got it in them to do beautiful reckless insane things with the mmorpg paradigm and I for one want to persuade them to keep taking risks, keep pushing the envelope, keep fresh and never grow old. I hate the idea of Eve becoming part of the mmorpg mainstream of canned mediocrity and on this issue I think its high time we played our part in raging against the dying of the light.

Rodj Blake
Amarr
PIE Inc.

Posted - 2008.10.27 11:52:00 - [15]
 

When myself and Jade agree on something, you know that it's important and that it makes sense.

Bring back live events.


Greme
Amarr
Slacker Industries
The Boat Violencing Initiative
Posted - 2008.10.27 12:20:00 - [16]
 

This is a Jade wall of text that I can actually swallow with ease and agree on. I really miss the live events that used to occur in this game. Giant thumbs up from me.

Theo Samaritan
Posted - 2008.10.27 12:25:00 - [17]
 

I approve of this. The Empyrean Age buildup and plotline was just begging for ingame events, the lack of them took away from the whole idea imho.

Hopefully next time they try a big plot we will be able to take part more than just within the forums.

Callistus
Reikoku
IT Alliance
Posted - 2008.10.27 12:34:00 - [18]
 

/signed

Tareen Kashaar
Gyoza Society
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2008.10.27 12:37:00 - [19]
 

Amen to that!

Deathbear
Minmatar
eXin Alliance
Posted - 2008.10.27 12:37:00 - [20]
 

I amen as well!

Kyoko Sakoda
Caldari
Veto.
Veto Corp
Posted - 2008.10.27 13:13:00 - [21]
 

Agreeing in a Jade thread.

Khyle
Gallente
Center for Advanced Studies

Posted - 2008.10.27 13:17:00 - [22]
 

Full support.

Marcus Tradwin
Posted - 2008.10.27 13:24:00 - [23]
 

lolrpamiright?

Full support.

Khandro Shimares
Caldari
Fatal Ascension
Posted - 2008.10.27 13:34:00 - [24]
 

I'd love to see more of this too.

- Khandro

Jowen Datloran
Caldari
Science and Trade Institute

Posted - 2008.10.27 13:43:00 - [25]
 

Edited by: Jowen Datloran on 27/10/2008 13:43:24
Full support.

I did not participate in many events my self, but there where actually one where the event actors were calling in people directly from STI to participate.

I still have hope that the ingenuity and creativity that was CCP's trademarks years ago have not been completely lost in corporate mainstreaming.

Lhasa Arlen
Amarr
10045th Logistics Battalion
Shadow of xXDEATHXx
Posted - 2008.10.27 13:51:00 - [26]
 

Absolutely wonderful idea, Jade!

Full and unfettered support.

Thuul'Khalat
Gallente
Veto Corp
Posted - 2008.10.27 13:53:00 - [27]
 

Holy crap... I have to agree with Jade for once Shocked

Vary much supported.

Able Citizen
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2008.10.27 13:53:00 - [28]
 

As one who has participated in events of the past, I fully support this idea.

Think of the possibilities with the advent of ambulation!

Hooch Flux
Caldari
Posted - 2008.10.27 14:36:00 - [29]
 

/signed!

Gabriel Darkefyre
Minmatar
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2008.10.27 14:36:00 - [30]
 

Edited by: Gabriel Darkefyre on 27/10/2008 14:36:04
Supported 100%, I got into the game after the events died, would be great to be involved in something like this!

Doesn't even need to be Universe Changing Stuff with Massive Rewards either, sometimes it's the small stuff that gives life to a game.

(Edited for the Thumb)


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