Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just DO It

I think I've found my obnoxious buzzword mantra for the year.  "Shut up and DO IT!".  I will try to keep this brief, since my usual posts are wall-o-text.  I will also try to keep this EVE-centric, but the general theme extends out pretty far.

Every day, I see people complaining about the way things are.  And though we all know there are things we have no control over, there still remains a wealth of opportunities to exist and affect inside the system.  I'd like to touch on a few of the more egregious misnomers.

CCP Should Fix...

Insert your pet project.  Personally, mine is POS and S&I UI.  Many are calling lately for all the different fixes.  FIX SOV!  FIX POS!  FIX NULL!  MOAR CREST!  Though it's useful to have a dialogue with CCP to help guide the game forward; if you're relying on CCP to fix the game before you play, you're gonna have a bad time.

The first step in change is action.  Not whining, not complaining, not theory crafting, not forum threads... Action.  Once your activity is brushing against game mechanics to prevent you from using them, then it's a good chance to step up and request a change to improve the sandbox.  It should be our job as players to highlight legitimate "bullshit" that puts EVE in the way of players... not to expect CCP to submit to each and every player's "Grand Vision" of what they believe is best.  CCP writes the vision of their IP, we the players participate in that narrative.

In the end, it boils down to a motherly adage: "You can only change yourself".  If your play style isn't fun, it's your problem to fix it, not CCP.  If there is a thing you want to do, then go do it!  Don't whine about the mechanics; instead embrace them.  

The Data Gap

This is one complaint I've seen over and over again.  Ever since @CCP_Diagoras left CCP, the general public has been without high quality graph porn for nearly a year.  Though a few devs (@erlendur and @CCP_Punkturis) have mentioned that they now have some skills in SQL, and the trickle of graph porn has started thanks to the devs finally getting back into their data.

But still, the cry goes out: How can the players know?  We NEED data!

The thing is, we can know.  It's not as easy as people would like, but many contributors are generating pieces of the puzzle, and you too can contribute.  There are several data sources that can be merged together to get what you want.  EVE-Central and zKillboard both provide APIs.  EVE-id gives guides in your favorite language.  I will grant that it isn't easy or fast, but the only way it will get better is if people stand up and DO WORK instead of waiting on CCP.

Again, I don't disagree that more data is more power, but stop whining and participate!

Building Sandcastles

As two my favorite articles pointed out, the majority of player suggestions are 100% self serving and most arguments about "for the betterment of EVE" are a fallacy.  Your strategic vision is not that unique, and odds are most likely that your change would cause more exodus than never updating the game again.

If you have a grand vision for the future of EVE, write that future with your actions.  If you think Sov Null is slowly killing PVP, then go liberate some and make a new-Syndicate.  If you think factories need to be brought to the front lines, pack up a POS and some blueprints, and do so.  There are infinite possiblities for new and exciting playstyles... and it's not CCP's fault you lack the charisma to sell it to your friends nor the patience to execute your plan.

Put Up or Shut Up

I am the first to admit there are a lot of broken corners on the game.  There are tons of places CCP can apply fixes to foster the grander goals of player conflict and enrich the science fiction universe we enjoy.  But it's too easily forgotten that EVE is a sandbox among a sea of themeparks.  It is up to us, the players, to contribute content, and CCP to foster the environment, not the other way around.

The last point I'd like to make is this human excuse of "if only I had X, I could create...".  Go to any author/artist/startup talk and one question that always comes up is something like "what pen do you use?" or "when do you work?" or something else trivial and mundane.  We expect there to be some singular secret to success that will unlock the path to greatness.  But we already know the secret, and we just want a shortcut.  The only secret is work... and luck... both in generous portions.  The best path to success is to start working.    It may not be pretty, or glamerous, or particularly successful, but the only way you can ever hope to achieve goals is to work at them.