Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy

There was a troubling sentiment stirred by my recent posts about out of game market feeds being broken.  What's worse, outrage seems to be woefully misdirected on this issue; not so much at the tools but at those that use them.  If you'll pardon a little rambling, I'd like to see if I can get our collective heads on straight about the issue.  This has been distilled down from some far less eloquent frothing rants.

What Is Truly Upsetting

The out of game feeds are furnished by breaking the rules.  Hem and haw over the actual value those tools enable, but the simple and undeniable truth is scraping the cache is against the rules.  Now, CCP is not Judge Dredd, and therefore is treating this issue similarly to US DOJ vs states with marijuana legalization: "technically illegal, but not worth enforcing".  I don't believe we are in danger of market feeds actually being taken away, but I am afraid CCP will never see the effort of internalizing those feeds as worth pursuing.

I think it's important to stay on topic with this issue to make sure we build a request that CCP can reasonably deploy and sunset this weird gray relationship market aggregators live in  Though I think there are opportunities for development that CCP is ignoring, that are enabled by cache scraping, the real truth is the cache needs to be removed and the security hole plugged.  Market feeds are important to 3rd party devs, but an official stream is a better solution in the long run.

Tools are Unfair

This is the sentiment I've found troubling.  That somehow, those who take the time to develop and use tools to increase their effectiveness are "ruining the game".  Frankly, this is a crock of shit.  EVE is hardcore Anarcho-Capitalism at its core.  Those with the largest legion, the deepest pockets, the best tools, and the most charisma are going to win.  You are not entitled to profits and success, you have to work for them.  And even with work, you can lose it all.  It's the nature of the cold terrible game we play.

In my mind, this is tantamount to complaining that guides are unfair.  That somehow doing things "the hard way" rather than looking to build off those that came before you is the purest way to play.  Furthermore, to decry me because my solution is better than yours and you haven't invested the effort to try and beat me... it's just silly.

I am more than happy to explain mechanics or share tools, it's a game and we're a community... but I won't be made the villain purely because I spent (considerable amounts of) my time perfecting my small segment of gameplay and you did not.  I am but one man, and with enough work, time, effort and friends you too could surpass me... I have no secret sauce, only a lot of experience in figuring out what does and does not work.

You Can Only Change Yourself

There are a lot of common whines in most PVE/industry/market circles.  The most common can be summed up: those with no life are making it impossible to play casually.  From "the 0.01ISK game"  to "mined minerals are free" to "incomprehensible market behavior" there is no limit to outrage that certain players are playing the game wrong and ruining it for the rest of us.

The long and short of it is, EVE is a sandbox.  If you don't like a certain segment of play, it is usually within your power to avoid or change it.  
  • Hate competing against 0.01ISK changes?
    • Move out of Jita/Amarr/Dodixie/Rens
    • Operate in lower volumes or in less cut-throat products
    • Step up your game: split your orders and beat them at their own game
    • Get friends, start your own 24hr cartel!
  • Think T1 margins are too thin?
    • Don't build T1
    • Find miner contractors who think their free time is free
    • Become more agile to capitalize on margins as they become available
  • Absurd market moves ruining your margin?
    • Buy out very low orders
    • Raise buy-order floor and snatch up low price goods automatically
    • Hire mercs!   Kill them all!
If you change yourself to suit the environment, you will find far more opportunities than waiting for the game to be magically changed to suit your demands.


Ragelle said...

My issue with OoG tools resides in the fact that a portion of them require construction by those with a skillset (programming background etc) that isnt necessarily available to the avg player. The "barely legal" basis of some of the solutions used in the tools creates an environment that discourages documentation. This stands in stark contrast with games like WOW whose addon feature stands as an incentive to those with the skills and whose legal and encouraged place in the UI rapidly disseminate the advantages throughout the player base.

It stands as an open question whether better OoG tools truely advance Eve if they can only be used or developed by a few. Evemon/eft/ others stand as strong benefits to everyone.

So long as any OoG tool is focused on PvP (market or otherwise) then access to those tools by a select few will draw spirited responses.

Unknown said...

I think you have a large misunderstanding of the environment.

First: the only feed in this argument that is "barely legal" is price data. This is then disseminated for free by any aggregator that is tied into the EMDR network. All of these tools are documented and open to anyone in the community. Also, if you don't like EMDR's data, you are free to use any of the other freely distributed tools that help get access to the data. EVE might be srsbzns, but a LOT of people are sharing openly.

Second: it's not CCP's job to "give a man a fish", EVE is a game of tools. They make the tools available, and it's up to you to put them to use. Frankly, you aren't guaranteed anything but your noob frigate and the one piece of trit in the hold.

Third: the 3rd party environments between EVE and WOW are so vastly different, I hesitate to compare them. Primarily, CCP has made the client off limits with a very strong message: the UI is our business, not yours. So "improving the in-game experience" isn't really on the shoulders of 3rd party devs. The only feeds I'd like to see more attention paid to internalizing is kill data and price data, since the quality of these feeds is rather monopolized.

In the end, your success in EVE is up to you and what you're willing to put into it. Can't code? Find friends, or learn at sites like http://www.codecademy.com/. Need to figure out the :math: behind production? Check out the resources at http://wiki.eve-id.net/Main_Page. The resources are out there, and it's up to you to put them together.

But if you're not willing to do a little climbing, you're not going to get to the top... of anything.

Valkrr said...

With OoG tools like Eve-HQ (which includes a manufacturing/invention calculator that gives the average Joe everything he needs), Eve Trade Finder, ISK per hour, and literally dozens of other tools made free and you don't "have to" roll your own. Those of us who do roll our own are looking for a challenge or are looking to make the data look pretty to us, or to add functionality that others don't find all that useful, like shopping lists.

Wow has no "blessed" OoG tools, and the number of exploits caused by in game tools are ridiculous. And if you think that Wow OoG tools are any better, try something like Ask Mr Robot...www.askmrrobot.com/wow/gear

MoxNix said...

Why are you linking my blog to "the 0.01 ISK game"?

I'm no 0.01 ISKer. I don't advocate playing that game, in fact it's exactly the opposite I advocate and give advice on beating 0.01 ISKers by NOT playing their game.

As for WoW mods, coming from a guy who played WoW for years, raided at a fairly high level and was one of the richest players in the game, mods are one of the things I hated most about that game. All they do is create a sort of arms race where you can't compete unless you install certain mods. Or worse yet where some idiot raid leader *thinks you can't and insists you *must run his favorite mods in *his raid.

Then you get the stupid crap like mods crashing servers, causing extreme lag and wiping raids due to extremely excessive, repetitive (and mostly useless) message spam over background mod communication channels.

Sure I used mods in WoW, there really wasn't any choice if you wanted to be competitive but I'd have preferred the game without mods. The fact that Eve Online doesn't have or allow in game mods was a factor in getting me to play it.

MoxNix said...

Oh and let's not forget mods also raised the hardware requirements to play WoW competitively.

Unknown said...

I only link it because your blog mentions it more than any other in my feed. Not that you do the 0.01ISK thing, but that it is your pet peeve.

As for the mods arms race, it's a two edged sword. On the one hand, crappy game play must be eliminated and we can't count on devs to do most of the work. On the other, there is a skill gap between those that can/can't that can ruin the game for everyone.

My problem is that I see the problems and feel compelled to solve them, rather than bitch and moan on the forums about how CCP should fix anything that requires effort. Furthermore, there is a Luddite contingent that seems to believe that ANY OOG tool is tantamount to cheating, who I believe is more dangerous to the game than the botters.

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