We Need Better than Double Taxes and no Chance of Profit
There were 23 good comments to this post. They're worth a read if you haven't already. The majority opinion, which fits my readership and should not be construed as representative of EVE players in general, is that the high-sec Custom Office changes will effectively stop independents in their tracks. Shortly after that post I received word from my friend Kao Jai. He will cease all PI business by November 19th and try to figure out some other way to make ISK in high-sec. He is depressed. He even mentioned that he may quit EVE Online altogether over this. Evidently the mini-game that is PI is really what appealed to him about EVE Online; way more than any other form of industry. I think CCP should rethink their strategy in this. I don't feel it will work the way they think it will, if for no other reason than it falls squarely into the 'you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink' wisdom. They are not encouraging play style alteration through tough love. They are alienating loyal customers who may simply walk away. The only real question is what percentage of customers that will be. If the percentage is low, it may not matter to CCP. I certainly hope they have those numbers to backup this decision. Only time will tell.
Valkyrie - The How
Ocular VR and their Rift 3D goggles are a hot topic in the gaming e-zines these days. Not a day seems to go by without one article or another about the company and their evolutionary (revolutionary is too strong a word IMO) advancement of stereoscopic video. I eagerly read all the articles that came into my feeds and all but one made me smile. The one that did not was Nathan Grayson's Rock Paper Shotgun comment piece about the interview with David Reid. I am going to quote the relevant part but you should really read the whole article.
"chief marketing officer David Reid was quite adamant that EVE Valkyrie won’t necessarily be launching on PC or Oculus Rift. I’m not really sure what to make of it, to be honest, but here’s what he said.
“Hold on a second, we haven’t confirmed that Valkyrie’s on PC,” he interjected when I idly noted that Dust 514 is the only non-PC extension of the EVE universe. “It’s capable of playing on PC right now, but we haven’t confirmed what we’re going to launch it on.”
“It technically works on PC, and it’s working fine, but there are other platforms it could run on. There’s nothing that technically prevents it from running on a console, for example.”"Unlike Nathan Grayson, I don't take this to necessarily mean Valkyrie won't be on the PC using Oculus Rift, but it does make me worry. I worry that Valkyrie will debut on a Playstation console and I don't own one of those. I have an Xbox. I suppose I could look at these statements as having a 2 out of 3 chance to play Valkyrie when it comes out. But since CCP already has a connection with Sony, I see that chance as more like 50/50. And those are uncomfortable odds. I hope I don't end up in the Angry Dome myself.
Collusion: You Have to Prove It
I have come out on the losing side of this debate. Have a look at Nosey Gamer's most recent post on the subject - SOMERblink: Headshot. The tl;dr is CCP has issued a cease and desist order to all sellers of GTC concerning referrals. [POINT OF ORDER EDIT 10/31/13 22:45: the cease and desist is not for referrals in general, only those that lead to real money for ISK like the SOMERblink bonus. See Nosey's comment for a much better explanation.] I could admit I was wrong about this, but I am unconvinced this isn't a reaction to all the pressure and bad publicity CCP has garnered vis-a-vis GTC referrals and SOMERblink specifically. CCP sets the rules. They could have extended them to include GTC referrals if they wanted to. But like Burn Jita, this caught CCP unaware and unprepared. It's hard to not cave in to external pressures when you're completely on the defensive. I also want to point out that this says nothing about the gifting of special in-game items to SOMERblink personnel. However, that too will probably stop. I am sure new internal procedures were issued to the community team as well. As for when SOMERblink will modify their page and stop the referral bonus, I'll guess at the last possible moment. That only makes business sense. There will be a run on the referral market is my other guess, and SOMERblink and Markee Dragon will want to cash in on that. It's business after all. And one other thing, don't think this will stop them. They are creative entrepreneurs; just the sort of people CCP publicly calls to join them. Hell, CCP has publicly spotlighted both! Whether you like SOMERblink or not, CCP needs them and other's like them. CCP makes no significant gains from my blog or most of the other members of our valued community. They do make bank with the likes of Markee Dragon and SOMERblink. Rail against them all you like, I doubt they'll go away of their own accord - and CCP would be foolish to ban them.
And that's it for the October wrap up. Be sure to catch my Friday post, which is already written and waiting for other events that will happen that day. Exciting things are coming to the EVE Universe: pew-pew things! It makes me believe CCP is correct when they say the best is yet to come.