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CCP Marches On Fearlessly, Killing All Player Creativity

Poetic Stanziel
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#1 - 2012-03-18 22:26:03 UTC  |  Edited by: Poetic Stanziel
Of interest to those that take an interest in roleplaying and in your EVE:

The title of this post may be a bit of an overstatement. It's a riff on a lyric from the CCP Permaband's hit song HTFU. (Maybe their only original song?)

There has been a recent patch change that has killed a creative endeavour by a few imaginative players. Players extending the sandbox through will and ingenuity alone.

There's little reason that could be forwarded by CCP that can explain why they would kill off this player-created project. But kill it off they did.

So what's the project I'm talking about?

Project Compass. A research sub-project within the Arak'jaalan Project that was to determine the location of w-space (aka Anoikis) with respect to k-space (aka New Eden). And further down the line, to map Anoikis systems with respect to each other.

Fortunately, before CCP got around to removing game mechanics that would kill this player-driven enterprise, Project Compass, headed by Mark726 and Faulx, did get some preliminary data out:

While the Project Leads are still collecting data, preliminary calculations are ongoing and some tentative conclusions can be announced. So far, all Anoikis systems surveyed have been located in a cluster approximately 1250-1350 light years from the center of New Eden. This cluster is roughly located to the galactic southeast of New Eden, in approximately the same plane, though perhaps slightly lower than New Eden. More results will be announced as they become available.

How did Project Compass determine this? What was the game mechanic they used?

Control tower manufacturers have long included a little known function to their basic control tower designs: the ability to determine, down to 1/10th of a light year, the distance to all other anchored control towers owned by a corporation.

So that game mechanic along with a whole lotta math, known as trilateration, was the backbone of Project Compass.

How did CCP kill this off? With the last update. Crucible 1.5. Specifically this patch note:

Control towers in wormhole space no longer reveal distance in the Control Tower Management window.

What possible reason would CCP have to remove this mechanic? That it messes with a bit of lore? That Anoikis is supposed to be 100s of thousands of light years away? Who cares? Project Compass' result is easy enough to incorporate into lore, even extend it. Perhaps there was a cover-up by the powers-that-be? Who knows? But made up lore is mutable, and mutable in interesting ways.

The sandbox is mostly prescribed by CCP. The sandbox is PvP, PvE and industry. Yet, these enterprising players of Arak'jaalan extended the sandbox through their own imagination and creativity. Exploration and travel became more than just scanning down complexes. They were taking lore, factualizing it.

CCP should be celebrating these player initiatives, not curtailing them. CCP should be thinking about adding in more mechanics to foster this type of gameplay, since it expands upon the possibilities of the game as a whole, not taking them away when they can.

Very disappointing, CCP. Your vision is not as great as the vision of the players. They see the game in much broader terms than you do.
prolix travail
Blue Mountain Trails
#2 - 2012-03-19 01:53:15 UTC
Thanks for linking the project, it's great to discover the unique things people do in the EvE universe.

It's a shame it got nerfed but hopefully for a good reason, why would they change it 'just because' ?
So what's your ideas? What could be messed up by knowing the location of wormholes?

I vote for something mundane like spawning mechanics would be revealed. but hope it interferes with long term goals for exploration, jove revelations, EvE genesis lore and other engrossing subjects.
Malevelon Roe Industries
Convocation of Empyreans
#3 - 2012-03-19 16:26:03 UTC
Thank you for bringing this to public attention Poetic. Mark put in a lot of time, effort and energy in to the Compass Project. He worked hard to research and collect his data and did even more work on top of that to compile it into intelligible information. He worked hard in-game and out of game for this project, for Eve Online and for the player base. Now you reward his effort with a grand kick in the space-nads.

The Compass Project has been one of the more active projects when it comes to the Arek' Jaalan storyline. This project should be held up and given the same attention and spot light that CCP enjoys showering on others who work hard to promote their game and content. To see amazing and in-depth role-playing initiatives like this one snuffed out with an uncaring adjustment of code is incredibly disappointing.

What happened CCP? Did Mark get a little too deep inside your matrix? Instead of being so gosh darn subtractive with your "fixes" take another approach and add to the game instead. Create another layer to add to the story, add to the project and continue this amazing player experience. Chainsaw changes like this do nothing, but butcher your game and butcher the experiences of your players.

Shame on you CCP and my deepest condolences to Mark that game you enjoy murdered your game play experience.

Runner of Voices from the Void podcast, Eve Online Pod Pack & DJ on Sundays at 1800.  Organizer of the ATX Eve Online Meet. ♥

Fergus Meikleour
#4 - 2012-03-19 16:54:45 UTC
Come on CCP

Why did you remove this?

I am no role-player but I love reading EVE lore, especially player produced lore. Would WoW players put this much effort into a project? You game engages people so much they WANT to spend their own time adding to the backstory.

Player creativity is one of your greatest assets. You should promote this not Nerf it

Hideaway Hunters
The Hideaway.
#5 - 2012-03-19 17:07:12 UTC
I just wanted to say, Mark is pretty cool. He should be rewarded more often for the work he puts into this game.
Project Compass Holdings
#6 - 2012-03-19 17:58:07 UTC
Heh, thanks for the support guys. I sincerely appreciate all the kind words over this. I've known that this was coming essentially since Compass began, so I'm happy we were able to get the amount of data that we did. It's a shame that CCP felt the need to act so unilaterally on this. I would have been somewhat more mollified if there was at least an attempt to explain things from an IC perspective (something like 'tower data found to be increasingly unreliable over long distances'). Or at least some attempt at engagement with us. CCP prides itself on the sandbox, but the lore seems to be the one major thing it considers completely offlimits. To an extent, I can understand this. It's almost impossible now to keep things straight (as my 20,000 word lore guide can attest), and it'd become infinitely harder if us players were allowed to have a major say in things in the lore. But on the other hand, as people have attested here, EVE prides itself on the creativity of its players. I don't think CCP foresaw the immensity of today's player community when it started EVE in 2003, from Chribba's eve-files to Dotlan maps, to the 100+ blogs dedicated solely to eve topics. Why is the lore the last great frontier offlimits to player interaction on a large scale?

As it is, I have somewhat of a mixed feeling about this. On the one hand, I'm sad it's come to an end, but on the other, I'm free to go off and do other things now without feeling guilty about losing time on Compass. But there's always things to keep me busy, so don't feel too bad for me Big smile
Gabriel DiCozza
Lyrae Alliance
#7 - 2012-03-20 01:43:54 UTC
Hi, this story is fascinating. Even though I am sorry for you, it gave me the opportunity to learn about your project. I blogged about it there.
Helena Khan
Ministry Of Reverse Engineering
#8 - 2012-03-22 04:18:10 UTC
Hi Poetic,

Found out about it courtesy of Dani and google +. Damn shame I have to say for a couple of reasons, but mostly because it's the great unknown.

I would LOVE the opportunity to scan down and fly to a cluster like that, somewhere way the sam hill out of the way. Wrote a post about it a while back. Set the wagon trains and head off to the wild frontier to stake a claim.

Somewhere where supercap proliferation isn't going to kill the small stakeholder/land grabber, and where the people with patience, forethought and smarts can really start something marvelous.

CCP, this is a missed opportunity for the explorers/small corporations in your game. It shouldn't be too hard to implement something like this. It really shouldn't.