Thursday, March 26, 2009

CCP caught with their hand in the cookie jar again

Oh what a tangled web we weave. For those who do not play EVE this might seem like a lot to do about nothing, but I can assure you it's more to do with principal and fairness than a name. Massively gives you the general gist of the hubbub, but not really any of the specifics. I replied to the article thusly:

I don't see anyone mentioning this yet, but the issue pertaining to the name change is about two things. First, that CCP is showing favoritism again; something a company needs to steadfastly remain apart from. Same issue arose in WoW with Blizzard Devs allowing their friends and guilds to jump from PVE to PVP servers when their policy publicly stated no one would be allowed to do that. People get really ticked off by that sort of thing, and this isn't the first time CCP has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar so to speak. What I think a lot of people are left asking is, what other favors have they done that they haven't been caught doing?

And secondly there is a particular game mechanic that was avoided in how CCP conducted the name change. Control of 0.0 space in EVE is a big deal. When an alliance wants to change its name they either have to create an entirely new alliance--incurring a rather large expense and loss of sovereignty over their existing space, or jump into another already existing alliance. Ex-BOB didn't want to do either in this case. They wanted to regain their old lost alliance name, not incur the rather large expense of starting a new alliance, and not lose their remaining sovereignty over their remaining systems.

CCP changed their existing alliance name and circumvented the game mechanics that would have cost the alliance the money and the loss of sovereignty. That's never been done for anyone else in the history of EVE, and on the very face of it, should show everyone the extraordinary lengths to which CCP was treating with ex-BOB.

Rules are their for a reason. When you start making exceptions for some--especially with CCPs track record with BOB, then you also have to make them for others. And in this case it really had very little to do with the name specifically, and everything to do with those game mechanics that everyone but ex-BOB was having to live with.

I forgot to add this. Keep in mind who actually conducted the name change, and circumvented the game mechanics for ex-BOB. A GM. And employee of CCP who has access to the data base and all the reporting tools would need to enact such things inside the game.

After a rather lengthy uproar on the official forums, with many threads being locked and deleted, CCP finally released a second statement regarding the incident indicating they would roll back the name change. The excuse they used was they hadn't known that the KenZoku alliance had actually been in existence previous to the incident which resulted in BOB having its alliance dissolved.

Does anyone serious believe this? Anyone with the power to make changes inside the game has the access required to look up anything they require. Either someone was extraordinarily incompetent, or extraordinarily prefabricating. They took several weeks to make a decision on the petition after all. You mean no one, in all that time, took the time to verify any of the facts of the petition? That in and of itself is worrisome.
If you are interested, you can read one of the original (and still remaining) posts in the official forums here. I warn you, it's full of emo and drama. CCP's first official response indicating they have in fact conducted previous name changes. And here is CCP's second official response indicating they would roll back the name change.

[EDIT] I wanted to specifically link this just in case you miss it linked to in the Massively articles. This explains the larger, previous revelation of CCP misconduct in EVE.