Barbarians At The Gate

Raph Koster breaks down the recent Eve hoohah.

Lots of folks lose their livelihoods when an empire falls, and players invested in BoB are likely upset that years of work were lost. But EVE is not a game about the height of the Roman Empire. It’s a game about the sacking of Rome by barbarians, so that they can become the next short-lived top dog. BoB existed to be torn down, and anyone who dreams of permanent glory in a game like that should understand that their destiny is to be taken down by the next upstart, in a dog-eat-dog world.

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10 Responses to Barbarians At The Gate

  1. Freakazoid says:

    But honestly, another day, another giant EVE scam. Ho hum. Is there anything really good to say about this?

    What makes this so special, at least to me, was the initial meta-game reason to take down BoB: Because a developer colluded with them to get BoB free stuff, and was not punished for it.

    I’ve viewed this war as an extension of player justice. Perhaps they were a bit misplaced, because in the end, what really would have brought justice would be the sudden drop in revenue as everyone quit. But the allure of an in-game punishment by crushing the group that the devs sided with seemed like a good idea at the time.

    It only took them three years, but they more or less have their victory now. Not the most efficient way of handing out player justice, but goonswarm proved it can technically work.

    Still, I would have liked to see the developer caught in the scandal fired AND the remaining dev’s pretend space ships crushed. I bet the developers probably parted with BoB a long time ago, knowing that BoB’s defeat was inevitable. Maybe they’re in goonswarm now, giving them free stuff!

  2. etherealwolf says:

    yeah, BoB going down kinda sucked in a way, because it gave the asshats (goons) a feather in their hats. Goons are pretty much dicks, moreso than your average phallicly inclined EVE player.

  3. That’s why Raph is “The Man”!

  4. insanity says:

    Raph Koster:
    This has been used as a business tactic: World of Warcraft consciously pursued the guild leaders of the largest and most influential guilds in its successful attempt to dethrone Everquest. By recruiting them over to the new game, they managed to harm the social fabric of EQ while also creating a ready-made community within WoW.

    Did Blizzard really do that?! Amazing. Also amusing, that WoW is basically providing easily-available information on which guilds are most successful via the new achievements and statistics data on wowarmory — I’m sure a competitor could, if they wanted to and if it was as effective as Raph indicates it was with EQ, mine that data to target specific guilds or players. You’d think if Blizzard did actually successfully do that, they wouldn’t make it easy for a competitor to do the same to them…

  5. Coyrzl says:

    Yes, Blizzard really did do that.

    Just about every major EQ1 guild was invited to participate en masse in the WowBeta.

  6. Syncaine says:

    Blizzard is not the only company to do that. Any new MMO invites top guilds to try its product. Plus how hard was it to lure someone from EQ2 to WoW in 2004?

  7. Pretty difficult, since EQ2 launched only a couple of weeks before WoW.

  8. Klaitu says:

    With quotes like that, it seems like Raph has actually played Eve Online. Kudos to him!

  9. geldonyetich says:

    Seems to me Raph is giving EVE Online too much credit. This wasn’t so much barbarians sacking Rome as it was one Roman senator getting bored, disbanding the empire, and moving in with the barbarians just because he could.

  10. isildur says:

    Senators don’t just ‘get bored’. If a person with that much power over the organization was looking to jump ship, and trying to sweeten the deal with a major sabotage of his organization… the organization was rotting from within. People don’t want to escape from the winners.

    EVE’s corp management tools are good, but there’s still a limit of trust, when your organization gets too large for the person in charge to personally know every officer, much less every member. The moment your organization suffers any real setbacks (and BoB has been suffering quite a few of late) every member you don’t entirely trust is a potential collapse waiting to happen.

    It’s like that one guy in your WoW raid who, the second time you wipe, starts talking about quitting for the night. Losing can turn marginal loyalty into disloyalty.

    In EVE, that’s both potentially dangerous for organizations built entirely on mutual trust… and completely awesome.

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