So I sat in on a Live Dev Blog today. Well, what can I say? It was an exercise in futility. Coupled with the fact that t0rfifrans, our designated CCPian for the blog (and a hotly anticipated one at that, given his up-front and no-bullshit remarks surrounding ghost training), had to miss the blog due to his wife becoming hospitalised (thankfully for minor issues); this and Zulupark’s neat dodging of questions and Mindstar’s neat choice of questions lead me simply wanting more.
Maybe it was the way Zulupark touted ‘new gates’ as a major part of the next expansion. Let’s be honest- new gates are hardly shocking. Shiny, sure. Important gameplay change or vitally needed rebalancing? Nope.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Both Zulupark and Mindstar did a fine job in what was rapidly becoming a tricky situation. But CCP is in a rut right now, especially if you ask the playerbase what they think of recent decisions. CCP has been dodging the real questions and, while doing a great job occasionally, tainting the perceptions of players with decisions like disabling ghost training.
Now, if CCP had been upfront about why they were disabling ghost training, there wouldn’t have been as much fallout. That’s a simple statement of fact- there’s no way CCP would have taken as much flak if they’d said:
‘Look, we know you love it, but we simply can’t afford to have all these people using this thing which wasn’t ever really specified as a feature. Here’s some numbers which show growth of people using it, and here’s that converted into how much we lose as a company for doing that. Sorry!’
Sure, some people- those gaining from ghost training- would complain. But those subscribers such as myself who don’t make use of ghost training wouldn’t be clamouring and complaining as well.
CCP has had some major communication issues recently. I suspect it’s simply down to the huge quantity of fresh blood in CCP and the lack of coherence between the older crew and the more recent additions to the team, but who can tell?
If CCP truly want to regain their former stance then they need to really take their open attitude to the table and push it to all of their employees. Sure, don’t tell us what and when new content will get released, and sure, keep some stuff for fanfest. But when you make the announcements, especially if they’re controversial or likely to enrage some people, go into some detail. Don’t try smoke and mirrors, and don’t try not saying anything- that’s guaranteed to lead to speculation, flamewars and so on.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
– Polonius; Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3 (William Shakespeare)
Tell us about your internal decision processes. Zulupark let out a little gem in the rough yesterday, detailing how he and Hammerhead had discussed the skill queue and why they didn’t want to do it. That interested me, made it obvious what had gone on behind the scenes, and at the end of the day, the reason was fair enough and I didn’t suddenly leap into a flying rage and write a blog post. But the rest of the LDB- the ususal smoke and mirrors combined with the occasional ‘Oops, can’t tell you that’- left me feeling cheated. So CCP, and yeah, this post’s kinda aimed at you; don’t keep doing what you’re doing, because it’s sure as hell not working to impress the playerbase.