council of stellar management

See: EVE Online‘s player-elected governing body.

EVE Online’s ousting of an epithet-slinging CSM candidate was part of a corporate plot because of course it was

If this isn’t the most canonically EVE Online story, I have no idea what is.

Remember earlier this month when we reported on the drama in the elections for the Council of Stellar Management? CCP Games had caught wind of the racist comments of one particular candidate for the council had made in-game and disqualified him. That candidate, Creecher Virpio, apologized for what he characterized as “casual racism.”

As it turns out, CCP Games didn’t learn about Creecher’s indiscretions by accident. As The Nosy Gamer notes, Creecher is a high-ranking member of Test Alliance Please Ignore and a “vociferous proponent of shield-tanked supercapital-class ships.” Had he been seated on the council, he surely would have voted against the interests of Pandemic Legion, which favors armor-tanked supercapital ships.

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EVE Online player disqualified from CSM elections due to racist comments

They say that the internet never forgets, so if you are planning to run for a player council in a popular online game, you should check to see if you have shot your mouth off in the past.

This lesson is being learned this week by Creecher Virpio, an EVE Online player who was running an election to become one of the next members of the game’s Council of Stellar Management. We say “was,” because extremely racist comments attributed to the player were unearthed from over a half-year ago.

In response to this revelation, CCP announced that Creecher was to be disqualified: “We have decided to exercise our discretion to remove candidate Creecher Virpio from the ballot in accordance with our internal guidelines due to chat logs which surfaced recently and would have resulted in exclusion during the background check period.”

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The MOP Up: The Black Death improves its profession system (June 10, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Old School RuneScapePokemon GoEverQuest, EVE Online, Paladins, Titan QuestThe Black DeathSkyforgeFinal Fantasy XIWizard101, Pirate101War of RightsEvolveState of Decay 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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The MOP Up: Fractured Lands has fun in the apocalypse (June 3, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from RendArmored WarfareWakfuElswordH1Z1Conan ExilesDauntlessSea of ThievesFractured LandsMagic: The Gathering ArenaEVE OnlineOrbus VRRuneScapeFoxholeShot OnlineDark Age of CamelotPixARKTERA, and Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!

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A real-life lobbyist is running for the EVE Online CSM

Want politics out of your games? What about politicians? And do you mean it literally? Because… they walk among us.

Kotaku put out a piece over the weekend on Brian Schoeneman, one of the many players currently running for positions on EVE Online’s Council of Stellar Management. It’s basically the student council for the game, only the members could potentially wield considerable influence over the game and have traditionally been flown to Iceland to meet with CCP to advocate for the playerbase, or at least its more powerful factions. So yeah, basically like real life.

Schoeneman, however, made headlines because of his day job: Kotaku characterizes him as a “career politician” and lobbyist.

“If you replace ‘government’ with CCP, ‘union members’ with the playerbase, and ‘country’ with the game world, I’m already basically a CSM,” he reportedly said. “It’s literally my day job.”

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The MOP Up: Diablo levels up in Heroes of the Storm (May 13, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Heroes of the StormElder Scrolls Online, DayZEVE Online, Pokemon Go, Dota 2City of HeroesFinal Fantasy XIVPortal KnightsLineage 2 RevolutionWizard101Ingress, and Reign of Guilds, all waiting for you after the break!

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EVE Online pumps out quality-of-life patch, starts taking CSM applications

The skies are crowded with activity in EVE Online as of late. CCP came out this week to talk about many of the “little changes” and quality-of-life improvements that have arrived with today’s patch.

These cover changes to help track fleets, the addition to fleet tags on the target bar, a new way to filter the compare tool, a reduction in jump fatigue accumulation, a structures tab in systems; show info windows, tooltips on personal security status in various systems, and plenty of other smaller items.

Applications for the game’s 13th Council of Stellar Management are now open and will continue to accept bids through this Friday, March 23rd. Players who wish to serve on the community advisory panel have to meet certain requirements, such as having an account that’s at least two months old, being 18 years old or older, and allowing CCP access to your personal identification.

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EVE Evolved: EVE Online’s March balance update has players excited

The EVE Online community came down pretty hard on CCP Games at the start of the year, with podcasts, blogs, and the Council of Stellar Management all highlighting a recent lack of balance changes and iterations. CCP responded with a renewed wave of updates, and it’s safe to say that the studio is absolutely knocking it out of the park. The upcoming March patch will include surprise buffs for the Muninn and Eagle, damage increases for the Cyclone and Drake Navy Issue, and an unexpected change to Attack Battlecruisers that could turn the fleet PvP meta completely on its head. The Orthrus is also finally getting its long-awaited nerf, and some careful tweaks will end the dominance of Ferox and Machariel fleets.

As if that wasn’t enough good news for one month, developers also plan to release a completely new class of ship designed exclusively for fleet commanders, are finally adding blueprint-locking to citadels and engineering complexes, and have some big territorial warfare improvements in the pipeline. The horrible but often necessary Jump Fatigue mechanic is finally being re-evaluated, and players will no longer be able to use citadel tethering mechanics to easily move capital ships in absolute safety. The territorial capture gameplay and the Entosis Link module used in nullsec sovereignty warfare are also being improved based on player feedback. The community hasn’t been this positive about upcoming changes for quite some time!

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I lay out the details of the upcoming ship balance overhaul, the new Monitor fleet command ship, and other changes coming in the March update.

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EVE Evolved: A matter of balance in EVE Online

Throughout its almost 15-year lifetime, EVE Online has walked a fine line between developing new features and iterating on existing gameplay. Development has to push forward on new features to keep the game fresh and attract new players, but balance issues can emerge in existing gameplay that equally make the game stale or less enjoyable. CCP Games hasn’t always responded to these issues in a timely manner, at times leaving known balance issues in the game for months or even years because development resources weren’t available to tackle those specific issues.

This strategy has been challenged recently by Council of Stellar Management member Jin’taan in his article “Balance is not optional,” in which he argues that CCP shouldn’t even be making balance changes compete for development time with other features. Player Capri Sun KraftFoods followed up with a look at EVE‘s modular item attribute system, arguing that almost any balance change can be implemented quickly and easily just by tweaking the right attributes. Could it be that easy to iterate on EVE‘s frequent balance issues, or does the nature of the game necessitate caution?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I break down the case for quicker iterative updates on balance issues, look at some of the challenges with balancing a game like EVE, and look at CCP’s new balance team.

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EVE Evolved: The Citadel conundrum

The hot topic on everyone’s lips in EVE Online right now is Citadel proliferation: The galaxy is rapidly filling up with an uncountable number of citadels and other Upwell structures that are cheap to build, difficult to destroy, and powerful force multipliers in combat. There have been some amazing battles over the structures in nullsec since they were first introduced, but some star systems are now littered with them and a number of serious gameplay issues have bubbled to the surface.

CCP announced plans for a total structure warfare overhaul to an excited crowd back at EVE Vegas 2017, and this week we got the final details of what’s coming in February 13th’s extensive Upwell 2.0 update. The patch will introduce moon mining in highsec and wormhole space, rebalances structure combat, and aims to resolve many of the most pressing structure problems with a set of sweeping changes to the vulnerability and reinforcement mechanics. It all sounds great in theory, but some players have expressed serious concerns with several parts of CCP’s plan.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I delve into some of the problems with structure warfare in EVE today, how Upwell 2.0 plans to pull things back from the brink, and some of the changes that players are speaking out against.

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CCP addresses EVE Online botter problem, saying it’s at the ‘top of the list’

Last week, we reported on a situation brewing on the EVE Online subreddit, where player after player spoke out about the game’s botting problem, exacerbated by a recent post about a specific botter corp leaving expensive capital ships where other players could easily take them out.

Seeking a statement on the botting situation, we reached out to CCP, whose CCP Falcon posted a response to our article on Reddit.

“[Botting is] to the detriment of the game and it needs to be stamped out,” he says. “It’s garbage behavior, it’s against the rules, and it’s something that has a magnified effect in EVE because of the single shard nature of the game, the economy, and the fact that everything on the market is player built or sourced.” Specifically, he dismissed the idea that CCP generates revenue from botters. That said, he also believes CCP has more work to do on the problem.

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EVE Evolved: EVE Online’s CCP Games is gambling with the livelihoods of employees

Last week we broke the story that EVE Online developer CCP Games is backing out of the virtual reality games market, closing its Altanta office and selling its VR-focused Newcastle studio. The long-held Atlanta office was acquired in the merger with White Wolf in 2006 and has been hit with several rounds of layoffs over the years, with a major hit in 2011 after the Monoclegate disaster and another 2014 when the World of Darkness MMO was cancelled. The Newcastle studio was the development house responsible for CCP’s VR dogfighter EVE: Valkyrie, and both Valkyrie and CCP’s new VR game Sparc will now be maintained by the London office.

Around 100 staff were laid off in the restructuring, roughly 30 of whom worked in CCP’s headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland. Though we were informed at the time that these changes would not impact the development of EVE Online, it since became apparent that more than a few non-development staff were cut. In addition to the EVE PR staff and others that were stationed in Atlanta, all but two members of the EVE community team in Reykjavik have also been let go. There are reports that several GMs and the localisation manager for EVE have departed too, and the mood on twitter from staff in Reykjavik recently is best described as sombre and a little shaken.

In this extra edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into CCP Games’s history of taking risks with staff’s jobs, look at some of those affected by the layoffs, and ask whether there is more fallout to come.

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EVE Online political betrayal results in record-breaking theft

The EVE Online twitterverse exploded late last night with the news of a political twist so enormous that it’s become the largest recorded theft of in-game assets in the game’s history. In the middle of the night and without warning, major EVE military alliance Circle of Two (or CO2 for short) was betrayed by its diplomatic officer, a player with the ominous name of The Judge. In addition to cleaning out the alliance war funds and assets to the tune of over a trillion ISK, The Judge also transferred ownership of CO2’s 300 billion ISK keepstar citadel in its capital star system of 68FT-6 to a holding corporation, effectively stealing the alliance’s home space station.

News of The Judge’s betrayal trickled out of EVE all through the night, and it wasn’t long before the full extent of the incident was known. The 68FT-6 keepstar was sold to enemy alliance Goonswarm Federation, while CO2’s smaller citadels throughout Impass are now in the hands of TEST Alliance. The theft combined with the value of the citadels is estimated at over 1.5 trillion ISK, easily beating the 2011 trillion ISK Phaser Inc scam to become the highest-value theft in EVE‘s history. The actual damage done is even more extensive, injecting a huge dose of chaos into CO2 alliance and throwing fuel on the fire of the southern war.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of last night’s record-breaking theft, the reasons behind the betrayal, and the political situation that led us here.

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