Sunday, March 30, 2014

Impeach Ripard Teg?

I told my readers about a year ago that I wouldn't ever write about CSM politics again. Before I ever started my own EVE blog, I was a fan of other blogs like Finders & Keepers, Rifter Drifter, Hallo Can I Violence Ur Boat, My Loot Your Tears, and other greats. All of the blogs that I enjoyed, and still enjoy, are those which focus on the actual experience of EVE, and don't try to lecture the reader on space politics or ideas for game development. I have tried to follow that principle myself - to blog about the adventures I'm having in this amazing game and leave the readers to think for themselves when it comes to all the boring crap.

Today, I'm going to break my own rule and talk about the CSM. Or rather, about one CSM member in particular - Mr. Ripard "Jester" Teg, author of the popular EVE blog "Jester's Trek".

Why talk about Ripard Teg?
Excellent question. I want to talk about Ripard Teg today, because he recently instigated a pretty significant scandal for our game community that resulted in the permanent ban of well-known isk doubler Erotica 1.

Everyone who is even remotely connected knows the details of that scandal and has their opinion about it. My own feeling is that CCP was justified in the decision that they made, but I'm not really here to talk about that today.

What I want to discuss is the role of Mr. Teg in the affair, whether he did wrong, and whether there should be any consequences if he did.

What did Ripard Teg do wrong?
If you were to post in the EVE online forums, "Hey everybody, I've become aware of a situation in which several players harassed another player, and I've got a Teamspeak recording of the whole thing," the thread would almost immediately be locked. You would no doubt be informed that you can file a petition to report any violations of the EULA or ToS.

"...this is the EVE equivalent of the Jerry Springer show. In lieu
of paternity tests and transgender midget love triangles we've got a
bunch of guys picking on a man-child. Ripard's playing Springer,
putting the thing on a stage, publicly shaking his head and delivering
shame-on-all-of-you's so that he may run for re-election as mayor of
Cincinnati. After all, he assumes, none of us are bright enough to see
through the charade. All of us voting idiots will just eat this shit up."
- Daniel Whitaker
Since Ripard Teg is a member of the CSM, it is safe to assume that he knows the correct process for reporting rule violations. It is also likely that he has additional channels of his communication at his disposal in the case that he feels the need to bring a situation to the attention of the developers directly.

Yet, for some reason, rather than using these legitimate channels, Teg chose to publish a public call-out thread in his blog, rife with inaccuracies, exaggerations, and the most blatant sort of rumor-mongering. The content which he reported was a legitimate cause for concern, but the way he reported it was calculated to incite a virtual lynch mob.

There are only three reasons that I can think of why he would choose to do this, all of them ugly. The first and most straightforward is that he wanted to coerce CCP to hand down a ban or face wider media attention for supporting griefers. In other words, he was trying to bully CCP into doing things his way. The second is that he just wanted the attention, that he gets off somehow on it. The third possibility is that creating this scandal fuels his own political agenda as a CSM. He has long argued that highsec PvP needs continued nerfs, so perhaps he published this as an attempt to discredit the minerbumping and Belligerent Undesirables communities and the playstyles that they represent.

But EVE culture is bad! Drastic measures need to be taken to purge the Reavers from the game...
This seems to be Mr. Teg's argument. He has fallen into the carebear mentality of associating in-game criminal activities with out-of-game criminal behavior. This idea is so absurd that it is almost not worth rebutting.

EVE Online is a role playing game, and from what I understand, it is one of the few online role playing games available on the market which allows you to play as a bad person. Since I have never played any other online game, I can't say for sure whether this is true or not. In any case, I can tell you that it is a lot of fun to roleplay a douchebag criminal type, even if you are a genuinely nice guy in the real world.

When I first was invited to join Belligerent Undesirables, I had a bit of apprehension that these highsec "griefers" wouldn't be nice people to be around. I couldn't have been more wrong. Outsiders never believe me when I tell them that the "griefer" community is the most mature community in the game, but I assure you that it is true. BU chat is only slightly less PG rated than chat.e-uni (about the only time you see profanity is when we are quoting what some irate carebear called us). I have never seen a newbie in BU or minerbumping chat who wasn't getting straightforward answers to his questions and genuine offers of help.

Teg would have you believe that the infamous "bonus round" tape is a typical example of the "Reaver" culture that he is allegedly trying to save us all from, when in fact it is anything but. No doubt he scoured the internet for the worst example of EVE "griefing" that he could find, and then made sure to represent it as being even worse than it actually was, so that readers who were too lazy to listen for themselves would know how they were supposed to feel.

Ohno! The Reavers are in Jita!
What should be done with him?
I generally don't like to call for players to be punished by CCP. Since this is my blog though, and I am
not a member of nor candidate for CSM, I think I will. If it was my decision to make, I'd probably boot him from the CSM and give him a temporary ban. Since he's not running for reelection, booting him would be a symbolic gesture - a small statement that yes, CCP holds CSM members to a higher standard of personal conduct. As should they.

I don't expect that to actually happen, though, so instead, Ripard Teg should voluntarily step down, and publish an apology to the community for the disrespect for our collective maturity and intelligence that he has shown. Of course, yeah that isn't going to happen either. I am not even sure if he yet has the perspective to see how badly in the wrong he has been. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is actually a good person behind the keyboard, and will eventually come to understand.

Really, we know that nothing is going to happen to Ripard Teg. Perhaps the best we can hope for is some statement from Devs, current CSM members or CSM candidates to say,"Yes, Ripard Teg was out of line. Yes, he abused his position to discredit a segment of the community and that is not ok. Yes, a good CSM is supposed to represent the whole community, from the wide-eyed newbies to the lifelong carebears to the small gang PvPers to the wormholers to the nullbears and yes, by God, even the pirates gankers and scammers."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Grand Theft Spaceship

Inspired by my fellow EVE blogger Feyd Rautha Harkonnen and his kill-it-forward program, I took to the skies of Osmon today in a shiny new Police Pursuit Comet to try to kill a carebear in retaliation for forum whiners calling for continued nerfs to highsec PvP. I had 2 or 3 false starts, bears who just wouldn't engage in spite of my best efforts to make an ass of myself.

Finally I warped in on a player named Exterminator CaveMan, who was running a mission in a Drake. He had just finished killing the rats, and was cleaning up the site. I went flashy by shooting at his MTU, and he quickly redboxed me.

The Game
I launched my 3 Hobgoblin 2s and quickly put down all of his Hob 1s as I warp scrambled his hull, then opened a convo with him.

[ 2014.03.28 01:44:22 ] Exterminator CaveMan > hello
[ 2014.03.28 01:44:39 ] Kalim Dabo > o/
[ 2014.03.28 01:44:52 ] Kalim Dabo > 50 mil or the drake dies
[ 2014.03.28 01:45:15 ] Exterminator CaveMan > ok ass long as you stop
[ 2014.03.28 01:45:24 ] Kalim Dabo > ok, send the isk, i'll stop
[ 2014.03.28 01:45:43 ] Exterminator CaveMan > done

My wallet blinked and I checked it, finding to my surprise that he had actually sent the 50 million. I was
so taken aback by the speed with which he paid the ransom that I wasn't sure what to do next, but luckily my Suddenly Ninjas training kicked in and I thought of trying to steal his Drake.

[ 2014.03.28 01:46:09 ] Kalim Dabo > ok, there's just one more thing
[ 2014.03.28 01:46:14 ] Exterminator CaveMan > remove the warp disruptor pls
[ 2014.03.28 01:46:16 ] Kalim Dabo > i'll need a trophy kill
[ 2014.03.28 01:46:28 ] Kalim Dabo > this is what you need to do -
[ 2014.03.28 01:46:30 ] Exterminator CaveMan > I am noobie - what is a trophy kill
[ 2014.03.28 01:46:47 ] Kalim Dabo > eject from the drake, go to station and get a rookie ship, then come back
[ 2014.03.28 01:47:03 ] Kalim Dabo > i kill the rookie ship, then let you have the drake back
[ 2014.03.28 01:47:26 ] Kalim Dabo > understand?
[ 2014.03.28 01:47:38 ] Exterminator CaveMan > I will bring one to you - shuttle do ??
[ 2014.03.28 01:47:44 ] Kalim Dabo > sure
[ 2014.03.28 01:48:01 ] Exterminator CaveMan > I will warp a shuttle in, if you remove the disruptor when it comes in
[ 2014.03.28 01:48:20 ] Kalim Dabo > sure

My intent, of course, was to get him to eject and go get a rookie ship, thereby allowing me to board his Drake, but instead he brought in an alt in a shuttle - I just rolled with it.

[ 2014.03.28 01:48:30 ] Exterminator CaveMan > warping in now...
[ 2014.03.28 01:49:05 ] Exterminator CaveMan > shuttle is in grid
[ 2014.03.28 01:49:12 ] Kalim Dabo > ok, move him closer so i can hit him
[ 2014.03.28 01:49:18 ] Kalim Dabo > then accept the duel
[ 2014.03.28 01:49:39 ] Exterminator CaveMan > looking for where to accept
[ 2014.03.28 01:49:51 ] Kalim Dabo > sorry, you blocked duel requests, so you need to challenge me
[ 2014.03.28 01:49:58 ] Exterminator CaveMan > done
[ 2014.03.28 01:50:01 ] Exterminator CaveMan > remove warp pls
[ 2014.03.28 01:50:27 ] Exterminator CaveMan > warp is not disengaged
[ 2014.03.28 01:50:55 ] Kalim Dabo > lol, that didn't work as planned
[ 2014.03.28 01:51:05 ] Exterminator CaveMan > why not
[ 2014.03.28 01:51:07 ] Kalim Dabo > sorry, was a diabolical ruse
[ 2014.03.28 01:51:26 ] Kalim Dabo > you were supposed to eject, therby allowing me to steal your ship :D
[ 2014.03.28 01:51:41 ] Kalim Dabo > i'm sorry to say i have to kill you now

My finger twitched towards the F1 button, when to my surprise, he ejected from his Drake and warped off with his pod.

[ 2014.03.28 01:52:13 ] Kalim Dabo > wow, thanks
[ 2014.03.28 01:52:21 ] Kalim Dabo > o7

Revenge of the Carebear
I then had my alt warp in with a pod, board the Drake, and deliver it to station. That done, I spent a moment inspecting my surroundings, when suddenly, an avenging Cormorant warped to my position and opened fire. I chortled with bloodlust and glee and targeted him, switched to null, set my orbit at 7500m, and set my drones on him.

The Cormorant kited away from me, and I started taking an unexpected amount of damage. He was microwarpdrive and rail-fit, contrary to my expectations, and was tearing into my armor in no time. My dual reppers struggled to keep up. He also showed good sense in reacting to my drones, blapping my first wave of 3 Hob 2s within seconds, and then making short work of my second wave of 3 Hornet EC-300s.

Once he had finished off my drones, he then made his fatal error, moving close enough that I could get scram on him and move into blaster range. It was an amazing fight, and he showed both balls and competence wholly unexpected in a mission bear, and almost took down my blinged Comet with a T1, low-SP dessy.

The Aftermath
I then returned to station to check out what I had stolen and to repair my ship and make it ready for more shenanigans, when Exterminator opened a second convo.

[ 2014.03.28 02:03:32 ] Kalim Dabo > that was fun, no?
[ 2014.03.28 02:03:37 ] Exterminator CaveMan > can I ask a couple of questions pls
[ 2014.03.28 02:03:41 ] Kalim Dabo > sure
[ 2014.03.28 02:03:52 ] Exterminator CaveMan > when I warped in the drake and tayra were not on my map - were they gone ??
[ 2014.03.28 02:04:21 ] Kalim Dabo > i'm not sure about the tayra, but yes, i stole the drake
[ 2014.03.28 02:04:34 ] Kalim Dabo > had an alt warp in and board it, then leave
[ 2014.03.28 02:04:58 ] Exterminator CaveMan > I stuck around to understand how to pick up the tayra.... when you arrived....
[ 2014.03.28 02:05:19 ] Exterminator CaveMan > I do appreciate the experience even if it did cost me something....
[ 2014.03.28 02:05:25 ] Kalim Dabo > that was actually a really good fight with the cormorant, you almost had me
[ 2014.03.28 02:05:49 ] Kalim Dabo > i thought you had blasters, so i kept out at range and your rails were killing me
[ 2014.03.28 02:05:52 ] Exterminator CaveMan > I put it all up to experience....
[ 2014.03.28 02:06:04 ] Kalim Dabo > you also killed the drones first which was a smart move
[ 2014.03.28 02:06:15 ] Exterminator CaveMan > what did you use to repair your armor so quickly - my rails became ineffective
[ 2014.03.28 02:06:38 ] Kalim Dabo > i have 2 small armor reppers
[ 2014.03.28 02:06:43 ] Exterminator CaveMan > the drone kill mean't you paid something for the fight, and kept them off my back...
[ 2014.03.28 02:06:51 ] Kalim Dabo > and a cap booster to keep them running
[ 2014.03.28 02:06:55 ] Kalim Dabo > yep
[ 2014.03.28 02:07:07 ] Exterminator CaveMan > They do seem to work well...
[ 2014.03.28 02:07:23 ] Kalim Dabo > yeah, i'm pretty happy with the fit
[ 2014.03.28 02:07:37 ] Kalim Dabo > it doesn't work well against high alpha damage though
[ 2014.03.28 02:07:38 ] Exterminator CaveMan > thanks again....   I am training up a combat pilot so it is good to understand how the different equipment can work
[ 2014.03.28 02:07:44 ] Kalim Dabo > sure
[ 2014.03.28 02:07:48 ] Exterminator CaveMan > what is high alpha ??
[ 2014.03.28 02:08:00 ] Kalim Dabo > the damage from a single volley
[ 2014.03.28 02:08:06 ] Exterminator CaveMan > ta
[ 2014.03.28 02:08:18 ] Kalim Dabo > :)
[ 2014.03.28 02:08:22 ] Exterminator CaveMan > not sure why my missles could not target you from the drake
[ 2014.03.28 02:09:14 ] Kalim Dabo > i had ecm drones out at first, maybe you were jammed?
[ 2014.03.28 02:09:56 ] Exterminator CaveMan > so having ecm drones, means your ship does not need a ecm on board, leaving you free to fit the other modules....
[ 2014.03.28 02:10:27 ] Exterminator CaveMan > can I have my 50mil back now....  you did get a drake out of it ?
[ 2014.03.28 02:10:42 ] Kalim Dabo > yes, but they have less chance of working than ECM modules on a dedicated ECM ship like a griffin or blackbird
[ 2014.03.28 02:11:10 ] Kalim Dabo > i'm afraid i need to keep the isk :D what sort of pirate would i be if i gave it back?
[ 2014.03.28 02:11:31 ] Exterminator CaveMan > thought as much - till next time then my hearties....
[ 2014.03.28 02:12:24 ] Kalim Dabo > best of luck to you

The Spoils
In addition to the 50 million isk "ransom" that I collected, the Drake that I stole was fitted with 6 Caldari Navy Heavy Missile Launchers, which are worth about 50 mil each in Jita, so the whole ship netted me something in the neighborhood of 350 million isk. The Cormorant dropped a Coreli A-Type 1mn MWD worth roughly 26 million. So the evening's entertainment earned me a total of about 426 million isk for about an hour's work. Who says crime doesn't pay?

The good news is that I killed a carebear. The bad news is that he turned out to be the greatest carebear of all time and nearly raped me with his counterattack. In fact, by the authority vested in me as a pirate by the Gods of Pew, I hereby declare that Exterminator CaveMan is No Longer a Carebear, but a worthy young combat pilot that any pirate organization should be proud to have on their crew.

If I weren't so absurdly space-poor right now, I would shower him with isk for the courage that he showed tonight. If you are feeling generous, I would encourage you to send him a contribution.

That said, I can not in good conscience count this as the contribution to the kill-it-forward program that I had intended, and so I will need to get back out there and kill another bear. Because God wills it. Or so I hear.