Posts Tagged ‘Blogs’

BB 47: A complex complex of Complex complexes

Is EVE too complex for one person to know everything? Is it, in fact, too complex for one person to know everything about one topic? How do you maintain any knowledge or skills related to EVE over time with breaks and expansions? Does CCP do a sufficient job documenting the features of the game, and if not, what could they do better? How does one determine where the gaps in their knowledge even are?

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A glimpse into my world as a programmer...

A glimpse into my world as a programmer…

One thing I have come to learn, working in IT, is that Complexity, is almost always on an “opt-in” basis. For example, the code behind an enterprise system is very complex. Looking deeper within that code, you will find that the developer has likely created resources, used through the project, which they exposes like an API, which are even more complex. But when I write a report on the system, for management, I don’t need to explain all of the complexity to them, they opt out of that, and get by just fine without it. And indeed for me, as say a programmer working on the outer functionality of the System, I don’t need to understand the inner depths of the API I am using, so I opt out of that as well. That doesn’t mean that I don’t know the complexity is there, merely that I understand enough to avoid any pitfalls which I might find, and that I know where to go should I need to gain further knowledge on the subject.

Eve, in many ways, apes real life in a quite amazing fashion and complexity is just one example of how it does this. I believe that eve is, very complex, indeed as the BB question hints, it is too complex to know everything. Much like the management in my example before, if an everyday eve player spent their time trying to understand every minute detail of the system, they wouldn’t have any time left to make decisions based on that information. That’s why in both real life, and eve, we have specialists.

Eve is an immensely complex simulation not entirely dissimilar to Deep thought’s super computer “Earth”. Comprised of complex circuitry invisible to the naked eye, with information passing around it contained in packets which have free will. It would be impossible to comprehend everything, and anyone trying would be a fool.

So how do, or should, we keep up to date with the vital information which we need to live our everyday lives in new Eden? The answer is simple, we require several interfaces with the system each of which will trawl select aspects of the system, and pull important data from the muck. The interface will then need to process that rough nugget of information; trimming it and distilling it into a hard pure diamond of information, which it then presents to you, to instantly digest to gain the core of needed information. You need enough of these interfaces to bring you enough data nuggets to survive. What are these interfaces called? Well collectively, it’s a “community” individually, you might call some “friends” others “Blogs” and still more “Forum Posts”.

Eve is too complex to understand, but as humans we have developed a wonderful capacity to knowledge transfer. This is why, to me, you cannot play eve effectively without engaging with the community. Players who try to play eve without the community are attempting to learn everything for themselves, and as a result they are doomed to failure. Eve is complex, and that’s why it is so important that we engage in the community, to use the interfaces to learn quicker than we would as an individual.

Dunning-KrugerThis is not infallible however, as we are often exposed to micro versions of an aspect of the Dunning-Kruger effect. The issue is that the incompetent, by definition cannot comprehend their incompetency, because they lack the knowledge to define what is competent and what is not. Put simply we as humans cannot see where we lack skill, because we lack skill to recognise it. This is also why, as Jester rightly points out, we are all hanging over precipices, we can’t even see, hoping that someone else will fall down first so we might define our own ignorance. Does this mean eve is too complex? Does this mean that CCP don’t document enough, or should make eve simpler?

Categorically, I say no. I believe that such a mirror to real life is part of the wonder and excitement we experience by playing it. Yes once every so often you are going to be the person who falls down an invisible hole so everyone else learns, but we all have to learn to pick ourselves up and keep going. Furthermore we can all mitigate the likely hood of being the “Fall guy” in two ways: (to continue using the falling analogy), we are all like a person walking through an infinitely massive room, in pitch black with holes in the floor. By expanding our group, walking with more people through the darkness we are statistically less likely to be the person taking the fall. Furthermore, we can help the people closest to us to recover when they do take a fall for the group, and indeed in return we will hopefully receive that help when we take a fall for them.

In summary, yes eve is complex, no you can understand everything. No CCP shouldn’t “fix” this because it is this very factor which make the eve community so important to every player. It’s that emphasis on communication, and collective learning which enriches our community and nurtures a deep sense of camaraderie, the only thing which can offset the cold dark nature of the game we play.

Fly incompetently and proud,


eveblogs: The hero we need or the hero we deserve?

Yesterday (02/07/2013) opened its doors to the community as the new hub for eve blogs.  Eveblogs is a blogging platform similar to what evepress used to be, allowing users to host blogs and blog feeds all under one roof.


I think it’s a great idea to create a centralised feed of blogs (ala evebloggers) I also think it’s a good idea to create community features for that nexus such as forums, groups and categories . All of these are brilliant ways to strengthen a community, and encourage cross group discussions. Brilliant, I hope it goes well.


However, one sure way to not help a community to come together, is to divide it from the start. Eveblogs, has decided to make a clear and precise divide between “internal” and “external” blogs. Internal blogs being ones created as a subdomain of, and external being sites like this, which can feed their content through such as I believe that Alexia has pure intentions building this service, but I feel the effort might end up hurting those it sets out to help (more on this in the next paragraph). You can’t work to bring a community together by slapping “insider” and “outsider” labels on people and treating them differently. It is true that Alexia (the sites owner) has posted on the internal forums that this subdivision will be removed and I truly hope it happens.


There is also the small matter of the disadvantage to the bloggers themselves. Writing and maintaining a blog is hard work. Thankfully CCP is one of the few companies who recognises this and, reward bloggers us with an excellent fansite program. My gut feeling is that sub sites to eveblogs will not be eligible to become fan sites, much in the same way that off the three writers here, only I receive the fansite bonus (don’t worry I reimburse my heroic writing friends). This is going to come across as a direct attack on eveblogs (which it is not intended as), but anyone who registers to blog with them, as opposed to another free service such as blogger, or wordpress is a fool, who will likely loss out on all the rewards of being an eve fansite. I will retract that statement as soon as I see evidence that CCP will treat each sub blog of eveblogs as its own fansite. I doubt this will ever be the case because is just as different from as and



Despite these harsh words, I still support Alexia in the effort, I love the idea of a Reddit style “Hot Post” list (where popular posts rise to the top of the list). I love the idea of a blog community nexus where people can comment and contribute in a central location. I really hope that this effort takes this somewhat rough launch review on the nose, and rises from the ashes into a new pillar of our community. I do however feel that Alexia might be a little misguided: we don’t need someone to create a community, we already have one, a very strong one in fact. What we could use is someone who is willing to expend effort to enhance that community, and to give it tools to get even strong. Eveblogs could just be that tool.

Ask the Jester not the King: Questions

[UPDATE 19/02 – 08:31]
Jester has replied to our questions in his campaign thread on the forums. I will re produce his answers here shortly.

The following open letter was sent to Ripard Teg of Jesters Trek earlier this month. The letter is unedited from its original composition. Ripard has since replied and his answers can be found here, and on his original campaign post here.

Fly politically,
Dear Jester,
My name is Harkconnan and I run a small eve blog called As a long time 0.0 player, and reader of your blog, I am quite interested in your recently announced run for the next CSM.
I realise that it is very early in the your campaign, but I should like to ask you a series of questions on behalf of my blog regarding you candidacy because we are very interested in your stance on matters close our readers (and our own) hearts.
Ideally I would like to publish this letter (in an open letter format) on our blog in a week and would leave the format and medium of your answers down to you (of course I would like your permission to copy your answers to my blog as well). I also give you permission to publish this letter in anyway you see fit, provided I am given at least 1 days notice of your intent, and any edits are run past me first. I realise that you are a very considered writer, who will likely have his own campaign schedule and so of course any reasonable requests for a different schedule will be accepted.
Should you choose to answer the below questions or not, I would like to thank you on behalf of myself and my fellow writers for your contributions to the community so far, we hope this will continue through you campaign.
  • Can you list, in order of importance the key pillars on which you platform stands?
  • You are pretty outspoken on the lack of movement regarding Super Capitals and clearly this will be a big part of your platform. How will you deal with the possibility of being outnumbered by “Pro-Super Capital” members of the CSM?
  • As a prominent blogger in the eve community you have always been very outspoken and perhaps even confrontational on your views of certain subjects, often despite popular census. How will you gauge your opinions vs. the opinion of the masses? Further more how will you manage a situation where you realise you opinion does not match that of the majority of players?
  • Having followed your blog for a long while, I am aware that you have experience in several aspects of eve online. Do you intend to stand as a candidate for the whole community, or is there a sub-section of the community you intend to stand for in particular?
    • If you intend to stand for all, do you worry this might cause conflicts of interest where different groups of electorates desire different outcomes from a discussion?
    • If you have a particular sub group, can you tell me why you feel you represent them more than others?
  • If you could, right now, pick a single change which CCP would guarantee to work on during your potential term, what would it be? And can you defend why the change you have chosen is more important than others you base your candidacy on?
  • Previously you have been accused of not communicating very well with the large eve community. Specifically not interacting with twitter or the forums. However recently you have changed this and become much more visible (especially on twitter). Considering that the CSM to player communications should be a two way channel, how can you assure us that this will continue?
  • Without going into specifics, what do you think is the best method to ensure CCP tackles an issue which is important for the community?
  • A lot of people have discussed the concept of top down or bottom up economy within alliances. What is your opinion on this, and how (if at all) would you like CCP to change this?
  • What do you feel is that most important change made to eve in its recent history? accepting that ‘recent’ is very subjective.
  • In a single sentence summarise you opinions on the following in terms of your candidacy?
    • Safe high security space
    • The blue doughnut
    • Sov wars
    • Low sec
  • You have talked before on the subject of CCP’s need to cement its position in the gaming market. Could you as a CSM member advocate a change to our game which did this, but was against the community’s wishes?
Thank you,
Harkconnan of