This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss the comments made by CSM & CPM representatives.
I’m going to start by prefacing this with a brutal personal statement. I am rapidly approaching my 10th anniversary as an EVE-Online player and have been playing Dust514 since launch. I bought a second-hand Ps3 last year with the sole intent of getting involved with and supporting that vision. I have been to Fanfest in person five times.
Never before has a Fanfest actively encouraged me to stop being a CCP customer. Luckily I am not one for making rash knee-jerk decisions and I think I’m getting over that impulse, but it is a measure of how disgusted I have been feeling with CCP’s miss-handling of the Project Legion/Dust514 announcement. Allow me to take you through my emotional journey of this weekend.
A couple of blog posts have come out that offer some insight into how CCP consulted with the player representatives of Dust514’s CPM body as well as EVE-Online’s elected CSM. The really interesting point made in both cases is that CCP consulted with both bodies months ago, in some cases before even the development teams found out that they would be working on Project Legion!
CPM Nova Knife has posted his first blog entry in a very long time and is very much worth your attention if you play Dust514. In it he spells out:
We had countless meetings regarding messaging and how and when to unveil “Project” Legion. Among the very first things we said to CCP, was an emphatic, and unanimous;
“DO NOT WAIT UNTIL FANFEST TO TELL PEOPLE. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TELL PEOPLE AT FANFEST”
During these discussions, a plan was laid out to reveal the project much sooner. However… this is life, and things happen to even the best of plans to ruin them. Even so, this could not really have been unveiled in a worse way. The obvious questions and fears were not allayed, and the a lot of the fears that players are experiencing could have totally been avoided.
So, “CCP we told you this would happen” then. It really has been the worst possible way to force swallowing a bitter pill and it is beyond my comprehension of why CCP pulled this stunt. Also of interest is Nova Knife’s repeated phrasing of “Project” Legion. CCP Rouge keeps taking pains to refer to Legion as a “Project” and not as certainty. Yet the entire Dust514 output of Fanfest this year has been fully focused on “Project” Legion. It is clearly going to happen so why the pretense otherwise?
Bluntly I felt this to be a desperate attempt to keep players at least vaguely invested in Dust until Legion is ready. Because at this point any slightly well informed player is probably going to stop spending money on it. On that note, CSM Ripard Teg had this to say (please also read his post in full):
It quite frankly felt like CCP trying to scrape the last little bit of peanut butter out of the jar before throwing the jar away. In short, this very well might be just the sort of mercenary play for cash that I truly don’t believe CCP uses very much, but which I know a lot of you out there do.
It is hard not to have that feeling given that over this weekend/week CCP have been running an increased ISK/SP event in Dust514 involving special benefits for using the Origin dropsuits – which are an Aurum item. In other words, pro-actively encouraging us to buy more stuff right before telling us that development of the game is all but halted at this point. Ripard continues:
Let me be blunt. In my not so humble opinion, the announcement for this change was done in the most self-serving and cynical way possible. It announces what is essentially the death of the existing DUST 514 in front of a friendly EVE audience primed to react joyously for the press in attendance. It answered no questions whatsoever from the existing player base and in fact avoided those questions. The short presentation was tilted in such a way that any angry mutterings that might have started would not have time to take root; the whole thing was over in 37 minutes.
Hell, when the thing ended, hundreds of people in the auditorium looked around at each other clearly asking “Is that it? Is it over?”
I had that exact same feeling watching the stream along with a few thousand other people. Declaring that full support is being transferred to the PC in front of a predominantly hardcore PC gaming crowd certainly goes down better for the heavy media presence Fanfest attracts.
There is it seems a saving grace. Ripard has a second blog post following up on the CCP Presents keynote that went out today but I was unable to watch. Again, give it a read.
He [CCP Rouge] wasn’t [scheduled to speak]. But he did get called forward to present, on the two very important topics I raised in my blog post this morning:
- Does Project Legion mean the death of DUST 514 on the PS3?
- Will PS3 players be given the option of migrating their characters to the PC version?
Rouge got up on stage and answered both questions clearly and concisely. To the first, he said no. Development of DUST 514 on PS3 will not be halted. To the second, he said yes. PS3 players will get some kind of migration path.
Why that wasn’t featured prominently in the Dust514 keynote, I have no bloody clue. Moving forwards, CPM Nova Knife raises two very important points I really want to highlight and help to get out there.
For people who aren’t aware, the CCP is holding a two day summit this coming Sunday and Monday. Minutes will be recorded, and we’re hoping to have them out ASAP with as much transparency as possible. CCP might NDA some of it, but we feel strongly that the rest of the playerbase -needs- to know what is going on in as much detail as possible. We’ll do everything in our power to make that happen.
Reminds me of the post-Incarna ‘Summer of Rage’ that EVE-Online went through back in 2011. The CSM was then flown out to Iceland for an emergency summit on the future of the game. EVE was in development chaos back then, which feels somehow better than Dust’s current impending oblivion.
Finally, CPM Nova Knife urges those of you who have already decided to quit and biomass your characters to urgently reconsider.
I’ll just note that for those biomassing your characters, you might want to keep them if you have any intention whatsoever of even trying out the Project when it become playable. You’re just throwing away free shit by biomassing. For those that have already biomassed, be advised you can get them back via support ticket.
This is born out by the post-EVE Keynote interview on EVE TV I mentioned yesterday and apparently again in the CCP Presents keynote. CCP do appear to be recognising the need to salvage the Dust514 player investment into the EVE Universe to date. Our character’s names, skills and assets will in some way be carried forward into Project Legion. So if you do own a gaming PC, it is absolutely in your interest to retain your Dust514 characters.
It is starting to sound like Dust514 does have some sort of interim future left in it between now and the day that CCP can launch “Project” Legion to take its place, or the day that the last PS3 grinds to a halt. What form that takes we just don’t know, which a damning thing to be saying on the closing day of Fanfest.