The EVE Online Bloggers Portal has long been a resource I have enjoyed and I am ashamed to say, taken for granted. It is singularly one of the best sites to find some up-to-date EVE-related reading material. For years it has quietly been the spine of the EVE blogging community, aggregating the hundreds of individual blogposts and news-feeds. Much gratitude is deserved by Black Claw/Alexia Morgan and Biore for maintaining the site.

It saddens me to read that Black Claw will be shutting down this service, as stated in his latest blogpost here. I can understand completely that he no longer finds value in playing EVE and I respect that he wants to use his time in other ways, but this doesn’t explain why he wishes to shut down

However, he goes on to explain that he is dissatisfied with CCP due to the mishandling of his accounts. Whilst I suspect his treatment may be symptomatic of an understrength community team (I think they were hit as hard as any CCP department in the layoffs late last year), I appreciate that there is no excuse for poor customer service. Nonetheless, I am disappointed that the community is being punished for this by being deprived a valued community asset.

Clique Favouritism?

Personally I have seen other signs that the community team may be operating under a siege mentality, with evidence of a lack of resources or understanding of some areas of EVE’s complex society. Some examples that I have recently experienced suggest a bias toward the “cool kids”.

For example, Mintchip produced a brief and awkward interview with Lead Designer CCP Soundwave at roughly the same time CCP Dropbear and CCP Headfirst gave an insightful and entertaining interview about EVE’s storylines, live events and some exclusive DUST 514 info for Voices from the Void. Which interview got some CCP love in the December newsletter? Yep, you guessed it. The Mintchip/Soundwave non-event.

Another example of lop-sided favour concerns the recent podcast produced by one of CCP’s favourite sons, Kil2 (of Alliance Tournament commentary fame). Along with Kovorix they have started a podcast focusing on solo combat. More power to them, however I felt for Arydanika who despondently pointed out the My EVE section of the official forums, where her thread which she regularly updated with the latest podcast episodes and information was vastly overshadowed by Kil2 and Kovarix’s new effort. Which one had been tagged by both CCP developers and GMs? Yep, the new one by the cool kids.

A Team Besieged

On both occasions I counselled an attitude of indifference. It didn’t matter, we just had to keep our heads down and plug away because we do it for the fun, not the favour. There’s different audiences for different products and the real satisfaction comes from hitting the mark with your own listenership or readership. However, as anyone who runs a blog, podcast or other EVE web resource will tell you, knowing that you’re being appreciated is what makes the hard work worthwhile. CCP holds huge sway over this traffic. If they play favourites and forget those that are tirelessly promoting their game and running services, I can understand why community contributors like Black Claw or Arydanika might become disillusioned or feel undervalued.

This isn’t a criticism of the Community Team, I think under the circumstances they are doing what they can. CCP Guard has been an absolute phenomenon and I’m sure there are others in the engine room who deserve plaudits too, but I can’t help feeling that these balls occasionally being dropped are due to the loss of key staff who had an understanding and a relationship with sections of the EVE playerbase that are now going unnoticed. This is perhaps an expected late symptom of the 20% layoffs, the hangover that we’re expected to ride out. But even so it is a bitter pill to swallow.

Has anyone else noticed this change? Is the need to focus on the numbers forcing an understrength community team to leave some of us out in the cold? Or is being sensitive to these issues indicative of an over-inflated sense of entitlement?

Please share your thoughts.