For those of you who used to play EvE Online, you may remember this moment. CCP – the game designers had just introduced full body avatars, and along with it, a real money store.
The crux was a monocle that cost $70 USD in real world money. Which was about 4 or 5 months of game subscription time. Along with this, CCP’s message to the players was “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it” and nothing gets people riled up faster than when someone dismisses their concerns. People in game rioted. They locked down the central trade hub of the game and pretty much forced the game to come to a stand still. It was a massive effort.
Out of this, came a special council of player elected players which would interface between CCP and the players. Changes were made and EvE Online went from on the brink of collapse to a much better game.
This is a short story of what it was it like at the time. For those that don’t know EvE, take it as a cool (very short) sci-fi story.
New Eden Is Burning
“…Live on the scene. We repeat, we have a reporter live on the scene. Please bear with us while we try to establish a connec, hi Torric, can you hear me? Torric? And now live from the scene, Torric Byrl with this breaking news!”
“..llo Vehar. I am here on Luminaire where Concord’s own Zulu is preparing to address the crowd. Today what he has to say will directly influence the riots currently taking place in Jita. I think his hovership has just arrived.”
A hush falls over the crowd, estimated to be over two hundred thousand strong, as Zulu steps out of the hovership. He ascends to the stage where he will address the Capsuleers directly. Today is the day New Eden has her future decided for her. Concord Civil Protection cannot risk a Capsuleer revolt. CCP knows that to suffer a revolt would not only cripple the economies of New Eden, but could very well end up in its own destruction.
Zulu steps forward. His hands raised. A smile on his face. The crowd does not greet him as they have in the past, with cheers and shouts, but with a cold, hard silence. His eyes dance over the crowd. Today his voice will be heard throughout New Eden and echo in the history books. Surely after today, he will be revered as a hero, the saviour of New Eden.
“Friends. Today marks a day that will live on in history. It is the day CCP and Capsuleers break the animosity and truly work together as one organization.”
The crowd is still silent. Not the roar or approval he was expecting. No matter, they will soon come around.
“We are all here due to the recent documents smuggled out of the Concord Civil Protection Headquarters. These documents, although bearing the CCP seal, are not representative of us. I will repeat that. They have no basis in reality.”
Again, not one cheer. Not even a head nod in agreement. Surely they are not so blind as to not see his way of thinking.
“Concord Civil Protection urges everyone to return to normal. This is a complete non-issue. These matters that have caused riots are a waste of time. Its time to stop acting like children!”
The crowd grows restless. The anger in his voice came through, and they have picked up on that. Zulu has not addressed the concerns, the very reasons for the riots. Before he can say anymore, the crowd shifts. Openly hostile now. Its going to take just one person to set it off.
“Vehar, it seems as if CCP Zulu has not addressed these concerns raised by these leaked documents. The crowd is growing ever more vocal. Zulu is preparing to speak again. Let’s see wh..”
The first rock is thrown. Luckily it misses Zulu, hitting the mic with an audible thud. Thats all the crowd needs to push it back into the frenzy of rioting. Before the second rock has even hit the podium, the lasers are locking target in Jita. The protest is back in full swing. Zulu is rushed into his hovership and armed guards start lining up on the stage. Its no use, the crowd has swarmed the barriers and is using anything as weapon.
Out in orbit, the Capsuleers continue the lock down of Jita. Today New Eden’s economy crashes.
Today New Eden is burning. Civil unrest has escalated into an all time high. CCP stands silent.