"Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice."The mindset generated by the New Eden universe can easily lead players into conspiracy thinking. When "Don't trust anyone" ranks with "Don't fly what you can't afford to lose" as one of the most important rules veterans pass on to new players in EVE Online, one could say that mistrust is built into the DNA of the residents of New Eden.1 Unfortunately for CCP, that way of thinking tends to not only apply to other players, but to the game developer itself.
I'll admit I naturally gravitate to conspiracy thinking. To combat that, I tend to compensate by researching a topic to find a non-conspiracy explanation. Sometimes, though, I'll rely on rumor to provide that non-conspiracy reason.
The latest example was the DUST Keynote. Yes, what happened was bad. But apparently, the situation was made worse because the public relations aspect wasn't really well-thought out. First, don't reveal such bad news at your big player gathering. SOE knew that when it sunset games like The Matrix and Star Wars: Galaxies. But to make things worse, word at Fanfest is that the CCP marketing department didn't adequately prepare CCP Rouge for how EVE TV covers Fanfest. The word I heard on-site in the HARPA was that new chief of DUST 514/Legion thought that the DUST 514 round table would be televised so he was going to answer all the questions during that hour. I heard he was shocked when he found out EVE TV would not televise the question and answer session. That led to unscheduled appearances by CCP Rouge to try to quell the building outrage.
Quite frankly, I think that the DUST 514 Keynote was CCP's "NGE" moment that will haunt the company with the FPS crowd for years to come. Not because of any type of deep, dark conspiracy, but just because CCP didn't know how to communicate the changes.
I'll just conclude the discussion of the DUST 514 Keynote address with the two words that immediately popped into my mind when I heard what happened: Tabula Rasa.
The other event that I'm really interested in is the lack of a dev blog about the results of the CSM 9 election. As I write this, CCP Dolan has still not posted a dev blog almost 5 days after the results were displayed at the CCP Presents session at Fanfest. The conspiracy theorist will say that the rumored low turnout (I heard only 30,000 when I was in Reykjavik) has led CCP to not publicize the results for various reasons, which they will probably insert in the comments of this post.
But I'm remembering Grey's Law and how it applies in this case. Over the past year, CCP has shown it is organizationally challenged when dealing with publishing materials associated with the Council of Stellar Management. First the Summer Summit minutes. Then the Winter Summit minutes, despite the fact that CCP Logibro2 did a tremendous job in transcribing the sessions and then CSM got the minutes back to CCP for review in record time. So not getting a dev blog published with official word on the winners for everyone to see just seems par for the course.
I do understand that CCP Leeloo was added to the staff handling the CSM, so perhaps this issue will go away over the term of CSM 9. But that doesn't help the current situation. In fact, I'm finding the urge to write something with a little tinfoil in it hard to resist at this point myself. Rest assured, the tinfoil isn't about the CSM election process. I've got bigger fish to fry.
I realize that using Grey's Law as a defense isn't really that flattering an argument. But sometimes bad things happen and I just can't make what I see fit into a rosy scenario. Sometimes bumbling is the best explanation.3
1. I would prefer the rule, "Trust, but verify," but given its close association with Ronald Reagan, I doubt it would ever catch on.
2. I hope I got the name correct. But in the initial pass of the minutes, CCP reportedly did a really good job in improving the process.
3. And I swear I'll write about something better tomorrow.