CCP Defends Eve’s Crazy Clothes Costs

By Alec Meer on June 24th, 2011 at 11:24 pm.

Following a fairly vague response to the uproar around Eve’s frankly ridiculous prices for in-game avatar vanity items (e.g. a shirt requiring virtual currency worth $25 of real money, or alternatively enough in-game money to buy several very large spaceships) introduced in the new Incarna expansion, CCP have addressed the issues head on. The latest blog from Eve senior producer Arnar “CCP Zulu” Gylfason is probably one of the more extraordinary developer comments I’ve ever read. Case in point: “People have been shocked by the price range in the NeX store, but you should remember that we are talking about clothes. Look at the clothes you are currently wearing in real life. Do you have any specific brands? Did you choose it because it was better quality than a no-name brand?

And there’s more. I’m just going to have to quote most of it verbatim, because… well, essentially he’s trying to argue that Eve’s in-game clothes can be directly equated to real-life clothes, both in terms of value (or lack thereof) and of self-expression. It’s a fascinating talking point for sure. It’s also almost definitely going to make a lot of Eve players very angry.

“Assume for a short while that you are wearing a pair of $1,000 jeans from some exclusive Japanese boutique shop. Why would you want to wear a pair of $1,000 jeans when you can get perfectly similar jeans for under $50? What do other people think about you when they see you wearing them? For some you will look like the sad culmination of vainness while others will admire you and think you are the coolest thing since sliced bread. Whichever it is, it is clear that by wearing clothes you are expressing yourself and that the price is one of the many dimensions that clothes possess to do that in addition to style and fit. You don’t need to buy expensive clothes. In fact you don’t need to buy any clothes. Whatever you choose to do reflects what you are and what you want others to think you are.

We will gradually introduce items at other price points, definitely lower and probably higher than what‘s in the store today. We hope you enjoy them and are as passionate about them as you are of the current items that are for sale.”

It’s almost midnight where I am and so I’m not exactly in the best state for a sociological debate but… well, I’m more than a little startled at this justification. And not just because I’ve never met anyone who buys $1000 jeans. Yes, our increasingly digital lives mean in-game self-expression can and should be considered as important as real-world self-expression, but I just can’t get to the point where I can quite so directly equate a few lines of code and texture files to something that can keep me warm or make me look marginally less horrific when I go out.

I do admire the chutzpah of admitting that neither real or pretend clothes have any tangible value beyond the subjective, however. And there’s certainly something in the assertion that people will take note and react if they spot you wearing an evidently expensive item, but whether a fixed in-game store with fixed in-game prices for cyber-monocles is actually equivalent to wearing a rolex… No, it doesn’t sit right. Partly because of the oddity of holding a graphic to be the direct equal of something that’s tangible, that is manufactured and shipped and felt and smelt and stretched, and partly because these are Eve’s first-ever in-game clothes, so the difference between what’s high-fashion and what’s purely functional hasn’t even slightly been established as yet. That’s the point, perhaps – this first run of items will establish how many people are prepared to pay how much, and the higher and lower can spawn out of that. Trouble is, it’s all happening rather noisily in public. Starting Icarna with only low-priced items might well have proven less controversial.

Not to mention that, quite frankly, Eve isn’t exactly the best game to test theories of clothing-based vanity and self-expression – it’s built up a formidable reputation and playerbase because it’s about space war and politicking, not poncing about in expensive shirts. Clothes-selling was a big enough risk for this particular game to take in the first place, even before tagging them with such high prices. Whether right or wrong, the theory of digital vanity item’s subjective value being comparable to a real-life vanity item’s subjective value is a fascinating one – but Eve and its playerbase rather seems like the wrong testbed for it.

On the other hand, I wonder if the talk of lower price items arriving soon might just be a veiled admission of error for this run of avatar clothes. If, in a little time, cheap items are very much the norm with a few expensive ones also available for those rich or fool enough to want them, perhaps the problem will quietly go away and people will be content to spend a little extra to customise their characters more or less as they see fit. But claiming the current state of affairs (where even the lower-priced purely cosmetic items equate to more than cost of a month’s subscription to the game, or any number of in-game ships and upgrades that actually do stuff) is essentially just a social engineering experiment that upset players haven’t yet grasped the wisdom of probably isn’t going to make people feel better.

Also addressed (and confirmed as real) is the leaked CCP internal newsletter, ‘Greed Is Good’, which contained some rather frank discussion about the merits and potential of microtransactions, and how best to make players indulge in tons of them. Given the general community sentiment is that the new Eve vanity item store is currently absurdly overpriced, that newsletter probably couldn’t have leaked at a worse possible time for CCP.

So Gylfason calls for an end to the personal abuse and harrassment of CCP staff, and claims that the newsletter was essentially the firm playing devil’s advocate as it tried to make up its own mind about microtransactions. “The opinions and views expressed in Fearless are just that; opinions and views. They are not CCP policy nor are they a reliable source of CCP views as a company. The employees who submitted articles to that newsletter did exactly what they were asked to do, write about theories and opinions from an exaggerated stand.”

So it was just a glorified roleplay exercise? That’s what CCP are claiming, anyway. There’s more here. Gylfason seems genuinely upset about the response to Incarna and the newsletter, and I’m sure many in CCP feel similarly. Who wants to upset their fanbase, after all? I’m really not convinced that blog is going to put any of the outrage to bed, however. In fact, it may just increasing the apparently growing sense of a rift between the game-players and the game-makers. Hopefully it can all be ironed out soon – Eve is, after all, no stranger to drama, protest and politicking, but always seems to keep its head above the water despite it.

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313 Comments »

  1. talon03 says:

    What is this I don’t even

    • Batolemaeus says:

      I share your sentiment.
      I also recommend this: Glass Door company reviews

    • Kdansky says:

      People complaining that useless vanity items are overpriced? Gosh, what a surprise!

      It is beyond me why people actually waste their money on such crap. Would I rather rip 5£ or 20£ to shreds? How about “None of the above”?! CCP is perfectly right to ask ridiculous prices, as anyone with the intelligence of an ape (about 10% of humans, I’d estimate) won’t bother anyway, and the other 90% will gladly spend any amount, as proven countless times by the abundant F2P titles.

      And the clothing argument is very valid (although it will go over the complainer’s head anyway, which makes it kinda moot): The difference between any two pairs of jeans is usually marginal, yet the prices are not. You pay for the right to wear a brand logo, and prices are one of the most important status symbols. There are cliques who don’t rip off the price tags off clothing so they can prove to the others that theirs was expensive. I am sadly not making this up…

    • James says:

      @Kdansky

      The clothing argument might be valid (in the sense that it addressed why the prices should be acceptable to Eve subscribers) if most of the players actually had the disposable income to purchase $1000 pants on a whim, and sometimes did.

      Wait…no, it wouldn’t.

      Regardless, thanks for assuming that those who disagree with that sentiment simply can’t understand what’s being said. That seems highly reasonable of you to assume.

    • PoLLeNSKi says:

      @ kdansky: Humans are apes, so technically 100% of humans have the intelligence of an ape.

    • Nick says:

      No, they aren’t apes.

    • Martha Stuart says:

      Umm actually, yes we are. Humans are categorized under the Great ape family.

      “The Hominidae (pronounced /hɒˈmɪnɨdiː/; anglicized hominids, also known as great apes[notes 1]), as the term is used here, form a taxonomic family, including four extant genera: chimpanzees, gorillas, humans, and orangutans.[1] In the past, the term was used in the more restricted sense of humans and relatives of humans closer than chimpanzees.”

      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hominidae

      You might not like to admit it, but yes we are apes. you might disagree on a religious or superiority complex level but that dosn’t change the fact that we are indeed apes.

    • bill says:

      This is a company selling items to those that want to buy them – clearly contravening all previous practices in the history of the world and proving themselves to be evil monsters.

      Of course, if the things they were selling were $1 then that might be ok, but if they are $25 then this is clearly madness!!

    • pandora says:

      @PoLLeNSKi: “Humans are apes, so technically 100% of humans have the intelligence of an ape.”
      Humans are apes, so some apes have the intelligence of humans and humans have intelligence in “an ape range”, but it doesn’t mean humans have the intelligence equal to that of all apes, to average apes’ intelligence or in any other way makes everybody a gorilla i.e. “stupid”. However, there is a lot of room for improvement anyway, indeed.

    • Nick says:

      No, Humans aren’t apes, they were placed on the planet by Xenu.

      Only fishooked one, was expecting more =(

      Also, your tone followed by accusing me of superiority complex is hilarious =)

    • Martha Stuart says:

      I try :)

    • PoLLeNSKi says:

      @ Pandora: “100% of humans have the intelligence of an ape.”
      I am an ape, I have the intelligence of me. Therefore I have the intelligence of an ape. Repeat nearly 7 billion times and you have a logical argument which is completely watertight in suggesting that all humans have the intelligence of an ape.
      I was not saying that all apes are equally intelligent as you only need to look at a comparison of Jade Goody and Stephen Hawking to see the fallacy in that argument without getting our tree-bound friends involved at all.

    • pandora says:

      @PoLLeNSKi: As I tried to contain above (using a phase with a word “range” in it), I agree with what you said about humans having, technically, apes’ intelligence. I thought I didn’t agree with what you were suggesting, but you’re right, upon rereading more carefully Kdansky’s comment I must apologize, as I got contex wrong and you were just nitpicking, not making any sensible argument relevant to discussion. So, sorry, you didn’t suggest any of the things I assumed you did.

    • PoLLeNSKi says:

      @ Pandora: I’m dismayed you think that refuting the facts of another person’s argument isn’t one of the tenets of a proper discussion. In fact I more or less agree with what Kdansky says as I don’t personally have a say one way or the other when it comes to idiots (all of an apish intelligence) spending money on virtual goods – if they want to waste hours of their working lives to save up for t-shirts/hats/horse armour to wear while wasting hours of their non-working lives (both virtual and non-virtual) when sufficient items or clothing are available more cheaply or completely free anyway, then let them.
      So long as it doesn’t adversely affect the gameplay for those not rich or shallow enough to indulge in said items, I really don’t care. (An obvious disclaimer to those who purchase said items to support the devs…although I wonder how many would do so without being able to receive their badge of generosity to parade in public)
      Although I don’t personally play EVE I wonder if in the future in such a socially based game it might be possible that NOT wearing the latest duds might cost you in your in-game interactions? Kinda like turning up to a job interview in jeans and a t-shirt rather than a suit might cost you the job?

  2. RCGT says:

    This is a gigantic Fuck You to the playerbase.

    I’m done with this gaggle of morons. It’s a year and a half that I won’t regret. But I can’t be associated with this any more.

    • Valvarexart says:

      I personally don’t play EvE, but I heard a couple of my friends unsubscribed because of this patch.

    • James says:

      I’m with RCGT on this. CCP can live in their fantasy world for as long as they want/can, I’m pretty much done with them.

      The concept of Eve (at least, as I remember it) is a great one, but this is not that. There are many other options if I want to entertain myself, I’m not going to support people that will actively argue these points.

      I’m also a little surprised that Mr. Meer gave them the courtesy he did, given the giant middle finger CCP is waving about (in blog-format). Let them know the score, Alec. Give it to them, hard.

    • RCGT says:

      The EVE community is the greatest player base and gamer community I’ve EVER been a part of.

      But CCP does not deserve them.

    • kyrieee says:

      The content of the blog is not even the worst part, because the worst part is what the blog doesn’t bring up like non-vanity items being sold and if you’re an EVE player you’ll know that this is just the straw that broke the camel’s back. CCP are trying their best to run the game into the ground.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      You do realise they’ve not actually done any of that yet?

      Bitch all you want about overprice pretent clothes, but CCP have not, at any point, sold non-vanity items to players. It hasn’t happened. It isn’t “the straw that broke the camels back”, there is no straw.

      All you have is a bunch of waffle from a company newsletter. I get company news letters all the time, you know what I learn from them? Nothing, because I don’t read them. Why? because they’re full of meaningless bullshit.

      If CCP actually enact any of that, or annouce they they definately will, or even announce that they might, start hollering. Until then – stop fighthing imaginary enemies.

    • James says:

      @Ergates_Antius
      It’s good that you’re there to let all these angry people know that they’re hallucinating.

      It’s alright everyone, there’s nothing to be upset about. Why? Because they haven’t boned you in this particular way, yet.

      Edit: Sarcastic spelling removed in response to editing of the typo that inspired it. That was petty of me.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Actually it has helpful – pointed out my error :)

      EDIT: (my actual point).
      There is a difference between “CCP might do this” and “CCP are definately going to do this”. There seems to be an over abundance of the latter based on not a lot of actual hard evidence.

      Maybe it’s naive of me to expect it to be otherwise, but people seem overly keen to jump on any piece of evidence, no matter how flimsy, as definative proof that person X or company Y are up to Evil Plan Z.

      Maybe it’d be nice if once in a while, people read things, then took a step back and applied a degree of critical analysis to what they’d just read. Asked themselves “What does this actually mean?”

    • James says:

      We’ll be BFF at this rate! Let’s hug. Fiercely.

      Edit responding to your actual point: With respect, I think this comment thread has many examples of people thoughtfully examining what this all means.

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      Crimsoneer says:

      Get your dirty common sense of my internet. It’s spoiling my rotten sense of entitlement.

    • slight says:

      It’s not just about any one thing to be honest, it really is the straw that broke the camel’s back.
      Regarding non-vanity MT and the fact they haven’t yet done it specifically though…
      - They some time ago said they had no plans to introduce MT. (Plans change yes, this is just one point).
      - They even made an April Fools dev blog in 2008 taking the piss out of the sort of nickle and diming behaviour of other MMO developers.
      - Once the said they were introducing MT they explicitly said it would be vanity only.
      - The introduction page to the NEx explicitly says it will be vanity only.
      - They then publish an internal newsletter discussing MT, published after they’d specifically said no non-vanity MT, which discusses haveing non-vanity MT, and in which the lead developer says he wants it. It may be in the form of a for and against debate but this shouldn’t even be on the table any more, they’ve explicitly told the players they won’t do it.
      - EVE is already a subscription based game. Adding *any* MT to a subscription based game is pretty insulting. The prices are just a joke.
      Other issues:
      There have been so many small instances of CCP showing contempt for their customers.
      - “If it looks good it is good” on functionality.
      - “Fixing gameplay doesn’t generate income, only creating new stuff does” (paraphrased from memory).
      - “Currently we are seeing _very predictable feedback_ on what we are doing. Having the perspective of having done this for a decade, I can tell you that this is one of the moments where we look at what our players do and less of what they say. Innovation takes time to set in and the predictable reaction is always to resist change.” – CCP CEO’s just leaked email. Innovation? Good lord.
      No fixes to game breaking designs which have been in place for years in some cases.
      - Sov warfare in 0.0, one of the backbones of the game is horrendously broken.
      - Planetary Industry which was the focus of an earlier expansion is a mind numbing click-fest that really isn’t much good at making income.
      - Supercapital ships have been horribly overpowered for ages to the point where it’s not worth bringing much else to an inter-alliance battle. The idea was their extreme price would limit their numbers but….
      - Supercapitals are being funded by rampant botting. CCP do actually finally seem to be taking this semi-seriously. They have two guys working on it afaiui.
      - They only seem to balance ships once a year or so.
      Plus much more.

      edit:typo

    • Baines says:

      “I can tell you that this is one of the moments where we look at what our players do and less of what they say.”

      This is the key item. CCP is doing this because they believe EVE players might complain, but they’ll sit there and take it anyway. People are complaining about the insane cost of vanity items. But people are *still* buying them.

      A few years ago, people were threatening to quit because CCP was concentrating on new expansions and spin-offs instead of fixing existing code and existing broken functionality. CCP ignored the complainers, and EVE continued onwards because people kept playing and remained willing to buy new stuff even as some called the current stuff broken.

      CCP now introduces vanity items, contradicting their previous stance on such systems. People complain, but people keep playing and some buy the items. In the future, CCP will probably go through with directly selling game advantages for real money. People will complain, but people will buy them and EVE will go on.

      It helps that these events are staggered, and that is most likely intentional itself. People will take change that they don’t like in small chunks, adapting to each in turn, where a single lump of change might push them too far. The leaked info itself could help CCP in the long run, as players will already have vented most of their anger at buying gameplay advantages (and had their complaints rationalized away) long before CCP ever actually enacts such a system.

    • aerozol says:

      Edit: accidental reply

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      Hanban says:

      Not with RCGT on this one.

      Incarna hasn’t affected my EVE playing in the slightest. I don’t see how this mass unsubscribing is supposed to do anything but make it harder for CCP should they face tough financial times.

      Either way, Incarna hasn’t diminished the funness of my time in EVE so I don’t see why the rage must be so ragey. Should they further impede my fun in PvP(Perhaps such as implementing badass ships bought for real cash, should people buy these ships with real cash to an extent at which it affects the game), then I’ll consider unsubbing. But for now I think Incarna has added a nice feeling of immersion to the game.

  3. TimA says:

    “you don’t need to buy any clothes”

    Heh. Okay!

    • Fowling says:

      *runs around naked*

      A game dev made me do it weeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    • johnpeat says:

      Kieron will be over the moon he’s not alone there…

    • McDan says:

      “In fact you don’t need to buy any clothes. Whatever you choose to do reflects what you are and what you want others to think you are.” -Does this man not live in the real world? You do need to buy clothes and then wear them, as you get arrested if you walk around outside naked, does he even realise what he’s saying? And second reference to kierons naked journalism, it’s just not right.

    • Rich says:

      …and then there’s the fact that walking around naked when it’s either very cold or very hot isn’t that good for you. There was a time when clothes were worn for the protection they provided.

      Also, anyone who would spend $1000 on jeans should give all their money to someone else. They clearly to stupid to have any,

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      @Rich, they are giving that money to someone else, don’t they? (and also a small part to everybody via VAT)
      People with loads of money should spend it on consumables, not hoard it like the scaly dragons they are.

    • psyk says:

      “You do need to buy clothes and then wear them, as you get arrested if you walk around outside naked,”

      No you don’t need to buy clothes you could also make them.

  4. simoroth says:

    Nicholas Lovell would be proud

  5. Daniel Rivas says:

    Isn’t this a game about spaceships?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      well, you could probably buy a very large pair of jeans

    • skurmedel says:

      You want to pilot that giant cargo ship in style.

      A giant pair of pants used as a spaceship sounds like a cancelled Red Dwarf episode.

    • Bennus says:

      Where the briefing room serves two purposes.

  6. RCGT says:

    For the record:
    “So Glyfason calls for an end to the personal abuse and harrassment of CCP staff, and claims that the newsletter was essentially the firm playing devil’s advocate as it tried to make up its own mind about microtransactions. “The opinions and views expressed in Fearless are just that; opinions and views. They are not CCP policy nor are they a reliable source of CCP views as a company. The employees who submitted articles to that newsletter did exactly what they were asked to do, write about theories and opinions from an exaggerated stand.””
    This is fucking insulting.

    And apparently they showed this blog to the CSM, and the CSM said in essence “This will ruin your game,” and they published it anyway.

    Unbelievable.

  7. Icarus says:

    I don’t play Eve. I’ve never played Eve. But this new nonsense makes me want to roll my eyes at CCP and it makes me very, VERY sad that White Wolf (one of my favourite pen-and-paper RPG developers) have tied themselves to CCP’s mast.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Indeed. Wait. What?! is the only thing which popped into my head. Somewhere this guy must have lost touch with reality.. at least on this point.

    • AnonymousInNewYork says:

      I’m worried about what this means for World of Darkness as well.

    • Ganj says:

      I too am somwhat troubled by the implications this could have for World of Darkness. It strikes me that’ll be far riper pickings for microtransaction fluff, especially clothing et al, than Eve. I wonder if they’re testing the water for that with this.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      WoD is a dead cert for microtransaction clothes now. Have you seen the fanbase at conventions? The LARPers? The Grand Masquerade?

      There are RPG snobs who argue that Vampire et al. are all about selling style with very little substance to back it up. That’s an exaggerated position, but one with a lot of truth behind it. WoD does a wonderful job with its style, setting, and atmosphere. The books tend to focus on that.

      The MMO, if it’s half decent, is almost guaranteed to have a roleplaying community vastly larger than any other, people who will actually care how their avatar looks.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Because its not like White Wolf ever gouged their fans for every penny they could. Out of the two, at least CCP are innovative.

  8. Valvarexart says:

    In-game items should cost in-game money, that is what I think. Why not allow players to buy these clothes with what they call “plex”? Then players who don’t want to spend real money can spend in-game money instead. Frankly, I really hope they don’t ruing the upcoming WoD MMO with this micro-transaction shite.

    • Maktaka says:

      You can, but it’s obnoxiously circuitous. You convert ISK to PLEX, then PLEX to the new clothing currency, then that’s used to buy the clothes. But given the conversion rates on everything, it’ll cost you more to get a pair of pants than to play the game for a month.

    • Rob Maguire says:

      My first reaction on hearing about this fiasco was that, since you can apparently convert between the various currencies, this was all a ploy to reduce player wealth. Other MMOs have done the same when money becomes too common, adding ridiculously expensive and borderline useless items to give the rich characters something to waste their wealth on.

      But the company’s responses have made it clear this is just real money whoring (and there’s no other word for selling a tiny monocle texture for the price of an Activision game). Wasn’t Eve the MMO that was famous for having a player council in direct contact with the developers?

  9. kikito says:

    When he finished posting that, he went out his luxury house, took his private shuttle and got catapulted to his orbiting spaceship, which costs the same as one pair of japanese pants.

    lol.

    • MCM says:

      Posts like this just re-affirm that people are mad at being priced out of the game. Not that they are fundamentally opposed to buying electronic hats.

    • James says:

      Alternately, it doesn’t re-affirm anything, except perhaps that people have individual opinions that they sometimes express.

    • MCM says:

      Alter-alternately, people’s opinions are reflections of their sentiments.

    • James says:

      Yes…very insightful. Thank you.

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Alter-alternately, people’s opinions are reflections of their sentiments.

      Good Lord. You’ve nearly managed to achieve a signal to noise ratio as low as Zulu’s.

      Allow me to elaborate for James. kikito’s post can reasonably be interpreted as

      Posts like this just re-affirm that people are mad at being priced out of the game. Not that they are fundamentally opposed to buying electronic hats.

      But you cannot reasonably infer from that that this is the position of the EVE fanbase as a group. You can’t even claim that it’s the majority position.

      Honestly, I’m less than impressed with this article, because it focuses on the furore over the pricing. This is NOT what the fanbase is up in arms about. It is a sideline to a sideline, in fact.

      READ THIS if you want to know why people are actually pissed off.

      I have a sneaking suspicion that CCP are focusing on the prices of vanity items to try and draw fire from the areas they can’t actually defend themselves on. I’m somewhat distressed that Alec has let himself be drawn in this manner (though in fairness he does say he was tired).

    • kikito says:

      Oh I haz comments.

      To clarify: I don’t play Eve at all. My comment was just meant to illustrate the obvious: that virtual stuff can’t be equalized to real stuff, price included. Until a real spaceship costs as much as a virtual one, at least.

  10. RP says:

    This was the worst attitude to take. “These pixels are COUTURE you see!” This is the digital age of the emperor’s new clothes for sure.

  11. Thants says:

    No, that’s perfectly reasonably. It’s just like how we all wear $1,000 jeans instead of $50 ones. That’s a totally sane analogy.

    • James says:

      “Imagine for a moment that you are a mega-douche, and that you’re concerned with the things a mega-douche is concerned with. See how you were stupid before?”

    • Matt says:

      I don’t even wear $50 jeans.

    • qrter says:

      What I love about that analogy (besides the batshit insanity of directly equating reality to a virtual world, ofcourse) is that the world of EVE has no $50 jeans, just the $1000 ones. So, you know, go and be all expressive, guys.

    • Thants says:

      Really though, if people are complaining about overpriced clothes in the game, comparing them to $1,000 jeans might be the worst thing you could possibly do.

    • Icarus says:

      I wear £12 jeans because they are comfy, are a colour I like and will cover my naughty parts for several years.

      (Cliffski wears £75 jeans because he is indie.)

    • President Weasel says:

      Imagine for a moment you wear a pair of jeans that cost a as much as three high-end cars.
      Go on, imagine it. It’s quite hard to imagine, isn’t it? Because it would be bloody stupid!

      Now imagine for a moment those are space-jeans, and they cost as much as three high-end spaceships. Not any less stupid is it? But that’s what they’ve done.

    • James says:

      President Weasel for Analogy President!

    • skurmedel says:

      The whole argument is strange. I mean, in real life, even if you buy really expensive pants, you still get a pair of pants. They have a vanity value AND a use. I can’t wear my EVE pants. They won’t protect me from the elements, or whatever. I can’t even resell them, or give them to a charity shop. These pants only have a vanity value.

      Also the vanity value is so much smaller, most people have a life outside EVE filled with people much more important to them than random space persons in a game. I seriously doubt they care about one’s virtual undergarments.

      Not to mention the manufacturing cost. Even if the EVE pants cost $10, they would be enormously expensive compared to a pair of real jeans.

      That’s what I feel is missing from his post, a sense of scale. Judging by the amount of people paying for stuff on XBox Live and what not, it’s obvious that people want virtual vanity items. But real life vanity is so much greater.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Hell, I know a fashion-conscious New Yorker who only recently spent more than $100 on a pair of jeans.

      In Real Life, you don’t necessarily have to pay sticker price. Stores exist that sell surplus from last season, etc. at huge discounts, so you can get those stylish, comfortable $100 designer jeans for $30ish.

      There’s a big difference between dressing well and being a massive twat who just buys expensive bling. The former requires taste and effort.

    • James says:

      @TillEulenspiegel

      That’s a reasonable distinction, I don’t completely identify with it but appreciate it anyway.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      If you are the sort of person with so much money and so little understanding of it that you buy 1,000 dollar pants, then you are everything that’s wrong with capitalism.

    • gwathdring says:

      @TillEulenspiegel

      Of course, it’s a little more complicated than such people being “massive twats.” There’s a lot of interesting research into conspicuous spending and it’s causes; it tends to have a lot to do with in-group/out-group dynamics. When we move from a low-prestige peer group to a high-prestige peer group, we have a tendency as human beings to spend conspicuously relative to others in the high-prestige group in order to prove that we belong. It’s a widespread phenomena that has as much to do as consciously being an asshole as falling victim to advertising has to do with being mentally deficient. It’s about social politics, conditioning, ethnic and economic background. I personally find fashion ridiculous, hormones, mood states …

      I detest most fashion trends, and find high fashion ridiculous to the point where it isn’t even amusing … just perplexing. As such, I personally buy and wear practically within reasonable social norms (I’ll dress nicely for a job interview and so forth). This is not because I’m more sensible or intelligent than, for example, my sister who does not measure her wardrobe by any practical standard. I can vouch for her being a much more sane, rational human being than I am in most ways. She is also not in the least pretentious. Fashion trends and desires are insidious, and this has little to do with stupidity and twat-ness in people, rahter it’s about people just being people.

      This sort of thing is why I think we should make psychology a core curriculum class in public high schools. Help people fight advertising and needless trends/traditions or at the very least understand the degree to which their own decisions are not controlled by themselves, better arming them to take control whensoever they become unhappy with the direction societal norms lead them in. After all, there are plenty of GOOD things about social conditioning and societal norms.

    • President Weasel says:

      It’s also worth pointing out that a thousand dollar suit (why didn’t he say suit, it’s a far better real-world analogy?) could conceivably help you in business, if you’re a high-powered CEO or expensive lawyer type and want to project “affluent and powerful”
      By the same token, a $300 pair of jeans or a £500 watch could potentially go some way to getting you laid, if you mix in circles where women are impressed by that sort of thing.
      None of that applies to these pixels. The theory behind that blog post appears to be that people might buy the monocle for the same reason someone would buy a $1000 watch or suit, but it’s not going to work. A thousand dollar watch has intrinsic value, it is a thing of craftsmanship that should last a lifetime. A thousand dollar suit isn’t that much better than a four hundred dollar suit, but it’s still a suit and it will get you respect from people that know suits.

      These pixels will just make you look like a twat that paid real money for pixels.

    • psyk says:

      If I have the cash to live well and still buy expensive clothes why the fuck should I not do so?

    • gwathdring says:

      Well put, President Weasel. Unfortunately, a lot of the psychological pressures that help us in situations where such luxuries DO enhance our social standing and opportunities cause us to spend conspicuously when they don’t. And there’s also the reciprocal phenomenon to consider. People who move from a high prestige group to another, or who simply remain in their group of origin (providing it is high-prestige) have a tendency to spend inconspicuously—but not necessarily practically. Wealthy and prestigious people who have wealthy and prestigious peer groups tend to spend more money on the interiors of their houses and other pieces of private personal property that are seen mostly by themselves and a few select individuals. So sure, digital pants in a game about spaceships where you will almost never be seen seems silly. But silly or not, there is certainly a psychological precedent (if not a well understood one) for people with money and power to make use of it in ways that remind them and their select peers of that money and power.

      But of course there are plenty of people who spend conspicuously regardless of their peer group and requisite in-group, out-group pressures. It is those people who buck the trends of in-group, out-group pressures we can begin to analyze in a more personal way based on how they deviate from what is expected. And even then it can sometimes be because for them, peer group perception is altered rather than because they have a personality best described as “massive twat.”

      Since money is somewhat illusory to begin with, I can hardly see why this phenomenon WOULDN’T carry over to a digital economy with digital money. So again, it’s more complicated than “this is pointless, no one will see your damn monocle.”

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I made a distinction between those with taste and those without. People without taste who buy inexpensive clothes are merely boring or disinterested or slightly odd. That’s fine. People without taste who buy expensive clothes are very silly, and I shall point my finger and laugh at them.

    • gwathdring says:

      I don’t think people have all that much control over their own tastes in clothing or really anything. It’s so subjective to begin with that even if they did, your dislike of someone’s taste has nothing to do with their taste being bad or lacking.

      Really, just look at how much good taste varies from culture to culture, country to country. From high fashion to practical garb, traditions and taste vary considerably between social groups. I sincerely doubt that your own tastes come predominantly from those parts of your personality and behavior you have direct control over. The very nature of taste is a comparative one; how well do you stack up against others? Do you pick things that other people respect you for or laugh at you for? WHICH people? Because it has to be the right people to count as good taste. But which people are the right people?

      Most of this depends on your peer group and whatever out-groups happen to be most admired/disliked within clear view of that peer group.

  12. coffeetable says:

    NO SPACE WAR BUT CLASS SPACE WAR

    GAMERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR CLOTHES!

    • Dozer says:

      I wish I was awake enough to reply to your comment in kind, but, alas, I am too much an asleep person :-(

  13. MCM says:

    On the contrary, Gylfason is exactly right. When you say, “but I just can’t get to the point where I equate a few lines of code and texture files to something that can keep me warm or make me look marginally less horrific when I go out”, you’re forgetting that all clothes – whether $50 or $1000, as he points out – are basically spun cotton or linen or processed oil or whatever. $30 jeans are made out of denim. $300 jeans… also made out of denim. The ENTIRE point is the social element. That’s the same as the “code”, which doesn’t keep you warm or do anything other than display social status.

    The fact that you don’t have a response other than “No, it doesn’t sit right” tells me that you just don’t like how expensive the prices are, not that he is fundamentally wrong about selling code used as social status.

    In fact, since you go on to say “I wonder if the talk of lower price items arriving soon might just be a veiled admission of error”, it makes me all the more confident that most people are just miffed at being priced out of the EvE clothing market – not at the idea of an EvE clothing market.

    • chesh says:

      Well, people are miffed at the idea of a clothing market in Eve, but having bitten that bullet, are now upset by the prices, which make no sense (this bit of glass and metal that covers a single eye is as expensive as two 500m long ships and all of the equipment they need to function well?).
      $300 jeans and $50 jeans are both made out of denim, but the quality of the denim and craftsmanship in one are significantly higher than in the other. There’s no difference in quality between pixels, however. Unless the cheaper items they introduce are extremely low poly with no textures, this analogy doesn’t really hold any water.

    • RCGT says:

      People are miffed about that.

      People are LIVID about the idea of Pay-To-Win in EVE Online, an idea that Arnar has basically confirmed by his refusal to deny it.

    • James says:

      @MCM

      I hope you have a lot of money in real life. That would make your position irony-free, at least. Kind of.

      You’d still be really silly, though.

    • MCM says:

      I have no position on EvE’s Incarna and clothing nonsense because I don’t play it. I did in the past but could never really get into the game.
      That said, I certainly have a position on Mr. Meer’s article, which basically seems to be “I do not like this but cannot properly articulate why this guy is wrong, except that these items are too expensive.”
      On the other hand, I do have some sympathy for the “this is supposed to be a game about spaceships.” But it’s been clear for quite a while that their subscription fees and PLEX fees were being put towards the development of WoD MMO, and not the spaceship game, and many people have been saying that.
      That said, it must be quite annoying to have the future of the game revealed to be something you do not like or want. But it has nothing to do with the fact that real clothes are different than electronic clothes. You get nowhere making that argument.
      People are going to buy these clothes. I assume we’re not questioning that, right?

      @Chesh – “$300 jeans and $50 jeans are both made out of denim, but the quality of the denim and craftsmanship in one are significantly higher than in the other. ”

      Yes, they’d certainly like you to think that, wouldn’t they? Personally, I am skeptical. Particularly having worked on a lawsuit involving global sourcing practices for two major clothing retailers.

    • Stevostin says:

      As I said elsewhere, that’s just half the point. A jean isn’t only denim. It’s tailoring, distributing, saling, advertising. It has a production cost way more important than a digital pant. And it has a per unit production cost, which a digital pant doesn’t have. It means pricing a real pant implies facing a risk and this risk legitimates you’re pricing : if you do it wrong, you can loose a lot of money – so your risk, your decision. OTOH a digital pant costs close to nothing to get in game and nothing per unit. Its price is speculative. Well, money made on speculative prices is already pretty unpopular when it’s made by speculators, but at least that’s what is expected from them. Money made on speculative prices by an entertainement company just clearly tells that this companies focus is to speculate against its customers rather than entertain them. I hope this makes it clear why there’s no way there’s a limit to gamers patience that’s been crossed here. Because it’s obvious there is one.

    • James says:

      “But it has nothing to do with the fact that real clothes are different than electronic clothes. You get nowhere making that argument.”

      If you could just clarify the relevance of what you wrote there, I’d be semi-happy to respond. Well, that’s exaggerating. I’d be annoyed to respond, but I’d do it anyway. For science, and for the love that we share.

    • Bassism says:

      So, I’ve never failreplied before. But, suffice to say that I think the prices are ridiculous. Whether you considering them in isk terms, or dollar terms. Multiple giant spaceships worth, or, you know, more than I usually spend on real pants.

      I also think the store itself is ridiculous. I’d much rather they had spent the last 6 months working on gameplay, rather than vanity items that you can only see yourself that are obviously just an excuse to use my money to develop a game I have no interest in.

    • chesh says:

      @MCM There’s still more of a case to be made for a difference between two pairs of jeans and two pairs of pixels, though.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I don’t care about the price, I’m pissed about their defense! What kind of jerk pays one thousand dollars for a pair of freakin’ pants?

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Arnar has basically confirmed by his refusal to deny it.

      Wow. Take that, logic.

    • gwathdring says:

      That’s a rather unfair comparison. You aren’t buying the pixels. The pixels are on your screen. Heck, you aren’t even buying the files as far as I’m aware, they are stored on the server and you’ll be able to view the textures (and thus download the files) when other people wear them in order for other people’s clothing to be rendered on the screen. This isn’t a matter of comparing expensive pixels to other expensive pixels.

      What is being sold here is the privilege to wear particular clothing. I think it’s much more reasonable to argue that the privilege isl overpriced, and that artificially trying to replicate the way status symbols work in real life (not that diamonds were artificially made status symbols through forceful advertising and price gouging or anything ….) isn’t as important as making the game enjoyable for players and letting them have their clothing of choice. But it is disingenuous to suggest that these items being sold are “pixels.” Even just comparing the ship to the clothing: are their purposes and uses in the games identical? Are their respective worth and usefulness to various players dependent on the number of pixels they take up at full resolution? I highly doubt it. And as such, find this comparison people keep repeating rather off the mark.

    • gwathdring says:

      @ chesh

      I’m not so sure. I’ve certainly found lower quality denim products that are much more expensive than the jeans I buy. Some people even buy clothing intentionally tattered and damaged and thus less structurally sound. There are plenty of differences between various pairs of jeans that are unrelated to physical qualities, however: cut/style, alignment with fashion trends, brand name, and so forth. But these features are analogous to the sorts of differences you can find in various vanity items in an online game. And they are hardly rational qualities.

  14. Antsy says:

    The whole thing is just so cynical. Personally I stopped paying for EVE a few months ago having been playing on and off since early 2004. CCP have consistantly failed to improve the things that the players actually care about.

    • Stephen Roberts says:

      This has to be the bit I most don’t understand. I have tried eve a couple of times. First time in 2009 and I chucked it in a week because of the UI. Couple of months back tried it and the keyboard shortcuts make it worth a shot but… nothing else seemed to have been changed or brought in to resolve glaring errors.

  15. FRITZY says:

    This is about as mishandled as they could have managed. This will definitely lower their numbers.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      One wonders what they’ll think afterwards. Surely they should have seen this coming. I mean, surely they should give anyone who’ll come even close to communicating for the company a guide on what to do (and say) and what not to. Or at least how you can approach your customers and how you definitely shouldn’t.

  16. DevilSShadoW says:

    I’m trying to keep a positive attitude towards eve and it’s new update, I really am. Hell, I’m even playing it right now and for all intents and purposes it’s still a spaceship game. But the way they are treating this matter…
    It’s hard to root for them at times like this. Keep this up, CCP, and you will lose yet another paying subscriber.

  17. Wizardry says:

    This is why I only play old games. No DLCs. No micro-transactions. No subscription fees.

    • Lilliput King says:

      The reason this whole debacle is irritating is because Eve offers something they don’t.

  18. Stardog says:

    Are you going to mention the cost at any point in an article about the cost?

    • Thants says:

      “(e.g. a shirt requiring virtual currency worth $25 of real money, or alternatively enough in-game money to buy several very large spaceships)”

  19. Rambal says:

    If this was all about ship parts or something it could have been more logical. I do not play EVE, but do you see this chars on game or something? Is so important the clothing they have?

    • RCGT says:

      The leaked newsletter that is mentioned is basically an internal discussion within CCP, where they all talk about and support microtransactions for:
      - Ammo
      - Ships
      - Faction standings
      - Weapons
      All functional items, all of which fundamentally circumvent the player-driven market and player-driven story that we all signed up for.

      Now CCP won’t even deny that they intend to make this a Pay-to-Play, Pay-for-Hats, AND Pay-2-Win game.

      That’s what people are quitting about.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      here they all talk about and support microtransactions for:
      Have you actually read the newsletter?

      The only thing they express an intention for is selling “faction standings”.

      The only mention of selling ships is the one that already exists via the route of Cash->PLEX->ISK , i.e. not something they’re intenting to introduce.

      The only mention of selling weapons is in referrence to DUST not EVE, so is totally irrelevant.

      Also, of the 3 (out of 5) articles that are actually about EVE, one of them is a “point/counter-point” type article, do your assertion that they all support the idea is false.

  20. chesh says:

    Well, if I’m paying $1000 (or even a ‘mere’ $300) for a pair of jeans, I’m primarily paying for:
    - high quality fabric that is in short supply, since it uses only the edge of the roll
    - higher production time because it is made by fewer people on old, less efficient machines
    - the status of being someone with the disposable income to pay that much
    - the status of being someone who appreciates the relatively timeless nature of something made similarly to how it was 100 years ago
    When I’m paying $70 for a space monocle, I’m primarily paying for:
    - the time it took to code it
    - the status of having a space monocle instead of two fully fitted battleships

    So, I guess if we want cheaper items, they’ll be coded by children in a Mexican sweatshop?

    • MCM says:

      You mention

      “- the status of being someone with the disposable income to pay that much”

      But you don’t list it under both, when it clearly goes under both.

    • johnpeat says:

      Ahahaha – no-one is actually stupid enough to think designer clothing is different to offbrand/cheap brand clothing are they???

      No really!?

      The same sweatshop factories which make £1000 frocks for designer chains make £30 ones for Asda – the difference in price is the label and the fucktonne of marketting intended to make shallow people BELIEVE it”s more than that.

      I really do not believe anyone here is stupid enough to believe jeans costing $100s are substantially different from a pair which cost $30 – the difference is purely in the mind of the purchaser…

    • Thants says:

      Evidence would be more convincing than insults.

    • johnpeat says:

      Evidence isn’t going to be easy to find – the level of secrecy around this stuff in immense – but let’s apply our brains at this point.

      The lack of evidence and the level of secrecy tells us quite a bit – surely if these brands had high-end factories knocking out their tat, they’d not be trying to hide where they are? Surely they’d be making a noise about instead, creating websites so you could stare at the ends of those rolls of cloth and shiny sewing machines!?

      Stop kidding yourself, when you buy ‘designer’ items you’re paying for the marketting which made you want them in the first place – not the clothing itself (above and beyond what’s needed to ensure they don’t fall to bits too quickly).

      If you actually wanted ‘quality’ clothing you’d goto a bespoke tailor/shoe maker, not a shop selling sweatshop manufactured over-marketted shite…

    • thebigJ_A says:

      “Lack of evidence” never tells us anything, because, see, there’s a lack of evidence.

      Funny, that.

    • johnpeat says:

      It’s really not upto me (or anyone else) to prove that designer clothes are made by people paid pennies and using the same machines/materials as are used for cheaper clothing – it’s upto the people claiming their clothing is made of the highest quality materials by skilled and happy people using high-tech equipment to prove their claims surely???

      Thing is – you don’t see designer brands making any such claims anyway. It’s usually the people who buy ‘the labels’ who are defending their decision with spurious and unproven claims of quality and other benefits – the brands just keep showing you the tags and the celebrities wearing them…

      I don’t believe anyone buys ‘designer’ because of the material or the manufacturing quality anyway – they buy designer because they want ‘REPLAY’ across their arse or “Karen Millen” on the tag and they then sell their decision (to themselves or others) with weird beliefs that the material gives them extra luck or more height or whatever. In some ways I admire the people who admit this a lot more than the ones who are telling me their jeans are bulletproof or their frock makes their tits look bigger…

      On that basis, CCPs comments actually make more sense – they are tapping into the same bizarre concept, that people WANT the expensive T shirt/monocle or whatever and will be willing to pay for it – indeed that it’s MORE desirable because it’s expensive.

      It’s just that CCP needs an in-game Primark perhaps :)

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      I kind of expected johnpeat to close with “OPEN YOUR EYES, MAN”, or “IT’S A CONSPIRACY!” to close out the spectacle, but alas, such did not happen.

  21. Batolemaeus says:

    Jaw drop.

    This. Is incredible. I’m usually not at a loss of words but.

    Wow. I think I’ll have to think of a good response, but I’m not sure it’ll evolve beyond the “Fuck You” that has been my first thought for the last 10 minutes.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      By the way, am I the only one who remembers when it was said that clothing was supposed to be player made too?

    • James says:

      You’re not, no. I’m sure that’s something they’ll add later, though. I’m SURE.

    • zergl says:

      *fluffles Bato*
      No you’re not alone, everything WiS (back then we didn’t have no fancy latin words for this pile of steaming garbage) was supposed to be player made and run, iirc.

    • qrter says:

      If anyone made such a comment, surely that will have been more exaggeration and/or playing devil’s advocate.

  22. Persus-9 says:

    You know I think he has a point. Personally I wouldn’t buy them, I wouldn’t buy them at any price but then I also buy the cheapest jeans that won’t fall apart within a week. Physical vanity items are often about power and social position and I can’t see why software ones are different in that respect. I recall seeing someone running about in a $99 charity TF2 hats and it did make me think about that player and who they were. I mainly thought that they were probably fairly rich but at least they gave money to a good cause so fair play to them. If the EVE items weren’t expensive they would be meaningless vanity items but since they aren’t they’re a powerful show of conspicuous consumption. Who wants to spend that much money sending that message, I don’t know, but I bet someone does and now they can, seems reasonable to me.

    • James says:

      I disagree that it’s reasonable to cater to the narcissistic tendencies that are already pervasive in our real, meatspace society, especially when the format is a game about space ships.

      That’s not the entirety of the problems anyway, as I’m sure you’re aware.

    • gwathdring says:

      The game being about space ships enhances the conspicuous consumption aspect. These are people buying utterly unnecessary things. “I could buy a giant battleship or two, or I could get some socks … well, who needs a battleship? I can hire three at the snap of my fingers. Give me the socks!”

      They are being called, by players and developers, “vanity” items. Vanity. Not “clothes.” Vanity items. I can certainly understand not wanting to recreate the lesser aspects of our society in digital economies like Eve, and I can thus understand wanting to limit the number of luxury offerings that exist purely to create social divides. But if you are comfortable with having these items considered luxuries and termed vanity items, and if their sole purpose is to flaunt and expose … surely it is not surprising when the prices are set at luxury levels?

      Personally, I would be more worried with the existence of vanity items instead of the price. Once the items are in play, so is the social dynamic. Then it’s just a matter of scale. I’m uncomfortable with the whole dynamic of luxury status symbols and as such don’t give a damn how much they cost.

  23. Premium User Badge

    revelationspace says:

    Like any game that has purely cosmetic items for sale I don’t see the problem with it. Yes in this instance it is very overpriced so just don’t buy it.

    I have only played a little of Incarna since release and as far as I can tell you are limited to your own quarters in a station so it’s not like anyone can meet you to see what you’re wearing. The most I ever see of other players beyond their ship is their profile picture if I click on it, or in the chat windows.

    If CCP had added the clothing feature and not announced it, it would probably take me years of playing to ever realise it was even an option, so far away it is from the actual gameplay.

    • woodsey says:

      The intention is that soon you’ll be wondering around entire space stations with other people. And why should people have to pay massive amounts of real life money to purchase skins in a game they’re already subbing for?

    • Premium User Badge

      revelationspace says:

      But there’s the key words, “have to”. There is no have to about it.

    • woodsey says:

      There is if they start charging for game-changing stuff like their memo says.

    • gwathdring says:

      They haven’t yet. I was under the impression we were talking about clothes.

      I haven’t read the memo yet, so I don’t know how justified the concern is.

  24. Shuck says:

    “Assume for a short while that you are wearing a pair of $1,000 jeans…”

    Sorry, but that’s an assumption I can’t get past.

    • nafe says:

      “Why would you want to wear a pair of $1,000 jeans when you can get perfectly similar jeans for under $50?”

      Fuck – I wouldn’t even spend $50 on jeans. £20 gets a perfectly decent pair and that’s what, $35?

  25. Eamo says:

    The logic on those prices is nothing to do with real money but entirely to do with ISK I suspect.

    The guy who has squillions of ISK lying around doesn’t really give a crap if an item costs a fortune, it is basically free to him anyway, I would be very surprised if the devs in anyway imagined that items that are that expensive would enter the game by people actually paying real moolah. I suspect it is just intended to be an ISK sink.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      Then why create a new currency specifically for this, and have people buy that with IRL money? Why not just have ridiculous ISK prices? I think that would do a better job of conveying that message. Even if you can technically exchange this for that, the system in play does not imply it is primarily an ISK sink.

      As regards the blog post, I think a relevant difference between this and IRL brand clothes is the lack of competition. Yes, there are clothes with bizarre prices, but there are alternatives in a variety of prize ranges. CCP is in a position of monopoly. Louis Vitton is not.

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      It’s not even an ISK sink AT ALL.

      The way the system is set up, ISK never moves anywhere except from player to player.

      ‘sides, they actually have inflation well in hand. The economy could do with a little cooling, but it’s in pretty good shape all round.

  26. Jumwa says:

    The idea of microtransactions in a subscription based game just bother me. I don’t care for it, leaves a sour taste in my mouth. One or the other, please.

    • Rambal says:

      t’s like billing you to get into a show and billing you again to get out.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      It’s more like billing you to get in, then billing you for everything there, like the seat, the table, the act, the lights, the labor, etc.

  27. kyrieee says:

    They ran this by the CSM, Council of Stellar Management, that’s supposed to act as a bridge between the playerbase and the devs. The CSM was very displeased with the draft of the blog as it didn’t address any of the concerns voiced by the playerbase, and then hours later they still publish the blog virtually unchanged. They’re also banning well known community members for being a bit too loud on the forums.

    Also, CCP have specifically said that they would NEVER charge for non-vanity items, yet their leaked internal dialogue suggests that it’s only a matter of time.

  28. Matt says:

    If I played EVE I would just run around buck naked.

  29. woodsey says:

    Simultaneously obnoxious and obtuse, bravo sir. Truly astounding.

  30. Trelow says:

    This is the perfect way to introduce cosmetic only items. It is all about status, no different than IRL. You can either work out here and make money to get what you want, or work in there and do the same thing.
    Don’t be a bitch.
    Best. Move. Ever.

  31. sonicblastoise says:

    all hail CYBERSPACE *dummmmmmm*

  32. Jake says:

    It’s similar to when Blizzard started selling that glittery flying horse in WoW. I mean, most people wouldn’t spend £626 on a glittery flying horse because you can get a perfectly good one for £32, but some people… rode… regular wolves and wore cheap jeans and… no, sorry I’ve lost myself.

  33. Premium User Badge

    Diziet Sma says:

    This amuses me.

  34. Tasloi says:

    It seems this whole MT business was pretty much the final straw. It blew the lid off a lot of simmering rage that’s been going on for a long time now. Anyone who’s ever played EVE knows about all the half finished features, poorly implemented stuff, blatantly unbalanced ships/weapon types, a sound engine with crappy sound effects that might aswell not exist, the list goes on & on. Only very recently has there been a small team dedicated to polishing stuff up and that’s really only the minor, easy stuff. All the big features just sit there rotting away.

    Unless they radically change their vision on EVE and devote a lot more resources to overhauling/polishing the bigger features this game will be virtually dead over the next few months if not weeks. It’s that bad. What a waste really considering how unique this game is.

    • buzzmong says:

      Correct.

      The other thing that’s pissed people off is the lies spouted by CCP over the past year or so.

      12 months ago CCP Shadow posted a number of times that the company had no plans whatsover to alter their business model, let alone introduce MT in any way shape or form. While he might not have been lying, he’s obviously been lied to and then fed it to the player base, because there’s no way that the entire Noble Store and AUR system has appeared within a few months from conception to product.

      The other aspect is dealing with Incarna (WiS) directly. Notably they promised it would be optional. It isn’t by a long shot. Which is really getting some people’s goat because it’s not only incomplete (1 of the 4 bloodlines quarters is out to use, let alone interaction), it doesn’t add any features at all, and it’s also poorly optimised, hammering some peoples systems and thrashing GPUs.

      I don’t have any performance issues, but the EvE client when idling has jumped up by about 20% CPU cycle wise and it’s memory footprint has jumped up to ~900mb from ~400mb. That’s obviously going to be a problem for people with machines older than my one year old one.

      As a side note, they’ve already said they’ll be removing items from the current character editor in the future (not the Creator, but the in-station editor). The result being that you pick a ‘default’ outfit out a decent sized pool in the creator, but if you want to wear any of the other base stuff, you have to pay.

      Don’t get me wrong here though, I love the idea of Incarna in the future, especially with the new contraband changes coming up and the creation of a player run “off-grid” black market of illegal goods and boosters. But the way it’s been handled currently is incredibly poor.

      If anything, this hyped up 1.0 release needs at least 2 months more work on it for people to be happyish. not withstanding the massive MT issues looming over it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Crimsoneer says:

      I know this is crazy…but…you know…maybe…they CHANGED THEIR MINDS.
      Some people, out there, are willing to shell out 50k for sports cars. Some people are willing to shell out 80$ for jeans, our 1000 for an “I am Rich” app on iPhone. Why the hell wouldn’t they exploit these people?
      Capitalism people – EVE is based on it. People want to buy these things – you’re just bitter you can’t.

      There is no evidence, at all, that we’re going to say Pay2Win transcations. That they’ve considered it? yup. So what?

    • Premium User Badge

      mpk says:

      EVE has sound?

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Once again posting this excellent summation of the issues. Actually, I am going to spam this all over the thread to make sure it gets noticed.

      There is no evidence, at all, that we’re going to say Pay2Win transcations. That they’ve considered it? yup. So what?

      Quoting verbatim from the link:

      While the language in the document is deliberately exploratory, it still contains passages such as “[o]ne other service we’re looking at is selling faction standings. We want to offer convenience for a price.” Whether or not that will ever happen is of no relevance.

      [...]

      While only the “for” party offers suggestions such as selling additional ship-fitting database slots, the simple fact that you are already looking at things that break the non-vanity promise means that this kind of suggestion is on the table as well, regardless of whether or not there is an “against” side as well. It should not even be on the table.

      For emphasis:

      It should not even be on the table

      This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if the playerbase had any confidence whatsoever that CCP will listen to them. But that confidence just isn’t there.

  35. Stevostin says:

    He’s quite obviously making way too much money with EVE. The good news is that this problem should solve soon by itself.

  36. fakesaadm says:

    I actually beleive that the rich clothes will be a good fit in the EVE online universe. The game is very much about apperances and politiking, and in that regard, this brings to mind images of rich aristocrats wearing their fancy clothes and monocles planning invasions of entire worlds. Just my 2 cents.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      I agree, but I think that would be far better represented by these clothes being available for ludicrous sums of ISK rather than a new, pay for, currency. That way, it would be EVE’s in-game upper classes that would have them rather than the real world upper classes.

    • fakesaadm says:

      You’re right. They haven’t explained why they introduced a new currency system just for these clothes.

  37. Stevostin says:

    And BTW the real point is that a jean has a per unit production cost – hey, if it’s a brand, also include hyped, expensive advertising and endorsers. So there’s some sort of risk for the company selling those, which make pricing a decision they have to assume somehow. I think here everyone gets more or less clearly that its not the same at all, that per unit productions cost is null, that overall production costs are close to null and that those vanity items just have a speculative value. Well, most people accept (because they are poor uninformed things) speculative prices from speculator, but when a gaming company rely on speculation rather than gameplay to make money, there’s something absolutely wrong.

    Also, cocaine is not suggested when writing an answer to an angry community.

    • kyrieee says:

      I can tell you’re a bittervet from some of the pixels and from seeing quite a few bittervets in my time

    • gwathdring says:

      So tell me, why are diamonds so expensive? Or sapphires. That’s a better one. Because I could make sapphires in my garage. It’s not too difficult, but the fumes are a bit of a problem. In fact, artificial sapphires have fewer flaws. They are more geometrically/chemically perfect crystals. But of course that makes the natural, flawed stones worth more! The color they get from being cracked and fractured on the inside is associated with depth and value while the color of more perfect crystals is considered fake and cheap looking.

      Luxury item pricing rarely has anything to do with production cost or risk or whatnot. Luxury pricing is based primarily on social phenomena. Sometimes the companies even manufacture the social phenomena–as with diamond companies. Every time you hear someone say that diamonds are forever you are hearing the result of one of the most successful advertising slogans in the history of the western world. Luxuries are quite often rammed down our throats and we learn to want it because we are told to want it.

      I’ve been posting a lot of comments like this, so I’ll clarify: I’m damn glad there are a lot of people who don’t want to be pushed around like that. I want luxury culture to collapse in games and beyond. But I also want people to recognize the full picture and recognize that this situation isn’t in the slightest bit unusual and I don’t think it’s unethical either. I despise it, but recognize there’s more going on here than overpriced pixels or overpriced jeans.

  38. evenflowjimbo says:

    I’m so glad i cancelled a while ago. Heck, this game makes Runes of Magic look like angels! And how can you compare fake items with real ones? Why not make the ships cost like real ships if they want to go down that road?

  39. dsi1 says:

    Someone wrote up a great article about this whole issue.
    http://eve.beyondreality.se/NeXCQResponse.html

    Also, Jita Riot: http://www.justin.tv/deamosseraph#/w/1380742320/3

    • kyrieee says:

      That was written pre- this blog

    • dsi1 says:

      That blog is just fuel for the flames, it literally proves the author’s point that CCP are failures in communication.
      It is about this issue, this issue being CCP not listening, CCP breaking promises, CCP making poor moves, etc.

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Well damn, someone beat me to it.

      Yes, read this. The prices of the vanity items really have very, very little to do with why people are pissed. Just a little more salt in the wound.

  40. Persona Jet Rev says:

    I can understand people’s anger about CCP’s lousy handling of the situation but you know, I’d consider buying skill points to freely spend, just to save some time. Or a ISK boost when running agent mission, so I have to run less missions to get that one thing I’ve been saving for.

    I don’t know how I feel about buying items directly from them, bypassing the economy the game is famous for.

    • RCGT says:

      Yo dawg, I put a microtransaction in your subscription, so you can pay while you pay.

      People have cut power to the houses of Titan pilots so they can blow up an internet spaceship.

      Any non-vanity MT is automatically Pay-to-Win.

  41. Drake Sigar says:

    I used to play Eve. ‘Used to’ being the operative words. There is no curse in elvish, entish or the tongues of men for this treachery.

  42. Daikaze says:

    I’m not quite understanding the issue here… So, some vanity items are up for sale at absurd prices, but I’m guessing that’s not the issue. From what I can tell the issue is that people have taken something (“Greed is good” memo) out of context and have gone all “doom and gloom” on CCP.

    • Berious says:

      Nah people are pissed because the spaceships part of EVE has been on the backburner for a while as CCP works on their engine for World of Darkness, from which we get Walking in Stations as a spin off.

      For years they’ve promised us how awesome WiS will be and just you wait it’ll knock your socks off. Don’t worry that Faction Wars or the Sovereignty system or even basic ship balancing all desperately needs work, they’ll get to that after WiS. Well we’re here now, the first iteration of WiS, and it’s a badly optimised pile of poop with zero gameplay and a cash shop.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      No, see, they took the memo in context. They are planning in selling much more than vanity items, too.

      People were already pissed that CCP weren’t fixing the game, now they find out that what they HAVE been working on is bullshit ways to squeeze more money out of the playerbase.

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Once again, the actual issues at hand summed up here.

      It is fairly complex, and a lot of it is built on past grievances that were never properly resolved. If you want it boiled down though, the current flashpoint is that CCP are considering non-vanity MT items (“Pay-2-Win”) and the complete lack of faith the playerbase has that if they stand up and say, for the nth time, that gameplay-meaningful MT items are not, have never been and will never under ever circumstances be anything other than completely and utterly unacceptable, CCP will even pause long enough to notice.

  43. Live-Dimension says:

    Talking about virtual clothes is fine and all, but everyone here seems to be missing out on what’s really happening.
    Take this quote from a 210+post thread over the last day.

    //quoted from http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1536065&page=207#6206

    Over 10% of the total active players on Eve-Online have posted in this thread (obviously not including repeat posters). Many of these have unsubscribed. CCP – You have ruined your reputation and I fear of what may happen to this game we all love to bits.
    The community is seriously outraged at the actions of over the last few years. You guys can still EARN back our trust and save this game, but the current madness must stop.
    It’s such a simple formula. Listen to your customers, they are your bread and butter! If your customers are happy, they’ll keep playing your game. If they are unhappy, they’ll leave. Eve Online is unique and it will be a sad, sad day if we ever see the day when people no longer play Eve Online on-mass, an empty carcass of it’s older, former glory. We all built this game up from the first player from scratch, isk by isk, hour by hour.
    CCP, you CAN kill this game if you keep up the attitude of the last few years.

    Do you really want that?

    //quote

    10%+ of the player base this disgruntled? This doesn’t even mention the 5000 players + rioting on eve online by attacking certain structures at mayjor trade points, effectivly closing them down.
    Yeah..

  44. Rambal says:

    So they started with what they think would be the less controversial items?

    • gwathdring says:

      It really sounds like these items were just a jumping off point for all of the real controversy to start up again—including the items that may be in the works and all of the issues CCP has left unsolved while making some fancy shirts.

  45. Sinnorfin says:

    Wow. Thats tough!

    It’s insulting at best..

    Following this line of thought, it leads to imagining that those ‘low price’ stuff will make you look like a bum…a Space-bum…

    MMO-s should focus on letting people achieve extraordinary things they cant in real life..Have a nicer suit..better shoes..Spaceship..You , the poor fella from the village can be the God of the server..

    So lets ruin that feeling of taking up another role by smashing real life society’s problems at the game..

    • KlashnikovKid says:

      Hahahahaha, I had to make an account here to just exclaim how much this cracked me up! I can add feeling like a space bum to my list of reasons for quitting today!

  46. We Boycott Eve says:

    The time has come, fellow capsuleers: let’s raise or voice.
    http://twitter.com/We_boycott_EVE
    http://on.fb.me/mNJKM7

  47. Bassism says:

    Christ, CCP are falling ever deeper into a pit of… well, I don’t know what. But they sure don’t live in the real world.
    “Assume for a short while that you are wearing a pair of $1,000 jeans from some exclusive Japanese boutique shop. Why would you want to wear a pair of $1,000 jeans when you can get perfectly similar jeans for under $50?”
    …I’m pretty sure that I have no concept of what wearing 1000 dollar jeans is like, nor will I ever. And right, why -would- I want to wear that pair of jeans? I shop at thrift and vintage stores. I’m not paying more for virtual clothes than I pay for real clothes. That’s silly.

    Or maybe I should look at it in game terms. Why the fuck would I buy a pair of pants (keeping in mind, I’m already wearing perfectly good pants, which I chose in chargen because I thought they matched my character’s self-expression) when I could have the option of buying lots of huge spaceships and blowing shit up instead. It’s a game about internet spaceships, not internet pants.

    But why are we even having this debate? Walking in stations was supposed to be a cool way to interact with others. What we’ve gotten is a completely pointless room you can stand in by yourself, and admire your overpriced clothing. I can only assume they spent so much time and money adding all this superfluous shit to the game that they forgot that it’s a game.

    Maybe they’ll ‘iterate’ on it, and gives us some form of social interaction. More likely, they’ll get distracted by some shiny new feature, and forget to ‘iterate’, uncaring because they’re still making tons of cash.

    But yeah, it’s not about the pants, it’s not about captain’s quarters, and it’s not about microtransactions. CCP either has no fucking clue what it’s customers want, or (and it seems more likely) they just don’t give a fuck. We’ve been asking CCP for literally years to fix the shit that they half-assedly added to the game promising to ‘iterate’ in the future, then never looked at again. T3 ships, faction warfare, sovereignty, cosmos/epic arcs, tier 3 battleships, on and on. This is shit that we’ve been asking for for literally many years.

    Apocrypha was cool, it gave us t3 cruisers and wormholes. CCP told us they’d give us more t3 ship types in future expansions…
    Dominion reworked sovereignty (from broken to broken-in-a-different-way). Oh, and facebook. Admittedly, the new in-game browser was nice.
    Tyrannis gave us planetary interaction. The worst UI in the world (admittedly, they did work on that eventually). They also kind of updated facebook, nobody kept using it. Oh, I forgot, PI is really just laying the groundwork for their console-only FPS.
    Incursion gave us Incursions, which were pretty well recieved (though largely because they’re a ludicrously easy way to amass wealth). Oh, and a character generator for their WoD mmo.
    Now Incarna gave us a room to stand in, and a clothing shop. …For the WoD mmo. Also new models for the turrets, which I guess are pretty, but have zero effect on gameplay… kind of like the rest of the expansion.

    The point is, there are lots of things we want for the game. CCP knows these things, they even have shareholders who are in place to tell them those things. And with every expansion, they go ludicrously further from the things that we keep asking them for. They tell us they’re committed to excellence, and we say “So why is everything in the game half-assed?” So they reply “Because we will iterate it to greatness!”

    The reason the playerbase is so incredulous is because of all of this. CCP are fucking insane, and stubborn as an ass. They need to forget this grand vision they have, take a look at the hodgepodge game they’ve got, and start fixing it. Once they have a strong foundation, they can build upon it.
    Walking in Stations sounded awesome, and everybody in the game wanted it…. 5 years ago. Now we just want a game that lives up to the potential that we all see. In the meantime, we’re tired of CCP ignoring us to chase after money. And yes, that’s what they’re doing. That’s why they have an item shop, that’s why they’ve spent the last few years developing technology for other games. That’s why we think this is all so crazy. And that’s not even getting into the bizarre thought that MT is in any way good for a game that is literally about it’s persistent, player driven economy.

    And yes, that is a crazy wall of text, but it’s written now, so may as well post it.

    • James says:

      I liked your wall and I’m glad you posted it.

    • Bassism says:

      I’ve been listening to the CSM chat on eve radio, and there was a quote that sums up the way I feel about it:

      It’s becoming clear that Eve is CCP’s playground, no longer the players’

  48. Premium User Badge

    Daiv says:

    When will we start seeing spam about forking shoes for Eve?

  49. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    *Inserts hat joke*

    No wait,

    *Inserts shirt joke*