March 11, 2015

The Four Stages of Eve Grief(ing)

As the meta rocks back and forth with the impacts of Fozziesov, let's step back and contemplate the stages of grief as they apply to new CCP DevBlogs.

Stage One: Denial (and Trolling)

This stage is best demonstrated by the first couple posts to follow a DevBlog.  Classic denial posts often just indicate disgust with the change ("I just threw up in my mouth") which is basically equivalent to saying "First!" without having to actually read the DevBlog, but with less of a chance of an ISD removing your post.  Where denial is explicitly expressed it ranges from "Can't CCP just leave (my part of) the game alone!" and "But that's the way that the game has always worked" to the classic "Do CCP Devs even play this game."  The latter of which of course is all the more hilarious when responding to CCP Fozzie and CCP Rise who probably have played the game for longer than the poster in question.  Never let it be said that the Denial stage was meant to have any logical substance.

Stage Two: Negotiation (and Trolling)

After the first couple pages of the forum thread have been filled with Denialist posts then the Negotiation posts will begin to creep in.  These may suggest that the posters have actually read the full text the DevBlog in question, but the reader certainly shouldn't make that assumption without seeing more evidence.  The Negotiation posts start to offer critique and suggestion on the actual substance of the DevBlog, often by making reference to some other favored slight in balance such as "make the Entosis module only fit onto Battlecruisers and Battleships."  There may also be posts that actually are attacking some different part of the game or the players, thinly disguised as a response to the DevBlog in question.  Negotiation posts may rarely actually start a reasonable conversation between two players about the merits of the DevBlog or suggested change… but not all that often.

Stage Three: Theorycrafting (and Trolling)

By now the forum thread for the DevBlog has gotten past the point than anyone would want to read it from start to end, which means that it is time for actual valuable commentary to start.  Fortunately this commentary often isn't in the forum thread (where it would be lost into the mire, unfound except for truly dedicated CCPers or CSMs) but starts to appear in blogs or "serious" Eve-media websites (TMDC, CZ) and podcasts (CZ, CapStable, High Drag, DoW, etc).  To the degree there was any valuable content in the Negotation stage, the Theorycrafters will shoot it down or expand on it.  For instance, CZ's recent episode comments (paraphrased) "I hope people try Trollceptors with T2 Entosis modules so I can farm 100M killmails in my Orthrus."  This is the point where it's actually valuable to start paying attention to the discussion for any players who looking for more than drama.

Stage Four: Acceptance and Optimization (and Trolling)

At their heart most Eve players (and particularly those in leadership of organizations) are min-maxers ready to adapt to any change.  They will have developed an optimized approach to the change in the DevBlog, often before it even hits Tranquility thanks to the SiSi server.  ESSes will be placed safely in fully trigger anoms, freighters will be loaded with goods that will deliver a bounty greater than their market price, and fleet comps will have been built with the latest ship or ship rebalance in mind.  Now these optimized plans run headlong into the optimized plans of other players … as well as steamrollering those hapless players who don't follow the meta and didn't even read the patch notes.  As CCP sees the emergent gameplay that follows and inevitably is not what they expected, they begin work on the next DevBlog.

And thus the cycle begins anew.  As in Iceland, so in Tranquility.  Amen.


  1. Yep, and once in a great while, we reach the alternate Stage Four: Rage (and trolling) where players get in their ships and burn down a monument....

  2. You forgot the Crying posts. Usually comes from carebears, especially nullbears.

  3. Long time listener, first time caller...

    and I has to.. "As CCP sees the emergency gameplay that follows and inevitably is not what they expected, they begin work on the next DevBlog.

    Emergency gameplay??? I mean I love EVE and all but damn... =]

    Oh and damn good post and blog, keep it coming please.
    And... again I has to...

    Pater Nulla

    [The EVEning Prayer]

    CCP, which art in The Land of Ice,
    (Don’t let this go to your heads…)

    To Thy New Eden we come,
    Thy DPS to be done, in Hek,
    As it is in Jita.

    Give us this day our daily Adrenaline Rush,
    And forgive them their piratical ways,
    As we cloak and warp from harms ganking grasp.

    Lead us not into Gate Camps,
    But help us as we try our best to camp gates,
    against them.

    And deliver our cargos from evil,
    For thine is the Server, the Sandbox,
    The DPS and the Tank,

    For ever and ever…
    (or at least until the wife gets home...)

    This We beseech thee in Chribba's name,
    Allow not the tears and whines of the small
    and the weak, the griefer and the bear,

    to change the Rules Of The 'Verse,
    in which we live, and die, our Virtual Lives.


    1. Ha... Edited!

      That's a good one I hadn't seen before. Perhaps we do need a cult of Saint Chribba. Hmm...