EVE General Discussion

 
^ Back to top

Topic is locked indefinitely.

87 Pages123Next pageLast page
 

Announcement regarding rewards and prizes to fansites and third-party contributors

Jump to first DEV post
Author
C C P Alliance
#1 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:23  |  Edited by: CCP Eterne
Recently CCP rewarded the staff members of SOMER Blink, the highly popular micro lottery website, with Ishukone Watch Scorpions (IWS) as a thank-you for their contributions to EVE. There was also the matter of a recent special lottery event at SOMER Blink that CCP supported by contributing rare ships as prizes. This has raised concern in the community, with some calling favoritism and others airing opposition to CCP spawning items into the single-shard sandbox we all love, whether as rewards to third-party contributors, or prizes for them to hand out.

So let’s go through what happened, why it happened, what else has happened, and then let’s have a discussion on what all of us want to happen in the future.

First, what is the Ishukone Watch Scorpion?

It’s a re-skinned version of the Scorpion-class battleship, with the old Scorpion slot layout and slightly worse stats than the current Scorpion when it comes to functionality. It refines to 1 piece of Tritanium and as such is designed specifically to have no actual base value in the game’s economy, similar to the rookie frigates handed out for free when you suffer a ship loss. The IWS was originally created as a vanity item to be sold in the NeX store for Aurum, but once that plan was cancelled, the Community Team secured it as a promotional item to be given out for various efforts or events.

In its very essence, the IWS is a skin with its own “show info” description. But while that’s certainly an important thing to realize, we of course recognize that rare items you can sell on TQ will be coveted and will have some value through the law of supply and demand despite a lack of base value or actual functionality.

How many exist and who have you given them to?

A total of 132 exist on TQ today, all handed out by CCP as that is the only way for them to come into existence. The first one went to the winner of the 2012 Fanfest Poker Tournament. Subsequent ones have been given to participants of various PVP tournaments, the 2013 Poker Tournament, the winner of the BIG Lottery 10th anniversary event, Alliance Tournament player commentators, Alliance Tournament volunteers, the staff of the Syndicate Competitive League (SCL) and most recently the staff of SOMER blink. Giving these particular ships out as rewards for services rendered is a relatively new initiative and we intended to gift them to more fansites and contributors; however, those plans are currently on hold.

Why hasn’t my favorite fansite or community enterprise received something nice too?

There’s no single answer to that question. Sometimes it has to do with the timing of specific events related to that fansite or enterprise, sometimes your favorite is next in line or they’ve simply gotten something different, such as free accounts, trips and/or tickets to Fanfest, Collector’s editions, a couple of time codes, devs flown to their events, T-shirts, posters, resin ship models etc. etc.

Something to keep in mind is that the Community Team hasn’t always had the ability to give prizes or thank-you rewards to major long standing fansite operators like we would have wanted, but times change and we hope that those long-time contributors at least appreciate that we are trying to do better in that regard, specific rewards, quantities, and situations aside.

How do these recent events compare with previous ones?

  • Regarding the handing out of prizes for third-party events, we’ve always seen value in providing reasonable prizes to boost interest in events run by enthusiastic and capable players. There’s value in it for us as a company and for you as a community. What constitutes “reasonable” is always a judgment call that has to do with the history we have with the operator, the scope of the event, and the attention and participation the event can draw. Tl;dr, big event = bigger prizes. Not every event gets the same but we of course want to avoid any feelings of unfairness or resentment and we should be able to avoid that with increased transparency and by working with you guys and the CSM (more on that in the last section of this post).

  • Now on to the personal reward
  • The IWS is a cool thing to have and that’s why we use it as a reward, not because it carries X ISK value. The price people negotiate is wholly decided between individuals and is hard for us to predict with any precision.

    In the past we have given out time codes and PLEX both as prizes and rewards for going the extra mile for the community. These have been given to just about every major fansite at some point and PLEX have a much more predictable value over time than skinned ships.

    The rewards for the SOMER Blink staff was around three times larger than the one to the SCL staff but that’s because they have three times the staff. In both cases everyone got one each.

    When we gave out thousands of pirate-skinned rookie frigates to players at PAX East and Gamescom, they initially sold for 1 billion ISK in-game without causing stir. Obviously those were less rare from the get-go and were handed out fairly randomly in the familiar environment of “go to game show – get swag”.

    So the concerns raised seem to revolve around quantity, the selection process of the recipients, and the level of transparency. Which leads me to the next question.

    Was CCP being secretive about this?

    We really weren’t. In his leaked mail, SOMER asks his staff to keep this reward on the down-low but that requirement didn’t come from us at all and is completely their prerogative. When we give rewards or prizes, we often don’t announce it specifically but we don’t ask for secrecy either nor do we expect it at all.

    It’s worth noting that when the SCL staff got their IWSs there was public chatter about it, it just didn’t get a lot of attention. It wasn’t until articles appeared about the reward to the SOMER Blink staff which also hinted at some secrecy that concerns were raised.

    So, are you totally happy with this whole thing?

    No we’re not. While we want to keep rewarding and encouraging projects that add value and are popular with our community, we absolutely agree that it has to happen in a way that the community is on board with, whether that means we have to make big changes or small tweaks.

    We recognize that gifting rare in-game items of potential ISK value proactively to select third-parties, whether as prizes for them to hand out or as a personal thank-you, can have implications no matter how well-meaning you are. We realize that for example in the IWS reward situation, a line was crossed in many people’s minds despite there being certain similarities with previous gifting events. Where the line of acceptability lies is something we need to work out together before we move forward.

    Should we stick to out-of-game things only? Create non-transferrable in-game items as rewards? Give no personal rewards and only prizes? Only items below a certain expected ISK value? Always give out tons of stuff at once so early recipients can’t cash out? List all rewards publicly?

    For the time being we are pausing all plans for rare in-game rewards to select third party contributors. We want to carefully consider your feedback and determine what our framework should be and what improvements to the level of transparency are needed so that the rewards program serves its intended purpose of making the EVE Universe a better place. We’ll also make prizes and rewards a summit topic when the CSM visits us this winter, as well as consult with them until that time. Some of this work has already started, and the result will be a formalized and transparent framework for everything related to supporting all types of fansites and third-party community services. We aim to circulate our initial design to the CSM in the next few days, and you should see a dev blog in a few weeks.

    That’s it for now, let us know your thoughts.
    CCP Guard | EVE Community Developer | @ccp_guard
    C C P Alliance
    #2 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:35
    Thanks to the CSM for their help thusfar and players who have already given their feedback.


    ======== o7
    CCP Manifest | Public Relations and Social Media | @ccp_manifest
    Sleeper Social Club
    #3 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:38  |  Edited by: Maximus Andendare
    Thanks for the statement. However, it doesn't particularly address the glaring fact that SOMER received free trips to Fanfest and unique ships for a "fair" contest "for the community" that CCP has no control over or audit power for. Further, the contest is inherently biased toward people who blow billions of isk playing blinks, giving them a disproportionate amount of entries for unique ships only obtainable through this medium (not to mention making SOMER even more isk), as well as giving a player-run, for-profit corporation the ability to decide who can even have a chance at winning it, considering SOMER Blink solely and unilaterally has the power to ban accounts at will.

    The fact that you guys earlier compared SOMER Blink to a charity is shocking, off-putting and shows a deep disconnection between what CCP believes "a community service" is and what the players do. Many players believe that "a community service" is something that actually enriches the game or provides content to it. SOMER Blink is a third party website created solely to print isk for its founder. They provide no services in game. At all. (This doesn't even to speak to the fact that serious concerns exist for many players to the legitimacy of the SOMER Blink lottery system. For example, how is it that the player with the most blinks won, Replacement 234, doesn't appear in the most blinks played? Is Replacement 234, with an win rate at a minimum of 32.7%+ simply luckier than the next-highest winner, Featious who has a 28.8% win rate? Or the highest winner (with over 9 TRILLION isk more than Replacement 234) doesn't even appear to have played or won the most blinks?)

    The difference in your example of "go to game trade show, get swag" and the SOMERgate fiasco is that as players we can choose to attend game trade show--at our wills--and get swag. We don't, however, have the luxury of playing blinks if the account is banned. Further, you're not limiting the prize pool to players attending EVE Vegas, as your trade show example would indicate. It is open to anyone willing to blow billions of isk on blinks. Even then, they would still have an inequitable chance of winning against other players who have a disproportionate amount of tickets. Your basic example of simply playing a promo blink and having an entry is pedantic at best and deceitful at worst, considering that everyone knows that blink players will have hundreds or thousands of tickets entered.

    It's good that you've put future plans on hold for hopefully a better process. It's unfortunate, though, that you decided to stop recognizing community sites short of providing rewards to meaningful providers of content in the game, instead opting to enrich a for-profit corp's wallet instead. The fact that you haven't pulled the unique rewards, given the glaring deficiencies in using SOMER Blink as the provider of the contest, shows me that CCP has only a passing concern to the legitimate grievances we players have. CCP owes nothing to SOMER Blink, and if this were believed by CCP, it would have pulled the unique and fantastical prizes in favor of something more traditional like PLEX packs or Collector's Editions.
    Step onto the battlefield, and you're already dead, born again at the end of the battle to live on and fight another day.

    >> Play Dust 514 FREE! Sign up for exclusive gear today! <<
    Goonswarm Federation
    #4 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:40  |  Edited by: Weaselior
    I'd like a little more information on the SOMER lottery issue specifically as that was the really immense giveaway here and it's not really well addressed. Specifically, why an in-game business was given such immense prizes as "a fansite" that wound up making them almost certainly literally trillions of isk. It's not really addressed at all in your post: no indication of why SOMER, no indication of what process went on here and why the CSM was never consulted, no indication of what other "fansites" have gotten these sort of things.

    It's not just that SOMER got the lottery gifts. It's that they were absolutely stupendously massive. There's also the seperate problem of Navigator officially declaring them Not A Scam.

    The IWS issue would not have been nearly as big an issue without that: it's that both happened, and that the lottery gift to SOMER was already absurdly out of line. The IWS issue exacerbated the lottery issue, it wasn't the main problem.
    Head of the Goonswarm Economic Warfare Cabal Pubbie Management and Exploitation Division.
    Pandemic Legion
    #5 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:42  |  Edited by: Forlorn Wongraven
    Jealous people killing a reward that CCP gives out to people who support the community. As far as the first somer lottery was concerned this was a mistake and CCP actually fixed it.

    Also thanks, Guard!
    Goonswarm Federation
    #6 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:43
    Ideally sponsorship will come in the form of items that are not insanely valuable (magnates etc) and do not impact the sandbox in any meaningful way. ISK is highly meaningful.

    Sponsorship should also be limited to non-profits like Chribba's EVE Files, or The angel project, or possibly EVE UNI. Things that enrich the community and are not simply large scale businesses that send a lot of time card revenue CCP's way.
    Out of game items are much preferable to ingame ones. T-Shirts, or Rifter Hubs, or other various marketing swag. It would be preferable if game-time was given in such a way it cannot be easily monetized, perhaps game-time directly applied to an account.

    These guidelines may not always be preferable and some exceptions may occur but those should be screened through the CSM. Everything should strive to keep the sandbox as pure as possible. Vanity items would be perfect for this. I can see CCP giving out 1000 free ship skins sometime down the road when you introduce that feature. Things that are nice to receive as a player but have no impact on the sandbox.
    Leader of the Goonswarm Economic Warfare Cabal.
    Vile Rat: You're the greatest sociopath that has ever played eve.
    #7 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:44
    Out of game rewards only please.
    #8 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:45
    it doesn't matter if you didn't announce it or didn't ask for secrecy. by not announcing it, you simply weren't being transparent. i don't think transparency is a big ask. i mean a quick "oh and for their awesome initiative, the guys at somer have been given IWS" at the bottom of their spotlight article would have taken seconds to type and avoided most of the issue.

    also, yes, rewards for these kinds of things should be kept to non-transferable and/or out of game stuff. when you essentially just dump a few billion isk in to a player's hangar... do i really need to explain why just handing players a fist full of isk is wrong?

    nobody is saying that they don't want you to reward people in the community who add something to the experience of eve, we're just asking you to be transparent about it, and not do it in such a way that it gives some one an advantage over some one else no matter how small or unintended.

    even better, would be a set of written guidelines you can refer to and say "well, we did it all legitimately on our side." because had there been an devblog prior to the spotlight articles saying "we're going to start actively rewarding people in the community that do great stuff with some cool scorpions" then none of this would be a surprise, none of it would have been a secret, and the only issue we would have had would have been "uh guys, might want to rethink the reward if you're essentially handing out fist fulls of isk as "rewards""
    Yay, this account hasn't had its signature banned. or its account, if you're reading this.
    #9 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:47
    When you reward somebody by giving them PLEX nobody else suffers any serious devaluation. When you give somebody an IWS all other IWS owners and collectors get completely screwed over because the price collapses.

    Just give people PLEX in future, as much as you like, but no rare items ever.
    -
    C C P Alliance
    #10 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:51
    Weaselior wrote:
    I'd like a little more information on the SOMER lottery issue specifically as that was the really immense giveaway here and it's not really well addressed. Specifically, why an in-game business was given such immense prizes as "a fansite" that wound up making them almost certainly literally trillions of isk. It's not really addressed at all in your post: no indication of why SOMER, no indication of what process went on here and why the CSM was never consulted, no indication of what other "fansites" have gotten these sort of things.

    It's not just that SOMER got the lottery gifts. It's that they were absolutely stupendously massive. There's also the seperate problem of Navigator officially declaring them Not A Scam.

    The IWS issue would not have been nearly as big an issue without that: it's that both happened, and that the lottery gift to SOMER was already absurdly out of line. The IWS issue exacerbated the lottery issue, it wasn't the main problem.


    I can probably shed a bit of light on that although Navigator touched on that in his announcement following what was going to be the Gold Magnate event.

    Why SOMER? Well, they are really popular and they have supported a ton of events so we wanted to explore what we could do with them. Their influence in the community is significant for the same reason that they are space rich - because they're good at what they do.

    In the statement we go into who else have gotten the ISWs and also what sort of giveways we usually extend to fansites.

    As we said, we agree with you that we went too fast and that's why we need to re-think this whole thing. We need to keep the CSM more involved, their input is invaluable.
    CCP Guard | EVE Community Developer | @ccp_guard
    Pandemic Legion
    #11 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:52
    LOL goons bringing in alts to reiterate their posts.

    this isn't really that big of a deal, CCP never promised they would not give anymore of these outs unlike other unique ships. lots of jelly folks
    #12 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:53  |  Edited by: Doc Fury
    I'm still scratching my head about what these "great contributions" are exactly that SB made to EVE that CCP and others keep referring to.

    Is out of game gambling for isk and in-game swag via a 3rd party for-profit entity considered creating content?
    The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the ho's and politicians will look up and shout 'Save us!' and I'll look down, and whisper 'Hodor'.
    Caldari State
    #13 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:54
    This does not address at all the criteria CCP uses to determine "services rendered" and why Somer Blink got so much in the way of rewards while there are far more deserving entities for any particular criteria it would be reasonable for CCP to have used.
    The Camel Empire
    #14 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:54
    As a fan site owner I got goodies worth of about ~1B and felt honored.
    I sold the items and gave my corp mates some free ships, which leads to more PvP ingame.

    It does not matter if it's a Video, a blogpost or a whole Tournament. Some people put so many hours into fan projects and they deserved at least something. It does not matter if it's ISK or just a thank you.

    Bloggers already get their media account, how about something for those awesome video makers from /my eve/?
    German blog about smallscale lowsec pvp: http://friendsofharassment.wordpress.com
    #15 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:54
    CCP Guard wrote:

    Should we stick to out-of-game things only? Create non-transferrable in-game items as rewards? Give no personal rewards and only prizes? Only items below a certain expected ISK value? Always give out tons of stuff at once so early recipients can’t cash out? List all rewards publicly?

    That’s it for now, let us know your thoughts.


    Items such as the memorabilia things in the "time capsule", would reward people with a permanent reminder of their impact on the EVE world.

    Those things like the "Piece of Steve", relating to the first Titan shot down, or the "Assassination Contract - Mirial", or the "Band of Brothers Director Key". Souvenir items that don't do anything much ingame, beside exist.

    Those sorts of items would be perfectly fine, to reward people for contributing.

    Or inspace monuments, such as was done in the past, e.g. the Jita Monument originally commemorated a competition between players, yes ?

    Monuments and souvenir items, people would have far fewer issues with, than things that have a definable ISK value.
    C C P Alliance
    #16 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:54
    iskflakes wrote:
    When you reward somebody by giving them PLEX nobody else suffers any serious devaluation. When you give somebody an IWS all other IWS owners and collectors get completely screwed over because the price collapses.

    Just give people PLEX in future, as much as you like, but no rare items ever.


    That argument I would agree with in regards to certain rare items, but not the ISW as it was created for the express purpose of being a reward for all kinds of contributions and contests, making it inevitable that the price of the early ones will plummet. The problem more people would have with it is much rather that those who get it early gain more by selling it than those who get it late, which is a byproduct of slowly seeding rare items in this manner.
    CCP Guard | EVE Community Developer | @ccp_guard
    Minmatar Republic
    #17 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:56
    CCP Guard wrote:
    That’s it for now, let us know your thoughts.

    Okay.

    CCP Guard wrote:
    Should we stick to out-of-game things only?

    Yes. I don't care if Somer gets a dozen USB hub Rifters.

    CCP Guard wrote:
    Create non-transferrable in-game items as rewards?

    No. Bound items are terrible and dumb.

    CCP Guard wrote:
    Give no personal rewards and only prizes?

    In-game items yes. Out of game stuff no.

    CCP Guard wrote:
    Only items below a certain expected ISK value?

    No, mostly because that doesn't work in Eve.
    C C P Alliance
    #18 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:56
    Forlorn Wongraven wrote:
    Jealous people killing a reward that CCP gives out to people who support the community. As far as the first somer lottery was concerned this was a mistake and CCP actually fixed it.

    Also thanks Guard!


    Note that we haven't said that the ISW will never be given out again in any sort of giveaway. Just that we're pausing rewards of this nature until we are sure they make sense or have a framework ensuring they make sense :)
    CCP Guard | EVE Community Developer | @ccp_guard
    #19 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:57
    I think my biggest problem with the whole situation is that I feel CCP is awarding a straight up gambling enterprise simply because they help sell plexes.

    When you give out upwards of 400+ billion ISK in rare ships to 'the house' who is already raking in ISK hand-over-fist it seems lame as hell.
    Not today spaghetti.
    #20 Posted: 2013.10.10 18:57
    Seras VictoriaX wrote:
    Out of game rewards only please.


    ^^^ This.
    This is not a signature.
    87 Pages123Next pageLast page
    Forum Jump