TL;DR: CCP wrote a four-months-long pve event with a scripted end-result as a lead up to the new content, then gave sneak peak access to it half of the participants in the event, leaving the other half further away from accessing it than the average player who did not participate at all. We were interested in the content and as thanks we are blocked out from it. This was a dick move.
Wall of text follows with more in-depth explanation. If you feel the need to press reply and bash me based on the TL;DR, please read to the end. The very end also has a suggested solution.
Context: I was a major participant in the Triglavian Invasions Chapter 3. I ground the damned sites for four months, I pvped in liminal systems, I was part of the handful of people who cracked which stars the trigs wanted, I built a prediction system for when to expect invasions and got to be known as “The Oracle” for it. I handed out ships, I flew logi and dps, I probed for trigs and I FCed fleets. Day in, day out, for four months. And despite the content having a lot of issues, I enjoyed it, and until the release of Pochven, I was happy I was part of it.
I have played EVE since about launch, and I have more or less done it all at one point or another (I’ve not been a leader of a sovnull alliance and I have not lived in a particular wormhole system for a prolonged period, but pretty much everything else I have tried out), and I think the Chapter 3 content overall even with all its problems was new and interesting and the mechanics brought in have a lot of promise for eg making factional warfare more interesting.
To understand why I am not happy anymore, you have to understand something crucial about this kind of storyline events. The end result of Chapter 3 is a whole new region with new rules, new graphics, new types of NPCs, etc. That is a development effort that takes a lot of developer-hours to make. It is an effort that will not be simply thrown away because players fail to achieve some arbitrary goal. The Triglavian region was always a thing that would happen, and most people who participated have been well aware of this since June.
And it’s ok. Events like this are not like soccer matches where either side can win on an even field and will then have the prize; they are more like professional wrestling. The outcome and main events are broadly scripted. There is a lot of improvisation and fun fights and the participants can still during the show change how exactly something happens, but they cannot really change if it happens. In Chapter 3 players could have an effect of where exactly the liminalities happen, but they could not really decide if. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of professional wrestling. As the old GM maxim from tabletop games says, no one minds being on rails if the scenery is good.
In short, the crucial bit to understand is: the story was always about triglavians invading, they would end up doing just that, and that’s ok. As someone who played Edencom in this event and has participated in a lot of storyline events during my 17 years in EVE, I fully expected the story to end in some kind of a triglavian victory, or at best in a truce. Then we’d get some kind of nice things and bits of Scope videos about how great invaders or valiant defenders we are for all who participated, we’d get some Triglavian related end-content for everyone, and the story would move on.
Well, that’s not quite how it turned out. As the end state of the event, CCP released the new Triglavian region, called Pochven. This region at the moment is maybe not that exciting, but it is new, and it has new kinds of NPCs, new rules, new mechanics. A lot of people, including us, anticipated this happening and prestaged in the liminal systems, preparing to have pewpew and gawk over whatever is to come. Participants on both sides in Chapter 3 were quite excited about the next stage. While we on the Edencom side knew there’d not be real “taking back” those systems in the game mechanic sense, we expected fun fights, exploration roaming, and challenging fights with the new and probably hostile to us NPCs present.
So far, so good. Only - on release, it turned out that CCP had locked the internal gates in the region to rely on at least +3 Triglavian standings. Due to how Chapter 3 worked, most of us who put hours and hours into this event on the other side had standings in the range of -2 to -7. This means that those who played the Triglavian part in Chapter three can roam the region freely, but no one else, including participants in Chapter 3 who played the part of the opposition, cannot. It also means that in order to gain access to the new content, participants on the Edencom side have twice the standings grind ahead of them than people who did not participate at all.
In other words, we were punished by CCP for not winning a war we were scripted by CCP to lose. That’s kind of like you’d run a professional wrestling league and then refused to pay the salaries of the performers you have picked to play the prizefighters who lose, on account of them not winning and thus “not deserving it”.
As the situation stands now, there are no good alternatives to the standings-locked gates for moving around the region. You can get in to some systems: there are wormholes and the mechanics of where they spawn are being discovered, but there are no guaranteed wormholes all of the systems. (CCP: if you think there is, you need to send a dev to talk to me in private; I think there possibly is an intended mechanic for that but if I am correct on my guess then that one bugs. As a reminder, I was the EDI Oracle, and trust me I am sciencing the hell out of this one too.). There are supposed to be yeet filaments in, but so far no one’s reported them dropping in significant quantities, and they seem to drop exclusively in Pochven - where only some people can roam to farm. Even if you could get them, those filaments will take you to a random system of a particular kind out of the 27, from wherein you cannot move to your target system without standings for gates. In addition, farming triglavians for the filaments would mean you will tank your trig standing further and be less likely to be able to use the damned gates in the near future.
The one-sided inability to use gates means the region is pretty useless for anyone without the required standings. You cannot roam it for pvp or for simply to explore it. You cannot really raid it either, as most locals can take gates and will just leave. You cannot get people in to defend your structures unless they are in one of the systems that have a lucky wormhole. We have lost and we most likely will lose timers to people who can roam and can bring in people as they like, while we cannot gain entry to defend with more than people who have been willing to sit in one system with nothing to do since release.
Don’t get me wrong. We did not bring anything we cannot afford to lose to systems where we did not even know for sure that they won’t simply get nuked by CCP at downtime. I don’t mind losing our stuff. But I do mind the end result of Chapter 3 to be a region where some participants can roam freely and others are not, while nothing resembling similar benefits are given to people also who put in hundreds of hours and tons of effort into providing for the event the losing side.
Also don’t get me wrong: none of this is the fault of the Triglavian kybernaut players. They also participated and they fought well and they put in the effort, and I don’t grudge them using any edge they have on the new region against other people. I do not think it is a bad thing that they, as participants in Chapter 3, get a kind of a sneak peak into the new content over people who did not participate at all (I just think all participants should have gotten the same). I feel bad for those of them who organized things or played logi more than the mindless grind of shooting edencom NPCs and thus don’t have the standings to enjoy the content, either. (Though at least they are still better off for starting the grind for them than non-participants.)
No, this is solely the fault of CCP. They marketed the event as including two sides. While their communications through-out made it clear the Triglavian totality was coming no matter what, it did not make it clear not all participants could not be part of the next stage in some shape or form.
I was prepared to play the losing side. I was not prepared to not be included in the play at all.
PS: Fixing this does not need hours of development effort, it would be as easy as this:
“We realize now our design left half of the participants in Chapter 3 out of the new content. We regret that and wish to apologize to the players who put in the effort but were left out of the content. While we are exploring whether we can deploy new content to fix this sometime in the future, as an immediate measure we have adjusted gates in Pochven to also react to positive Edencom standings. This represents Edencom recently having discovered a way to hack the gates, and doing it for their trusted capsuleers.”