As a 10-month old Eve newbro, I’ve experienced something in this game that has really caused me to pause for a moment and deeply re-evaluate whether or not I truly want to keep playing this game.
Ever since the release of the abyss last year, I’ve been fascinated with the environment, ships, and lore. I have for a long time been wanting to build up the skills to participate in this content but being a new player with only roughly 23M skill points, getting up to the point where I could reliably run higher tier abyssal sites has been a massive undertaking. I’ve watched streamers for the past several months day in and day out complete these on a regular basis, learning from them, talking to other abyssal runners and essentially becoming an expert on how to run them myself. I quickly fell in love with the game and even decided to fly from New York and attend Eve Vegas last year. I also started my own Eve meet here in New York City.
I started streaming my experience of learning how to play from Day 1 on Twitch and with the help of several hundred viewers on Twitch, have built a sizable community of Eve player which come to my stream every time I’m on. Over time, I was recruited by Streamfleet which was great and really helped build my viewership. I’ve streamed my progress from learning how to do basic Eve things all the way to leading large PVP battles as FC and everything in between. Showcasing many of the things you can do in Eve to viewers and other newbros like myself. Over time I actually joined the Streamfleet staff and became a streamer liasion / recruiter which was an amazing opportunity to formalize something I was already doing for months. I really enjoy helping bring more streamers and players to Eve. Despite limited capabilities and in-game financial means as a newbro, I still managed to afford to give away billions and billions away in isk, ships, plex, and all sorts of prizes due to the generosity of the Eve community. This has all been to foster a community for Eve and get people back into the game.
So why am I writing to you. Well …
On March 27th, 2019 around 10:35 GMT, I decided I would run a quick T5 abyssal site before I went off to work. After entering the site, I did what I always do, turn on my tank, prop mod on, locked up a few rats, and started shooting. A few seconds later, it became evident that my tank was not working and a massive amount of incoming damage was underway. Then I got a highly unusual connection error I had never seen before. I quickly restarted the client and checked my internet to make sure it was still working (it was). The client instantly connected again but by the time the UI loaded, my ship was already in structure and going down fast. Luckily I have a video of this bug so that you can have a look at what happened:
Now this message is not about the loss of the Gila. In fact, I already regret petitioning for the reimbursement of the ship as I can see how even this message might be construed as a plea to be reimbursed for that loss. It’s not. Ever since I got this Gila, I’ve been prepared to lose it on stream with every undock. This message is purely about feedback. The abyss mechanics and the way CCP is handling legitimate connection errors that are outside of player control needs to be look at. I honestly feel like I’ve been robbed simply because there was absolutely nothing I could do, other than chose to not play the game yesterday. Had I bought plex to finance the cost of that ship, I would’ve absolutely called my credit card company to charge that back. A bogus connection error, coincidentally occurring AFTER I activated the filament is highly suspect here and I firmly believe that there is a bug somewhere here. It wasn’t even a normal ‘socket closed’ error!
Now, I know you will simply resort to the easy answer, which is to point to your policy to not reimburse ships for any condition whatsoever unless there is an issue server side. I fully understand why these policies exist, but I must paint the full picture for you. I have little incentive to run abyssal sites now knowing that an issue, that can not be traced to a specific problem on either of our ends can result in sizable losses within Eve. Even with proof of no ill-intent or malicious behavior by the player, CCP customer service chooses to stick to the policy which at the end of the day has new players like myself, looking toward the door. I’ve become highly discouraged to continue playing Eve and building this eve community, frankly because I’m afraid of customer service situations like this.
I fully understand Eve can be a cruel place, but this issue goes beyond simply an in-game loss. This is a bug and user experience that could be remedied through proper customer service, investigation, and consideration. This is something the CCP player retention and marketing teams need to closely look otherwise the player base is going to suffer. I share this feedback with you because I do care about the game and want more people playing it and most importantly, enjoying it.
Here is the bug report I filed:
** The above post was originally sent directly to CCP customer service and I was encouraged by a GM to post on this forum and communicate my experience to the CSM. I will be using this post as reference for future discussion on the matter.