Those of you who know me know that I’m “the guy” for standings in this game. Skip this bit if you do, go to the next line break.
I founded the first standings service - large scale commercial standings selling in 2009, The Standing Correction Agency old forum link I have written the syllabus for EUNI on standings and how they function link.
I’ve been mentioned in blog posts, reddit, reccomended all over the place.
I had an Eve News article in 2014 to celebrate 5 years of service which unfortunately misquoted me, to the point of literally fabricating statements, and included obvious edits “I’m tired of being getting scammed” Link but indicates the general level of my presence if you don’t know me.
What most people don’t know is that I have fielded around a dozen questions more or less daily for 8 years about standings. I have become the “catch all” knowledgebase for newbies, veterans, nullsec dwellers who have never used them and so forth. I’ve been happy to spend my time doing this because I feel - in fact I am absolutely certain - that the game would be worse without someone doing this. “How do I get standings?” “I was shot by customs teams :(” “Why is my amarr standing dropping when I am working for gallente?” and so forth. For years. I reply to all of them.
One of the main reasons that we’ve survived so long - and destroyed all competition - is because I have been here for eight years. I am committed.
That is my introduction, so you understand where I am coming from.
CCP have changed the standings window. This is not the first time they have done something which directly impacts my ability to do what I do.
Back in pre-2010, I don’t remember when, we could view standings directly. We could look at another character and there was a tab which showed their standings. Within about a year of my service existing, and getting big, this was removed. We survived that.
The standings window we have been given is not something which I believe I can continue to work with. I have used spreadsheets for many years which look at a person’s current standing, then we look at the modifier given by a mission completion (the ‘raw’ standing) and then calculates the result.
The calculation looked like this:
=(10-Current standing)*Modifier/100+Current standing
So, as an example. If someone had 1.00, and gained 0.550 standing:
It would result in showing me 1.050.
The luxury being that by being given the raw modified standings increase in four digits, I could calculate standing accurately despite CCP rounding the actual standings amount to 1.05 or whatever. My sheet could show me the actual value.
I have used this method to calculate standings for people for years - to design custom spreadsheets to help people understand how many epic arcs and storylines they must complete to fix their standings, how many times someone can do a mission before being shot by Amarr etc.
So here are my problems:
The new standings window has taken this ability from players. By giving change value rather than the raw numbers, it’s no longer possible for me to assist people in this way. If standings were shown as 3 decimal numbers i.e 3.456 rather than rounded 2 decimals i.e 3.46 it would be possible for me to reverse engineer the raw standings, but unfortunately because change is 0.000 and standings is only 2 decimal, all math will forever be approximate and imperfect. A huge part of how I helped people understand standings in the game and provide clear, easy, calculated advice, and even handed out spreadsheets for people to use for themselves is gone and as far as I can tell, irreperable. It makes people working out how many times they need to do something to get to a goal impossible, for no reason.
If you read my news article in 2014, flawed though it is, one of the clear complaints I have is that the derived standing mechanic is not made clear to rookies at any point. Not in tutorials. Not in standings windows. Nowhere. A huge proportion of the grief caused by these mechanics is simply that people do missions and ruin standings to other parties because no-one ever explained derived mechanics. The new standings window still does not adequately indicate derived standings mechanics to players. It might sound simple to you “They will just notice Amarr falling as they do Gallente”, all I can tell you is that this is NOT the case. The old screen could give this information if it was looked for and people simply didn’t. People have quit the game over this guidance/tutorial/UI flaw.
I am worried that CCP is making changes like this without any kind of thought about the people who are tied in to the systems they are changing. They certainly don’t have any obligation to talk to me, or their players, about these things, but this change has directly harmed the community and the ability of someone who has assisted the community for 8 years in what they do. As a player who has been ingame for 12 years now, and is clearly here to try to compensate for failings inherent in the system, being stymied by ill-thought or purposeless changes is incredibly disheartening.
To be clear, my commercial standings business will not change. We have already transitioned to a system that uses the API. I am not pointing the above out for any personal “gain”. It’s purely because the spreadsheets I have designed are in use all over the place and the data we were given has changed without much of an apparent reason.
This issue could be solved by:
Make the standings transaction log such that it shows both Standing, change and raw standings.
Make the standings transaction log such that if double clicked, a mission will show its raw standing value.
Show standings at 3.xxx, three decimal points, so that it can be calculated in line with the three decimal point change value given. This would still require extensive calculation on my part so my preference is either of the above.
Thanks for reading. I hope it wasn’t as boring as writing it was