Hans Jagerblitzen on Faction Warfare
First off, I want to thank you for everything that you have done for the Faction War community. Currently you are leading one of the main FW threads on the EvE forums and have been an unofficial liaison between FW & the CSM council.
Thanks Shalee, and apologies for the delay in response – events are always unfolding and I wanted to take my time to be as fair as possible in my response with regards to recent developments.
How much of an impact do you think CSM will have on FW?
It’s too early to say. Historically, I think its evident that the CSM has had very little impact on Faction Warfare. The main thread right now contains links to the historic measures proposed and passed by the CSM regarding Faction Warfare, including proposals regarding CCP’s failure to address earlier proposals. This CSM though, is a bit different – more or less holding CCP’s feet to the fire by going straight to gaming mass-media with negative PR surrounding Incarna’s shortcomings. I sincerely doubt we would have seen Hilmar’s apology or the fabulous U-turn of company direction without this media pressure.
New found effectiveness aside, the current CSM has been quite willing to point out that FW players are in a minority, and that the current council members were not elected on such a platform. Further complicating the matter is the fact that the role of the CSM has been very difficult to define, even based on their own words. Some ran on platforms for “iterations before new features”, but when pushed, CSM members have stated that they have nothing to do with what CCP ends up deciding to work on, they only give feedback as part of the development process. Since the role of the CSM and CCP is still clearly in a state of flux, misunderstandings about their level of power are causing much distrust on the part of players who genuinely want to get involved in improving EvE.
As the winter expansion draws near, do you think there will be many changes for FW?
Sadly, no. I hold out hope that the “Team Pink Zombie Kittens” fix being programmed (the details of which have not been revealed yet) can make it into one of the second / third Crucible releases, and won’t have to wait till summer expansion. However, our best hope for getting our full “laundry list” of fixes attended to will be for CCP to be convinced to make it a defining feature of the summer expansion. The bottom line is, if CCP was actually working on more than the one small fix, we would have heard about it by now.
In your opinion, what are some of the main issues that CCP needs to deal with in regards to FW?
Only for the sake of brevity here, I’d say they are well summarized on the top of the main forum discussion thread.
How do you keep your optimism when FW has largely been abandoned by CCP over the years.
The primary reason for my optimism is my faith in the company itself, especially after seeing how they adapted to the Incarna slump. The power of the player base and CCP’s utilization of their feedback is what gives me the ongoing hope that if we stay strong, and continue to make ourselves known, the Faction Warfare community will have its day in the sun once again.
Already, we’ve seen a massive amount of backlogged features thrown together in record time. Faction Warfare still exists on that backlog, I’m absolutely sure of it, we’re just rather far down on the list. Rightfully so, CCP is tackling issues that affect EVERYONE with crucible – there are very few new features in the end that cater to only one style of game play. I’m fine with this, and imagine that both nullsec and lowsec receive appropriate mechanical overhauls with summer expansion, once this wave of art development and balancing adjustments have passed. FW deserves much more time than a couple quick fixes, and I think CCP knows this and is waiting till they have a chance to give it the attention it deserves.
Emotionally, this is tough for the militia community, who has been strained by years of silence and being ignored. I completely empathize with the sentiment that NOW is the time to fix FW, and that by leaving out FW improvements once again CCP is somehow definitively saying they don’t care about us. I really think we’ve just seen the tip of the new iceberg, and need to hold on just a little bit longer (maybe as much as 6 months) and that a true overhaul is still well within the realm of possibility.
Is there anything the average FW pilot can do to bring more attention to FW?
Absolutely! We need more substantive testimonials on the forums, not just another 10 pages of bumps on a threadnought if we’re truly going to make a difference. There isn’t a magic number of hits before CCP reacts, they are real people who need actual convincing that this is something many, many, players care deeply about.
The other vital thing existing FW pilots can do is to keep the scene active and strong – we need people to invite their friends, be willing to train new pilots in PvP, and keep the spirit of the community alive even in the absence of CCP attention to the mechanics. We’ve become a bunch of bittervets in some respect, but we have to keep reaching out to new players regardless of how long CCP takes to “fix” FW. If we don’t do the work to keep the community and feature alive, CCP isn’t going to either.
Have you considered running in the next CSM election?
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t, but it is coming very soon and I don’t know if I have the support system in place for this round. Many of the current CSM members were more or less “Eve celebrities” prior to running, with blogs and other media in place that they could base a campaign around. I don’t pretend to have any such fame, popularity, or established media platform. Politically, I’m just an unpaid lobbyist more or less. I can tell you one thing though, to guarantee a real push on overhauling FW, I think the militias will have to unite and elect a seat to the CSM. Whether CCP itemizes FW as summit agenda item or not, having a player elected by the voting militia would be exposure that’s hard for them to ignore, and would debunk a lot of myths about how many people still remain interested. Like anything else, in the end its a numbers game – do you think we can still muster a few thousand pilots (including alt accounts) to vote for a candidate who represents Faction Warfare?
Despite the countless things that need to be fixed, what keeps you a willingly FW participant?
First and foremost, my long-standing and unbreakable friendship with my corpmates. I’ve been flying with [AUTOZ] and the three corps that merged together to form Autocannons Anonymous since the time I began playing. The challenge of overseeing the negotiations of the merger, and working together as a large group of friends to become one of the top Minmatar Militia corps (of all time) in terms of activity and kill count, has been greatly rewarding. I’ll take giving the Amarr hell with my band of brothers over being a cog in an Alliance wheel any day.
Militia pilots have a great sense of sportsmanship (most of the time), and we’ve all gotten to know our enemies and formed rivalries and grudges, which all makes for great fun. There is still challenging PvP activity in abundance to keep lots of pilots logging in and X-ing up, so until the people stop being fun I’m happy to stay right here in Faction Warfare whether CCP changes a thing or not.