The Cost of Blogging

EDITOR'S NOTE: While it might get lost in the post below I want to be clear that this is simply a reaction of frustration and disappointment on my part. Given the context of recent posts involving the dark side of Eve, the sudden one-post "I'm Quitting" statement seems out of character. This represents some concern on my part. Perhaps I missed making this point in the original post and that is on me, but I want to make it as clear as I can. I have nothing but the highest regard and respect for Ripard. And it is certainly his right to leave in any way he feels justified to do. I am personally concerned that he chose to do it so quickly. This flies in the face of "fighting the good fight" and leaving us all with even more to ponder. As I would have expected. Hence the frustration and the disappointment. Hopefully we will learn more in the coming days.


Without preamble, one of Eve's most prolific writers, has announced he is no longer blogging.  Right up front I want to say that I have always supported the Eve Blogging Community and all of our rights, including the right to stop doing this crazy thing we do. Over the years I have lost many of my peers, from CrazyKinux, to Mule, to Mord, and hundreds of others that started strong and ended before their time.

I will also say, right up front, that I have nothing but respect for Mr. Jester and his trek. I remember when he came onto the scene, when he was still a wet-behind-the-ears up and comer to this great community. And, while we have not always seen eye-to-eye, I have been a constant daily reader of his writings. I actually changed the types of subjects I wrote about because of Ripard, he was covering subjects I once covered and doing so at such a rapid pace - that I decided to leave that space to him. That is as much respect as I can garner for a fellow blogger.

As much as I write, Ripard wrote more. And I often joked with him about his "staff". But I also worried that such a pace would be unsustainable. And since his departure from the CSM it has seemed especially troubling the direction his writing had taken. The writing, as they say, was on the wall. I hope he decides to leave his blog up and running, as a resource and an archive. It would be a shame to see it go dark and lose all of those 1,829 posts.

Now that I've gotten all of that out of the way. And spoken the truth about how I feel this morning at this news, I must also speak the truth about some things I found troubling about his final statement.

He says: "This little blog was started as an experiment to support my run for CSM6 almost four years ago. And it has a nice symmetry to shut it down after the completion of my successful CSM8 term. Over that almost four years, the tenor of the game has changed remarkably... and not for the better."

I find this rather shocking from a player that has received so much support from the community, from the very beginning, from his runs and eventual election to represent us all to CCP, and from the amount of traffic his site garnered over the years. But mostly I find his admission that he believes Eve is worse now than it was four years ago almost unforgivable from someone in his position. For one thing, Eve is thousands of times better then it was just four years ago. I started blogging five years ago and I can assure you Eve was nothing like it is today. I don't want to take the time to point out the obvious, but name me a system and it is better now. As screwed up as Null Sov might be today, it was even worse back then. It is easy to forget and dwell on the negative, something he was certainly doing a lot of there at the end.

He says: "For the rest, the people trying to kill the message have been trying to kill the messenger. And on reflection, I find I am quite content to let them. Metaphorically, at least. ;-) And over the month or so since I made this decision, I've been shown a dozen or more signs that the decision is the right one."

Poor baby. We make bold statements, we stand and fight for what we believe in, and we accept the consequences of those battles. No one, not even Mr. Jester, has generated as much of this as I have over the years. There are entire contingents of people that specifically target, kill, and otherwise steal, ruin, hack, and accuse me every single day. It comes with the territory. And yes, there are times I wish I was another character in Eve. Or that I hadn't started blogging in the first place. But the good far outweighs the bad. Far outweighs. And I don't have any other characters to run off and play. Rixx is my only character - on purpose. You have a problem with me? You know where to find me. I have nowhere to run.

Meh, now that I've gotten this far down the post I've decided to not address the money issue and James515, or any of the other things that made my skin crawl reading his farewell post. I have to admit that it is starting to feel like kicking a dead dog.

Jester's platform wasn't built by him. It was built by his readers, his supporters, and those that voted for him in the belief that he'd work to make Eve better. I know how I feel about my readers and my supporters, and I guess it made me a little upset how he decided to address them in his last post. No one has to blog forever, and someday this blog will finally come to rest. I just hope, that when it does, I will be more gracious about it and leave the same way I stayed.

It troubles me how many commenters on his final post say they left Eve because of what he wrote. I think that is the thing that drove me to write this post more than any other. And perhaps that is the one thing that finally separates us in the end, people stay because of what I write.

I'm sure I'm about to get a lot of love in the comments.


23 comments:

  1. I don't think that Ripard was commenting on the game mechanics, EVE the game has improved in every respect in the last 4 years. His criticism is about the toxicity of EVE's community and collective attitude towards pushing new players away and risk aversion. Also bear in mind that he isn't quitting EVE here, just writing about it.

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    1. I happen to disagree however, and that is my point. I think it is far too easy to get buried in negativity and see only the bad that people do, and then draw conclusions. I talk to hundreds of new players every day and my own perspective is very different. I understand that the griefing and bad things continue, but they do not define Eve. And that is the difference.

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    2. Every person I know whose recently started playing EVE has committed on just how newbie-friendly the community is. This includes people who were playing 4 years ago commenting on how much better it is now.

      From the inside it's easy to get caught up in all the negativity, but just like with the gameplay mechanics, EVE has become a more welcoming place. There are a lot of corps in all kinds of places who love recruiting newbie's nowadays.

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    3. The griefing and bad things may not define Eve to those of us who've been here a while, but it does without a doubt define Eve to the many, many people who haven't yet tried the game and refuse to BECAUSE of it.

      Without wanting to put words into Ripard's mouth, I believe he's been getting more and more concerned/frustrated about the apparent flat-lining of Eve's subscriber numbers and where it can go in the future. The external view of the game is a major part of that.

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    4. Thomas - I agree and I wasn't as close to this before last year when I started Stay Frosty. But having been through the last year and talked to, recruited, and played with literally hundreds of new players - it has become crystal clear to me.

      Lexx - I also agree that the outside world has a rather dim view of what Eve is actually like and about. I also agree that it is an assumed responsibility of some players to try and change that perception. We can't ask that of anyone, but there are those that choose to do so. Ripard was certainly one of those. I am also concerned about the subscriber base and what it means for the long-term viability of the game. And I will keep hammering home what I see as Eve's inherent awesomeness for as long as I can.

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  2. Yeah. This is a fair post on its own, but does seem to have missed Jester's key points.

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    1. Yes, yes it has ( I can make vague unilateral statements too).

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  3. His blog was a big deal to myself, his fits of the week and how they work were my favorites. In a way it reminds me of Azual Skoll's Know your Enemy series, another place I learned a lot about how ships are flown and where they are strong/weak.

    Was weird seeing Azual Skoll's blog go dark, now an Eve without Ripard Teg. :( I agree with alot of what he wrote, unless it was small gang warfare which to him was 50-100 pilots XD

    It's a pretty big deal.

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    1. It is a big deal. I miss all my former bloggers. But leaving on the note he decided to leave on hurts Eve and doesn't achieve anything positive. Why do that? With great power comes great responsibility. Go out with some fire, demand change, stand up for something.

      All my opinion of course, for whatever that is worth.

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    1. What does that have to do with anything?

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  5. I think much of his position comes from the place his characters occupy in Eve. He seems to be very concerned with the big blue donut... in that respect, I agree that Eve is worse than it was four years ago. But in every other area, I see lots of improvement. Low-sec is thriving with FW and the fights - and bigger fish - it attracts. The ability to manage larger fights is better... industry is improving...

    I enjoyed his perspective, though, and will miss it. He inspired me to start blogging. That said, I do have a space on my regular reading list now... I can think of no better or more enjoyable read than pirates. Yarrr!

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    1. I read every single one of his posts and I give all due respect for that. And I have over the years, not just recently. And I also agree that much of Null remains a big mess controlled by a few power players that reap all the rewards the masses work hard to provide. But Null is a huge issue that demands considered thought. And patience.

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  6. (del'ed and reposted cause I can't spell...)(sheesh)

    I guess, for my take on it, he left in an overall negative way, and FWIW, as 'Jester's Trek' had some real weight in the EVE blogshere, the way he left does not help matters at all.

    In recent months he had very definitely turned a very negative corner in his posting so to speak... and while I agree there are some truly heinous amoral players in EVE, and many griefers and scammers and such... the good players, the helpful worth flying with players far far outnumber the bad apples in EVE... always have, always will.

    It's just, as usual, the bad create more 'noise' than the good... I think Ripard got into a situation where he couldn't see the forest for that one rotten tree he was bashing his head against... and more's the pity for us all really.

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    1. Mostly my post was purely intended as an expression of my frustration and disappointment over this sudden announcement. I would like to think there is more to it than what he spoke about in his post. It doesn't seem, feel or in any other way reflect typical "Ripard" standards.

      While "bad apples" will always get more attention, calling them out also serves a purpose. And I was supportive of his latest series on the subject. I would hate to think that standing up against griefing results in what appears to be a reaction to griefing. That is really all I meant by my comments. Take a week, over the course of several posts to quit. Leave us all with a Manifest Destiny. Call out the haters, leave on a high note. There are so many other choices.

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  7. To me the comments above deny the negativity seen in Ripard's farewell. It proves, that while there are some a***s in the metagame, most are looking (and doing) for a much better game style. Yeah, blowing stuff and rubbing. but not as a mean to offend others or to bully them.

    I play with a large nullsec alliance, I'm terrible at PVP in any scale and while I say GRR Goons and Pets at the same time I have many many friends on their side. At the end this game is to have lots of fun while being a nerd in an internet spaceship. (As long as my wife doesn't aggro me).

    One of the most beautiful things about this game and also its major issues is how passionate the players are. That is the one reason I have not quit the game and not plan to do so unless CCP quits on us.

    This drives passionate opinions and in game as well as in rl people tend to take points of disagreement on a personal level, while it should always be considered "it is a f****ng game only!". As I said that happens on rl with professionals with lots of experience and it is expected to happen in a game. It just gets out of proportion because as I said we are "Vely Vely passionate!".

    Sad to see him stopping but others will come and hope some old farts as Rixx will stay around, writing opinionated articles and getting blown or blowing us in game.

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  8. Sad to see him go, whether I agreed or disagreed with him his blog was always worth a read. I'm not to happy with the notes he choose to go out on though.

    In my own experiences the toxic parts of eve are heavily stratified, the state of the community can be worlds apart depending on where you choose to play, and who you choose to fight.

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  9. Ripard is an analyst, so perhaps he simply took a measure and said "OK, done." I get that and see much personal benefit in the approach. Or perhaps there is an unseen catalyst, the details of which we may never know. Certainly no one can say that Ripard owes the community a thing after all his blogging and CSM efforts, and that includes a more lingering departure from blogging or a less breakneck posting pace. Still, his voice will be missed. I found many of his posts in the last few months to be more subjective than objective, sometimes a bit over-the-top, even. But that is his privilege and even when I disagreed a little or a lot--or didn't care one way or the other--with his opinion on various matters, his posts were still worth the read because of the excellent writing and the superb discussion that they generated. Not many blogs can claim the kind of reader participation that Jester's Trek enjoyed; that is the thing I will miss most, I think.

    All the best in RL and New Eden, Ripard, and thanks for your outstanding service to the community of Eve players. And please don't suddenly pop up on Twitter with a CCP dev name!

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    1. Lordy, could you imagine CCP Garth?

      m

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    2. ^^^ Yikes.

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    3. My chaotic evil alter-ego would laugh hysterically if Garth turned up as a dev. Hell, CCP should name their next new dev Garth just to mess with people.

      I agreed with a lot of what Jester said. And even when I didn't, his posts gave me something to think about.

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  10. I didn't play 4 years ago. I don't know how the game was. Also, it depends what he considers worse.

    For my style, things have improved dramatically. I remember 2 years ago, it was extremely hard to find fights in low-sec. Most of the time, it was just empty. Now in days, low-sec is nearly always full and with this new update I bet it will become even better.

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