Firstly I would like to point out that just because I’ve decided Eve is no longer the game for me it doesn’t automatically mean your choice to continue to play it is wrong. Nor am I going to try to make a case why you should quit, I believe in the “play what you enjoy” mantra and it would be a very dull world if everyone had the same opinion about everything.

So, why did I cancel two of my six accounts last year and the final four yesterday?

Simply put, CCP promised that Incarna would be optional and it is now clear that it is not going to be. The Captain’s Quarters (CQ) being the first part and having seen the plans for the other bits due this year the rest won’t be optional in any real sense (I hope they change their mind but in any case the discussion was buried under the NDA banner so I can’t go into detail). For me this is a deal breaker.

I can handle the existence of Incarna to cater for the people who are looking forward to it. I can even handle the reduced development of the flying in space part of the game (after all, due to CSM pressure we have a team working on quick fixes). But forcing me to use the avatar environment – sorry no, this is not the game I enjoyed. To some people this isn’t enough of a reason and they claim I’m being an idiot – well I point you to the first paragraph.

It would have been an easy thing and a big win for CCP to retain the docking into hanger as an option for those of us who have zero interest in the avatar engine stuff, but CCP have decided not to. I can only assume they don’t want metrics showing any significant number of people not using the avatar stuff and also I sense the hand of marketing. It should not be the job of the CSM or the players to make a case for why a disruptive change shouldn’t be put in game, it is the job of CCP to make a case for why they want to put it in!
In this case the best answer I got was “Because it will be awesome” which I don’t find an acceptable reason (Awesome has lost its meaning now, it is no better than using nice ;))

Am I bitter? Not especially. I’m more disappointed with the current trend at CCP for enforced participation in new features. The loss of the existing character portraits broke any significant investment in my eve chars and the broken promise of Incarna being optional made the decision to leave fairly simple.

Some will claim that I should wait and see, but the CQ blog confirmed what I already knew from the summit. I’ve already waited to find out if they would take the optional comments on board. For the Incarna fans there is more to come but unless CCP pull a 180 on some plans I will like it even less than the enforced docking into CQ. Rather than continue to raise red flags and call bullshit on various things (as CCP’s CEO wanted us to) I will focus my energy into other projects.

The thing I’ve found the most amusing is the amount of vitriol directed towards me by players (some with known CCP connections) for daring to suggest the CQ be optional. I didn’t want to take the shinies away from you, so what difference does it make to your gameplay if I would rather see only my ship in the hanger than a room? Again, justify a disruptive change instead of asking me to make the case for retaining existing systems. It could have been an optional change and everybody would have been happy.

Then come the comparisons between opting out of an interface and opting out of PvP. No that analogy is flawed because there is a simple difference between player driven behaviour and a chat UI.

As I said at the top, if you still enjoy Eve then I don’t think you foolish for playing it. This is not an either or, them and us, for or against type of situation. I respect your choice, why is it so hard for people to respect mine?

No you can’t have my stuff and I’m not going to biomass my character. Never say never. Maybe in a couple of years I’ll come back to see what Eve has become, but for the first time in about 5 years I can actually walk away from it…