This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

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25 Sep 2012

OOC Entry 45 - Yet another metagaming tool?

It is now almost two months since that new EVE Online website  was launched.

You know, the one named after a guy from an alliance that has something to do with bees.

Since then, the site has been lauded by some, and discussed critically by others. It has put out a reliable amount of content every day and managed to attract a lot of attention.

I found myself reading a lot of the material on there, just as I would read material on Evenews24. I am not a huge fan or a participant in what is mostly a nullsec oriented player community, and that's where both sides draw most of their writers and probably their readership from. I do - however - enjoy reading what is going on in-game and I like to analyse the more obscure aspects of either news outlet when it comes to the metagame.


In this post, I will take a critical look at our most recent community site from that viewpoint.

Media Missile Launched

The launch of TheMittani.com was first-and-foremost accompanied by an all-out attack against Evenews24 in general and it's editor-in-chief Riverini specifically. The introduction post on the new website dedicates a whole section of no less than three paragraphs to nothing but self-aggrandizing and implicit EN24 bashing.

The man who is "the brand" that gives the site it's name is never short of words when it comes to explaining how badly Riverini is running his ship, how terrible the content of EN24 is, that Riverini can't use the English language properly and how horrible the comments on EN24 are.

The new site also rather quickly managed to recruit Riverini's main contributor, Bagehi, away from EN24.

According to Mr. M. himself that was so easily done because Riverini treated the man really badly. On the other hand, Bagehi is a member of TEST and therefore the Goonswarm-lead initiative of another news site was definitely closer to home for him. Even if Riverini would treat Bagehi decently (which I can neither confirm or deny) his switching of camps would probably only have been a matter of time.

Now, I myself am not a friend of Riverini or EN24.

The man himself is often ridiculous - Defending Incarna because it allows you to look at hot girls in underwear was just one of the many low points. The anti-anything-CFC or HBC bias was also mostly annoying and the comments were horrible and cringeworthy like most stuff usually is when it's written by men who lose many of their higher brain functions as soon as you present them with an opportunity to comment on things online.

Still, a news site that celebrates it's inception with all the smugness and assumed superiority that is so characteristic of it's namesake should be above such petty bashing as far as I am concerned.

Except of course, if that was part of the idea behind it.

Content Competition

In his most recent interview on Lost in Conversation (linked above) Mittani himself criticizes EN24 for being mainly syndicated content. Now I myself do not find that to be a drawback at all. In fact, the syndicated pieces were what I mostly read from EN24. For me it's way more convenient to find them there than to check up on all the blogs or maintain a daunting RSS feed list.

Our friendly beekeeper also immediately takes the opportunity on the Lost in Conversation interview to sound off rather dismissively about the blogs and podcasts that are syndicated through EN24. Of course the man is smart enough to know that Bringing Solo Back, Jesters Trek, Crossing Zebras etc. are not actually that bad. He could (and maybe does) know, however, that he will generate an impression that they are somehow of lower quality because they are featured on EN24, and in this way possibly weaken their willingness to be associated with the site.

It is a fact, that the self generated content on EN24 has diminished. The new content provider also regularly beats EN24 to the pot when it comes to actual news. Of course that is not so difficult when you have a significant superiority in numbers of editors and staff.

When it comes to content on mittani.com, the first few weeks were actually quite impressive. Personally I do not see that as such a great achievement though. With the largest single in-game community (i.e. CFC+HBC) to draw upon for possibly contributors, it would have been almost impossible to not find a dozen or more good writers. Despite the outwardly projected image of those coalitions, they do include quite a few sensible individuals who are not complete sociopaths.

I have to grant the site's staff, that they did try and attract contributors who are from "the opposition", but then again, so did Riverini when he initially recruited Bagehi.

Another thing that the new site prides itself on, is the generally higher level of the comments.

Again, this is a non-achievement when considering the background: Goons have a culture of not messing with each other internally while they are free to trash everything and anything around them. Of course all those GSF members who write comments will be all civilized when commenting on a site named after their dear leader and run by their community members. The same does not apply when it comes to EN24 where they have free reign and also know that they are trolling and trashing a site run by someone who is not only not one of them, but even someone who opposes them openly.

GSF Tactics?

In warfare, the GSF famously uses blob tactics where they dominate timezones with massive fleets, very quickly cut through all the timers of the sov system and rush over their opponents Blitzkrieg style. The last time we saw this happen was the combined CFC/HBC campaign in the south.

When it comes to maintaining the position, they often do not fare so well. The TEST controlled south is now a pretty unstable thing, and the last time the GSF controlled a truly large empire it imploded under it's own weight and they have now wisely relegated themselves to one region only with a lot of allies around them.

The development of content on themittani.com shows similar signs of degradation. The most glaring example of this is the wall-of-text conspiracy theory of James 315 (the link is only part one, I dare you to read part two and part three if you have a lot of free time and a high tolerance level). This piece is worse than the most horrible tinfoil-hat crazyness Riverini ever came up with. Also, pieces have crept in that are of less than stellar quality: Non-news like some stupidly fit ship that got killed (Riverini has regularly been criticized - correctly - for posting such things) and recently articles with promising or sensational titles which sadly fail to fulfil their great promise have become more frequent .

Are the editors of themittani.com really that desperate to prove that they can produce content at a breakneck pace that EN24 can never match, or have they already decided that it's "Mission Accomplished" when it comes to discrediting EN24?

Be that as it may. I would say, if they are really dedicated to the high standard they have set for themselves, and if they really want to be better than EN24, then a bit more editorial discretion might be a good thing.

In Conclusion

I like the fact that there is a great-looking additional news-site for EVE Online that sets a high standard for itself. For a large part I have found good content there too, and they even have interesting book reviews (yes book reviews on a site about online gaming, who would have thought).

I can not help myself though: Something seems odd.

It just has too much of that typical GSF metagaming all over it, and Mr Mittens with his derisive comments and smugly superiour attitude doesn't help at all with making that feeling go away.

It may be, that "The Mittani" is a great recognizable brand, but it is also a tainted one. Personally my first reaction to the site's appearance was that it will very likely be pretty horrible because of that taint. So far I admit that it has been better than I expected, but I am still far away from "trusting" it. I am certainly not going to gush about how wonderful and great it is, like Jade did on Lost in Conversation.

If the site loses it's childish "we are better than EN24" attitude, and if it manages to separate itself from the larger-than-life in-game image of the character it is named after, if it proves that it was not just a metagaming tool, it could have a future as a really respectable content provider of the Eve Online community.

I very much hope that my paranoid feelings are all wrong and the latter is true.

3 comments:

  1. The website is very easy to navigate, and quite pleasant to navigate through. The naming scheme I understand, yet it is true that the all-out war by the naming has...irreversibly linked itself to EveNews24. It was meant to best it, but in its attempt to overthrow, has crippled itself in all seriousness to be collective source for the people of New Eden. Like laughing at how slow a cripple is by racing past him in a wheel chair. The content is solid, and it's only eventual that you get a maniac like James513, who writes so well, yet like the wolf, only lures Little Red in with eloquence before he shows his true self. James'logic in many ways is sound, yet his eventual lunacy to compare things reveals how out of touch he sometimes is, as when he makes parallels between a game mechanic to the the stock market. I hope the name changes, or they can grow up and get past how an enemy represents GSF.

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  2. I would not say that Jame's logic is sound. It is often highly flawed. More conjecture and presumption than anything else. He sees evidence that supports his view where none exists.

    As Sherlock Holmes famously said: It is a foolish thing to twist facts to suit theories rather than base theories on facts.

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    1. It's hard for me to define James' style. He portrays things clearly, but his ideas are clouded in something awful. No pun intended. I'm staying as far away from the personal irritation I experience when I read his venomous manifestoes. I'd prefer the innocence of a raucous immature newb any day to the poisonous and insolent.
      -oreb

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