Should CCP Create an Official EVE Killboard?

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I don't have any links on hand, but I recall CCP answering a question about an official killboard with "Not worth our time, eve community third party tool innovation blah blah generic buzzwords."I personally think it would be nice, but CCP does not think it would be a worthwhile use of developer time and maintenance effort. That being said, I can live with eve-kill, even as occasionally unreliable as it can get.
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Yes
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No
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Another good thing added, sma drops and destroyed ships now show up too :-)
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This is surprisingly short for a James 315 post.
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Ccp has a good webteam so I think they could really make a good version of a killboard thats always up to date and not malformed. Zkillboard seems fast and reliable but as the author says, the layout is terrible. You can't get a good overview on that site or a good day or month summary.
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Surely the solution then would be for CCP to host Eve-kill?
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It amazes me on even a subject of killboards the old "evil BoB" line from goons comes out, its really getting quite pathetic now, they have been out of game for how long now? 4-5 years?Get over the fact they were better than you and it took a disgruntled director to do what you couldn't.
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yes please!
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i liked the part where he said eve-kill's layout is good lmao
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oh god, this article is so full of bullshit.
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*ThanYou're welcome mad internet guy.
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Does it bother anyone that the league of angels ads are using DOA beach volleyball videos?
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AWWW! Guys! This is adorable, TMC got it's own gevlon goblin!
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Hrm, and I thought the bob/goons anecdote described different killboard mentalities pretty well. I guess anything can be turned into GRRGOONS...
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Yes, now echo the article that you just refuted. Did you even read the thing?
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I suggest that CCP concentrates on improving their 3rd party interfaces and let the community take care of the rest. The community can do it a) faster, b) better and c) not at cost of CCP Dev time needed to add or fix urgently needed features in the game.
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You post too much. ^^ notice the proper usage
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Yay, another semi valid point buried in condescension, derision and arrogance. Nice to know you haven't lost your touch James315, even if you can't seem to post without coming across as a pompous ass. At least mittens can manage to contain most of his arrogant pomposity and condescending vitriol.
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Read above.
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No.
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I didn't refute anything merely stated the whole slating BoB a 5 year dead alliance is mighty old and very much over used.Did you even read my original post?
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For the love of God, if anyone at CCP reads this, please don't press for an official killboard. Here's why:1. :CCP:2. Those resources are better spent elsewhere.3. Rigid.
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"The game is about CONQUEST"The game is about whatever the hell players want it to be. For some it's conquest, or building an island of space hookers and blow, or even being good at PvP.To each his (or her) own.
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and he only devoted a couple of paragraphs to why any player who lives in high sec should be ignored and treated as second class. Maybe he's ill.
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"Maybe they think the articles on this website have inflammatory intent" - What? You mean they don't ?
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hah...I once saw a post on a eve forum that said that all high sec inhabitants should be put into concentration camps...though I suspect the guy was drunk from all the typo's that I saw.
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'An ALOD article about someone's terribly-fit multi-billion ISK ship is not cyberbullying. It's good, clean, fun.'I agree...unless, as I have seen before, the poor guy is repeatedly taunted over and over and over in forum threads related to the article until the local mods are forced to unleash the banhammer and thread locks to retain order. There is such a thing as taking something too far.Yeah...he had a fail-fit...laugh, sure...but don't take it any further then that with degradory comments...then it IS cyberbullying.
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Are you missing a space after the '.' and before the 'J' of 'Just'? (Or is it just my screen?)
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Has no one commented that killboards should really form some part of the pseudo twitter stream. I keep an eye on it to see what my friends have been up to whilst I've been in the real world. I come home from work, log in, and can immediately ask "hey. what's with that mack you lost tonight?", and offer my mock-condolences. They're also about intelligence. They let us know how 'safe' places are, how good another player might be - whether someone snooping around is known to be in fights with a hundred stealth bombers, that sort of thing. Successful null-low-high sec stuff is all about good intelligence - luck only gets you 'so far'.
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'or anchoring structures in nullsec to give people a reason / location to make spaceships explode'.
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Logi's being part of kill-mails was in the CSM notes release the other day. That must get awfully complicated once you get very large ship fights.
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Counter to what? I don't care which side of the space-curtain you fall on, you are getting hyped up about a game that really doesn't matter outside of entertainment value and I am calling you on it.You are not a fun person.
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I thought that was established by now, it doesnt need to be said. Everyone knows.
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Would have been cool if you had contacted us (Myself and Squizz) to hear our side of the story in relation to the reliability issues of zKB and EK.But to the point. EVE-KILL is currently running a very, very, very, very old version of EDK (EVE-Dev Killboard) which is so old, that half the mails we throw at it, it won't accepted, either because the parser just can't understand it, or because the item database is out of date.To make it even more complicated, rewriting part of the parser is basically gonna require a full rewrite of it, and to update the item database, we have to take the CCP datadump, and do all kinds of weird shit to it, to get it into a format EDK will like. So at this point, we've basically given up on trying to make EVE-KILL's EDK software work properly, it works for as long as it works.zKillboard is still beta, so it's not official and shouldn't be mentioned in this article, but seeing as it was, i'll reply to that aswell!You mentioned the layout of EVE-KILL being near perfect, and while i disagree, we have accepted that, and actually paid a developer to come up with a similar (albeit not 100%) design for zKillboard, that you as a user can apply as a theme. Ontop of that, all the short comings of EVE-KILL (Speed, design, ease of maintenance, ease of upgrading etc.) is also fixed with zKillboard.So as far as zKillboard goes, it is basically the best killboard out there at the moment. If it wasn't for the fact EVE-KILL is being an unreliable unstable bitch, zKB wouldn't have had any downtime at all the past few months.Now to the API. CCP implemented the KillMail api endpoint in response to Squizz and I's "whining" about the way the old KillLog API endpoint worked, and long live PrismX, he came through for us.Now we are talking to another CCP employee, about the ingame mail format, and he is working on giving us the API format, ingame, so we can get pretty much 100% verified mails from ingame, right away. Plus an API endpoint that will allow us to verify the mail afterwards (is this hash valid? yes? awesome!)As far as CCP hosting their own killboard, i would tend to say yes, but then again, look at how well their implementation of their new forum, eve gate, the api and their_not_yet_released_but_was_supposed_to_be_one_year_ago signup site for CREST (Which is supposedly the only thing holding CREST rollout back at this point), and i'd say no to letting CCP anywhere near a killboard.
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We've already tried getting some sort of favouritism from CCP, it was denied, with a huge banner and much fanfare (or, maybe that was all in my head?)Then again, we don't want to be favourites, we went into hosting EVE-KILL, knowing we were the underdog. All we wanted to do, was slap BC in the nuts, hell, even BC thought we'd quit after 6 months like all the other hosts.But we didn't !In any case, no, we don't want CCP favouritism, we wan't you the players to keep us honest, and to kick us in the nuts if we do something to the killboard that you don't like (aslong as you don't tell us to keep eve-kill around.. that we will ignore :D)
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This is actually somewhat what we're gonna do with zKB :POnce you have a user, you can setup your tracker. Add yourself, corp, alliance, ship, system, your buddies, whoever you want really.And then you can quickly view their individual stats, or you can view an aggregated view of all kills+losses they've combined made :)
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I think a lot of people completely miss the very logical point that good logi work results in no kill. Will logi pilots get "save-mail" instead?
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What I really like about zKillboard is the ability to compare the kill ratios of different classes of ships. in this case, you can look at all the frigates and see which are the most successful in terms of kill / death ratios. What I would love someone to implement is a 'deeper dive' into the data - so, for example, you could see in solo fights how successful or otherwise the Navy Comet is vs the Caldari Navy Hookbill etc. Or rank the ships by solo or fleet kills.
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isnt about time goons got over the bob war geesh how many years ago was it and its still in every narrative
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He still included a paragraph talking about the carebear menace, so all is well with the universe. Soon as I noticed who wrote the article I began the countdown in my head to where he talks about carebears.
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Damn I also want to say yes but that means upvoting StarDagger's post
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Funny how all you conquering sov nullsec guys are irrelevant to me except if you show up on my killboard.Perspectives can be weird like that ;)
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The layout of zkill is pretty shit. And EVE-K is unperfect regarding to functionality, not the layout.
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i think the real question is even if CCP was willing to devote the continuing resources to it, is that something the players would want them doing vs. working on new features/fixing old ones etc. I get that it's not very resource intensive but still that's at least one guy that could be doing something else
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LOL, if you have played EVE long enough you have been Allied with people you hold in contempt.
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Dude - if you get ZKill into a user friendly state it will rock. I know it is hard for you guys to step back and not look at it as coders/programmers but you really need to. EveKill was better for the user. Fact. You can argue it all you want but the sky is still blue and evekill is still a better format for users.
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So you have 0 Kills. Ty for letting us know.
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I too have no life and am responding with a worthless comment just like you.
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with apologies to Mr. Karbowiak, +1 to the idea that eve-kill is damn near perfect. i cannot f**king stand the layout of zKill and will continue to use eve-kill until it's bits of microscopic internet dust
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I completely agree with the argument presented. I support the idea AND think we need to shoot this cancerous faggot in the neck, repeatedly. That is the power of James 315.
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No need to get your panties in a twist, friend.
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I think the whole concept of killboards should be removed full stop. API removed etc. I think its a real problem for eve personally. It stops people either learning by mistakes, gets peopled ridiculed and also stops them pvping. Also these elite so called pvpers are not elite at all, they think having 6000 kills means your elite, basically all you have done is press f1. whoooppeee doo. Do some 'real' pvp, Oh wait you darent because youll die and screw up your killboard. Remove them altogether.
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After much whining and moaning, ZKB has finally improved performance and the developers hired someone to make an eve-kill skin for ZKB, so it will fit the majority of my needs. The tracker is handy for tracking all of my various pilots.Now if CCP wanted to make a mobile KB app for android/ios or just webkit in general, that might be cool.
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You dimwhits are so sweet dumb. ships i have lost to delirious jimmy and his dimwhits: 0 (zero)Lost to others, yes, but none to those jerks.Seeing gankers concorded: some.One does not need to be butthurt to despise those guys.So retriever, procurer, hulk, skiff and orca are gankproofed but fine.Thank you "awoxed myself"!You are right, "delirious jimmy" is a VAIN idiot!
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As a tool for learning more about ships lost and opponents fittings, as well as strategic information that can be gleaned from them, I can see the value of killmails.As a fetish for showing 'how good we are', I can tell you for a fact that the Goons, or certainly some of their affiliates do care, and greatly so, about killmails.I'm not a fan of them because they are (or were) generally quite inaccurate. Also, if we take James 315's word for it, they are very important to a lot of EVE players. I really don't care for them, I don't need for them to be a feature. I'm there to become a giant in my own right (working on it),I don't care about who killed who where. Although, it is true, the ALOD posts are often quite hilarious. If people get mocked for it, it's because they deserve it. The only reason to fly a ship with a bad fit is laziness. There are ample tools to help fit ships.Should CCP host their own killboard? I think they have more pressing issues to address. It's just a 'nice to have' I can't see it as a strategic feature for them to develop. It's a tool to stroke someone's epeen and we already have those tools, albeit less-than-perfect.I'll take a great POS redesign over a killboard server any day.
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That's stupid. The guy has an opinion and voices it well.I agree with his assessment of carebears. If there is one thing I would vociferously oppose it is the notion of 'safe space'. I almost lose my lunch typing it.There should be no such thing as 'safe space' in all of EVE. I'm not a pirate nor a hardcore PvPer, but it is the heart of the place. The notion of safe space is anathema to what EVE Online is.The -only- exception, and I feel it has to be made, is for a newbie pilot, still on their wobbly space legs after first undocking. You leave them alone in 1.0 space. Eventually they will venture out and see how big the universe is. There'll be time enough to shoot them. Let them get a feel for the place first. In 1.0, it's even in the EULA, you leave the newbies alone. It's not as if there is a scarcity of targets in EVE, but the newbies have to be off-limits.Other than that, anywhere else in that insane place: let the chips fall where they may.
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If you took the vain, sanctimonious and the assholes out of EVE, there'd be no one left.
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I would even go so far as to say that if you haven't aligned yourself with those who were once your enemies, you haven't been there long enough.
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I like this one. Even though I don't always agree with James315 I have to support his stance on carebearing. I find the people who mewl for 'safe space', 'you can't shoot me in hi-sec' to be insufferable.
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when carebears complain about their ship exploding you tell them "I didn't shoot your ship, I just sent you free ammo."
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"zKillboard is still beta, so it's not official and shouldn't be mentioned in this article". You can't be serious. The thing is running, of course it should be mentioned."dfsdfdfddfdfdsdf
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We're working on getting zKB into it, altho, it's already pretty damn usable :)EVE-KILL was/is better for the user, because they're used to it, that is about the only reason so many people still prefer it.That said, we do accept that the current zKB layout is far from ideal, and will work on making it better, but it might either wait till we're "done" with creating features, or till we say so. We do have a guy working on an EVE-KILL inspired theme for it tho :P
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I'm sorry to say it, but EVE-KILL is far from perfect.Layout wise, i guess we can agree to disagree :P
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So according to you, Kingboard, PyKB, GoonswhateverKB and a few others should also be mentioned ?Kingboard i can understand, it's fairly feature complete, and works great.PyKB was abandoned by it's developer about a year ago, which sucks a bit.Goonswarms xml kb or whateveritwas looked pretty good, worked like stale ass tho.
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I'm not the author. The author made his choice of the killboards most commonly used by people. That's his prerogative, he's the writer. Whether or not he should have been more or less inclusive hardly matters.Also, your pointing to other killboards that don't meet your standard, what does that do? "Look at them, they suck too!" What is that about? Yours was mentioned, which is free publicity. Make a better product and don't point to others just so people wouldn't get the idea that yours is the only one that sucks.
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I take it that the Z-killboard layout has resulted in many, many kicks in the nuts.
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The vast majority of killboard posts on the eve-o forums is dickwaving and humiliation. Proving that someone sucks isn't really useful except as a form of punishment.Yes, you can post kills in fora other than C&P if the kill is relevant to the discussion and isn't being done to humiliate the "victim". I've seen some in MD discussions on topics of the "how should i figure out what to stock at mission hubs" flavor. So killmails become focused on-topic market research instead of "HA HA LOSER" posts.Sadly, the most useful thing that killmails could do - and aren't used for - is to explain how and why certain fits are "bad" and what could have been changed to do better. People have traditionally treated fits as secrets, so much so that folks used to self-destruct because that didn't leave killmails (now it does).
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I saw a Chinese killboard which listed the destroyed ships tank and dps. I thought it was pretty clever and would love to see an English site adopt that.
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Well said! I concur wholeheartedly.
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There are two sides to any distribution curve, the below average and the above average.Those mewling quims are from the wrong side.
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Cripes, rational humans agreeing with StarDagger. This is almost on par with when GSF began a rental program.
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When humans really REALLY concentrate they can achieve a small fraction of Romulan excellence, and even find themselves agreeing with their betters.
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I already have one, did it for you.
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When people want to move into new, fancy but fail layouts, they always say people like the old one "because they're used to it, that is about the only reason".Any UI design theory please? Such as "How to kill user's eye by scrolling page with huge icons" or "Let's increase the row width to fill every space on user's big screen, and too long that difficult to read? we don't care lol"
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The standard CCP comment "It's to hard". Should be enough of a reason why CCP should not create a kill board
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If you had read the article, you'd realise that the bob/goons reference was entirely relevant, and the article would have been missing something vital were it omitted. Your implied dismissal of the entire article simply because it references bob vs. goons reinforces your posting on here being: "GRRGOONS" coupled with homophobic slurs.
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Typical carebear, ignorance...http://eve-kill.net/?a=pilot_d...James 315 uses his main only for bumping. He does the ship exploding using his alt, Currin Trading.A two second Google search would have told you that, but please, by all means, don't let facts get in the way of your willful ignorance. Carry on.
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EVE isn't about PvP, and it's certainly not "the most dangerous arena in PC gaming."
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Without PvP there is no EVE. Everything in EVE is one form of PvP or another. From ship combat to market combat to meta-operations, EVE is, and always will be PvP. Ponder this deeply!If you know of a more dangerous arena, please share it with us, I'll lay in a course at high warp.Yours in Highly Informative Plasma,Star*Dagger
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I am happy that you have come around to agreeing with me.
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Given the fact that all dumb ass killboards are bugged, yes, we need a final version of one where everything fucking works for a change. Fuck you CCP, stupid lazy cunts, get a killboard already you fucks.

Love them or hate them, EVE wouldn't be the same without killboards. EVE players have long debated the importance of killboards and the statistics they report. Some may question their worth, but over the years, killboards have taken on an increasingly large role in the EVE universe. They are used at the lowest and highest levels, from the pirate perusing his personal numbers to the coalition leader relying on stats for propaganda. The most popular killboards host millions of killmails and get traffic from countless EVE players each day.

CCP has, for the most part, kept its distance from killboards while revealing mixed feelings about the subject. Killboard links are subject to stunningly draconian rules on the official EVE forums. At the same time, however, killmails are so integral to the EVE experience that CCP has routinely upgraded and revamped the killmail system.

CCP has never hinted that it would like to get into the killboard business. All EVE killboards are hosted by third-party sites. This fact doesn't make killboards unique; EVE's creative playerbase makes use of all kinds of third-party tools and websites. Nevertheless, killboards do occupy a peculiar position in the world of the EVE metagame. Killboards are central to the EVE experience, but unlike similarly-important tools such as TeamSpeak or Jabber, killboards lack a stable platform. EVE is in need of a good, reliable killboard host. (This point is likely to be somewhat controversial. Don't worry, I'll return to it.)

An obvious solution presents itself: CCP should abandon its traditional, standoffish attitude toward killboards and embrace them. CCP should create and host an official killboard for EVE.

THE HISTORY OF EVE KILLBOARDS

If you play EVE at any level above the futile grinding of the highsec carebear, you're bound to encounter killboards. Frequently. It's fair to say that, big or small, all EVE corps engaged in PvP are to some degree preoccupied with killboard stats. That statement may sound like an insult, but it shouldn't be taken as such. In a sense, killboards are the essential record of what happens in EVE. Someone who plays a first-person shooter game wouldn't be embarrassed to admit that he looks at the scoreboard during a round of play, or even at a long-term scoreboard that charts his progress over the course of multiple rounds. Is EVE any different?

EVE gameplay is far more open-ended and versatile than that of an FPS game. This fact leads some to call it a "sandbox", which in turn leads them to deny EVE's fundamental nature, which is that of a competitive, multiplayer, PvP game. Don't let the word "sandbox" fool you. "Grand Theft Auto III" was called a "sandbox" by millions of players, but it remained a game primarily about stealing cars and shooting people. EVE offers much more freedom than GTA, of course, but it still has a central theme: making spaceships explode, or building spaceships (so they can explode), or trading equipment (used to make spaceships explode), or anchoring structures in nullsec (to tell everyone else who's in charge of making spaceships explode).

A rabid carebear will insist that you're a twisted sociopath if you shoot at spaceships in a 0.5 security system, but he'll say you're an honourable warrior for doing the same thing in a 0.4 security system. This is one reason why it's best to shoot carebears, rather than listen to them. Wherever you reside in the galaxy, EVE is a game about blowing things up and getting kills.

It's no surprise, then, that EVE's original culture developed around killboards and kill statistics. The first dominant EVE culture was created by the corporations who would become the Band of Brothers alliance. They viewed EVE through the prism of kill-to-death ratios. Kill stats were used to determine whether someone was an elite PvPer or not. There were limits, of course. One problem was that in the early days, all killmails had to be posted manually. People posted their kills, but not their losses. Band of Brothers, always innovators, improved upon this model: they posted all of their kills and lied about posting all their losses.

Then came the Goons. The Goon culture was a reaction against the BoB culture. Goons didn't care about elite PvP stats or kill-to-death ratios. They swarmed their enemies with cheap ships. Central to the Goons' identity was a story about how they used mobs of inexpensive frigates to take down expensive enemy Vagabonds and other HACs. At the core of this story, however, we find just another kill statistic: ISK ratios. The Goons didn't care about how many ships they lost, but they did care very much about the fact that they inflicted more ISK damage than they suffered.

As the Goons grew and started fielding more expensive ships, this attitude changed. The Goons allied with the Russians of the Red Alliance and began conquering nullsec space. The Goons' enemies comforted themselves with killboard statistics. Goon leaders urged their players to ignore killboards altogether, even the ISK ratios. The only thing that mattered was who held the field. That fact determined who won the sovereignty war.

Ultimately, the Goons prevailed, and their culture - rather than BoB's - became dominant in EVE. Today, even elite, roaming nullsec PvPers will claim not to care too much about killboards and kill statistics. But they do. Despite the triumph of the Goons, EVE players' attitudes toward kill statistics remain murky. There's a good reason for this murkiness: it's not always clear who holds the field.

Due to EVE's needlessly complicated sovereignty mechanics, the early stages of a sov war take place in a fog. Unless one side is hopelessly outmatched, there's a lot of back-and-forth, a lot of griping about time zones, and a lot of spin. The armies clash against each other again and again, with neither side gaining much ground. Then, suddenly, one side fail-cascades.

Before the tipping point is reached - which may be a long time after hostilities commence - neither side "holds the field". In the meantime, the players must argue with each other about who is winning. There's only one way to make those arguments: kill statistics, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood killboard. Alliances claim not to care about killboards, until they do. You can't fight a war without them.

Lastly, many alliances initially held mixed feelings about killboards. They liked to show off their stats, but they worried about what else they were showing off. Killboards are an intel gold mine. They reveal fittings and fleet compositions. If they're updated quickly enough, they even reveal locations almost in real-time. In earlier days, some alliance killboards withheld information for 24 hours before making it available to the public. For the most part, that practice has fallen out of favor. In EVE as elsewhere, the desire to share information has taken priority over the desire for secrecy.

CCP'S ATTITUDE TOWARD KILLBOARDS

CCP isn't against killboards. Not by any means. CCP has expanded the use of APIs to make running killboards much easier. They've even given "Community Spotlights" to Eve-Kill and BattleClinic. It's also fair, however, to say that killboards never made CCP feel warm fuzzies the way, for example, SOMER Blink did.

If killboards are important to EVE, and if EVE is important to CCP, then killboards ought to be important to CCP. Whenever a major killboard host encounters financial difficulties, players on EVE-O will post suggestions about CCP helping them out. Obviously CCP wouldn't do that. It's vital that CCP keep some distance between itself and any third-party outfit. That having been said, CCP has gone a bit further than a respectful distance.

Consider CCP's policy toward linking to killboards on the official EVE forums. It's a simple policy: They're forbidden.

"Posting of kill reports outside of the Crime & Punishment forum channel is prohibited. More often than not, posts of this nature are made with inflammatory intent and are designed to promote trolling and flaming. Therefore, the posting of links to kill reports from any third party site, or the direct copy-pasting of kill reports from in game is prohibited on all forum channels of the EVE Online Forums, with the exception of the Crime & Punishment Channel."

By any reasonable standard, this rule is completely ridiculous. Unfortunately, it's but one example of many. I've made no secret of my disdain for the way EVE-O is moderated. That's a subject for another day, but you can read some of what I think in a previous article, "The Rise and Fall of CAOD". The Crime & Punishment subforum permits the posting of killmails, but only subject to its own, even more ridiculous, set of rules. I'll get to that in a moment, but first let's focus on the ridiculousness of this particular rule.

The posting of killmails is outlawed because people can use them to promote "trolling and flaming". True, players can troll by posting a killmail and saying "Player123 sucks" or "Look how I pwnz0red Player456". Such troll posts could be locked, just as one might lock any other post with trolling or flaming. The presence of the killmail link is not a problem in and of itself. It does nothing except provide some objective evidence to support the claim that Player123 does, in fact, suck.

There are many good reasons to post a killmail link. The site you're currently reading does it all the time, whether in ALOD articles or in battle reports. EVE is a competitive PvP game, so it would be nearly impossible for TheMittani.com to cover EVE news without posting links to killboards.

Whoever wrote the EVE-O rules disagrees. CCP is quite clear on why killmail links are banned: "More often than not, posts of this nature are made with inflammatory intent..." Maybe they think the articles on this website have inflammatory intent. Or maybe they think TheMittani.com is just a different environment. I can think of one difference: A lot of people read TheMittani.com, and not many people bother to read EVE-O anymore.

Now let's look at the rules about posting killmail links on the Crime & Punishment subforum:

"The posting of killmails is permitted, however following criteria must be met:

a) The name of the victim must be removed or covered up.
b) The killmail must be posted along with constructive text/content. This means no posting new threads with simply a killmail in it without a comment.
c) The killmail must be posted directly into the post and may not be a link to a third-party site."

The EVE-O rule-writer goes on to say:

"The reason behind these rules was a spate of threads seeking to embarrass other players, such as those with poor set-ups. Killmails are not supported by us and given the ease of forgery, threads with killmails in them tended to descend into arguments about the veracity of them. To foster a better community spirit, killmails will be removed from any post that do not follow the above rules."

To be clear, this isn't satire. Those are the actual rules, quoted verbatim. You're supposed to type a killmail out and censor the name of the victim. You're not allowed to post links to API-verified killmails. And these rules were designed with the problem of forgery in mind! Spectacular reasoning. The rules are obviously years out of date, but they didn't make sense even back when they were written.

The EVE-O rules also seek to prevent players being "embarrassed" by having their poor set-ups shown off. Here, clearly, an ALOD article would break the spirit of the rule. My objection to the rule is this: Killmails with players' outrageously bad set-ups are funny. Granted, they come at the victim's expense. Here's the thing, though - so does everything else. A battle report, unless it's a draw, will make one side look good and the other side look bad. Again, EVE is a competitive PvP game. This reality means that there are going to be winners and losers. A game like this is not going to make you feel good all the time. As long as it's within the context of the game, I have no problem with someone looking foolish for doing something foolish. An ALOD article about someone's terribly-fit multi-billion ISK ship is not cyberbullying. It's good, clean, fun.

ADVANCES IN EVE KILLMAILS

Though the treatment of killboards on EVE-O is wretched, the in-game killmail system is another story. The last several years have seen CCP making positive changes to the system. A lot of changes, in fact. Killmails have been improved and upgraded more times than almost any other feature in EVE.

As I mentioned previously, CCP expanded the use of APIs to enable killboards to verify the authenticity of killmails. CCP also made it possible for killboards to automatically retrieve killmails so players don't need to input them manually. These changes alone provided a huge leap forward.

On numerous occasions, CCP has expanded the amount of information provided by killmails. Originally, killmails only showed items that were destroyed, not dropped. This information made it impossible to get the full value of a kill unless you looted the wreck, and that information couldn't be put into a killmail unless you doctored it yourself. CCP fixed the system so that it now lists both the dropped and destroyed mods and indicates which is which. For years, players yearned to know what was inside the pods that they popped. CCP added implants to pod killmails, though you still can't tell what the value of the medical clone was. Later, CCP also fixed killmails for Orcas so that you can see what was destroyed inside their corporate and ship hangars.

CCP also took steps to broaden the scope of who gets included on killmails. CCP was merciful to the sov-grinders when it expanded the killmail system to include structures such as POSes and everything that goes with them. The list of participants on long killmails got its own upgrade: originally, only the first several players were included, and now all of them are, no matter how many players assisted on a kill. On top of that, the killmail system was changed so that players who use bubbles to interdict targets are given credit.

Most recently, killmails received another major overhaul. Rather than consisting of mere text, killmails contain proper graphical readouts, showing what was killed and who killed it. The killmails can be linked anywhere in-game, though obviously cannot be linked out-of-game. Taking a cue from the popular killboards, they mails also show the estimated market value of everything that was destroyed.

In short, killmails have come a long way. I didn't go through patch notes or anything. The changes listed above are only the ones I was able to recall from memory - there could be more. Until you actually go through a list like the one I drew up, it's hard to believe how many times killmails have been singled out for attention. I bet you thought I couldn't say anything nice about CCP, didn't you?

By now, it should be clear that CCP understands how important killmails are to EVE players. The question is, are the current killboards up to the task?

THE NEED FOR AN OFFICIAL EVE KILLBOARD

At the beginning of this article, I made the claim that there are no good, reliable killboards. What I mean by that statement is there are no killboards that have both a good layout and reliable hosting. Some have one or the other, in my opinion, but none have both.

There are three main killboards in use today: Eve-Kill.net, zKillboard.com, and BattleClinic.com. They each have the same job, to present voluminous killmail information in an easy-to-read format. Of the three, it's no contest. Eve-Kill has the best design by far. There are a few things I would tweak, such as adding an ISK value column for the lists of killmails (as zKillboard does) so you can browse to the most expensive ones. Other than that, Eve-Kill's layout is as close to perfect as you're going to get.

zKillboard's layout isn't terrible, but it isn't nearly as good as Eve-Kill's. It wastes space and doesn't display kill participants until you've scrolled all the way to the bottom. BattleClinic has the advantage of longevity. Unfortunately, however, its layout is so poor that players flocked to BattleClinic's competitors at the first opportunity. These days, if you send someone a BattleClinic link, they might react as if you linked them a Myspace page. BattleClinic is apparently aware of this problem, and I've heard that a revamp is in the works. As I'm writing this piece, a revamp hasn't happened yet.

Eve-Kill's problem, basically, is that it's too good. In consequence, it gets a huge amount of traffic, as players prefer it to the other killboards. This situation brings us to the reliability factor. Eve-Kill frequently has trouble fetching killmails from its server and very often won't display killmails past a certain point in time. Maybe this problem is specific to Eve-Kill, or maybe it would happen to any killboard host that gets the lion's share of EVE traffic.

Either way, I think it makes sense for CCP to take the next logical step by creating and hosting its own killboard. Of course, CCP's killboard would be hosted separately from the game itself, as Tranquility is also known for taking the occasional coffee break. When you consider how far CCP has gone on the killmail front, why wouldn't EVE have a killboard of its own?

From a player perspective, I don't see a lot of downside to this suggestion. Some might have concerns about what that would mean for the future of the other killboards. If you like the killboard you have, you can keep your killboard. Perhaps if CCP went into the killboard business, they could arrange with Eve-Kill to "borrow" their layout. Or maybe you could choose from different options for the layout.

In any case, CCP is well aware of the players' love of killmails, and it's time for CCP to recognize the central role played by killboards, too. If it does, I think CCP will see that it's a role it should handle itself.

James 315 has a distinguished history of combat in nullsec, mostly fighting against the Band of Brothers alliance, which was a bad alliance. Recently he has moved to highsec, where he currently serves as Father of the New Order and Saviour of Highsec