The EVE Online Create a Starship Contest is over. What a race, and I didn't make it as a semi finalist even, though I saw where I did wrong and while I was a bit hopeful to be picked, I am not utterly crushed because I know that by not being selected at all, at least I can now re use that design for a personal work in collaboration with friends.
However there was a fethload of conspiracy theories and emotional outburst that came out once the 15 semi finalists were chosen, resulting in 1 entry being replaced by another. I stayed up the whole night reading as much of the outpourings and comments from both DeviantArt and Eve communities on both their respective forums/commentaries page.
Let me clear up 2 most important thing regarding my stance on the matter.
1. I clearly support the entry that they brought in to replace a disqualified one, as I feel it is better and more in tune with the feel of EVE. In fact, the Tornado Battleship is the very entry I am hoping would win this contest! I am really looking forward to see it in game one day and better still if it is implemented as it's creator suggested.
2. I am in agreement that the EVE Online player community should be and have the right to be outraged that of so many of the semi-finalist chosen, barely a handful is appropriate for EVE. Those judging and deciding should have had better in depth understanding for the feel and requirements of a new ship in EVE; admittedly quite an uphill task for non players as even usual players debate this issue rigourously everyday. Though there were concerns of entries not following rules and such (important nonetheless for a contest), my own concern is primarily for the stated point of the entries not being right for EVE.
That said, I was astounded at the amount of emotional outburst, flaming, trolling and outright comments from the EVE Online community at DA (DeviantArt). Yes we are very unsatisfied with the choices of the semi finalists. We play the game, we pay to play the game, and want it improved but still true to its core ideas. I stayed up all night reading the posts (as well as some from the EVE forums) because it was like some thriling drama unfolding. It was like a story. A grand event in the making, something went wrong, people enraged and finding scapegoats to blame, all out fighting between factions, and happily enough, reconcilation and peace being brokered between factions.
Though I am commited almost as much as most to the betterment of EVE and therefore am very concerned at the type of entries being listed as semi finalists in this contest that would ultimately affect us EVE players, I was equally shocked at the level of hostility pouring into DA in just a matter of a day or two. Perhaps I shouldn't be. I have seen these reactions before, internally in EVE itself. We are very passionate about this game after all.
But now the very militant attitude of the community pours down not on the usual victims, ourselves or CCP, but on DA.
I applaud the efforts of a few members of the EVE Community in trying to maintain calm and posting our grievances in a civilized and orderly manner, but the fact is there are more than enough trolls and flamers contributing outright insulting remarks towards the DA staff for misshandling this event. What saddens me even more is that the Director of Public Relations for DA became the chosen scapegoat as she was the only one standing up and replying on behalf of DA, which the eager and angry mob ultimately focus to shoot at. Even worse is that some of the DA members themselves start responding insult with insults, further escalating the conflict.
I admit that the Director for Public Relations for DA did chose some bad words and inappropriate manner of response, albeit not with the intention to aggrevate the mob but quite the opposite, but I felt bad for her for receiving flak for something she was not entirely responsible for. She did not judge the contest and as far as this issue goes, she is but a spokes person. It is noble and commendable of her though to maintain her calm mostly throughout the ordeal, which I think she stayed on for hours upon hours.
I am more an EVE Player than a DeviantARTist. The right of the argument I strongly feel is with the EVE players, as this is not simply a contest but something that would affect us EVE players in the future of this game. But I am ashamed of the amount of rudeness and crass attitude displayed by some of our members, especially considering that I feel the specific targets they are pouring on did not deserve that direct hostility. It is sufficient I think that DA take note of how involved and passionate we are with our game, do something to remedy this situation and strive to do better next time. The rude, insulting remarks are complete unwarranted.
Most profoundly, I now feel sad for the artist whose entry was first selected into the semi finals but was later disqualified. True, his entry was in no way able to compete with the entry that replaced him for a spot in EVE, but he was no crap artist despite the impression his contest entry might give to some. I went later to his DA gallery and saw he had several really commendable work there, sci-fi themed work at that. While it's true that many people point out they were more angry at the judges for choosing rather than the artist for making, but I felt it was not the decent thing to do to keep on referring to his work as the benchmark for an all time 'lowness'.
The situation has calmed down now, as the DA Public Relations Director announced that people on her side, DA, has begun talks on the matter with EVE Online devs, CCP. Most of the rude commentors have stopped posting and the more civilized ones are offering olive branches and to help with the whole process of answering the player community's queries. I'm glad calmer heads are prevailing, for now.
I will continue to be hopeful for the development in EVE. My own designs might not be good enough to be in there, but I hope those that really deserve it will make it. For my part, I think I'll go on collecting ships, as starships are a passion of mine after all.
And maybe... just maybe...
I'll name some of my ships after those I hold as 'heroes' in this entire unfortunate episode.