Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tidi is Why I’m Not an Environmentalist

With the Rubicon patch, the Internet is ablaze with chatter about benefits, consequences, raging, and trolling about the various features.  This post is not about Rubicon.  Briefly, I’ll say I’m not really impressed with Rubicon as an “expansion”, since expansions, in my mind, are supposed to shift paradigms regarding the experience.  Rubicon would make a great patch, though, as it makes tweaks here and there, changes some things, etc.  But an expansion?  I don’t feel very expanded.

That said, I do want to talk about something I read on Eve News 24 about the mobile siphon units.  Not them themselves… they’re the most interesting thing in Rubicon (but, again, not “expansion”-worthy).  Look down in the comments, and you find a discussion about why Tidi is so terrible, which is silly.

The argument they use is something like this, “Tidi sucks.  It strengthened nodes so fleet fights of 1000 pilots could happen without causing crashes, but it did it so well that now we have fleet fights of 3000 pilots.  And now the nodes are still crashing, so tidi didn’t work.  Now the blocs are bigger, and that sucks!  Screw tidi!”

This reminds me of the arguments in favor of environmentalism.  “We’re wasting a lot of resources and we should be more responsible with how we utilize those resources and the waste we produce.  It’s unfair that developed nations (read: the U.S.) squander so many resources, when we can’t sustain this as the developing world continues to, you know, develop.”

But the problem is that as we become more efficient at using resources, we increase the size of population we can sustain with those resources.  Nature abhors a vacuum, and the human race breeds to fill whatever population capacity we have.  The argument, “We won’t have enough resources in the future if we don’t xxx…” is wholly invalid.  As a result, the “we aren’t doing it right!” regarding resource usage is equally invalid.  We can be as efficient as possible, and we’ll only succeed in exacerbating our problems.

Would you rather have 7 billion people scrambling and warring over resources, or 14 billion scrambling and warring over resources?  I guarantee that the wars of the future will result in orders of magnitude more deaths. 

In reality, what a lot of environmentalists want is to change our way of life, and a lot of them want to divert resources to societies they see as not being responsible for every conceivable crime.  Put simply, the U.S. is bad, so we’ll use any means possible to guilt them into decisions that eliminate their power gap.

This is exactly the problem with anti-tidi arguments.  Tidi is like conservation.  1000 pilots crash a node, and people would complain.  So, CCP fixes it, allowing more pilots to fit into a solar system.  Now, nodes aren’t crashing (as often), and 2500 people can participate.  Yet, people still complain that blocs are increasing in size and fights are boring.

People claim to want the equivalent of an Eve solution to scarcity: unlimited server processing capacity.  But this will never happen; all equipment has limitations, and so long as that’s true, Eve players will bump against those limitations.  At least now, nodes don’t routinely crash (CCP needs to improve further here, so they never crash, only slow down).

To paraphrase, Shakespeare: 1000 pilots can now fight without crashing the node.  There, art thou happy?  Commands are still accepted, albeit at 10% speed.  There, art thou happy?  Fleet fights are more viable than they were when the game crashed.  There, art thou happy?  A pack of blessings light upon thy back.

But, of course, players aren’t happy, because viability and server stability isn’t what they really wanted.  Eve players really want to see sov blocs destroyed, just as a lot of environmentalists want to destroy the systems that result in power concentration.  They got what they asked for, but what they asked for really wasn’t what they needed.

What they want will never happen, at least in Eve.  Those with power tend to keep it until they either get bored or allow themselves to feel bad for being successful.  While the U.S.’s will may weaken (it already is, if the number of apology-makers is any indication), what do you think the odds are of the same thing happening to Machiavellian, immortal, psychotic capsuleers in a fictional game real people use as a release from the stresses of the real world?

Yeah, don’t hold your breath.  And don’t claim that a stop-gap mechanic that improved the situation is “just as bad as before”, when it clearly isn’t.


  1. I heard recently that CCP's servers use multi-core processors, but a limitation in the EVE code only allows 1 core per processor to be used. If that is true, then depending on the number of cores each processor has, CCP is not utilizing at least half of its computing power with dual-core processors, three fourths with quad-core processors, and so on. Also, their server cluster is outdated compared to the industry standard.

    tl;dr CCP has outdated hardware and is wasting at least half of their computing power.

    1. "But a limitation in the EVE code only allows 1 core per processor to be used" You contradicted yourself in your tl;dr - the hardware is fine, it's the software that needs to be adapted to utilise multiple CPU cores/threads.

    2. "Also, their server cluster is outdated compared to the industry standard."

      That is the first time I have heard of this. Do you got any source for this?

  2. that was the dumbest anti-environmentalist argument i've ever heard. nature has plenty methods of population control, people wouldn't live forever. not everyone alive plans on bearing children, or can bear children. it's quite a leap to see the world population would double just because the worldwide quality of natural resources improved. you imply a hell of alot about the people already existing at 7 billion just to make a point