Art by Major Sniper
The recent GM week has generated a lot of interest among players, especially the Splat-A-Bot episodes. We asked Lead GM Stardust a few questions about the event.
INN: How did GM week come about?
GM Stardust: The idea for GM week came from the work we’ve been doing over the past 18 months or so, where we have been focusing on being more proactive in our work towards the community instead of just sticking with being reactive through support tickets.
Some of our industry peers have had good experiences with similar large-scale events in the past and we hoped you guys would be receptive as well.
INN:Will there be another GM week in the future?
GM Stardust:Considering the reception we’ve gotten from the community so far, yeah, I think it’s pretty safe to say that we’ll be doing this again. The second Yulai event for example saw enough participation to put us into time dilation for a moment, so there definitely appears to be appetite for shenanigans like these.
INN:The bot events have generated the most interest this week, what inspired you to do those, and will there possibly be future things like this outside of GM week?
GM Stardust:The botting situation is pretty tricky to handle. We are doing a huge amount of work behind the scenes to combat the problem, but that isn’t always visible to the community and can create the perception that little is being done, which simply isn’t the case.
The whack-a-bot event was meant to shine a light on the problem and put a public face on it, and it seems to have totally worked.
Initially we thought of this as a fun event where we could tell the community that we are listening to their concerns and allow them to blow up big ships in High-sec as a kind of a bonus, but after the first event we actually saw a significant decrease in botting activity! This was most likely due to the “Naming and Shaming” factor of it, and we’ll be having a serious talk in-house with all stakeholders on the future role of these public events.
INN:GM Week featured the addition of new ‘Combat Medic’ SKINs for T1 support cruisers. Sharp-eyed players have noticed ‘Emergency Response Squad’ SKINs for the T2 Logistics cruisers in the SKIN previews and market searches. Will these SKINs be coming to the New Eden Store? The Emergency Response skins in particular have generated a lot of interest among logistics pilots.
GM Stardust:The ‘Emergency Response Squad’ SKIN will indeed make its way to the New Eden Store in the coming months. I can’t say when exactly, but it’s definitely coming.
INN:Which events in the GM week have you enjoyed most, and why?
GM Stardust:This is a tough one. I really liked the GM Caravans with BjornBee, and the “whack-a-bot” event got by far the most attention, but I have to say that the Scavenger Hunt is my favorite.
We kept the design of it super simple: Get into a ship > Put stuff in cargo > Move to a system and hide > First player who finds you gets the loot!
This allowed the GMs to put their own spin on things which led to some pretty amazing moments. We had a lot of positive feedback from the players who participated, and the GMs loved running the event.
INN:Finally, will there be a Upwell variant on the CONCORD Cynosural Project Technology that we saw displayed this week?
GM Stardust:That is obviously something for the game developers to decide, but I will most assuredly be talking to them about it.
We would like to thank GM Stardust for taking the time to reply to our questions, and look forward to the Emergency Response skins as well as future episodes of Whack-A-Bot.