Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Monday, January 31, 2011

Quote of the Week: "...fun per dollar."

This week's QOTW comes from pc l0adletter.  He's a solid presence on the EVE-O forums, but apparently he's decided to slum it a bit on Scrapheap lately, and has written several great posts in the last couple of weeks.  This one was particularly good, and included a fundamental truth:
That's what the real metric should be. [CCP is] an entertainment company, they're selling fun per dollar. Look at what players actually spend time doing and enjoy, and make that stuff more fun. Look at the stuff they hate, like POS bitchwork, and figure out how to make that less miserable. This is such elementary business logic that I feel stupid even typing it out, but it seems empirically beyond [CCP's] comprehension.

When users aren't getting much fun for their time and money, they leave. You can't make that back by selling them hats.
Fantastic quote, and really gets to the heart of how CCP measures itself... and sometimes doesn't.

Last July, Trebor made a very similar point in a very similar way:
What Nathan is saying here is that Apocrypha, an expansion the players loved, created a lot of issues behind the scenes at CCP that required them to do a lot of code cleanup afterwards.

This statement illustrates why Nathan was so upset by the CSM's complaints about lack of excellence. He apparently defines excellence as "excellence of the code providing the EVE experience". Players, on the other hand, define excellence as "excellence of the EVE experience".
The same thing seems to be happening with Incursion.  I'll bet the EVE devs are tearing their hair out right now.  Incursion has uncovered multiple game and balance issues within EVE, has introduced fleets of bugs, has had unintended consequences -- whoops, sorry, "unexpected macro-scale outcomes" -- left and right...

And yet, with a few exceptions here and there, the players seem to be enjoying Incursion immensely!

Headaches of fixing Incursion aside, that's the true metric that CCP should be measuring themselves on.

And this should speak very loudly to the Incarna team.  If Incarna isn't fun, all of that fantastic technology isn't going to matter in the least.

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