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.
You can follow along, if you want...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Triumph of the will

Warning: this is a long post, and it's built on a single, very large assumption.  If the assumption proves wrong -- and it might, and it might in only a day or two's time -- then this entire blog post will become nothing but a historical oddity.  You were warned.

EDIT (22/Sep/2011): Apparently, my tea leaves were pretty good.  The assumption proved accurate.

Understand that?  Great.  Let's roam.  Undock and meet me on the out-gate.

From CCP Fallout, we now know that tomorrow, we're going to see a major devblog from CCP, apparently being written by CCP Guard.  CSM6 members are happy and a little nervous about this one.  Seleene confirmed that the blog hasn't been run by the CSM yet(1), but he says the overall news will be good and is likely to launch a lot of speculation.

EDIT (19/Sep/2011): See the edit at the bottom of this blog entry.  The "important" devblog won't be by CCP Guard, and it might or might not appear tomorrow.

I might be completely wrong, but this feels like it's going to be huge... a turning point in EVE's history.  Remember, :18months: started in June of last year; it ends in December, with the as-yet-unnamed winter expansion.  It's too late to add new features to that expansion.  What CCP is planning to put into it is locked in.  We'll learn exactly what that is in due course, maybe even tomorrow.  In the meantime, planning for EVE 2012 has certainly begun in Iceland.

With that in mind, I'd like to build an entire blog entry on a tissue-paper thin assumption: let's assume that my prediction from Saturday is true, and that CCP is set to announce that 2012 development will be All About The Spaceships: at least two major expansions dedicated solely to EVE Online's "core business."  Ship balancing and rebalancing, time dilation, new capital ships, a complete null revamp, T3 frigates and battle-cruisers, faction warfare iteration, new incursion sites, and on and on and on.  They'll ask players for feedback on what they should work on first, and take those suggestions.  Incarna becomes completely optional.  Let's assume for one blog post that it's all on the table.

CSM6 gets everything it wants.  EVE's current players cheer in glorious happiness at CCP finally turning its attention to the game they want to play.  If you don't want to leave the ship-spinning hangar view, you don't have to.  TeaDaze and thousands of others come back to New Eden(2).

Let's draw back and look at the big picture, from this moment in time, building on this assumption.

What would that mean?

First thing: I'm going to start with some facts, and I'm sorry, but these facts are going to hurt your feelings.  CCP has taken surveys and gathered hard data on this, and in unguarded moments, they've let this data slip.  Lots and lots and lots of people have tried EVE Online.  And a large percentage of those people don't stick with it.  EVE's been around for eight years now.  Trust me: MMO players have heard of it.  Space nerds have heard of it.  People who have a fantasy of flying their own spaceship have heard of it.  A ton of people who are interested in the concept behind EVE Online have tried it.

And most of them have decided that it isn't for them.

CCP has hard data on this: the majority of people who try EVE Online unsub and move on to other games.  They say it's too hard, or they say you can't identify with your in-game avatar as a ship, or they say they aren't interested in the basic concepts underlying the game, or they say the player base is newbie-unfriendly, or they say the game-play isn't very good.  Guys, it's time to wake up and face reality: an MMO based primarily around spaceships is probably always and forever going to be a niche product.  Star Trek couldn't sell this product to a mass audience.  Star Wars couldn't sell this product to a mass audience.(3)  EVE Online as it is today has no chance of doing it.

So, if CCP goes down this track, EVE Online will forever remain a niche product with a half-million subscriptions or less.  That's result #1.

A lot of EVE players will immediately say that's not necessarily such a bad thing, and I agree with them.  Only a small percentage of the people in the world play Rugby, or build and fly experimental aircraft, or play cast members in Renaissance Faires, or race cars on the amateur racing circuit, or enjoy folk music.  That doesn't mean these pursuits are less valid.  It just means that fewer people get into them: they're niche hobbies.  But those that do enjoy those hobbies enjoy them immensely.  EVE being a niche product is no bad thing, in my opinion.

Mittens has mentioned on several occasions that one of his goals is to get thousands of unsubbed former EVE players to resub.  He's never said that one of his goals is to get hundreds of thousands of people who've never played EVE before to start.

That was what the Incarna team has said their goal was.  Breaking EVE out of the niche is their goal.

But EVE players have been blunt in their rejection of Incarna.  We haven't seen hard numbers on it, but I'd bet more players have the CQ turned off than have it turned on.  And if CCP decides to direct the bulk of their focus for EVE Online development to flying in space over walking in stations, then the Incarna team's goal goes out the window.  You can't have your cake and eat it too.

What EVE players will be left with as of this winter's expansion will be the ability to leave the CQ, walk out The Door, and access the Establishments, whatever that means.  But all of that would be optional.  The only thing we know CCP wants to do with Establishments is move the sale of "contraband" items there.  Let's say that means boosters.  Anyone who wants to buy boosters has to get out of their pod, leave the ship spinning interface, and physically walk into an Establishment to do it.  That would cause some minor rage, but nothing major.  There's never been all that big of a market for boosters, so making people "unpod" to get them isn't going to affect all that many players.

So, EVE's players get exactly what they want, but as a side effect, EVE remains a niche product.  What next?

Well, it turns out CCP is a business.  And businesses like to make money.  And CCP's stated goal is to make a "total sci-fi simulator."  We've all seen the video.  That's where CCP wants to go.  They believe that they can create a mass audience product with this vision.

But nobody said that they had to get there with EVE.  It turns out that CCP has another sci-fi-based product to build that vision from...

Right now, I can easily envision a situation where DUST 514 players enter the same Establishments that EVE players enter.  After a buy-in cost, DUST will be free-to-play: that guarantees an audience.  And if that's the case, DUST 514 will have avatars, PvE, instant-on PvP, vehicle combat (perhaps even flying vehicle combat), sov fights, social interaction, a player-driven market via Establishments, optional micro-transactions... and hell, maybe even unarmed capsuleers in those Establishments to shoot at.

Yeah, that's right.  The Establishments might very well become a new low-sec for EVE Online players that choose to unpod and venture into them.  Want those boosters?  Better hire some DUSTies to watch your back once unpod.  ;-)

The only thing DUST 514 won't have is actual spaceships.  But that's OK, because the larger New Eden "total sci-fi simulator" "product" will have spaceships.  If you're part of the mass audience, great!  Here's your assault rifle and here's your DUST 514 account.  Go nuts!  But oh yeah, if you like spaceships, we have this other game -- part of the same universe! -- that will give you your spaceships.  It's smaller, but the people that play it really like it.

All of this is premised on DUST 514's success, but right now, DUST has a lot of positive buzz.  It's not that far to stretch.

In other words, if EVE players get what they want, but if DUST is successful, then I can easily see EVE Online becoming Diablo to DUST's World of Warcraft: one of CCP's side businesses.  A profitable, successful, enjoyable side business, to be sure.  But still, a side business.

Be careful what you wish for: you might get it.

EDIT (19/Sep/2011): CCP Fallout reports:
the big font blog is coming tomorrow.
To which I immediately asked:
Great. When is 's devblog coming out? The one promised by the second CSM statement?


Just to be very, very clear, it's Arnar (Zulu)'s devblog that I consider the important one.  That's the one I'm waiting for.


(1) Which is sometimes the harbinger of hysterically bad devblogs, hee...
(2) Hey, I can dream.  ;-)
(3) TOR doesn't count.  We've seen what "space combat" in TOR is going to look like.  TOR isn't going to be about spaceships.

41 comments:

  1. Regardless of what is announced or how, I think I'm really going to enjoy reading this blog over the next few weeks. :)

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  2. Your posts are why I am now an avid reader of your blog. I never even considered eve becoming a side business. This eve player wondering what that would mean....

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  3. Your speculation bases itself on an assumption that DUST is capable to achieve some kind of "WoW-status" amongst consoles, not being pulled by EVE (whatever that pulling is worth or being possible to even implement at all) but pulling the EVE itself instead.

    Now, I have very little clue about console games, but aren't there a few their "WoWs" around, with a crapload of wannabees trying to get their share (or so I've been told).

    What makes DUST special to believe in can be big enough for your imaginary role ? AFAIK, without EVE (or even with it) it is "just another shooter".

    We saw lots of WOW-wannabes already and how well they ended. What historical record of CCP makes you believe they will be more successful ?

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  4. While I recognize that the entire blog here is pure speculation, and based on, as you put it, "a single, very large assumption", I don't see CCP throwing out the entire focus of Incarna.

    While part of it definitely didn't work, and it's resource intensive, and takes forever to load, and all the other reasons that we EVE players have been opposed to the Incarna content, they put too much time and money into the project to throw it out completely.

    As for the vision of the Incarna team, there are so many aspects of EVE that are incomplete and unfinished. Look at L5 missions. Look at Faction Warfare. Look at Incursions. Look at wormholes. Look at Jovian space. These are just a few of the promises from CCP to the EVE community for new toys in the sandbox that is EVE.

    Walking in stations has been discussed and rumored since at least 2006. That means it's been on at least a 5 year development cycle. Does that mean there was active developmental work on it? Of course not. But if it took them 5 years to get it almost ready for consumption, that's too much to be the baby that is thrown out with the bath water. The Carbon interface is too flushed out to discard. I see it rearing up again, hopefully more refined, in Dust and WoD.

    In fact, the DevBlog from today was all about fixing some of the problems that have still existed since the launch of Incarna. While we get our ship spinning back, it was basically them making good on their original promise that the launch of Incarna wouldn't change any of the features we had and were accustomed to. Removal of the old environment made sense to them, as "[CCP] felt the perspective from your own bridge overlooking the ship was enough." They've since learned "it didn‘t allow [the players] to look at the ship from all angles, it requires far more GPU and CPU power than simply rendering a ship and a hangar and, importantly, [CCP] didn‘t retain UI functionality such as drag-dropping a ship onto [the player's] hangar to activate it or double-clicking on the ship to open its cargo." These comments, plus the rest of the DevBlog from today seem that Incarna and it's work to date are here to stay, and improvements will still be made to reach a happy medium between the FiS and WiS issues.

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  5. @MrLabus: The unique component that DUST 514 brings to the table are the persistent battlefields: the sov fights. Once you take a planet in DUST sov fights, it stays taken until someone else takes it back. Only two other FPS MMOs currently out do that that I know of, and both of them do it rather poorly. That's DUST's competitive advantage.

    As for, "what makes me think CCP can pull it off"... you know, a lot of EVE players disparage CCP's historical record, and I've never understood that. CCP seems to have built a successful, profitable MMO that's been running for almost a decade. That's one HELL of a successful, profitable business. I, unlike a lot of EVE players, am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

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  6. Heh.

    That is awfully close to the "escape card" idea that was - in similar formats & versions - floated by CCP staff at Fanfest. Usually in the same breath as their expression of "the cost of Incarna" and the unspoken hope for that to really be over during the (now past) summer.

    But I agree. CCP has a much more readily available business development case at hand than they are perhaps willing to admit. There are caveats, absolutely (like the Console limitation, and the PS3 exclusivity to a lesser degree). But there are also numerous strong points.

    Least of all, the better business practice of never tampering with the core of the cash cow. Not to mention the better business practice of branching out by means of connected products through younger product foundations. Consider for a moment just the debts incurred (technical, financial, cultural, brand, etc) with wringing a decade old cash cow's worth of (by CCP's own admission) scary code to that point of "ultimate sci fi simulator".

    As sweet as the video was, as unrealistic as that venture is. That does not mean the development road is impossible. But it does mean that the costs of doing that are in every respect far higher than doing it within that shared IP with a young, fresh and - dare I say - agile new product foundation.

    But back with our feet on the ground, while this would be a hallmark sign of CCP becoming an enterprise that strives to synergy between the company, its people, its customers and the dream shared between and by all those (after all, the hallmark of a succesful company is its ability to reinvent itself and be able to stand against the age old trap of "us vs. them" in vision and product development) ... the chances of this happening are very slim.

    Not because there might be a lack of will, given sufficient understanding and incentives. But sofar CCP has not demonstrated any ability for capitalising with any sense of urgency on market opportunities. It has also demonstrated to be anything but innovative, just like it as a company by means of its results has demonstrated to be severely vulnerable to the temptations that can oh so easily lead to :awesome:

    Which is a shame. Because they do have the potential to be innovative, to be smart and agile. To conquer the world, if not the industry. But not the way they have been engaging either. CCP is, in many ways, its own enemy. And it need not be.

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  7. @Coar: That's very interesting. Tell me, how much development has their been on L5 missions and faction warfare? ;-) It wouldn't be anything new for CCP to drop a feature on the floor not long after they'd introduced it.

    That said, if the winter expansion gets Establishments in place, CCP can (correctly) claim that that's a good stopping point for Incarna development "for the time being", particularly if DUSTies can access the same Establishments. At that point, the Establishments would become the major EVE-DUST link, and where the deals for the DUST sov fights would be made.

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  8. Luckily for us Eve players Dust is not going to be a success. It's got too many things working against it most importantly that it's a console only shooter and exclusive to the console with the smallest player base. Console kiddies pick up whatever the new hotness is, play it for a couple months and then move on to the next game...they aren't going to stick around with Dust long enough to be meaningful in the Eve universe.

    If I'm wrong about this and Dust somehow turns out to be a huge hit I'll be the first to admit that I'm wrong but I honestly don't think I am.

    Dust was an awesome idea and it would have been amazing if it had been made for the PC and marketed as an add-on to Eve but trying to meld console gamers and PC mmo gamers together is never going to work.

    As for Eve remaining a niche product...that's a good thing. CCP should have learned from SOE and SWG that you can't throw out your current audience in the hopes of replacing them with a bigger audience by drastically changing your game. I think CCP was on the verge of doing just that but thankfully the playerbase and the current CSM pulled them back.

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  9. @smg77: DUST isn't going to stay exclusive to the PS3. There's going to be a PC client. Guarantee it. Absolutely guarantee it.

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  10. Agree with smg77 that DUST has no chance to compete with Battlefield,COD,Halo franchises, which have perfected FPS genre to a T.

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  11. @Jester
    "There's going to be a PC client. Guarantee it. Absolutely guarantee it."
    So they are just gong double dip and sell DUST to the same players they are milking in EvE already?

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  12. Jester, as for PS3 exclusivity, perhaps. But it would not be unlike CCP to be utterly unwilling to do such a move as it would be considered an admission of "failure". Not that it really would be failure, on the contrary.

    But it would not be a first time for them to dig the trench ever deeper just to not hear the noise on the field. Granted, that applies a lot less to CCP as a company than it does to select people at CCP who have structurally guided (impacted, impaired) strategic direction for particularly EVE Online the past years. Stone tablets as a syndrome.

    Fortunately, Magnus as well as Thomas and especially the team in Shanghai itself have not demonstrated such behaviour on the venture of Dust 514 - so there is hope. But it is still but one product, subject to strategic vision, and business development.

    If it pays, if it pays .... and not "if it has to pay".

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  13. @Anonymous

    "So they are just gong double dip and sell DUST to the same players they are milking in EvE already?"

    During several of the roundtables at the last fanfest, the staff present working on Dust 514 were quite open on that. They are very much aware that the first influx of Dust players will come from EVE. It is only natural for them to cater to that, that is business. But that is still a consumer choice to do that, as the staff present were also acutely aware and clear on the understanding of the risks of enforcing dependancies between the two games, to avoid impressions and actuality of "milking both".
    Their stated intention was to gradually grow and nurture core customer groups specifically for Dust 514. If there were overlap between those and EVE players, by all means. But Dust 514 has the target of growing to stand on its own legs.

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  14. @Virt: who said anything about DUST 514 getting a PC client being a failure? Read any of the launch articles you like for DUST. Virtually every interviewer asked CCP that question, and virtually every interviewer got a coy response that CCP doesn't want to double-dip into their EVE player base... yet.

    The PC client won't be out immediately. But it'll come. My bet is a year after the PS3 launch, we'll see the PC client launch.

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  15. I am quite hopeful that you and Seleene are correct.

    But I also hope that CCP doesn't drop their Incarna after Establishments, but maybe use that time to "flesh them out" into something spectacular while using the majority of their Devs to bring the base part of Eve (i.e spaceships) back up to par and maybe fix some long standing issues and requests while they are at it.

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  16. Let's hope DUST runs better than Incarna on PC, because then it would burn quite a few video cards creating a new motto for hardcore:
    "Do not play on PC that you can't afford to lose"

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  17. I don't care if Eve has a thousand players, or a million players. What i care about is: Do I feel like I'm getting $15 worth of entertainment each month? I don't need to be WoW'd(sic) with new content all the time. What I need is a game that is enjoyable to play. So Eve can be DUST's bitch and I won't care. As long as I'm having fun CCP will get my money and we can both be happy.

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  18. @Jester I would not call opening Dust 514 to PC a failure, it was however a touchy topic during fanfest for CCP - and even at a recent IGI meet.
    The syndrome there is that of "I know best, our vision is best, our perspective is best". Remember CCP's incredibly hard time getting to the point of even considering the concept screwups with PI as a result of "vision" impacting an active project. Or consider the absolute conviction they repeatedly stated that "Incarna can only be compelling unless it is enforced". That last one, when a CTO makes such a comment in regards to a service model ... and it becomes dogma, that alone should raise eyebrows.

    The double dip, they are acutely aware of. That especially in light of the necessity for Dust as a product to grow its own core usergroups, and thus markets. Only logical, Dust 514 is another leg for the company. It's hard to conquer the world with just one leg. Dust is CCP's second one.

    I'm expecting a PC client as well, I should add. But by necessity once they internalise core usergroups, commercial necessity. That being said, it is worth to keep an eye on the relations between Sony and CCP.

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  19. A PC client for dust is a nice fantasy but won't work. You can't have console players and pc players fighting each other in an fps because the keyboard/mouse is so much better for aiming that the pc players invariably wipe the floor with those stuck using a controller.

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  20. Saying that releasing DUST for PC is "double-dipping" is like saying Blizzard releasing Warcraft III and also WOW for PC is double dipping. It may be linked, but it's a new game and if it's good people will buy it.

    I do hope it turns out to be great! Honestly, all the most recent articles I've read about DUST have eased my nerves quite a bit.

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  21. @Jester
    That was exactly my point. These were features that were released that CCP thought would make big changes to the game, but they're unfinished, though at "good stopping points". If a feature isn't working out, they have, through actions, if not words, made it to a stopping point for that feature where they can claim they'll work on in the future and flush it out more, but also be able shelve it completely. When it comes to the WiS content, I think they will just finish fixing the current technical problems, and call it a "good stopping point."

    While I admit that I don't follow DUST as much since the announcement of the PS3 exclusivity (and my not owning a PS3), I haven't seen anything that indicates DUST players will be able to get to the stations, and interact through WiS content with the EVE players. Same universe? Sure. Work on objectives together? Sure. Avatar to avatar interaction? Not so much.

    I agree that if DUST players are able to access the WiS content of EVE, then it could easily be a launch point for more facets of sov and faction warface, but I'm skeptical that the implementation will go through.

    CCP said originally that WiS content would not impact EVE gameplay, and all the features that were available would still be available after the WiS content was introduced. If they stick to this, even as a goal that is incorrectly implemented in a "feature", then what we have is no real reason for WiS content. Making the EVE/DUST link in WiS content, especially if DUST is going to have the impact on EVE that it is claimed to have, goes concretely against that idea.

    Don't get me wrong. I like that EVE is a sandbox MMO and we now have more toys in the sandbox, and that even more are promised. But what good are water guns when there is no water available, just because there is water coming "soon(tm)"?

    @Anonymous
    With the bit about double dipping and selling DUST to EVE players, I was an EVE player that was looking forward to DUST, and was disapointed to hear that PS3 was getting the exclusivity on it. I understand that you can't really put a PC gamer on an PC FPS client and a console gamer on the console FPS client, then stick the two against each other and call it fair, but I was really hoping that it'd be a PC release instead. Were they realistic hopes? Not really, but one can always dream.

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  22. @All
    The main point about double dipping is if EvE players have to pay for DUST then what is their subscription is paying for? Incarna? WOD?

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  23. My bet is that being able to switch CQ on and off at will (as opposed to requiring an undock in order to disembark) will increase its uptake, especially given the opportunity to strut in public showing off those natty boots and pants.

    If Incarna can be tuned to enable role-play, I can see both Incarna and WoD taking off simply because role-players and machanima producers will want that kind of environment. By "enable role-play" I mean providing a framework for all manner of gestures - flip the bird, wave hello, sit/stand fluidly, change where the avatar is looking, change "attitude" from meek & slack-shouldered to defiant and set-jawed, that kind of thing.

    CQ can incorporate an awful lot of "content" without providing anything to shoot at. Not all avatar based gameplay has to involve shooting. See Tomb Raider for some ideas.

    I'm sure there will be a lot of people who will try the game out and keep playing it if the ability to enter structures in space becomes an option: even if that part of the sci-fi simulator is a different game.

    In the long run, this subscriber is one of the folks keen on the "sci-fi simulator" version of EVE, not just flying ships in space. I want to see that beanstalk. I want to have a reason to blow up that dreadnought who is currently conducting orbital bombardment against ground troops. I want to be able to transition immersively between taking down dreadnoughts in space and taking down Black Russians in the bar.

    But in the short term, expect CQ to be used more now that it's not mandatory. Expect NeX sales to skyrocket once people can show off their blink below the neckline.

    (and I'm curious as to whether the Opus Luxury Yacht in the screenshots is there for a reason ;)

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  24. 1) There are many very good console FPS players who would wipe the floor with the vast majority of PC FPS players, regardless of equipment used. I used to be very proficient with both setups, although my preference for PC FPS was actually a laptop with a trackpoint. *shrug*

    2) There are hardware addons available for the PS3 (and other consoles) that allow the use of keyboard+mouse input regardless of in-game support for said peripherals.

    That said, I don't see DUST succeeding to the point where it overshadows EVE, not at all. FPS gamers are for the most part fickle. They move to the next big title, old favourites quickly forgotten. I don't think the persistent world of DUST will change this trend in the slightest. In fact it doesn't even impact the majority of the players of the current game, who have little to no interest in holding SOV or interacting with those that do in any manner. That leaves DUST with basically the same RPG-lite mechanics as every other current console FPS, and a slew of up-and-coming heavy hitter titles like Halo 4, Battlefield 3, the new Tribes game and the umpteenth iterations of MoH/CoD to compete with. Franchises with millions of fans who have been playing them for the better part of a decade.

    I truely hope CCP is not betting the future of their company on being able to steal and keep these players for any longer than it takes for the next new shiny to come along. This tactic has failed time and again for every company trying to take a slice of WoWs pie.

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  25. DUST is being marketed as a "persistent shooter." Everyone who is dismissive of DUST as just like every other FPS out there needs to keep the "persistent" part of "persistent shooter" in mind.

    I can easily see the sov-fights in DUST becoming every bit as compelling to DUSTies as those in EVE are to null-sec residents, WITHOUT much of the problems of grind that EVE has.

    Sony built an MMO on this bet alone. It was called Planetside. People still play it.

    And CCP is very, VERY patient. They'll wait to build an audience if they have to. EVE proved it.

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  26. I don't entirely understand why it is assumed that Dust will somehow compete with EVE, or that Dust's success will be at EVE's expense. If anything, a successful Dust will generate income for CCP which can then be spent on EVE development, much as some of income from EVE is no doubt currently used to develop Dust. The worst scenario, and one that all the folk who dislike Dust seem to favor, is that Dust fails and does not generate enough revenue even to recoup development costs. In such a case it is very possible that CCP will use EVE as a source of funds to sustain Dust, and _that_ is a negative outcome.

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  27. @Katsuko
    It is not a question whether DUST will fail or not, because it will. The bigger concern is if it will drag EvE down along with it.

    BTW,given the CCP track record and timelines when do you think DUST will see the light of day, if at all? Wait another year or so and PS3 will be an old platform replaced with Vita and such, then what?

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  28. Hey Jester, I liked your post, and realize that you made a big disclaimer that it might very well all be irrelevant or far too immersed in assumptions and suppositions that may not come to fruition.

    That said, you lost me when it came to arguing for DUST and what DUST will be. I just don't think that CCP will integrate DUST with EVE beyond stat-tracking and sov-warfare for PI. I just don't.

    Speculation aside I envision CCP will more likely be trying to emulate a success story like Team Fortress 2, producing a solid class-based shooter with micro-transactions that are optional but remain far from the Pay-to-Win model everyone dreads.

    I would further suggest that CCP will fail. The platform shooter market is as of this generation based on me-too formulaic successes of modern warfare and chest-high walls for cover. Then factor in the fact that DUST has been announced to be PS3 exclusive - effectively driving a wedge between EVE and DUST.

    This next portion may be construed as fan-boyism, but I assure you it's not.

    PS3 is not the platform-of-choice for FPS gaming. The networking service being free means the precision required, nay, demanded by FPS players is just not there purely based on latency issues (its like EVE, IN YOUR TV!!!). Couple this with the fact that there is not ONE effective way to transmit information between a PS3 and any sort of community involvement interface at large. I realize that Xbox Live (GFWL) on PC is...nasty...to say the least. But it would have been better...

    You know what I will make a prediction right now: DUST will fail.

    DUST will fail because no one will read the bulletpoints on the back of the packaging and see "BECOME PART OF A BIGGER UNIVERSE YOU CANNOT INTERACT WITH EFFECTIVELY" and go "oh gee! just what I need for Timmy's xmas present!!!1!!111"

    I want to post a more in-depth reply than this, but I'm annoyed. Annoyed because I see a need for CCP to diversify to remain viable, but the way they are choosing to invest their time and money is equal parts ludicrous, irresponsible and moronic.

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  29. Kudos on naming this post after one of the most infamous 1930's Nazi propaganda films to be made. To be honest, I didn't read the wall of other comments. So, if someone else beat me to pointing this out, my apologies.

    Keep up the blogging, is always a good read =)

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  30. What happens to the "persistant shooter" when PS3s become obsolete? You can't do a "persistant shooter" on generational hardware that becomes completely obsolete, the PCs Evolve, consoles die off and are renewed.

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  31. @ Anonymous 19th 17:23 "The main point about double dipping is if EvE players have to pay for DUST then what is their subscription is paying for? Incarna? WOD?

    I see variations of this statement a lot, and it always makes me chuckle nervously, as I hang my head in despair.

    Subscriptions are to CCP for playing EVE online, we already know Dust will be free to play, but like EVE, you can buy a plex equivalent to get credits. Although this of course could always change I suppose.

    What gets me is how people say they object CCP spending their money on developing Dust/WoD etc. Not what the quote says exactly, but we've all seen it/know what is meant buy it.
    Let’s get this straight, your right to say what happens to your money ends when you hand your money over to CCP... At this point it's CCP's money.

    CCP is a business, and quite rightly can spend its money on R&D how it sees fit. You have no right as a player to tell CCP how it spends its money. If an individual does not like how CCP runs its business, the answer is easy, don’t pay for the subscription, don’t play the game. However if CCP does not diversify as a company, stark truth is companies that don’t innovate (particularly in technology and gaming) tend to stagnate and die.

    Now I’m not saying that the player base has should have no input into EvE’s development, far from it, we should be telling CCP what we want, that’s what feedback is for, and I whole heartedly agree and subscribe to the comments made in Jester’s blog both this post and mostly in general, basically more space ship content and balancing, it’s the space ships that we are here for after all!

    It is not our place however, to try to dictate how CCP gets there. We can give a guiding hand; give our thoughts, CCP is ahead of the curve in so many ways with the CSM and it being a considered stakeholder (how many other games have that? None that’s right, of course only any good if they listen to them but that’s a whole other post), suggestions and desires but nothing more. Most of us are not game developer professional, players do not always know better, but ultimately if CCP screw up and the player base don’t like what they are getting, then people will and have as we have seen voted with their feet.

    In regards to double dipping, as a player I have interest in both EvE and Dust, both space ships and shooters, I may be in the minority, I already pay for EvE, but if I like what dust has to offer upon it’s release I am happy to pay for the privilege of playing that too, they are after all totally separate games as the Nay Sayers like to point out! Appealing to two different genres, they just happen to be sharing the same universe.

    My main concern in Dust is not if CCP are going to produce a good game or not. If EvE is anything to go buy Dust will be released half finished and have SoonTM in the title after the 514, but the game will be innovative, different and hopefully off the back of that rejuvenate the stale FPS genre and therefore be successful. My biggest concern is how CCP intends to get the two player bases to interact and co-exist. MMOPG and FPS console players (at risk of being stereotypical) bi-polar opposites. As an EvE player nothing would be more annoying than being dependant on an immature idiot on a console screaming down voip at me in corp chat, as anyone who has played modern warfare 2, battlefield, medal of honour will likely attest, it is my sincere hope it is well regulated and controlled.

    @ Jester Great blog man, interesting read I actually have to keep coming back to see what you post next (that is very rare these days so thanks), keep up the good work :D.

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  32. @Jester: Speaking as someone who has been playing FPS games since the original Doom, the better part of the last 2 decades, I think you overestimate the appeal of "persistent worlds" to the playerbase as a whole. Yes, some will be interested, just as some of the EVE playerbase is interested in SOV, and some of the GA playerbase is interested in clan warfare. Most will be in it for the shiny graphics, new weapon options and fast paced action. When that becomes stale, no amount of imaginary real estate control will compel them to stay.

    Yes, some people still play planetside. Some people played Halo 2 right up until the day they pulled the plug on the online servers, These players were not a majority. They were a small fraction of the initial fanbase. If the best DUST can hope for is to retain a small portion of its initial interest... well that sounds like failure to me.

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  33. With the abundance all sorts of cheats and "hacks" in PC shooters, I surely hope CCP never make a PC version of DUST. No that PS3 is immune, it's just way, way better in that respect ...

    ~Karim

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  34. @madhaberdashers,

    You character, stats, skills, items are just data on the server, no problem working with it from a new generation console, from a different console, from a PC or from a MAC...

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  35. Great,
    This still does not make EvE Friendly and appealing to new or old players. EvE is not friendly to short play styles. To do anything worth while or fun in eve you need 3-4h uninterrupted a night, every night.
    A casual player get to look forward to…mining, low value market trading, and working towards level 4 missions. WH, Incursions, 0.0 all take more time than most players can afford. It is worse for a new player has it much the same.

    If CCP gave accessible content that was fun as well as helped players and corps towards long term goals you would see many resubs and better player retention. Flashy stuff is nice but it no way address the prime failings of EvE to the majority of gamers.

    EvE needs content.

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  36. I agree about EvE not being casual friendly.
    Maybe if EvE had a web or mobile interface that would allow you to at least change training queue, play the market and communicate within EvE Universe. Wait a minute, wasn't EvE Gate supposed to be all that, so why is it not?

    It is a fact that Eve Gate is another shitty and useless implementation of something that would have made EvE much more accessible. This is why I would not be holding my breath for DUST being anything more than a mediocre FPS.

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  37. Outside of CCP, where is this "positive buzz" about Dust?

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  38. I have the impression that a lot of the negativity towards DUST
    comes simply from people now owning a PS3 ... :)

    Anyway ...

    IMHO, one should not try to compare DUST to FPS like CoD, Halo or
    Killzone, and I certainly hope CCP do not envision DUST as a
    competitor to these games.

    Rather, put weight not on the *shooter*, but on the MMORPG aspect
    - in that sense I'd expect DUST to cater to the same kind of
    people who play WoW, SWG, EvE.

    ~Karim

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  39. Has anyone had the thought that maybe one day to complete a lvl5...after all rats are cleared, a capsuleer would have to dock at a structure(eg serpentis station) instead of shooting it to run around 1st person and collect a damsel?

    I'm not sure if this thought is amazing or awful.

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  40. "Rather, put weight not on the *shooter*, but on the MMORPG aspect
    - in that sense I'd expect DUST to cater to the same kind of
    people who play WoW, SWG, EvE."

    Ask Tabula Rasa how that turned out.

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  41. @deadmeat:

    That sounds great...if it's optional. Make it a bonus mission to do the WiS part, and leave the standard "explode shit til can drops" in place.

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