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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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Comment of the week: EVE's first rule

I would be remiss if I didn't pick this.  ;-)  The expensive L1 mission Thrasher fit is causing a lot of discussion yesterday and today, and DoyceT does a great job of summing up the two major objections to it in the first comment on today's "Death of Cicero" post.  Quoted in part:
Explaining the meta-levels to new players -- the ridiculous complexity; the fact that (just off the top of my head) Scout is the best kind of Projectile artillery, but the worst kind of Hybrid rail -- has made two of new people I've brought into the game throw up their hands and unsubscribe.

Can people learn it? Of course.

Do they need that crap piled on top of their 'to learn' list as soon as their out of their tutorial? Does it make the game seem remotely accessible? Does it make the game seem in any way more fun? No.

Does the idea of sinking every isk they have at the end of their tutorial into a single destroyer in ANY WAY compatible with EvE's Rule 0?

Only fly what you can afford to lose.

They cannot. Afford. To. Lose. That. Ship.

It's a fine build, but not for it's stated purpose.
And both of those are excellent points, particularly the fitting's violation of EVE's first rule.  I might not like being hoist on my own petard, but I acknowledge when it happens.  Good comment, DoyceT!


  1. There's nothing complex about meta levels. You tell the new player to ignore the names and look at the meta numbers, and then add that he shouldn't worry much about the stats anyway and just buy Meta-1 because they're cheap and a bit better than Meta-0. When the player is ready, he'll start comparing statistics and figuring out whether the extra price is worth it himself.

  2. @ Anon: It's not that it is truly complex, but that it is a pain, and many people do not enjoy memorizing arbitrary lists in their spare time.

  3. Yeah, I don't think the problem is so much that the names are complex.. is that the names are used over and over again and mean something different. It is much harder to know that a "Prototype" Autocannon is worse than a "Prototype" Railgun, then it is to know that a "Prototype" Autocannon is worse than an "Ishaki" Railgun.

    Much of that frustration could be removed by just not duplicating names. Kind of a pointless complication.

  4. I'm not saying that the naming system for items is not unintuitive, although it's no worse than what is found in most other RPGs, save that most RPGs are fantasy-based and fall back onto familiar stereotypes.

    I'm saying that there is no point in even thinking about how the names for meta items are related, and that even attempting to explain that relationship to a new player is not merely pointless but counterproductive. All a new player needs to know is that a higher meta level equates to a stronger/better item, and if that player can't grasp the idea that 2 is higher than 1, then gods help him when he gets on an elevator.

  5. And did your young niece put this fit together herself ?


  6. Theres nothign arbitrary about knowing meta level 4 mods are about equal to t2 modules, excluding the t2 ammo usage and heat sink amount when OH'ing. The item database for EVE is not difficult to understand when you know the basics of what you need. Its not a complex system, its a bloated, fill with a million items with very slight variations of each stat they effect.

    People are just overwhelmed easily when they see how many items are available to them without understanding what the minute differences are between them.

  7. Grimmash, I for one DO enjoy memorizing arbitrary lists. This gives the game depth, realism, and mystery.

    This is one of the reasons eve has endured, and was one of the reasons why WOW before the online guides and databases felt like such an adventure. Standardization would kill eve. Its quirkiness that makes eve.

  8. The so called 'quirkiness' keeps eve irrelevant.
    And small.
    So small that if you piss of just a relatively small number of eve-geeks the whole game threatens to go down.

    The meta-level stupidity is just one example for what´s wrong with eve.

    Basically all meta 1 and 3 mods could be comfortably discarded. Leaving only a better and "real good" mod to nicely streamline the whole mod naming mess.
    Which as long as the market doesn´t sort intuitively by meta level, OF COURSE needs a naming standardization.

    The anti "dumbing down" crowd is just the usual complacent element of a vet player base, that´s incapable of seeing the forest because a couple of years ago they bumped into a tree and don´t want to look around it anymore.

  9. Ivar, look at wow subscription rates then say again that dumbing down works. Without the vets there'll be no sand in the sandbox. Your comment is strong though, I concede that. I'm just stating my opinion.

    Eve needs the complexity, it needs obsolete items floating around, it needs things to be difficult. Look at real life- that's what it's like - and for mmos to be real, that's what they should be like.

    Sorry to bring up wow again (thanks for being mature enough not to jump on that) but, for example, making it easier to form a group for a dungeon killed the stress of forming groups and the drama of meeting up at the instance. Often the best pvp was had on the way to meet up etc. sure it's easier now, but the 'adventure' and 'unknown' was what made the game big. Arrows to quest items? Perrlease. Initially there were no databases to look up quests and the only way to know how to do it was through great effort or by interacting with other players.

    I love eve because after around 2 1/2 years of play I still have so much to learn, still have reasons to chat on TS about modules etc.

  10. The best that Crucible can hope for is to keep current subscribers happy; those "Some Curves Aren't" - still aren't.

  11. Yes, let's dumb down the game. Lets make it so we have 1 "best" module for each slot and all you do is train skills to make that one module better.

    Even better, just train one skill to take the meta-level stupidity AND the thought process on what to train next out. At the same time, it will remove the entire need to put skills in the queue because you will just keep getting skillpoints on the one skill you have.

    Should we also just remove every ship type and class and just automagically upgrade the ship when you have a certain amount of SP? Sounds like a damn good system to me. Lets do it!

    ****For the "special" people out there, this post was brought to you by SARCASM****



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