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.It was a great quote then, and it's a great quote now. CCP's starting to come around to this way of thinking, and that's great. But I feel the need to expand on it.
There's been a lot of chatter on the various EVE fora the last few days about incursions, and a complaint that comes up again and again is that incursions offer "too much ISK for too little risk", to put it poetically.
Get ready to accuse me of trolling:
- for one thing, this isn't true; and, for another,
- so freakin' what?
On those occasions when I've actively beared, I've run sanctums and havens in 0.0, and I've run incursions in high-sec. Know what's riskier? Incursions. By far! I'd bet serious money that far more ships are lost while running incursions than while ratting in 0.0. I myself have lost two ships running incursions, one to a logi that I shouldn't have trusted, one to a bad fitting choice on my part. I've only lost one ship ratting, thanks to a silly assumption on my own part that a Scimitar couldn't possibly be a tackler. ;-) But even outside of the ships that I myself have lost, every single time I run incursions, I see ships -- quite expensive ships -- explode. Every single time I run incursions, I see ships go into deep armor or structure, and while playing logi myself, have had to overheat my reps several times to prevent ships from being lost. When I fly DPS or web ships in incursions, I'm far more concerned about losing my ship than I am while 0.0 ratting.
0.0 ratting, by contrast, is remarkably safe. Much of it happens in empty systems with no threats in evidence, with the simple ability to warp off if there's even the slightest chance of any danger. I'll bet there are twenty people ratting in Titans as I type this, a hundred or more ratting in super-carriers, and a thousand in expensive tech3 or pirate faction ships. "Too much ISK for too little risk?" 0.0 rats themselves are absolutely no threat at all... hell, the major risk in 0.0 ratting is boredom.
Which brings me to the second point. Let's be clear here: PvE in EVE is no fun at all. Incursions are the most fun PvE in EVE, but on a fun-scale rating of one to ten, the best incursion fleet in the world rarely rates more than a four or so, and most would be hard-pressed to hit a three. It's just that every other PvE option in EVE would be hard-pressed to hit a two that makes incursions come off looking good by comparison.
I have yet to be convinced that incursions are having a significant impact on the EVE economy as a whole, even on a micro scale: PLEXes alone, say. Lots of people claim this, but nobody has shown anything even approaching conclusive proof. In the meantime, we've got a lot of people bitching that other people in EVE are getting rich and this is somehow a bad thing. I've pointed out in another post how circular much of this money flow truly is. If you're worried about this circular money flow, then your path is clear: start suicide-ganking incursion ships. It's not that hard.
For the rest of us, let's be equally clear. The non-circular component of this money is going to either new EVE players trying to get out of EVE's slogging mid-game(1) or it's going to 0.0 alts -- people like myself -- who have to do PvE to make money to buy PvP ships. If EVE Online spotted all of us PvPers a passive and automatic income equal to the average cost of ships that we fly in PvP every month, the vast majority of PvPers would stop doing PvE in EVE entirely.
PvE in EVE is not fun. We do it because we have to, not because we want to. Nerf incursion ISK, and we're going to move to whatever becomes the next-most-efficient source of ISK to fund our PvP habit. Because that's what's fun for us, not the PvE. And CCP should keep that in mind.
But if people who like running incursions are having fun... if they're satisfied with a three or a four on the fun scale, or would rate it higher... then what right do you or I have to tell them they should stop? Yes, I myself want to tweak and adjust their fun so that they will be more a part of the larger EVE community and so they'll be better players. I make no apologies for that. But at the end of the day, if they're having fun, more power to 'em and anyone who bitches about that too much... well, that just strikes me as envy, honestly. There's nothing stopping any of these people bitching from joining some incursions and getting some "risk-free ISK" for themselves.
If it came right down to CCP saying they only have time to work on one PvE option in EVE at a time, then I'd encourage them to put incursions at the end of the list of things to be worked on, not the beginning. Because as much as incursions do need some tweaking, since they're the most fun PvE EVE has right now, they do have the virtue of actually working and adding to EVE's fun per dollar quotient.
CCP should be making the rest of the PvE in EVE more like incursions... not the other way around.
(1) I'll have more to say about this very soon.