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...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mid-game problem

Some games -- particularly RPGs -- have a mid-game problem.  Our example game for this exercise will be Skyrim.  Skyrim has a terrible mid-game problem.  Don't worry, EVE players.  I'm going to be relating this to EVE, so stay with me.

Skyrim is a skills-based RPG where level progression is determined based on advancement of those skills.  The game does not care which skills you advance.  Advancing a certain number of skills allows you to level up.  Leveling up grants increased stats and perks, but not increased skills.  But leveling up also increases game difficulty since the game levels your adversaries partially based on your own level.  Skyrim's mid-game problem comes about for two reasons:
  • it has both combat and non-combat skills, and treats them equally with respect to leveling; and,
  • several of its skills are highly dependent on luck or large amounts of in-game money in order to use adequately.
Let's talk about both in turn.

Many of Skyrim's skills, notably the use of one- and two-handed weapons, using bows, blocking with shields, and Destruction magic, are 100% combat-oriented.  Advancement of these skills requires an opponent on which to use them and raising these skills increases their effectiveness.  However, many others, notably Smithing, Alchemy, Enchanting, and Illusion, Conjuration, and Alteration magic, are partially or wholly non-combat-related.  It is quite possible to greatly advance all of these skills, rapidly raising the character's level, without ever leaving the game's protected strong-holds.  At the point where such a character finally does leave one of these strong-holds, they can find themselves at level 5 or 6... but with combat skills of a level 1 character facing multiple level 5 and 6 adversaries.  Swift, frequent, and frustrating death is the result.

Almost as bad is the problem of enchantments and magic within the game.  Unlike Skyrim's predecessors, learning enchantments to use on magic items happens through the destruction of existing magic items either found or purchased by the player.  A similar mechanic exists for the purchase of magic spells for use in combat.  They must be either found as loot or purchased from vendors.  As a result, a great deal of luck enters early Skyrim play.  If you intend to frequently battle dragons, you will need magic items conferring fire or frost resistance.  Therefore, you must hope to either luck into receiving appropriate items as loot, or you must hope that the (randomly-generated) items up for sale by merchants will have these enchantments.  You then have to hope that if you end up purchasing items to destroy to learn their enchantments, that those items won't break your wallet.

This nearly immediately becomes difficult because magic items for purchase are rare until you reach the mid-game.  By the time you start to see them, the items you're forced into destroying to learn needed enchantments can be expensive.

This introduces several competing mid-game problems: do you spend your money on the spells and enchantments you need, or do you go off on many side-quests to try to luck into them, or perform those side-quests to gain the money you need to buy the items when they do become available?  And while you're doing so, how do you balance skills as you level?  If you forget and create a pile of potions or armor to sell and inadvertently level yourself with your non-combat skills faster than your combat skills in the process, you can find yourself facing a different sort of mid-game problem: the side-quests will become too difficult for you.

So, there's a very tricky balance involved in early Skyrim play to try to avoid these two mid-game problems.  You have to balance the advancement of combat and non-combat skills as you level.  If you're smart, you'll hoard much of your early gold, recognizing that it will be needed when you reach the mid-game, to fill in the inevitable holes in your enchanting ability or spell books left by unlucky loot drops.  This problem is not unique to Skyrim, of course.  As I said, many RPGs have this mid-game problem to one extent or another.  Most people who play RPGs for any length of time recognize the balance that has to be struck to be successful.

EVE Online also has a matched pair of mid-game problems.

A little over a year ago, strictly for my own amusement, I produced the following "chart":


I posted it on FHC, and it got some laughs.  Some people wanted to nit-pick about where I had put this or that item, but I was mostly trying to convey the overall experience of EVE Online as a long-term player.  Whether you start PvPing in Drakes at five million SP or 12 million, whether you start solo PvPing at one million SP or 40 million, almost nobody can deny that one's enjoyment of EVE waxes and wanes with one's skill point totals...

...with what is possible to fly and what is not possible to fly.

Once you can fly Drakes, the fact that you can't fly Zealots becomes paramount.  Once you can fly Zealots, the fact that you can't fit T2 guns on your Tornado becomes paramount.  Once you can do that, you start mournfully looking at the cap-ship fleet you're supporting.

EVE is so often about what you can't fly, and not what you can.

And that causes frustration, impatience, and the strong desire to start playing a game where it doesn't take three years to get to the end-game goals.

That's one of EVE's mid-game problems.  We're told in the CSM December Summit minutes CCP has determined that "if a user has been subscribed to EVE for three years or more, that user is very unlikely to leave EVE."  Figuring one million SP every 21 days, that's about 50 million skill-points.  I have three characters past that point now, and for all three of them within their specialties, there's very few things they cannot do or fly were I to put my mind to it.

But damn, did it take a while to get there.  And damn, did it take a lot of patience.

The quote came from a session with CCP regarding customer loyalty, and it's great that they recognize this problem.  And part of the problem is solved: at least we don't have to spend months training Learning skills any more.  But on today's modern EVE PvP battlefield, where pilots are expected to be able to field a wide variety of ships -- most of them T2 -- encouraging a new player to start that three-year climb is going to become increasingly difficult.  Goons -- Goons, mind -- in addition to fielding sizable battleship fleets are now fielding sizable super-capital fleets!  The days of the Goon Rifter fleet are long gone, except as a way to get a few laughs.  Lots of people will get to that dip in their fun at the seven or eight million SP mark ("no, can't fit that; no, can't fit that, either; no, can't fly that") and quit out of frustration right there.  Once you've trained all those fitting skills, you quickly forget how long they all took, but when you're doing it... oi.

How to fix it?  I haven't a clue.  Current players will be loath to change anything.  As I've said a lot, they'll say "I had to fight my way up the learning cliff, and it was hard.  You have to, too, newbie.  No short-cuts."  Maybe whatever loyalty program that eventually emerges from CCP will help.

I sure wish I had that updated PCU data.  It feels like EVE is out of immediate danger of crashing, but the niche that Incarna was supposed to break EVE out of still remains, and I don't think Crucible helped much.  Loyal EVE players might hustle over to mmorpg.com to vote it Player's Choice Game of the Year and that's terrific, but with both RIFT and TOR rocketing past EVE here, there's still some work to be done.  Remember, when mmorpg.com's editors chose, they didn't choose EVE.

What's EVE's other mid-game problem?  It's related, but I'll get to that in a day or two.

31 comments:

  1. Hmmm, while I can see the frustration of 'No i cant fly that,...or that,...or that,..." the long skill times to get to where you want to be is one of the things that I think is great about EvE. Yes it can be frustrating sometimes but at the same time, that patience and persistence really pays off well when the first time you realize that you can in fact fly this or that, and do it well.

    While its tempting to want to fly everything a lot sooner in the end people would get bored with EvE after a few years. Just think, I bet you anything that there isn't a player here who doesn't have at least one more thing they could be skilling for. And that, in and of itself, gives me a reason to keep coming back to this game, even after the days where everything goes wrong and I end up a billion or two poorer.

    In the end it comes down to a crossroad. CCP can make EvE a lot easier but they need to decide how and where they want to do this because even though there is a lot of stupidly hard parts of this game, to take away all the difficulty would take away a lot of the fun that most of its current players sign up for. This idea that EvE is going to somehow become something more than a niche game comes at the expense of EvE as we know it now. And not just the poorly designed interface and lack of a comprehensive tutorial but also at that sense of accomplishment one gets from they're first solo kill, or Hulk, or whatever else you have put real effort into achieving.

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  2. >How to fix it?
    How about letting players purchase skill levels? CCP would need to charge a premium over purchasing a character with the required skills.

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  3. Very insightful indeed. Can't wait for Pt. 2.

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  4. umm, just NO. You missed the boat on that one

    I started to play EVE EXACTLY because of unique skill system.

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  5. Does your analysis of Skyrim's midgame problem apply across all difficulty levels? I decided to play the first time through on Easy Mode (as I always do in these games, because I enjoy focusing on the world and its stories rather than combat challenges). I take a balanced approach to leveling up skills, alternating between the various types. I complete quests in a sort of mixed order. Whether due to these factors or "Easy Mode", I haven't experienced the midgame challenge you describe. There have only been a handful of fights where I got killed while solo, but changes in tactics or paying better attention on the next try fixed that.

    As for EVE, it is very different now than when I started playing in 2007--back when the mantra was that even a noob in a frigate was useful. When less skilled characters can do useful tasks--even in frigates--in support of a fleet, they will have fun and feel like they are contributing something important. That can go a long way in tempering frustration at not yet being able to fly "big boy" ships.

    If EVE has changed so much that this is no longer practical, the game has lost something really important. Or maybe the problem is really one of mindset and expectations derived from those you choose to fly with and their preferred style of combat and perception of how to play the game. I personally never felt frustrated about what I couldn't yet fly but a lot of that had to do with being around people who were inclusive of all, regardless of skill level. My frustrations were more to do with skill-based fitting challenges that took time to resolve. No getting around that!

    But then, EVE is about the long term plan, anyway, not instant gratification. I think it would be a misguided disservice to the fundamental nature and spirit of the game if CCP were to make it easier to "level up". My concern is that doing so would simply encourage power escalation. Mechanics and gameplay solutions that encourage and make feasible fun roles for less skilled players--roles that are so much fun that they more than makes up for not being able to drive the biggest ships in the fleet--would seem a better option.

    But it's been over a year since I actually undocked with a fleet so what do I know. My comments are probably all irrelevant by now!

    -- Mynxee

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    1. Jester is a different style of player to you, Mynxee.

      There is an informal test available, called The Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology, which will help classify you as an MMO player into Explorer/Socialiser/Achiever/Killer groupings. I suspect that Jester would fall into the Achiever grouping with a side of Killer. In fact, I suspect that most bittervets are "Achiever" style players: they've run out of new things to do, and they have become bitter because they don't see that CCP is giving them anything new.

      I'm an Explorer with a side of Socialiser. Achievment isn't important to me: I don't care about being able to fly a particular ship as anything more than a tool to do whatever I'm interested in doing right now. I have no desire to fly a capital or super capital. When I play RPGs, I read the dialogs. When I accept missions in EVE, I read the mission description before I head out into space.

      The Explorer types will be those posting in features and ideas about dynamic dungeons and randomly generated exploration sites (as in: Radar sites will always contain cans, but the scenery can be changed so that no two sites will be exactly the same).

      The Social types will be those asking about what is happening to WiS.

      The Killer types will be those too busy playing the game to post on the forums.

      The Achiever types will be standing up at FanFest asking CCP to "throw us veterans a bone" even though they haven't trained every skill that's available. i.e.: they want bigger/better ships to fly.

      Delete
    2. Just took it. Killer Socializer.

      Delete
  6. The fun should be in the journey, not the end. If CCP wants to people to enjoy the game at low skill level, then they should make enjoyable content for the low level pilots.

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  7. I'll parrot everyone else by saying that there are ups and downs to the skill system.

    I am now, however, just getting to the 30 million SP mark. I have worked hard to max my support skills, so now it's just unlocking ships and guns, but boy, that does take a while.

    I need Large T2 pulse lasers for DPS Oracle fleets. 40 days. Add to that sniper fleets (T2 Beams). Another 20 days.

    Evolution has been using Hype fleets recently. 50 days for Gal BS IV and Large T2 blasters.

    Really the only useful gang/fleet T2 ships I can fly are: Scimi, Guardian, and Muninn.

    And there's still so much more to be done! Basic Warfare skills from IV to V: 40 days. Armor comps from III to IV: a week. Shield Comps to IV: two weeks. Shield Upgrades V: another week. Getting around to Cybernetics V, Thermodynamics V, etc. It's a never-ending battle!

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  8. Additional thought: as the player base grows older and more experienced, the line separating the bad from the good is the line between Level IV and Level V. If you want to be truly competitive, you need those Level V skills, which take forever and a day.

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    1. I disagree with this. The actual ingame difference between LV4 and LV5 is not that important ingame. (with some exceptions: logistics)

      What matters more is actual skill, not skillpoints. I'll kill a noob with LV5 skills anytime in pvp.

      This is exactly what I like about the skillsystem in EVE. It's easy to do something, but hard to become an expert.

      DeBingJos

      Delete
  9. You raise some valid points about skyrim but strangely if you just play the game without worrying about all those things and never doing an activity for the sole purpose of leveling a skill it all seems to work out somehow. I have two level 50+ characters and both worked out fine mid-game. Maybe its because I play on max difficulty and spend more time on combat compared to my other skills but it should balance out on normal as well. One thing though is that when you reach level 50+ the game is way too easy :S

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  10. The main difference between EVE and Skyrim is that Skyrim is designed so that the game content is nearly always balanced to your current level.

    That way the game will always provide worthwhile content to the player regardless of what level they are. Yes they can kinda mess with the leveling metric by doing non-combat skills, but I think thats more of a design fault because the game (in theory) could do away with levels and only base its opponents on the combat skills you have, and for example if you had high 'single handed' skill could send out mobs that are either easy or hard for that skill type.

    The problem with EVE and the mid game as you describe isn't the fact that you can't fly this and can't fly that - its more of a case that you can't do anything WORTHWHILE with the ships you CAN fly. Missions for example, once you get up to level 4s they just kinda end. In the mid game you'll end up with enough skill points and ISK to pimp out any ship you want and be able to sleepwalk through all of the L4s.

    The only solution is to be able to provide worthwhile content at all skill levels and for all play styles. Add more mission types, allow them to scale (easy / med / hard / very hard etc) so that PvE players always have worthwhile content. (Yes I know I have not mentioned Incursions but the same scale ability could apply to them)

    PvP can have some additional tweaks to allow Factional Warfare to be fun and worthwhile at the different skill levels and with different fleet configurations.

    EVE is a sandbox and therefore the choice of how you play is down to you. If you want an easy life then you can grind L3s all day long; it'll be slow going but the game shouldn't stop you. Skyrim on the otherhand pretty much assumes that you're ready for the next level band of content and the mobs are automatically balanced to be 'do able' for your level, and pretty much assumes that you have the approprate combat skills to deal with it.

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  11. My main currently has about 7 Mil skillpoints, a good amount of that in Mining and Drone Skills. When the Fuel Blocks Patch came around my CEO (Multiple 30 mil Char Bittervet) came around and said "Hey, lets bash some Pinatas". He told me, that after the patch many POSes will be down. I had a Celestis around (For you guys that don´t know what that is: Gallente Ewar Cruiser ;) ) and fitted it for maximum damage as possible with my meager skills. So we went into the Wildlands and really found an offline POS with modules on it. They dropped 4 T2 Frigs, 4 Covert Ops Cloak and small stuff. I was Happy! As we tried to get the stuff out, a small Gang appeared. I blew as much lot up as I could, got tackled by an Arazu and attacked by Many T2 Ships were I had no hope of doing significant damage. I had a blast and hey, at least I did some damage on the Arazu.
    So to all the low SP Players: Sometimes, just sit yourself in front of EFT and fit something you can use. Fly it, lose it and make another fit. Even low skills can yield something with an impact.

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    1. Glad to see a new player exploring all the aspects that EvE has to offer. I think, quite often, people who are having a bad time in this game don't take in account the people they play with. In this case an active corp who goes out and does stuff is a lot more fun than sitting around doing the same thing day in and day out. Plus you get to try new things as a new player.

      If you're not having fun in this game, consider finding a new corp.

      Delete
  12. Interestingly, my CEO just hit 47mill sp.... and quit eve. Chart may be more accurate than you thought :S

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  13. I think the best solution to this is not to make it easier to reach the end game content, but to develop the content which is available to those who don't have the end game skills yet. As far as PVP content goes, FW was supposed to do this to an extent and player groups like RvB create it for themselves.

    Making it easier to reach end game content would simply move the mid-game problem to an end-game problem, where people train everything there is to train relatively quickly and then find they've done everything and have nothing new to look forward to. Eve may often be about what you can't fly, but the prospect of the ships you're yet to unlock is often one of the big things that keeps people hooked on the game.

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  14. The biggest problem with the mid-game is the tendency for experienced players to tell newer players that they *must* be able to (a) fit T2 guns/launchers, and/or (b) fly BC/BS or T2 ships, in order to be effective in gang/fleet PVP.

    Most of us know that this isn't really true (you can have fun and kill things with sub-BC ships and T1 guns), but I still hear this bad advice far too often on forums, blogs, in local, in corp, recruitment channels, etc. It really only frustrates the low-to-mid SP pilots, by inferring that they will have to wait a month or more before they can actually play the game well.

    CCP has exacerbated the problem by focusing a bit too much on the higher SP ships (super caps, AFs, BCs), and not as much on the low SP ships (frigates, cruisers), with the exception of dessies (thank you for that CCP!).

    Rebalancing also tends to focus on how the ships are fit and flown by max'ed SP pilots, with not much consideration given for how they might be flown by lower SP pilots, with less optimal fitting skills.

    So, as Tahna suggested, CCP really needs to re-focus on further developing the game for the lower SP ships and pilots.

    A few examples:

    Cruisers have been over-eclipsed by BCs and really need to be revisited, esp. the T1 medic ships, which are almost never used for that purpose.

    T1 mining ships also need another look, since their only purpose right now is to bridge the two months training required to get into a Hulk.

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  15. The problem you describe is based on the fact that large corporations or alliances dictate "proper fits", to create a optimal and well performing combat/utility fleet.

    Newbs can still go fly a t1 frig in low-sec in some numbers, achieve goals, kill some pies and have fun. The problem lies when you start wondering if its the "optimal" fit or not in such a role.

    The optimal will always gravitate to min/maxing setups, damage, fleet configurations, etc. And will problably require you train several racial ships and weapons....that of course can throw a newbie off, as there is not enough time to go for all that.

    To me the answer lies in the content, where can i use sub-optimal fits and still bring it?, my answer would be low-sec doing bounty hunting using a proper and well designed game mechanic (not the joke that it is now). Perhaps an entirely new feature could be the answer, honestly i don't think i would try to design a solution, but instead focus on recognizing the source of issue and why people should always min/max regardless if its fun or not.

    My experience is a little different, i'm a roleplayer, and chose to limit myself to gallente ships/weaponry only (quite sub-optimal in every aspect to other players), but thats how i roll.

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  16. The graph displays exactly the reason why I'm leaving, and I was not even into Null-sec blob warfare. So the positive curves are lower while the negative ones don't move. Pull eject handles, I'm out and so long and thanks for all the fish.

    But the same as Mr Anonymous above, I never saw the hint of a problem in mid-game Skyrim; when some quests got harder I'd put it off for a while and go kill generic stuff in the wild, and before long I was laughing at everything except master mages which are always a pain in the ass. If you're not training some sort of combat skill you're doing something wrong. I trained 1-handed, heavy armor, smithing and enchanting almost equally (echanting being the last to reach 100) and by level 25 I had no problem dealing with whatever the game was throwing at me, in expert mode.

    I also agree that at high levels, Skyrim gets easy. If you play on a PC I strongly suggest the "War in Skyrim" mod which spawns groups of bad guys all over the place which interact with each other and you can get seriously hurt even if you've put in max skills and perks. I've done it for shits and giggles and it's a riot :)

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    1. Have you seen the "What to do in EVE Online" chart? It's much less depressing than Jester's single-dimension one-way-to-play-the-game graph.

      There's much more to the game than what ship you happen to be able to fly :)

      Delete
  17. The "Mid Game Crisis" in Oblivion was way worse- between Bethesda changing some of the problems and me knowing how to deal with the rest, I did a pretty good job of not falling into the pitfalls...

    ...in EVE, the mid game pitfalls are all but impossible to avoid, because there are so many different ships to fly and situations to fly them in, and you cannot "powerlevel" the skills in any way shape or form. This is one of the biggest reasons people in EVE tend to have multiple accounts- so that they can learn new skills/ships without diverting their other characters off of their current skill plan- it's an o.k. workaround for the problem, but even with multiple toons training it's still very easy to fall into the "ruts" portrayed by your graph.

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  18. The problem is that the most optimal way to train involves ships and support skills separately, and it's very hard as a new player to stick with this, unless you are simply going to log on and change skills for the first year or so.

    Not to mention that most corps will want a mix of skills that will make mincemeat of your remaps (or take a long time to achieve in the most SP optimal manner).

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  19. I was thinking about this last night, but with a slightly different twist to it. Now please before I go on, do not think I am one of these reactionary people crying about this possible change in my cereal all day long. I personally am not sure if I care, or even if it will hurt. But I think the proposed Drake changes might have a side effect of severely screwing the mid-game over for a lot of players.

    The main complaint about the Drake is "it does too much to well", but that is exactly why its so good at stopping the boredom of the mid-game for so many people. It allows a player to still try out many different Eve activities, while they are waiting for the skills to fly that much demanded ship in fleet, or the ship that may do their chosen activity better than the drake. For instance a lower skilled pilot may use the Drake to see if they really do like low sec exploration and want to train up for Tengu (not to mention the Drake is much cheaper for them to loose as they learn the low sec ways). Or they can use it to try out some piracy while training up T2 guns. They can run the lower end anoms and help out their corp mats with the bigger ones while waiting for the next war.

    I could go on, but the point is that the Drake is one of the few ships that a lower skilled player can easy get into, and do a variety of activities in while waiting for and deciding which higher skills to train, and earn the money needed to afford those ships to begin with. Now I'm no fitting or ship expert, and I admit to possibly being very wrong, but I do worry that the proposed changes which seem to be geared towards it's fleet roles may have the side effect of making the mid-game much more stagnate for a lot of players.

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    1. Wow, totally right. Not only would the drake become much worse at the PvE roles that so many new players desperately need, but the drake as a fleet staple is not that crucial of a ship. There are many better ships out there that more experienced PvP'ers can fly in combat without nerf'ing the one noob friendly ship in the game beyond recognition.

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  20. I am one of those nullsec, PvP noobs, and the current attitude of "if you can't fly the doctrine ships, you shouldn't fly anything" is souring me on the entire null, sov-holding experience. I get why this MO has developed. I really do. I've been wargaming inside and outside the military for 30 years; I have experience in trying to operate within a force structure that has non-uniform capabilities. I understand why the nullsec FCs want pilots to fly only certain specific ships with certain fits.

    But it's not fun if you can't fly those ships yet (or really, really do not want to). I can fly a drake decently enough, I just don't like it.

    I think Eve's real mid-game problem is the attitude of a lot of the end-game players. Mynxee's comments about the state of nullsec PvP seem to be bang on.

    As for the proposed Drake changes, oddly, I'm all in favour of making it a non-viable L4 mission ship as long as the nerf doesn't also make it fall out of favour for fleet roles. It's almost the only ship some of us are allowed to fly :(

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  21. Well, I am standing with ~ 21mil skillpoints and so far have not experienced anything you describe. Others can fly other ships? So what? Who cares? Contrasting EVE to Skyrim, there is no "endgame". The beauty of EVE is that you are a) never done and b) never really useless. Its all midgame. So, while I neither have the skills nor the desire to participate in anything nullsec, I am doing just fine in my WH.

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  22. Other MMOs like WoW have a simple system of what I like to call 'levelling inflation'. Periodically the game is changed to make training less arduous for newer players. In Warcraft this has been done by increasing experience points (XP) gains from quests - the games principal levelling mechanic.

    EvE has a problem though - in warcraft it is easy to make level 1 faster than level 80 because there is a simple linear progression. But in Eve mining V is just as valid a skill as caldari dreadnaught V.

    Personally I think the answer is to have a series of 'slot 11' implants for players at different levels of SP. For example;
    <1 mil SP gets a 100% faster skill boost implant.
    <5 mil SP gets a 50% faster implant
    <10 mil SP gets a 25% faster implant
    >10 gets nothing.

    I dont really see what harm there would be having new players get to 10mil SP a little faster ~ by my calculation a brand new player would reach 10mil SP in 131 days instead of the current 210 (or 62% of the time). 10mil SP is still pretty unskilled but it's that point where you can probably fly an industrial, a refiner, a mission ship and a PvP platform - none of them to a good standard but a few with T2 and semi decent skills. You can poke your head into lowsec and take a very nervous look around - and that's about it.

    Of course eve players (being largely made up of vets) are slightly resistant to any idea of letting other people have it easier than they did. But the simple truth is the problem of skill point inflation will only continue to get worse with time.

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    1. The problem is that us unscrupulous bittervets will just use those implants to skill up a vast army of 10m-SP heroes. That said, even given the certainty that we'd abuse it, it's not a bad idea anyway. Although 10m SP noobs would then find themselves competing for work with everybody else's alts.

      Call it the Death Knight Effect. Noobs rolled them because they sucked at their mains at 65, and then at 80, found themselves competing for raid slots with talented players' DK alts.

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  23. This graph would work wonderfully if the fun of EVE Online was only about which spaceship you can fly. There's more to the game than getting to the biggest spaceship and calling that "The End".

    There's exploration, socialising, small gang warfare, industry, politics, and so much more. Just go check out the What to do in EVE Online chart for inspiration.

    I'll suggest, as my mother did all those years ago, that only boring people get bored.

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  24. That graph is me, except the last spike never happened for me. I'm now at 83 mil SP.

    Your point of bittervet is way too late though, heh. Or maybe I just hit that around 40 due to lacking the last spike, haha.

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