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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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Comment of the Week: Smarter sandbox

Honors this week go to a fairly obvious bitter-vet who has a different perspective on my recent posts about EVE's lack of new blood, how the existing player base is playing the game smarter and smarter these days, and generally "where we go from here."  He's not exactly optimistic, but I found his perspective quite interesting, so I quote it in (near) full:
I think a lot of these "dumb players" (I find this sentiment appalling by the way) were new players and people who were trying different things. The EVE player base is more likely moving into a lack of new blood and a singularity of style. That would be the end of the sandbox.

I really, really wanted to love playing EVE. I did love it for years but over time the game seems to have devolved into this insulated elitist attitude that hates new players or any variety in play styles. EVE is not elite. It never was.

I think the thing that kept me subbed for so much longer than I should have been was the potential of the game. Even though the game is crap in many ways, we keep hanging on to the idea that it could be amazing. We keep forgiving horrible planning and implementation because, if it gets fixed it would be the greatest game ever made. Thesse things will never come to pass. There was once an absolutely brilliant concept that was called EVE. Sadly, CCP seems to have no recollection of that concept anymore. The player base has lost interest in it too it seems. They don't want a sandbox. They want world of tanks in space. They constantly scream about how they must maintain the sandbox but are more than willing to break it at any given moment. We hate bots, but there are oceans of them. We hate RMT but it's a huge industry because those same players buy from them. We kill bots but in fact we kill miners since they compete with the bots. We only kill bots that compete with our own bots.

So I have to say that the "smarter" player base is not smarter. It just does less with fewer actual people but with more alts. I really wish the game was what it could be. I really wanted to like EVE.

As I said, interesting perspective!  Particularly the implication that players aren't necessarily playing smarter, we're just all settling into the same style of play.  I don't agree in the general case, but for players that have been here several years (say, since before Dominion), I think there's some truth to these statements.  EVE players have always imitated what works, and shared with each other stories about what works and what doesn't.  But there's no question that recently, creativity has been dialed back even more.  People are very focused on what has and has not worked for other players, rather than developing new tactics themselves.

As I said in my post, in a way this is good: if you want a more challenging fight, these days, you're likely to get it.  The number of bad ships, bad fittings, and bad tactics being used is markedly down.  But the way the comment argues against World of Tanks (which is notorious for having good tanks and bad tanks, good guns and bad guns) is a valid alternate perspective.

Thanks for the comment, Anonymous!

10 comments:

  1. It will be interesting to see what the ship re-balance brings. I am still new, but it has me very excited, mostly because I want to fly a Ferox and not feel like I will be laughed at for it.

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    1. Then fly the Ferox. Its viable combat ship, just not as common as the draek! noobs are.

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    2. Fly what you want to fly and what you have fun flying. That's all that's important. If others want to laugh at you, let them laugh. There may be - will be - times when you have to fly a ship you may not enjoy flying, but those should be fewer rather than greater.

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  2. Keep in mind, even real life sandbox's get boring after a while if you have the same bucket and shovel year after year. You can change the sizes/colors of the bucket and shovel(ship rebalancing)and that will give a few more months/years of life but that's it.

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  3. Well many of the more outlandish tactics and ships need high skills to works, so say your working your way towards one, well you generally going to use a more traditional tactic that needs less SP till you get there, but by the time you gt there your to practiced, to set in the pattern, to familiar with the traditional to want to change, know how to change etc.

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  4. "I think the thing that kept me subbed for so much longer than I should have been was the potential of the game. Even though the game is crap in many ways, we keep hanging on to the idea that it could be amazing. We keep forgiving horrible planning and implementation because, if it gets fixed it would be the greatest game ever made. Thesse things will never come to pass. There was once an absolutely brilliant concept that was called EVE. Sadly, CCP seems to have no recollection of that concept anymore."

    ^^ assuming CCP actually ever had a real, concrete idea of what that sandbox was in the first place... I'm not so sure they do, but otherwise giving them the benefit of the doubt, I'd say ^^ THIS THIS and THIS SOME MORE.
    And I'm not even an "old bittervet", excepting perhaps at life in general. ;-)

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  5. "People are very focused on what has and has not worked for other players, rather than developing new tactics themselves."

    Or if they develop new tactics (e.g. Garmon) it gets labelled an exploit by the whining cry-babies.

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  6. I started writing an answer, but it got too long, so:

    http://warpto0.blogspot.com/2012/03/homogeneity.html

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  7. I found the bot sentiment interesting.

    We've been having enormous problems with general anti-miner griefing rather than anti-bot hunting in my corp. It's causing us a lot of headaches trying to stem the newbie flight from the game thanks to this.

    I've been embracing some of the homogeneity since I've fielded many a fail fit... but I am also hopelessly green to the PVP game, so I don't have a lot to contribute to that sentiment

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  8. I think some of the die-off in fitting variety is because we haven't had any significant rebalance in a long time.

    People would happily experiment to find out what does and doesn't work, but, well, things have worked or not worked for a few years now: we've only really seen changes in the meta, and in the effective cost of T2/T3 and capital ships.

    Heck, the mission Tengu I see recommended now is almost exactly the same as one I saw recommended in 2009. I think the game needs a bit of a shake up, so that some extant fits suddenly fail, and need to be replaced. There's significant advantage in being first to find a winning fit, so there will be a drive to find new ways to violence boats.

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