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...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Conflict of self-interest

Sometimes it's interesting just to ignore what's being said and listen to the sub-text instead.
Rather than just looking all the way in at the newbie and trying to guide them into joining a corporation, [CCP] Seagull explained that she was confident that if the instigators and enablers were stimulated enough and excited about what they were doing, they would support the recruiting efforts plenty themselves. In her opinion, the superior model is to focus on having more exciting things going on that people want to be a part of.

Focus: CSM Summit Minutes, "Bounty Hunting" session
Focus: CSM Summit Minutes, "Mercenaries, Wars and Crimewatch" session
Focus: CSM Summit Minutes, "The Next Decade" session


Pages from 58 through 70 of the CSM Summit Minutes comprise nothing less than a philosophical discussion about the nature of EVE Online itself.  I'm not going to list the sides, the arguments and counter-arguments, the positions and the policies.  As I keep telling you, I'm not a journalist.  Go read the Minutes.  ;-)  I just want to talk about them, because the implications are fascinating.

It's no coincidence that this section of the Minutes is drawing a lot of scrutiny, and it's also no coincidence that some members of the CSM -- notably Trebor Daehdoow -- are taking a lot of heat from EVE purists from one side of New Eden to the other.  You see, Trebor spends several these 12 pages playing quite the little Devil's advocate position: what if some EVE players just want to be left alone?

I'll give you a second to let that little heresy soak in.
[CCP] Soundwave clarified that he doesn't mind people being bothered by [having bounties placed on them], because no EVE player has the right to be shut off from the rest of the world.
Now let me be clear: I'm certain that Trebor doesn't really believe this.  After all, he also comes up with how to justify high-sec players having bounties placed on them and how to keep bounties from scaring brand new players right out of EVE Online.  But I also don't think it's a coincidence that it happens to be the one section of the Minutes written by Alekseyev Karrde -- Bounty Hunting -- where Trebor comes off looking the worst.  Maybe a little bit of internal CSM7 politics there, what?

The rest of that section and the Wars and Crimewatch section, though... these are truly remarkable!  And again, you kind of have to remember the sub-text while you read the text.

Remember, CCP is motivated to have as many people -- not characters, people! -- playing the game as possible.  One of the very smart things CCP Seagull is doing is taking that much more seriously than I think CCP has ever taken this before:
Seagull didn't feel comfortable working under the illusion that increased character participation in an activity or increased subscriber count actually meant that they were gaining new customers as a business. [CCP] Unifex reiterated that this was an absolutely critical problem to solve in the near future, and that their analytics team was actively researching the number of human users in particular.
Emphasis mine.  Within that context, remember that CCP is motivated to have new players enter EVE Online, and wherever possible, join long-term EVE Online corporations.  That's where their money is: players are much more likely to remain EVE players if they are in long-term corporations and much more likely to stop playing the game if they're not.

So ideally, CCP would like to see players in corporations... and they've shown no qualms at all about directly designing the game mechanics to encourage new players in that direction.  But you've also got CCP in these sections very gently reminding the CSM that there are other types of EVE players out there too, and sometimes they just want to mine or mission in peace... by themselves.  At the end of the day, CCP gets their money too and would probably like to keep it.  That's the sub-text.  And there's Trebor and Meissa Anunthiel gently and from time to time taking their side.

"EVE is a sandbox," we're told again and again, usually by an EVE player right before they inflict some deliberate horror on someone.  "It's a dark cold universe and I can play EVE however I like, because EVE is a sandbox.  You have no right to tell me how I can play this game.  If I want to hurt this guy, he's in the sandbox and I can do that."  But it's also apparently true that CCP likes money, and the harsher and colder of a universe EVE Online is, the less likely that EVE is ever going to be the mass market gaming universe that CCP Unifex, Seagull and CCP Ripley clearly want (see "The Next Decade").

Netted down to basics: some of CCP is becoming a tiny bit conflicted about their own game.

Which is why this gentle suggestion -- "What if players just want to be left alone?" -- is quite the little heresy.  What if they don't want to have anything to do with war-decs or bounties?  What fun is a high-sec war-dec if it causes a massively out-gunned high-sec industry corp's players to stop playing EVE Online while the war goes on?  Who benefits from that?  Don't they also have the right to play EVE however they want, even if that involves not wanting to have anything to do with war-decs or bounties?  Isn't EVE a sandbox for them, too?

And that's why these 12 pages are fascinating to me: they are a philosophical examination of the soul of EVE Online itself.

During the Bounty Hunting session, according to the Minutes, there were no fewer than ten CCP devs in the room.  Normally, it's... like... three.
Hans prompted for some introductions because he did not recognize everyone in the room.
Some -- notably CCP Soundwave and CCP SoniClover -- are clearly firmly in the "let capsuleers kill 'em all and let the gods sort them out."  And as an aside, if a few EVE players fall by the way and unsubscribe, then maybe this universe isn't for them.  Others -- like Ripley and CCP Solomon -- are seemingly more concerned for them:
Solomon: The strong prey on the weak, but the weak aren't responding, and nobody's getting particularly fun or nourishing game play out of this. Is that a failure?
Reminder: those words were uttered out loud by an EVE Online developer.  ;-)  Needless to say, the CSM is not happy to hear this heresy.  The argument goes on -- quite loudly at times! -- for two pages.  Again, I encourage you to go out and read it.  At the end of it, though, Seleene gives the majority CSM answer:
Seleene: Well then maybe they need to get more friends and they need to learn to defend themselves better in a PvP game.
But wait... I thought... errr... isn't EVE Online a sandbox?  Doesn't that mean EVE players can play the game however they want?  Or did Seleene just define what an "EVE player" is, and in so doing, drastically reduce the scope of the sandbox?

I have no answers for you.  Lots of times I do this: I bring up fiddly little points of geek philosophy and I have no answers.  But the discussion sure is fascinating, don't you think?

93 comments:

  1. "Some -- notably CCP Soundwave and CCP SonClover -- are clearly firmly in the "let capsuleers kill 'em all and let the gods sort them out." And as an aside, if a few EVE players fall by the way and unsubscribe, then maybe this universe isn't for them."

    Yet somehow, people think that the goon who happens to be lead designer does not let his past influence the future of the game.

    This clown is not good for Eve, far from it. His hatred for high sec will eventually bring CCP to its knees, if he is allowed to continue his campaign.

    I really don't know if the accountants can get this zealot fired. If the sub base drops (and I am talking breadth), will the shareholders and accountants be able to step in to eliminate one of the biggest problems CCP has, or have the null sec zealots gained such a critical mass in CCP that the company will fail before they can be eradicated?

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  2. In order to avoid wardecs, since you already bribe concord to look the other way maybe you could bribe concord as the defender and just cancel the war before it began by paying half the money the aggressor payed.

    Do you want to spend this money so you don't have to dock up and hide or do you use this money to hire some guns to protect you / crush the others.

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  3. EvEr heard of Trammel? I have been waiting for this ever since I first logged on and realized the depth of freedom in EvE... and I have been expecting it since Incarna (rage and massive unsubs) and DUST (CCP hoppin into bed with Sony, a company that will not want their paying customers "ran out of the game" by other players, for the lulz...)

    I asked you once many months ago if EvE was a PvP game... you replied 'yes' that was what CCP wanted and what they were developing, PvE content is just there to support the PvP playstyle.

    The thing is... you can't have a 'real' sandbox for a really wide variety of players and playstyles as long as PvP in all it's many forms can occur almost unrestricted. This 'is' a game where the strong prey on the weak... name me any other successful MMO where the term "Rage Quit" has become a desired GOAL. To force another person to actually quit playing the game because of your actions against him in that game.

    Tell me of ANY company that would accept this as this is a profitable, long term business model?

    But I'll tell ya Ripard... the day they online 'Trammel' for EvE, the day there is a PvP Free Zone... the day the Safety Button makes you invulnerable... that day, is one of the last days you'll see Tur in these skies... I love EvE for it's freedom... for the fact that it is a niche game... I love that when I talk to other gamers and they ask what I play, and I say EvE, I get weird looks, and actual shudders, and "How in hell can you PLAY that awful game??" and it is always the unrestricted PvP that is at the heart of their issue with EvE.

    I always respond, "How can you play a game where you make no difference at all? where everything is scripted and you can't really lose anything, how can you play something so utterly boring?"

    At that point their eyes almost always glaze over and they walk away shaking their heads like I have something wrong with me... =]

    I wonder how CCP really feels about that.

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  4. The problem with this debate is the overriding pessimism. The assumption is if CCP is talking about catering for solo risk adverse players, then they must want to create a 100% safe zone. The Solo player is called out as the antichrist who will ruin the game. The reality seems more to be looking at ways of having the average player of that ilk enjoy the game despite the suicide ganks, bounties or War Decs. Don't protect them - but give them a game they play and enjoy and find worthwhile, even if they don't generally directly attack other players. That doesn't have to involve making the game safer.

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    1. It can. Some of the opinions on Massively, just as an example, is that if there is even the game-mechanical possibility that they will lose something via death, they won't touch that game with a 10' pole. Is CCP willing to go that far to bring people to the game? Doubt it. But we'll see, we'll see....
      -Bantara

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    2. Giving them more and more interesting things to do is fine by me. I've encouraged it even, particularly when it comes to making mining (as in the actual lock and click mechcanic) not safer but more FUN.

      But sandbox doesnt mean solobox. Your consent to be interacted with occurs when you log in. The freedom of EVE is that not only can someone give you a bad day, but you can turn around and make their entire week/year/life a living hell in return if you're so motivated. Everyone has the same sand, it's up to each person what they do with it. If you throw it in someone's eye, do it knowing they can pour it down your throat someday. Probably to a crowd of cheering onlookers. Also realize neither of you has to ask the other permission; it's choice and consequence not choice and consent.

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  5. CCP Solomon basically admits that the new wardec system is just as bad as the old one on page 66. Two pages later he claims that highsec wardecs are fundamentally about two sides with a mutual willingness to enage in fights and lose ships. I agree with him on page 66, but on page 68 he appears quite clueless. Why, on page 67 it's pointed out that 70 to 80% of wardecs result in NO ship losses for either side because the smaller/weaker entity just hides for the week.

    Highsec wardecs have devolved primarily into griefing where most of the kills are on the weaker side of the conflict where miners or industrialists get ganked because they're dumb. There are a lot of people playing this game that could use some better friends. I would have loved to have seen some statistics about this in the minutes. Primary wardec parties, allies, kills and losses on each side... all of that is neatly available now in-game through the War Reports, but some condensed statistics would be nice.

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  6. Speaking as a E-uni member, this has intresting implications.
    It's a fact of life now that E-uni is permadecced by various Alt corps looking for easy kills, and the players who die the most to the wardeccers are the newest ones, the ones who have yet learned to check local, learned evasion, and simply don't have the skills or SP to fight back in a meaningful way.

    Some of these newbies do get over their losses and continue in eve and learn from their lumps. Others inevitably drop corp when their ship is destroyed in situations they have no control over. Say what you will, but the UNI is one of the older corps which has good ability to retain players in the game once they have a few month's experiance. And in the "New" CCP paradign, each of the newbies who quits because they lost ships to Griefers would be a lost subscriber.

    So far, most eve players are survivors of being thrown into the deep end of the pool. While great at producing swimmers fast, sink or swim also causes high child mortality rates. I personally believe that any EVE player, no matter how isolated they are at any specific moment, has the potential to become and interactive and content producing member of the player base, they just need the right people introduced to guide them into society.

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  7. I've been on both sides of this discussion. When I was in a highsec pve/mining corp we lost several fresh subscription members due to an ongoing wardec and some ganks. I had some pretty strong opinions on the matter, I can tell you :)

    Now I am a few years older as a player and I understand the game better. Today I'm more nuanced on the issue.

    And perhaps that's my point. Sometimes people need some time to get to know this rather unique sandbox. Not everyone joins Eve for the pvp, sometimes they join because it is beautiful to look at, because of it's evolved economy, or, well, spaceships! But if you bomb them out of the sandbox before they get have a chance to properly learn how it works, everyone is losing out.

    I learned to enjoy pvp and am still happy I didn't quit back then.

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  8. That's the rub isn't it?

    How do we attract and keep newer players in an Eve culture that has such strong roots in douchebaggery? Fostered I might add by countless previous devs who actively encouraged the behavior.

    On the flip side if we don't keep the game dark, risky and challenging we will have lost the stark contrast between Eve and the rest of the MMO world. The contrast that I believe Eve alive...

    Quite a conundrum.

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  9. Really begs the question of what Eve is supposed to be. Like you said, there isn't really a good answer since Eve means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Personally I think the strong should be able to prey on the weak. Correspondingly, the weak should be able to gang up and stab the strong in the back. You could say I prefer a Hobbesian sort of Eve.

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    1. Yup, do you remember the first iteration of Inferno? "Dog piling" was ruled as not fair to the mercs and other groups, resulting in a hasty mechanics change. A shame really, as Inferno could have been great for total war in hi sec. Instead, Inferno tuned into the damp squib expansion :-/

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    2. The problem with so called 'dog piling' was that the defender could set the war mutual, and then have a forever free grief-fest, which is (arguably) worse than the current situation. Now that the whole 'mutual' thing isn't an issue, I see no reason why we can't go back to unlimited (free) allies for defenders.

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  10. Some players thinks the sandbox can only be played their own way. And CCP likes money and more humans playing the game, it's going to be hard for a big part of the community.

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  11. If EvE the mainstream mmo ever becomes a reality then EvE the experiment becomes a failure.

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  12. I am of the opinion that both groups, the "leave me alone" and the "I want PVPz" can find a place to play in Eve.

    The simplest solution I can see is to make high-sec something where PVP just doesn't happen unless you want to duel or have kill rights against you.

    Let low and null be the PVP paradise that some players want. Let high be the safe area that some players want. This might require expanding low or null with more systems, but it's definitely doable.

    I think the way industry works would have to be retooled though to reduce the amount of infrastructure of NPC stations in high and put more focus on POS. Allow some building in high but make low,WH and null much more lucrative when it comes to building.

    There would also have to be some redesign to PVE to be more dynamic and fun for those wanting to do missions. Maybe have NPC convoy's moving through low sec to allow roaming fleets some engagements while looking for PVP.

    There is no reason to have all of Eve be dangerous other than sticking to a vision of a pure PVP game. Which is fine if you want to limit your market and continue to drive away possible revenue. Having both PVE and PVP areas would create a bigger player base and eventually interest more people in PVP than would otherwise be exposed to the experience.

    I like to think of it like the kid with the only football in the neighborhood and if you don't want to play by his rules then you aren't welcome. A bunch of people will play for awhile but eventually get tired since they don't really like the how rough the football owners rules are. Some will enjoy the game and keep playing but it will be no where near the number of players if the rules were adjusted to accommodate more people.

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    1. Low and Null are already much more lucrative than High. People still don't want to play in Low and Null. The economic carrot model has not worked. Time to think of something else.

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    2. Agreed that more needs to be done to make low/null appealing, but that's a separate issue from making high sec appealing to the non-pvp crowd.

      I started off with no intention of getting into PVP but I eventually did and I'm sure there are more people like me that would give it a try and enjoy the experience as long as there is a safe spot to go back to when they just aren't in the mood to PVP.

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  13. "But wait... I thought... errr... isn't EVE Online a sandbox? Doesn't that mean EVE players can play the game however they want?"

    Sure. You're free to play the game passively, always seeing yourself as the victim of circumstance, game mechanics, and the griefing of other players.

    But EVE's not just a "sandbox" it's a MULTIPLAYER sandbox. With very little parental supervision. If you want YOUR sandcastle not to be bulldozed by a couple big kids looking to add a new wing onto theirs, YOU better do something about it. Or be really nice friends with someone who will. But you totally have the freedom to let them crush it, you have the freedom to complain about how unfair it is.

    But that's no argument for getting the playground to take the sandbox away and give everyone a doll house.

    PS: Minutes were reviewed by everyone involved, they're accurate. Trebor, Kelduum, and Meissa really do think these things. And I think they would say they had/have it right, and guys like me and Seleene are the worst.

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    1. Its funny how most of the time when I've read these types of response they are usually from the people doing the kicking of said sand castles.

      Normally the answer to these sorts of situations is 'don't be the guy making the sand castles and you can't lose' - but again that goes against the sandbox nature of the game and goes against what players want from the game as they simply may enjoy making sandcastles all day or don't enjoy knocking over the sandcastles of other kids.

      Yes you are completely right but its about balance and avoiding abuse.

      Even the sandcastle analogy eventually the kid kicking over enough sandcastles would eventually attract enough attention that someones parents would kick you out of the sandbox and leave the other kids to play nice and build sandcastles, and so your actions need to have consequences that matter to you.

      Remember that this is High sec war decs so we're not talking about corps expanding as high sec is unclaimable so in this analogy we DO have a parent watching over the sandbox in the form of CONCORD and they SHOULD intervene if the kids get too rough or things become unfair.

      The mechanic in debate (war dec system) basically means that a much bigger kid comes along and kicks over your castle and says "Come on! Fight back" and then when you can't or don't want to then say "Even better for me then, I'll just reap your tears muhahaha" with very little consequence to themselves.

      At the end of the day if the aggressor wanted a 'good fight' where they have just at stake they wouldn't be using the war dec system because they can get those fights in low / null / WH. High sec just gives them even MORE protection of being able to attack without a bigger kid kicking THEM while they are busy kicking the smaller kids castle over.

      Hell, even the place where the 'good fights' are supposed to take place are being boiled down to staged fights with specific rules and times or massive roaming blobs to minimise risk and so high sec wars seem like a big fat "I win" button to any big kid with the inclination to push it.

      I agree with Trebor that any game mechanic that essentially means you switch the game off and go on holiday for a week or so is a failed mechanic. Yes its a choice the player makes but its usually at a LAST resort because they are unwilling or unable to go against the odds and even put up a pityful fight as the agressor will take everything they can get and more for their troubles.

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    2. Just because I think someone is wrong doesn't mean I think they're "the worst". I think you're wrong about quite a few things, Alek, but I also think you are one of the best members of CSM7. Even when you're wrong, you force the other side to sharpen their arguments... and vice-versa.

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    3. This is just so arrogant. You've argued that *you* should have the freedom to play Eve the way you want, but if others want to play differently, they have the freedom to be miserable. Even if new subscriptions weren't such a pressing issue, you'd still sound like a dick.

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    4. The problem is there is little to no incentive to protect the sand castle of someone else. ISK to stand round doing nothing? Maybe, but it is going to need to be more isk than you can make yourself, (and assuming that the merc is experienced that is likely to approximate the amount of isk/hr you can make) at which point it isn't making any sense for the defender to pay that isk as they are going to be losing money. And thus the default position becomes go do something else for a week. You don't lose money getting ganked or paying a merc to sit around bored.

      Secondly most of the time in high sec it is not a big kid wanting more space to build, it is a big kid who wants to make a little kid cry. So as soon as that big kid sees a bigger kid turn up to protect the little kid they run off and hide

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    5. @Messiah, I've argued no such thing. You can go your entire EVE career without declaring war on anyone or ever firing a shot in anger. That's fine by me.

      But just because you say that's how you want to play shouldn't make you invincible.

      PS: From the mouthes of babes, there's always this option: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isfn4OxCPQs

      Now imagine that bully had to pay fifteen dollars to fight that kid. And they say there's no risk for attackers..

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    6. Uhh... Alex... taken in the context of EvE, that video shows a Carical taking some pot shots (somewhat ineffectively) at an obviously well tanked and heavily armed Megathron... piloted by a guy who simply is not interested in PvP... but he has dual webs and a Lrg Smart Bomb fitted, you know the usual noob-can't-fit-for-shit-PvE-fit...

      Now the, obvious, asshat griefer Carical pilot, feeling safe because he's picking on a 'fat mommas boy' who won't fight back is totally pwned when the Meg pilot finally 'breaks' and USES his tackle and higher DPS... not because he "wants" to... but because he feels he has little choice and as he THE ABILITY to DO something about it... poor Carical pilot wobbles off to a station to buy some badly needed repairs...

      Griefing in EvE is an apple to your sad comparison orange... In EvE the bullies are ALL in heavy tackle Megathrons the 'mommas boys' can't even fly yet... they are the one in Caricals getting pwnd... and as they are young and lowskilled, they are also poor and hence cannot "afford" the kinds of friends who can effectively assist them either... so no... in EvE, no real risk when attacking lower skilled newer players.

      And yes, I doubt that bully would have done that if he had to play for it... but I guarantee you he would have on a $15 buck bet... really really crappy analogy man.

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  14. I think one of the most important things CSM does is help CCP look at their preconceived notions in a new light, because confirmation bias leads to suboptimal decisions.

    One serious issue I have is when people justify their positions with appeals to the sandbox; it's just lazy thinking, no better than "it'll be AWESOME!" Given the high lifetime customer value of a subscribed EVE player, if a feature is driving away more paying subscribers than it is attracting, or it if is negatively affecting conversion of new players into subscribers, then it needs to be given a hard looking-at.

    A feature that costs CCP 1000 net subscribers a year is reducing their income by the amount needed to fund several dev positions -- people who could be working on something people want, like Modular POSes. If EVE had twice as many subscribers, then a lot of things that people have wanted for years would be much more likely to get done.

    And that is why unaskable questions should always be asked.

    Finally, we all have our personal positions and I'm sure they color our perceptions of the sessions, but I don't think that Alek (or anyone else on the CSM) deliberately slanted his transcription to make another member look bad.

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  15. I said (and have for years) with CCP Solomon et al on this one: supporting PvP in all forms while not supporting the single-player loner aspect of the game will not be healthy in the long run... as we are seeing more and more lately IMO.

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  16. Notice too in the wardec section, CCP SoniClover appears to ask what could be done to the war mechanics to encourage players out of NPC corps. Strangely, the CSM weren't having any of that - apparently encouraging inclusivity is not worth the cost to war dec changes vOv

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    1. I'd love for more people to leave NPC corps. But not by moving them into a category with all of the advantages and none of the draw backs.

      That would, quite obviously I'd think, miss the point of moving them in the first place.

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    2. Agreed, but wasn't there even room for contemplating a middle ground solution - you know, some of the benefits/drawbacks of NPC membership but in a player run corp?

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  17. One thing I notice PVP heads tend to ignore when saying "EVE us a cold, dark place," is that EVE is a game. And if you aren't having fun, why bother playing? This concept seems to go over the heads of those who relish or advocate "forcing" people into pvp situations for those who don't find pvp terribly fun.

    Go figure.

    -Amari

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  18. I put this down to Null being broken. Highsec was never safe, but it seems as Null got more and more boring from the NAP fests and super power blocks, more players started ganking in High simply because there are targets there and it was something to do. I can't prove this, I have no sort of data to back it up. It just.... "feels"... right from the way I remember highsec 5-6 years ago.

    I would like to say if Null was fixed to where stuff actually happened out there with the regularity it used to that the problem in Highsec would take care of itself and bears could bear in a bit more peace. But.. I can't prove it.

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  19. Totally fascinating discussion, shows how both different and narrow are the views of some of the guys out there, and by Induction, that of the whole group.

    In my humblest opinion, all of us need to take a step back and think a little bit more. One would even think that there aren't any NPC corps to join for those kind of players, and that chat channels don't even exist.

    And to this I add, you may want to get married only once in your life, but, you can't just ask for a radically different kind of sexual intercourse than what you're having, or totally take the chance of an affair out of the question ;-)

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  20. The only way to address both types of players--the pacifists and the aggressors--is likely with some kind of compromise that will certainly piss off old school pvp purists and probably not go far enough to suit the pacifists. Would seem to be a very tough problem to solve. And yes...gonna be interesting to see what comes out of this discussion.

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  21. Philosophically interesting without a doubt.
    Can it influence how features are designed for the next expansion or two ? Not so sure.

    CCP knows that features are often used or re-used in ways not anticipated. That use is influenced by the inclinations of the pilots with a particular interest. Even with careful review, given a certain philosophical stance, I doubt that any valuable selection can occur.

    At most, something as philosophical as the theme selection can be influenced. And yet, even with CCP tops wanting to keep it fun for everybody for the sake of business growth, would a theme like "Pirates!", for which you see much indication, rather favour PvP or that unknown populace of pilots who prefer to be left alone ?

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  22. May I pose a question? Theres no need for a definitive truth or anything about "what an EVE player is", but what's [b]your[/b] opinion on this issue?
    Im not asking you to take sides or anything, because lets be real, there's only one side to this, we all want EVE to become the best game it can be.

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    1. He -SHOULD- take a stance. After all, he's asking for your vote in the coming election - players deserve to know what Ripard believes personally.

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    2. Objection. I think Ripard can be a very good candidate while not offering an answer to every question. Certainly not to questions he is asking himself, particularly if they are as well shaped as this one.

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  23. EVE is absolutely a sandbox. But make no mistake it is absolutely a pvp-centered sandbox. Even in hi sec you can't escape it. Same goes for playing the economy. PvP is pervasive throughout the game, even in activities like mining and running missions.

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    1. If your hopelessly underleved and there is no chance at all to score a single kill it`s not PvP, it`s just a broken sytem. I was so proud to start my first really small corps and so ashamed that i have to hide in a station too avoid being annihilated by "pros". Preying on the weak shouldn`t be rewarded. Even in a sandbox there got to be rules. Stronger players/corps can pick easy targets without a penalty. But even if you know that you can`t do nothing about it, it`s embarassing and no fun at all.

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    2. Zuschauer, I'm all with you on the "it's a shame hiding in a POS" conclusion. And your next sentence is just as true "preying on the weak should not be rewarded".

      And that is the key : no reward !

      You then go off stating there should be rules. Which does not sound good enough to me anymore.

      There should be (more/better/clearer) game mechanics "discouraging [sic!] preying on the weak". It need not be prohibitively excluded.

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  24. A bit conflicted? A bit?!

    CCP is constantly ambivalent about Eve, what they want it to be, what sort of sand castles do they want to see, and I've spent so much time writing about it that this turn of phrase can't fail to make me snicker. :)

    That they're conscious about it this time is actually a very good sign, maybe some thinking will come out of it.

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  25. Pretty much. EVE is filled with lots of different kinds of players and play styles, many of which do not mix well or at all.

    I'd say the majority of the EVE player population does not PvP, or certainly doesn't by choice. They either play to socialize, play to build sandcastles, or dream to fly the next cool ship and work towards that or some other long term goal they may have.

    It also has a sizeable subset of players who for all intents and purposes, like to play the school yard bully. They like to kick over the sandcastles other players make. Primarily not because its fun kicking them over, but because they find it fun watching the kid who made it cry when they do.

    I think its fairly obvious which group almost all the CSM supports. Its also likely why the CSM will likely never get broad support during elections. They just don't understand, or if they do, can't relate to the mindset of the average high sec pilot.

    I think that the average high sec PvEer doesn't care that they aren't 100% safe. What they DO care about, is that there are consequences for one's actions. Bullies can bully and griefers can grief, but at the end of the day the punishment they receive meets or exceeds the crime they commit. That is what the average dude would say is fair.

    The problem with EVE's philosophy as it relates, is that it expects players to police each others actions. For this groups, however, that just is NOT going to happen. In general, they aren't going to pick up a stick and fight back, or if they did, they'd get a worse beating than the first one they received. That's just the way it is. So that player either hides in a corner, hoping the bully will move on to someone else, or quits the game.

    Which is why I think the coolest part of Retribution was the ability to sell kill rights. If it worked as intended, it is a great feature that could possibly let these player types call the PC police to get some justice for themselves. I don't think its implemented quite right atm, and its too easy to shed them by gaming the mechanics right now. It also needs to be anonymous, in my view, otherwise you might as well just go back to hiding in the corner and hoping the bully moves on.

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  26. That comment by Solomon makes me think CCP really wants Eve to work the way it is shown in the butterfly effect trailer, but that players aren't cooperating to make it happen.

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  27. Yes I spotted this too Jester - its one of the things that I read and found to be quite telling of the bias of the CSM.

    Bias is quite hard to avoid in any situation simply because its the area of gameplay that you enjoy the most and your obviously going to be biased towards it.

    Its one of the reasons why I keep banging on about improving missions because it can be a lifeline to New EVE players that fit into the 'casual' and 'push button - receive bacon' type of player.

    I don't have as much time as I would like to play EVE - if I had tons of time I would maybe consider joining a PvP corp and do all that cool stuff I keep reading about, but I'm realistic about my commitment and don't simply because I know I won't be able to fulfil the time requirements needed.

    I also don't find the prospect of camping outside a WH / gate or roaming for hours on end to gank some poor sucker in 30 seconds to be much fun.

    My time in EVE is quite simple - I want to enjoy the game when it suits me. Yeah that obviously doesn't easily fit into the 'join a corp' model as its a human thing and requires you to be available at certain times of day etc and if you don't have the time or work weird shifts then you'll be left alone or play solo and if the game basically says "Group or quit" then you can't complain when people leave in droves.

    Its quite funny how EVE is a game surrounded by paranoia and when people act on it they get told to be more open. No one uses fleet finder because its more likely to be 'gank finder' and so its nearly impossible to play solo and get group play 'on demand'.

    You'll see how games like Guild Wars 2 caters to this play style much better due to this change in player experiance. In traditional MMOs if you wanted to take on a big boss you'd have to form a group, and so to form a group you'd have to stand around saying "LFG" and hope someone takes pity on you and let you join. Then you wait until enough people join the group, start the event and things MAY work out for you. GW2 at least cuts out the middle man and says "Do group things without being forced into a group" so multiple people can jump in on a boss and be rewarded for it without having to spam LFG and go through all that time wasting of group forming and setup.

    I'm not saying that EVE should adapt that type of mechanic but its becoming more and more common that players want a 'press button - receive bacon' type game play and that gameplay needs to be able to support multiple time commitments so anyone can log into EVE and say "I have 30 mins, what can I do" and have something to do. Even if a player never does anymore than 30 mins a day as long as they still enjoy the game (and obviously PAY for the game) then why complain that they don't PvP or don't join a big corp etc etc.

    EVE IS a sandbox - PvP is a large part of that PvP game but it is NOT the only part of the game and I think CCP and the CSM need to realise that before they can be truely impartial.

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    1. "EVE IS a sandbox - PvP is a large part of that PvP game but it is NOT the only part of the game and I think CCP and the CSM need to realise that before they can be truely impartial."

      The pressing need for balanced development work that addresses all areas of gameplay in a holistic manner was a core principle in both the CSM's Development Strategy document and CCP Seagull's own 10-year plan. So yes, its fairly obvious that both parties recognize that EVE is not -only- a PvP game.

      It's fairly elementary to take a controversial statement such as the one Seleene made, imply that he was representing the CSM as a whole, and spark the kind of reaction you offered. But that doesn't change the fact that we ALL depend on a daily basis on other players that do NOT PvP, and that everyone deserves to enjoy any activity that keeps them logging in and having fun.

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    2. lulzy assumption debunking engage! aka 10 things that are Wrong about your post.

      1. Improving missions is fine. One of my BIASES (which incidently people that elected me mostly share) ;) is that EVE's PVE is repetitive and boring. I'm all for that not being the case someday. You can make missions more user friendly and interesting without changing anything about player's being able to check one another.

      2. What time requirement would that be? Most of EVE PVP is not the hours long battles you occasionally read about on Mittani.com Since you play and like missions, I assume you can play at least 30 minutes at a time. There are 5 systems I know of off the top of my head where you will find a fight in 30 minutes most days of the week.

      3. If roaming or camping for hours looking for ganks doesn't appeal to you then...don't do that? I mean you seem well on your way to not doing it already, but you could always run around in a frigate looking for a fight if you want to ensure a challenge. Sandbox, remember? Regardless, does YOU not wanting to do these things imply others shouldn't be able with as much legitimacy as your mission running?

      4. You play solo because it suits you and you don't get along with people. But you won't join a corp because you might have to play solo? Which is it?

      5. Again with time requirements.. Some corps have them, the overwhelming majority do not. Casual/PVE corps especially do not. This seems to be very important to you, but I'm not sure where you're getting it from

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    3. 6. I've never seen anything anywhere related to EVE that says "group or quit." Where are you getting that from? There's tons of content in EVE you can enjoy by yourself just fine. Missions, mining, trading, manufacturing, hauling, exploration, planetary interaction, C1/C2 wormholes, solo PVP, and that's just the IN CLIENT stuff I can think of off the top of my head never mind blogging, writing third party programs, and all that meta game stuff. Not only can you do it by yourself, but you can do it from an NPC corp.

      7. Practically everyone using fleets uses fleet finder. You'd know that if you played with other people with any regularity.

      8. EVE has this kind of pick-up-gruop game play via the Incursion feature. If you haven't tried it but like the sound of that kind of it, maybe you should open your journal and check it out. If you don't want that play in EVE with all that EVE brings with it as a game world, then by all means go play GW2 till you've had your fill and DO want to play EVE.

      9. No one is complaining about "they dont PVP or dont join a big corp" on either side. The complaint from Isolationists is that their adopted identity as "not a PVP player" should mean they dont have to PVP or adversely interact with another player under any circumstances. The Sand Boxers don't think EVE should allow that perfect safety because it would remove a critical element of EVE's success and continued socioeconomic health. Some would complain that the current state of highsec + NPC corps does not do enough to enable players to interact, either cooperatively or adversarially.

      9. Neither CCP nor the CSM are under the impression PVP is the ONLY part of the game. I'd think that's pretty obvious given the time we devote to issues like industry, mining, exploration, POS, ship customization, empire building, and PVE in all areas of space.

      10. Can't speak for CCP, but I'm not aware of anyone on the CSM that was elected on a platform of perfect impartiality. I certainly wasn't. I was elected to use my experience, game knowledge, judgement, and interactions with the community to work hard and advise CCP to make the best decisions possible for the success of features being added to EVE and its continued success. That very much means I have opinions, and yes biases. They're opinions and biases enough people agreed with to elect me twice, with much more than support from PVPers only.

      No one likes being killed in a game, just like no one likes their small business to fail in real life. But for the very reasons we don't make the government underwrite everyone's business so no one has to fail in the face of the market and competition, EVE should never offer complete protection from other players. There should be trade offs (dec fees), balance (obviously if they can shoot and kill you, you should be able to shoot and kill them first), and opportunities for revenge (nothing stopping you from dec'ing them back later after you've recruited PVPers or using your PVE money to hire allies/mercs to help with the war or attack them after).

      There absolutely could be improvements to the war system we have now. Removing it entirely isn't one of them. If suicide ganking is the only way for another player to limit another player's in space activities, the social and economic consequences of EVE will gradually diminish until there's really no point to living anywhere else, building anything, or fighting over anything (after all, you can't suicide gank a POS and why have a sense of loss or even excitement when everyone in the game has as much ISK as they can grind with no interference). No way for new players, corps, and alliances to experience the joy and satisfaction of overcoming old money + old identities to make their own mark on the game.

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    4. Firstly thanks both for your replies - I would also apologise for the amount of frustration that is evident in my response.

      Hans:

      I realise that the CSM is not just a single person and that they have EVE's overall best interests at heart. Its just discouraging when time after time we see talk about new features and functionality that sounds really cool but only really helps players kill other players and gives the message that the only way to really enjoy the game is to be the bigger fish.

      Alekseyev:

      1) Yes I agree. I have a few ideas but the time when I have posted them on EVE forums the general feedback I get is "Dur, missions are for losers, don't do um and L2P noob"

      2) Yes you are right. Its my inexperiance in PvP which means I don't feel adequet at those engagements and so I don't do them. You have to admit though that saying that YOU know of these systems where you can get a fight doesn't mean that we ALL know. This is the tribal knowledge that vet players have accumulated but isn't easily transfered to the new players.

      3) Again you are right. I never said that those types of activies shouldn't occur its just that I don't enjoy them personally and I just used it as an example of 'something I don't enjoy' rather than 'this stuff should be banned'

      4) I play solo mostly because I have to. The corp I am with at the moment has only a few members and so I'm on my own most times. I joined a larger corp and found that either I wasn't available for the 'planned' activities or whenever I was online and ASKED to join in on something most other corpies saw me as a burden to their independence and would rather solo themselves and so I was left out in the cold. Yes I would admit that I am a victim of circumstance and its not a true reflection of the game as a whole; but you have to admit that it doesn't really inspire me to start spamming corp channels looking for someone to play with me :P

      5) Again this is my own personal situation. My point is that with missions for example I have no idea which mission I am going to get landed with to know if I can achieve it in time. For example I log in with 30 mins to play - so I need to start things going quickly, head to my agent and first roll a faction mission.. great, decline and ask for another one and get something like Angel Extravaganza. Not something that I can easily do in 30 mins (I can hear some people scoffing already but hey ho). I know I can't finish it all off (yes I know I can leave it part done if I wanted but hear me out) and do I also decline. Agent is now dead to me and I have to go to my next agent and try it all over again. Next thing you know 10 mins is gone already and I haven't fired a shot. Now I need to find something I can do in 20 mins instead of 30.

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    5. 6) The 'group or quit' bit comes from this overall impression from the game devs that you need endless amounts of friends to do well in EVE. Wasn't their a quote about EVE solo is like Facebook solo? Even Seleenes comments about 'getting better friends and fight people off' etc etc assumes that you have the right contacts and you can just ask them for help. I probably only have a few people on my friends list and most of them have gone inactive anyway. Again I would admit that it is MY choice to not go out and socalise with people trying to kill me and that if I really wanted to I could, I accept that but it shouldn't be an accepted assumption that everyone has allies and buddies to lend them money or to fight off the bad guys as I would imagine a lot of players simply don't and when backed to a wall simply roll over and die (and then quit :P)

      7) Whenever I have used fleet finder its completely empty. I leave all the criteria open and I still get nothing. I don't start a fleet through risk of exposing myself for a gank by putting up and advert that says "Mission runner here, come gank me / steal my mission loot". I can only assume that we have different situations and you have corp and alliance fleets running consistantly where as I have to rely on public fleets.

      8) From what I've read (even from Jesters blog right here :D) is that incursions are very elitist and strict about who they accept into their fleets. They want to maximse success and get the benifits of that which is fine and I accept that. Again its also a time issue as I've spoken with a few people about incursions and they say that they've waited up to 3 hours to get into an incursion group after someone else drops out and a slot opens up. The interface tells me where the incursions are, fine but thats about it. What happens if I turn up with the wrong ship, or fit? I'll get turned away for someone better suited. OK so I need to speak to someone before moving to the site? Who? What channel do I use? Even Jester says that incursions are run via 2 seperate NON-OFFICAL channels? How am I supposed to KNOW that those channels ARE without being told via another medium? That to me is not easy 'pick up' content. And to be honest I tried GW2 and didn't like it because it was much to repetative and I ENJOY EVE. Even with all of its flaws and issues I have with it I still enjoy it and prefer it over ALL of the other MMO games I have played.

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    6. 9) Yes I can agree with that sentiment as a lot of new players will assume that PvP is by concent like every other MMO game. I agree that it is a big part of what makes the game special and interesting and when I do venture into low sec & WH space I am on my toes BECAUSE I know that my death MEANS something and I LOVE that (even if it scares the crap outta me! :P). Again the issue is balance without allowing abuse and currently I feel that the war dec system still gives the aggressors too much power and the defenders too little.

      9 [again :P] ) Yes I think we all agree that EVE is deep in many different elements of the game and that is a big selling point for it. Again Its just the feeling I get reading the CSM results that most of the topics involve new and insteresting ways for people to kill other people. Again just my impression and I admit that it is biased.

      10) Yes I can agree that no one on the CSM is completely impartial its human and understandable. I just hope that now with this more 'balanced' development approach maybe CCP will want a list of points to fit into each category so that each game element is at least looked at. Along with that the CSM can obviously have its own input into each category to ensure that they have provided their input to ensure the best solution. I hope this means that game elements that are seen as less attractive or ones that CSM memebers have little or no interest in still receive some attention, even if its just a 'box ticking' exersise - at least we'll have some record of that activity and the players would also be able to provide their feedback.

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    7. I've been camping the blog very interested to see how/if you'd respond. And now that you did, I really want to give you a hug bro. I think dialogue like we're having is a lot more constructive than most of the loud and reckless talk that usually accompanies this debate. Read on, but because your response was very chill I'm extending an offer to partner up with you some night to try it out. I'll even buy your frig/cruiser and walk you through how to fit it, can't beat that! EVE mail me brah.

      1. Unfortunately, the official EVE Online forums are not the place to go for reasonable feedback. My advice would be to keep an eye out for CCP Dev posts requesting feedback on a PVE feature (usually a dev blog or maybe something in Features and Idea) and put your best ideas forward there. Believe it or not the devs track those threads pretty tightly. And of course keep an eye on the upcoming elections and throw your votes behind someone you think would be a good advocate for you.

      2. Like most things, you have to start somewhere. I didn't create my character and instantly undock with PVP experience or tribal knowledge on where to go to do stuff. I followed the tutorial like everyone else and then hooked up with my friends corp (who happened to be at war and I got podded like same day). If you don't engage in those situations because of your inexperience, that's a self fulfilling prophecy. If it's something you decide you want to do and get better at (it's perfectly OK to decide you dont to be clear) then start small. Get something really cheap like one of the newly re-balanced frigates, one level four can replace like 4 of them. How to find a fight? Use that map! It has lots of statistical options like ships destroyed in the last hour and active pilots in space over the last 30 minutes. Or you could go another approach, just pick an area of lowsec or 0.0 and plot a route through it and out somewhere else. Check killboards or Battleclinic and get a starter fit for your ship; dont worry about it being perfect you can make adjustments as you learn. You will die. A bunch probably. That's what insurance and cheap fits are for. If you really want to get into it, search YouTube for how-to videos. There are plenty to choose from, EVE Is Easy and Kil2 are both excellent. I've watched every EVE Is Easy video available and 6 years into EVE they still taught me some stuff.

      Some tribal knowledge i share with you: there's an 8 jump route through Syndicate that goes from a highsec trade hub called Orvolle to a lowsec system near a trade hub called Harroule. It's very popular with soloers and small gangs; you wont be able to fight the gangs but there will be other frig, destroyer, and cruiser pilots looking for the same thing you are. If you want to use a bigger ship (cruiser/battlecruiser) and dont want to go far, look for sov 0.0 entry systems near highsec. I recommend EC-P8R for instant-action.

      3. Right on.

      4. Yeah that does sound like a discouraging corp experience. Not all corps are created equal heh. I don't know anything about you or the guys your with to be able to say though. There's a lot of corps in EVE however; if this one isn't giving you what you need and you dont like the people in it, just go somewhere else. What you got to lose?

      5. Framed like that yeah i can see that being annoying. When I was a mission runner I found a nice spot in lowsec with 3 lvl 4 Qual 20s (back when quality wasnt the same everywhere) so I almost always got what I was looking for eventually. Regardless though, that doesn't have much to do with the time requirements of a corp though. In fact, maybe there's another mission runner in your system you can befrend who can request more missions. You could run em together so neither of you has to burn time switching agents. Just giving you ideas, it's your sandbox and your choices.

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    8. 6. Here's the crux of the matter: "Again I would admit that it is MY choice to not go out and socalise with people trying to kill me and that if I really wanted to I could."

      Very very few pilots have joined EVE with a massive support network already in place (Goons and TEST, maybe a few other groups earlier in the game i dont know). Some of us are lucky to start out with a handful of friends, but very few of those friends are going to be super famous or powerful. I was lucky to have a CEO that had been playing for a long time and knew how to run a corp but he wasn't rich and he certainly wasn't connected.

      If you want to talk personal stories, I worked my way up the food chain from highsec hauler (cigarette runs with a Tristan) to lowsec anti-pirate (first very badly, then eventually OK at it) to FC in training to FC and eventually to director. Then my corp decided to try out the 0.0 life, joined a small alliance, rose to not-quite-leadership there then left to start our own, I was a leader of that super small alliance, we got scammed by a big Russian alliance, we licked our wounds and hooked up with another coalition, clawed at the bottom of the 0.0 coalition food chain, got space, had to fight to keep that space and lost it three months later. I wasn't good at PVP till just before/during our initial move to 0.0 and I was nobody till the little alliance I was diplo/FC for proved itself alongside the big 0.0 guys. Then I got into chat channels, I chit chatted with diplomats and alliance leaders, had alumni of our corp move on to rise in their own but still keeping in touch, etc etc.

      That day I got podded I was faced with a choice. I was mad, and I could have rolled over and died, quitting EVE and just saying it was stupid. But instead I did what I did, convo'd their CEO to find out if we could agree to not pod one another (he graciously agreed), and then I sneaked past them with a shuttle, got with the rest of my friends, and the older players FC'd us to victory. One time I was used as bait in my Tristan so one of our two older players could uncloak a Pilgrim and surprise sex the two cruisers outside our station. There's no shame in that! (especially cause it totally worked).

      I'd hope most people just pick up the game and if they dont know one person they just give it their best shot. BUT I do know a majority make another choice, a choice to not make friends and just try to get by on their own. Much like RL, you're free to do that but it's a hard road. Most movies where a loner gets picked on by a gang of thugs or whatever, the character arc is usually that someone notices and stands up for them or the loner makes a few friends (and a hot love interest), either way learning the value of friendship and team work and feelings and stuff. EVE and RL aren't movies though, sometimes you need to put a little work in.

      You make a choice about how you play, where you play, what corp you play in if any. You make a choice not to convo the Raven undocking next to you to ask him for advice or just to say hi. You make lots of choices like that every day. You have to realize that other players just like you are making different ones, and while your choices give you the advantage of being able to play 30 minutes at a time and not have to answer to anyone, their choices give THEM certain advantages too. EVE being what it is, few choices are permanent and no one's making them for you. If you think the advantages of a different choice are better for you than you currently have, just make a different choice next chance you get. In a virtual world, it really is that easy :)

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    9. 7. There's corp, alliance, and standings settings in the Fleet Finder. It was never meant as a global-EVE fleet building tool (that'd be really impractical if you think about it) it was made as a replacement for the Old Way of doing things (making a chat channel, making everyone type in the channel, and right click inviting each one individually. I wish i was kidding). If you're blue to someone and they set their fleet to standings, you'd see it clear as day. That'd require getting someone to like you first though!

      8. There certainly are some very exclusive groups within the Incursion community, but they're not the only game in town. If you go to the system you auto-join a special channel with everyone else in the area and there'll be plenty of players with ships asking to get in on the action or looking for help to fill their ranks. If you turn up with the Wrong Wrong fit i suppose you'd get popped by the rats, but anything shy of that and it's just finding someone willing to take you. Obviously if you're a first timer and have low grade equipment the highest end fleets wouldn't take you, but just because you cant instantly hop in with the pros doesnt mean you shouldn't give it a try. As you get more into it you'll see what those Incursion community channels are all about and maybe get invited as you get more comfortable, well know, and well equipped ;) (PS there's also tons of guides on how to fit for incursions, Google that shit)

      9. I dunno if they aggressors really have more power tbh. They pay a hefty fee to be able to shoot and be shot by the target of their choice. It's definitely attractive for the defender to not give the attacker what they're looking for (kills/fights) especially if they dont have any POS to force a conflict. But the way I look at things, that's a failure of both sides being able to impact one another. Defenders have no goal to fight for (unless the attacker has a POS of course) and attackers have nothing to do but camp an unwilling defender into a station. My position is a good improvement would be causing defenders who wont defend themselves to have something to lose besides interest in playing and defenders who DO defend themselves successfully (either on their own or with allies) should stand something to gain besides causing the attackers avoid fighting all week instead.

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    10. Other 9. That impression isn't wholly wrong, but advocating for more attention being given to the how and why of killing each other is not the same as thinking PVP is the only part of the game. The fact is, from "our" side of the coin PVP has been really underserved the past couple of years compared to PVE. I know that will go against your assumptions so please let me try to explain.

      In 2009 there was Apocrypha, a great expansion which opened up wormholes and balanced ships and all sorts of great stuff for players of all stripes to enjoy. Wormholes, Tech 3 ships, all that. Following that we got Dominion, which was supposed to revolutionize and reinvigorate 0.0 sov warfare and empire building. Unfortunately much like Faction Warfare the year before it was released half finished and was considered a marginal improvement. It never got finished; it still isn't finished. Instead, CCP released Tyrannis, featuring Planetary Interaction which was supposed to be PVP-able (dumping garbage in the neighbors yard so to speak) but obviously is not. Then there was Incarna, which had 0 PVP applications whatsoever. After that Incursions, which are almost entirely run in highsec and are very much PVE content.

      Following the debacle that was the Incarna release and the Summer of Rage 2011, CCP finally released some honest to god PVP content. We got Player Customs Offices in lowsec/0.0, another boring structure to shoot (POS, sov structures, too many of those already) but better than nothing. And we got the tier 3 battle cruisers which opened up a lot of new and exciting options. And TIME DILATION! we could actually get our clicks registered properly when there were more than 50 people in the same place. CCP finally began balancing ships and weapons to spice things up, something they hadnt done for 2 years. This was on top of UI fixes and quality of life improvement for PVErs like POS fuel blocks and stuff.

      Compared to that, the first expansion launched shortly after CSM7 took office was Inferno, which finally fixed faction warfare into something people wanted to use but kicked the pants of everything else. 0.0 systems lost a lot of their PVE value (people left, no one for PVPers to hunt), suicide ganking made more difficult thanks to tougher concord and tougher ORE ships plus no insurance, nerfs to Incursions were reversed. The headline feature was a revamped war dec system, but due to rampant and preventable exploits, massive costs, and an unlimited free allies system backed up by a laughable "mercenary marketplace" (really just a database of wars) was a quarter finished joke that killed off many of the non-griefer highsec PVP groups.

      We needed Retribution just to get the damn thing back to a USABLE state; an ideally balanced mechanic is almost too much to hope for. Ship balance has continued, Crimewatch has had some nice side effects for lowsec PVP, and bounties are a nice novelty. But 0.0 is still waiting, so are POS people. They've been waiting for 4 years. CCP has not delivered a really ambitious piece of PVP in the past two expansions, POS content in the past two expansions, and 0.0 content in the past 5 expansions.

      Balance is good, but it needs to be understood these people have been waiting a long time with more patience than they probably thought themselves capable. It'd be nice if 2013 was the year CCP at least delivered a reason to keep hoping.

      10. Speaking of balance, we have indeed received the information needed to participate in the summer expansion planning process. There's a lot of stuff in there for a lot of different groups. Who know what will get picked ultimately, but I think each CSM and CCP theme submitted caters to multiple parts of the player base. Some themes better than others of course ;) but that's what we're looking them over for.

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    11. Wow... I'm humbled by your offer - teaming up with a CSM member for some PvP goodness sounds too good to miss!

      I really appreciate your response and it actually puts a lot of things into perspective for me - as you pointed out many of my 'short comings' are actually of my own making or just straight up bad luck.

      I can also see that I've probably been missing a large part of the game that also needs to be 'played' which is the social aspect and the more I can feel comfortable engaging in that the better my overall EVE experiance will become.

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    12. The nerfs to Incursions were NOT reversed by a long shot. Only 1 site was changed that made it playable but still no where near as easy as pre esclation, the Vanguard ISK amounts were not restored to pre-escalation numbers as promised either. The only thing that was totally reversed was the Influence bar.
      You have DEV access to the numbers of those still doing Incursions & evenwithout that I can tell you numbers are still more then decimated compared to pre Escalation by along shot.

      ~DarthNefarius
      PS: you mixed up the timeline with Incarna & Incursions
      PPS: Pre-Escalation NULL & low sec Incursions were being done & finished since Escalation a single low sec Incursion was completed last week FFS

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    13. Hi Lee,

      I am not quite a CSM member (far, far far, from it! ) But if you are looking for a fun engaging community that you can pick up or put down at your convenience, might I also suggest that you drop by Liekuri or Otela and Join the Red versus Blue (RvB)conflict? We are always happy to have new members of the community and experience or even isk is not a necessary pre-requisit to having fun with us! So just in case Alex's offer does whet your appetite for a more social Eve existence, but you don't fancy moving to low-sec/0.0 then come on by, the fighting never stops with us! :-)

      @Jester and Alex, and Hans, remember us please when you have these conversations with players who are uncertain or new to EVE! Well, us and Eve Uni, but mostly RvB! (Eve Uni scum! *Shakes fist* :-p) We are new player friendly with no entry requirements and PVP lessons, even FC 101 lessons avaailable to all interested parties. No better place to get small fleet experience. With a constant running war with cheap ships and players looking to lose them in glorious combat! WOOT!

      Delete
    14. Thanks for the offer Cephias Caine - the experiance with Alek did definatly encourage me to look into the PvP & social elements of the game a little more than I have done in the past; even more so now that I'm no longer a kill mail virgin (Always the victim, never the victor :P)

      I'm considering my options at the moment and like I said my time commitment is still a big factor and I wouldn't want to commit to anything that I couldn't follow through with and also I would still prefer to stay with my corp if possible as they are a really nice bunch of guys and I hate dropping in and out of corp all the time.

      I would love to maybe join a chat channel and participate in some roams now and again if possible.

      If thats still cool who would be best to contact?

      Thanks!

      Delete
  28. "Solomon: The strong prey on the weak, but the weak aren't responding, and nobody's getting particularly fun or nourishing game play out of this. Is that a failure?"

    Yes. It is a failure, but not CCP's. It's a failure of other, more experienced, EVE players in accepting and educating new players rather than ganking them once and trolling them for days afterward (for example). Many of us treat new players like garbage without ever realizing how important they are.

    There's a reason most non-EVE players believe we're all sadistic jerks. It's because loads of people start a trial, get hazed by a sadistic jerk, and never return. But they REMEMBER, and they tell other people, and EVE's reputation gets a little slimier.

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  29. An interesting discussion. But frustrating in that reading it, it does not seem like they really had the time to get down to the fundaments of what the wardec system is or should be about.

    Is it OK for the strong to prey on the weak? I think most EVE players would say emphatically yes. But then, newbies. And NPC corps. So, already we are carving exceptions. Why?

    Also, I think everyone agrees that a "war" where one side refuses to fight is not really fun, at least on net. It is fun to be in the superior corp, flying about and perhaps occasionally taunting the weaker one. It is no fun at all to be docked for a week. On net, I think the total fun here is negative. So that is something to get rid of, if possible, other things equal.

    I think we should stop thinking of wardecs only as a game mechanic; as a game mechanic anything goes so long as it is fun; the wardec system fails on that account. IMO we should start thinking about it in terms of: why oh why does Concord allow any wars at all? If you think about it that way, and can come up with a plausible answer, then that should help guide you in coming up with ways to make the system better.

    You might propose, for example, that Concord allows wars as a sort of sporting contest, what with capsuleers being immortal. In which case you might be interested in a more consensual wardec system.

    Personally, I see it more as Concord does not want to micromanage the universe, but they do want to establish a social hierarchy for purposes of control, aka taxation. So, the reason why the strong are allowed to dominate the weak is to force tribute, tribute which ends up going in part to Concord. So my view of things suggests that: (a) CCP should establish a system of tribute/taxation, by which corps can tax each other; (b) some reasonable amount, say, 10% of all such tribute/taxation should go to Concord; (c) the payment of tribute should be negotiable formally as part of a surrender agreement.

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  30. Theres a few things to note (although some have been covered, they are worth repeating):

    1. EVE is a sandbox. Yes, there is PvP. Yes, it can happen to anyone. No it doesn't require you to be undocked. However, by its very nature, a sandbox also includes those who just want to do stuff on their own.

    2. Any game mechanic that can be bypassed by simply leaving a social group, is a broken mechanic. It effectively means there is little to no gameplay benefit (barring POSes, and we all know how bad they are) for a player in HiSec to be in a player-corp.

    3. Go look at the PCU graphs for TQ. While CCP has announced 450,000 subscribers, I'd estimate at least 100,000+ of them are in China, and CCP can't be making anywhere near as much money from those subs as they do on TQ. If EVE is going to grow, it is going to have to embrace the guys who just want to play their spaceship simulator, and there are two fairly high profile competitors coming.

    4. Out of those ~350,000 subscribers on TQ, going by the data I have on E-UNI members, I'd be surprised if there are more than ~150,000 actual EVE *players*.


    CCP need to really look at EVE this year, and decide if they want it to remain as niche and as "hardcore" as it is today, or do they want to embrace the "casual" player, and reach that actual 450,000 subscriber count on TQ.

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  31. There is no answer, if you want to play against the grain because you're an awkward arrogant sod that is your prerogative.

    Goons and other nullies have it backward if they think soloing in highsec is EVE on easy mode. The big mobs of drunken idiots are playing EVE on easy mode. But hey, it's a sandbox and they can piss all over space and in the face of anyone they can catch.

    Here's the point; If EVE changed to accommodate emotionally disturbed loners like myself, we'd move on to some-place else where we're not wanted.

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  32. I, for one, cannot quite believe you don't have an opinion on this. You basically have one on everything.

    I think it is more likely that you decided not to express yours, for one reason or another. Assuming it is something on the line "to spark a discussion", here is mine:

    A sandbox game is one that allows freedom of choice, but not freedom of consequence. The industrialists in your example are not required to make more friends, but that carries consequences on its own.

    Consider the example of a better known non-pvp organization, Red Frog. They decided to adopt a model where being wardec'ed hardly affects their business, but the consequences of that is that they have a lot more hassle in their day-to-day operations.

    My biggest gripe with the wardec systems CCP implements is how inconsequential they can be. If the defenders have no assets in space they can simply hop in a temporary corp (although admittedly this is probably not the case for serious industrial corps). And it only takes a minimum of initial preparations to ensure the attackers are never truly compromised by wardec'ing others.

    In this aspect, the wardec system is an anomaly in the sandbox.

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  33. I think Seleene's argument is fundamentally correct.

    The problem comes from the lack of corporate management in game. Instead of having thousands of small corps they should want to band together to protect themselves and their assets. They should want to work together for greater efficiency.

    The issues arise when you try to deal with bad behavior. The roles system blows.

    Management should have the option to give use rights only allowing self canceling of jobs. Meaning no canceling other players jobs.

    Management should have the option to only allow members to put/take from their own private corporate hangars. What we have now is required use of one of 7 storage 'slots' if you want to interact with a POS.

    If you wish to make copies, one of the most valued things you could gain from a high sec corp, you need to be able to take from one of the seven storage slots. That means if you have more than seven people wishing to make copies they can't be secured. Beyond that we can't currently limit how many jobs a member installs in the POS. If we could say limit people to two copy slots and two ME slots it would work fine. Right now there isn't any control as I understand it.

    We can give people the ability to refuel the POS sure, it also allows them to unfuel it.

    We can allow corp members to assist each other in times of war but it also means they can awox each other. With the addition of the dueling system and safety switch I'm having a hard time understanding why this remains. I'm not against ganking however the difficulty of removing awoxers isn't currently right. If they stay in space and the corp management is new they can get away with it far longer than they should.

    We need to have better all round management of valued assets before folks can band together.




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  34. As ever, when it comes to dealing CCP's R&Dev Agents with or without CSM faction collision measurements - there is nothing easily predictable.

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  35. Jester you havn't mentioned the REAL conflict of interest for CCP mentioned in the CSM notes: There was a PLEX intervention last year.
    Don't get me wrong I think Dr E had to do something about the HORRIBLE LP store ISK reductions & its repercussions but from a business point of view CCP was giving out possibly alot offree time.

    ~DarthNefarius

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    1. Not necessarily free I would think. Didn't Dr. E say at his FanFest 2012 session that he had thousands of PLEX on permabanned accounts that he would like to free up? They would be already payed for at some point in time when they were injected into the game before they got to thoose now banned accounts. If they were to extract these and sell them on the market then in theory they would only be an ISK sink...
      Hopefully Dr. E can get his promised (from the minutes) dev post out the door soon so we may be enlightened.

      Delete
  36. I quite often do things alone in Eve and I find the universe;s hostility to letting me do this is part of the game's charm. Want to do PI with high yield - think, plan, explore. Want to mine undisturbed - find a very quiet corner indeed. Want to steal some mag sites or run mission for pirates - be very very careful indeed.

    Most of these activities would make a lot less isk if it was easy for anyone to do them.

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  37. If they wanted to increase the actual fighting that takes place in war decs then the incentives to fight have to be modified. As it currently stands a high security corporation has only one reason to fight in a war dec on the defensive side and that is simply to be left alone. Under no scenario does a defender "win" anything --- the best they can do is fight to a stalemate.

    I would propose that the any corporation issuing a war dec has their war dec fee paid in escrow to Concord --- at the end of the war dec the side that has caused the greatest losses wins 75% of the fee and the loser gets 25% of it. Some HS corps will do the standard hide and seek routine, but some might be encouraged to make a fight of it (at least for one battle). By giving the defender something even if they lose you at least allow them a slight insurance against a loss to discourage rage quits and corp disbands. If the war dec results in no fights then the fee goes to Concord.

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  38. I dont have an opinion on your post, but I wanted to reply to a couple of comments posted.

    EvE is not a niche game. Its one of the only games that has had progressive growth over a decade of being live. Yeah, it doesnt have the millions of players WoW has, but neither does any other MMO out there. EverQuest 1 and 2, Vanguard, DarkFall, Star Wars: Galaxies, SW:TOR, Star Trek, and the list goes on and on....They all dreamt of the success of EvE. If anything, WoW is a niche game in its successes of both longevity and playerbase.

    EvE however, is not a niche game. Its a sci-fantasy MMORPG, and is a successful game. The only thing they need to do to get a bigger memberbase is to market their game more. I remember years and years ago, both times I tried EvE in 2005 and 2008 before it finally stuck in 2010 is that there were stories of great things happening. People were making a difference in the game. Its a difficult, hard, and unforgiving game; but you could make a difference in it if you tried.

    The only thing EvE needs to do to bring in more players to keep them is to make things happen. The Great Heist, the GSF and BoB war and result, to name a couple. These events will drive new players to try EvE and if they can be a part of it, will make them stay. I guess I did have an opinion on some peices of your post =P

    ~Korvus

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  39. The penalty for abusing your power and declaring war on "carebear"-HiSec-Corps is to low. Pay some millions ISK(who cares)to ruin their game for at least one week, there is no risk involved.

    If there a too many bullys in my sandbox, I`ll go to another sandbox.
    The Problem is: there is no other sandbox like EvE. DecShield saved us once *evilgrin*. But these days are gone.

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    1. The fee for war declaration cannot be it. Cause there will always be the guys with enough money.

      No, it should be "not honourable" to attack the weak. I imagine something like :
      - a kill mail ought not be "worth" the same in any two occasions

      What I'm thinking is, you get war dec'ed and get shot : +1 for the attacker
      Rote Kapelle getting war dec'ed and get shot: +1 for the attacker
      You get a mercenary to help you and your attacker gets shot : +1 for the mercs AND you have to pay money

      IMHO there should be distinct differences between these three.

      Delete
  40. Since this thread is growing, i figured I'd add another Anon comment to even things out!

    I've been a gamer all my life. Since Pong territory...Im 44 years old and have seen all the tricks etc that are used to lure a playerbase. With EVE, I don't see its growth so much as based off of individuals that saw an ad somewhere, it comes moreso from people sick of other MMORPG's that decide to "give EVE a try"....

    The PVP people have it all wrong. They have had it wrong from Day 1. Listen to me carefully, not everyone wants to shoot stuff. Not everyone finds pleasure from harassment of others. I truly feel sorry for many EVE players as Karma will be horrible to many of them as life progresses.

    Seeing a group of people circle-jerking about the sandbox etc is hilarious to me. You want equal gameplay?....you want more to join?....Make highsec fighting impossible. No Wardecs, no PVP...nothing. Let it be the safe-haven. Nerf the crap outa it if you must, but leave that area alone to those that just want to chill for an hour and maybe run a mission or 2.

    What amuses me the most is the convoluted ways in which this game purports to be trying to be realistic and yet, at the same time, does everything in its power to avoid reailsim. If I get shot, I should have the right to pursue you until I AM SATISIFED...If my mining ship gets blown up by your corp, I should have 30 days of free revenge against your teammates with unlimited kills. This would make a Carebear going Postal that much more interesting.

    See the problem is has been mentioned the strong get 90% of the benefits while the weak are basically punching bags that after a while quit...most weak people see the benefits of fighting back, but say a 4-year vet kills a 3 month old character...whoopdie-shit...I can go ATTACK HIM?....yeah, no thanks.

    But if I can attack ANY other member of your group...well then, that opens possibilities. It opens me learing how to ship scan to find the weakest guy to kill, it teaches me strategy, it teaches me patience. But most importantly, it gives a serious degree of "eye for an eye" that this game truly needs.

    The Carebears need teeth. And frankly, the PVP guys need to get their faces kicked in a bit to realize that ganking a freighter or an exhumer isn't PVP and never was. It was harassment of the strong over the weak. Give the weak a chance to be even MORE evil than those that smote him, and you might see a dramatic upturn in fighting.

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    1. One thing I like here: (Give the weak a chance to be even MORE evil than those that smote him, and you might see a dramatic upturn in fighting.)

      In several games if you are killed and after you re-spawn, you have a time of invulnerability or you are juiced, whatever. This would be interesting. You are ganked and suddenly have lvl 5 across the board for a short time or extra speed or can't be scrammed.

      Actually tho might be more fun if you are ganked with no war dec or flag. Just straight out criminally molested you become part of the aggressors corp for 24 hrs if you like (they can't reject you). Would only allow player corps the ability to take the safety off too. You want to fight you can't be in an NPC corp. You can see where they are located in corp button, but can't be found yourself without a locator agent. Griefing them at will. Even in a pos lol.

      I know this is taking it to the absurd. Hey a lot of the ganking that is done is absurd too.

      Delete
    2. "If I get shot, I should have the right to pursue you until I AM SATISIFED...If my mining ship gets blown up by your corp, I should have 30 days of free revenge against your teammates with unlimited kills. This would make a Carebear going Postal that much more interesting.

      But if I can attack ANY other member of your group...well then, that opens possibilities. ... But most importantly, it gives a serious degree of "eye for an eye" that this game truly needs."

      Hey Anon, run for CSM and link that part of this comment in your "campaign speech". I'd vote for ya on the basis of this alone.

      Delete
    3. Very good point, indeed. +2

      Delete
    4. The imbalance tween Carebear (noob and experienced non-PvPer alike) is Game Skillz (Skill Points - SP) and Player Experience (Real Skills - RS). Your points hit home...but how do you level the playing field 'enough' to give the unskilled a chance while not penalizing the skilled for their time and investment? THAT is the question. And 'get friends' or 'pay mercs' are not 'the' answers... they are two 'possible' answers, but not for everyone...

      Seriously about the best Carebear/Grieferbear counter I've read yet.. Kudos!

      Delete
  41. One part of the conflict is between people who think 'sandbox' means that anyone can do whatever they want, and people who think 'sandbox' means that anyone can attempt whatever they want. EVE has traditionally gone the latter way, and for what it's worth I'm fine with that. Playing solo doesn't necessarily mean playing alone, or playing undisturbed, and it's impossible not to leave some sort of impact on the world in the course of playing solo.

    The other part of the conflict is that the meta of 90% of high sec wardecs is fundamentally asymmetrical: the aggressor is able to deny the defender their preferred gameplay, but if the defender fights back then all they're doing is giving the aggressor exactly what they want. The only way not to is to deny them PVP, which is where you get whole corps docking up and logging off for a week. But, because any gameplay that CCP introduces will attract players who are primarily interested in that gameplay, there will be players who are primarily interested in PVE as long as EVE has PVE. So really, the problem is built directly into the game.

    How do you solve it? I guess this would be an issue for the NPE, in part. Currently, the NPE leaves new capsuleers with absolutely no idea of how to properly fit a ship, how to start a corp, how to use D-scan, no exposure to PVP, and otherwise no tools to survive within the game. So I'd probably start there. The other thing I'd look at are the general claims from PVPers that the adrenaline shakes wear off after a dozen or so fights, and that loss is how you learn. Those sound entirely plausible (yeah, I'm not exactly a PVPer myself), and CCP and CSM should look into how to communicate or facilitate that, as well.

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  42. I'm a bit conflicted as well. For one I really love on how well the 'PVP experience' is tied-in with the player-run economy. The fact that ships are lost, that big operations impact markets, etc makes it very interesting. I've recently moved to null-sec from being mostly focused on high-sec carebearing with a bit of low sec pvp'ing and I love it; I've overcome the hurdle of fearing to lose stuff. Now I too enjoy blowing shit up and hope to blow stuff more expensive than what I get blown off.

    However, having PVP that is so centered on losses rather than wins (i.e.: winning the isk wars by having the other party lose more than we do) is what is detrimental to the game. Suicide Ganks in highsec, mobbing more pricey ships are fun for the "griefers" but since they are often targeted at younger / less resourceful players, it's not beneficial to the health of the playerbase. I've seen quite a few people coming to play this game with delusions of safety in highsec, misunderstanding of the (complex) mechanics and some that just wanted to play a really nice shiny ship simulator, who left the game after they lost the majority of their assets because some 'douchebags' just wanted to inflict some pain.

    Not everyone likes to blow stuff up, some people like to build things up. Putting the focus of EVE solely on the PvPers and their ability to impact the fun of those less inclined to PVP is not healthy for the long run.

    EVE has so much potential, it has an amazing universe, lore, gameplay mechanics, player-driven content (economy), but it is being held back because the most rewarded type of play is that of a griefer/douchebag. Sure industrialists/Mission Runner can make good ISK, but they're always at the mercy of others. Fair for the PVPers, but playing the sheep in a den of wolves is not for everyone, in fact, not too many people are willing to go play that sheep unless they've been hanging around that den for a while (very high entry barrier).

    As for some of the comments that I've seen here about banding together to defend yourselves against the bigger baddies... well it's what we're seeing now with the nullsec coalitions and it sucks. In every online game, lot of guilds/corps/groups tend to gravitate around circles of real life friends/acquaintances mixed with others; lot of players don't want to play as a meaningless number in a huge corp/alliance, they just want to play in a small friendly corp with their friends and focus on an area of gameplay that they commonly like.

    It's hard to find a detailed solution to that problem, but imho, EVE should focus a bit more on rewarding wins over punishing (oh so harshly) losses. Obviously, keeping your ship after having it blown up (respawning in station with all the modules) would simply not work with the way the in game economy works, but I'm sure there would way to work things out so that something like that could be possible and keep an healthy economy... but like I said, it'd be hard to figure out an exact solution that would not break the economy and still make sense in-game / lore-wise.

    As a sidenote, it would be interesting to see if CCP would ever decide to have a 'PVE' server, where non-consensual pvp doesn't exist (lets say that all the null secs mechanics would be reworked and whatnot) and where people aren't perma-losing their ships, etc, how many people would decide to switch over and just enjoy building their pve-empire / playing their spaceship simulator. It would be a cool experiment.

    Lixia Saran (posted anonymously because at work)

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  43. My problem with wardecs is this: My corp (only a handful mostly PvE oriented people) got a war by another small corp (looked like an alt-corp for war-deccing). There was not a single fight. And it was not due to lack of us trying. They only showed up 2-3 times at all. And that only when they found one of us doing PvE stuff. When that player reshipped, they docked up.

    In other words: they had to lose nothing (it was only an alt corp, their mains - no clue which corp - could do what they wanted), while we were bothered and had no option to retaliate. Obviously there has to be some risk for the attacker (and no, I don't mean losing 10mil ISK gank ships).

    Something like a collateral you lose if you don't win/lose enough in combat (yes, that would mean you pay extra if you have chosen a victim that prefers to stay docked - like paying for "imprisoning" them, i.e. it's in your best interest to chose interesting opponents).
    Probably that has it's own problems, like most drive-by suggestions, but you get the idea.

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  44. EVE Online is a sandbox, and I'd like to see it grow, and see the player base grow. I want to see new players come in to play, experiment, have fun, then look up and find other people to go play with and become friends with. I don't want them to instead have the experience of looking up to find out that the sandbox they're playing in is just the floor of the Thunderdome.

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  45. What role do kill mails serve in all this?
    Would Eve change if Kill mails were changed to only show items that dropped?
    Would Eve change if kill mails were removed completely?
    It strikes me that most 'pirates' are interested in shooting other people primarily and making isk out of the encounter is a distant second. Likewise most highsec wars. (I could get on board with hisec wars much more if it were one indy corp wanting the moons/belts/station occupied by a second)
    So what would happen if there were no kill mails? My suspicion is that ganking would switch away from griefing and into isk gain only. Likewise Hisec wars, yeah I can get some easy kills on noobs but I get nothing to show for it...But I seldom shoot anyone unless there is a good chance of me making a chunk of ISK from the encounter.

    This is certainly a mechanic that would be easier to explain to noobs, while also giving little incentive to vets to kill noobs.

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    1. A minor thing touched in the minutes was Killboards. And I don't think CCP understand what they could have fixed with the game because the CSM were so against it the problems with killboards never got brought up.

      CCP official Killboards could once and for all finish the out of control quest for Kill-Efficiency that dominates end game to the point it destroys all else.

      CCP could award the kill only to final blow giving every kill a 1to1 ratio instead of the lunacy it is now. They could have solved a great many of the epeen problems with how PVP happens and how people approach it. And in so doing fixed a lot of cultural problems with the game. Straight up K/D/A in a killboard would destroy the culture of L33t except for the very very few who are. Attach Concorde as a Kill holder when Crimewatch is in effect and assign a free Assist to the Injured party and ganking for anything but monitary reasons dries right unless they are doing it purely for giggles. Their K/D/A will never be positive, it'll only be negative. Do it cause you like it, or do it because you want money, but doing it for an easy kill is no longer a reward.

      Delete
  46. Eve is a sandbox, a sandbox that encourages bullying, a sandbox that hinders the weak from being able to affect the strong, a sandbox that has an exponential power growth that all but ensures the reigning aristocracy is immune from the influence of plebeians. Thus, Eve is a recipe for poor initial adoption rates, but good retention rates of those who do suffer through the infamous curve.

    Certainly, this can be changed, but can it be changed enough to change those initial adoption rates without upsetting retention? I'm not so sure. If Eve wants to survive, it has to try, because the sandbox is currently controlled by the bullies who are content to keep kicking over castles so long as there are castle to kick. The supply of castles, however, is dwindling.

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  47. To me it basically seems like this: EVE is a sandbox. But a big enough sandbox can hold a theme park. Some players want CCP to build a themepark inside the sandbox. Other players want EVE to continue to stay the no-frills by the book sandbox that it is.

    This part of the minutes (from what you summarized) seems to be a discussion about what kind of sandbox EVE should have.

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  48. I would someone to explain carefully - why I keep reading on Eve-O Forums that 'wardecs are broken'. How are they broken and if so, what needs to happen to address it?

    As some worthy suggested the rise in suicide ganks is direct follow on from the lack of "outlet" through wardecing.

    If someone can pay an bribe ISK to concord for war - why is there not the option to counter-bribe? market PvP is well regarded - isn't this the same thing?

    And why is it, if someone wardecs - if I understand it - they can get out of a mutual war. I like would be able to turn it around through extortion. "the war ends when the agressor pays for it end" Actions do have consequences?

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  49. It's funny this topic is always there just simmering below the surface. Popping up every year or so. Going on close to 5 years now for me. Hopefully this is showing that someone is seeing the light at CCP.

    It has always stricken me silly that people have this mantra "EVE is pvp or you need to go somewhere else." So i guess there are 10,000 raging pvp bastards in TEST. Not just to pick on Test.=P It's all alliances. Why are there asteroids in null? Heck get rid of the havens and sanctums. You big babies. You ever hear? "Come on guys. Home defense fleet. We need more ppl. There are 150 guys in alliance on. Come on! Fleet up ladies!" Yeah null sec is full of hard core pvpers. *Don't set foot there each and every one are itching to kill. (*irony if you couldn't tell.) Yet we don't hear very much about the need to change their nap fest, er play style.

    You want to pvp? Hell let's give you a ship free of charge. You loose it we give another one. They can split the servers up and have two games. Eve and Peve. Let's see witch one fills up quickest with casual players.

    The worst part comes down to this. It shouldn't matter at all to CCP or any of their employees or the CSM what the game is like if it's what the MAJORITY of players want it to be. The visionaries or their vision that first made this game are gone. Going on three plus years of spinning the wheels here. People are voting with their wallets. Perhaps on those yearly questionnaires there should be an emphasis on questions about what the players want. Maybe better yet don't want. Fixes are fine but how much of it wasn't broken. Instead we get a rationalization of 'we know best kiddies.' Dust ain't gonna do it. Most kids and young adults that I know change fps games ever month or so and back. Not gonna play if it's hard to figure out, or it doesn't work like the rest of them.

    Here's hoping for change and hopefully added PVE content. Come on ladies!

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  50. So, really, tl;dr: EVE is Real. "Your rights end where my rights begin," and all that, as I've read lately in comments on any news/blog article about, oh say, gun control in Murrica (aka Hisec, as I proved a while back).
    The problem with all the like arguments about "rights" is a fallacy so simple it never made an appearance in any of my HS or college-level logic classes: there are no such things as "rights". The sooner we eliminate that word and its synonyms from our cultures, especially its common adjectival cohorts "god-given" and "inalienable", the better off we'll be. It's pretty damn funny that people will argue all day and night about the existence of a god, and if so which one ... yet almost all will readily stipulate that "rights" exist, no doubt -- while commencing to argue about what exactly they are. Funny, I would think something so "god-given" and "inalienable" would be pretty concrete, and outside the "game mechanics", literally physically impossible to violate.

    That being said, a lot of people go on about how "real" EVE is. Well, "real" is not necessarily "scarce" resources, but most assuredly not infinite, and "real" is individuals and groups competing for those limited resources -- whether by brute force and the sword, or slick guile and the pen.

    The problem of EVE isn't the "competition" aspect. The problem is that pretty much all of the "competition" centers around brute force and swords, unless you belong to a sov-holding entity. And even then.........how long before CFC vs HBC: Clash of the Titans? Just asking.

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  51. Of course the best discussions happen while I'm away :/

    "The strong prey on the weak, but the weak aren't responding, and nobody's getting particularly fun or nourishing game play out of this."
    Except it doesn't happen in all aspects of the game. The idea of “everything is PVP” is broken, because everything is countered by beating the other guy's face in. The carebear's strength, whether it be industrial or economical, is completely overshadowed by the strength of lasers to ship.
    When the Goons funded the Ice Interdiction, I couldn't refuse to sell them my minerals, ships, or modules without withdrawing from the market completely. I couldn't even refuse to buy products from them- the lowest priced items are always bought, no matter what price you agree to pay. This means that the power equation is no longer balanced.
    I'd argue that without balance, you merely have a cock-fighting pit, not a sandbox. You can only have a true sandbox when every action has a consequence, and without a way for the miners and brokers to stike back, the pvp lovers can do as they please without a care in the world.

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  52. "Some -- notably CCP Soundwave and CCP SoniClover -- are clearly firmly in the "let capsuleers kill 'em all and let the gods sort them out." And as an aside, if a few EVE players fall by the way and unsubscribe, then maybe this universe isn't for them."

    And, this sort of stupid thinking is exactly why CCP isn't gaining much ground on the new player subscription front.

    Plus, giving carebears more incentive to leave the game is business suicide for CCP. Depending on how you want to argue the numbers, no less than 20%, and perhaps up to 40%, of the player base are carebears. CCP cannot afford to lose these players - they can't convert them into PVP players and they can't replace them.

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  53. Given the diversity of roles in EVE Online, wouldn't it be reasonable to accept that there are players who want to take part in the universe but not necessarily in the way that it originally came about?

    If Dust 514 ends up being a success then why not consider furthering the cross-game experience with other games that expand the ways people can take part in and influence each other in the EVE universe?

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  54. So, my question to Jester is this: What exactly do you think CCP is more comfortable with? (1) doing some extra coding then the requisite hard number crunching to track shit like player numbers, or (2) 'feeling' "uncomfortable" with maintaining this popular illusion that participation in the status quo (of multiple subscriptions per player and alliance-centric pvp - aka "The Right side of the Whiteboard") equates to ... profit!

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