EVE is often a bit of a "mystery box", or just a plain old black box. To learn definitive things about the game, often the player has to feed it a lot of inputs, see what comes out, write the outputs down, and then try to reverse engineer what the game is actually doing based on this data. There's certainly no documentation and because of game updates and the like, sometimes even the documentation that players have come up with is wrong.
A couple of good examples:
- I'm sketching out outlines for the next few PvP guides, one of which will be basic electronic warfare. Those of us that do e-war have always had the impression that e-war strength drops very rapidly outside of optimal range. But to my knowledge, it's never been officially documented just how much.
- In CCP Fozzie's XL guns thread that I referenced last night, CSM member mynnna and many other EVE players are having an argument about missile speed versus explosion velocity versus ship velocity versus explosion radius and how those factors interact.
Net it down to its most basic level and you get "EVE is hard to learn and is hard to explain." This is just one of the reasons.
Here's the philosophical bit, and the bit that I'm very curious to get some player input on. I've blogged endlessly on the difference between needless complexity in EVE and complexity that adds to EVE's rich game-play. Which do you think this is? When you have to endlessly debate how missile explosion radius interacts with ship signature, is that adding to the richness of the game? Or is it complexity for the sake of complexity that should be simplified or removed?
In my opinion, someone very smart needs to take EVE's combat system, break it down and flow chart it, simplify it, and rebuild in a similar fashion to what was done with Crimewatch. Again in my opinion, most of the rich complexity of EVE comes from how the combat system is applied, not the mechanics of the combat system itself. It wouldn't reduce the richness of the game at all if I could explain EVE combat in simple terms. Again... in my opinion.
But I want to hear what you think.
But wait just a second. Before you answer, here's the really tough part... before you answer, remove from your head any thinking you have in terms of "EVE is hard, I had to learn it and it took a long time, and if newbies don't want to do the same, screw 'em." Because I'd like to hear your answer outside of that tendency that EVE players have to want to torture other (particularly newer) EVE players. Just look at the problem at its most basic, as if you were designing the game from the ground up.
Does EVE's black box nature add richness to the game? Or needless complexity? Discuss.