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...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Show, don't tell

OK, here's one that's really geek philosophy.  I'm not even sure how I feel about it myself yet.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

One of the basics of fiction writing is "show, don't tell."  Hell, it's practically something taught in freshman creative writing classes.  That said, like "always follow the primary", it's one of those rules that is absolutely unbreakable... until it comes time to break it.(1)  As you grow more adept as a fiction writer, you might choose to break the rule for narrative flow purposes to jump straight to the conflict in your story, for instance.  This summer's blockbuster movie Pacific Rim had to do a good bit of this because while the history of the kaiju-jaeger conflict was interesting, it wasn't the meat of the story.

But when it comes to EVE Online lore, those who have been writing it have always had a brutal 1v1 going with this rule.  It's rarely done in moderation: either it's all tell, no show (Chronicles) or it's all show, no tell (lots and lots of EVE Online live events).

Now I'm not an EVE lore guy and I've never claimed to be one.  I'm not an EVE role-player either; when I play the game I'm only very vaguely thinking about the game in those terms if I'm thinking about it at all.  But over the last year or so, I've had to pay more and more attention to the lore.  Hell, part of the goal CCP Seagull has for upcoming expansions seems to be to drag a lot of us kicking and screaming into EVE's lore whether we want to go there or not.  I mean, how do you think about "space colonization" as a CSM member and as someone who's interested in the future of EVE -- and I'm both -- without at least considering the lore and storyline aspects of it?(2)

So that's where I've been lately: paying attention to more of EVE's lore but not really all that comfortable with doing so.

But as I've paid more attention to it, the dichotomy between show and tell in how CCP has handled the lore has become more and more visible to me.  And when the Luminaire live event happened earlier this year, I was dragged into the lore by the simple virtue that I had EVE players complaining to me as a CSM member that the results of that particular live event were set in stone such that players couldn't influence them at all.  That Leviathan was going to crash no matter what EVE players had to say about it, and that aggravated a number of you.  "Where's the player influence?!" some of you yelled.  "Where's the player-driven sandbox?!"  So there's a second dichotomy in addition to the one between show and tell, and that's the one between -- and cripes, I can't believe I'm about to type this -- predestination and free will!

I warned you this was geek philosophy, right?

To what extent do we as players want CCP making decisions about the lore of the game and the results of live events for us?  Should all live events have an ending that players can have an influence on based on their actions?  Or is a mix the right way to go?  And even more than that, let's zoom out and look at the big picture.  As players, we influence the sandbox.  Does CCP get to influence the sandbox too?  More and more, I feel like the most vocal branch of the players feel the answer is "no!"  They don't want CCP influencing the sandbox.  That creates the rather ironic situation where EVE players get ragey if their free-will is challenged!  Hell, if there's a common thread between the annoyance over the Luminaire live event and rage over the SOMERblink stuff over the summer, that was it: that CCP was threatening the integrity of the sandbox through their actions.

As I said when I started this post, I'm not sure where I myself fall on this subject yet.  I can see the merits to both sides.  I feel like CCP should be allowed to tell the story they want to tell: that's one of the perks that goes with being a game designer.  Without that underlying story, EVE's richness would be greatly diminished.  Player actions defining 100% of the story would result in a pretty random story.  But I certainly follow and agree with -- to some extent -- the "integrity of the sandbox" argument that is raised when this question comes up.

What do you think, Dear Readers?  Where is the line between show and tell?  Where is the line between predestination and free will?  How much influence should CCP have over their own creation?

(1) If you're in the anti-tackle wing of a skirmish fleet, for instance, you ignore primaries called by the FC and instead focus on tackle ships like interceptors and frigates.
(2) Another example: when CCP Rise first made the CSM aware of upcoming Sisters of EVE ships, I was the CSM member that dug through the "Book of EVE" for him looking for past references to them.


  1. "Does CCP get to influence the sandbox too?"

    Go into a highway with 200km of straight line, keep your feet on the accelerator and take your hands off the turning heel. Chances are, your will never reach the other end, nevermind if you try it anywhere else.

    Sorry, CCP being disallowed to intervene is just not an option.

    You may want to question how much they should intervene, and the answer is "no more than necessary to maintain the well-being of the game in the short, medium and long term."

  2. "Does CCP get to influence the sandbox too? "

    They get to create options in the live events. They also should have an idea of which outcome is more likely.

    I don't see how the lore matters if the results are predetermined. It would be like saying well we want you to participate but no matter what you do the outcome will be the same.

  3. I choose to take CCP at their word when they advertise EVE in the real world as a MMORPG. I take that convenient advertising phrase every bit as seriously as the ToS. When Goons attacked the Ice mining mechanic they assumed a role and a political stance to go with it.

    If “the sandbox” is all and the mechanics of the game paramount then the Goons are victorious and people who define their interaction with the game as sympathetic to fictitious cause outlined in the lore are every bit as foolish as the Mittani thinks they are.

    EVE is an intellectual challenge. It's dangerous to perceive it through one lens. You win EVE by defining your place in it and maintaining that role whatever other players throw at you. That faith in the continuity of the EVE universe can be broken by CCPs apparent neglect. CCP needs to tell each of it's jealous infatuates that it loves them individually and often. It's complex. Never, ever kiss and tell. The show goes on.

  4. A long time ago I took narrative writing for games and I came to a conclusion early on. The potential quality of a story is inversely proportional to the amount of control the player has over it. Ultimately in a completely sandbox environment is CCP really doesn't have any control and it's always in the control of the players, the stories are going to be pretty bad. That said, those are narrative stories and not the stories that come from real life events. So really, whether or not, they know it EVE players are telling CCP that they don't get to create lore. The lore is what is produced by the players and all the empire, pirate, drone and lore stuff that they've created is just window dressing and if it went away it wouldn't really matter.

    For me, I like a good story and I have trouble finding a likeable character in the null sec alliances. So for me if CCP wanted to tell a great yarn and it came at the expense of the integrity of the sandbox so be it. The players can't have great lore and a great player made narrative. They'll just have to settle for one over the other.

  5. I feel like CCP represents the empires of the game. Let the players do all of the crazy things they want with the stories of nullsec. High and lowsec stories should certainly have some bits of player intervention to them, but not to the point that it becomes possible to kill off an interesting storyline. I, personally, found the Luminaire event to be pretty close to ideal...you know, besides the technical snafus.
    If you let the players run everything, every event will simply play out like our recent foray in trying to survive multiple layers of gatecamp and hotdrop trying to get to a Ghost Site.

  6. tbh i have been playing different mmo for 12 years now and i can tell you there is no such thing as a good mass event.
    that is like balancing ecm - either its overpowerd or useless.
    events are either boring or annoying or terrible

    i have seen 1 realy good event in my 12 years so far and that was a small roleplaying event.
    no announcements, nothing. there was just a new set of "npc" actors close to a busy road. almost everyone who played the game could have seen them at least once a day.
    those npc didnt had a "quest" or anything like that, just a very short story about their problem without any hints or requests. they responded the same story when ever you clicked them so they were just npc. except if you roleplayed them, like giving their horse imaginary grass.

    with some creativity, kowledge of the lore and the surrounding area you could find a solution to their problem and after that you got indirectly pointed to real open roleplaying event vs npc actors at locations where no one else would be bothered.

    iam not a typical roleplayer but that was realy great. also that kind of filter to get the right people to the event was a great idea. right in sight for everyone, but vissible only for people who care

    edit: btw those captchas suck for people above the average gamer age :x

    1. Yeah ditch the CAPTCHA Jester, you've had your fun. I recommend disqus.com

    2. +1 this comment.
      Although I feel there are lots of opportunities for CCP to channel existing PVE content into manageable live events rather than relying on social media.
      Damnit, they're called Crowd Control Publications. It is SO disappointing to me to see them not use the tools that they have to target specific content to the audiences that appreciate it. What a waste of every-bodies time.

    3. +1 to this comment as well. It's a great idea.

  7. I believe that it should be a combination of both when it comes to the "LORE". CCP can have a general direction of where it is going to go, but how we get there can be influence by the players.

  8. "Another example: when CCP Rise first made the CSM aware of upcoming Sisters of EVE ships, I was the CSM member that dug through the "Book of EVE" for him looking for past references to them."

    I figured that would have been Azariah's forté.

    1. Yeah, this is why Mike got a my vote. Starting to feel insecure about that now.

  9. As far as live events go, there is no purpose in one if the event's outcome is predetermined. Release a Chronicle or Dev blog and move on. Let us play with the resulting toys and features.

    If the purpose of the event is for players to choose an outcome, the event fails if participation is random and unorganized or, worse yet, killed in the cradle by the reality of EVE PvP. To act, players need more than a place to show up to. They need to be able to create things, make real choices (beyond "i will go and die in that system"), and implement a plan.

    As much as I like the idea of live events, I just don't think they work in their current form. Every single one I've participated in or attempted to participate in was ultimately ended by either PL, CFC, or the crushing weight of server lag. (I'm not knocking those guys. there's a reason they are the most powerful groups in EVE and it's foolish to think that a PUG could possibly compete with them. Especially when CCP dev corpses and PLEX are up for grabs.)

    The best tools they have for something akin to the Living World of GW2 already exists: escalations/missions and incursion and FW mechanics. If they had this last event to do over again, they should do it like this: first, introduce the idea of "mystery events" to EVE (which is nothing more than "there are sites out there, information, people. find them, act on what you find."); release one of those lore news items with lots of hints that something is up; point, but only in the most general way, to things to look for; flip the ON switch and then let the playerbase do the rest. When the players finish this mission or that esaclation or hold this system or that plex or turn this item over to that NPC agent or whatever, then points accrue or story options become permanent. The "event" ends when the conditions necessary for various outcomes are fulfilled or, if the conditions are not fulfilled, a default resolution is triggered at a certain time point. Simple as that.

    For example, they might have started this last event off by putting out a lore news item. An SoE explorer reported finding an unusual site. Before they could report what they found, they vanished. We know only what region they were in when they went silent. Player finds the mysterious site, SoE wreckage, and a proto version of the hacking site (assuming this was all related to ghost sites). Player hacks successfully, gets lore item and promise of reward for bringing it to NPC agent. Player turns it in, agent gives big reward (say, the first SoE ship), and lore news item is triggered. Next mystery chain is triggered. And so on. Maybe mix it up a bit. Eventually lore news item is triggered: Piwates make their move! If they can flip X FW constellation to their control by Z date, the system becomes temporarily under their control and several new escalation/mystery event chains are triggered. Or whatever.

    Bottom line: events as they currently exist are basically clusterfucks no matter how they're handled. If you want to tie player action to universal lore, you need some other mechanic to do it than "fly here and die to either TiDi or vastly superior nosec forces."

  10. Doesn't matter because Hisec won't follow an Incompetent CCP into another live event, especially given arrogant radio silence from by CCP.

    Just subbed out myself and I didn't even go to the horrid event. Just so disgusted with how CCP treats players that are not Null. Got on the forums and met some real weirdos -the Goonswarm CSM is a real psycho piece of work - suggested all hisecs be chopped into little peices so they could be served in a nice meal. I kid you not, posted right on a forum. Who wants to play this game with sickos as representatives?

    Good luck attracting new players CCP, you are doomed.

  11. My interest in EVE lore evaporated after I was playing for about a week, as an Amarr character, when I found out I couldn't take a shipload of slaves to the Minmatar border and hand them over in exchange for isk, friendship, better agent rewards, etc. Any reward at all including a scripted "thank you, capsuleer" would have been better than what you can actually get in return. Most of the lore is just like that, contrived, trite and heavily dependent on hardcore RP types. Here's hoping it might get better but after 10 years, meh.... competent action, not words, please, CCP, not half baked live events and contrived plot elements.

    1. After more than a few years of grinding PVE missions for the express purpose of promoting an individual Faction above the others via storyline missions, the times I've been most satisfied as a insular role player is when I've seen my faction win a victory via news feed or chronicle. But the current meta of the game feels like those connections are going to be deliberately severed. If that was a player driven decision then I'm in a minority. If you divorce the game characters for their heritage and bloodlines the all you have are a large number of hamsters spinning wheels for a carrot that does not exist.

  12. Given the tendency of the EVE population at large to find creative (and less creative) ways to break things, putting the story of the entire universe solely into the hands of the playerbase is a Bad Idea (tm). Some of the rage at the Luminaire incident was justifiable, but a lot of it seemed to say "we are upset that you would not let us break your game."

    Player interaction with the story is good, but I think it should stay more towards things like the Arek'Jaalan project where it's too big and too broad for any one person or organization to direct events on their own, but in which people who really want to be involved have an opportunity to influence or engage in things, or like the individual who inadvertently destroyed a bunch of unoccupied story ships in a wormhole. I have not heard much of this sort of thing lately though and that makes me a little sad.

  13. To be honest, eve's lore is about as thick as chicken broth. the game really never capitalized on it. The idea that they'll start doing it now is okay, but what do you expect?

    Frankly, I've not seen an mmo yet where the players were REALLY bent on lore. I've not seen one that gave a crap really. Good gameplay or GTFO. That about sums it up. Lore is good for forum fodder.

  14. You know what? I don't care about any pew-pew games or story telling. What I want is the flippin' excuse CCP is planning to toss at us about the damn live event. Answer that and gain some credibility.

    Also, are they, in fact, getting rid of high sec and creating more Goon rental space? Is the idea of Empires over? Frankly, how stupid is CCP or is there no bottom to that well?

  15. I'd like CCP to strike a balance between showing and telling more often. Theres a lot of lore that is, in-universe, "un-knowable" in the eyes of quite a few people. I would very much like it if much of that lore becomes very much knowable.

    At the same time, I think there is a balance to be found (that has not yet been found, mind you) between being hands off and being hands on. An example of this was very much CCP being too interventionist in the sandbox with their endorsement of Somer Blink, or the predetermined titan death in luminaire. At the same time, they should be able to take specific liberties with the story they want to tell - it is their right!

    To expand a bit on the story with the titan as an example, I think a lot of people didn't get the closure that they wanted with that specific story, and that is probably a decently sized portion of the hurt around that event.

    Will it be hard to find that balance? Yup. Will some people be perpetually unhappy? Yup.

  16. To me, the bulk of New Eden's history is, well, uninspired. It has very little effect on game play. For example, a titan crashed on a planet, making a nifty map for DUST, and removing one of the space tourist spots in EVE... and then that's it.

    However, the truly brilliant part of the lore started to shine once wormholes were brought into the game, and the idea that all the clues to solve the mystery of wormhole space were in the universe to discover. How brilliant is that? The PvE content has a purpose!

    This falls under show. CCP shows us the elements of the story, and expects player to piece it together themselves. Write the players who contribute to discoveries into the history of EVE. A kind of immortality in narrative.

    It also gives investment in the story. The last event might as well have just been a CCP led fleet to Null-sec. Did anyone care what the NPCs were researching? Why did the Empires suddenly decide to do it? Why did the pirate factions send a call for help? Why did the Empire navies specifically call for capsuleers? And why did the Empire navies not turn up? These are questions that should have been addressed in the narrative, but since they weren't, they are relegated to irrelevance.

    What CCP needs to do with their story line, is always ask this question: Can the players see it coming? Can they, by either an individual genius, or collaborative effort, predict it happening? And more importantly, do they have have a chance to prepare and plan to change the outcome.

    And that's why I'm desperate to know what CCP's intention with the last event was. Their silence on the matter is now only fueling conspiracy theories.

    1. You've expressed this point better than I.
      I feel that Abraxas is the only one who understands how vital this is to the game. Tong G had a handle on it, but Abraxas is immersed in it. But I can't help feeling that he is being marginalised by the large alliances and as his influence seems to wane, so does my interest in putting the puzzle pieces together in my own mind.

  17. I think you're barking up at least one wrong tree. Of course CCP influences lore simply by choosing what scenarios to set up -- like the most recent one. The real issue is what ultimate endgame CCP will allow, regardless of who decides the fine detail.

    What worries me about the most recent "uninfluenced" lore scenario is that it appears to close/make more difficult playstyles where you don't want to participate in conflict. Is the endgame that also in highsec players must pay rent to other players unless they want to fight (starting with PI)?

    If so, EVE is becoming a very different game for a lot of people.

  18. I think the Goons wasted a golden opportunity during the Luminaire event. They had the people in place and the organization to truly disrupt CCP's plans. Imagine if they had repped the titan and focused fire on the Gallente fleet. The Caldari would have either won the day, or CCP would have had to use devhacks in order to force their predetermined outcome.

    1. I was under the impression that CCP already had to use devhacks to force their predetermined outcome? I've heard that the capsuleers were keeping the Titan repped through the Gallente fleet's damage, so CCP spawned in a load more Gallente ships to break their reps.

      If they were willing to do that, I can't see any reason they wouldn't be willing to do it to a larger extent if player organizations brought in more reps than they did - spawning even more Gallente ships to make sure the Titan died, or possibly just escalating it to a combination of supercarrier ECM Bursts and Titan Doomsdays to remove the players' ability to rep the titan long enough to kill it.

      At the end of the day CCP wanted the Titan dead, so regardless of how players acted it was always going to go down.

  19. What's at play here, is the theory of self determination (google it). People crave autonomy, but it's really enough to give them the illusion of influence, and that's where CCP can assert their influence. Oh, and Seagull is an expert in these things in fact, so I would guess she wasn't terribly involved with the live events...

  20. To me, the lore is like an echo of an age gone by in the Eve Universe. It is the backdrop on which eve is played by it's users. Efforts to continue such a story in present-day events (the 'show') inherently seem forced, and the backlore that can be found in web pages and in game (the 'tell') can be completely ignored.

    Where does present day, player-created content belong in this story? Hi-sec ganking makes a mockery of whatever security these Empires supposedly had over thier domains. In the world of Eve Lore, such an event as Burn Jita would have crippled the Caldari Empire politically, diplomatically. These events happen in parallel to the Eve Lore.

    Either this is a sandbox, and the eve lore is a corner of it, or it is a theme park, and the various rides carry us through the story. When an attempt is made to do both, either it is so scripted as to preclude but one ending, or free will of the players rapidly move it out of CCP's hands. The only successful compromise has been the Alliance Tournament, which takes place outside of player inhabited space.

    Your post begs the question: which was this latest Live Event supposed to be? Was this in fact the way in which CCP is writing off Empire control? Were the actions of the 'actors' intended to strand the hi-sec players, to move some part of the story forward? or was it intended to be a serious fight for the security of the target system? (if the latter is the case, then I would have much liked to see a better planned and organized attempt)

  21. CCP must be allowed to influence the sandbox, and if they have a story to tell the outcome of a live event can be fix. CCP simply can't give full control to us players. As shown on many occasions there are enough groups who would just blow every thing up. Despite the fact that CONCORD could revoke there license those individuals think they have the right to gank anything in high sec. That is true for other players but once empire officials are involved CONCORD has the last word.

    Just imagine a Story where all outcomes are influenced by players... I think it would go something like that.

    A Senator is flying to ... ok he was flying and got killed.
    A Delegation of peace activists boarded a transport to jita to ... and got killed on the way.
    The Empire X Military send a convoy to ... which was destroyed before it could reach its destination.

    Telling a story where every single actor dies as soon as he has to change location (fly in space) won't go well. If you like, you can project that to the key problem of PvP, Alpha Damage.
    Even if there was a group of 100 Live event participants with logistics to cover the "person of interest" a bunch of tornados will still alpha that person with no chance for a positive outcome. Unless CCP plugs in a supper duper armor plate or shield extender.

    With the 0.0 politics there is a great part of the sandbox the players can influence without ccp intervention. but if all the 0.0 residence decide to not shoot each others, well where should that story come from? "Last week we sit down to funny tea party ..." Yeah great.

    And now start ripping this resources out of your neibours hands, you deserve it more than he does, even if you are blue to each other.

  22. There was a project started but never progressed involving linking all of EVE's lore together: chronicles linking with the flavour text in info windows, site descriptions linking with stories in the Evelopedia, etc.

    Some of the "tell" part of the storytelling needs to come in the form of foreshadowing. Some of the "tell" needs to come as soon as possible after an event to explain the complete incompetence of the NPC FCs.

    Some of the event actors should get personally involved with the players who participate. Engage in eve mail discussion, advise about help required at upcoming events, hold more but smaller and less advertised events.

    Lure the PvP averse care bears into actual PvP one baby step at a time, rather than simply throwing them in the deep end. Make it so that getting involved in PvP is the only way to progress the story of this PvP game or darkly dystopian virtual world, whichever way you see it.

  23. I put my thoughts on these things (well, events mostly) on the EVE forums. So, my reply can be found here: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=295258&find=unread

  24. Personally I have always viewed "The game" (read: lore) as a complementary, but ultimately completely separate component to "The sandbox" (read: player actions). CCP can tell their story without meddling with the sandbox. Players were able to interact with the Luminaire live event without violating the lore (destiny is intact) and CCP was able to hold the event without violating the sandbox.
    Similarly Somergate was a violation of this destiny vs free-will because it directly affected the sandbox (player free will) negatively, it gave one group of players an unfair leg-up. specifically it gave a for-profit organisation an unfair advantage, even if it had been something like The Angel Project or EVE Uni I'm not sure it would have been fair...

    Incidentally this is one of the problems I have with The Great Angel Turkey Shoot, AKA the last live event. I feel it drifts dangerously close to the border between the two. Which ever way you look at it CCP effectively awoxed several large fleets of players into the waiting guns of others. I think that drifts a little TOO close to meddling with the sandbox.

    I think it only becomes a problem if you take the view that the "lore" and the "the sandbox" are the same thing. I don't believe they are. I am of the opinion that big pre-established aspects of the game like the 4 empires are actors in CCP's story for EVE. In some ways they are outside the sandbox, even though at the same time they ARE the sandbox. A more apt analogy might be to say they are the borders for the sandbox, and so long as it does not disrupt the sands we players play in CCP should be free to move them around and shape them as they see fit.

  25. CCP is your DM. The DM controls the universe, the npcs, and has knowledge of what is to come. As a good DM for your players, you have to give the players space to make their mark, to chart their progress. However, there will always be times when the players 'freedom of choice" will be limited

    In short terms. Shit WILL happen; its the DM's role to ensure it does happen. The players are their to witness and/or participate as dictated by the DM.

    For players to insist that CCP should never interfere in the sandbox is to deny the PVE aspects of the game; to never move the gameplay; to never increase the scope or range of options; to never update the vision. A static gameplay world is failure. Without "intervention" we would never have wormholes, for example, and I can think of no expansion to the game that has had such a positive effect overall as that.

    I only wish the latest expansions had the Chronicles to precede the development, as existed leading up to Apocrypha.

    It appears that CCP wanted to go with live events as opposed to Chronicles to lead the charge to Rubicon. I know which I would prefer for the next major expansion.

    1. This.

      The answer to all of these questions is in the lore. The Empires that are part of EVE's past are written into EVE's past: The Talocan; the Yan Jung. The ones that are in its present are written into its present. How able are they to influence events? That's a lore question. Certainly, the Amarr Empire put together an impressive fleet to witness the coronation of its Empress. But it did that out of game.

      Here's the central problem with having huge, state-level actors in an MMO, which ties directly into one of the problems with the last live event: Its years of neglecting lore specifically and PVE generally have attracted the sorts of players who value a game only insofar as it lets them pit themselves against other players in combat, and who consider everything else--including NPC-piloted ships--to be wallpaper at best. Many of them wouldn't mind if the wallpaper was ripped down and the walls painted white. They are offended when the wallpaper actively interferes with what people are doing in the rooms. Any attempt to make lore matter will face outrage and active attempts at sabotage from this kind of player.

      Then there's a basic mechanical problem: If the Empires and CONCORD actually did form a fleet to invade nullsec, it would easily be big enough on its own to pound any given node in the game into submission, and never mind the lore-dictated size of the defense fleet. But nobody wants a battle between NPCs in 10% TiDi that no player can witness. That leaves CCP with some awkward choices: Either have comically small NPC presences to make room for the players, or use devhax to simulate a huge and powerful fleet with a handful of ships. Each decision comes with a cost.

      Then, there's the fact that CCP's lore, while deep in some ways, is hacked together in others (if capsuleers are threatening Empire, why are Empire stations still producing them at full speed? Why is the support network that transfers consciousness between clones still intact, if even the SoE have the power to shut someone off?). There are huge inconsistencies: I can drop a command center on Jamyl Sarum's family home in the heart of the mightiest empire in New Eden without anyone batting an eye, but CONCORD will lock up my ship's cargohold if I dare to try deploying one to a planet claimed by some little scrub alliance in null sec.

      I'd love for the lore to matter, for the NPCs to seem more alive. It would make New Eden seem much larger, much deeper and much more real. Failing that, if the NPC civilizations are to be background static, than they should recede to a power level that reflects their lack of influence.

    2. The chronicles are a crutch, a beautiful well crafted crutch, but a crutch all the same. What happens in the EVE universe should happen in the EVE universe. The live event are an attempt to walk the walk of CCPs original design concept. Unfortunatly the legs are still not strong enough and CCP has landed on it's face.
      What happens next. Do they stay sat in comfort and security of familiar stability, or to they pick themselves up and try again.

      You are very right about the gaping inconsistencies in the mech / lore Dersen Lowery. CCP has had ten years to explain those with the same care they've taken in explaining the DUST cloning tech. They've gotten too comfortable EVE side and need a kick up the ass.

  26. First "Battle for Caldari Prime" was a PR thing that made for PAX or whatever game thing was in that day.

    A lot of those dude that complain base on that pre-Rubicon one and maby Caldari Prime, and possibly never took part in any other of those "smaller" events(whith aren't advertised 24h before everywhere and i prefer those).

    I can only hope they improve over time, and that there will be possibility of more that one conclusion.

  27. To my mind, there are 2 layers of lore in EVE, which only occasionally intersect. First, you have Capsuleer Lore - this is where events like Hulkageddon and Burn Jita fit in, along with the rise and fall of capsuleer empires whether in hisec, lowsec, nullsec or WH space. Second, there's NPC Lore - these are the events that affect non-capsuleer residents of New Eden like elections, coronations, politics, blockades etc. Mostly we see NPC Lore expressed through Chronicles or as brief news posts and it's not hard to imagine that NPCs would experience Capsuleer Lore much the same way - basically as a footnote in their lives that acknowledges these things happen and are important, but will have virtually no affect on their lives.

    CCP have NPC Lore to tell their stories - the various NPC organisations, and the individual NPCs powerful enough to affect some part of the universe on their own are theirs to play with. Those characters and groups should interact with each other in believable ways and where their conflicts and alliances don't involve capsuleer interaction then we capsuleers should have no choice but to deal with their effects. For example, a story arc could involve a Caldari megacorp running into financial difficulties and having to downsize some operations - as a result some of their stations might change hands to another corp, bringing different standings and agents to the area, or they might not be able to sell them off and simply abandon them - perhaps pirates would take over the abandoned station and it would become the centre of a new static complex. None of this would invite the intervention of Capsuleers, because this is simple corporate politics - this isn't a major space battle over the station which we could intervene in. Likewise, maybe system security levels and empire borders could shift slightly, perhaps related to factions' performance in FW, but not via an automatic process (it should never be reduced to a mechanic players can view - if we can say "We need to hold Constellation X in FW for Y days at Level Z and then Hisec Constellation N will become Amarr space" it's gone wrong).

    Capsuleer Lore should be completely driven by Capsuleers and as with NPC Lore affecting capsuleers without giving them room to intervene NPCs should react to Capsuleer Lore events - if the Goons burn Jita we should at least see Gallente NPC representatives smugging a bit about Caldari inability to protect their own centre of power (yes, even though Caldari forces aren't really able to intervene in capsuleer affairs - this is politics, after all). Control over lowsec FW systems should be in the hands of Capsuleers/Dusties, but there should be NPC commentary on the foreverwar as it ebbs and flows.

    Where the two meet and cross over are things like Live Events, and because of their nature they are going to be complicated. The best structure I can think of would be that NPC Lore decides what the options are for the outcome of the Event, but Capsuleers are the ones who decide which option gets chosen. As an example, IMO at least Luminaire SHOULD have had the options of either the Gallente fleet being driven off or killed leading to the Caldari Titan remaining in orbit over Caldari Prime and seeing a morale increase in the State's fleets reflected in NPC Lore going forward, or else the Caldari Titan being destroyed, Caldari Prime coming back under the Federation's jurisdiction again and their forces benefitting from increased morale. We might see other NPC Lore results, for example the Sisters of Eve either purchasing a local station or deploying a new one to base out of while offering aid to the recovery effort from the titan's fall. Ultimately, CCP should only offer Live Events for situations where they are willing to let the story progress in one of the directions on offer (it doesn't always need to be a choice of only two directions, but if the event implies conflict then it should be possible for any side to win that conflict depending on player intervention).

  28. On one hand, I want CCP to treat the sandbox as sacred, and not to interfere. On the other hand, I enjoy the richness that the lore and live events bring (or have the potential to bring).

    I think it ultimately all comes down to execution, and ensuring that when CCP introduce lore-driven content, that players can still engage with it in a meaningful and interesting way.

    Currently, player-driven lore and ccp-driven lore are too separate. It would be much more interesting if the outcomes of faction warfare affected players in non-faction warfare systems. For example, Amarr constantly winning, they get to 'permanently' capture of the Gallente hi-sec systems.

    Capsuleers very successfully defeating incursions? Less incursions occur. Capsuleers failing to defeat incursions, more start happening, or a system becomes permanently drone-held requiring a greater effort to dislodge.

    Or perhaps have empire navy NPC fleets trying to expand hi sec into low sec. Capsuleers could then either oppose this effort, or support it.


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