Matthew: In order to prepare this speech, I rang a few people, to get a general picture of how Gareth was regarded by those who met him. "Fat" seems to have been a word people most connected with him. "Terribly rude" also rang a lot of bells. "So very fat and very rude" seems to have been the stranger's viewpoint.No, EVE isn't dying, even though this quote is from one of my favorite speeches from Four Weddings and a Funeral. But I do want to delve again into the topic of how EVE Online is regarded outside of the game and in this way continue my thought from this morning.
I'm a big fan of Jim Sterling's work... notably his video series Jimquisition at The Escapist. Here's another example of how my brain works. Not too long ago, he did a piece about a very poor game on Steam that earned a lot of poor reviews. Amused and curious, I looked that game up on Steam. That set me remembering that EVE is also on Steam. That reminded me of the Steam tags and that EVE had probably been reviewed. And that sent me over to read the Steam reviews themselves.
Now I've read customer reviews of EVE here and there and they tend to be pretty bad, usually a mix of 1-star and 5-star reviews with the latter usually being long treatises that despite their enthusiasm make the game sound dull and the former usually being stuff like this. And sure enough, most of the negative reviews of EVE on Steam were in the same mold. But two things struck me:
- Most of the reviews labeled as "helpful" of EVE on Steam are negative ones (seven of the ten most helpful, in fact!); and,
- the most helpful review -- which is negative -- is a thoughtful, incisive, troubling piece that is well worth your time to read in full.
People love to troll. "Collecting tears" is one of the main driving forces that keeps many people playing the game. Once you have a decent ship and skillbase, it's very, very easy to troll less experienced players. And, sadly, that seems to be enough for a lot of veterans to hang around. Eve is one of the few games that rewards you for being an asshole at every possible opportunity. If you're a sociopath and that's your idea of entertainment, then you'll have a blast....and...
At the end of the day, I simply could not justify spending any more time playing Eve Online. The more time I spent playing it, the more I realized how much I hated it. And that's the insidious part: it's hard to understand the negative aspects of the game until you've already sunk a lot of time into it.Ouch! The interesting thing is that the review is so thoughtful, well-defended, and becoming so widely read (and widely tagged as helpful) that the author is having to re-edit the review every couple of weeks to add more explanations for his viewpoint:
Yes, Eve is mostly controlled by players, but they're no different from players that you could find in any other popular online game. The only difference is that Eve rewards them for their megalomania....and...
In almost every other way, the human interaction is the same as in any other MMO. ... In Eve, there is just more opportunity and incentive to be a dick.Double ouch! Guys... again: this is the stranger's viewpoint.
Then you read the comments. And while about two out of ten blast the author for what he wrote, six out of ten grudgingly admit the guy makes good points. The final two out of ten?
Thank you for taking the time to post an honest review of this game. I was really on the fence about weather or not I should purchase this game, especially since it's been out for so long and I would be a brand new player. The information you provided was more than enough to help me make the decision to stay out of this game.I keep coming back to this point because I find it so depressing. Nobody wants to join our little sandbox and we're steadily driving off anyone who does. And as the old shampoo commercial put it, they tell five friends, and they tell five friends.
I realize that a lot of you out there really want to keep New Eden as your own private little club, no noobs allowed, go back to WoW, et cetera ad nauseam. But some of you must feel differently. If you want the game to succeed, how do you not worry about it? Are we so enamored of griefing people that we subconsciously want EVE to flame out and die so we can sit down with some popcorn and watch it happen? In my darkest moments, I feel like this is exactly it. There are lots of current and former EVE players that seem positively gleeful at the prospect of watching CCP implode spectacularly.
Meanwhile, the people we are attracting are either being sold a bill of goods that EVE can't deliver on (B-R) or are only joining to get involved in the grief-fest themselves.
And if you're developing EVE Online, how can you look at this kind of thing and not be worried by it? I'll grant you that Star Citizen is rapidly turning into a joke, but the devs of Elite: Dangerous are showing quiet, steady competence. What they've got out there so far looks intriguing as hell. And even if it's not E:D, some developer sooner or later is going to come up with a game that is going to depopulate wide swaths of our niche little galaxy. It's inevitable at this point. Wouldn't it be nice to have some new blood coming in to replace them?
Assuming that at least a few of you do want that, how do we make it happen? Is it even possible?