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...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Comment of the Week: Proposals for proposals

This was an incredibly busy week for comments, with something like 300 of them in a single week, which is equal to or more comments than I received during the height of the Mittens drama back in March.  Thank you so much to everyone who wanted to weigh in on the various posts!  There were four posts that generated a lot of comments this week -- someone remind me next time to separate contentious posts with a few more days in between them, heh -- so I thought I'd cover one from each.

First was my proposal around building "faction warfare" play into the pirate factions by letting players join those factions, and in so doing, automatically get permanent Suspect flags but be able to "rat" by shooting other players.  Virtually every comment was very complimentary of the idea and nobody could point out major flaws in the proposal, so hopefully CCP will consider it.  One anonymous commenter raised an interesting concern:
My only concerns would be the "gaming" of the system as far as the pirate faction ships are concerned. You know damn well that everyone and their brother will then have a pirate faction alt that supplies their mains with Sansha/Gurista/whatever ships from their respective LP stores.
And yeah, you have a good point there, which is the main reason I specified that the LP gain for shooting other players would be "small".  The tricky part would be defining just how small...

The second major post that generated a lot of comments this week was my post regarding CCP's slow decline in logged-in EVE players.  This one struck a nerve in a big way and was one of the most commented-on posts this year.  Comments on this one ran down three tracks.  First, has EVE "run out of content?"  Second, how much impact does rising PLEX prices have on logged-in players?  And third, what will the impact of DUST be, particularly in direct competition with Planetside 2?

I haven't had a lot to say about PS2 because I haven't tried it yet, but those who have tried both DUST 514 and PS2 have been unanimous on the comments that PS2 is simply the better game.  Halycon put it best here:
...unless Dust does something truly revolutionary with shooter mechanics there is no way it'll be able to compete with Planetside2. I spent a bit of time playing it over the double EXP weekend and I have never had an experience in gaming that comes anywhere close.
As I've said a couple of times, I think DUST 514 is going to rise or fall based on the long-term impact it has on EVE sovereignty.  But there's no question that PS2 is a good reason for CCP to be worried.

The third post that generated a lot of comments -- 93 of them so far and counting -- was my proposal to open up Jove space for EVE's tenth anniversary.  People were split about 66/34 on this one in terms of favorability.  Lots of people loved it, lots of people thought it was daft.  A pretty common complaint from Kel Hound:
With only 3 of the ancient stargates there would be no way for anyone not in a Sov-coalition to enter Jove space. 1 gate for the CFC, 1 for the Russians, and 1 for whoever else hold enough power.
And yeah, that's a very good point.  Given more time to think about the proposal later in the week, I'd like to amend it.  There should be four entrances to Jove space, not three: one each in high-sec, low-sec, null-sec, and wormhole space.  Only a truly frightening alliance would be able to control them all.  Put the null-sec one in Curse.  Put the low-sec one in Genesis.  I'm not sure about the high-sec one.  My gut instinct says to put it in Heimatar.

I think splitting out the entrances would address a lot of the other complaints about the proposal, notably the complaint that the null-sec alliances would swoop in and take control of them and still maintain their overpowering superiority elsewhere.  With more scattered entrances and entrances that null-sec can't immediately take control of, I think that danger is substantially reduced.  Of course, the high-sec entrance to Jove space would become the most camped null-sec entry gate in EVE, though.  ;-)

Finally, if I were to pick a single comment of the week, here is part of it:
Unifex will make the call on what gets the focus after Retribution, Soundwave will then lead the specific gameplay designs within that remit and Ripley will facilitate its delivery.
That's part of an anonymous comment on my late-week question: who is driving medium-term EVE development and making the decisions about what goes into the next expansion and the one after that?  I got three anonymous comments that I'm almost positive are the same person, all assuring me that the answer to the question is CCP Unifex.  But will CCP make this clear?  Hans Jagerblitzen says "yes, soon(tm)".  But Hans -- unlike the anonymous commenter -- doesn't actually answer the question and says that the specific answer might be under NDA...  Anyway, if you haven't done so already and are interested in the topic, I suggest reading all the comments on this one.

All in all, a great week for comments and discussion around here!  Thank you again to everyone that participated!  You gave me a lot of reading material for a change.  ;-)


  1. "I'm not sure about the high-sec one. My gut instinct says to put it in Heimatar."

    Your gut needs some work. The obvious location for the high sec one would be Jita.

    1. 2/10, your trolling needs improvement.

  2. Yes! That's it! The way to solve the "alliance big enough to control all N gates" problem is to have N+1 gates!


    How about having the friendly NPC stations in Jove space, with Jove space connected to the rest of the galaxy by wormholes? Remember, the Jove very deliberately blew up all the gates connecting them with the rest of the cluster due to issues.

    Since wormholes collapse and reopen in random systems, there is very little opportunity for a few large alliances to keep the entrances blockaded.

    1. I get that, but this would put too much power into the hands of WH corps that are already too rich. Why am I not putting it right in the Goon backyard but I *am* putting it into the backyard of groups that are potentially just as bad?

    2. Just because they are wormholes, doesn't mean they have to originate in w-space...

  3. "There should be four entrances to Jove space, not three: one each in high-sec, low-sec, null-sec, and wormhole space. Only a truly frightening alliance would be able to control them all. Put the null-sec on"

    Jester, have you gone off your meds? How the Hans Christian Anderson do you propose that there be a single static entrance to Jove regions accessable only by Wormhole space? Stop and think about that for a moment, and you'll shortly see why it's a daft idea.

  4. Re. Jovian Space (and I had to catch up on the comment thread on that post first): While you read the comments, I don't think you really understood them. Namely: Chokepoints. Don't. Work. Anymore.

    We're in an age where OOG coalitions can dominate a game's critical resources (note that neither CFC nor HBC are actually supported by IG mechanics) - Mary C. Titor even mentioned the OTEC as prime example - so any kind of severely limited resource will eventually be under the control of the same large entities you wanted to wrest control away from.

    If you want to blow a fresh wind into the game, you need to think more out of the box. For example (and I'm just throwing it out there without much critical thought): keep 0.0 system upgrades for corps, but remove any and all 0.0 sov mechanic. WH space doesn't have sov mechanics, and is arguably the more interesting space atm.

  5. In reverse order:

    CCP Unifex is the man at the wheel. CCP has done a bit more internal adjusting in who is in charge of what as well. There should be some blah blah about that posted by CCP in the next week or two. CCP Ripley is not directly involved in the design decision process. CCP Soundwave is still Lead Game Designer, which makes him a part of the process but his primary duty is still to implement designs for the decisions made above him. Anything more you'll have to wait on CCP for.

    Your Jove idea is a non-starter and tbh, quite simplistic. For one thing, if anything with the Jove ever happened, it would not be anything like adding X routes into it or a general expansion of existing space. Aside even from that, CCP is quite fine with the Jove remaining an enigma indefinitely. This isn't speculation on my part, it's just something you can take to the bank. Never have the Jove entering gameplay been discussed at any CSM summit and even as a designer, every plan ever hatched for the Jove was scratched off in favor of taking another approach. There are still other 'races' in EVE cannon that can be exploited and you will likely see those WAY before the Jove ever pop up.

    The one exception to this might be some sort of 'visit' such as what has happened in the past but, once again, if the Live Events team is planning such a thing, they had nothing to say about it.

    IMO the designers of DUST 514 are living in a reality bubble that is going to implode on them hard if they don't get their product out of closed beta and provide more information about it to the community. I won't say much more than that until the official summit minutes come out. TLDR - I wasn't impressed going into the summit and I'm not impressed afterwards. CCP needs to step up on this or they are going to have a real mess on their hands.

  6. To add a little chaos into the mix and to mess up the gatecamping issues coulnd't one or more of the gates actually throw the entering ship into a random part of the entry system or an entirely random set of systems? Granted, you can get in, it's getting back out that would be the tricky part.

    Also, I wish that some gates would only accept certain types of ship or ship size and even accessible one-way.

    Perhapse this would premote one on one PvP. Just my pennies worth.

  7. About the entrances to Jove space: make them wormholes, with the statics in Jove space, and make them appear in the four areas (although, less specific, just one in null, one in low, one in high, and one in w-space).

    With no caps in Jove, camping the statics would be much harder, and with no specific system of where the next wh is going to appear, camping them from the k-space sides is going to be hard as well.

    I can only wonder what would happen if one of those whs appeared in a large null coalition staging system...

  8. Just a quickie. "HalYcon" not "HalCyon". I really wish I would have known over a decade ago when I chose the name as my online moniker that everyone would transpose those two letters. :)

    1. Not a big deal, at this point it makes me smile when it happens.

  9. I didn't comment on the other thread but think it's worth noting that the Jove idea, even if you use another race, is bad.

    But if you wanna open up an area that's only a few regions large and by today's metagame completely controlable by one coalition from the inside. Just don't allow anyone to stay there in the first place. Anyone who goes risks an insta-pop and pod. At any second, at any moment, the big bad of that area could find you and kill you. Make it gamblers only.

    No matter what you're in. No how big of fleet you're in. If it shows up, you're dead. Throw in mechanics that raise or lower your chances of being found, but never get rid of it completely. And don't tell players. Just say everything from the ship your in, to the way its fit, to what's in your cargo hold, to the actions you take could effect your chances. I'm sure they'll figure out the biggies over time, but the small ones?

    I wanna see what crazy good luck charms players come up with while they are gambling.

  10. I wanted to write a more in-depth response to your proposal but the comment section would not really allow it so I wrote a blog post detailing a counter proposal for a jesus feature.



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