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...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blog banter 50: Changes

This one slipped past me without noticing (I only noticed it as other blogs started responding to it), but Kirith Kodachi has another blog banter out, and it's a bit of a doozy.  Here's the text:
With the Rubicon expansion being announced and the SOMER Blink scandals (or non-scandals depending on your point of view) that have erupted on the community at the same time, it truly feels like an age of EVE has passed and a new one is dawning.

But which direction is it going? This blog banter can be about several different topics:
  • Where do you think EVE is going? Is it a good or bad vision ahead?
  • If you were EVE's new Executive Producer, where would you take the game?
  • What comes (or should come) after Rubicon in terms of the mechanics and ship balancing we've seen? (CSM8 not allowed to answer this one!)
  • Is there anything in EVE's ten year past that should be resurrected? Or buried and forgotten?
  • What is the future of the community? What should or should not change?
And since I'm joining this one a little bit late, I think I'll answer all the questions (at least as much as I'm allowed to).  But I'm going to change the order around to the order that makes sense to me.

Oh, and fair warning: it's just possible Garth snuck into my office between editing passes of this post and inserted a few of his own thoughts without me noticing.  Ready?  Here goes.

  • Where do you think EVE is going? Is it a good or bad vision ahead?
  • What comes (or should come) after Rubicon in terms of the mechanics and ship balancing we've seen? (CSM8 not allowed to answer this one!)
Easy one first.  For ship balancing, I don't think it takes a clairvoyant to realize where that's going.  We're marching right up the tech tree now, with interceptors and dictors being the key focus for Rubicon.  Even the CSM hasn't been told which ships are next, but I certainly have my guesses about it and they're probably about the same as yours.  Most of them are cruiser-shaped.  As for the rest...

Obviously, as a CSM member I know where EVE is going, at least for the next few years.  That's where Kirith's reference comes from.  Still, for a change as an EVE player, you know where EVE is going too!  CCP Seagull laid out her vision at Fanfest this April, and updated and reinforced it during the video dev-blog a few weeks ago where the Rubicon features were announced.  So if you've been paying attention at all, look at the materials that she's released, and think about the things that have to happen between now and then to make that vision a reality, you could put together one version of where EVE is going over the next three years.

Of course, the devil is in the details.

Once you lay out a destination, there's a lot of little paths to get there, and one of the things that really impresses me about Seagull is that she gets buy-in from her game designers and developers at each stage.  She lays out the vision but then will accept a lot of input in terms of specific features and game-play mechanics that drive her narrative forward.  Each game designer and dev who wants to gets to suggest a path to the final destination.  Since the narrative is "space colonization", just about any proposal that advances that long-term vision would get a hearing.  It'll be Seagull's call which ones actually make the cut.  There were some interesting presentations at Fanfest about feature ideas that didn't make the cut for Odyssey, for instance.  But they could have and they got a hearing because they advanced the vision as it existed for that expansion.

Is it a good vision?  I personally think that it is.  There's lots and lots of exciting possibilities in the vision that I've seen, particularly in the sense that capsuleers will be "taking space and making it their own."  That's at the heart of the space colonization vision and there's a lot of really good directions it could go.  There's no question in my mind that EVE needs a major shake-up in the status quo.  I'm again not going to use the word "stagnant" because that's the wrong word.  But the key players in the EVE narrative have been locked in for far too long now and the relationships between them are frankly no longer interesting to me.  So yeah, a tactical nuke needs to be tossed into the middle of that and damn the consequences.  Which brings me to...

  • Is there anything in EVE's ten year past that should be resurrected? Or buried and forgotten?
  • If you were EVE's new Executive Producer, where would you take the game?
This is gonna get me yelled at.  In my view, the fundamental nature of EVE itself has been forgotten and needs to be resurrected.  I continue to think the game needs to be greatly simplified and taken back to its roots:
  • Death has consequences; and,
  • space is cold and harsh; and,
  • this is a game about spaceships!
So if I were given the EP job and I were Seagull's boss, I'd tell her to start flattening and simplifying every structure in the game.  Make it easier for new players to understand what is going on.  To that end, I'd start ripping out every passive income system in the game.  Moon mining?  Either require active participation, or gone.  Planetary interaction?  Either active participation, or gone.  I'd flatten most of the manufacturing chains: the idea of a zillion little unique reactions needed for each race for each little sub-part that actually goes into ships and modules was a cool idea in theory but in practice it over-complicates what should be a relatively simple part of the game.  As it stands, you practically need a Master's degree in Economics to know when it's smart to build ammunition versus ship mods.  It's insane.

Ship fitting should be likewise simplified some.  Multiple metas of the same basic item was again a cool idea in theory but in practice it takes months or years to learn the differences between them to no other purpose than to make the game needlessly complex.  I'm definitely not saying the game should fit ships for you, but do we really need 14 types of rocket launcher and 18 types of Invulnerability Field and 37 types of EANM?  Do we really?

So yeah, the game needs to be made a lot more accessible, and if we have to murder some of our darlings to get there, I'm in favor of that.

Would there be space riots?  Probably.  I'd double down on the policies because they'd be policies worth doubling down on.  As an EP, my eye would be on the prize: using explosives on the learning cliff and trying to attract a new generation of EVE players instead of cannibalizing the existing player base over and over, trying to sell them more and more accounts and more months of training for their alts.  This is a really really cool game, and most people who would love to play it dismiss it because it takes years to learn. 

I guess I would make a very poor Executive Producer, so it's probably best that I not be given the job.  But if the community is going to riot anyway, wouldn't it be nice to make the riots actually meaningful, and about the real future of the game?  Which brings me to...

  • What is the future of the community? What should or should not change?
OK, this one's really gonna get me yelled at.  For this question, I am simply going to state what I see happening.  I am not not not going to attempt to judge whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, nor am I endorsing any particular position or strategy.  I am simply going to answer to the best of my knowledge what I believe is the future of the community.  Got it?  OK, here goes.

Over the next two years, I believe the EVE community is going to become less inclusive, even more divisive, and more given to bitter-vets saying "fuck you, I've got mine" as they drive more and more newbies away from the game.  But most of all and most important, I believe the community is going to become even more insular, primarily driven by EVE vets marketing their services to other vets.  CCP, meanwhile, will find themselves more and more hamstrung by majority stakes in the existing player base who are fearful of any change.  Each time CCP tries to break down the walls, they'll get yelled back down.  This will prevent them from having a significant impact on the nature of the community.

Before you start to argue with me, I invite you to take a second and remember what drew you to this game in the first place.  Does it still exist?  And once you learned how hard this game is, what prompted you to stick it out and stay with it?  Does that still exist?  I'll bet if you're honest with yourself, you'll answer "no" to both questions.  With a few shining counter-examples, that's how it is for new players joining EVE today.

Meanwhile, over much of this year, player discontent has centered on telling CCP how much they can help community leaders, and just how they can.  I'm not saying this isn't a conversation worth having -- it definitely is!  But would you want to jump into the stew as a community leader today, as things are now?  I suspect the answer is "no", you'd want to keep your head down and stay out of it.

So shall it be.

Large blocks of the community which were previously so helpful to new players will break down as they are forced to turn to advertising (to the very small EVE player base) or to donations to stay alive.  CCP, meanwhile, will be prevented from assisting them in any meaningful way other than exposure.  Free services to the community will be replaced by "pay to play" equivalents, which themselves will fail as they realize most EVE players don't want to pay to play.  This will reinforce the community's already insular nature.  Without new blood injected into the mix, each community leader that falls by the wayside will not be replaced, or will be replaced by a homogenized equivalent which is less helpful and/or less interesting, and more than likely a propaganda vehicle besides.

I don't know... hopefully this viewpoint is overly bleak.  This is a prediction that I would welcome being dead wrong about.  I'll revisit it in 2015.  If I'm still around myself.

Whew!  Rereading, that came out way more negative than I intended it to, but Kirith is absolutely dead right about one thing:
...it truly feels like an age of EVE has passed and a new one is dawning.
And like all new ages, this one is incredibly fragile.  EVE players do not welcome change, and that's all I see on the horizon for the next couple of years.  So we're all gonna have to hang on and see how it goes.  Thanks for tossing that grenade over, Kirith.  Remind me to send you an equivalent return present, a puppy with diarrhea or something...


  1. i'd say you're a blinkered ideologue. Willing to toss entire generations of cute, adorable puppies into a meatgrinding nightmarish dystopia.

    In other words, i really don't think your dream of features being deleted just to make things 'simpler' to attract newbies is anything but a lead balloon.

    Your ideal world resides in promoting the primacy of ship rebalancing as though your base assumption is that CCP have it right: that ships are the center of the majority's universe.

    personally, i think you're a typical example of elitist prick syndrome. The pvp fanboi of a bunch of egotist developers will to ignore the vast customer base walking silently away with their wallets as the 'killer' types scream for less 'explorer' types.

    1. Is this commenter suggesting that spaceships are not central to why most people play EVE?

      If so, I'd be very interested to hear what he thinks holds that position instead.

    2. Tone of your response aside - I'd be curious about specifics here. You speak of the "pvp fanboi" and "elitist prick" but not a single suggestion of what you think the "vast customer base" wants. So speak up, let's hear some suggestions from the other end of the pool.

    3. Scary, but while I have always known you were a PvPer at heart, but I never thought you were a L33tist PvPer. I have to completely agree with Minor here. You tout yourself as the "all playstyles inclusive CSM rep"... then you say this crap.

      You said, "...remember what drew you to this game in the first place. Does it still exist? And once you learned how hard this game is, what prompted you to stick it out and stay with it? Does that still exist? I'll bet if you're honest with yourself, you'll answer "no" to both questions." I'll bite...

      What drew me in the 1st place:
      My son and son-by-another-father play EvE. They are my Co-Directors in HBHI... and yea, we're all still here. As for the game, yea... the sky is better... the ships are still as exciting to fly... I wanted to go into space, and in EvE I could then, and I still can today.

      What keeps me here:
      My sons, the friends I have made both ingame and in the blogshere... the depth of EvE, the fact that it is a living virtuality, that it is OUR story... yea, that's all still here...

      So screw your 'no' ok? You got that dead wrong... it just means that those things don't exist for YOU anymore I guess... must suck to be you I guess.

      What you propose is gutting EvE, not improving it... not for anyone who wants more in this virtual life than "Target Primary + F1"...there is more to EvE than that Ripard... or, there could be... and there SHOULD be... Jezuz man, I expected more, and better, from you.

      If you care, keep your eye on my little blog... you have given me reason to write my first anti-Jester post... something I never really thought would happen.

    4. @Steph; You said it, "...suggesting that spaceships are not central to why most people play EVE?" Most but not ALL. Yes spaceships are very important to EvE but they aint ALL that it is AND they shouldn't be. CCP should seriously work hard to continue to EXPAND EvE with products like DUS 415, Valkyrie and WiS...

      @Knight... see suggestions above. EvE has a shot at being the first REALLY immersive Virtuality in existence... 3rd person FiS, 1st person FPS, 1st person Fighter Sim and 1st person WiS... Open your minds to the possibilities... Why should we be limited to 'just' spaceships, no matter how fantastic and amazing they are? FiS should be a huge "part" of the toal experience that can be had logged onto EvE Online...

  2. "CCP, meanwhile, will find themselves more and more hamstrung by majority stakes in the existing player base who are fearful of any change."

    This has always been the problem with EVE. There's no room for something different, someone different, a different idea of what the EVE universe can be and can offer. Over time, CCP has becomeincreasingly married to the core playerbase. And those players form the core of the sov warfare that CCP sells. In the end, CCP is hostage to their desires, and that leaves no room to develop the game for something and someone different.

    Here's hoping the power blocs are eventually whittled down to size.

    1. EVE has becoem so much core-centered that there is no point bringing anyone to the game unless you are certain that he will like the core. Everything else it's just a waste.

  3. I spend a lot of time on my main in a NPC starter corp. I enjoy helping noobs learn the game, mostly by pointing them to all the excellent resources online, but also by answering their more specific questions. The overall impression I get from new players is that Eve's complexity is interesting and learning how things work is enjoyable. So when I hear vets talk about how it's good for the game to simplify it for new players, I just assume they've lost touch.

    1. This is exactly one of the reasons that got me into EVE. I got tired of playing games like LOTRO and Skyrim which kids could master. After all, if I want a simplified game, I could go pretty much everywhere else, but if I want a complex game--short of becoming a programmer and creating my own game--where can I go besides EVE?

    2. Eve's complexity is interesting and learning how things work is enjoyable.

      Yes. I found it so and still find it so. The complexity is daunting, no doubt. But by the same token, when you do master some new complicated thing, there is a reason to be pleased with yourself.

    3. I disagree.

      Complexity and depth is indeed a selling point for fresh starters.
      It is also a way for dedicated players (30+ h/week playtime) to stay interested in the game.

      But, in the middle, there's a bunch of players, like myself, that can't afford to dedicate themselves beyond the casual level.
      For them, the sheer amount of work/learning/training/time investment/coordination required to go beyond the "mine with a BS/Hulk in High Sec" plateau is just depressing.

      For instance, it is quite possible for a casual player to produce some of his T1 mods, ships and ammo on his own or with a few fellow casuals to help.
      Compare that to what is required to produce a single T2 item.

      The solution: just mine/rat some more and buy the T2 item off the market.
      That's not a big deal except for the fact that there is no more learning happening.

      Even tho the mechanics are there and nothing prevents you from using them outright, the investment put them beyond the reach of most casual.

  4. I'm curious: What ideas do you have for active participation in moon mining and/or planetary interaction?

    1. I would like to see these ideas explored on the blog.

    2. Active moon goo mining was proposed actually by a goon, of all people, before he quit and went to Sony. CCP could add moon goo to asteroid belts almost overnight, and remove moon mining from the game instantly. But they won't, because their buddies who run the RMT cartels would lose far too much income, as the cartels would suddenly lose a great deal of control over who harvests the T2 raw materials.

      Can you imagine the panicked angry phone calls to the senior CCP dev's from the goon elite, if CCP announced that not only were T2 raw materials going into a belt format, but once a belt was depleted, it would reappear somewhere else in the constellation, just like it does in wormholes now, and anoms in high sec, and low sec. Or better, expand it to re-appear in the region.

      That would spell the end of the cartels pretty much overnight, and we would have a flood of new players into null sec, prospecting for valuable materials, who would be emboldened by the the sight of financially weakened cartels, not able to control vast areas of empty space

  5. Personally, I am hanging around to watch the whole fucking game collapse as every day we more closer to "null sec cartels online", where very dev is drawn from that group, the CSM is dominated by that group, and any independently thinking management type left at CCP is utterly terrified at pissing the cartels off, since they now represent over 10% of the subscriber base. The clowns at CCP do know one thing well, the standard bird in hand/2 in the bush analogy. They just can't get past the part where if they blew away the game constructs that allow the cartels to thrive, they would probably double the sub base in 2 years.

    1. Didn't they just do that with the moon material rebalance? Try to shake up the cartel power balance. It didn't work, looking at it in hindsight, but that's probably yet another case of Malcanis' Law. At the very least try to look back to how you thought right around the release of Oddysey and the first days of the Fountain war. It felt important to me for exactly the reason you're requesting now. (I even solo trekked out there in a bomber and actually almost got to place one on Ripard and the Rote gang wrecking some havoc on the goons...fun ;-) Hopefully that is some proof that CCP aren't THAT scared of taking away The Mittani's toys.

    2. Where to begin. How about... you're full of shit Dinsdale.

      CCP hires devs from the player base of its game. The fact that some come from nulsec does not mean shenanigans.

      RMT Cartels? where the FUCK IS YOUR EVIDENCE??? you've never ever ever ever shown a smoking gun once. Not even once.

      Whole game collapse because of Null Sec cartels online? Null sec is the REASON THIS GAME IS POPULAR AT ALL YOU COMPLETELY IGNORANT FUCKWAD....

    3. 1. do not simplyfi modules and fittings please
      2. same for industry
      3. Stay Frosty is also new player friendly
      4. about community - you may be right which is sad but i dont know...
      just my humble opinion

      but it was just mine humble opinion

    4. That seems like a bit of a dichotomy; if the nullsec cartels are only 10% of the playerbase and CCP is terrified of pissing them off, why would they willingly screw over the 90% of the playerbase who aren't in cartels to placate the minority? Surely they should be more scared of pissing off the 90% majority outside of sov null?

    5. Garth is to Ripard Teg what Dinsdale Pirannha is to Poetic Stanziel.

    6. Are you talking about the current sov system and how it sucks? because alliances talk about that all of the time as something that needs to be changed in their big important speeches. Or are you talking about moon goo the giant nullsec alliance income stream that was pretty significantly nerfed in the last major update?

    7. Expanding the customer base is a priority for every business. Blowing up your existing business in an experimental attempt at doing so has been the bane of many of them. There has to be a happy medium.

    8. This, this and THIS. If CCP wants to grow this game,really grow it, they MUST open the game to MORE people... not just Redditors. They need to open new PLAYSTYLES...(once again I will bang the WiS hammer) Walking in Stations, exploration from ship to inside all these wondrous stations and amazing constructs... First Person Avatar based gameplay of a TOTALLY new kind is completely withing their grasp... Shit ANYTHING new that cannot be gamed and ruined by the Big Alliances would save EvE from Ripards unholy vision.

    9. And... "Null sec is the REASON THIS GAME IS POPULAR AT ALL YOU COMPLETELY IGNORANT FUCKWAD...." uhhhh... no. Pure and simple Anon 12:10, it aint. Yer as wrong as ol Dimsdale is (most of the time..) Null is just ONE area this game takes place in and it ain't the best for a helluva lotta players.

  6. I agree with flattening everything and making the game easier to get to the nuts and bolts of the game, getting resources, building stuff, blowing stuff up. No passive income generation and making it more fun for null sec people so they want to get out and use their space. Also agree with reducing meta's.

    At times I feel sorry for CCP. They try to grow the game, enticing new players with lower barriers to entry so they can deliver more content that we can abuse, and then Eve players shriek in dismay and they backtrack so they don't lose the players they actually have and can ill afford to be without. They are of course sometimes their own worst enemy even now what with the blink stuff and missteps.

    Eve has always had a problem attracting new players. It runs a knife edge trying to be too hard so that people know it is a hard game not suitable for everyone and various groups crying loudly whenever CCP do something to make the game "slightly" easier. It needs to attract new blood to grow into the game we all want it to be and know it can be, where we can walk in stations, fight across systems on the ground, colonize space, play according to our own style of solo, small group, larger group, coalition and have something meaningful for everyone pve and pvp.

    It does feel like an age has past, where CCP are really trying to grow the great game they have. Safety buttons, buffing of mining ships, recognition that a fair proportion of us pve (missions, incursions, wh) to make money so we can pvp so it needs improving, etc etc all indicate making the game suitable to more players. Some bemoan that fact and make it known voluably. They are quite happy where they are, making the isk they are, doing the things they are comfortable with. It will be interesting to see the birthing pains as CCP try to keep two very different players happy. I can only hope they do.

  7. The prospect of getting into Delve 2012 was what finally made me play this game. Ironically, I never made it anywhere near the Delve war as it was over before I had enough skills to take part. I think events of that scale and quality are still happening. And 2013 keeps coming up with record setting big individual battles like Asakai and the BL\PL gank and counter ganks.

    What kept me around is a different story, as I never managed to get involved with the big null sec battles. The first corp I joined fell apart after it got wardecced. Then I had a boring stay in the drone regions with a renter corp. Then I joined Red v Blue, which saved my Eve career. I get easy to find casual fights practically on demand, and I can still mess around while doing my own thing. It's a great set up for a casual player like me who doesn't have alts and only plays 1-2 hours at a time, 3-5 times a week.

    There is still a lot of content for me to explore. Never done COSMOS, never done faction war, never done incursions, never done WH, never much messed around in low sec, never got into the null game. Pretty much skipped PI, POS, and drugs. And Rarely fly anything bigger then a cruiser.

  8. This is the point where I would scream 'fuck you jester' but it isn't, because I'm beyond bitter and don't really give a shit for the success or failure of EVE. CCPs vision isn't really appealing to me anymore. I log in maybe twice a month, sometimes only once. My interest lately lays with other MMOs that are doing things I'm interested in, and CCP can kiss my ass until they either get it done, or until I decide to sell all of my stuff for isk and ragequit for a final time.

    You've got it right when you say that the EVE community is self destructive, and I completely agree with you. I differ in that I'm not invested in being wrong, and might even find it hilarious as fuck if it turned out to be right. It would be poetic, even, to find that the summer of rage started a trend that eventually kills EVE for good. That might be for the best, I'm undecided. Is this 'community' really worth the energy to even attempt to reverse that problem? My stance is 'probably not'.

    Oh, and no, virtually nothing that got me into EVE in the first place exists anymore anywhere other than archives and in people's memories. Its probably for the best.

  9. "Obviously, as a CSM member I know where EVE is going, at least for the next few years."

    I'm pretty sure that a few years back this would have been anything but obvious to a CSM member. Mainly because CCP had no real idea where they were trying to take EvE. That there is now a defined direction for EvE is a massive leap forward. Is it the right direction? Who knows! But at least there is one.

  10. The state of the community is a sad one -.-

    The Somergate is a non event except and the only people who raging about it are a dozen people on the forum and two or three bloggers. But they are raging like CCP is the devil himself and Somer the first rider of the apocalypse.

    The rest? Is playing blinks more than ever and providing Somer with tausends of dollars in the last.

    Eve really needs a shakeup or/and more bittervets leaving the game.

  11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henny_Penny This is all...EVE has been dying for as long as I have been playing (since Dec 2006). That said the only way to revitalise EVE is be break the power of the Null Sec Bloc's once and for all, otherwise EVE risks turing into the Chinese Server.... Oh and Hi to MinorFreak, my former CEO :).

  12. I have long maintained that CCP would gladly throw the entire current playerbase under the bus if it would bring in 2x their number in new players. Here are some stats I'd love to see, although I highly doubt they'll ever be released:

    How many unique accounts per day have at least 1 character log on?
    Dr. Enjyo used to publish the # of players living in high, low, null and WH space... what is the number of alt accounts owned by the players in those different areas?

  13. the complexity of eve.s crafting system, and the market is pretty much the one most awesome thing about the game.
    so yes, we do need more items - more meta ones, more t2, and posibly t3 one day.

  14. I don't think the players are really against change. In fact I think the players are screaming for change. The problem is that the big changes CCP has added over the years haven't been that good. This has lead to players having a fear of bad changes.

    0.0 has been begging for changes to SOV for years. WH have been begging for changes to POS. Industry guys n girls have been very vocal about changes needed to industry and its UI. All we have seen is little changes around the edges because the code is so bad any core changes are impossible.

    If I were the next EP I would put as big an emphasis on the code as I did features. CCP seem to be doing that now at least in some areas. They realised crimewatch was such a mess it couldn't be fixed, so the redid it from scratch. POS are so broken that they need to be started from scratch (I am assuming the start of this is the deployable structures).

    I would also go back through previous projects and see what can be completed and added to the game. We know they have LOADS of skins for ships done. I would finish them. We know they have loads of clothes done I would add them.

    Some (I believe simple) additions to the game

    1, Add many of the clothes that are complete to the LP stores (they already spent the man hours making them, just add it. Don't make more)
    2, Add all the ship skins that are done to the LP stores (Take a Apoc +XX LP and XX Isk to a Quafe station and get a Quafe edition Apoc)
    3, Sort the Industry UI (this will make it much easier for new players to understand)
    4, Remove 20-30% of the cruft in mods and materials

    Bigger changes

    1, SOV mechanics - Find a way to make fighting over space more fun and to make it 'better' for alliances to hold smaller more concentrated areas of space. To encourage either more renters, some of these renters could grow into alliances of their own.
    2, Fix POS/Stations - Let us build our own custom built stations out of modules
    3, Take Incursions to the next stage. Maybe when an incursion is closed we can follow the Sansha back to Jove space (only one system) where we can fight them there. Add new Ships/Modules/materials. Think of it as being a baby step towards WH life. WH colapses after 24 hours so people can't live there.
    4, Look at missions and see if its possible to add fun/variety to them
    5, Add ring mining. That looked awesome
    6, Add Hi rez texture pack
    7, Get a bigger art department so we don't have art as the bottleneck all the time
    8, Add PVE for Dust. Let them gather mats we need. It creates an isk sink for Eve. Half the cost Eve clones to further encourage high SP players to PvP

    These are a few of the ideas I have heard around and about that would make the game much better.

  15. Sorry to spam, one more point

    Regarding CCP not being able to help the community anymore. That is just crap.

    I can't see any major complaints if CCP give RvB a special Scorpion as a prize for a big event they are putting on. Eve Uni, Brave Newbies etc. The whole Somer thing was about the scale of the give away and who they gave it to.

    Here is how you fix it in future.

    1, Come up with idea
    2, Tell CSM
    3, Announce to community
    4, Profit

  16. I couldn't help myself and wrote also something related.
    You might want to check it out.

    As for the stark reality of eve, the system is in contradiction with itself, you are encouraged to find alternative approaches but are required to do repetitive tasks (farming) and if you want to find a way out, you are punished.

    "If you FORCE people to do mundane, repetitive tasks (i.e. low-grade clerical work), don’t be surprised if they start for fidget" (Sir Ken Robinson)

    You are in a sandbox yet the MIN-MAX approach actually forces you into a specific pattern, repeated by thousands of people all around the universe. How sandbox-like is that?

  17. "I'm definitely not saying the game should fit ships for you, but do we really need 14 types of rocket launcher and 18 types of Invulnerability Field and 37 types of EANM? Do we really?"

    I don't necessarily see a problem with having many types of an item - as long as there's a reason for all those types to exist.

    For example, let's look at something like a webifier. It would be reasonable to have variations that have improved range, improved effectiveness. That vary in both CPU and/or PG usage. Maybe more for other modules, but variations that use less cap. As long as the trade-offs are balanced, there's room for all those variations in the game. Start to add-in even better, but rarer variations and you could easily get to 20 useful variations for a single module.

    What doesn't make sense is the current situation where variations are better in all regards - such that there's little need to use anything other than a meta4 variant. If you run a little PvE and collect some loot you can see all the currently pointless modules - they're the ones that sell for around mineral price.

    To a certain degree this also depends on how often a particular type of item is fitted to a ship. Eg Ship scanners are fairly rarely used, but have a full set of meta-variations. Whereas invuln-fields are one of the more commonly fitted items, but there's only a single meta-variation (in fact deadspace variations were only recently added to the game too.)

  18. I don't want simplicity, i want a complex, multi-layered game with various levels or spheres of "knowledge".

    However, i do agree that eve is plagued with obscurity, misinformation (outdated guides), and lack of proper examples on "how-to-do" mechanics of ingame features. Why oh why don't we have some sort of "shp-field-test-simulator" to see how each module/weapon/item behaves....why oh why don't we have more info-dumps of the eve-database refreshed more often into evelopedia? (in readable format) ....

    The game currently is learned by doing and dying, rather than by observing and understanding......and that is too high a toll for a newbie, cause you know....isk is precious that first 6 months...and you don't throw it away.

  19. Eve has no end game. It is understanding the game that bring challenge and reward. It certainly isn't the NPC content. The mystery the complexity provides is the interest in the game for a lot of players. Eve is a very cerebral game. That isn't to say they don't need a better interface for exploring that complexity because they do. One that tantalizes new players with the potential with overwhelming them. One where the options add value.

    Just as is the goal of the tiericide, eve needs more options that are valid and bring diversity not fewer.

    The more components to build stuff lead to a more vibrant and decentralized economy. I doubt it would be good for the game to increase vertical integration any more than it is.

  20. I, contrary to Ripard's predictions, play for exactly the same reasons as when I began 2 years ago, and am incredibly open to changes. I started EVE knowing no one in game (still don't, tbh) but out of a desire to play a game with real consequences. And I still play to take part in that cycle of building and destruction. Find me another game where I can make 2 year, massive plans for my characters, yet where I can also, in effect, ruin the plans of others. As flawed as EVE may be, it still has the corner on an otherwise empty market--an MMO where virtually everything you do can be interfered with (e.g., blown up, scammed, stolen, etc.) by other players. As far as I am concerned, EVE is the only game out there worth playing for any substantial period of time.

  21. "I'd flatten most of the manufacturing chains: the idea of a zillion little unique reactions needed for each race for each little sub-part that actually goes into ships and modules was a cool idea in theory but in practice it over-complicates what should be a relatively simple part of the game."

    Again I think that what is actually needed here is more balancing than simplification. I think the biggest problem in manufacturing at the moment is that the processes are radically different depending on what you want to manufacture. T1/T2/T3 ships all have a slightly different process.

    I'd like to see all ship manufacturing as a 2-stage process. So a ship hull consists of some raw materials plus a number of ship components. The ship components themselves can be made from salvaged items or raw materials. It would be neat if you could eventually collect enough salvage to build an entire ship. The majority of the materials and ship components should be shared between T1/T2/T3 variations, with the T2-ness coming from either a specialised components or maybe directly as part of the hull requirements. I'd like to think that a couple of layers keeps some of the depth in there, but without leaving things too complicated.

    On the generation of raw materials, I'd look at what can be ripped out there too though. It seems as if every extracted material in Eve needs to be processed somewhere between 2 and 5 times before it becomes useful. The most basic example is that ore has no use except to be turned into minerals. You'd think by now, that ORE would've come up with some way in their ships of extracting the Trit from Veldspar as it's being mined - dump the useless rock into space, keep the raw trit in the hangar. You obviously don't need huge refineries, the average mining barge is a similar size to a POS refinery :-)

  22. EVE is an alternate-reality jewel. Spaceship pew-pew exists for the bitter vets; the whole complex universe exists for the rest of us.

  23. The idea of trying to get income passive sources, to turn into "active" somehow, yes its going to get yelled you at, the same way I get yelled at for "suggesting" to make cloaking an active thing, so you can´t AFK do it.

    Neither side supports the change, because as you mentioned, EVE players dont like change:
    a) It's comfortable to make money while doing something else.
    b) It's comfortable to camp a system while doing something else.

    It's all or nothing from my view. Either make everything active, or just leave it as it is.

  24. Eve University has no plans on going away or becoming a paid service. We will continue to try and help new players.

    1. 14 day trial guy here. That's good I guess. I don't know anything about your group, so I can't say for sure. I got this site from a link sent in game chat.

      I think the game is visually great. Some things make you wonder a bit, but still, it looks good. the controls are kind of clunky. The instructions for that window with the items and distance and such need a whole section set aside for it. That's a mess! Still, I can get by with how things work.

      The "new player experience" feels like a mission runner training program and nothing else. Frankly, that part feels like any other game with minor exceptions. Instead of killing 30 boars, I kill 30 red crosses. It's all still questing.

      I won't be staying with the game though. I had to agree with this article based on my own experiences so far. the community is terrible tbh. I'm not bothered by the ganking that goes on or constant trolling. It's the terrible attitude of the players in the game as a whole. It simply makes what should be fun into a depressing experience. I can't help but believe that no mater what you do in this game or how many people you know, it's got to be the loneliest mmo in the world. You can never trust anyone, so you can't fully treat them as friends. You have to keep everybody at arms length since so many feel that betrayal is the goal. I guess that means no matter what you do, you play solo (this was a discussion in chat the other night). I would definately say the mentality of the player base overall is the biggest obsticle to getting into this game. Other challenges can be overcome, but that will always be there.

      As for new pilots being unwelcomed by the game, that I have to say is a fact. I will say that a lot of new players bring it on themselves by not even trying to learn something about the game before asking stuff. It gets old even for me when I see it in chat. That said, the game does have a very unwelcoming feel to it. Honestly, the boredom doesn't help much either.

      All that aside, what's with this bounty system? It seems so amazingly stupid! If I understand it correctly, as long as you're subscribed, they stay. They just pile on like rolling a snowball down a hill, but it doesn't even seem to serve any purpose. I got a 10 mil bounty on me (just one of several) just for chatting with other new pilots in rookie chat. How stupid and useless is that? It hasn't impacted anything and everybody that was in chat at that time was getting various bounties put on them just for being online. WTF? Frankly, if that's EVE game play, you can have it. That game mechanic seems like it has no purpose at all.

    2. Please check us out at www.eveuniversity.org or our public channel "E-UNI" in-game before making a final decision.

    3. Thank you, but I'm going to pass. having seen the aftermath of the "event" that just happened, I think this game is probably not worth playing even if it was free. Thankfully I don't have enough skills trained to fully fit a rifter yet, or I would have gone (attempted to go) and played "Lag In Space" with the other people.

      I've read that CCP was only concerned with null pilots but I had no idea they were that chin-slapping-balls for them. I thought Arenanet was bad (which they are), but CCP sets the standard for shoveling crap and calling it an event.

  25. Does anyone, other than a clueless noob, use meta 2 and 3 modules? I know there are a few exceptions but most of them are just there to confuse the newer players.

  26. Look you continue to miss the very basic reason why CCP should never reward these so called "community service providers" they get freaking paid for it. Ok so your an employee on the somer blink team. Why in the world do you deserve a scarce "scorp" for doing your job? If somer wants to buy the ships that exist and give them to their "employees" than I am all for it. However to have CCP reward people for doing their jobs at the direct expense of unpaid content creators is just really poor stakeholder management.

    You seem simi intellegent, I will present you with two in games toons you tell me which one deserves to be rewarded with a "special" item.

    Toon A: plays the game loves it, also as a side bonus works for somer blink and makes a ton of isk on top of what they earn in game by playing.

    Toon B; plays the game loves, also as a side bonus has been involved in content stories since they began (perhaps they fought in 9uy recently). This toons only source of income comes from what they do for themselves. This toon is not an employee, and yet has provided content to other players free of charge.

    Which one deserves the reward? That is the problem with rewarding a for profit site rather then rewarding those who provide content for no profit other then fun.

    Or are you one of those who actually thinks that people who forego "fun" in order to provide content deserve to rewarded above and beyond the pay they 'already receive?

  27. EFT warrior (actually pyfa warrior) here to let you know that we do need all those meta levels. Except maybe in the cases where some items are completely identical, but in those cases it's usually lore like different faction navies - please don't ever advocate "simplifying" the game by declaring that faction armor reppers are now Gallente only and faction ENAMS now Amarr only, for example.

    The roots of Eve are: "Eve isn't designed to look like a cold, harsh universe, it's designed to be a cold, harsh universe." I don't want each module to be "replaced by a homogenized equivalent which is less helpful and/or less interesting", to completely misuse your own words. :)

    As for manufacturing, you probably *feel* all noble saying it should be simpler, as a T2 manufacturer yourself - "look, I'd even hurt my own profits because I love the game so much!" - but you really want to help kill any "real" in Eve's "real economy" by removing the market niche for people with specialized knowledge that can't be optimized by a dimwit with a very small computer program. It shouldn't "be a relatively simple part of the game", it's not theme park "crafting" - at least it isn't yet.

    Not that I'd quit Eve (not that I stay subscribed 12 months a year anyway), but it just makes it that much less appealing. Why is "death has consequences" OK (and it certainly is), but "spending all my money on terrible investments has consequences" or "death because I fit my ship wrong because I don't understand modules has consequences" not? It was a good change when they made the existence of meta levels more obvious and standardized names, but it would be the worst change to flatten them.

    I never thought I'd be the one saying this, but Eve needs more public voices who really understand manufacturing. Maybe there's someone out there who manages a manufacturing business in the real world as well as in Eve - unlikely, since people play games to escape, but if someone who knows how real-world supply chains and Eve supply chains work is out there, we need your design input.

  28. 1. Death has consequences; and,
    2. space is cold and harsh; and,
    3. this is a game about spaceships!

    1. you mean like the exorbitant cost of clone upgrades to deter pvp- which recently CCP reduced after listing to the vets? or maybe when you are neg 10, there is no additional consequence for piracy? or maybe when your alliance is so wealthy you can shrug-off significant fleet losses to conquer even greater wealth?

    2. cold and harsh is an interesting concept - yet this seems to be a fulcrum gleeful sarcasm and spite play. you yourself Jester are on this very wagon with extolled fails of bling or freighter overloading on weekly basis.

    3. incorrect - the genesis of the game is competition. Spaceships are a means to that end. you can also compete through economics - the market; and through a limited degree through industry.

    the game confuses newer players in how gankers target industrialist ship when attackers have no vested interest in industry.

    there is no regulated mechanism for fleet or small-gang combat, hence the outcry against the blob tactic and OGB. juxtapose the success of RvB or Brave Newbies or even FW.

    look at the CFC - which is in essence player developed mechanism to circumvent the game's core premise of conflict. the threat of the so-called big blue donut continues with complicity by CCP.

  29. Normally I'm very supportive but... I am never in favor of simplifying things.
    I have watched other MMO's go from complex to simplified so much a young child could play.. it's those changes that have ruined and destroyed those games.

    Simplicity would kill Eve.. there are other ways to make it appealing to new players without killing the game itself.

  30. So here's a question for you Ripard.

    I'm a member of a Sov Null alliance, and I am curious when non-participants in the "great game of Sov" decry the "stagnant"/"old player" nature of the game. At it's core, the issue can be described as this.

    "why should we be so eager to tear each other apart at the cost of trillions of isk, hundreds of hours of strategic operations, and much real life neglected for your amusement?"

    And I guess there's another part to this as well, why do these people, who have an interest in following sov warfare, and bleat on eagely about how "we are destroying EVE", choose not to participate in it?

    1. Why should you, who suposedly don't participate in mission running, incursions, industry and much trade since the great null empires pay someone else to manage logistics and reimburse your ship losses bleat so loudly to nerf high sec?

  31. CCP should simply put the tiericide method to use in space itself. Separate game play types, styles, economics, ect between high, null, WH and low sec, "NPC null", FW space, ect. Then create new types of space with different rules, resources, products, PvE, PvP styles, ect.

    That's why WHs work so well. They have different rules to play in, they offer unique resources and content found only there, and those resources are used to produce unique products that you can't build without WH resources.

    Any kind of progression theory where you start in highsec, then move to low, then null, ect, is a failure. Simply make each area of space unique and distinct, rather than based on some sort of progression, and you get to a much healthier and fun EVE. You can have interconnection, dependencies and some overlap, but each area must be distinct. High sec minerals/resources should build a certain subset of ships/mods, while lowsec resources should build a different subset (possibly with some limited overlap) of ships/mods, ect.

    Eventually if new space is opened up, hopefully with this space exploration thing, then that space should be different and distinct, and so should the resources and products that it offers.

    Same goes for ISK by the way. Realistically and lore wise it should probably only be offered in high, low, FW, and maybe null, although I'd support removing isk rewards in nullsec. This would help with inflation, and let the market do its job. It works fine in WH space where there are no direct isk rewards.

    I also would remove every passive activity in the game, possibly including manufacturing, assuming they could come up with an interesting active alternative.

  32. Ripards comments scared me as he has the most knowledge about what is coming and I've always gotten his sense of love of the game in his writings. But most of the follow-up comments are angry or insulting. I'm a new player so I don't know how to sort out the truth.

    I will say that the complexity of the learning curve is what has drawn me to the game. I would hate to see it dumbed down. People would call me a carebear, but I see it as a reasoned approach to the game - I want to learn how to earn isk and learn the basics before I start blowing things up: defense before offense.

    The thing that worries me the most is the stated objective of having players replace Concord. I'm not sure what it means, but I'm afraid it means huge null-sec like power blocks controlling hi-sec. The power to tax is the power to destroy. What if this leads to stations and stargates that can only be accessed through tolls and subservience? That is what I think would lead to the end of new players.

    I think CCP should continue to try to find ways to make the big null-sec alliances fight for their turf by making it harder to become so massive and overpowering. Then they would have reason to stay and fight in null-sec instead of branching into hi-sec for content.

    I also think CCP should try to make it easier and more rewarding for hi-sec players to venture into low-sec. I've seen so many comments of new miners eager to risk going into low-sec for better ore -- only to be quickly told that there is no financial gain in doing so. Give newer players the protection they need to get established (not dumb it down), and then give them the financial incentives to venture out of hi-sec for some other reason that PvP combat.

  33. Wrong way.

    The situation with meta items is that there are far fewer meaningful choices than there are items. The problem is choice paralysis, and the source of the problem is the number of items that are completely useless. Not just meta 1-2 items, either: why would anyone fit a Target Painter II?

    Similarly, the problem with industry is not that it's complex, it's that it's arcane and essentially undocumented. Industry should feel like industry--not like crafting, but also not like voodoo. It can certainly become more complex, if the complexity makes sense and more closely parallels the complexity of actual industry.

  34. Yeah, I was looking at a fitting the other day and (I'm new by the way) found that the better unit not only worked better, but took less resources to use. That's backwards, by the way - better stuff can be more efficient, but shouldn't take LESS resources outright, or nobody will use the other one.

    It should be a decision. "I can fit 3 Meta 3's, but only 2 Meta 4's... or I could get rid of this other module and fit the 3 meta 4's... which fit is better for what I want to do?"

    That's a decision. Not, "I bought Meta 4's and fit them on my ship and there was no decision-making involved."

    That or you ramp up the meta you can use with the skills.

    More importantly, this game is one of the few out there with a valid marketplace that works and is awesome. Let's keep that going. That's why a lot of us are here - we can play other MMOs without markets like that if we just want to kill stuff.


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