EVE Online

Pochven: Best Sandbox Content Design

I want to talk a little bit about how to create incentives in gameplay, and applaud CCP for creating an absolutely amazing one. Flashpoint sites in pochven provide an insanely lucrative PvE opportunity. With 15 people in fleet, each site pays just short of 3.5b split amongst all pilots. These sites are static, meaning that there is always a constant # of 3 sites within pochven. Whenever a site is finished, a new one spawns. Let’s discuss why this simple PvE site is such a wealth of content for all players.

  1. The sites have a “soft-cap” on fleet size. If you have more than 15 people in fleet, you get less isk as a total. Yes there are ways to cheese this by having people drop fleet, but people are more likely to want to keep fleets small as to maximize their own payouts. Having multiple of these 15 man fleets means there are fights happening all over pochven. It’s why you see the # of fights decrease as a function of group size. Sure the fights that do happen maybe bigger, but they also happen exponentially less often. It’s important to note that this is a soft cap, because eve is a sandbox and if you want to be able to do something you should be able to. That means If I want to be Pandemic Horde and blob these 15 man groups with 100 people, I SHOULD BE ABLE TO, but that also means that this should be de-incentivized by things such as less payout for sites.

  2. Pochven is a unique place where capital supremacy is largely irrelevant outside of structure defense and there are no cynos/jump gates. This means you find so many more people simply taking gates. These 15 man fleets are constantly traveling to run sites which gives opportunity for fights outside of rorqual ganks and structure timers (I’m falling asleep just thinking about it). This makes it so large groups cannot project over large areas.

  3. Since the # of sites is static, it forces competition over them, which again leads to conflict and potential for fights. The reason people are willing to fight is simple, there’s a high chance of a fair fight “15v15” which is appealing, and there is a high reward, the site payout.

I really want to take a second and congratulate CCP on getting this right. Most of reddit posts are just people crying about the state of affairs, when EvE is one of the few games that I can never truly get enough of. It is absolutely amazing, and we should recognize the moments that it does exceptionally well. I hope to see more changes to things such as Faction Warfare and Nullsec that emulate these types of changes. You can push the playerbase to a much more healthy ecosystem without setting hard limits.

TLDR: Pochven Flashpoint Sites are the epidemy of good PvE game design. They force people to travel and compete over a contested resource in an environment that discourages large blobs. This simple thought process has yielded some of the best objective based content that I have ever taken part of.

-Amelia duskspace

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