EVE Online

Risk, Reward, and Time: Keeping Things Simple

I have played EVE consistently since 2010. I took a few breaks here and there for real life as one tends to do. Every time I log back in from a break EVE greets me with a warm, friendly hug while reaching in my pocket and pulling out my wallet for Omega.

I am fine with this. There is no other game, let alone a MMO, that means what EVE does to me. This summer has been a blast so far. However, as EVE tends to do, it is not without its brand of drama, controversy, and outrage.

I have read some excellent posts, heard some excellent streams, and seen some hilarious memes about the state of the game. I have a couple of days left of vacation before I go back to work. I wanted to add my take on everything going on with the game and get it off my chest.

I really hope CCP understands that if the game had not attracted such an amazing community and passionate player base then these posts, videos, memes, and fights would not be as good as they are, or as biting and poignant as they are.

State of the game:

I believe strongly in “keep it simple”. This works so well in so many situations. I will try and apply it here. All the complaints, all the frustration with the gameplay I have seen comes down to this:

RISK vs REWARD vs TIME.

It is unreasonable to expect to make constant uninterrupted ISK in a PVP game.

It is unreasonable to think that making the ISK/mineral faucets weaker will solve the RISK/REWARD problems. It creates a large TIME sink problem while lowering RISK/REWARD.

It is unreasonable to think that players will put in the effort to create content if they must spend hours of their life flying around to get a fight. Sometimes fights just don’t happen, but they should be happening more then they appear to be.

The RISK vs REWARD vs TIME is out of balance. CCP has been simultaneously nerfing the reward of doing things in space while also lowering the risk of doing those things. All the lost RISK/REWARD must go somewhere (every action has an equal and opposite reaction) so it goes into the TIME required.

TIME required is crossing over from in-game mechanics into real life….and out of all the things a player base can tolerate there is very, very little room to increase TIME for people with life responsibilities.

This problem then just keeps falling in on itself perpetually until content dries up because everything requires so much time, so much commitment. In even worse areas of the game, there is very high RISK little or no REWARD and larges amounts of TIME commitment. No wonder so many leaders and content creators are frustrated.

This same RISK/REWARD/TIME principle can be applied to the current null sec SOV mechanics, Citadels (as Hy’s post so excellently went over a couple days ago), Faction Warfare, and Low-sec. I don’t know enough about current WH or HS issues to accurately mention them here.

I will end this section with a SOV mechanic example.

CCP changed SOV mechanics years ago to be more active to I guess avoid having hundreds of caps sitting on a TCU and blapping it. However, from the TIME standpoint if you wanted to provoke a fight, or cause a defense reaction, you just had to fly your happy hauler to a gate near you and put up some SBUs. This causes the system to go vulnerable after a timer counted down in a couple of hours and you could began directly messing with the system. You had a specific time to form a fleet to be ready to fight any defenders, and they could kill the SBU’s at any point. Many fights were had over the SBUs. It was a fun way to mess with people or begin an invasion.

Now, it is a massive TIME commitment to mess with SOV and to defend it. The usual REWARDS are there: one defends, or one takes. There are moderate to high RISK to all involved. RISK/REWARD/TIME out of balance. I am not saying the old system should come back, because it certainly was not without issues of its own. But TIME (compared to the state of taking SOV or defending it now) was certainly a lot more manageable then.

I am not going to make a list of things they should change. I am not a game developer, but I do know the fundamentals of keeping things simple and balanced around Risk, Reward, and Time. As long as CCP truly takes that to heart and plasters Keep it Simple on their walls and computers the gameplay will bounce back.

My thoughts about CCP:

I really don’t know if they listen. We know they see, and hear, but do they…does CCP…..listen. Everyone is not right, and most ideas are probably not feasible. This creates a lot of noise that the devs must sort through to get to the heart of what the complaints are about. I hope the devs and the company do not brush past their community, their players, in the quest to get past the noise. I hope they listen to the players and really understand why so many of us are upset and frustrated.

It sure feels like they don’t. Most times it also looks like they don’t and often sounds like they don’t. I do not hate CCP. I do not hate PA. I so not hate EVE. I am disappointed in them. I expect so much more from a company that gave us such an incredible product. I don’t want to be disappointed in CCP. I want to be proud of them. I want to feel confident in them and their ability to keep this game going into the future…but it is becoming difficult.

Why I play EVE:

For my entire adult life I have had EVE. I have been apart of this community for over 10 years, and have shared in victories, defeats, and sad times. I remember when Vile Rat died and how shook we were, and so many players from so many groups came together to mourn this player that gave us so much, and then gave his country everything.

I met my best friend, and many other friends while playing. I’ve been to a local player event and met blues and reds and neuts, and had a blast. This game is a world unto its own, like no other.

Everything matters, in game and out.

Conclusion

I, like so, so many of you have spent a lot of time, a lot of our lives, playing this game. I enjoy this game; I love this game. There used to be a tag “EVEforever” and “EVE is real”. Until the servers shut down, we would play. I have never actually been afraid of that, but I am feeling just a little bit of that concern now. It makes me sad.

CCP please stop disappointing me. I want to enjoy this game for many more years. I want to laugh, cry, and rage with this community for as long as possible because there is none like it, and I don’t know if there ever could be another……… New Eden is not just inside the game. It is all of us.

The End

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