Improving Eve?

Over on Jester’s Trek there’s a post getting a lot of comments. A few things that have come out inspire this post.

To quickly sum, Jester/Ripard Teg referenced and discussed a Steam review of Eve that says, in simple, the goal of a player in EO is making money and griefing other players. If that’s cool with you, great. If not, find another game.

I’m not completely sure I agree with the goals – there are other things to do, things to gain. However, I do think the ‘griefing others’ remark is dead on. And if you read the comments there’s that, too. The most interesting thing is not whether players agree or disagree that Eve Online encourages griefing. No, there’s pretty much universal agreement there. No, the big disagreement is whether that’s a good or bad thing.

I’m going to say that from the point of view of the owning company it’s a bad thing. What the game needs in increasing new subscriptions and sustained players. What appears to be happening, based on careful comments from presenters like CCP Rise, is the opposite. At best they’re flat. At worst they’re declining.

And ‘old’ players are not good for the bottom line due to an internal peculiarity. Eve Online has a means of being nominally F2P. You earn enough in-game coinage (ISK) and you can use that to purchase another month of play (PLEX). Yes, you can purchase a PLEX with real money and sell it ingame, too. It creates interesting economics and is a specific point of observation for the anti-bot teams. But I’ve digressed again. The point is that the longer you play the easier it is to earn a PLEX in game and so the more likely it happens. Senior players are harder on the CCP’s bottom line.

From the comments comes an idea, or perhaps it’s a concept, that I think needs emphasized. Notionally, when Eve was created it was expected that both good and bad guys would develop but that hasn’t happened. It seems Eve is designed to let the bad guys not only be bad guys but be rewarded for being bad guys, while the reverse is not so. Good guys can be good guys but there is no reward.

While I have – and have posted – what amount to theme park suggestions for solo players, I think this is really a much better thing. It reinforces the whole multiplayer interaction ideal. The thing is, I’m not certain how to do it. I just think it’s significant enough to note.

It might be enough, for CCP to admit they’ve a game full of player villains, and give incentive for ‘good guys’ to come and “clean up this town.” Actually, I think figuring out the incentive might be enough. If, that is, it’s possible.

Thing is, if it doesn’t happen then I agree with Jester that EVE continue shrinking its player base, eventually reaching the point of implosion (non-profitability).

Eve’s complex and developed enough I’d /like/ to be involved. It’s not particularly rewarding to the solitary player and does all right for the solo who interacts with others. But the overwhelming attitude of, well, griefing being what everyone does is just more than I care to continue with.

~ by Kirk on May 30, 2014.

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