Where the Praise falls

JonnyPew broached a question in a recent YouTube Video on how do you define what playing Solo is.  (The video has since been removed.)

He remarked that he tried to be objective, but his strong opinion was evident. He came down on the side that playing EVE Solo was when one person used only one Character to achieve their goals.

I – with my two accounts and 4 Characters, would not be playing solo.

Funny enough, in my recent malaise over EVE I’ve considered dropping down to one account and one character. I went through the impact – such as Capitals probably never being an option again, how I’d be stuck in Trading hubs if I was selling lots of stuff off, if I focused on manufacturing or PI again how it would limit my game play options, how I would have to play blind in Null Sec and so on. I would be playing a more inconvenient and restricted game of EVE. I would likely be playing a less enjoyable game.

JonnyPew suggested the community would decide on the definition of Solo through the praise they give. If they praise a single player using multiple accounts for their solo work, then that will have to be the definition of solo. If they instead criticised such players, then his definition would be right.

I’m not sure that works given the community rarely agrees on anything.

It is an interesting question. I defend how I play EVE in this blog, and I reflect on changes and updates to the game and how they relate to my style of play. At the same time, I don’t personally care if I am praised or condemned. I view my success in EVE by if I am having fun or not. I think I will stick to calling myself a Hermit / solo player, and JonnyPew can take the Hardcore solo player mantle.

Breaking

JonnyPew suggests everyone should take breaks from EVE if you want to survive in it long term.

I think that requirement comes more down to your personality than something EVE specific. I’ve never really taken a break from EVE – I do have times like now where real life gets so busy I can’t log in as often, but I don’t really put it aside.

Sunrise Aigele wrote an interesting post.

http://badwrongfun.org/2016/05/13/tip-of-the-day/

Some really resonated with the way I have played EVE – “a series of self-appointed, self-motivated projects”, and “little windows of time in which to advance them, and the additional thrill provided by the possibility that someone will come along and interrupt me”.

I’ve been following the Citadel kills with some interest:

https://zkillboard.com/group/1657/

It is not a complete picture – but there are many destroyed in that 15-minute unfitted vulnerability window after their long anchoring finishes, and lots of them being destroyed in Wormhole space. There was an interesting article here about the experiment and fall of a Citadel in Perimeter that is worth a read.

https://www.themittani.com/news/rise-and-fall-first-perimeter-citadel

I still feel the success of Citadels in High-Sec will come down to so many of them being anchored that the carnivores simply tire of killing them unless they have reason. The protection gained from being in a very large herd. If the novelty of killing them doesn’t wear off, the carnivores might find themselves with sparse hunting grounds and CCP might need to look at the balance and mechanics. It is going to take a while to see.

I been eyeing off a Tornado Battle Cruiser that I have stored away.  It is set up to Suicide Gank – mostly if someone annoys me enough.  It is a nice idea, but I am just not sure if push comes to shove I will ever use it.  I should sell it as well – I’m just not finding that conclusion as easy to come to as I would have expected.

Lights Everywhere

I grabbed 20 of those Upwell pod skins cheap. I’ll leave them stored away for a few years to see if they increase noticeably in value or not.

While flying around collecting them I took to leaving the structure browser open. I figured if I passed through a system with a Citadel I would do a flyby / dock up / check it out. It took quite a lot of zigzagging across Domain before I happened across one.

There are currently 22 of them reported in the region – some are in familiar systems such as one in Niarja. I’m not sure if that is considered a lot of them or not. Most however are in systems I don’t particularly recognise, so I expect they are a bit out of the way. I also originally saw a couple in Low Sec, but they are no longer reported.

ehimg558

It is odd seeing the tethering connection when you approach a Citadel – and I wondered why it was also repairing me as there was nothing on the ship to repair. I assume it was transferring cap.  The effect icon disappeared shortly afterwards.

ehimg559

 

After docking, I found the interior looked a lot like the Minmatar station I had just come from. That’s a little disappointing. I would have much preferred something more unique, given how different Citadels look from the outside.

ehimg560

The option to view outside the structure was cool enough – particularly as the menu options remained and allowed you to then click undock.  They should do that for normal stations, but I guess it is one more carrot to try and get people to use Citadels instead of normal stations.

ehimg561

I’m also not a big fan of all the lights around the Citadel.

Anyway. It was an interesting 5-minute distraction from my task for the day.

Bad behaviour

There was an interesting article published the other day about some of the ugliness in the EVE Online Community.

http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/14/feature/10820/Chronicles-of-a-New-Eden-Beauty-Ugliness-in-Community.html

It finished with the line:

“We should figure out how to do something about that.”

A throwaway line maybe, but how complicated is that one sentence?

I was writing a long post about my experiences in EVE, in other games, and with social media generally over the last 25 years.  I just couldn’t get it to all flow nicely.  My conclusion was that I am not sure EVE is especially worse than other competitive games where players directly interact, and that the problem of people not respecting others is a much wider social issue.  It would have been a very convincing post, my best ever.  You will just have to take my word for it.

One or the Other

Just a short comment today, I’m trying to spend my limited free time undocked.

I’ve appreciated the comments to my last post, and the discussions I am following on various blogs. Nicely done Neville. It is interesting seeing the different way people view the same situations, and the in-depth philosophies some players operate under.

There is one thing I am finding particularly perplexing.

Why do so many players seem to think if you try to improve PVE, that it has to come at the direct expense of PVP? The question can also be reversed.

It isn’t this absolute one or the other.

I would like PVE to be improved, not because I want some safe Carebear environment, but because I want as many players as possible paying for the game, and being logged in and undocked.

I’d love there to be twice, three times the variety in exploration content. Make it more interesting across all areas of space. I’m not thinking that would break the game for PVP pilots, I’m thinking it would give them even more targets.

It is the same if you give more mission options, or mining options, or whatever else might please a Carebear. Balance it properly, and all player types benefit.

Blinkered

I was thinking about Neville Smit’s call for an Occupy New Eden movement. What sort of critical mass of EVE players would it need for CCP to pay enough attention to change their development plans?

I think it is fair to say that a notable proportion of players don’t involve themselves in much related to EVE outside of the game client.  I don’t however have any statistics to back that up.

I notice the EVE Online Facebook page has almost 290,000 likes – which seems reasonable, yet on average only a few hundred interact with any of their posts. Most of CCP’s official YouTube videos are viewed less than 20,000 times, their Twitch TV stats are even lower. Their trailers are the exception – but then they are often linked to from Ads and various external gaming sites. Most of the threads in the official EVE forum are viewed less than 1,000 times, including revisits. And of course you can look at the number of accounts that vote for the CSM.

Circumstantial, but to my mind it paints a picture.

If I am right about the possible audience, it seems unlikely that Neville’s idea would be seen and certainly not actioned by sufficient players to make a difference.

That is not to say it could never have an impact – if enough recognisable players, bloggers, tweeters, reporters, podcasters and what not all got behind it, CCP would listen.

I’ve read many of the initial responses from that group of players, and generally found them to be more thoughtful than expected. If you break them down however we return to a rehash of the well-trodden Hi-Sec Vs Everyone else topic. What’s the chance of getting any sort of consensus on that?

So I came to the conclusion Occupy New Eden won’t get to a wide enough audience or result in any sort of large enough common voice to make a difference. This assumption carried more weight after Neville made it clear this was more about provoking discussion than a ground swell movement.

As I kept reading responses I came across this related blog post from Talvorian Dex –

http://targetcaller.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/dont-occupy-modify.html

It is a common idea, repeated often. In harsh summation it is the suggestion that people stay subscribed to EVE longer if they get out of Hi-Sec, and so while Hi-Sec should be fun and engaging, players should be encouraged to move through the game to the next step. I think it is fair to say CCP subscribes to a similar view – they seem to try and steer players towards the conflict game styles that their statistics show keeps them engaged longer.

I can see the logic – and you might get some to transition, but mostly – in the most obvious and common sense way to me – that has and will continue to fail.

I think this is actually the crux of the issues Hi-Sec has. It isn’t their slice of development time, it isn’t what part of space CCP is focused on, it doesn’t need a player uprising. The problem is relatively simple and straight forward – CCP, and (sorry) the like of Talvorian really do not understand them. Conflict is not the driver that will keep most of them in EVE longer.

I don’t have statistics, and I am not sure how to convince people my view on this is accurate. I am going to start with just one somewhat topical example.

Have you noticed the derision Hi-Sec miners tend to get? There are groups devoted solely to griefing them, to try and force them to play a different sort of game. I read suggestions that they are saving these players from themselves, and that they deserve this lack of respect.

The Griefers can’t see why someone would like to spend years maxing out skills, and ship equipment, and ship hulls, and refining, and boosting, and implants, and hauling just to get to the point where they can say their mining yield is at the absolute maximum possible. Or why they take that further by bookmarking the optimal positions in each belt to maximum asteroids reached with the least amount of moving, or use survey scanners and PC stopwatches for each mining laser so that they can minimise the length of unproductive cycle time, or the satisfaction they get for totally strip mining a belt by themselves. And they do all this for some of the poorest ISK returns in the game.

The people and voices driving EVE’s development at the moment do not seem to understand why people would do that. I understand – because that is what I spent a couple years doing.

There is certainly a couple years of play in that – assuming the player remains goal oriented and sticks at it despite the contempt sent their way. What can CCP do to extend this?

Update the Rorqual so that it has the largest mining yield possible in game through fighter sized mining drones, and put an area effect superweapon on it that gives a short period of invulnerability for the mining fleet so the Calvary can ride in and save them if attacked?

How many Hi-Sec miners do you think that will entice? How many will stay subscribed for another year to train up all those skills and get the related in game assets?

What if they make a Hi-Sec version of the Rorqual. I’ve mentioned it before. Give it a mining yield marginally better than a Hulk, and balance the crap out of it so it cannot be used as a non-Ore hauler or be safe from War Dec in an NPC Corp. How many Hi-Sec miners would set a goal and spend more time subscribed to achieve that?

Hell – add two versions of Mining Titans, one Hi-Sec, one excluded from Hi-Sec, if you really want to stretch out the end goals for such players and keep them subscribed.

I’m not championing this as a solution – it is just an example. If the idea annoys you because you think it will take away possible new targets, then you probably don’t get Hi-Sec. Don’t worry, you are in good company with CCP.

It seems like it should be easy to fix – just sit down with CCP and explain what Hi-Sec enjoys about the game and why a sizeable number won’t ever be taking steps out of it, no matter what they do.  Give transition options, but concentrate on keeping them subscribed longer doing what they want to do.  Maybe the Council of null Sec influence and Management (CSM) can speak to them?  Or maybe not.  At the moment we have a PVP focused group thinking they understand and know what’s best for the Carebear focused, and they at not getting it right.