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 –
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.