BB78 – Suspend disbelief for a moment and imagine that at downtime today CCP reset everything in EVE Online. Everything! All player structures, PI infrastructure, Corps, Alliances gone. The Markets empty but for NPC seeded items like BPO. All players log into a starter system with less than 1M SP, a mere 5,000 ISK and a noob ship. What happens now?
I started out thinking about the immediate effect of such a thing.
What impact would it have on CCP’s financials? There would be very strong demands for compensation. There would be players who quit. PLEX would not be purchased to be sold on the market for a while as no one would have a reasonable amount of ISK to buy them with. How much time would they have to spend fixing any design issues – the chicken before the egg scenarios where items or structures cannot be built because they rely on something that relies on them being built. What sort of balancing changes might be needed to allow – at least temporarily, for completely different skill levels and ship fit metas?
What impact would it have on players? Their sense of loss, frustration, anger. What a large adjustment for previously wealthy players on old money – who hadn’t needed to earn ISK for years. How long would it take big traders to have enough volume to start making inroads into recovering their wealth? Would miners and industrialists have a golden period of demand, and how long would it last?
I thought about what would not change? Ganking would be immediately viable, and pirating soon after. New players wouldn’t really notice aside from the poorer markets and less larger ships flying around.
I thought about how important existing knowledge would be – the advantage people would have for knowing what skills to train first, the best ways to gather resources and bounties and so on. Would those with multiple accounts use some for SP farming, not to sell, but to advance their mains more quickly against their opponents?
What about for me? I’d probably be able to continue to get the same sorts of rewards out of playing the game as I do now, and I would have the knowledge and doggedness to slowly recover from such an event.
As I did this, two key points kept coming up in my thought process.
First, there would be an arms race and land grab that would be dominated by groups who already had the out of game infrastructure to coordinate and mobilise their players. They would work together to mine and collect bounties, purchase group hull, weapon and infrastructure BPO quicker than anyone else. Yes, there would be changes to the political landscape, but generally the same sort of people and groups that control null sec now would control null sec then, and the smaller groups would in time be left with the same limited options as they have now. In many ways it would nerf or impact the solo and casual player more harshly.
Second – I kept using the term recovery. Some people might change the way they play the game, but for the most part it would be about restoring where they were at previously. In the long run, I strongly suspect something like this would cause no real fundamental change to the game.
If these two thoughts are correct, why would you bother resetting the game? For real change, CCP needs to adjust the rules or update or add sandbox tools.
Other Blog Banter posts on this topic can be found here