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Friday, February 1, 2013

It's not a Number Thing, it's an Acclimation Thing

Over on Poetic Discourse, Poetic Stanziel discussed "the numbers." It's his view the recent CCP comments about working to enhance the gaming experience of "lurkers," "enablers" and "small-scale leaders" as Jester discussed on his post from Tuesday, is "silly." From his point of view, I'm sure it is.

But Poetic's point of view is a self-inflicted blaster wound. It's not his fault. Many, many EVE Players suffer from the same self-inflicted wound. Most of them have been around awhile and fully embrace game play styles the are not considered carebear styles. This blinds them to the real issue with which CCP has to contend.

The self-inflicted wound I am talking about is their single minded vision of what EVE Online is. They look at EVE Online as a game where the only relevant (and therefore important) game play styles are the ones that involve blowing up other ships. After all, EVE is a PvP game. Doesn't that mean everyone has to make an attempt to PvP?

No Poetic, it doesn't mean that at all. It only means the safety is off. It doesn't mean everyone has to shoot or get the hell out. Furthermore, your attitude about ganking, that it is such a small percentage of everything going on it shouldn't matter, dismisses too easily how those who choose not to pull the trigger at the slightest whim feel about it. For many, it's the single biggest reason they leave EVE Online.

A good example is my own brother with whom I really, really want to play EVE. He is a family man first though. He has a wife and three children who, along with his full time job and sleep requirements, take up 22 or 23 hours of his day. During that one or two hours of time he had to fly Internet spaceships, that's all he wanted to do - just fly the damn space ships. He didn't want to get into fights. He wanted to relax to the hum of mining lasers, enjoy the gorgeous graphics, and get away from the daily mayhem of family life.

Except others would not let him do that. No matter where he went, he had to be on his guard. It was not relaxing. Quite the opposite in fact. And he did try to protect himself. But when your a month old capsuleer with no experience, "what can I really do?" That's how he felt when he cancelled the account. He also said, "I have better things to do with my time. I have more relaxing things I can do."

Don't be so quick to say good-bye and good riddance, we don't need your type around here either. The fact is, we do. In case you haven't noticed, there will soon be competition in the Internet spaceship niche with Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen. My brother already plans to try them out. He still wants to fly Internet spaceships, just not CCP's.

That is why player retention is the real problem with which CCP has to contend. People like my brother who, even though I was paying for his account so he could fly Internet space ships, walked away from Eve. He didn't need the stress of having a gun pointed at their head all the time. It wasn't too hard or too time consuming. He walked away from EVE because he does not want to be content for you.

That's what CCP has to address, not the "numbers." The attitude of the few that drive the many away. It takes time for players to embrace a fully PvP sandbox, in some cases over four years. Yeah, that was me. Fortunately I kept to myself. I didn't take chances. I warped away at the first sign of anyone. And you know what, I missed out on a whole lot of EVE Online. During the last six months, I've made more friends and met more cool people than all the years before.

Why is that do you think? Is it because I finally embraced the PvP life? Hardly, I see it no differently than I did before: an occasionally necessary evil. Was it something CCP did that convinced me to move out of my carebear shell? No, that wasn't it either I assure you. It wasn't even the Goons war deccing me that got me out of my shell. The reason is far more simple. I was ready to leave the shell. Why do you think I wrote that piece on The Mittani in the first place? It wasn't an accident.

I was finally comfortable in my own POD. So it took me four years, sue me; I'm stubborn. The point is, CCP bleeds new players because those noobs NEVER get the chance to become comfortable with the realities of New Eden.  New Players need time to acclimate. No one climbs to the top of Mount Everest in a day. They have to acclimate to the altitude first. Expecting new players to embrace all that is EVE right away is naive and counter productive. They will move on to some other game faster than you can mash the overheat button.

So when CCP talks about, "a broader appeal without losing the things that make it EVE" they mean an environment where new players can acclimate to what EVE Online is. They mean an environment where noobs don't always feel the victim. Where new players learn to love the game without coming to fear the game.

There will always be those who jump right in and start shooting straight away. Bully for them! They are the exception and not the rule. Don't ever forget that. If CCP is to compete in a market where Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen will do everything in their power to lure players away from EVE Online, CCP must broaden the appeal of EVE Online. To do that, new players must have acclimation time. If it doesn't come, they will leave. But, if you do allow them to acclimate they will become precisely what you want them to be - even if it takes four years.

Fly Careful


  1. If his goal in Eve was to relax in a belt and listen to the hum of mining lasers, someone should have suggested that he mine in a brick tanked battleship.

    He was *probably* mining in some fragile super efficient mining barge. Why would he do something stupid like that if, as you say, his only interest was to sit in a belt and look at the scenery.

    I suspect that in your rose tinted view you believe he was wanting to kick back and look at the scenery, when in reality he was out there competing with the rest of Eve to try make as much money as fast as possible. He took a few risks in the harsh world of eve profiteering and paid the price.

  2. The game doesn't have to be everything to everybody. If it's not your brother's cup of tea, CCP doesn't have to design for him. He is one guy, after all.

    According to Fozzie, CCP subscriber rates have grown year-by-year since release. So the argument that "if CCP doesn't change, this game will die", which is the crux of all these arguments, holds no water.

    If EVE was going to die because it's a harsh game, it would have died long ago.

    The game simply needs better player education. It doesn't need to change it's core principles to satisfy people who would more probably enjoy another game.

    (And I don't suggest that everyone has to PvP ... simply that everyone be aware that EVE is a game of conflict. If conflict is not your playstyle, then there are other games for you out there.)

    Like I said, EVE does not need to be a game that caters to every playstyle. If it does become more safe, with highsec becoming risk-free for a tonne of reward, then most of nullsec will likely walk.

    If they walk, what do you think will happen to all the highsec people? They'll walk too ... because they aren't supplying the conflict which drives the market. If they can't sell what they make, why would they stay?

    You people don't look at the macro-economic picture. Kill what makes EVE unique, you kill the game. Without the people that drive the content (which are not solo miners and missioners, like your busy brother), the game has no heart and soul.

    1. I really used to like your blog, Poetic. You wrote about things in the game I hadn't heard of and made it interesting.

      Lately it's all harping about carebears and making the game risk-free. You've become very single-minded sing only one note. You turn it into a black-or-white situation (carebears get nothing or make the game risk-free) when that is simply not the case. There are shades of grey in between the two and there always will be. Compromising between the carebears and the PvPers has been a constant in all of EVE's history.

      CCP sees the way most new players quit early in their career and sees the exit survey results and they respond. They don't want to lose the business of folks like you... but they don't want to lose the unwashed masses either. They will do something. As long as you're insisting that anything done to help them will destroy the game, CCP isn't going to listen to you. If you come up with workable compromises, on the other hand, you could have a big influence.

    2. Whoa, who said anything about EVE Online dying? (Goes and re-reads the post.) I certainly didn't. I wrote about retention of new players is all. And I did mention that there are those who dive right in shooting. That's got to account for some growth. I think the unasked question is, "how much more could there be?"

      And I'm not advocating doing away with PvP or anything that makes EVE Online unique. I agree with you when you say, "kill waht makes EVE unique, you kill the game." No one is advocating that at all. CCP specifically states, "broader appeal without losing those things that make it EVE." That certainly does not advocate changing EVE in the ways you fear.

      I just want to point out that many players have a biased view of the issue because they whole heartily embrace the PvP aspect of EVE Online. They've never been a carebear and frankly manifest considerable disdain for the play style whether conscious about it or not. They are not qualified to think like a carebear. I am.

      I just want to draw everyone's attention to that, and you were the perfect foil. Please don't take it personal. It is not personally aimed at you. I very much respect your blogging work. However, we sit on opposite sides of a fence and will likely not agree on much. That doesn't mean we don't both have valid points. In this instance, I called you on yours. Consider it blogosphere PvP. *wink*

    3. Poe you are so wrong its hard to know where to begin.

      #1.)"The game doesn't have to be everything to everybody" - Ummm, its a Sandbox remember?...It IS trying to be something for everyone.

      #2.) "According to Fozzie, CCP subscriber rates have grown year-by-year since release." - CCP is having difficulty in knowing if the new subs are ALTS or secondary accounts of already existing players. Of COURSE CCP is going to say something like this when it is in a deep relationship with Sony ATM. It HAS to show growth. But 100,000 new ALT accounts isn't growth. Secondly, When I see "according to CCP Fozzie" talk about the reasoning for the unsubs from their own form they send to quitting players (which they never will) then you'll hold some water with an argument. But, food for thought, look at all the buffs that have happened to the avg hig-sec player in the past year and read between the lines Poe...It IS a Problem.

      #3.)"If EVE was going to die because it's a harsh game, it would have died long ago." - *Banging head on desk*...Ok, Listen carefully POE. MMORPGS are a new thing gaming wise over the past decade. You now do literally have dozens if not hundreds of options. More people are now playing them than ever before. And when they get tired of what they play, the move on. Sometimes to EVE. If you graphed the growth of the market with the playerbase Im willing to bet that the actual rate of growth is no newer today than it was at launch. Actually, probaly less...And with New games coming out for Space shooters this market will finally start to thin out. Its about RETAINING new players numbskull.

      Try understanding the "macro economic" picture without the rose-colored PVP glasses on son. You're so lost I don't think GPS will find you even...

    4. "...CCP doesn't have to design for him. HE IS ONE GUY, AFTER ALL."

      I hope you stated this when you were very tired, or were trying to be ironic, or funny. They are all one guy. That one guy leads to another and another and so on. Some may start as part of a group. The ones that start as part of a group of friends or already have friends in the game are more likely to stay as they have someone to fall back on. However, unless they have split personalities then most start alone.

      Getting accustomed to any game is a big part of it. If you start off with something like match play in COD or Uncharted or something and have never played the game you are going to be frustrated. The vets know the maps. They know where to camp or snipe from. Those are games have very easy interfaces. They have small learning curves. One reason there are 100s of times more people playing those types of games. You shoot me I can always try and run up and shoot you. I can get a kill or two on a vet the first day out. In games like WOW you see an avatar and weapons to choose. It's easier to grasp. You can connect with what's happening. You can also be on a PVE server while you learn.

      You take the learning cliff of EVE which is a magnitude more difficult (but is getting better) and the mentality most have to not shit on someone's stuff they don't even know, and you have someone who wants some time to figure this crap out before they get shot in the face. Not everyone out there are the most social people. On top of that most don't like asking simple questions in local to get a dumb-ass response. Even if lasers look pretty when they shoot from their favorite Ishkur, they need the time to see why this isn't the wise option.

      P.S. Shouldn't ship balancing go as far as to make all weapons fit-able. No race specific, or hulls with bonuses. If I like the pretties ship in EVE say the Armageddon Navy Issue and I want to make it a missile boat cause I like the smoke. This is something else you are telling a new player CCP. You can't do that unless you want to learn another races ships or weaponry. And, In that case you can't do it at all cause it won't fit the launchers. Even with Incarna and our little pictures, ships are our avatars in a way. It's what we see day in day out. It's not SWG and we can't follow our female character's rear-end all over the map. It's ships and I want to be able to change it and do with it as I please.

    5. The subscriber base is growing...that might be true however, most of the growth (and CCP won't release these numbers) I'm sure is veteran players setting up new accounts. Personally, I have 5 accounts, and I don't PLEX any of them. Most new players quit due to the aforementioned issues.

    6. "So the argument that "if CCP doesn't change, this game will die", which is the crux of all these arguments, holds no water."

      CCP DID change. Thats why eve is still around and slowly growing.

    7. "That doesn't mean we don't both have valid points. In this instance, I called you on yours. Consider it blogosphere PvP. *wink*"

      The history of games trying to ask that question "how much more can there be?"by increasing their mass appeal, is a sad history of failure. Trammel, NGE. Games ruined by taking a complex game and making it easier by making it simple.

      Do you have a valid point? Well, asking a question isn't a point. It's a question. For me to consider it a valid point, I'd need something specific enough to be called an answer. People don't assume that calls for more mass appeal, minus specificity, are doomed to failure because they are blinded by their preexisting pvp bias. They assume that because historically, that has always resulted in failure. If you wish people to treat your ideas differently because "this time, we won't destroy what makes EVE, well, EVE"...then you have to actually present specifics of how you would accomplish that--which would include at a minimum displaying an understanding of how the previous attempts failed. Without specifics--well, everyone who failed said they won't ruin what made their game "special", so that claim as a generality is quite worthless. Here's the thing: sometimes in history, 100 people try to do a certain thing, and fail. The 101st person comes along, and says "I will do it", but can't give detailed specifics of how he will do it. No one believes he will do it, but through effort and persistence, he does it anyways. Then people say, "oh, no one believed in him, why couldn't they see?". Well, they couldn't see it, because there was nothing there to see. He only figured out how to do it through trying and failing and keeping at it. Rarely does someone have a completely thought through and obvious plan to do the previously impossible, and people still shout him down "no, that's impossible, hundreds of people have tried and failed." Do I think it's possible that CCP could turn EVE into a successful mass market game, without losing what makes it EVE? Of course it's theoretically possible, but since so many people have tried to do that and failed, no one is going to say it's likely without a detailed plan. That's what these negative responses amount to: 'that's unlikely. never works. what will you do differently than all the failures?' These negative responders aren't just being negative for fun--many of them probably played and enjoyed UO and SW before trammel and NGE ruined them, and they have a vested interest in speaking up in every venue to advocate for that not happening to EVE.

      "#1.)"The game doesn't have to be everything to everybody" - Ummm, its a Sandbox remember?...It IS trying to be something for everyone. "

      'something for everyone' =/= 'everything to everybody'. A sandbox is a sandbox. If you're going out to dinner, you don't go to a sandbox. If you want to build a sand castle, you go to a sandbox. EVE is for sandboxing. if you want to enjoy scenery in peace, a sandbox isn't for you. This is really quite simple. I want a game that's dangerous all the time (for everyone that plays-- for me for fun and depth, for everyone else for fairness and depth), Mab's brother wants one that isn't, for him at least. We can't happily play the same game, that's just a simple fact. Calling the game a sandbox, or a bandbox, or a sandblaster, is completely irrelevant. It's the game, not the name.

  3. Well put sir, thankyou. I hold the view that many more players would find their way into the PVP side of the game if they were allowed more time to acclimate to the general complexities before they were thrown in the deep end, or exposed to the level of risk that suicide ganking represents.

  4. An excellent screed. I think that with few major tweaks, EVE Online is a big enough game to coddle a new player. There could be a region of perfect-sec space in which PvP simply isn't possible. A player who isn't ready to live under the gun 24/7 might choose to leave briefly. We've got four kinds of space already; a fifth needn't break the game.

    Perhaps a toon could, once in his career, press a button and get himself up to sixty days in which no player can blow him up in high-sec. Or something.

    Fewer new players would quit in disgust. The griefers and PvPers could continue to play in the ways they want to play.

  5. EVE is, at face value, a thoroughly mediocre game. It's a decade old with a clunky interface and opaque rules. It's broken in a thousand little places. Some of its design is so hilariously terrible (POS anyone?) it could be in textbooks.

    The only thing that makes EVE shine as a game that is not only *not* mediocre, but downright *amazing* is the fact that there's a gun pointed at your head all the time.

    Well, that and its economy. That's pretty cool too.

    But seriously, your brother is right. There are many more relaxing things to do than playing EVE. Firing up a private server for Star Citizen might be one of things, soon(ish), assuming that the game doesn't suck and die like Freelancer did.

    In a competitive environment, EVE needs to play to its strengths: single-shard cut-throat space asshattery. If it panders to the lowest common denominator it will lose its niche appeal and frankly, EVE is too terrible a game to stand its ground without that.

  6. Can you ever be safe in Eve? I think you should be able to. I think you should be able to stay in 1.0 sec space and be well protected by Concord. However there should be consequences. 1.0 sec space should be crowded and expensive. Capsuleers with a sense of adventure and desire to make isk, should be planning to move further out, to greener pastures as it were.

    What's to stop gankers? Well I think concord might be quick to use sensor dampeners and neuts whenever anyone so much as targeted another ship in 1.0. Fire a shot and they'll kill you. Welcome back to 1.0 space afterwards? Not likely, you'd need to keep a spotless security record to be allowed in.

    Personally I'm not against PvP, although I am not in favour of griefing, and prefer PvE. I do think for the good of the game, CCP should ensure that Eve has something for everyone, whatever that might be.

  7. Damn, this one is good !
    Have been thinking long, proberly too long, about how to react on poetics terrible thing, i couldnt even have come close to this little masterpiece. So seldom is the issue "it takes time to get comfortable about EVE" beeing discussed, so awesome.
    Thanks Mabrick :-)

  8. You can mine safely, just the lasers and the graphics: 1.0-0.9 system in a Procurer or Skiff. I don't think a single one of those died. CCP gave lot of tools to "carebears", they just refuse to use it.

    1. A little late to the game, Gev. As I recall, his brother unsubbed way before the mining barge rebalancing. However, Mabrick will have to clarify the timing.

      But! - even today there is nothing stopping someone from bumping his Proc or your new overlord's website so clearly states.

  9. It took 2 years for me. I don't regret anything.

    You're absolutely right by the way, if more newbro's are given half a chance to just acclimatize to EVE more will probably stick around long enough to just feel comfortable with the idea of PvP.
    In the long run this will result with more people to play with and more targets to shoot at. That will only be a good thing for EVE.

  10. A friend of mine played EVE for a few months. He unsubbed because he wasn't enjoying being someone else's content and paying for the privilege. The guy isn't stupid or lazy, he's a software developer with his own business and does well for himself. How many others have done the same?

  11. Actually I seriously hate the term carebear.

    I am not a peaceful miner or mission runner. I love EVE PvP a lot. I just spent three months with mercs and in a nullsec PvP alliance. During that time I shot at NPCs only a handful of times.

    I still don't have it in me to look down on those who do the industrial work which keeps things running and all those oh-so-great PvPers supplied with ships, modules and ammunition. As far as mission runners and other PvE players are concerned, I don't care enough about them to even seek them out for kills.

    I want to go and kill other PvP players, or at least the ones who call themselves that.

    Fact of the matter is, that many people in this game are more PvE oriented than anything else. Sure they will join big fleets when their alliance calls for a CTA, but for the largest part they will kill rats and run plexes to make ISK. Still they consider themselves somehow better than people who do exactly the same thing but don't fly in big alliance fleets once or twice a week.

    It is those people I enjoy shooting to pieces. At least the highsec PvE population isn't a bunch of pretentious trolls.

    As for the subscriber numbers ... I would really like to see a comparison between the growth rate of large alliances and coalitions and the growth rate of subscriptions overall. I have this nagging suspicion that they might be closer aligned than we realize.

    In any case, I am happy that we have a guy like Mabrick who holds up the banner for the player segment that CCP Seagull calls "enablers". All the people who look down on him and his compatriots should ask themselves where they would be if nobody replenished the markets with new goods, fueled their poses, hauled around their stuff and all those other chores you think you are to good for.

    If Mabrick would run for CSM, I would vote for him. Not because I think he would enhance my personal playstyle, but because I think he would contribute to enhancing the playstyle of many others.

  12. Crap... I started a comment and ended up with another effin post... =\

    (1) We DON'T need to change EvE or it's current PvP mechanics;
    (2) We DO need to TEACH noobs how to survive IN EvE;
    sub (a) working out Suggestions on HOW to do the above #2 is how my mere 'comment' turned into a post of it's pwn...

    Now, a assignment for the class... How would YOU teach your children to play EvE?

    See ya in the funny papers... =]

  13. Theres so much that comes to my mind and by no means coherent when i think about this.
    Lets start first where it began for me, i read those rockpapershotgun articles where one guy and some friend experienced those great story about their group and later on whole alliances. The wars, betrayals and all that.

    Not knowing anything about eves game mechanics or really much of it at all, i downloaded my first mmo and entered the trial. I loved how the game looked and that all people would play on one server.
    And the constant possibility to shoot everything, or be shot at.

    I did some tutorials, managed to get can baited in the second system you enter in as a noob, and got angry at that guy, but instead of taking the bait i checked the mechanics on the wiki. And noticed, his ship could blow me to bits. I was jetcan mining to earn some isk, to buy that shiny vexor i wanted.

    I said to myself screw him, made a note of his name and moved on. Did some missions, moved to another system, fit my navitas for more efficiency and went away from that infested system.
    I actually found a quite safe place to mine and earned a bit money. I couldn't think of another way tbh.
    Missions gave me scraps and i didn't understand that they would progress so much more to get isk.

    Mining was also crap, but i did it sometimes with a friend and it was steady income.
    After my buddy invite trial was nearly gone, i heard about eve uni and gave that a go.
    It was either that or quit. Because what i did on my own in eve was boring. Mind numbingly so.

    It is there which lays the fault with eve. Eve in itself is a horrible game. It is in no way fun or engaging.
    It only gets good with the people in it. And i think here is where ccp fails.
    They dont get the people to engage with each other at that starting noob age.

    I was so scared to join the offers of corps i got at the start, because i knew i would be helpless and easily screwed over. That little isk i had, which had taken me days to get.
    I just wouldnt trust anyone.

    But i am blabbering, back to the topic.

    All this bullshit about we so pvp, we never carebear, it irks me. EVERY FUCKING person who says that is a carebear, i see those alts, freighters, market players, pos owners, every one is doing that.
    I dont think there are many who just do pvp and blow up ships and buy another plex. Havent heard of a single one of those.
    Its a lame excuse.

    What i really think pvp is missing is broader consequences. More risk, more gain. I admit i like shooting people in the face. And i think there is to little consequence for it. I can do it and have nothing to fear, ever. That is broken. And i think more should be earned from pvp also.

    If eve really was a pvp game, why is every pve stuff you do so much more money?
    You can only do trading or scamming that i wouldn't count as pve to earn more.

    I was quite some time in eve university under war dec. Basically those folks that wardeced were pot shooting noobs. With all shenanigans, like t3 cruiser, off grid boosters and neutral logis. the whole nine yards, just to shoot some frigs and cruisers of some 1-3 month old people.

    And we only could basicly hide and run when they showed up. Sure we fought them here and there, but that ended only 2 ways, we died, or they ran. Because uni blob.
    And after the war they go their merry way and its all said and done.

    How about this, if you shoot someone, the other guy and his corp can shoot you to. Forever.
    Consequences. Not for 15mins or for the kill rights. No, forever.

    Suddenly you would have a npc corp with thousands of players on your butt if you shot one new noob.
    Wouldnt that be funny? I think so. And how about those kill rights stay with the person you killed.
    I guess it would be endless war everywhere. If you shoot first that is...

    Might be a bit to mad. hmm, i dunno where i went with this.
    More risk more reward. More ups and downs. I mean, why not make the game so that actual pvp would earn you isk? Outrages wouldnt it be?

    1. It's absolutely true that EVE is just enough of a game to glue a bunch of people together. That was mostly by design, although the design is 10 years old now and really showing its age. Relative to GW2 or TSW its PVE is a joke. The crafting system isn't terrible, but the interface is.

      Re: paying people for PVP, there are two models for that in EVE: one is factional warfare, where you earn a reward for every member of the opposing faction you kill, and the other is the bounty system. Nullsec alliances and FW alliances both put huge bounties on opposing alliances to reward their pilots for killing the other side.

      The former pays primarily in LP, which is an ISK sink. The latter is all player ISK, so it's net neutral. So both manage to reward PVP without introducing another ISK faucet into the game. If they allowed alliances to set up LP stores, they could extend the FW mechanic to warring alliances. That would be fairly interesting.

      I like the idea that the consequences of initiating PVP in high sec are stickier. Basically, right now wardecs are just a cheap way to use all the fancy, shiny ships that you'd never use with CONCORD looking over your shoulder--thus, they give veteran players a huge advantage for the cost of a T1 battlecruiser. That's an intimidating amount for a newbie, but throwaway money for most vets. The 15 minute timer can be easily run down by docking, and the suspect and criminal flags can be mooted by pairing with a fellow suspect and remaining within optimal range of each others' guns. Anyone who attacks one gets blapped by the other, and so forth. (When I saw this setup, in Arnon incidentally, both ships were within docking distance of the station even though they were between 40 and 70km of each other--they switched ship types frequently--so that they could evade the station guns easily. Because it makes total sense that you can dock in a station that's shooting at you.)

  14. That is indeed interesting tactic right there. I like all things that can be countered.
    What i don't like is stuff that is all around in eve and where you have no real chance to react to.
    What are you gona do if you get ganked because you were doing pve? I mean you cant do much.
    Maybe that would improve things immensely if the missions and pve were almost exactly like pvp.
    Less stupid ai, more dangerous but also more profitable. I havent tried the new fw, but didnt they want to do it like that there? Less rats but tougher ones? That would be fun :)

    Almost all pve content as it is in eve now is so horribly boring.

    Im living in a wh currently, and thats what i love about it, no station games and no secret net that saves you. But sometimes thats also the downside... And usually wh space is quite empty.

  15. A few things that bore me about the never ending conversation about carebears and PvP-ers.

    1. I am a PvP-er. My main is in FW at the moment to learn the craft of small fleet fights
    2. I am a Carebear. I have an industry alt making stuff and farming PI. When I want to chill out and chat with my friends I ice-mine. In a cheap retriever.

    I'd say the majority of players in EVE do both, for example, I can't count how many C5's I have come across that are used as ISK farming systems for nullsec corps. PvE? They log into their alts, secure the access routes, farm the PvE content and transfer the ISK to their mains who pretend that they are oh-so-scary PvP pros.

    The third thing that confuses me is that EVE players think they discovered PvP. Heck, Chess is a PvP game and its a lot older than EVE. Why is EVE different? Because people have the wrong expectations about "safety". Many blog posts have been written about this (I probably have several).

    Instead of advocating PvP free zones, I'd advocate High Sec missions for newbs to get a taste of PvP. If they accept a specific mission, they get flagged for combat to others with similar missions. If they explode, CCP gives them a new small ship. No podding. This way, even beginners get introduced slowly into PvP. Can this be exploited? Sure! Thats EVE. But a training system like that would take the sting out of losing your ship.

    Bottom line, newbs don't need less PvP, they need more - but maybe less painful.

    And the last thing - EVE is less a PvP game than a social game. Newbs need to learn how to join corps, work cooperatively, use fleets etc. A lot of this can be put into training and tutorials.

  16. How about this :
    Every under-aged Character (say younger than 90 days) gets a Vengance feature :
    If killed in a system with sec status 0.8(to allow them to venture between systems) or above the perpetrator have to pay the total ammount of the destroyed ship (not just the dropped value) to a CONCORD agent - to look the other way this time -, or get a permanent criminal flag for two weeks(or based on the destroyed ammount).
    This way, high sec ganking could still go on, but with consequences for killing noobs. There would be a small satisfaction to the new character - at least the other guy is paying for it's sin.

    This would :
    - add a new optional ISK sink to the game (loss of ship, module etc + same amount deducted to Concord from the attacker).
    - not change can flipping and other PVP methods in HighSec which are based on player's knowledge/stupidity. Those are all fine - as per my opinion - as they are at the moment.
    - gets some protection to the noobs to get acclimated to the game, but not a bullet proof shielding
    - not change the High sec Gank mentods against older characters

  17. This is a fantastic blog. I love the discourse. Many people with different ideas. I agree that Eve needs to change in order to improve new player retention. Perhaps CCP will learn a few things from the two games mentioned in Mabrick's blog from today. I know I have invested a lot of time and money in Eve, but there just isn't enough to keep me interested long term. I just viewed a few of the videos from Elite: Dangerous website and darn that looks good. CCP has a little while to turn things around and produce a game that will keep my interest, otherwise my money is going somewhere else.

    I also agree that the number of suicide ganks in HS has decreased since Retribution; however, it's just the threat of the non-profitable, just for the heck of it gank that keeps my stress level elevated. If I do something stupid like haul 3 bil in a freighter, then I've run the dinner bell and must accept the consequences. Otherwise, I'd like to see CCP enforce their stance on griefing as attacking without the chance for profit.


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