Five Bad EVE Online Ideas that will Never Die

EVE Online can be a divisive game.  People tend to love it or hate it, with the latter being the larger group if comment threads on gaming sites are any indication, though the largest group of all seems to be those who watch it from afar to be entertained.  And all three groups probably add up to fewer people that the active subscribed WoW population right now, though I suspect those numbers might have gotten a bit closer since the Shadowlands expansion.

And in such an environment, there are a wide range of ideas as to what the game should be, and everybody seems to have a plan that would improve the game and, naturally, boost player numbers because we all seem to believe that the majority of the universe shares our exact likes and dislikes and are shocked that these few outlier weirdos who see things differently from us seem to run all these games.  It is like some sort of conspiracy.

But there are a few ideas that seem to persist.  They pop back up again with a regularity that begins to grate if you’ve been around the community for a while.  Here are the ones I see that just won’t die the death they deserve.

1 – Walking in Stations

At the top of the list because CCP dabbled in this with Incarna. The company, after neglecting the core of EVE Online for a few years and plundering the efforts of the teams working on Dust 514 and World of Darkness, proudly launched what I heard one wag call “walking in a closet.”

Captain’s Quarters

I will admit that I was among those who thought the game needed avatar play when I started playing.  EVE Online has the curse of many vehicle games in that everybody is alone in the spaceship and you can’t wave or jump ceaselessly or dance on the mailbox in your underwear, which can give the game a sterile, impersonal feel.  Forza Horizon 5 has the same impersonal feel out in its shared world too.  Every car focused title does.  Are there people demanding “walking in Forza” as loudly as the walking in stations crowd does for EVE? (Seriously, are there?)

The problem here is that nothing in the core of the game is improved by having to walk around and I have yet to hear a suggestion from anybody that didn’t either make current functionality more awkward (e.g. you should have to walk to your agent in a station and speak to them face to face) or required CCP to essentially build a new game within EVE Online to accommodate avatar play.  That adds up to making things worse or development time spent away from the core of the game.

It has been made clear over the years that CCP struggles at times to keep up with the “flying in space” aspect of the game that is its core, so having them ignore that again for a multi-year stretch in order to build a feature of dubious value seems like a really bad business plan.

But people ask for this feature a couple of times a month on Reddit, though the request seems to rotate through the same small group of people.  And then there is Hilmar, who said they might bring it back at some point, which just cemented in my mind the fact that he might be head of the studio, but he has no clue about the game and just likes to say things that get attention.

Walking in stations is bad for EVE Online.  I will die on this hill.

2 – Dogfighter

This is the almost prototypical response from somebody who came to play EVE Online and happens to own a flight stick.  They go away disappointed that combat isn’t maneuver based, that they cannot used the tricks they developed playing X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter or whatever, often dropping by Reddit to announce their displeasure.  The reaction range between “this sucks” to long design documents about how the game should be rebuilt into a space flight sim.

But the core is always the same, that the combat is too simple, that you just press F1 and you’re done.

The first issue here is  the idea that every game must be built to meet their personal preferences.  If you want a space flight sim, I get that EVE Online isn’t for you.  But there are a lot of other options, so coming in and declaring that the game should be rewritten to meet your personal needs is a bit over the top don’t you think?  And that leaves aside the herculean effort that it would take to remake the game.  Get over yourself.

Second is that if you think combat in EVE Online is simple it is because you haven’t spent enough time with it.  Yes, you don’t have to get on somebody’s tail or calculate deflection in your head, but range and engagement envelopes and transversal and tracking and damage types and reload times and a host of other small details enter into each engagement.  That you are not thinking about this when you press F1 doesn’t mean it isn’t all in play, it is just likely to explain why your ship is a wreck and the other person has a fresh kill mark on his hull.

3 – Safe Space

There are a lot of flavors to this one, ranging from the idea that high sec should be completely safe (and sometimes that low sec should be like high sec is now) to being able to flag PvP on and off like you do in World of Warcraft to make yourself immune from all player attacks.

This seems to stem from people wanting to just be left alone to tinker with whatever space project they have going on.  And I get that.  It is a sandbox and some people want to play in their own corner where kicking over sand castles isn’t allowed.

The problem is that any safety will be exploited.  Any source of income that is unassailable will be overrun.  ISK per hour is a primary motivator for many, but the safety factor comes into it as well.

And you may ask who would even bother tracking down high sec alts, and I have an answer; all of us.  EVE Online has a rich history of wars in low or null sec finding their way into high sec.  In World War Bee there was a whole shadow war fought in and around Jita and Amarr with both sides trying to track down alts in NPC corps that were being used to ship supplies into the war zone.

So, leaving aside the usual argument about safety breaking the theme of the game, there are some more immediate ways in which it would break actual game play and the economy, and we don’t want to give CCP any more reason to go in and manipulate the in-game economy.  They are hamfisted enough going after imaginary problems, lets not make some real ones.

EVE Online is just a PvP game.  It has been since 2003 and that is the way it is going to be.  End of story, time to move on.

As an aside, I am always interested in how angry people get when another player blows up their ship, which glows white hot compare to the response to dying to an NPC.  I dream of an experiment where CCP mocks up a slightly different UI and tells an experimental audience that EVE is a single player game with advanced AI based on real world behavior in order to see if the anger is the same when your hauler gets blown up by a gang of suicide Catalysts if you believe them to be NPCs.

4 – Another Server

There are a few flavors of this one as well.  There are, of course, the people who just want a PvE server.  See above, plus I am not sure how sovereign null sec or faction warfare even work in the minds of those suggesting this, but there it is.

Others want EVE Classic.  They want to go back to the good old days, which correspond to the point in time when they were most enthusiastic about the game, or when some change in mechanics didn’t ruin things. (I still occasionally hear somebody angry about CCP adding in “warp to 0” as the thing that killed PvP, which was a change that happened in 2006 not long after I started playing.)  And, as somebody who is a big fan of the whole retro server idea, it is hard for me to not pine as well for some past fun.

The usual problems apply.  When would you set such a server?  What patch level?  What bug fixes do you retain and which are part of the flavor of the time?

But the enterprise will never get that far because CCP knows that two servers are not twice as good as one.  EVE Online needs a critical mass of players willing to take on the different roles in the ecosystem for it to function smoothly.  I am a bit sad I didn’t play at launch mostly because I wonder what the game was like with no established player market.  EVE can seem annoying because it feels like as soon as you decide what you want to do, you need to do six other things first to get ready.  But at least you don’t have to buy the blueprints for a hull, mine the ore, and build the ship.  The economy is the core lubricant that makes the game manageable.  Splitting the game into two servers threatens that.  The main fear for EVE is that someday the population will fall below a critical mass and the economy will fall into chaos.

So no second server will ever compete with Tranquility.

(And yes, I know there is a second server in mainland China.  But even now many players who used to play on that server are able to VPN into Tranquility to play with the rest of us.  In fact, one of the reason that the game turns in the concurrency numbers it still manages these days is because it has managed to attract many of the core players who fled the bad days of the Serenity server.)

5 – Better PvE

I am going to have to qualify this one because I don’t think any player, new or old, would have a real problem with something that led to a better PvE game in New Eden.  Better PvE isn’t a bad idea at its core.  But it is almost always expressed badly… and by badly, I mean people generally just demand better PvE and stop there, leaving what that even means to the interpretation of those hearing the demand.  Or, if they provide details, it generally describes much worse PvE.

Basically, it easy to say “better PvE,” but it is tough even describe it, much less make it happen.  What is better anyway?

Making it harder isn’t better.  If I’ve learned anything over the years, it is that players want PvE that is just difficult enough to give them a sense of accomplishment without any real risk of them failing.

You can make things like missions interesting for the first run.  But they don’t stay interesting after a few passed.  You can then make more missions… I think CCP has more than six thousand missions of various types in the game… but they tend to fall into a few simple categories.  In the end, PvE quickly becomes a solved problem.  You can add more missions, but is that really better PvE?

CCP has seemingly had some luck with randomizing PvE in Abyssal pockets.  The mechanic requires you to commit your ship before you know the foes and puts a 20 minute timer on the mission.  If you don’t make it in time you lose your ship and your pod.  But even with randomness, if it is still a 90% solved problem (fly a Gila) and they have had to make the rewards worthwhile to keep people running them.  All those muliplasmids to modify ship modules keep a lot of players going back to get the one that will give them the right MWD or stasis webifier or hardener for a fit they have in mind.

But I still find Abyssal pockets boring.  In the end it is the same thing over and over and some variation in foes barely qualifies as interesting unless I get a bad draw and die.  And then it is annoyingly expensive.

I have yet to hear a viable idea from anybody that would make PvE more interesting in New Eden.  But I think that says more about the nature of PvE in general than anything about us or CCP.  There might be an idea out there, and maybe it will find the right ear some day.  But for now, just saying “better PvE” isn’t very helpful and the suggestions that come with it generally involve making it harder or making people go through more hoops, neither of which really meet the “better” bar.

Honorable mentions

Those are my five.  But those are not the only ones that rattle around, so I have a few honorable mentions that I want to tack onto the end of this post.

Things Were Better When…

This is the person who doesn’t want a new server, they just want CCP to roll back to some past feature state that was “more fun” for very specific definitions of the term.  They want it in the current game, and it can be anything from removing “warp to 0” to going back to Dominion sovereignty to giving titans AOE doomsday weapons that can blow up a whole subcap fleet in another system through a cyno… again.

The problem is that, for the most part, much of what has changed over the years has been changed for a reason.  We bitch about Aegis sovereignty, but we bitched about Dominion sovereignty before that, and people certainly bitched about the tower/moon sovereignty system that came before Dominion.

In the end, even if CCP went back and changed the sov system back or removed warp to 0, it wouldn’t recreate the game and the fun times you were having back when they were a thing.  Dunk Dinkle likes to say “nostalgia is a trap.”  As somebody who likes to remember the good times, I take umbrage with that at times.  We can’t ignore the past because all we are is what the past has made us up until this very moment.  But when we gaze too far abroad with our rose colored glasses or think that doing something we did ten or fifteen years ago will do more than just rekindle some fond memories, then I have to agree with Dunk.  I want to be young again too, but removing “warp to 0” won’t get me there.

Subscriptions only

This is a specific subset of the “Things were better when…” crowd who would like to roll back skill injectors, PLEX, and free to play.  All of these are viewed as bad to various degrees… though we have had PLEX in the game for well over half the life of the game at this point.  The first big PLEX loss was back in late 2010.

This just isn’t going to happen.  It probably can’t happen and keep the game being developed at its current pace.  I have been down this path before, but to put it simply, the price of a subscription remains locked in 2003 while the price of everything else has gone up over the last 19 years.

Also, people playing EVE Online… that peaked in 2013, before either free to play or skill injectors showed up, so there is scant chance that going subscription only will end up in any scenario besides “EVE Online now makes much less money.”

Yes, I hate the cash shop mentality of MMOs.  I just want to pay my flat fee and play the game.  But the reality is most everything now has some sort of free option, so demanding cash up front just limits your options as a game.  That is just the reality of the market now.

Breaking up corps and alliances

This is the go to solution for people who don’t like null sec or who are trying to solve the “n+1” problem of sovereignty warfare.  Are null sec battles growing too large for the servers?  Are big null sec alliances keeping you and you five friends from holding space?  Then just put a cap on corp or alliance sizes!  That will put everybody on an even playing field!

The suggestion rarely include a number at which organizations should be capped, just that 30K Goons is too many Goons and we need to put a stop to that right now.  But that doesn’t really matter as there is no correct answer.

Let us say that CCP picks 1,000 as the cap for an alliance or corp or combination thereof.  What happens next?  Two things.

First, we go back to the bad old days when null sec groups were very selective of members.  I know there are some who long for those days, the era of the small, elite PvP groups holding vast areas of space.  But organizations like Brave, Pandemic Horde, or KarmaFleet, which have been highways into null sec for new players, they dry up and die.  Everything goes back to needing to justify why you get a spot in an alliance rather than one of the CEO’s alts.

Second, we find out it doesn’t change much.  Unless CCP also disallows standings, EVE Online players have shown that they can create meta organizations that exist outside of the structure of the game.  There is no in-game mechanism specifically for coalitions, yet they exist and have existed for as long as null sec has been a thing.

The limit just ends up turning the null sec clock back to 2011 or so when small groups ran big rental empires and formed coalitions to defend their holdings.  As we have seen elsewhere in the game, when CCP enforces scarcity, players change their behavior in predictable ways.  Well, predictable to most people besides CCP.

Banning people you don’t like

This seems to be the knee jerk reaction to many issues in EVE Online, that CCP just needs to ban more people.  Botters (which is anybody who repeats a game play loop in a game with a lot of repetitive game play loops), gankers, cheaters, scammers, exploiters, bumpers, whales, ratters, miners, Alpha clones, people with more than n accounts, scary wormhole people, under cutters, specific nationalities, play styles you don’t like, Goons… there was practically a “Ban Goons” subculture at one point in the game… and mean people in general. Basically, whatever is annoying you, CCP should just ban them.

Here’s the thing… somebody probably wants to ban you and whatever you are doing as well.  Also, CCP would like to stay in business and have a viable video game that pays the salaries and keeps the servers running and up to date.  While the EULA and terms of service give CCP the right to ban your ass for anything they want, becoming the game that bans people is a good way to become a game mentioned in the history of MMOs rather than in the current stable of running MMOs.

Player made SKINs

This comes up every time somebody posts a pretty JPEG of a ship they colored up themselves.  Somebody will see this and declare that CCP should allow players to make ship SKINs.  And, superficially, this seems like a good idea.  More SKINs in the store, the better, right?  And many of us like pretty SKINs… or at least SKINs with obnoxiously bright colors.  And CCP at least strongly implied that we would be able to make SKINs back in 2016.

This falls apart on a couple fronts.

For openers, being able to make what looks like a nice SKIN on you PC isn’t likely to be at all comparable to what it takes to make one usable in the game.  There are probably a dozen players out there with the skill, knowledge, and motivation to make decent SKINs, but they still don’t have the tools that the CCP art team has in order to make something usable by the game.  Those are, no doubt, in-house developed tools and not suitable for distribution outside of their environment.

Second, dealing with user made content is a lot more work than you think.  There is a reason that companies that try to leverage user made content either shut it down eventually (Cryptic, Daybreak) or just give up any attempts at moderation (Roblox).

The thought that comes up a lot is that CCP could just let the community vote on SKINs.  But have you met us?  Enough people would upvote penis SKINs to make this completely unviable.  Also, it assumes that SKINs are like mods, and that the whole thing could be treated like Steam’s Workshop, with little or no supervision.  This is completely wrong.

That brings me to the next issue, which is that SKINs are part of the game.  They are in the build, part of the client, and nothing at all like a player mod.  That means CCP would need to spend a lot of time vetting every submission, testing it thoroughly and examining it for hidden images, words, and penises, because once it is in the game it gets pushed out and placed on every system that has the game installed.

Which brings me to the final point on this, which is whether or not all the work would be worth it.  I don’t think it would.  The hubris in this is that players would automatically make cooler, more popular, better selling SKINs than the CCP art team.  The reality of user created content is that 99% of it is garbage.  Game mods and things like Steam Workshop let people experiment and get better, but that allows players to opt-in.  But putting something in the game that everybody will see, that is a step well beyond.

And, in the end, I am not sure more SKINs are better anyway.  The in-game store is already a pain to use… something it shares with online storefronts every where, which pretty much require you to know what you want because simply browsing is an awful experience… so fewer, high quality SKINs seems to be the reasonable plan that CCP is trying to follow.  It is probably no coincidence that the best SKINs are the ones on a few hulls while the ones that try to cover a whole faction or every ship in the game tend to be a bit “meh.” (The Biosecurity Responder SKINs are the exception there.)

Anyway, that is a lot of words.  I guess this could have been “Ten Bad EVE Online Ideas” rather than five, since I just kept on going with the honorable mentions.  But the first five are really “never go there” ideas that CCP might consider, while the latter five I think we’re pretty safe from.

And I didn’t even get into blockchain, crypto, and NFTs.  Those are bad ideas as well, but I am waiting for Pearl Abyss to tell CCP to do them before I jump back on that thread.

21 thoughts on “Five Bad EVE Online Ideas that will Never Die

  1. yadot

    A great article that should be revisited every 5 years or so to confirm nothing on the list has changed – doubt that will be editorially taxing given the zombiness of the list.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Yadot – Looking at the revision history of this post, I started writing it in November and have kept updating in bursts every few weeks, which I am going to bet corresponds each time with some thread in /r/eve where somebody is demanding one of the things I have listed. (Another “classic server” thread got me to finish it this past weekend.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. zaphod6502

    Eve is one game I was glad to see the back of and I will never return to it. It took me quite a long time to realise it was feeding my bouts of depression and my obsessive compulsive disorder at a very bad time of my life. That is not to say it is a bad game or people should not play it but it definitely is not for me.

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  4. PCRedbeard

    I dream of an experiment where CCP mocks up a slightly different UI and tells an experimental audience that EVE is a single player game with advanced AI based on real world behavior in order to see if the anger is the same when your hauler gets blown up by a gang of suicide Catalysts if you believe them to be NPCs.

    I can answer this one: the “advanced AI” won’t piss people off nearly as much because people believe humans are superior to any AI created (at the moment). And given people’s collective history with video games (you know, bugs bugs and more bugs), it’s hard to argue that point. Eventually, however, the anger will build when people realize that they can’t “beat” the AI like in most other games.

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  5. Higgs

    I would totally return to EVE if there was a new server with a PVE ruleset. Id mine myself up to a shiny battleship and head out to fight off some pve factions.

    Im sure its possible to make regions into “risky” pve encounter s with some requiring group/guilds

    CCP, take my $

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  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @PCRedbeard – It would, by necessity, have to be a short term experiment. But yes, people get livid when another player blows them up. The word “sociopath” gets thrown around a lot by people who wander into low sec to mine only to be blown up. But an NPC kills them and they try to figure out what went wrong.

    @Higgs – Unfortunately, CCP’s own data shows that people who PvE only in the game get bored and leave in about six months. And the market would completely tank. It would be the WoW blue silk hood problem all over again. Loss is what drives the economy and keeps the people who want to play the industrial PvE game in business, and only PvP produces enough losses.

    Literally everybody who proposes anything I have railed against in this post thinks these ideas will make CCP more money. But they won’t… not without basically making a completely different game. And if CCP had the talent and resources to do that, they would. But all they have is EVE.

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  7. kiantremayne

    Better PvE is easy. The game needs to add instanced group wormholes that you can only enter as part of a group of 5 ships, and it contains boss ships that drop the best loot in the game. With enough of this best loot you can progress to Heroic, Mythic and Mythic+ wormholes with even betterer than best loot. Maybe even add mega instanced wormholes that allow more players and drop the absolutely betterist loot there is!

    This will satisfy and attract the millions of players who have quit WoW because WoW sucks, and haven’t found another game they enjoy because they aren’t enough like WoW.

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  8. Nogamara

    The only thing I vehemently disagree is a small part of the “HighSec should be secure”. I don’t think HighSec should be secure, but certain things are just bullshit, e.g. new players hauling stuff (e.g. Ore) in T1 industrials. It’s not expensive enough to pay someone (if you even know how that works), it’s killing the fun in the game if you follow the “recommendations” to maybe only put 50m in Iteron per trip, and so on. Ganking those with a 1m Catalyst is just too easy, but my problem is that the consequences are laughable. This is still my number one complaint – even during the war I felt safer moving stuff through NullSec than I did in HighSec near Jita when I was new, and that is bad game design to me.

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  9. Informer

    Almost all changes-to-Eve talk is fantasyland scenarios designed to 1) make Eve more like the speaker’s favorite game, 2) pretend that hardcore pvp games can somehow be mass market, and not the miniscule slice of the gaming market they are, if only they would just do this and that.

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  10. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Kiantremayne – EVE actually has PvE raiding in the form of incursions, which has a fairly active following. It is open world, not in an instance, but pays out fairly well.

    And EVE has instanced content in the form of Abyssal pockets, which you can run as a group, and which has drops with a random chance to convert/mutate standard ship modules into some of the best modules in the game (or the worst, if the RNG goes against you) so it is part way there I guess.

    @Nogamara – There is room to tinker with ganking, but the moment you make something completely safe it will get exploited to hell and back. While I pity the poor noob in the T1 hauler… I got ganked in one back in the day, which is generally how people learn that suicide ganking is even a thing… if you made them too safe or the consequences too dear, then they would become the most popular hauler in space. It is better than it was (Remember when you got and insurance payout if CONCORD killed you?) there is still room to fiddle with it.

    @Informer – There is a constant and loud minority in every PvE game that believes that an MMO can only be truly great if it has unlimited PvP. They haunt every MMO forum I have ever visited, and they excuse every past failure on poor execution and not the fact that PvP just isn’t that popular with most players. I have said before that EVE Online might be the most successful PvP MMORPG in the west so far, and it peaked about where EverQuest did in population.

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  11. TurAmarth

    “…required CCP to essentially build a new game within EVE Online to accommodate avatar play. That adds up to making things worse or development time spent away from the core of the game.”

    So? Maybe say instead, “Damn, it would be great if CCP would create something REALLY New to the game, like FPS gameplay?” and yes, that does mean spending time and money on developing FPS gameplay… as NEW CORE GAMEPLAY.

    Instead of you know… just crapping all over an idea that you just don’t like. An idea that would grow the game for the first time in YEARS… possibly bring in a whole new playerbase… and a new income stream… But no, that would be such a bad idea for a game that is stagnating as fast as EVE.

    On the other hand you are correct in that CCP doesn’t want to try and play “catch up” with CIG…
    I mean, look what happened to FD when they tried?

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  12. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @TurAmarth – Thank you for bringing up Star Citizen, because that is exactly the shambolic alpha development garbage heap, long on promises and short on delivery, that CCP should avoid becoming. Throwing every crappy idea that comes up into the mix is… well, that is Star Citizen.

    Design is as much knowing what to leave out as what to include. Promising everything isn’t design, it is a diversion, an attempt to con the audience with new shinies.

    There are dozens of FPS games that are fine by themselves (Squadron 42, years late now, isn’t on that list and likely never will be) and duct taping one onto EVE Online wouldn’t make either better games. It would most assuredly not attract a new player base, while neglecting the current core of the game would alienate the current player base even more so.

    If you had an actual real world example of an MMORPG making a radical play style change years after launch and actually attracting a larger player base, I’d give you comment some weight. But the example doesn’t exist.

    You can dislike EVE Online. That is a sizable club. But saying that changing the game to meet your whims would improve it is hubris in the extreme. I’m not crapping on ideas, I have evidence to back up my statements. You’re crapping on the core of the current game with bad ideas.

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  14. Solf

    While I generally agree with your points (insomuch as as someone who has very limited experience with Eve can have an opinion), I think there are a couple of places where if felt to me like you took a strange tack.

    “Things Were Better When…” reads to me as if you’re very dismissive of the idea that people can, in fact, prefer an older version of the thing compared to whatever it has become now. Didn’t WoW Classic prove pretty conclusively that there can be, in fact, many such people?

    That’s not to say that having second ‘Classic Eve’ server would be in any way tenable, but it doesn’t need to mean that there’s no actual, real interest in that?

    “Player made SKINs” thing… while you might well be right again about the issues are you describing, I think there also may be an actual ‘need’ that Eve fails to meet and which it possibly could — that of being able to customize your appearance. Think avatar customization, equipment change and equipment transmog in ‘traditional’ MMOs. I do honestly the ability to customize appearance is potentially a big draw for some and a minor draw for many.

    How much such a thing could help retention I couldn’t say, but I think it’s probably wouldn’t be a literal zero effect.

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  15. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Solf – On your first point I get what you are saying and see the clear parallel, especially as somebody who likes WoW Classic better than retail WoW. There are a couple of tough issues to deal with though.

    If you accept that EVE Online requires a critical mass of players to support the in-game economy and that you thus cannot just roll up a bunch of special rules servers the way you can with WoW or EverQuest or any other standard fantasy MMORPG that can support a server that has a 2K player cap on it, then that means that any “things were better when…” really has to be something that was better for everybody in the game.

    So, “warp to zero,” which I mentioned, was something added back in late 2006. Before that, if you warped to a jump gate to go to another system you landed 15km off the gate and had to slowly travel to the gate that last bit. That left you hugely exposed to attack in low and null sec space. People who want easy kills on gate camps want that back, most other people do not. It also made travel across the game, which is already slow, take a lot longer. (Also, there was a complex way to work around it with bookmarks, so it was basically a way to kill new players.)

    Less extreme are Upwell structures, the player deployed space stations. There is a legitimate argument they have caused a bunch of unintended issues with the game. But the argument that we should just go back to the POS/NPC station mechanics that they replaced also means going back to the problems they had, that people complained about before Upwell structures. Are old problems better than new problems?

    And that leaves out the reality that more complex features, like POS based moon mining, can’t just be put back into the game without rolling back to code that is now several years gone and would need to replace code that is integrated into other changes. CCP could probably do simple things like reverting out “warp to 0” without much issue, but a complex game with interconnected systems means you cannot just go grab some five year old code and drop it in like it was an oil filter on a car. It is probably more practical to try and fix the current problems than to go back to old problems that bring along a whole slew of new problems due to integration issues.

    Finally, the thing that appeals to a lot of people about classic servers is running old content in the original environmental conditions, with old gear, old class builds, and old obstacles like slower leveling and such. That isn’t completely different in EVE, but it isn’t very close to the same either. Going back to Dominion sovereignty mechanics, as a null sec example, would include some “good old days” aspects to it, but it wouldn’t make the game classic because of every other change that has come along since 2015.

    In short, it isn’t always easy to go back and CCP would have to pick things that appealed to more than just one die hard sliver of the community… and with all the play styles there are in the game, finding something to roll back with broad appeals isn’t necessarily a slam dunk because everybody has to live with it.

    As for the SKINs thing, I am not against it. You can find posts here with me asking for SKINs, complaining about boring SKINs, wanting structure SKINs and corp logos, and all sorts of customization. Every time I get into this on Reddit somebody tells me I just don’t like/want SKINs and they are completely wrong. I can just see how CCP has implemented SKINs and have a sense of how badly people misjudge how they work when they compare them to mods on Steam and think everybody should be able to upload all the ship SKINs they want.

    And that leaves aside the number of people who do not like SKINs. Every discussion features somebody who pops in to say they are a waste of time and CCP should work on something more useful.

    Could CCP design and implement a new system that allowed players to upload SKINs to their local client and make SKIN sets and whatever? Yes, I have no doubt. I linked to a post above where CCP hinted that they might even make player made SKINs a thing.

    Is that a good use of developer time, both in light of other things they could be working on and as something that would enhance revenue? I don’t know. I suspect not, and if I were making a priority list of features it would be way down the list. That CCP hasn’t gone back to the player made SKIN idea and studiously ignores such requests makes me think that they know something that will keep them away from it.

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  16. Solf

    Possibly I didn’t express this strongly enough in my original comment — I’m not disagreeing with your conclusions (particularly about ‘Classic Eve’ being realistically a non-starter because of the single server / population issues).

    I just wanted to point out that the justifications you used seemed strange and I’d possibly even go as far as to say ‘wrong’ — or at least that’s the way it reads to me — given what happened with WoW Classic I think it’s very risky to say “You think you do, but you don’t” :D

    And apologies if I’m just mis-reading what you wrote, but that section really felt dismissive of the idea that ‘good old’ can indeed be sometimes better (for some people) that ‘today’.

    P.S. FWIW — I briefly played Eve before the ‘warp to 0’, I did the bookmarks things, I know what this particular thing is about :) Never played it after ‘warp to 0’, so don’t have any opinion as to how that affected PVP / suicide ganking.

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  17. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Solf – Yes, but as I noted, you can do WoW Classic without having to revert WoW for everybody, so the argument doesn’t cut identically.

    Telling me I can’t have vanilla WoW when Blizz could roll up a server and telling me I can’t have AOE doomsday or moon tower sovereignty again in EVE, which would have to be inflicted on the entire game, are VERY different things. There are people who did not like classic WoW and stayed with retail. With EVE there is no such luxury, so the “things were better when…” suggestions that are of very narrowly focused in benefit for a small group of people and a giant pain for everybody else shouldn’t be considered.

    Or, if you want to take another tack, even in light of “You think you do, but you don’t” there were still things in early WoW that were bad or broken that we probably wouldn’t want back. Captain Placeholder was cute, but that isn’t a feature we need to recreate the vanilla experience. There are objectively bad features in games, and the ones I referenced in the post, warp to 0 and AOE doomsdays, were very much in that category. Things were objectively better without them.

    Given the above, I think a default “no” to every “things were better when we couldn’t group weapons” or like request isn’t in the same league. The argument I am making, though it might not be clear, is more along the lines of being against arguments of “things were better when this extremely bad feature existed, which was later replaced by CCP to almost universal acclaim.”

    And, for the record, I would go back to Dominion sov mechanics in a heart beat, one of the things I mentioned in the post. But I also know that rolling back to that would be extremely problematic seven years down the road, would pull devs off of more important tasks, and honestly wouldn’t make any critical issue in the game better. So we live with Aegis sov, which CCP will never change because null sec has used up their complaint credits on sovereignty mechanics by complaining about them all.

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  18. T'amber (caldariprimeponyclub)

    Just want to touch on the one topic that I can comment on, which is skins.

    I started to write up a big wall of text but then realised I probably should write a paper on it as some of the topics and arguments you and others bring up about them (like the idea of player made skins, tools to make them) can be managed to a degree (penises, quality control).

    > being able to make what looks like a nice SKIN on you PC isn’t likely to be at all comparable to what it takes to make one usable in the game.
    > but they still don’t have the tools that the CCP art team has in order to make something usable by the game. Those are, no doubt, in-house developed tools and not suitable for distribution outside of their environment.

    While both of these are definately true for most people, the information you need to make ccp compatible skins is available for anyone who has the time and will to do so. The only parts of the equation we can’t (and shouldn’t) do anything about are the database requirements and graphics related publishing required to make them work.

    The spaceobjectfactory (which is the source of data used to create skins) is relatively straight forward and while it has some intentional limits it is well suited for player made skins and requires relatively low storage per skin range – assuming you stick to its format, aren’t adding new geometry, and modifying base textures was limited or not allowed.

    ~90-95% of the skins I post to reddit are CCP compatible (even the avatar with cat ears) as I use the spaceobjectfactory, its data structures, and mostly use client resources to make them.

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  19. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @T’amber (caldariprimeponyclub) – Fair points, and when I allowed that there was a small number out there with the skill and ability to create SKINs, you were very much in mind based on what I have seen you post to /r/eve.

    But I think you underestimate the effort that CCP would believe they would need to put into vetting player created assets being introduced into the game. The SKIN section of the post was primarily aimed at people who can’t seem to tell the difference between external mods and in-game assets… and I have had that argument a few times on Reddit… but CCP still has to balance what your SKINs would add to the game versus how much effort they would have to invest into vetting all submissions. The economics of it likely don’t work out. But, then again, since I wrote this, Hilmar told us they are shooting to have 150 people working on the game, so maybe it could be somebody’s job… for as long as they stay at least. My examples from other studios died when the person who made these ventures their personal projects… often on their own time… left the company in question.

    I think the most likely way to get SKINs like yours into the game would be for you to establish a personal and direct relationship with somebody at CCP who would vet your work and champion the idea of them becoming assets in the game. That route might establish the trust necessary.

    But I have a very hard time seeing CCP ever having some sort of general, open to the public route for submitting SKINs for inclusion unless they were to rework them to become mods that were local to individual client machines.

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