Eve Online: Some Radical Ideas

Moomin Amatin 2018-12-06

Art by Empanada

Historically, there has been a steady flow of “ideas” to improve Eve Online. Some are not completely terrible, but these are probably outnumbered by the less good ideas. Often the ideas are put forward to address the perception of an issue by either an individual or collection of players. Think of things like, “I want this change as it allows me to have a better game experience for the things I like doing,” or “my enemies use this thing that I feel gives them an unfair advantage as I do not do it.” All too often these types of ideas are short on vision and fail to take into consideration the long term effects of such ideas being implemented.

Stop with the Micro-changes

A good example of this would be with the cries for nerfing Rorquals. This has been put forward forcibly as a proposed change to counter groups that have utilized such tools effectively. In this instance, it has been directed at removing industrial might from entities such as The Imperium. Initially you may think, “Hey that’s a good idea as The Imperium is too powerful when it comes to industry.” But once you start to unfold how such a change may play out, things become a little more complicated.

Aryth loves to be right and to be seen as right. Time and again he has said, “Yeah, nerf Rorquals as it only helps The Imperium further.” In this he’s not wrong. For alliances with less industrial might, such a change to Rorquals would only serve to further the gap between those who have and those who have not.

There are other ideas that propose the depletion of resources in a region over time. Again this may seem initially not to be not a completely bad idea. But just as with the Rorqual nerf, it would benefit organizations such as The Imperium far more than other coalitions or alliances, because groups such as The Imperium have a level of organization and capability that scales far better than smaller groups. Further, The Imperium has already developed tactics and logistics that enable them to be more mobile when it comes to mining precious moons, evidenced by the creation of The Imperium’s Locust Fleet. Locust Fleet is where miners will travel to a region in order to clear up all the fracked moons that have been timed specifically for such a fleet. But before you get any ideas about attacking these defenseless miners you should know that they are far from toothless. Not only are the miners present in great numbers but so is the capital fleet that moves to support such an operation. Any group wishing to interfere with the mining event would have to take that into consideration.

The same goes for the pearl-clutching with regards to capital proliferation. The number of capitals is just too damned high, according to some. Once again, when this is picked apart what is the real solution? Just remove all capital class ships? Perhaps to just magically introduce additional training requirements? N + 1 is a thing that will always be a thing. The Zerg rush is a formidable tactic regardless of the ship type used. The odd thing about this request for less capitals is that there are more capitals dying than at any time previously in the game.

For every good idea there are many that have seen far less thought go into them. Some of these try to address the brain fart that someone has had with how Eve Online should be played. With each of these ideas we can find that they obfuscate real issues and take away precious time from activities that are healthier for the game population as a whole. One good example of this was with the War Dec mechanics. It would seem that many players were put off from continuing to play the game due to such mechanics. This is generally agreed upon by the vast majority of players and by CCP themselves. So why has it taken so long for such an obvious issue to be addressed? Could it be due to time being used up on less impacting ideas continually being thrown at CCP?

Seek Sweeping Changes

Often the ideas proposed deal with the micro rather than the macro. Changes are proposed that deal with perceived problems that relate to a very narrow aspect of Eve. But perhaps it is more useful to the game as a whole to look at the macro elements. So what are some macro elements that would be difficult to argue against?

It would be hard to argue, I hope, the following points that would be good for the game as a whole.

Diplomacy is a pox for us all. In-game mechanics in no way address the fact that out of game relationships can be formed. The big battles of Eve have consistently proven to be a great advertising tool for CCP and very meaningful to players as a whole. The “bluetral” syndrome is all too evident over recent years. Just set in game settings to have good friends as neutrals but to know that you will not shoot each other as there are no consequences to doing so.

Logging in is also good for the game. The greater the population, then the greater the opportunity for conflict. Also, the more people, the more opportunities for socializing are present.

The previous idea allows for CCP to actually make money. Running the game and continuing to develop it require money. This is more so the case for a commercial entity as the investors are looking for a return on their investment.

With all of that in mind and to act as a counter point to the very good article by Bill McDonough (PvP Lifestyle), I have some suggestions of my own. By all means feel free to pop these in the trash with the numerous terrible ideas proposed by others.

  1. Halve all space. This would increase player density within the remaining systems. The more dense the population then the greater opportunities for interaction: namely, conflict.
  2. Nerf diplomacy and nerf it really hard. If Alliance A keeps turning up to shoot the same thing as Alliance B, then penalize them in-game. If a group has too many allies, then take something from them. Reduce bounty payouts or deplete resources, for example.
  3. Loss of skill points from not logging in. Not wanting to hurt those who have real life commitments, I would also propose a mechanic for evading this. Perhaps a micro-transaction to prevent such loss of valuable skill points.

I hope you have enjoyed my terrible ideas. Perhaps they will also form the basis for my campaign to run for the next CSM. Who knows?

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Comments

  • Why stop at logging in? Just logging in doesn’t generate conflict, people need to undock. So how about CCP makes the skill point counter go faster if you’re undocked and untethered in space.

    December 6, 2018 at 3:29 pm
    • I like this better than the no login = loss of skillpoints idea. People need to take breaks, I think there would be irl consequences for that with some of the more stressed out amongst us.

      December 6, 2018 at 6:21 pm
    • Guilford Australis Wilhelm Arcturus

      I think the idea would die under too much scrutiny. It would principally benefit the full-time krabs who run Havens and Sanctums 16 hours a day (botters, also). Do we really think that’s the kind of player who should get the biggest reward for engagement?

      December 6, 2018 at 6:43 pm
    • Alaric Faelen Wilhelm Arcturus

      Log in incentives are the sure sign of a weak game. Rather than offer a ribbon for showing up, make the game compelling so people WANT to log in, rather than HAVE to log in for some reward.

      This is a critical issue with Eve. People tend to fall into one or maybe two things to do and ignore the entire rest of the game. If they aren’t doing that one thing, or get bored with it, they don’t log in to do something else.

      If people were rewarded for being in space, then bots would be even more dominant. Don’t reward AFKers and cloaky campers. Those are areas Eve needs to reduce, not reward.

      December 6, 2018 at 9:01 pm
      • Carvj94 Alaric Faelen

        While I agree with you for the most part. I think login rewards in the form of Omega time or other account specific temporary boosts would be a good incentive to put in to give free to play players a better taste of real Eve

        December 7, 2018 at 6:17 am
  • Roudin

    I think I’d officially win Eve if those were the changes made.

    December 6, 2018 at 3:38 pm
    • Moomin Amatin Roudin

      Please accept my most sincere apologies as I have failed many of you as a writer.

      For many of the commentators here the main point of my piece seems to have been missed. I wanted to convey the importance of macro changes over micro changes, and for those proposed to be thoughtfully considered and not just a knee-jerk reaction.

      The “ideas” I proposed were simply supposed to act to show that anyone can have bad ideas and that they require very little thought, if any. I assure you that I spent almost no time on them at all. This is why I specifically said that my ideas were “terrible” and could be “thrown into the trash”.

      I would be grateful if guidance could be offered as to how I may prevent such confusion occurring in my future pieces. I look forward to any suggestions put my way.

      December 8, 2018 at 8:10 pm
  • Alaric Faelen

    1) I almost agree on halving the size of the map. I always say that Eve doesn’t need more space, it needs to better use the space it already has. However, there needs to be room for expansion as well.
    One problem with constant conflict is that it limits the scope of the sand box. War makes the headlines, but peace creates the ability to have those wars in the first place. With peace, we see how far the economic model in a sand box can be pushed. We see how infrastructure and future planning can shape the meta.

    The problem of both constant war as well as simply limiting the size of alliances is that it puts a hard cap on the possibilities contained in a sand box.

    2) Same problem as 1. Artificial limits and such are the opposite of sandbox and won’t work anyway considering the important decisions, deals, and handshakes are made outside the game itself.

    Besides– the overarching theme of Eve is to leave the NPC empires and create your own in the vast untamed void. Why is it, now that we have actually done that, it is considered a bad thing? We are challenged to create empires then self-loathe having achieved it.

    3) Messing with SP is pointless and would serve no benefit. Since injectors became a thing, SP is pretty much meaningless. It instantly devalued older characters and ruined the classic RPG draw of building up a character over time. Characters are just commodities now.

    Just logging in is a useless metric. Players need to ENGAGE the game. But that can be done in so many ways how do you decide what makes that list? Again, these kinds of ideas might work in theme park games, but in a sandbox, they fail to address all the possible scenarios (and exploits).
    Stop messing with SP. Nothing useful or game play related comes of it.

    December 6, 2018 at 3:49 pm
    • Carvj94 Alaric Faelen

      Also too add onto problems with number 1 is the trillions of isk in infrastructure that we’d need to do something with. For things like claimed space who loses their territory? And for things like upwell structures. Would they just get teleported into what systems are left even if that happens to only be a nearby enemy who got to keep their territory? Number 3 is just silly as we all can agree. No MMO has ever or will ever punish players for not logging in. A player who’s had to work overtime for weeks will just stop playing if he comes back and lost progress for real life coming first.

      December 7, 2018 at 6:11 am
  • Guilford Australis

    I am also amused that the crusty Tryhards of EVE pretend to advocate policies that would undermine their own playstyle. The same people complaining that Goonswarm is too strong, with too many Rorquals and ratting Supers, spend a great deal of time figuring out ways to kill those Rorquals and Supers. Their playstyle *depends* on those assets being widely available and relatively affordable, which creates plentiful targets for them and fosters complacency in those targets. Likewise, the pirates and gate-campers insisting CCP strip nullification from ALL interceptors would have 75% less traffic through their camps if their posturing was actually implemented – and they’d catch 75% fewer ships with their smartbombing Machariels and sensor boosting Stilettos. I think these are both examples of the kind of special pleading Moomin criticizes.

    Related to the ideas in the article – I’m fine with fiddling around with alliance and participation mechanics, but I can’t agree with halving the map. Part of the appeal of playing EVE and building empires in conquerable space is the sheer scale of it. I’m not sure I’d play EVE if it was more like a MOBA and less like the vast, open-world sandbox game that originally captured my imagination.

    December 6, 2018 at 5:18 pm
  • Gray Doc

    I would rather reward players for logging in than punish them for not logging in. Why use a stick when a carrot will do? You could also make users “earn” the bonus reward by doing something like increasing a level on some activity tracker category.

    December 6, 2018 at 7:16 pm
  • joe bloggs

    punish players for not logging in??? really bad idea !!

    December 6, 2018 at 8:00 pm
    • Moomin Amatin joe bloggs

      You are right, they were bad ideas. That was the point of the piece. Sorry.

      December 8, 2018 at 8:10 pm
  • Alot

    I agree completely with the micro vs macro changes thing, I’d point out though that it’s awkward for a player to propose such sweeping changes while actually claiming to know what he’s talking about. A player can easily say make “A” stronger vs “B” if he’s destroyed hundreds of “A”s with his “B”. The proposal to introduce “C” to balance the interaction between “A” and “B” is something only devs can scope – with the aid of internal info and constraints no less.

    This is why I’m really looking forward to eve mobile (which I like to call eve immortal ^^). It’s a chance to literally start fresh which means a rare chance to try new things without extreme backlash – besides the fact it actually exists.

    December 7, 2018 at 10:54 am
    • Moomin Amatin Alot

      Thank you very much for spotting the micro vs macro bit, you have warmed my heart. 🙂

      December 8, 2018 at 8:13 pm
  • Sylphinja the Dark Rose

    Pretty sure you forgot to mentipn one idea that 90% of EVE doesn’t need, but NRDS community does = increase number of standings slots. 1300 is way too few.

    December 7, 2018 at 12:42 pm
  • CK

    1. Halve space? No. Double it and don’t increase jump ranges. Seed what can’t be built everywhere and let conflict happen organically. Create alchemy for fuel so you really can try to hide in the coral till you’re big enough to outrun the sharks. Never in the history of Eve have players had more ability to truly create and build their empires. Give the little fish room to grow. Make expeditions into enemy territory take real planning. Figure out ways to make you decide if you want your empire to be wide or deep. Both should be viable choices.

    2. Nerfing diplomacy is unnecessary when you have more space to deal with. I have no idea how to implement it, but binding contracts for standings, access, etc could make a richer environment by increasing the ability of in-game diplomacy. Add to that the ability to sever the contract early and define the penalties for doing so.

    3. That is seriously the worst idea on this list. Never punish your customers.

    December 7, 2018 at 1:29 pm
    • Guilford Australis CK

      Number 1 raises a good point oft overlooked by the mega-coalitions. They complain there’s too much space, which supposedly dilutes the potential for conflict, but the small alliances consistently say there’s not enough space for them to be able to find a place to settle down and grow without getting steamrolled just for the hell of it by a neighboring coalition. If the map was large enough to make an invasion a truly serious commitment – not merely a day trip, but a couple days of travel in each direction – few coalitions would bother to evict the small, independent alliances from the far-off corners of New Eden. That would be an appealing feature for many, many small alliances and might actually tempt some entities within the mega-coalitions to splinter off and contribute to new conflicts in EVE. It would allow small alliances to live near and fight other small alliances rather than continually running away from encroaching mega-coalitions or being forced into rental/defense contracts by the same.

      December 7, 2018 at 6:57 pm
  • Punky260

    Why talk so long about bad ideas and then proposing the worst of them all?

    “punish” allianes for making friends? That is probably even worse then removing capitals 😀

    December 7, 2018 at 2:38 pm
    • Moomin Amatin Punky260

      It was to show how easy it is to suggest them and the effort required in responding to them. I did say they were bad, you saw that bit yes?

      December 8, 2018 at 8:12 pm
  • Alexandre Vivo Rodrigues

    Number 2 mechanic seems interesting, but I wouldn’t nerf diplomacy. I would do something like the mechanics in RTS games. The larger the alliance, and the more it produces, the less the yield of mining and bounty payments. It actually makes sense from a lore point of view, as Concord would probably pay less for a system with intense rating activity (i.e. too many criminals captured/destroyed) and pay larger bounties for systems where criminal activity is higher. Damn, it would even make more sense as to forcing people to use non-dead en systems, where bounties would be higher.
    Same goes for mining. Systems with less mining activity should have richer ores compared to overmined systems and moons.
    Furthermore, larger alliances/coalitions should have higher taxes, as a bureaucracy cost. This wouldn’t prevent people from building large groups, but would force them to have active players and foster the creation of smaller groups (which obviously should have a lower bureaucracy cost)

    December 7, 2018 at 3:10 pm
  • Lrrp

    I’m not sure why such things as nerfing Rorqs. should be aimed at goons as some sort of punishment when goons have played by the rules and built themselves up over time. I start back in 2005 and can remember when goons first appeared on the scene. Back the the juggernaut was BoB and everyone thought they were invincible. They weren’t and neither are goons as exemplified by them, goons, being being kicked out of Deklen.

    So are the invaders like NC. now complaining that goons are too industrially powerful? Why? Did not NC. have every opportunity to become equally powerful? They did but I suspect NC. and their blue donut didn’t and doesn’t still, have the people with the leadership and organizational skills the goons do. So complain all you want about goons, the Imperium is set up with strong leaders and organizers with the fore-site to know the base of power lies in industry. The Japanese did not see this in WW2 and obviously the northern coalition does not set it either or they would have become a powerhouse themselves instead of using proxies to bring about nerfs that they mistakenly think will only hurt the Imperium.

    December 7, 2018 at 5:14 pm
    • Arrendis Lrrp

      Minor quibble: Japan absolutely saw this in WWII. That’s why they opened the war against the United States the way they did: Yamamoto knew they needed a decisive blow that would knock the US out of the war from the start. He wanted the American carriers, but they weren’t there. His ‘sleeping giant’ quote is often cited, but he also told the Japanese Prime Minister:

      “In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.”

      December 8, 2018 at 3:37 am
      • Lrrp Arrendis

        yes, I agree some in japans leadership saw the potential but not all. They were mistaken even if they thought knocking out our carriers at Pearl was a way to win the war, still would not of made much difference. For proof I still cite our industrial capacity. At the start of WW2 we had 7 aircraft carriers in the fleet. By 1945 we had 36. The number is staggering when you think about it. Then there are the battleships, submarines, cruisers, destroyers and troop transports. You cannot win a war against production like that.

        December 8, 2018 at 3:17 pm
        • Arrendis Lrrp

          Yup, and Yamamoto knew it. That’s why he held that Japan’s only hope for victory if they attacked the United States was to make the blow so heavy that Washington would be forced to accede to their ‘just stay out of it’ demands.

          He also wasn’t optimistic that such a heavy blow was even possible… and he was probably right in that. But he’d been to the United States, studied here, and knew what he was up against, unlike the Emperor and most of the Japanese command structure.

          December 12, 2018 at 6:37 pm