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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?