Header Art by Cryo Huren.
Over this 2021 holiday season I have spent most of my time away from EVE Online. I find myself with the ever stronger urge to return to the universe of New Eden. EVE is that kind of game. During this short break I have also continued to follow the news of New Eden as well as peruse the reddit threads from time to time. It may come as no surprise that often these outlets of information tend towards doom and gloom. These expressions of negativity often appear to stem from frustrated parts of the player base, as opposed to outright haters of the game. I interpret this to mean there is still great love for the game, despite unpopular changes. However, some of these expressions may do more harm than good.
Doom & Gloom
The gloomy atmosphere in many circles stems from many unpopular changes on the part of CCP to the game. These changes stretch from the blackout experiment to the recent mining changes. Many among the player base take strong enough issue with these changes to speak as to the failings of CCP. While these players may create an atmosphere that appears negative, they are often the players who still play the game. These are the ones who care and feel abandoned or let down by CCP. Those who do not care so much about the game may have simply left already or plan to do so.
As time moves on, perceived missteps by CCP have the potential to push more people into outright leaving the game. Those who remain deserve some credit for standing up for their beliefs regarding the game. Oftentimes, these stances are met with further argument and insult. Furthermore, there are those who wave away new and returning players from joining the game. These actions have the potential to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. While you may have differing opinions as to CCP and the state of the game, it is not in the best interest of the game to intentionally decrease the player base. Even if CCP made every correct decision imaginable, these actions on the part of players has the potential to doom EVE.
The Other Way
Not everything is doom and gloom, and it’s not purely the player base that controls EVE’s future. However, there are some things that potentially can help to extend EVE’s lifetime when done by players. For example when it comes to returning players, one could invite them to return as an alpha clone initially instead of warning them away from the game entirely. When a friend asks about starting to play EVE, similarly you may try inviting them as an alpha for them to make their own conclusions. Similarly, instead of quitting the game entirely, try playing as an alpha for awhile.
You can step up in the face of the negativity that grips many of the EVE-related forums. You don’t need to overtly insult that one guy who just doesn’t get it. A civil argument or discussion can go a long way in stopping the gloomy atmosphere that often crops up in these places. Now this may seem contradictory to your sensibilities, but does it really hurt to be more positive in your actions and correspondence?
As players we should most assuredly spread our knowledge and understanding of the state of changes in the game. Imagine the impact on someone doing research into the game, and you might see the potential issues regarding new players and retention of players. If we really do care for EVE we should also be mindful of our interactions and how they may influence other players and potential players.