A Fraught Year
Over the last year or so, Eve Online has been through a tumultuous time. With the largest war to date having begun and concluded. During this time, CCP attempted to intervene in the game with content such as Blackout and then decided to ramp that up with scarcity.
Blackout was a poorly thought out attempt to create content, but it actually did the opposite. A content drought occurred and mass unsubscriptions forced CCP into a U-turn. Since then things have somewhat turned around, however, not without considerable consequences.
Why am I bringing this up? Well, dear reader, context is king (or queen depending on your personal proclivities).
Many years ago, CCP introduced the Rorqual. In roughly the same era, CCP introduced injectors. A business plan was clearly in place to boost injector sales via a high-end ship that can and will produce a considerable ISK output for players. The Rorqual era went on for a very long time. This was the time of plenty. A time when ships were treated as ammo, and replacing sub-capitals of any kind was not difficult. Where a lot of people would take ships out and roam without considering whether or not they could replace it, because ISK was not scarce. CCP encouraged more Rorqual proliferation with no nerfs and in return, their profits rose. A win/win, wouldn’t you say?
The Here And Now
Fast forward to now and we have CCP planning to nerf Rorquals after multiple previous nerfs, releasing details a week after putting extractors on sale. The irony, dear reader, should not be lost here.
CCP is an incredibly passionate development company. Having interacted with many developers over the years, I know from personal experience many of them live and breathe EVE Online. It’s the first thing many of them think about when they wake up, and the last thing they think about when they go to sleep. Developers have never really been the problem, historically (Not you T20).
Historically, the problem with Eve has been individuals at the management level who have a point to prove and a mark to make; today is no different. Scarcity is the brainchild of a particular management figure who believes that forcing players to put more into the game (and for less repayment), will return us to a PCU to be proud of. And, frankly, the effort required is one of the aspects of Eve Online that appeals to many. It is not an easy game by any stretch of the imagination.
The problem, however, is that the ultimate currency in all MMOs is not being shown the due respect it deserves – time. Time is the ultimate currency in any MMO. If a player does not feel that their time is being respected, they quit. Companies can attempt to put new features into the game that allow for catchup, or convenience, such as injectors, but ultimately, that does not remove the universal truth that time is the crux of most issues with MMOs.
If only this universal truth had been consulted prior to the release of the From Extraction to Production Dev Blog.
“Extract” and Prosper.
The below video from Cryo Huren explains the basics of this
Without going into all the details, essentially what is being proposed is a doubling in ores available, with a few sinks thrown in for good measure. After min-maxing and working out all the details, the true addition of ores to the game will be around a third, and the mining of these ores will require considerably more input. Every single Rorqual right now will require 3x the Hulks after the patch goes live to replace them. The options presented to players are this: either subscribe additional accounts to get back to where you were in terms of ISK-per-hour, or expect to spend longer mining to achieve what could previously be done in less time.
I think we know which one CCP Ratatti would prefer.
This is not the only issue. New players who come to the game, join an alliance, and expect to reap rewards from the nationalized moons will be looked at with contempt, due to the level of wastage their tier 1 modules will produce.
The End Of Scarcity?
CCP attempted to fool the playerbase into believing that this change would be the end of scarcity. After delving into the details and doing what EVEplayers do best, we can see this is not the case. We can see its simply Scarcity 2.0: Electric Boogaloo. So not only is CCP showing a complete lack of respect for its players’ time, something it has become quite accustomed to over the past year with its ESS changes and ridiculous industrial changes.
CCP has also tried to pull the wool over the eyes of the playerbase by presenting convoluted changes in the hope that we don’t work it out. Unfortunately for them, we did. It’s quite apparent what the marketing scheme this time around is, and there is no win/win for the player base and CCP to feel comfortable with.
This dev blog is the straw that broke the camel’s back, after a year or so of poorly thought out changes and implementations. Large parts of the player base are unhappy. Many are cancelling their trips to Fanfest, and many are unsubscribing additional accounts. CCP needs to know this is not the way to treat their community.
The 2021 Jita Protests have begun, and surpassed the concurrent player count of the world-record-breaking battle of FWST. The Jita Protests will also continue on November 14 at 1800 EVE. At this moment, the ball is in CCP’s court, let’s see where it goes from here.