Through September 24th our illustrious GMs will hold a variety of events in which players can take part. The events are: talking streams, in-game content, and contests.
Cosplay to Kill
First up we have the Dress To Kill Cosplay Contest running through the 24th. Players are asked to post pictures of their costumes on social media, using the hashtag #gmweekcosplay. Voting will take place in the EVE Online forums after the close of the event. Prizes can be as high as $1000 (yes, that IS U. S. dollars!), 2000 PLEX, and a variety of in game items. Although these treasures are appealing, I can’t help but miss the pre-pandemic days when the community could have done this at a live event.
Bad Fan Art
We also have the “Bad” fan art contest. Pilots are encouraged to submit memes, bad fan art, and propaganda to the appropriate thread in the EVE Online Forums, with the promise of the best work being posted in meeting rooms at CCP headquarters. We also have a Limerick and Ice-Breaker Contest, to be submitted via twitter using the hashtag #gmweekwordsmith. CCP is offering prizes similar to their Cosplay Contest.
Also as part of GM week we are having a variety of in game events. Whack-a-Bot is actually my favorite event, in which players get the opportunity to take out players identified as using “CONCORD-Prohibited” piloting technology. Hey! We get a chance to get some sweet sweet kills on these leaches. On September 23rd at 18:00 UTC we also have community favorite and top twitch streamer BjornBee leading pilots as FC for a GM-infused live roam of New Eden.
CCP is also providing Scavenger Hunt content, as loot containers will be spread around New Eden this week. Hints to their locations will be dropped during related live streams and in game channels. Additional content includes “Trivia” locked containers, which will be dropped in “Easy to find locations” throughout New Eden for the duration of this event. A variety of prizes are offered.
There will be two major CCP-sponsored streams this week, with CCP Paragon and CCP Goat answering reviews of EVE Online and taking part in Twitch chat. Voice your concerns on September 22nd at 14:00 UTC. We have the Magic School Bus Stream on September 21st at 16:00 UTC, in which various GMs will further explain the new career agent system, and specifically address new player concerns. We will also see a special GM Discord server to answer specific questions about the new content. Also, apparently, various GMs will be popping onto EVE Partner streams this week. Although no specific schedule is outlined, we’ve heard rumors of Emergency Response Squad SKINS for logi cruisers returning this week.
But, to what purpose? Who is the audience?
My question is this, as a long time EVE Online player. Although it is encouraging to see CCP staff engaging with the community on this level, ultimately why should we care? I think events like this are cool, but I would consider it more important to take into account the continued growth and stability of our community when all of us forty-somethings either lose interest or die.
I mean, let’s look at the new skill planner/character screen/intro movies. To me, it’s something they can shove in a trailer that ONCE AGAIN will get a small influx of new players to try out the game. But they won’t stay. I like the idea of the new skill planner, but it’s bare bones at this point. They have the beginnings of a narrative for the game for new people, but progress has been slow. A lot of new players quit when they realize losses are permanent, or they get killed in highsec, or they figure out the scope and time investment of getting good to the point that they can join an established corp. Or, new players look at the very real choice of putting actual money training skills and purchasing more sustainable ships.
I think the biggest problem for CCP going forward remains for them to decide on what exactly they want. They can make EVE Online less elitist, which is going to cost them, in the long term, some super hard core players. Or they can keep working on something new that will attract new players. If the game is going to be an elite PvP paradise, developers really must focus on addressing the concerns of established community leaders, alliance leadership, and the Council Of Stellar Management members. If they want to work on opening EVE Online up to the wailing masses of “Summer Children,” CCP will have to do a hell of a lot more than build the basics of skill planning, launch a new trailer, or give away free stuff in a GM week.