How Could CCP Regain The Community’s Trust in 2020?

Jin'taan 2020-01-07

Header art by Quendan Comari.

I don’t believe it would be a controversial statement to say that 2019 was a tumultuous year for EVE Online.

Late on January 2, CCP Convict seemed to reinforce this attitude by taking to the r/eve subreddit to openly probe into community sentiment as we all move into the new year. He was looking for feedback on CCP’s recent actions, the gameplay mechanics as of the end of the year, and also the political (or metagame) situation. All told, he was looking to assess whether the r/eve community feels positively, negatively, or uncertain about the future of EVE Online. 

The appearance of this post lined up rather fortuitously with the editing process of this article, one which I was already working on. The article aimed to highlight some of the key areas in which I felt CCP had failed over the course of 2019, but in a constructive manner that presented clear ways to improve going forwards into 2020

With that in mind, let’s start by addressing those key failings, and why assuaging the impacts of them is in both CCP’s and the wider community’s best interests. 

The Breakdown of Trust

Between CCP once again attempting to sell SP directly to players, the loss of two key links between the community and the developers in CCP Guard and Falcon, the cancellation of the 2019 Alliance Tournament, the public banning and unbanning of Brisc and the Fountain Three, introducing new gambling-based monetisation in the Hypernet Relay, the launch of the Nullsec Blackout and its abrupt end two months later, constant struggles to keep local chat functional, the cancellation (or, something approaching cancellation) of Project Nova, and of course the Drifter Invasion – I think everyone can point to at least one thing which has shaken their trust in CCP over the past 365 days, even if you agree with most of their actions.

That’s not something that it’s going to be insignificant for CCP to deal with, either. We’ve seen where a lack of trust in CCPs direction for the game has taken the community in the past. From the frothing pit of negativity, biting criticism and one particularly infamous hashtag that pushed developers away from the community in 2016, to the outright insurrection of the 2011 Summer of Rage. 

If CCP can’t rebuild the relationship it once had with its players, it is going to be an uphill battle of convincing players to engage with whatever changes are being implemented in good faith, when they often identify different problems in the ecosystem as being more important. 

So, from this point, what I’m going to do is describe some of the ways that I think CCP can move on from said missteps, and start to regain the community’s trust in their ability as stewards of the game.

Put Everything in the Patch Notes

The most infuriating habit that CCP developed over 2019 was trying to actively hide changes from the player base, They did this by simply pushing those changes to the live server, without a single mention in the patch notes. CCP did it for what feels like relatively flimsy reasons, and it created an unnecessary layer of confusion.

The majority of EVE players, upon encountering a game mechanic they’re familiar with having been altered without it being noted anywhere do not think; “Oh, this must be a cool shakeup to my gameplay.” They’re conditioned by years of experience to go instead; “Oh, this must be bugged, I should report this.” Even followed up with a swift response to inform the player it isn’t a bug, it’s unlikely to be an experience which enhances their gameplay. So it just introduces confusion for the sake of confusion into an already very confusing game.

Beyond that, it also feels like it lends an advantage to larger and more organised groups. These groups often have their own communication channels parallel to CCP’s in order to share knowledge about undocumented changes and best practices to adapt to them. That gives their members a stronger information advantage over smaller or less organised player groups. And whilst I wouldn’t claim that many in those groups are likely to read the patch notes, having all the documentation about changes to the game presented there at least provides a baseline of game information parity that every player has access to.

Over the course of the past year, CCP has worked towards trying to make the advantages larger groups have less efficacious in practice. The idea of that ‘baseline information parity’ helps in that regard. Taking that away seems to run counter to a large part of CCP’s work.  I hope it’s something that we see them move sharply away from in 2020—especially if we continue to see more iterative changes, such as the resource shakeup right at the end of the year.

Give Players (not NPCs) New Tools

One of the themes of 2019’s development of EVE Online has seemed to me to be using NPCs to try and solve player problems in the ecosystem. From the introduction of Raznaborgs to curb AFK mining in Hisec, through the Drifter Invasion’s fixation on Citadels, to even the appearance of mass NPC fleets to try and revitalise Faction Warfare. This was coupled with a focus on explicitly removing tools that were deemed to be overpowered, from the Nullsec Blackout being justified as Local was “Never intended to be used as an intel tool”, to the alteration of what ships can use Cynos to remove the ability of Capitals and Supercapitals to serve as their own means into a fight.

What this served to do is massively change the Environment side of the equation. It fundamentally alters what people were able to do, by changing the context in which they had to operate. In and of itself, that’s not a bad thing, but it has served to leave the overall gameplay patterns which everyone is involved in almost exactly the same. So, whilst a lot of mechanics have been altered, it’s still a case of trying to kill someone before the umbrella they PvE under can be turned upon you. That leaves the impression that the core elements that make such a system possible haven’t been altered, because well, they haven’t. That massively contributes to the perception of stagnation in EVE Online. 

Now, this is pure conjecture, as I’m not a game designer. But I think the best way to break this paradigm isn’t to continue to try and pare back defensive mechanics, but instead to introduce new ones for attackers, altering the Player side of the equation. The lack of active, positive development of new features as solutions for the problems identified was one of the most disappointing aspects of the Chaos Era for me, and in my humble opinion, it showed a lack of desire to invest actual development time to solve those problems. 

The recent introduction of the Christmas filaments do show that CCP is still capable of creating tools in that vein, even with a noted limited lifespan, so who knows what we might see in 2020.

Keep Team Talos Alive

Now, on a slightly more positive note, one of the best things to come out of CCP this year in my opinion, was the foundation of Team Talos. For those that don’t know, this team is the one responsible for the series of fortnightly changes that have taken place since mid-October. 

The simple fact that this mix of soft iteration and balance passes has been occurring regularly is groundbreaking for CCPs development. It’s an ability which has long eluded them, despite myriad promises to work towards it. From the “Balance Team” in 2017 that was put together, but never actually given any developer time to work towards their stated goals, to the non-existent but explicitly promised May follow up to the April balance pass this year, CCP has almost always fallen short when it comes to the part of following through on their big talk on the topic. 

In Team Talos, though, CCP has found a formula that seems to work, and whilst their changes don’t completely solve any of the problems they touch, they don’t have to. Simply by tweaking the mechanics and changing the way people practically interact with them on a month-by-month basis, it gives players the impression that CCP is aware and working on the problems they face, and given enough time to work, these small changes will add up to be just as impactful as a full rework. 

I don’t have anything more to add here. I just know CCP has a bad habit of looking at teams or operations like this, and deciding that they are less important or worthy of resources than those working on entire new features that the company assumes will drive new player acquisition. That completely ignores the effects they can have on veteran retention. So, CCP, please don’t kill what could be your PR golden goose in 2020.

Be Honest About the Future of Competitive EVE Online

This, admittedly, is probably not the point that will affect the most number of people. Competitive EVE Online in all of its forms is a relatively niche activity, and whilst it’s always done well on Twitch, it has it’s fair share of detractors among the general community. Given that, the hiatus of the AT this year to focus on the World Tour could have made an awful lot of sense, giving CCP the space they needed to revitalise the tools used to produce the show and the format to be played in order to modernise how the game was shown off to a wider audience and respond to the criticisms levied upon it.

Instead, however, what we’ve experienced is effectively a complete radio silence on the topic from CCP since their announcement of the hiatus of the AT, only broken by occasional “maybes” crowbarred out of CCPers put on the spot at various AMAs around the world. With all three of the player run tournaments that CCP had originally planned to work with in order to fill the gap cancelled (due to CCP’s complete unwillingness to put in any effort to revitalise the technology that underpins their competitive scene) and a move to simple 2v2 or 3v3 formats as seen in the World Tour and EVE_CS, people have been left wondering what form the Alliance Tournament will take in 2020. Or, if it will occur at all.

The start of the year is traditionally the off-season of EVE’s tournament scene, as people start to think about who they want to bring together as a team and try and work with for the next half a year in order to try and take the crown. But, this year, with no indication that the AT is returning – No preparations are taking place. This risks a rerun of 2018, where a lack of communication and proper planning on CCP’s part let to a relatively paltry number of teams signing up for the tournament, resulting in a subpar environment for players to take part in, and as a result, damaging the viewing experience.

Even if the AT is not returning this year and CCP’s focus will continue to be on the simplest possible form of competition at live events, the earlier that is made publicly known, the less chance there will be for people to convince themselves it is happening and put in effort in preparation for it, and the less backlash there will be.

Post-mortem the Chaos Era

Finally, the elephant in the room. The Chaos Era was described by CCPs Hellmar, Goodfella & Falcon in their interview as a way to “shake things up” with “experiments” that they would assumedly be able to study. And, shake up they did, with the Blackout, Cyno Changes, Drifter Invasion, Anomaly Changes, et al. 

This should have given CCP enough data with which to draw conclusions about the changes they made and the impact they had on player behaviour, to see if it matched their initial assumptions and hopes as explained in said interview, something which I felt was confirmed by the answer CCP Falcon provided when I asked him about the timing of the Blackout’s end in EVE Berlin;

“I think it’s a combination of wanting to look at the Cyno Changes in isolation, also the fact that the blackout has been going on for some time now and we feel we have the right amount of data. We had a discussion around it lately with the strategy team where we asked ‘Do we have enough data now, is there anything else we want to learn?’ – Now we can take a look back at this and look at player behaviour after.”

Despite this, in the 3 months since, we’ve heard nothing from CCP on the matter at all, leaving people to simply throw mangled sections of EVE-Offline or the MER at one another to try and prove their own particular hypothesis. Team Talos was able to present a breakdown of the impacts of their changes over the past two months, and give a glimpse into some of the more esoteric and yet informative statistics that CCP has access to make their decisions from, but curiously it seems that on the matter of some of the most important changes in 2019, they’re either unable or unwilling to do so. 

This denies the community and CCP the chance to have a more grounded, fact-based discussion of what happened during that period in order to help construct a way forwards that could retain some of the positives of these dramatic changes, without the negative aspects. And, beyond that, it makes those that appreciated the state of the game during the peak of these changes feel completely abandoned – a state that led to them quitting in dramatic fashion like Klandagi and Vheox DonTomazzo did.

If CCP wants to be able to make changes like those in the Chaos Era again in the future, they need to be able to show that it wasn’t a meaningless exercise, and that lessons were taken away from it. The only way to do that is to talk to the players about the process and keep them involved. Anything else is going to help feed the festering notion that some players have – that it isn’t about them fighting against other players anymore, it’s about them fighting CCP.

 

 

I’m sure there are far more ways that CCP could earn some trust back from the community than just these 5 points. In fact, this is only a small subsection of the points that I had originally drafted for this piece before I realised I didn’t want to spend 8,000 words on this topic. So, I encourage you to go down into the comments and note your own. But I hope what this piece has done is put into perspective how relatively easy it is for CCP to undo the damage they’ve caused, and start to generate good will again, primarily just by having an open and honest line of communication with the players as a whole. 

Now, let’s all cross our fingers and hope that an article like this would seem out of place in 2021.

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Comments

  • Alaric Faelen

    I think the point of CCP invariably hurting the little guy with their ‘fixes’ is an important one when it comes to trust in the company. The game has already been pushed into this incredibly polarized situation where it’s basically null sec vs the entire rest of the game- both for development resources as well as player agency.
    The large groups can weather CCP’s storms while smaller groups continue to feel marginalized or left completely behind. CCP simply does not understand the concept of scaling consequences. The same content that is exploited by big groups to produce ludicrous wealth is the same content that allows the little guys to make enough to do more than ship spin. Likewise, the nerfs to attempt to curb things like wealth generation might hurt the big alliances, but it totally cripples the smaller ones who can no longer afford to do anything but be even more risk averse.

    We’re at a point where people simultaneously complain that CCP has all but ignored their chosen corner of content in the game, and yet are terrified that CCP will turn their attention to it and the ‘fix’ be a complete disaster like Fozziesov has been.

    Either player-driven ‘fixes’ like the self-imposed FW moratorium on missions are a symptom of the devs ignoring supposedly core content to such a ridiculous degree that players have to work around the game itself…or they are a symptom of players not having confidence in the devs to come up with a functional fix for the problem. Neither situation inspires confidence in CCP’s ability to keep this game alive much less grow it.

    January 7, 2020 at 1:24 PM
    • Jin'taan Alaric Faelen

      One of my original points was actually “Look Outside of Nullsec”, because quite frankly it has been the problem child for so long I’m not convinced it’ll ever be possible to bring it to a state that both CCP and the playerbase is happy with it, and there’s SO MANY other areas of space that have been neglected feature wise as a result.

      January 7, 2020 at 3:35 PM
      • Rammel Kas Jin'taan

        I wonder how many developer cycles were overspent on small gang balance and the overburdened meta where the whole fleet comp already has one foot out the door instead of being there for a fleet fight.

        January 7, 2020 at 5:57 PM
        • Arrendis Rammel Kas

          It’s been forever since there was a reasonable chance of a brawling meta. CCP’s got all sorts of strange ideas for balance, but they’re… weird. Here’s an example:

          When you look at the HACs, the ships that have the active tanking bonuses are the ships that should need those bonuses least: the faster ones, the Vagabond (faster than the Muninn) and the Deimos (faster than the Ishtar).

          Ideally, you’d want the active local tank bonuses to be on the slower ships. You’d also want those ships to be the ones packing the bigger, longer-range guns. Fast ships shouldn’t get big guns with long range. At least, not without sacrificing defense.

          But the ships we see used don’t sacrifice defense. The Ishtar basically sig-tanks with good speed and a huge bonus to drone range. The Muninn speed-tanks with good range and the (relative) heavy hammer of 720mm artillery volleys. The Eagle’s got speed, Caldari resist bonuses, and can reach out and touch targets halfway across New Eden with those double-dipped railgun bonuses.

          And that’s before we even look at just how laughable an idea ‘sacrifices tank’ is on a ship with an ADC. I mean, the Vagabond, as underwhelming as it is in the current meta, can still come streaking in at 3100m/s, doing over 500 dps, and still have 200k+ ehp during the all-important window of time it takes the logi to lock on and get reps started.

          Honestly, like with so much else, they need to step back, and look at how everything fits together, then work inward from there.

          January 9, 2020 at 9:02 AM
          • Rammel Kas Arrendis

            Like the suggestion that the Devs get force-fed a sov war once they are integrated into null at a bloc level to see the real thing, perhaps we should also force them to do so in ships that suffer at the hands of these decisions they made so they can feel personally what it means to design something that only is fun for the one side not both.

            January 9, 2020 at 9:12 AM
      • Alaric Faelen Jin'taan

        Looking outside null sec is indeed the only way Eve will survive. For way too long the entire game has relied on basically a half dozen alliances to carry Eve. While they may pretend to hate the null blocs in public, the truth is no one comes to Eve for it’s epic mining or solo PvE experience.

        Null sec is both the ‘problem’ with Eve and at the same time the only thing that anyone (especially the devs) seem to care about.
        CCP also cannot continue to ‘nerf by making it suck’. That is a terrible method of adjusting balance in a game. The fact that sov null content has come to totally dominate the game is the fault of CCP’s poor decision making. The fix for too many people crowded into one type of content certainly isn’t making that content so bad that people want to do something else- because instead of doing something else in Eve they are much more likely to simply find another game to play that doesn’t treat their success like they did something wrong.
        I believe that THIS is the real Eve-killer. Punishing players for success is no way to make people want to log in. CCP realizes the population/content density in Eve is broken, but rather than improve other parts of the game to entice players to do something other than pile into sov blocs- CCP has decided to just make life in null as miserable as possible and hope players filter to other content while continuing to pay to play.

        January 8, 2020 at 4:19 AM
        • Axhind Alaric Faelen

          I think a lot of it comes from the fact that CCP still hangs out on Reddit with the elite pvp brigade constantly whining that their nullified cloaked ships can’t solo entire fleets.
          The idea of good content on reddit is 50 stealth bombers against a lone rorqual and then go crying to CCP if anyone shoots back.

          At the same time this kind of balancing is making null players want to draw and quarter fozzie and co because the only result is amazingly annoying game mechanics where best approach is to simply ignore it and take the loss because the effort needed to clean up your space is so absurdly high that nobody can bother to do it (not even goons who are well know for their “our space” OCD ).

          That kind of thinking is what got us the fun fozzie sov mechanic of a single 4k m/s ship being able to troll an entire alliance.

          January 9, 2020 at 7:52 AM
          • Alaric Faelen Axhind

            Oh absolutely CCP needs to get off Reddit. We have a double edge sword in CCP that they do indeed listen to their players, the problem is they often listen to the wrong players.

            January 9, 2020 at 2:28 PM
          • Axhind Alaric Faelen

            Another problem is that they don’t realise that small gang PvP has no strategic meaning. It is just a bunch of “fights” (let’s assume that they are fights and not ganks) that are not really connected to each other in any meaningful way. That means that they are competing with every other shooter game on the planet. However those games provide instant action and same amount of meaning once the match is done (none that is).

            Big strategic happenings is where eve is unique among all the games and that’s the part they are shitting on the most.

            January 10, 2020 at 8:18 AM
          • Alaric Faelen Axhind

            That’s an excellent point. CCP doesn’t seem to grasp the long term or large scale goals in Eve, and seems to think that handing out easy carrier or Rorq kills is what will save the game from extinction.

            It’s incredibly short sighted. CCP needs to be expanding sov content rather than try to walk it back with nerfs. The problem is the game was designed around building empires- but we long ago completed that content. Now the issue is there is nothing to do with those empires except fight among ourselves, which isn’t really profitable nor fun.
            Sov was end game. We own it. Citadels were cities in space. We have thousands. Titans were rare strategic assets. Our newbie corp has 100 or more. The question should be…now what? What is CCP’s plan for the grand space empires they challenged their players to build– because they did!
            We’ve left behind where the devs stopped in their creation of the game world and content. I liken Eve to a sandbox- the sand is still held from expanding further by the hard borders of the box. We overflowed those borders years ago but CCP hasn’t done anything but blame the players for the spilled sand.

            January 10, 2020 at 3:40 PM
          • Carvj94 Alaric Faelen

            Is there actually any other way to take the end game though? Honestly there’s no way I can imagine. It’s an ‘easier said than done’ situation.

            January 11, 2020 at 7:00 AM
          • Axhind Carvj94

            Go back to dominion sov like system. Lose the ability to troll sov, you have to commit (1 4km/s ship is not commitment). Allow entosis ships to be repaired and drop its speed to zero or near enough to zero not to matter to push for an actual fleet doing the attack.
            That would allow for the old system where many different alliances existed all with their own internal culture and of course friction with others. It was never game mechanics that created wars, it was always players.

            CCP has for years only concentrated on making harassing and ganking easier to make reddit elite pvp brigade happy and strangely enough it’s making EVE a much worse game…

            January 11, 2020 at 3:12 PM
          • Carvj94 Axhind

            I’m pretty sure that’d only solidify most alliances hold on their space though. Forcing a stand up fight is more likely to make people not try. Until remote repair is changed going in with a smaller fleet means you get completely annihilated while getting only a handful of kills. There’s some wiggle room with strategy but as long as losses are so lopsided it’ll never be fun or worth it to fight bigger groups than yourself.

            January 11, 2020 at 6:39 PM
          • Alaric Faelen Carvj94

            All that still ignores the issue of conflict drivers.

            We have no reason to fight. CCP wanted us to ‘live in our space’ but that made us largely independent. We have the tools to be incredibly successful- without war. To their credit, CCP gave us a lot of ‘stuff to do’ and very little of that encourages PvP. It might leave you vulnerable to someone else’s PvP, but the core mechanics of owning, maintaining, and profiting from space doesn’t encourage PvP.
            There is a huge difference between content just making you vulnerable to roaming bomber gangs and actual, strategic objectives in attacking someone else. Just randomly ganking someone’s ratting carrier has no impact on the alliance and barely an impact on the carrier pilot.
            We can (and do) run a dozen fleets a day invading someone’s space looking for fights. But even if we grab a lazy Rorq pilot or AFK carrier pilot- what does it matter?
            CCP’s reddit obsession has led them to think like care bears- that kill mails are in and of themselves the mark of success that players measure their dicks by. They have no concept of a deeper level of strategy or having ‘stakes’ in a fight beyond who gets to helicopter their junk over a shiny kill mail.
            That is the state we are in now. PvP is kill mail collection. There is no strategic value to it. There is no reason for large scale warfare, and large scale warfare isn’t really fun content any way. Everyone says they want a war until the 6th fleet spent in 10% TiDi and you don’t even engage, it’s just staring at people on tether. Suddenly krabbing in Delve sounds pretty good again.

            January 11, 2020 at 8:55 PM
          • Simon Chui Carvj94

            Theoretically, you keep the end game active by making players have to repeat the last few actions just before the peak to maintain their position. In eve, that might mean titans and supers decay over time, so you have to build a new one every few months just to keep having one. It might mean sovereignty decays over time, so after a while you have to lose your system for a few days, and then have to recapture it after.

            January 11, 2020 at 11:28 PM
      • Carvj94 Jin'taan

        Null’s sheer population and play style is also an issue for other types of space as well. Both lowsec and wormholes are pillaged to no end by nullsec. Not just raiding for kills either. Burn, loot and salt the earth type pillaging. Null’s PVP style is based around completely removing people from their space and it leads to less content because nobody other than the top dogs in the area are comfortable enough to risk building infrastructure that’d allow for more consistent small fights.

        January 11, 2020 at 7:10 AM
        • Axhind Carvj94

          That’s not strictly true. We (Imperium) generally remove people who attack our shit. Leave our logistics structures alone and we simply don’t care what you do in low sec. However, if you poke the beehive you get stung. Hint: Don’t poke the fucking beehive 😉

          This was same as with hardknocks crying how Init kicked their behind after they had for years been ganking in our space and bragging about how untouchable they are.

          January 11, 2020 at 3:14 PM
          • Carvj94 Axhind

            That’s true for high level politics. Line members disperse and destroy everything they can when they get bored. No provocation needed.

            January 11, 2020 at 6:28 PM
          • Axhind Carvj94

            Line members can’t really be bothered to show up 3 times in a row to kill some random structure. I rarely see pings going for non strategic fleet that will bash structures.

            January 12, 2020 at 5:22 PM
  • Haven’t read the article yet (about to!) but my reaction to the title at this point is: what community? It feels like Goonswarm don’t even have a community anymore at this point: the game is a shadow of it’s former self. We literally don’t have fleet commanders anymore. Nothing happens. It’s functionally dead unless you happen to enjoy either mining or miner-ganking.

    January 9, 2020 at 6:37 AM
    • Axhind Ganthrithor

      Whatever drugs you are taking I would consider switching the supplier. There are tons of ops all the time.

      January 9, 2020 at 7:54 AM
      • All I see posted for this week are three newbie training classes, so maybe my dealer’s job is safe?

        January 12, 2020 at 4:17 AM
        • Axhind Ganthrithor

          Eye doctor is to recommend. There are at least 10 ops every single day in my log.

          January 14, 2020 at 8:04 PM
          • Not gonna go into too much detail :BECAUSE OPSECKS:, but all I see on the board for the next 12 days is a handful of newbie training classes and some charity thing benefiting the Aussie firefighting efforts v0v

            Almost every Mumble channel I go in is dead (even Theta is quiet) and while Blackops does still technically “do things,” it’s just the same hotdrop ops over and over again (which again falls under the category of “shooting miners”).

            I’m just saying, even if things are technically “happening,” it’s been forever since we’ve had an actual war. Shooting a bunch of undefended structures last time we went North doesn’t count. When was the last time we had a real campaign?

            January 15, 2020 at 5:17 AM
          • Axhind Ganthrithor

            Holy crap how can you be in goonswarm and not know that everything happens on jabber? Even our enemies, pathetic as they are, know that and follow it so that they can run away faster when we ping for a fleet.

            January 15, 2020 at 10:08 AM
    • Carvj94 Ganthrithor

      Most of your problems are completely due to risk adverse players rather than changes. In fact you say as much in one of your points.

      January 11, 2020 at 4:18 AM
  • Alaric Faelen

    I think you are putting the horse before the cart and choosing to blame the players instead of the devs. Players can only react to the game the devs present us with. Virtually every decision that CCP has made for several years has pushed Eve into it’s current state.

    The reason we have huge sov alliances is because Fozziesov destroyed the individual culture of alliances within a coalition. Before Fozziesov had a blue donut but it was made up of loose agreements between individual alliances. That was the source of many of the major conflicts in Eve from the TEST meltdown that sparked the Fountain War to the SMA vs IwantIsk spat that led to the Casino War. Aegis Sov destroyed that and forced everyone into mega-alliances for sov purposes. To this day who flies an entosis Drake depends on whether they are in the alliance or just an ally.
    We did not ask for that nor control that- that is 100% a CCP ‘fix’. In one fell swoop CCP eliminated a major cause of conflict within the meta and ensured mega-alliances with little chance for individuality to drive conflict from within.
    If Fozziesov hoped to reduce the size of null blocs- it achieved the exact opposite effect. CCP wanted less cooperation and more conflict- but gave us no drivers for conflict and the only way to cooperate was to sell out and join the faceless mob. Not one player I know thought it was a good idea but CCP did and they write the code.
    CCP just doesn’t know what they want Eve to be. Do they want giant space empires with epic wars and massive industry? Or do they want a bunch of back woods alliances having slap fights and not realizing the potential of the space they fought to plant a flag in? Are we supposed to progress up the ship tree with capital ships a sign of success? Or are capitals bad and we should be punished for using them to make isk? (given that CCP themselves interfered the last time we tried to do more than rat with capitals and marched them north for a war). Are we supposed to build the structures that CCP put so much into creating? Or is it spam when we actually build stuff?

    CCP sends more mixed signals about what they want than an awkward teen on prom night.

    January 10, 2020 at 5:36 AM
    • Carvj94 Alaric Faelen

      Your last sentance sums up null players as well. In fact I’d say that’s the definition of a null player.

      January 11, 2020 at 5:36 AM
  • Garreth Vlox

    The hypercore thing was kinda the last straw for me, the second a game company starts charging you something in a non-refundable fashion even if what you pay for DOESN’T HAPPEN i’m out and I’m not coming back, that’s the kind of underhand bullshit that signals the end of being able to trust the company as a whole.

    January 11, 2020 at 5:14 AM