Editor’s note: this submission comes to us from Two step, a veteran player, wormholer, and member of CSM 6 and 7.
I’ve been doing a whole lot of not playing EVE Online the last year or so, and thinking a whole lot about why I don’t have the urge to get back into it. For me, EVE was a unique online game — unlike just about every other game out there, when one player wins some other player loses, and often loses something that took them a lot of time and effort to acquire. The reason I don’t feel the urge to come back to EVE is because this is no longer true. CCP has been tinkering with small scale changes for a long time now, and players have optimized the money making opportunities available to them to such a degree that losses, in general, don’t matter anymore. My fear is that this, and not a new sov system or a new POS system will actually kill EVE.
“Oh great, another EVE is dying article!”
I can already hear the chorus of people saying the above. I actually don’t think EVE is dying; I think it is doing something far worse, turning into just another MMO. All the rough edges are being filed off, all the places where someone could make a mistake that would cost them nearly everything eliminated. Nullsec groups invade people “for fun”, not because of a burning hatred of everything their enemy stands for. To a long timer or an outsider, this sounds like WoW in space, not the EVE Online with the famous learning cliff where someone paid to have GHSC infiltrate and wipe out a corporation.
A stat I would love to see
It is too bad CCP has gotten so darn secretive with the stats that used to flow like water from them. The stat I would love to see is “What percentage of a player’s net worth is their current ship?” I suspect a graph of that stat would show the number is far, far lower now than it ever has been. Players, Corporations and Alliances have accumulated such a stockpile of ships that a single loss is barely noticed anymore. “Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose” has gotten silly to say, because most players could afford to lose tens (or even hundreds) of their current ship.
The (start of a) solution
Turn off wormhole capital escalations. Turn off highsec incursions — the Sansha have been beaten. Turn down the payouts on missions. Risk free (or mostly-risk free) ISK should be just enough for someone to live on, not to get rich on. Any income source that isn’t based on direct competition with another player should pay peanuts compared to one that is. I’d also stop balancing cheaper T1 ships to be close to more expensive faction/T2/T3 alternatives. If people want a competitive advantage in PvE or PvP, they should pay for it and get it. Moongoo should be redistributed such that just about every region has a distinct type of goo that can be found in quantity only in that region. If someone holds back their moongoo, players can decide to switch to using ships and modules that use different materials, or try to band together to take the space of the people trying to hoard it. Just think, maybe the mostly useless siphon units would actually be worth it again!
EVE should be hard
Not to play, but to succeed in. EVE needs more, not less, opportunities for players to screw with other players. More market PvP, more industrial PvP, more metagaming and spying and crazy shenanigans. It needs more poor players who are desperate for their next paycheck, who can be bribed to change sides. It needs more times where you swear at your PC, throw your headset down in disgust and swear to quit the game for good this time, only to come back the next day more determined than ever to get your revenge.
That is the EVE I would gladly come back to.