The war drums had begun. 1DQ was filled with members readying for the moves that were sure to come in the next few hours. Pilots were checking and double checking their fits, what they had packed and finding corp members to take ships to staging. It was a busy time for most but the anticipation and excitement was high. If you let yourself, you could imagine the sounds in the docking bays of the keepstar. The shouts of the dock workers as they loaded the fleet for deployment. War was coming and the Swarm is eager for a fight.
I love when the Swarm goes to war. Large scale war is one of my favorite things about Eve. Perhaps that is why when I see things designed for constant small gang content I shrug. We can get small gang war in any combat game. You can only get large scale multi-thousand player engagements in Eve Online. That’s what many live for.
We often compare Eve to things in the real world. In more ways than any other game I have played over my long life so far, Eve does indeed mimic life like no other game. Delve has been relatively safe and peaceful. The economy has flourished. The concentration of players in Delve causes it to be a beacon of activity on the MER Reports. But if you looked at other areas you would find that for their population, they too were experiencing good economies. They were just too small in comparison to the flashing disco ball effect Delve had.
Economic Success from Peace
There has been much talk about the change in moon mining and the removal of passive income. The last bastion of passive income is soon to be Industry and PI. As passive activities continue to be removed in an effort to force players to fight more on a regular basis; large wars will become fewer and farther between. We will have an increased need to cycle through times of relative peace and war.
You cannot have economic prosperity without peace in an activity based economy. That is what peace brings in the real world. Look at those areas of the world in conflict or with a significant threat of conflict. Capital does not flow to those places and efforts to externally stimulate those areas with investment fail. Conflict interrupts the economic process. Until there is relative peace in an area it cannot flourish economically. Peace also means a way to protect those making the economy run. If you make ratters and miners overly vulnerable it will not take long before people see the risk/reward as too little and you will see less of that activity.
Eve Online will be more cyclical than it already is. I’m not talking about the annual PLEX rise or the summer doldrums. I am talking about war and “peace”. Peace being as relative as it is. War is clear cut. War is expensive on a large alliance level. Groups will be searching to replace that income.
CCP will need to consider the allow everything to burn all the time design. A CCP dev once mused at Fan Fest many years ago that CCP was surprised players did not immediately go to Nullsec. Instead, so many players stayed in Highsec. CCP will need to take periods of war and peace into account before knee jerk reacting to shifts in economic trends.
I don’t subscribe to the comments of derision based on what certain players wish to do in game. Without carebearing, there is no industry. With no industry, there are no wars. When stations disappear in Nullsec this winter and are replaced by destructible Fortizars, the ability to keep peace in your own space will become even more important and challenging. One way will be to have so many citadels that effort to removes them becomes a bigger grind than anything we have seen in recent times.
Success Breeds More Success
After the Casino War, most of the populous of Eve expected the Imperium to implode and go away. That’s what they were told would happen and many believed it. Instead, The Imperium got stronger, bigger, and better funded.
FozzieSOV and the ADM systems that came with it demanded use of your systems or they would be weaker. The Imperium managed this to perfection. The MER reports suddenly showed an explosion of activity in Delve. When questioned in hushed circles a proclaimed response was, “Dude. We’re just trying to keep our ADMs up.” If the MER isn’t the biggest advertisement to join the Imperium, I am at a loss for what is.
Go all Grr Goons, Hat Goons you want but they are simply playing the game as CCP intended. It wasn’t all that long ago when devs from CCP said Nullsec would be worth living there and keeping the ADMs up. I give you Delve as the response. The Imperium knows how to make ISK and they are masters at adapting to new mechanics. The Imperium continues to grow. The percent of total players in Eve that are members of The Imperium is interesting indeed. You play Eve. You make spreadsheets. You can do the math. Eve may be losing players month over month but not The Imperium. In a game with shrinking numbers, if you are gaining members you are swaying the balance of power in a way no mechanic can impact.
EVE Giveth and EVE Taketh Away
As CCP moves toward their goal of almost everything being destructible wars will increase the ISK sinks in the game. At the same time, they are expected to be less common. FozzieSOV has already become a cancer to sov warfare. What’s next? Citadel sov? A repeat of POS sov?
With the proliferation of more and more structures that take significant resources to build means war will be more of an ISK sink than it already is. The question remains about whether CCP will remove the safety related to storage in citadels. Was that a carrot to get adoption faster similar to what CCP did with overpowering the Rorqual? Hopefully, CCP learned a lesson with such swings in power or mechanics.
War is History People Remember
A few days ago I was in 1DQ and local got interesting. I noticed a certain FC and started up some local chat in reference. Back in our corp Mumble channel, Patriotic Tendencies, I mentioned I had seen this somewhat Eve famous FC. I was taken back a bit when the immediate response to my from one of my corp mates was, “You flew in a fleet with [that FC]? Wow!” I never really gave it much thought. Awesome FC whose fleets I learned a lot on. But someone else thought it was really cool that I was some random line member on some of his fleets.
A day later during move OPs, I heard another old voice in comms. Some of the old guard appearing just before a new war is always exciting to us on the line. It gives us old space dogs something to chat about with the newbees about the old days and the glory of the CFC and even older histories for some.
There is a whole new crop of players and members who will soon have similar experiences and stories to share. Large scale war is exciting. Large scale war is the single mechanic that sets Eve Online in a league of its own in the genre of MMOs. If something sets you apart from the pack you refine it and make it awesome. You don’t concentrate on things that make you the same as everyone else.
In the End
In Eve War you win together, you lose together, you bleed together, and you die together. You face despair and glory together. It is the glory of victory and the agony of defeat. It either tears organizations apart to builds them to even greater heights.
Whatever your end is in Eve make it glorious. Make lifelong friends and enjoy the war.