Why EVE or CCP Games Needs to Fail

Erick Asmock 2019-08-12

(Editor’s Note: The opinions and speculations in this piece are entirely those of the author, and do not represent the position of INN.)

Why? Why would someone want a game to fail that they have played for almost two decades? That is the same question I asked a good friend of mine as we enjoyed a few beverages while basking in the sun on the beach a few weeks ago. He had mentioned he thought it was time the game just went away.

I sat there looking at the person who made me try this game in January of 2006 in amazement. He is the guy who dragged me into wormholes and from there into Null Sec. He said it was time for EVE Online to fade away and make way for the next better game like it. A game that EVE Online should have become had CCP Games given it the attention and planning it deserved. The sun climbed in the sky and waves crashed on the beach, and I sat there transfixed on the thought of EVE going away. Would I care? Would anyone care about it after a few weeks?

I took another drink and began to ponder the conundrum my good friend had placed in my brain. It wasn’t a pleasant thought in the least. I was conflicted. To those who watch Push to Talk the fact that I am critical of CCP Games is no surprise, but I have never wanted them to fail despite their repeated and spectacular failures over the years. I decided I needed several more beers and maybe even a few shots to fully allow it to percolate. I did my best over the next few days to do just that.

Some Things CCP Has Done That I Can’t Seem to Shake

I look back on the last 13 years I have played this game, and there are just some things I cannot shake. I’ve played other online games. It all started with Asheron’s Call. I look back on those years of wonder with a fond memory. I am not so sure I will once I quit EVE Online. It almost seems like a good riddance feeling will prevail. The only thing I will miss will be any friends I lose.

Friendship is the Last Reason

The more people I talk to and the more time goes on I see a clear trend in answers as to why they play EVE Online. It’s not the game. It’s the friends we have made. Granted it’s an unscientific conclusion, but if only 10% of active players think that way CCP is in deep trouble. Meanwhile, I’d say about 60% of the people I talk to give me that answer. If they found a game with similar sandbox mechanics and their friends would go, they would leave. Sure there are some fun things to do in EVE Online. But there are more unfun things you have to do so you can do the fun things. Unless you just flat out buy PLEX. I am going to table the conversation on PLEX until later in the article.

CCP’s Apparent Dislike of Players

Watching CCP over the years, it appears they relish making customers mad. A recent response to an upset customer was to “Enjoy the changes! :)”. That’s right folks, a representative of CCP Games thought that to taunt a customer was the right course of action, rather than show them that CCP had indeed let people know those changes were coming. As if the complete bumbling of the Brisc thing was not bad enough for the community team. You would think they would learn. I believe Brisc let them off far too easy. Someone’s head should have rolled on that one.

CCP’s Repeated Poor Communication

CCP employees seem to have no internal corporate governor when using CCP corporate accounts to respond to anything or post anything. The blending of personal commentary with official corporate accounts presents a unique challenge to customers when trying to decipher the direction of the business. CCP has never done this well. We see repeated instances where CCP employees say things in public under corporate accounts that would get most of us fired in a few hours. It seems CCP’ers have a long history of being as aggressive as they can with CCP Twitter and Reddit accounts. One only has to go back a look at posts and tweets such as CCP Quant’s epic meltdown on Reddit about ratting and CCP Zulu’s meltdown in a Dev Blog to name a few. I did that off the top of my head without digging too deep. I didn’t even reference some CCP’er playing favorites with BOB.

How could we forget the “Summer of Rage”? That little spat of craziness hit game participation. You can see the analysis in Matterall’s article on it HERE, which appears to be the precursor to EVE’s player loss. The Monocle-Gate apology is said by some former CCP’ers not to be from the CEO but written by the fiction department. Seeing how he and his staff respond to players on social media, it doesn’t seem like that is much of a stretch.

Several CCP employees act this way and comingle personal comments on corporate looking accounts so often one has to assume CCP, and by association Pearl Abyss, both condone it. If you are of the mind that that sort of behavior is ok because this is the gaming world so be it. Maybe I’d agree if the game was played only by with crazy 12-year-olds but EVE Online has a much older player base.

Nerf a Little; Boost More

This goes back to something I have mentioned many times. CCP seems to nerf things in EVE Online more than any other game nerfs things and does so far more drastically than other companies. I understand changes need to made to items over time. We all should. You need to balance things over time with a game this old. I am not referring to the standard balancing of items. I am referring to things like the Rorqual. CCP was told not to make it uber-powerful by the CSM. The response from CCP was they would nerf Rorquals later if they needed to. They knew it was too overpowering, but they wanted an expensive target in space that they felt would lure players to go hunting. Once players spent real money, time and isk to skill into and buy these whales, optimize the BPO’s and get production lines running CCP nerfs the hell out of them over and over.

Forget that they were told not to encourage this level or type of play. CCP did it. CCP knew they were going to have to nerf them. Nothing irks a player more than having something taken away they worked to achieve. Or should I say, the customer purchased. The bottom line of every transaction in EVE Online is a series of customers paying for things. When you substantially nerf something to this degree, you are a company that sold a product to a customer then downgraded what was delivered. No one does that in any other industry and survives long.

Everything costs something. Time is ISK. People spend real money to get these things. Realize that. Do things that make them want to spend more. Eventually, the people you lose is because you make the investment not worth the effort.

Don’t let Citadels be Anchored Anywhere!!!!!!

That brings me to citadels. CCP, DON’T DO THAT! People will put so many in space; it will be worse than the space litter orbiting the earth! But no…we got citadels with no limitation. They had no natural limiter to keep anyone from littering a region with them. So, we did.

When the very thing you were warned about by the CSM and players happens, try not to act like it suddenly needs to be fixed because players used them. It isn’t our fault; it’s yours.

Players React to Your Mechanics, Surprise!

The craziest thing of all is that almost all the explosive comments are a result of something CCP generally enabled. It was funny listening to CCP Falcon try to correct Matterall on his show. Matterall commented to the effect that CCP had made players no longer use excavators. CCP Falcon jumped on it by saying that players are choosing not to use them. Thus inferring CCP had no hand in forcing players to do anything. The lack of awareness that exemplified is impressive.

Every mechanic or balancing pass CCP adds to changes forces players to adapt. It’s the whole point of adapt or die, or should I say, “Enjoy the changes.” It’s like CCP thinks it is making it easier to kill all these Rorqs and excavs and they think people are just dumb and will risk them. No, they won’t. They will mothball them, and the hunters will get tired and stop hunting because there is nothing to kill. Some dumb people will lose some at first, but eventually the stupid and weak will be weeded out.

The list goes on and on. I mean there is so much wrong here that CCP has done in the last few years, it’s crazy. It’s not that changes did not need to occur. But the medicine is killing the patient here. Here are a few more that come to mind.

Drifter Invasion

It was a disaster because CCP did what CCP should never do. They forced a play style and pushed an insane level of activity by a relatively small number of players. Ten people could defend three regions from substantial Drifter activity. Granted you needed ten people for over 24 hours solid at one point, but you still only required ten of them. The gameplay was utterly inane, pointless and poorly coded. I recorded 2 Drifters sitting too far away from a structure to hit it or be hit by it for over 2 hours as one warped away and came back over and over and over. If CCP paid a dev for an hour of coding to make that event, they got robbed.

Fozzie SOV

Hideous implementation. There isn’t anything right about it. Harry Pottering [aka SOV Wanding] nodes to win the SOV mini-game is pathetic. The last time I Harry Pottered is when I was in EXE when we showed how terrible the gameplay was in Provi. Thank God entosising stations never got off the ground.

Jump Fatigue

CCP never did the math with the original implementation to understand how horrible it was and had to roll jump freighters back to a 90% resistance or make large parts of the universe un-reachable. It’s still a terrible mechanic inhibiting Null Sec wars. Here is a tip. Just make the timer read 0 instead of 10 minutes when you can jump again without impact. Bad implementation. We tossed better ideas for managing force projection around in last week’s Push to Talk.

Resource Balancing and Moon Mining

God, this was stupid. The apparent lack of planning related to resources or should I say CCP’s schizophrenic planning method takes the cake. Maybe they do spin a wheel or throw darts at ideas in the office. With all the hideous SOV changes, they promised the real ability to setup SOV and live there. Make things. Build your markets. Everything you need will be there. Once people do it, CCP acts all pissed like players are taking advantage of them. Earth to Hilmar: I know it’s been a long time since that gateway to New Eden collapsed but guess what? We play by your rules. Even when we tell you they are stupid, and you still make them.

I made a nice income from moon mining in low sec. I did it with two buddies, and we shared the load and the profits. Now we don’t.

Moving resources into every region was the wrong move. POSes were the last thing to fight over.

Rorquals

Bad idea. Bad implementation. Bad communication. Anything you needed to nerf that many times isn’t a win for anyone. CCP thinks like small-gang pirates, and a whale in the water is some great kills for them. Guess what. People figure out how to protect them. Then CCP and ten people on Reddit decry the Super Umbrella. Another Note to Hilmar: The whole point of SOV is to have your own place. It’s one you police and keep as safe as you can for your people to do things that are harder elsewhere. As an aside, the guys in the Super Umbrella are itching to blow up some arrogant small gangs who think they can invade and do whatever they want. It’s called player-driven gameplay or, ummm, the Sandbox. You may have heard of it.

Super Umbrellas

See Roquals above. They like to drop on arrogant small gangs and make them go boom. It’s fun to prey on them. Sort of like those gangs who think it is fun preying on the lone VNI or Rorqual. There’s always a bigger fish. Oh, and counterplay is to bait the super umbrella and drop them. Everyone is too scared because they did not adapt. Not our fault.

Planning and Understanding

CCP lacks an understanding of their own game that is so astounding it boggles the mind that it is as successful as it is. Listening to the CEO, he seems to be open about not knowing why the game was so successful, how it works or even what to do to fix the present state of the game. These aren’t my words or interpretation; Hilmar himself has said it so often over the years, and especially recently, that you can’t discount them as marketing googly gook any more. The mere fact that CCP has never delivered another game of any real value or adoption isn’t a surprise. After almost two decades of drought, it looks like this may be a one and done for CCP Games.

Unfinished Business

CCP seems to say they have plans and then change them every few years. It’s as if they get antsy and never let anything fully develop. It’s why they have the label as a group who leaves so many ideas on the table incomplete. If the Drifter Invasion was not unfinished code that accidentally leaked onto the prod servers, it has become an awful place at CCP. An accident I can forgive, but what we got I shake my head at instead of saying what I think. I know. It seems odd, but I am holding back a great deal on all these topics.

New Taxes and PLEX

So here is the really interesting part. CCP thinks there is too much ISK in the game and ISK is devalued. Hilmar has mentioned this. If they need to reduce the money supply, they need ISK sinks to do it. Right now, they are playing the tax game, which is often a government’s only way to decrease the money supply. While Hilmar decried that the value of PLEX has not changed and that is it is the value of ISK that has devalued he turned around a week later and depreciated PLEX in one of the only ways it could be devalued.

I am not sure CCP can even know what is active in the game and what is not to get a complete understanding of the impact here. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. CCP has ignored this for so long that they would have to be insanely draconian with ISK sinks to the point of making players use ISK reserves to deplete the ISK in the game. It isn’t going to happen. They would have to be so aggressive it would drive off new players. EVE will be dead before they can remove the amount of ISK they need to.

PLEX was always a racket for CCP. You got 30  days of play for USD 19.99. If you just paid for your sub, it is USD 14.99 without the multi-month discount. CCP is plus USD 5 right off the bat. Forget the cost of coding PLEX into the game. That was paid for long ago and probably capitalized as standard development anyway. PLEX is a great idea. It makes the company money and players who don’t want to do the massively mundane effort in EVE can still blow things up and be blown up. It is incredible.

Here is the catch that is somewhat disguised. When you sell PLEX on the market, CCP takes another piece of the pie. They tax the in-game transaction. With the increase in market taxes, CCP now takes a more significant portion of the PLEX pie effectively devaluing your PLEX purchase. Even if the buying power of isk increases as the money supply goes down (and this is going to take forever at this point) your purchase of PLEX is now worth less ISK when you convert it in-game because CCP takes more of the transaction.

Just remember when PLEX is on sale for 15% off CCP just dropped that value by the tax increase. It’s just business.

Supply-Side Economy

EVE has always been a big supply-side game. It was only a matter of time before too many resources and ISK were in the game. This gets exacerbated when you have a dwindling player base.

CCP Injects Themselves as the Enemy

The Drifter invasion is just the latest example. The open abrasiveness from CCP employees over the years only reinforces the thought in player’s minds. Ask any 10 GSF line members if they think CCP is against them, and you will get a 70% reply of “Absolutely.” We try to convince ourselves it isn’t right, but CCP seems to step in it too often for it not to be.

I have long advocated the CCP should stay away from comments that impact the Meta. Comments that allow the warring factions or opposed parties to point fingers in the Meta. Using company resources to drum up people ganging on another group, for instance, would be a blatant example especially if the end goal is a fail cascade of the said group that CCP employees had spent a good bit of time sparring. This behavior is evident and flat out repulsive. Here are a few examples. I am trying to keep this under 10,000 words, so I have selected only a few examples from the many.

Drifter Invasion

I’ve gone over how bad this was as a mechanic already but let’s talk about it in a different light. The Drifter mechanic brought every war to an absolute halt. CCP had to know it would bring every Null Sec alliance home to defend the homelands. If a  mechanic that brings lifetime enemies together to discuss how to form a coalition against the developer isn’t a blazing red flag, I don’t know what is. Null Seccers sort of laugh at the pirates and High Sec folks who scream “Adapt!” but then cry when Null Sec says they are coming for them. One was a response to an enemy you can’t fight against, and the other is all part of the game. Don’t cry when Null Sec burns High Sec or starves the economy. You have recourse against Null. Null doesn’t have any other way to express dissatisfaction with the developer’s lousy code and mechanics.

Casino War

EVE had been dead with no innovation and nothing to market. Along came casinos with unassailable wealth to use in-game to pay the galaxy to attack Goons. They did. CCP had been told for years allowing casinos was risky, put CCP in potential legal jeopardy, and bad for the game. They ignored it for years. It wasn’t until after the war that CCP finally took action.

Rather than allow players to stoke up opposition to Goons in-game and with the usual tools CCP reached out to the entire player base with Scope videos and reaching out to the press to get the whole player-base on board. Not to mention this was during a time when CCP employees had been repeatedly and openly hostile to Goonswarm players and INN staff. CCP injected themselves into the meta and urged other players to join in destroying a specific group in the game.

CCP Peligro’s Tweet on Botting

Not too long ago, he tweeted how many botting bans CCP enforced. I am all for banning bots. Not just mining or ratting bots but market bots too. Ban them all. But when you point a finger and allow other players to beat down on a group publicly, it’s different. Your job is to remove bots, not enter the Meta. The worse thing was he doubled down and looked dumb in doing it. He was goaded into releasing the actual numbers of bots banned buy organization and the very ones he had just demonized were not even in the top 25.

Why even make the tweet if those groups have not been a problem historically? You already stepped in the Meta quicksand once; why flail around and sink deeper in by releasing the full numbers? One thing that became clear over the incident is CCP zero’s the wallet of alliances that have bots in them banned. They don’t do the math and remove only the amount gathered by bots. They take it all. So, CCP punishes players who pay to play the game and likely do so within the rules because they don’t know they have bots. The message is you do CCP’s job for them with no tools to do so, or CCP will hold you accountable. If that isn’t the company being against players, nothing is. It’s lazy game administration.

The Brisc Fiasco

Brisc’s banning is perhaps one of the most obvious. CCP knew the political climate in the US. They knew Brisc’s political persuasion. When they banned him, they did it in the most significant way they could. They released an announcement in an unprecedented way to generate the most media attention.

It was a direct attack on the players affected, both in-game and one personally. If you were trying to headshot the most critical people in an alliance, this is how you do it.

Was CCP Meta’ed? Was CCP taking vengeance against a group they don’t like?  Was it one employee who had a personal dislike for people, getting even?

We don’t know. What we do know is CCP took significant action with far-reaching impact both in and out of game without any documented internal process for doing so. The Imperium had a more sound policy for banning players on an H1Z1 server they owned.

The bottom line is CCP had zero evidence when they took a draconian action against a player. It calls all other internal processes into question. When a fundamental and secure method to document and confirm isn’t processed correctly, it calls the maturity and leadership of an organization into question. The fact that no one’s head rolled over this one boggles the mind.

CCP wants you to move on. Accounts restored, we’re sorry, nothing to see here. Forget the number of caustic and offensive articles it spawned across the Internet. The potential far-reaching impact on Brisc’s career remains. All we get from CCP is “sorry we messed this one up.”

Fewer Players

There is no way I buy CCP saying they have this massive influx of people. They don’t. If they have more players, this is the only game where the finite rules of math don’t apply.

What CCP and Pearl Abyss have is a vast number of people who read about the exploits of the players and want to try it. Then they do, and say “Holy crap, this thing sucks,” and leave. CCP has not figured out that EVE Online is at times a virtual Cheers. Players come home to have a few drinks with their friends all around the world. They share stories, share their lives, make fun of each other, and have a blast. Not everything in EVE has to be complicated or hard. I am not suggesting easy or completely safe either. There has to be a place for all play styles. Not just the ones that are the whim of the CEO this month.

The graphs below do not lie.

 


Ever hear that phrase: “Show me the Money!” Well, now you have “Show me the players!” It is time CCP either shows the metrics, subs, and player-base or shuts up about it.

Lack of Leadership

What everything above boils down to is a lack of leadership. The game has suffered from it for years. It certainly looks like Hilmar is trying to show some form of leadership presently. It may be a case of too little too late, when you’re the guy who went off to do who knows what for years and you come back to save EVE.

That’s what EVE Online and CCP Games at large has suffered from over the last 16 years. When you switch directions, leave roads unbuilt, infrastructure crumbling and all the rest you get what EVE Online has become. Hilmar knows it. What isn’t clear is if he is trying to fix it or just hit the KPIs and revenue targets in the sale agreements earnings clause. Remember? It was a big deal, but a lot of the sale price was dependent on future performance. I think we are witnessing a scramble to the revenue target. I have not seen a genuine conversation that leads me to believe there is any real intent here. Every time one of these guys’ Twitters goes ballistic, bans someone without any evidence and makes a huge deal out of it, or gives an interview with crazy half baked ideas or says they have no idea, I get a stronger feeling we are finally being milked at the end of days.

The End

It may not seem like it, but to write this article pains me. I want to be completely wrong. It’s like watching a person you know, who has excellent potential, waste it all on drugs and bad decisions even as everyone around them tries to help them. Am I overly harsh? Maybe. Let’s call it tough love; because if they don’t get a clue in Iceland or London or wherever they are today, it indeed will be time for EVE to Die.

Then again, maybe it is time for CCP Games and EVE Online to go away and make an opening for someone to make a better EVE Online. It increasingly looks like CCP Games doesn’t know how to get out of the hole they dug for themselves.

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Comments

  • Garreth Vlox

    “and CCP Zulu’s meltdown in a Dev Blog to name a few” Its a damn shame they dumpstered the old forums where this post originally featured in a forum thread defending Incarna and the NEX store where a large number of us verbally beat zulu into the floor over the 1000$ designer jeans defense. That was possibly my proudest moment on the old forums.

    August 12, 2019 at 7:22 am
    • Falin Whalen Garreth Vlox

      I think they dumpstered the old forums when they started looking to find a buyer. Can’t have tone deaf developers, making stupid public comments. Best to burn the whole thing down and start over, with a new forum, a better forum, with blackjack, and hookers.

      August 12, 2019 at 2:55 pm
      • Arrendis Falin Whalen

        Can’t have tone deaf developers, making stupid public comments.

        Well, then it wasn’t the forums they needed to dump, it was the people making stupid public comments. The new forums are no better in terms of the boneheaded crap the devs say.

        August 12, 2019 at 3:20 pm
      • The14th Falin Whalen

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t all of the old forum threads archived? Plenty of them show up in my Google searches.

        August 13, 2019 at 2:48 am
  • GIANNIS.EF

    how many players has stopped the eve after blackout ?

    August 12, 2019 at 8:17 am
    • Guilford Australis GIANNIS.EF

      I think the main effect has been that some nullsec players unsubscribed alt accounts that they used to use for Rorqual mining and ratting. Only CCP knows the true impact, but as the article points out, the login metrics do not lie. We’re up against low login numbers whatever the cause.

      August 12, 2019 at 10:06 pm
      • Are we? Eve Offline shows about the same player numbers as this time last year.

        August 13, 2019 at 2:58 am
        • Arrendis The14th

          Not really. Weekend peaks are near the same level, but troughs are down about 15%, and the in-week peaks…

          First Wed of August last year: peaked at 33k online.
          First Wed of August this year: peaked at 26k online.

          That’s a 20% drop.

          Yesterday was the 2nd Monday of August.
          2019 Peak: 26k, Sun/Mon trough: 15k (not looking at DT cuz it’s DT)
          2018 Peak: 31k. Sun/Mon trough: 18k.

          That’s not the same numbers.

          August 13, 2019 at 5:44 am
          • The14th Arrendis

            Are we looking at the same numbers? The graph shows peaks at around 34k in 2018 and 30k in 2019, still hugging the flat trend line. Weirdly, new toons are on what seems to be a minor uptick.

            August 13, 2019 at 6:53 am
          • Arrendis The14th

            You do realize that 34k->30k is a drop of more than 10%, right?

            And those 30k+ peaks are just on Sunday this summer? Instead of Fri-Sun and sometimes on Mondays last year?

            August 13, 2019 at 6:57 am
          • The14th Arrendis

            And yet not enough to buck the trend line, won’t know if it will move until we see how fall shakes out.

            August 13, 2019 at 7:01 am
          • Arrendis The14th

            Which… doesn’t in any way alter the accuracy of:
            “Eve Offline shows about the same player numbers as this time last year.”

            It shows a drop of ~10%. 21k avg for 15 Jul-12 Aug, (which averages in the troughs) vs 23k avg last year over the same time.

            And I started it at 15 Jul instead of a week earlier specifically to filter out most of the disastrous first weekend of the Blackout

            August 13, 2019 at 7:04 am
          • The14th Arrendis

            I consider “about the same” close enough when the shift could prove to be a variance caused by the unique blackout event that could be erased come fall and/or end of blackout. Historically this is a not unlikely possibility since the 2017 summer trough is roughly the same as this year’s, and that rebounded.

            August 13, 2019 at 7:12 am
          • Arrendis The14th

            Except that the 2017 summer trough was bookended by wars in null bringing people back. We just had a war. One side didn’t show up at all. The numbers stayed flat.

            And BTW:
            “Is what they are doing the right move?”

            No. Because it doesn’t address any of the actual structural problems EVE has. They’re not doing anything to fix the need for supercapitals, the utter ridiculousness that supers present in a fight, or the boredom that is AEGIS sov. There are structural forces built into the mechanics of EVE now that actively discourage the kinds of wars that helped to break the tedium and the stagnation in the past.

            And EVE’s mechanics are, by and large, tedium. The Blackout isn’t helping that. If anything, it’s pushing people out of small null groups, and toward the supercapital umbrellas of the blocs—which foments more stagnation.

            What else have they done? New taxes? How is that supposed to shake things up? It’s going to show up as a massive new ISK sink on the August MER, but really, it’s not going to *mean* anything. It won’t mean anything because it’s so distributed and diffuse that it doesn’t have any significant impact on the people who have the most ISK.

            Worse, the people it will have the most impact on—like any other flat tax, all sales taxes included—will be the people with the smallest income streams. In EVE, that’s the newbies and the small-time groups.

            So wow, good jorb, Hamscray, CCP’s going and achieving exactly the opposite of what Hilmar was talking up. He’s making harder for new players, not easier, and promoting bigger blocs and more stagnation. Woo. Some ‘chaos’.

            August 13, 2019 at 7:20 am
          • The14th Arrendis

            EVE’s mechanics have ALWAYS BEEN TEDIUM. Does nobody remember POS sov? Everybody winges about timers but that seems like a paradise compared to grinding 20 POSs to take one system. The blackout isn’t pushing people out of small null, that was breaking down years ago. Based on my experience so far what it has done is slow down the economic engines of null. And isn’t the best type of isk sink one that is so diffused that most individual players won’t notice? If it has the overall effect of slowing down the isk tide then it’s op success. Those that will suffer most are the people who do the most transactions, which are not the newbros. Also, it comes off as a bit disingenuous when somebody complains about too much isk and new taxes to remove isk.

            Everybody wants the game to change, but when it does everybody screams bloody murder. I’ve been playing since ’07 and nothing has changed there.

            August 13, 2019 at 7:32 am
          • Arrendis The14th

            EVE’s mechanics have ALWAYS BEEN TEDIUM. Does nobody remember POS sov? Everybody winges about timers but that seems like a paradise compared to grinding 20 POSs to take one system.

            Stay tuned… 😉

            But suffice it to say that yes, plenty of us remember POS sov, and citadels+AEGIS aren’t better. Now, instead of having to grind out 20 POSs to take a system, you’ve got to grind out 30+ structures with damage caps in place and entosis 20 nodes across an entire constellation where the entire fleet except for the guys running the sovwands aren’t doing jack shit.

            They’re not even seeing damage numbers scrolling past. It’s even more boring than POS sov was. That’s not an improvement.

            The blackout isn’t pushing people out of small null, that was breaking down years ago.

            It’s not the only thing doing it, no. But it does provide additional pressure to be in the blocs or get out of null.

            Based on my experience so far what it has done is slow down the economic engines of null. And isn’t the best type of isk sink one that is so diffused that most individual players won’t notice?

            No. The best type of ISK sink is one that targets primarily the people who conjure the most ISK out of thin air. That’s the ratters—be it in null, missioning, j-space, or incursions. How much people get hit should depend on how much they’re summoning from nothing.

            Those that will suffer most are the people who do the most transactions, which are not the newbros.

            Eeeexcept that’s not actually how it works out. The people doing the most transaction volumes have the greatest amount of leeway in their ISK. They’re also the people who are most likely to have their trading skills trained up to minimize the impact this has, and they’re the ones who are most likely to be ready to move entirely out of NPC stations to avoid costs.

            Also, it comes off as a bit disingenuous when somebody complains about too much isk and new taxes to remove isk.

            It shouldn’t. There are better ways to attack the faucet/sink imbalance. If you leave your bathroom taps running, the solution to ‘my floor is getting soaked’ isn’t ‘punch a big hole in the floor’, it’s turn off the damned faucets.

            Flat taxes always disproportionately impact the lowest end of the economic spectrum the most. They’re the people who have to spend a greater percentage of their income stream just to get the things they need. That’s pretty basic in economics.

            The game needs to change. But it needs to change in ways that make sense, that are well thought out, and that will actually address the structural issues in the game. So far, the only part of the ‘era of chaos’ that fits any of that is the VNI change… which was a good one! It put the Fed Navy ships in line with the rest of the Gallente line (1 has the bonus to local reps now), and makes what had been a pure ISK-printer into a solid PvP ship and still a decent ratter.. if you’re at the keys and paying attention.

            It’s also no coincidence that the VNI changes are pretty much the only thing that needed any actual time to figure out. Taxes? Change 3 values in the database. Blackout? Flip a switch. Right now, CCP is flinging every single piece of crap they can at the wall and hoping something sticks. Hilmar even said their philosophy right now is to not try to think too much about it. Well, they’re certainly hitting that mark.

            August 13, 2019 at 7:53 am
          • Aderoth Anstian Arrendis

            A small correction. J space doesn’t produce isk out of thin air like havens or sanctums. Blue loot has to be taken to a station and sold to npc orders. I know its a small difference but it is a difference.

            August 14, 2019 at 12:47 pm
          • Garreth Vlox The14th

            that’s a 4,000 account difference… do you even know how numbers work?

            August 15, 2019 at 12:37 am
          • Erick Asmock The14th

            New characters are not new players. That is a different metric they do not share.
            A 34k to 30K drop is about a 12% decline. That’s not flat.

            August 16, 2019 at 2:52 pm
          • Erick Asmock Arrendis

            It isn’t a positive to say that in 2019 we are basically where we were in 2006. Even if you say numbers are flat year over year it’s not good.

            Arrendis is correct year over year is the comparison you make. Lower peaks and deeper troughs are the sign of impending doom.

            The question you have is do we have a developer trying to make long term improvements or is this simply an earnings clause pump and dump?

            August 15, 2019 at 10:29 am
        • Guilford Australis The14th

          It’s also the same number of logins as in 2006. You think that’s a good thing?

          August 13, 2019 at 5:51 am
          • Well it actually is slightly higher than ’06, but no I don’t think that’s good. But it also explains CCP taking escalating actions to shake up the status quo. The login trend line is flat, has been for a few years. The game has to change to attract new players and maybe lure back some bittervets. Is what they are doing the right move? No idea, forums are not always representative of the majority opinion and it’s too soon to see a trend from where we sit.

            August 13, 2019 at 6:57 am
  • Lrrp

    Can’t argue with a thing you posted. Seen all the things you mentioned (except when I took a 2 year hiatus) and agree wholeheartedly that the game should die. The fake drifter attacks in null only to cease when goons pulled out of the North and then the local blackout are what are driving the stake into Eve’s heart for me. I’m finding playing Starcraft from the beginning holds more attraction than does playing Eve.
    I have to wonder if CCP’s higher ups are so well off that when Eve finally dies, they don’t have to worry about income anymore. I mean who would hire them? Does PA keep track of Eve at all to see how well their 450 million acquisition is doing and is their return on investment being met? As it stands, when my subscription ends so do I. Last one out please turn out the lights.

    August 12, 2019 at 10:29 am
    • Willem Lrrp

      Can i has your stuff ?

      August 13, 2019 at 8:06 am
      • Lrrp Willem

        No.

        August 13, 2019 at 12:30 pm
    • Alaric Faelen Lrrp

      I gotta say, it might be tinfoil hat but I have felt like CCP is actively against Goons (not even all of null sec really, just GSF) and many of their changes to the game are a direct shot at us.
      Isn’t the reason we even have a CSM because CCP got caught playing favorites? So they allow casinos but only until GSF loses a war then bans them before we start our own. We invade the north to actually have a big war- and CCP drops content they know will kill all war content.

      But if the shoe was on the other foot and we were getting hammered by Panfam, would CCP still have released the Drifter invasion? Or would they have ‘held off to let the sandbox go’ or some other excuse? Seeing how half-assed the invasion event was, makes it seem like the timeline of our war in the north drove them to release it unfinished.

      August 19, 2019 at 6:01 pm
  • Scott Wilson

    Maybe you are just bad at Eve. That could explain all of this.

    All not-kidding aside, relax. I’m sure they’ll turn local back on at some point.

    (all opinions of the troll are just opinions of a troll. They matter about as much as a warm bucket of gerbil vomit)

    August 12, 2019 at 11:01 am
    • Erick Asmock Scott Wilson

      You outed me! 🙂 I am bad at EVE.

      August 12, 2019 at 12:10 pm
      • Scott Wilson Erick Asmock

        But apparently you are great at existing. : ) Keep up the good work.

        August 12, 2019 at 1:00 pm
  • Part of the allure of EVE is overcoming the game and the developers and their bad choices and succeeding all the same. If EVE and CCP were completely shit we would all walk away. The pair of them are shit enough that most people do, but there must be something there to keep so many of us hanging around. Even people I know who have declared the game shit and walked away have come back from time to time because there simply isn’t another game like it.

    Which isn’t to say I disagree with anything you have said. I rolled up in 2006 as well and have experienced all the same awfulness over the years. I’ve stepped away a couple of times, but I always come back. There just isn’t another comparable choice out there. I mean, as a user base we argue over what the REAL game even is, and not in just the usual “casual vs. hardcore” or “raiders vs. non-raiders” way that other MMOs get broken down. And don’t get me started on the economy.

    What would take EVE Online’s place if it went away? I got nothing for that.

    August 12, 2019 at 1:32 pm
    • Guilford Australis Wilhelm Arcturus

      To paraphrase something I read once: Griefing players can be dealt with, but what are we supposed to do about griefing developers? Has any gaming community faced a similar scenario?

      August 12, 2019 at 9:42 pm
      • I am not sure any game has had quite as much grief felt by players as frequently, but through my own history with the MMORPG genre there have been long standing contentious relationships.

        WoW (the first MMO) has had a running battle with its fans over various features and changes that have “ruined” the game for most of its life. EQ (the zeroth MMO) also faced insurrections that spawned Kugu-like alternate forums when the hardcore felt they were being oppressed. And let us not forget UO (the negative oneth MMO?) where to this day there are players still mad about Trammel. Also, recall SWG and the NGE if you want to get into complete dev horror shows.

        So the genre has quite a history. I think some of it is because MMORPGs are unnatural beasts in the video game world, expected to carry on and last for years catering to people who seem resistant to change. To some extent it just seems like part of the genre landscape.

        August 14, 2019 at 3:20 pm
      • Hamzo Nerka Guilford Australis

        Ever played a Paradox game? Here’s a quick video on their business plan:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JEvhicbQPg

        August 16, 2019 at 6:10 am
        • Guilford Australis Hamzo Nerka

          I… honestly think it’s better than CCP’s business plan.

          August 16, 2019 at 2:59 pm
  • S Christner

    CCP should take a look at others within the space and see what they are doing right or wrong. One of the

    August 12, 2019 at 1:39 pm
    • indeed, free to play and 50 million players, CCP seems not to understand what a treasure having actual paying customers is. Now tell me you don’t have to pay to win in Warframe.

      August 12, 2019 at 3:19 pm
  • Guilford Australis

    A fine article. I think the fundamental problem for CCP – mentioned at several points in the article – is that the company views players as its enemies. This comes out in various ways: implementing features the developers know are unpopular and have been advised against by the CSM, refusing to fix known problems, perpetual anger at players for optimizing the tools the devs themselves created, and the obvious pleasure some of the more visible devs take at irritating the community. The general tone of every dev blog is that players are lazy, low-engagement morons who need to have their toys taken away as punishment for playing the game effectively. I can’t think of another company that cultivates this adversarial relationship toward its own customers.

    I’ve lost confidence in CCP over the past couple of years as I’ve witnessed the capriciousness, incompetence, and hostility driving the development process. I no longer trust CCP to make good decisions, and that leads me to conclude that I shouldn’t invest much in the game moving forward. Every dollar I spend on a subscription or PLEX simply entrenches me deeper in features that CCP will eventually break, nerf, eliminate, or unbalance. Ultimately, I think the main reason EVE still has a player base is that many of us are already very heavily invested, and it’s only natural to slip into the sunk costs fallacy.

    I still have one account subscribed and enjoy flying with a few alliance squads. I don’t hope for EVE or CCP to fail, but I can’t deny that the developer’s long history of disappointing players while simultaneously disparaging them may be hastening that process.

    August 12, 2019 at 1:46 pm
    • Alaric Faelen Guilford Australis

      I totally agree. I have said for a long time that CCP never recovered from losing certain devs to Riot Games. After that exodus, Eve has not been the same.

      Content back then arrived in expansions that players looked forward to. The final product always needed some tweaking but it was aimed at EXPANDING THE GAME.

      Now most of the time big changes are aimed at NERFING THE PLAYERS.

      Fundamental difference in approach when you make the players the enemy.

      August 13, 2019 at 2:34 pm
      • Guilford Australis Alaric Faelen

        Very true. Most of CCP’s work goes into thwarting players rather than developing new content. The only significant expansions we’ve gotten in the past three years were Citadel and Invasion – both of which have become controversial and at least one of which (Citadel) has accelerated stagnation more than any previous system outside of Aegis sov.

        It’s a sign of the game’s poor health that most discussion among players focuses on whether the latest nerfs are good or bad – not whether the latest expansion is worth playing.

        August 13, 2019 at 3:29 pm
  • Summer Bean

    I joined EVE not through a friend, but as a discarded game my sister played. I agree that the reasons I played SWG, and now EVE, is because of it community, the taking part in event’s.
    The second part I think is the ability that EVE players have to teach each other, and find ways of making good of the bad Job that CCP are doing at them moment. So again It come down to the community. I enjoy the EVE community I am in, and would be very sad to see everyone go their own way if EVE fails, very much the same happened to SWG when Sony made changes with the combat upgrade. We Lost our community. I am Enjoying EVE even though it has it ups and down.
    The rest of the article, I cannot comment on as I am new and still getting an understanding of what is going on.
    Really nice article Erick. Thank you

    August 12, 2019 at 1:58 pm
  • zeenkz

    Eve Online was a complete Indy project. I don’t think any major gaming studio wants to venture into this narrow niche. They’d rather make some star wars or GOT knockoff. Sell you a bunch of microtransactions and get on twitchtv to spike subs.

    August 12, 2019 at 2:46 pm
  • Caleb Ayrania

    You are not even wrong. Most of the above is 100% valid points, I just think its worth noting that you leave out a lot of the good reasons to stay in this bad relationship. The major one being that the rest of the gaming industry is so much worse, so much more lack lustre and so much more money grabbing. I guess what I am saying is that sometimes bad TLC is better than none.

    I guess we can bring the longer discussion onto the PTT show and try to figure out how to address the problem in a more constructive way, even though the chance that CCP is listening, or maybe actually understands the topics, could be slim.

    August 12, 2019 at 5:06 pm
    • Guilford Australis Caleb Ayrania

      I know other games are more shameless in their money-grabbing, but I have a hard time picturing spending more money on any other game than I have spent on EVE.

      As for whether there are other games that scratch the same itch… I dunno. One thing I’ve noticed about the EVE community is that we basically have Stockholm Syndrome. We’re all hostages in this mediocre space MMO, yet few of us are willing to walk away or give other games an honest try as long as EVE is still around.

      August 12, 2019 at 5:56 pm
      • The other games are all either branded experiences like Star Trek Online or twitch games like SC and ED. EVE players don’t want to play a TV show or movie nor do most of them want “biplanes in space”, although the weird physics ends up making it kind of like *jet skis* in space anyway. We want strategy and tactics – no other spaceship MMO I’ve heard of offers that. Their all just fighter sims. Nobody would be flying a space fighter when a computer would do the job ten times better and with no risk to life and limb. I’d say within 20 years it will be unusual for a first world nation to have a live pilot in the cockpit.

        August 18, 2019 at 12:04 am
    • Honestly since gaming has gone “mainstream,” and F2P and microtransactions have become the order of the day, I don’t really play any games anymore. It’s just not worth it. I’ve always stuck with EVE because it’s been the least-shitty game, but in the last few years I’ve mostly just straight-up reduced my video game time.

      Things I’ve done since EVE began boring me to death and no other games were better:

      – Became a commercial helicopter pilot / instructor
      – Took up rock-climbing, got less shitty at it
      – Started hiking on a somewhat regular basis
      – Lost 30 pounds
      – Learned to shoot
      – Met lots of people through work, some of whom are pretty cool
      – IDK, other stuff? It all blends together

      I still play around with other games sometimes (League of Legends, Starcraft, Albion Online a bit lately) and still returned to EVE for brief periods (not including the last month or so, where I’ve rage-quit to the point of refusing to log in at all), but for the most part I don’t play games anymore and I don’t miss them that much.

      The best part of playing EVE was the collection of friends I made doing it and the camaraderie involved in enduring the slog of nullsec life. Most of those people have wandered off to do other things by now and don’t appear to be coming back. As it turns out, you can make friends in the real world and do things with those people instead. Real life things aren’t always as fun or engaging (real talk: I’ve had more fun and felt greater sensations of intensity doing fake spaceship shit with my EVE friends than I have doing real stuff outside, but whatever), but sometimes they can be. At least your outside experiences are less likely to get randomly nerfed?

      v0v

      Life is like an MMO, but most of the career-paths are way more tedious. But as we know from EVE, if you’re bored doing whatever thing it is that most people are doing, just take your shit and go do something that interests you. If you can be successful in EVE, you’re smart enough to do interesting stuff IRL.

      August 13, 2019 at 5:22 am
    • Erick Asmock Caleb Ayrania

      This isn’t an article about why to play EVE. It is one about what is wrong with it. Different tropic. Unfortunately, the reasons to play are dwindling down to it being a bridge to meeting people like you.

      August 15, 2019 at 10:18 am
  • Duncan 1776

    I would love to see the whiteboards at CCP in their development division that show the flow of planned changes, predicted outcomes, and what the players could do to drive CCP’s plans off the rails. The CSM has been vocal in criticizing EVE Devs when it comes to concepts and game changes they know are either broken or will break under the player’s ingenuity. Yet, CCP management has had the reputation of just blowing off opinions of those that differ from theirs, whether it’s from the CSM or just a line player. So much wasted development resources spent on new gameplay not asked for by the majority of players, so much effort spent on improving features which are perfectly acequate at the time. Someone posted a meme which showed someone shooting themselves in the foot on the EVE forums as a view on how CCP development has been; a fitting opinion since most of game’s problems can be traced back to past design flaws and a lack of a cohesive and well focused management control.

    August 12, 2019 at 5:16 pm
    • Guilford Australis Duncan 1776

      The things you describe in the first sentence… I don’t believe they are a part of CCP’s development strategy. All available evidence suggests the devs spend most of their time and energy cooking up micro-fixes to imaginary problems or – at best – greatly exaggerated problems. That is why CCP’s fix-all for literally everything is a nerf. They don’t want to put in the hard work of fixing systems, so they look for easy tweaks they can patch in here and there to create an appearance of progress. “Hmm, the in-game economy is getting screwed up due to a convergence of highly complex factors that we can’t be buggered to figure out, so we’ll just blame it all on botting and… nerf Carriers, nerf Fighter damage application, nerf anomaly spawns, nerf the VNI (twice), nerf the Gila, and nerf the Networked Sensor Array. Nerf nerf nerf. Saves us the effort of analyzing why our game ended up in its current state and hence saves us from having to come up with actual solutions. Best of all, we get to be Reddit heroes, which is basically the same thing as being good game developers.”

      August 12, 2019 at 5:39 pm
  • CCP always likes playing the bad guy, unfortunately some players found that out in the worst way. Since [BWFZ] kinda broke up a while back, I guess I can now talk about Bill. Bill (as we called him, no one ever called him anything else) was well off in the world, both in-game and out, and had a habit of buying large amounts of plex on the 3rd party sites (think in hundreds), back in ’09. Bill was banned. Bill sued CCP. Bill won and forced CCP to reveal that, not only did they know that 3rd-party selling of plex was going on, but that they OWNED AND RAN 3 OF THE TOP 4 sites. Bill only sued them because he received a ban HOURS after a 12-month subscription was paid, and received a king’s ransom including his account un-banned and enough isk to start a capital war.

    August 12, 2019 at 6:48 pm
    • The14th IceTroll

      Was there any news coverage of this?

      August 13, 2019 at 2:55 am
      • CCP ran the black market plex trades until they had so much PR they started banning accounts en masse a few expansions later, the news coverage only expressed CCP’s disapproval of third party sites.

        August 13, 2019 at 5:27 pm
        • Erick Asmock IceTroll

          I would really like to see the source of this. Can you send links?

          August 15, 2019 at 10:15 am
  • Venerable

    I admit that I stopped playing over a year ago, and only come to this site to check up on the state of the game and to see what’s going on generally.

    I can’t agree or disagree with most the points that are made in this article. IMO the issue is CCP’s lack of leadership and failure to see into the future. When I played, I wanted to be a part of something greater than myself. The people I met and the things going on in game seemed to matter, and kept me coming back — for a time. I liken Eve, especially in null sec, to joining a biker gang. We rode around, saw the sights, drank a beer or other substance, and drove home. CCP tries to control this behavior by fixing the bikes rather than controlling the sights.

    I agree that capital ships on-line is a symptom of the disease. The players adapted and ISK was made. I had enough to get into a lesser capital ship by the time I retired. The joy of Eve left me when it became apparent that I was playing game that I couldn’t afford or more precisely I didn’t want to afford.

    The changes made in the “new environment” local black-out, drifters and other such non-sense make it easy to stay away. The fun of Eve was the player driven content, now after nearly two decades players have amassed virtual fortunes. CCP seems to looks at the problem, sees the symptoms, and instead of fixing the root causes they apply band aid after band aid, and wonder why the wound never heals. Throwing more pve style fixes creates changes in the game, but changes are not always good,and based on what’s being written the changes aren’t good. The changes aren’t fun. Another band aid over a soaked blood stained wound.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. CCp’s fix was hard but ultimately necessary. Static unlimited resources — endless rats, endless asteroids, endless planet resources. No incentive to pull up roots, nothing to the break the inevitable status quo. Endless ISK faucets. The goons control their space, and have adapted to the game to exploit the core issue, endless resources. The goons and the remainder of null sec find their own ways to exploit this one core issue, this one core problem — endless resources in your own space leads to no conflict and ultimately becomes the big blue do nut. The PvE band aids do nothing to fix the big blue do nut. In fact I can see from afar it creates more incentive to stay home. Where is the fun in that?

    I’ll admit that I once had hope. Player made star gates created the opportunity to open up more space, which could then lead to scaled resources in null sec based on player activity. I’d hoped that CCP would eventually understand that static unlimited resources are the core problem.

    I agree that CCP needs to rebuild Eve from the ground up. The ships and art can be kept, but the idea of null sec and how players interact with the surrounding needs to be adjusted to keep the area in constant flux. The ability to more efficiently exploit the endless resources aka Roquals, afk ratting and the like are just predictable behavior for players where the name of the game is ISK, and the ability to play at the highest levels is tied to ISK. The monster released is another core problem, the player base has become composed of the have and the have nots and no real meaningful way to integrate new players into the nearly two decade problem.

    To lower the amount of ISK CCP needs content drivers that cause ships to explode. Those content drivers are useless unless CCP recognizes that unlimited static resources are not “real” and lie at the heart of the problem. Until that problem is addressed, there’s no reason to invade, there’s no reason for conflict. Now as the article points out, CCP is the enemy. The developer being cast as the enemy is a bone headed strategy that’s not healthy for the game.

    Sorry for the long post.

    August 12, 2019 at 7:13 pm
  • Alaric Faelen

    CCP has pushed the game in this exact direction for years. So much so that large parts of the game have been utterly stagnate for ages while CCP puts all it’s efforts into log in gimmicks and ‘fixing’ sov null.

    Then they decide that it’s no good and want to shake the etch-a-sketch, pulling the rug out from all the players that have simply been playing the game CCP has forced on us all this time.

    And who says the current evolution is ‘bad’?

    For me personally, as a lowly line pilot with one account- the rise of the sov empire has allowed me to engage in content I otherwise wouldn’t get to. For example for most of Eve’s history the limiting factor in flying capital ships wasn’t money or SP but rather the willingness to run multiple accounts in the form of cyno alts, scouts, rescue and repair, etc. While it’s still not recommended- it’s possible for a single account player to get into capital ships, given intel channels, safe cyno fleets, and standing rescue from a supercap umbrella. It’s not just a matter of ‘krabbing is bad’, nerfing that is also taking content away from people, and obsessively punishing groups for being ‘too large’ by some arbitrary measure has the same effect.
    CCP has pushed the meta to capital mining and ratting- it’s the big sov alliances like GSF that have found a way to make it accessible to everyone. For that I feel like we’re punished.

    August 12, 2019 at 9:06 pm
  • Bill Bones

    Back in July 2018 I was convinced that EVE’s impending doom had slipped forward to November 2021 (as opposed to November 2023).

    It still is a couple of years in the future, but my hunch is looking right. CCP is losing the game.

    August 12, 2019 at 10:28 pm
    • The14th Bill Bones

      Keep saying the world is gonna end and I suppose eventually somebody will be right.

      August 13, 2019 at 2:57 am
  • Emrys Alf

    I hope that the end is not coming but a beautiful future when the people with the money realize what is going on.

    August 12, 2019 at 11:33 pm
  • The14th

    Your idea that CCP/EVE is stopping a new, better game from forming is flawed by assuming any game would emerge at all. It’s no secret that the MMO format is all but dead, and full simulation games even more so. The only games that have come down the pipe lately are ELITE Dangerous (the series CCP took inspiration from) and Star Citizen (if it ever leaves alpha). Both of those were crowd funded with a heavy nostalgia push. No major studio has released anything resembling EVE in some time.

    CCP isn’t swimming in cash, pretty much the whole reason they sought a buyer. What studio is going to look at them and say “yeah, I’ll sign up for that”? EVE isn’t perfect, but all signs point to it being all we’ve got.

    August 12, 2019 at 11:33 pm
    • Erick Asmock The14th

      Maybe there will be and maybe there won’t. Bottom line is if it fails we could all stop seeing Hilmar quote Ghandi like a stoned and delusioned Beatle quoting the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

      August 13, 2019 at 1:21 am
      • The14th Erick Asmock

        When was Hilmar quoting Ghandi? Also, are you so thin skinned that something like that makes you want a company to fail?

        August 13, 2019 at 2:41 am
          • The14th Arrendis

            Dear Lord, obviously we must burn him at the stake! For it says that if you quote Ghandi then you’re obviously… I dunno, Hitler or something. If that’s his bad behavior then I’ll be thankful that he hasn’t been groping interns, saying racist crap, or routing company money into his magic act.

            August 13, 2019 at 7:18 am
          • Arrendis The14th

            Eh, if tweeting his ‘Quote of the Day’ calendar was all he’s been doing, he’d be EVE’s eccentric uncle. With everything else, it’s just one more thing irritating some folks.

            August 13, 2019 at 2:59 pm
          • Guilford Australis Arrendis

            Implied self-comparisons to Ghandi could be considered poor form in general.

            Implied self-comparisons to Ghandi as a lazy and transparent attempt to deflect from controversy created by one’s own incompetence are… particularly poor form.

            August 13, 2019 at 3:44 pm
          • Erick Asmock Guilford Australis

            We have a winner!

            August 13, 2019 at 7:09 pm
          • Garreth Vlox The14th

            “I’ll be thankful that he hasn’t been groping interns, saying racist crap, or routing company money into his magic act.”

            I think we just found hilmar’s troll account.

            August 15, 2019 at 12:34 am
        • Erick Asmock The14th

          Methinks you are bereft of humor. But yeah…it’s just dumb.

          August 13, 2019 at 3:04 pm
  • RothLord

    Rework sov mechanics make territory flipping a bit easier and introduce “crop rotation” to null resource allocation. Give people reasons to fight and the possibility back to take, lose, trade, etc sov. 2 simple things that will have a huge positive impact in the end.

    August 13, 2019 at 3:52 am
  • The ultimate meta game:

    – Organize a mass un-sub from EVE
    – Tank the value of the game, force CCP into bankruptcy
    – Player-run cooperative buys the IP for pennies on the dollar
    – Player-run cooperative fixes the fucking game
    – EVE lives on, a shining example of actual space-communism

    Like yeah, ha-ha-ha, but I’m pretty sure we could accomplish this with just Goonswarm players, let alone a community-wide initiative.

    August 13, 2019 at 4:40 am
    • psycros Ganthrithor

      I’ve seen this kind of thing suggested before and I’d fully support it just to see Hilmar and company get the axe. The only thing is, you’d have a GoT type of power struggle once the dust settled that made CSM elections or alliance betrayals look like a game of musical chairs. No, what’s needed is a game that has all the gameplay elements most of us liked about EVE but with none of the BS. Even if that game was EVE II it would still be necessary to start fresh. Ideally PVP would either be 100% consensual or 100% mandatory..but attacking someone in protected space would actually have consequences. Players would be able to hire AI-controlled mercenaries as extra protection, the number and quality of which would be based not only on wealth but also n factors like leadership skill, reputation and security rating.

      August 18, 2019 at 12:15 am
  • Willem

    Like there is any other choose.
    There is no other EVE like game out there and it will never be replaceable.
    EVE has been build on a completly different gaming culture then we have these day’s.
    It was the community that made EVE what it is, CCP just supplied the tools.
    If it gets lost it will be lost for ever so be carefull what you whish for

    August 13, 2019 at 8:34 am
    • Erick Asmock Willem

      If the gaming culture is different these days then it undoubtedly will go away. Companies invest in things that the gaming culture wants because it is the only way to get new players.

      August 15, 2019 at 10:11 am
  • loquacious7

    With all the player based resources now available and well written articles like this also available. One would assume changing some if not all of these issues would be easier.
    My learning curve always seemed more difficult than others :p.. Every day after work for a few years I skilled up and ran missions. My goal was to be maxed out skill carrier pilot in some great war. I joined a corp, we joined a coalition and moved to null sec. as soon as I had my carrier skills up to fleet combat levels the carrier was nerfed. Without fail every ship doctrine was nerfed. I have billions of assets “shelved” due to nerfs… and rarely log on now. All my old mates i talked to daily are gone. I witnessed some great groups while playing this game. It is a tradgedy that old vets/players that want to come back to the game find it in worse shape than when they finally gave up playing due to all the overcorrections the dev’s made. with all that said this is my favorite game.

    August 14, 2019 at 11:13 pm
    • Erick Asmock loquacious7

      You have exemplified the Nerf Strategy, as I call it. You work hard. You invest in the game and items in the game. Once you achieve the goals you get the rug pulled out from under all your work by the developer.

      Many players have quit because once they work hard it is for naught. CCP needs to understand that. You would think after us telling them that over and over it might sink in.

      August 15, 2019 at 10:09 am
  • psycros

    Four to five months? Try four to five *years*, and probably longer for glorified amateurs like CCP. No, they need to start over completely. I was saying five years ago that they should be working on EVE II.

    August 17, 2019 at 11:53 pm
  • psycros

    If you disable drone aggro you make drones even more worthless in PvP than they already are. Their not much good for PvE either except when the enemy has targeting jammers.

    August 18, 2019 at 12:07 am
  • Painhawg

    Pretty simple really. Don’t play. It is a game. While that sounds harsh, it is really no more harsh than telling new folks to suck it up when they get destroyed time and time again. Cry me a river. Of tears. Salty and delicious.

    August 20, 2019 at 9:18 pm
  • Nikkei Harlock

    I joined EVE in 2014, and I then joined a corporation called DerpCore Mining LLC. We had war declared on us by CODE after a couple weeks of carebear mining and enjoying ourselves, and then we moved out to null-sec. I’ve been there ever since, being unable to make enough ISK to actively keep a subscription, through ratting.

    I started playing again recently, and it seems to have gotten even harder. Ratting in sub-caps is either too expensive to be worth risking it with the blackout, or doesn’t make enough per tick in the case of a VNI now. I was able to afford a single month of subscription and honestly.. I can’t see myself getting more. I’ve always had trouble getting enough ISK for PLEX, but with the price sitting at near 1.7bil for 500 in my region right now, it’s seeming even more impossible to do. Especially because I can’t make anything with my VNI, I don’t have long enough to skill into a carrier or Ishtar, and exploration seems to be entirely not worth it now that armour plate prices have dropped like stones.

    I’m a small player in a mostly inactive corporation that is in a fairly well seated alliance, and I can’t afford to pay for a subscription with real money, and instead want to invest my time in being able to play the game to the level I want. Until I came back this time, I never once felt like CCP didn’t want me playing their game. I always felt that the reason I never made enough is because I didn’t have the discipline to do so, but now, I feel that even if I invested 16 hours a day in playing EVE for the remaining 7 days of Omega I have, I wouldn’t make enough to PLEX again, sitting at 1bil ISK already. It seems that CCP doesn’t want me playing their game, and there’s nothing I can do about that. It makes me sad to say that I’m heavily considering just quitting altogether, and hoping that one day another game comes out to fill the void that EVE will leave.

    Thank you for the article, as writings like these help me look objectively at something that may otherwise be wasting precious time.

    August 21, 2019 at 2:01 am
  • Gizznitt Malikite

    Thank you for taking the time to write the article. CCP has made several wtf decisions over the years, but that’s not necessarily a reason the game “should Fail”.

    A few things I feel like you fail to acknowledge but are relevant:
    A.) There are many types of games out there that cater to many different play styles. However, with most MMO’s, friendship is a major reason people continue to play the game. Do you really think WoW’s success was because it’s fun to grind XP and gear? If 60% of the players are continuing to play because of their friends, that’s a good thing.

    B.) This game thrives on imbalances. In general, EVE’s shifting nerfs and boost are aimed to change the game meta, so we have a dynamic game that shifts over time. These imbalances, while annoying if you don’t grasp that things change, are what helps keep the game going. This involves tactically poor game design, and it involves radical nerfs when players abuse the imbalances.

    C.) EvE Online won’t “die” a quick death. Many will hang on for the community, many will hang on because they still enjoy it as entertainment, and many will hang on for the nostalgia. To be harsh though, you didn’t give a reason to leave now. You simply posted a laundry list of straws that eventually eroded your desire to sub. That’s understandable, but you also do it at a time where CCP is clearly attempting to address some of the in game problems.

    To be frank, for all the “substance” you put in this article, it really lacks critical thinking. It’s essentially the emo equivalent of a rage-quit thread.

    August 28, 2019 at 9:44 pm