Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Universe of Monuments

You will have noticed that it's been a little quiet here on the blog lately. To be completely honest, I've come down with a rather nasty case of bitter vet syndrome of which has been a lot harder to shake this go around.

My frustrations are pretty simple.

First, I do not feel that the current state of the game is maintainable by CCP's current release structure and mindset. EVE has polarized over the years into a lot of very distinct islands of gameplay --closed systems where one does not much affect the other.

As a result, when CCP focuses on one part of the game, it means that many other things get entirely ignored and untouched.

Unlike many, I do not believe that EVE needs a Jesus feature. And, in comparing another game's expansion to EVE, I do not think another game does better at creating satisfaction because they create a large amount of new content for players. I think the flaw is in that EVE's expansions usually only touch a small subset of the playerbase. Fixing one island has little affect on the other islands.

I'm a developer in real life, and a realistic one at that. I fully realize the concept of not having the resource to fix everything all the time. And, I'm not trying to make the point that CCP needs to iterate on Faction War every release.

What I am saying, is that we need to be working toward getting rid of the islands altogether, and integrating certain things so that one gameplay has a bigger impact (or an impact at all!) on another. Then, when CCP iterates on anything it will ripple down, affecting a greater number of people.

And, you won't have the feeling among the player base that 'oh, they are focusing on X for now, so all the mechanics that affect you aren't going to really see much change for the next three to five years.'

Secondly, I've lost my trust in CCP.

I've been told a lot that they are working on something awesome. There has been a lot of winks, and nudges, and hinting. But, I never feel that CCP delivers upon their promises. Someone leaves their employ and they hire someone else for whatever position and all of a sudden it's about some 'new direction' the game is going in. Or, they realize how hard something is going to be and retreat to the safety of throwing us a few bones instead --in the form of new ships and etc.

I'm sick of the 'maybe somedays' and the 'just you waits.' I feel like we've been crossing the Rubicon for ages. Crossing, always crossing --never arriving anywhere.

To be blunt, I feel like CCP is scamming me.

Finally, I think the sandbox is strangling us.

People always write and talk about 'the sandbox' as if being a sandbox is the end-all be-all of everything. The sandbox is god. We must not do anything that could potentially be seen as interfering with the sandbox.

The sandbox has become our ball and chain:

The actions of a few are ruining the gameplay of many? We cannot interfere. It is part of the sandbox and within their rights to do.

We can't implement X because it would hurt the sandbox, even if it would greatly improve some aspect of the game.

We can't give new players Y because it would hurt the sandbox.

You know on those 'end of the world' shows or movies where they display a city that is hauntingly overgrown, and deserted? They show a child's toy near a swing, or a newspaper on the ground, or a bicycle leaning against a building -- to hint at the life that once was there.

Sometimes, I feel that this is where EVE is heading. The wars and battles  and building of empires will be a thing of the past --talked about in reminiscent detail. We will become a stagnant husk of our so called ideals. Where not a stone must be moved or an old building tore down by CCP for fear that they may disturb some effect someone had on the sandbox long ago.

In fact, I'm not convinced that we aren't well on our way there--a place where it is more interesting to talk about what happened in EVE, then what is happening in EVE.

An entire universe of monuments.


  1. "The actions of a few are ruining the gameplay of many?" Who are you talking about?

  2. I actually agree, all I see is people complaining their part of the game not having attention or this needing happening or ccp done this and I hate that etc etc. People are destroying EVE. I read a thread about sacking CCP was that idea, I think the metagame has now involved trying to destroy EVE as a whole.

  3. You put into words quite well the discontent quite a few of us bitter vets feel towards our favorite game. It's difficult to put a finger on it sometimes because it has so many moving parts but I found myself nodding as I read your recent post. I don't think CCP gets it or will ever get it.


  4. Being bitter is sometimes close to being gone..I want you to recover from your bittervet episode soon, because Eve is a better place with you in it.

  5. "The sandbox is killing us" - YES! I am so tired of "but sandbox!" as an argument as to why CCP shouldn't do something, or as to why a player doing X Y Z is perfectly fine.

    Yes it's a sandbox... but it's one bounded and designed by CCP. Let's take a scam that you can't do in the game right now... I put 100 warrior IIs on the market... but in fact, they aren't real warrior IIs. They are warrior Is with a nifty paint job. I may be able to pull that off with a contract and hoping you don't notice, but on the market? 100% absolutely impossible.

    And I think you'll agree this is a good thing! If certain types of scam were possible, the EVE economy would collapse! So bounds and limits can be good. Certain types of actions and behavior hurt the game and community as a whole, and it's something worth discussing. "But sandbox!" isn't always a valid argument. Sometimes the sandbox needs limits - it already has, it's a box, not a beach.

  6. Kind of feeling the same way here. I've put myself on a little island also. I've explored other islands, but they're just not very interesting to me. Now, the island I'm on isn't keeping my interest either.

    When I log on, its usually to update my skill queue. As I'm approaching 100m sp I'm thinking "Cap Ships? No. Industry? No. Mining. LOL. Exploration? Oh that's already finished..... And that's when it starts to occur to me that maybe I've finished EVE.

    Then I start to think about what would keep me subscribed a while longer. New frontier? New structures? New exploration sites? New industry mechanics? No. What would happen if Sov was reset? Nope. What if CCP unlocked the door? The time when that would have kept my interest has long since past. Didn't I hear about some sort of interface with one of their other products?

    I've read Jesters account of CSM proceedings. NDA...Its going to be exciting....NDA...CCP seemed sincerely interested in CSMs feedback...NDA...I'm skeptical but...NDA.

    I know exactly what it would take to keep my interest. What if all of the PVE content was somehow linked together, and tied into Sov and the security of High Sec? What if your little island was threatened by incursions? Or maybe FW threatened the Sov structure? Why don't sleepers ever come out of the WH? And why is Empire space so static? I've done so many missions for Gallente that my fingers are bleeding, and the only thing that's been accomplished is that I've gained access to clones and LP stores. And when I stopped doing missions, the security of Dodixie didn't budge even the slightest bit toward yellow. Concord has spent TRILLIONS of isk fighting the Sansha Incursion and they never once had to increase taxes to pay for it! Sansha has deployed millions of battleships but, remarkably, none of the asteroid belts have been depleted. AND no station in New Eden has ever been destroyed! No pirate faction has ever taken control of Null Sec. Pilots have never flown in fleets with Concord or Guristas. CCP needs to tie the story to New Eden and blur the lines between PVP and PVE. The back story should guide the outcome and the outcome should not be pre-determined.

    Jesus feature? Maybe. I think EVE could use a little Salvation these days.

    1. Yep. And there's like this huge war going on that many people may not have know, one involved the four primary factions of EVE? But one militia losing their shirt doesn't seem to affect anything with regards to anything except the winners pocket.

  7. Wow that was negative. I'm honestly not sure what game you are playing? My Eve is better than ever and the people I hang out with are having a blast playing it, enjoying it, running events in it and generally undocking and finding fun each and every day. I'd suggest that if you are indeed in a rut that you break free of the rut, stop looking at trees and start seeing the forest.

    Eve is vibrant, evolving, growing (we are currently seeing a huge new bro spike!) and the expansions continue to be free. Nothing is perfect, but seriously, this doom and gloom is depressing. Take a break and go pet a puppy.

    Then come back and get busy playing again. My 2 cents.

    1. I'm not trying to be negative, but honest. And I think at this point saying that everything is peachy and that someone who has an issue with the game probably just needs a break is a bit naive in all honesty.

    2. Rixx's corner of the universe just hasn't been metagamed into submission yet. It'll be a while before his play style gets boxed, but I expect it will be, and sooner then you might think.New Eden is an ecosystem of sorts and even Rixx's brand of PvP is depends on factors and inputs that have nothing to do with ship types or pilot skills.

      I'm afraid Susan may be right.

  8. I felt like this for a while, and I almost took a hiatus. Then, I did some new things. I changed alliance. I started flying capitals. I started suicide ganking for money. I started a secret side project or two. I did new things. Now i'm as happy as i've ever been in this game.


  9. Could be worse. Could be DUST. Heading on for a year and we still don't have all the racial dropsuits, weapons, vehicles and modules. There is an entire game mode (Planetary Conquest) entirely locked up by a few alliances. There's virtually no New Player Experience and everyone without the top level gear is getting stomped by those who do, or tanks.

    I still play EVE and DUST though. I still have faith that CCP will deliver on their vision and give us a game that will last another 10 years and keep getting better. (I see EVE and DUST as two parts of the same game really)

  10. Wow. *slow clap*

    Agree or not, that was a damn awesome piece of writing.

    Presentation aside, I do happen to agree with a lot of what you're saying. "Bounding the sandbox", though, that could go either way... though I hope by the "Empire War" reference you do _not_ mean that hisec should become even more of an "Island Unto Itself" than it already is.

  11. Good blog post which cums up how I feel.

    And I'm not a vet, i've been playing for only 18 months, but I feel like I started playing too late and missed the glory days.

    Nullsec has been stitched up by four or five people with the collusion of CCP. The direction CCP have been taking with the recent three content free expansions seems bizarre to me. The vested interests of a very very small minority of players is strangling the game.

    I don't see me being around in another 18 months, and everyone I talk to says the same.