Industry has become a pretty hot topic lately, now that it has been made evident that it will be the main focus for the summer expansion. Several dev blogs about potential changes have made it out, and some of the changes have caused quite a stir.
I’ve done a fair bit of manufacturing over the years out of necessity of running an alliance shop, but for the most part I’ve avoided jumping too deep into industry during my time playing EVE. Not because I’m some sort of pirate elitist who snubs my nose at the ‘carebears’ but because it sounds boring to me.
Maybe that’s just my limited and flawed perspective. But it seems like the ‘gameplay’ of industry is more or less moving items between containers, sitting around waiting for something to happen every X minutes, or dumping a bunch of stuff into a black box, waiting, and getting whatever it was you were wanting on the other end after some amount of time. –An amount of time that you can reduce by some factor based on shoving something else into a different black box and waiting for a different amount of time.
My biggest fear for the summer expansion, based on what I’ve read so far of the dev blogs, is that we are simply getting a different shade of what we already have.--That the numbers and interfaces will change, but the spreadsheets in space feeling that is so prevalent in industry will remain.
I’m also disappointed. I’ve always had this idea that CCP was moving toward making things less NPC based. More players interactions. More player control.
These changes seem to indicate the exact opposite. Instead of interesting player interactions, it seems like they’re focusing more on players’ interactions with screens and interfaces. Instead of more player-run things, and player involvement, they’re introducing even more NPC run systems. And ultimately, it all feels like even more spreadsheets in space.
Maybe my opinion doesn’t mean a whole lot. I’m not an epic industrialist. But I do like to ask myself what it would take for me to become more interested in industry. Is it really just a matter of a difference in liking to blow things up vs not liking to blow things up? What is it that pvp has for me that industry doesn?
The answer is simple. I like:
1. Interesting player interactions. I like playing with and against people. Adjusting numbers on a screen, and doing things purely interacting with a game mechanic or NPC doesn’t cut it for me. This is why many aspects of industry has always seemed boring. You don’t even have the choice to interact –there are no such tools.
2. Interesting stories. I like being a part of an interesting story, in a totally non role-play or creepy way. The ‘story’ of how you killed someone is interesting. How you hunted someone. How you made decisions about your ship to achieve some goal. How you flew with your bros, and etc.
Where’s the stories in industry? Besides number analysis, charts and discussions about various spreadsheets?
3. Interesting choices. PVP is all about choices, and these choices help you create a sort of identity for yourself. We squabble all the time about what it means to be a pirate, or how to fly a ship effectively.
Industry seems more one dimensional. Because you’re interacting mostly with NPCs, or the game mechanics there are very specific rules for everything you want done. You can’t make choices about a new or interesting way to make something. There aren’t different ways to conduct research.
Manufacturer's don't argue about the best way to build a Megathron.
It kind of feels like CCP is trying to sort of change that with the idea of ‘teams’ though I’m not particularly enthusiastic that this will work or be enough.
In the end, all of this sounds good on paper, but how do you apply it practically? How do you make manufacturing ‘fun’? How do you make extracting stuff from rocks ‘fun’? How do you make it less spreadsheets and more ‘stuff happening’?
An excellent bunch of things for me to explore in part 2. =)