Is EVE Online a multiplayer game?  Of course it is.  Just like in Elderscrolls Online, players coalesce into groups and engage in teamwork toward a common objective.  Go through the list of multiplayer games and you see pretty soon that the vast majority has solid single player content and engaging multiplayer content.  Apparently, the duality of both content streams is not seen as a “either, or” for the developers.

There are good reasons to have both, single player and multiplayer content in the same platform.  Firstly, single player content allows the human to learn his craft, understand the controls, keyboards, mouse, weapons and so on.  I challenge anyone to a WoW style battleground or Arena match who has not spend a day in PvE.  Sure, someone has certainly done it.  But its neither the norm nor fun.  PvE content prepares for PvP content, its that simple.  I give you one better.  Shooting other players makes you a better at shooting NPC, as a tank in WoW, I valued my PvP experience in situational awareness and preparation for pulls.

And while raids and dungeons are fun, sometimes you come home from work and really don’t want to interact with people.  You want to log in, envoy the scenery, solve a puzzle, basically, you want a single player experience.  Please do not talk to me, right now.  In all multiplayer games, this is possible.  You do not have to raid, you do not have to PvP, you do not have to talk to other people if you do not want to.

So, single player and multiplayer content are seen to be vital to co-exist and support each other to give the player a whole experience.

Except in EVE.

In New Eden, the single player content is pitiful, the missions are boring and repetitive. Players who try to enjoy the content are harangued, ganked, laughed at and basically driven out.  Not just by other players but also by the game company itself whose salaries they are paying.  The famed EVE videos HTFU and the recent Killing is just a means of communication summarize the attitude of CCP.  If you do not engage in PvP, if you do not fly in a fleet, if you do not live in nullsec gtfo of our game.

CCP published some interesting numbers.  50% of new players leave after a few weeks. Presumably because the game does not bring the enjoyment they were looking for when downloading and creating a character.  10% of new players engage in group activities and likely stick around for a longer time.  A full 40% however starts running missions and faces an incredibly arrogant and hostile environment.  Even CCP officially states that those 40% “don’t engage in a diverse range of activities” but “doing that straight-forward themepark” are “leveling up their raven”.

Ok, lets pause.  If I derided 40% of my new customers in the way that this CCP employee did and do that in public, I would likely get fired.  CCP thinks they get away with it because they officially do not like and do not want these players at all.  They want to channel all of them into the group, PvP content because those players stick around and participate in media-generating massive lag-fests battles.  Nobody gives a crap about the solo miner, the declared goal now is to use the tutorial to channel the players directly into the segment of the 10% of “valuable” playstyle.

Oh my.  And CCP is wondering why their game is running on a couple of hundred thousand players. (yes, yes, I know.  500k accounts.  My ballpark figure is that the average number of accounts / human player is somewhere between 2 and 5).

So, instead of beefing up the mission system, instead of bringing new content for the single player, the lone wolf, the PvE player, the fix is to drive people into the megablobs of nullsec since that is the pinnacle of EVE team play.  Right.

The blogosphere has responded rather quickly.  Jester wrote about this, seemingly supportive of this move.  Evehermit asks himself why should he expect that the promised new space is anything but an extension of nullsec and another playground for goons and their blue friends? TurAmarth posts a open letter to CCP asking what CCP will do for smaller groups, solo players.  We all expect this letter to be ignored since Tur does not matter.  He does not fly in nullsec.  (Edit.  Tur did get an answer from no other than CCP Seagull herself.  Go to his blog and read her response to his question. Its exactly what we all wanted to hear.  A little bit too exactly.  But who am I to call “marketing spin” after I have been so wrong with my first call?)

As usual, I consider CCP to be entirely on the wrong track.  I do not care what they say but a solid solo experience with tie-ins to multiplayer dungeons and missions allows players to hone their skill appreciate the beauty that EVE can be, develop their character and some stickiness and the comfort level to risk a little more each day.

If anything truly “kills” EVE, it is CCP’s arrogance toward their own customers.


17 responses to “Arrogance

  1. Being a person that rails and hugs CCP in bi-polar way, I’m gonna stick up for the vid here. Because I love my man Guard, and because I’ve died horribly to some of their dev roams.

    I began as a miner in my first corp. I started as a missioner and started building stuff. That appealed to me more me. I like making my own stuff still. There wasn’t a lot of hand-holding. Eve is like the Spartans throwing their children to the wild. If your instincts make it back, then you are trainable. A lot of people like this. A lot more don’t. There is hand-holding everywhere by players, and they lead what others call a blob.

    You, anyone, can be a sheep in eve, waiting for the hollering of the shepherd, grass or no grass. Don’t be defeated by what others call conspiracy or shrivel when presented with odds intended to cow the enemy. Eve is a big place, but it’s ONE place.

    • and where, pray tell are the Spartans now? Their system of throwing children into the wild may have – if actually true – be media savvy. But in the end, Greece and Rome wiped Sparta off the map and their culture perished.

      I hear your argument and I agree that the brutal indoctrination forms the culture of EVE. The problem is not that. the problem is that 50% of the players never get to see that indoctrination and that 40% do not feel prepared, interested or ready for it. Abandoning 90% of your – already paying! – customers is dumb being arrogance. It is reckless.

      PvE must be the entry way to EVE. Without a solid PvE environment, the PvP corps cant be fed with recruits, the ISK has to flow and rocks have to be mined. Things have to be built. PvE must be made meaningful, enjoyable and a scale-able experience. Incursions for groups, missions and Plexes for solo players.

      • You can say that with an entire patch nearly dedicated to Industry?

        The new player experience does indeed suffer, sometimes because of players – but mostly, imo, because of bad introduction to the UI, the world/universe (map), and no quick-access training ground. People with answer, like, Bronia did to me at Vegas, that that is what SiSi is for. I disagree. The more sources that you point to externally the more it proves how broken/unintuitive Eve can be to a new player. Keeping playing IN Tranquility should be the goal.

        I think that is served best by linking access to SiSi like a holodeck via that stupid door in CQ or get that art team to bust out tutorial vids.

        P.s. The Persians helped.

        • Yes, the patch helped rejuvenate industry and consolidate manufacture and research in nullsec. Correct me if I am wrong but the patch does little for the 2 week old character who is coming out of the tutorial and chose whether he wants give up (50%), run missions (40%) or do something else (10%). Industry does not play a big role here. Mining, yes. Exploration (and ninja raiding ore sites in Low sec), certainly help.

          Wrt SiSi, yes, I tried once to figure out how to do booster productions and had to build a POS on SiSi and do it before I understood the futility of my endeavor. SiSi as a training ground for Tranq is a bad idea for a bunch of reasons (the asynchronous skill queues being one issue). SiSi should not be a test server to train players but for CCP to trial new features. Opening a door (which door?) to this server can not help, embedding a much more comprehensive help system _may_ help. Making EVE more intuitive _will_ help.

          • 😦 I guess you’re right on keeping SiSi as it is.

            As for new players. I’ve seen two week olds in faction warfare do pretty good! Farmers are taking all their money though.

    • Ah! words of wisdom. Beer never fails to convince me of the errors in my ways.

      Twitter is alive? Must I really log in?

  2. Heeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyy!!! …since Tur does not matter…!! I’m NOT AN ANIMAAAAAL!!!!!

    You know, it is weird to both strongly agree with the point you make, and yet feel sooo… -pout- =\

    (ref the movie, title and lead actor… if you can!)

    • Sorry about that. I knew you’d understand…. And I hope we have beers next week Saturday? Sugar has a post up.

      Wrt movie quote, cant find it!

      Edit. Elephant man?

      • I sure did understand… and then this afternoon, we were both proved completely wrong… and oh how incredibly wrong we were my friend!!!

        The movie I had in mind was;
        A Man Called Horse, May 1970, Richard Harris lead.
        actual quote: “I am not a Horse!!!!”

        But you are correct, the word for word quote is from Elephant Man… seems my addled brain gets them confused… sheesh.

        • I am impressed. You asked a direct question and got a direct answer, quickly and without (much) spin.

          I wish there was a body of players who could do this all the time, they would be selected by election by all of us and work with CCP to bridge the gap.

          Oh, wait.

          Tur for CSM 10!

          • ZOMG!!! My wife would KILL ME dead, dead, dead… LOL

            I gotta admit though, all I did was ask, in clear term, what was on all our minds…

            “I see” said the blind man,
            “I hear”, said the deaf man,
            “Mmm mm” said the mute…

  3. “If you do not engage in PvP, if you do not fly in a fleet, if you do not live in nullsec gtfo of our game.”
    I pretty much did this. 🙂

    The solo part is very important to even the big null-players too… When you have a hour or two more to spend in-game than your buddies, when you have an unexpected event IRL and can’t be online when the others, when your corp/alli decides to try something out for a night what you certainly don’t want to be part of, etc… There’s a hell lot of events when even a hardcore PvPer, socializer might want to spend alone…

    • Hey Thf, how have you been mate? Yes I agree. The solo part is important for hardcore pvp-ers when RL interferes. Not everyone has all day to sit on a gate or a cyno waiting to jump into some big battle. Some log in, run some plex, log off. If EVE does not offer this, they play another game further reducing the number of online players….

      • I’m fine, thanks for asking…
        I loved WHs, but hated being alone all day. So I slowly lost interest to the point where I cancelled my subscriptions. Now I’m reading more, watching series more… And found another space-sim which is definitely subpar in overall, but interesting enough to suffer it through with a nice group of people I managed to find. And a nice little addition is, my bro also plays it, yeey! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Leaving EVE | Pilgrim in Exile

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