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BB52 – Here be Dragons

January 19, 2014

… and some over here, and a few there, and a few more… lets see, oh yes, there too….

EvE Online has been a big part of my life for the last five+ years. It has been a huge distraction. An extremely welcome one and a bloody frustrating one too, not infrequently all at the same time. I’ve put more hours into this game both on and offline than I really care to think about.

I have no figures to throw your way. No hard data, no critical analysis with supporting metrics, arguments and conclusions. I’m certainly no Jester, Kirith, Mabrick, Rixx or Roc. I’m just a guy who, over some time, has developed a feel for how the game is going. Partly gut feel, partly because we operate at what is traditionally the quietest time in EvE. Right at the edges where things fray before other busier time zones. Where numbers are sufficiently small that any major change is pretty apparent, pretty quickly.

Right now it’s quiet. Closing in on the under 20k online kind of quiet. The kind of quiet that fills me with some trepidation.

EvE has in some ways, become the swiss army knife of MMOs. Bounty system, check. Faction warfare, check. Incursions, check. Crafting (science and industry), check.  Exploration, um…. check? But the problem is that with each additional bolt on, the essence of EvE is diluted. Couple that with the rise of the special interest groups and very vocal critics of any change to “their” particular area (yes, Dinsdale Piranha I’m looking at you), from CCPs perspective I can imagine that they’d feel a little like being on the receiving end of Billy Connolly’s demands (…and f#$king pay attention because tomorrow the demands will all be changed!!!!).

What I’m suggesting is that CCP has been sprinkling cute, wee, manageable and mostly house trained, dragonettes in various different areas of the game in an effort to accommodate some of these special interest groups. Something that imho isn’t going to work in the longer term. We’ve seen it time and time again. Capsuleers will game the hell out of the mechanics and farm the poor wee dragons into submission. Often times before things have even left the test server. And often times before the new player gets a chance at it.

This is EvE. It’s reputation as a blood thirsty, take no prisoners, game isn’t in question. The efficacy of CCPs attempts to convert people into longer term players is. Please don’t get me wrong. I’ve run a business, albeit one much smaller than theirs and know exactly how difficult change can be. And that’s without having to deal with various customers screaming they want this or that done, often as the cost of other of their customers.

But whatever happens on the other side of the hypothesized plateau, I can say this; CCP must absolutely be the biggest, most downright terrifying dragon in the room. This is their game. And whatever they do next, be it a tweak or a giant lurch into HOLY CR*P! territory, it should be a concise move without apology or justification.

CCP has always encouraged pilots to be bold. It’s their turn now imho. And we, as capsuleers, really should have a think about applauding the kind of balls it takes to grow and run a successful company for more than a decade.

Be bold CCP, be bold.


From → Eve Online

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