Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blog Banter #50 - A new leaf?

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With the Rubicon expansion being announced and the SOMER Blink scandals (or non-scandals depending on your point of view) that have erupted on the community at the same time, it truly feels like an age of EVE has passed and a new one is dawning.

But which direction is it going? This blog banter can be about several different topics:
- where do you think EVE is going? Is it a good or bad vision ahead?
- if you were EVE's new Executive Producer, where would you take the game?
- What comes (or should come) after Rubicon in terms of the mechanics and ship balancing we've seen? (CSM8 not allowed to answer this one!)
- Is there anything in EVE's ten year past that should be resurrected? Or buried and forgotten?
- What is the future of the community? What should or should not change?
A new age? sorry, what? This game is still the same old screensaver with a build in chat function as it has ever been. I've seen no change to the fundamentals except when Incarna raised it's ugly head and then only briefly, thank goodness.

I think Eve-online continues to plod along in the wake of fanbois riding on the coattails of ego-inflated developers weened on a decade of the typical asskissing "pvp is the core of [insert name of mmog]" from loud mouthed 'killer' types intent on...well, just doing the boring usual thing killer types do: being loud and obnoxiously condescending to anyone but the [insert official personage]
It's a bad vision because eventually the developers will forget their customers silently wield wallets and actually believe the crap coming from their arseholes firmly welded to griefer lips...the game will become centered on griefing, oversimplified and dumbed down to the point where explorer types will dwindle and the game will decline instead of the stagnation since Apocrypha.
It's a bad vision because the 'killers' have always been adept at trumpeting whatever feature in the next fix (aka patch) is best for them as best for eve customer if pvp drives the heart and soul of the game.

If i were allowed the conceit of being the Executive Producer, I'd make sure my employees knew that both griefers and carebears naturally abhor risk (call it 'risk management' if you like as a euphemism for 'risk avoidance') and that stems from human nature to be lazy. What i'd instill was the mission statement that said risk was fun and not to be avoided, including making corporate thievery and sabotage less 'winbutton' for the griefers.
I'd steer the developers away from the sole focus on ships and recognize there are a great deal of things in the game that need improvement from the early days (like corporate roles, hangars, access limits, etc)
The bottom line is making CEOs more willing to take on new players and avoid 'winbutton' mashing griefers intent on easy pickings made so by sheer lazy mechanics.

In terms of mechanics focus after Rubicon should be, for example the 'based at' 'hq' and 'others' access menu (corporate managers will know what of i speak). That is something needing overhaul in a major about more hangar divisions? even one more would be fantastic. What about the ability to purchase additional hangar bays in an individual station sort of way?
How about more meaningful roles added and useless ones taken away? How often does one use the 'auditor' role?

This focus is what should be resurrected and the old beta-level coding worked on. It's important to realize this game is a MMOG and the social infrastructure isn't PVP (or ships, ships, ships) but the mechanics involved in the socializing aspect of the game that attracts players into corporations and not simply the propagandized null sec alliance meltingpot.
How about the ability to block an entire chat room like jita local and have your contact list be the filter for what is seen in such a case?
Or myriad other socializing aspects of this game that have been left fallow since beta? Left to rot.

As for what should be buried and forgotten, i'm an Explorer's anethema to think of anything needing deep sixing. I still miss the freeform contract type...although i do find the key F11 to be useless, it's not like it interferes with my game.

What is the future of the community? A stronger CSM given the ability to be a sounding board for ideas on high that really should be stillborn. Unfortunately, I fail to see how the voting system, with it's Blocs, will ever prioritize a carebear wishlist before 'ships, ships, ships'
I really do like the blog sphere. It grows on you slowly.
It's definitely evolving into something mature.