I’ve really been enjoying all the blog banters this time around. While my own contribution could best be described as a vitriolic rant, it did get me thinking (whilst not a popular pastime in my country, some of us do it from time to time as a kind of mental rebellion).
I’ve owned a few businesses in my time, and if there’s one thing I learned it is this; you either grow or die. True, if you have a good business it may take a long time to die; but die it will. While this is not a blanket rule, it certainly applies to the majority of businesses out there.
While we all immerse ourselves in the world of Eve, it’s very easy to forget that, at the end of the day, it’s a product. The other thing we so easily lose sight of is that CCP is a business.
We, the players, are in a symbiotic relationship with CCP. There is no other MMO I would happily go to if Eve dies, not at the moment anyway. So, as committed (most of us probably should be) players, it is in our own best interest to see Eve grow over time. If Eve dies, so do our toons.
Blast Radius1 > watch yourself sunshine
Ahem, err yes, where was I?
Blast Radius1 > on bloody grid with me, mate, and I’m not in a Noctis
Yes, thank you for that, – anyway.
So, while we may have been trolled mightily with this months banter, it has brought up a very significant point. I am not in the know at CCP, but it doesn’t take a genius (convenient for me) to see that increasing new player retention past the trial period must be a priority for CCP.
Our bantering community seem fairly unanimous that non-consensual PVP is, for new players, a major stumbling block. It would seem, in fact, that it is a major contributor to people quitting within the trial period.
Some have argued that such “weaklings” have no future in the game anyway, but I must strongly disagree with this. Some people are able to adapt quickly to a given situation, some never adapt. There is, however a third group; those who do adapt, but at a slower pace. With Eve as it stands, I would argue that many of this group don’t adapt quickly enough, although with a bit more time they could have.
If I had a moment of CCP’s time I would spend it pointing out that particular bracket of customers to them. Mainly because I believe it is a VERY large group indeed!
Those who adapt quickly and those who don’t adapt at all are the two smaller extreme groupings. The group that occupies the large area in between have to be much greater in number.
We spend so much time talking about what defines an Eve player; but very little time, comparatively, defining how someone becomes an Eve player.
Interestingly, I’ve seen the same thing with musicians. So much credit is given to “talent”, while its poor cousin “practice” is given only passing credit. In my teaching years, I came across so many students who wanted a recording contract after learning one groove that it drove me to quit in frustration. Some of my fellow teachers were quite happy to take the parents money for giving little Johnny the same lesson for six months, but it just seemed like theft to me.
Yet, I have worked with musicians who have become successful without a lot of initial “talent” but they have compensated for that with a ton of practice. (Incidentally, anyone who claims they have succeeded on talent alone are bloody liars, I’ve never met anyone successfully plying a music career who didn’t practice.)
Getting back to internet spaceships, analyzing the formative process of an Eve player is vital to then bringing about a situation where the making process has a greater success to failure ratio than the current set up. After reading many banters it becomes obvious that this would have to include paying greater attention to the non-consensual PVP aspect.
To me, the obvious answer is to implement some kind of protection for new players, that gives them a period of gradually diminishing protection from the non-consensual PVP that hungrily awaits them out there in the wider game universe.
This should start with absolutely no chance of PVP at all, and the way I am inclined to go with this is the protected starter system idea.
from that point on there needs to be a way to allow the player to gradually introduce themselves to the wider universe at a largely self set pace.
One suggestion was to make PVP avoidance linked to the security status of the solar systems (I cannot agree with those who have suggested any kind of “off switch” for PVP, this is wide open to exploitation). There would also need to be some kind of exception to prevent mining and ratting exploitation ( in 1.0 & 0.9 systems especially). One idea put forward that seemed good to me was some kind of linkage to ship types, faction and T2 ships being excluded and possibly anything bigger than a T1 cruiser also unprotected. Anything T2 fit was also suggested as excluded.
I must emphasise, though, I am NOT endorsing any kind of system where players older than, say, three months, should be afforded any kind of potential protection at all from non consensual PVP. Carebears are fine by me, as long as they Carebear by way of self protection only.
There are many holes in all this theory, actually a string bag analogy comes to mind; however CCP has the skillset and manpower to implement some kind of system that works.
Of course, with the next CSM being a null sec bloc dictatorship, CCP will probably need to grow a pair and remember if new subs aren’t steadily growing, it will likely cause the death of their flagship product, and it is highly unlikely the likes of Mittens & co. will even pause on his way out of game to say goodbye.
The benefits to doing something about the large group of people who come and go far outweigh the slow stagnation and inevitable death of what is really “our” game.
It’s all in the mind, you know.