The Public Perception of EVE Online
Now approaching its tenth year, the EVE Online player community has matured into an intricate and multi-faceted society viewed with envy by other game developers, but is frequently regarded with suspicion by the wider gaming community. Is this perception deserved? Should “The Nation of EVE” be concerned by its public identity and if so how might that be improved? What influence will the integration of the DUST 514 community have on this culture in the future?
[Unrelated and random bonus question sponsored by EVE News 24: What single button would you recommend be included on an EVE-specific keyboard?]
Let’s get the button thing out of the way. Launch drones, nuff said. I won’t drone on (BADOOM BISH!) about why the hell there’s no shortcut to do this already, there bloody well should be – right clicking on the drone window is NOT a shortcut.
On to the meat of this month’s banter: our community in Eve.
I don’t like the fact that my car has an engine. It’s noisy, smelly and wrecks the environmentally sensitive wotsits which means the cyclones flood the deserts and my ice cream melts, or something like that.
It also means I have to keep putting fuel in it, for which the local service station takes my money. Which means I have to pay to go to work, something I think is a bit strange; seeing as how I get paid to go to work – but whatever.
If my car did not have an engine, though, it would not be a car, now would it? The inclusion of an engine is a necessity for my car to do what it does, which is to get me to work; something for which I am unlikely to forgive it anytime soon.
So, what has this to do with our lovely, cosy little community within the pixellated realm of New Eden?
This – Should “The Nation of EVE” be concerned by its public identity and if so how might that be improved?
Should I be concerned that my car has an engine and that many an environmentalist hates me because it does? As soon as those same environmentalists are happy to pay my rent, food and taxes I will joyfully never set foot in a car again.
The community of Eve Online is what it is because of its nature; a single shard universe where anyone can be anything they like. That is its blessing, it’s also its curse.
True, I cannot just undock my freighter in Amarr or Rens (I don’t go to Jita – sorry Mittens) and toodle off to make a sammich while I auto pilot to wherever I like, because freighter pilots know that stargates are like Kansas trailer parks – Tornadoes love ’em. I also can’t happily undock my Mach and rat my little heart out whenever I like, because there’s a neutral cloaky fag in local most of the time, and his mates in Bops BS’es are never too far away. I also well know that any one of my corpmates could turn around tomorrow and empty the corp hangar and walk off with billions in assets, if the mood took him.
While those scenarios are very real and indeed everyday occurrences in New Eden, they are made possible by the very same mechanic that allows me to put a cloaky fag alt in enemy space if I feel like it, to enjoy the trust of my corpmates that I will not steal something they have given me access to and to travel for two hours straight without seeing the same people twice.
You simply cannot have one without the other.
Those in the wider gaming community who despise Eve because of its lawless nature; its toleration of ganky, scammy, piwatey scum and villainy, are like the tree hugging tofu eaters who hate my car. Their ideals are noble, but not in any way realistic.
If your game is going to be a free running single shard universe where anyone can do what they want, it’s going to end up with its fair share of the aforementioned nasty, semi sane naughty people.
A caution, though. If those same pony loving, butterfly chasing, idealistic dreamers get their way with New Eden, it would die. It would become dull, predictable and BORING! Just like many of the plethora of other MMOs out there.
So, my answer to that first question is simple; NO! It should not be changed to gain acceptance by the wider gaming community. There are plenty of other games that have died after trying to become more “mainstream” and “acceptable”. CCP should definitely NOT be concerned by Eves public identity at all. The nasty underbelly of our game is the same as the engine in my car, noisy, smelly and bad for your health. It is, however, a necessary evil. Eve simply wouldn’t fulfill its purpose without the freedom that allows the scum to flourish.
The very nature of New Eden AS IT IS is the reason that: Now approaching its tenth year, the EVE Online player community has matured into an intricate and multi-faceted society viewed with envy by other game developers.
This will only remain true for as long as the pony huggers do not have their happy happy joy joy way with our dark and unforgiving universe.
As to this question: What influence will the integration of the DUST 514 community have on this culture in the future?
My answer is short and sweet; hopefully, NONE.
Or, if CCP remains true to the Eve Online philosophy, it may just be that we see the inverse happening. Thus this last question should maybe read; What influence will this culture have on the DUST 514 community in the future?
Fade to sinister laughter …