Well, if one were to base their opinion on the state of Eve solely on the comments sections of most Eve media sites; the game is in a state of long illness and decay prior to death. The general consensus is that the Eve we have come to know and love for so long is doomed to a slow death, with “Everybody that matters” in the process of leaving or already gone.
I have a bit of a problem with that.
You see, over the last month or so, I have watched literally dozens of former members returning to 30Plus and the game. Just today, I had to reply to four recruitment posts, three of which were returning former members. Despite aggressive purging of inactive members to mitigate PAP requirements, our membership stands at 410; the biggest corp in FCON.
That’s right, the prophets declare; you’re the cancer that’s killing Eve, filling sovereignty space with your care-bear buddies and causing the ruin of what used to be a good PVP game.
Except that Eve never was a PVP game, and never will be. Also, if we are the wrong people to assist our alliance in holding space, then why are we still here? The fact is, our members are doing it all. We are hauling in PAPs, we have capitals, super-capitals and titans, we keep indices up, we manufacture, we mine, we stock the market, we have FCs, we kill intruders, we maintain intel and we close pesky wormholes.
Umm, isn’t that what’s supposed to happen?
The truth is, CCP is changing the game to include potentially all of its customers in sovereignty space, and by pure coincidence, changing the game to suit us.
There is a knock-on effect happening, too. The last few fleets I’ve been on, the atmosphere has been markedly different. Gone is the toxic FC, yelling at his fleet members, screaming profanities and abuse and generally displaying the people skills of a dog turd. People are starting to relax, as the leetPVP wankers leave for less care-bearish alliances. You know, the ones WITHOUT their own space.
For the life of me, I cannot work out why the PVP oriented players are so butt-hurt. Sovereignty space is turning into a veritable smorgasbord of potential fights. Ah, that’s right, they want to own space and enjoy the benefits, of course. And those short-sighted halfwits at CCP have gone and changed the game so that you have to actually USE that space, as well as own it.
Naturally, there are those who still have learning to do. Goonswarm are desperately clinging to the idea that they just need to run a fleet through Pure Blind every couple of days to bump indices. Hint; it isn’t working, and it never will. I’m sure they’ll catch on eventually. Our corp, it would seem, is the model for the future, and others must ignore it at their peril.
Of course, we’re just a bunch of ex-renter care-bears, and I’m sure those in the dizzying heights of loftiness far above us know better. Then again, we’re not the ones struggling to maintain our space, are we? Coincidence? I think not.
The secret to space ownership is now simple. So deceptively simple that those in high places find it beneath them to grasp. You must foster, not a corp, not an alliance, but a COMMUNITY. A community of people with DIFFERENT ways of playing Eve; some miners, some ratters, some PVPers, some industrialists, some marketeers, some leaders, a few IT guys – the list goes on.
Then, you take the next step, which we are already well along the road in doing. You get the PVE players PVP’ing. Not by yelling at them, not by speaking down to them disparagingly, but by treating them as equals, and encouraging them to fleet up. Then, you do that most unspeakably horrific of all things; you make your fleets FUN.
“What?!!” I hear them cry, “You want PVP to be fun?!!!” They pound their desk in tear-stained frustration; “Eve isn’t supposed to be fun! You stupid care-bear; next you’ll be saying Eve is just a computer game!!”
This, I agree, is going against the popular concept of Eve Online. For years, Eve has fostered, perhaps even been a little proud of, its dark and vicious community. Of course, if you live in a land of terrible climate and bathe in fart water, life is pretty dark and vicious, I’m sure. But, just lately, CCP has been displaying the beginnings of enlightenment.
They are becoming more aware of the fact that nearly all of their customer base doesn’t have a surname with 36 vowels decorated with dots in it. Credit where credit is due, CCP Seagull (coincidentally not Icelandic) is displaying a vision that may well work in the long run.
The company is starting to realize the biggest draw-card for their product isn’t actually the product; it’s the people who play it. And their vision for sovereignty space is to create a place where a community can form, morphing into a space-holding entity filled with a variety of people who do all sorts of different activities in Eve, not just one.
The resistance from the existing entities is impressive, no doubt about it. From the missive written by the leaders of Black Legion, penned in tear-stained crayon, to the constant flow of PVP’er tears in local from every visitor we get, the rage is epic. But, the silent majority have developed pretty thick skins, over the years. Whilst the e-peen strokers have stomped about, beating their chests and laughing at them, this large group of players have quietly drifted from corp to corp, amassing wealth, collecting BPOs and training their characters into every ship in the game. Many of them are in a corp like ours.
The leaderships of the various sovereignty holding alliances are aware of these players; they’ve known about them for years. They know they need them, but have never acknowledged them out of fear of upsetting the mental 12 year old players they need to fill their fleets.
However, the axe is at the bottom of the tree, time is ticking away, and with every tick another nail is driven into the coffin of PVP only alliances trying to cling to the little they have. Leet PVP’ers in the leaderships of wiser alliances are still weeping, wailing, and gnashing their teeth, but time will fell them.
Or, it will fell the alliances. That, I guess, is up to those alliances to decide. In the meantime,
tick, tick, tick…