Never Too Late to Learn

Eve players are rather determined that the way they play the game is not going to change. CCP has other ideas on that subject. The all or nothing approach to game reform, that has seen CCP concentrate on null-sec sovereignty to the detriment of everywhere else, is poorly aimed and timed. I am hearing more and more complaints from those who play other parts of Eve, and a decline in player numbers in those same areas.

Mittens sending whelp fleets of Machariels into low-sec for reasons™ aside, that area could do with some real PVP content. High-sec is where the real hemorrhaging is happening, though. There is another round of fingers-in-the-ears customer relations happening, with the CSM now on the ropes as well. Communication with the player base may be shouted from the rooftops, but it seems to me very little is getting through.

I seriously wonder if CCP’s attention is more focused on the whole VR thing, in the hope that those areas will eventually sideline Eve Online as the main source of revenue. That is a very risky, and many would say downright stupid, idea.

The frustration of players who have been participating in Eve for many years is that Eve Online as a dynamic, exciting and challenging environment is not that far away. Just a few things could be addressed, and life would be so much better. Easier? No. But, the game would hold out some real challenges.

The stated intention behind FozzieSov was good, but the end product has disappointed many. Those who want good sovereignty PVP aren’t happy, those who want to hold sovereignty aren’t happy, and the only large organization who holds space to any real purpose is throwing away fleets to better players in low-sec just to keep the many amused (hint – it isn’t working).

Citadels are held out as the next part of the big puzzle, but I am now skeptical that CCP has any staff members left who didn’t get their qualifications from Half-arsed University. CCP are STILL introducing features and then failing to iterate until each feature is polished. FozzieSov wanding is getting swept under the carpet, with only services to remain vulnerable to the sov-lazor.

Player organizations are also starting to buckle under the sheer weight of member disinterest. There used to be reasons for jumping into a fleet; big reasons. Home space was threatened, stations might flip, and assets lost. On the other side, it was to get in on the invasion, kick the tires and light the fires.

Now we fleet up for “Fun” roams. The enemy roam our space, ganking half-wits who don’t tank their ship properly, don’t watch intel and aren’t in fleet. We let them die. What’s the point? They’ll never learn anyway, so stuff ’em.

The grr gons, hat gons narrative sounds rather empty these days. Lunatics like Gevlon might still be motivated, but lunatics find motivation in almost anything. The main reason Eve Online is still viable is the lack of any real competition, and that’s nothing new to yours truly. Here in Queensland, the state enjoys a growth rate near the highest in the world. Yet, in many ways, it’s still a backward place. Many locals got rich by accident, just because they were the only one in town who did what they did.

It’s still that attitude that prevails here. “Buyers are liars”, “The customer is always wrong”, and “Promise the Earth, give them a handful of dirt” are mantras many Queensland businesses swear by. Get the sale, and then fend off the complaints as much as possible.

CCP have a captive audience. We have spent years on our characters, made firm friendships and flown together seemingly forever; so nobody wants to leave. That’s why high-sec is seeing the largest exodus; players up there are far less invested. That’s not true of all of them, of course, but it’s the low-sec denizens, the wormholers and the null-sec crowd who can’t seem to leave.

I’m having difficulty in acceptance of the promises of change in the future. I’ve been hearing them for years. I keep hoping that something shifts, and the scales fall from the eyes of those with the power to save Eve. I’ll still be around for the citadels, and my corp-mates, naturally.

But, it gets a little harder to click that button every day, to be honest.

Like the title says, it’s never too late to learn, and I hope CCP realize that. Pride, though, is a terrible, but powerful, thing.



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