There’s nothing like a change of scenery to freshen one’s perspective on things. Sometimes we get bogged down in the sameness of life, and our views start to distort as we lose sight of the bigger picture.
I’ve had a number of things change in the last few weeks; the second book was published, after six months of what can only be described as a grind. Enjoyable, for the most part, but still, a grind. I left null-sec, and stood back from Eve for the first time in over two years. Yesterday, we found out our landlord has fallen victim to the collapse of the mining boom in this country and we have to move house, yet again.
None of this is earth-shaking, but it does cause one to think a little more deeply about things.
Focusing on Eve, I was interested to see the difference in high-sec space. I had heard it was emptying out, and I knew Jita local numbers were down from my trade alts occasional log-ins. But, I have to say the difference after two years is remarkable.
People are doing the same things, PVE, trading, and griefing, but there are a lot less doing it. In my home area, local is sometimes empty but for me, something I have never seen before. If I was CCP, I would be busy revising high-sec, rather than worrying about making Mittens and co. more comfortable in null-sec.
Many argue high-sec should be but a temporary staging point for more meaningful parts of the game, and I would have to agree, up to a point. I have no great desire to stay in high-sec myself, outside of the occasional break from game, like now. Once my interest in the game recovers, I’ll no doubt end up in null-sec again. But, there is a meaningful contingent of people who are happy to potter away in high-sec, making pretend money and reaching for that next ship, that next module, and so on.
I would ask this; what is the point of high-sec, if CCP doesn’t want people to be there? A small area around the starter systems would suffice, and the majority of high-sec could be passed on to low-sec and null-sec, could it not?
Of course, the struggle with reality that presents itself is that many people want to play in high-sec, and at this low-point in player population, CCP doesn’t want anyone to leave. In fact, such vast swathes of empty high-sec space could be utilized to foster new generations of Eve players, if there were such a thing.
I won’t bore anyone with why there aren’t hordes of new players beating down the gates to get in, suffice it to say CCP have missed the barn with their whole new player experience, and Eve has a population that perfectly reflects the real world’s population; it’s getting older.
With the adoption of many of the dwindling number of new players directly into null-sec and low-sec via noob-friendly corps and alliances, does high-sec really have a point anymore?
If, then, high-sec is not really needed for introducing new players to the rest of the game because, as usual, the players have done CCP’s job for them, why not make some alterations to accommodate the true care-bears and profit from their subscriptions? Why fiddle with war declaration mechanics at all? Why not just toss them out altogether?
Too much baby with the bath water? Well, maybe. But, it would fill high-sec with potential victims for the suicide gankers, wouldn’t it? With only tiny concessions made to players via such things as the end to hyper-dunking, ganking is still viable and profitable.
The problem with the dwindling numbers in high-sec is that the gankers themselves will run out of targets, and look for other games wherein to urinate on someone’s breakfast cereal. Good riddance, to a degree, but that’s even more people gone.
CCP would benefit greatly by taking a few steps back themselves. They may get to see who their real customer base is.
I’ve had an experience with this just recently. When I sat down to write my second book, I wanted to ensure it would have a broad appeal. Naturally, I targeted the American sci-fi audience. I made sure to use English with all unnecessary vowels removed, included plenty of guns, spaceships and loads of A hating B. Then, I reworked it until I was happy with it, which meant a somewhat less commercial product.
It’s selling well, funnily enough, and I assumed it was a hit with our trigger-happy cousins across the water. Until I noticed something in the charts that took me by complete surprise. Nearly all the commission coming my way was in pounds, not USD or Euros. Umm, okay…
A quick check on which website was seeing the most orders showed that amazon.co.uk was netting nearly all the orders for The Sixteen Galaxies. Now, if Amazon did not enable writers to analyze their sales in such a detailed manner, I would continue to write for the American audience, completely oblivious of the fact that the majority of my readership actually prefer their English in English.
I wonder if CCP are analyzing their player base deeply enough. Or, maybe, they are analyzing it too much, and losing focus on the forest, as it were. The PVP contingent in Eve have always been a vocal minority, and I wonder if, with so many PVP focused players now on staff, CCP is witnessing the fulfillment of their self-written prophecy; that Eve is a PVP game, and only PVP players are welcome and catered for.
It’s almost as if they saw their own statistics that showed PVP as 20% of actual game-play content, and said, “Right, that means that 80% of our customers have to go!” After all, FozzieSov failed so utterly to focus sovereignty on PVE that one has to wonder if there wasn’t some intention behind its inevitable demise.
Whatever the case, CCP cannot complain about its dwindling player base. After all, one cannot sit in the driver’s seat and complain about the car’s direction, can one?