EVE University graduate. Drama Llama. Covert operations pilot. Poetic Stanziel has been very active in the blogging community bringing views from seasoned high-sec pilots, we please to share his stories and views on current Eve Online events and invite you to read more stories from his Poetic Discourse blog.

Poetic Discourse: If EVE Online Were More Theme Park, Subscriptions Would Skyrocket

First of all, I’d like to say right off the bat that the title of this post is a whole lot of horseshit.

Yet, I see this idea parroted frequently. Not only by carebears, but by hardened PvPers as well. The latest comment, which got my goat, is the notion that if (or when) CCP decides to do a public IPO, that they’ll be beholden to profiteering, which means they’ll have to carebear the game up to increase numbers. Whereas there’s truth that profit will be more of a goal (though I don’t see how moreso than currently, since they already have investors), turning the game into more of a theme park fest does not mean that subscriber numbers are going to increase.

Carebears thrill that CCP might have to soften the game. Hardened PvPers fear that CCP will soften the game. Yet, many on both sides of the fence agree that softening EVE Online equates to more people playing. That idea is baffling to me, because so few games that are soft and easy succeed. And those that have softened after the fact have tended towards failure.

One thing that is truth, if CCP were to limit PvP in EVE Online, they would certainly lose a large segment of the current subscribership. There’s no guarantee that loss will be replaced by an equal number of carebears. Maybe over an initial “Hmm, I think I’ll try EVE” period, but no guarantee that they’ll retain any initial burst which might occur.

Why?

    There’s no evidence at all that CCP can design engaging PvE content. That is the carebear game. PvE. Granted, EVE Online is currently a PvP driven game, but that’s not because CCP hasn’t tried to design engaging PvE systems:

    The mission system is dull and repetitive. It doesn’t stack up to the quest systems of even the most lowly of theme park MMOs.

    Incursions are much the same as the mission system. Sure, they have a social aspect, but you’re repeating the same content over and over again.

    Deadspace complexes? Again, not a whole lotta variety there.

    Mining? This is so engaging that miners are fapping to porn while the mining is being done, which is why their Hulks get blown up so often and so easily.

    It might be possible to imagine CCP designing missions and incursions that iterate every few months and are strongly story-driven, but CCP has had nine years so far to do just that and either haven’t been bothered to do so, or have just flat-out failed trying.
     

    Carebears destroy the games they play. Don’t trust a carebear to know what’s best for the games they play, because when their whines and complaints are adhered too, their games die. Star Wars Galaxies? Everquest II? Dark Age of Camelot? Vanguard? Where the hell are these games now? Either changed at the demand of the carebear customers or designed to be carebear utopias. They go down the drain, and the players who knew better say “I told you so.” And then, what about Star Wars: The Old Republic? Even Warcraft is slowly losing their subscribers because of easy-mode changes made over the years. Carebears think they don’t want challenge, think they don’t want risk, but eliminate those elements of a game, they get bored and move on elsewhere. (The carebears never seem to realize why they got bored and left.)
     

    Four hundred thousand subscribers is apparently failure for an MMO. What the hell? Few games maintain those sorts of numbers. Because of World of Warcraft’s ten million subscribers, people seem to think that every middling MMO must fall somewhere between 400K and 10M. Simply not true. Some games (like SW:TOR) might have expectations of millions, but that’s not realistic for the vast majority of MMOs on the market or the soon to be released. 400K subscribers is a damned solid number for any MMO that isn’t Korean, isn’t World of Warcraft, and doesn’t have the Star Wars franchise behind it. Check out some graphs at MMOData.net:

    Subscriptions (1M – 12M)

    Subscriptions (150K – 1M)

    Subscriptions (50K – 150K)

     

    EVE Online is the only non-Chinese, non-Korean MMO that’s been around for nine years and had its subscriber numbers increase over that time. Most MMOs never reach the nine year mark. Those that do have a sliver of subscribers remaining. So, CCP is doing something right. Or more accurately, the players are doing something right, since it’s player-driven stories and endeavours that attract new players to EVE.

People need to realize that CCP is doing quite well. You remove Chinese and Korean MMOs (which are strange beasts unto themselves), World of Warcraft, and Star Wars: The Old Republic from the picture, EVE Online is at the top of the heap. It is a ridiculously successful MMO, not only in terms of growth over the last nine years, but that they’ve lasted nine years. If CCP keeps EVE on the path it has been travelling the last nine years (which still means to grow and expand the game, not to stagnate, but to grow it with a particular ideal: as a harsh, memorable, highly social HTFU environment), then EVE Online will no doubt have another nine years in it.

Poetic Stanziel

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96 Comments

  1. Devore

    "Even Warcraft is slowly losing their subscribers because of easy-mode changes made over the years. Carebears think they don’t want challenge, think they don’t want risk, but eliminate those elements of a game, they get bored and move on elsewhere. (The carebears never seem to realize why they got bored and left.)"

    And this is where you might be wrong. You realize this. Many players realize this. Carebears don't. Does CCP? If given an actual top-down directive to grow numbers, would they soften the game in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience? It's not like they have the exclusive insight into what makes a successful MMO. They've stumbled badly in the past. One might say the current state of the game is more the result of luck and development momentum/laziness. If you don't change things too much, you can't break them.

    I agree that CCP is doing something right, and is getting many things right. I agree that an MMO _needs_ a hardcore core of players to keep going. New and less hardcore players _need_ to have someone to look up to, something to look forward to. Once WoW went down the road to all content accessible to everyone and welfare epics, it was all downhill.

    But does CCP _know_ this? If so, do they know what to do with it?

    A public business has shareholders who want one thing and one thing only: growth. If you're not growing, you're nothing. Is CCP growing fast enough to keep shareholders happy? If majority shareholders, or Sony, or whoever, said: CCP, you have nice subscription numbers, very steady over the years, and rising slowly over time. But I'm not a pension fund, and CCP is not a REIT. I don't want 2%. Are you doing everything you can to open up the game to more subscribers and grow revenue faster? Are you doing everything you can to extract the maximum revenue from your investments and assets? No? Why not? Board, fire this CEO, he's not looking after shareholder value.

    June 7, 2012 at 11:03 pm Reply
    1. First, CCP would need to conclude "a more carebear game would be more popular" — when the evidence suggests this is not so. EvE has grown most of it's playerbase off all the controversial things that can happen in the game. As soon as it's just WoW with spaceships, or STO with no franchise behind it, it's lost a USP entirely.

      CCP aren't silly, they know their playerbase and for every incessant whining of posting alt on the forums, there is always at least 10x their number telling them to go skill themselves.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:05 am Reply
    2. BillyBob

      Not sure if you are implying CCP is publicly traded or just speaking hypothetically, but CCP is a privately owned company, ergo, Hilmar is head dictator for life and doesn't have to answer to anyone. I'm sure that there are investors, but they have no say in the direction of the company.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:31 am Reply
      1. There are rumours that CCP might have a public IPO in the next 18 months. I'm not sure the basis for those rumours, but they seem to be wide and frequent the last few months.

        June 8, 2012 at 2:38 am Reply
      2. hakona

        I don't see how you make the connection between "not publicly traded" and "CEO is not accountable to investors".

        Hilmar holds about 2.5% of CCP shares, of course he is accountable to the other 97.5% and can be replaced by the CCP BoD.

        June 8, 2012 at 10:09 am Reply
        1. hakona

          You find the breakdown of what we know about CCP share ownership here: http://failheap-challenge.com/showthread.php?3534

          There have also been several bank loans/bonds the info on which you can pirece together yourself if you want to.

          I darkly recall a fhc poster claiming that core EVE IP is still owned by some of the founders and early employees and only licensed to the CCP but I have no idea if that is actually true.

          June 8, 2012 at 10:13 am Reply
          1. hakona

            anyways, I love talking to myself and when a huge share of your shares are owned by a VC firm or pawned to a consortium of banks and IPO seems like logical solution.

            CCP doesn't pay dividends so cashing out is the only way to realize some profit.

            June 8, 2012 at 10:26 am
    3. Mattani Danni

      Thats a lot of words to say nothing…. just skill yourself now!!!

      June 8, 2012 at 10:12 am Reply
  2. CareBearStares
    June 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm Reply
  3. Buggrit

    Most MMOs are so equal you can't even remember their names. Fantasy, swords, loud noise, boobs, easy mode. Lump them all together, thats what you get.

    EVE is where you go for real play.

    Ultima online used to be that, and only whoever hasn't seen reds sweep through covetous can doubt it. New soft world, now its total crap and subscriptions dropped hard.

    The problem with eve is – the pve parts are amazingly boring, and if you say "only do pvp" then fuck you, you're rmting. Even the pvp misses the close-up gore.

    June 7, 2012 at 11:14 pm Reply
    1. Dildo

      Only rmting if we only pvp? Really? Here's the fucking door you n ounce, now get out….

      June 8, 2012 at 10:04 am Reply
      1. Buggrit

        Ok, you may whore a corp or alliance too. Or got a good stash of dough. But tell me you're keeping in ships and mods purely from PVP, without trade or plexing? Come on.

        June 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm Reply
        1. M_D_

          I run combat plexes when I find the time. Somehow I manage to do PvP AND make ISK on the side. 3.5b cash in the wallet atm, several capital ships that I payed for myself in the hangar. So, am I RMT-ing?

          June 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm Reply
          1. Don'tBeFrightened

            You may not be RMT-ing but you should consider leaving the house, connect with old friends you've been ignoring and generally have something else to talk about other than internet spaceships. Any more of this kind of obsessive behaviour and I will have no alternative but to call Maury Povich.

            June 9, 2012 at 12:36 am
          2. cucubau

            what the hell are you doing here telling us to go out?? are you an idiot? why don't you go out instead of posting here?

            June 9, 2012 at 10:26 pm
          3. Yeah I was scratching my head too, first hes railing the guy for not grinding enough and plexing, then railing him for spending too much time playing ??

            color me confused, or actually just a bad troll.

            June 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm
          4. Brony

            Lol, you utterly failed at your original argument that people who only PVP must also be engaged in RMT, so you switch to the "GTFO out of your mom's basement" argument instead? You sad little man, hahaha.

            The one's who never get out of the house are the carebears who obsess over making as much ISK as possible to buy their officer fitted T3 or CNR to go run missions in. You are made of fail, your posts are fail and most likely it is you who needs to get out more.

            June 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm
        2. lol

          stop sucking so much and you wont loose more ships than you loot :)

          June 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm Reply
        3. Imigo

          "without trade"

          Please note that trading is PvP. You are buying or selling (or both) to/from other players, and usually also competing with other players for the sales/purchases you are making.

          June 11, 2012 at 2:01 am Reply
  4. Marcus_McTavish

    If people think EVE should be softer, and more carebear-land. I think they are wrong, join any legitimate nullsec alliance for 2 weeks and try going back to highsec mining.

    This is not Space-Sims, sorry, but if you think it should be, then you should leave, and if you think that your un-subscription hurts CCP because you are leaving, there are at least 2 people joining for the content that made you leave.

    June 7, 2012 at 11:42 pm Reply
    1. Shattershark

      I think that CCP should get their heads out of their asses and learn how to create PvE content which won't suck like explosive decompression. Should I leave too?

      June 8, 2012 at 7:15 am Reply
      1. CFC With Intellect

        Yes please.

        June 8, 2012 at 8:14 am Reply
        1. Shattershark

          You'll have to find twenty new accounts (which will subscribe for more than three months) to compensate then.

          June 8, 2012 at 8:30 am Reply
          1. Allo

            Done.. Now gtfo

            June 8, 2012 at 10:00 am
          2. Shattershark

            Proof?

            June 8, 2012 at 10:08 am
          3. The content you are looking for is called PvP with emphasis on the last P

            June 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm
          4. Shattershark

            One of the reasons why I don't Blow Shit Up ™ by myself and prefer to rip off those who do (read: industry, market) is that replacing any loss would require me to suffer through same old boring repetitive grinding hell some more.

            Apparently, masochism is a prerequisite for Real PvPer, since they seem to enjoy the idea of inescapable grinding and resent the thought that there might be a more engaging way to earn isk.

            Oh, and I love how you people seem to think that I didn't ever PvP in Eve. I did, I was in lowsec, 0.0 and w-space. Didn't like it, didn't want more of it, now I build and sell things in EVE, shoot people in the face in WoT and Battlefield. Much less waiting, much less grinding, don't have to take shit from ego-tripping FC.

            June 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm
          5. M_D_

            I think you have 20 chars and not 20 accounts. If you have 20 accounts, 18 of those are market bots.

            I say the GTFO still goes.

            June 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm
          6. Shattershark

            "there are at least 2 people joining for the content that made you leave. "
            I have ten accounts. No bots. One thing that would make me leave is lack of content for me to use. GTFO yourself, fuck you very much.

            June 8, 2012 at 9:59 pm
          7. Shattershark, i cant speak for the rest of the posters, but I did not mean to incite such a hostile reaction from you, honestly.

            I actually enjoy industry and building spaceships too, and to be fair, it wouldnt be a terrible thing if there were some more interesting missions.

            what I (even as former carebear myself) would never want to see happen, is for the danger (even in hisec) to be removed from the game, or the core of what eve IS be changed.

            I couldnt believe how much fun it was to finally dive in to some corp action and pvp (even if not the higly vaunted null pvp)

            if anything, they should make more content to lead people afraid of pvp to it, (like maybe better ai, or training missions aimed at leading to pvp) but honestly, good corps like the one I joined have this (player driven content)

            I just worry that too much dev time devoted to pve content , detracts from features and engine enhancements, and as other theme park developers have found, pve content just cant be cranked out fast enough to feed the locust, and you become slave to it.

            the sandbox model, is for the dev to provide better tools and instigate players to drive content and conflict.

            just sayin .. I hear where you are coming from, just dont 100% agree, didnt mean to come across as such a smartass

            June 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm
          8. Shattershark

            I never treated PvE as an end in itself – to me PvE is a tool to finance any other activity and I'd say that players engaged in PvE for PvE's sake (in it's present state) are either new or weird.

            That said, my point is that that tool is neglected by devs and that almost every PvE activity right now is a second job (and a low-wage one) – boring, repetitive and time-consuming. W-space didn't get any iteration at all, incursions got hit by a nerfbat instead of new content, mission system is old as wooly mammoth's shit and all it's got was a minor rebalance with a few new missions slapped on as a band-aid. COSMOS is a rotting corpse with a few decent rewards providing a hefty profit for alt-farmers, protected by obscurity and inconvenience for vast majority of players. Epic arcs stopped cold after single iteration. Mining? CCP made it the only real source of minerals and only THEN they started thinking about alternatives that wouldn't reward botting and AFKing.

            Speed of content development is not the problem – broken, neglected and zombie systems are. But mention this and say that it would be great if devs would do something about it and Real PvPers come out of the woodwork yelling "HTFU! Carebears must suffer!". Their idea that what passes for 5% of players should be good for the rest and there is only one type of play in sandbox is what pisses me off.

            Sorry if I came across as hostile in reply to you, I assure you that it isn't my intention to direct any flak at rational response.

            June 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm
          9. Brony

            you assume that ISK is the end game for PVP'ers, when in actual fact its all the lovely tears generated from crybabies like yourself.

            June 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm
          10. Shattershark

            I assume that you won't PvP for long if you don't replace your losses.

            June 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm
  5. cfc'er

    I agree pretty much on this post. Even EvE has its flaws, bugs, inperfections, failures, *soon(tm)*, and what not, it STILL is the ONLY MMO lasted so healthy so long and still is growing.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:26 am Reply
  6. Bittervet

    Mmmm sort of – but I think you're making the mistake of believing other people's bullshit.

    For example, WoW doesnt have ten million subscriptions. My guess is it's closer to a core of a million subs in the West.

    You're also forgetting failed PvP games, such as Darkfall, Fallen Earth and the stillborn Dominus.

    Its a good point that CCP cant seem to design engaging PvE, although Sleeper AI was a very good shot at it.

    I'd also point out that the majority of EvE's population hangs out where it's safest, which is to say hisec and deep 0.0

    The real test would be a Tramiel shard of EvE, where non-consensual PvP has actual concequences and – for example – you cant dock in hisec or have credits transferred to you if you're at negative enough security status.

    That said, yeah, CCP seems to have learned from the Monocle Riots that they are onto a successful niche design, and to not screw around with it.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:41 am Reply
    1. hakona

      "For example, WoW doesnt have ten million subscriptions. My guess is it's closer to a core of a million subs in the West. "

      The annual pass which was only sold in Europe, Americas/Oceania and Russia accounts for 1.2million subscriptions alone which provide a very solid core of subscriptions.

      Yes, you can now retreat on the point that Oceania and Russia are obviously not part of "the West" or that even 3m subscribers would be "closer" to 1m than to 10m but I think it is obvious that your post meant to contrast the subscription-based regions vs the Asian countries in which Blizzard employs alternative business models (such as billing by time played).

      June 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm Reply
  7. Azule

    I personally don't do much pvp, however i feel that it is an important part of any game. Without the element of danger that comes from a game with pvp elements, it gets boring. However people need some degree of safety sometimes, they might have lost everything from a poorly thought out move or they might have gotten ganked a couple of times and need a place to rebuild.
    I feel that this could be accomplished simply by raising the allowed standings for the high sec systems. If you have a negative standing you simply cannot dock in a 1.0 system, and you are told to leave or be destroyed if you enter. If you remain the system for say 2 minutes, then concord finds you and invites you to leave the quick way. For a .9 system same thing except you might be allowed a negative .5. For the .8 and .7 systems you could perhaps lower the standings requirement -2.0 and -3.0. This would enable some degree of safety for those that need it, but yet not fully remove the options of those that pvp, they simply need to work up their standings to enter the higher space. CCP could even have special missions where the rewards is a standings increase, though that might require DED to have agents again.
    These changes in my opinion do not fundamentally change Eve, yet gives both sides what they want. More protection in high, and things pretty much the same in anything under .7 space. People obtain negative standings through a determined effort or simple ignorance. Either way they have committed criminal acts and there should be some accountability for their actions. Of course low and null don't need an adjustment, people that go there already know or will learn quickly that the rules are different. I believe that these things will become more important as CCP continues to nerf income.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:01 am Reply
  8. Cosmic Comunist

    CCP need to create content to drive the Carebears to PVP, maybe the LOTRO approach with Carebears controlling NPC or something like that will convert carebears in real mens.

    June 8, 2012 at 2:03 am Reply
  9. M_D_

    I had to scroll back up to double check who wrote the article was really Poetic. Good solid article with facts backing it up. I liked it a lot. And I am one hard customer 😀 Keep it up.

    June 8, 2012 at 2:15 am Reply
    1. Gumpin

      I had to do this several times.

      If he does another good poasting like this i think he can be a considered real capsuleer. Unless he mentions the uni again (let riv take it he has no rep).

      June 8, 2012 at 5:03 am Reply
  10. kronik

    the reason new people cant tolerate this game is because they cant fly anything useful off the bat. u start of flying pieces of shit and nobody wants to wait 15 days to fly a sufficient intercepter. they need to re introduce set skills, coenciding with the characters race selects and job.

    need frig V
    guns to lvl 4 for the frig.
    lvl 3 base skills. engineering, mechanics blablabla

    people will still be deterred but this definitely will "soften up" the welcoming process

    June 8, 2012 at 3:04 am Reply
    1. kronik

      also, sandbox free mode of singularity isn't advertised enough. Set up some sort of game mode tornament style things in singularity to get people used to things.

      New people are signing up its the keeping them part thats difficult. They need to taste the sample at the end of the aisle to convince them to go in and purchase the product.

      June 8, 2012 at 3:06 am Reply
  11. A stranger

    At the e3 interview for dust 514 David Ried basically said that dust is an effort to bring those who don't like the idea of playing eve but like the idea of eve. So that would basically cover the two bases, ccp gets a hardcore pc following and get more casual players from the ps3. This is why I would be dumbfounded if they actually tried to cater to more casual player for eve spaceships at the expense of the core pvp community as it has the possibility to sink both games by irreversibly altering eve the idea.

    June 8, 2012 at 7:32 am Reply
    1. lol

      yep

      June 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm Reply
  12. Budge

    Get this guys…… If you remove all the MMO's that are doing better then eve as far as subs., then eve would have the most subs…. got veronica mars over here.

    Guys lets also pertend that if there was no WoW, then all the people that would otherwise be playing WoW wouldn't be playing something else.

    Guy doesn't have a logical braincell in his head.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:45 am Reply
    1. Anon

      Yes it's rather odd.

      Eve is not anywhere near the top. Especially if you include all the other online games that are not traditional MMORPGs.

      June 9, 2012 at 4:07 am Reply
    2. lol

      thats not the issue, its that even those big mmo's are crashing, wow has gone from 13m to 10m thats 3 million lost subscribers, AND THERE GIVING THE GAME AWAY AT THIS POINT, those numbers count free to play numbers….

      instant level 60 certificates, crap like that and there still hemmoraging numbers at an insane rate, meanwhile eve over the years looses a few but generally continues to have a slow steady upward trend.

      June 9, 2012 at 1:39 pm Reply
      1. ~deal with it~

        The difference between Eve and wow reminds me of a star. The larger the star the quicker it burns through it's fuel. Wow may shine much brighter and release more energy but Eve has the potential to have a much longer life.

        June 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm Reply
    3. Imigo

      One point that you're missing is that most of those games which have (or have had) higher subs than EVE have also peaked and are now either declining or no longer offered. EVE has not only persisted since before WoW was even released, it has grown the entire time as well.

      He conquers who endures.

      June 11, 2012 at 2:20 am Reply
  13. No one important

    I love the statistics on how many players are in high-sec. They completely ignore the fact that most 0.0 players have alts–either on the same account or on different accounts–for high-sec mission-running, industry, etc.

    June 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm Reply
    1. lowsec player

      Also those of us who live in lowsec have shot enough people that we just can't go to highsec anymore. So almost all of us have highsec alts. So take everyone who lives in lowsec, and remove that number from your highse players.

      I have my main account. A cyno alt that was re purposed into a hauler alt. And on those two accounts I have four extra character slots that I filled with untrained characters that sit in jita, rens, dodixie, and amarr just so I can do quick price checks.

      So even though I consider myself a lowsec player only 1/6 of my "characters" actually live in lowsec.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm Reply
  14. -A- FC

    1. Everyone has alts including guys in 0.0
    2. CCP needs to update and make highsec content fun in a sandbox way, going into 'dungeons' is so 2004. They have done this through incursions and are now making FW work but there is more work to do in the core areas of updating missioning and industry.

    Eve is a game made for multiple layers of gameplay but today some of them are old tired and boring. You should have a compelling game doing industry doing missions doing trading doing wars doing low sec doing faction warfare and doing sov war etc and each element can and should fulfil complete game content for some people and yet still be interlinked so you can play your sandbox your own way with and/ or against other players .

    June 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm Reply
  15. decent article

    The reason eve succeeds is because it's so different than WOW. Imagine you were going to make a football game for the consoles. If you made a realistic football game with licensed teams and everything then you are going to get curb stomped by whatever Madden game is coming out that year (and next year, and the year after that). However if you make something crazy like Mutant League Football for the Sega Genesis (a game which I still play today) then your game will be crazy enough to be remembered.

    I am kind of worried that Dust 514 is just generic enough to disappear. It looks like a cross between Halo and all those F2P Starsiege Tribes clones out there.

    The reason eve has lasted so much longer than every other game is that you can "beat" a theme park game. I hear a lot of people Playing that Star Wars MMO and just beating all of the story quests. In any other Bioware RPG that would be the point that credits roll and you pop the disk out of your machine. So they just unsub and go do something else.

    And as far as pve goes in eve. It'd be nice if there was something exciting to do on your own. Just to make eve able to be exciting in the down time between battles. It'd be nice if they spruced up the missions a bit to be a little more exciting. And replaced havens and sanctums with something a little less tedious.

    June 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm Reply
  16. Carebearing EVE up would be the surest way to kill it. sure, there might be an initial surge in subs, but WOW has created a segment of gamer I like to call the "locust gamer"

    sure they might move in a large herd, but they devour all content, quickly grow discontent, constatly whine, bitch moan to get the game made easier, (also with threats of unsubbing) only to jump on the next shiny game en masse when it comes out, heralding it as the second coming of MMO christ, and will kill all other games, only to instantly start the process over with new said game (can you say SWTOR) you would force the long-term 9+ year crowd to leave, and then once the locust were done, you would have a shell of game that nobody likes.

    June 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm Reply
  17. Carebearing EVE up would be the surest way to kill it. sure, there might be an initial surge in subs, but WOW has created a segment of gamer I like to call the "locust gamer"

    June 8, 2012 at 5:41 pm Reply
  18. anne o. nymous

    The best thing that CCP could do now is to add more npc regions to create a place for small alliances to land and use as a touchstone for either sov grabs or just pvp for the hell of it.

    June 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm Reply
    1. Zak Z

      Because that wouldn't yet-again get gobbled up by the big guys?

      June 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm Reply
      1. Imigo

        Player groups can't take (ie "gobble up") sov in NPC sov space.

        June 11, 2012 at 2:29 am Reply
  19. Anonymouse

    As someone who left Dark Age of Camelot, I can tell you it wasn't the carebears that killed that game. It was the 'Elite' pvp guilds that eventually drove the rest of us away. Even now, it is extremely difficult for a new player to reach the bar those guys set for people to join in RvR in any meaningful way. Putting the game on life support five years ago (after Labyrinth) probably wasn't a good decision either, but I guess their profit margins were hurting from doing Warhammer…. The alliance with Sony didn't help them either…

    June 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm Reply
  20. Shogun

    Not that I want eve to be easier or anything, but this guys argument is basiclly….. If any game that is doing better then eve(as far as how many people play it) isn't counted, then eve would be the most popular MMO out on the market. That seems like an awful argument.

    I think a better argument would be… There are PvP MMO's, and PvE MMO's, games like WoW, FFXI, Kotor are PvE games, sure they have PvP in them, but thier target playerbase is PvE. Games like eve, linage/aion, guildwars2 are gear towards a PvP playerbase. Considering more then likely they have been geared ether PvP, or PvE, it would be stupid for the dev's to change thing up. By the same token it's probably stupid to write a blog on it for the same reasons.

    June 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm Reply
    1. Doris the Gerbil

      His argument, which seems to have slipped right on by you, is that the games he mentions as being above EVE in subs were all originally PvP based, and as more and more PvE content has been introduced and the games dumbed down, they are losing gigantic numbers of subs.

      Look at WoW, over 3 million subscribers have turned tail and fled recently because Blizzard bowed to the wishes of the Carebears who only want to PvE. Many other larger MMO's have fallen foul of this form of idiocy too. His point is that if those massive powerhouse games can fall, then everyone below them needs to be very wary.

      Now look at EVE's subs, they may not be as high as WoW, but because of CCP's belief that EVE should stay a primarily PvP oriented game, it is one of the only large scale MMO's to have continual growth over the last 9 years, without needing to be based in countries where there are 3 billion people all with a gaming addiction.

      TL;DR PvE games do well in places like China and Korea, most likely since the general populace are indoctrinated to be passive, whereas PvP MMO's tend to be popular in the Western world, where we are taught to speak our minds. Thus PvE MMO's in the Western world will eventually crash and burn, see dramatic loss of WoW subs for proof.

      June 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm Reply
  21. hawkeei

    I wish there were not such a dichotomy between PvE and PvP content. Things seem the most interesting to me when the two interact. Running the same old mission or complex over and over again is super boring. Dealing with the super egos of internet spaceship pilots can get old after a while also.

    When they first announced faction warfare, I was thinking it would like some Defense of the Ancients sort of thing with factional NPC forces going at each other and capsuleers influencing the tide. Incursions in some ways came closer with people actively helping the Sanshas and nullsec incursion areas being cynojammed.

    In the end, there really need not be two types of content. They could potentially be one in the same. Imagine missions where multiple players in the same area are trying to accomplish differing or even perhaps opposing objectives. Heck, there could be mission agents created by players that further player objectives.

    Honestly though, EVE is a MMO game. If you don't want to deal with other people working against you, then don't play MMOs. Eve works because it has wholeheartedly embraced the sandbox, taking advantage of the best aspects of MMOs: the players.

    June 8, 2012 at 9:15 pm Reply
    1. Imigo

      Further to that, EVE is one of the few that really capture the second M in MMO. A lot of MMOs have been criticised for really being massively singleplayer online games. Lots of people all in the same world, each having their own singleplayer experience.

      EVE is very much not guilty of this, and any change which headed in that direction would have a negative effect on the experience.

      June 11, 2012 at 2:28 am Reply
  22. Just a thought

    I found this article and some of the comments one of the most enjoyable reads on this site. I would like to see the guy who runs xkcd.com to make one of his crazy graphs combining those mmo subscribers (something like this) http://xkcd.com/657/

    June 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm Reply
  23. masterochi

    I would like to see a way to go from Hisec to nullsec without getting ganked by lowsec pirate gatecamps or roving alliance fleets. Not everyone likes playing in a gang, some of us like to solo.

    I could run Sanctums all day long, but you can not run sanctums without risking getting ganked.

    If there were more wormholes from hi sec to null sec and some way to tell how long you have left, going from hi sec to go rat with a reasonable chance of survival, I would love to stay in null sec.
    But, as a soloer, I am a big red targets to everyone else. When you are a soloer, no one is blue to you.

    So, I stick with missions and the ocassional anomaly, do a lot of industry and manufacturing to make ISK. Still, if there were a game like this with more "hunting grounds" I would switch in a minute.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm Reply
    1. lol

      warp stabed cov ops cloaky t3 hell if u interdict u can fly from HS to Null through every system in the game and probably not get caught lol

      June 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm Reply
      1. Carl Sagan

        If you are really good at avoiding nano Sabres then yes. They have infested null sec for many years due to the endless stream of easy kills.

        June 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm Reply
    2. Read the post again

      OK – so you want to go from Hi-Sec to Null sec directly without Lo-Sec. Try the HED-GP gate.

      But of course this wont solve your personal problem either, because you're fundamentaly tying to play a multi-player game in single-player mode. And because you're finding it difficult, you're asking CCP to change the game. WHICH IS PRECISELY WHAT THIS ARTICLE SAYS WILL BREAK EVE !

      It's perfectly possible to solo Null sec in the right ship in the right NPC space – But it isn't easy and it isn't meant to be. If you can't figure out how to get from Hi Sec to Null sec without changes to game mechanics then you aren't ready to be solo-ing in Null sec yet.

      But keep trying and you might actually learn something and have some fun doing it. :)

      June 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm Reply
      1. Carl Sagan

        Try the HED gate??? No one simply walks into HED-GP

        June 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm Reply
  24. Anon

    I realized after 6 years in the game that we need arenas to stimulate new players to get involved with PvP in a very non-sandbox way.

    Sadly everyone is so dogmatic about the sandbox now that it will never happen.

    The best argument against doing this is actually funny. People tell me they will never use the rest of the game if they can simply queue up for instanced fights in high-sec (WoT style). So, basically, people don't want it because it would be too popular!

    June 9, 2012 at 4:09 am Reply
    1. lol

      they dont want it because it won't be eve anymore

      June 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm Reply
    2. cucubau

      if you want arenas, get into alliance tournament!

      June 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm Reply
  25. Gary

    Maybe you should loosen the chinstrap on your helmet a little bit. You'll still be a retard, but maybe you'll stop saying stupid shit. You don't have a clue about what you're talking about tbqh.

    June 9, 2012 at 4:38 am Reply
    1. NullSecHoBo

      You, sir, fail. Hard.

      Either point out where you think he's talking out of his ass, or stop wasting space.

      June 9, 2012 at 6:30 am Reply
  26. NullSecHoBo

    Well said, Poetic.

    Despite its success, Eve's biggest enemy is now CCP. First Incarna, now the inventory.. sheesh.

    If they can get the mindset back that gave us wormholes, for example, it certainly will have another successful 3 years.

    June 9, 2012 at 6:33 am Reply
  27. droljica

    When u remove competition, and game that ARE better, every game is ridiculously successful.
    Dont know why this article looks like bloggers utopia of some kind.

    June 9, 2012 at 7:01 am Reply
  28. Thodoros

    The problem with Eve online is CCP themselves.
    The expansions that they have releash over the years are more cosmetic than anything else.
    I can count the good expancions in one hand and even those have come out bugged.
    The best expansions were the ones that introduce new spaceships, like the Interdictor and the Heavy Interdictor the Titans and the Supercarriers, and the T3 ships along with the Tier 3 Battlecruisers.
    The new elements in Eve olnine like WH and Epic Arch storylines have made small differences.
    Also new changes that come in the way hangars and walking in stations have be utterly disasters imho.
    CCP has to work alot more in material the likes of mission co-op and good storyline missions that involve a new empathy between player and NPC to make it work and i am sure more people will enjoy doin a mission. Also in FW that has to be alot more highlighted as you will have to work with one of the empires high ranking officers. I mean for example tell me one Amarr FW player whould not love to meet Empress Jamyl? Also more fixes in Sov and better balancing in the Capital ships ffs.
    The Dreadnaughts are one of the best ships out there and they are staying docked!!!!!

    June 9, 2012 at 10:00 am Reply
    1. lol

      i have to agree here even cap ships that are difficult to balance, the fact is people need end game content, miners cap out skills in 3 months, cap pilots eventually get there perfect cap and are done, supers get there supers, theres no new ships to shoot for, if u're a dread pilot you can already fly the good bs's and chances are the good gun ships…

      WE NEED NEW SH*T the new modules is a great first step, though they said they would keep adding enw ones and i still havent even seen the micro jump drive, and we need new ships there delaying new caps, there delaying new t3's its getting really annoying

      June 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm Reply
      1. Sw3

        new shit doesnt neccessarily mean new skills however. Look at UO, you capped out your skills in under a month if you knew what you were doing and yet it was by far the most sandboxy mmo yet until EVE. Hell, even games like wow and SW:ToR dont even 'really' start until endgame/levelcap. You dont neccessarily need to increase the proverbial levelcap to enrich and extend the gaming experience.

        June 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm Reply
      2. asdf

        Somehow I think you are the carebear this article is all about.

        Your eve journey isn't done when your skills are maxed out or your ship is pimped up

        June 11, 2012 at 12:32 am Reply
    2. Imigo

      "more people will enjoy doin a mission"

      I think you're completely missing the point here. EVE is fundamentally a PvP game, built that way from the ground up. This is where the game gets its long lasting appeal, not from more enjoyable NPC missions.

      June 11, 2012 at 1:46 am Reply
      1. Thodoros

        I never said that PVP content is not important.
        Quite the opposite.
        But you need to do other stuff to make money and that option (mission, plex, belt ratting) is quite boring for many people and that includes me. I dont have industrial skills or mining and i am not intrested to learn them either. So my options are few and limited.
        Even so if i have a friend to do the co-op mission/plex whatever it will be more intresting.
        Many people forget that eve has the most difficult learning curve than any other game out there.
        When you start to include game content like this, i believe that will help many people to understand the game beter and old timers will enjoy more doin even a menial round of the plex.
        Loot alone is not a good motivator since most of the times you get crap.
        And yes we need to make more capital fights and use all our capitals.

        June 11, 2012 at 8:11 am Reply
    3. No one

      "new elements in eve online like WH ……have made small differences". WH is A as pvp driven as you can get and B made a big difference in that its created a whole new community of players in eve.

      you be tripin son

      June 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm Reply
      1. Thodoros

        Whatever you may think about the WH as a whole the main point is that a very small amount of players have take advatntage of the WH's. The majority of the Eve community lives in empire.
        Even FW has more players than all the WH's in EVE. And my point is still valid there is no content for us the players coming from CCP. I am happy at least that in 0.0 us players we make our own content.

        June 13, 2012 at 9:05 am Reply
  29. EveManiac

    Nice read. This topic is buzzing on many forums now since geddon5 started.

    What is happening now is that part of the players feel their career type is endangered by the play style of another group. It is utter useless to keep ranting about players that chose that other play style then the one that you happened to like. The fact that those play styles are available and mutual dependent to a certain extent, is an important mechanic of Eve. Some don't like to lose Hulks regularly because they cannot play enough – i.e. make enough ISK – to replace Hulks in that same frequency. If that is the case for some time they will quite. I understand that. If I keep losing my Hulks until my wallet is empty and I have to revert to a mining cruiser I will get fed up with it just the same.

    The question is, will the amount of players leaving threaten the existence of Eve? I don't think so. Should CCP intervene and protect the care bears? No, the game is just right as it is right now.

    The game will re-balance itself, which is the unique thing of a true sandbox. If nobody mines for a long time it becomes so profitable, others will accept the increased risks vs. the increased profit. If Mittens brain farts starts to endanger the gameplay of too many a player, they will form up in some way and take care of it. And sooner or later Mittens will lose his influence in the game because he keeps hiding behind the login screen. BoB came and perished so will Goons at some point, whether it is by treason of force. Eve will take care of that.

    Eve is popular because if you die you don't just respawn but you lose something, like ships, fittings etc. That makes it exciting, generates the thrill of PvP. There is something at stake, even for a care bear mining in high sec all the time. As long as that principle is valued and treasured by CCP, EvE will survive.
    EvE is Everyone vs. Everyone unless you team up and fight back, and that is friggin awesome.

    June 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm Reply
    1. Urziel99

      The miners who adapt will be the ones to survive and see greater profit while those who insist on max yield will lose Exhumers. The mining battleships are making a comeback because they are not paper thin and are a pain to try and gank. They may not yield as much as the Hulk but I'd take half as much yield per hour than get nothing and a 300 million isk loss mail.

      June 10, 2012 at 6:47 am Reply
      1. Imigo

        I saw a tanked (resistances and rep) Rokh get ganked when they fired on a can flipping Ferox (gank/buffer fit). The guy didn't realise that the can flipper could shoot back if he fired on them. Ignorance is still a problem for plenty of people.

        June 11, 2012 at 2:08 am Reply
  30. McSpaceship

    If CCP keeps up adding content. They have my sub for another 9 years. What keeps me coming back to EvE is the enormous amount of stuff one is able to do whenever he feels the urge.

    June 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm Reply
  31. Nwrk

    Eve is a good game, I belive that we can all agree to that.
    The thing is that most of us belive that our approach or view of Eve is the right one.

    i.e : Pvpers look at carebears and say: "be men, shoot something, do something to leave your mark on history, you twats"

    Carebears look at Pvpers and say: "dont be such a bitch, I mine and do missions so you can buy your shiny stuff cheaper, so dont shoot me in highsec, you bitches"

    The biggest problems comes when everyone wants a piece of the expansion-cake.
    Miners want new mininglaz0rs that mine more, pvpers want rebalancing in the pvp system,
    and missioneers wants new content and more loot.

    as seen in the posts here, you guys cant get along and you cannot agree that we are all needed.

    What CCP needs to do, and have been doing, is that they are helping one of the player types per expansion, we have expansions that brought about the mighty hulk, we have expansions that brought about the t3's and we have incursions.

    Whenever there is a expansion coming that isn't helping pvpers for example, the pvpers go into a rage, and piss on the rest of the community, but when there is a expansion for pvpers, the miners go bananas instead.

    So to conclude all of my babbling, we need nothing more, and nothing less, we need exactly what they are doing now, a high-end evaluation of the different play-styles and how to improve each of these without ruining for the other.

    (I might add that i am a bit tired, and that the above might make no sense at all)

    June 9, 2012 at 11:12 pm Reply
    1. Imigo

      Plenty of sense, that last paragraph is entirely unnecessary.

      What CCP are doing now is iterating on existing content while still providing enough fresh new content to be interesting. This has changed since Monoclegate where CCP were persistently adding new broken stuff (including starting down the dark path of pay to win) and neglecting old broken stuff that has been pissing players off for years.

      They do have this balance right now, but we were on shaky ground for a bit there. Let's hope they stay the course.

      June 11, 2012 at 2:13 am Reply
  32. Carl Sagan

    Poetic writes an EN24 article without bad-mouthing E-UNI and it is actually pretty good material.

    +50 Internets

    June 9, 2012 at 11:48 pm Reply
  33. riverini

    im a political science major and all of your arguments are invalid

    June 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm Reply
  34. DarthNefarius

    IMHO the past 2 summer patches have been crap. I hope CCP gets thier heads out of thier asses . I'll just do this summer what I did last summer: UNSUB over the crappy changes they made & consider comming back in 3-6 months after some of it is fixed.
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4ZV4WiSLKzQ/TmeFlAF858I

    June 10, 2012 at 6:03 pm Reply
  35. PL Winner

    you missed that star wars is a flopp.
    after alot of initial subscribers with pretty nice numbers
    they actuallly lost constantly some since february

    June 10, 2012 at 11:55 pm Reply
  36. JustCarebear

    So what are you big ass PVP players are actually doing in nine years of eve? Get together in large fleets and simply shooting dots from your overview. That is all that is EVE. One guy talking –> calling targets and the rest are only (trying to) follow those directions. Wow, that is really great, not so boring like running missions. It sounds like brain surgery over there. Get a life my friend. This is JUST A GAME. Who the hell are you to judge what are other people enjoying?

    June 11, 2012 at 1:59 am Reply
  37. If CCP was to release a PvE world or even a restricted PvP world (PvP only in nulsec) for EVE Online it would inundated with thousands and thousands of explayers who were driven away and people who heard stories of the hardcore PvP and gave the game a wide berth.

    It would open a new era for the game and revitalize the economy, because by this point even a so called 'carebear' in EVE participates in more PvP than most PvPers in other games due to raiders, pirates and just plain griefers.

    October 1, 2012 at 10:27 am Reply

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