Wednesday, August 1, 2012

EVE is more casual-friendly than WoW

I wrote a series of posts (1, 2, 3) about null being unprofitable and fundamentally an altruistic endeavour. However I did not go far enough. I went to the official forum recruitment thread to advertise the supercap-billion project of mine and found more than 100 threads less than 2 days old. Most of them are "we take any warm body" kind of recruitments. If sov-null is such a great place where everyone wants to get in but only the best is accepted, why is every living body who bother to go there are greeted with free skillbooks, ships and "friendly helpful atmosphere"?

The PR slogan is "EVE wasn't designed to look like a dark and unforgiving place, EVE was designed to be a dark and unforgiving place". This is an outright lie. You might call me inexperienced in null, but I know highsec and more or less won the highsec-EVE by gathering enough money to keep my 2 highsec accounts run free over a decade. Highsec is a nice, beautifully lighted (screenshots all over the internet), friendly and safe place where you can do various things at will. OK, if you do something obnoxiously stupid like autopiloting a Kestrel with PLEX-es or peacocking in a 30B ISK - 20K EHP Tengu around, you'll be robbed, but keeping the basic rules of sense will guarantee a totally loss-less life. Zero losses means whatever you make is pure profit. If you are a skilled trader like me, that can go to 50B/month. If you are a very casual mission runner like my girlfriend, you'll get 200M/month but as long as you keep logging in, your wealth keep growing. It's easier than World of Warcraft, as you don't even have to re-grind your gear after every expansion. Also your wealth doesn't diminish in the sense of "everyone else have it" because others get it blown up. So in highsec you just gather wealth and play as you wish until you get bored. There are no losses, no bills to pay, not even the inflation-threadmill like in other MMOs.

How could EVE upkeep the PR of being dark and dangerous while actually being more casual friendly than WoW? At first by the cries of idiots who did autopilot a Kestrel or lost a 30B Tengu. This group is tiny, exactly one Kestrel was destroyed with PLEXEs in the history of EVE and kill reports of 20B+ overpimped subcaps show up 2-5 times a year. But since the RMT value of that Tengu is over $1000, that warrants serious forum crying from the victim and spectators.

Secondly by focusing on sov-null, which is just as misleading as World of Warcraft marketed with Tol Barad and battleground videos. Sure, you can go there and blow up enemies but neither you have to nor most players ever do (numbers thrown around between 66 and 80%). Even those who don't belong to the highsec population can be in low/NPC null, not participating in large fleet warfare. "EVE is a cold unforgiving place" is just as true as "The Planet Earth is a dark and unforgiving place where people starve to death and kill each other over mad reasons." It is technically true as Somalia and Afghanistan are indeed such places and indeed part of the planet. However it's irrelevant if you live in the "highsec" of the civilized countries.

Now the question is why should anyone go sov-null/WH? To PvP? If that's your thing, RvB is waiting for you. If you want to "grief" people, take the fight to ones don't want it to, just press that "enlist me" button on the militia screen and off you go blowing up LP-farmers. If you want even more "elite" PvP, pirate corps of lowsec are waiting for you.

What can null/WH provide that highsec can't? Please don't say "high-end ore" as I can buy them in Jita. There are enough people mining them. Easier way to get riches? Maybe, but at the cost of losing it all due to corp theft, war or a well-placed hotdrop on your jump freighter. More PvP? You can PvP all day in RvB, FW or random lowsec systems.

Supercapital ships maybe? Sure, but why are they so interesting? The original design was interesting: titans could doomsday whole supbcap fleets, supercarriers could kill titans, dreads could kill both but were vulnerable to subcaps. But after devs got fed up with the forum cries of "OMG my 1 day old Rifter pilot was killed by someone who plays for years and put in thousands of hours, its unfair" and nerfed Titans, they disappeared and with them their natural enemies, the supercarriers and dreads. They all devalued into jump bridges and structure grinders. But if you have some strange perversion involving huge spaceships, the best course is trading in highsec, going to Chribba, buying one, cynoing it to some random lowsec system, sometimes log in with a scout alt and if you see no one in local, log in the titan and watch it.

Hanging out with "friends"? Why, you can't do the same doing highsec missions or mining? Or even better, by logging off a video game and meeting real people?

My purpose of going to nullsec is a weird out-of-game one: I want to prove the superiority of a-social thinking. However as long as highsec is perfectly safe (unless you really-really fail) and profitable, I see trouble figuring out why would a player without serious out-of-game motivation leave highsec (lowsec for PvP-ers). Please note that any kind of nerf to highsec income is irrelevant as it just slows down the progress but don't stop it being endlessly positive and safe.

Am I missing something? Is there something special in sov-null and WH that makes it a good choice? Does it provide something to a player that high/low can't? If you live there, please enlighten me! Why are you there? If you are a blogger, I'd be grateful (and throw links) if you'd explain it.

I have a nasty conspiracy theory here: null was never meant to be an endgame. Players were never meant to go there en masse. It's just a PR tool to make the awesome promotional videos and hype. The playground was always the purposefully overpowered, safe and very easy highsec. It is a genius design as it allows incompetent and asshole players to endlessly, safely and alone progress while keep on believing that they are doing so in a very competitive and dangerous environment. This way the player keep on playing rewarded by the false positive feeling that he belongs to the elite of the MMO gamers while actually he is so dumb that a mediocre WoW guild would kick him or such a terrible person that no one would play with him.

What about Hulkageddon and Burn Jita? I think these were unintended by devs, created by two "evil geniuses" beating the system. But they won't happen again. Mining barges are redesigned to be ungankable, and after looking to the TEST and Goon accounting, I'm sure that Tech nerf they will make them completely unable to do such actions ever again. They'll be happy if they can pay their sov bills. CCP couldn't stop Burn Jita and Hulkageddon without losing face but they are doing good job preventing either from repeating. By the way, is it a coincidence that the masterminds of both gank events were suspended from the game?

Wednesday morning report: 124.0B (2.5B spent on main accounts, 1.9 spent on Logi/Carrier, 1.5 on Ragnarok, 1.1 on Rorqual, 1.4 on Nyx, 1.3 on Avatar, 2.6B received as gift).


Anonymous said...

"[sov-null] is where everyone wants to get in but only the best is accepted"

Who exactly said that?

mxat1 said...

It does feel like CCP is trying to cut on stable passive income. It worries me because I feel they are focusing on that more than other things in game. And for what purpose? Push player to buy more PLEXs?

EvE is somehow casual friendly but only when you don't spend the money you owned. You need a substential amount of money to start with. The main mistake being that you make money only when you need to.

EvE is slowly moving towards a pay-to-play model (in the opposition to free-to-play and meaning that you pay more than your subscription). It has always been like this but they should be careful pushing it too much.

There is a difference between making something possible and forcing people to do something (having multiple accounts, buying PLEXs ...).


Isaac said...

"Mining barges are redesigned to be ungankable; ... By the way, is it a coincidence that the masterminds of both gank events were suspended from the game?"

I don't know what you're going on about here, the new barges are still gankable, it will just require more investment. The changes are a decent balance; after this, you won't be able to kill well-fitted barges with a throwaway destroyer.

You should also check your information on those bans; Helicity (the creator of Hulkageddon) was banned during Incarna disaster; his ban has since been lifted. In fact, HG V was done after his ban, and he went through 4 HGs before that with no big conspiracy to ban him. As for Mittens, he said some stupid crap while drunk. No CCP conspiracy needed.

Steel H. said...

Why (did I choose to) go to nullsec? Mainly the scale. Everything is bigger in nullsec. Bigger fleets, bigger ships, bigger egos, bigger stakes, bigger narratives, bigger stories, bigger ownage. More EPIC. Nullsec is also ~serious business~. RvB and FW have their niches for PVP, with many nullsecers joining them to satisfy the need for instant PvP, even the Mittani joined RvB for a while. But that PvP is mostly lolling around in T1 frigates and cruisers and no shits given. 0.0 sov warfare sees massive 1000v1000 fleets, expensive specialized ships, complex fleet maneuvers, 24/7 hellcamps, metagame, espionage, politics, madness. I was shocked of how close a 0.0 war resembles a real war situation, you live in staging systems in POSs, under the stars, everything is scarce and expensive, there are constant attacks on your logistic lines, you travel everywhere in convoys just lilke ships in WW2, there is propaganda, morale victories and defeats, grandiose speeches everything. And then there is the hate, no holds barred violence, and massive e-peen that comes from planting your flag on a piece of territory. And waking up at 3 AM to play an internet spaceship game, that’s super hardcore.

You are right though, I’m not sure what nullsec has to offer you, or what you have to offer it. I’ve been thinking about another goal for you, that would suit you better: own all the markets in hisec, own all station trading, completely eliminate all 0.01 punks, and thus create perfect balanced markets for every major item sold anywhere. So instead of the one empire in nullsec (which will not be created, for all the reasons I’ve explained to you), create the one financial empire (or MegaSpaceCorp) of market PvP in hisec. This would be an original goal, would stand out and not be just Drake #2456. (or Avatar #245), would be a consistent challenge for your abilities, would get you fame and fortune, would let you play your own god in your own box, and maybe stop Reddit threads from laughing at you…

Alkarasu said...

Only one thing doesn't fit in this theory - that being capital and supercapital nerfs. If the game is all about hisec, it's irrelevant, how null population exterminate each other. In fact, if they do it in some flashy way, it's better proving the "dark, unforgiving" point, while being 100% safe for any hisec dweller (as no titan can ever do that in hisec). The only reason, that fits, is that null population must not exterminate itself too fast, or there will be no desired adveristing effect. As you may see, no forum cries are needed for that one.

Anonymous said...

You did not mention EVE Offline. In more hardcore games like WoW, one has to log in - those pets don't level themselves. Whereas you can log in EVE and when you next log in six weeks later you now have trained BS V; it did not require skill or effort, merely PLEX.


Hisec makes no sense in EVE; it is inconsistent. It is there only because EVE would be even less popular and profitable if it were consistently dark and unforgiving.


Let me turn your question around - why do you want to go to null? Null space empires and politics are amazing - a combo of Diplomacy board game, strategic planning and a management/motivation/team building exercise. But a few dozen of the EVE players are playing that - Mittani et al.

The rest are playing childish PvP combat in a retro way where your timesink EVE travel or camping time far exceeds your total gaming session in LoL or WoT.

Yet someone as logical as you is pushed by social pressures and is drawn to null. Why?

IMO, you need to be able to answer that question as well as understand the extremely different motivations the inhabitants have.

evemonkey said...

I'm mostly here for the same reasons as Steel H. there's just a buzz that I get from participating in something where I know there's over a thousand other people striving towards the same thing at this exact same moment. WoW 40 man raid instances have nothing on this.

What I also love about nullsec are the more specialised ships (I fly a HIC which is designed for null warfare) I love the feeling of danger that's ever present, I love the feeling of "this space is my space" which does not happen in highsec. there is a feeling of control.

having said that, there's a relevant post by Kirith Kodatchi if you haven't already put him on your reading list - he's an ex-provi-block pilot and still has his supercarrier account but has now moved mostly to faction warfare. interesting also is the comments section:

NP said...

On Endgame (which is what I think you asking): Speaking from my own experience -- a newbie working towards a W-Space corp.

Ultimately, AFAICT the end-game in EVE is all about finding a social group that you jive with. Shooting rocks your thing? Find a mining corp. High-isk kills/losses your thing, join W-space. Being-told-what-to-fly for the sake of reimbursments and "derp we changed the colors on the map today" -- join null sec. (personal bias included)

Your goal, Gevlon, of creating an "a-social" end-game corp, is counter to what I see the end-game of any MMO to be. Massively-Multiplayer, to me, means to be a successful "tribe" (or guild or corp or alliance or nation or ...) that standard social rules apply.

Prove us all wrong, Gevlon!

Anonymous said...

What can null/WH provide that highsec can't?
Gameplay which is not accessible in highsec. Bubbles, Bombers, Capital Ships, the Supercap End Game, Jump drives, Jump Portals, large cohesive entities, hundreds or thousands of people to play with, greater isk making opportunities (talking about the "1 off" things here - billion isk drops and the like), end game PvE (in wormholes), no loss of security status when you kill someone, no concord, 'ownership' of space, system upgrades....

did I cover it all?

Most of them are "we take any warm body" kind of recruitments.
Not really - the recruitment ads might be, but the recruitment process (at least in my experience) is not. Pilots are a commodity. You hook them with an ad then you interview them. The interview seperates the wheat from the chaff. Its a case of casting a wide net and seeing what you can get.

Dioxin said...

Every MMO has risk free environments where you can play and "win" according to your own victory conditions. EVE is no different. Using market earned ISK as a personal high score? Great. Grinding the same missions over and over again until you can buy a fleet your own pirate battleships? Good for you. Spend all your time tweaking your avatar until it looks just right? Awesome. Collect all the fancy hats rather than shoot anyone in the face? Fantastic. You win if you say you win.

On the other hand, a great many number of players prefer the challenge of facing against ever varying opponents of unknown skill while not being restrained by gentlemanly agreements such as "1v1 only" or "no podding." In other MMOs, such rules are unavoidably coded into the game itself. Equal number teams. Only such and such powers allowed. No using this or that piece of OP equipment. No picking fights against anyone who doesn't want to fight, etc. In null you have no such protections.

Every game has rules, but null warfare in EVE has far less rules governing "proper" behaviour than most other games. What rules do exist are not there to ensure a fair and even playing field. Whether locally or in general, others will be stronger, richer, and better equipped than you. You will end up in fights you cannot win, no matter how skilled of a pilot or FC you are. You will need to account for infiltrators trying to ruin your day through every underhanded means they can think up. You will face alliances that have "unfair" outside organizational or cultural advantages. You will have to hold onto your space despite any such disadvantages, or you will be evicted.

Null offers large scale battles and tactical options that are simply not found anywhere else, while WH offers small gang pvp and the chance to become filthy rich without needing to play the market. Remember, players in general might like being rich but a many of them find actual market interaction to be as uninteresting as you find PvP. Gudfights and piles of ISK? Yes please. Hours of buy/sell adjustments and piles of ISK? Jesus Christ no. It doesn't matter to them whether a single haul nets them 1B or 1.2B as long as they're consistently pulling out A Lot of Money from w-space.

Some people consider large scale warfare fun. You don't. Some even consider being social in an organization that also conducts such wars fun. Again you don't. Some people like their riches to come from pewpew and not from pages upon pages of market orders. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Helicity was banned for very publically badmouthing CCP while mittens got his for naming a depressed player and encouraging others to goad him into committing suicide in real life. Both were public relations disasters that prompted a public relations response, and as mentioned already both bans were temporary. As long as public enemy griefer figureheads encourage conflict against players and not the developers (whether from the player base or the gaming media), CCP is all for them and their shenanigans in game.

Anonymous said...

"This group is tiny, exactly one Kestrel was destroyed with PLEXEs in the history of EVE"

one would think that after spending half a year playing EVE you would have stopped being so naive^^ (the famous one)

there are probably many more but I cba to put more time into looking for them.

Never underestimate the amount of losses due to sheer stupidity (I myself have lost at least 3x navy apoc, 1x Nighmare, 1x Machariel to mission rats in high-sec, possibly some more that I can't remember).

Gevlon said...

@Dioxin: everything you listed can be found in lowsec PvP too. Why bother with structures then?

@Anonymous: except for bubbles you can do all in lowsec too.

Anonymous said...


You cannot own or upgrade lowsec, and in lowsec, unless the person is -10, you lose sec status if you are the aggressor, oh, and lowsec has those annoying gate guns.

But, apart from that, as you said, lowsec is the same as null

Gevlon said...

NPC null has it all!

Unknown said...

I guess its actually quite simple: What can u do in 0.0, that u can't do in Hi-Sec?

Answer1: Own space and claim it for yourself and have it shown to the world on the influence map. Its the most direct way to "show" what u achieved, since i did not find some ISK/h rating showing "Gevlon" as prime ruler under all the traders.

Answer2: Fight over those "rare" regions with distinct enemies, visible for everyone else.

U see where i'm going, its mainly just prestige and "we are da street kings in this turf".

bye Andy

Gevlon said...

YOU can't own sov. Your alliance leader can.

Gevlon said...

YOU can't own sov. Your alliance leader can.

Unknown said...

"YOU can't own sov. Your alliance leader can."

Don't matter to most individuals, since if i myself identify with the group/leader than i virtually "own" it. Its even more subtle, most sports fans identify with a team so much, that they will sate "We won the championship" even if they just always watched it on TV. Don't underestimate our ability to identify ourself with concepts and groups, even if we don't get any direct benefit out of it.
The sports example is all i need, since i know a few of those and they seem happy and even involved into there teams. This to me is what 0.0 is all about on the higher meta level, that sets it apart from hi-sec.

Anonymous said...

the ability to deny your enemy docking rights is a pretty big deal

the ability to upgrade systems is important as well - you may argue that lvl4 missions in npc space are a suitable alternative to running CAs in sov space but npc 0.0 has no comparable option for miners or explorers.

Anonymous said...

Actually, how do you concile the current state of npc 0.0 (mostly depopulated) with your statement that "NPC null has it all!"?

Alkarasu said...

Actually, you can't have supercaps in lowsec, you can't build them in lowsec or NPC null, and you absolutely must have structures to build them. If supercaps are your game, you go null, or no game for you.

"Your alliance leader can."
Well, no one stops YOU from being such alliance leader. That's one more game EVE let you play

All that, and you tend to forget, that human is kinda territorial animal. Holdng sov is pleasing almost anyones Inner Ape. Even if it's completely and utterly pointless, human tend to like to call some part of territory his (and by "his" he can mean "his corporation", "his alliance", or even "his fleet", because human is a social animal as well).

Anonymous said...

"Actually, you can't have supercaps in lowsec"
of course you can - PL used them to gatecampn in Amamake (and lost an Erebus doing so,

Anonymous said...

I live in a wh for 2 reasons. 1: The isk is fairly easy and comes during a social time, you talk to friends run sleeper sites and collect 100-200m isk per hour. Sure you could do it it highsec and just live in a wh for reason 2, but since I'm already here and hate trading with a passion this is workable to allow me to play for reason 2.

2: Variety is the spice of life. Random entrances all over New Eden. Sometimes we're popping out in highsec and get to gank idiots that zone into random wormholes in nice ships, daytrippers in incursion ships and the like. Sometimes we've got null sec exits and get to go do roams or drop on gatecamps that don't have a clue where we're coming from. Sometimes it's wh pvp, which is completely different (no local and mass limits).

Anonymous said...

Nullsec offers a slightly better grind for the average M&S pilot than highsec. We traders do not grind, and so there is no reward for us in null.

Nullsec is for team PVP
Lowsec is for small team and solo PVP
Highsec is for low-risk PVP/griefing (can flipping, rvb, highsec wars)

About the supercap nerf: It was a huge mistke. CCP destroyed a goal shared by thousands of players - to own the "best" ship. These days supercaps are only used for structures, and that's very sad.

Anonymous said...

There is a massive difference between WH pvp and other kinds of PVP, mainly because of wormholes themselves and how they work.

Vermis said...

This probably doesn't happen as much now, but building a permanent game object that will be there for all time (a station/outpost) was satisfying. Granted there is no plaque on it to say I contributed or even have access to it today though, but I know what I did :)

Other than that, nullsec is just a more challenging place to live (risk mitigation) with a different metagame to play.

For a goal, how about become Johnny Appleseed and fill the rest of nullsec with Outposts. There have only been 316 built so far ....

Anonymous said...

In null there is no place for solo play.

You MUST be social to live there. This is a place for group action; the bigger the group - the better.

Make a goal that is shared by others and you may achieve it. A goal that says "I will get you in null but you must pay for it" is... well, retarded?

Null is so easy to get into. Why would anyone pay one billion/month to be there instead of just be there and save his money?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps anon18:01 has it right - null is by and for socials. You can solo just fine in high. But null is about working together. You are deliberately going to where you are going to need to group with hundreds or thousands of others.

Will asocial experiments really be that possible amongst people who are there for social reasons?

Rational asocials are not playing EVE or worse case in highsec.

Anonymous said...

@Vermis Actually good point with the outposts. That potentially could have a bigger and more lasting impact than supers.

Anonymous said...

@anon 20:39
rational asocials shouldnt play MMos id say:)
But i have to say that its a fair assesment of how things work gevlon, apart fromt eh social aspect mentioned by previous posters wich i think are on to something.
also you seem to be a bit homeblinde (translated term but couldnt thing of anything better) about trading - some people dont like it and dont care about its superiority in terms of isk, its boring and id rather do something fun that rewards less, not rational from a isk perspective but if isk=whocares, who cares?

Dioxin said...

"everything you listed can be found in lowsec PvP too. Why bother with structures then?"

Because sovereignty null has territorial defense and exclusivity options that are simply not available in lowsec or npc null.

Instead of asking the rhetorical question of "why are so many idiots heading to null when they can get exactly what they want elsewhere?", ask yourself the genuine question "why are so many people heading to null?" Since people clearly are doing just that, and they're doing so because they can't find what they want elsewhere.

Kristopher said...

Ya know ... it is kinda hard to find an MMO where people in cooperative ventures do not have the advantage in PvP.

Yea, highsec is for carebears, traders, and griefers.

Lowsec is for pvp.

NPCnull is high level carebearing AND pvp.

Sovnull is all about wargaming as a team, with nullbearing to make ISK needed.

WH space is NPC null with incursion style rats and severe limits on offensive fleet sizes ... with added defender advantages ( need to do some carebearing? Overload and close existing exits, and don't spawn your static. You have only a low chance of someone accidentally opening a hole into your system, but be safe and keep an eye on dscan ).

if you want a more detailed list, here ya go.

If you cannot find something worth doing there, then I guess you have reached the bittervet stage in less than a year, and it may be time to "win" EvE.

Let us know if you find a metagame worth playing. I'm interested to see what you come up with.

Kristopher said...

Oh, and BTW, if you haven't logged in yet:

Some retards wardecced you.

Apparently they are unclear on the twin concepts of "Station Trader" and "NPC corp Hauler Alt".

NP said...

(double dip, my bad) -- EVE is "real" in that meta-game is real.

WOW's attempt at meta-game lasted for ~4 hours (Wintergrasp in WotLK, last I played).

EVE's meta-game is in constant flux, in both 0.0, WH, and now LS with FW.

But no, EVE is in no way real like armed, human conflict!

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