Greedy Goblin

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Why PvE is boring and "carebear"?

The post of GamerChick42 is probably the best about the problems of PvE in EVE. Funnily she just used it as a metaphor for the same problem in her field: faction warfare button orbiting. Go and read it, it's perfectly written.

OK, I know you were too lazy to read it so I summarize for you: mining is boring because it lack risks. No code changes like stronger belt rats or so can change that. They would be annoying at best, but the miners would adapt by fitting a better tank or simply putting a battleship to the mining fleet. The only way risks (therefore excitement, accomplishment, fun) could be included into mining by making players come after the miners. However players will not go after miners because they don't want the rocks. Only bored gankers go after miners, and the best way to handle a bored kid is to bore him harder: dock when he arrives local so he finds nothing. The same is true for all kind of EVE PvE activity. No one tries to stop you from doing it. Not even the players who actually gank you try to stop you. They can't care less what you do, they just go after the officer items on your mission battleship, the kill report or simply griefing.

Because of lack of risk and competition, PvE is both boring and "carebear": an activity you could suggest to an 8 years old kid. You can write a protocol for every scripted PvE activity and the internet people do write such protocols, so playing PvE will always be "read up the proper site and follow the protocol". Boring, dumb, uninteresting after the "woot spaceships" novelty fades.

You can't write protocol for PvP. You can't know how many, how good and how armed enemies will come. Even the most experienced FCs lose battles. Excitement, fun can only come from PvP after the novelty of the graphics and lore fades. To make a game permanently fun, it must be PvP. In WoW the players did it by the bosskill race. While the boss is scripted, the time to complete it depends on other people. Everyone will kill the boss but if you don't hurry, you'll do it as World #50000. Of course it always need new bosses, without constant content addition, WoW would die in half year.

EVE is fundamentally a PvP game, so it shouldn't be so hard to modify PvE to be PvP: the devs must make other players want your resources. Currently no one wants your rocks or rats or missions. There is practically infinite amount of them. Currently EVE PvE is simple grind that converts time into ISK. If you have time, you will have ISK. Funnily the above setup not only makes PvE boring but also makes PvP rare and sporadic. You have no other reason to PvP than being bored. Someone attacking a miner or missioner is most likely a griefer: he would get more "character progression" by mining next to him instead, killing him has no reward.

EVE lacks proper conflict drivers. Not I say that, devs and CSM do. "Seleene responded by saying that these days the major players in each alliance all hang out in the same jabber channels and conversations after fights are more akin to chat after a friendly match (even though titans and super caps were destroyed) rather than ‘hatred’ – everyone is so filthy rich that losses really don’t matter. The ‘romance’ of old times, where hate and animosity where driving factors are largely gone. The sense of loss has turned from ‘damn, now I have to go and mine to afford all this stuff again’ to ‘man, now I have to go to the market and spend money.’" "Major players" considering matches friendly is indeed lack of conflict. However his reasoning is conflicting itself "losses don't matter" and "I have to go mine" (something I don't like), are mutually exclusive. Let's see some more quotes: "Two step clarified this by saying that there would be conflict drivers if it meant something to lose, in order to get mad at someone they have to do something to hurt you.", " It could be said that people are perhaps ‘too’ comfortable at present and even though resources (such a moon materials) are tempting, they are not tempting enough to ignite a war." It seems they agree that losing items (fundamentally ISK) is conflict driver, but they don't see the conflict emerging. "Seleene added to this that personal animosity is the best conflict driver in EVE, not resources or space.", which is merely a rephrasing that CCP sucks in igniting conflict so hard that the word "mate" outperforms them.

Theoretically you have losses if you lose PvP: you lose your ship and probably implants. They cost ISK. You should be mad instead of giving "good fight lol". Let's see how the PvE problem creates the lack of PvP conflict:
  1. Only bored people PvP, they do it for fun. (experimental axiom, everyone sees that)
  2. If they lose, they lose ISK (fact)
  3. To regain ISK they (or some pet of theirs) must do PvE (fact)
  4. To do PvE they only need time (fact)
  5. Time they have in large supply, since they did PvP against boredom at the first place
The fixing can only come at point 4: time must not guarantee you ISK. How can it be implemented? Let's start with mining. Currently if you want to mine, all you need is a mining barge and time. Theoretically you need rocks too, but you also need air to breath while playing EVE, but you don't mention it because air is there. To fix this, rocks must be rare. I mean so rare that there aren't any floating peacefully. They should be so rare that if a belt respawns or a gravimetric signature appears, in 2 minutes someone should warp to it and start mining. The average player must spend 50-80% of his "mining time" not by mining but by hunting belts. The chance that you dedicate an hour mining, yet you fail to find a single rock and mine nothing should be significant.

In highsec it would only be a campfest with occasional ganking. In low, null and WH the key is that the spawn is random and cannot be triggered or directed any way. Sovereignity upgrades that allowed more or bigger rocks to spawn must be removed or changed into some utility like "rock detection array" that give bookmarks to members to newly spawned belts and a bonus to the scanners for finding gravs. The only way to increase the chance of rock spawning in your territory (sov or simply "your turf") should be increasing your territory. The more systems you have, the more systems you can mine. Unless a mining covops Tengu gets there first.

Rat complexes should be the same. They should spawn so rarely that every beacon is camped and you have good chance to kill no rats at all. The only way to increase rat access should be increasing your controlled territory or driving away competing ratters.

There should be only one incursion spawning every week and if it's done, it's done.

Mission agents should have a limited amount of missions, new ones respawning over time. If an agent is out of missions, he can give out no more until next respawn. While camping rats and ores is OK since it involves being on grid and prone to be ganked, camping agents on stations would be a terrible mechanic. So I'd suggest bribing them. You can bid with ISK at the agent and the highest bidder gets the next mission.

Of course newbies should be protected from this, so lvl1 agents should have infinite amount of missions, 1/10 complexes should respawn fast. Giving infinite veldspar would be bad idea as tritanium is used even in Titans, so it would be better to just place more lvl1 mining agents to help newbie miners.

It's quite clear how the above changes would turn PvE into PvP: the best way to get rocks is killing the other miner. But how would it revitalize PvP and change it from a consensual timesink into a dark and unforgiving battle? The reason why no one cares about battle losses is the guarantee that he can re-grind it any time, anywhere. The competition for PvE sites would mean that you might have to wait, or you might have to move.

Now if a nullsec alliance would lose all its ships and a thief would take all its wallet and its members had no money either, they could still surely raise a fleet for the next timer, assuming the members are motivated to do some grind for the alliance. With the new scheme a defeat can be decisive. The enemy could effectively deny you PvE at the limited sites by roams and black ops drops, making you unable to make ISK in null. Combined by the overcamped highsec where farming a battleship would take 30+ hours (which is OK for highsec players as they don't lose it, so have to farm it once) losing your fleet or your wallet being robbed can mean that you are done: you lost your space, can't PvE in null, have to farm 100+ hours on your highsec alts to have the half dozen ships needed to return. That would eradicate "good fight" from local.

Of course I'm not naive and don't assume that CCP devs don't know that. They designed the game as it is on purpose. The No1 rule of MMOs is that players don't tolerate losses and quit if they have some. The only difference between WoW and EVE is the "respawn time". In WoW you can run back to your corpse in a minute, in EVE "respawning" your lost ship can take 1-2 hours of grind.

However EVE isn't beyond hope with the current settings either. The above statement is true with the cheap crap most PvP-ers fly. You can "respawn" a Drake in an hour. "Respawning" a Rokh takes 4-5 hours. A Navy Apocalyps cost 10 hours of grind, a lost dread or carrier can take away 30 hours. So having a fleet that can only be countered by expensive ships, you can actually win a war in the sense that the enemy is unable to "respawn" in time.

Thursday morning report: 147.4B (5.5 spent on main accounts, 3.6 spent on Logi/Carrier, 3.2 on Ragnarok, 2.6 on Rorqual, 2.4 on Nyx, 2.8 on Avatar, 17.4 sent as gift)


Azuriel said...

The average player must spend 50-80% of his "mining time" not by mining but by hunting belts. The chance that you dedicate an hour mining, yet you fail to find a single rock and mine nothing should be significant.

That sounds like a terrible game. It also completely runs counter to your "PvE players want progression" post the other day.

What makes you think EVE has a problem that needs to be solved?

Gevlon said...

EVERYONE says that mining and missioning is boring. It's a problem enough.

Also, they can progress as they find ore after all.

Anonymous said...

"To make a game permanently fun, it must be PvP." that may be true for you but it is not true for everyone. Ignoring the obvious that no game is played literally permanently, look at single player games. EVE has 3 or 400,000 players who play for an average of seven months. Windows Solitaire has ten or a hundred times as many people who have been playing for ten times as long. Skyrim, Civ 3/4/5, etc. Second Life is even closer and launched a month after EVE and has little traditional combat.


If the goal is essentially to reduce the number of PvE subscribers, wouldn't it be simpler to implement the traditional suggestions to reduce subscribers: e.g. much less profitable hi-sec missions?

Gevlon said...

Solitaire is a game. You can win and you can lose.

MMO PvE is not a game. You put in X time, you surely get Y pixels. There is no GAMEPLAY involved

Anonymous said...

No, not everyone is saying it - the vocal are saying it. I have two corp mates in my (small) corp that love mining. Love it. I think it's boring, but I think soccer is boring too. Doesn't mean they should change the rules to suit me.

Micko said...

"MMO PvE is not a game. You put in X time, you surely get Y pixels. There is no GAMEPLAY involved"

By that logic pretty much any single player game is "Not a Game" these days. I mean, if I put in enough hours into Skyrim, I will eventually get the pixels on screen telling me I won, no matter how terrible I am.

Anonymous said...

I don't want PvE to be "a game".

I want to get my ISK and be done with it asap.
Any attempt to make PvE more complex, random or "fun" will only end up crippling my efficiency and force me to spend more time doing an activity that I won't enjoy either way.

Completely predictable PvE means I can blaze through it to earn some ISK without having to pay a lot of attention (usually watching a movie on the side or multiboxing) and that's just fine by me.

More engaging PvE just means I don't get to watch my movie (e.g. incursion fleets that require voicecomms) and have to pay attention full attention to something I don't care about.
If I wanted interesting PvE I would do raiding in WoW or Rift - but I don't enjoy that type of activity.

l0rd carlos said...

That's why i do lowsec explorating, there is risk and competition.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, you are completely correct. PVE should be a competitive hunting activity and not a mindless timesink. However as you mentioned, some players WANT a mindless timesink with no risk, what can we do about that?

Perhaps, when the T2 production mechanics get revamped there should be common grindable ores in highsec (for the timesink bears) and super rare but very profitable nullsec ores that require hunting and competition to capture.

It's not ideal, but CCP have to provide for the people who want simple progression too.

tobbelobb said...

"However his reasoning is conflicting itself "losses don't matter" and "I have to go mine" (something I don't like), are mutually exclusive."

If you look more closely you will find that he does not put these statements up against eachother. They are describing two different situations.

Anonymous said...

If CCP was to make another server with the rules you are suggesting, there would be significantly fewer people on that server (where PvP is practically mandatory).

It is not what EVERYONE wants. EVERYONE does not think mining and missioning is boring. You play your game, I'll play mine.

Anonymous said...

"The fixing can only come at point 4: time must not guarantee you ISK."

I'd love to hear your solution for the profession you chose: Trading.

You make big plans to diminish every source of income, while your source of income stays true?

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: because trading is a safe grind. Then buy some PLEX now and sell them a week later and tell how it went.

Or buy some implants on Saturday and sell them on Monday. Just spend some time and you'll get money!

Frostys said...

You want to make it full pvp? Cool.

Station can no longer have more than 200 combined buy/sell order. If everybody has to deal with competition, then so should traders. Adjust the number as required so traders have to fight tooth an nail for thier slot just like miners do for thier rocks and missioners do for thier missions.

After some time, watch how everybody just say "Fuck this shit" and leave the game.

Felipe Suzin said...

MMOs follow the sink and faucet economic model. Infinite resources that are poured in and out of the economy.
No other model would work, so PVE needs to reward people with money over time. It's the price you pay to play the game. The same works for chess, as you need countless hours studing old games and manouvers until you are capable of facing a Master in a PVP game.
There is no alternative for this, as making resources finite would only make the economy stagnant and devalue ISK to the point where we would be trading in Veldspar instead of ISK.
That is why the war in EVE is fought against the man behind the keyboard and not against his ship or resources. PVP is mentaly and emotionaly taxing, increase the stress and people stop logging in and you win.
Sorry Gevlon, none of your ideas would work, they are based on an economic reallity that can not exist in the game.
Most people dont like the study (grind) part of a game, but it serves a purpose, allow you to learn to swimm before you get to do it with sharks. And EVE, like chess, it's full of sharks.

Anonymous said...

Are you also proposing to change the skill system? One of the big success factors of EVE Offline is how you can get character progression with no risk and much less effort than in games like Rift or WoW.

EVE has a tiny fraction of the MMO market of PvE MMOs; MMOs that offer a non-consentual PvP option find it is less popular. I'm not sure that going even more niche makes any sense for CCP.

Then there is the PLEX issue; how much revenue does CCP get because people buy plex to fund ship losses? Making PvE fun for the lolarthasRifter pilot will not help CCP's revenue.

The fact that EVERYONE in the tiny % of the customers who post on forums complains does not change the fact that a significant % of the playerbase mission and mine.

Regarding boring time sinks, there is nothing in PvE or mining that is as boring and pointless as spending an hour to fly an empty hauler from near Jita to past Hek. You can log on, play with/against others and log off in LoL or WoT quicker than you can do the travel time sink in EVE. Yet if you were to propose that the time sink be removed, there would be howls of gb2w.

And even EVE PvP does not meet your definition of gameplay; there are no victory conditions. Did someone who once ruled BoB but now has a single rifter or no longer plays win or lose? Is someone with lots of ISK and no kills winning or losing? Or someone with great success in WH or losec but no effort in 0.0? Is getting 100 kills/B ISK playing an hour a month better or worse than getting 200 and playing 50 hours? Are people who don't play EVE making better life choices and thus winning?

Johnicholas Hines said...

The claim that the only way things can be fun is if they are against other players is ridiculous. One of the primary activities of WoW devs is making PvE fun - they build fights, which are minigames connected to the larger RPG aspect of the game.

The reason mining is boring is because CCP doesn't choose to invest effort in making it fun - managing fractures in rocks, choosing angles of attack, repairing ore extractors, sifting high-value from low-value chunks, dealing with space quakes - it could be as complicated as you like, just as complicated as any hard-mode boss fight in WoW.

However, since in a rich complicated game like a MMO there will probably be, emergently, afk-able activities, planning a designated afk-able activity makes it easier for CCP to plan the economy.

I even suspect that mining is deliberately as boring as possible in order to make it more of a "sacrificial anode", sucking people who would otherwise be running bots to do other things to instead afk-mine. In order for mining to work as a sacrificial anode, it needs to be more rewarding in ISK/hour than any bottable activity in the game - which makes veldspar weirdly profitable, according to pure in-game/lore reasoning.

Hivemind said...

“OK, I know you were too lazy to read it so I summarize for you: mining is boring because it lack risks.”

Unfortunately for you I’m not too lazy and did read it; @GamerChick42 doesn’t mention boredom at all in it. She’s specifically talking about the argument between players who want to make ISK and players who are incensed that other players want to make ISK and can do so without what they consider adequate risk. At no point is she complaining about the PvE mechanics not being interesting or advocating that they should be made more interesting.

“Excitement, fun can only come from PvP after the novelty of the graphics and lore fades.”

Not true; there are players whose enjoyment comes purely from increasing their wallets and they don’t much care whether other players are competing with them for ISK sources or not. There are players whose enjoyment comes from social interaction and who prefer the mutually helpful nature of PvE to the win/lose of PvP. There are players who enjoy challenging themselves against the environment rather than other players by trying to complete missions faster or in unusual ships; running L4 missions in an Assault Frigate rather than a battleship for example.

“Everyone will kill the boss but if you don't hurry, you'll do it as World #50000.”

Which ignores the hundreds (thousands?) of guilds that don’t give a damn whether they get the #1 or the #1,000,000th boss kill, they simply have fun working together as a group and beating the challenges built into the game. They’re entirely internally focussed (“We beat the boss”) rather than externally focussed (“We beat the boss faster than anyone else”).

“EVE is fundamentally a PvP game”

No it is not. EVE is fundamentally a sandbox game in which PvP is possible anywhere outside POS bubbles and stations. You could remove all PvP from EVE (Players are no longer allowed to use offensive modules on each other, anywhere) and there would still be a game left. The game would quickly die if that were to happen, but that’s because the playerbase largely enjoys the existence of PvP (not all enjoy actually fighting other players, they do enjoy the results of PvP making industry, mining, looting and salvaging worth doing) and the PvE gameplay is sub-par compared to other MMOs. It’s not because if you removed PvP there would be no game left.

“Only bored people PvP, they do it for fun.”

This is only true in the same sense that saying “Only bored people play MMOs, they do it for fun” is true; it doesn’t give any useful information such as why they are bored or why they choose to PvP over anything else they could be doing, or what it is about PvP that relieves boredom or provides fun.

“Let's see how the PvE problem creates the lack of PvP conflict”

Your numbered steps haven’t done anything to explain this, as you’ve not tied the easiness to make ISK through PvE to any lack of PvP conflict. Certainly you’ve pointed out why PvE content isn’t directly resulting in PvP, but on a game-wide level is it causing PvP to dry up in areas that should be generating it? Tech certainly isn’t working as a conflict driver, but are universal L4 missions and easy access to hisec rocks preventing conflict? I would say that they aren’t, but if you disagree then please explain how they’re causing this.

“Of course newbies should be protected from this, so lvl1 agents should have infinite amount of missions, 1/10 complexes should respawn fast.”

Unfortunately this makes the unreasonable assumption that a player will jump straight from “Newbie for whom any reasonable expenses should be covered by L1 missions, 1/10 plexes etc” to “Ready to compete with all manner of veterans with experience and high end ships on an equal footing” without passing through any intermediate stage. The reality is that these players will be mostly unable to compete with the veterans and be stuck doing the low level ISK generating activities, completely fail to make any of the “character progression” you speak so highly of and probably quit the game.

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: yes, there are players who don't care about the game, just socialize and spend time. I'm not even saying it's a small group, WoW probably benefits a lot from the fact that it has large numbers so if your friend is MMO player, he is likely WoW player so you must play WoW to socialize. However the developers can't do anything to keep players who can't care less about the game. So they must focus on the ones who do.

Yes, without PvP, some game is left. But not much, as you accept yourself that PvE content of EVE is sub-par to other MMOs.

Easy access rocks and missions offer an easy way of character progression that makes PvP look sub-par. Why spend an hour camping a gate to catch a few cruisers for 10M loot if you can run an L4 completely safe for 50M?

Newbies with only L1 experience can't compete with veterans. But they can start learning and join organization. The "we love Rifter tacklers" Goon propaganda is true to some extent. The point is indeed that a 3 weeks old newbie would "progress" more as the scout/salvager/tackler in a nullsec alliance than as a missioner in highsec where he must compete against vet-bears. Currently if you don't have in-game reason to join any alliance, the fastest progression can be achieved in the NPC (or 1-man) corp, only with your alts, away from other people.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the history of the game tried to do this.

How did this work?

Since obviously you can't do what you propose, because every goddamn carebear would leave, leaving CCP's finances in disarray, something else was implemented:

Moon mining.

Every "proper" combat vessel being T2, and T2 being able to be produced only from PVP territory-taking, it looked perfect.

Now, the real currency was Moongoo, and the only way to have some is fight for it!
Even better, there's no PVE to gather it! it's just "milled", no one actually needs to do the heart-crushing boredom of searching something to harvest.

And more time invested won't net more moongoo, so that's solved too - Territory is needed.

What happened?
All T2 materials are commonly traded, and even a Tech moon doesn't net THAT much ISK anymore: a small set of PVErs, or traders, can easily overcome it. Real alliance finances are mainly funded by players buying their ships, not MoonGoo.

How do we fix this?

First, take Empire faction-stuff out of Nullsec. All Navy/Fleet stuff should be treated as normal tech outside the boundaries of Empire territory. This is to prevent farmed items to compete with limited items.

Then, buff T2. Greatly.
Make it that when a similar number of T2 ships encounters a similar number of T1 ships, there's no questions whatsoever on how the thing will end.
None. To the point that spam-using T2 is the proper doctrine.

Rebalance the whole moongoo thing, so it's actually an hoarded resource, since ISK is hardly needed.
And introduce new types, which will be needed for Capitals, and more new types, for Supercapitals.

A titan should mean something.

Make it that having a T2 ship made of the material available in the South is an enormous hassle for anyone not in a conquering fleet of a sov-holder in the South.

T1 ships should be considered PVE/Suicide ships, to disrupt enemy T2 production.

This doesn't have to happen abruptly: It can go gradually, actually not hurting eve's sub numbers.

The status quo cannot be changed rapidly.

Felipe Suzin said...

I think first we need to debate what you call progression in the game.

SP and ISK alone are not mesuraments of progression to some extent. Its easier to make more ISK if you have a certain level of SP because it makes you manufacturing and flying ships more efficient, but those 2 cap very fast in the game. With a few months of SP you can fly a decent BS and manufacture with top results.

Because of the sandbox element in EVE there is no easy way to measure achievement, so progression is mostly based on goals set by the player to himself. NO matter what activite. From building empires to hoard ISK, only you can say when you achieve your goals.

Limited resources won't work in a sink/faucet economic model. If you limit resources you stop production. increase prices, devalue ISK and focus income in a small group.

To make such a game viable you would need governance, social programs, a banking system to generate money and credit systems to moderate the value of things.

That is almost what we have in real life. EVE would be your second job, where is the fun in that?

Not to mention that EVE economy is based in 3 basic elements: Time, ISK and manpower. Your model would make all of them not proportionaly rewarding meaning that a "ruler class" would drive off people to poverty. This group would be risk averse, killing the PVP and because they don't have labor to sell as you can create all the alts that you need.

EVE is a big game of cops and robbers, try to make anything different then that will fail.

Hivemind said...

“However the developers can't do anything to keep players who can't care less about the game. So they must focus on the ones who do.”

The social side of EVE is part of the game though; it’s even something CCP promote with trailers like The Butterfly Effect and Causality which play up the social side of EVE as well as the pew pew, spaceships and explosions. Saying that people who play EVE to be social “don’t care about the game” is baseless; they could be social in WoW or Rift or Guild Wars 2, but they’re here in EVE. I would argue that even those whose main reason to be here specifically is because their friends are here are still staying here because they like the game; very few people will do something they actively dislike during their free time for an extended period just to hang out with friends. Case in point, I believe your girlfriend was going to quit EVE despite you still playing it and funding her until she found her drone-Rokh and started having fun.

The players who take part in EVE PvE and aren’t part of the vocal minority who whinge about it on the forums are also not players who “can’t care less about the game” and as such the developers can focus on them; the devs certainly read the forum complaints, but they’ve also got the backend data that shows how many players are spending hours mining, missioning, exploring and incurring and aren’t complaining about it on the forums, so you can bet they take the whine-threads with a large helping of salt.

“Yes, without PvP, some game is left. But not much, as you accept yourself that PvE content of EVE is sub-par to other MMOs.”

I didn’t say “not much” game would be left, I said the majority of the current players wouldn’t accept it. There would still be a lot of PvE content left, however as the game has always been designed as a sandbox with PvP as a major component, removing that will leave the rest unbalanced. Again, because it’s designed as a sandbox it lacks the long-term PvE goals things like WoW clones have with endgame raids etc. In spite of this there is still a lot of PvE content left; mining, L1-L5 security, mining and distribution missions, exploration, static complexes, DED complexes, wormhole sites and incursions, just off the top of my head.

“Easy access rocks and missions offer an easy way of character progression that makes PvP look sub-par. Why spend an hour camping a gate to catch a few cruisers for 10M loot if you can run an L4 completely safe for 50M?”

How many times do you need to be told that not everyone plays EVE purely to increase their wallet, or rates activities primarily by their income level, or only considers ISK increase to be character progression? The answer to your question could be “To practice my skills at solo PvP”, “Because it’s fun to do with friends on Vent and a couple of beers”, “Because this way I get to ruin other players’ fun”, “Because it improves my efficiency on the killboard” or “Because this way my alliance can apply pressure to our enemies renters to get them to leave and hurt their alliance income”.

Ted A. said...

"Of course it always need new bosses, without constant content addition, WoW would die in half year."

Pretty sure WoW has gone about a full year without a new boss and it's still quite alive.

Anonymous said...

Exploration already follows this sort of logic. I think the main reason people don't fight over DED complexes in low and null is not because there's too many, but because they're so hard that it becomes impossible to defend yourself from competitors

Anonymous said...

"To make a game permanently fun, it must be PvP."

Your fun is not my fun. What is fun for you, is like real stress for me (PvP). I don't play games to stress myself, but to relax and be entertained. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy to challenge myself, just that I like to set the pace I feel comfortable with.

Or in other words: I am a cooperative being, not a competitive one. In all things in life, not just games. The only way I can stand PvP at all is when it gets overshadowed by my main gameplay (e.g. teamwork in sports). As in EVE, which I play for its exploring and social aspects, while I avoid PvP best as I can and balance it by applied risk mitigation.

For example, I live in a WH and the 3-4 times when I actually lost ships, it was nothing I couldn't afford, and I just shrug it off. Except where needed for PvE, my ships don't even have weapons, because I don't intend to let myself pull into battle if I get caught, which would be quite stressing for me.

Do you know of Bartle's player types ( Your argument sounds like a game is not fun, but for its Killer (=competing) aspect. That's completely ignoring that there are 3 other main aspects of MMO player enjoyment around (Explorer, Socializer, Achiever).

No surprise, I am a EASK with almost zero Killer. From what you publish in your blog, I would assume that you are KAES or AKES, which would quite explain your claim of K being necessary for a game to be fun. (Nonwithstanding the possibility that what you focus on posting doesn't reflect your real preferences.)

Anonymous said...

"MMO PvE is not a game. You put in X time, you surely get Y pixels. There is no GAMEPLAY involved"

This is not the first time you take a common word and put your own definition over it.

I think I get what you mean... that PvE MMOs are more like entertainment, like interactive films.

But your (indirect) claim, that anything I played within the last 20 years was not a game sounds ridiculous to anyone not privy to your personal views on games.

Anonymous said...

"Only bored people PvP, they do it for fun. (experimental axiom, everyone sees that)"

No, they do it for fun only, not out of boredom. You can of course say that all games are played out of boredom as people could be working all day IRL and that would be better in many ways. Games are played to have fun. You even pay for games to have fun. You clearly wouldn't pay for something to experience being bored.

"If they lose, they lose ISK (fact)
To regain ISK they (or some pet of theirs) must do PvE (fact)
To do PvE they only need time (fact)"

I agree.

"Time they have in large supply, since they did PvP against boredom at the first place"

No, they play the game to have fun. If we assume that PvP is fun, then probably PvE or mining is not fun. If it were, then players would mine or PvE happily without ever getting involved in the more costly PvP. But if PvP is fun, and PvE is not, then the player does not want to do PvE, as it takes time, and this would be better spent at the PvP aspect of the game. So in the end, when you lose a ship in PvP, you lose time, as you have to spend it on the timesink PvE to get back to the fun of PvP.

If you decide to make PvE harder, then more time will be wasted on it by PvP lovers, to the point when they say it is not worth it, as they have to grind endlessly to get a proper ship which is lost quickly.

So making PvE harder wouldn't force players to do more PvP, it would do the opposite: players would spend more time to gather the same resources, and many would quit the game altogether since they don't like to grind.

There are of course players who simply do not like to PvP. They are happy to do missioning or mining all day. If their fun wouuld be made less by more challenging PvE and mining, they would quit as well, as the game is simply changed for them to offer less fun.

So making PvE or mining more challenging would just lead to a massive loss in the player base and certainly no more PvP.

"time must not guarantee you ISK"

You make this mistake often. You offer a rule which makes money making harder for everyone, except you (and me), the traders. Be fair! If you want to implement such a rule, then traders should be the first to get penalized by for instance limiting daily trade orders to like 5 per toon, gate tolls for haulers and the like. Ruining missioning and mining while keeping trading intact would be quite unfair. Trading is already vastly more profitable than any other activity in the game.

Anonymous said...

Generally, lack of resources is a good idea. Players will fight for right to get resources. But it has some drawbacks.

For an example is an MMORPG named Tibia. I will say for advance that I stop playing it for years and many things may have changed since then. And i don't play Eve too, so i might get some things wrong here. There are realms, where people play, very similar to wow. Characters in game will progress stronger while gaining levels, both experience and skill based. There is no level gap on both, what means characters can progress unlimited if given time and resources. Higher your level, more time it needs to level up. If you die, don't matter if PVP or PVE, you lose 10% of your total skills(can be lowered, but not to 0%) and maybe something you wear on that moment.

Gaining levels is basically grinding - killing same mobs over and over again for skills and experience. If you get bit stronger, you try stronger mobs and same thing again, only exp gain is bit higher. All tibia players are in same instance, what means everyone can kill same mobs as you. If you include that mobs will respawn only when noone is near you will get some sort of limited resource whats very hard to control. One extreme is very low populated realm, where you can go your hunting ground and grind alone pretty fast aka no competition. Other end is high populated realm on weekends, where every possible hunting ground is taken by several groups of players aka very high competition. If you try to claim the ground, you will get killed and lose 10% of the exp while they can regain any losses on the hunting ground. Cost increase with playtime, 10% of 10 hours is 1 hour, 10 months of playtime is 1 month. You are in game, but you don't have any chance to progress. If you got nothing to do, you get bored, you change the game.

Similar to your mining example in EVE. If you make competition so high, that progression is basically impossible, "carebears" have nothing else to do. All possible mining spawns are camped 24/7 with group of well geared players, so attacking them is suicidal. Campers can regain any loss from mining, you as attacker will lose something what you cant regain. Same thing, bored players leave. Increasing mining nodes amount will make them not worth fighting for, like eve moment is.

Weird it seems, same Tibia game got a solution to the problem. Well, atleast long time ago. Resource for getting resource. Simply explained, as hunting on ground you will replenish some resource you got. Warriors got health, mages got mana etc. To continue hunting, you wither need to wait very long time to regenerate missing mana or health, or use health/mana potions. Only way to to get those potions is to wait until mana/HP will slowly regenerate and then put it on the potions. So if you want to hunt on somewhere, you must spend some resource, you either buy them from others or wait until yourself make enough of them. Players, who dont hunt at moment can do something, preparing for it.

Its very hard to make a logical way to implement this on eve. Something like some sort of mining fuel or license. Doing some quests and/or having reputation will slowly regain it, and you can sell it to other players, who can spend it on mining. Good thing is, it will implement shortage on mining materials whats greatly dependent on playerbase. Bad thing is bots. Eve got flying licenses, so it might not get to big botfarms.

Anonymous said...

So you are sitting at a station doing a spreadsheet and earn ISK.

Is that "fun"? You do because its easy. Yes. It is easy. You only have to not be lazy. But you can be billionaire without never undock. That is EVE? Or EVE is PVP?

You state that you want to change the part of the game that you don't like and other people brawl at it.

null players say that highsec is carebear, wh-players call nullbears to the null players. So where is the point you can consider doing "the real EVE"?

EVE is a fucking sandbox. You can do what you want and it is fair. If there is profit, then do it.

Anonymous said...

Both pve and pvp need improvements and not one at the cost of the other. Pure pve players need goals and pve opponents that are challenging, more exotic locations to make exploring more interesting, and some random elements to make mining more fun etc. pvp needs things constantly stirred up, with I would suggest ccp/joviand giving big bonuses to smaller alliances