Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Where are the conflict drivers in EVE?

Players whine about the stagnation in EVE and demand more conflict drivers from CCP. On one hand they are right. There aren't any meaningful resources that are wanted by many and owned by only the best. You can get ISK everywhere if you have time, not like you can be locked out of rats, missions or ores.

However these demands are fundamentally wrong and CCP is completely powerless to generate conflict in EVE. The traditional gaming conflict happens in a very structured situation where players are pitted against each other and they have no other options than win over the opponents or lose to them. This is true in an 1v1 PvP in EVE too. Or in the alliance tournament. However in the big EVE, such conflict drivers can't work due to the sandbox nature of EVE.

What do I mean? Imagine that there are two groups with 100-100 people wanting a constellation which offers living space for 100 people. In standard gaming this is a conflict situation that will generate war between the groups. However in EVE the groups and the options aren't fixed like in a League of Legends battle. If there is significant power difference, the weaker group will simply go elsewhere without a single shot. They'll lose anyway, so why waste assets and tears? If your team sucks in a League of Legends match, you can't escape the "Defeat!" screen, so there is no point not to try to fight. In EVE you can simply redeploy somewhere else to avoid defeat since you didn't want the resource anyway.

More importantly, the groups themselves aren't locked. If you want to win in a team game anywhere, you have no other option than carrying the incompetent players in your group. In EVE, you can just dump them. So even if CCP would create the situation where the two groups really want that resource, the outcome would be OTEC: they'd reach a diplomatic solution of distributing the resource and then dump the extra members. So the "conflict driver" would succeed to make 100 winners and 100 losers, but not in one group after an epic war, but in two 50-men groups. What you need to realize is that a resource bottleneck creates conflict between players and not between groups, so the outcome won't be a war, but in-group drama.

Group-group conflicts in EVE can only happen because of ideological or personal reasons. These cases one side sees the other bad or mean enough to waste resources just to defeat them. CCP has very limited options to facilitate such situations, so expecting them to do so is folly. Sure, it could be expected from them to not try to actively remove such conflicts by making peace between players. Ending Fanfest and removing all CCP support from player meet events and channels where players of different groups hang out together would help a lot to see "the other" as a faceless enemy instead of "that cool dude from Fanfest" or "the guy I use to chat on tweetfleet". But probably that damage is done, Vince, Grath, Gobbins and Mittani will never see each other as enemies to be defeated but as buddies to play a game with.

PS: Marlona Sky is wrong. I told it a year ago.

PS2: And I thought medium shield booster is the ultimate fit of a carrier. I wasn't prepared to the new Goon carrier doctrine.


Anonymous said...

I'd argue that "There aren't any meaningful resources that are wanted by many and owned by only the best." isn't true.

There is a very limited number of C6 Magnetar wormholes and they are owned by very few groups, and people who can't support them get evicted often. Maybe it is true in nullsec, but not in w-space.

Anonymous said...

Removing CCP support from player groups will do nothing to stop the leaders of alliances talking to each other.

The only way you can achieve this is to prevent players interacting with each other on forums, slack, mumble, jabber, and meeting in pubs.

You would also have to remove all ingame channels, and make it a bannable offence for players to interact with each other. That would include any and all eve-related blogs, websites, social media.

In any game, people get to know each other, and to imagine that those running the biggest alliances in eve (or the biggest raid guilds in WoW) do not interact with each other is naive.

Conflicts happen because of RL falling outs, unless you miss the entire war Sort Dragon started because someone said something at fanfest.

Perhaps the BoB/Goon/Whoever conflict was not actually a war, because, well, the leaders all knew each other.

Perhaps in the real world, CEOs of rival companies never meet each other, because, well, how could they compete with someone that they go for a beer with?

Provi Miner said...

Well the basic problem is size, We need tighter areas, that are far more accessible.

I think you should never be more than 5 jumps from low and at most 5 jumps from low to high. I think null should be divided by low and one null region should never touch another (be in jump range sure just not via gate) if you want to gate to null you will have go through low.

Jim L said...

As C6 wormholes have shown if you have resource that is both rare and valuable people will fight for it. Especially if the biggest fleet wins problem can be solved.

Borat Guereen said...

I do not believe that CCP removing support for players' meet is a good solution. Goons for example have a meet location in San Diego that is not dependant of what CCP is doing.

Forcing players to connect their alts publicly and thus hold their assets to a set of in game loyalties is what I have been advocating since my last CSM campaign, and is more likely to disrupt the stagnation than any other mechanical changes to the game. Right now, the same player can be goon and rat in Deklein with an alt, and receive your support by fighting goons wih another alt in MOA, because there are no consequences of doing it. The full API checks are a joke, and only catch morons, on top of providing valuable intel to the most tech savvy groups.

someone responded to one of my tweets on that topic that half of null sec pilots would unsub if linking alts publicly was done. If this is true, this is where the problem lies, and on e loyalties really matters for in game assets, then the narratives around each groups are more likely to create comflicts, regadless of players' meet.

Pashko Zpc said...

C6 w-space is a dull rent empire thanks to blobbing scrub nature of humans. HK, ssc and friends send their regards.
Magnetar or red-giant would be not 2 but 4 billion isk weekly rent price.
Case closed.

Luke said...

The "good ole boys" club is something you cannot avoid in situation when you create de-facto power elite, that together holds enough power (in terms of EVE: holding supers/litans and enough support to replace them many times over) to control access to that club. If they do not like you they will crush you , just because.

What separates EVE from their RL counterparts is that entropy is very low. Running Carrier fleet in RL means constant drain on resources - and the bigger the fleet the bigger the running costs. In eve, those things just sit there and you can only loose them if they actually get blown up (wonder just how many of the total number were ever blown up). And even then , even conquering stations does not eliminate resources held in it, nor give it to conqueror. Well-placed spies can often "liberate" them one JF at the time. Even new citadel mechanics will not change that - they even make extracting held-up resources easier. Blue balling works because you only face loosing assets if you undock.

This means that old powers can accumulate wealth and power indefinitely, with each passing month ensuring the gap between them and upstarts widen, all while possible "clash of superpowers" is kept down to staged mock-fights, that will never escalate into something meaningfull (save someone going totally rogue with enough chunk of resources and memberbase to create alternative - still each power has their formidable counter-intelligence to deal with just that - see "sanctioned dissents" lately)

On the other hand any upstart not only faces uphill battle with overwhelming force and warchest, but does not even get the spoils - outside few lucky drops, while being faced with butcher's bill.

If you look at the null in general, there is much meaningless space, few well developed systems (but that developments gets destroyed in the process of conquering) and completly static geography.

One could think smaller null would solve problem, though in practice that would mean the well established groups would just divide it in a matter that will suit them. (though personally - turning constellations into super-systems might be intersting).

You cannot change null without in-game means to break power monopoly. This means decay of super/capital fleets, and enabling spoils of war and by creating "stellar infrastructure" that can be both destroyed or captured by guerilla - style forces - and creating "under the radar-low cost" on-demand travel routes creating the kind of meaningfull 4th-gen warfare that EVE lacks. Take YA0 cyno-beacon on -pan-eve scale. Or imagine deklein in situation you can make network of semi-stable wormhole connection network spanning it, that just do not show on overview or anom scanner without putting in effort. (add twist of people not using official gates not showing in local - coupled with "sonar-like"/"deep charge" cloaky hunting mechanics).

All in all: break certainty, and stop punishing active parties.

Artificial Scientist said...

No need to publish this comment, but thought you might like to have a look at this:

A bit of explanation on how conflict drivers in EVE are based on ideology.

Anonymous said...

@Pashko Zpc

You know Hard Knocks and SSC aren't allied or anything right:

You won't find a fight with them on the same side in at least the past two months.

You probably meant LZHX/Hk which is the groups people are usually salty about, but the group that did the actual renting, QEX, had their leader MaxDEL banned over a month ago and have disbanded since.

Stay mad tho

Anonymous said...

Poor grape juice... He left MOA so that he could make money in goons. Looking at his killboard is like watching a valued friend descend into a life of heroin abuse.

Provi Miner said...

Why a smaller null works. The number one conflict driver is personal interaction. Consider re example chamberlain and hitler no meaningful conflict, Winston and hitler meaningful conflict based personal feelings. As null is today two CEOs can detest each other with a passion and still coexist in the same alliance because the distance can be maintained a smaller null forces the closer creating opportunities for conflict plus it impacts every other null conflict driver. A packed null would make fake ratting to dangerous and so on. If not a smaller null then a thinner null max 6 jumps from high to null the farthest away you can be from high is 10 jumps 5 null and 5 low. I will add this less resources is not needed rather more concentration yet not so concentrated the one power can bottle neck it.

Jeff said...

Eve has evolved. There is no going back to what the content was like early on in the games life.

Groups have become too organised and efficient. There is no way to remove that. The number of ego's is low because there isn't room in the current meta for more ego's. Ego's are what create the content.

Eve is in decline. That is unchangeable.