Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Which game is more EVE-like?

Imagine that the current EVE would be modified two ways:
  1. The spaceships would be replaced with submarines, the space with sea, the stations and POS-es with underwater cities, the blasters with "Gauss Guns", the missiles with torpedoes, the autocannons with "watershock projectors", lasers would stay. The gates would change into "chaotic whirlpools" that transport the submarines into large distances in the sea that can be traveled without them over a week. Mining belts would turn into plankton collections and rats into different sizes of sea monsters.
  2. PvP would only be allowed in consensual duels, everything else would remain the same.
The question is: which game would appeal more to the current EVE playerbase? My guess is the first. Many would like the underwater theme, others would whine a bit, but would keep playing. But the second - despite being a few-lines change in the code - would make most of the players quit.

The games are defined by their ruleset, not by their graphics and lore. WoW is not different from EVE because the first is a fantasy game and the second is in space, but because in the first you constantly gather assets from mobs and don't have to care about players, while in EVE you can lose assets to mobs and very likely to lose them to players even if you don't want to.

"Space WoW" is a term for a game using the WoW ruleset and space graphics. In the past years EVE made large steps towards that direction. The largest step was "ship tiericide", where the power difference between practically free T1 ships and expensive T2 and faction ships significantly decreased. Less tragic, but serious step was the buff of small ships against large. This leads to flying expendable ships a valid choice in combat. Losing such ships is just like dying in a WoW battleground: insignificant asset loss with being teleported to the "spawn point".

Other serious nerf was the one demanded by the monetizers in the Document of Shame: increasing anom count, allowing practically everyone to rat in nullsec without competition. In WoW if you want to run a dungeon, you can, as everything is instanced. While in EVE the resources exist in the open world, allowing competition, this is meaningless when there are much more resources than players can consume.

I don't claim that EVE is already space-WoW, since it at least allow "grudge"-based fighting. While there is absolutely no in-game reason to do it, MoA is still allowed to kill ratting Goons and cause them significant asset losses. In WoW it's impossible. But seeing the current trend of development, I guess it's only matter of time before they make killing ratters impossible or irrelevant (for example by allowing T1 ships to effectively rat).

I'd like to point at the "uncanny valley" of in-game PvP. I mean that the graph of "how many people like this game" isn't linear between "full PvE" and "all out PvP" games, but has a minimum. Why? Because "little PvP" isn't rewarding to do, but annoying to be done at. Destroying an enemy, knowing that several hours of farming time awaits him now is rewarding. Looting his items, saving several hours of farming time for yourself is very rewarding. Inconveniencing another player, knowing that he'll be right back in a few minutes with some annoyance isn't appealing to anyone but griefing children. This is why "PvP" servers in WoW aren't that popular and even in those open-world PvP is very rare: only idiots bother if all they can achieve is disrupt you for a minute.

The point with that is by gradually nerfing the impact of PvP but keeping token PvP for facade can lead to a worse game than all-out space WoW. The constant griefing drives PvE players away, while the lack of impact drives PvP players away. CCP really has to make up their mind about the future of EVE and make a drastic move one way or another. Either remove all nonconsensual PvP and market the game to the WoW crowd, or force players to risk assets when they PvP, so the winner is rewarded properly.

PS: the PvP-ing attempt of this minion of Evil turned into a nightmare.


zax said...

"This leads to flying expendable ships a valid choice in combat. "

This has always been the case...since at least 2006.

Increasing anoms increases targets...imagine how many more MoA could kill.

Griefing does not drive away pvers, perception of it does....same as perception that all player corps are perma-decced, or that you need 30m sp to do anything. Reality does not matter much.

Provi Miner said...

you can't, its not possible. Look at moa would they be doing their thing if they were risking serious loss's? they fly by the rules of no shiney. They wouldn't undock if undocking might cost them days of grinding or $ from hip national (wallet). Hence the reason I dislike the less resource idea and favor the smaller map concept. Force people to be close, every good war starts with a mistake (someone shot someone and someone over reacted). either way the idea is to make everyone less safe (by either forcing them to spread out, or by making it super easy to get to them).

Provi Miner said...

I want to add this ccp's own numbers tell us that griefing new players has a better retention rate than those mine safely. This tells me that more things going boom (even if dirt cheap) is better no matter the cost.

Gevlon said...

@Provi Miner: smaller map = more treaties. Wars will never start from CEOs. Dirt cheap ships disallow individual good players to act (as there is no effect, no one will care)

CCP numbers show that new players losing ships are more likely stay. This includes those who willingly fly to low/null. So it's mere reformulation of "those who go to diverse play are more likely stay than those who mine all day in highsec"

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you are fixated on the anom count. All it did was shrink down the big blobs, which s a good thing. If you want to look at changes that benefited the big groups things like the refining changes were much more beneficial to them.

You're so fixated on the anom count being bad that you don't seem to realise that it's damaging the point you are trying to make. Most people know it didn't actually increase income so they dismiss your entire point for not making sense.

Gevlon said...

Increased anom count = less competition for anoms.
For everyone (including Goons), it means that no one wants their space because there is always practically unoccupied (someone has formal ownership but sells it to you and won't put up much fight if you take it by force)

Anonymous said...

First of all it depends on the T1 ship, a fully fitted Battleship is not to be sniffed at in terms of lost assets. Though I suppose you would define that as being a slacker who cannot easily afford that, though I admit that I am not really keen on grinding in Eve any more.

The Goons threw the entire loss impact away with the SRP based on the stupid decision that CCP made on moon goo, since changed but the impact lingers. In a proper game at a strategic level losing a fleet should matter, but for the Goons it did not, all their players had to do was grind the ISK to get the ship in the first place, after that it was reimbursed. As compared to IRC for example who saw their numbers drop after a whelp, the loss had a direct strategic impact. I blame that on CCP looking for a conflict driver and screwing up their game when doing so.

The increase in anoms and improving the lower level systems was really to get smaller entities back into 0.0, to allow them to compete, but the moon goo decision has crated too much of an imbalance that can only be removed by the old guard leaving the game and not passing their assets on. You need to look at just how populated 0.0 was before they nerfed anoms.

On the Eve forums I was very vocal on attacking the out of control nature of a very organised entity, Goons and CODE farming at an industrial level the casual players, I did not want to block ganking in hisec but I felt tweaks needed to be made to the balance, like a loss of docking rights and hunter killer CONCORD agents focussed on destroyers and the like using the new AI CCP is introducing. But lets start from a simple base, there should be a safer area for casual players with rewards that allow them to get into other areas of space should they so wish. What you see is many people like Jenn A'snide who say that because they farm things to the max that the rewards are too great in hisec.

I had more fun as a small alliance player with our own space and defending / farming that space then any other period in the game, thankfully because the space was so poor in relative terms that people did not bother to cloaky camp us, and in any case when they did we went off and shot their gangs. That is what you want Eve to get back to.

Just something to bear in mind, the Mittani and Manny said that they were looking forward to hell camping small entities to destroy everything in the future, which is why removing NPC 0.0 stations is so bad for the game. If CCP does that then 0.0 becomes too difficult except for very dedicated people like MOA against those entities that can escalate to the end game.

The greater number of anoms will attract more people to 0.0, however the issues of certain entities controlling the end game to an unhealthy level in terms of balance need to work out of the system, that will take time.


Anonymous said...

sounds like you would enjoy ultima online. is it too nieche?

Alexandre Mailhot said...

Option 2 would being me back into the game... Ive been craving for some space-wow.

Anonymous said...

This is why "PvP" servers in WoW aren't that popular and even in those open-world PvP is very rare: only idiots bother if all they can achieve is disrupt you for a minute.

It's even worse! They are pooling pvp server via the "fresh" crossrealm tech.
yes you have pvp now everywehre in openworld. it is just the worst kind, you fight names you will never see again. So the pooling is really bad. every playername you write onto your personal kos list, you will never ever see them again.
so in a way they fixed openpvp just in the worst kind possible.

with MOP they introduced free for all factionless pvp on the last patch with timeless ilse. an interessting feature that almost got me to buy wow.

With WOD they introduced the ffa gladiator arena. And nothing more.

with legion all hope is gone for deeper thought and vision for wow. Not just pvp, overall as it seems.
At marketingpoint of WOD, Blizzard could have introduced outlaw faction system. you basically are flagged FFA and with some pots and crafting buffs you might take % less damage from party members or guild members (e.g. healers land heals) for the rest everything goes. Pool all of them togeter on 2-3 crossrealms (so they see each other some months over and over again). the normal dumb wow player doesn't care. And you have a hardcore element. throw in a mechanic that you could raid outlaw pve raids and you have sudenly pvp+pve. Also that you could loot outlaws. Easily expanded uppon and even simple for them to implement. Suddenly even I as the bigest wow hater will buy it and only play that mode. As for core player intrusion .. it is on the level like their pokemon stuff.

CCP is not that save IF blizz would implement it. I don't care if it is in space, in the ocean or has orcs.

NuTroll said...

Eve is already like WOW

WOW has a set of gear for arena/bg, and a set of gear for raiding
EVE has a set of ships/layouts for PVE (purpledurp) , and a set of ships/layouts/mods for pvp

WOW has bgs/arenas for pvp and non pvp realms/world for pve
EVE has low/null/wh and HS (mostly), it also has pve areas (missions,anoms,orebelts) and pvp areas (everywhere).

NoizyGamer said...

CCP did not state that grieving leads to a higher retention rate. They stated that losing a ship in the 1st 30 days is the best indicator that someone will remain in the game.

So you really don't think that finding a good corp to fly with doesn't lead to better retention? And that the good corp & alliances might have SRP to cushion the blow of losing a ship?