Greedy Goblin

Thursday, February 9, 2017

EVE is a PvP game and BDO is not

I left BDO and do not intend to return. My current miniproject is only to refresh my outdated but still very high hit count BDO moneymaking pages. But why do I find BDO lacking? Formally EVE and BDO are very similar and I loved EVE and would still be playing if the devs wouldn't have horses in the race. In both games you get gear (ships, modules) from the marketplace for the currency you gain from any means (farming, trading, piracy). Then you use your gear to fight for ownership of territories.

So if I liked EVE, I must like BDO and play the PvP endgame enthusiastically. I don't. The reason is that in EVE territory ownership is relevant, while in BDO it's vanity. If your alliance owns a region, only you can dock and use the various benefits the upgrades provide. A ratter or miner in a good region makes much better money than someone doing the same thing in an NPC owned or lowsec system. Also, you can use your power to seriously harm the activities of other groups, just think of the highsec miner gankers or the countless goonies losing their ships to Marmite during my first year of Grr. EVE PvP is relevant. Those who have PvP power own lucrative resources and can force their will on lesser players, even without in-game benefit. Socials love that, therefore any method that increases their PvP power interests them. I gained my fame/infame by hunting the "undefeatable" Goons, proving that they are far from undefeatable. It annoyed them to no end, leading to my outcasting from EVE by their buddy Falcon.

BDO PvP on the other hand is vanity. Every "region" is owned by someone, but no one cares. I have no idea who the hell "owns" the places where I make my money. When I went to check it, I found that no one! Out of the 5 territories, only 3 are occupied, as no one bothers to take the rest:

Ownership gives neither exclusivity, nor relevant benefits. Sure there are monetary rewards, but nothing that would match simple solo activity. Also, there are no personal losses from PvP, so having PvP power gives no power over other players. If you gank someone he just says "meh" and moves to another channel (server phase). Compare it to EVE where the newbie learns - at the cost of big part of his assets - on day one not to go to lowsec where the dangerous pirates live unless you want to cross blades with them. Everyone knows that you can't just walk into someone else's land and do as you please. Hell, you can't even walk to your own land and do as you please as hunters are out there looking for an easy mining or ratting ship kill.

Without personal gains and losses, there is no personal point to PvP. Sure, guild leaders can brag how l33t they are, but no one cares. I have no idea who leads the top guilds, nor I have any idea about the names of these guilds. Can anyone in EVE not know of Goons, PL, TEST, NC. and Mittani, Grath, Vince, Progod?! All the countless hours of grinding and organizing gave no "real" e-peen to the BDO leaders. I mean they aren't even envied/respected by socials. They are ignored. No one could ignore the Mittani. You could of course fight him. But if he said "Burn Jita", then something happened. Maybe that something was just me trolling them in a million EHP Ark, but still, I had to change my gameplay if I didn't want them to succeed in their plans. They affected me, they mattered to me.

EVE is a PvP game to its core and it has so much potential. Too bad that it's unplayable due to dev corruption. But BDO is a simple PvE grinding game without proper PvE endgame like WoW, replaced by a make-believe PvP that has no impact on anyone who doesn't want to be impacted. Now BDO could be changed to a meaningful PvP game, like dead has a chance to drop one of their items the killers can loot and you have a significant buff grinding or gathering in a territory owned by your guild. But then BDO would be a different game and most of their current players would leave, unlikely to be replaced by enough PvP-ers.

Which leads us to something fundamental: for a game to be competitive, there must be something that is socially relevant. It doesn't matter if you personally find it stupid, what matters is that the majority of the players find it a source of pride for having and source of envy for not having. Top gear was such in WoW until every Arthasdklol started to get legendaries. From there it could be dismissed "lol I'll have better from emblems next patch". Territory ownership is relevant in EVE. High ranking is relevant in LoL. But there isn't anything like that in BDO or WoT.

I wrote many-many criteria for my next project, because I didn't know what I was looking for. I know now: I want a game with a socially relevant goal that can be reached by other means than clicking faster.


Anonymous said...

In response to your previous post about available games, you said Archeage had low population. This is only partially true. The legacy servers are dead but the new fresh start servers (reckoning, vengeance, prophecy) have a high population.

Tithian said...

You also mentioned previously that you wanted a project that is creative, and not destructive. Doesn't that automatically exclude PvP games like EVE, where to create something you have to destroy something else (typically owned by other players) by default?

Isn't there a conflict there automatically? The only other option is to find such a game in its early stages, but you specifically said you don't want early access games.

Anonymous said...

The kind of game you want is simply not readily available. There are very few persistent multiplayer games where your actions can impact the world in the way you describe. EVE probably does this best, but there's no use beating that dead horse. You made it clear you won't return to it (which is a shame IMO, some of your best blogging involved EVE).

There are some browser-based games that fit your criteria. Some of them have only one big world where your reputation/social interaction with other players matters just as much as the gameplay.

Anonymous said...

Would you give a few examples what you would consider a socially relevant goal?

maxim said...

I can't help but point out that an asocial is now looking for socially relevant goals.
Only to have leverage over the socials, obviously.

Gevlon said...

@Tithian: destroying things on the way of creating things is very different from destroying things and leaving ruins behind.

@Anon: all e-sports would qualify (just look at the crowd watching championships). Too bad LoL is rigged. Old WoW qualified as gear was socially relevant. Then they changed that.

@Next anon: anything is a socially relevant goal that makes the socials concerned about it.

@Maxim: the only way to spread asociality if you present it as a TOOL and not a GOAL. Remember the epic "lol i haz life an u no fun" general reply of socials which is HONEST. They really think that getting "dank kills" on Arathi Bridge is better than winning the battle. On the other hand if I say, "look, I have what you want (fame, cool items, whatever)", they listen.

This is a permanent problem: as teaching itself is altruistic, you can't authentically talk about asociality. The perfect asocial is invisible to the socials as he only minds his own business and aims for his own well-being. If I want to convince anyone about anything, I must spend resources without personal benefit, which is not asocial.

Ergo, if I want to blog and want people to listen, I must reach SOCIAL goals, even when I'm fully aware that they are plain stupid.

maxim said...


Just saying that maybe now the slogan of "being anti-social in a social game" is maybe a bit dated.

The pixel gold and reducing the amount of morons and slackers are both still intact, i assume.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: no it's not. My point is that while ACTING asocially, you can reach any goals, including socially desired ones. I believe that "acting = being", but I do not get into argument over that, not with you and especially not with them. If they wish to say "I'm a nice friendly person who just gank to make my friends happy", I don't care. My goal is to make them act asocially.

maxim said...

This asocial-social dialectic has worked pretty well for your blog so far, so i'm not really complaining.

However, the most interesting discussion to be had here is about the goals themselves, not the means of achieving them. Because "stupid" goals beget "stupid" actions.

Dino Perelli said...

I've just got to say, the back and forth between Maxim and Gev is excellent. Both critical of the other, but without a hostility that destroys conversation. Very constructive. A relationship bloggers should be envious of.

I hope you find that project soon, Gev.
I hope you stay on his ass, Maxim.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of dev corruption in Eve, you need to listen to 48:00 to 49:00 minutes of Talking in STations

Anonymous said...

Without personal gains and losses, there is no personal point to PvP.
for a game to be competitive, there must be something that is socially relevant.

ok, I confess. Quake 3 has a special place in my heart .. I worked some stupid kid jobs to afford better second-hand hardware to crank up the fps and get a bit smoother gameplay out of my machine back then. played it two to three years and thought of nothing else. In the end it is the never ending learning of player skill that got me deeply hooked. Never enlisted in tournaments on LAN parties or did go grind esl ranking. didn't lose or gain anything, I just wanted speed, pressure and the never ending inner drive to get better at movement, aim and more items to time in my head. Well I did gain access to some private clan training servers after beating some regional lan tournament #1 consistently first in FFA later 1o1 out of tournament. He had a clan and gave me a ton of private server addresses and wanted me to go against some of their and others best. liked the intense pressure some of these guys projected in their gameplay and I was good enough so they didn't mind me being there for training. but socially never fit in nor did I wanted to be in a clan nor did I want to go "pro" and prove anything.

No game before and after q3 hooked me that hard.

I guess everybody for no good reason has this with some games.

Cathfaern said...

@anon: "I worked some stupid kid jobs to afford better second-hand hardware to crank up the fps and get a bit smoother gameplay out of my machine back then"
And they say P2W started with micro-transactions...

Druur Monakh said...

I'll be provocative: You say "for a game to be competitive, there must be something that is socially relevant" - you had that game, you even acknowledge it: EVE Online. You say it's unplayable because of 'dev corruption' - but frankly, what I see is you trying to pin your failure to succeed in the game onto somebody else.

And that is a trend I have seen in your other game posts recently: it's usually always somebody else.

Gevlon said...

@Druur: do you claim that devs (most obviously Falcon) are not helping their favorites in the game? Do you think there is a point playing a competitive game where a dev is playing on one side? Also, the Goons were evicted, the problem was that they were instantly replaced as "dev's favorites" by IWI who were only banned when the legal situation became unbearable for CCP.