Greedy Goblin

Monday, October 13, 2014

Jump changes will remove "fun" from nullsec - finally

FearlessLittleToaster was one of the Goons who sent me nice mails during the "nice Goons" campaign (the italics are his quote):

Anyway, he is a propagandist working for their site. He just published a piece, as part of the "Save the Blue Doughnut from Greyscale" campaign. His main point is "Most players see EVE as a source of amusement, not a job. Getting into your ship and flying off to blow up somebody else, or even just get in a proper scrap and losing, is the "fun part" of EVE for most who choose to live in 0.0. Making isk in order to buy ships to lose, or to pay for an account via plex, is the part of the game that gives value to the ships that explode and makes EVE matter. By drastically increasing the time it takes to move long distances, CCP has made it harder to do both these activities - without providing any corresponding benefit."

He is right. The jump changes makes "having fun" in nullsec almost impossible. Finally!

There are awful lot of games where you can "have fun". Call of Duty is a perfect example. So is World of Tanks. Both allow instant, no-consequence bloodshed. They are pretty well made and earned lot higher income than CCP from the "for fun" kids. So did World of Warcraft with its everyone-gets-honor battlegrounds and "you can't kick this AFK-er for 4 more hours" lowest difficulty raids. EVE has no chance against them in the "for fun" theater.

EVE survives on being different. It has consequences. If you fail, that's not a 20 secs respawn timer, but losing an expensive ship and maybe the battle, along with the Sov or station it was about. In EVE - according to the lore and PR - only the strong and smart can prevail. CCP devs hold on to that. Yet, what we see is the opposite: frig-lolling, "fun roams" and absolutely no fighting in nullsec. Why? Because the weirdest form of emergent gameplay happened. A group of players turned out to be sort-of-devs and nerfed the game for the same purpose as every games are nerfed: to allow bad players to linger on and provide them real money income in form of PLEX affiliate links, recruit-a-friend bonuses, ad-clicks and probably illicit RMT.

By deciding not to fight, they turned nullsec into space-WoW, where the land is formally owned by "The Alliance" and "The Horde", who are at war according to the lore, yet no warfare happens. In this setting the fleets could be filled with drooling morons who are worthless for the in-game activity, only kept for their out-of-game payments. If the fleet loses because of them, their leaders have no more reason to care than King Varian Wrynn cares about the alliance players losing Arathi Basin again. The Mittani and Vince/Grath are sitting atop their thrones as faction leaders, giving out quests and enabling pointless lolling to the players. They literally turned their coalitions into a themepark-game: you can do stuff for fun but you can't change or affect anything.

CCP realized that the NPC Orcs of WoW are more likely to form an army and invade Westfall than N3/PL invading CFC space. They also see that these coalitions together gank smaller and upcoming alliances, so they did the best they could: nerfed long-range travel that allows the empires to hit with full force anywhere. Now small but competent groups can fight locally, facing only locally living Sov-holders. They can chase the "for fun" players back where they belong: to highsec to make ISK and to lowsec to roam for their "fun".

I urge you to realize that "you can't find fun fights anymore" is a necessity for having a game of consequences, as "fun fight" is a non-consequence event. The owners have to fight the invaders - not because it's fun - but because they lose their money moons and can't rat if they don't. Nullsec belongs to the strongest and smartest and not to friglolling droolers who just want to "shoot stuff". EVE needs to be a dark and unique game to survive. The players who try it out must find this and not quit after a month, disillusioned by finding drooling morons and slackers brawling in reimbursed frigs for fun.

CCP must realize that the empire-holding, CSM-swinger, PLEX-affiliate people are financially interested in nerfing EVE into space-WoW and everything they say is poison to the game, especially if they say it together, like they did with the document of shame. They know that they destroy the game in the process, but as they aren't owners of the IP, they can't care less. They cash out on it while it lasts and leave for their next business afterwards.

We don't know if the jump changes are enough. But we know that even in the darkest days of the blue boughnut, groups defied the status quo and killed trillions of ISK worth of them. They have leaders who defied the tempting offers of the game-monetizers to have a share of the income if they join them. EVE isn't lost as long as there is one who says "I want to win this game" instead of "I want to earn a burger-flipper-level salary from it". If CCP sticks to this and fights the game-monetizers, the subscriber numbers will grow, as there will be reason to play: to win.


CFC Grunt said...

For no warfare and pointless lolling around, the CFC sure did a lot of POS repping yesterday, along with scraps with Black Legion forces in Delve.

Also, for groups that defy the donut a lot of them (MoA, Pasta) work closely with the N3.

You can't win EVE, some say you win it by not logging in anymore. How do you win in a sandbox?

Gevlon said...

"Sandbox" only means that you can define your win condition, like "I'm going to own this constellation"

However the lolkids set absolutely no condition and say "i just wanna hav fun" or "im just hanging around" or "i just wanna see pixels explode". These idiots should play CoD.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first part of your post. Maybe your example is a bit weak as the strongest part in the alliance didn't sign a nap with the horde, while PL signed botlrd.
However I disagree with the changes. Not because I fly caps, but because I don't believe it will change much, if not even making defense easier.

Also you me it's unbelievable how much cfc grunts rage at CCP, and not on their leaders, who have asked for exactly such changes repeatedly on both Propaganda sites

Anonymous said...

You do realise that this is exactly what the null cartels wanted, right? With these changes, groups like goons will be able to live deep in null, ratting to their hearts content with no worry of people invading them directly without having to come through buffers of rental space. On top of that, the thing they asked for in their letter is going to happen, CCP stated that in the same dev blog.

Once all the changes are in they couldn't be in a better position, and groups that used to be able to pick off their ratters will only be able to settle for renters or pets, and with occupancy sov they wont have to pay any sov bills, just rat rat rat all day long, safe from people jumping in to attack them.

Gevlon said...

Their main request was to allow more players ratting in the same system. It's not going to happen, so they can't pack the whole CFC into Deklein.

maxim said...

This very logical and fundamentally wrong.

You can't have a game as large as Eve without an inherently fun aspect in it. Even games that are highly competitive by design have fun aspects to them. Usually in the form of competition having this fisceral "feel-it-with-your-body" kind of feel, which makes matches in a game like, say, Street Fighter both fun to watch and fun to participate in.

I would agree with an argument against null force projection that would go like this: "this creates a game environment which is only fun for those currently at the top". I would further reinforce this argument by saying: "and this also stops being fun for the top tog pretty soon, too. Unless he earns RL cash from it"

However, you seem to go unnecessarily far and take a decidedly anti-fun stance. I find that way too extreme, and also unsustainable when it comes to design of actual game products.

Some context of designing for fun in "top dog whose very top-dogness reinforces his top-dog status" scenario:

Anonymous said...

Honestly I don't see why people get all hot and bothered about ratting in null. God forbid one is able to use its OWN FREAKING HOME to extract ISK. Lvl 4 missions are safer and more isk/h. It wouldn't even be that much if weren't for CCP endorsing veritable battalions of Alt's per person.

Living in null requires ISK, for logistics, for doctrine ships, for sov bills.
Ratting is not the problem, lack of fights that cause attrition is. Once you get Sov and a coalition blueing your set for life.

We have enough disruption already with afk cloakies, inty roams, ninja POS RF's with multibox bombers, and soon to be POS refueling freighter hunting. We need more battles for real objectives not just "having fun by ruining others peoples ability to have fun".
Why do you think CPP (god knows what took them so long) to remove the practice of "hobojamming". It was adding nothing to the game, it was merely having fun by annoying other players. Zero objectives achieved.

I know HS people are allways butthurt about nullsec but think that the current situation in null is as much fun as highsec wardecs are for you. 0 objectives to fight for, 1 party stays docked, 1 party waits all day on the undock for idiots.

I want EvE to be different but not for being a game for trolls and griefers. That is way more dangerous than morons and slackers (yes, they are bad too).

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: fun in a serious game comes from winning.
- Was leading a bunch of apes during Tol Barad battles with various yelling macros fun for me? Absolutely not.
- Was it fun to lock out the 2x outnumbering faction from Tol Barad for a whole week? Absolutely.

The group who captures land or evicts a wormhole or forces a larger group into ransom should celebrate their victory (= having fun) when they won.

The "for fun" games are fun regardless of outcome. Therefore no one actually cares about the outcome. Kids are having fun in Arathi Basin hacking and slashing while having no clue what they are doing.

maxim said...

Victory is just one source of fun and cannot be a source of fun if there are no losers. In that, victory is a zero-sum kind of fun.

If you rely on just victory as your source of fun, your game won't last long, as losers have no fun and leave and victors have nobody to win against.

There need to be other sources of fun.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: Indeed, and that's why it's good that EVE isn't all-nullsec. The losers can retreat to highsec/lowsec and have childish fun with friglolling.

jstk said...

Also I'd recommend reading this if you still think playing to win isn't considered 'fun':

maxim said...

Nullsec would be dead then, no? Not nearly enough serious Eve performance-drive players to populate it to any extent.

Gevlon said...

More would come if they'd know that in this game their performance is rewarded.

Anonymous said...

"Their main request was to allow more players ratting in the same system. It's not going to happen, so they can't pack the whole CFC into Deklein."
How do you know? They are putting in occupancy based sov, and they will want to make it so that it takes a significant effort to take over a system, a significant effort would not currently be possible due to limits on how many people can be in a system. It can't be that 5 people can just take sov easy as that, so I'd very much expect it to come hand in hand with an expansion of the number of players a system can hold.

It certainly isn't off the table.

Anonymous said...

"More would come if they'd know that in this game their performance is rewarded."
No, they wouldn't. People aren't sitting outside EVE saying "I would play this game if only competing was more rewarding!". They sit outside the game saying "this game is boring because actual content rarely gets added, the game play is beyond tedious, and there are no win conditions".

Like you've shown yourself, all you need in EVE is to collect isk. You don't need skillful play, you can just pay other people to do things you want. There's not even any set win conditions, so you can draw your own lines and say "I win by my measurements". I quit EVE after 4 years, realizing I was wasting my life collecting assets for nothing. If they opened up null and let smaller groups come in an rat there, I still wouldn't come back, since nothing has changed. You'd just be paying your rent with activity instead of isk and spending more time flying stuff around to keep it up.

Anonymous said...

More would come if they'd know that in this game their performance is rewarded.

and if the CFC uses it's numeric advantage to overcome the jump changes and embeds itself in nulsec even more tightly than it currently is? what then?

Because whilst CFC don't like it, they will min/max the hell out of it...

CFC Grunt said...

The motivation to "just see pixels explode" drives a lot of the CFC and their enemies. In fact, there's times when you undock a cheap (or not, depending on the occasion/level of sobriety) ship and get into a fight for fun.

However, there's moments when fun ends and things get serious.

If we didn't like space-war, we wouldn't be fighting a space-war. We'd be in hisec, mining.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, right... Having fun in a game is a bad thing. We do not want this to happen ever. That is why CCP implemented trading and ganking.
Trading is no fun at all, however you turn it. It is dull and meaningless as one can only earn a virtual currency. If someone was really interested in writing and fillinout spreadsheets, he could do some daytrading from home, earn REAL money and pay for mor PLEXES then top trades can earn in the same time.

Every game is played for fun, be that WoW or EVE. Different people may enjoy different games as different rules apply more to their liking.

And that is exactly the point with the changes. Moving assets around will become a serious time consuming and tedious chore. Hauling stuff is absolutely not rewarding. It is either dull or dangerous and no one will be happy if something is missing or a JF gets lost. Consequence? POSes won't get fuel, pilots won't get modules and hulls needed to fly. People might just quit as Nul has become less attractive.
And why would someone want to fight a costly cmapaign to conquer sovspace knowing that only border regions can be supplied "easily"? Only to be the defender as the next aggressor is waiting to stage from lowsec to nul??? Will these efforts then be worth it and drive thousands of people from highsec to nulsec???

No it wil not. CCP suffers now from their own lies. They told all players that Nulsec is dangerous and scary, but the fact is that on a daily basis, more ships die in Highsec then in all the rest of EVE.
The transaction cost /overheads are ridiculously high. Players need to earn ISK in order to pay for the sov bill, for ship losses, pos fuel and so on. These costs are high. If a system is contested or flooded with enemies, players cannot earn ISK. So instead of fighting and losing ships, they might as well evacuate...
And you wonder why they have alts in highsec?
The only difference in highsec is that the income possibilities are endless and can be used/exploited anytime...

IF CCP wants to fix EVE and make it better, it should stop lying to their customers, make nulsec completely independenet from Empire space. But CCP wnats to have a connection between the two places (Moongoo). If no moongoo from nulsec would go to Empire space, prices in Jita will explode, as lowsec is not able to supply enough tech3 ressources. Then highsec carebears can no longer afford tech2 items/ships, get frustrated and quit for "fun" games...
As Mittens and Grath have financial interests in keeping Eve alive, iI doubt that thex simply want to "cash out" before they "ruin" the next MMO. They are way smarter than that.

Gevlon said...

@CFC Grunt: the very reason of these changes is that you don't fight wars but make treaties.