Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why nullsec is stagnant despite mechanic changes?

The most common complaint in EVE is that it's "stagnant" and "nothing ever happens". This is surprising if we consider how much of the map has changed over a year:

Or think about Karmafleet! A year ago they didn't exist, now they are one of the largest corporations in EVE! Nullsec is changing, can't you see?!

I believe "nullsec is stagnant" means "no quality changes happened". I mean a year ago the corp Russia Caldari were renters in NA, while now they are proud leaders of an alliance... that does the same thing: rat a lot without PvP. Same for the former PBLRD corps now in FCON. The Imperium lost half its land, got lot of new members (mostly the mentioned Karmafleet) and ... still rat a lot. Pandemic Legion lost its signature ability to transport a supercapital blob over the galaxy to drop on newbs and ... transports T3 fleets in wormholes over the galaxy to drop on newbs. NC. was shit and ... still is. Russians were killing other Russians for reasons unclear for everyone else ... and still are.

While they were relocated, while their methods changed, while their raw numbers changed, still everyone is doing the same thing as a year ago. Since mechanics define "how", and not "what", no matter how CCP changes the game, the same old thing will happen, just with different doctrines, on bigger or smaller land, with bigger or smaller numbers. It's like the Feudal age of mankind. Land changed hands between kings, thrones changed hands between royal houses. But seriously, would the World be any different if the Yorks won over the Lancasters?

"History change" means that new quality appears. The French Revolution wasn't just another house claiming the throne, it was about getting rid of the throne! Lenin didn't want more land for his nation, he wanted internationalism. In EVE such quality changes happened when new kind of people appeared in nullsec. The original Goons weren't another "nice region we take it" group, they were a bunch of enthusiasts in Rifters wanting to set BoB on fire, spawning a story still remembered. TEST wasn't another Goon pet wanting to rat safely in the Blue Doughnut, they wanted to stand alone and win, fueling the rise and bloody fall of HBC, spawning over years of constant content. BRAVE wasn't another established group but a bunch of newbies flying against all odds and got into the headlines, especially when they managed to not fail. Finally, considering how limited the success of my GRR project has, it gets awful lot of attention, exactly because it's different from anything you've ever seen in EVE.

If such new group doesn't appear, 2016 will be like 2015 just with another set of relocations and percentage changes. The Goons will still lead their empire with diplomacy, PL will still drop on newbs, NC. will still be shit (unless disbanded like S2N), Russians will still be killing Russians and MoA will still be a big thorn in the side of the Imperium. CCP is completely hopeless in moving the story forward because they are working on the wrong place. Nullsec mechanic changes will do nothing since they affect the already established nullsec people. The "huge" capital changes will change how the people do the same thing. For example Goons will rat in something else than Chimeras. That will totally blow your mind and make you log in for another year.

Instead of tweaking nullsec, CCP must work on other areas to allow new kind of people to grow strong and break into nullsec with a different idea. These mean other kind of spaces and marketing EVE to some new demographics. Let me show some ideas, please don't argue with them, they are just examples to show what kind of things are needed instead of -5% sentry damage or replacing POS-es with citadels:
  • Allow non-wardeccable, no-structure PvE corporations in highsec, so the currently solo carebears could unite and form forces that can go make history instead of quitting after finishing leveling their Raven alone. I promise that if it happens, I make such corp and create content to hundreds of people myself.
  • Remap wormholes so C1 and C2 would only connect to each other and highsec, C3 and C4 to each other and lowsec, C5 and C6 to each other and nullsec, forcing top-WH dwellers to interact with nullsec residents instead of only with other wormholers while hauling directly to highsec.
  • From some current FW-lowsec and nullsec create FW-nullsec zones (with bubbles) with no anoms but highly-paying mission agents available only to the militia members controlling the systems. Include the NPC pirate factions into this, allowing players to join the Blood Raiders or the Guristas as militia members and claim systems for them. Yep, you should only be able to mission for Blood Raiders if you are member of the Blood Raider militia and your militia holds systems where Blood Raider agents can settle.
  • Hire some high-profile internet feminist to run a "pwn all sexist men in EVE" corp.
  • Start marketing EVE to elderly people on offline media with "Live in the stars! Call this number, our guy will come to you, install EVE for you and teaches you the basics over an hour or two".
Whatever you do, remember that only new kind of people will make history in EVE, not more people of the same kind. More Goons are just ... more anom ratters.

PS: I can't stop laughing on this battle report. The fight took place in an ore anomaly where our hero tackled the ore transporting freighter. The miner tried to save the armor freighter with shield logi with no avail. While he was busy with this futile attempt, his miners were killed by rats and their pods were popped by our hero, along with all kind of stuff, using nothing but a cruiser and an inty. This is elite PvP, not dropping titans on BRAVE/Provi.


Stan vanderVille said...

I like the first 3 ideas a lot.
Definitively new content, new way of gameplay.
It will retract players from other activities, but provide content.
But now to the ideas, how to attrackt new players in general, so, increase the total playerbase. You already mentioned earlier kind of arena games or some shiny highsec PvE rewards. In my opinion highsec is getting boring sooner or later for the PvE guys because no visible competition is possible. Give them ranking lists or a PvE killboard or corp wealth competition or something like that. And highsec need things which are worth fighting about (Ice anoms only if you have a pos nearby?)...

But for myself i'm already always happy, to see a new doctrine going live or if a devblog shakes up market and brings me to the winning side :-)

Amarr-Zon said...

"Allow non-wardeccable, no-structure PvE corporations in highsec, so the currently solo carebears could unite and form forces that can go make history instead of quitting after finishing leveling their Raven alone. I promise that if it happens, I make such corp and create content to hundreds of people myself."

I am waiting for this corp for quite some time now and I would love to be a part of it.

Anonymous said...

"Hire some high-profile internet feminist to run a "pwn all sexist men in EVE" corp."

One of the best ideas ever occured in metagaming. After CCP hiring Katee Sackhoff for the sci-fi fan male audience, the girls of EVE Online should get a treat too. Not sure a feminist is the best approach, but something for the girls would be nice.

But a feminist corp with its own propaganda site would be some of the best content in the game.

I would join your corp with my HS alt too.

maxim said...

I wonder if this "stagnation" is really felt by nullsec players at the low level.
High-level stagnation does not necessarily mean lack of interesting play for individual pilots who are not industry mongers, powerbloc-movers. The way you described russians - they seem to be having a lot of fun :D

I fully agree that highsec Raven levellers could use a fresh way forward, though.

Luke said...

1) Raven levellers have problem with null, as they cannot do things alone. You need eyes, watch local and intel. Sometimes you need to dump whatever you do and protect the system. Then , there is no content coming to you 23/7 .. one day you can rat in peace, the other you would have 10 reds coming for gudfites or few hundred men fighting in your system. Also, some guy will be yelling at you that you are not in right ship, and other will comment about your billion pod in slasher. Also, you cannot just go to jita to buy stuff you need now. Not to mention, you would need to actually contact with people .... Assuming you want real null corp/alliance and not renters.

2) Russians have long memories, especially in "we were fighting with hostile and you have not joined". .. or even worse, sided with enemy. More systems to rent out is just a plus (especially right now in insmother, where there is one good rentable constellation,and 2 or 3 so-so). Also, flying with them it is clear that they are much more goal oriented than westerners, though with very few FC to run their fleet, give out ships and manage serfs .. which mean it is either 300+ fleet or nothing. Very feudalistic. Explains why they hate fozziesov too.

Anyway , null as it is, it's lots of work. From herding cats to playing "not being eaten by local big guy" diplo work. Goons succeed, because they streamlined the process for large amount of players, removing the nastier parts from the game altogether. Other alliances seem to be either to culturally different to do that or just their leaders cannot be arsed to actually make something that works, preferring cheap ego games over structure.

Unknown said...

"forcing top-WH dwellers to interact with nullsec residents instead of only with other wormholers while hauling directly to highsec"

To paraphrase Murray Rothbard, it is no crime to be ignorant of wormhole space, but it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on wormhole subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.

High class wormhole PvP corps spend most of their time PvPing in low or null sec through connections they find in their chain. The only reason we scan all the way down to the lower class wormholes is to find exits into k-space for logistics.

Gevlon said...

@Jeff: going to gank into nullsec but hauling safely in WH space is not cool. Go haul where you kill!

Goon #124341 said...

Really good points, Gevlon. To make things more interesting you need basically a outside community with strong bonds outside of the game (otherwise they are bought off to easily) who wants to achieve a clear goal in game, like with the examples you have given. A "anti-male" group would be really interesting, because that fits the criteria. Now we only have to gather enough females to support this idea AND to join EVE with the goal to wipe out the "patriarchy empires of nullsec.

Sadly, I don't think this will work.

Unknown said...

In what universe is hauling in w-space safe? Every connection is a pipe, there are no aggression timers stopping someone from following you through to the other side and if you try to double back you get stuck because of polarization. Not to mention you never know if you're the only one in system or not or if that connection you're warping to even still exists. I've never felt safer than when I'm out and about in k-space. Local is such a safety blanket.

Anonymous said...

@Jeff the point is that tying your logistics to null would create more reasons to interact with them.

It seems entirely reasonable to me to create a set of CT, "Transit" wormholes with special spawn rules that will provide funnels between the levels of space(and permit larger prey in and out), but also lack in system resource worth holding, and mostly serve as bottle necks and trade routes for logistics. I'm sure there's interesting graph properties you could enforce in their spawns that would enable this kind of thing.

CraZeD said...

Nullsec stagnation as you put it, is a matter of opinion. Many groups seem to be finding alot of content quite easily in Nullsec, the problem is you have people who cry stagnation, because they can no longer blob out the sun or jump half way across the new eden in 5 minutes.

Honestly this talk of stagnation is just that, Talk. in reality its a load of crap. Corporations need to learn to adapt to new meta's and adapt to different situations and mechanics instead of crying foul everytime CCP change something. I'm honestly sick and tired of listening to the bullshit about stagnation.

If you can't find content or find your game getting boring, then your doing it wrong!

Anonymous said...

All kinds of people in all MMOs fall into two groups; elitest tryhard and loveable underdogs.

As much as these long-shot ideas might work, there's only one true driver of change in nullsec; newbie underdogs come in, get handheld by someone bigger, then either fall or become the next overdogs. I thought this might happen with brave but instead of PL handholding them like they did with TEST they instead just farmed them to death.

There's simply one hope left for EVE that is 1) another newbie stampede into nullsec and 2) elitest offering help to them to fight the CFC rather than just mindless farming for a month.

Anonymous said...

I wish wars were more about pushing other groups aside in secure space, rather than camp them into any and every station. I'd like to fight over resources, market access and territory over a limited space. I'd like wars that were just a handful of structures or customs offices at a time. If the structures had some future role in exploration, escalation and agents, I wouldn't mind seeing other people fight over those as well, although I probably would skip out on the lattermost. People need a little space and time to brush themselves off, regroup, and come up with a new plan of attack.

Gevlon said...

@Jeff: and who the hell would follow you? C1-4 dwellers who only leave the POS shield when no one they've ever met is online?

@Anonymous: that's an interesting point. EVE expect you to take the role of a pirate, empire builder, miner, whatever. But players only take the roles of "l33t PvPr" and "4 fun casual", making the EVE idea fail.

Anonymous said...

@Stan vanderVille dude you have no idea about hisec dwellers. Last thing they need is competition.

@Gevlon As before, I will only agree with creation of PvE corp on one condition - members of said corp should not be able to set red safety in hisec. This is to prevent abuse of such corp by ganktards. Other than that issue, it's a go.

Personally I'd forbid red safety in hisec for all NPC corps also, so that ganktards all should be in actually wardecable corp. Their main "we're already -10.0" argument is bs anyway.