Published on July 27th, 2014 | by Niden
CZ Minutes: I Quit.
Voting with your wallet is a common expression, very much valid in EVE. Whether it’s the particulars of an expansion or the attitude CCP are taking with certain issues, players cast their most potent vote by picking up and leaving.
What would it take for you to draw the line and leave EVE Online in protest?
Mangala: There are a few things that would cause me to just go “fuck this shit” and walk away:
- Remove spaceships (yeah yeah I know!)
- Ever give in to the cries of 100% safe high sec
- Open the bloody door in CQ. I really don’t want resources spent there all because scam citizen has it or whatever.*
- CCP sells out to a larger company. EA, SOE, whoever. People who do not really get what EVE is/represents (IMO) and could well fuck up the game we all love.
Nothing really realistic there I know, but they are really what would push me away. Nothing else CCP does with EVE has ever really screwed up the how and why of my love of the game. As long as I can still shoot dudes, see them cry, get blobbed or whatever, I’ll be here ‘til TQ gets turned off.
*Now I mentioned “do something to CQ and I’d go”, just to explain that. I do not have a problem with expanding on it, just would not want it done solely to assuage the average jibbering idiots found in the WiS threads that crop up from time to time, or those who claim they’ll leave for SC if they do not get it. If resources have to be put into WiS, let them be put in in such a way that any development benefits spaceships – so meeting rooms, storefronts and the like. Not chasing folks round a station, or drinking in a bar or whatever.
Tarek: For me that is a loaded question because I already quit the game once. Back then the reason was that I thought my playstyle will wither and die. I had the impression that my playground had been turned into paved-over desert and that toxic attitudes were all that remained. It was not anything that CCP did which made me leave. It was a result of what the players of EVE had created. I never cared much about the drama around Incarna. I couldn’t care less about highsec or how safe it was. When I got the impression that sov-nullsec was on the verge of becoming a boring bipolar affair, I felt that there was nothing left for me in this game.
In the meantime I have rejoined and learned how wrong I was. I had become a victim of my own tunnel-vision. All I needed was a radical change of playstyle.
“A game that is stacked against you is one thing, that’s a challenge. A game that is rigged against you is something else.”
There would still be a reason for me to leave for good. If it would ever turn out to be true that there is actual collusion between CCP and player organisations, I would be off. These days I have no problem with the fact that there are powers which have turned sov-null into highsec 2.0. If there were a new T20 scandal, however, I would see no sense in playing any further. A game that is stacked against you is one thing, that’s a challenge. A game that is rigged against you is something else. Such a game can not be played anymore by a sane person.
Niden: Unlike Tarek I’ve kept my main, Niden, almost since I started playing in 2005 (I had another character on the same account, but switched to Niden early on). I have quit the game however, many times. The concept, feel and reputation of EVE kept me trying over and over again, I would go a few months at a time and then lose my motivation. My account would go unsubbed for months (even years at one point). During all this time, 2005 to late 2012, I had not found my place in EVE. It was only until I gave Faction Warfare and Lowsec a real shot that I stayed for good. The experience has left me with a very good sense of what I personally value in EVE, the lack of which would be deal breaker.
“When I play EVE I want to be a distinguishable participant, not a statistic.”
If by some way CCP (or the community for that matter) broke small gang and solo PvP, I would lose my primary motivator for logging in. When I play EVE I want to be a distinguishable participant, not a statistic. Although I put my time in on larger fleets when there is an important objective to be reached, and certainly take pride in having accomplished goals on a larger scale, I prefer flying in fleets where I am recognised as a person, not just +1 DPS. I guess it’s a type of vanity, wanting to be seen and recognised, but it’s also a characteristic of mine I am not ashamed of and quite comfortable with.
Microtransactions can be a dangerous thing. If not managed properly they are a cancer that will eat the culture of a game from the inside out, leaving a cold, dead husk in its wake. So long as it’s vanity items, it’s fine, but if EVE takes one step towards pay-to-win, I’m out.
In the long run I think what will eventually kill my motivation for the game is how CCP itself is run. I’ve already had it up to here with competent people being booted or leaving (for good reasons, <3 Jon Lander). Every time this happens my heart sinks and my faith in CCP upper management takes a hit. I really do hope Hilmar & co find it in their hearts to have a good, honest and objective look at themselves. I don’t harbor any animosity towards Hilmar, not even a little, I think Hilmar understands EVE really well and genuinely wants the best for it, contrary to popular belief I think he’s a really decent and intelligent guy. But this isn’t a garage-level company any more and upper management just don’t have the skills required. For instance I think Hilmar would be better off as the EP of EVE rather than the CEO of CCP.
It is a commonly held view amongst players and CCP staff alike that ground-level and middle management are doing a really terrific job, but that upper management is horribly run, and constitutes the main problem for the company and the future of EVE. Negative reinforcement and blame seldom solve problems however. I would urge CCP upper management to take a step back and listen what the community and CCP employees are saying.
It’s not personal guys, it’s EVE. We love it and that’s the reason we all get so worked up about it, it’s the reason we say terrible things some times. Because it is the most wonderful, precious, and beautiful thing, but delicate and fragile. An idea given form that has outgrown you, and in that idea we have chosen to spend a considerable portion of our actual, one use only, lives – investing not only time, but friendships and community. Please don’t fuck it up.
Xander: This is a horrible question to ask a CSM! I guess to echo what Mangala said, I’m not sure I would quit over it but an expansion based on avatar gameplay would make me feel very uncomfortable. I don’t think that should be touched again until Eve gameplay is in a good place across the board and subs are on the increase (yeah, I know).
“…an expansion based on avatar gameplay would make me feel very uncomfortable.”
A second thing would be explicit safe zones (with the one key exception of new player areas / training space). For example, if CCP announced tomorrow that high sec was to be made ‘safe’ – no ganking or whatever – that would be something I would seriously consider hanging my keyboard up over.
To contradict Mangala, while selling Eve to a larger company makes me hella nervous, it could actually have the potential to be a good thing. I certainly wouldn’t automatically presume it would go bad even if my gut suggests it might. I certainly wouldn’t automatically unsub over it but I’d be keeping a very close eye on things.
But yeah, for me, avatar gameplay and a categorically ‘safe’ high sec would both make me chuck it in.
“…areas in the game I’m deeply invested in have been ignored for years”
HVAC: I’m not completely out, but areas in the game I’m deeply invested in have been ignored for years, and many of the biggest sores in the game still haven’t been fixed. Everyone knew tech was broken, yet it took them four years to finally break that bottleneck. Sov, corp/alliance functionality, and a replacement for the POS systems have been broken for years that they’re now just finally committing to fix. I’m glad they’re finally going to address it, but at least for me it might be too little too late. I don’t know, we’ll see how the game progresses. As much as I love the client, the community, and the company…I’m not convinced even fixing all those things will bring back the growth to EVE and get the bitter vets logging back in again.
Tarek: Actually that issue about safe zones is something I have always wondered about. It often is mentioned by people as a reason why they would quit. Very often those are people who do not even play in highsec. I have never really much cared about highsec ever since I left it. Sure, my career started there, and without highsec PVP it could not have had the same beginning, but is that really so incredibly important?
Also, I would agree with Niden. If solo and/or small-gang PVP became absolutely impossible I would also have a hard time to find any fun these days. I don’t think that’s very likely though. Even in deepest nullbear space solo PVPers find targets and small gang PVP is very much alive in many regions. It is hard to even imagine a change in the game that would make it impossible.
Niden: The beating heart of EVE Online is freedom, corny as it sounds. To do whatever the fuck you want, for good or ill, is what truly makes New Eden unique. If for some reason CCP were to step away from that fundamental cornerstone of EVE I would probably leave it with “it was fun while it lasted”.
“I’m terrified that EA, SOE or any other established gaming company would destroy this radical but fundamental aspect of EVE.”
That segways nicely into the idea of another company buying EVE Online. My immediate gut response is “nononononono”, and the reason for that is probably the above – I’m terrified that EA, SOE or any other established gaming company would destroy this radical but fundamental aspect of EVE. I imagine a board of directors being presented with what goes on in EVE, comparing it to the mass-produced crap they they normally shit out all over the market, and then “streamline” EVE Online into a safe, superficial and utterly predictable ruin of its former self.
Maybe I’m being paranoid and sentimental, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. A lot can be said about CCP and they certainly have a hole to dig out of, but as things stand today I’ll take them over any other games developer or publisher active today. Mistakes, flaws, upper management and everything.
Jeg: There have been a few instances of stupidity in the past that have had me thinking about leaving, mostly reflected in all of your comments and the wider EVE Community protests. There are however a lot of things that kept me playing. I think the only thing that would really get me to quit would be if CCP started to ignore these player opinions and pushed the wider community too far. Poor gameplay and poor PR decisions have been a ‘feature’ of CCP and EVE since I started playing, and probably a long time before that. What has made the game still worth my time (even if lately even logging in is rare) is the fact that the player base continues to give a crap. CCP, although not always promptly, have responded to most of the player concerns. If that ever changed, if that relationship between CCP and the players broke down to such a point that it didn’t work, then I would probably bin it.
Mangala, you suggested that if EVE was bought by a larger entity then that would prompt you to leave. I would probably follow Xanders line of thought there. I wouldn’t be keen to quit on that basis alone. I would however be keeping a close eye on things as they develop, and hope that any company that looked to take EVE forward would understand that “we” are what makes the game what it is, and that relationship is why the game continues to live.