A Dummies Guide To: EventsMangala Solaris
BackgroundEver since I started playing MMOs I have always focused on building communities, and the best way to do this beyond the guild/corporation structures offered by the game itself, is through in-game events both public and private. When I came to EVE, I naturally assumed that such events would be much harder, if nigh on impossible, to pull off. This was mostly given the nature of the game, and the scary stories told to newbs by the older pilots who lurk in the starter corporations. Over time I came to realise that the sandbox allowed greater freedom for content creators such as myself and started running events for my corp mates. I ran scavenger hunts, pvp roams, sparring matches, and even mining marathons! Eventually I ended up in RvB, which is the perfect canvas for a player like myself. In my time here I have organised many events and they have all been incredibly successful. Building on my work within RvB, over the past couple of years I have become the creative force behind a series of public events that bring together many different types of players all the name of a good time. Enough about me, lets get on to how you can make your events go with a bang!
PreparationYou had this wonderful idea for an event, you just know it will be good fun and your target audience will remember you for it. But when the day comes ‘round, nothing goes right, participants do not show, loopholes in your rules were exploited in true EVE fashion, and worst of all, you had to leave halfway through. Poor preparation is the downfall of a great many well meaning individuals when it comes to trying to create a little content for themselves and others. Simply having the idea, thinking up a few basic rules and then making a post on EVE-O, your corp forums or Reddit, will not fly. People will either not be enthused enough to show up, will attend and exploit your lack of planning, or leave in disgust at those who do. (FYI, this even happens to the best of us!) Firstly, your initial idea is not the fully planned out and well organised event you present to your community, it is the acorn from which the mighty oak will grow. Take your idea and look at it with fresh eyes. Does it have a goal, beyond your 15 minutes of fame? Will this goal enthuse people to attend? Sometimes the end game of an event will be a prize, a killmail (or many killmails), or awesome publicity for your corporation. Whatever the goal, it has to be well thought out. Secondly, after identifying the goal, look at how you would try to reach it with as little resistance as possible. Once you have done that, formulate your rule set. Identify the parts of your plan that could be exploited. However, take care to not neuter your event when working out the rules, or indeed make it less fun for participants. Finding the right balance is key.
For example, you are setting up a Death Race 2000 style event, where the goal is to reach Y system. Your average EVE player would actually fly between the systems, others would jump clone between the start and end points, wait a bit then claim the prizes and the glory. This is where preparation of proper rules comes in to play. You add in some systems that pilots have to pass through, providing proof of such. This could be an item from pre-arranged drop cans, or something they get from a willing target, or even a screenshot of them jumping in. If an item was needed, make it an item that cannot be easily found via the market (bookmarks work best in my experience). If you make finding the cans too hard, suddenly the pilots just focus on the “death” part of Death Race, eventually limping over the finish line bloody and worn out. Thirdly, does your event need functionaries to help it go smoothly? The larger the scope, the more warm bodies you will require. If you overlook this, then you will fail, and fail spectacularly when you flame out in a storm of rage and tears. Take my Death Race example from above, you would not be able to run this event alone. Staff at the start and finish lines as well as any checkpoints would be required, along with other pilots along the way as police, sacrifices or as “challenges” for the racers. However many staff you take on, look after them, listen to their advice, motivate them, hell even pay them! Your team needs to enjoy this as much as the participants do. Finally, and this can be the most daunting step for any event organiser, does the event require any material logistics in terms of ships? If so, do you have access to sufficient capacity to have all you need in place for the event and on time. For a small scale event, say a sparring ladder in a corporation of 10 to 20 pilots, you can easily handle the material side alone; Try running a free-for-all event with free ships in a lowsec system with upwards of 100 pilots due to attend all alone, and you will burn out. Having a solid logistics chain, pre-configured ship fits, and plenty of time will keep you from burning out. Entities such as Red Frog, corp mates with haulers, ship spinners who like to fit ships and any industry bro’s you know can all be extremely useful depending on the size of the event.