CZM: Is Your Eve Kill

The EVE community has gone up in flames a small bit this week over controversial assertions that EVE might be, as some doomsayers put it, “dying.” Commentators point to various statistics and their own personal impressions to substantiate these claims, but we’re curious what our (mostly) active, and very diverse, staff think about all of this. In particular, we’re curious if “your” EVE is dying. Are things all doom and gloom in your neck of the woods? Is your community on the decline? Are you lonelier than ever in your alliance chat? Or are things vibrant in your little corner of the world? Why, or why not? What keeps you coming back? What’s got your interest lately, and what, for you, keeps the fire alive inside you and keeps you coming back to New Eden? MukkBarovian: I am angry right now. I just read about the wormhole nerf a few minutes ago. I’m tired of CCP’s current game design philosophy, the same philosophy that brought us fatigue. CCP makes it harder to play the game using nerfs of all shapes and sizes, and then the user count goes down. Much of this stuff does not even help the little guy. When you make it harder for everyone, only the strongest groups can make the cut. For one thing, this push toward small local conflict utterly fails to satisfy the big groups that love being in the heart of important conflicts. The developers are locked out of any serious conflict by the regulations put in place to prevent another T2 BPO lottery. Developers end up screwing around namelessly somewhere doing small gang stuff, and launching the nerfhammer at bigger organised groups. I agree in principle with many of the nerfs that have been handed out. For example hotdropping was too easy. But the aggregate effect of all these nerfs is not acceptable. The unintended consequences, such as local power blocks having exclusive ability to use capitals in an area, have also been bad for the game. At the core of the whole problem, is that CCP seem to have stopped caring about making EVE fun. They are punishing players with tedium. This is not going to force people to bend the knee to CCPs wishes. This is going to kill people’s enjoyment of the game. Then players, who have no obligation to CCP, are going to unsubscribe and walk away. I am utterly amazed by what CCP is doing. People play games because they are fun. Whatever else your game design philosophy is, it cannot abandon the concept of entertaining its users. Lillik Eoner: I’m really far out of the meta to notice changes, and honestly, I don’t pay much attention to the dev blogs; I prefer to be surprised. With that said, I understand that even with meta changes, my small part of New Eden will still be there. Hopefully. Xander: I guess it depends on your definition of ‘dying’. If we are seeing dead weight being trimmed – I personally consider the likes of 30 Isboxer accounts ‘dead weight’ for example – then there is no issue. If the people we are losing are long term, genuine lovers of the game then that is a different kettle of fish all together. I think what’s interesting to me personally is I have felt no particular urge to play since coming home from Fanfest. Whether that is a general post-CSM lethargy or what, I don’t know. I am still interested in the game but I feel no inclination to log in and undock on a day-to-day basis at the moment. I wish I knew why that was but I can’t put my finger on it. It just kinda feels like I have other better uses of my time at the moment whereas a year ago, undocking would be higher up my list of priorities. Dunk Dinkle:  I don’t think ‘Eve is dying’, but I don’t get a good sense of the direction CCP is driving the game at this point. Part of the time we are seeing cool things with ships SKINs, alliance logos back on track, and more attention to lore and accompanying videos.  The o7 Show is doing great as a communications vehicle.  CCP is working hard to address the community and get good interaction going. But in the realm of actual gameplay, it’s not really clear what the goal is that the Dev Team is aiming to achieve. Lots of significant changes, but they have often led to unintended consequences. To the average player, many of the changes seem to make the game more tedious to play. If the idea was to break up the ‘blue donut’, then some of it has been achieved, but the changes seem to have reinforced the strength of the strongest groups, rather than leveling the playing field.  Changes to fleet ops and ship balancing seem to head toward making solo PvP pilots happy and broken, cancer-tier ships even more cancerous. There is probably a bigger plan that the Dev Team has, but most pilots aren’t seeing it and many changes seem to be poorly thought out.  Changing the gameplay of pilots that are already frustrated probably does lead to some leaving the game.  Again, I don’t think it means Eve is dying, but bringing new players into Eve needs to be always kept in front of mind. Making Eve even harder with an even steeper learning curve, doesn’t help new player retention. Apoth: CCP are finally doing what we have been asking them to do for years and largely focusing on fixing the old content rather than bringing us brand new shiny toys every 6 months. There’s a gap in agreement as to how well people are doing, newbros like Dunk and his group are complaining that the changes are fucking them, older corps are complaining that the changes are fucking them instead. While still in progress, ship balance has never been better, we’re seeing interesting and varied conflict all over new Eden. Personally, I’m pretty happy. If CCP keep fixing things along the plan CCP Seagull was showing us at Fanfest 2014, when we do get to the stage of shiny new things, building starships etc, the new players brought in by that will want to stay and the old players, well, they always find something to complain about and look at the past with rose tinted glasses. I wouldn’t say CCP are perfect, but in my opinion they’ve been mostly hitting out of the park since they switched to the 6 week cycle. I agree with Tarek on the matter. MukkBarovian: It is not somehow old players vs new players. CCP is making it harder for everyone. Dunk is going to feel the burn just as hard as I am. I would say that old players are the target, but it is not only old players feeling the effects of the changes. Apoth: “It is not old players versus new players” If I could change my ammunition to stamps with that phrase on it oh my god I would. I’d fly straight to BNI staging and shoot their station all day. Older and better organised players have the advantage of being able to take those changes and make more out of them then lesser groups, but that’s not the fault of the game, that’s on players to theorycraft, organise and learn how to better themselves. There are relatively old and new players in every organisation. Niden: I have to strongly disagree with Mukk here, it’s certainly not worse for everyone, the Phoebe expansion alone has done wonders for lowsec. Again I and my fellow lowsecers find ourselves in the same situation as last year, and the year before that. The doomsayers say one thing, but you only have to undock in Black Rise to find something else: A vibrant world with fighting and content daily. I am also angry. I am angry because this happens every year. Doomsayers scare people with stats while reaping the attention that spelling the end of the world brings. Meanwhile, the only function this serves, besides giving them attention, is to scare away new players. There is a massive disconnect between the dying Eve they’re talking about and my reality, and I’m pissed off that some people will never see that because they got scared away at the door. Statistics =/= reality. I’m on holiday right now, but the first thing I want to do when I get back is undock. Again, if Eve is dying, no one sent the memo to lowsec because we’re doing just fine.
Tags: CZM, dying

About the author

Xander Phoena

The good looking, funny, intelligent member of the team, Xander set up Crossing Zebras with Jeg in April 2012 mainly because he was talking too much about Eve on his other podcast. Playing the game for almost five years, Xander still has absolutely zero clue about how to actually play Eve but somehow still manages to talk a good game.