Social Change

During my campaign for CSM 9 I was asked the question what tools and in game resources I would like to see made available for groups other than corporations or alliances. I wrote a column in response and have continued to speak on the matter since. In my talks with players, both in-game and on the EVE forums, possible solutions have been discussed on a hypothetical basis, until recently. In her recent Reddit AMA, CCP Seagull confirmed that corporations and alliances are being reworked: “This is in discussion now as part of our corp and alliance re-work – I think it’s pretty likely that we will move away from having only two types of fixed levels of organizations” Now that the rework is public knowledge, it’s the perfect time for me to revisit both my own ideas and those put forward in the thread I linked above. The door is open to transform concepts to reality and see if social groups can finally be supported by CCP. Before we take a look at the suggestions put forward, I think it is best to recap both what I mean by social group in relation to EVE, and the ideas I have with regards to making them more formal.
What are social groups in EVE? A group of players with a shared interest in a particular aspect of EVE, but not necessarily something they do full time, therefore invalidating the need to form a corporation in pursuit of specific goals. In EVE, such groups include incursion runners, open roam communities, ganking groups, shared language communities, the famous CFC special interest groups, and many others.

What would Mangala do?

When first asked, I posited that a great way for social groups to grab the attention of players from all walks of life would be to allow fleet adverts across the entire server. This would also make management of such groups considerably easier. Over time I have moved away from this idea however, and as you can see from my column back in March, I am leaning more towards what can only be described as “corporation lite”. This basically turns social groups in to corporations without the taxes, war decs, shares, hangars and all the good stuff that corp members have access to. Simply a chat channel, mailing list, basic roles, and of course group fleets.

Feedback Loop

I have consolidated the key ideas presented and discussed on the forum thread, and provide my feedback on each below. Community Calendars.

Right now calendars are only accessible in-game to corporation and alliance members. Allowing social groups across EVE use them would be a major boon for the crowd that run roams, incursions, or in other ways need to coordinate a myriad of people. Calendar events are covered by the API, so having them exported to an external website for the group should make such coordination even easier.

Fleet standings.

Originally I was very much for this idea, indeed it was one I discussed briefly in my campaign for CSM 8. The fundamental functionality would allow an FC to set standings towards another entity, and these would then be inherited by the fleet. However, upon reflection I have come to believe that this is too unwieldy without a total overhaul of the standings mechanism, as well as being limited to the handful of times large public fleets are all working together rather than shooting one another.

Fleet kill log.

FC’s have access to loot history, member history and, along with the rest of the fleet, broadcast history. However, we do not have access to the kills and losses our fleets have participated in. Fleets comprised solely of pilots from the same fixed group (corps and alliances), can easily find these out using the API. ‘Social’ fleets have to hope that all their fleet mates have API’s on public killboards such as zKillboard, or that they know how to find their combat log in-game. If, on the other hand, there was a fleet kill log, keeping a record of your fleets victories would be considerably easier in a public setting.

Community fittings.

Right now social groups need to either link fits either in a mail, the channel MOTD, or use an out-of-game site such as Giving groups (including alliances) the ability to save fits much as corporations do is a win all on its own. This would remove the need to resend mails, or constantly be forced to link fits / websites to new members of the group, ultimately reducing the barrier of entry for new members.

Official channel listing.

As you can see from the image, groups like EVE Radio and EVE University have their public channels listed for all to join.  Expanding this to established incursion groups and NPSI communities like Ganked, Spectre or Redemption, is another win-win both for social groups and for those looking to get more out of their EVE experience. Yes, there are questions of favouritism, but if managed correctly, any group could see their channel added. For example: to be added to an ‘open roams’ category, a group would need to show channel activity, regular fleet activity, and so on.

There is quite an array of suggestions out there right now as to the direction CCP should take when it comes to including social groups in the corporation and alliance rework.  However, we must not forget that what seems necessary to us as end users, may not be workable by the devs. So please, continue to utilise the CSM bat-phone and let me know your thoughts on how we can make social groups a thing in EVE, something that everyone will want to be a part of.
Tags: csm9, fleet command, incursions, mangala, npsi, social groups

About the author

Mangala Solaris

Mangala Solaris has been playing EVE since 2006. In his time in EVE, he have been a missioner, a miner, a scammer, a trader & even a null bear, however over the past 4 years or so Mangala has been heavily involved in Red Versus Blue, and more recently has become one the key figures in the NPSI communities of EVE. Somehow in addition to all of this, he finds time to represent the players as a member of CSM 9.