The first thing I do when I’m roaming, looking for a kill, is check the in game map and look for ships in space. This gives me a great start on what direction to head for to try and find a target; it’s also not a ground breaking bit of intelligence, I’m sure many have and will continue to use this process. One of the things I might do, if I’m having a particularly difficult time find people, or feeling particularly bloodthirsty, is look up NPC kills, or check a system for kills, so I can make sure my targets are active. In fact, someone more experienced than myself might be able to track a gatecamp using only out of game tools. For instance, you can check kills in a system on a well known killboard, and assuming the same ships keep showing up, you might be able to match the number of ships in space to the killmails, allowing you to see what you might jumping into way before you’re anywhere near the system.
The problem with a game like Eve is that so much of what makes a good player, what makes us all Eve players, is that we do things like that. We will check the forums, we will read the news, the propaganda about various alliances, we will buy into the gimmick that Eve is real. CCP’s problem, and it’s a rather large one, is that none of that is particularly easy to understand, let alone teach. So when CCP Falcon posted recently that they plan on removing API system data for wormholes, what seems like an innocuous change turns out to be pretty controversial. What might be even more frustrating for CCP is that there are those of us who remember being able to see jumps in the wormhole system data, and still pine for the old days.
I don’t consider myself a bittervet, even though I’m fast approaching four years of being an Eve player, and now spend an order of magnitude more time outside the game than inside. I suppose those might be some of the hallmarks of the disease, but I still really enjoy playing Eve, even though I might be lacking the time. I do think I’m starting to see what everyone means by all the furore, though. That miniscule change might make it more intuitive for a new player to come in and understand the entirety of what they can see. The statement that it is keeping with the old policy of API might be true, but it is clearly set to make things as intuitive as possible for the user. The tradeoff is it makes things harder for older players. I like that those edges are there for the players that know where to find them. It’s nothing gamebreaking, or pivotal. It’s an edge that you can get from being slightly more knowledgeable than your opponent. Those edges: tracking a corporation’s member base, looking up their frequent timezones, having a database with their POSes and assets stored for future use, add up quickly.
The players that are able to utilize these tools become the best players in Eve. The organizations that embrace these tools, whether it’s corporate mappers or backroom jabber channels, quickly become famous. Internet spaceships are serious business. While it’s not a requirement to be a particularly professional player to enjoy Eve, it is a requirement to be a successful player. Those are the right kind of players, and the ones that CCP should be cultivating, because those are the ones that will stick with this game for years. Is all this a skydive of speculation from a foot high springboard of an API change? Perhaps. All those changes add up, though: whether it’s overlay scanners or API changes, they all stack. One thing I am particularly sure of is that while Eve players drive content, they need reasons to fight. I don’t see CCP creating enough of those reasons.
I can’t shake the worry that CCP really wants to remove these little things that make Eve into the game it is in favor of increasing new player retention. If anything makes me a bittervet, it’s that last statement. Although, the thing about those guys everyone calls bittervets, is they’re the right kind of Eve players.
Tags: api, bittervets, joran, wormholes