Rixx Javix recently posted about how he and (presumably) A Band Apart have been having a lot of fun since FozzieSov. And that’s great. I’m glad pirate groups are having a great time.
For me, the past six weeks have been utterly, soul-crushingly boring.
Now, it’s possible that this is just a personal experience, that the specific conditions of me in my coalition, my alliance, my corporation, and – most importantly – my play time all result in a boring, unengaging experience. Other members of my corporation haven’t felt the same. But I know I’m not at all interested in chasing around individual entosis pilots or ratting for sov indexes. I don’t want to be a babysitter. And I highly doubt I’m the only one.
The key question is how many people agree with me. Am I representative, or am I an outlier? Are others experiencing the sense that sov ownership is going to be a chain around the necks of players? I don’t know the answer to that.
Lulls are a hell of a thing in MMOs. Many players have built Eve into their daily routines. They have in-game obligations and build their schedules, expectations, and responsibilities around those times. After 30 days, it becomes comfortable.
That’s all it takes to establish a habit… 30 days of repetitive behavior.
And it works in reverse, too. If you spend too much time away from a thing, you start to not only learn to live without it, but you find that you start to prefer not having it. This is how you slip into bad habits, too.
So, with that understanding, I’m very concerned when I see lulls in Eve. They represent players deciding there’s a wide world away from Eve. And once they’re gone, their lives move on. Typically, most folks don’t have successful relationships with an old girlfriend the second go around. You’ve both changed. You don’t have the same needs you did.
There’s been a lot of talk about whether FozzieSov is a good thing for the gameworld. That’s a tough argument to make either way. On the one hand, current sov null players don’t want the status quo to change, and they’ll immediately react poorly to anything that rocks their boat. That player set is already suffering from a selection bias… they only stay in the old system if they like the old system. And if they aren’t suited to it, they’ve already been pushed out.
On the other hand, the pro-FozzieSov camp has its problems too… wanting an existing system to change and wanting it to change to a specific alternative are two very different things. It’s easy to find people who want to overthrow the king, but those groups never agree on what should be done afterwards.
Add to that the very basic fact that if you change the system and push out all the old participants, you need to repopulate it by convincing large and diverse groups of people to change their behavior to try something new. That’s incredibly difficult.
So, when you ask current sov-null players, the default reaction you have to expect is that they hate FozzieSov. When you ask everyone else, you should expect the default response to be delight.
We’re only a week into FozzieSov, but I think it’s safe to say that one particular narrative out there is clearly not true… the long delay in FozzieSov’s deployment did not cause players to simply wait for it to be released. We’ve seen no change in player logged-in counts. People were not waiting with bated breath for FozzieSov to go live so they could test it out and see how well it works. The numbers we’ve got are the numbers we’ve got.
The future of null-sec is going to be a game of chicken between attackers and defenders. Who will tire first? Maybe the attackers will realize that the maximum 6:1 disadvantage for well-indexed systems causes all their efforts to be a colossal waste of time with little satisfaction to show for it. Even hate wears thin when the results are so minimal as to be insignificant.
Or, maybe the defenders are experiencing the same thing I am. They’re get tired of spending their time either ship spinning or joining fleets to chase around entosis attacks or rat/mine to boost indexes. Maybe they’ll hear other players, like Rixx, talk about how much fun they’re having and start to take a hard look at how they’re spending their time online.
I know that personally, I have little incentive to log Talvorian in right now. When I do, I sniff around for a fleet, and when there isn’t one (not if), I go roaming by myself through low-sec. Most of my time online is spent looking for fights with my new FW alt (big thanks to the RDRAW guys, who are truly awesome and eager to jump into any fight they find!) or ratting with Valeria.
But I continue to watch Jabber hopefully. I’m not at the point yet where I’ve given up hope for content. It’s summer after all, and that’s why the content is so dry. Right?