Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fixing Null-Sec: Summation

My series on suggestions to fix null-sec is complete.  I want to give a big thank-you to everyone who posted constructive criticism both here and on reddit.  The suggestions were criticized for not being sufficient/appropriate taken as a whole (which is fair), but individual ones here and there gained some traction and – most importantly – they spurred some debate and discussion.  Each suggestion is merely a starting point.

However, one thing is clear; the public definitely recognizes the urgency of the problems with null-sec.  An increase in smaller alliances is a good thing, as is the variety of content that null-sec can provide.

While the player base and CCP seem keen on waiting for the sandbox to take care of itself, the simple fact is that mechanics changes resulted in the situation becoming what it is, and mechanics changes are needed to help incentivize this differentiated experience once again.  Is it possible to roll back the negative consequences of mechanics changes over the past five years?  I don’t know, but it’s worth a try.

Why?  For CCP, null-sec is their marketing story.  Asakai wouldn’t have happened without null-sec, and the fall of Fountain and other massive battles draw players to the game.  However, though large fleet fights draw people to try the game, solo and small fleet PvP will keep that demographic of player in the game for the long term.  Large fleet fights don’t happen every day, and Eve needs a vibrant form of PvP to keep those action junkies logging in every day.  For only when players log in daily do they become addicted… or burn out, if the content isn’t there.

I want more addicted players.  PvE isn’t going to do it, since there are dozens of games that do it better (how may players have complained about how boring PvE is?) and players will flock to it after a few months.

I want a balanced game in which every current Eve player can find a compelling reason to log in, but I’m biased in favor of the play style that lets players log in and find a fight within five or ten minutes, not the kind that involves an hour of preparation.  Many players can’t afford to spend an hour of their two-hour play time sitting around waiting.  We already have to spend too much time fitting ships, traveling, gathering components, etc.  Players like me want action, and we want it now.

So, once again, thank you for tolerating my novice theory-crafting.  Back to normal posts from now on in!

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