CCP Vs. EvE Online

EvE Online and CCP are two separate entities.  What is good for CCP is not always what’s best for EvE.  EvE Online is a game that generates a healthy profit for the company that runs it.  CCP Games is the company that runs it.  If CCP sees a way to do things that will make more money than what is necessarily best for EvE, they will do it.  CCP Games is in a very difficult position right now.  Where the world markets were stable and fine 4 years ago, and their main product was making a lot of money facilitating easy acquisitions of loans, in addition the health of this product reduced the urgency of setting up redundant product lines.  That is, while the odds of EvE failing were low, there was no need to have something to back it up to ensure the health of the company, thus the urgency of developing backup lines was also low.

Now the world market is very unstable, EvE faces an uncertain future, and the other product lines are an absolute fiduciary responsibility for CCP Games.  This means that for the good of the company they have to have something other than EvE to make money.  However the way they finance things is on the back of EvE’s strength.  This means that CCP faces a conundrum.  To be strong and secure they need EvE healthy and the playerbase growing and happy.  To do this requires most of their effort, but will allow them to finance future growth. When EvE is unhealthy, the future growth is even more important, but less practical, as CCP found last month when they had to unfortunately release 20% of their staff.

All of this is a bit above what the average EvE player needs to know.  It also brings me to the point of this blog.  The reason we constantly see boosts to one race or another, and that nerfs are very rare, is that boosts are popular and marketable.  Nerfs are not.  The forums are full of supercap pilots whining about their new stupid expensive ride being worthless.  My heart bleeds for them.  Honestly if they had made these changes shortly after supercarriers had been buffed in the first place they wouldn’t have the crocodile tears to deal with.

When you boost a race you can send an e-mail to all former players saying:  Come back to EvE and try out the new, stronger gallente ships!  Boosted hybrids, speed, and agility!  Which sounds a lot better than: Come back to EvE where everything is slower and hits weaker!

EvE might be a better game if certain races or ships were nerfed (Yes I’m talking to the Drakes out there) but it wouldn’t be popular.  Thousands and thousands of people are affected by any nerf, and when you get into common ship types like the Drake, Hurricane, Hulk, Raven, or common play styles like Droneboats, Snipe Fleets, what have you, making significant changes affects tens, if not hundreds of thousands of players.  This is why companies (which is what CCP is) will almost always boost first, and nerf later.  If CCP Notices that, say, the Enyo has become the terror of EvE as a result of these changes, they can nerf it slightly, call it an adjustment shortly after the patch and not many people will be angry because they haven’t adjusted their playstyle much.  If they wait 2 years and then nerf it, they will be mad.  See the Dramiel pilots crying as they frantically use their ships as much as possible before their nerf hit.

Even if the Nerf is in EvE’s interest, it angers pilots.  Some supercap pilots will not continue to subscribe, they will cancel and disappear quietly from EvE.  Nerfs make people cancel.  Boosts can be considered features and will bring new people in.  CCP wants more money, not less so they will always try to find boosts and features over nerfs, unless something is completely game-breaking.

What about Major Kong?


About Corelin

An Eve playing Fool who occasionally writes about the shenanigans he and his minions get up to.

Posted on November 7, 2011, in CCP Hijinx, Meta, Politics, Things You Should Know About. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Vincenzo DiFrancesco, Belt Police Commissioner

    For the stability and safety of EVE Online, BUFF BADGERS! 😛

  2. I wouldn’t say that nerfs are uncommon for EVE. They come and the game shifts in a new direction.

    In my first and early days in EVE, I seem to remember Cap Nuets being the biggest menace in the game. Practically game breaking.
    Amarr nerf.
    I also remember when ships didn’t have Drone Bandwidths, just bays. Dominix’s had 15 Heavy Drones out.
    Gallente nerf.
    Then Nano-ing everything was the big to do. And that took a giant nerf.
    Then Jamming was too powerful and that took a nerf.
    And there is a ton of other giant nerfs I am forgetting about.

    Drams and Super Caps are taking hard this time. Super Caps I feel sorry for due to money. Drams can go cry all day in a corner for all I care.

    So yes, I agree, while this ‘nerf’ is not the best move in terms of not making these players happy, it in turns makes those that left over it, possibly come back. The real draw of the expansion is focus on other areas. So the ability to measure how many subs will be lost on the Super Cap nerf, is going to be difficult to determine.

    • You bring up a good point, but I’ve been playing since 07 and seen the speed nerf, the jamming nerf (which didn’t really work) and the supercap nerf. The big one you are thinking of was the NOS nerf which I just missed. Used to be that it always drained cap now it just drains when you are lower than your opponent.

      However unless something is game breaking it wont get nerfed. Projectile buffs made minmatar ships the best close range pvp ships in the game, the response? Boost Gallente. Yes Gallente needed the boost, but the boost wasn’t a response to the years and years of sub-par performance, it was a response to their new status as completely outclassed in their own domain.

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