0th Pillar of Gaming
When SW:TOR came out folks were rabid about the “4th pillar of gaming” They emphasized story which works GREAT for the 180 hours or so it takes you to get through the story on a class. MMOs, as Bioware is finding out, require more than that. Once you get through the “Basic Content” there has to be a reason to keep playing. For some games it’s the equipment hamster wheel. For some it is the desire to finish harder and harder endgame content even if the storyline is exhausted. For some it is building something more awesome and being part of a community.
EvE Players take a different approach to building a pillar
EvE takes over with it’s “0th Pillar” EvE online PLAYERS generates a simply incredible amount of content. Programs like EvE-HQ and Evemon and EFT that are so useful as to practically be required to play. Blogs as varied as EVE Travel, with it’s content of snapshots of sites and sights in EvE; A Missioner in Eve, which takes place nearly completely “in character” yet still covers a diverse field of content; from the gleefully sadistic My Loot Your Tears to the unopologetically supportive Mabrick’s Mumblings . Metagame commentary from sites like Jester’s Trek and Poetic add context to nearly every forum poast. EvE players have generated a Manual for the hardest game ever to learn where CCP has utterly failed to do so. Or even try. There are multiple newspapers, a player elected advisory board, lotteries, poker, 3rd party escrow brokers, out and out pyramid scams, you name it.
Without the tools, the content and the player-driven engine EvE would have nothing. Players drive EvE. Players give value to everything in the game from ships to weapons to achievements.
CCP has placed the foundation for this pillar. The players have built it. While I don’t hesitate to give CCP an enormous amount of credit for the vision it took to lay this foundation and for building on it even as players stretch it to the limit, the design and shape of the pillar itself belongs to the players. For better or worse we built it and it is our accomplishment.