You Got Story in MY EvE

NPC story in EvE is rather limited.  The Role-Play community rather decries it and swarms all over live events every time they happen.  I am not a huge fan of role plying but I do pay some attention to the RP community.

Today my attention was called to a thread on the EvE online Forums.  The most common refrain was “Join nullsec wars and make your own storyline. That’s what makes Eve great for me. Players make history. Not devs and writers.”  and comments like it.  Here’s my problem with that; not everyone wants to drive their own story, not everyone can handle or enjoys the skulduggery, chest beating, and occasional infantile outbursts that happen in null.

I’ve been part of a major, successful alliance all of twice.  With Cult of War I took part in the great wars of nullsec, and found I enjoyed greatly the sense of community, the battles and even some of the reverses.  Sadly it ended badly, with COW being chased out of null in ignominy.  The loss of resources, opportunities, and friends was painful, but not very.

FWA was something else entirely.  The alliance literally flew apart in a mess of backstabbing and accusations.  All the opportunities, all the friendships, all the effort and all the hopes wrecked by other players.  As a CEO I had very little say in what happened, the rank and file had practically no say at all in what happened.

I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to go into that end of the pool.  Even highsec in EvE is a deeper, more dangerous pool than other MMOs.  We put sharks in the shallow end.  The deep end has monsters.  At the same time historically CCP has done a lot of storytelling from live events in highsec, to chronicles, to news events.  This gives interesting content to people who want to play the game, but don’t want to subject themselves to the whims of the “monsters” of EvE.

I may be am harsh towards the more bearish elements of EvE but frankly they play the game to, and bringing them in is one of the surest ways of having more PvP players and targets.  Eventually they will sharpen their teeth and claws and move on to bigger things, or at least find a way to make my ships cheaper.  However with the EvE story languishing, or being provided in what amounts to a single channel dominated by the Mittanis, Helicitis and their ilk.  This means that people who can’t see the point in EvE, or who might want to try but aren’t into the “hardcore pvp scene” don’t have an alternative that they can see.  We might know better as players, but what do people coming in see?  What opportunities are available to people who want to SEE the story, but might not was to really CONTRIBUTE to it?

CCP can look at it, and weight the positives and negatives.  They probably have.  In my experience the communities in MMORPGS scream bloody murder on the forums in the hierarchy of PvPers > “hardcore” PVErs > Regular PVErs > Market Goons > RPers.  This has almost nothing to do with how important that portion of the community is, how big it is, or the state of its issue of the moment.  PvP could be completely brilliant and PvP folks will whine and scream about something.  Market could be buried under a horde of bots and there will be whispers.  RP could languish without an update for years and the RP folks get ignored as they post in character on their own forums decrying the uncaring NPCs lack of interaction.

Empire needs to change in some fashion.  The actions taken by both the capsuleer players and the NPC leaders need to be seen.  The universe needs more awesome.  Most of EvE doesn’t care about the 412th battle of NOL.  They want to see what happened in Jita.  More players have been to Jita than NOL.  It shouldn’t take a lot of resources, heck the team working on it seems to have always had a handful of people.   CCP doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel, they do need to push it once in a while though.

I’m using it every time I can

About Corelin

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

Posted on May 24, 2012, in CCP Hijinx, Meta, PvE, PvP. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Nicely put. I suppose this highlights the difficulties in maintaining a diverse sandbox environment – all the people cannot be pleased all the time.

    That said, I do worry that development direction has polarised on the populist PvP-centred play styles. I appreciate that in part this may be as a backlash from Incarna-gate, but it’s a self-perpetuating problem; the more development focus there is on one niche, the more players are attracted for that reason, whilst the numbers concerned with other niches decline.

    The problem facing content-seeking EVE players now is that it’s no longer seen by CCP as something they need to deliver – they’re happy to rely on their network of gullible free content providers and marketers… er, I mean the enthusiastic fans.

  2. I disagree. The NPCs should have even less mechanic effect on players. If they want to create more background fluff sure, but ccps live events are pretty much pooping in the sandbox.

  3. I’m one of those rare careBears in high tat actually likes Hulkageddon. The challenge of avoiding ganks (quite easy actually) and the lively Tear Mails can be fun once in awhile.

    But the tide of the game has obviously turned, I feel. For me, the first step was the introduction of POCO’s. And destroying any advantage at all we had of operating in Low. IT was the reason I went there, and I thought they WANTED most of us to try operating in Low. I am a casual player and do not have time to deal with ‘defending’ something that did not have to be defended previously, or so I thought. And who has time ? The NullBears and Goons. And I ain’t giving them a dime of POCO Tax. That is my weapon there, pathetic as it is. Above all, this just seemed like a sudden, not-thought- through change.

    The final insult was the complete whack job CCP did to the UI Inventory Window. Ignoring for 6 solid weeks a massive complaint thread about every single aspect of that abomination. And not one single word of it was listened to and implemented on TQ. Not one. WE WERE IGNORED. This ‘window’ is perfect for those that just want to fly around and PvP and more power to them, but it has utterly destroyed the Industrialists ability to do the simplest thing.

    For me, all this equals 4 cancelled accounts and lots of Civilization V this summer.

    Sad. Sad. Sad. It was a great game while it lasted.

    • I love the new UI inventory. Imagine this scenario. Take the Unified Inventory as it will be in a couple weeks and then go to the old style “tons of windows everywhere.” Everyone would hate it. Everyone. Riots in Jita, Amarr, Rens, Dodixie. The new one is more powerful and more useful, and yes there’s a learning curve. Bots hate it too which is just one more reason I love it.

    • I beg your pardon, but the kneejerk reaction in my mind was:

      Quitting over a single (yes, important, but still single) aspect of the UI? Really??? I must be missing something major, because (like Corelin) I’m finding it easier to use.

  4. Some random thoughts on PVE in EvE. CCP adds great PVE content like Incursion, but then decides to just make the action happen in sites. For the life of me I can’t figure out why Sanshas don’t show up at gates and off stations in affected systems. They do in null-sec, so why not in reclaimed high and low-sec systems?

    For that matter, under Inferno once FW systems are reclaimed, where are the NPC forces? It just seems that while bowing down to the “player-driven content” mantra, the devs forget that adding a bit of color in-game is also a good idea.

    One more thing, for a long, long time they’ve had the upgraded AI and the ability to randomize NPC behavior. Why has this not been added to missions? It would at least make them less boring and hey,might encourage some teamwork vice the almighty ISK/hour solo grinding.

    All the above would add some flavor and depth into parts of the game, expose more players to the “story” and encourage a bit more player interaction, all of which enables players to stay around a bit longer and get exposed/involved with PvP.

  5. “…[and the] occasional infantile outbursts that happen in null.”
    _occasional_?? I really srsly actually did lol about that one. 😉

    Anyways, I hear ya, but when I read the first half, I thought more of “How many fucking damsels are there, and how many times can you rescue them?” I actually lol’d hard once [Alyson Hannigan voice] “because this one time, in hisec …. I pulled the damsel mission, went and rescued her, asked my agent for another mission, and the damsel was RIGHT back in trouble. So I got bored and stuck a flute up my butt.”
    True story, so she says.

    My biggest bitch/gripe/stew/complaint is that you can’t say the story is ALL about the players when in high and lowsec, there are certain “sand fixtures” that the players simply can’t change, no matter what they do or how.

    First, best step — make the missions a little more generic, but a whole lot more dynamic. That would be a small, _I think_ easily done, step in the right direction. 🙂

    Next step — FW 3.0 w/ destructible station services in lowsec, etc. 😉

    And for the record, I agree with those saying that CCP is developing in such a way to really polarize the community into “carebears vs PvPers” … and that POCOs were just yet another step down that path. Now even the more “daring” bears have even less reason to venture into low to try for better PI turnouts. :-/

    I still say that sometime in the near future, hisec will eventually become :totallysafe:, and low/null will become the PvP “playgrounds”… :-/

  6. Fluffy Hyena

    I’m glad to see you’re back to your kinder and more balanced self =) I agree with you that CCP seems to have a bit of trouble giving a bit of love to the different play styles in Eve and tends to sway from one to the other.
    I, for one would like to see improvement on the interface of my orders on the market. Maybe use some of that unified inventory goodness in that too?

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