Content Race: CCP is Laughing
Posted by Corelin
MMO players are devouring content faster and faster. It’s not uncommon to see a theme-park raid that takes months to develop broken down, analyzed, beaten, FRAPSed and uploaded with comments and trolls in less time than it took the developers to plan the raid. This has led to a lot of activities by Devs to expand the range of “current endgame” content, re-purposing old raids and dungeons, additional difficulty modes, open ended minigames. There’s too guiding principles to the way games like WoW are building their game. Everything has to be accessible, and players have to be on to enjoy themselves.
EvE goes almost entirely the other way. Players are content in EvE. You don’t log on to play, to enjoy the content CCP has graciously provided. You log in to BE that content. Instead of content being developed by teams of Devs desperate to satisfy rampaging hordes on min-maxed l33t gamers with a zombie like hunger for new content and an obsession with finishing it faster and faster, CCP Devs can focus on one thing
Gameplay Experience. The amount of content generated by EvE Online for the PvE crowd is pretty sad. It’s also rather unimportant. Would we all be happier with more, and more diverse PvE? Sure. Would we be thrilled with improvements to current PvE? Absolutely. Would we put that ahead of already extant issues in overall gameplay? Not really. Content in EvE is generated by players, for players. CCP loves this, and most of the time, the players love this. Whether it’s planned events like Hulkageddon, that are open to everyone, or the more routine group activities, be it missioning, mining, roams, or invasions the planning, organisation, and many times even the opposition is provided by players, not Devs. This has given CCP a lot of room to use their rather meager resources to maintain a competitive stance on the gameplay experience side.
A lot of effort goes into finding resources to provide more content. A lot of *words* are expended discussing how games can learn from each other. The resource for most of these games is the players. LotRO gets a lot out of their playerbase with player driven events (google weathertopstock if you want) STO has been doing interesting things with their “Forge” which lets players create missions for each other, but only CCP has mastered the “Here’s a spaceship, a crappy tutorial and a ton of sand. Go fuck yourself we’re gonna go to the bar.” and made it work. Have they made the best of the resources they’ve freed up? Maybe. Maybe not. Have the players stepped up and taken pride in what they built? Look at the videos. Look at the artwork. Look at the killboards. Look at the message boards. Look at the news sites. Look at the podcasts. Look at the blogs. You tell me.