The Urgency of EvE
Posted by Corelin
One thing EvE has for it against other games: The clock is ticking. That tower you need to defend? Timer is up in 14 hours. Your WoW raid will still be there after your opponents have burned the tower to the ground. Your huge fleet the alliance is putting together? Or the smaller worm hole raid? Once it’s over it’s over.
While “Theme Parks” have content that is endlessly repeatable and farmable, EvE walks another path. By having the players generate their own content, they guarantee that while you may get the opportunity to take part in a similar event later, you likely will never see the exact opportunity again. Things will change, you might have to buy a new tower, or reinforce the enemies’ tower again, and face more reinforcements (or less if you at least took the opportunity to learn their timezone and response) This sense of urgency permeates EvE.
EvE rewards you for playing. It seems a bit counter-intuitive what with you training offline, but you only get to experience what happens in EvE when you are, ya know, IN EvE. You only get the opportunity to experience awesome when you are around it, and when you create it. Sure sometimes the awesome will happen to you sometimes, and be someone else’s fantastic day, but them’s the breaks, and that’s what makes this game great.
Emergent Gameplay is something that most developers treat as a parasite. “Unintended” is the longest 4-letter word over on the blizzard forums, and some people at CCP seem to feel the same, but the prevailing wind blows in a different direction. Emergent content is treated as awesome, amazing, and a proof-of-concept that the game works, not in spite of players striving to break the system, but because of it. In EvE, Emergent Content come from the efforts of players trying to do the impossible. Whether it was holding short range battleships up in the absence of any effective dedicated repair ship (other than carriers, which NOBODY was risking in those days) or holding Carriers up against Supercarriers during the “Summer of Supers,” People trying to do the impossible will often find completely unconventional means to do so. At best CCP sees themselves as providing tools for the sandbox, and letting the players create content with as few restrictions as practical. While there have been some heavy-handed revamps on some ships and mechanics in the last year, there have been others that were more open-ended, instead of closing paths they opened them instead and we are only seeing the edge of the cliff. More and more events are accessible to new players with the new T1 ships, and they want to get involved in more and more activities. This creates an engine of creativity, where you build more and more inventive means to achieve bigger and bigger goals. EvE can only be so much with 60 or 70 devs building content. With 450 thousand players creating content, even if they don’t generate as much individually as a dev, they develop the deepest, richest content there is. But only if you log in.