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Do players accept EVE's flaws or are CCP over-reliant on "the social engine"?

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Seismic Stan
Freebooted Junkworks
#1 - 2012-08-08 08:51:54 UTC  |  Edited by: Seismic Stan
In his recent "That's just the way it is" post on Jester's Trek, blogger Ripard Teg posits that the established EVE player-base has come to accept many of EVE's design idiosyncrasies, rarely questioning their purpose or benefit. Conversely, he also suggests that new players might not be so forgiving of these "quirks". In an interview with Gamasutra, Senior Producer CCP Unifex describes EVE Online's developers as "relatively hands-off janitors of the virtual world", underlining that he has only four content developers but "a lot" of programmers and engineers.

Has a culture developed where CCP has started to take player effort for granted - expecting "the social engine" to fulfil tasks that might otherwise be CCP's responsibility? Or should this culture be embraced as part of "emergent gameplay" with these quirks accepted as the catalyst for interaction?
rodyas
Tie Fighters Inc
#2 - 2012-08-08 08:54:01 UTC
CCP recently laid off a bunch of people, He is just trying to put a nice spin on it. Everyone likes to kick a man when he is down.

Signature removed for inappropriate language - CCP Eterne

Inxentas Ultramar
Ultramar Independent Contracting
#3 - 2012-08-08 09:09:26 UTC
Nonetheless, an interesting question. I think it's hard to define what work should actually be done by CCP, and what can reasonably be expected from the social engine. Different players will have different opinions on this. I myself am of the opinion the social engine should come first and supply the brunt of the environment. Alas, with so many people actively trying to break every game they get their hands on, I do think CCP should actively keep monitoring and balancing the game. I was never put off by this, in fact it was the sole reason I started with EvE in the first place. EvE should stay a sandbox as much as possible I think.
Abdiel Kavash
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#4 - 2012-08-08 09:15:28 UTC
Yes. EVE's content is not - and should not be - primarily created by CCP. EVE's content is created by interactions with other people.
Destination SkillQueue
Doomheim
#5 - 2012-08-08 09:28:58 UTC
I don't think Jester is correct in saying people accept those things just because that's the way things are. Some of his complaints are issues, that people have complained about for years and ideas to fix them have been supported equally long(LP store being crap). In other cases people accept the current situation because there is a clear design choice behind them, that makes sense(autopilot being inferior to active piloting). You don't have to like it or agree with it, but you can easily see why it was made and see that it aligns with the stated design goals. Yet with other problems people can live with them, since they're minor issues and CCP can't fix every papercut in a single expansion. If anything CCP has put more effort in to fixing a myriad of such minor things in recent expansions, so it would be dishonest to claim, that CCP is ignoring such issues or hasn't done much to improve on things.

I'm not sure what you mean by CCP taking player effort for granted though or with "CCP's responsibility"? This game is the social interaction between the players and even the best content providers in the world can't provide enough designed content to keep their playerbase satisfied and subbed. Trying to keep us happy and entertained by pumping typical PvE content would just kill the game in the long term. That strategy hasn't worked for anyone all that well in that they're all losing significant parts of their sub/active playerbase between content patches and in most cases can't recover all those losses even when more content is finally delivered.

It's much more sensible to focus on giving us more tools and sand to play with. The heavy enginerr/game designer/programmer focus also has the benefit, that EVE has been able to adapt and keep developing technologically with the times, instead of being stuck in the past and only provide more of the same with each expansion. Another good thing about it is, that this approach doesn't produce much obsolete content. Content done when EVE was created is still actively being used and relevant to the game. Mechanics and tools are useful for all players throughout their career and the PvE content is often used to complement and encourage social interaction to happen.
CCP Bayesian
#6 - 2012-08-08 09:55:55 UTC
My own personal take is that we're here to flesh out the universe and fix the idiosyncrasies that inevitably get introduced with so may complex systems working at the same time. I don't think that means ever increasing complexity in the systems that get developed nor that the individual bits shouldn't be entertaining in their own right.

We're also here to mix things up so that the experience doesn't get stale. For example in real wars a lot of strategic fight is in development of technology and tactics and these both go hand in hand. See WW2, the differing experiences of the French and US in Vietnam and in more modern terms the development of IEDs and counters to them in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also drones, a move back from using modern tech for a lot of communications, modifying RPGs to shoot down helicopters etc. etc. Players in EVE don't have the ability to exploit technology development in the same way so the only way to keep things dynamic strategically and tactically is for us to provide it. I actually think how this progresses is an interesting problem!

So in many ways the game only exists in your heads in that the motivations and goals really exist outside of the game and are invented by you guys. Which is part of what makes the mad stuff that happens so unique because someone can literally start from the idea of "wouldn't it be cool if" and try to actualise that.

Does that make any sense?

EVE Software Engineer Team Space Glitter

Hannott Thanos
Notorious Legion
#7 - 2012-08-08 10:05:09 UTC
DM;get to fly spaceships

while (CurrentSelectedTarget.Status == ShipStatus.Alive) {

     _myShip.FireAllGuns(CurrentSelectedTarget);

}

Frying Doom
#8 - 2012-08-08 10:13:40 UTC
Yeah CCP Bayesian has that pretty much right, they fix the bugs, the balance and the annoying crap.

Our separate interest groups moan and complain about what we all want and they figure out where it should be (Hopefully correctly).
And in the mean time we try to push the game and into strange shapes that no set of developers could have ever considered possible.

Oh and then CCP pointing out obvious exploits.

Any spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors are because frankly, I don't care!!

Jypsie
Wandering Star Enterprises
#9 - 2012-08-08 10:23:21 UTC
Quote:
Does that make any sense?


You guys are laying out the tools that we grab and stab, bludgeon, and garrote ourselves with.

Got it.
Rico Minali
Sons Of 0din
#10 - 2012-08-08 10:55:18 UTC
I think CCP are one of the only companies out there who actually care about their game over how much money it is raking in. Obviously as a business CCP needs to make as much money as it can, this in turn actually improves CCPs products, however no other MMO has Devs and employees who seem to love and care for their game so much.

This fact alone makes me worry less about broken mechanics and some bad ideas. I love Eve Online adn believe CCP do too.

Trust me, I almost know what I'm doing.

Alpheias
The Khaleph
#11 - 2012-08-08 11:21:34 UTC
Rico Minali wrote:
I think CCP are one of the only companies out there who actually care about their game over how much money it is raking in. Obviously as a business CCP needs to make as much money as it can, this in turn actually improves CCPs products, however no other MMO has Devs and employees who seem to love and care for their game so much.

This fact alone makes me worry less about broken mechanics and some bad ideas. I love Eve Online adn believe CCP do too.


I believe that CCP wants to be a part of the community, and the community to be a part of CCP. No matter how many times CCP and the community disagrees on things related to EVE, that is what I believe.

Agent of Chaos, Sower of Discord.

Don't talk to me unless you are IQ verified and certified with three references from non-family members. Please have your certificate of authenticity on hand.

Luis Graca
#12 - 2012-08-08 11:45:59 UTC
CCP Bayesian wrote:
My own personal take is that we're here to flesh out the universe and fix the idiosyncrasies that inevitably get introduced with so may complex systems working at the same time. I don't think that means ever increasing complexity in the systems that get developed nor that the individual bits shouldn't be entertaining in their own right.

We're also here to mix things up so that the experience doesn't get stale. For example in real wars a lot of strategic fight is in development of technology and tactics and these both go hand in hand. See WW2, the differing experiences of the French and US in Vietnam and in more modern terms the development of IEDs and counters to them in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also drones, a move back from using modern tech for a lot of communications, modifying RPGs to shoot down helicopters etc. etc. Players in EVE don't have the ability to exploit technology development in the same way so the only way to keep things dynamic strategically and tactically is for us to provide it. I actually think how this progresses is an interesting problem!

So in many ways the game only exists in your heads in that the motivations and goals really exist outside of the game and are invented by you guys. Which is part of what makes the mad stuff that happens so unique because someone can literally start from the idea of "wouldn't it be cool if" and try to actualise that.

Does that make any sense?



No
Degren
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#13 - 2012-08-08 11:50:17 UTC  |  Edited by: Degren
Interesting responses.

Personally, I care about the problems in the game. I ESPECIALLY care about the New Player Experience and any kind of imbalance (perceived or genuine) that renders a ship or profession mostly useless.

That said, the nature of the game allows me to do other things while those things are crap.

Hello, hello again.

Mallak Azaria
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#14 - 2012-08-08 11:55:59 UTC
CCP Bayesian wrote:
Does that make any sense?


If you have to ask, then no.

In a game where you have to use your brain (oh my god, blasphemy), please tell us how it makes sense to continue babying the people who continue getting themselves blown up in the same circumstances due to a lack of brain activity? Try and tell me that you value your loyal player base over the fly in fly out type of players.

This post was lovingly crafted by a member of the Goonwaffe Posting Cabal, proud member of the popular gay hookup site somethingawful.com, Spelling Bee, Grammar Gestapo & #1 Official Gevlon Goblin Fanclub member.

Xervish Krin
Intaki Fine Stationery Solutions
#15 - 2012-08-08 12:01:58 UTC
I think it's less that things aren't changed because 'that's just how it is' and more because people are already putting up with them. I'm sure nobody thinks the corp UI is great, but people have been putting up with it for years and so CCP, while I imagine they want to upgrade it, aren't under massive pressure to do it quickly. We're generally happy to work around problems (provided we get to complain lots :D) so they don't seem as vital to fix.

Where this will be a problem, though, is Dust. We're used to iteration and know that it works in Eve. But to a bunch of FPS fans fresh of the dropship, 'we're iterating on this and nullsec will be available Soon' probably won't cut it. They'll be a lot less forgiving of iffy design staying around as a quirk while people get round to fixing it.
Vyktor Abyss
The Abyss Corporation
#16 - 2012-08-08 12:26:15 UTC
As a player of 7 years now I guess I could be accused of overlooking the games obvious flaws in gameplay etc... I know they are there but like a wife after you discover all her wrinkles it doesn't stop her being beautiful. The flipside of that coin though is that new players don't often take time to explore and appreciate the wide range of passtimes in Eve.

How many other games let you do so many different things from hardcore carebearing to the most misery making 'griefing' with all players under one roof , and do it all in really sexy looking spaceships? The content will always be both from the enthusiatic community and from CCP is a mutually dependant cycle that drives Eve forward, and any slow down (like around/after Incarna by CCP) in either does get noticed by vets like myself.

I hope CCP do ramp up again to provide more content, because it is needed, and no matter how many api services are created by fans or player run events are run in game, the real core gameplay of Eve and what keeps it fresh is provided by CCP.

The issue I have personally is I can see so much more unrealised potential for this game to be the best game ever (and not just MY best game ever, but everyone's best game) , however the progress toward that by CCP is so very slow and myopic that they appear to be afraid to actually spend any more money developing the game further as if they fear some sudden collapse of subscribers.

It seems to be a strategic descision by CCP leadership to maximise the profit from the game "while its appeal lasts", when they should instead be bolder thinking "look at the awesome game we've made so far... lets reinvest all that money and make it even better and better". A gamble to be sure, but a calculated one given their track record for gambling and winning so far.

But then again CCP is like the cool teenager now gone through its maturing process and is has reached middle age - with metaphorical mortgages and a family of responsibilities too take care of now... brash, brave acts are the territory of the young... But hopefully the maturing of CCP has provided them with more wisdom and insight to be able to maximize the efficiency of their effort like most old farts do... Time will tell, and DUST will be an interesting experiment for them which may decide the future of Eve too.... Although in truth I'm not sure whether to pray for the success of DUST or its failure as far as Eve is concerned.

That is just my take on the game I love anyway. Cheers.
Sarik Olecar
Royal Amarr Institute
Amarr Empire
#17 - 2012-08-08 12:44:20 UTC
Mallak Azaria wrote:
CCP Bayesian wrote:
Does that make any sense?


If you have to ask, then no.

In a game where you have to use your brain (oh my god, blasphemy), please tell us how it makes sense to continue babying the people who continue getting themselves blown up in the same circumstances due to a lack of brain activity? Try and tell me that you value your loyal player base over the fly in fly out type of players.

Inorite?!

Why should CCP keep holding the hands of these suicide gankers who are clearly just to afraid to try shooting at something that might actually shoot back? Thankfully CCP seems to have listened and will be finally kicking these carebears to the curb...

Lol

Hows my posting? Call 1-800-747-7633 to leave feedback.

Gogela
The Conference Elite
CODE.
#18 - 2012-09-19 22:38:39 UTC
Sarik Olecar wrote:
Mallak Azaria wrote:
CCP Bayesian wrote:
Does that make any sense?


If you have to ask, then no.

In a game where you have to use your brain (oh my god, blasphemy), please tell us how it makes sense to continue babying the people who continue getting themselves blown up in the same circumstances due to a lack of brain activity? Try and tell me that you value your loyal player base over the fly in fly out type of players.

Inorite?!

Why should CCP keep holding the hands of these suicide gankers who are clearly just to afraid to try shooting at something that might actually shoot back? Thankfully CCP seems to have listened and will be finally kicking these carebears to the curb...

Lol

Ganking isn't going anywhere....

Signatures should be used responsibly...

Methesda
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#19 - 2012-09-19 23:26:07 UTC
Sarik Olecar wrote:
Mallak Azaria wrote:
CCP Bayesian wrote:
Does that make any sense?


If you have to ask, then no.

In a game where you have to use your brain (oh my god, blasphemy), please tell us how it makes sense to continue babying the people who continue getting themselves blown up in the same circumstances due to a lack of brain activity? Try and tell me that you value your loyal player base over the fly in fly out type of players.

Inorite?!

Why should CCP keep holding the hands of these suicide gankers who are clearly just to afraid to try shooting at something that might actually shoot back? Thankfully CCP seems to have listened and will be finally kicking these carebears to the curb...

Lol


Suicide ganks get shot at by something without a lot more firepower than most players pvp fits. You actually think they're afraid of being shot at by anything?

Again, thinking-mans game.

Eve is about the journey.  If you are so focused on making money, that you insist on having the tools to make it be made as autonomous and easy as possible, then you are never going to have as much fun as I will.

Jax Bederen
Dark Horse RM
#20 - 2012-09-19 23:50:55 UTC  |  Edited by: Jax Bederen
From my perspective a mere 4 months playing. I think the vets are utterly insaneBig smile .My main gripe is with character development, it's so damn archaic. Sure 10 years ago it was refreshing, all mmo's were grinders, slow progress to get more money out of the player was priority. Enter Eve with passive skill training, great idea, putting everyone on a more even footing, however still putting up the roadblocks character development wise(seriously, training skills, so you can train skills?). That was 10 years ago before companies realized that this turned a hell of a lot of people off from mmo's. Say what you will about WoW but they got it right with progression(at least in 2004, it's likely in hyper-drive now), not to fast not to slow, always feeling like you are getting something new, be it stats, gear or strength.

When I calculate a certain T3 ship training duration it turns me right off, because it's not just the training for the ship, then it's the mods, then the ability to actually fit the mods, couple months for that? See, told you vets were insane.
I know to most of you this is blasphemy and you walked to school barefoot uphill both ways and liked it and so should everyone else(never mind the nice eternal edge you have) but honestly after 4 months of play this is not something I get all hot and bothered over. It shouldn't feel like a tedium, but a smooth progression.

Anyway to the point. Vet's you are not insane, the system is however, I would say the social aspect allows you to tolerate this.
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