Blog Banter #78–The Big Reset

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 78th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page. This months topic comes from Talvorian Dex.

Blog Banter 78 – The Big Reset

Just for a moment engage your “willing suspension of disbelief”. Imagine that CCP, at downtime today, reset everything in Eve Online. Everything! When you logged in you were in a starter system with your character… but now with less than a million skill points, a mere 5,000 ISK and a noob ship (now with civilian afterburner!). Markets are pretty empty other than a few seeded items. All Sov is gone. All player structures are gone. All PI infrastructure is gone. No corps or alliances exist. Nothing remains. New Eden is suddenly a completely level playing field and the next great goldrush is on? Or is it? What happens now?

Banter on…..

As far as I know, the Big Reset has been at least once in an MMO and that was the infamous NGE update in Star Wars Galaxies. It’s still referenced to, for example I found this on an elder scrolls online forum. In case you want to know more here’s a nice write up, albeit a little long.

What it came down to, the game changed so much, due to a new combat system that a lot of gear and skills were worthless over night. What made people really angry though, was that the whole thing was extremely buggy. Mobs would move at twice the speed, you couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with your guns etc etc.

reset_button

Besides the bugs, a reset is the last available ultimate tool an MMO developer has to try one last time to revitalize interest in their game. It comes with a lot of press attention, and probably a lot of new players who want to see what the hype is about, and who want to seek out new opportunities. In eve’s case, maybe that piece of 0.0 space you always craved for. On the downside, most of your old veteran players will leave. And they wont leave silently, they’ll make a fuz. They’ll camp Jita and suicide gank etc etc. You get the picture Winking smile. It would be interesting though, everybody mining for trit in a simple cruiser or frig, running level 2 missions for a few isk. Though it would be a bit much for people who have already gone through the whole thing.

So the reset would only happen if CCP would be extremely desperate and they’re about to go under. I assume we’re not at that point just yet Winking smile.

Contributors:-

Eve Hermit – BB78 – THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME
Jack Jomar – BB78 – The Great Reset
Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah – Blog Banter 78 – The Big Reset
The Ancient Gaming Noob – BB78 – Can The Slate Ever Be Made Clean Again?
Ghost of Eve – BB78 – The Big Reset
Space Cadet Online – BB78 – What if EVE was Reset?
SCASS – BB78 – Worse than Brexit

Blog Banter 77 – The Malaise

Blog Banter 77
Is there a malaise affecting Eve currently? Blogs and podcasts are going dark and space just feels that little bit emptier. One suggestion is that there may be a general problem with the vets, especially those pre-Incarna and older, leaving and being replaced by newer players who are not as invested in the game. The colonists versus immigrants? Is this a problem? Are there others? Or is everything just fine and it’s just another bout of summer “ZOMG EVE IZ DYING!”

This topic had to be addressed at some point in a blog banter I assume, but the topic is as old as Eve itself ;). But there might be some truth to it at this point in time. Let’s face it, Eve isn’t getting any younger. And without any major expansions, as of the last few years, it’s not attracting a lot of new players. The gaming landscape has changed a lot, as have the players themselves since Eve started. It would only be natural to slowly fade away.

Now let’s look at some numbers, you can check eve-offline yourself, also the other participants of this Blog Banter have probably linked the pics by now. You can see a decline (including the usual summer slum) for the past few years.

Google trends is interesting. It shows a peak at 2010 or so and a little decline from ten on wards. Sadly from 2015 or so the trend is at an all time low.

googleTrends

Eve Online Search

I know not a lot of people play Eve through Steam, but we’re looking for trends here, not actual numbers.

steamcharts

Eve Online Steam Charts

You can easily see the decline from about mid 2015 and onwards, with a very interesting peak in May 2016, because of the big war going on. So apparently interest is there, (unless these were all alt accounts, I assume though people playing through steam play usually one account), but people don’t know what to do (any more ?).

So to answer the original question, yes there is a decline, and it’s been faily obvious. To get out of it you’d need a big expansion of some sort to catch media attention and some hype around the game again IMHO, otherwise it’ll just slowly fade away.

You can find the other participants at the Blog Banter 77 main post.

Blog Banter 76 – Bull’s Eye

At fanfest CCP Fozzie proposed a potential new ship class. Let’s call it the fleet commander’s flagship for now. This is to try and prevent “FC Headshotting” where the opposing fleet knows who the FC is and alpha’s them off the field leaving the rest of the fleet in confusion and disarray. Fozzie mentioned a ship with a great tank but no offensive abilities. Is this a good idea? Is FC head-shotting a legitimate tactic? If CCP do go down the route of a “flagship” how might this work? Also is a new ship the answer or is there another way of giving an FC the ability not to be assassinated 12 seconds into the fight without letting players exploit
 

My experience in fleet warfare is mainly limited to the days when Factional Warfare started. The FCs indeed did get shot at first. Factional Warfare those days was a somewhat tight club and it was well known who the FCs were in most big skirmishes. If I remember well, most flew around in something agile and nimble or order to try to not get caught or a very heavily tanked battleship. I might have seen a damnation, but those were expensive ;).

So do we really need an FC ship ? There are already options, but in big fleet battles once you’re the primary target probably no amount of tank would help. Maybe some sort of ship that has a siege mode, which will mean huge resistances, but no mobility and no offence ?
The flagship suggested in this BB is kind of like drawing a big Bull’s Eye on one ship in your fleet and waving a flag while screaming ‘Shoot me Shoot me’.

Arrow Bull's Eye

Now if we think outside the box a little, it would be cool if the FC could co pilot or even be a passenger on one of the other ships and concentrate on his FCing from there. Sort of like the Star Trek Bridge ;). I am afraid in order to do that, the game would need some rewriting in order to make this feasible.
Another option, though not as cool as the above one, would be to simply remove the names and give them more generic names in order to still be able to call targets. Not my idea, but I think I read that in one of the other responses to this BB. Of course there are in game targeting tools as well, but they might be laggy in case of a large scale battle.

Anyway, there are some option to tackle this problem, I don’t think the ‘flagship’ one is the best one though.
Other participants:
Grimmash on Gaming – Blog Banter 76: Whither Flagships?
The Wormhole – BB76 – Tanky McTankFace
SCASS – BB76 – The FC’s Flagship
Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah – Blog Banter 76 – Flagships
YADOT – A CAPSULEERS ADVENTURE – BB76 – The FC’s new chariot

Blog Banter 75–Dust revisited

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 75th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.


What Does Project Nova Need to Be Successful?
At Fanfest CCP showcased their current iteration of the FPS set in the Eve Universe. Following on from DUST514 and Project Legion, Project Nova is shaping up to be a solid FPS with CCP taking the decision to get the game mechanics right first. However with so many FPS out there what will Nova need in order to stand out from a very large crowd and be successful? What are the opportunities and perhaps more importantly, the dangers for CCP? How can Nova compete against CoD, Battlefront and Titanfall to name a few?

bf1943-2

First of all I have to say I am a little surprised CCP is even trying to take on this project. After DUST I was expecting them to do something different, but I guess they didn’t want to waste all the experience from DUST and they want to give FPS another go. I tried to like DUST but I never really got into it. The incredibly hard to read text and awkward menus (maybe that changed later) didn’t make a good impression from what I remember. The gameplay was so so.

So first of all to make any sort of good impression, the game needs to have solid mechanics. First impressions are what count, people don’t have a lot of patience these days, so that has to be good right from the bat. Second it needs vehicles Smile. I love vehicles in these games. Well to be honest the FPS I last played somewhat regularly was Battlefield 3. I am not getting any younger, so you need to rely on street smarts and well tanks and helicopters to get your kills, not so much on reflexes.

bf1943-1

From what I remember I loved Battlefield 1943 on the Xbox 360. You could fly planes and also drive around in tanks and jeeps it was awesome. Not sure which game came up with that first, but I remember that game for doing it right.

Will it have to tie in with Eve somehow ? DUST tried, but it was never really implemented well. Not sure they should even try this time around though. Eve players don’t really want their game influenced by a bunch of Free to Play players (assuming it’s going that route ?) or whatever that hardly know what Eve is.

cod2_4

Anyway, I don’t think just solid mechanics and ‘fun’ will do it though. They’ll have to come up with something  special to get people’s attention. It’s a hard market to break into, but it’ll be interesting to see what they will come up with. If the project will actually will see the light of day …

You can find the other participants of this blog banter at http://sandciderandspaceships.blogspot.nl/2016/05/blog-banter-75-what-does-project-nova.html

Blog Banter #71 – Too Many Ships

Oops I missed this blog banter ! To be honest since I haven’t played for a while I never did experience the too many ships syndrome much. Usually the same ships were used for the same tasks, no matter whether there was a new one available. Not sure how much this has changed tbh.

Anyway, the people that participated are right here.

BB71: A Cornucopia of Spaceships
BB 71 – Decision Fatigue
BB71- Spaceships Make the World Go Round
BB #71: So Many Spaceships
BB71 – THE HARBOUR CRUSH
Eve Online Blog Banter #71: Too Many Ships Spoil the Sandpit?
BB71: Dear Santa. Thank you for all the presents!
Blog Banter 71: When too many is too many?
BB71 – Spaceships, Spaceships Everywhere!
Blog Banter 71: Too Many Ships Spoil The Sandpit? (OOC)
BB71: A rich game world full of spaceships

Blog Banter 69–A kind of magic

Blog Banter 69

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 69th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

Because of Space-Magic

CCP sometimes get stuck between a veldspar ‘roid and a hard place when they try to blend realism with sensible game mechanics in our sci-fi simulator. Sometimes they create a scientific answer such as 4th dimensional drag to explain our ‘submarines in space’. Other times, not so much. When a null-sec Citadel is destroyed players ‘stuffz’ is to be magicked to another station. Why should a citadel be different to a titan? Should CCP ensure that ‘space magic’ always has a plausible explanation or do we need just to say “Well, its only a game!” and engage the willing suspension of disbelief? How should it work when a citadel goes boom, how do we balance risk with reward, and how should any “space-magic” be explained?

The first thing I thought of when I read the introduction to this month’s banter was this book on Star Trek physics I read a long time ago. From  what I remember I sort of understood only half of it Winking smile. But it was quite an interesting read about what could actually be possible and what could not, with the warp drive and all of that. It’s nice to know that some things could actually be accomplished, albeit in the very far future, if mankind does not destroy itself before it ever gets that far.

Hans-Klok-magic-6846500-354-354

In video games you have to strike a balance in my opinion between convenience and what is sort of believable in the particular world you’re playing in. Will I be able to walk back as a ghost from the nearest graveyard to my body and resurrect when I die ? Probably not Smile with tongue out. But it’s convenient with the gameplay so we go along with it. On the other hand, a lot of things in Eve for example would be somewhat possible in our imagination, probably in another universe in the very far future or after some technological breakthrough we have no clue about at the moment. On the other hand, repper ship that can create more energy than what comes in, always sounded very implausible, so there’s that Winking smile. But at least you have a feeling that somewhere sometime, this universe could be real.

From what I read so far in the other Banters, most bloggers agree that the upcoming change in Citadel where your stuff magically respawns in some convenient place when it’s destroyed, goes totally against what Eve stands for. Once your stuff is blown up / stolen, you can’t get it back. Period. That’s what Eve is all about, and that is what makes the virtual economy going. No idea if it’s set in stone yet, but it definitely needs some reconsideration in my humble opinion.

ps. I just happen to post this on Mophisat’s tenth birthday, well planned !

Contributors:-

Main Post

Suspension of Belief – Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
Because of Space-Magic – NevilleSmit.com
Loot Fairy Triumphant (Blog Banter #69) – Interstellar Privater

BB69: It’s Not About Space Magic, it’s About Space Money… – A CARBON Based Life
BB69: Oh, Video Game Magic – Eveoganda
BB 69: Because of Space-Magic!MMO Nomad

BB 66–The charm of duct tape

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 66th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

Caldarification

The art team has been working on many art assets recently and there has been talk of the “Caldarification” of Eve related art. Recently examples have been the WIP images of the Thrasher class destroyer redesign and the citadel. Do we need to keep the lines between the races designs clear cut or is some blending of more generic sci-fi styling a good thing? Should Matari be flying/floating scrap heaps? Should Gallente be ‘all about the bass’? Or is a bit of generic sci-fi styling needed to bring new life to our important internet spaceships even if it leans a bit to Caldari?

 

I for one very much love the charm of the four racial flavored ships. The Minmatar ships prove that there can be beauty in ships held together by duct tape. Just look at the wonderful Tempest for instance !

Tempest

The Rokh for me is the ultimate Caldari ships (looks wise). A picture says more than words, just look at them lines Winking smile. Somehow I associate this also with industrial efficiency.

rokh

And the Amarr I do associate with shiny ships. The punisher is a nice example. Most of their battleships are very shiny as well Winking smile.

punisher

And there is one race left, the Gallente. I mainly associate them with French people and/or hipsters. Not sure what style of ships goes with that, so I am a little lost here. I loved the Dominix and the Brutix models though. They don’t really associate well with hipsters, so that’s a bit of a clash. So the Gallente is the race I am not quite sure about.

brutix

As you might gather by now, I love the racial flavors of the ships and I hope it stays that way. Leave the Caldarification for the mixed race ships maybe ? If it has to be there that is.

Blog Banters:

Tetra’s Eve Blog – http://tetraetc.com/blog/2015/08/31/caldarification-bb-66/
Eveoganda – http://eveoganda.blogspot.com/2015/08/bb66-time-marches-on.html
Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah – http://www.ninveah.com/2015/09/art-by-any-other-name.html
MMO Nomad ,confessions of a – http://blog.fenjaylabs.com/2015/09/01/eve-online-blog-banter-66-art-style/

SCASS – http://sandciderandspaceships.blogspot.com/2015/09/bb66-more-red-dwarf-less-caldari.html
Low Sec Lifestyle – http://www.lowseclifestyle.com/2015/09/blog-banter-66-escape-from-originality.html

Blog Banter #64–The rare defense missile

The Eve Blog Banters have found a new home at the excellent Sand, Cider and Spaceships blog ! Thanks to Kirith Kodachi for his two year run of Blog Banters. This installment is the first one under the guidance of Drackam.

Torpedo! Torpedo! Torpedo!
With the Aegis release we will see missile boats get their own version of the tracking enhancer and the tracking computer. On the forums there have been calls for new ‘missile defence eWar’ to counter these new modules. Is this needed? Are smartbomb ‘firewalls’ enough? Do defender missiles need an overhaul to make them actually worth using? Do we need the missile version of the remote tracking disruptor? Or do we go all Star Trek and have Point-Defence Phaser Banks? Banter on!

The last time I tried defense missiles was in my rookie days, a long long time ago. I figure almost everybody tried them at some point and notice how they pretty much fail and are a waste of a slot (and training points). If they get upgraded / fixed, they  could be useful if you expect to fight a missile based enemy. They better have some sort of auto targeting / firing system though, because timing those things in the heat of the battle is a no go in my opinion.

Maybe something else, anti-missile shield module might be interesting ? I Haven’t really thought that one through but I am sure someone can work it out Winking smile.

Aegis will be out coming Tuesday as I write this, the current patch notes for 1.0 can be found here.

Banters:-
Tetra’s Eve Blog – Passing of the Baton. (BB #64)
Eveoganda – BB64: Fire All Da Missiles
Eve Opportunist – Anti-missile EWAR, no brainer!
Khanid Kataphract – BB64: New E-War not needed, and Defenders against drones
Jakob’s Eve Checklist – BB64 – Torpedoes Away!
SCAS – BB64 – Missile? Denied!
Warp Drive Active – Blog Banter 64: Take the Flak

Blogbanter #63–Modding

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 63rd edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.
* * * * *
Super Kerr Induced Nanocoating, new structures that can be fit like ships with modules, the promise of player built stargates… the ability to shape your space and change the look of your ships is finally coming to EVE. What other customization options of EVE would you like to have? What would you like to do to be able to shape space and environments? What would you like to change just for you in the client or in any 3rd party tools?

First thing that came to my mind was modding. Modding as in mods for the client. So you can basically make your own UI. Like some other games and MMOs have, for example world of warcraft. The biggest problem with this is that the best mods would become mandatory in PVP. As they might give someone an unfair advantage, or put yourself at a disadvantage if you don’t use them. For example in wow, everybody uses Deadly Boss Mods, you put yourself at a serious disadvantage if you don’t.

I don’t think we’ll see this happen in the foreseeable future. It would take a lot of development resources to adapt the client for mods and even more testing. Also it’s a bit of a support nightmare. Mods can screw things up, especially outdated ones. First thing in wow to do when something goes wrong is ‘disable all mods’ and see if it happens again.

Would it be cool ? Yes, especially because the things people will come up with is amazing. Things added to the client you might never have thought of. Some mods in wow became standard in the default ui, because everybody was using them and were a serious improvement over the default.

More participants over at ninveah.com.

Blog Banter 62 – Walking in Stations

This time the discussion topic is pretty straightforward :

What is and/or should be the future for walking in stations?

A properly executed version of walking in stations would surely add to the game. Keyword here being properly. With actual things to do, even if it’s just decorating your house / home with war trophies. I don’t think CCP has the resources to do so at the moment, and probably not in the foreseeable future. Even if they did, they still have the PR nightmare that Incarna brought fresh in their collective memory.

Every thing that could go wrong went wrong with the Incarna release. Of course to start off, the version of Walking in Stations wasn’t very good. There was nothing to do except for sitting on a couch or look at your current ship in the hanger. Only one type of station room, very bad performance once inside. Character animation was horrible, you walked like a drunk and probably more issues I forgot. People were mad because it took them 3 years or so to come up with this. Lots of dev time wasted.

Then we got $1000,- designer jeans, monocles, ‘Greed is good’ and the whole thing escalated, almost resulting in the end of the game. Wilhelm over at tagn did a nice write up, no need to repeat it all again here. With this in memory most players as well would cringe at the idea of more walking in stations. Hence the current focus on space ships. And it’s probably for the best. It would take quite some work to do it well, better not do another half arsed version !

More entries over at Ninveah.