First of all I would like to say that I believe the most important problem that CCP can solve is retaining more new players, and at this stage in the games life I think it is the only way the game can keep going. While I do not have problems with moneytisation, I think too much pressure on the existing player base to spend money will only start to push them away and will eventually kill the game off. There is only a certain amount of money to get out of the existing player base and it is not a long term strategy to focus on that as a means to keep the game alive. There are already good options to spend money and opportunities for those who want to spend a lot of money can, there are no more good ways in which new moneytisation can be introduced unless it’s a gimmick really. This means the extra money has to come from new player subs, and in the long run sub money will provide far more income than extra moneytisation for existing players ever can. Hence this should be the number one priority for CCP going forward.
Now for a potential and rather radical idea which may tap into a new audience, Walking in stations.
Now I know this has been attempted in the past and it didn’t happen because of technical issues or something, however I think the idea needs to be taken seriously again. Why? I have played a number of MMO’s now and as we all know community is the most vital part of them. Community is what keeps players around more than the game itself and one of the side effects of this is it attracts a type of player, the roleplayer. Roleplayers are very good for an MMO to have because they don’t particularly care about game play that much, things can be unbalanced and these players don’t care because they make their own fun, which means they are very easy players to retain. These players want to feel immersed within the world and interact with other players, and the ability for these players to do that in EVE I think this is what EVE is lacking. The game itself is an ideal candidate for creating an immersive experience through interacting with players in stations. Imagine being able to attend corp and alliance meetings in a meeting room, or visiting agents to get mission briefs, walking into your hangar for the first time and seeing your ship, hanging out in a community area, visiting corp offices to apply for them etc etc, there is so much potential for world building which both new and old players would greatly appreciate. Roleplayers in all types are also quite common so I don’t not believe it is a niche apart from hardcore roleplaying.
One of the other good things about having walking in stations in game is that the new players could start off within a station and be introduced to concepts by NPC’s, and be able to walk around to find game features such as the market and missions etc. I think this is a much more exciting way to learn about the game if it can be done.
I get there are issues which make this idea difficult to implement, however I really do think this is the way in which CCP can legitimately attract the new audience it needs. Tweaking the new player experience to make the game more user friendly just isn’t going to cut it really in my eyes. If the idea is impossible then I hope at least the thinking behind the idea can be useful as a new angle for attracting new players.