Bigger is NOT Better... for EVE

Over the past decade I’ve watched CCP herd the player base into a “Bigger is Better - for CCP” vision. Push more people into Null. Make Null alliances bigger. Make Null more profitable. Push more people into Orcas and Rorqs and capitals, then supers, then titans. Higher goals mean more paid alts, more multi-boxing, more ‘income per player’ that buys into the whole “Null/alliance/donut/farming/capitals” future.

The problem with this ‘vision’ is that it’s a stale, dead-end zone. Ships too costly to risk. Regions too safe to attack. Wars that are too big and too slow to bother fighting. N+1 calculations that take the risk out of the battles you choose to fight, and encourage you to avoid the ones that aren’t a sure win.

Doesn’t encourage strategy, or ‘better’ play, or tactics, for the most part. Just “farm till you have the biggest pile, then drop that pile on whatever threatens your farming”. The game devolves from wolf-packs snarling and fighting over territory to a few slippery weasels occasionally killing a chicken that wandered too far from the henhouse, while 95% of the farm goes right on doing business without even noticing.

The whole concept of “herd them into the gameplay elements that produce the highest income per subscriber” was a short-sighted business goal to maximize income so CCP could continue to be lazy, bloated and careless with the way they develop the game, IMO. It’s also the sort of decision made by bean-counters rather than any understanding of their client base or game design in general. This impression has been consistently reinforced by Hilmar & Co’s clueless management of various game issues. When you have to engage the fiction department to write your apologies for massively screwing up your customer relationships, you’re not fit to lead your game company into anything but the ditch.

The design problem with “Bigger is Better” is that it leads to the promotion of monolithic stacks of resources to produce bigger ships, more pilots to man them, profitable and productive huge alliances to recruit the manpower and gather the resources and protect the farming operations. What this leads to is pure stagnation as everyone is stacking up the biggest armies but nobody throws up against somebody else’s army lest they take significant losses that exposes them to attack from other quarters.

If you’ve ever played RISK, this is often the sort of thing that happens with 4-5 good players on the board. They each take some continents, cash their cards, fortify their borders, and then sit there staring at each other for turn after turn waiting for someone else to make a mistake. Generally someone suicide-attacks out of sheer boredom and desire to end the game.

My own belief is that EVE would greatly benefit, even on the subscription/income side, from a “Smaller is usually better” approach. EVE would be more lively, attract more players, get more subs if there was more small, quick, affordable action. If meaningful battles could be fought without TiDi, disconnects and server crashes. If entities felt they could be a viable force without needing 500 Titans to contest an area.

A lot of what would be needed should begin in training, in Resource Wars, in FW, in low sec. I’ve covered those fairly often before. For what it’s worth, I thought I would post my own notions on what changes might make the Cap/Supercap/Titan side of EVE more interesting.

These thoughts were brought most recently to mind by reading the “Supercapitals should be deleted” thread in Reddit. I should emphasize that I have very little experience with Null, capitals, blue donuts, farming, multiboxing or giant fleet battles. Anything I say is taken from being part of conversations in and about EVE for over a decade now. That said, I do pay pretty close attention to details, battle reports, actual stat and combat comparisons, and discussions with people more intimately involved with these things than I am.

Summarizing some key points from the recent thread, and my own responses:

(TL;DR: after writing the above I saw the rest was too long, so I’ll just leave it there for now and post something over in Features & Ideas. I’ll link it here after I’m done.)


I do not agree or disagree with your premise. Personally, I have always found sovereign nullsec repellent. In my opinion, Eve/CCP solved most of these end-game issues when they added wormhole space.

The only problem is that the player base refuses to consider wormholes the end-game content. Instead they rat in titans and mine in rorquals, apparently not getting bored.


That’s a hefty post, i like it!

Eve is what you make of it friend, if you want to be part of a big social group and be admired and followed for your prowess you can FC huge fleets, if you want to do solo pvp you can, if you want to do small scale engagements they are alive and kicking… if you want an RP element to your play you can be a smuggler, thief, informant, spy… the list goes on and on…

CCP is a business, to critique them for their desire/methods of making money is daft, it’s what funds this whole party…

Bigger is better is true… until you’re not in null sec… the game expands beyond this premise, if you’re trapped in the world of capital warfare and “strategic assets” you should maybe look at other elements of the game, training newbies, wormhole content, small gang pvp, blops drops, PVE, solo capital PvP drops (my newest fav)…

There is so much to do in Eve it’s difficult to find a fault in the capital gameplay element, because you don’t have to do it, but people do and they enjoy it…

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Should point out, the criticism is not that they desire to make money or more money. The criticism is that they chose a narrow-sighted path to doing so that works for a few years but ultimately leads to stagnation and less income.

I would be happy to see CCP making 500 million a year. I think they’ll get closer to those numbers by making a better game, rather than a more efficient milking machine.

PS: Here’s the link to the even longer post in Features & Ideas. I think it’s got some neat ideas, but I may be biased:


The problem stems from more than just a “Bigger is better” attitude and approach. Null stagnates not just because of capital proliferation but also because “Fozzie” SOV is actually terrible and doesn’t drive fights in Null sec, it actually discourages them.

The reason the blue donuts get bigger is because everything CCP does, every change they make, drives people to be part of the blue donuts. You want ships to fly they need to be built and this drives miners to large groups for protection so they can mine which then allows ships to be built, and the cycle just goes on and on. This is human nature for those who want to build and maintain their own space. The difference between Null and Low vs High sec here is that very few High sec groups actually band together for protection, it could be done but over the years few actually do it.

Rorquals as they are and have been was a mistake but then the player base and the CSM told CCP that before they even implemented and the attitude was yeah we know but we can always nerf them down the road when they become a problem. This attitude is cyclical and had been done over and over by CCP over the current life of Eve. Create something that you know is broken but say hey we’ll fix it later. Players simply do what players do in any game, we optimize the tools given to us to maximize the outcome for our efforts. Note we also do this is real life as well.

Titans, Supers and Capitals run the same cyclical mistakes CCP always does. Here is a big ship and we’re sure there will never be more than a few ever built. Players of course optimize and maximize and use them eventually creating big fleets to defend what they have worked hard to build, again it’s human nature. Null blocks have built their empires and they do then use everything available to them defend what they have worked hard to build. Why wouldn’t they defend what they have worked hard for with everything available to them we do this in the real world after all. Tell me real world nations don’t use everything available to them to defend their borders etc etc etc.

The question now is can it be fixed or reversed. The answer is probably not to be honest. Eve grew at it best rates when things were harder and when there were things to strive for, to fight for, and to accomplish. What eve needs IMHO is new things to strive for. Hell I don’t care if holes open to a new galaxy and groups go through and have to figure out a new universe with new systems etc. Eve in it’s current state may never be able to be fixed adequately, especially when CCP seems to lack any real long term vision any longer and instead is just focused on whatever they can do in the moment. But then I could be completely wrong.

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The core problem are skill injectors. This addition threw the balance out of the window. Because CCP doesn’t want to dial back on that, they now try with resource scarcity. Of course this again only benefits the largest of groups as it is executed right now.


Resource scarcity and capital maintenance costs are what drive IRL empire changes. Nullsec under Fozziesov is far removed from anything like scarcity, ridiculously so.

Maintaining a fleet of 1000 titans costs nothing. Well, not really nothing since you need some place to park them, but there is no additional cost for titan #1001.


Ive been playing since 2009 and Ive never once felt under pressure to join a bloc

In fact quite the opposite, the blocs dont seem to want anyone.


Please submit a full ESI key and the deed to your car when you apply…

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They do their upmost to keep you out indeed. Joining a corp in a big block is harder than a genuine job interview.


Not really, just place a new pilot in starter system, and you get dozens of corp invites, including goons and Co.

Nice text.
Sadly CCP will not read this.
Obviously they neither read their own forum nor they play EvE
Otherwise I could not explain the last “Updates” like Red-Dots or WH-Love.
And even if they would do, CCP is not longer in charge.
Since Hilmar sold CCP to PA, he and his crew are just lakeys of Kim Daeil.

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The obvious would be to add upkeep cost to Supers and Titans … but guess who will be fine with this and who would suffer.

I think what could work is, have this upkeep cost as a hull deterioration which can be compensated by using amounts of a new material. No floor, unlimited material sink.

Then make a new mini game around the new material, which makes sure, the supply is always fixed per time unit, and everybody has equal chance to obtain it, independent of fire/man power. With this bottleneck, big super fleets have a bigger problem than smaller fleets.

This somewhat brings back what the skillpoint gate was before.

EDIT: Further ideas, let it be obtained by harvesting in scannable anomalies around all of New Eden. The spawn rate is fixed, the amount you can obtain adjust with the number of farmers, so CCP can keep the amount per month fixed but you still have supply distributed over the whole month ideally. Alternately scale the material cost to repair based on supply, which is probably easier to do.


Nullsec corps are constantly looking to hire an endless stream of F1 monkeys…

I’m all for fleet upkeep costs, whether it’s in null or high sec. Eventually, that shiny L4 mission battleship that has seen 1,000 fights is going to start taking some structural damage…

From Goons who want meatshields or renter fodder.

Thats still not pressure from CCP tho.

If applied to all ships, this will be unfair to people taking a break from EvE. Supers are alliance level assets, so this is not a problem. Actually I was thinking about adding the proposal of a bonus when the thing is used in combat. But not sure how to make that un-exploitable.

Yes, really.

Well… invitations to apply are easy to get…
Actually getting in, other than in the noob swarm, requires much more effort.