Biology & EVE online: Reaching the Climax Stage

TLDR: a theory and two questions to the community.

In between the funny messages, rants and trolls, I read a promisingly high number of responses from players who care about EVE online and are worried about it‘s future.

Maybe the end is unavoidable – or may there be a cure?
What if the cure is radical and painful?

There is a well researched and documented succession of plant communities, independent from the overall situation at the early beginning. If an area (a habitat) is able to bear life at all, settlement of microbes start, followed by lichen and moss, developing into smaller green plants (herbs), improving into shrubs and small trees and arriving at the region-typical forest: the climax.
Each step in the cycle is a very logical development to the better of the community and most probably to the better of the environment (water retention, nutrient recycling, …)
If in climax stage, there is no further development, the forest is stable, no further improvement is possible.

Except – there is an outer force.
Such as a wildfire!

On the ashes of the climax forest, the cycle starts all over again. And, who knows, maybe 150 years later another or a similar climax forest is reached.

Can it be, that EVE has reached its climax? Can it be, that each of the player driven improvements made the climax more probable until it was unavoidable? A full stop, a stagnation, which was achieved without any bad intention?

A personal note: As the gameplay of EVE online evolves around ’earning‘ ISK to being able to spend ISK, it is obvious that the earning part should be as reliable and as predictable as possible. The fun is in the ’spending‘ and way less in the ’earning‘, so that the later is optimised to the maximum.
Exactly those are the steps which build the stairway to the climax.

Q1: What are your thoughts on how to change the ’earning ISK‘ part without taking away the thrill of a loss?

Q2: How should the wildfire look like?


A couple thoughts:

  • The various cycles of “improvement” in the game have not been “player-driven”. This is a myth. CCP is famously immune to understanding their player base or game mechanics. CCP notices something about the game, they think up some change that will achieve some goal they care about (getting more players to make alts, to sub, to get in caps, to reach a PA bonus payout, etc.), and then they implement said change despite tons of negative feedback from their client base.
  • EVE is no longer at the stage where a wildfire/clearout/restart is possible. The player base is too small, too concentrated in certain areas (high sec and null), the power blocs are too coordinated. 5 years ago they could have done a massive re-write and springboarded growth with it. Now, they can’t.
  • Instead of a wildfire, at this stage (to continue your analogy), EVE is not a crowded, climax forest. It is a sparse, mountain valley, where the soil is exhausted, where most of the trees are gone but a few very old, large and tough ones still flourish. The flowers and shrubs have died off, leaving only seasonal grasses and a few stands of old trees.

What EVE needs now is careful nourishing, re-seeding, replenishment of the soil, and introduction of an ecosystem where the various parts support each other. This process requires talented biologists, careful gardeners, thoughtful ecosystem designers.

Sadly, everyone at CCP is a lumberjack, and all they can think about is “there’s money in those trees!”.

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EVE definitely needs a wildfire to purge old growth and standing dead, but the soil must first be prepared:

  • Fix SOV: Capture mechanics, timers, structure spam, structure timers, asset safety, Local is an upgrade that reduces bounties/anoms.
  • Fix Factional Warfare: So many people got into EVE and were retained because of FW, then CCP iterated on it a few times and now it’s dead.
  • Improve the NPE so new players actually stay.

After the soil is prepared, burn the rest of the forest to the ground. Players will whine and leave. Let them. EVE needs new blood. The meta has grown stale and is strangling the game by blocking out the light and leeching nutrients from the soil.


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