Hello CCP. Its been a long time coming, and iv been here for almost all of the games history give or take. So here is the steps you need to take (from a fellow dev).
This post is not intended for players, it is intended for you all to read through it and really understand where you are making the mistakes with eve online, and as a development studio.
You need to start sticking to your word. If you announce something is going to come out, stick to it. You are developing a relationship with the player base that you “cannot be trusted” “say things that never happens” and so on. If i was to gather, the designer leads are wanting to throw stuff in with out looking deeply into the development resources and time frames that can be fitted to the project. This is basically ending in you breaking your announcement plans.
The Drive as money is are horrible approach for your business model. Its screaming desperation for money. The key to long living games, and income is not spam of income, it is good player base. Your going to have to talk to the board and get them off you enough to start making changes to the game that fundamentally fix problems that are keeping people out of it, or keeping people from being abused (and leaving as a result).
I would start looking into
- How complexity is destroy your potential population rates
- How abusive war declaration systems and mechanics are really hurting retention rates of players who are bullied into station camping. Maybe a swap of war mechanics from attacking players in high sec, to attacking assets (Stations, instead of ships) and making it so that they can start attacking ships down in low sec.
- you could potentially look at making it so that war decs need to be mutual in high sec to be allowed. Either way you need to decrease the amount of income high sec pirates have, and or increased war rates. Try looking into a new mechanic which increases the current war decs the longer an entity is consistently at war.
- You need to start looking at breaking up the population. I know this go’s against the ethos of the game, but there is bigger issues then you backing off the larger battles.
Intellectual companies keep doing research on their games, looking at how often people log in, and so forth. You seem to have completely let this go out of control. You need to start adapting the game in a way that causes more content to be provided in shorter intervals, specifically around the 30-45 minute mark to fit more casually playing player base.
Breaking up the population in eve, and the super coalitions will significantly improve the content access of pvp, will help reduce the extremely larger loads (which are costing hundreds of thosands of dollars each time), and will provide more natural life cycles to nullsec entities. You could also start looking into some sort of supply system that limits the deployment type, or count of capital and supercapitals. putting fuel use when they are undocked on them would potentially stop them from being deployed ratting (especially if the station itself made the fuel instead of the player).
All of these sorts of break up mechanics are highly important for stablizing the power shifts in the game, for providing more content and so forth. I call your attention to the though of a eve where the largest bodies are only 1000-2000 players. Its ok if we got 500 v 500 battles, the tidi is more reasonable at that level. I have it in my mind to write your board about how addressing this specific issue of massive fleets is one of the major expenses you incur yearly, and how the millions it involves could be saved.
You need to start looking at getting rid of multiboxing etc. You need to clean up the corporations and alliances that are inactive and set up some sort of system to dump them after a month of inactivity in them. if players want to reopen then, they can simple recreate it. all of these issues are directly related to the activity levels of the game, if people are in corps full of alts, they get bored and stop playing. this is significantly hurting your retention rates. YOU NEED TO REDESIGN MINING AS A BASE MECHANIC!
Back on the business model a little more. 60$ a month is insanity. We both know how valuable it is to have a steady income monthly. You need to reduce this to 20$, and make it a full on subscription option only. If you subscribe to the game, you get all three toons in training a month. Leave the plex as if, which pay for individual subscription times.
On the note of injectors, you need to ditch extractors. make them a bought item on the shop that is sold. If players want to sell them, they will buy them and sell them from the item shop, as it should be. and finally, look into other cosmetically oriented options for stations. Skins, or even models alliance leaders can buy to swap out the looks of stations to spice up the alliances awesome factor. Models here i emphasize would be an excellent addition to eve, not only for money, but for lore and wow factor. Bonus if you can make it so that alliance leaders can some how fit parts together that are uniquely looking like lego blocks building a fort.
Do these things, and the game will be much better off, with much more people.