I wanted to follow up on my original post because I’ve heard lots of great thoughts over the past few days, including a bunch of recurring themes. Again, I don’t want to get into specifics because people will nitpick over a particular point when the problem is one of vision and creativity…not a single problematic change.
First: Focus on fun. CCP needs to make a profit, and any dedicated EVE player who is being honest should want CCP to make money hand over fist. But so many recent changes seem to focus on quietly maintaining the prior status quo. Make EVE fun first, and revenue will follow. That doesn’t mean that everyone gets what they want, but it should mean that changes to the game should be met with excitement rather than dread. This is compounded by the fact that players very rarely get any insight into why changes are being made, or any sort of design philosophy for the game we’re heavily invested in. We love this game. Give us reasons to want to keep playing.
Second: Listen to the CSM. Or don’t. But if you’re generally not going to listen to them, disband the CSM. From everything we’ve heard from CSM members the vast majority of the contentious changes have been red-flagged by the CSM as “this is a bad idea”, but CCP has charged ahead, anyways. I fully understand that the CSM shouldn’t get an authoritative voice in game mechanics…but presumably they’re there for a reason and you shouldn’t dismiss their experience in avoiding big-picture trainwrecks. Some CSM members have been playing the game longer than the game designers have worked at CCP. Consider their experience before discarding it.
Third: Stop removing playstyles and nerfing the emergent content that people are finding fun in. This is a restating of a point from my first post. It appears that CCP continues to try to cram emergent gameplay from the last decade back into a box shaped like 2012 EVE. There is obviously a grey area, and some things need to be removed to ensure that one person’s fun doesn’t disproportionately prohibit others from having fun. But stop slapping us on the wrist and telling us what we’re doing isn’t what you wanted. Give us new, exciting, fun things to do in the game, rather than removing the fun we’re already having.
Fourth: If resources are a problem, find new ways to channel those resources rather than upending the entire player-driven economy and removing playstyles in service of returning to the economy of a decade ago. If a ship is fundamentally a problem, give it a new role that values invested SP without ripping the rug out from under an entire segment of the game. We’ve already seen CCP execute this once to positive effect with the carrier/FAX split. If there are too many resources, find new expensive things for us to spend resources on rather than kneecap everyone with forced austerity. If there are too many of X type of ships, introduce new (possibly very specialized) up-tier ships of type X that require us to consume those ships to build. Don’t be afraid to add entirely new resources, mechanics, or systems to support these new ships or playstyles. I suspect most players would much rather need to “do something new to try something new” than be told that the thing they are currently doing just became more tedious.
Fifth: For existing in-game systems, get comfortable with small tweaks rapidly iterated upon, rather than massive changes rolled out every few years. It seemed for a short while like Team Talos was doing this…but then it stopped. Many of the frustrations that players have over existing systems stem from the dramatic overnight buffing/nerfing of the status quo. If something is a problem, start making small changes immediately. Every week, tweak values by 2% instead of tweaking them by 200% every other year.