I wish that CCP was up for doing some all-around overhauls, but I’m not sure that’s the case here. They are currently stretched thin working on finishing the roll-out of Upwell structures, so I believe that CCP will try and find some quick fix that narrowly addresses issues and still leaves us with a system that isn’t ideal.
I think that there should be some kind of mechanic where a defender can dictate the outcome of the war besides choosing to fight, stay logged off, staying docked up, and/or dropping to NPC corp. The first thing that comes to mind for me is some kind of ‘War Effort’ where activity that the defender participates in goes towards some kind of goal or stretch goals that put the power or outcome in their hands.
I would love to see CCP implement some mechanic similar to Sov Null where a corporation can influence the space around them. Things like if you mine frequently enough having access to some sort of service module or structure you can use that has a chance at spawning more valuable ores. I would also love to see a dynamic security system in place where CONCORD response times are dynamic in relation to average criminal activity, player density, and other metrics of player activity.
CCP needs to find ways to make being in and staying in a corporation more valuable. Simply dropping to NPC corp at the first sign of adversity isn’t a system that I would say is good for anyone, and the game would be much more interesting if there was a sort of ‘carrot on a stick’ urging players to stay in their corps.
I think we need diminishing or limited resources that are worth fighting over. Moon mining is an INCREDIBLE first step towards this but honestly lacks the backbone to interact more with other players (a player can just sit in an NPC corp and be immune to interaction aside from ganks)
There are a number of issues with current mechanics that stifle combat and lead to extreme measure of controlling risk. I will not elaborate on these mechanics here, but would be more than happy to explain to CCP how these mechanics have a negative impact on gameplay.
Currently there aren’t a lot of pvp-minded corps in Highsec, and in my opinion this is mostly due to convoluted mechanics and the bar of entry to play. I would love to see more combat-oriented player return to Highsec, but sadly I’m not sure if it’s possible to sustain a system that promotes this. You currently have a handful of very large groups that have the capacity to overwhelmingly smash any smaller groups that come around… and that’s alright but unfortunately it creates a situation where going up against career mercs is too much of a daunting task.
I agree that any situation where you have a focused and better prepared group of players going up against players that are not so creates a situation where the outcome is undesirable. The thing is that in this game, loss is something that most players don’t like and everyone has different levels in which they mitigate this. I think you can find similar trends in areas where Capital escalation is the first and only option so you have a gang of Supers dropping Retrievers and stuff (lol). I think it’s only much more evident in Highsec as that’s where most of Eve Onlines population resides.
I think it would be very disingenuous to place all the blame on War Decs. I’ve been playing since 2012 and I have noticed constant complains about mechanic complexity, the feeling of having to play catchup with skillpoints, feeling the need to grind isk where you feel your only option is to do these repetitive and boring missions with little to no player engagement. I can think of a million LITTLE reasons for a player to be turned away, then they get a war dec and decide that enough is enough.
I’m not shifting the blame to another area of the game, but simply suggesting we properly share it! I don’t want to support a system where new players aren’t exposed to risk and loss, because often times it’s those exact player interactions that hook players in and keep them playing. I know it was for me.
I think that CCP does as good of a job as they can to attract new players. Eve Online is a game that is almost completely self-sustained by the stories and experiences that people read about in the form of a blog post or an article on a gaming news outlet. I would find it very hard to believe that your average player is drawn to Eve Online because they can shoot at red crosses or sit in front of an asteroid belt for hours.
I personally think that once a new player steps into the game that they really realize that it’s not always as good as the stories you hear about. I think a good example is a new player coming to the game after reading stories of being a Lowsec pirat. He makes his way to Lowsec with lofty goals and ambitions only to find that he’s being blobbed to death by Faction Frigates and overwhelming force.
Then you have the player that is totally in awe over the stories of the possibility of building an empire in Nullsec only to find out that it’s very stagnant and that CCP’s development choices have lead up to this point.
So I don’t think we have a problem attracting new players. I’m not sure if CCP can do much more. The issue is a combination of MANY things that turn players away, and that is more than just War Decs.