Greetings to everyone,
I would like to, after a year of quite active gameplay in EvE, share my own suggestions about the game and what CCP could do to enhance it and make it more fun, engaging and unique.
There has been a constant supply of threads over in the forums, reddit and other social media venues about EvE. Many people attribute EvE as being a very niche game with an elitist clientelle that blocks the game from progressing further. Other’s blame CCP from the way they handled feedback and so on. My attempt here isnt to lay blame to either side, simply to present my ideas and not to add fuel to what I find a redudant established debate.
Now I am not a veteran to this game. For the kind of depth this game has I would say that up to three years one is considered still a new player to EvE. However, as a person with RL trading/investment banking experience and being a non casual gamer for the most part of my gaming career, I can deduce a lot of things by observing the economy of this game and understanding the game design. Thus, and that doesnt mean that I believe I hold the universal truth, my observations and my suggestions are an amalgamation of personal preference leading up to comparisons to other games as well. Also my ideas are macro centric and not mechanic centric as in, suggesting a new module system or revamping it…that would be have to be thought from CCP. My ideas are my own and of my own creation and of course the user agreement set by CCP of this forum applies to them.
I will start this in a natural sequence. I will first explain how I experienced EvE online and what it offered me, to comparison to how it was sold/created my expectations up to naturally leading to the suggestions. Again, I am not some kind of a null seccer, I am not some kind of a 11 accounts player or anything like that. I am just a person who experienced the game for a year, met and interacted with people from HS to null. Did EvE business with people who participated into wars(of all kind) and people who casually played the game as well. I hold no agenda other than my own which is a genuine love for a unique game in a space setting mmo.
Explaining what is EvE for me/addressing some myths that surround the game.
EvE online for me its an alteration form of what is considered a sandbox. A sandbox is a setting that most often then not receives a reset(consider from a physical sandbox and its liter to what PvP in strategy games was). Most people in EvE believe that the perpetual element of EvE makes it THE sandbox game out there. It doesnt. Every new addition/removal of features in a wannabe sandbox game, if not followed by a manner of reset will lead to a high chance of mutation to the residents inside the sandbox. This kind of mutation will lead to inequalities which will eventually kill the sandbox element by making it less competitive.
While other games out there add feature to complete a vision that existed in the beginning of launch, EvE online through CCP is added features that keep on canibalising the previous efforts from players. Consider the moon mining addition to the previous system and so on. Another part of EvE online is the addition of new genuine content as well, such as Abyssal space for example. These new additions generally are there to simply provide content as in more activities, rather than groundbreakingly affect the game at its core. That doesnt mean that some groundbreaking additions dont exist…but they dont affect significantly the core…
And one might question, what is EvE online at its core? For me EvE online isnt dark, nor has a giagantic learning curve nor is one of the most complicated MMOs out there at its core. EvE online at its core is a missconception of what would be a Chaotic MMO where the endgame is evolved around Tribalism. Basically its like the game of American Football in space without any kind of regulation. As long as our team wins and exists on the map, we are important…the rest will have to try and become a dot on the map. With that being said its also unique just like any other game is. It has its own skillset requirements, it has its own set of tactics and strategies, simply all that in a missconcepted Chaotic perpetual setup.
The problem of a Chaotic game in 2018
Aside the mere fact that to produce a chaotic game that EvE online hoped to had become one day is natural to be met with heavy resistances in the context of games in 2018, to be also done from a small studio the size of CCP to compare to Blizzard/Bungie/EA/ArenaNet and so on, is not only commentable and pioneering but also very brave. But bravery and pioneering doesnt make immune to the realities of the Capitalistic society that in real life a company like CCP abides by. In the end of the day CCP must not only pay its running expenditures but it must also evolve to stay relevant. And despite how the niche clientelle of EvE has kept the bills getting paid for CCP, it hasnt really gave the net income to CCP to evolve the game after 15 years if someone is to see what the competition offers or is about to offer.
In 2018, there are games that are equally complex and in depth as EvE online, they have attributes that make them quite unique and also old games are getting new features and revitalising themselves. CCP’s niche clientelle is not only cornered by multiple publishers but also is at risk of facing completely alienation of whether their concept is considered to be viable at the current day and age. After 15 years of development EvE offers TIDI in its largest selling point; en masse battles, which makes it lacking if one considers that there are games that run perfectly fine in less than 500 people battles that also exist in EvE and a while back ago it was even considered a quite unique element of EvE online…but not anymore, which is a sign of technologies catching up.
So EvE online is losing its core gameplay being contested naturally to the evolution of scalable technologies from other gaming companies, slowly becoming more and more indifferent while being a chaotic game. I keep mentioning the misconception chaotic element because it does play a role. But let me explain a bit what i mean by that term.
Chaotic in this context means that the game is not only less hand holding than comparison to others but also it lacks a manner upon which the player of EvE online experiences the game to comparison to their peers. If you notice any other game out there what is agreed to be the endgame status is actually explanatory and quite frankly the main selling point of most games. In EvE online the selling point was never introduced to us as a Chaotic element. It was only presented that this is a game/sandbox that any outcome in the game is possible(endgame status). And that was in fact a misscalculated selling effort from CCP, since EvE online isnt that. Allow me to explain.
If EvE online was to deliver in the promise of its selling point, which is Empire carving and participation in the end game status then that would require the game to have implemented foundations that would support paradigm shifts within the sandbox elements. This doesnt exist in EvE online. Order doesnt exist in EvE. What exists is the Chaotic state of the stronger getting stronger. If say, in this perpetual sandbox without a reset, EvE was to remove capitals, with the sheer numbers some Alliances have out there they would still be at the current status quo. If the capitals arent to be removed, the already established status quo exists. Almost everything in the game right now as is, doesnt lead to a more competitive setting, unless a major complete overhaul to the game( a reset, resulting to a new Ordered structure setting) would apply to it.
For those who understand the Chaos theory they would see this. EvE online is a linear game, Chaos theory and the butterfly effect that EvE is so notorious about is actualy a myth, for Chaos theory by Edward Lorenz initially was coined in a deterministic nonlinear setting(namely the weather but I digress!). Neither of which is indeed EvE online because it is a game that abides by the limitations of gaming development, which in itself are based in production elements of linearity. In fact no gaming development company has ever created an exponential growth system in their patch releases, almost ever, they all lead to a linear version of a concept.
And here is exactly where the problems exist. This expectation of Chaos and how Butterfly effect exists in EvE…is in fact not delivered. And then that leads to players, seeking that chaotic element they were promised by debating what is to be done in High Sec, low, nullsec. What is to be done with alts, what is to be done with balance issues, etc etc etc. The game is fundamentally flawed because it follows a philosophy that the tools arent there to support it, and it backfires. Chaos theory depends on a dynamic system upon which the behavior of such a system is greatly sensitive and susceptible to change. EvE isnt a game that would handle change well. Thus it isnt competitive and thus the premise of a chaotic game that by comparison doesnt have many unique elements than its competition, make it for a possible loss of clientele.
Suggestions on how to solve the above
In essence, all of my suggestions are to add more sensitive points to the system of EvE. Resulting thus in a more competitive and risky environment. So I will not in fact suggest major removals/additions to the game in order to make it far different than it is at its core gameplay mechanics such as, create a group, contest x,y,z and then profit. So here goes.
- A finite resource economy/reserves per constellation.
Taking lessons from real life Earth can be a great way to understand how Chaos theory actually works. Most wars begin by a natural sensitivity that occurs in a certain geographical system. if there was to be a finite resource model where all of the ingame resources would require careful management up to the point where at best a group would be able to prolong the output of that system, that would lead to eventual needing mobility. Imagine if an already stripped mined set of constellations would ran out. That would mean that that said group, until the resources are geographically replenished, is actually on the clock, as each hit it takes is non existent on a far more permanent basis. Thus the element of intrigue and cooperation/betrayal would apply far more to the game.
How this would be implemented in High sec would be a twofold suggestion, an either/or type. Either High sec would indeed have finite resources but in greater length(reserves) or it would be as is but it would be only reduced to very meagre yield and thus serve as a practise/welcome area for new people. As for wardecs and such mechanics, keep on reading.
- Fixing High/Low/Null sec begins from questioning efficiency.
In EvE online, not only finite resources dont exist(aside time), but also the game rewards non efficient corporations/individuals. Allow me to demonstate.
Everybody knows for example how most of the null/low sec territories arent really alive in terms of activity by those who lay claim at them. That is problematic due to opportunity cost; for every system not actively used but gets held up anyway, CCP loses a willing customer that if got the chance would actually use it to generate content for the game. Everything in EvE online right now evolves around the trade hubs and staging areas. That makes some constellations and systems far more usable than others in the current setup.
So CCP could implement a system where the holder of a sov system/dweller of a low/high sec system, had to abide by producing a set of expectant goals that would add to a value system. What this value system would do, would be to add finite goals for an alliance/corporation to reach for each constellation/system they own or wish to take hold of and actually maintain them above a threshold in a competiting constant measure. So, activity would be a prime value component, where the more activity a system sees, the value system would go higher. Another element would be sales per constellation achieved, so there is a reason for the current HS hubs not to exist solely. Mission runs achieved, PvE goals, goods manufactured/exported/imported. Taxation paid to NPC groups through the Market. Active citadels instead of placeholder citadels, and almost every element in the game to be fully and alive would add to the value system.
The higher the value system, the more the rewards should be for the holder/contributor. The less it is, the more the applied penalties. This form of regulation actually would add time management and pressure to groups to recognise that not only they would wage war/defend value systems, but also they would realise that they cant live above their weight as the compounded elements of each low value system penalty would hinder the progress of the group. It would also drive wargoals and it would also add to the complexity since it wouldnt be time efficient/possible for groups to pursue satisfying those goals above their capacity.
So consider a system where the finite resources from suggestion one are reached, the efficiency value system becomes impossible to carry through and thus the group needs to either bring in heavy amount of import and protect them, so they dont have to fully resetle, or they do indeed try to resettle and target value systems from other groups. In case penalties occur to the threshold, the group is getting forcefully evicted and the NPC takes hold for a stasis period the constellations before they become again contestable.
I would also point out that this suggestion solves the whole debate about what is to be done about High Sec and low sec. Null seccers in this context of my suggestions, are now actively forced to nurture their territories in null to reap the benefits. Thus there is no reason for Jita to attract all the players in the game but rather traders in the game must bring in as much revenue as they can to their respective systems. Thus no reason for anyone to harass new players and deal with High Sec, logically speaking. Which leads that for each security section(High, low, null) there would be a different value system.
For high sec there wouldnt be allowed any war dec and it would be a state of cold war competing in a cold war status for open world quests with a leaderboard. That would entail all known pve activities in High sec with an open pvp being limited in certain areas since its high sec, that would be just used as part of random pvp quests. This would serve for new players starting to get the hang of game mechanics and getting accustomed to the game. Also highsec shouldnt allow for standard large scale citadels but rather the new small ones that are being worked at. Also in high sec failing to achieve notable leaderboard standings wouldnt result in a penalty effect. There could also be a declaration of an open Cold War mechanic where one corporation challenges another openly and as long as they finish higher and above that particular corporation despite the overral leaderboard lining, an added bonus reward is added.
For low sec, the game would begin to prepe the players for the mechanics that would lead to null. It would basically be as high sec and low sec is now but the same open world quests would apply there as well. The returns would be even better naturally and low sec citadels should be restricted to the top 5 performers in the leaderboard in that said constellation. The penalties here would be in a form of tax % paid directly to the top 5 succesfull corporations earning and trading from that said constellation. The cold war mechanic declaration is still added while the open combat system still exists.
Lastly, nullsec would begin as it is now with the current conquest mechanisms only that the world quests would apply to the corp member/alliances that would have earned the right of the constellation sov. Unlimited citadels, and all the today mechanics apply, other than that it would be a race for creating a more highly valued system which would result in the best rewards possible granted but also the harshest penalties in case of failure with the stasis element as described above resulting to even a loss of a system.The cold war mechanic declaration is still added.
- Player driven innovations.
In Eve Online, the linear limitations from game development are actually making the game far too slow and add heavy burdens to a small sized studio such as CCP. In the gaming world it is well established the usage of Mods. Mods for those who dont know are player driven innovation scripts and programs that enhance the already base game. This usually leads to a completely different gaming experience from one user to another.
My idea isnt about implementing the mod system as is but rather making far more unique in an MMO setting. CCP should create an ingame program inside EvE online that gives the possibilities of modifying ships and modules and even creating more types of them and experimentations to the playerbase. That program would result in a very limited BPO and it should have an RNG element to it. But aside from an RNG element and a whole new section of reinventing the research mechanic in the game, it would be also be tied to suggestions 1 and 2 above. If the value metric of a system isnt high enough, the corporation cant field a module to their citadel that would allow the program/window to run. And despite new models and experimentations might be possible to produce, even in a structured outcome, the corporation/alliance might not be able to produce them as the product’s requirement might have components missing/non manufacturable yet or the resources are simply lacking.
Such programs exist in games such as Endless Space 1 and 2, Stellaris, Kerbal Space Program, Robocraft and many many others. In most cases that is the core essence of the game, in EvE online I am only suggesting that any future additions that CCP would like to make in ship lines and their variants to be player driven innovated and hidden, and ideally for players to create new unique ones through a rating system from CCP.
This would add an incentive as well for CCP to keep on working on new models and new ships that would enrich the game at its core element(ships) and also enlarge the revenue stream of sellable SKINS and such, if not outright generating new classes of ships as well, thus a new SP sink, thus more need for injectors.
- Content applications for the above 3 suggestions( PvE revamp, alt revamp, PvP revamp and enhancement group play).
i) For such 3 above suggestions, the already established content from EvE online is not enough. The Mission system would need to be revamped and become more scalable. The incursion system also, ratting as well. In this instance I dont necessarily speak about mass scaling the presence of mission runners and rats and such as for example Elite Dangerous does where each solar system is in fact very well alive. CCP could add unique elements. For example a system/constellation is periodically the target of a Blood Raider incursion and thus it means it has certain dates the NPC spawns, which makes it for the residents of that constellation, imperative to farm and grind the NPCs during their random spawn element. Which in turn could make the enemies of those resident prey upon them and hinder their progress of the value system as explained in suggestion 2- I am sure CCP can be innovative if they want to…
ii) The combat system I am also sure would be affected by all of this. with the consideration that some ships are made and manufactured for en masse usage despite their loss rate, that could actually change and CCP make each ship far more useful and unique, since in a finite resource economy, it makes sense for redudant products to be as limited as possible, or become obsolete/ set aside.
iii) The Alt system should be account bind. Each alt would belong to the same corporation. Also, an account with each additional alt would receive, to each and every alt a restriction the type of SP limitation. So you wouldnt have one person shows. A payment in the plex store could result in mitigating the penalty of SP limitation for a specific amount of time. Another element would be the rising to a huge amount of tax for NPC corp dwellers, forcing them thus to move to group play unless they want to see almost 50% of their wealth handed down to NPC’s which would actually also reduce the amount of generated ISK.
iv) Reinstating the loss of SPs upon death, or tie them to the clone bay technology existing.
v) Adding a system of Corp wide rewards UI tied to suggestion 2 for well performing corporations/alliances.
Vi) A revamped UI of ingame recruitment tools.
Vii) A highly more efficient police force in high sec to maintain the Cold War status.
- The use of AI for passive labor
Fundamentaly, this idea although self explanatory, would have to amply regulated. First i would suggest another SP sink for an elaborate AI handling of mining/combat/exploration ships. Each of the usage of those AI ships would be a little bit more stronger than the current ones just so, because they are under the finite resource rule, they could stand a bit better to preying enemies. The AI ships would be restricted to performance on suggestion 2 of this thread. It would be thus a reward, where the penalty would be the fact that you wouldnt lose on the usage for them. These AI ships would function in setting up a schedule working for the corporation and doing specific tasks. Upkeep would be used and paid to NPCs for maintaining such a fleet and it would be a nice way to compliment groups that favor particular playstyles. Lets say you are a group that only wants to do combat, or you dont come around often too many new people fitting your group. These AI could help you with scanning and bookmarking signatures or even mining for your corporation. This mechanic would have to apply with the reward/penalty system requirements. A large alliance could potentially employ more AI ships than smaller ones but only because their goals for their quests are significantly larger; alternative CCP could regulate to outright give balance to smaller groups and have them employ larger AI fleets(with exponential damaging upkeep of course) than already established large groups.
It is my belief that by implementing all the above EvE online would be much more new player friendly. It would actually pave a direct and elaborate path of a new player to comprehend what must be done in order to reach the end game status and by making the game more volatile, the resulting failures from the game would give way to a changing roster of people who wish to try and contest the status quo. No more alts camping on mission running spots and Incursion territories, no more needless large High Sec corporations that aim to find content by acting as a proxy null sec war but in High sec territory and thus alienating the new player experience as a byproduct of that. An actual purpose for low sec, a clear path to a competitive end game, and a constant push from the game for better players in gameplay.
I would have more suggestions for the game but I realize most would fall to the category of requests rather than ideas and suggestions. Despite I have innovative I believe ideas about my requests such as Walking in stations or reinstaing a CQ with cosmetic additions, a more RPG/RP friendly game than EvE right now is, I will stop this elaborate thread here.
As a final word, these are just my ideas of what I would like to see EvE online becoming. Although my support for now stands with CCP, I have to say that I look forward to the new season coming up, but my eyes are fixated primarily on two things; the first thing is that this game is now so non competitive that results in a mob rule, and to the everchanging landscape of the gaming industry and their upcoming introductions…
- Useful Idea thread
- Somewhat useful Idea thread
- Not useful Idea thread.