It's Time for an EVE Online Hardcore Server

In recent times, a slate of the most popular MMOs have popped off with their offerings of “hardcore” modes, which are very popular with the streaming world in particular. Games like Path of Exile, Diablo, and now World of Warcraft Classic (something I’m considering playing right this moment) are all generating a lot of hype with their (wholly optional) hardcore server rule sets. This would be as good a time as any for CCP/EVE to jump on this bandwagon as both a revenue driver and an opportunity to market the main product (i.e. “normal” EVE Online) to a subset of gamers who aren’t normally interested in EVE.

For those not in the know, a “hardcore mode” is one in which death/loss is permanent. As in, you don’t just lose your gear and items, but the character in its entirety.

CCP can offer hardcore server access to all subscribed accounts, with one character slot per account. Some minor rule changes might be in order, like a sped-up training rate for characters (I’m thinking a reasonable 2x) in order to get people into the action faster, and maybe loosening the requirements on certain ships and items, but otherwise the hardcore mode would follow the normal version’s rule set.

I’m fully aware that this isn’t an original idea. However, it hasn’t really been discussed in a while, and I believe that now is a very good time to have this conversation, because the hype train is just about to depart the station. It would also be a very creative new way to play the game, as our conventional understanding of it as players would no longer apply with the existence of perma-death. For example, trust would become a much more important factor between players, because there would now be increased impetus to share wealth and assets (i.e. keep more stuff in corporate storage, because “if I die in the upcoming battle, I want our corporation to continue prospering”). Likewise, commitment to wars and battles would now be a much heavier decision, because the loss of manpower would become the primary factor in deciding conflict winners.

With EVE’s capacity for large-scale PvP warfare that other games simply don’t offer, I think EVE’s hardcore mode would be legendary.


Nothing is stopping you from deleting your character after a pod death. That said, it might be interesting to have a character type that starts with 5 million sp, but has a perma-death feature.


Yeah, I fully expected to receive a response like that right away.

Let me just stop you right now. I’m not talking about LARPing a “hardcore character” on the normal server. I’m talking about an environment in which willing participants are all operating under the same rule set. These are two entirely different concepts.


It wont work. EVE is already a niche game and people are already risk adverse. You might get a few people interested in playing that mode, but it’s not worth CCP’s time to support a server like that.

You could prove me wrong though, start a poll somewhere and see if you can get some interest.

It doesn’t have to “work.” It’s an additional feature for the game that already exists.

It will probably only have a few hundred to (on the lower end of) a few thousand active players. But this also means that the server load will be much lower (because of the exponential nature of multi-point transmission multiplexing), which means that the entire thing could probably be hosted on a fairly inexpensive hardware network. They could probably host multiple nodes on a single server that normally houses just a single node on the current server.

If they break even on the costs, while also driving interest in the main game as a side effect, that would be a win. I’m not saying I guarantee a win, but I estimate that it wouldn’t be a net loss based on current market trends.


I would expect you’d get less than 100 concurrent users on at a time. It’ll practically be like playing eve as a single player game.

This is definitely required. Isn’t the WoW Classic „hardcore“ community a joke for exactly this reason? A bunch of people die, cry „bug“, and get their characters resurrected. And recently a guy got a whole high end guild wiped because he was mad at this corruption (through Eve like behavior of infiltrating a guild, becoming their only warrior, waiting for one specific raid, then clever application of boss Aggro so one specific attack that goes through all survivability skills hit everyone).

We should „think of the newbie“ and make sure they can resurrect their character repeatedly when „bugs“ happen!

First of all, no. Have you ever played a hardcore mode? I have (in Diablo). People who cry wolf all the time get mocked mercilessly. That said, bugs do happen, and an appeal process of some sort will likely need to exist.

Second, this isn’t for “newbies.” This is for a specific subset of the player population (people like me), and positing that new players will be a consideration in rule enforcement is fundamentally flawed, because new players aren’t the ones who click on “if you die, the character will be lost permanently!” servers at character creation.

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i dont think this would be great experience, or worth it for ccp. they should rather difersify, or keep their main game interesting which i really would prefer.

quite the opposite imo. people are already risk averse and lame af, this would get even worse. n+1 is already super strong and there is basically no drawback to it, nor incentives to not join the big groups. i am already disgusted just when i imagine how lame this would be.

I can certainly see the appeal of an hardcore server as you described. I wouldn’t endorse it, because I see some issues, I will explain my reasons:

  1. My main concern against this idea is in regards to splitting the playerbase. If the mode is worthwhile, it’ll lead to either one or both servers to feel empty. In comparison to say WoW, Eve Online does not have millions of subscribers at hand to populate their game, and it is also waaaaaaay bigger in scope. I fear, it’ll make more players quit actually, because the servers are just too empty.

  2. Unlike Diablo, your progress isn’t tied to how fast you are with clearing content, but actually time. If you reset, you can’t just start a new character and immediately start over again. If you’re not willing to spend considerable amounts of money, you have to sit, and wait until you have unlocked the necessary skills to do whatever it is you wanted to do. That’s just a huge turn-off for me, personally.

  3. I also don’t think a hardcore mode would actually work out for Eve. While I understand that you’re always looking for a challenge, I don’t think it would quite play out as you may believe. Because I’m very confident, it’ll favor the wallet warriors like no other game in existence.
    Let’s say, you have 30.000 people that will compete on the hardcore server, no matter what. Since you lose everything upon a single death, the players will be heavily incentivized to have dozens of backup characters ready for one’s inevitable demise. These can be raised quickly, if you can afford it, which gives an immense advantage over everyone else that does not spend their life savings on skill points, skill injectors and so on.
    It concludes then, that major wars will not be won by a single decisive engagement necessarily, but by whoever fields the most alts and outlasts their opponent.
    I also have some major concerns on how it would play out outside of major conflicts. If you’re at risk of losing your entire progress upon a single death, you’re giving nearly infinite leverage to suicide ganks, gatecamps and so on. Even the most basic activities would put you at an insane amount of risk, and if you slip only once, you’re looking at an entirely new character. Frankly, I don’t think this would be a fun experience at all, even for a hardcore mode.

So, sorry, but again, I’m against the hardcore mode for these reasons. Do you see it the same way? Are there are any points you would like to go over?

With soft regards
-James Fuchs

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hahaha, i was also thinking how the rules could potentially get exploitet just when i was reading the first post.

Not to yuck anybodys yum but the time investment involved in training skills alone would mean that I would never touch this.

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Good post. Let me provide some counterpoints:

  1. This wouldn’t be an issue, because players like me would have no problem doing both. We wouldn’t abandon the live server to play on the hardcore server full-time.

  2. Hence why I mentioned a training acceleration multiplier in my original post. It can be accelerated (nearly) to the point where ISK, and not training time, is the limiting factor to character progression.

  3. Absolutely no cash-store progression on the hardcore server. All PLEX, injector, etc. transactions go to the live server only. Will players be able to spool up additional alts? Yes, but only to the extent that one hardcore character per each Omega-subscribed account can be trained at a time. And as far as the risk goes? Well, that’s the entire point of the hardcore server. Also, as far as something like ganking goes, keep in mind that anti-ganking gameplay would suddenly become a whole lot more viable (e.g. wipe out entire ganker fleets permanently just by dropping a smartbomb ship on their blob).

That’s perfectly alright. This wouldn’t be for you, and it wouldn’t be for everyone. With a 14-42 zKill record since 2016, you aren’t the target demographic, and it’s unlikely that you’d touch a hardcore server in any form if one were to exist. Not shaming, just being objective.

I’d like to know what people who are already into the concept of hardcore gameplay think about this, instead of people who’d never touch a hardcore server of their own volition. If this isn’t something you’d play because you already abhor the concept of permanent loss, you don’t have to convince me that this is a bad idea for you, because I already know that it is.

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it would need so many rules that this doesnt turn in to a meme and is doomed from the start and all that for a few hundred people?

just one example: how would you handle trading assets (in any form) between characters?

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No change from the live server. Hence, a much greater emphasis on collective ownership, as mentioned in the OP.

hmm perhaps it would require a new map, smaller? with a different structure and rules, less bottlenecks and choke points. And some lore associated, the game evolves around the capsuleer concept, it would be ultra weird without a story behind.

I’m not big into Blizzard games, so I’ve really only played ironman / hardcore modes on games outside of WoW and Diablo.

The event I’m referring to definitely happened. A friend more involved in the WoW community pointed it out to me, because he said “this is something I would expect out of Eve Online”:

I heard the follow up interview with the guy who did this, and it was 100% ideological: the people he got wiped were people who were playing “hardcore” but not really adhering to the spirit of it, and he wanted to teach them a lesson.

I think the same problem would exist in the Eve Online Hardcore mode. We already have people that have problems with the “too much PvP” status quo of today. Plus [REDACTED] of ships that get blown up. Not necessarily a bad thing, just something that would have to be accounted for (and designed for in mind).

Something I considered but didn’t post in the OP. If CCP can put in the work to compress the map, great! But if one of the trade-offs of getting something like this is dealing with essentially a 1:1 mirror of the live server because they wouldn’t want to invest more than the minimal effort to make it possible, I’d be fine with it.

This is perfect. This is exactly what EVE is about. Why shouldn’t there be the possibility for backstabbing? It would be a very big consideration for forming relationships on a hardcore server, and that’s perfectly alright.

This isn’t for them. Why would they go on the hardcore server in the first place?

If the primary argument against a hardcore server is that people who don’t like PvP are going to complain about it, well…

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Perhaps my original question was misinterpreted (because I added the trolly ending to the post):

My intention isn’t to say “bad idea”, but ask “whats required to flesh it out” because as you have already mentioned my familiarity in this area is less than complete.

this alone defeats the whole idea imo. if people dont lose all assets and the characters get trained up really fast as you said, whats the point then?