Interesting take on that. Arenas were something I had not really considered.
I would pose, though, that while the incremental changes are correct, PA is potentially looking to run Eve more like Black Desert. Where PvP is still non-consentual, but it is limited by factors such as location, skill point level, etc.
An example would be if they chose to force Safety to Green for Alpha accounts, and made them invulnerable to being attacked. Given, there are a number of things that would need to change in order to make that sort of thing work, so it’s just an example, but since I returned to Eve last summer, I’ve felt there was a slow move towards something akin to that.
It is very clear that they have an agenda to increase the player base numbers, but with a preference for a different type of player than the people who have been part of Eve for the past decade. This is not to say that they are looking specifically for Carebears or PvP types, but for the people who are expecting daily log in rewards, cash shop sales, etc. in exchange for 100% full access to the game, and yes, even pay to win.
I’m probably quite the carebear when it all comes down to it. I hate PvP primarily because I suck at it. An asteroid is more of a threat to a PvPer than anything I can pull off. That said, there are a number of things I’ve seen changed in Eve that concern me, to the point that I’m agreeing with the viewpoint of gankers on the forum here on occasion.
The Abyssal stuff was pretty shocking. Sure, you can lose your ship and your pod, but what I see is a 100% safe mission environment. Much as I hate PvP, that is a very un-Eve. From a carebear perspective, you’d think I’d have jumped for joy over that, but it’s such a deviation from the sandbox my reaction was more shock with the realization that something was very wrong.
I like the idea of the Abyssal stuff being used for limited PvP engagements/mini-tournaments, and CCP needs to get off their collective asses and focus on making them into something that isn’t as easily exploitable (note: hearsay on my part, though the complaints about queuing abuse appear to be valid points about mechanics, and there are safeguards in other games to prevent such things).
However, this brings us back to @Mr_Epeen’s original statement regarding a shift towards arenas. It seems very likely that this is where Eve is headed, but I also am firmly of the opinion that due to the way PA has Black Desert set up, we’ll likely see something more akin to the way PvP operates there, than a full separation.
The saddest part of all this mess, is that if they’d stop huffing their own gas and take of the l337 PvP’er glasses, the people in charge of where the game is going have over a decades worth of solid suggestions on things that could be done to fix a lot of the things they now see as roadblocks. There are countless threads over the years about how to making mining more interactive. How to make changes to ganking. How to make bounty hunting a much more interesting and profitable system, and on and on. Of course the suggestions aren’t perfect, and some are terrible, and ALL of them have at least one person flying through them and trolling all over the ideas.
In fact, I’d say that the highly contrasting opinions on game mechanics are perhaps the reason that CCP, especially now days, doesn’t appear to listen to the players as much. To pick one example to toy with, if they decided to move ahead with the idea of adding a fuel requirement to Cloaking, you would think that 90% of the players in Eve would quit if you read the forums. This seems to be the standard course for most suggestions. A person suggests a change, and it is immediately jumped on by the individuals it would affect negatively, and then it stagnates while people hurl insults at each other until the thread dies out or is locked.
Again, @Mr_Epeen is accurate in placing the blame on the player base. There’s an amount of blame for the top end empire leaders who have abused game mechanics and their CSM positions (not blaming all the CSM folks) for their own advantage in making fake space money, but the rest of the player base bears some of the burden, especially those who participate on the forums and reddit.
For me, personally, my subs are going Alpha over the next couple weeks. Not because of player actions, but I don’t personally want to put my money into the game right now. I believe, for myself, it’s time to sit back and “let it ride”, to see where things go. Being that they have several mechanics already in place, I would personally like to see them focus on fully fleshing out things like ship skins, etc. in order to get more financial gains. At the same time there are other things I wish they would back off on (NPC gate camps and NPC podding, for example).
PA/CCP needs to tread carefully. There’s a lot of potential still for the game, but there are definitely a large number of people who are out to destroy Eve itself, not just other peoples in game assets.