That mixed feeling about the current state of Eve

To me as an old veteran player, Eve currently feels like one of those command and conquer sessions versus some AI opponents, where after a long battle you’ve finally amassed like 200 tanks and could stomp the entire map if you wanted. You’d have a glorious win but at the same time you know it’s all over. It seems like we now have a faction in Eve that is in that position, and as a single player I also get this vibe from Eve now. The gold rush opportunities to new lands are gone, and everytime someone else achieves something it is stomped into the ground. I’m going into alpha state for a while (man have I said that a bunch of times over the last 14 years), and I wonder if I’m going to “succeed” in detoxing for good this time. Anyone else feel the same way? I’m not bitter, not handing out my stuff, Eve is a great game but I just have this kind of sad feeling now.


It’s okay, you can buy Galaxy and other packs to buy a shortcut to up the ante so you can restore balance to the force and all that.

On a serious note, there’s several developments with their own consequences coming together, slowly but certainly, creating their own effects. Some of which fall outside the realm of statistiscs and projections as they aren’t rooted in that, but in behavioural psychology.

So I can understand the sentiment. While to a degree there is a - for EVE - normal cycle of ebb and flow, but some things are starting to look a lot like Serenity. It’s tricky to make full comparisons as the analogies only go so far, but we are not far from several tipping points.

What will happen depends entirely on CCP really. Truth be told, the current curves that sql cannot completely track are the second real test for the F2P model development analogue to ST:O. The first one, bot/plex/alpha CCP dropped the ball, but it does look like they are slowly starting to walk after it (even if primarily due to PR/Brand stimuli).

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Its time for purge. Not insurable capitals. Every capital ship should expire after set amount of time from production. The statistics like HP, PG and CPU would became 10% with time. “Desintegration of materials” and such.

You make it sound so harsh, can’t we use more happier terms?. Like it’s time for them to go play on a big farm, but if you really want harsh we can use good old Sheridans words Get The Hell out of our Galaxy!

When life gives you Veldspar, then you take it, you refine it and you make it into spaceships and you sell them to those who still feel like they can conquer the world.

A couple of big blobs have been established as the “apex forces” for a very, very long time, but there have always been opportunities for smaller groups. Currently, the wild west is in the east, in Great Wildlands - if you are looking for opportunities, go there.

Concerning the rest of the cluster it’s Imperium or NCPL once again. Right now, the Imperium seems to be winning, but let’s be realistic: They are not the PIBC. Even if they keep winning, they don’t intend to grab any more space than they have already and are basically just on a viking right now, burning and pillaging the north. This can still turn around very quickly.


Hmm now you got me thinking about a Thanos solution :slight_smile:

There, I fixed it for you.
Or just ask for a “Special Snowflake” package, where you get your own part of nullsec with a gate you can customize and only people that are not offending your beliefs are allowed to get in/out.

Yes, but the Caldari always were like that, maybe you didn’t understand how powerful we are with our Drakes.

That aside a lot of the larger coalitions have enough power to keep stability. But every few months one or another large entity goes to war and things slightly change. If you like stability, I reccomend High Sec, stay away from the border areas and the same faction will always rule the same area.

Yeah, pretty much this. It doesn’t even matter on which side you are, it affects everyone. For Goons/Imperium it was a story of great success to rebuild form near extinction and for NCPL it was the story of meeting an opponent that can actually threaten them. The way was interesting, the outcome not so much.

It has a lot to do with the mechanics that allow for uber-empire building. But also with decisions of groups like Snuff to align themselves with the large wallets. Then again, the same goes for the other side.

The current abilities of total oppression make the game feel pretty stale, because it comes down to largest group/largest economic output more than anything else. Not sure, how it will develop, but as of now I don’t really see CCP even being able to steer the game back into wild territory. It’s super-state vs. super-state now and after the last remaining groups that are dysfunctional in this setting have been taken off the board, it’s going to be really really boring.

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No mixed feelings at all. Being part of this huge war is great and all I looked forward to when i started playing EvE.

Can I have your stuff?

I’m going to call ■■■■■■■■ on this.

Sounds like the OP got his sandcastle kicked over.

Arguably this is all a part of it. But it is merely a part. It is not like this hasn’t happened before. As I said earlier, it is cyclic.

There is one practical challenge with this, and it is not in economics or behavioural vulnerabilities which in the past were responsible for making things slide around. It is something which - in the beginning - took CCP a while to figure out, and which in later years they banked on exactly because EVE wasn’t just a game of mechanisms and statistics, but an emergent dynamic of human stories.

In other words, if status quo became too much, CCP was able to either add pressure to it so that on a behavioural level people would eventually go batshit again. Or CCP was able to tweak things in order to insert other variables. Sometimes content specific, but never without effectively using the pressure vat nature of eve.

Unfortunately, everything that can be done has been done and relentlessly so. Every story has already been made a million times over. Think of it like overexposure to stimuli, at some point they no longer work.

In F2P the angle is different, it is less behavioural enablement and more gratification enablement. It still uses behaviour, but not just for the opiate economics of EVE the product. Also to stimulate people, for example, to do ■■■■ because they have stuff and if they do not use it behavioural entropy is expected to kick in.

Trouble is, if you want to bank on this, without inserting perverse triggers (like player organisations going batshit with volume > all) you have to make sure that the environment can carry and support any mayhem or behavioural changes that can follow. Currently EVE simply doesn’t do this. Unfortunately this has its own consequences.

But most importantly, because every story has been made and milked so many times there are immunisation processes. In other words, the behavioural entropy CCP was always able to rely on is decreasing. At the same time CCP have introduced stimuli for more rapid gratification and enablement. It is this combination which isn’t exactly healthy.

On the bright side, CCP have demonstrated to be quite capable at figuring out things, just in different segments. Consider Abyssal Space in the topic of PVE. Consider the Pirate Strongholds and PVE. So for those who doubt, CCP still has ample talent to figure things out. What priorities are set or what resources are allocated, that is however CCP’s decision. Admittedly, from the limited (!) player perspective that appears to be a bit of a mismatch. But as I said, limited perspective.

What is missing in this changed EVE is the hybridisation of the emergent dynamic model and the F2P model in its effects on root behavioural paths. It is almost as if one part of CCP looks at the first bit, but another at the second bit, and there isn’t (yet) much overlap.

EVE has no entropy. It also has no cataclysms. It also has no unknowns. As EVE has changed, CCP has in many ways become limited to tweaking pressure points for which the behavioural stimuli have less and less effects, except for changing behaviour in the box of F2P goalsets.

Humans are an odd species. They can be smart, they can be dumb. But as much as we think of the individual, the group has its own thinking and feeling. CCP monitors a lot, but monitors for this kind of thing haven’t found their way into the game industry yet, even though concepts like groupthink and memetic engineering do touch closely on game theory. To put it simple, in the back of their minds the human groups in EVE feel shallow. They share less, and what they share in terms of telling and making stories is inward bound. Fractured, closed off. Add to this common social psychology and while the F2P model works ever better in terms of yields and cycles, the emergent model begins to break.

Humans feel this subconsciously. Something in the air tonight. And as they work less for their gratification, and buy more of it, these sentiments may not impact archetypes and individual tracking, but they do impact group think and emotion.

Confrontend with technical issues for the enviroment itself, it’s a difficult summer as the trends keep sliding.

So as I said, I can get the sentiments. And while these things are still cyclic, things simply no longer go as deep, while humans rapidly become immunised to the stimuli of the emergent dynamic, leaving CCP to eventually scramble and either put some minds together on the psychology of F2P in closed groupthink systems or frantically try to insert mechanism based triggers to distract and keep people busy.

Yet still, less stories, more of the same, and what you buy to still get some kick feels to people as if it stands on shaky grounds while the water is still shallow.


Yeah it certainly were the mechanics that allowed for the current “Age of industry” and players that were longing for it. The oppressiveness of the old powers had become too strong and rather than devaluating old money, they went for a setting that allowed to build upon and go beyond that into the direction of state building.

Maybe so, but I don’t think most current EVE players have done everything. So I don’t think repetition is necessarily a problem. The problem is rather that despite a lot of new mechanics, the amount of reasonable choices in-game have been lowered. I think this was predictable, when allowing for the currrent possible amounts of ressource allocation in Sov Null, while devaluatiing Lowsec etc. The attack on rental empires was also an attack on the underlying playstyle - one that many people followed, without belonging to the old powers.

I think it made the game a bit stupid. Assemble as many people as you can, get them all in one region, let them endlessly enrich themselves and you’ll have their practical loyalty. The current war stories lack any passion. It’s no wonder that most of the reddit-posting from both sides has a bitter taste. There is no story being told here, the clarity of how one is to be victorious (in the long run) in EVE today, is too strong for that. Minerals and ISK, as many people as you can get, and that’s it.

The total dominance of small-area high-output ressource allocation has rid EVE of any real drama, any interesting aspirations.

It’s only stone-cold optimization of economy and state now. And since this is pretty comparable to the real economic system we live in (despite the latter having many more mechanisms of entertainment to paint over the coldness of its inner logic) - the question arises, practically not as theory, why do the same in a video game, that you have to do in real life?

Join the largest groups. Rat until your fingers bleed. Be a Super, be a Titan, be another Titan, keep on going?
What next?

In real life there would be a little crisis and even greater growth after that. Can we do that in EVE, is it this kind of motivation that let’s players stick with the game? If a Titan is no goal anymore, how about Megatitans? Ultrons? Gigantic particle streams that cause Supernovae and simply destroy systems?

The “Age of industry” allowed for a good amount of people to catch up with the old money and even go beyond that. But it also increased the divide between players in general. This again makes the game less challenging. Further iterating on that does not seem like a smart idea.

Going back to old ways isn’t a good idea either.

So here is what I think could be done: The only way that’s left, is to make both old renter money and new industry money, less important by introducing new mechanics that weigh heavy enough to allow for new emerging conflicts. Those mechanics would have to be independent enough, both from Industry and fat wallets. They also have to be made specifically for “optimal group” sizes of around 25 people - ensuring that EVE becomes a group experience again, not the large division into shattered soloists and anonymous megablocks. And last but not least they should make space “a bit larger” again, meaning less concentration.

(not trying to cite myself here, just visually breaking up the text blocks)

CCP understands some of that and even tried to implement it with the Abyssal Deadspace. Sadly, cherry-picking a few parts that don’t question the status quo worked badly. It’s either all or it doesn’t work.

One more thing regarding the current state. I think it’s important to understand the majority of player rage as the expression of the inherent wish to “finally win EVE” in a situation where there not many interesting challenges left.

Highsec bears finally want the challenge (in the form of wardeccers and gankers) to end; Nullsovvers finally want to become unassailable in their concentration of power. “Want” is a weird thing. EVE and CCP shouldn’t give people what they want, but what they need. And what they obviously need is challenge.

That’s what EVE is. That’s why people come here and stay here. The challenge. Player rage is almost never about getting more challenge. It’s almost always because they want the challenges to stop, they want to win. And that’s precisely why giving in the player rage is almost always the wrong decision.

It’s understandable that CCP wants to give in too, that they don’t want to be challenged again, by having to create new challenges for players, by throwing them back into the mud. It is already tiring to read all the rage as a player - how much worse must it be as a Dev? “Let them have their peace of mind”, could be the thought that appears. I say, kick that thought back to the gutter. People may want to win, but what they need is to re-invent their game, to stay on their toes, to be challenged whenever they log in.

In other words: courage to introduce drastic, meaningful changes is needed right now.

Exactly. EVE needs to grow in order to give new challenges, but this can only mean grow into depth of choice, as I tried to outline above.

Yes, but this needs a realistic approach. Currently Old Power (ISK, rental money) and New Power (ISK, Mass Industry, Mass military) are stagnating the game. You can’t roll back the time. You can’t simply grow things even further. One or more new fields need to be introduced, that don’t completely rid the game of the old pillars of power, but that allow for new ones which can’t be won in the same way as the old ones were. It’s a hard task, but it’s doable. And only, as I’ve said above, if done in a courageous way.

If players have time to rage, they aren’t being challenged quite enough.

Yep, but that’s because CCP shows signs of giving up too. The possiblity of finding peace must seem so sweet, in face of the ever raging ungrateful playerbase. That’s why CCP needs to kick itself in the butt. No peace for EVE, ever. Don’t be so freaking soft to the players, it’s disgusting.

And often enough the “experts” in those concepts are laughably limited in their understanding of humans, groups and their culture. The conformity, the self-adjustment that lies within the concrete cultural practises is nothing new. It certainly isn’t a good idea to flatten the depth of the game by introducing a so-called “science” that has at best a 2-dimensional view on humans and could only ever make EVE less emergent. It’s all a huge misunderstanding of people who come from individualist times and thereby are stunned into gazing stupidity because they’ve never understood that what society actually means or even what it means to be human amongst humans.

The shallowness comes from the intersection of game mechanics that drive people to abandoning actual “groups” and becoming anonymous mass organizations in which they serve a function and the need to keep the inner peace in those organizations by self-adaption to a common denominator of cultural practises, jokes, and so on. It’s basically the same as we experience in the so-called “free world”. People think they have their own opinion, but really they don’t. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it still hurts the shattered individualist narcisistic atomized excuse for a social being we have today. Oups :slight_smile:

Their journey can be the story. But there is no journey now. While on the layer of phenomenology there are interesting psychological aspects, the underlying base is the lack of reasonable and interesting possibilities. Just as in real capitalism, the false promises of the happiness it can never deliver, is substituted for yet another super, some real bitter hate for the others (instead of intelligent dance) but never for any really interesting possibilities - everyone does the crap that’s expected of them, that they have to do under the threat of exclusion from the anonymous mass of same same but oh so different. (for sure)

Yep. They feel it, because those are the real dynamics of human organization in its current form.

The Trumpification of America (aka everything stays as it it is, but one pretends to make new - aka the reactionary who wants to see himself as a rebel) comes at no surprise. EVE is a political game and so it neither comes as a surprise, that real political developments are reflected here as well. I don’t mean to compare any actors in EVE with a pendant in real life on a quality level or regarding their real life views, but on a level of social dynamics it’s funny how similar it works.

The real experience of being put down, being forced into a corner of less opportunity, being limited by others - does not automatically lead to those people fighting against the systematics itself, but rather try to set themselves in the position to do so to others. Goons experienced the oppressiveness and the bore of an EVE Online superpower, but instead of choosing to use their mass of people and organizational smarts to break the game free from this kind of boredom, they used it to become stronger. What for? A little bit of revenge, the short-term happiness of being the oppressor and then nothing. Not a thing worth playing for.

Of course that doesn’t mean to go back to the times of two-faced democrats aka NCPL (sorry here, just to stay in the real life comparison), but it means to break this stupid cycle. People need real opportunities just as interesting challenges to grow. And I think at this current moment in EVE, there is neither.

Just like the real world, EVE urgently needs a revolution.

It doesn’t have to stay like it is. Change is possible, but only if done with courage. Just as much as the appeasement to the rich (while screaming very loud to feel so independent) isn’t the only way to react to the impositions of our economic-political system that limits our life choices more than it enhances them, EVE doesn’t need to appease to old or new money.

As I’ve written above. It’s all about the breadthening things out. Let’s keep the pillars of old and new money, but let’s introduce new pillars which are independent and which allow people to be challenged again, because that’s exactly what makes them log in to do more than spin a ship.

(p.s. about the ranty part concerning memetics and all that: I hope it was clear, that it’s not directed at you, but simply the problem that “scientist” who think they’ve found something new, when it’s actually only them not being as totally limited as they were before (and humans under different circumstances already understand/understood vastly more about that), tend to make things flatter than they are while carrying the feeling of being extra-deep - something that’s dangerous both as a condition and with its practical consequences. In other words, introducing those “scientists” (which they are not - my claim), would deliver much less depth than we discuss here right now, and even that might not be enough to get to the bottom of the challenge in a way that it’s practically doable but also really serves the purpose. Which is usually a great problem for these kind of “sciences” in real life, but not because the people are so full of theory that they can’t find practise, but rather because they don’t understand nearly enough and their lack of theory just mirrors their lack of application)

I subbed for another year just in July… I regret that!

CCP please sell this game to some other company… at this point I dont even care what company… i just want to have that spark of hope, that something is going to change in this (Great Game), that has so much potential to be much better game!

I have been great customer for the last 5 years, always been subbed! (Not PLEXED) but this will be my last year in this Grind Lands Online.

PLEX that are on the market in EvE were bought with real money from CCP by someone.
CCP gets real money as a result of players PLEXing their accounts.
Therefore - it is not somehow better, more virtuous, and/or better for the game to sub rather than PLEX.
Actually…PLEX bought by someone and then sold to players in-game puts more real money into CCP’s hand than subbing an account.

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I didn’t want to touch on the second bit there, as it touches on some stuff at CCP which falls rather beyond the player scope in general. But the gist of it is that the decision was made to change the core commercial model of EVE, the format for this had a certain origin and a certain set of examples. Players tend to look at the product development curve, CCP looks primarily at the venture development curve.

Suffice to say that yes, there is no room for new stories, as they are known quantities. New players show up with those already set in impressions, or are impressively quickly exposed to them through social networking in and out of game. Let’s put it this way, this has decreased stimuli to even try making stories, no matter if it has been done already, heavily.

I wouldn’t say the amount of reasonable choices has been reduced, there are actually more pathways, niches and feature sets than before. But they allow for less room for behavioural psychology to play its game. To use a somewhat flawed analogy, think of dev scope more along the lines of ST:O, than EVE Online.

In many ways CCP has little choice in this. They have to cater to new types and flows, to different patterns of expectations. And before you say this was their choice through F2P, yes, that is true. But even without that CCP would have had to introduce concepts like entropy and cataclysm and environment and that is not realistically feasible given the available resources within the venture planning. Also, there is some part here of detachment and some - shall we say - historic trauma on top of the by default complex relation with customers (particularly in relation to CCP’s founding origins).

So yeah, in general you could say that while the amount of niches and paths increases the available room for behavioural choices decreases. If EVE were like ST:O that would not be a problem at all. On the contrary. But EVE isn’t just a game or a sim. No matter F2P, the bulk of EVE still rests on foundation principles not rooted in a strictly mechanical scope of game design.

I see a subtle but incredibly significant challenge there. Particularly in regards to acquisition/retention as it is skewed by F2P effects. It’s easy to track a lot, but it’s getting easier to miss key variables beyond the sql, so to speak.

Here’s a bit of irony. CCP tries to seperate itself from the dynamic. For historic reasons, for good reasons, and sometimes for other reasons. But they will always be a part of it no matter the distance or perception thereof, exactly because it isn’t a standard product. You mention optimisation in regards to player behaviour, but here’s a funny thing, it’s gone well beyond the traditional min/max/just cause classifications. Players mirror CCP’s behaviour in relation to the dynamic. It is something to think about. CCP the company, not CCP the devs.

One thing this is visible in, is the inability to break things like the old boy networks and other symptoms. While CCP has managed to sharply reduce the bottleneck of old versus young (which was necessary), they face the equivalent of an immortal distributed oligarchy within the emergent dynamic which doesn’t follow the lines and doesn’t sit in the mechanism defined boxes, but controls through influence and consistancy of presence. See the CSM, but also the napoleontic style of warfare in null, low and even high sec space alike.

As an aside what we now call memetic engineering, which today is still finding its place within the separated domains of science, is actually historically old and a well known thing :slight_smile: Particularly here in the West we struggle with it, because of the roots of our modern thinking in the advent of Enlightenment, Reason and Individuality. Suffice to say, the textbooks aren’t new. Heck, I work at a place which is leaps and bounds beyond academic and commercial science in these matters.

But you are right, the strict technical / technological / scientific approaches, so to speak, do provide for limitations of both behaviour and scope. Humans may be programmable, as groups and individuals, but they are not just that exactly because they are such as groups and individuals. Science has issues dealing with that. So does business.

Anyway, back to EVE. The biggest challenge point for something like EVE has always been the case of perception problems. EVE as it is today once again carries an increased potential for those present to gain momentum, no matter how much is applied in terms of mechanical approaches and targets for simplifying, streamlining and packaging EVE. As mentioned before, humans sense this. For business that presents either challenge, or risk.

CCP has dealt with that before however. Several times they sniffed it out properly, got on top of it and dealt with it. The one time it got too close, Summer of Rage, they took a different route. Whatever they end up doing it can go one of two ways. Either they accelerate the current roadmap, or the reapply a unified (mechanical, behavioural) vision.

Keep in mind though, there’s something to be said about players and their role in it all as well. As CCP is part of the emergent dynamic that is bigger than game or product, so are players. For example, people could choose to be more non-conformist, rather than conservative or fully conformist :slight_smile:

EVE’s stories have big roots in non-conformist behaviour. Part of that is stimuli and environment, but the biggest part of it is simply choice.

Well, CCP had a golden opportunity with the Casino war. And CCP decided to save the ass of Goons with “deus ex machina” intervention by disintegrating the Goons’ enemy out of game. CCP actively chose to ban the pople behind the war and thus let the Goons recover.

So now that nullsec is on its way to “serenitify” Tranquility, CCP can pretty much F*** themselves. EVE will be dead by november 2021 and CCP’s refusal to let the Goons fall will be a turning point on the disaster.

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Supercapital proliferation does not make me happy, but that cat is out of the bag and nothing to do about it now. The amazing thing to me is the success of CCPs “Fields and Farms” as evidenced by Test being able to kick PL out of Providence.
If we must have tons of supercapitals I’d rather see that everyone has them, rather than only a few “elite” forces that have profited from 10 years of rental empire & moon monopoly.

Interesting thread. Some of the terminology threw me but whatever.

I’ll point out the book Reality Is Broken, how games make us better and can change the world. Jane McGonigal.

Humans need to experience a set series of emotional experiences to get what they need out of a life experience. Video games have often accomplished this when life does not by virtue of the fact that the video game is not like life at all.

The two emotions I talk about most are Awe. Awe is interesting because it is a rare occurrence emotion that usually takes place when we really get a sense that the world outside of us is beyond the world which is within us. Looking at the stars. Mountain Vistas. Great Art. Exceptional Music. EVE on-line. But if you look at the object that created the feeling too long the Awe subsides and is lost.

The other emotional state I talk a lot about is one I can’t remember the word for. It’s when you teach a persons something and that person succeeds. You feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.

These two feelings are rare but also imperative in human life to feel a sense of fulfillment.

I’ve read a lot of these threads which are all sort of related to the same conversation. EVE is no longer satisfying the itch which it once did. And I think you guys talked about that when talking about the difference between marketability and human behavioral need.

PVP as a thing becomes dissatisfying when it’s no longer difficult. So if you have a mega block state - it’s probably dissatisfying. Where do they go from there? Sure some players are getting a kick out of the war but it also creates the sense that there can be no further awe. Nothing further to be curious about. The world has been conquered. Man has acheived mastery and that’s that. We have won the game.

People love video games because they are hard. When you fail and fail and fail and then succeed is an amazing feeling. EVE gives that to people over and over and over again. However, EVE has gotten to the point where the (I don’t know the geopolitics exactly) mega blocks have won and they don’t have anything more to do but what they have done and what they are doing.

PVP isn’t completely dead because that part of the game has been won because there are still little guys who still can find the fight in various portions of the galaxy. However, PVP is dead for the mega block states. They have come to the height of their combat PVP. Titan against titan yet whoever has the most isk ships, wins. It has come down to mega block management.

I think these problems can be solved in one of two ways. Create PVE which can destroy mega blocks or disrupt current methodologies of modern warfare.

Add more realistic dynamics to the game. Give ships a life span. Increase the time requirements to build ships. Add complexities to the ISK infrastructure. Perhaps create mega block currency which people could then refuse to trade in.

Create environmental catastrophes. Maybe blobbing in space creates some kind of dimensional rift which destroys ships which wander through.

Maybe a sun goes supernova and all ships in a system are lost.

What causes Mega blocks to go down. There are precedent after precedent in real life. Sometimes it’s not because of leadership. Sometimes it’s not because of war. Sometimes it’s because of famine. Epidemics. Etc.

Make EVE hard again. It shouldn’t be just PVP when it comes to Titans. It should be PVE oh - my, I lost my assets because of a supernova. Or flew into a black whole. Or blobbed myself into a dimensional rift. Or…

And of course, high sec solves the - I’m a newbie but lost my ass to a supernova. But if that were low sec or null it would be - well - you should have known better not to put all your assets in one system. PVE isn’t just asteroids and rats. It should be other spatially oriented stuff.

Some civilizations were lost because it didn’t rain enough or rained too much. Some had volcanic eruptions. Some had earthquakes. Some had disease. There are all sorts of ways to disrupt power plays. It just has to be built.

I think my points are made - sorta?