Something is wrong in Eve Online. It is a fact that the efforts for a productive, positive, constructive way of gaming are much higher than the destructive forces.
CCP, you wondering about the low player numbers? The reason is it requires high efforts to get productive and manage non-pvp content while it is very low effort to disturb and destroy other players productive activities.
New players do not leave only because of the old tutorial. Its also not the content or the visuals which are great. You cannot evade other players disturbance which cost them nothing but it cost you everything you have worked for.
Ready for some examples. Let look through.
The punishment for social misdemeanor is ridiculus and broken. Setting bounties is just an isk sink. Security status is telling nothing. Easy to gain, nothing to loose. The only exemption are the true -10 pirates in low sec. Kill rights are too easy to get rid of and too few available. Its contradicting that it shall support the innocent attacked, if they are not aware of the mechanics to make it public.
The inflation goes on an on. Do you hear of people still running lvl4 missions? Sure, there are still people using modems to connect to the internet. I remember times where a plex was 300mio ISK and people were indeed financing it by missions. Where is the update of bountys? You think that the opportunity reward of 50.000ISK for my first hands free eating of bubble gum rocks anyone? But bounty cant be increased because it would feed the inflation. The result is that the gap between new and veteran players is increasing.
Whats the crazyness about the citadels. CCP, I know you are burned by the experience that you think “Building titans is crazy, there will be only a few” and to underestimate the players power. But what the hell you think a Keepstar is 300mrd needed? This amount favours only the power blocks. What is the result? In Delve one Keepstar after the next is set up with the help of mining rorquals while the small corp community wont buy T2 rigs for its Azbel cause it makes after all half a Titan?
Next issue is the jump nonsens. A great idea, once the power blocks went out of control just to limit the jump range. In case you didnt notice: It takes a power block only 20 gate jumps with their capital fleet to move. But dont worry, it works on the small communities. Having fabrication bonus in 00? Great, pity its only for the local market. Because its take days to make a few jumps and costs hundred millions which render the fabrication worthless. Jump freighters, easy to gank and this ridiculous range. We are not even at far 00 and it takes 5 cyno chars and 2 hours of managing everything. Self sufficient 00? With hundrets of items needed, with minerals, reactions, PI, moon mining? What do you mean with self sufficient. The reality is that small comunities needs a strong logistic backbone to grow or, again, it comforts the power blocks.
It is hard to tell our new players that there are nice things in Eve but to explain also that they will have it only once. A Rorqual - a miners dream and its stay that. Not that the price is already a hurdle, it needed to have this ridiculous timer.
Understood, the idea behind is risk vs. reward. But it doesnt work. The power blocks can reduce the risk by their power, can make highly and unlimited use of it. By the advantage they gain from it, they reduce their risk further and increase the risk to the smaller communities. The consequence is that it comforts the strong, wealthy and it is denied to those who want or need to develop to larger communities.
Lets talk about whats going in Highsec. Again, two major developments that have been missed early to be corrected and are now a PITA: Ganking and Wardec. Ganking is developped to a large commercial scale. It is simply too cheap. The result are immens wealth from ganks that were used in return to lower the entry level for even more ganking. A gank in HS can still be a good option but it needs to require will and efforts by the attacker. It would be a true thing, if the attacker have even pay more for it but is willing to damage himself for the sake of inflicting damage to his victim. If it is less - its just a business case.
Highsec war (I have been a part of it for years) is required to manage conflicts in Highsec. But it became an entertaining and inflated system. CCP, you probably remember 2012 where you switched from doubling the prices for each subsequent war to todays fee system. Probably thought “no one pays several billion per week to have fun wars”. Again reality surprised, did it? A highsec war is not an instrument of solving local conflicts anymore, it has been monopolized and commercialised. It is the final domination of the destructive few over the constructive many in their very own enviroment, formerly known as high security.
The problem is that in a short sighted desperation to create and maintain isk sinks, it has been run out of control. Also. I am still wondering anyone is building up any citadel in highsec.
Sure, one can be proud of playing a harsh game. But it is a waste. A waste of the man years of game development. A waste of a gorgeous game concept. Where is the problem to allow a niche for constructive players where they are safe? Sooner or later they will take part in the destructive part but by their choice and their chance to rebuilt their powers if necessary.
I am sure I will receive mostly negative comments on this. We know how forum and social media work. The loud are prominent and create the impression of a majority. I dont care. CCP, what about the silent thousands of players that left Eve? I have seen many of the constructive players to quit frustated not because of the single loss but because of the perspective not being able to change anything about it.