THE SOLUTION TO ALL THE WORLDS PROBLEMS! :-) CCP, CSM

EVE’s problems fall into five main categories.

  1. Development-bloat
  2. End-game stagnation
  3. (Stale) Content
  4. Balance - the argument in favour of 3rd party app integration
  5. Player retention

  1. Development-bloat; 20 years of existence has led to coding and technological obsolescence (CCP are addressing this).

  2. End-game bloat; EVE is gate kept by the skill queue, after 20 years the veteran community has finally matured past those hard limits and by means of skill farming, PI, Multi-box Rorqual Fleet Mining etc. has solved the META. Power has settled in the hands of an organised few, leading to stagnation. Extreme power (Veteran Domination) has made Null Bloc’s immobile and stagnant, similar to a Nuclear arms stand-off where the initiative is blunted by the consequences.
    In stark contrast the NPE is facing a solved META, gate-kept by the skill-queue’s hard limits which dampens experimentation, exploration, and discoverability, the NPE therefor feels stagnant. The power dynamic in the eco-system is entrenched, from plankton to whales and nobody is truly satisfied with the recurring, monotonous, status-quo. Even the thrill of exploitation wares thin. CCP have tried to address this issue through scarcity however that was a manipulation of the levers that already exist in-game and no amount of in-game lever adjusting will adequately address the problem. (CCP are addressing this through the Photon UI, Mission nodes tech, and Faction Warfare updates- but it doesn’t quite tap the root cause- not quite, but is very close in theory)

  3. Content; Continuing from the previous point domination of the game proper and the solving of the end-game META has created stagnation for veterans and stagnation for New Bros. New Bros are facing a solved META that locks them out from the opportunities for exploration and discoverability that players enjoyed during the earlier, formative-years of EVE, that made it challenging, exciting, unpredictable, and fun. Creating tools that give New Bro’s and Veterans a chance to explore their in-game personal and organisational customisation is an essential means of creating opportunities for content to naturally occur.
    (Example: Veterans have attempted customisation through in-game New-Bro corporations, unfortunately these organisations have become the only means of advancement and therefor are endemic of the problem of stagnation, and the recurring, monotonous, status-quo).

There was a time when nobody had experience of Null space, no group had had a Null block war, no-one had built a Fortizar or a Keep Star or an Empire. That is no longer the case in fact those experiences are solved and their recurrence gate-kept by powerful established immobile entities.

  1. Balance; This is the most contentious and misunderstood of EVE’s problems. This is the issue where players focus is most often misaligned or is too narrow in scope. In terms of selecting CSM candidates this is the deciding factor and the factor about which communities are most often misguided.

Dynamic systems eventually find a levelling off point. The problem that EVE’s community and developers are encountering is that EVE’s balance point falls outside the game proper.

The solution requires the development of tools that give players and developers opportunities to create new content and play experiences in-game FULL STOP. Shovels and boots in-game.

In order for this to be possible the UI must be functional and clear. There needs to be opportunities for players to compete over how well calibrated their organisations are in terms of their position in the game and their changing circumstances as the positions of organisations and players around them change.
This needs to be true for each individual player and at each level of organised player interaction, that means at the level of capsuleer, corporation, alliance and coalition.

As it stands EVE’s UI, it’s corporation management tabs, it’s Industrial programs, it’s PI programs, it’s ship fitting programs etc, are failing to provide effective granular control. Players have responded to this in-game deficit through the development of 3rd party applications that give them more customised control and allow them an advantage over less developed organisations. For the natural balance point of EVE to fall in-game the CUSTOMISATION and ORGANISATIONAL power that these 3rd party apps provide needs to exist in-game FULL STOP.

Example: The new Skill Plans system, in terms of the individual AND corporation tabs, is a step in the direction of providing differentiated granular control at two different levels of organisational play.

Players need granular control over meaningful choices in all areas of their organisation and at all levels, from the level of self; the individual capsuleer, all the way through to coalitions, and they need the ability to manage how this information is shared (Example: Access Lists).
(Example: The proposed allegiance mechanic for Faction Warfare is a good implementation of a granular control that enables an effective customisation choice, it locks in one decision in one arena of play, without directly limiting participation in other arenas of play; it is meaningful customisation)

Example question (rhetorical): How is there NOT a thing for coalitions in-game. How long do players have to participate in coalitions before CCP clues in to the NEED for coalition creation and management as part of the built-in experience. CCP has dropped the ball on this.


Of all the factors that you could point to that might describe or define the biggest and most egregious deficit in EVE’s development, it’s most significant balance issue, it’s most glaring failure, none is more obvious or more pressing than the absence of an in-game tool for the forming and management of Coalitions.

It is so obviously the next step in EVE’s evolution as a ‘SAND-BOX’ ‘EMPIRE BUILDING’ simulation -A blind dog with no sense of smell could have discovered it.
Leaving it up to the players to build was the correct move; leaving it up to the players to maintain, was a mistake and a missed opportunity.

The players created it, you f-----g add it, then you check to see what they create next, then you add that.


The failure to keep up with the creativity of it’s player base has stagnated CCP’s development of EVE and ruined the balance that naturally forms in game.

Following from the development of a coalition management tool would be the development of a tool for managing corporation mining taxes. The fact the corporations have to limp along with complicated third party apps is a joke. Again CCP has dropped the ball. The community has solved the problem. It’s not game-play if the problem is well-defined and sufficiently solved. At the point at which it is solved it becomes a chore.


It’s not gameplay if the problem is well-defined and sufficiently solved. At the point at which it is sufficiently solved -by 3rd party intervention- it becomes a soulless chore.
In their desire to cultivate and maintain un-compromised player autonomy, CCP has over-reached, is failing, and has an obvious blind spot.


  1. Player retention. This is solved by addressing the previous issues.

Direct access-to and autonomy over the meaningful granular systems that already exist as auxiliary 3rd-party applications in the larger EVE eco-system will empower and entice players to stay in-game and to stay in-game.


CONCLUSIONS

Any CSM candidate who’s perspective on the game addresses these issues is a fine choice. Unfortunately players that focus on ship, mining, and industry balance, (all of which are in-and-of-themselves super important and relevant) have missed the larger point, they are just trying to solve the problem by adjusting the current levers, no amount of lever adjusting in the current system will prove adequate . Nothing that I am suggesting is REVOLUTIONARY, players have been desperately and dutifully developing these tools for years in order to make up for the short-falls in EVE’s design.

For better or worse, it has become necessary to integrate these granular controls from 3rd party developers into the game. They are essential to the continued functioning of the eco-system, they are force multipliers, they are essential balance points. Integrate these tools directly into the game where all players will have direct access to them.

The current community of 3rd party app developers will be relieved from duty, their time will be freed up and in-time the so-inclined will begin developing apps that fill whatever new gaps emerge in the system. The game has stagnated because CCP has not kept up with including what is obviously, -effectively and competitively- required to play its game.

While CCP may be limited in it’s in-house development potential, it has had effective active developers active out-of-house in the community the entire time. In EVE spreadsheets are force multipliers. The veteran community knows this and CCP has failed to properly include and integrate these powerful contributing variables under their direct control - where they can be properly balanced. (Clarification: the integration of Excel is a very small step in this direction)

Failure to integrate the functionality of 3rd party apps may have been a well-intentioned decision but it is one that has cost CCP it’s balancing power.

To be fair, it may just have been a case of; ‘Well, that exists already as a 3rd party app, so let’s let them keep doing that while we focus else where’ which as the game has matured has had unfortunate consequences in terms of the location of the balance of power and the levers that control it.

The result is that to play EVE you have to have at least a dozen other programs, Pyfa, Dotlan, ZKillboard, JeveAssets, Gatecamp, Google sheets etc etc etc, to name but a few.

The reliance on 3rd party applications is prohibiting an equal chance amongst the player base.

EVE shouldn’t be fair, but no rational person agrees to a game where they can not expect a fighting chance. EVE’s appeal hinges on the promise that if you keep trying you will succeed, it’s stops becoming interesting when that stops being true. If part of the player base has control over or knowledge of vital 3rd party tools, that stops being true.

For a New Bro there’s a glut of essential tools that have to be researched outside the game at the same time that they’re learning and experiencing the enormity of EVE for the first time.

For vets it is a problem that has been solved and one that has become a chore and a stopping-block for more nuanced, future, in-game development, and power advancement. It is directly responsible for the continuing stagnant game state, as CCP is forced to balance around an external levelling off point about which is has no immediate or direct control.

3rd party apps are force multipliers. They give an advantage to those who create, maintain and control them, in many cases they are essential to the success of the players that employ them. They can be likened to legal exploits. In the case of EVE they are essential to the functioning of it’s ecosystem. Which means that they are essential to it’s balance and cannot be removed without devastating the eco-system.

Just do the right thing pay these developers out, include their s–t in the game and provide for the community what it needs for the game to evolve. Watch what happens to EVE once these chores are made meaningful and useful again. Proper in-game granular control at every level of organisation from the autonomous capsuleer through to coalitions.

Example: Imagine if coalitions had to commit to a formal agreement that locked them in over a contracted period of time at some meaningful but significant financial cost and provided them some benefit. Perhaps an industry boost, or resource acquisition boost, or sovereignty boost across their alliances. The risk is the locked-in time commitment and cost and the possibility of having their benefit discovered by spies and a counter strategy employed by their rivals. The benefit is whatever granular element they’ve customised within their contractual agreement. Depending on the coalitions objective, territorial expansion, defence, production, market domination etc. The point is that what is missing are the tools that would enable this dynamic play. (The changes to Faction Warfare may be the beginning of this change-time will tell)

WOW has integrated the best of it’s 3rd party apps. It’s time that EVE grows up, pays it respects $$$ and does the same.

Hopefully the community, CSM candidates, CCP (even) can get us part of the way there OR god forbid, all of the way there.

EDITED: for clarity based on feedback and better use of the posting tools. We must evolve and that includes me.

There’s a very simple way to test whether my claims about the power and importance of 3rd party applications is accurate.

“Switch off the API watch what happens.”

Leave it off for a month and watch what happens. Check and see how the game functions without access to these systems. Then assess whether they are in fact force multipliers. If the answer is yes then the notion that the use of 3rd party apps is essential to the competitiveness of the player base that employs it is true and my claim is correct and CCP therefor cannot possibly balance the game internally when the balance of power lies external to it’s domain of control.

As stated in my post, failure to integrate 3rd party applications into EVE proper may have been a well intentioned decision but it has cost them their power and they are paying for it now.

The power of a free market is in part due to it’s faceless destruction of redundant entities, if third party apps were innocuous they’d have died in obscurity. Instead they are the go to of every serious player. They cost time and energy to mantain and yet they are as prosperous as ever.

The problem with trying to address balance by means of ship, module, industry, mining, POS rebalance etc. is two fold, first EVE is not Paper, Scissor, Rock, the community will always find a counter play, second it only addresses a portion of the factors that contribute to the power base of EVE, the rest of the relevant contributing variables lie outside of the game and are perhaps the most dominant of all, they are the intel and organisational tools that make large organisational control possible. If CCP wishes to balance them, they must include them.

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Integrating even more control will just mean that the game can be controlled and min maxed to the reeeeeenth degree even more.

I do however agree with your list of issues the game has and what needs to be addressed.

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It already is. Thats the point. It already exists in a convoluted form in the form of third party apps. That’s point, just be done with it already include them properly, in-game where they can at least be balanced and let the player base at it.

Thanks for your comment by the way. Edited mine to be a bit nicer to you :slight_smile:

No i just dont want that integrated into the game thank you. It’s already bad enough. At least there is the minor inconvenience of having to check third party, which stalls that sht by a few seconds or more.

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It’s bad because its not integrated properly. It’s certainly not a minor inconvenience and it is most definitely a convoluted and unfair process in it’s current form. I don’t know how your using pya, but fitting ships takes more than a few seconds, as does, operating a spread sheet or loading up Jeeves assets.

Your answer doesn’t really explain how would be bad. I’m not sure what type of integration that you are imaging, but it doesn’t sound like it would be good, if you were to imagine an effective and satisfying integration of these systems what would it look like to you. Alternatively if you can not then I can only conclude form this that you are satisfied with the status-quo.

I don’t use the fitting tools as i know how to fit things for what i want but i guess it could be better for new players yeah.

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Either way if our debate has devolved into adjusting the levers of the current system that is a trap as no amount of adjusting the levers in the current system will adequately address a solution.

When I think about ship fitting im reminded of the speeches given at Fanfest by the most celebrated ship fitters in the game. They know better than anyone and they spend hours fitting ships in programs outside the game such as Pyfa.

If it was up to me then I’d have a fair bit of the third party stuff blocked. There is too much third party bloat and personally i dont think half of it would make sense in the game either when those things can be acheived in-game rather than simply an app thag tracks data. It removes randomisation as well and makes for certain outcomes.

But that’s just me. Some people absolutely need to know stuff so they can min max things. To me that removes part of what makes a game a game.

Only thing i really like is evepraisl but that is because i am into industry.

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I was a bit quick to reply before, I think I got a bit excited that someone actually read and replied to my post.

What you’re saying now is really relevant to the point.

Realistically they’re not going to wind back access for 3rd party apps. That ship has sailed. They’re a necessary evil for the management of large operations, if they weren’t they wouldn’t exist. The extra work wouldn’t be worth it and their use would have been abandoned.

The fact is that information and organisational control equals power in Eve. And power effects balance. So long as this functionality remains outside the control of CCP it makes it impossible for CCP to properly balance the game. Currently CCP is in a sense balancing around the power of 3rd party apps that it cannot directly control. And that if it were to remove that API functionality might very well destroy the ecosystem completely.

By accepting the situation and integrating the functionality at least they could attempt to balance it.

I think that we agree fundamentally that 3rd party involvement is a significant contributing variable in terms of balance outcomes. You propose to remove it. I think that that’s a mistake that would alienate the community. I propose to integrate it and make it available to everyone equally.

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Yeah true. It wont change so why not :laughing:

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Exactly. CCP are beholden to the power of these outside entities so long as these applications act as force multipliers. CCP cannot balance their game internally when the balance of power lies external to their domain of control.

Recently with the retirement of several veteran application creators it has become even more apparent how important these 3rd party tools are to the health of the game.

As @Steve_Ronuken described in his CSM 17 candidacy interview with @Ashterothi, monocultures are unhealthy for ecosystems - that is to say that 3rd party apps that are necessary and that the community relies upon to function and that have no rivals or competitive alternatives are weak links with as yet unknown but limited life expectancies.

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There’s a very simple way to test whether my claims about the power and importance of 3rd party applications is accurate.

“Switch off the API watch what happens.”

Leave it off for a month and watch what happens. Check and see how the game functions without access to these systems. Then assess whether they are in fact force multipliers. If the answer is yes then the notion that the use of 3rd party apps is essential to the competitiveness of the player base that employs it is true and my claim is correct and CCP therefor cannot possibly balance the game internally when the balance of power lies external to it’s domain of control.

As stated in my post, failure to integrate 3rd party applications into EVE proper may have been a well intentioned decision but it has cost them their power and they are paying for it now.

The power of a free market is in part due to it’s faceless destruction of redundant entities, if third party apps were innocuous they’d have died in obscurity. Instead they are the go to of every serious player. They cost time and energy to mantain and yet they are as prosperous as ever.

The problem with trying to address balance by means of ship, module, industry, mining, POS rebalance etc. is two fold, first EVE is not Paper, Scissor, Rock, the community will always find a counter play, second it only addresses a portion of the factors that contribute to the power base of EVE, the rest of the relevant contributing variables lie outside of the game and are perhaps the most dominant of all, they are the intel and organisational tools that make large organisational control possible. If CCP wishes to balance them, they must include them.

Your OP is a bit ranty and too long, but had some good points about specific areas EVE has issues.

Unfortunately your rant can be pretty much boiled down to “everything that’s bad needs to be made better” without real suggestions other than the closing “integrate 3rd party solutions into the game”.

And the part I quoted above, where first you talk about the monolithic end-game being stagnant and newbro corps being the “only method for advancement” and then stick in a huge paragraph in all caps demanding “coalition management” tools in-game is just pure farce.

Big posts are OK. Big posts that contradict themselves, full of vague “this needs to be better” comments and having only about 4 good points lightly touched upon, are much less OK.

Try breaking the points down to single specific issues and making posts on just that, with some ideas for improvement. Otherwise the thread will just snowball into mush.

I think you’re missing the point of ‘free market’ power here - the point is that 3rd parties need to be able to compete. Sucking them in to CCP will just give you more bloat, less development, and features that subsequently get removed or made useless by CCP’s terrible management process.

It would actually be better if CCP made the road for developers even smoother and maybe even put hooks into the API so 3rd parties could charge ISK or Plex for their service, and then add in-game hooks so they could make their interface accessible in-game.

That would create an environment where extra features are developed independently of CCP and they would compete on merit and be ‘less of a barrier’.

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it’s not easy getting what’s in your head down onto paper.

No where in the post do I say that what is bad should be made better. No demands were made, you’ve imagined that. The all caps was utilised to break up the text a little and to add emphasis to what was otherwise a list. It clearly worked since it got your attention. Moving on.

A single post summing up 20 years of game development is hardly ‘Big’ by comparison to the subject it is attempting to discuss. Again no where do I say say that what is bad needs to be made better. Nor did I make any demands.

Coalitions exist in the game, tools to manage them is a no-brainer, what is farcical is that there would be resistance toward what is already embedded in the culture.

The idea for improvement is that the third party apps that are essential to the game need to be integrated.

Whether a point is lightly toughed upon is really a matter of how well you are able to extrapolate on its meaning.

It’s not particularly helpful if I critique your critique, but on the one hand you are saying that my post is too wordy and on the other hand your saying my points are lightly touched upon… Either way I’m not sure that you’re focused on the relevant factors.

In this reply you appear more interested in schooling me on how to post, that’s not as important as the message that was being delivered. I think that you’ve done that because the idea that I am transmitting is too big for you too understand and threatens the control you wish you had over the problems you perceive.

In closing I would ask, would you ignore the contents of a message because you didn’t appreciate the messengers clothes?

No…you left out…

  1. The vast majority of people who simply play the game and enjoy it…not being vocal enough.
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Second Life had voice integrated into it as far back as 2007…yet here we are in 2022 and one has to use a 3rd party app ( discord ) to voice in Eve. Gosh…it all reminds me of the days of using Roger Wilco app back in 1998 for TFC.

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The point that I was making about free markets is that non-competitive entities naturally die off. I feel like I need to repeat it as your response suggests that you did not interpret that meaning. Instead you’ve focused on the idea that 3rd parties themselves need to compete with each other.

The proposition you stated that apps need to compete with each other is subject to the concept that the apps have already competed, it is presupposed by their continuing existence in the market, so yes, but not the point that I was making.

Allow me to elaborate;

If these third party apps weren’t essential to the game -in other words- if they weren’t competitive, they would not still exist.

Their existence implies their competitiveness and their survival implies their essentiality.

As I stated earlier, the argument against not including them is redundant at this point. The ship has sailed on whether 3rd party apps are relevant since the game can not function properly without them.

Allow me to restate that so that I can be absolutely clear, arguments about the necessity or validity of third party apps are redundant. The game as it stands will not function without these tools. Case in point switch them off watch what happens.

Yes, this is what I am talking about. You buried your point under a whole lot of inaccurate and irrelevant criticism. I’m not sure that I would go with your particular implementation as it is less a less elegant solution that simply including the functionality in the base game. However I am impressed by the detail that you provided.

You’re working from the assumption that some other application is going to topple Z-killboard’s dominance or over throw Dotlan, these applications have an established monopoly. They’re the proven winners. Integrate their functionality, move on. Make way for newer better apps to fill whatever gaps emerge once this functionality is accessible to all in the base game and new tools are required by players wishing to establish some future as yet un thought of advantage.

Customers communicate their interest by means of their consumer habits. When players leave the game they are signalling dissatisfaction, loss of interest, or competing demands. When they pick the game up, they’re signalling their approval and interest. The people are communicating, the question is, can you hear them?

Thanks for adding your voice to the conversation :slight_smile: