What if EVE Online was FUN?

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Totally correct. Nothing in the NPE actually teaches you gameplay. No amount of tutorials or text help can substitute for actual practice until it all becomes automatic. The whole issue of confidence is crucial. Some claim that confidence comes from going straight out and doing PvP, but I really don’t think it does, as what little PvP a noob can afford to do is just not going to have the same muscle memory effect as repeated practice over and over…which does indeed require a more comprehensive PvE experience.

100 hour of one game and then you have to learn a completely different game? Doesn’t sound right to me. You can’t teach people to build real things to make money with these things without interaction with other players on the market, at resource harvesting, at building these things in stations or structures. You can’t teach people in these 100 hours to fight something for real (ie. with better ships than a tutorial frigate) without player interaction from the market unless you want to give them big handout ships.

Your idea doesn’t create confidence. It creates people playing a single player game that ends after 100 hours and they they need to learn a Multiplayer Game almost from scratch. That’s a CCP way to do things, but it’s not a good way to do things. And you even keep on rambling about how this Markus guy got better and more comfortable through player interaction. Gosh… That’s even more like CCP. Total disconnect.



So, this type of content is going to appeal more to players wanting a theme park experience, than it will to players wanting a hardcore, PvP-focused experience. So, even though I think it would help a lot of players stick around for longer, a lot of those guys would likely just end up bailing once they burn through that 100 hours of content. And, of course, I’m sure it will result in even more forum threads of guys asking for PvE only servers, or guys saying that gankers are ruining the game. So, even though it will hep improve new player retention, it will probably just be delaying the inevitable for a lot of those players.

Of course, this is not to say that I think it would have no effect. More time with the game would increase the chances that players bite onto one or more hooks (i.e. get invested in their characters/progression/lore, make friends, join groups, discover activities that they love), as well as give some direction to newbros who don’t yet know what they want to do. Moreover, I do know that at least some players start playing thinking Eve is a different type of game (i.e. more like Elite Dangerous or whatnot), but end up loving it in spite of the fact that it didn’t conform to their initial expectations.

Hm. And I suppose it would also increase the amount of money CCP could squeeze out of newbros before they bail. But let’s not give them any ideas.

I don’t know man. I’m not going to say that it would have no positive effect, but I’m not so sure that it would make a huge difference. Moreover, I would think that CCP should concentrate on acquiring and retaining the type of players that actually want to play Eve for what it is, rather than slap some theme park style content on the front end.


Looking at the entertainment value from the perspective of a fun, extended learning tool is only one reason.

The bigger issue is still this: somebody’s got to do the PvE in this game, REPEATEDLY. It’s where most of the ISK and necessary materials for ships come from.

Most new players will at the least need to do the ISK-earning part, which is not very important, but also not as terrible as the mining and PI parts. For some veterans there is real incentive to push the mining onto inexperienced newbies, making matters worse.

For a game, such a huge boring section at the foundation is a major point of failure. More iterations of the NPE cannot fix this.

EVE is not a sandbox. Never was. It’s a themepark with most of the rails and supervision removed. EVE is actually much more reliant on PvE than most multiplayer games are.

What are your definitions for the terms ‘sandbox’ and ‘theme park’?

I play FFXIV, and that game is what I call a themepark. It has a straight progression path, a set story, new content released on a cycle, and people only care about the newest content, or what you’d metaphorically call the latest theme park ride.

Eve is what I call a sandbox. You can at least try to go anywhere you want right from the start. There is a background, but there is no defined story going forward that shoehorns you into any particular destiny. There is no ship you have to fly, no mission you have to complete, other than maybe the tutorials depending on what the flavor of the NPE currently is.

FFXIV is lots of direction and almost no freedom to affect the world or change the story. → Theme park.
Eve is almost no direction and lots of freedom to affect the world and write your own story. → Sandbox.

We know.

I use those game definitions similar to their real world counterparts, but with a little more leeway.

The RL sandbox-experience is designing and sculpting sandcastles. A sandbox video game allows the player to do a lot of creative design with a great degree of freedom. This freedom can be mostly esthetic, creating 3d-models, but I extend it to designing systems as well.

Sandbox games include City builders, Minecraft, Factorio, Starbound, RimWorld and Oxygen not Included. MMOs are not included.

Themepark games are analogous to a RL themepark, so you have a huge grounds with many separate rides in it and kids running around.
In a videogame, the rides can a quest, a mission, a lifeskilling grind or just a pack of mobs at a location.

EVE is a themepark game.

Most MMO competitors additionally push the players to follow a predetermined path past many of the rides in a fixed order and tell them a story, but this does not make these WOW-clones any less of a themepark than EVE. It’s an addition.
Remove the railroading and let the kids bash each others’ heads in and you get a themepark more similar to EVE.

I did not suggest that they could not or should not interact with other players or the market. I think that interaction is important. What I was suggesting is the game should be good enough WITHOUT relying on other players cooperating with your experience.

EVE has a lot of different “games” but also piloting skills are universal. Sure they may not be a great PvP pilot by the end by itself (the same is true with most competitive games with a single player story to teach fundamentals) but they WILL have built the muscle memory in their piloting skills allowing them to be confident enough to take part in, and competent enough to learn from, competitive environments.

Is Dark Souls a Sandbox or Themepark? Why should we be limited to one or the other?

You do not need an “active” story, but rather EVE’s mysteries are very interesting and you could use discovery of what has happened rather than some grand plot you take part in. In the end the Universe moves on without the experience and thus should be timeless.

Not having any direction to go on isn’t what makes it a Sandbox. The Empires could have ongoing goals that we can take part in and watch out input contribute to the larger efforts. If you want a true Universe where our actions have impact, that should be in PvE AND PvP. A living Universe means the Empires are alive too.

This is my point. We need to distract and entertain the player enough for them to get comfortable with the basics and give them opportunity to stumble upon the wider world.

Isn’t that why we have High Sec? In high sec people can experiment with a lot of different things to grow accustomed to all sorts of aspects of EVE, competitive or not. They have missions, exploration, mining to use their ships and get used to module handling; they have the market to get all the things they need; they can dabble in PVP with duels and other means, among other things.

You can’t agree with what Shipwreck wrote there because you want to send players on an isolated adventure with no player interaction. You can’t find friends or groups when you do an isolated adventure for 100 hours. Do you know how you can find friends and groups with adventures? With things like the SOE Epic Arc if you cannot kill the final boss on your own, ask in local or Arnon for help and then get that help and maybe a chat with other players that explain some more things to you.
Speaking of which, I think there should be a SOE Epic Arc public channel that you join the moment you accept the Epic Arc so that you can ask for help in a more intuitive place in addition to local chat.

I’m not saying that EVE can’t benefit from an on-rails adventure. I have pointed out several things that could lead to a more alive and varied universe in my PVE Concepts topic. However, these aspects should not be isolated from the rest of the galaxy. It should be possible that other players engage you or with you during such an adventure. That would also mean that you could potentially lose a ship or needed cargo to complete a mission but that is fine. The adventure could work in such a way that it recognizes your effort and doesn’t fail irreversibly but instead goes an alternative route and gives you another chance or two. There are tons of possible venues in EVE that would lend themselves extremely well for on-rails adventures, but providing people with a single player experience for those is not going to help EVE become a better place.

This approach would make EVE a worse place, as Abyss space has demonstrated. Instead of being part of the normal EVE experience, CCP saw itself forced to introduce special rules to protect innocent abyssal runners from typical EVE experiences.


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I am not saying that those are bad things, but they are insufficient. They have been maligned and neglected, some for over a decade. They are the small examples of what EVE could be if we built out that side of the equiation. What if you actually could be engaged with what is going on in the universe through your PvE interactions in Highsec?

This could be as simple as Aura reading you the text and giving you pertinent information on your way to the mission location, to as complex as AI-driven Empires that players can contribute to the success and failures of through aiding or disrupting their efforts.

The Invasions opened people’s eyes to what EVE could be if we embraced PvPvE and PvE for a purpose at full scale and people loved it. It only didn’t go far enough, and the number one complaint was its lack of followthrough and follow-up. That only means it could have been so much better with small iterative improvements.

How has the Abyss demonstrated this? What is the demonstration?

That all depends on the theme of the park as it were.

EVE Online already has Themepark elements, I just want them to be good

That only thing it showed to people was that CCP decides how things play out and not the players even though CCP said the players would decide it.

As said, special rules were introduced to protect people from the typical EVE experience.


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This is commonly said, but is so far from true it is insulting to those who poured hours into the outcome.

Where is your demonstration of negative impact? Also if that was true than you wouldn’t be able to be venerable as you come out of the filament.

There have already been sites safer from outside interference than the Abyss is thanks to “special rules to protect people”. The idea that the Abyss sets aside time where you can dedicate your entire focus to the task isn’t inherently bad and has unlocked a lot of benefits to gameplay.

Also from the same recording:

All these sites were introduces after Abyss became a thing. Only after introducing instanced PVE, CCP Rattati et al jumped head first on the idea that there needs to be more of that so that they can give people an experience that CCP wants people to experience without player interference. In particular without EVE like interference, as the special rules for the Stargate Trailblazer event demonstrated (pulling of NPC was declared an exploit and forbidden to do).

That’s not what EVE is about. You shouldn’t be able to just do your thing without having to worry about what’s going on around you. Especially not when it generates so much income. It was still somewhat balanced when T4+ gave suspect timers to keep some risk up in high sec and drive people out of high sec into more secluded areas (which meant need for logistics and thus more risk in other areas of EVE) but CCP took that suspect flag away because no one was interested in that risk and no one ran the sites. They had to make the content unbalanced to convince people to use the feature and now it’s been unlanced for years and floods tons of ISK into the economy with no tangible downsides.

I spent 10+ hours every day in the Invasions trying to prevent liminality in a feature that was bugged to hell and CCP didn’t give a rats ass about the bugs. I even spent time in Arshat clawing it back from First Lim into an Edencom Fortress.
The result that CCP went for, especially by ducking over Serenity with our Final Lim systems when Serenity wanted nothing of that and instead went for full Edencom Victory, was the real insult. Not what I said.


Nope there have been lock-out gates and keyed gates for quite some time.

This limits the amount of engagement the site itself can provide as it must still allow for you to maintain a broader situational awareness. There is room for both.

This is evidence of how you DID effect the outcome. Do not undersell EDENCOM’s accomplishments.

Yeah. What is a new player going to learn in 15 seconds, BOOM.

None of these could not be unlocked by these means. You can just pre-farm the keys and then surprise the unsuspecting farmers, for instance. You can’t do that with Abyss space or the pop locked SCC sites.

I’m not underselling Edencom’s accomplishments. You massively oversell and misrepresent what CCP has done with the Invasion.


You don’t think you can surprise people coming out of the abyss far easier?

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No. It’s trivial to avoid getting surprised when you come back. Even if it wasn’t and even if you get nicked by gankers, it has barely any impact because it’s so easy to recover and replace the losses.