Why people play

Yeah, more than a pinch of salt required. All depends on the game architecture. In my first week of Eve after doing career agents, the SoE arc etc I did a bit of venture mining and got some combat site loot, and of course the question “where to sell it” was next. It was at this point that the “single shard” struck home, so while my choice of Rens or Hek was significant for me it was mostly unimportant for everyone else but only mostly, that choice still had an overall effect on the game universe. Me hooked anyway, along with the sense of risk you have at all times undocked even if sometimes minimal.

In contrast, ED doesn’t have a player driven market and everyone is bubbled in an instance, so I mostly lost interest very quickly, it might as well be a solo game like one of the X games. ED openplay PvP is a bit different but at best its small gang.

So this is why I found Aether Wars so interesting, from what I remember the architecture was scalable like ED (i.e. lower infrastructure costs) but had the single shard experience that Eve offers, or at least potentially considering it was a tech demo.

DU seems to have taken those principles on board and it will be interesting to see how they make that work. What did concern me a little was I heard “Procedurally Generated” a couple of times, if that’s just planet surface and biomes then that might be ok but if it applies to systems and they are populated “on the run” then I’m not sure.

ED’s galaxy is as good a mimic of the Milky Way as they can get it, they’ve generated system/planets stats based on exoplanet science and if exploration gets you going then it’s pretty neat.

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Indeed. That’s why I follow the development closely.

Yah, it was a bit confusing, the conflicting sounding posts, without any explanations, sounded more like complaint than information.

But now that I understand where you’re coming from, back on topic -

This is a good point in that EVE differs from many MMO’s due to being a “persistent state world”, defined by Richard Bartle as a virtual world that “continues to exist and develop internally even when there are no people interacting with it".

This feature is a core mechanic for null sec, requiring sovereignty and such to change hands depending on player actions. However, most high sec players don’t really deal with or need persistence much more than other MMO’s. Sure in some others you can leave an item on the ground and it will disappear at server reset, while in EVE you can anchor an object and it will be there for days for all to see. But this is mostly a novelty for most high sec players, neat, but not necessary for most PvE grinding. The existence of npc miners can also affect some players, but can be fairly easily worked around.

A persistent market is what high sec players and all players really become familiar with, but persistent markets exist even in MMO’s that don’t really use persistence in their world in general. What seems to set EVE’s market apart from other persistent markets is the cycle of destruction. Pretty much everything can be destroyed and therefore required to repurchase. Part of the how everyone affects everyone within the game.

This indeed can be fun, and really a side effect of trying to achieve competence in a very complex game. Almost a game within a game.

This is very much doable, but a lot depends on the game engine architecture. I believe the Unity engine is quite capable of rolling RTS, 3rd person shooter, 1st person shooter, turn-based, etc… all into one game. It doesn’t appear that EVE’s engine is designed for such versatility, but maybe CCP are working on that with PA.

These are social aspects that are done fairly well, and there are suggestions in forums about trying to guide new players to compatible corps. One aspect of EVE that seems contradictory though is that EVE sends out the vibe of a dark dystopia and mistrust is more the norm. A general rule in EVE often said is “trust no one”. So you would think it would be difficult for the devs to promote group or co-op play within such an environment. But to their credit, the players do overcome mistrust and form up groups to their fun and advantage.

Overall though, EVE has been and continues to be a niche MMO. Just my own suspicion, the devs appear to be going in the direction that they own the niche they carved out, and recent changes seem to be doubling down on that.

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Great write up. In order to translate this into effective messaging for the current CCP you need to show them how to make the most money fast…that is it.

They don’t seem to care about indepth game universes or how pve and pvp intertwine - they just want our dollars.


This is my hope because obviously I’ve invested time/effort in this universe but I really miss that direct control element. tbh I would be happy if there was a “combat mode” overlay or even a seperate game, similarly with FPS, as long as actions within those affected the whole universe. Presumably Valkyrie & Dust were attempts along those lines and it’s a shame they are no longer options.

I’ve dealt with alphas a lot over the years, just trying to encourage them to try different things and give them pointers. Mostly that works well if they will actually talk to you , that trust issue is a big barrier. So many alphas (from my observation) do a bit of mining and a bit of combat for a while but don’t get that leg up into a corp and some leave.

I’ve always felt the ISDs should run “inbetween” corps which aren’t NPC but then focus on gameplay styles. So it’s an option while you find your feet and you get to sample the social side of corp life before finding where you belong. Obviously this would mean ISDs would have to devote time/resources to this which means CCP would have to support that somehow. EveUni does a lot of this but you have to know about them in the first place. Somewhere a few interventions from CCP are needed I think.

The final thing that I’ve always found a little disappointing about Eve is that mostly faction doesn’t matter. It’s hard to roleplay if 99% of players aren’t. At the same time as a player you don’t want to be forced to RP if it’s not your thing. I wondered whether it might be possible for 1 day a month Eve had a “Through The Looking Glass” day where it was reversed so that corp/alliance didn’t matter and faction did. You could restrict it so that you could only undock in T1 Frigates & no T2 mods, everyone undocks, blows stuff up then next day back to normal. Even though Eve combat is not my thing I would participate in that because it sounds fun, to me at least.

That’s another common thing they say on the forums, besides “you can’t play solo”. “Your zkillboard is empty, you’re playing it wrong”.

And according to SDT these people are just under controlled causal orientation.

Causality orientations theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) distinguishes among
three broad classes of behavior and motivationally relevant psycho-
logical processes: autonomous, control-determined, and impersonal.
Autonomous behaviors are initiated and regulated by choices that are
based on an awareness of one’s needs and integrated goals. People
who function autonomously are hypothesized to seek out choice and
to experience their behavior as self-initiated. Control-determined be-
haviors are initiated and regulated by controls in the environment such
as reward structures or by internally controlling imperatives indicating
how one “should” or “must” behave. People who are oriented toward
control are expected to seek out controls and to interpret their environ-
ment as controlling. Impersonal behaviors are those whose initiation
and regulation are perceived to be beyond a person’s intentional con-
trol. People with an impersonal orientation are likely to believe that they
cannot control their behavior and consequently cannot obtain desired
outcomes; their behavior can generally be described as amotivational
or helpless.

When you apply to a corp, usually you gain a lot of relatedness unless it’s a giant corp, but at the same time you lose your autonomy. There are fleet roams you must attend, structure bashes and defence, wars, etc., FC jumps and warps you around, calls targets.

This is the kind of behaviour where people feel motivated to demonstrate ability to maintain self-worth. While this is internally driven, introjected behavior has an external perceived locus of causality or not coming from one’s self. Since the causality of the behavior is perceived as external, the behavior is considered non-self-determined.

Life goals are long-term goals people use to guide their activities, and they fall into two categories:

  1. Intrinsic Aspirations : Contain life goals like affiliation, generativity and personal development.
  2. Extrinsic Aspirations : Have life goals like wealth, fame and attractiveness.

There have been several studies on this subject that chart intrinsic goals being associated with greater health, well being and performance.


That doesn’t quite go in line with what @ccp_ghost and @ccp_hellmar both said in Friendship Machine. Eve does indeed create friendships and strong relationships. But losing autonomy may jeopardize ones psychological wellbeing.

Having said that I understand that large groups of people, especially here in Eve, with corporations and alliances of the scale unseen in other MMOs, with military nature of many of them, require structure and discipline, and some rigidity.

Eve however, thankfully, supports many playstyles. Playing solo is a disadvantage, but it is also a challenge. I get to set my own goals.


Autonomy is not exactly freedom or independence. It’s perception of agency in behavior, in making decisions. It’s up to devs to make corp and fleet activities perceive as more engaging.

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i fell i was misquoted here because it was in other topic and , I’m alright with the person i was arguing now, but she was telling stuff about low sec which i thought was lies , i live in low and have a good experience about the place and got passionate , for the behavior stuff , i try to follow the teachings of lao tzu and marcus aurelius , i think most of the things are out of our influence , and we need to look inside , and have good thoughts , not always can do it, punny human , but i try

I’m glad you made it up with Nana. I’m not trying to portray you as a bad person. It’s just the quote was such a glaring instance of something I was arguing over in another forum with devs of another game.

It’s an f2p fantasy MMO which was fine but went pay2win too much. I argue that they trained their paying playerbase into control determined behavior, when only extrinsic aspirations matter, gearscore is god, killboard, ladder etc are all there is. The only goal is to be on top, the only way to the top is to pay up. F2p players are treated as garbage to eventually succumb to learned helplessness which is impersonal behavior, when the outcome does not depend on their actions, they feel and actually are useless for their party and clan, and faction.

It’s demonstrably unsustainable. They don’t even have community managers anymore since last year, so I argue with myself or with the wall there. Quite frustrating tbh.

Eve, thankfully, is quite the opposite example. It’s a sandbox and you get to set your own goals. You can be successful as an alpha. You may never undock and be a trillionaire trader or a industry tycoon. You can mine or explore, etc…

The argument is that in Eve you actually can be successful, play an important fulfilling role in the community and have an empty killboard.

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@CCP_Dopamine, @CCP_Convict Lead UX Designer -> https://celiahodent.com/

CCP: “Play YOUR Way!!.. except you can’t really. You’ll be harassed, mocked, ganked, and beaten into submission until you either accept the 1337 pvper meta of large-scale carebear renting/mining (and now marketeering in unkillable Keepstars in Highsec) or just quit the game altogether…”

The expanded and more truthful motto.

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You can, you just have to accept that other people playing their way may have goals that conflict with yours.

If you can’t do that then there’s plenty of other games out there.


Bollocks ! I have 3 characters, 1 solo, 1 in a small HS (& wormhole) alliance and one in a large LS corp. No-one harrasses, mocks, ganks or beats me into submission. Just because you’re a wimp don’t think we all are…




Thanks for the thread, Siegfried Tahl
It’s very interesting stuff.

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Interesting, the difficulty is a sandbox MMO is so different from the standard clone MMO that a study done on one hardly applies to the other since anything unique to the other is inherently missing.

As a developer myself I am very cautious about these sorts of apples and oranges comparisons.

Especially since they tend to be used to make some point that would not normally make sense. The validity of design ideas can be measured in how much ■■■■■■■■ it takes to justify them.

Good link. Altho a very different game, this was an interesting read … https://celiahodent.com/understanding-the-success-of-fortnite-ux/#more-1638

I play so I can be completely dusted into oblivion by annual CSM elections that are always won by . . .

ahem…why bother?

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Just make 3000 skill injector alt accounts and you can win the election next year.

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