Will Paid Expansions Save EvE?

So got this idea from the giant Plex thread plus another dying MMORPG dear to my heart, Turbine’s Lord of The Rings Online.

EvE used to have major expansions, would bring major changes and tons of new features.

One of the last ones that come to mind was the one that brought us Incursions. Many others I am sure you are all aware of and hold dear to your hearts.

Lord of the Rings Online has paid expansion s too. You dont NEED to buy them, just come with major benefits and story parts and even new classes.

You can purchase the LOtR expansions with TURNBINE Points, earned via achievements completed in game. (Erirely similar to the Agency rewarding nuPLEX). You can grind out zone achievements to buy the next expansion.

Sooo, this would give everyone what everyone wants,
CCP would get more money,
player count would jump do to the free grind needes to pay for the expansion if you dont want to use money,
back to MAJOR CONTENT releases every several months,
Agency expanded to giant achievement system and more dailies,


So how do YOU envision that PAID EXPANsIONs will save CCP and EVe?

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So you’d pay plex to do a raid on the drifters?

From a marketing, in-game economic, and community goodwill standpoint that’d be terrible.

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You cant trade turbine points last time i checked. Also, what would you include in that expansion to not screw the currently playing subscribers? How do you envision a balance in the game, loot, ships stats, markets, ISK inflow? If you put something behind a paywall and make it better, how would it look for current players in EVE?

Take for example WIS, some people would buy it, sure, but how many? These are risks I think CCP will not take. But they will for sure make other games, using your subscription.

Also why would you want to eliminate one of the main selling points of EVE, that is no paid DLC and new content available for everyone with subscription?

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It’s one thing to make something free that you used to have to pay for to access.

It’s another entirely to take something that’s always been free, and start making people pay for it. Especially long-time active subscribers like myself.


If they made a 2nd entire high sec region like the empires, complete with missions, various PVE and other carebear stuff to do for all toons at various skill levels, I’d buy it.

But if all there’s gonna be is another PvP region then I wouldn’t, simply because between null space, low sec, wh space and FW there is already too much stuff to do and not enough time to do it in, even if I was a hardcore everyday player, which I am not.

Currently I have 2 toons I actually play, 1 is doing PvE stuff + some trading, the other is low / null general PVP focused. And I actually really want to try out some WH stuff and FW, and can’t cause just not enough time. So expansion in these sort of areas will do nothing for me as I am not nearly close to playing out my current set up.

My PvE toon is mostly HS based with occasional Low Sec for some escalations etc. But is almost done except some of the burner missions. So in this case PVE expansion would be welcome.

But LotR is free to play otherwise, Eve isn’t. Letting people pay for expansions and keeping the subscription fee is basically suicide. Many people think that CCP is already grabbing too desperately for cash.

Subscriptions: every Omega pays for any expansion (because they are included).
Expansion based: only a fraction of people are paying.

Let’s do a very simple mathematical example, assuming two expansions per year:
10k subscribers are paying 12$ per month, resulting in 10000*12$*6=720000$ per 6 months.
Now let’s assume that every other player buys an expansion. It would have to cost 720000$/5000=144$ to result in the same income.

Now consider that:

  • 12$ per Omega and 50% buy rate are already some very optimistic numbers towards the expansion model.
  • An expansion model always favors new content over fixing old ones.
  • Regular expansions favor quantity over quality. You need to put something in there for everyone - and this isn’t WoW where you can just add 10 to the maximum level, 20% to each item stat and a few new dungeons to sell a few million copies.
  • The andbox of Eve doesn’t necessarily benefit from more content (in the common sense of adding more classes, items, dungeons etc) but from more content in the sandbox sense (more player interactions, more player choices, richer and deeper mechanics etc).

A look at CCP’s financial report for last year shows a profitable company with a strong balance sheet. Eve remains their main source of revenue but investments in VR are starting to pay off.

As a sandbox game where players are expected to entertain each other, Eve is niche. Most people want a theme park where the developers provide the entertainment. This means Eve will never be as big as some other games but it is also the main reason for its longevity - CCP got the sandbox right.

At 14, Eve is suffering from legacy debt and it will take time to pay that off but the game developers seem just as committed to Eve as long term players and the profits are there to maintain the current pace of development.

The PCU has limited value as an indicator of health - the Eve player base is maturing along with the game and adults with careers and families have less time to play.

The first mention of “Eve is dying” was July 30, 2003. ( http://nosygamer.blogspot.ca/2014/07/happy-eve-is-dying-day.html ) We’ve come a long way since then!


Will Paid Expansions Save EvE?

Personally I don’t think so, in fact I think they would do the opposite. After 14 years of unpaid expansions I think the player base would riot / leave in droves if we were suddenly told “oh yeah ccp are going to charge for expansions now”.


They could just charge alpha accounts…

Bring out small packs with a ship and reasonable fittings, but add 500k/1m skill points to each pack which they would keep, they’ll go for it, I’m sure of it, I’m a genius :rofl:

when people who have no idea how eve works have ideas on saving it…

saving eve is simple. fix the end game sov system and stop the super capital arms race. Oh and stop ISk sources that don’t involve playing the game. Plex/sp farming etc. Basically make EVE a game people play.

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That is the major problem I see with expansions how they are being done in many MMOGs these days. In order for the expansion to actually bring tangible benefits, you need to kind of devalue the stuff that came before it by making the new stuff straight up better. That is a thing CCP has for the most part (cough T3 cough) avoided doing so far. And since CCP develops new stuff at snails pace, I don’t think they can afford throwing the stuff they have now on the trash.

For many MMOGs, adding optional new content that does not necessarily provide benefits, but is just … well, new content to explore could work, but it would not work for Eve. The cool thing about Eve is, that everyone can in one way or another participate in everything there is in the game, even an alpha who doesn’t pay a single buck. You can if you so desire encounter every player in the game while he’s doing whatever he tends to do.

If you now add let’s say a new type of PVE site that’s only available for people who bought the expansion - how do you imagine this would work? Can the non-expansion players not enter the site? Imagine a roaming gang for example, that’s out hunting for targets. They find targets in one of those sites, just to find that half of their fleet can’t use the gate. That would suck balls, don’t you think?

First of all, EVE had free expansions, and let me tell you it sucks when CCP takes 18 months between expansions and nothing is done or fixed in-between, and once they release their long-awaited expansion, it doesn’t have any of the features that the players are asking for.

Because, in case you haven’t noticed, no matter what they do, it pisses off a bunch of people. If they focus on null-sec sov / gameplay, high-sec gets pissed off. If they focus on high-sec PVE, low and null get pissed off. If they focus on lowsec, carebears get pissed off. If they focus on industry, PVP’ers get pissed off. Nobody’s happy.

CCP won’t double the number of devs they have. Currently the devs are assigned to this fast-paced “fixes and features” schedule. They’re keeping us happy with bug-fixes and minor features that are released often (every month), and they’re releasing major changes (sov changes, citadels, etc.) on their normal 18-month schedule.

You’re asking them to do away with the bug fixes that are done often, and just release the major patches. ■■■■ NO to that. Forget about paying for them, ■■■■ NO even if they’re free.

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Eve is an open sandbox where everyone can in theory interact with everyone. How exactly would paid expansion content work?

You can’t do zones instances as that would go against the entire concept of EVE. It would lead to screams of pay to win and in essence would be. Rich groups could buy access for members and control yet another lucrative source of income.

About the only content I could see as being a paid expansion is a walk in station concept where you have to purchase the expansion to walk in station but it is not needed. Additionally, all consumable econimic items (furniture, decore, rental space, etc) would have to be mamufacturable by any one so as to not great a monopoly. That said, given the numbers, I doubt a WIS expansion would pay for itself.

So really, unless someone comes up with a very new approach to expansions, paid expansions would not work in eve with out drastically unbalancing the game.

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Eve will always be a niche game. All sandbox games are. This is mainly due to the fact that player themselves have to set goals and a lot of people have a hard time setting their own goals. They would rather be told what to do next via quests and want liner progressions.

Paid expansions might work but not for Eve, simply because they never charged for it for 14 years. There have been sub-based MMORPG that charged for expansions before (UO, EQ, Wow all did it), but that era is almost over now.

I can see where you’re coming from, but I’m afraid not.

An approach that might work would be to crowd fund a major enhancement to the game. The company would need to have a clear project plan and a transparent list of features and goals. It would need to be something that appeals to everyone, but for some strange reason I think that, with a convincing project plan, the community might just get behind it.

Since noone has postet this yet:
From 2 expansions to 10 releases - EVE Online’s new release model explained


Absolutely. The problem is … CCP and a clear plan? CCP tend to not know what it is they are doing right now, until it is actually done and they just need to roll it out on TQ.

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Paid Expansions tend to divide the player base to no good end. WoW may be the lone exception as expansions brought players back to some extent.

The problem with your “optional” expansion idea is one of pure in game economics.

Eve is all about optimization, we have beancounted and hair split every aspect of the game to within an inch of its life to figure out what the most optimal way of making isk is.
If the new “optional” expansion content, doesn’t offer rewards that are any greater than can be found in the base game. then no one will buy it, at which point you have just spent a ton of money and development time on something that ends up not being used cough drifter incursions cough

On the other hand, if the new expansion content offers greater isk making potential than without it, then it stops being as “optional” and instead becomes something that people feel they are forced to buy or they will be at a disadvantage. Even if it is something that can be unlocked via AK points or whatever, you are now making people grind even harder. and gating content behind a grind has never been a good method of doing things.

The end result will either be, a whole lot of wasted money for a feature no one uses. or a whole bunch of players feeling burned, or getting burned out on grinding in order to access content that has always been delivered for free. (and was developed at the price of core game fixes.)

When CCP figures out how to create a procedural mission generator, together with a procedural “agent-text” generator explaining the mission, then they could bring out new expansions with more npc content every week. whoever designed the current system for creating missions never had extendability in mind. i’m not sure extendability is a word, but you understand it anyway.