Have to agree with @Maekchu here. Matchmaking doesn’t make for great socialisation.
It makes me think of MOBA’s where players generally play in silence until they start blaming eachother for failures and insulting eachother or you have that one guy (usually me) telling the rest of the team what they are doing wrong.
After playing in a community of thousands for about a year, i came out with less than 5 friends who were mostly there for stat comparison rather than socialisation. And then there were a few names that would get a ‘nod’ from me in games for being frequent friend or foe. But that’s it.
When you look at eve, it’s a totally different experience. It is by far the most social game ever made. Friends you make here are friends for life. You talk to them everyday, not just when you’re in fleet, but during down times as well. You enjoy the best of times and endure the worst of times with them right by your side.
Several people that don’t play eve anymore i keep in touch with by other means, and some of them if i saw in the street I’d just run up to them and hug the bastards.
Can you really say you’ve had that type of friendship from matchmaking instances? I doubt it.
Why might this type of friendship not be as common in eve today as before? It’s pretty simple, the necessity of allies is no longer a thing. Players aren’t reaching out to eachother because they don’t need protection of eachother from eachother. Players may enjoy the good times together, but you really know who your friends are when they stick with you through the bad times. You know who your friends are when they can stab you in the back and take you for everything but instead give you and trust you with their own assets. For the vast majority of players though, those bad times are gone. The need for trust is gone. Patched out over the years.
Add to that the expectation that they should be able to play alone is much more prevalent in todays gaming culture. So that’s what CCP have provided safety and independence. Not realising they have very likely engineered their own demise by doing so…