BB#60: On New Wings

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 60th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

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Jakob Anedalle of Jakob's Eve Checklist blog asks:
With Phoebe about to land, CSM Minutes now out, and more of CCP Seagull's vision from Eve Vegas it appears CCP has a bold roadmap, is making big changes, and is willing to take a hit in the short term to see it through. What do you see as the measurable signs that will tell us that they've succeeded? What outcome will we see as players? Is it concurrent player count or something else?



Eve, by whatever measure you want to apply, is an insanely successful experience that has been chugging along for over a decade. While never the wildly insane ride that, say WoW was, Eve chose its own path and resolutely determined to forge an entirely cold, dark, and hard (some might say uniquely Icelandic) vision of space. This both worked well and often put Eve at odds with acceptance by a wider community of gamers. Eve was dark. Eve was cold and unforgiving. And Eve was hard.

It would be easy then to just accept these principles and chug along for another half-decade or so. CCP would be forgiven if they had rested on their laurels and let Eve go along carelessly for as long as enough people logged in to pay for the bottom line. All the while releasing new and more widely accepted game experiences and investing in new directions.

For those of us who love Eve it is certainly refreshing that this is not the path CCP has chosen. In fact it seems more and more certain that the opposite is true. As unlikely as it seems, it appears that CCP has only recently hit its stride. And that Eve, despite hitting double digits in age, is rapidly entering a period of insane openness. And growth. And, maybe even (heaven forbid) some measure of warmth.

It appears, from this blogger's perspective, that CCP actually has a concrete vision. Something that was not always obvious in the first decade. Granted, this new vision might not be everyone's cup of tea. And already the old guard has arisen to log complaints, to grumble in the dark, and to threaten un-subbing. The numbers are flat, or trending in dangerous directions. This is change. This is unknown. These are challenging times. This is classic overreaction. This is Eve changing course.

Right now there can be no argument that Eve is the best it has EVER been. The game looks better, works better, and constantly challenges the status quo. The new Expansion schedule is nuts, the world moves under our feet so fast it can make your head spin.  CCP actually seems to be paying attention, and implementing changes that are making Eve more open to more players. Adding more ships, updating old ships, changing small things and implementing new ones. It is enough to drive you crazy.

Yesterday I talked to a player who had just come back to Eve after being away since 2011. How to explain what has happened? I was honestly tongue-tied to sum it all up. So much has changed, and more is coming. Soon we'll be able to plan and implement 10 years of skill training for goodness sake. Eve is the same and yet it is fundamentally changing right under our feet.

Naturally change brings turmoil. And change means the unknown. How will Eve look in another year?

Let's put it this way. Eve unchanged is doomed. Eve changed is... well, open to new possibilities. The only way forward is to move forward. Eve cannot remain the "way it was", it has to change, grow and continue to challenge us all. And if some of the old guard can't hack it, then perhaps Eve is better off without them. Maybe new players will be more than happy to fill the gaps left by the old, and challenge us all in new and interesting directions.

I'm on board. I'm a big fan of shaking up the status quo. Eve needs it. We need it.

As for success? The only true measure of success is Eve itself. While I'd love to see the numbers skyrocket, in the end the true measure of success, the only one that matters is the survival of Eve. And it appears that CCP is more committed to that success now than they have ever been. And that is enough for me to remain incredibly optimistic.

The roadmap is interesting and I can't wait to see what's next.



6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. I just get tired of all the doom and gloom, when Eve is obviously right smack dab in the middle of its glory. It took a long time getting here, but these are potentially the golden years.

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  2. Well said. I started playing EVE couple of years ago and from last spring onward I have felt more and more optimistic about the future of this game. It is not one thing, but all the small (and big) things together. It would appear that CCP has begun to work properly and is finally able to work efficiently, learn from the mistakes, listen to the concerns of the players (can't please everyone though!) and especially have finally commitment to quality.

    I too look forward to the future with anticipation.

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  3. "And if some of the old guard can't hack it, then perhaps Eve is better off without them"

    I have to admit - that is a thought which has gone through my head as well. Maybe MMOs (not just EVE) would be better off gameplay-wise if occasionally they pushed out all veteran players who only log in out of habit, but don't really have a challenge anymore. The bean-counters of course would be up in arms about that idea.

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