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This month's Banter Topic was suggested by by Jakob Anedalle
"I liked the discussion on The Neocom's recent "Tinfoil Factory" on the future of attributes in Eve. Perhaps piggyback on that and invite those folks into the banter as well?"
Attributes and Skills
Does Eve need attributes? It's been discussed a lot recently. Unlike other MMO's your characters attributes don't make a difference in day-to-day gameplay. They simply set how fast you train a skill. Is it time to remove attributes from the game or totally revamp their purpose? Do they add a level of complexity to the game that is not needed? If you really need to use a 3rd party application to get the most from it should it be in the game? Should they be repurposed with each attribute adding a modifier to your ship? Are attributes a relic from the past or are they an important part of Eve - You make your decision and deal with the consequences?
I almost decided to skip this one. I neither have an informed opinion regarding this topic, nor do I even know much about it. To be perfectly frank with you I haven't remapped an attribute in over three years on any of my characters. There was a time years ago when maximizing my skill training was extremely important to me. And then, somewhere along the way, I just stopped worrying about it. Now I just leave them as they are, max them out, and let things roll along as they will.
Everywhere you look in Eve there is another book of knowledge to open. I find that there are only so many of these books that I'm willing to care about. Perhaps this has more to do with the sheer amount of responsibility that I carry. Not only in-game but out of it as well. Perhaps. As I was considering skipping this topic this month it also occurred to me that perhaps it isn't about yet another book of knowledge to open at all. Maybe my indifference speaks to the topic itself.
Attributes have always felt like a left-over thought from another game. An old-style method of character modification that feels a bit "old-timey" now. I suspect they very well may have come into play more significantly back in the very early days. I know, even when I started playing, that things were different. For example, your racial selection had a lot to do with your early days of training. I was stuck in Caldari ships for a long time because I was born with Caldari skills.
Either way they don't make a lot of sense now. In the context of role-playing they make almost no sense at all. So why hang on to them? It seems like an unneeded level of complexity to an already complex game. So I would recommend removing them and replacing them with something that might make more sense in the long run.
I'll be straight with you, this part isn't something I've spent a tremendous amount of brain-power on. But it would at least seem natural to develop core skill sets that would affect certain types of activities. Let's think about mining for a minute and imagine a skill set that affected mining yield, perhaps one that would incrementally increase the more you used it? Perhaps other skill sets would enhance other activities? And again, while these enhancements might be very, very small - they would still be enhancements. Perhaps areas that could be even further upgraded with matching implants and boosted with drugs. This would require some effort at fixing linking, something that needs to happen anyway. But perhaps that would be a better track to at least consider.
Or we just remove them and pretend like they never existed in the first place. I don't really think anyone would mind all that much. And it'd be one less thing a new player would need to learn about, fret over and then eventually realize doesn't mean all that much in the long run.
I'm all for keeping Eve complex, but it needs to be complex in the right places. Attributes, at least to me, seem to be an increasingly silly place to be complicated.
What are your thoughts?
PS: Check out Kirith's post on this subject when you get a chance. It is very weird how similar our two posts are. I had this pointed out to me on Twitter and finally went over to read his post. If I remember correctly we've had this happen to us before.