BB65: My Head Hurts

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

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.


  1. I will say simply that they should go. If you need evidence of this, look at the 'old school' training skill's that they deleted a long while back (Eve didn't stick with me until my 3rd or 4rth attempt at it, so I remember that even if I was never active during that time period). I don't know what you do with all the attribute implants on the market tho. There would be some extremely sore rear-ends if they simply deleted them.

    1. Maybe a slow roll-down over time? That might help ease the sting a bit.

  2. I think we should keep attributes as a possibility, but with less complexity. All attributes get even, no abilities to remap. Only option to change them are Implants. maybe some more powerful implants that reduce x but improve y in addition to our +1 to +5.

    But maybe I'm not the right to talk to. 8 Years of skilling leaves little things open. Don't know how it is for a new bro. But if I play a game and find out that I could do it better if I would make a different choice, I often choose to restart. That may end in en exit for eve.

    Reduce complexity, but keep the Implants. Eggs must have value after removing clone costs.

  3. Attributes and Implants were and are, as I see it, all about "fitting" your clone.

    I never got really into it though I do know guys who can go on and on about it like so many can with fitting your ships. And I always felt attributes were like the base bonuses of a given hull type and 'plants were basically 'modules' for your brain. So Attributes and Implants were about the overall effect that they, working in conjunction with each other, can give your clone.

    I myself decided early on to go for balanced attributes across the board and implants for fitting. My base 'plants are Stds, giving me a 4% overall boost and my hardwire set evenly bonuses Cap and CPU no matter whether I am flying shield/guns or armor/missiles or shield/missiles or armor/guns etc., etc. ... except for 8, 9 & 10 which bonus scanning, hacking & salvaging which have always been specialties of mine.

    As for whether or not we need to 'keep' them... for me personally they are a mildly interesting part of our overall gameplay and I don't like the idea of getting rid of anything in the game that nerfs the game overall. Understand I don't explicitly care about attribs... I care about the game as a whole and I will always take a stand against nerf creep... the slow yet inexorable dumbing down of the game for no other reason than "I don't like this"... The stand that EVE for some reason need to be "easier"... I disagree in principle. EVE does not "need" to be easier. EVE players are smarter and more involved players on average BECAUSE EVE is complex and not "easy" to master and I don't want to see that change.

    Just my opinion...

    1. I don't want Eve to be easier either, I just don't want it to be needlessly complex. There is a difference between something that needs to be learned, experienced and explained like ship fitting for example - and something that is just needlessly complex for no good reason. I think attributes could be modified to make more sense, perhaps enhance performance, and still be easier to understand.

    2. No to be argumentative... (seriously I do not mean to be) but...

      All of both of our arguments hinge on the definition of "needlessly" as regards complexity.

      Always remember, one man's needless complexity is another man's fascinating intricacy... IE just because you 'don't like it' or feel it 'is too complex' or that it is just 'awful gameplay' is a personal, subjective definition... and other players will have personal subjective definitions that are directly opposed to yours...

      So who chooses? Who's right? To me ship fitting is a nightmare of needless complexity... yet others LOVE it... but you don't hear me saying it needs to be simplified, nerfed or gotten rid of.

      Needless... or FUN... complexity can be many tings to many different players.

    3. As for me I just ignore it and refuse to deal with it. I have my attributes set and just go with them as they are. As for who decides it certainly isn't me, last I remember it was our friends at CCP. So we'll just have to wait and see what they decide, if anything, to do.

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  5. Attributes are way too complex for new players, I remember spending hours over my plans and that was at a time when you could not remap. After remap became available, it got even more complex. Remap was helpful to veterans, that like me had no idea what to chose when first started and ended up with a map that favored Science and Mining, when in fact I was running Combat missions... But I cannot even imagine a new starting player having to deal with remap, accelerated learning times, etc... In my mind, the solution is simple, make all attributes the same level, maxing out would be best for new players, but anywhere in between is also be fine. Implants are still ok, that's the edge someone with a little bit of ISK could have. Then people could focus on really learning how to fly.