The Daily Grind: Why does EVE survive where other PvP sandboxes stumble?

MOP reader Tobasco da Gama pointed us to a recent Reddit thread about why EVE Online persists, even in a weakened state, where other hardcore PvP sandboxes fail. The thread OP posits that in spite of what he calls “CCP’s criminal level of mismanagement and incompetence,” EVE has outlasted other games of its ilk, from Darkfall and Mortal Online to Albion Online and pre-Trammel Ultima Online. The reason? He argues it’s because the vast majority of players who don’t quit outright never leave high-sec and aren’t actually playing the “hardcore” PvP game that New Eden is known for at all. In other words? Most people playing EVE are carebears.

Fightin’ words, right? It makes a lot of sense to me, frankly, and since my husband still plays EVE, I’ve seen the phenomenon in action, that the toxic part of the playerbase perpetually eclipses the majority of normal folks just happily space mining and killing pirates and watching their skill bars go up.

Why do you think EVE survives where other PvP sandboxes stumble?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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71 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Why does EVE survive where other PvP sandboxes stumble?"

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zeko_rena

Because it is an excellent sandbox.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

“the vast majority of players who don’t quit outright never leave high-sec and aren’t actually playing the “hardcore” PvP game that New Eden is known for at all. ”

That part right there. It’s what made me think ArcheAge would work. Then the whole decay system went out, more grind/gear hunting was added, etc.

But back to the topic, I fully agree that even hardcore PvP games need safe zones. You need a place where you can rest and progress, even slowly. Players can’t constantly police their gameworld the same way we do it in real life without international servers (or at least, we can’t do it in a healthy manner since I think most of us want to sleep at 4am).

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Little Bugbear

From an outsiders perspective EVE seems to have a lot of Micromanagement (ships, resources, etc). My guess is that most of the “carebears” like the management aspect of the game, the business or simply the routine. A good sandbox has business and political drama causes business (wars cost resources). All the drama in EVE keeps the games economy active.

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starbuck1771

EVE is Life!

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cista2bpo

Empire space is non-PvP, so EVE it’s not a PvP game .

Aelzen
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Aelzen

I wouldn’t say non-pvp, rather empire space has punishment for pvping. You can absolutely fit a gank catalyst and blow someone up uninvited, but you’ll get blown up by concord (the npc police) in response. Sometimes it’s worth it.

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cista2bpo

That is more like a business transaction, and can be easily avoided. Basically, if you are in a high sec corporation, and your members want to do PvP, then you move your corporation to low sec or null sec.
There are certain acts of PvP that can occur in high sec. But the question was, why is EVE so succesful, and I believe the zoning is one of the reasons.

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Arktouros

Lots of reasons.

First lets address that most PvP oriented games are typically done by relatively tiny companies that aren’t exactly the best developers. So CCP is actually pretty par the course for most PvP sandbox developers. Shadowbane devs literally let people hack their servers and become GMs lol…

Second their business model of allowing PLEX to be sold in game was ahead of it’s time when introduced back around 2008. Now most games, even the venerable WOW, has some sort of cash shop model regardless if it’s B2P, F2P or Subscription. This lets people convert their RL funds to in game cash and in turn lets players convert their income in game to game time.

Thirdly while they’ve started to take tougher approaches lately, they’ve largely gone hands off on what happens in game. There’s really pretty much no where safe in EVE. If you’re a high-sec mission runner there’s going to be people who will scan you down and steal your salvage. If you’re a freighter carrying goods there’s people going to scan your cargo and determine if you’re worth a gank. There’s even people who will try to kill you as high sec Miner or “bump” you out of range constantly. Most games would have gotten progressively “safer” to try to bring more players in but CCP embraces the hostile environment.

Fourth and finally, of course, internet spaceships. Just isn’t much competition out there for that. While I’m sure our children’s children will finally see Starcitizen as a competitor EVE just hasn’t had a rival for space stuff otherwise.

borghive
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borghive

EVE has outlasted other games of its ilk, from Darkfall and Mortal Online to Albion Online and pre-Trammel Ultima Online.

I honestly think this sub genre has never been done justice by the MMO world. All the examples above are poorly made games with dated graphics and IPs that have limited appeal, it is no wonder these games have niche audiences. I would love to see a developer actually make a 2017 PVP MMO that had modern 3D graphics along with a more appealing IP.

Now to answer the people that will post and say that “open world pvp games have limited appeal in general”,one need to look no further than the massive success the survival game market has seen, or the success of MOBAs and arena shooters. PVP games have huge appeal, the top 5 games on Twitch are all pvp games. It is time for a MMO dev to take a chance and make truly make a modern PVP MMO. :)

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Schmidt.Capela

Now to answer the people that will post and say that “open world pvp games have limited appeal in general”,one need to look no further than the massive success the survival game market has seen, or the success of MOBAs and arena shooters.

Which speaks for survival games, MOBAs, and arena shooters. There’s a huge difference in how those games play, and are received by the public, and how an open PvP MMO plays and is received by the public. If that wasn’t the case, you likely wouldn’t care for not having a MMO PvP game due to being able to play PvP on MOBAs and survival games.

It is time for a MMO dev to take a chance and make truly make a modern PVP MMO. :)

UO was, for its time, a big budget, cutting edge sandbox game with open PvP.

How it all went down is what convinced just about every publisher with the money to spare to never again make an AAA-budget game with PvP like it. And how badly big budget open PvP imports did, like Archeage, further cemented among publishers the perception that there is little money to be made from that kind of game.

Publishers — which is to say, the guys who control the purse strings — will only bankroll big budget games if they are quite certain they will be a success. And one of the requirements for reassuring them is very successful games existing in the same genre. Which means that until a low budget open PvP MMO becomes a huge success, or else an open PvP import gains a huge following, the chance of an occidental AAA open PvP MMO being made is about the same as that of a snowball remaining frosty in hell.

borghive
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borghive

UO was very popular as well as Archeage. Archeage struggled because of it’s horrible cash shop. Many people even to this day would probably still be playing Archeage if it didn’t have cash shop issues. Also, Black Desert Online is also mostly a PVP game and is pretty successful as well.

I guess we will have to wait and see how Crowfall and CU do, maybe I am wrong about the whole thing, but I got a feeling these games are going to do well.

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Schmidt.Capela

UO is one of the strongest cases ever for making PvP truly optional, since it doubled its player base after Trammel was added (and did that while competing with the newer, more graphically impressive Everquest).

Black Desert Online is a big budget import that is somewhat restrictive in its open PvP, preventing any non-consensual PvP with players below lv50, and above that there’s enough penalties for attacking a “clean” player that a lot of PvPers complain they can’t even force others out of “their” grind spot (if the target keeps returning to the grind spot, the PvPer is going to get a harsher penalty for repeatedly killing the target than the target will get for being repeatedly killed). So, its success when other PvP MMOs failed can also be seen as an endorsement for more restrictions on PvP.

Crownfall and CU could potentially change that, but they would need to be wildly successful, far more successful than their devs expect; both games are aiming at being small budget niche games, serving their fans as well as possible without compromising their ideals to attract mainstream gamers, so none of them is expected to become profitable enough to catch the attention of publishers looking to create new AAA games. Reaching that kind of unexpected success has happened before, though — Blizzard expected WoW to have about 200K subscribers, for example —, but it can’t be predicted.

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Schmidt.Capela

IMHO one of the reasons is because EVE is sucking most of the oxygen available for the genre, so to speak.

It’s the same thing that happened with WoW, up to when it started to lose subscribers with Cataclysm: it was so big, drawing in so much of the potential player base for games like it, that it wouldn’t allow other games to grow. EVE seems to work in a similar way: most players interested in open PvP with the kind of political play that EVE is famous for seem to be playing EVE already, so other games that bet on this kind of gameplay can’t get enough players to be successful.

To make things worse for those games, a good part of the potential player base for open PvP games seem to prefer the short term character development and the far more common resets of survival games. This seems to be limiting the natural growth of the player base in EVE’s niche, making it even harder for EVE competitors to gain any traction.

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Robert Mann

Invested base, more sand (as compared to many “sandboxes” that are more recent,) some ‘safety’ aspects for those looking for a lighter experience. Social gaming.

The challenge of any upcoming sandbox is to draw from those who might be interested, provide enough freedom to do things that it doesn’t make people like me respond “NO, that’s not a sandbox!” when places like MOP use the term, and also keeps the PvP shenanigans from being a massive negative at all times. For example, Shards or Aria or whatever produced a big negative with not being wise enough to turn off PvP in the introductory area on an Alpha stress test. The number of people I heard or saw declare the game dead to them off that was amazing. Even with the custom shard idea, that little bit of people being asshats was too much and too soon. Whether that perception will stick with them, or if they can change that at all, is something we all have yet to see, of course.

The point is, that even in the sandboxes of real life there are rules. If you act like a jerk, somebody is going to cave your nose in or get somebody with more authority and power than you have. No matter how good everything else is in a sandbox game, if you give minimal consequences to being an asshat, a lot of people will be asshats. Very few other people will stick around.

Certainly, some form of PvP can be a part of a sandbox game. Rules to minimize the asshat factor don’t remove that. They just allow for a much wider population. Which is why more and more games are trying different things, including costs to start up and/or fix your problems (or even just keep playing) when you do go off being an asshat. I don’t think any of the ideas are perfect, or even close yet, but… I think the days of EvE being alone in this are numbered, if the trend of working on systems to that end continues.

Finally, that last point, social interaction is a big part of what makes EvE EvE. Sure, you get the big jerks at times, but I know a ton of people who play in smaller groups in relative safety. They have fun together, occasionally talking with other such groups, and it’s as much hanging out as anything. The game doesn’t constantly pull you to distraction fighting stuff, which is another big part of a full social sandbox.

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Rheem Octuris

“The point is, that even in the sandboxes of real life there are rules. If you act like a jerk, somebody is going to [elect you President.]”

Fixed.

styopa
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styopa

“The point is, that even in the sandboxes of real life there are rules. If you act like a jerk, somebody is going to cave your nose in or get somebody with more authority and power than you have”

To be clear, IRL is the ultimate sandbox.

What bothers me about EVE is that the people who love the gank and suicide attacks, etc all are ACTUALLY HIDING BEHIND THE MECHANICAL HARD WALL of the game. Far from being the rough-riding cowboys of the frontier, they’re just…well, bullies.

Let’s explore, for a moment what would ACTUALLY happen in say, an IRL analogue of the EVE world.
You have the ability to never, ever die from having your ship killed.
So some guy jumps someone else minding their own business, kills his ship and pods him.
Now in EVE, until that victim spends X number of YEARS building skills (there’s no way to accelerate that unless you’re a credit-card warrior) they will simply never ever be able to strike back. Besides, the perpetrator is infinitely safe as are their goods in the ‘perfect storage’ of the system.
In a truly boundary-less world, there are multiple avenues of actual revenge, from lawsuits to criminal filings and legal pursuit to old fashioned vigilantism (say, cutting off someone’s hands, as an example). Which of these are pursued depends on the craziness level of the victim, which the perp IRL can never truly know.

Aelzen
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Aelzen

Now in EVE, until that victim spends X number of YEARS building skills (there’s no way to accelerate that unless you’re a credit-card warrior) they will simply never ever be able to strike back.

Not true. I know a couple players who came on board with the initial Alpha Clone launch that have injected their way into a lot of shiny new ships with isk they’ve earned from ratting and market play. No credit card required.
Are they the majority? Hell no, but it goes to show that if you put in some effort, it doesn’t matter how long a person has been skilling up.

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kgptzac

I think I’ve just read a description of a flame bait thread in the article… nothing worth to discuss on that tbh.

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John Mclain

Sounds fair to me, I rarely if ever left highsec for the few first years in Eve, only sheer boredom and enough isk and assets to where I no longer gave a crap if I lost a dozen expensive ships or so in a day made me finally venture out into lowsec, nullsec and eventually wormhole space when CCP added that. (Though I’m still not a fan of wormholes being insane risk with fairly pathetic rewards compared to low risk and massive rewards in nullsec.)

But yeah, most players are “carebears” in highsec, and thats perfectly fine, in fact they need to be catered to more. (Which CCP seems to be finally improving some this expansion.)

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Eyesgood

Let’s think about the origin of the term “sandbox.” It comes from an analogy from those of us old enough to remember back to our childhood when playgrounds had sandboxes for kids to play in. Back then, there were always playground bullies who caused trouble and tried to hog the sandbox. Of course, the adults could never let the bullies run the playground. The same problems exist in the MMORPG playground sandbox. Every MMORPG that fails to control the bullies ends up either folding or becoming a small-player-base niche game. EVE is controlling the bullies, plain and simple. While the bullies are over in the far reaches of the playground, the nice kids are enjoying the sandbox. It’s the only way to have any kind of playground population, virtual or otherwise.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

I would go so far as to say that many of today’s sandboxes are built for the bullies and encourage them to kick sand in the faces of everyone else silly enough to be trying to build a sandcastle.

Every MMORPG that fails to control the bullies ends up either folding or becoming a small-player-base niche game.

I don’t think this can be emphasized enough. Gamers game to acquire things. Having a mechanic in which everything you have done/acquired can be destroyed is the antithesis of what drives most gamers.

What if every time you died to a landscape mob or wiped in a dungeon, one of your PvE achievements got blown away? Outrageous, right? No developer would ever implement such an arbitrary system to dis-incentivize its player base from playing the game to its fullest. Yet, that’s basically what today’s sandboxes do. Encourage PvE players to build, engage, prosper, then have the PvP zerg guild come in and take or destroy everything.

There’s nothing sustainable about that dynamic.

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Utakata

…it appears the MMO has strong PvE component along with the Greek tragedy drama, space opera PvP, spreadsheet immersion and bullish game economics. It’s seem like a winning formula to me. O.o

I’ll admit though this game is not my thing. But I can see why it appeals to many and still has an appeal to a degree.

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Kayweg

Because for a open PvP sandbox EVE also delivers a huge amount of safely accessible PvE content.
Perhaps that’s where other games struggle ?
Of course, that part of EVE you rarely ever hear about, compared to all the drama stories and “big battle occurred in EVE” news.

miol
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miol

EVE has outlasted other games of its ilk, from Darkfall and Mortal Online to Albion Online and pre-Trammel Ultima Online.

Is Albion Online already struggling that much? o.O

borghive
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borghive

Albion is doing doing pretty good, and if it is tailing off in numbers I wouldn’t attribute that to the fact it is a PVP game. I would say it is having the typical early MMO issues of balance and lack of content in some areas.

styopa
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styopa

Because sociopaths are a fairly loyal bunch when they find they can exercise their kink without shame?

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John Mclain

I’m a sociopath and I rarely if ever harm other players in eve beyond simple pvp. But your right, we do love our “open” pvp sandboxes. Nothing other than Perpetuum ever offered what eve does. (And sadly that game was managed even worse than Eve.)

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Sashaa

Made me laugh ^^.

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Sally Bowls

1) “First mover advantage.” Being somewhat better would not be enough if you wanted to create a similar company/product to entrenched, well-known brands like EVE or Google or Microsoft or Amazon. EvE has a 13 year head start and people who have been playing it for over a decade.

2) small niche. While they probably won’t succeed, you understand why companies would spend hundreds of millions of dollars to be the next Candy Crush, PUBG, or LoL. Being the next EVE is not that valuable.

3) No internal competitors. While CCP has been using EVE as a cash cow to fund other products like WoD, WiS, DUST, Legion, Nova and 4+ VR games, none of them has succeeded yet. If CCP owned Conan Exiles or H1Z1, they would be investing more in those and less in EVE.

4) RMT – There is a several hundred thousand dollar a year business in people buying against-TOS ISK instead of PLEX from CCP. There are Goonswarm that has monetized their Alliance with web sites and other things. So these people would only be swayed by a more profitable game, not a “better” game.

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cista2bpo

“First mover advantage” – on UO?

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Ket Viliano

I am going to question the value of “First” mover advantage, if “First” is interpreted to be sequential in meaning.

Friendster was first, sequentially. Then came MySpace. I forget or never knew what killed off Friendster, but MySpace was mostly used by high school students, and was popular among non-college going young people; Facebook was started at Harvard, the most prestigious of colleges in the USA, and so was adopted by college students and their parents, hence spreading faster and wider with a wealthier crowd. In this sense, Facebook was “First” as in “leader”, rather than first as in sequence.

A similar situation exists for internet search, does anyone remember Lycos? “Fetch, Ubu, fetch”? Or how about AOL keywords? Or, a grubby company called Microsoft, whose “MSDOS” was preceded by the vastly superior Unix and was developed concurrently with the Apple Basic command line, and preceded by Altair Basic. ( I wikipedia’d the dates, and do not want to quibble about software in the ’70s ) The GUI we all know and love was first made available to end users by Apple, yet was rapidly supplanted by the inferior Windows 3.11.

Yet another example concerns MMORPGs, where Meridian 59, UO, and EQ, DAoC, and quite a few others preceded WoW, but could never compare in terms of the customer base.

There are more examples to be mentioned such as the Blackberry Smartphone, and the history of hard drive companies, also known as the fruit flies of the technology industry.

I will assert that “Early Mover Advantage” is a better descriptor of what is going on, from which a “Leader” emerges, the company or product that executes best, and makes the fewest mistakes along the way.

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Sally Bowls

Literally, early mover may be more correct; I used First-Mover as that is the usual business term, complete with its own Wikipedia entry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-mover_advantage

which has “the initial (“first-moving”) significant occupant of a market segment.” Note like most good business definitions, it has a “weasel-word”, significant. So it is more about being the first significant company/product than literally first.

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Ket Viliano

+1 for “weasel-word” and “business”

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Sally Bowls

In my first day of marketing class, the prof used “weasel word”. I think the hypothetical case was a shampoo that really did not need two applications – but sold more if people did – regarding the “For best results, rinse and repeat”

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Ket Viliano

The more interesting argument concerns the durability of being the early leader, how long will the lead last before time and entropy, and the innovation of others, degrade the economic lead.

The early leaders grow old and dated, new competitors emerge and grow, and today’s Big Thing is replace by the Next Big Thing.

Under what circumstances does the Next Big Thing happen?

PS:
Please excuse the essays, I blame Coffee.

Brendan Drain
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Brendan Drain

Tech disruption usually happens when a new process or system is so much better or cheaper than existing tech that it outclasses the maximum potential of the old tech. One of my favourite examples is audio cassettes. A ton of money went into engineering audio cassettes over the years to the point that anyone building a competing product would ostensibly have to catch up on millions of dollars and countless manhours of research and development in order to overtake that industry.

That tech seemed unassailable at the time, but there’s only so far any tech can be developed. Fast-forward to the release of compact discs and the cost to develop this new technology was far lower and its maximum potential was much higher. They were higher capacity, random access, immune to magnetic disruption, and with extremely low cost and high speed of production since they could just be stamped into plastic. No matter how much money anyone sunk into magnetic tapes, they could never beat CDs as the tech has a much higher maximum potential.

The “next big thing” that disrupts any tech market will always come from some new innovation that allows a company to leapfrog the competition without putting in the same investment. It also tends to happen because the old company has a lot of technical debt and process weight that makes it difficult to change gears. In terms of disrupting EVE’s market position, EVE has been updated incrementally over the years and developers have been unpicking old legacy code and replacing it so that today it has relatively low technical debt.

There’s nothing right now that would allow a new game to leapfrog EVE in such a way that EVE couldn’t catch up, so EVE has the advantage. That isn’t to say it couldn’t happen, I just can’t imagine what new innovation could allow a new game to beat EVE at its own very specific game.

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Sally Bowls

The conventional wisdom in business school is that it is much more profitable to be the market leader. Sometimes #4 will overtake them but not usually.

In ’95, Christianson wrote about disruptive technologies and disruptive innovation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_innovation

E.g., when they first came to the US, Japanese cars were distinctly inferior to US models but they were cheaper and relentlessly got better until eventually Toyota was the largest car company and GM was bankrupt.

———

So my complete guess is unless they self-destruct, something disruptive – idk VR? AR? tablet? – is more likely than another similar PC MMO just passes EVE.

An Industry Lifecycle

Brendan Drain
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Brendan Drain

Absolutely spot on assessment. EVE has tenure and every major potential disruptor over the years has ruled itself out of direct contention because it doesn’t (and perhaps can’t) offer the complete core EVE experience.

Regarding your last point, this effect is partly RMT (finacial investment in the game) but mostly it’s emotional investment the game. It’s the kind of game that’s hard to abandon when you have friendships you built up over time and assets you worked hard to get.

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starbuck1771

Yup the only game back then that even came close to EVE was the online portion of Freelancer ( Which was not considered an MMO)which still has a huge following today in spite of Microsoft. There were a few games that attempted to mimic EVE but they failed.

BTW Brendan you going to enjoy your Concord ship when you get it? https://updates.eveonline.com/card/65lVA/marshal/

Brendan Drain
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Brendan Drain

Not sure if I’m getting one as sometimes press miss out on event exclusive stuff, but if I don’t I’ll probably buy one off the market just for the collectability. It’ll just be a decent all-round cloaky ship with the sec status bonus to reps so not sure how much use I’ll get out of it, I don’t do any black ops or bomber stuff where it might be most useful.

Funny thing is I was so excited originally to hear about the decommissioned Concord ships until I realised that they were redesigning them and we were getting the new designs. There’s a kind of nostalgia for me attached to the old Concord battleship, I’ve always wanted to fly one and now we never will.

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Sally Bowls

Alas, it is only one ship instead of being able to get a hundred (if you are an SP farmer; one per account) like in June.

Devblog: Concord Ships

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Bizarrely if I go back I get locked in for a while because I want to earn my insurance costs back.

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starbuck1771

That’s easy now just do a trip or two with a venture.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

That poster comes across as a bit of a blow hard, but the essential premise, that EVE isn’t as dangerous as it as made out, that newbies aren’t ganked on the undock, that the vast majority of players hauling goods through high sec do so without issue, that people can go for their whole career without being shot at by another player, is true enough. The horrible players stories of EVE don’t get posted because they represent the game, but because they are outliers that set them apart from what most people experience.

The poster missed the point of the graphic he linked to (on my site, go me) which was that the people who don’t group up, join a corp, and just “level up their Raven” running missions ending up quiting the game when level 4 missions get dull, which is pretty quickly. Unless they find another pursuit they enjoy, they leave.

Those that join corps and form bonds in the game end up staying for long stretches of times. I just got back from EVE Vegas which, among other things, serves as a place for people who fly together to meet up in person. That sort of thing makes the game a lot “stickier” than the fact that you’re most likely to never get shot at by another player in high sec.

((Edited by mod. Nice try, though.))

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Utakata

“EVE: Not a gankbox, despite the editorial line of Massively OP. Troll harder Bree.”

This is what author said:

“It makes a lot of sense to me, frankly, and since my husband still plays EVE, I’ve seen the phenomenon in action, that the toxic part of the playerbase perpetually eclipses the majority of normal folks just happily space mining and killing pirates and watching their skill bars go up.”

…perhaps Ms. Bree is not the one that needs to troll harder. o.O

styopa
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styopa

My previous post above notwithstanding (I just thought it was particularly amusing), you’re not wrong – it’s only a gankbox for those that go looking for it.

Personally, I just find that there’s nothing interesting aside from the ganking, the rest is just crazy-dull.

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Schmidt.Capela

It’s not that it isn’t a gankbox, but rather that different people use the term in different ways. Some, like you two apparently, use it only for sandbox games where ganking is a common occurrence; others, like me, use it for any sandbox game where it’s impossible to just turn off PvP.

Besides, in EVE, the engagement doctrine for most corps is all about aiming for a gank: an engagement where your forces are more powerful than the opponent’s to such a degree that the result is a foregone conclusion as soon as the engagement starts.

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Ket Viliano

EvE PvP is ephemeral, intellectual, and abstract; rather than direct, visceral, and immediate, like most FPS PvP games.

The Hunt is the thing, not so much the kill, although there are surprises and upsets that can and do happen.

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Schmidt.Capela

The hunt is very much part of the PvP. And of the effort to create the perfect gank opportunity, to catch your prey unawares in such a way you are guaranteed to prevail before the first shot is even fired.

And, BTW, a part of the PvP I really hate. There’s a reason why, despite playing a lot of (non-MMO) PvP, I only go for quick experiences where there is little to no “hunting.”

(Ironically, I really love the “hunt” part in PvE. Which is very much par for the course for me; game modes I enjoy in PvP I tend to dislike in PvE, and vice versa.)

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MeltWithYou

A few weeks after I started working at my current job, my boss came down stairs to shoot the shit…he asked me if I played any “online games” (<-lol dudes old), I was like, "yea sure…WoW and a few others", he scoffed…confused I asked 'whats up?', he said 'I play EVE Online…an adults game' lol…yea…thus started a pretty unique relationship with a boss I've never had before.

So I didnt realize until I started working at my current job but EVEs hardcore community runs pretty deep and the peeps that are really into it, are REALLY into it and take a lot of pride in that fact…I work with much older peeps than myself that all play EVE hardcore, we're talking guys/gals in their 50s and 60s that get squads together, get drunk and go out and hunt other players for fun…adults in their 50s/60s (which I think is pretty awesome btw). My boss and a few team mates have taken classes on how to pilot better, create attack formations…the whole 9 yards.

They have the living history books, they know [or know of] the peeps that are written in those books (for the most part) personally. Some peeps are heavily invested in the politics, some peeps are heavily invested in learning how to be the best attack pilot they can be…

The game is personally not my thing, but I don't know any other MMO that has a community quite like it, even watching from an outsiders perspective

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roo woods

I have never played EVE but I hear it has a huge game world ( or galaxy in this case ) compared to other sandbox pvp mmos . Perhaps that makes it less likely you will be ganked all the time ?

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Ket Viliano

There are lots of safety spots, and safer spots. You can dock up at a station, and be safe, and those can be found all over, in most parts of the galaxy.

High Sec is mostly safe, most of the time, as long as you do not mine while AFK or where gankers are active. Also, do not do mission runs near a trade hub, go farther out and no one will bother you.

In Null Sec, Sovereign space creates huge high profit mostly safe zones, such that “Null-bears” are a thing.

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Armsbend

People’s personal investment (time and money) is staggering.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

EvE’s longevity compared with the low effort hot garbage that passes for a marketable product in the “survival” segment basically comes down to one thing: maturity, of the product and, for the most part, of the players.

Open world PvP is pervasive in EvE, but it’s not the only thing that the game does, and far from it. Overall, at most, PvP is about 20% of what the game does in terms of the range of game systems, play styles, and the time players spend on them.

High sec is a big reason but not the only one. The mechanics of nullsec allow near total security 99% of the time, and the robust corporate governance and alliance tools promote (relatively) peaceful cooexistence between rival player groups who live near each other.

Really the key is that, although PvP is pervasive, it is also always elective. You know when and where to go if you want to be at risk, and when and where to stay when you don’t want to be. There are even 100% safe professions that can make you idiotically rich, like playing the market. And those professions have fully developed rich interfaces and skills sets that you can spend months min/maxing, just like the space game.

Also, and this is a pretty big deal, it’s unlikely that you will take a break for dinner or sleep and log back in to find all your stuff gone. People certainly can take all your stuff in nullsec, including entire space stations and star systems, but it takes a while, and the mechanics always give you or your friends at least some time and opportunity to react.

Logging out and coming back a few hours later to find that a bunch of giggly idiots have rekt your base that took days or weeks to build, which you didn’t even have any chance to defend, may be fun the first time. Not so much the 40th or 50th.

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Tobasco da Gama

Yup, that’s exactly it.

One thing I’d add is the idea of escalating risk and risk management.

If you want to do Faction Warfare, you know there’s a good chance you’ll get jumped in a facility. But you can pre-align to a safe spot, and you know that anybody who jumps you will be in a similar-class ship.

Likewise, there are multiple risk tiers of combat and relic sites, so you always have an idea of how much you’re biting off and you can plan ahead to make sure you can chew it all.

And then there’s the whole sec rating system, which isn’t a binary setting for PvP on/off, but rather a sliding scale that tells you both how dangerous NPC encounters are and how likely you are to get ganked or gatecamped. (Though, ironically, nullsec can be safer than lowsec depending on your corp allegiances.)

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Schmidt.Capela

Really the key is that, although PvP is pervasive, it is also always elective.

“Always” is too strong a word here; players can greatly minimize the odds of facing PvP, but never eliminate it altogether. Which, BTW, is the reason I won’t consider returning to EVE; I will only play games where PvP actually is always elective, automatically discarding those where others can force me into PvP, no matter how unlikely that would be.

Logging out and coming back a few hours later to find that a bunch of giggly idiots have rekt your base that took days or weeks to build, which you didn’t even have any chance to defend, may be fun the first time. Not so much the 40th or 50th.

I would say for most people it isn’t fun the first time either, potentially making them quit the game the first time it happens. And it’s potentially even worse in EVE, where one of the long term strategies employed by corporations and coalitions is to make the game so frustrating for their opponents they simply give up and stop playing — which I believe is one heck of an incentive for CCP to not let this kind of loss without a fighting chance be a common occurrence.

I agree with everything else you’ve written, though.

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starbuck1771

You forgot CCP is the only developer to actually honor it’s players via a monument in REYKJAVIK. I have six accounts on the monument including starbuck1771 & eccon dustwaver both of which are on the seaside of the monument. https://www.eveonline.com/monument/

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Ashfyn Ninegold

That is awesome.

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starbuck1771

Thankfully it didn’t happen on the side where my characters are placed. I remember that and the guys were charged for doing it.

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Brendan Drain

I don’t think they were charged, but if I remember correctly they were essentially told not to come back to Iceland. That monument officially belongs to the city of Reykjavik, not CCP.

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murmillo

Well written post. I agree. :)

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Skai R

Because you’re not forced into PvP if you don’t want to be.

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CthulhuDawg

That game is nuts. In college our corp leader would get death threats via telephone based on our prolific pirating. He never gave anyone his number.

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Aurelius Tratos

Propably russian hackers. Or the DPRK.

Imho eve is spawning an interesting brute of people. And hate for no reason isnt something new.

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