Skip to main content

Blong Banter 46 : The Ties that Bind

With the return of Live Events such as the Battle for Caldari Prime, clearly the prime fiction of EVE is back in favour as part of this new thematic approach to expansions. However, EVE's story is very much a tale of two playstyles, with an entirely player-driven narrative unfolding daily in parallel to the reinvigorated backstory. Often, they do not mix well. How can these two disparate elements be united or at least comfortably co-exist in a single sandbox universe?
-FreebootedBlog Banter 46, The Main Event
When this blog banter came out I had no ideas for it. My mind was a blank and the topic not one I had any opinion on.  And then I saw the Origins trailer at Fanfest. I found it to be a creatively powerful trailers that causes ideas to bubble up and flow over in a torrent of images and possibilities. It is not the just the deep thrum of the ships engine as it spins up to accelerate into warp or the echoing click as canister of hybrid ammunition are loaded into the blaster magazines. No, it is the mercenaries as they plummet to the ground and land with predatory grace amplified by mechanical power that snaps through the body even as they smoothly draw weapons and begin to lay down repressive fire across a landscape rent by fire from both above and below. It is the possibilities that suddenly swept into existence as Eve's universe was given the extra flesh that it needed to turn it from the back story of a video game into a fully realized science fiction universe.
While Eve has a rich and deep lore it was completely disconnected from the players. The missions, the basic 'quest' of the game where the largest amount of lore would be consumed due to the tasks given to you by the NPC character's that populate the world were shallow and dull. The Epic Arcs, richly detailed, were mostly out of reach for extended periods of time due to faction standings or their locations in the deepest depths of null. It was as if Eve's lore was a side thought and so to me it was also a side thought because it did not matter. No matter what I did, I was disconnected from the world. Things might happen but it was no different then what my neighbor chose to eat for dinner that night. Nothing that concerned or affected me.
Yet, when CCP picked up the ball again with the live events that slammed into each other with their interaction with Dust 514 and Eve and crashed the Titan that had sat around the planet into the planet, changing its landscape they set off a chain of events that showed that there should be change. Not the script of the live event with a preknown ending. No, it was the door that opened fully with the Origin trailer where they speak of the empire's losing control and the rise of the capsuleers.

That was a story line that a player could get behind without losing the individuality of the player driven social conflict that has made Eve so interesting. With the capsuleers position as an immortal powerhouse pressing down upon the empire the story suddenly made sense. The player's have never been tools but by choice of the NPCs. Only in the restrictions of game mechanics do some people interact with the game. Our empires rise and they collapse upon our own whims.
But, in the end, it was the Dust mercenaries that make the last leap. They gave a face and a physical connection beyond that ship bodies that the capsuleer is truly represented by. But the lore cannot stay secondary. It must start to enter the game. Through NPCs and missions, through tasks and the news, on the billboards and in the command quarters, across the news reels and upon the billboards it must enter. It cannot stay outside of the game but it must be within the game and not contained to live events. It is not a tightly woven story with neat steps to be repeated over and over again. It is a vast wave of possibilities that flow and change with the pressure of an unknown tide.

I have complained of late about the neglect of the mission system. Its lack of new content is frustrating  It is not that new mechanics must instantly be made. It is that new missions with new mission notes and local chatter should happen. Ones that reflect upon what the game is and what is to come. The game itself cannot stay stagnant while the archives alone grow. To pull a player in early is to seep them into a deeper game, one where they learn the back story even as they learn to play. One where they will assume that their future is conquest and reach for those things.

Players want to make an impact on the game. It is shown by the participation in live events. It is laid out in system after system in null sec in the form of stations. It is in the simplicity of naming a POS and the agony of debating a corporation ticker and name. The permanence of placement, of action and of deer calls deeply to a player. It vests them. And in a way, in what I can only hope is more then a whisper of hope and a trickle of possibility, CCP is making that offer. They are giving the future to tht players and picking up the past to record and save.

If Eve is Real and we are There everything that we do is a legitimate piece of game history that can be used. That should be used as the foundation for the future story. As the player story flows so should the games story. A progression of parts that will give Eve an individuality like no other game out there. One that cannot be planned, that is not neatly scripted but resounds with the true reality of the power and weakness of humanity.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Maybe one day!

 [15:32:10] Trig Vaulter > Sugar Kyle Nice bio - so carebear sweet - oh you have a 50m ISK bounty - so someday more grizzly  [15:32:38 ] Sugar Kyle > /emote raises an eyebrow to Trig  [15:32:40 ] Sugar Kyle > okay :)  [15:32:52 ] Sugar Kyle > maybe one day I will try PvP out When I logged in one of the first things I did was answer a question in Eve Uni Public Help. It was a random question that I knew the answer of. I have 'Sugar' as a keyword so it highlights green and catches my attention. This made me chuckle. Maybe I'll have to go and see what it is like to shoot a ship one day? I could not help but smile. Basi suggested that I put my Titan killmail in my bio and assert my badassery. I figure, naw. It was a roll of the dice that landed me that kill mail. It doesn't define me as a person. Bios are interesting. The idea of a biography is a way to personalize your account. You can learn a lot about a person by what they choose to put in their bio

And back again

My very slow wormhole adventure continues almost as slowly as I am terminating my island in Animal Crossing.  My class 3 wormhole was not where I wanted to be. I was looking for a class 1 or 2 wormhole. I dropped my probes and with much less confusion scanned another wormhole. I remembered to dscan and collect my probes as I warped to the wormhole. I even remembered to drop a bookmark, wormholes being such good bookmark locations later. My wormhole told me it was a route into low sec. I tilted my head. How circular do our adventures go. Today might be the day to die and that too is okay. That mantra dances in the back of my head these days. Even if someone mocks me, what does that matter? Fattening someone's killboard is their issue not mine. So I jumped through and found myself in Efa in Khanid, tucked on the edge of high sec and null sec. What an interesting little system.  Several connections to high sec. A connection to null sec. This must be quite the traffic system.    I am f

What are all of these buttons for?

My snooty villager, Naomi, wants to move out. I picked her because she is a blue cow with some wild makeup but we have not really bonded like I have with Savannah and Mitzi... oh wait yeah wrong game. So, my clan is almost finished the second step of the Manhunt in Division 2. We just have one more zone to clear and then we can hunt down the secondary target to reveal the next... err wait, waaaaaiittt... Sorry about that. Resetting things. What do I want to do? That has been my problem for a while now. If I play Eve, what do I want to do in Eve? While I did PvP it was never my draw. The old PvE sucks. The new PvE may be okay but do I want to do it? Who am I? What am I? And do I need to be unique and interesting? I think that I may want to look in small wormholes and try a exciting, fragile life. With some of the ships that are available I can, perhaps, have an interesting life where I may or may not fall prey to someone but it does not have to define what