Thursday, May 29, 2014

So, Who is a solo player?

I saw three responses to Ripard Teg's PvE revamp idea that caught my eye. I pulled them for three reasons.

  1. I know them well enough to comment on their game play. 
  2. They all play solo differently.
  3. Three they all blog so the interested can read their versions of Eve.

Tur, Noizy, and Kaeda all objected to being pushed into forced group play.

  • Noizy is what I'd consider the classic solo player. His corporation recently gained another member who is an IRL co-worker, but beyond that he is alone. 
  • Tur is the stoic wormholer who has enjoyed very small corporation wormholing more than anything else.
  • Kaeda is my beloved corpmate.
It does not sound as if any of these gentleman are solo players. However, they all consider themselves to me. And on the weight of their reasoning I can toss myself in there as well. I don't think anyone would call me a solo player yet I have commented before that I play most of my game of Eve by myself. Some things I cannot even begin to share. Others I share because I enjoy spending time with the other player, not because I need to share (although there was a time when I did and struggled to do it alone). I love landing on grid in a 5/10 and one shorting every frigate and destroyer on the field l. I smile. I feel amazing. I enjoy myself.


Oh Sugar! You are not allowed to say that you enjoy something in Eve. You are supposed to mime that it is a terrible game for any number of reasons and smile condescendingly at anyone who insist they like it.


So! What is a solo player? 

Eve has often defied the proper definition of things. We discuss solo PvP where it is a single player behind two or three alts. I have labeled people who are in corporations with other people as solo players in this very list. I may not make sense but it does make sense to me. I'm an Eve player after all and my world definitions are very singular to Eve Online when I discuss these things.

The charts and graphs listed from Fan fest discuss the player that never joins in and loses. This has created a trend to focus on marking people participate. Yet, there are high participating players who still play a very solo game in many of the video game areas of Eve. I blame some of this one the mechanics of the game. Sharing in Eve is an after thought for most of the original PvE content. I've commented before that Eve needs better interactive PvP. A way to merge missions and co-op on am easier level and co-op can be very beneficial to the game. The best example is incursions and the worst example is the scatter containers. The former has defined high sec PvE and the later is being removed (to the joyful screams of the playerbase) a year after it was introduced.


So we know that solo players have a higher chance of leaving. We know that group play makes people stick to the game. What we do not seem to know is who is a solo player to decide on how to try to improve the game for a solo player. And we know that solo means alone but what level of alone causes someone to leave Eve?

That seems to be the question. Kaeda, for instance, does a lot of solo PvP. Yet, he is my beloved corpmate. He is on Jabber. He is active on the forums. He is a blogger (needs to blog moar). He PvE's alone and with people.  But all of his socialization are by choice not by necessity.

Would necessity make the game stick more or would we all just get more alts? I have spent my time in incursions. Yet, I enjoy my solitary life as an explorer more. I'm willing to give up the potential ISK from incursions for the random roll of exploration. My ships will slip through space and I will attack tha content (while being amazing one shotting things erryday). To force group play in PvE is to take the things I like away more and remove my stickiness from Eve.

Great sweeping change is find but it cannot ignore the needs of the individuals that play the video game part of Eve by themselves. I often hear, "but it is a MMO". I agree, it is. There are a lot of people logged in and I am one of them. Therefore I am playing Eve instead of Skyrim. The social soloists are many and have to be considered. After all, we don't want the solution to a problem to create another problem that needs a new solution.

43 comments:

  1. I'm a solo player too. I'm with Tur, Noizy, and Kaeda in objecting to being pushed into forced group play too.

    Being solo players doesn't mean we treat it like a single player game and don't interact with others at all. We just don't like depending on others and tend to avoid doing things that require group play, especially not if it means joining some giant player organization and following someone else's selfish rules designed to further his own agenda.

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    1. And you market. Recently, I opened up a discussion about how I would share Bosena in a somewhat secure but productive way. The results al led back to the bath that a market such as this is a solo project even with its social applications.

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    2. Going off on a tangent here but on that point, sharing the market doesn't necessarily mean it's planned or intentional.

      Your operation on Bosena and my own on Teonusude have an almost symbiotic relationship. Your being on Bosena is good for my business on Teon and my being on Teon is good for your business on Bosena.

      For the most part we don't sell the same things (there probably is some crossover in a few areas like ship hulls but not a whole lot). I tend to sell expensive items (skill books, implants, T2/T2 ships and faction mods) with an emphasis on PvE, you tend to sell the most commonly used items with an emphasis on PvP.

      A PvEer looking for a Navy Raven and faction mods might come to Teon to buy something I have for sale and while he's there he'll buy some stuff from you on Bosena too. Or a PvPer might head to Bosena to buy a T1 ship, T2 mods to fit it with and while he's there hop 1 jump over to buy that faction point or sisters probe launcher he needs for his fit too.

      Delete
  2. Also the problem isn't that solo players have an intrinsically higher chance of leaving. The real problem is that CCP only seems care about the wants and needs of a small handful of so called "meta game" players leading the very largest player corporations and alliances.

    CCP doesn't care enough about anyone who isn't interested in being F1 mashing drone # 12682 to bother making the game more interesting for them so they leave.

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  3. Agree with Mox on the solo front. I'm hindered by the grabbing an hour here and there when I can and often at variable times. This doesn't lend itself to group play.

    Nor do I want to have my self set goals put out of reach by CCP intentionally tweaking the sandbox to promote group play - which will indirectly nerf mine. The big cartels already have economies of scale (not to mention moon goo) working in their favor.

    It is not the lonesomeness that will cause someone to leave EvE imho. It is the lack of sense of something to strive for. A lack of whats next.

    After all, you can only run missions so many times before you have no need to refine your ship or tactics further. There are only so many belts and so much ice to mine before they all become the same. There are only so many skills to get to L5.

    I tend to vary my gameplay between exploration, research, missioning, tied up with a (very) little manufacturing. The ability to swap between them helps. Somewhat.

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    1. I commented to someone that many of us label ourselves as a 'thing' in the game yet we are really a handful of things that often branch from out main interest. Few are but one aspect and those few are often, to my amusement, PvPers.

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  4. To paraphrase John Donne; no player is a island. In that respect, with the except of my Freighter, some of my drones and a very few modules. Just about everything else I fly has been purchased from another player. I sold minerals to another player for isk, which I will yet exchange to someone else for munitions or a hull or BPO. And the great cycle goes on. I can not play this game alone, though I will confess that I am content being solo.

    It is better to live alone, there is no companionship with a fool; let a man walk alone, let him commit no sin, with few wishes, like an elephant in the forest.

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    1. In this, I think that making it clear that all of this stuff is from other players would be best. I did not realize how much was player made and run for a long time. Stores and markets are an automatic of most games and things populate. When one realizes how much is pushed by other players the games depth can swallow you in that instant of realization.

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  5. It's not necessarily group *play* that keeps people coming back, but rather the sense of community. For me, what keeps me tied to New Eden is the blogging community rather than in-game play. Really it’s about emotional investment in the game in general, and that’s a tricky thing to do when all your hard work can be un-done by a rampaging destroyer.

    Changing the PvE would just be a band aid on a broken leg. You need to come up with someway to display your achievements in a permanent sense… like our blogs are for us.

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    1. While I applaud your sentiment, I respectfully disagree... though, as a blogger, I do feel some fleeting permanence from the hoped for effects my words may have... But as for the game, impermanence is, I believe, one of the ways in which it best mirrors RL... nothing IRL is permanent... change is the only real truth in life and I like that EVE has that in spades.

      And I do believe better, more reactionary and less 'set piece' PvE could be the best path for drawing new players into EVE and would go far towards retaining them. Gods know I'd love to see something really new in PvE... and I get to play against the best EVE has to offer errday.

      Delete
    2. Oh, I agree that the best thing about New Eden is the impermanence of materials and objects in the game. But it's one of our basic desires to own our experiences and display them. Hence achievements and titles in other games.

      And I also agree that PvE can be done a lot better, specifically with varying the activities a capsuleer does in the belt. But without a way to track and show off what they've done, you're not going to keep people doing it, no matter how fun/ISK rewarding it is.

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  6. Funny that I started Stay Frosty/A Band Apart to address this very issue, to provide a place for lonesome pvpers to find a community of other lonesome pvpers to hang out with. And then give them all the freedom to pursue whatever playstyle they want without rules, pressure, or forcing them together against their will.

    The most surprising thing to me over the past year has been how many players were looking for that kind of environment, wanted it, and have enjoyed being a part of it. I never thought there would be so many.

    These players are active, engaged and there are more of them than I think anyone realizes. Forcing them to do anything they don't want to do is a mistake of epic proportions.

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    1. Eggzactly!!! quoted for truth: "Forcing them to do anything they don't want to do is a mistake of epic proportions."

      So Rixx... out of sheer curiosity, as the leader of a Band of Soloists... where do you draw the solo/social line?

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    2. I often call residents of low sec social loaners.

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    3. 'social loner' actually quite nails it.

      "solo/social" is a mostly false dichotomy: You can operate solo while at the same time being social (via chat and comms) with other people. On the other end of the spectrum, you can act in a group while being anti-social (by limiting your communications to the minimum necessary to achieve the goal).

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  7. Check this old thread out. A Molden Heath history lesson!

    https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=177309

    CCP listened to the roaring cries of high sec and removed these sites because people could farm them risk free.

    In lowsec, you could live (or roam) just about anywhere in a T1 frig and make money without being in FW. These sites worked as intended, sometimes you would be running it and someone else is coming to get you. Caused fights! :D

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    1. To be fair I don't think they listened to tehir cries so much as noticed their wallet sales. :P

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  8. "Oh Sugar! You are not allowed to say that you enjoy something in Eve. You are supposed to mime that it is a terrible game for any number of reasons and smile condescendingly at anyone who insist they like it."

    This is the funniest thing I've seen all week.

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  9. The thing about solo is it is always there for you, and it happens at your pace. I do PVE in a group, because that is more effective in C4. If they are around, I'll certainly use my corpmates when I am out hunting and find a target. But for the most part, I am on by myself doing my own thing at my own pace, and so I am solo. If I have to leave the computer to do something IRL, that's fine; I just cloak up in an out-of-way spot. I can't do that if others are depending on me.

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    1. It also shouldn't feel like scraps from group play left over for a solo dog to lick from the ground as not to starve.

      Delete
  10. MoxNix said,
    “Being solo players doesn't mean we treat it like a single player game and don't interact with others at all.”

    To me it boils down to is, as you said, how do we define Solo Play… or, what degree of interaction with others is deemed social and what is deemed solo? Where is the line in the ether? Personally, I don’t think there is one really… see if you agree;

    -Is a player in a OMC (one man corp) with his 10 alts, out in Hisec, mining and refining and selling his ores a solo player?

    -What if at the same time this 10 alt OMC guy is also always on comms (TS3, Mumb, etc.) with other players while he ‘plays alone’… is he still a solo player?

    -How about the guy who plays the same way… him and his 10 alts are a mining fleet. All he ever does is mine like a boss, but he is a member of a null renter corp. He sells all his ores to corp but plays an almost single player game… is this a solo player?

    -What if it’s a player in Goonswarm… and yet he spends every single minute of his time solo ratting. He is never on comms or in chat except to use it as an early warning system, his corpmates and CEO know he prefers to rat alone, maybe his RL schedule doesn’t allow CTA’a etc. but that doesn’t really matter… the point is, he effectively plays the game as singleplayer… is this a solo player?

    -And how about the serious Market players… guys who NEVER undock… never talks to ANYONE… have alts in every hub and at multiple locations throughout Hisec and on the edge of lowsec. All they ever do is buy low, pay Red Frog to ship stuff around, and sell high… is this a solo player?

    EVE is an MMO and to me, Massively Multiplayer does not mean ‘Huge Numbers of Socially Interconnected Players’ it just means ‘Huge Numbers of Players’... singlegame players, sologame players, small group players, large group players and massive group players. PvE Players, PvP players, Industry Moguls and Market Mavens and Players who can’t enjoy the game unless they are in fleet and actively killing something (many Pandemic Legion players are infamous for this) and players who wouldn’t chat or load up Mumble if forced to.

    I think in truth there are far more players like me, ones who can play totally alone… PI, site running, scouting… no one else on comms, no one else logged in and still find very fulfilling game play… but who ALSO look forward to when his corpmates log on and when we do ‘stuff’ together too. I get fulfillment from BOTH playstyles. I also get great satisfaction from having Sov, Strigon or one of the other guys (and our one fem) log on and telling them, ”I have scanned all-the-things, BMs in corp, current holes are, X, XX and XXX. We have X sites in home and X hole has X sites… might be good for a raid.”

    My point? EVE is am MMO and as such should and needs to cater to that market… Huge Numbers of PLAYERS… work to give us all good options for PvP, both consensual and non… give us ALL good engrossing PvE so we can ALL enjoy how we make our ISK… those who make it so they can afford PvP and those for whom making ISK is their end game. CCP needs to stop drinking the ‘Social’ Koolaid… that 5 to 10% figure has blinded them to the reality that 90 to 95% of their potential customers are not finding what they want here.

    (to be contuniued...)

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  11. (continued...)

    EVE is also a niche game… a very niche game and this is why. In this post on Deadendthrills, Fire and Ice, the Cold Heart of EVE Online, CCP Creative Director Torfi Frans Ólafsson says,
    “Eve is very dark, confirms creative director Torfi Frans Ólafsson. “It’s harsh. It is supposed to be unforgiving. The original designers played a lot of Ultima Online, which was a fantastic sandbox game, and it allowed you to be very devious and very immoral in the way that you played. What they loved about it is that player killers, the griefers – people who just went around and killed other people – became so unpopular that other people banded together. Good started fighting evil, and without true evil you can’t have true good.”

    And EVE can be this for the whole gamut of playstyles if CCP just focuses on that instead of just the 5 to 10% of hard core social players… whoever they are.

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    1. [quote]became so unpopular that other people banded together. Good started fighting evil, and without true evil you can’t have true good.[/quote]

      But it is broken in Eve. Commonly -10 players can move with impunity through high-sec. As long as they can avoid the NPC police - the crime spree continues. Very few players can be bothered with villains - and thus remain fixated in solo mode

      Delete
  12. On re-reading my comment I had this thought (and dint wanna lose it so...),

    Mebbe, as the people who created (and still are the decision makers of) EVE were heavily influenced by their griefers vs carebears experience in UO... I was struck by the line, "...other people banded together. Good started fighting evil, and without true evil you can’t have true good.

    Mebbe, CCP is trying to force True Good to finally get together and fight EVEs True Evil... the Goons.

    The problem is, the very mechanics they created to allow and support the "...very devious and very immoral..." gameplay that created their True Evil, that would hopefully cause real emergent Good vs Evil gameplay, has also empowered the CFC and the other null coalitions to exert so much control over the game and meta game that they are able to choke the Good Alliances to death in the cradle as twere thereby nullifying and 'Good' competition...

    Hi and Lowsec mechanics and gameplay does not lend itself to large Alliances of players working together against The Empires of Evil... that can only happen in null and null does not lend itself, again in mechanics and gameplay, to groups of players who are PvP focused Good Guys... as I see, it, quite the opposite really...

    This is a very new thought for me so I have not formulated any idea's about it... yet. Thoughts?

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  13. I think there is some misunderstanding about the statistics. It was my understanding that the people that left eve in big numbers were the ones who didn't interact with the wider Eve community, that is they didn't pvp, play the market, gank, do incursuions or generally do things that required other players.
    A lot of the community seems to have decided that everything would be ok if these new players could just be made to join a corp but I don't think that's what the Stats show ( Unless someone may have numbers I haven't seen).
    Remember Eve is a niche game it only applies to a certain type of person it's never going to have wide appeal.
    In my own case I play solo I enjoy it, before I started eve in 2006 I'd been a GM in WOW (slightly embarrassing) and I've played many of the other "popular" MMO's some at the same time as eve. I think that what I'm trying to say is that Eve attract's a certain type of player often more cynical and more experienced dare I say older, the ones who stay probably already know what they want to get out of the game or how to discover it. The guys with the space cadet smiles will never stay we don't wan't to ruin our game by catering to them.

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    1. One thing a corp gives you is guidance. They help you figure out what there is to know in the game. I hear many people around week three comment that they are utterly lost.

      For solo play we need more street signs to help people find their way.

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    2. There are considerably more "street signs" now than when I started, if the extra help and guidance was really a factor then player retention would be higher now than it was in 2006. I don't know if it is or if its not,but if player retention isn't higher then I don't think the theory stacks up.

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  14. I agree, TurAmarth. They got the evil part set up, but the good, not so much. I have hope that they're on a track toward improving it so people like me who don't do griefing will continue to have something to do in-game.

    I mostly do solo things in EVE, but if my friends are around, I'm social about it. If there's a fleet going and I have the time to join, sure, that's awesome. I also do a fair amount of social stuff out-of-client with private forums. And for the last month or so, several of us have been posting our our alliance blog.

    From some of the discussions I've seen, a few folks keep trying to pigeonhole "the solo player" as fitting a certain profile -- usually with a swipe about them being losers with no friends -- and I think oversimplifying it like that isn't a productive way to understand who plays EVE, how, and why.

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  16. [comment once again del'ed and edited and reposted cause I can't spell...]
    @Anon 3:04
    It's not the community that thinks all players need to be in corps etc., its CCP, in the person of CCP Rise, that has said that they are concentrating on the 5 to 10% of players, the hard core players that join corps and get involved in ‘diverse & interesting’ gameplay... IE Group gameplay.

    Ref: [16:02 to 18:26] Fanfest 2014 – New Player Experience Vision
    Watch it if you haven't... it’s an eye opener.

    Also... during the CSM Panel at Fanfest there was a pretty direct question posed about the loss of subs... the answer was something along the lines of,

    "Where did you get your numbers from? According to CCP and what the CSM has seen, subs are fine."

    They talked about how while the PCU is down, subs, overall are not and that there are other factors that influence PCU that have nothing to do with subs.

    I don't have the times for that part of the Panel, but it's in there, listen for a question about the loss of subs.

    @Suzariel
    I don't believe in a real sandbox you can tell the solo players from the group players... especially a sandbox with a huge meta-box side to it like EVE has...

    No, any definition of 'solo' in EVE will be arbitrary and will have many exceptions to the rule.

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    1. I hadn't watched the New Player Experience before only heard about what was said second hand thanks for the link. I've watched it now and I'm scared, talk about making assumptions on no data. Some good ideas but the underlining premise....

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    2. Yea pretty scary stuff right? I mean, especially if the premise is right, what company IRL bets the house on 5 to 10% of it's poterntual customers??

      Delete
    3. Yes, it's a terrible 'lack of data' presentation. How do they determine who is solo and who is group? Is it really players, or is it accounts? What are the respective time frames? And that 40% that doesn't group, it's implied but not stated that they also leave. Really?

      Gotta wonder if it's a case of assumptions interpreting the data instead of data defining the assumptions.

      Delete
    4. Yea, but watch it again, the very beginning... CCP Rise was very surprised they even let him put on that presentation. If you really think on it, CCP has learned to be careful about sharing a lot of different kinds of hard data w/ the players...

      There are too many unforeseen cross connections and far too much unforeseen 'gaming' of data that has taken place in the past for them to be comfortable anymore with openly sharing data with us. Twice burned you know...

      And during these days of Dimsdalian cries that 'EVE is Dying' and suchlike tinhattery... any flatlining or potential actual drop in subs is not something I see then sharing. And due to the above mentioned "gaming" and "tinhattery" any data that could in any way shed light on actual subs numbers or trends I too, if I were them, would be very very cautious of sharing hard data with our bent, yet oft brilliant, playerbase.

      I am glad they were willing to share what they did... as general and non-specific as it was.

      Delete
  17. Welp, time to toss in my 2 cents. I'm going first define a couple things. There is a difference between a solo player and a solitary player, and I believe there is/should be a distinction. A solitary player is one person, multiple accounts: ie an orca and several procurers or otherwise using alt accounts as an effort/force multiplier. Multiboxing level 5 missions would be a good example of this of using alt accounts to do things that would otherwise be tedious/uninteresting in an activity.

    A solo player would be one person, one account (active). A lone procurer mining away, the solo pvper (no links). Now they may have alt accounts but if only one is actually logged in, they're solo.

    Those definitions said for clarity, I'm inclined to think there's a significant chunk of Eve's population that are solitary, using Alts to execute mundane tasks that would otherwise be not done if it was the only account logged in, ie one account hauling things from Jita to wherethefuckever while other accounts are busy setting up S&I jobs, updating marketing orders, etc.

    As far as PvE goes, I feel there should be more diversity in options an with that should go a defined risk/reward. I've seen a few proposals that made me think "that looks mildly interesting" especially for co-op play, but quite frankly I have no hope ever seeing implemented. Take the ever present level 4 grind, I think the last new mission that was implemented was way back in 2011 (dread pirate Scarlett), would it have been too much to ask for some new missions along the established reward paradigm for current level 4s? Iirc CCP has stated the mission code is almost as annoying to work with as the POS code so seeing new missions just screams laziness. Mission system revamp? CCP has again hinted at doing it, but I've categorized that as something I'll believe it when I see it.

    Re: player retention, only CCP has access to that hard information so it's difficult to come to any conclusion thy can be supported by data. That said the information available is that the people who stay subbed tend to be people that get involved in groups and that's the only positive proof of what keeps players in the game, therefore it's the only direct goal that can be worked towards: ie how can new players have a positive experience with eve groups that would entice them to stay?

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    1. @Xaeroflex
      Then, by your definition I am a solo player. I have only one account so I do not dual box or multitask w/ alts. Additionally I am logged into the Client and alone in the hole between 25 and 50% of my game time.

      I am in a primarily US West Coast TZ corp, only 3 of us are ECTZ and of them I usually log on earlier than the rest, 9PM my time. And yet usually one to 2 of our WC brethren are sorta semi-permanently on comms (they run the TS server) so whether in the client or not I am almost never really 'alone'... and if I call for help or find a good TOO (Target of Opportunity) they can often logon and join in.

      I am keep an eye on twitter and on The Line (chat app with rooms for corp, friends, etc.), I always have my Blog open and in the spare moments such as fleetups etc. am reading, commenting and/or writing up posts...

      Yet, as you see it I am a solo player? I beg to differ... And this is my point, you are not taking into account the social aspects of EVE. The socialization in EVE very often is not based in the client or in ingame activities. In this comment I talked of a guy who has I believe something like 10 accounts and all he does is mine. He is not on comms, he uses chat almost exclusively as an early warning system, communicating pretty much only as absolutely needed for delivering & selling ores etc.

      To me, even though he is a nullsec guy, in a midsized null Industrial renter corp and a Massively Multi-boxing Mining MACHINE... his playstyle is both far more solo and more solitary than mine... Even though he is deep in null, surrounded by corpmates, other corps and Alliances, he quite effectively plays the game as though it was a single player game, treating everything that happens around him basically as if they were NPC activities and dealing only within himself as regards his gameplay.

      I, with my one account and playing in a very exclusive and, aside from corpmates, a basically player free area... play a very heavily involved and very social game... even though I fly 'solo' much of the time.

      Yet, we both have found more than enough to keep our interest, more than enough to keep us logging in and flying. In any definition of solo, solitary, small gang, large gang and massive gang...due to the nature of the game and meta-game, one must take into account the social aspects that take place outside of the client.

      It is not being forced into corps that is important... it is teaching the thousands of Themepark MMO players who are the pool of our potential new players, that playing EVE is so very much more than just being logged into the client. That it is NOT at all like your std run of the mill MMO... and how it is different.

      And, TBH, even that is still not for everybody...

      Delete
  18. I tried EvE back in 2008 and didn't last even through the trial because the game was just too confusing. Now I'm a grognard that's been playing wargames for 30+ years, so I like it when my games let me know all the rules and mechanics. Even better if there are defined victory conditions, or at least a fairly good hinted-at path. EvE in 2008 was just too lacking in anything I considered to be adequate guidance for a new player, so I tried EvE Uni and that failed spectacularly (granted, they had very different rules and regs back then). So after only a week of flailing around, I said screw this and took my limited game time elsewhere.

    I returned to EvE 3 years ago, entirely and wholly because a group of friends from another game were making the jump to EvE. I'd always liked the idea of EvE, but I told myself never again unless I was with a group. So, yes, on one hand, I have to agree that CCP's data about those who group up stay and those who don't certainly has merit. But I have serious concerns about the types of group content they seem to be fixating on. The company originated in group PvP and they really only seem to hire players who also come from group PvP. I know lots and lots of players who don't like PvP, for a variety of reasons, and yet they still play EvE, still pay money to CCP, and still contribute to the game by the mere fact of playing.

    CCP doesn't seem to like those people, and I don't understand why.

    My wife has been playing as long as I have, and she's an unabashed highsec mining/missioning/light indy carebear. She has no desire to do anything else (though she has done/stil does the FW farming). She pays for both her accounts. The vast majority of her gaming is solo gaming, but she's fine with it. She's been ganked before and hasn't ragequit. I would say she definitely does not fall into the 5-10% block of EvE players the recent graph showed, and yet she'll probably be playing EvE long after I leave.

    I've taken long breaks twice, almost left the game for good once, and yet I would probably fit into the 5-10% - I've done the null sov bit, the null renter bit, the FW bit, highsec mission/incursion bit, and have gone to (and come back to) w-space. And yet it's a struggle for me to stay interested because, well, in EvE, to be a group player you have to (in most of the big movers and shakers groups) play the game they way they want you to.

    I doubt I'm alone.

    If CCP wants to keep me playing (and others like me), they need to focus on all the areas of their game, not just the sexy nullsec stuff. They also don't need to bring more forced grouping PVE into the game. Incursions, w-space, all provide enough group PVE play, IMO. I do wish they'd add/revamp some of the missions, though. Make them less static, so that players have to, gee, think and plan instead of looking up the mission on EvE Survival (heretical, I know). Give us new content, both in missions and other PVE (i.e. sleeper sites, complexes, etc). Bring back the humour the early missions used to have! (This is a thing; it does stuff, anyone remember that?)

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  19. I think the biggest thing CCP needs to do to enhance new player retention is to truly realize that most new players are likely to be coming to EvE assuming it's the same as any other MMO out there, with all the standard tropes and underlying structure (i.e. quest hubs, a storyline, the game telling players what to do next, no permanent loss, etc) and blatantly tell new players this during the NPE. And by that I don't mean the standard "EvE is a dark and dangerous place, blah blah" because EVERY MMO says that and EVERYONE knows those MMOs don't really mean it.

    To return to the original question of who is a solo player, I truly think that the vast majority of us are solo players (or at least we do a lot of solo activity). The nullsec PvPer who spends most of his time ratting to pay for PvP might consider himself a non-solo player, but is he really? It could be that the only truly non-solo players are those that don't plex and only log on when pinged for PvP. How man of those are out there?

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  20. ...most new players are likely to be coming to EvE assuming it's the same as any other MMO out there, with all the standard tropes and underlying structure (i.e. quest hubs, a storyline, the game telling players what to do next, no permanent loss, etc)...

    THIS. Our pool of potential new players are Themepark inculcated players. Players who have conscious and unconscious expectation that EVE simply does not cater to... or outright breaks.

    It's a hot sunny day, the pool looks inviting and all the signs all say "The water's fine, join us!" you jump in and it's FUKKIN COLD!!! I mean ICE WATER, MIND NUMBING COLD... how long are you staying in?

    EVE does that to Themepark players all the time.

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    1. To show just how bad it can be, my corp brought in 6 newbies, all from other MMOs, and we lost all but 2, all because they really didn;t think EvE would be all that different from WoW or LoL or SWTOR :(

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  21. I don't like the world 'solo' ... I prefer the term 'freelancer' to describe my game play. I have almost always been a freelancer, darting in and out of content as the whim strikes me. I do this with 2 accounts and I guess like Sugar, I tend to rely on only myself (when you are the only one involved, the only person you can be disappointed with is yourself... watching other people screw up your perfectly good scheme just causes friction).

    Yet I don't like the 'solo' word because I still have my stack of chat channels down there (/points/) where I keep track of the world. Like a trucker with a CB radio, I'm plugged into the scene, coordinating deals or gathering intel, reconnecting with a past corpie, or whatever. Listening. Watching. Helping. A part of the community.

    Said another way: Just because I'm not in a Fleet doesn't mean I'm playing solo.

    // Abavus

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  22. Maybe a solo player, is someone who does not fit in the overall matrix.

    A non solo player could be defined as;

    - Someone who does ops
    - Someone who is in a multiplayer corps
    - Someone who participates in a corp with a larger in game goal (incursions and the like)
    - Someone is participating in a corporation that has been instrumental in an area of the game (high sec / low sec / null sec)

    A solo player would then be the opposite, he would not join in any of the above points.

    *

    In game I consider myself a solo player, but I have some intel channels, some investors, some people I met, know, talk to in game. I have done ops in the past, but don't do them atm. I follow a lot of meta-gaming (blogs, forums, etc). And am still in game, even visited Fanfest.

    For me, EVE gets interesting because of social dynamics. I play the PVP trade game mostly. Without shipment companies in EVE, I could not do my work. Without the influence of blogs and forums, I could not speculate. So, I am not socially insulated, but I am not a non-solo player.

    When defining the term, this is what is in the way.

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  23. Maybe we have a term issue here? (Or rather CCP)

    I thik we only have solo playstyles, or solo activities, not solo players. But we also have social and anti social players that do these activities. And then we can say, that these solo activites can be done by a group of people too, so we have a bunch of players doing solo activities in a group.

    At least this makes more sense to me then what "solo player" suggests. Maybe the term "Loner" is a better suited word for what the "solo player" wants to achieve.

    Just my 2 cents.

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