@sugar_kyle @ali_of_space Is changing PvE to promote corp play the answer to NPE retention?http://t.co/IB629blaxS #tweetfleet
— Obil Que (@STRXP) July 9, 2014
I do love writing responses. Obil tweeted the above to Ali and I reference a post he wrote musing about income problems. I promised him I'd write a response and why not? We are talking about ISK. The heart and soul of so much of the game.
I'll start by saying that you can absolutely do things in Eve without ISK or with a very small amount. Many of us think about empire building and wars when we think about what we will do with ISK. There is also a lot of thoughts on optimization. I know I'm not the only one with a dream ship and perhaps a dream fit to go along with that ship. But there are plenty of people who spend their time exploring the world of Eve Online and it is a very, large world with plenty to do with very little ISK.
But, we're talking about ISK. Qbil says:
What if the problem with the new player experience is simply that the new player simply cannot earn enough ISK to fund their gameplay in a short enough period of time to retain their interest?This was one of the main areas that I disagreed with him. He has a very valid point about the plight of the poor newbie. But, what is enough ISK to fund their game play? There are two problems here.
The first problem is that what is affordable game play? A new player is not flying billion ISK battleships and blinged out T3 ships. The game play that they are going to struggle to afford as a very new player in PvP. And PvP is a consumptive lifestyle. It never becomes affordable. We simply earn more ISK to replace our losses.
We actually have affordable PvP to a certain extent. T1 fit frigates are not expensive. The problem there is not that the ships are not affordable it is that the chances of that new player winning in them is very low. That, is what I think we see more than anything else. The need to have more ISK to buy better ships and better items to fight above ones skill points and personal skill while using the base abilities of the ship as compensation.
This is also where having a corporation comes in. Eve is an incredibly hard game to play alone. It can also be a hard game to play with other. It does tend to go better if one finds a reasonably competent group to play with. While the game does not reward group play which is something Qbil touches upon, group play does tend to improve the game. Be it standings, working on harder content, or just having backup. We all say that we need to funnel new players into corporations but so far we have not come up with a great fix that will allow us to do that.
The second problem is PLEX. I'm not talking about the current price of PLEX. What I am talking about is that Eve is developing a culture where minimum wage is a PLEX per month. It is becoming an ingrained assumption when it comes to finances. We need to not ask 'what does it mean to be rich?' in Eve but instead ask 'what does it mean to be poor?' Eve has developed a poverty line and the PLEX is that line.
I'm also looking for the point where the game threw away the concept of creating or gathering what you needed and wanted out. Opportunity Cost is immediately thrust into my face as an explanation. Yet, I just wonder where that whole fun playing the video game getting and making your own stuff part fell out of Eve. Why people are insane for thinking about it by popular knowledge and reason.
I've wandered a bit off topic. More engaging PvE is important. PvE that functions properly with groups (scaling up and down with them) and PvE that can be played cooperatively, intuitively is a goal that we need to reach. I've remarked before that new players assume that if they accept he same mission they will be in the same mission together. Not in Eve they won't and that is what I would label bad complexity.
It's long been my stance that a better PvE experience will improve Eve deep down into its core. While I can't join the PvE team and the NPE team and make them happen now, I'm trying to do my part in the CSM and help bring some of the quality of life changes that we can.
I've wandered a bit off course but it is a large topic with plenty of room.