Sometimes you see post that you can but stare at it in amazed wonder and doubt your grasp of reality. That was how I felt reading one post responding to CCP Greyscale's explanation of his industrial future. I read it and went, "Wow. What a wrong post." I didn't do much more than that. Someone with greater forum foo would rebut it and after all, people are often wrong on the internet. One cannot stop for them all.
However, his post worked in that it caught my attention and made me think. What we write and what we mean and how people react to it do not always line up. We may attempt to control the direction that they do lean but we are fortunate if people follow the pathway instead of bolting to the side, jumping the twelve foot wall to free fall into an prismatic ocean of their own events.
And, blame my recent dive into the depths of Eve these last months for the change it has had on my perception and thought processes. What and how I see Eve, what and how Eve is, and what and how Eve was started as are all very different. The later part of that triangle I used to not possess. Now I have it and I cannot help but give it weight to my thoughts.
Triangles are, after all, ridiculously strong.
So, this poster that I so casually judged as, "Wrong" started his post by saying that, "Eve is a PvP game and that is what CCP should focus on." PvP in this was the most true and brutal form of spaceship explosions. The moment those words are written, people will jump up and point out how Eve is not a PvP game. And I am often on that band wagon having a wide variety of things I like to do that are not Eve PvP. While we interact with players and outbid and undercut them in the market, mine their rocks when we mine, and in general affect each other in the day to day even if it is not a face to face interaction, we still most often focus on PvP as the destruction of spaceships.
That lead me to asking myself, "Was Eve created to be a game of warring player empires?" and the feeling that I get as I look through the developers blogs from Eve's early days is that Eve was always meant to be a game where killing each other would always be an option that people had. That it was part of the game but not that it was the game. And that ti did not become a focus for the game until those launch bugs had been shaken off and someone sat down and realized that a defined future goal was needed.
This entire cascading thought chain happened when I was supposed to be writing a report at work and was instead imbibing of a delicious oatmeal cookie. It may have been the energy provided that cinnamon dusted sweetness but I was also reading some of the 'fix sov' posts on Features and Ideas at the same time. These threads are about fixing Sov which is not a topic I am very useful for but one I find that I want to stay abreast of these days.
And there I am, oatmeal cookie nibbled in one hand, phone propped against my laptop reading a post and my report slowly getting worked on when I asked myself, "If CCP decided to create large scale player empire fought galactic warfare and combat after they decided to create their spaceship game maybe we're missing the foundations."
This came from a very blunt post in which the members of the great sov coalitions are pointed at for not wanting to fight each other. That is an easy thing to head nod to. "Go kill them till one of you is dead." But, as I nibbled my cookie and thought about the fact that many people wants a secure place in Eve to live and well... play Eve. That the response, "It is not worth it," exists or the complex and fascinating explanations on exactly why the path of the game's empires has been pointed in this direction do not move nor even tip towards the brutal senseless spaceship violence some long for is an interesting thing. None of that is big, gigantic war where thousands of people slug at each other and climb over the fallen bodies of their foes. It is now where ships explode and their corporation lurches forward even as destruction reigns around them as they scream defiance in the face of aggression even as blood streams down their bodies and tortured muscles buckle under the strain.
Yet, we seem to expect it. It has become a machine that moves other parts of the game. One does not have to be on the front lines to participate. Not with Eve's economy of player built ships and player gathered resources. If anything it gives a place for all of our creation to be consumed. That to is well known. The oft spat, "You'd not have a ship if it wasn't for me!" is well enough known.
It is still not the image of fief lords crouched atop their castle spire as the banners of their greatest enemies crest the hill at sunrise. In every argument there is a discussion about conflict drivers. That was perhaps the last piece. We discuss how we have to incentivizing fighting. It suggests that the current state of diplomatic relations and business dealings on hold courses while chomping expensive cigars is the inevitable end. Instead of mass destruction and legions of homeless drones their owners shattered into a million bits of matter expanding outwards we are picking pink polo shirts and counting our swings. If we have to stop ourselves from making peace is that because we are not in the proper state to make war?
Sov was not in the game from day one. It came fairly quickly. Once it was in CCP put a lot of energy getting it off the ground. People were already attacking each other. The first buffs to NPC police and the creation of CONCORD all came because of the early ease of piracy in the space lanes and the casual, wanton killing of any one could find. But wonton killing for fun is still not galactic empires that spread across entire regions.
It has already been seen, with painful clarity, that the changes will have to be deep and structural. Bandages and glue will no longer replace the need for motor and stone. But CCP needs to lay a damn good foundation this time. I hope that they do. While sov may never be for me, I do admire it from a distance.
It was a pretty good oatmeal cookie. I pick the raises out of them as I nibble. I should try making them with cranberries. Who knows what I will come up with then.