Dirk MacGirk asked during the CSM9 Town Hall #2 if Eve was evolving or if CCP was moving towards an Eve 2.0. In my scattered attempt to share my bumbling path to using my Rorqual's Vat Clone Bay Zazz asked if removing standings for clones would break Eve.
I'd love to write a complex, technical post about standings but I don't have that post to write. I actually know very little about standings and how they work. The reason I know so little about them is because I've not had to deal with them to make things work. I do not have standings for my markets for instance because the ISK that I lose is well worth it to me not to grind for standings.
It is funny because I do not dislike PvE. I can accept that Eve's PvE is not stimulating or interesting. However, I don't mind it. What I mind is the grind. What I mind is being forced into the PvE. Give me an DED complex to do and I am a happy camper. Tell me that I need to grind two hundred and twelve missions to gain a .5 percent tax decrease or get jump clones and my attention is instantly transferred off to something that I find interesting.
That's a bad thing.
Last August I discovered that if you right click on your standings you get an option to show transactions. Selecting this shows you your standing loss and gain. I had no idea that this existed. It felt as if I should have known such a thing was there. It seemed as if that bit of information should have mattered to me some. But, I've meandered through without worrying much about standings. I think that is good that I can do that but I also think that I should be more motivated to learn, use, and work with them.
Now the easy thing might be for me to stand upon my pulpit and cast down standings as an evil to be purged. The thing is, I don't think that is the case. I don't think standings are evil. I think that standings are poorly done and don't make a lot of sense. They are not intuitive and one can find that they have tanked their standings before they even know how they are gaining their standings (see Faction Warfare). That would be okay if raising standings was not akin to a punishment and penitence. Decisions should matter and they should have consequence but what those consequences are need to be evaluated.
I know that what we have was something conceived almost a decade ago and the game and game play has changed but core aspects of the game have no flexibility. I also know that until we have better PvE tools on board none of this can be addressed. But still...
The question I have to ask myself is am I annoyed for a valid reason or just because I dislike something. Right now there are work around to standings for jump clones such as jump clone services and clone vat bays. They come with their own list of negatives and pros and cones. Devaluing the work people have put into their standings is not my goal. It has never been my goal. Those who learn the system and put in the work damn well deserve a stack of goodies. But those goodies should be valuable in themselves and help make that effort desirable and satisfying not a sigh and the pushing up of shirt sleeves while a week or two is dedicated to a grind.
We walk upon a line where Eve the player created game of content and Eve the coded video game with normal video game aspects lay on ether side and we dip our toe into one or the other as we see fit. I'd love for them to meld better. Can they? I'd hope so. Sometimes the videogame part of Eve seems to be but a means to an end. Series of hurdles and inconveniences to make the game sticky and keep people involved. But Eve is so deeply mired in what was and what will be that the old mechanics are more like lumpy oatmeal than a nice buffet to feed oneself on.
I like oatmeal well enough but I'd like to have a slice of melon as well, not just a big lump or a small one.
These problems that we face can be used to improve the game and broaden the choices and situations that people can and will make while giving things more depths and reasons. They should be used that way. At least in my opinion.