Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Textures of Interactions

It is the season for corporation change. Several blogs have popped up of late regarding social groups in Eve.

Susan Black wrote a lovely one focused on how we need more types of social groups. Mangala has written a bout this as well with a focus on third party communities such as the NPSI (Not Purple Shoot It) community. I've chatted about social clubs, a topic similar to Mangala's in that it would bring people another sticky social group that they could be proud of.

I think there was a time when the idea of a secondary, lesser type group to a corporation would have seemed redundant. However, Eve's social game has evolved. The age of the game has evolved us. Some players have friendships over a decade long. Paths, interests, and lives have diverted but the friendship has stayed the same.

When I first started playing, Ender introduced me to THC2s private chatroom. It was not corp chat it was larger then that. Previous members, friends from the start of the game, and alts all hung out in the channel. Corp chat was not used. It was not needed. The true core of the corporation lived within this chatroom and with people who had never shared a corporation ticker but shared friendships.

The idea of public events, public fleets, charities, and groups have grown out of Eve's organic culture and single world. I was discussing this on Skype the other day. That Eve has become as much of a social game as a video game and CCP has started to build tools for the players to use instead of structures for them to climb. That in this game we have created sub-cultures and butt up against what would be normal.

I feel that words define our perception of things. That corporations are called corporations and not guilds has helped structure how we run them. If corporations are corporations that is also how they should be run. But unlike a clan or a guild which might define us, a corporation is a job.

The reason I like the idea of a social club is that it is a sticky idea. Membership is a powerful thing. A group identify. A publicly facing group symbol. An internal group list all help retain someone. I once said that I felt people would find support from these groups that they currently do not have in game. If their corporation stopped undocking from a war dec they'd have a built in backup social situation to go to. Players would automatically form more social connections in the game. I can imagine how it would help me with my idea of helping newbies into low sec and connecting them with vets without committing ether side.

One type of coporation does not fit all. We want to have complex social interactions in Eve. We also want them to be flexable. Concepts like NPSI groups, charities, and even my store do not fit under the basic social group in a game.

In looking at the future of war decs, I believe that social groups may be a key as well. But for this, and for now, I am glad to see this movement inside of the community.

8 comments:

  1. Why not just allow people to be members of multiple corporations? Simple, confusing, beautiful, powerful, and dynamic.

    Yes, more categories would need to be added to bookmarks (personal marks, corp1 marks, corp2 marks, etc) and perhaps selections to choose which ticker is sqwaked by my ship. Yes, they might pay multiple taxes for killing one rat. Yes they would get several corps mail. Yes, it is more groupings that can be wardecd. Some corps would be jealous and demand to be their pilots only love, others would embrace freedom. The sandbox box gains depth, trust the sandbox.

    For me I would love for my pilots to have their own corp that manages their own pos instead of mixing that role with their corporate affiliation.

    Kynric

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  2. I am part of what we have grown to call a 'meta-corp.' Basically, it is a group of corps that have very small numbers of actual people in them that are all connected by a chat channel that work together. We each manage our own personal affairs, live where we like and help each other out. If anyone ever got hit by a wardec, their response is simply pull up stakes and drop into npc-land, where they inevitably bring in more recruits to the meta-corp and restart their own corp after a few days. We have been comfortably doing this for around a year now and only had one wardec in all that time.

    Doing this, we've reduced the possibility of being awoxed (Everyone is protected from each other by Concord), stolen from (Everyone has control of their own assets), spied on (They have to be brought into the meta-corp channel), and there's little leadership fatigue (We're all leaders of our own particular specialty, so there's no one to head-shot). Also, risk of wardec goes way down because typical wardec groups don't like to waste the wardec fee on a corp that can dissolve and be restarted within hours.

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  3. Maybe players should have 1 job (Corporation) and belong to different clubs (Social Corporations, or SoCorps).

    Now, what could be the use of the SoCorp? I don't know. My experience is of a solo player with terrible corporation experiences which led to an even stronger will to not be bothered by corporations, wardecs, awoxing and the shit.

    What I do know is that if SoCorps provide any advantage ingame, they will end up as limited as regular corporations because of ~balance~.

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  4. Why only one "job." Plenty of people have multiple jobs, it up to each employer what they expect.

    Thinking back several years I had to leave my first corp.to faction war. Why was that necessary? It would be much nicer if I could have joined a faction war corp in addition to my existing corp. I would have preferred to have both the war and my friends.

    Perhaps a sqwak setting (pull down) selection could be utilized to determine which tag my ship shows and which tag owns any structures or deployables I drop. So.e corps would have zero tax and some tax heavily. Each organization would apply their tax to ratting, pi, etc. Some corps would expect a monogamous relationship while others might leave it completely open and probably most would have guidelines for their members as to what is acceptable and what is not. It seems s8mple on reflection although no doubt it has coding complexities. It is the sort of player driven complexity from a simple mechanic that makes eve so interesting.

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  5. I'm in favour of social clubs, but we have to recognize they are not first-class "game entities". Having the devs provide you a chat channel, mailing list and displaying your chosen ticker in a few places is very nice, but it's just a convenience feature, something that is not even as meaty as e.g. the in-game browser since most of these features you can already just organise yourself (see the above Anonymous comment describing one well-run approach to hisec survival -- take note people.)

    It has become more and more apparent over time that EVE is healthier when we have many smaller but diverse groups rather than a few monoliths, in all areas of the game. Hisec is no exception. This is the difference between social clubs and true corps (i.e. true game entities). The larger a hisec corp grows, the more effort it takes to run well and the more "risks" it faces. In hisec, the mechanics are already working well to promote a landscape of many smaller corps, with only the best run corps/alliances able to grow to attention grabbing sizes. This is a mechanic that is working.

    KN

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    1. To be clear, the comment I was referring to is: Anonymous November 19, 2014 at 10:57 AM. Obviously not saying this is how all corps should be run, but it's a perfectly legit way that's working for Anonymous and friends.

      Would we really prefer to see a lot more massive faceless corps in hisec where members don't really know each other and don't need to (e.g. if awoxing is gone), leaders don't know their members (recruitment has no risk) but just collect 5% tax on all the solo mission runners?

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    2. On the one hand it has worked well, though sometimes folks really wish we could all just fly under one banner. Then we read about one thing or another on the news sites or reddit and the feeling vanishes. Sometimes on our whims we end up regions away from the rest and have to fly quite a ways to visit, and we have had a few that decided to merge up and do bigger things like rent a system and go live in a wormhole. It's so nicely free-form that these people still stay connected, despite whatever ties they have. Once those ties break, they ask around the group and find a new place and it's like they never left.

      If something like this could be done with game mechanics, I would propose the label 'Social Club' for it. Not quite a fully licensed Concord recognized corp with all the trimmings, but more like a halfway house between npc corps and the real thing...

      I also think that towers should become a personal thing you can anchor for yourself, not just a corp thing. Maybe a personal tower that has built in personal hangar and ship array and is just a step up from the mobile depot function wise...? If there's several variants with different functions and costs, that would be pretty cool as well. (IE: Miner's personal tower with an ore bay you can compress in...)

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  6. Why would anyone pay a tax and expose themselves to a bucket of wardec risk for membership in a faceless useless no services corp? That problem would resolve itself fairly quickly. If someone were member of two corps I think we can presume both corps are offering them something that they value.

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