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.