One of the side effects of having an informal talk session is that I don't get to prepare for anything. So when Niden asked me about my feelings towards the investment of veterans I talked in circles for a bit and touched on a few areas of it. I thought a lot about why he asked that. A lot of my current writing and talks focus on what I do with new players. In a way he did a little check. "Sugar, do you care about veteran players? Will you care for them and their investment in the game?"
Its a fair question regarding my focus on new players. I tend to pick things up and start running with them. I don't often have high level plans and convoluted strategies. I rather dislike the meta and that probably causes me to start from scratch more often then I need to. But, this isn't about the meta it is about how enthuasem can accidentally obscure the complete picture.
Niden asked. I answered.
There are things like giving skill points to new players. This has its own movement. I'm not sure how broad this movement is. I'm not a fan of it. It makes me uncomfortable. I know that expierence packs and instant leveling are quite the fad in a lot of games. It allows people to enter into the game and cherry pick content.
But I like playing the game. I like it a lot. And, staring at this problem trying to think it over I sometimes feel we have Eve Online and Eve Online: PvP. They exist inside of the same game. The very open world where you can log in at six and a half seconds old and run off to join in a fight is also Eve's personal demon.
People want to feel successful. They don't just want to be able to do. They want to be able to do those things and feel as if they are successful at them. We don't discuss starting newbies at a higher skill point level because they cannot do things. We do it because they cannot do things successful and waht they cannot do successfully is PvP competitively.
They can PvP. They will probably die. At the start of the month I took a new account and did the tutorials and ran off to solo faction war. I died a lot. I killed one person. I fought off two. I died my other thirty or forty fights. I died knowing what to do. I died properly fit. It was not that I could not PvP, it was that I could not PvP competively against anyone who happened to warp in.
Eve has no levels and few restrictions. I love it. It also makes things hard.
"If you put two players in the same ship with the same skills one will probably own the other. Skill matters as much as skills." - Sugar Kyle answering Niden.That is probably my biggest worry about the active skills. They still won't know how to fly their ship. If I take a five year old player who has never done combat, fleets, or low sec into low they wills till struggle. There are things that they have to learn that no amount of preset skillpoints will give them.
And people have to want to learn. Perhaps it is my age. I love the journey of playing. I used to run after the fleet in my Rupture as they all warped away and my horrifically poor skills made me the last one off the gate. I was only months old. But I was out there flying and trying. I learned during that time. I learned how to play the game and the game is more then who shoots who more successfully.
I hear suggestions to give them enough to get into a T2 fit frigate. What I don't hear is giving them enough to get into a T2 fit barge or a T2 fit mission Raven. What that says to me is that the problem that is being tackled is the accessibility to competitive and successful Player vs Player content at a very early age.
Often the focus is on solo or very small gang flying. That is some of the harder stuff to do int he game. I know pilot after pilot that scares me to death in space and when they slip by in an Atron or Incrusus I know I'll probably die. That didn't happen because of their skill points.
But some of it does happen because of their skill points. I think it is very easy to focus on that and ignore the rest of it.
And there is the fact that people do not want to feel devalued for their investment. One can roll their eyes at a PvPer but I see it elsewhere. I've talked a lot about high standings. Whenever I have these talks I have started to lay down that when we discuss repair we're currently not discussing devaluing the effort that has happened with gains. We're trying to get people back to zero not advance them to ten.
Value in Eve is stretches across unexpected things. I am very proud of my markets. I can gush about them for hours. I can discuss the ebb and flow of buying in low sec. I love discussing it. Markets. And I'll do it all flushed and talking at hyper speed because it is a success. It s something that I did.
When you have a game where people are told to go and make their own world, you have to then remember that they are going to create their own success points. It is too easy to step on those.
So things like skill points make me uncomfortable. I know that they don't everyone but they do me. Accessibility has many, many forms. But if someone is going to get bored they are going to get bored. It may be worth it to CCP to retain them for an extra month or two. That is a sub. But, I get to look at things from the eyes of a player.
I like playing the game. I may be old fashioned. I've told the story of how I was wrong to play Diablo to discover the story. Diablo was about collecting gear I was told. Not the story.
Yes, I want Eve to thrive. I want our population to grow some. I want the community to be hear for me when I log in from work. I am willing to challenge old truths. Change is good. Some change is bad. And as much as we challenge these truths that our conceptual foundations are built upon we also have to challenge the ideas that come along.
"But, Sugar these things are stupid!"
Are they? Because it is very easy and very common in this game to drop the stupid card on those who do not play, think, or do as one does. That's part of defining a game as well but that does not make them, their ideas, or what they do in fact stupid.