Friday, February 20, 2015

Rambling: Who decides the end?

[TL;DR: Random thoughts about growing old and staying the same.]



Last night I came home and made soup. I decided not to log in or write. Instead, I cooked for a bit, chatted on Slack and went to bed so that I could not enter my weekend off utterly exhausted. That means today, once I logged in I had things stacked up that I would have done on Thursday. One of those is my capital copying. I tend to copy over my work days with a delivery date for my last day. I keep a steady churn of blueprints copying to keep up with the capital building.

I had this idea to write about the work and effort of building capitals. It came from the often frustrating foot tapping that comes from those waiting for an order. I still may. But after a discussion earlier today I wondered if I was to close to whining about the amount of work involved. Building capitals mostly alone is a lot of work and one would think that capitals would be a more focused group project. Maybe it is so much work because I am trying to do the work of multiple people by myself.

This came from another discussion. One that has been echoing in several areas of late about the work that comes with playing Eve and methods to mitigate that work. Many groups have logistics people who move things, set up contracts and markets, create out of game tools for management and smooth the process. Corporations have developed complex ship replacement programs, compensation packs for those who do structural supports and in general made companies and groups that hum with effectiveness.

For the line member it often means that what they want is available. We've become fascinatingly efficient machines for easing the game's chores. Well oiled machines that allow players to undock and receive content without the irritating bits of the game.

Is it working?

When I think about my chores I realize that they keep me busy. I don't think that they are fun. But to me fun is a wild, free laughing concept. I find them satisfying. Irritating but the over all goal which is often weeks away that will only be reached by effort, timing, and work is worth it. The pay off is why I do everything. But if someone removed that and just gave me the end product would I enjoy it as much?

I'm not sure because I've not been in that situation. Nor have I desired it. If I could not replace my losses I'd change what I was doing. I'd earn money again until I was flush and restart. But that comes from liking to do a handful of things in game instead of having just one thing that occupies me. After years anything can become boring even what you enjoy the most.

I've heard more murmurs about 'end game' concepts than I like to hear of late. I very much like the open nature of Eve's game. I was telling my best friend about how I spent months playing Skyrim without any of the dragon powers because I'd never finished the mission that let me absorb dragon souls. I was to absorbed in the world running around and playing and doing things be that picking flowers and making potions or slinking into lairs of treasure and ore. I didn't even think about the fact that I was missing something by not heading to the end of the game.

We've removed busy work for some and improved ease of access to content by some groups. However, as groups age tastes change. Having heard end game twice in a week made me wonder what people consider 'end game' and can Eve actually give that to people. If you create success and are at the top of your game can CCP continue to give things to accomplish? Will refreshing hte old help or must new be new vs change?

It is odd the things that can absorb us and catch our attention. I'm a sucker for gathering stuff. Give me a world where I can pick stuff up and my inventory will be filled in moments. Maybe one day I'll have the endgame crisis or something. I think I'd just play something else for a while if I can't get what I want from Eve. It's what I do now. Sometimes I like grass and dragons for my evenings entertainment. Eve can't give me everything. I'm okay with that as long as it gives me everything that it should I won't start dreaming of dragons except for maybe...


16 comments:

  1. My only real problem with player ran tools that streamline the game is that a lot of players, not all, but enough... are the same ones who complain about the dumbing down of Eve.

    There's a lot of work that goes into building all the complexity that runs those tools which sits on top of the game. And I applaud that. What I don't applaud is that the players who benefit from that most are wholly removed from the complexity and only interact with the end result of the game being dumbed down.

    They've traded personal complexity for ease, and then complain when CCP does something they perceive as removing complexity from the game when they've chosen the same paths themselves.

    It's hypocritical to say the least.

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    1. I always end up back at one place in thee discussions... Perception.

      Perception IS reality... "One player's Fascinating Intricacy is another player's Useless Complexity."

      Who decides?
      There are players out there for whom ship building, mining hell even PI is their 'end game'... They love the OCD nature and the rich complexity of PI... creating complex multipage interconnected spreadsheets to track and min/max their production chains...

      And there are players who will NEVER do PI... ever because "It's a pure waste of time and should be removed from the game because it creates risk adverse players because they can make ISK without risk...

      Who decides? Who's perception of the game's merits or faults do we use?

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    2. First.. Perception is not reality. It just isn't. Reality exists separate from our perception of it.

      Substitute the word 'Opinion' and I'll follow along.

      The answer btw, is that we don't. We don't use any single person's opinion of the game. We come to an overall compromise consensus.

      Look at the things CCP is spending the most time on right now. Corps, Alliances, Sov, NPE. All things we, as a community, mostly agree are broken. We even more or less all agree on how they are broken. So we decided. Not a 'who', a 'we'. There's a majority opinion on how to fix a couple of them. CCP will change some of it, so we're not going to get what we want exactly. But for the most part it sounds like we're going to get what we, as a community, asked for.

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    3. I would argue that perception is reality. We certainly have access to nothing but the phenomenal world and as such any reality separate from our perception of it is inaccessible and meaningless.

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    4. Just because you can't perceive something doesn't mean it's meaningless. We can't perceive dark matter, but we know something is there, and we know it's important. It has a role to play in the universe, and without it being there we probably wouldn't exist.

      Or, if you want to go with a more concrete example. Look at electromagnetism. A couple hundred years ago we had no perception of it at all. Now we wouldn't be having this conversation without it.

      We didn't figure out the basic laws of gravity till the 1600s, we had no perception of it what so ever. But now we know why the earth revolves around the sun. It's just important before we perceived it as it is now. Without it the planet wouldn't have formed in the first place.

      All those rules existed before we figured them out, they had to or we wouldn't be here. There was a concrete reality that was always there waiting for us to notice it that was completely divorced from our perception.

      We'll make more discoveries yet, that are currently outside of our perception. Some of the things we think now may be over turned. But all of it is important even if we can't perceive it because without it we wouldn't be here.

      There is an absolute reality beyond our perception. There always has been, there always will be.

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  2. EVE "end game" is very real for PvErs. The amount and range of things a player can do without fucking other players are limited, and by pursuing those endeavors without learning to fuck other players, the PvEr runs out of content sooner or later.

    A PvEr can't fuck other players with the tools of his trade. And after walking towards the end game of PvE for one, two or three years, he's not going to start PvPing. So he quits.

    Things would be different if PvE allowed players who pursue it to use the tools of their trade to fuck other players. That would allow PvEr to pursue PvE without bothering with other players and then, once reaching the former end game, they could start PvPing their way, just by using what they learned and practiced.

    In EVE, the feather should be as might as the sword. Being able to interact to NPCs should be as dreadful as being able to gather 4,000 spendable destroyers in Jita. Only to find out that they are denied undock for not following regulation 401 of the standard code of undocking procedures, according to Docking Master X, known straw man and NPC client of Angry Onions, whose freighter should have been left alone one year ago...

    Tools of the trade. If you learn what CCP decided that were the wrong ones, end game is in sight right from the start. Run missions. Level up your Raven. Then quit. Mine rocks. Level up your exhumer, Orca, freighter. Then quit.

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    1. The freighter pilot would be the alt of one of the players who tried to suicide gank your freighter and not one of the characters who attacked it. Therefore, I assume that your idea is not limited to retaliation but can be used by anyone, against anyone, without limit.

      Imagine what one player can achieve with this griefing LP store. Now imagine what an alliance can achieve with it, targeted against a single player who they dislike.

      This idea sounds very...un-interactive. For example, you can already stop someone from undocking by camping that station (which requires more effort from the camper than their target and can be countered in many ways). With your system, you accumulate griefing points whilst running missions or incursions in a corner of high-sec. You spend them to hurt someone and there is nothing your victim can do about it.

      You are killed in PVP as the result of a set of decisions you made to put yourself in that place, at that time, in that ship & with that fit. It is very unlikely that you were killed whilst using all of the tools at your disposal or without making mistakes. You chose to put yourself at risk and made an incorrect decision that cost your ship. You choose to expose yourself to different gradients of risk through your own actions.

      With this idea, you are subjected to penalties because someone who doesn't like you is doing PVE (probably in order to fund their PVP main). You haven't made an in-game mistake or taken a risk for an extra reward and I can't imagine what you can do except log onto a different character until they stop.

      In your vision for EVE, the most important thing would be to travel under the social radar to avoid being singled out for a griefing campaign. I think this idea empowers large and organised groups who wish to hurt individuals that do not expose themselves to risk in other ways far more than it would empower your average carebear to take on a member of Goonswarm.

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    2. I wonder why you assume that NPC bassed PvP would be as free for all and riskless as wardeccing or bountying or hyperdunking or...

      Let me paraphrase for you:

      "You are arrested in station as the result of a set of decisions you made (you ganked the wrong guy) to put yourself in that place (an Amarran station), at that time, with that political support and NPC clientele (nobody knows you? Amarran hate you? And don't even have a -player controlled- attorney? Too bad!). It is very unlikely that you were arrested whilst using all of the tools at your disposal (like joining a corp with a good Law Firm) or without making mistakes (like ignoring the public agenda of your target). You chose to put yourself at risk (could just mess with someone else) and made an incorrect decision that cost your ability to play at that moment (but we'll set you free once we clear your papers, in 24 hours). You choose to expose yourself to different gradients of risk through your own actions."

      How about that?

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    3. There is no end game in EvE. Period. The PVE pilot who wishes to limit himself to just PVE is as gimped as the PVP pilot who engages only in PVP.

      EvE is about establishing a constant and continuously evolving set of goals to keep the game fresh and fun, regardless of one's play style. Many, many of the pilots engaged in the higher-end PVE content (i.e. Incursions) are null alts. There are a fair amount of PVPers who do trade and industry, etc.

      EvE cannot be everything to everyone all the time. It is not a theme park game and requires that players find ways to make the game fun, creating their own reasons for logging in.

      I do fully understand the complaints from players who have gotten angry/quit over the non-consensual aspect of PVP in EvE. Such an environment is not for everyone. That's why I play on PVE servers in SWTOR and LOTRO. EvE, however, is a PVP server (to use 'standard' MMO nomenclature) and the game goes to great lengths to warn players that on this PVP server, PVP can be initiated at any time and does not require consent. To voluntarily join such a server and then complain about the non-consensual aspect of the PVP boggles the mind.

      People that truly cannot accept/stand/tolerate the non-consensual aspect of PVP in EvE should probably leave the game. That, or reconcile themselves to the fact that they cannot absolutely insulate themselves from PVP. The non-consent aspect is part and parcel of the beating heart of EvE; if a player cannot accept that fundamental point, then they probably will never be happy in EvE.

      Instead of trying to change EvE into something it isn't, such a player should take a long, hard look at themselves in an attempt to answer the question "Can I have fun here?" If they can, then stay and adapt. If not, then go play other games; it's not worth stressing so much over a game.

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    4. Wardeccing is not riskless and neither is hyperdunking.

      In your example, you stopped someone from undocking with a hold full of destroyers because they previously ganked your freighter. The character that ganked you is almost certainly not the same character that you want to prevent from undocking so without a free-for-all system you wouldn't be able to stop them.

      If the system is not free-for-all then I guess that you can only use these tools against players who have wronged you in non-consensual PVP?

      Your goal is to increase PVE player retention by allowing them to engage in PVP using a set of PVE tools. Without a free-for-all system, this proposed mechanic sounds less like a new endgame for PVE players and more like a new form of killright to punish non-consensual PVP.

      Standings, attorneys, lawfirms and public agendas aren't important; the only thing that truly matters is under what circumstances your enemy becomes a legal target for these new mechanics.

      The purpose of my paragraph about decisions was to illustrate the vast difference between becoming the victim of a suicide gank and having a PVE player click their fingers to lock you up for 24 hours. I'm glad we agree that it should be a bit more complex than that.

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    5. @Heretic Caldari,

      I know not the origin of Onion’s bitter. I know only that it is complete and unassailable. Poor fellow couldn’t even wax nostalgic for a moment in response to Sugar’s previous ‘What Was Paid Forward’ post. Quoting Onions, “I don't have idols, just friends who stopped playing what CCP decided that it was the wrong way to play EVE..."

      Fellow looked into his past and found only bile. Sad.

      Perhaps, one day, when Onions gets to dance on CCP’s grave he’ll find some measure of comfort knowing his unrelenting demoralization campaign played its small part.

      As for me, I dance among the stars we have. Let the future deliver what it may, I’ll twist and turn and dance there too. Marvelous.

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    6. Heretic Caldari: "There is no end game in EvE. Period. The PVE pilot who wishes to limit himself to just PVE is as gimped as the PVP pilot who engages only in PVP."

      PvP can force their playstyle onto everyone everywhere. PvE can't.

      And that's the difference between being a balanced sandbox and being EVE Online.

      Conflict takes many forms. In that sense, PvP permeates everything. There is PvP in mining and trading and industry, et cetera.

      But all that means nothing when you can force me to fit a tank and I can't force you to hire someone so you can undock while I am out and mining.

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    7. DireNecessity: "Perhaps, one day, when Onions gets to dance on CCP’s grave he’ll find some measure of comfort knowing his unrelenting demoralization campaign played its small part."

      IF I wanted to just dance on CCP's grave, I would just keep playing other games and never give a second thought to EVE Online.

      Yet in order to want to dance on CCP's grave, I should be able to hate EVE Online, and then I should rejoice with how it looks from the outside, what are its prospects, and what is being done.

      It would be just "heh, they keep doing shit that doesn't matters to outsiders and so they couldn't sell the game to new customers even if it was the last MMO in the world".

      It would be just "heh, they keep betting on FPS games in spite of the evidence that they are terrible at the genre and the genre itself is a terrible place to compete".

      It would be just "heh, look at how well is doing CCP Seagull by pleasing the fan base, oh God, who needs new players when that would mean doing things you never did before?"

      If I felt a need to rejoice in the demise of EVE, I would just let it be. I would not bother to read blogs, browse the forums, parse patch notes and so. I would just keep silent and wait for the trainwreck.

      But then I would be really, really mean, and not just hopeless and bitter.

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    8. Okay... so why do you still lurk around Eve Angry?

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    9. Anonymous: "Okay... so why do you still lurk around Eve Angry?"

      Because I would like to play it again and see it grow, rather than see how my personal achievements and goals rot within a decaying game.

      I also think that as an outsider, I can provide some useful points of view. Endogamy has been killing EVE since Incarna teached CCP that their fans were a force to be reckoned. So CCP went from ignoring the playerbase to ignoring the non-players.

      And that haves a little side effect. Since when you stop caring about non-players, they stop becoming players.

      For 4 years now, CCP hasn't done anything to answer the question "Why should I start playing this game now if it didn't interested in the past?".

      Guess what? The only people left to try EVE are mostly people not interested with what it is -which does not mean they can't be interested if the game opens to them. Avatar gameplay or a EVE grade PvE could do the trick.

      Apparently EVE will get in 2015 what was teased in 2013, the Jovian/Drifters as NPCs and player built gates (unless that's delayed to 2016 according to the 2014 teaser video), plus a new sovereignty system and POS stuff.

      All of which is massively and completely IRRELEVANT to potential new players, let alone to people who didn't cared of EVE for years...

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  3. Someone told me once that the 'end game' of Eve is everything you do after you are past the tutorial. I don't know if I have ever really accepted this definition or not though. Perhaps 'end game' is really something personal that can only be defined by the player and the group they hang out with.

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