Blog Banter #65 - Attributes and SkillsIt is a worn out stick and a well beaten horse. Eve isn't a young game. Its twelve. That's a good thing. It is a fabulous thing. In a world where games barely make it into their third and fourth years it is a spectacular thing. Being unique is great. It keeps us in a game. It is fun being special. But it also comes with negatives.
Does Eve need attributes? It's been discussed a lot recently. Unlike other MMO's your characters attributes don't make a difference in day-to-day gameplay. They simply set how fast you train a skill. Is it time to remove attributes from the game or totally revamp their purpose? Do they add a level of complexity to the game that is not needed? If you really need to use a 3rd party application to get the most from it should it be in the game? Should they be repurposed with each attribute adding a modifier to your ship? Are attributes a relic from the past or are they an important part of Eve - You make your decision and deal with the consequences?
One of Eve's best resources is the veteran player. Love, treasured, known, vets add a value to Eve that cannot be easily explained. They are the history of the game. You can sit and talk with them about game changing battles that happened ten years ago. Their knowledge and experience can easily accumulate into centuries. It is a rather intimidating thought.
But, there is a downside to veterans. That is the fact that they are veterans. Things are not new. That is fine. The fact that Eve can be played because it is interesting instead of bright and shiny is one of the aspects of the game that I love so much. However, familiarity breeds contempt. It is a natural process to forget our times of ignorance. Ignorance is not useful. Knowledge drives us forward. But, with it comes contempt and complacency. Those are dangerous things.
I may be in a somewhat rare position. A side effect of it is that I talk to a lot of people. I talk to people who would not normally interact with me. I meet and have discussions with people who would never know I exist or I they. And one thing that often rises to the surface is that aspects of the game are put onto the table for removal because they don't add any value.
But, I think what is often being said is that they don't add value anymore.
The old and the new can exist in the same place at the same time. It happens every day in the game. Eve has the unfortunate spot of trying to tie these two into a coexistence. But experience changes us and it changes what we do and how we respond. Today the topic is attributes. Remove them! I have heard. They have no value! They have no place.
But was not there a time when they did have value? A time when they did have a place? A time when sitting, figuring them out was new, exciting and thrilling. When it captured the imagination and plans spun on the exited dreams created because there was no experience to lean on? And then later, when experience comes and interests change, when knowledge has wrought its work upon our mind and changes upon our heart they had less value and less purpose. In fact, they seemed somewhat pointless and not something that was cared about any longer. It was not needed. It was known not to matter. So remove it.
I'm not sold yet on the idea of ripping things from the game because the absolute born of knowledge comes into play. When something is no longer needed it rapidly loses its value. The training wheels of a bicycle. The large, lined paper that I wrote my first letters upon. If someone where to give me training wheels for my motorcycle or large, lined letters for me to write my work reports on I'd find these objects useless to my needs, interest, and abilities.
But, there was a time when they had great value.
I'm torn on attributes in Eve. I think that attributes are a core part of creating a character. Customization has always appealed to me. There are few things that we customize in Eve. I've been playing for four years and Sugar sits over seventy million skill points. There is little that she needs and more that she can gain. Customization in Eve is simply how we approach something not what we are limited to doing. We can fly everything. We can do everything. It is just about how we decide to do it.
I like that part of the game. I'm not one for restrictions that we cannot overcome. I first made a Gallente character and it would be sad for me to learn that Minmatar was my home as a PvPer while trapped in a Gallente body.
I am also not good with my attributes. I have not remapped since sometime in 2013. Most of my characters do not have attribute implants in at the moment. I know, absolutely, that I am not optimized and I do not care. But, I do not care because that is an aspect of my personality. What keeps me on the line of this subject and not defending the small, unique qualities of attributes is those who are my polar opposites. Those who are so trapped by the need to maximize progression that they cannot exist in a state of comfort and relaxation without their attributes. They lock themselves into progression paths that last for months or years because of the gains they would not make if they approached the situation in a more casual manner.
I do wonder... would this topic be so fierce if we had more remaps? Remaps every quarter or six months instead of twelve? I wonder if we are approaching the wrong part of the topic? Do attributes bother us or does the specter of time lost drive this discussion?