These days with the weight of the CSM tag over my head I often avoid contentious topics for fear that someone will scream that the sky is falling because the CSM said so. But wow, anger just clears the mind! Today, I don't care. I'm going to indulge myself.
Last night, after everything, I came back from my appointment and chatted with some of the people that were still hanging around. I was asked, "Sugar what do you think about supers and links just being deleted from the game."
The topic comes up sometimes. Can these things be fixed? Can they ever be balanced? Should they just be deleted?
Twelve years ago, a game called Eve Online was created. It was created with a persistent universe with a vertical balance that quickly tilted towards the horizontal. It had many grand visions of epic battles fielded by thousands of players on a single server. It would be a place of persistence. A world with real history. It would evolve into a player driven story unlike any other.
I like that about, Eve. I don't take the idea of removing anything about the game idly. Some things have been removed but more often changes are made that move away from a direction but leave history behind them. It may be ugly for the database but it is beautiful for the game story. That story was utterly important to those who developed it and lived for it.
The conversation for Titans started as early as January 2005. That is a year and a half after release. The introduction of supers into the game happened at the end of 2005 with the release of Eve Online: Red Moon Rising. There is a Chronicle named "Titan" written about them.
It is now 2015 and we are still struggling with these ships in gameplay. They have been so amazing that they could launch a doomsday through a cyno and destroy and entire grid. That got nerfed. As more came into the game they got nerfed more. Super's were once motherships, made to move entire fleets and they later became super carriers, bigger versions of the same thing. The understanding of video games and MMOs in 2005 was not prepared for 2015.
That leaves us with a constant state where CCP tries to make their assets work as their game and players grow and age. Developers of the future are sitting with choices from the past and everyone is trying to make it work.
Due to Eve's habit of not removing things but balancing, revaluing, and adjusting, we keep trying to envision what to do with these ships. But, the question has crept up more in discussions I have with players. "Can these ships be saved or should CCP delete them from the game?"
There is the emotional reaction of "my stuff!" Supers are often asperational achievements. Many players put large amounts of time into gaining access to these ships. People dream of them. New players gasp at them. When a cyno goes up and the solid thump of landing supers hits me my pulse races. They are amazing, awe inspiring, things. To take them would mean that the effort that went into gaining them is gone. In a game where our things maintain their relative value, that is a big deal. It means that ISK, skills, and time are gone. Two of those three things can be given back but time is never captured once spent.
But do they have a place in Eve's future? Or, more correctly, would Eve be better without them? If the top of the line ships were carriers and dreadnoughts? In a world where structure grinding is being eliminated for other forms of game play what do we do? Is it more of the same? Can we find unique and interesting things to do with them?
Which brought up a second thought. If we supers in all their forms were radically changed, how should that be handled? Normally, we suck up change and go. But there is a difference between rebalancing haulers and turning supers into a different gaming platform then what people invested in them.
If the changes were radical enough, should there be an optional turn in? You can continue down the path or you can turn in your ship for X return and your player for its skill points reimbursed. I wondered if such a choice would create a better or worse situations for those who found their new choices incomprehensible.
Is there a path where Eve could shed some of its heaviest burdens? I don't know. It is heresy to ask. But maybe we need heretics.