Perhaps, I should have been more productive this evening. I could have transcribed some day 4 notes or worked on my outline and links for my Sunday post. Instead, I spent a lot of time reading.
CCP is instituting a skill point change on Tuesday where new players will get a base skill point bump by giving them some basic skills that currently slow down the first few days of the game. There are a lot of reactions around this. Many good. Many that feel that it isn't enough. And a lot of people who are angry. I'll touch on that a bit more on Sunday.
Somewhere in all of this reading, and talking with a few new players who have been in the game for a short period of time, I realized that we've had an interesting generation appear. Last year, I had discussed that we will have players who never knew Eve before Phoebe. This was exaggerated from its normal trend by the 'This is Eve' trailer. That gave us an entire wave of players, many that left but some that stayed. Many where from already connected and interactive groups. Those players stepped into some of the social aspects of Eve earlier then others.
That is how I found myself blinking at a conversation I was reading that went, "Remember two years ago when they released the last expansion?" and the other party said, "No. I started last December. I've never seen an expansion."
Huh. I don't consider myself that old of a player. My 4th birthday is coming with the start of December. But, I have seen so much in my little time. The rise and fall of Battlecruisers online. The end of expansions. The changes of Phoebe. Crimewatch. Odyssey. And for all of that I have seen so little. I'm a post Incarna child and I am very firm in that stance. I cannot know what CCP was like before Incarna but now we've had very game changing releases happen.
What will this period of no expansions be known as? We have a generation of player born into it. Born after Phoebe and lured by 'This is Eve'. They are players that came for the interactive gameplay. The fleets and the corporations, the people working together to do things. Oh, we have others players. The ones that always appear. Some that stay because like me they logged into Eve one day on a whim and fell in love with the game. Or the ones that came again and again and only in these latest changes did they stick.
How will they see Eve? Some are born as I was, with 50k skill points. On Tuesday, others will enter with 400k+. The ones who enter now will known expansions and meet one as they enter the spring. Those who have not known expansions will look at this as a new type of game. And those of us who have known expansions will compare it to what we have known. I, since Crucible, and others since Castor.
We will also see it through the time of no expansions, through the future and the past. What it means and what will come, I don't know. I do believe that CCP works on a more complex problem than Eve the game. It works with a player base that has been with them for over a decade. It causes a dance of bringing in the new and not disenfranchising the old. And it is not a charted future.
Eve's generations are interesting things. They are not defined by an expansion or the name of a release. They are defined by events within the game world. Maybe a release, maybe a single change, perhaps a trailer, or it might be the rise or fall of an empire.
It reminds me that my Eve is not the same as another. Outside of what I like to do and the game that I play there are other things that define my game. How can I ask someone to understand the rise and fall of a well known alliance, to know the joke about an often spoken of player that they will never know? Of blogs gone cold and empires grown old, there will always be someone who never knew them.