Speaking out…

I want this game to be fun. Not a chore, not stressful, just fun. I know EVE means more to some than others, in fact many people invest a lot of real life money into it and have multiple accounts. Others take their gaming seriously and like to be the best at what they do.

EVE is a hard game, it’s unforgiving, massive and the depth of it is often considered to be unparalleled. It takes a long time to get into and has a high infant mortality rate. Whilst that’s always been true, it’s safe to say that today the game is ‘easier’ for new players than it’s ever been. There are far fewer opportunities for shenanigans and despite the ever present threat of ganking PVE players now enjoy somewhat of a theme park in hisec compared to several years ago. Add to this the addition of nullsec hacking sites in WH space within easy reach of hisec along with a mostly empty lowsec and the possibilities are endless in terms of making isk.

The above has been augmented by the introduction of pre-skilled alphas, the removal of learning skills, opportunities to make isk in the billions as an alpha clone and, of course skill injectors. When you add the revamped NPE into the mix, as far as new players are concerned, especially those who don’t want to pay to play and / or simply want to PVE, New Eden has never been quite so appealing.

So why are they leaving? Is it too easy now?

I’ve seen a few threads on the forum recently talking about player retention and have followed them with interest. Some people say that hisec should be a 100% risk free playground, whereas others advocate a return to the ‘good old days’ pre-crimewatch, as well as the removal of the recent war restrictions.

I think the problem goes deeper than hisec. It lies with the sense of entitlement that new players now feel because of the ‘enhancements’ I’ve mentioned above as well as a smorgasbord of opportunities to avoid conflict and mechanic changes to remove it.

Now, I’m the last person to want anyone to leave the game, no matter their attitude. I harbour the hope that each person I encounter or have encountered in PVP learns from the experience as I did and prospers as a result. If I kill a new player I normally give them enough isk to replace their ship and some thoughtful words of advice. I’ve been doing this for over 10 years and have undoubtedly given billions away. Often this is met with positivity, sometimes it isn’t, and tonight was one of those times.

I don’t want to sound dramatic, but a little piece of my pod tarnishes every time I get one of these responses but I wanted to share it nonetheless if for no other reason to illustrate that people are sometimes destined not to flourish in New Eden.

I entered a C3 in Jark with only an hour or so to play tonight. There were already probes out so I dropped a tight spread centre system and caught a data site straight away. I pulled probes immediately, settled on the site at a pounce and waited.

You know the drill by now.

A Stratios appeared on scan and remained on scan for some time. I saddled up my main and waited for the Stratios to move away from dscan to the entrance then moved in a Tengu. I assumed the Stratios was hacking, I hadn’t caught sight of him but he remained uncloaked within scan range of the outer planet for around five minutes. Then he disappeared.

Shortly after a self named Probe appeared on scan, dropped probes and went to work. In the meantime I’d scanned out a relic site so split my eyes across both and waited for him to show.

It wasn’t long before he appeared in the site, and with the Tengu in place I was happy to jump the Probe knowing that a sacrifice may result in bagging a Stratios.

Madbruh Hekard was seven days old and clearly inexperienced at hacking, failing every can he tried. Nevertheless the potential for riches wrapped in the rusty frigate were there.

It was time to see if the Stratios was waiting for me. I dropped onto the second to last can and decloaked.

Madbruh quickly warped his pod off and immediately set about living up to his name, despite 3m isk hitting his wallet in lieu of a 600k isk loss.

Of course I wasn’t going to chat to him there and then, so I left the hole and docked, sending an evemail. Upon checking I’d already received one so I responded without translating. His title reads “What’s the point?” and I assumed his content referred to the value of his ship…

He then replied:

“Worst community in world”.

My heart sank a little. Is this what EVE has become? I wrote a response to his mail, somewhat ticked off by his attitude and wanting to explain further but sadly…

Oh, I know. EVE has always had flailers, quitters, over-reacters and isk hoarders who recoil at the idea of leaving so much as one wreck out of 100 unlooted. I do however seriously fear for the future of our game considering the plethora of spoiled and expectant responses I’ve received lately after killing.

Additionally I don’t want this to appear to seem like I’m blaming the ease of player entry and access to isk and skills solely for EVE’s stagnation. As we’re all aware a lot needs to be improved around here in terms of content. I’m still amazed that the NPE is buggy as hell, you’d think that would be one of CCP’s main priorities.

To finish, here is the response I had intended to send. Yes it’s tinged with negativity and no, I’m not sorry. I hope Madbruh gets over himself and learns from tonight.

That’s pretty sad, considering I just gave you enough isk to buy five of those ships. How many people in PVP based mmos do that? You’ll find it happens a lot around here.

Also, I don’t ‘think I need content’. I hunt explorers for fun and profit. If you don’t want to lose ships, go to where I told you to go. Your scanning skills will be a match for those regions and chances are on the whole you will make more isk. Frankly your previous losses aren’t my concern.

Sadly your attitude towards the game (and let’s remember, this is a game) IS my concern. How will you feel a couple of months in when you lose 100m? 500m? 1 Billion? Will you continue to do this, or learn from your mistakes?

I really want to say that this isn’t the game for you, but I won’t because with out faith and hope there’s not much left to hold on to.

Basically if you keep banging your head against a wall, eventually you’re going to bleed. Try not banging it, or wear a helmet?


Fly safe o/


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