A new archetype: The Socialite

I have now had a chance to try out EVE Gate (Alpha) and broadly speaking I’m pretty impressed by it.  I think it’s real functionality became clear,  for me at least, was bringing it up on my mobile, scanning through my evemails and posting a couple of broadcasts.

As I travel quite a lot with work commitments the ability to stay at least partially connected to EVE whilst mobile is a welcome one.  Admittedly accessing these elements of EVE Gate through a regular browser isn’t all that effective or practical but I am reasonably confident some clever mobile apps (like Capsuleer) will integrate EVE Gate as a mobile friendly format.

Provided asset and trading management comes swiftly on the back of the current iteration Eve Gate has the potential to be a remarkably powerful tool (not with standing some of my reservations in the blog below).  But its much more than just a few evemails and a contact list…

We are now standing on the brink of a social explosion for EVE Online and, with the eventual “soon tm” introduction of Incarna and DUST 514, that social explosion will become a reality.  But what will this mean for EVE Online?

Currently we have two broad and often stereotyped ‘player types’ in EVE.  The “PVP’er” and the “Carebear”.  Both stereotypes occupy the extremes of the total spectrum of player types – look out though because the mixture of EVE Gate/Incarna/DUST suggests a new player type will emerge:

The Socialite.

Now of course ‘social players’ already exist in EVE, and you could well count Bloggers, PODcasters, forum trolls and E-ON journo’s amongst their number.  These social players are essentially commentators though, broadcasting their views in a ‘loud speaker’ format rather than purely networking “in game”.  But with EVE Gate this “in game” networking will become intensified if only for the reason that it will be possible “out of game”.

Will we see the Socialite player – the character seen walking the halls in Incarna whilst communicating expansively with a  far far wider social circle than previously?  How will these Socialites be perceived by the community as it exists now?

You might be wondering what Im rambling about, so I will try to provide as close an example as I can:

Colonel Roc Wieler. Roc, a well known blogger is I think his player would agree almost a “persona” in and of himself. Roc’s player has developed a carefully described persona / avatar replete with ‘in character’ tales, recipes and even an album (not to mention those tasteful briefs….).

Now place this type of character into the immersion of Incarna, add a splash of EVE Gate contacts, mailing lists etc etc and we can start to see the emergence of something new.  The Socialite? The cult of a Celebrity? Could we even see Players whose characters operate exclusively in the Political spectrum?

Imagine for a moment a Socialite who never undocks (they exist already I assure you), running a bar or shop front so they become far more visible than just say a forum presence. Consider also that this Socialite is now multiply connected through EVE Gate, blogs, podcasts, forums through all elements in the game (trading on the current EVE market, managing a bar, communicating with Dusties) and out of the game.

It seems likely that these players could potentially wield considerable influence.  By nature of their near continuous contact with the EVE Online Universe they would inevitably accrue a considerable wealth of information: becoming hubs of knowledge. And knowledge as we all know means power.

Will these Socialites become loved and respected by the players who broadly sample every aspect of EVE? Paragons of that uniquely EVE pursuit of intrigue and social engineering. Or will they become vilified? Held up to ridicule as some sort of ultra carebear divorced from the “real” game of shooting ships and sucking up ‘roids?

The answer you have probably already guessed will be a mixture of the two.  Some will be astonishingly successful, others will stumble and fall into ignominy or worse mediocrity.  What is clear is that EVE Online will have a new type of player emerge as a result of the small steps we are living through now.


11 Responses to “A new archetype: The Socialite”

  1. As you’ve said, there are already pilots who don’t undock. EVE Gate will certainly provide more outlets to gain, hoard and distribute knowledge. But, the problem isn’t that there is no outlet; it’s that the outlets are not centralized. You may have chat channels in game, various forum boards, blogs. There’s no one source for finding these outlets, and even when you do pilots will be using one but not another and so much information has to be replicated throughout the different outlets.

    For me, EVE Gate isn’t that exciting as it still doesn’t look to tie all of the sources together into a single net.

    In EVE influence is much more valuable than knowledge. For now, that influence mostly comes from the ability to field combat ships in space or fund such operations with ISK — I think that will continue.

    • Your definitely right Parity that the influence of the mighty ISK will continue, I hope I didnt come across as meaning it wouldn’t! In its current state EVE Gate isnt quite all there as a central resource; but I think it could be. We might even see player blogs physically hosted within EVE gate, or GOOGLE wave type networking through EVE Gate. True it will probably never be a single net but, and this is really just my opinion though I think it’s an important one, the ability to network outside of the EVE client to other players in DUSK, EVE Online, Incarna and also those not ‘logged into EVE’ will be of most benefit to the ‘Socialite’.

      Those player types are more likely than most to actually interact through EVE Gate and because they would do so almost to the exclusion of anything else (compared to say someone busy ratting in a belt) they will be the best placed to communicate to all the various aspects and other player types in the overall universe. I guess they may become, for want of a better term, ‘hubs’ of the network.


  2. Hells, you forgot to add two more aspects of the Socialite . . .CSM representative and Alliance tourn ey commentators.

    You are right that this play style is already in place and the new adds to the game will just bring them more to the fore.


    • Good point I missed those – again they are “commentator”s and my guess is these types of player are more generically sociable than most (note past commentators who have had a strong ‘RP’ flavour to their character Avatar such as Verone from VETO).

  3. […] on what might develop from EVE gate and Incarna (if and when it finally appears) and comes from Cailais over at The Hydrostatic Capsule. An interesting prediction and one which I can see being quite […]

  4. I think you are spot on with this one. The psychological implications of being able to almost completely “meld” with an online avatar is also very interesting. You can imagine split personality issues as larger than life characters such as Roc have the ability to more purely inhabit their created persona. This will be a wild ride, hope those CCP coders are working overtime to crank this stuff out…

  5. […] for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginCailais wrote an awesome post on A new archetype: The Socialite that is really worth your time to read. I wanted to comment there but it would have grown too long, […]

  6. Zak Strassberg Says:

    If CCP can provide the support and content a socialite archetype would need to be fun, then I think the idea could really take off. Especially after incarna and dust 514.

  7. Firstly, thanks for citing me as an example on a very excellent topic. It’s actually something I’ve given much thought to myself.

    On one hand, I think some of the mystique of socialites will disappear, as currently it’s all mostly text, and the user’s imagination filling in the blanks. Once our full bodies are visible, we will succumb to our usual biases, and only gravitate towards people we find interesting and attractive, even though it’s a game. I’ve seen it before.

    On the other hand, there are five fingers. Seriously though, Incarna does represent the chance to enhance our user communities greatly. I can tell you now Roc will be seen often at a regular bar, in his regular seat, and there will be stories about that aplenty on the blog. I think the added stability of knowing how to contact a character directly that we find interesting will only enhance the “celebrity” that some socialites now enjoy. It would be like real life, going to Hollywood, having lunch somewhere, and happening across Angelina Jolie; that would be cool.

    And of course, as you mentioned, there is EVE Gate. I don’t think it’s ready yet to be used as a social tool, but it certainly has the potential to be.

    Anyway, great post. Looking forward to more.

  8. […] on what might develop from EVE gate and Incarna (if and when it finally appears) and comes from Cailais over at The Hydrostatic Capsule. An interesting prediction and one which I can see being quite […]

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