Archive for January, 2011

lol-gistics

Posted in EVE Online on January 24, 2011 by cailais

The latest CSM minutes spurned a flood of comments regarding null sec warfare and I wrote a little of my views in an earlier post (Achilles Heel).  Much of the current argument revolves around the use of Jump Bridges and Jump Bridge Networks and hence naturally the thorny subject of logistics.

Before we delve any deeper into the broad subject of logistics and how theyre manifested on the battlefield I need to introduce a topic some may not be familiar with – Battlespace Management.

The ‘battlespace’ in very simple terms is akin to the battlefield but comprises not just the area in which combat is taking place but the entire environment around it.  For example communication, through the electromagnetic spectrum, is part of ‘Battlespace Management’.  There’s no point having your elite units trying to communicate if you’ve allocated everyone to the same radio frequency and therefore no one can get a word in edgeways. Equally you may need to secure a road or route for your convoy of supplies, which needs to arrive at the right place and crucially at the right time.

Jump Bridge Networks in EVE are a physical representation of this Battlespace.  They ‘re define’ the normal system to system network of travel, reducing travel times but also having the effect of shrinking the battlefield.  This has important ramifications so forgive me if I give a ‘real world’ example for a moment; German U Boat operations in WWII were very effective because they hampered the resupply of Western Europe across the Atlantic.  Now consider if that resupply could have been achieved without the risk and time delay of crossing that vast stretch of water.  With an ability to circumvent a area of the battlespace it becomes irrelevant and, in this case, an entire operational theatre would have ceased to exist.

In a sense what is lost is a smaller conflict within a larger one.

Jump Bridges and ‘hot dropping’ capitals have a similar effect.  The problem in game design terms is that logistics is well…a bit dull.  Now I’m sure there are players who don’t mind a spot of hauling, some may even make a profession out of it but it’s unlikely to be amongst the top ten ‘things to do’ for your typical null sec player whose interest is predominantly in PVP.

JB networks then are therefore a sop to instant gratification: a short cut to the good stuff of pew pew.  This is ideal for the individual but poses problems on a larger scale.  Recently in Empire (an easily transited area due to the lack of gate camps and warp bubbles) a Sansha event resulted in 1400 players rushing, en mass, into Yulai with predictable results.  As the server laboured and players felt the crushing force of lag the self same behaviour as we see in null sec was replicated in high sec.  Distance, physically speaking, being no issue and the singular point of interest being in a single system resulted in over population.

In some respects Jump Bridge networks remove the need for player collaboration – they provide an instantaneous solution to the problem of ‘moving stuff’.  Rather than require players to work together to escort logistic ships and of course each other.  But they do remove a considerable burden from alliance players in terms of maintaining infrastructure over a wide area.  JB’s don’t discourage, or encourage, blobs they simply expedite their movement.  This may or may not be a bad thing – if you’re time is limited and you want to get into the fight quickly JB networks are a good thing.  If you want to interdict those fleets as they form they are a bad thing.

What long range jumps (cynos or jump bridges) do effect however is the ability for forces to co-operate over very large areas.  Your allies may be 60 regular jumps away, but they’re only 4 jumps ‘across’ space. To what extent this fosters coalitions of Alliances is hard to judge but it seems unlikely that it hampers their development.

If, as some have suggested, JB are removed then CCP should consider how logistics, as an exercise, might be made more interesting to those actually doing the heavy lifting and carrying.  Some have questioned whether making logistics more difficult between the save havens of Empire and Null sec will encourage more localised industry in null sec.  It seems rather too optimistic that this would indeed occur as currently the flow of resources from and too null (sec moon goo > Empire / Empire manufacture > null sec) is entrenched.

One area which is as yet unexplored is the use of Planets as industrial bases within null sec.  If we consider that PI could offer better and more convenient resource production of items that would otherwise be moved from High Sec then two problems may be solved by one single solution: DUST 514 raids would have a purpose (hitting industrial & manufacturing bases) whilst reducing the need to move vast quantities of ‘stuff’ around null sec.

Clearly if only Sov ownership enabled PI production of this type (as opposed to being accessible in High Sec) then again Sov would have a purpose in and of itself.

Managing the logistic battlespace is by no means an easy task but CCP must tread with caution before they remove all and every crutch to it.  Equally doing so in isolation from other factors like the pervasive local channel would be largely meaningless in terms of fostering more dynamic and exciting game play.  EVE is after all supposed to be a fun activity: not iceroad interstella truckers ….

C.

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Hydrostatic’s CSM Interview

Posted in EVE Online on January 23, 2011 by cailais

Brendan Drain over at Massively recently completed his interview with CSM member Deirdra Vaal regarding the latest council member.  Not wanting to be out done (and also recognising that the CSM is more than just one persons point of view) at The Hydrostatic we were lucky enough to question Carole Pivarnik, better known to EVE players as council member Mynxee about all things CSM……..

Cailais:-  “A former member of Hellcats Corp with a popular blog, now a member of the well known VETO Corp, and a CSM Delegate not to mention a confident presence on the EVE and Scrapheap Forums – you present an image of someone driven within and without EVE. What are the burning issues that make you want to get out there amongst the trolls and forumites of EVE Online?

Mynxee:- “After playing the game for four years now, almost one of them on the CSM, it’s impossible not to have opinions and insights that beg to be shared ;). Actually as a CSM delegate, there is a sense of obligation to do so. And while forum trolls and the slightly more tame forum warriors can be daunting, I think it is important for those who enjoy intelligent debate and discussion about the game to don the flame suit and add their voices to the mix. It kind of balances things out. Truth is, Scrapheap Challenge used to terrify me but the more I participate there and get to know people, the more I have learned to appreciate the smart and experienced folks who post there. But I don’t personally play the trolling game…except for occasionally falling prey to it, I tend to just ignore that stuff”.

Cailais:- “You recently expressed disappointment with the censoring of the final part of the CSM Summit minutes by CCP under the NDA. How much should we, the players know of EVEs future plans, and how much should remain hidden by CCP? I guess this question really asks who ‘owns’ EVE? The people who make the universe, or in a sandbox the people who make the game – i.e the players”?

Mynxee:- “Clearly EVE is CCP’s product and they can do whatever they want with it. Of course, every decision they make has a bottom line impact so if they don’t consider the desires of their customers in what is essentially a service oriented business, it’s likely to have a negative impact on that bottom line. My annoyance with the heavy handed “NDA” censoring is related more to my opinion that they are doing it to control the message about Incarna rather than prevent future plans from being revealed. The fact is, CSM has been told and shown almost nothing about Incarna. I don’t believe there is any documented plan, vision, or roadmap for it. I believe those responsible for Incarna are furiously working on that right now to have something to present at FanFest–as Hilmar alluded to in his session. Certainly the CSM has not been shown any such thing, and I believe had details of the Summit discussions been included in the Minutes, that would have been quite clear”.

Cailais:- “Recently some of the CSM Summit meeting details were released ahead of the minutes. You could call that a journalistic scoop. What’s your personally view of how a collective like the CSM should interact with the wider external media? After all you may find it difficult to speak ‘with one voice’”?

Mynxee:- “I believe the CSM should not only make itself accessible to the media, but seek out the media when appropriate. On issues where we agree among ourselves, he CSM speaks as one voice. But we don’t always agree and in that case, varying opinions are given equal time. I don’t believe the CSM should have as a goal being in agreement on every single issue we tackle. That is unrealistic considering the Council consists of 9 people with very different backgrounds, experience, and interests–both in-game and out. Differences of opinion are healthy and to be encouraged…even in media interviews or public documents like CSM Blogs or Summit Minutes”.

Cailais:- “As a CSM member do you feel more, or less, a part of the EVE Community? What do you say to those who suggest that a CSM is more “one of them (devs)” than “one of us(players)”?

Mynxee:- “I feel more beholden to the community and much more strongly a part of it than ever. Personally I don’t identify in any way as “one of them (devs)”. Quite the opposite in fact. I can’t speak for other members of this or any previous CSM, obviously. I do think that part of what gives rise to this perception in the community is former CSM members being hired by CCP. It may be true that individuals run for CSM with the goal of making CCP contacts that will help them get hired by CCP. That’s never been my goal. I have no desire to be employed by CCP”.

Cailais:- “Many political systems start out with the idea of elected representative who are ‘for the people and by the people’- over time though those elective members start to believe they know best and stop listening to their ‘constituents’. What are your thoughts on this with respect to the CSM”?

Mynxee:- “I don’t think that blanket statement can apply to a council of 9 people, all of whom treat their CSM responsibilities differently. Some delegates carry out their duties in a more visible manner than others. Some issues do not get the attention that players had hoped for due to other matters needing more urgent attention. This is not because those issues are deliberately ignored, but more a matter of having limited bandwidth and just the way priorities get managed within the CSM in terms of stuff that requires focus. The perception may also come partly from CSM delegates not having a robust presence in the forums…but again, available bandwidth for a volunteer activity can be limited and besides that, many delegates are quite active within their own alliances or groups of constituents…it’s just not publicly observable”.

Cailais:- “The June CSM Summit seems to have gone down in Summit history as a testing event. Were you surprised out how divergent the player bases view of EVE seemed to be with the Developers view of EVE? More to the point do you think the developers are still moving away from the current player base”?

Mynxee:- “I think there are two camps in CCP–the one consisting of those who have chosen to engage with the CSM and discovered some benefits for having done so, and those who do not engage. The latter group tends to be the ones who seem most out of touch with players. And yeah, it surprises me sometimes that devs can seem so clueless about stuff that is common knowledge among experienced, long-term players”.

Cailais:-  “CCP have remained very tight lipped about Incarna. What are your fears about what Incarna could mean to EVE if it’s introduction is poorly handled”?

Mynxee:- “My biggest fear is that long-term, heavily invested players will be irritated and/or disappointed in how Incarna is initially implemented and quietly leave in apathetic resignation that all their concerns fell on deaf ears. Add to that the possibility that new customers drawn to EVE by Incarna will be casual in their approach to the game. This combination could potentially result in a culture change in the game that tips toward shallow and short-term, which could mean ever fewer big stories of epic heists planned over years, null sec politics, etc. that have forged EVE’s nature from the early days. The very thing that makes EVE so special as an MMO and as a gaming experience in cold, harsh universe could well be compromised by such a culture change. And that would make me sad”.

My considerable thanks to Carole (Mynxee) for sharing her opinions and views with us. You may not always agree with the direction a given CSM takes on a particular topic but it does seem clear that there are players out there willing to put in genuine time and effort into making EVE a better game.  You can (and should!) read more from Mynxee at her blog ‘Life in Low Sec‘.

If your interest has been caught by the CSM you may be interested to know that the next candidacy period opens soon with more details from CCP here.  Alternatively you can put your opinions to test in front of the rabid mob of EVE players and, perhaps, have your cause selected to be championed by the CSM through the EVE Forum Assembly Hall.

C.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Alt

Posted in EVE Online on January 13, 2011 by cailais
Welcome to the twenty-fourth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

Dr Jekyll – “This month’s Banter topic comes to us from the ever helpful Eelis Kiy, capsuleer behind the “Where the frack is my ship” blog. She asks: How does your real life personality compare to who you are as a character in EVE? Does a good leader of people in the real world make a good leader of pilots in game? Or vice-versa? Do your real-life skills help you with the roles you fulfill in your corporation or alliance? Or do you behave completely differently? Does the anonymity of the Internet allow you to thrive on the tears of others in New Eden whilst you work as a good Samaritan away from your keyboard? Or are you as mean outside of your pod as you are inside it? Have experiences in EVE Online affected your behavior, skills or attitudes outside of the game?”


Mr Alt – “If, as many claim, MMOs and EVE Online is a form of escapism it begs the question what are we escaping from? The mundaneness of our hum drum lives? The pressures of work, family and society? Or are we actually escaping from ourselves, fleeing head long into alternate universes where our short comings and weakness are unknown, hidden by the cloak of anonymity and where we can let loose our inner id?”

Dr Jekyll – “Well Mr Alt if you happen to browse the forums of EVE Online you’d be forgiven for assuming it was a game played on the whole by adolescents with a fairly tragic grasp of social relationships and an overflowing abundance of childish humour.  The stats say different however, the average age of an EVE player is 27, and will (most likely) be male and employed in a reasonable job (enough to fork out the subscription fee at any rate). They’ll be outliers of course, the 85 year old unemployed woman who happens to love internet spaceships and the 12 year old self made internet millionaire – these however are a rarity”.

Mr Alt – “So Dr Jekyll you’re saying that the forums suggest that we act differently ‘online’  and that in some way we exhibit a alter ego?  I’m not so sure this is actually the case.  My guess is (and it is a guess) is that our alter egos, the ones we wear to work and in polite society are the false images and that people are actually quite childish, selfish and prone to temper tantrums.  Scary huh?  I shouldn’t think anyone should be surprised by this – after all we were all children at one stage and the social baggage that follows in our subsequent years is just that: baggage”.

Dr Jekyll ” True, but some character traits will perhaps come to the fore – the more extrovert personality is more likely to end up ‘leading’ but they’re that extrovert character with their life baggage stripped off and dumped. Hence you can have someone who in the real world is a quiet, shy and introverted person only to be transformed into a blood thirsty leader of piratical scum in EVE.  The same thing could apply the other way around with a confident, direct and authoritative business leader in reality once stripped of their outer mantle changes into a cautious but helpful miner in high sec”.

Mr Alt -“I think some would hope that EVE has some sort of symbiotic relationship with the ‘real world’ and that in some small way skills in EVE will translate into skills out of EVE and vice versa.  The trouble is these so called skills don’t translate well because the persona (ego, id) differs.  It is a little like saying that an actor playing the role of a hardened super hero crime buster can then apply those attributes to ‘reality’.  Christian Bale might be stalking his local city in a cape and body armour but somehow I doubt it”.

Dr Jekyll – “Ha! Yes well put Mr Alt. Well put! Many will fervently wish this transference to be some how true, especially if there is a great disparity in their comparative  success in the ‘online’ vs the ‘offline’ world.  For example let’s say you’re a successful, wealthy and powerful alliance leader in EVE, and a broke pauper working in a duff job in reality; sure you’d hope that EVE would teach you something that would transform your offline life.  But lets face the cold truth here – that’s unlikely”.

Mr Alt ” We mustn’t forget Dr Jekyll the other factor about EVE is that, for the most part, it is consequence free.  Being one step removed means your actions have less meaning.  So, if you are a really very nice person, you can experiment with the act of not being nice and taste safely the sensation of not being nice.  Why do so many players want EVE to remain a cold, harsh universe were they can “hurt” others? Purely because they wouldn’t, couldn’t bring themselves to act that way out here in reality.  This naturally throws up the question that if all those pirates and PVP’ers are really friendly cuddly folk what are those mining carebears actually like……”

Dr Jekyll “Oh come now Mr Alt EVE, like any hobby, can have spin off effects.  You may meet new friends, or gain new insights and interests as a result.  For example this blog – perhaps Cailais always wanted to write rambling reams of text but he didn’t until EVE prompted him to do so?”.

Mr Alt – “Perhaps Dr Jekyll, perhaps. The really interesting question from Eelis’s blog banter to me though is not the question she asked but why she asked it. Notice her question is phrased directly – at you. Eelis could have written:

Do our real-life skills help us with the roles we fulfill in our corporations or alliances? or

Do players real-life skills help them with the roles they fulfill in their corporations or alliances?

She could have written that, but instead she asked “How does your real life personality compare to who you are as a character in EVE.”  The impertinence of the woman!

The fascinating thing about EVE (and you can see this from things like Fan Fest and player meets) is that ultimately we’re all wondering the same thing – is that persona we’re interacting with really genuinely like that? The answer is genuinely yes deep down we are.

Aren’t we?”

C.

See also:

  1. EVE Blog Banter #24: Be, all that you can be, and so much more!
  2. BB24:RL + EVE = | A Mule In EvE
  3. Freebooted: BB 24: You Talking to Me?
  4. where the frack is my ship?: Blog Banter 24: Behind the keyboard < Eelis’s blog 🙂
  5. (OOC) CK’s Blog Banter #24: I Am Prano. « Prano’s Journey
  6. mikeazariah » Blog Archive » BB24 Who are you, who hoo woo hoo
  7. Drifting: The 24th EVE Blog Banter (January 2011 Edition) – Topic: EVE and Real Life
  8. Victoria Aut Mors » Blog Archive » Eve Blog Banter #24 – Where Eve Meets Real Life
  9. Who is more real?? « The Durzo Chronicles
  10. Captain Serenity: blog banter #24 – Personalities
  11. Confessions of a Closet Carebear: EVE and Real Life (EVE Blog Banter #24)
  12. More to come….

 

Achilles Heel

Posted in EVE Online on January 11, 2011 by cailais

“Dr Eyjo is particularly worried about the drop in PvP activity as this is the driving force behind EVE’s economy, it would seem that new players are not moving into the sovereignty PvP of 0.0 but would rather play the more PvE focussed Wormhole game. This may be due to 0.0 having become rife with supercapital blobs with victory determined by the size of the fleet brought to a battle rather than any kind of strategic or tactical consideration”

“The 0.0 game of EVE is seen by many as what make EVE what it is, and since Dominion it has become increasingly homogenized. Victory is determined by sheer weight of numbers rather than tactical and strategic brilliance. Dominion was supposed to place limits on the amount of space an alliance and provide opportunities for smaller corporations and alliances  to gain a foothold on the frontiers. Neither of these have been the case. Dominion failed”.

“It was suggested that there could be more encouragement towards the use of smaller more tactical fleets by the introduction of smaller targets. These objectives could not necessarily affect the sovereignty status of a system but would impact the sovereignty holders in other ways such as resource theft or infrastructure damage. The current mechanic only allows for the destruction of station services and these have so many hitpoints that it is not feasible to go after them with anything less than a blob. It was agreed by both the CSM and CCP that shooting at near invulnerable structures is incredibly boring, and more should be done to bring more excitement to the 0.0 game“. Excerpts from ‘IamKeithNeilson’ Dec 2010 CSM Summit observations.

I’m not going to make any apology for so blatantly pulling these quotes from Mandrill’s excellent review of the December 2010 summit.  What I do find interesting, no wait…alarming, is that these factors identified by the CSM and CCP are so astoundingly obvious.  There has long been the argument, most often expressed on the EVE Online forums that greater numbers and size should win.  This argument operates from the basis that those able to co-operate and co-ordinate the most raw numbers have succeeded at some fundamental level of waging warfare.

This argument is false.

Firstly, if we examine just the concept of ‘co-ordination and co-operation should = win’  we must assume that this is difficult or requires the application of significant skill. This might be the case in certain circumstances but we shouldn’t forget that EVE, as an MMO (with the focus on the term Massively) is designed to enable and support co-operation.  The tools that an internet based game provides all of the key elements to enable co-operation and co-ordination.  Communication is instant, information abundant.  In military parlance this act of co-operative play is called C2 standing for “command and control”.  C3 (the next stage) is Command, Control and Communication.  The sheer power of networked systems will mean that the final ‘C’ for C4 (command, control, communication, computers) should come as no surprise.

Military forces around the world have invested billions in trying to replicate the forth C – computing – in real world conflicts and yet within EVE this is a given.  The power of ‘computing’ or networked operations is so great because is amplifies and hastens the previous qualities commanding, controlling and communicating.

Secondly the argument assumes that larger numbers should win purely on the basis of numeracy.  If I place my 1000 pygmies against your one elephant I should win, simply through weight of numbers.  For a considerable period of time in military history this thinking was the norm.  At its most basic level this concept was termed attrition warfare- the act of simply wearing down an opponent through numbers.  This attitude lasted up until the First World War, when the roughly evenly matched protagonists realised that something new was required to break a stalemate; either a new technology or a new way of thinking tactically.

Manoeuvre warfare is the modern term (although you can point to many examples through history of this conceptual approach being applied).  The most famous example of manoeuvre warfare is the use of deception and the Trojan Horse.  Applying such tactics in EVE however is astonishingly difficult not least because the very environment supports C3 / C4 so well.  The basic premise of Manoeuvre warfare is that a small number of combatants can have an effect on the enemy that is disproportionate to that teams size.  Special forces are excellent examples.

But when we look at the ‘special forces’ in EVE we find them woefully inadequate.  Where small teams should have the advantage of stealth and agility – the ability to strike fast and hard before melting away we actually see the very opposite.  It is the super capitals that can strike over massive ranges (and hence have tactical agility) or large fleets moving through jump bridges avoiding systems (a attribute of stealth).  Why use a Black Ops Battleship to cyno in a few Stealth Bombers to hit a target (which they can’t really kill or harm quickly such as a POS) when you might as easily use a capital ship?

The mechanics of holding sovereignty are also extremely problematic.  If you were to draw an analogy the raw Hit Points of Sovereignty structures, POS’s and Outposts are not really so dissimilar to the walls of Troy.  Goonswarms infiltration and destruction of Band of Brothers  by design, or by luck, was essentially a replay of the Trojan Horse effect.  The disbanding of BoBs Alliance from within circumvented the need to slog through a war of attrition against those Hit Point walls. Admittedly making those “walls” more expensive to maintain is one small step but the consequences of this have actually created a disinclination to fight and an incentive to bot.

Tweaking the values of Sov structures or super capitals is not, in my view, any sort of solution.  CCP need to provide incentives for Alliances to spread their forces thinner.  To defend and protect weaker targets from small gangs.  There needs to be alternatives to holding sovereignty or wresting it away than through pure wall building and wall bashing. Capital and super capitals should be steam rollers – crushing the slow moving under their path but lacking in agility and the power to project force nearly instantaneously across vast swathes of space.

This way of thinking won’t be popular with everyone, least of all the status quo whom rely upon the current mechanisms but if bold steps aren’t taken soon then warfare in EVE will becoming a stale and uninteresting stalemate that is ultimately to no ones benefit.

C.

Solo PVP – It’s dead Jim…

Posted in EVE Online on January 6, 2011 by cailais

Or is it?  The subject of ‘solo’ play in EVE comes up with surprising regularity on the EVE forums and the past few weeks have been no exception.  A slight twist to this well beaten path is the claim that the once noble Battleship is now languishing behind its smaller Battle-cruiser siblings as the weapon of choice for PVP aficionados.

Much of these comments are hear say and anecdotal but the frequency of them suggests that there’s at least the perception that Solo’ing EVE is more difficult (or perhaps less rewarding) than ever before.

There are, I suggest, two really fundamental pressures on Solo play on EVE today:

Firstly whilst EVE is a big universe, its also become a much more popular universe.  The days of travelling through null sec without seeing another soul for days, even weeks, are perhaps long gone.  This naturally makes solo pvp, where your ideal target is another solo pilot, that much more difficult.  With a more heavily populated New Eden comes a more interconnected New Eden.  The use of voice comms, jump portals and cynos (relatively new additions) are far more common as players have adopted them – meaning that even if you do happen across a lone target his help is unlikely to be far away.

The second factor is that solo leading into collaborative play in other MMOs is becoming rather popular.  Proposed games such as Guild Wars II, or existing titles like Warhammer Online are pushing the theme of solo exploration that leads into collaborative play.  In simple terms whilst roaming about your game world (on some errand or other) you stumble upon an event or incident being attempted by other players and you simply join in – proceeding on your way afterwards.

Naturally the goal of this type of ‘collaborative play’ is to gently nudge you into forming friendships with those you co operate with (the Incursion mechanic for EVE has a similar approach).  With these new found friends, so the theory goes, your enjoyment of the game increases and you’re more likely to stay with the game and keep subscribing.

Solo players are a difficult target group for any MMO developer to address.  You will probably recognise the “great game; not enough content” comment from other titles.  Each solo players wants and needs from an MMO differ meaning that if you create one type of content only a proportion of you player base (both current and prospective) will ‘get it’ and come back for more.  Typically ‘solo content’ is also something that players can burn through quickly.  Needing a group, especially a specialised group, acts as a type of speed bump slowing down a players progression through that content.

Incursion’s are a good example – if you want to defeat the bigger spawns you’re going to need a bigger gang (or a LOT of alts).  Chances are you won’t be able to muster those numbers every single session you play – hence completing that goal takes longer.

So why the hate for solo players? Well its not ‘hate’ for solo players so much as love for social players.  Social players are a great boon for any MMO, and EVE is no exception. These types of players create a “social context” which is content, of a sort.  Consider the times you’ve logged on to EVE and actually done very little, but chatted lots with your corp mates.  That social interaction is free ‘content’ as far developers are concerned.

Social players, as a stereotype, are also fantastic marketing and promotional players.  They’re more likely to blog about the game, add links through other networks (e.g Facebook or Twitter) or recommend the game to their immediate friends through word of mouth.  This self generating buzz around a game draws in new players (and hence new revenue) like moths to a flame.

For these reasons we can understand why CCP are pushing their efforts into themes like Incarna, or cooperative and ‘network spanning’ features like DUST 514.

All of this though aught to come with a health warning for CCP.  All players are, at some point or other, solo players.  It might be that point where you log in outside of your routine playing time, perhaps a day off work.  Without that social context, and without decent solo content your game world will feel flat, and lifeless.  Equally it could be that moment when you just want to be alone amongst others.  That sounds slightly existential but human beings can’t maintain a very high level of social interaction indefinitely.  Indeed ‘gamers’ as a group are likely to be more inclined to be introverted and confident in acting independently.

Whilst CCP continues to push the theme of bringing people together it shouldn’t forget that much of the fascination about space as a medium is that it’s vast, incomprehensibly vast, uncaring, unfeeling and that you’re in it alone.

C.

2010 in review

Posted in EVE Online on January 4, 2011 by cailais

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

 

In 2010, there were 72 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 257 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 74mb. That’s about 5 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was May 3rd with 733 views. The most popular post that day was Ebb & Flow.

 

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were crazykinux.com, alphainventions.com, eveonline.com, Google Reader, and ninveah.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for bobba fett, sun tzu, waterloo, eve online, and rorqual eve.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Ebb & Flow May 2010
7 comments

2

The Art of War February 2010

3

tech 2 stilettos April 2010
19 comments

4

Let the Gods be Gods! April 2010
11 comments

5

PIN Cushion March 2010
3 comments

Cool 😀

C.