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Teala's Wickedly Cool MMORPG.com Blog For The Masses

Just my thoughts on MMO's, roleplaying, game companies, and the people that play these games.

Author: Teala

EVE Online - The need for adding the human factor.

Posted by Teala Wednesday June 9 2010 at 11:06AM
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I love EVE.   I love the ideal behind EVE.   I love the sandbox game play mechanics.   With that said, and I am not afraid to say it, it is not all it could be in my opinion.   I know EVE has its purist and to deviate from the canon that is EVE Universe -well that is an invitation to invoke the wraith of the purist that will rain down a verbal jihad upon you the likes which you haven't seen until you unleash one of these purist on a forums board.  They will roast you over an open pit, peel your fleshy carcass from the bones and dine on it lovingly - but oh wait...then as the marrow of your bones oozes out they will gather it in goblets and drink of it as if it is a fine wine.   Oh yes...many players of EVE will not stand for blasphemous thoughts or chatter that may take EVE beyond the realm of its designers intent.

I can take the heat - bring it   I think the main reason EVE is not literally crushing all other games(and in my opinion it could), is because some people, OK...a lot more than a lot,...huge amounts of people tend to think that EVE is all about ships - space ships.   The game revolves around them.   In one sense it does, in another it doesn't...it is all in how you look at it.  And in that is the issue - the crux of the matter - the big turn off for many players.    They want more than a game about ships.   Whether it be starships, wooden ships, airships or any kind of ship.  Why?  Ummm...well maybe because playing a ship is a little to impersonal.   When you think of the canon behind EVE's Universe it is a cold lifeless place of nothing but metal, plastic, tubes, wires and goo.    Where is the human part of the equation?  Oh yeah!  She is stuck in a pod wired up to some computer controlling this ship.   ::sigh::

I know some purist just love this, but you know what(and I do not mean this in a bad way)...it sucks!  That is why the only way I can even stomach EVE is to make believe that my character is not stuck in some goo filled chamber. 

When she docks, she leaves the ship and can actually walk around the station.   She can eat, she can drink, she can run in fields of green grass, and climb trees, walk the streets of a city on a planet and feel  the warmth of the sun on her face and smell it, feel it, breath it or sit and watch a movie if she likes or eat ice-cream and taste the creamy vanilla on her tongue as it slowly melts from the warmth of her mouth and she can have sex and get drunk and just go crazy in some club on a station after a hard long trip that had took her deep into stress filled, low-sec space.   Oh yes...that is my EVE!  Not some slab of cold lifeless meat, plugged into the main frame of a computer on board a pod full of goo!  That is not how humans are meant to be...not just another piece of hardware in a machine that in reality we would actually not be needed and in fact we would just get in the way.  That is the flaw that is EVE. 

It removes the human factor, the very thing that we identify with and turns it into just another piece of machinery stuck deep inside the belly of a huge chunk of cold steel.    I ask you...is that very appealing?  OMG...hell no!   That is not appealing in the least.   It actually distances us from that which we are..say it with me - we're human.  For all our faults, all our weakness, we cannot escape that we are human and as such we need to be free.  Free to be who were are in every way.    Let me ask you, in Star Trek what was the Enterprise without Capt. Kirk and his crew, what was Serenity without Capt. Malcolm Reynold's and the Mellinium Falcon without Han and Chewie?   Seriously...the ships were awesome...no doubt about it...but it was the people that gave them life - gave them a soul!

I cannot grasp the EVE as it is designed.  It is so cold.  There is no human factor.  There is no life - no soul.  

So I make up my own version and that is how I can play EVE.  I think a lot of people cannot jump past that as I have, and that is why it is so hard for them to enjoy EVE.   They need to know there is more to EVE than just a bunch of ships made of metal and plastic zipping around a cold Universe.   They need to know there is life, and that it is made of flesh and bone, that it breaths, and can walk and talk, and do all the things that we do because that is what we are - human.    If CCP ever releases Incarna I think you'll see EVE's subscription number climb like never before.  If they add some cool game play aspects to it other than just the ability to walk around a station that is.  If they throw in clubs where players can go meet, gamble, dance or make deals and trade.  If they add player housing, corp offices, conference rooms.  The only limiting factor to how far CCP can take this game is their willingness to push it to add more depth and still keep it as EVE.   This can be done. 

It really wouldn't be all that difficult I would think with today's tech and tools that can be found right off the the numerous websites that offer such types of software.  With the brilliance of the minds behind EVE - surely they can do this.

Seriously....think of the possibilities.  Think of where CCP could take this game and how rich and full of wondrous "life" it could be.  Every time I fire up this game my imagination takes over and my mind longs to see the surface of the water planet that my ship passes as it heads to the next warp gate.   Or to be able to walk inside the enormous Amarr station circling the Earth like world just a few hundred miles below it.    Now that is awesome.   That is epic.   That is what makes playing this game so awesome!  EVE could be that game.   EVE could be the game that really goes beyond the boundaries that currently hold this genre back.   Give our characters human form.  Make us more than just another part of a ship.   Give our characters life...give them true freedom.  

If CCP does this people will come...more than ever before.   Just add the human factor.

Meleagar writes:

That's a good take on the problem of EVE. I played Eve for a while and stopped because of 2 things - that lack of a "human" connection to any Avatar that you write about, and something else you touched on - the boring monotony of mining. 

Eve does have a great advancement system, though, which is why I bought and played the game for a couple of months.

Wed Jun 09 2010 12:17PM Report
AutemOx writes:

I can't play a game where I don't have a character either.  I tried EVE and it got to me incredibly fast...  It is also why I loved SWG so much, the one character per server rule, the community, and the wide variety of options and importance put on social stuff really made me feel totally immersed and somewhat in love with my character.  It was a connection that no other game had, ESPECIALLY games like EVE, which has no connection at all.

It makes giving the game up much easier when things get boring (which is also pretty quick in EVE, although I don't think that is necessarily a 'bad thing').

Wed Jun 09 2010 12:39PM Report
Herschel writes:

Being a veteran player, I totally agree. I´m convinced that Incarna will be released in teh future. It will be the biggest step taken by ccp gameplay- and tech-wise, so they take their time. Let them. Incarna will be awesome.

Wed Jun 09 2010 12:55PM Report
CujoSWAoA writes:

EVE is my kind of MMO. but not until I can walk around outside of a space ship. I refuse to "be" a spaceship and nothing more.

Wed Jun 09 2010 1:03PM Report
Schnizit writes:

Incarna (if it ever happens) will address your concerns. I too will like it, but I don't think it's a show stopper. There is so much to do in the sandbox currently that even if no new content was added it would keep me interested for sometime.

Wed Jun 09 2010 1:16PM Report
Lenval writes:

I love EVE.  I completely agree with everything you said 100%!  We need to get out of the ships to truly immersify ourselves.  I have been making up the game as I go along too, walking around my ships and when docked around the station.  My character has a life!

Wed Jun 09 2010 1:25PM Report
Lanfea writes:

its a good guess that ccp will suprise us all with incarna. they know that 'only' walking inside stations with some possibilites to interact will do no good. they have to spend a lot on gameplay and content.

maybe we will get planetary gameplay settings like in tabula rasa or the upcoming earthrise in which the player can join with their pilots. dust 541 and incarna are just a beginning and showing us that ccp is thinking about to expand eveonline in every possible way to play a mmorpg. i belive its only a matter of time.

Wed Jun 09 2010 1:25PM Report
MMO.Maverick writes:

Nice blog, I liked it :-)

 

I also think EVE Online has a lot more potential that can be realised, making it an even richer, more breathing and living universe than it already is.

I also think that men (yes, I know, HUGE generalisation) can handle the being just a spaceship better than women, who need to feel the human connection more, the click with their avatar and those of others.

I know a number of female friends and guildies from other MMO's that said that they liked the idea of EVE but the fact that you only have spaceships as avatars is withholding them.

 

If Incarna goes live, whenever that is, it'll be a large step in the direction of realising even more of EVE's potential.

Wed Jun 09 2010 1:34PM Report
Izure writes:

Dust 413(? whatever) hopefully is very hardlinked to this game, and a PC version is available, add that and people walking on stations, I think it is a big plus, but i would like to see a game like old SWG, Space and Land, but NOT NGE Coded, SANDBOX PRE -CU SWG!

Wed Jun 09 2010 1:41PM Report
Riffix writes:

I've been playing EVE since 2003 and I still agree 100%. I think Incarna will go a long way towards this but Incarna is not the game and if they don't incorporate aspects of what Incarna gives you into the gameplay proper, its effectiveness at solving this problem will be limited.

Dust 514 will also will help to a degree but only as background fill. Also, I'm pretty sure there will not be a PC version FYI.  I think the devs feel PC=EVE=certain type of experience, XBOX360/PS3=DUST514=another type of experience. I think this is good actually. Afterall, there is no reason you couldn't do both...

Wed Jun 09 2010 1:57PM Report
LadyAlibi writes:

I hate to fall into a female stereotype, but I would love to love EVE, but I can't quite get around  that  "being a ship"  thing.  I want to be a person who sometimes flies a ship, and sometimes hangs out on a station. I want to see my character.

Wed Jun 09 2010 2:03PM Report
sjp117 writes:

 

Well CCP is working on everything you are asking for.

 

I personally think EVE is a very personal game and has plenty of human aspect into it right now. (Not that I'm saying there is many) However compared to WoW or any other MMOs I still think a hunk of metal (my ship) shows my personality in a more interesting way. The way you interact with your corp members and the encounters you have is all very personal like any other MMOs out there.

 

I can understand that many people can feel disconnected from the universe of EVE, but even with a human form character you control, an avatar is just an avatar. Even if you are a hunk of metal ingame there is always a human behind it. I think that is why the "Pod" is so amazing. It basically extends your mind to control an entire ship, extending your body, becomming a ship while being a person. People in the pod can live forever, so they can feel non human, however, if you read some of the stories based on EVE (i.e. Empyrean Age novel) or other stories based on Human cyberization (i.e. Ghost in the Shell) people were still able to keep their individuality and live as what we may call human. But is this real? No, not as far as I know. these things are all stories and EVE is not real either, so the lack of humanity is probably relative for different people.

 

So back to reality. I do agree CCP can gain more subscribers by appealing to a wider audience and is probably a smart thing to do if we want to expand the universe of EVE. I wish for a successful future for CCP and hope to see EVE to become the ultimate sci-fi game experience, or even the ultimate vertual world experience. One day I wish to use my Hurricane battle cruiser to explore the deep ocean, or just fly by sky scrapers in cites planet bound.

Wed Jun 09 2010 2:16PM Report
Kyleran writes:

I concur, when/if Incarna releases it will change the face of EVE forever.  For better or worse remains to be seen.

Wed Jun 09 2010 2:20PM Report
GhostKrook writes:

I have been playing eve since it's release. I have played all sorts of different aspect of the game. I would really love to see this game progress to the Incarna release. I think it would give the game a more personal feel.

Wed Jun 09 2010 2:33PM Report
VirusDancer writes:

I doubt that Eve would be able to maintain the single "shard" were it to have character avatars walking around.  Also, at some point they face the issue of having too many subscribers - do they not?  Will Eve at some point have an expansion that splits the game into alternate Universes so it exists on multiple "shards"...and if so, would that not break one of their key selling points?

I think back to the avatars in Earth and Beyond, and qutie frankly - it was a waste.  For the most part, all "human" avatars does for a game is add social fluff.  Oh, look at the cute outfit that I have - look at me doing these inane canned emotes - look at the phat loot I'm wearing - look at the size of these outrageous boobs the developers let me give my character...etc.

Then again, with recent space games like STO giving us that "human" factor - I know I found myself wishing STO were more like Eve.  Perhaps there is a sense of laziness involved in it as well, I do not want to have to walk all over a space station to get things done when I can do them from a single panel.  It makes no sense in a futuristic setting that we still have to walk around a shopping mall, when even in today's day and age - we can do all our shopping from a single computer screen.

What will it add to the game?  It would not be required for anything...it would be social fluff, and I think it should be pretty far down on the list of things that CCP needs to address with Eve.

Wed Jun 09 2010 2:37PM Report
VirusDancer writes:

To elaborate on those things, would be along the lines of more modular ships (personalization), corporate color schemes for ships (personalization), the addition of various size points to ships to reflect larger ships being able to carry their big guns and their little guns (realism), and having the system in place to handle the additional load the increased customization/personalization would create...

Wed Jun 09 2010 2:50PM Report
fatboy21007 writes:

next big expansion coming is incarna. They already said after planetary interaction walking in stations is next then down the road  Dust  for the Xbox 360 (unsure if itll be for pc, but so far the answers no, i beleave). So this summer/fall/winter eve will certainly be something remarkable.

Wed Jun 09 2010 3:04PM Report
gurby writes:

I have to Honestly say. I agree with you on the HUMAN FACTOR, Peope would play it more and be able to get in to it far better..

There is a steril-ness anti-human feel to space that appeals to me ,I have been a player for years and to me...  It feels perfectly fine. the lack of Humanity is intended in this game.

Remember what your weapons are? 

Wed Jun 09 2010 3:33PM Report
svart_lotus writes:

Well, not sure what to say... Incarna is on the way and i don't really agree that they should spend so much cash and time of it i can see why they are doing it from a economic point of view.

Adding the "out of ship" game play will bring in new players... but what will happen? It could be a huge success, bring lots of RP drama to those who enjoy the sci-fi feeling. It could be a huge flop were people flood the server at release and add a lot of costs to CCPs server maintenance and then leave for second life after a month. My money is on that it will bring lots of new players that will feel safer playing Eve when you can stay in a stations bar and learn the game in their own tempo... This is dangerous though. The moment you start feeling safe in Eve, its all over. You will be vulnerable, people will have a scam orgie with the new players and those not used to eve before most likely quit.

BTW, I'm probably one of those "purists" that you talked about, we just refer to our self as "fans" :) I'm not saying this to offend you or anything... but it looks like you are looking for another game. of course, this might be because you don't mention what you like about the game.

"I cannot grasp the EvE as it is designed.  It is so cold.  There is no human factor.  There is no life - no soul.  "

Its a semi post-apocalyptic space game were only ISK maters. I can understand if you don't like that kind of story and want another game that speaks more to you, but saying that ccp should change Eve sounds like "Scram loyal fans, its our game now".

"She can eat, she can drink, she can run in fields of green grass, and climb trees, walk the streets of a city on a planet and feel  the warmth of the sun on her face and smell it, feel it, breath it or sit and watch a movie if she likes or eat ice-cream and taste the creamy vanilla on her tongue as it slowly melts from the warmth of her mouth and she can have sex and get drunk and just go crazy in some club on a station after a hard long trip that had took her deep into stress filled, low-sec space."

Ok, have to ask, in what game can you do all of that? :D Once again, if they would reroute resources to do all of that they would alienate their fans. Sure, they might make more money, but they would kill what makes Eve online great: Its fanbase.

I'm not trying to piss some one of or troll, I'm just saying that you might be better of looking for a new game. Eve wont change. Its a world of a-holes shooting smaller a-holes. Humanity is expendable and for the right amount of ISK anyone will betray you. That is Eve, more a social experiment then a game. And of that dark feeling is lost... then there is no more Eve.
 

Wed Jun 09 2010 3:36PM Report
Teala writes:

"She can eat, she can drink, she can run in fields of green grass, and climb trees, walk the streets of a city on a planet and feel  the warmth of the sun on her face and smell it, feel it, breath it or sit and watch a movie if she likes or eat ice-cream and taste the creamy vanilla on her tongue as it slowly melts from the warmth of her mouth and she can have sex and get drunk and just go crazy in some club on a station after a hard long trip that had took her deep into stress filled, low-sec space."

OK.  Well there are games that our characters can walk, sit, drink, eat, dance...socialize in a social setting.   Sure I sorta added senses we cannot sense from out of game like touch, smell and taste...but in my defense I will say that if we just had the other aspects of the things I did mention that we can see and hear - like walking in stations, dancing, and socializing as characters in a social setting and not as slabs of meat stuck in some pod onboard a ship...well  I think more people can associate with a human looking avatar rather than a hunk of metal and our minds will fill in the rest.  

Oh and  I do love EvE.   I play it because as I said, in my mind my charcter isn't just a slab of meat in a pod.  She leaves the ship.  LOL!  I just wish I could see it the way I envision it in my minds eye.   Walking in stations would go a long way to doing just that.  ^_^

Wed Jun 09 2010 3:56PM Report
Teala writes:

LOL oh the above post was intended to be a response to svart_lotus.   :)

Wed Jun 09 2010 3:57PM Report
Halow writes:

I don't understand the need to see your character like everyone else does.. to me it makes no sense.  You know your in the spaceship... you know what you look like.. your controlling the ship your doing everything.. you make the avatar what it is.. they don't know the person inside your ship they know you. Why do you need to see him? What will that give you?

 

Does EVE need to be like any other MMORPG where you make a cute little avatar then gloat around with your new spacesuit inside a station showing off how nice you look.. go play something else... EVE has always been and always will be about ships and the use of said ships. You know your controlling it why do you need to SEE you control it?

Wed Jun 09 2010 4:10PM Report
eric_w66 writes:

"EVE has always been and always will be about ships and the use of said ships."

That's changing as we speak. Planetary Interaction is just the first step.

Let's face it, NPC combat outside of the WH's is simplistic, and most "PvP" is just griefing, Eve needs something besides "You're a ship!" to keep it fun.

 

Wed Jun 09 2010 5:05PM Report
VirusDancer writes:

EVE has remained fun for how many years for how many players with it the way it is.  The number of subs has increased with it the way it is.

What is fun about having an avatar that you can see that serves no actual purpose in the game?  You will not fight as that avatar, you will not mine, you will not trade, you will not really do anything as that avatar other than stand around...no?

EVE does not have the game lobby mentality that other mmorpgs have, so there is very little downtime.  So the concurrent users is going to increase with people crowded in countless stations?  Lol, picture some of those stations in trade hubs...

...saying that people want a game that is more than about ships, well - EVE is more than a game just about ships.  You could easily after getting to a trade hub never have to fly in a ship again, yet still progress in EVE.  You could set yourself up as a trader, do manufacturing, etc.

Can you picture it though, in all honesty.  Okay tada, here is your avatar... have fun!  Okay, so I know my character is somewhere behind the window I have open... okay, so it is time to go do something, so bye bye pretty pixel person...

...is it about RP?  Do you need a humanoid form for that?  We have them in other games not for the RP, but because what we actually do is based on that form - we fight in that form, we run around to shops in that form, we collect resources in that form.

Does it make it easier for you to have cyber while looking at a humanoid avatar rather than a ship hull?  Cause you know, there are some pretty phallic ships out there for the ladies...

...what do you think they will actually bring to the game?  There is this talk about bringing new players that want the human factor?  What good is it going to do them - when they realize that their avatar does nothing as far as the game is concerned?  For much of the game, they need to be in their ships - for the rest of the game, they may as well be in their ships because they will not see their characters behind whatever windows they have open... you know?

Wed Jun 09 2010 5:40PM Report
desiriel writes:

Nice post Teala !

An EvE pilot myself I have to agree with almost all your considerations. In effects CCP revealed that all the features you're talking about are already programmed with Incarna, at the beginning or gradually. The fact that they're not rushing it is good news for players and something almost disappeared in actual Mmo industry.

With Tyrannis, players are colonizing Planets. With Dust 514 War Fps-style will be brought to these same planets. With Eve Gate you've almost an off-line social network that in the future will be expanded to include market operations, diplomacy, killboards and so on. And Incarna will be the final accomplishment to make EvE the final and only living universe around. Think of the possibilities...

I'm not sure I would like the influx of too many immature or deluded players from the theme parks though.... XD

Wed Jun 09 2010 5:45PM Report
Saerain writes:

First of all, what's with leaving the V uncapitalized? It's not E versus E. But moving on:

'Oh yes...many players of EvE will not stand for blasphemous thoughts or chatter that may take EvE beyond the realm of its designers intent.'

The desginers' intent is more in line with your reasoning than theirs. EVE's player base (to which I do belong) suffers under a delusion of EVE being intended as a tanks-in-space game. You'll see a lot of posts about 'Internet spaceships.'

But anyone who's read so much as 5% of what CCP has said over the years understands that they just want to have the most compelling sci-fi environment. They didn't focus on spaceflight at launch because it was the most important, but because it was the easiest. They could do that and expand in the coming years, and that's exactly what they've been doing and what Incarna is a beacon of.

Wed Jun 09 2010 6:20PM Report
sparcdude writes:

I've played many other games and have seem their version of the "human" factor - I thought it was a bit silly to have characters (avatars) "all dressed up with no plcae to go".  In other words, most of them weren't there to play the game, they were there using the online game as another social chat service (kind of like a hyped-up AOL, for instance).  Oh, and as one of the other posters mentioned, most of them "customized" their avatars to do break dancing routines and such - OH BOY! - is this what we've come to?

Are we that far gone to be entertained by watching our avatars in fancy clothing (like dressing up a Barbie doll, or customize GI Joe with the Kung-Foo grip)?  Is this what Eve will be reduced to?  Are we going to have to waste all kinds of time walking (or running, as in some other games) from one warehouse to another on-board a station to stock up on our ship's supplies before we go off on a mission?

Or, how about this - the Bar scene - you're going to go into a Bar on-statoin and it will be filled with tens, if not hundreds, of "female" avatars ....  uh huh, right!  The issue of male-to-female ratio in the Eve community has already been brought up countless times but now, 'Poof", Eve suddenly has tens of thousands of females in the Community?  And by that, I'm not saying these are "NEW" subscribers .... I'm refering to what we already see in the Online Virtual Communities today - inpersonators, scammers, wack-jobs, etc. - if you know what I mean.

So, NO, I don't think "humanizing" the Eve environment is going to lead to a better player experience.  I think it will put Eve's future on the path to becoming another AOL-style Virtual Community with a Futuristic, Sci-Fi theme to it.  While that may attract more subscriptions to the base, there won't be that many of them who will venture out into space and experience what Eve really is.  In my opinion, bringing a more "human" feel to the game will just lead Eve on a coarse of destruction rather than expanding on an experience that most of the current fan base has loved and charished so far.

 

"Live long and prosper"

Wed Jun 09 2010 6:21PM Report
Saerain writes:

However, as excited as I am to experience Incarna, it's sure going to be hard to reconcile it with EVE's transhumanistic themes, of which the pod-pilots are prime examples. Why does the god come to earth, so to speak? I hope they have a compelling answer.

Wed Jun 09 2010 6:25PM Report
Toxilium writes:

Your prayers are being answered. Dust 514, a Battlefield-esque combat shooter and the Incarna expansion are both in development. Maybe not to the extentsion you're after (ala walking on planets in massive cities or whatever) but they're making it nontheless.

Wed Jun 09 2010 6:38PM Report
Toxilium writes:

Sorry for DP. Anyways, if they remove any aspect of a free market and sandbox game with the "human factor," however, I immediately would want my sandbox back, human factor or not.

Wed Jun 09 2010 6:39PM Report
sparcdude writes:

You have to "think" about the can-of-worms that would be opened, in bringing a more human factor to the game.  People won't be satisfied that nearly all females or males on a Caldari Station or Planet will look alike (i.e., when we create our characters at sign-up, we're only presented with a few likenesses to assign to our avatar).  So the next "scream" from the populace will be for more individuality of how they look.  And how do you suppose CCP will deal with this issue alone?  Think about it ... some say there is a subscription base of about 250K.  How does CCP make 250K (or more) different likenessess, to make each one of us look unlike the next guy (or gal)?  If they allow people to come up with their own, then we're going to start seeing Mickey Mouse, The Hulk, a Rock Monster, etc. showing up in Stations and Planets - so good bye Caldari, Gallente, Minmatar, etc.  You see what I mean?  And this is just in how people's Avatars will look, I'm sure the player community can come up with a boat-load of other issues that humanizing the Eve environment will have to open itself up to.  When it comes to Software and Content Development, something like this would be a HUGE nightmare for engineers to even begin to think about. While 514 and Incarna may still be on-track, which is fine, I don't think the player community should elude themselve or get caught up in some fantasy dream on what the outcome will be.  The engineers at CCP have probably had countless meetings and discussions on how far they will go on the development of these two expansions.

The more you think about the whole thing, the more it unravels on how they will deal with that, and how they will deal with this, comes up.  whew!

Wed Jun 09 2010 6:59PM Report
Krelian writes:

I AGREE WITH THIS POST 100 MILLION PERCENT IF THATS EVEN POSSIBLE!!

I love EVE! its one of my all time favourite games, but it really lacks that ''human'' element!

I ALWAYS HAVE IMAGINE THAT I AM THE ****CAPTAIN**** of a ship in eve, instead accepting the fact that according to the game lore, i am a SINGLE person stuck in a tube in a gazillion kilometer long hulking piece of space metal....

This is the first post ever on mmorpg.com that i can agree with completly! yay! i popped my cherry! :D

Wed Jun 09 2010 7:46PM Report
joe3eagles writes:

I can't agree with the direction this blog and comments is going.  I play games for the welcome reprieve from the social responsibilities of real life. I've never looked at the ship I'm flying as being me. It's just my ship. My avatar is that static portrait in the upper left corner of my character sheet. That's all I need him to be. I want to do things in the game that I can't do in real life. I don't need a game to hang out in a bar and get drunk and possibly pick up an Exotic Dancer. I want to fly around in space and shoot at other ships! If ANY ambulation is necessary, it should be on the ship. Possibly interacting with the crew of the ship I'm flying.  The ony thing I need in-station is a way to look out the window to see who's out there and to be able to configure my overview without having to be in space to do it.

Wed Jun 09 2010 7:59PM Report
Palebane writes:

I've never played EvE, but I like most of the stuff I've heard about it over the years. I respect CCP and thier persistance and integrity.

I just wanted to comment that 3D RPGs of all kinds started without any physical avatars to see or play with, such as in Pen and Paper RPGs and MUDs. Some people may have used painted figures to represent them on a tabletop, but most of the action took place within ones imagination.

Wed Jun 09 2010 9:21PM Report
wlvnspectre writes:

I agree whole heartedly, but it is not having the avatar that is important but the humanity and interaction. People reading your post should remember that it is the humanity and emotional attachment to your characters that are the main part.

I guess thats why in EVE I am the type of industrialist I am. Before Tyrannis my list of contacts was well over 500 players, I run a mailing list to send lists of upto 60 contracts at a time to players so they don't have to dig through all the open contracts, and also interact with whole corperations.  Your post reminded me why I like to do this... because I am interacting and making contacts with the people, real or role played. behind the ships and it adds allot to the game for me.

The other thing that I find keeps allot of players out is the things like warping through planets and stations and the ability to shoot through things at other targets. A less mentioned problem, but one that bothers me is getting hung up on asteroids and stations when even with your shields you should be able to fly by.  To us expierienced players this isnt a big thing but I have often heard people trying the game quiting because of it. They are too used to polished single player games to have these things not stick out like a sore thumb.

Wed Jun 09 2010 11:46PM Report
Zorlac writes:

I have tried to like EVE over a half dozen times since it released. I was there at day one and I have always felt as you do. The game feels lifeless and depressing....yet the sandbox feel, the challenge and the awesomeness that is CCP keeps pulling me back for another go.

I totally agree at this point that Incarna maybe the carrot that brings in more players (and gets them to stay). Adding this human/life aspect to the game is much needed.

Now if CCP would wake up and allow Dust to be on the PC and enable EVE player characters to land on planets and contribute to the festivities...now that would be badass! I would even pay more per month for that.  \m/

Thu Jun 10 2010 12:17AM Report
daemon writes:

great blog and i also totally agree.

bring the human factor !

Thu Jun 10 2010 12:26AM Report
Lateris writes:
For me after 60 days of space flight I became the Capsuleer in the pod. I gave up mining and hit the sector of space where the riches dwell. I have never turned back. There are adventures to be had.
 
But Incarna and CCP's desire to take the game in a direction that could achieve greatness for them is solely in their hands. I want to see walking on asteroid bases owned by players. I want to walk on planets in Eve, not in Dust 514. I want to terra form worlds as a walking avatar.
 
But Incarna is going to open up a new door for the game. The social aspect will be cantinas owned by players, offices rented out to corps. And a game called "sec wars" will be a gambling dreams for us table top gamers. I feel it is the beginning but they will need to go further. But that will be based on the community feedback. It is going to be a social aspect at first.
And yes the atmospheric flight they showed us 6 years needs to go live.
 
To me Dust 514 is a shortcut and should be on the PC. Incarna is the beginning. Cool blog!
Thu Jun 10 2010 12:29AM Report
Zarobien writes:

I still dont see eve as mmorpg... it lacks the dimension of rpg.

theres no invidualism. we all look alike in caracal, drake, raven... module changes are nothing but variations on ever repeating simulations with premades.

I can count in isk what i lost when i blew up. isk transfers to time... in the end its just wasted time... no feelings, just simulation.

If you ask me. Charecters arent going to save eve online from being cold feelingless simulation.

(I still keep an eye on it. mainly because the economics, crafting and player run world politics... something that other games have a lot to learn from eve.)

Thu Jun 10 2010 2:50AM Report
DKWFirstborn writes:

I agree with what you wrote, anyway you have a great blog and you share so many similiar opinnions with me. :)

Thu Jun 10 2010 2:56AM Report
potapithikos writes:

 "I still dont see eve as mmorpg... it lacks the dimension of rpg."

 

There is more RP in EVE than in almost all other MMO's put together. Simply because it is 10 times more unrestricted and open when compared to the competition.

Sure restrictions don't really prevent you from RPing but the more open the sandbox is the easier it becomes.

Thu Jun 10 2010 3:28AM Report
Dawngreeter writes:

This is a weird argument. My character is as human as it gets. I don't think you want a human factor, you might want human clothing? Or human emotes? WSAD movement and jumping? It's all fine and well, nothing against that. Except in the literal sense of not wanting to play a game like that.

I can assure you, though, my character's motivations, goals, beliefs and efforts are very human. They are a lot more believable than, say, an Elf ranger's who does nothing but shoot at infinitely respawnable NPCs in a Diablo-like level where other fantastic one-dimensional characters are doing the same thing. While wearing sparkly outfits.

Thu Jun 10 2010 3:52AM Report
kostantis writes:

IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!

There are no typical "avatars" in EVE for a simple reason: EVE lets you, yes YOU sitting on this computer, to actually become the person commanding the ship.

The portrait and the name are an alias, but you are the pilot. thats the difference with other games. Its a different RP experience, transdending flashy, curvy or cute characters and bringing you closer to the game and other pilots. In real life you don't see yourself from 3rd person view :P .

Maybe camera communication would be the best thing for EVE, but silly avatars jumping around space stations and cybering is not my dream for such a great game.

Thu Jun 10 2010 5:56AM Report
kevorkianj writes:

Great game, but no soul. My experience exactly.

Thu Jun 10 2010 6:19AM Report
daemonbarber writes:

That is why the only way I can even stomach EVE is to make believe that my character is not stuck in some goo filled chamber.

 

Your character isn't stuck there.  Read any of the chronicles, news stories or novels and you'll see that a pod pilot is only in the pod when they're in their ship.

 

Personally I could care less about Incarna (walking in stations).  I don't need to see some idiot running and jumping in station or dancing 24/7 on the landing docks to know there's more to EVE then you see.  The social aspects of EVE aren't forced onto you, you have to reach out to them.

Join a corp, or alliance, get on a TS or Vent server, and forget about the pixels.  The social aspects of the game have nothing to do with if you're a ship or player.

Thu Jun 10 2010 7:30AM Report
svart_lotus writes:

"I don't need to see some idiot running and jumping in station or dancing 24/7 on the landing docks to know there's more to EVE then you see."

CCP said in an article that you will not be able to run, jump or dance in Incarna since players have yet to show they are mature enough handle those functions :D

Thu Jun 10 2010 7:56AM Report
VirusDancer writes:

"CCP said in an article that you will not be able to run, jump or dance in Incarna since players have yet to show they are mature enough handle those functions :D"

Which even further begs the question of what point does it serve?

http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Walking_in_stations

The tactical map sounds like a good thing, but it is not something that you need avatars to do, you know?

Running shops?  Fluff shops?  Because everything is pretty much the Market.

Gambling?  Heh, it is a gamble each time you leave a station...lol.

Decorating a ship captain's quarters?  Wait, ship captain?  Um, no - ship capsuleer that does not leave their pod or they face perma-death...that is the lore, the cannon.

It is fluff... when they could have been working on things that make so much more sense for the game.

Thu Jun 10 2010 8:05AM Report
Tarsidous writes:

I couldn't take it any more after playing for almost a year and a half. I would like to see what my ship's CAPTAIN looks like, not some pod. I would like to be a human in the world, not just a duct taped cruiser (Yes, I played Minmatar and DAMNED proud of it). I'd also like to see character generation back the way it was before they changed it to starting out a completely blank slate. I like the new tutorials though. The lore and cannon of the game make it possible for everything you've stated, and even purists (if they paid attention) would have to agree. I believe that the game would go mainstream if CCP would release Incarna. The biggest problem I foresee is server limitations, which would fix themselves with the increased revenue the player explosion would bring.

Thu Jun 10 2010 12:02PM Report
svart_lotus writes:

"The lore and cannon of the game make it possible for everything you've stated, and even purists (if they paid attention) would have to agree."

Actually, no. If you were going to be a Captain of a ship (with crew and all that) they would have to revise the whole game mecanics. I'm sorry, you are a god in goo, hidden in metal and hooked up to a ship. In a year or two the Jove will probly give us tech to leave the pod without flash-frying our brain.

BTW, how can you be a purist if you dont pay attention?

Thu Jun 10 2010 12:34PM Report
LordAdder writes:

I've only been playing EVE for a year now but currently it is the only MMO I'm playing simply because I love the game and wish I would have started playing back when it launched.  That said, I am anxiously awaiting the introduction of Incarna.  Contrary to what others have said about it being just a social aspect, I believe that once it is introduced it will become more than just fluff.  CCP will probably start it as a social sideline to the game, but I'm sure they will expand it over time to include aspects of gameplay.  Imagine if you will...

You walk into a cantina on an out-of-the-way station.  It's busy with the usual type of clientel found in these 'holes.'  There in a dark corner is a shady looking player (ummm, shadier than the others I should say) who motions to you to have a seat.   You had arranged to meet here to conduct business.  When you leave, you are minus a small fortune of ISK, but you now have the boosters that you need for your upcoming battle.

Just before you met with your booster dealer, you had visited a med facility in the same system.  They had taken a DNA sample for the new clone that you had authorized them to grow for you and while you were there, you had them 'install' your newly purchased set of Snake Implants.

All of this preparation is the result of a meeting a few days earlier.  You had met with the team leader of a squad of mercenaries - dust-eaters, not pod pilots - in one of the low-orbit planetary stations that  can be found in every system that has a Customs Station.  You had commissioned them to do a 'small' job for you on the planet.  They will attack the base facilities planetside at the precise time that you engage the orbiting defenses of your rival. 

Of course, all of this came about because of the meeting in your corporate office with your ranking officers.  At the meeting, after a lengthy debate and some heated discussion, it was decided that the only way to improve the profitability from this system was to 'evict' this particular entity from the system entirely.  During that meeting, you had been carefully reading the faces and tone of each of your officers.  With a few well placed, loaded questions and statements, the suspected mole had finally been uncovered.  He was dispatched without the slightest hesitation.  He of course was immediately reincarnated in his clone, but the info he had received prior to his demise was false.  This time the plans should be successful.

After getting your boosters, you head back to your waiting ship which has just been fitted with a few new, highly specialized mods which had been fabricated with stolen Sleeper technology (but that meeting is another story).  You quicken your steps as you head back because you are beginning to feel the effects of being out of your pod for so long.  You had so much going on with the battle preparations that you had forgotten to take your legal 'walking' booster.  You will need some time to reverse these effects.  If any of your enemies knows you were here out-of-pod, they may be waiting outside since your combat and flight abilities will suffer for a while as a result.  Hopefully, the disquise you had donned before this meeting had been enough to eliminate your being recognized by any rivals' spies...

Now tell me that would not be awesome!

Thu Jun 10 2010 12:49PM Report
insanex writes:

I'll say first off that I played EVE for about a month, then gave in to my urge to play an avatar-based game. But let me give you "EVE needs a human element" folks that EVE is about as close to a real-world sci-fi game as I've ever seen. Futuristic of course. What I mean by that is EVE has made a believable sci-fi game that allows us to be human in their world. You can hire mercs to take out a rival, you can mine for yourself out in the blackness of space, you can join up with others and defend your turf, you can socialize, run missions together, and explore the uttermost parts of the galaxy. Dude, how much more human can you get? That describes almost every true sci-fi fan's dream! 

My one question is: What if games started out like EVE and we never had the "run your avatar around" type games. What would people say about the game then? It all comes back to what you're used to. People are used to WoW-esque gameplay, so from that perspective, EVE has nothing to do but float around. To anyone who dares to look deeper, those are the ones who realize it's so much more than what it seems. 

insanex

Thu Jun 10 2010 1:18PM Report
insanex writes:

@Zarobien:

Simulation sums EVE up fairly well. MMORPG is a bit of an overdescription of what EVE actually is. Simulation with benefits IMHO.

insanex

Thu Jun 10 2010 1:22PM Report
VirusDancer writes:

It would not be awesome.  Why do people not get that you are not a person that walks around anywhere?  It is not a case that CCP has been hiding you walking around - it is not something pod pilots do.

You dock at an out-of-the-way station.  It's busy with the usual type of clientele found in these 'holes.'  There is an alert that you have an incoming message.  You arranged to meet here to conduct business, and that must be them.  The voice over the intercom sounds exactly as you expected it would, and you hope that it was not a mistake coming here..  When you undock, you are minus a small fortune of ISK; but you now have the boosters that you need for your upcoming battle.

Before heading out to meet your dealer in an area of space outside of Concord's jurisdiction, you visited the med facility in a safe system.  You authorized them to grow a new clone for you and paid them the full amount up front with a substantial bonus for it being ready by the end of the hour with your newly purchased set of Snake implants installed.

All of this preparation is the result of a meeting a few days earlier.  You had met with the team leader of a squad of mercenaries - dust-eaters, not pod pilots - in one of the low-orbit planetary stations that  can be found in every system that has a Customs Station.  Communications between your ship and the station were using the highest encryption isk could buy, but you could not risk anybody else finding out what your corporation was doing yet.   You had commissioned them to do a 'small' job for you on the planet.  They will attack the base facilities planetside at the precise time that you engage the orbiting defenses of your rival. 

Of course, all of this came about because of the meeting with your ranking officers.  Across secure channels, after a lengthy debate and some heated discussion, it was decided that the only way to improve the profitability from this system was to 'evict' this particular entity from the system entirely.  During that meeting, you had been carefully reading the faces on the viewscreen and listening to the tone of each of your officers.  With a few well placed, loaded questions and statements, the suspected mole had finally been uncovered.  The order for his termination was given quietly and without the slightest hesitation.  Everybody on the other channel agreed, it was important that he pass along the incorrect information before being made an example of to any other potential traitors.  This time the plans should be successful.

After the boosters are loaded on to your ship, you make preparations to get under way.  You had the ship refitted with a few new, highly specialized mods which had been fabricated with stolen Sleeper technology (but that adventure is another story).  You pulse quickens, as you prepare to undock.  As the meeting with the other ranking officers of the corporation had shown, there could be spies everywhere.  Who had seen you dock here?  Had the traitor passed the information along and did they buy it or did they suspect something?  Who might be waiting for you as you undock...

Aside from some obvious storytelling issues that I did not fix (mainly because it was not my story, I'm not your editor, etc); your story might take place sometime next year...my version can be enjoyed now.

The concept of pod pilots walking around is pure anathema.

Thu Jun 10 2010 1:25PM Report
LordAdder writes:

Well VirusDancer, to each his or her own. That's what's so great about the EVE sandbox.  As you just demonstrated, my 'story' (which I threw together in about ten minutes and wasn't meant to be a literary masterpiece), could happen either way.  Just as the newly introduced PI isn't for everyone, so too will Incarna have its advocates and naysayers but it will be introduced as CCP has promised.  When it is, wouldn't the above scenario be better than a bunch of social junkies using it for God-knows what and cluttering up the server with unnecessary lag?  Those who wish to use it can, and those like yourself who have no inclination to leave your pod can continue as before.  Both play styles will have their benefits and drawbacks, just as with all of the many other play styles of EVE.

Hiding your head in the sand and saying it ain't gonna happen is the pure anathema.  It IS gonna happen sooner or later and along with it will come an influx of new players, so we might just as well envision the best-case scenarios rather than just cursing the idea and anyone who might enjoy it.

Thu Jun 10 2010 1:57PM Report
svart_lotus writes:

I like your optimism, LordAdder... but i' sad to say that the dark guy in the corner is a 13 year old that you can hardly understand. His name is "DarkShadowAssassin", probly miss spelled and with numbers in it. He will not give you boosters, he will beg for isk.

Those dust mercs you hooked up with will probly be named "PwNDj00MUM", they will spend most of your conversation calling you n00b for playing Eve and not dust.

1 day after release of Incarna, your corp/alliance will ban all out of pod activities, since it will distract players from Xing up in fleet and will take more time to get people out from station. (this only applies to people in 0.0 or corps/alliances that have the capability to handle 0.0)

As i said, love your optimism and i would love some good RP. But its not there. You can find RP in normal rpg (pnp), in LARP and closed servers of MUD and such... But not in a game were everyone can play.

Thu Jun 10 2010 2:24PM Report
LadyAlibi writes:

You know, after reading this again and reading all the comments, I feel like I really want to try EVE again now.

I mean, I played Trade Wars 2002 like crazy once upon a time, and never once did I purchase a new shirt for my character in that game, if you know what I mean. I was basically a ship and that worked for me then. (We had tons of social interaction, but most of it wasn't even in game-- it was on forums, on the phone, and at get-togethers.) There were alliances. There were wars. We schemed and plotted and cornered markets... So why not look at EVE like that? Hey, it even has the prospect of social interaction in game.

Maybe it is just my expectations of what goes along with "MMORPG" that's out of whack. I love all these other games where I get to play dress up and pretend to be someone else. I can do the second part in EVE, and I can imagine anything I want about what's going on inside that ship.

Thu Jun 10 2010 3:57PM Report
VirusDancer writes:

LordAdder, one of the great things (as either mentioned here or in the thread) about EVE has been running on a single "shard" all this time.  Part of that comes from any downtime social contact taking place outside of the game itself.  If you are not doing something in the game, there is no reason to be logged in.  So there are generally few if any AFK (well, non-bot AFK) lurkers.

Turning EVE into a 3D chatroom...well, frankly I see that using resources that could go elsewhere to make the game a better game.

And again, it is not my personal preference about staying in the pod... it is game lore, that capsuleers risk perma death by leaving their pods.

What would be more realistic on CCP's part, would be that the guy or gal that runs around the station is not actually the pilot - but a trusted agent of the pilot with power of attorney... cause then at least, it would not feel like CCP is abandoning their game in the pursuit of fluff scrubs.

And please, dear God, I can only hope that any changes they make are optional when they go through with this... so it does not become the mess Earth & Beyond had, that Auto Assault had, or that Star Trek Online has...

Thu Jun 10 2010 9:13PM Report
Jairoe03 writes:

The human factor to me doesn't have to come from an avatar, it actually comes from other players and what I like to call one of the best communities of any MMORPG. I have more interpersonal interaction in 1 month of EVE than in 1 year of WoW. The game is designed around the players and obviously not around its graphics engine or even its character progression. If that was the case, most people would of stopped playing a long time ago. To me, its about the players and thats where the real human factor lies. 

The funny thing is, games like WoW (to me) lack even more of a human factor due to the lack of interpersonal connection since no one really needs each other and when they do, half the people are just there to leech off others to hope they get their next phat lewts.

 

Sure, I think EVE could really bank on this Incarna system, but I don't think its the avatars thats truly "breaking" EVE.  Blame its slower pace or lack of pointing a direction for most players, but I want to think we can all go beyond the visuals on our screen a little bit. I came into EVE wanting a space flight game and that's exactly what I got, everything else is just auxiliary.

Fri Jun 11 2010 8:05AM Report
scuubeedoo writes:

EvE is not a MMORPG, it's a MMORTS. There's nothing wrong with that, apart that MMORTSes have a smaller audience than MMORPGs. That's why maybe they try to launch it as MMORPG... ;)

To be an RPG, the game has to have a single entity which you are supposed to roleplay. In EvE, not only you have multiple entities (ships) but, even if you had one, you can't roleplay it because of *its* nature. Cause it's a starship, and a starship doesn't make decisions on its own, doesn't have a "character background" and doesn't have neither it can develop morals (not even of evil or chaotic nature). These are the things that give roleplaying value to a game.

Tue Jun 15 2010 2:51AM Report
flydowntome writes:

Totally misses the mark. People don't like EvE because the "gameplay" sucks-it's either stupidly dull PvE or number crunching blobtastic PvP. Incarna wont do much because the type of people that would enjoy it would hate the rest of the game, especially the PvP part. They also will have plenty of other games coming soon that will do it right: FFXIV and TOR especially.

Wed Jun 16 2010 11:37AM Report
Xondar123 writes:

Wow VirusDancer, I've never seen anyone argue so ardently against the inevitable before. Why waste your energy?

Thu Jun 17 2010 5:56AM Report
Dawngreeter writes:

"To be an RPG, the game has to have a single entity which you are supposed to roleplay. In EvE, not only you have multiple entities (ships) but, even if you had one, you can't roleplay it because of *its* nature."

You don't really have a single clue what you're talking about, do you?

Fri Jun 18 2010 6:08AM Report
Tyrranosaur writes:

I spend my whole day at work doing spreadsheets, calculations and preparing legal documents for various potential lawsuits. When I get home, I want to play a game that is as removed from my daily work experience as possible. For the two months I tried to play EVE I felt like the only difference between this game and my daily work excperience was some pleasant ambient music and space ship graphics. Even the star scapes don't qualify, as I usually have some nice star scapes and geometric abstracts up on my monitor for wallpaper, anyway....!

I got a lot of reading done while I played EVE....it's a good game, I feel, for what it does. But I strongly disagree with the idea that it has a universal appeal; it's an excellent niche game, and if they add actual "characters" or avatars to it that might draw some more people in, but that would essentially be grafting a feature on to the game that is unrelated to what EVE is really about.

I guess I'd come back though if I could blast in to some system then drop off a kick-ass marine Tabula Rasa style on some planet and kick some ass.....! But I'd probably give up eventually when, no matter how awesome my marine was, I eventually crawled back in to my pod and found out I needed to go mine for 73 hours and study more skills for six months before I could upgrade my craft from "godawful" to "disgustingly pathetic."

Tue Jun 29 2010 4:51PM Report

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