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Spouse Aggro!

I blog at www.spouseaggro.com, write for www.ablegamers.com, run www.mmovoices.ning.com and post all over the net. HOWDY!

Author: beauturkey

Why EVE is not a PvP game.

Posted by beauturkey Thursday December 17 2009 at 8:20PM
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One of the most irritating things I come across in gaming is the relative ease in which players accept a game and a few of it's goals as a rule of the game, or as the definition of a game. In example:

Raiding, by many, is considered to be THE game. Before raiding, you are doing nothing but preparing for raiding.

Role-play is the sole purpose of the game, some think, being that the very act of logging in is an act of role-play.

One of my favorite examples, one that fired off one of those fun Twitter arguments done in 140-word sections, (but great fun because I know so many damn smart people! :)  ) is that "EVE is a PvP game." Not only is EVE not a PvP game, but PvP can be one of the smallest parts of the game.

First of all, the base of the game is the PvE environment. Picture EVE as a machine, a giant wheel turning with gears and motion. Many seem to think that EVE is somehow a perpetual motion machine, a series of gears and pulleys that create it's own energy, just to keep running some more. Of course, like a perpetual motion machine, a player-fueled-only game is impossible. EVE players do not provide the energy to drive the machine. Without the environment and interacting with it, the game would grind to a halt within a short amount of time. There must be a stream of NPC missions, loot, and cash flowing into the game or the game would just stop. The PvE provides the energy that the machine needs to turn. The players play within the machine.

If you had (JUST an example, this is just a random number) let's say 1 trillion ISK, and suddenly asteroids did indeed become limited in number, (they are unlimited right now) and all of the NPC ships stayed dead when killed, (there are endless numbers of NPC's)  and all the interactions with the PvE environment stopped, the game would die. That 1 trillion would quickly get ferreted away by a few huge corps, and nothing else would happen. The asteroids would be mined until they were all gone, and ISK would disappear. There can be no "player driven economy" with only players participating. Even the small amount that NPC's put into the economy, with all their missions and buying of goods, equal enough energy to keep the machine going.

Here is a simple question: if you magically took away PvP, or made PvP impossible (like all of space became non-pvp enabled), would EVE stop being able to be played and enjoyed?

The answer would be no. Not only that, but there would be many players (off in their missions, the ones that sit in their stations and rarely leave like my podcasting friend's do) that would probably never even know. Would it become a different game? Yes. But, instead of pirates you would have NPC ships camping you. Instead of other players attacking you, you could have spawned ships. The game can live (and does in many areas) without any influence from PvP.

Now, if you took away the endless NPC drops and all that the environment gives a player, could the game be played and enjoyed? The fruits of mining, for example, (the very basis for most of the game, the stuff that everything is made of) does not come from players. It comes from the environment and players interacting with it.

The answer would be no. There would be no EVE. The perpetual motion machine would grind to a halt, losing it's energy to the frictions of PvP and player/player interaction. Without that supply of energy (in whatever amount) from the environment and the interactions with it, there would be nothing.

This is not an attempt to say "haha! Without the game there would be no game!"

This is simply an attempt to say that calling EVE a "PvP game", indicating that PvP is the sole/majority game-play that players participate in, is not only false but impossible. The bulk of the time in your ship is an interaction with the environment. In fact, take away using "PvE" as the other way to describe EVE besides "PvP." It would be more accurately described as PIE, or Players Interacting with the Environment. Versus is referring to players locked in combat with NPC's, which is as small of a part of the game as PvP.

Using "PvP game" to describe any game out right now discounts all the other interactions and activities that have absolutely nothing to do with PvP.

In an example, a blogging friend of mine mis-understood my statement that "the death penalty in Darkfall was meaningless." He went on to to confess that my statement was true when he considered that "glory", or the virtual defeat of my enemies (just to be rezzed again to start the cycle over again) was not one of my goals, not important, and not meaningful. (I am not saying it had no meaning for him, though.)

In EVE, PvP is pretty much meaningless. Nothing happens when you die. Can something happen? Yes. But many things can happen in these games, many things that have nothing to do with Player versus Player, that can be meaningful. When I die in EVE, I get paid insurance and lose nothing that I cannot replace. My character isn't hurt, and I resurrect just to do it again. And, after all, even if I lost all my skill points and were reduced to a penniless pod, ISK is endless. Why? Not thanks to players, but thanks to the environment. I can raise my nation once again, even after being brought to the lowest point. Thanks to that energy coming from the environment.

Now, if I accidentally hit my delete key and destroy a character I have raised for 5 years, I might feel bit of regret at that.

Point is, just because something can happen (like being effected by PvP) does not mean that the game is ruled by that possibility. I would not call EVE an "accidental deletion of your character game" so why should I call it a "PvP game"?

To any of you EVE vets reading this: you, of all people, know that a player can easily avoid PvP in EVE. That's what makes EVE a successful "hardcore" game with a ton of players and PvP-featuring games like Darkfall or WAR barely live on two or four servers. Giving players that choice (to be a non-pvp'er) is a very smart thing to do. Obviously it worked for EVE. Again, I will bet good money that most players spend most of their time out of PvP.

So why do you refer to it as a "PvP game?"

Not only is it selling EVE short, with all it's glorious lore and role-play potential, but it sells the player-base short. I would like to think that many players in EVE are pretty smart, creative people. Smart creative people have many goals in a game like EVE, and many of those goals have nothing to do with, or are effected by, or effect, PvP. If  a player wants to follow some made-up set of rules, such as "if you don't PvP, you're not playing", that's fine. But I choose to take a "sandbox" like EVE and play how I want.

In fact, from now on, I am going to refer to EVE as a "Player Versus Mining" game, being that mining and the act of gathering materials, is more of an integral part of EVE than PvP or PvE. Does PvP effect some areas of the game? Of course. But it is not the all-powerful force in the game by far. The all-powerful force in any game will always stem from the environment and it's fuel for the (almost) perpetual machine.

Beau

Comnitus writes:

But many people go through PvE, and mining, and all that crap... to get to the PvP. Thus, for them, it's a PvP game. Why? Because that's where the focus is.

Thu Dec 17 2009 8:43PM Report
beauturkey writes:

  I am saying that EVE is not ONLY a pvp game, by far. I think it's safe to say that most of the game is actually PvE. Just because the PvE is possibly not as valuable to some players, does not mean that it has no value or is not popular. 

 

 

Thu Dec 17 2009 9:20PM Report
sandaf74 writes:

I think you play way too many games without focus.  EvE is all about PvP and holding territories with Corps.  The entire empire region is nothing more than a training ground for the rest of the game, which is somehting many PvP games do.  I highly suggest you actually play the game rather than spouting off a complete load of BS at us.

Fri Dec 18 2009 7:56AM Report
beauturkey writes:

  Strange that your points have nothing to do with proving mine wrong. I didn't say EVE was or wasn't all about PvP. 

 Read what I have typed. 

 I am saying that no matter what you do in EVE, PvE is the focus, without it there is nothing. Like I pointed out, and you missed, PvP could not exist without PvE. PvE would be just fine (and is just fine) without PvP.

 This isn't that complicated. Take your time and read it. And stop sending me private messages. 

 Beau

 

Fri Dec 18 2009 9:18AM Report
Player_420 writes:

as much as I dont rly like beauturkey, he does have a point. This game is a endless PvE grind for a couple major PvP battles a month.

Fri Dec 18 2009 11:51AM Report
Kyleran writes:

You are on target, and off the mark at the same time.  The game truly is designed around the PVP "engine" and the PVE activities you detail serve no purpose w/o the PVP core.

Mining?  What's it used for?  To build ships, stations, modules which ultimately end up destroyed in many cases, driving the need for more mining.

MIssion running for NPC's?  Gives a person module drops and salvage that are sold primarily to pvp player who frequently get them destroyed.  (I'll grant that some of it goes back into the PVE economy and to new players not yet in the fight)

I kill sleeper NPC's for a living.  This lets me earn large quantiites to  buy PVP ships which I use to kill other players with, otherwise what else would I use the ISK for? Oh, I could spend it hiring merc corps to kill other players for me. 

Point is, all PVE activities in EVE are clearly designed to support the PVP model.  There are people who've called for a PVE only server and we routinely rebuff their arguments with reasons why it would not nearly be the virtual world that it is now.

It is true, w/o pve the pvp can't thrive, but I maintain without the pvp conflict (even if you don't actively participate) the PVE activities become pointless and the gameplay suffers.

Fri Dec 18 2009 2:12PM Report
beauturkey writes:

  I agree that the PvE would suffer without the PvP. But, as I pointed out, the game would settle down and would just become another game. The PvE game, minus the PvP, is already there. 

 This is not about opinions on what game is better, this is about the literal systems that work behind the scenes and how much players use them. 

 PvP is like crafting or any other sub-system. It is not the major part of the game even though lot's of players enjoy it, hear about it, etc. 

 Trust me, I don't want PvP to go away. This all stems from a comment I received on my blog (at spouseaggro.com) that EVE was a "PvP" game. 

 Beau

 

Fri Dec 18 2009 2:23PM Report
Uruktos writes:

Ahh.. Still trolling EVE for more view count i see :)

Fri Dec 18 2009 2:34PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 haha, yep!

Fri Dec 18 2009 4:05PM Report
shabazzster writes:

 Yeah you've won the trophy now lets team up and make a game together....

Fri Dec 18 2009 11:26PM Report
shabazzster writes:

 seriously. 

 

Fri Dec 18 2009 11:27PM Report
shabazzster writes:

 shabazzster@gmail.com...  seriously.

Fri Dec 18 2009 11:28PM Report
Zyphrone writes:

EVE Online is a sandbox mostly. So, yes, you do start out PvE, you only do PvP if you got buds in the game and form corps. If you're loner, like me, you play solo...yes, EVE is PvE. Sandbox games give you tht option and that's why EVE is different from other games that have more PvP then PvE. I like PvE better then PvP because people get in te way of quests and like to pick on newbies. Okay, I am a WoW hater mostly because of the retarded players who hate everyone but themselves. Ahem...anyways, thats my rant. beau had a point.

Fri Dec 18 2009 11:30PM Report
Warbird1 writes:

Weather you call it a PVP or a PVE game.  For many that quit the game its about the daily and rampant PVP exploits of the game that ruin the PVE experience for people.    When your just sitting there in a high security area minding your own buisness and someone comes along an either swipes your ore from secured cans or pushes them away from you and just dares you to fight back.  Of course theyre decked out with tons of skills and gear so its pointless.  So yeah you try and fight back.  You die.  You get your insurance and ship and head back out only to be greifed again.  You report it and nother is ever done.  Its not a matter of someting "can" happen its that is does happen and happens on a daily basis. 

You want to see how well Eve can do without PVP.  Open a server with NO PVP interaction except something like an arena instance and see what happens.  I bet you get a lot of people to come back and a lot more to sign up.

 

Sun Dec 20 2009 12:31PM Report
Inktomi writes:

Hey Beau, 

   Long time no speak. Well, I have been playing EVE 'casually' since we last spoke, balancing it with RL and still enjoying it. 

Come to think of it, you are right. There is no pvp in EVE and it is mainly a PVE game.

Well, enough for now. But the next time your on, can you send me a mail telling me your on. I'll meet you in low-sec or in the wormhole I reside in. 

I would really like to destroy your ship, pod you and carry your corpse as a trophy.

It won't happen, because there is no PVP in EVE. It's all in the mind.

Play safe,

F

Sun Dec 20 2009 6:58PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 I'm very afraid that some people cannot bare to not take everything I say as literally literal.

 As you hopefully can see and read, I am simply saying that calling EVE a "pvp game" is not accurate by any means. The bulk of the game is made up of PvE and PIE game-play. I have presented my evidence.

 If some of you want to take it is some kind of slam against PvP, or a slam against PvP'ers, go for it. That makes absolutely no sense, being that I am actually saying quite the opposite. I have never once said that EVE is a bad game, or that EVE contains no PvP. I would like to see the quote that indicates this.

 I have called EVE boring, because it can be. That does not mean it is bad. I have said that all of PvP is not possible without interactions from the environment (I am not even calling it PvE because it isn't) and that these interactions make up the bulk of the game. This does not mean that PvP is non-existent. Again, I would like to see the quote that indicates that.

 Thanks for the comments, guys, even though some of them actually have nothing to do with my point.

 Beau

 

 

 

Sun Dec 20 2009 10:13PM Report
Inktomi writes:

I get your point, what you really want to say is that it's a balanced game. Not overweight in anyone one area: PVE, PVP or PIE or PVM. Every part of the game has an intergral part of the functioning whole of the machine. Being EVE's Ingame economy, which was created and monitored by a real economist. 

Now my question, if you would honor it with an honest answer. Have you really explored every part of eve, being the mining, pve missions, low-sec, zero sec and wormhole space? Are you in a functioning corp as a collaborating player? Have you participated in large fleet battles? Got podded at a gatecamp or while scooting around low sec? 

These are some of the experiences I have had in these past months playing eve. With no where near the FIVE YEARS you have been "raising" a character you have had to have some of these experiences.

And if you have had to replace your ships, fitting, rigs and implants a few times, how do you still consider pvp not a dominant factor of EVE?

And that ron-day-voo in low sec offer is always valid. 

Thanks for your input, it really counts. :)

Mon Dec 21 2009 9:34PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 I've done everything you mentioned, save for the wormhole thing. That's a recent add-on that I have not played with yet. I would like to, sometime.

 I think the problem is that you seem to think that I am saying that it is NOT an important part of EVE. I never said that. I am trying to illustrate, without having to type it out in one bland sentence this:

 There are activities that players participate in, more often than anything else, that have nothing to do with destroying other players or destroying something from the environment.

 That wouldn't make for a very fun blog, would it? lol

If I wrote this blog about life, I could say the same thing about all those ordinary activities that we forget we do more than anything else, that I feel are more important. Without these bland activities, like spending time traveling, we could not have the exciting moments of our lives.

 Beau

 

Tue Dec 22 2009 12:38AM Report
Inktomi writes:

 Easy beau, don't get defensive,  it wasn't about whether you thought PVP was or wasn't  a part of EVE, but HOW MUCH of an important part of eve was  my question.

As an "EVE player" I just wanted your input on the subject. I'm not one to put words in anyones mouth, nor put words in mine.

Now what I think about EVE is: It's well balanced. If you read my first comment you would see I agreed with you. Sarcastically and  humorously but I did agree.

But I do feel that EVE is not just a PVP game, it's balanced. If you want it to be a pvp game, it will be. But along the line everyone has to interact with the environment to keep it flowing.

My corp has been living in a WH for a little while and as we make money from the environment, it still has given us ample opp for pvp action. So the money we make from sleepers affords us to replace ships etc, and without that element the whole project would of come to a stop within the first week.

I understand you need to keep up your mojo in the blogosphere by posting fun and controversial topics. 

See you 'round,

F

Wed Dec 23 2009 3:23AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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