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It was smart play - but still an exploit of bad mechanics. Not really a great deal different from any other exploit of the bad mechanics CCP has left in game except in the shear scope of the thing.
Of course CCP shouldn't do a roll-back. If they did they'd catch unending hell that would make the T20 thing look like a PR victory.
That said - metagaming extends to CCP too. Were I a BoB leader I'd probably ask / tell all my various allies, friends, etc to simply suspend all their subscriptions all at once. Doesn't even matter whether folks never actually stop playing (i.e. resub before the billing comes up) - if CCP sees the sudden closure of thousands of accounts all at once they may just panic into caving in.
The alliance system has been a bodge-job ever since it was introduced. Basically taking the same mechanics as a corp and bolting on other elements without actually dealing with the added complexities.
If this kind of thing isn't fixed it'll be interesting to see what happens. Once an organization gets to a certain size there is no way to prevent the necessity of relying on people you don't know - and since it's all in a game on the internet there isn't much to be done other than "trust".
Potentially you could see a lot fewer mega-powers in EVE because they won't want to grow beyond a point where their close friends / family / alt accounts can control everything. Or perhaps more burn out as people try to do it all themselves to guard against the spectre of a possible spy.
Sure it's an interesting situation, more interesting to see the fallout - but ultimately CCP is culpable for allowing such bad mechanics to exist - especially since it's happened to other corps before this.
FWIW - I've played EVE for years (5 now?).
That out of the way...
PvE combat NEVER gets more complex, it just gets more difficult. By which I mean the aggregate damage that the NPCs throw at you is more than one ship can handle - as such you need more than one ship. This is "Level 5 missions" and high end complexes in a nutshell. There are a couple of little hooks and tricks that may get you once - or if you don't read a walkthrough first - but they're mickey mouse compared to other PvE focused games.
Other types of PvE are very narrowly focused at certain personalities. Traders have to inherrently love watching their account balances increase. Explorers have to inherrently love the tracking of complexes and hidden mining belts. The actual activities at these points (mining, PvE combat or freighting goods) NEVER get more interesting or more complex. If these things appeal to you then they're interesting - otherwise it's just painfully dull.
Generally - the problem most folks have with EVE is that without a goal (something the game will not give you), the pieces of the puzzle don't make sense. It's the dullest thing in the world unless you're doing X, Y or Z for a concrete reason.
This is usually where player corps come in. Joining a player corp is kind of an opiate for the EVE masses. It makes the dull areas interesting because you're usually doing it to help your corp and it's goals - i.e. other living people that will appreciate your efforts. At the very least - it usually gives you people to talk to while doing the dull things.
PvP combat is *slightly* more complex - mostly in that there are a wider array of things to do and be aware of. The PvE area of the game does a poor job making full utilization of the array of support skills available (ECM for instance, tackling is another). Perhaps the new expansion (with it's "better AI" will mitigate this somewhat).
Once you're over the hump of PvP learning though it's just as dull, interspersed every so often with about a minute or two of frantic action that either leaves you in a pod, a cloning station or in a field of other folk's debris. Unless you're a fleet commander or involved in high-level alliance politics, the territory conquest game is a whole lot of big fleet vs. little fleet. (That is unless you're in a capital ship, where you spend a lot of time staring at shimmering, immobile globes around player owned starbases).
Much like any game out there - if you have a goal EVE is a good time. If you don't want to or can't figure out one on your own then being part of a group that has a larger goal can give you that same good time (plus the support of fellow humans while going over the dull parts). EVE just won't tell you what goal to choose (which is what the average MMO does with it's level progression / storyline quest dynamic - how many people quit at max level because there isn't anything to do?).
At some point one will run out of goals and then EVE gets dull - and usually the player will quit for a while. Many will get another wind at some point when they think of a new goal and will return - others burn out or find they no longer are interested in dedicating the amount of time most things in EVE demand.
EVE Online: EVE Breaks Peak Concurrent User Record
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
1/06/09 10:24:32 AM
I've never really bought into the peak concurrent records, even though I've played EVE for years. It's an artificially created population spike for the most part. After all, I know for a fact that when the record is close everyone that has an alt account goes and logs it in to try and push the number.
I suppose one could argue that it speaks to a broader increase in sub numbers - which to a certain extent is probably true - but no other game than EVE goes as far to promote the activation and maintenance of two or more accounts to the same game either. (see the Power of 2 promotion - which was originally supposed to be a one-time-only but has come back twice more as I recall).
As such the "concurrent record" is (IMO) hopelessly muddied by the alt accounts and the general group interest in proclaiming (or being part of) a new record number. Far more telling is the overall trend - which for this particular record seems more like an anomaly at the end of the holiday season than an indication of that many more players.
From the coldfront tracker (eve.coldfront.net/status/summary) it looks more to me like the concurrent numbers have been peaking pretty consistently just over 40K over the past year - with a bump in the past month likely related to Quantum Rise releasing. To me it seems every indication is that EVE has become population stable which probably means the sub rate has plateaued for the time being.
Granted they were planning to get boxes back in stores at some point soon - and that would certainly have a marketing push if it does come to pass, so perhaps it's a temporary plateau. On the other hand, EVE is getting older - and while it is maintained and expanded better than the norm (again IMO), it will eventually reach a point where populations level off and start declining. Tough to say.