As part of Blog Banter #28: The Future of EVE Online, CCP and the CSM
In recent months, the relationship between CCP and it’s customers has been the subject of some controversy. The player-elected Council of Stellar Management has played a key role in these events, but not for the first time they are finding CCP difficult to deal with. What effect will CCP’s recent strategies have on the future of EVE Online and it’s player-base? What part can and should the CSM play in shaping that future? How best can EVE Online’s continued health and growth be assured?
I have a relatively narrow view of Eve, in that I play for the PvP provided by Faction Warfare. So, being a faction warrior, I’d love to see some changes made to low-sec and to faction warfare mechanics, and to stop treating it as some sort of PvP lite, which by the way folks, it ain’t.
As far as the directions CCP is heading, with Incarna 1.x and the upcoming Dust 514 integration, all of these make some business sense. I’ve worked in real life for numerous software development companies and I know what their strategy is, and I respect it. I just don’t use walking in stations—yet. I’ve disabled my CQ entirely, it wasn’t useful to me once the novelty wore off. If I didn’t have just this crappy industrial monastic cell (aren’t we fabulously wealthy quasi-immortal demi-gods? You’d think we could afford better accommodations…) but the whole enchilada (I know, they’re working on it, and they have done a good job technically on what I’d call a phased release) then you’d see me cavorting in station more.
Yes, they do throw us pilots a bone now and then. I like the instant re-ship in the latest release (but for the fact that you may have half your modules disabled when you undock). But they need to also make some major, PvP affecting improvements. New ships and mods, or game-altering changes like the change to warp scrams, are needed.
And the role of CSM? CSM is dominated by representatives of the big null-sec alliances, and as far as I’m concerned has never represented my interests. Yes, they are good at nagging at CCP and getting a lot of press for CCP, good and bad. Yes, it’s a neat idea. I also liked they crowd sourcing they did recently to rank issues. Sure, The Mittani likes to strut his stuff as chairperson of the CSM and Goon Numero Uno. I hate the Goons. I find null-sec politics and alliances boring, except that they occasionally present good targets.
Honestly, having created my own version of the “CSM” in order to get customer feedback in the past, it would be better to randomly select EvE users rather than have elections, you’d get a better profile of your average users. The changes that CSM has pushed through to CCP have been by and large really obvious, and IMO probably were already known by the internal EvE user experience people.
If Eve and CCP want to continue, I think they should really worry more about Fun in Space, concentrate on ship balancing and don’t make Uber-alliances with Titan bridges and vast fleets of super carriers able to simply push the win button.
I’d love to be able to see a swarm of frigates be able to take down a super carrier (update—click the link to see frigs taking down a carrier), or at least create classes of ships more designed for that, something like fighter bombers but Capsuleer piloted. Make it way more of a risk to pull out big ships; requiring them to have a pile of smaller ships escorting them to protect them from these threats. This would be more like the naval battles I know and love—fleets of battlewagons that require small ships to screen and protect them.
The bottom line: CCP should simply look more to the current user base as much as they look to future users.