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What Game Devs Should Learn From EVE 270

Posted by Soulskill
from the watch-out-for-volcanoes dept.
An anonymous reader passes along this excerpt from Gamesradar about EVE Online's Council of Stellar Management (CSM), a group of elected player representatives that serve to facilitate communications between the developers and the community: "On the last day, the devs announced that after the earlier discussions about improving the CSM’s ability to effect change, the CSM was being raised to the status of its own department within CCP. This is revolutionary; in one swift move, the CSM went from what could be considered a glorified focus group to what CCP considers to be a 'stakeholder' in the company, given equal consideration with every other department in requesting development time for a project. That means the CSM — and the entire playerbase it represents — has as much influence on development projects as Marketing, Accounting, Publicity and all the other teams outside of the development team. This is, of course, the stated intention. But has any developer gone to such lengths for its fans?"
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What Game Devs Should Learn From EVE

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 20, 2010 @06:40AM (#32276658)

    Why does it take 1 second on my cellphone to preview my post? Because processing power has little to no correlation with Internet responsiveness.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 20, 2010 @06:57AM (#32276742)
    no. http://www.dark-wind.com/ has it's player base handled rules council that manages all the balance of the game.
  • by Jedi Alec (258881) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @07:18AM (#32276850)

    There've been calls to vote for the CSM smack dab in the middle of your login screen for weeks.

    If you overlook something that is right in the center of your monitor just what are they supposed to do, send you private messages every 5 minutes? :P

  • Re:Their thinking (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ephemeriis (315124) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @07:44AM (#32277010)

    Maybe if we ask people what they want and then give it to them, they will tell their friends, blog positively, continue to subscribe to our subscription-based service instead of wandering off in boredom.

    A key part of this, though, is filtering out the noise.

    There are a lot of whiners on the EVE boards (just like pretty much any game's forum). Lots of the them think the game is too tough, too time-consuming, and too unforgiving. Lots of them would like it to be friendlier and more casual in nature.

    CCP doesn't respond to every single whine on the boards like some companies do.

    Instead, they ask the players to elect folks who actually represent them. And then they ask the representatives what to do with EVE.

    You'll see CSM members of a piratical disposition... Folks from large alliances... Folks who are carebears at heart... Folks from tiny corporations... All sorts of different people represented... But you won't see a whole lot of folks who whine that EVE needs to be more friendly and forgiving.

  • Re:Their thinking (Score:3, Informative)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:25AM (#32277270)

    Maybe if we ask people what they want and then give it to them, they will tell their friends, blog positively, continue to subscribe to our subscription-based service instead of wandering off in boredom.

    The Internet makes a lot of things possible when it comes to unprecedented communication between suppliers and consumers. Of course, this only works if you believe your users know what they want.

    Proud to say I kicked the EVE habit long ago. You could get places it that game but it felt like a full-time job.

    What finally did it for me is that the missions became too difficult for too little reward. I had my spiffy new battleship and lost it in a mission because the enemy bots were using jammer ships, i.e. you can't warp out when you notice you're in trouble. This was the final straw on top of the nerfing of the loot tables, the addition of extraneous content like rigs that just made missions take longer, and the ultimate sense I wasn't going anywhere. And let's not even get started about the developers interceding in high-level wars, the long-standing bugs that don't get fixed, and developer focus on silly new features rather than fixing those holes. Did they ever get station perambulation working?

    You get out of things what you put into it and maybe there are people who are getting a great deal out of EVE. I figure my time there would be better spent on other things, things with payoff (I say while reading slashdot.)

  • Re:Stale. (Score:3, Informative)

    by illectro (697914) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:35AM (#32278076)
    The Voting for the new CSM finished just over 12 hours ago - so I guess it's a tie into the current CSM election
  • by Martin Spamer (244245) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:38AM (#32278126) Homepage Journal

    There has been a huge page banner to vote on the home page [eveonline.com] for a couple of months.

    It's been on the in-game browser Home/News page for the same amount of time.

    There is a section on the forum called Council of Stellar Management.

    Some candidates have made campaign videos on YouTube [youtube.com].

    Where have you been hiding, under Chribba's pile of Veldspar or something ?

  • Re:Their thinking (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chatsubo (807023) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:41AM (#32278176)

    EVE divides space into regions that have several (10) different levels of policing. This affects many game dynamics, but in short:

    In systems with a security status >= 0.5: If you shoot at another player, the fuzz show up with overwhelming force almost immediately and kills you with extreme prejudice (aka: Empire space)

    0.1 to 0.4: The fuzz won't show up to deal retribution, but gates and stations have stationary turrets that will fire on you if you shoot at other players within their range. (aka: Lowsec)

    0.0: Absolutely lawless space. Anyone can shoot at anyone. Usually ruled by alliances because they have enough firepower to assure relative safety. (aka: Nullsec)

    You can, if you want, pay isk to "declare war" on another corporation. In that case, all of the fuzz/turrets won't intervene, no matter the security status, as long as you only fire on THAT corp, of course.

  • by mathmathrevolution (813581) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @10:33AM (#32279108)
    The nice thing about EVE is that it's not grindy like WoW and other MMOs. The only thing that affects your rate of skill point acquisition in EVE is which skills you decide to train. You don't have to hunt for XP to level up. Somebody that "grinds" all the time in EVE has no skill advantage over the casual player.
  • Re:Their thinking (Score:3, Informative)

    by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Thursday May 20, 2010 @12:10PM (#32280688)
    And if you shoot people in high-sec or low-sec, you take a hit to Security Status, and if it gets too low, you'll get nuked just for jumping into a high-sec system, and the only way to raise it is to grind pirates for hours. And if you shoot someone in low-sec and jump to high-sec within 15 minutes, you get CONCORDed anyhow. And gates and stations won't allow you access for 30 seconds after shooting someone. And, of course, 0.0 is divided into NPC sovereignty and Player sovereignty which affects whether or not you can dock in their stations in the first place (but you have an aggression timer of 30 seconds even for stations you own), and in addition to the police (CONCORD), if you have a low enough standing with one of the Empires, their Navy will attack you in their space. And different rules apply in Faction Warfare low-sec, where some factions can shoot at declared players of the other faction. Oh, and because of rounding, there are a handful of 0.0 systems that actually hit you with security status penalties if you shoot people in them.

    Yeah, EVE is complicated.
  • Re:Niche (Score:3, Informative)

    by Phrogman (80473) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @12:45PM (#32281244) Homepage

    People need to get some perspective on what a "niche" MMO is. When UO scored 250,000 players, or DAOC got up to comparable numbers, or EQ got to 500,000 subscribers - those were MAJOR SUCCESSES. No one could believe how popular those games were, with subscriber numbers like that, they were assured of long lives (and in fact DAOC is still hanging on by its fingernails, barely).

    WOW came along and completely transformed the market. 11 Million subscribers as a base has so totally distored the market - and new player's understanding of what "successful" means, that now the old numbers cannot be seen in the correct perspective. Now, they look like "niche" games with barely acceptable numbers to people.

    When Warhammer Online came out, people were saying if it didn't get at least 1m subscribers, it was a complete failure. I believe it got up to around 800,000 (in other words about as many subscribers as the original EQ and Starwars Galaxies ever had, at their peaks, combined). It was labeled a massive failure on the forums. People started saying they were leaving because it was a failure.

    What changed? Just player's expectations, distorted by the juggernaut that is World of Warcraft. WOW has been so successful that the old stats from old games cannot be used when making measurements. The market increased in size immensely with WOW. A better way to look at things (but less immediately recognizable to readers) is to use market shares. Then at least the size of the total market pre-WOW and post-WOW is irrelevant.

    EVE is doing just fine from what I can see. They identified a market, produced a game for that market, and they have 300,000 intensely loyal, paying customers. I am not sure what the subscription rate is, but assuming the standard $15 or so, that's about 4.5m a month. I dunno bout you but $54m per year looks pretty decent to me, and not very niche to be honest.

  • Re:Their thinking (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @01:30PM (#32281998) Homepage

    While the poster gave bad/incomplete examples, he does actually have it right.

    Guiding Hand Social Club: A small band of social manipulators who took on a hit job against a CEO and its corp. Result after almost a year of work infiltrating the corporation and earning trust; $16,500 worth of items stolen and/or destroyed in addition to ganking him in his most expensive bling-fitted ship.

    The two main guys leading that corp are legends for the numerous heists they've pulled.

    Chribba: In a universe of paranoia and mistrust, he is the only guy that everyone knows will never break a deal. When he isn't flying one of his mining-fitted dreadnought in high-security space (of the handful built there before it was disallowed), there is always someone wanting him to secure the transfer of super-carriers and titans.

    And there are many more...

  • Re:Their thinking (Score:4, Informative)

    by ChinggisK (1133009) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:16PM (#32285512)
    I've played Eve for 2-3 years now, and I solo. Never been in a corp other than my own for more than about 2 weeks. It's quite possible to make it on your own.

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