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

    by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday May 20, 2010 @06:34AM (#32276634) Homepage Journal

    Or it's just a creative way to foster elitism - which is a fundamental part of the competitive motivations of the game.

  • This is why (Score:5, Interesting)

    by toxygen01 (901511) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @06:36AM (#32276638) Journal
    EVE is so popular. It's not a game (anymore). Everyone takes it very seriously.
    CCP even hired economists to be able to cope with in-game markets...
  • by harl (84412) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @06:37AM (#32276648)

    The only problem is the CSM has no mandate. They do not represent the players. They're elected by 4-6% of the player base.

    The whole thing is widely viewed with scorn by the player base. Election turn outs make the states look good. Most candidates are viewed as fanboys wanting a free trip to iceland.

  • by crazybit (918023) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @06:58AM (#32276752)
    that the easiest and cheapest way of finding new ways of pleasing their customers is listening to their opinions. The only difference between this and a traditional focus group is the size of the population sample.
  • by Jedi Alec (258881) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @07:27AM (#32276904)

    You probably won't find many EVE players demanding the game to be more solo friendly and that everyone should be able to afford the biggest ship after soloing for a month and then be able to do everything in the game. But that is EXACTLY what people demand in every other MMO.

    Actually, there are. Tons of them. Entire truckloads get sent to the exit scorned by such epic remarks as "GB2WOW" and "can I have your stuff"

    CCP listens to the playerbase, but their vision of the EVE universe as a whole remains unaltered. It is a bleak dangerous place, and merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time will get you killed. If you can't handle that then that's tough luck, off you go. They love it when we blow each other up.

    We already have nearly unrestricted player killing and full body(ship) loot. To survive in EVE you need to be smart and devious.

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

    by Ephemeriis (315124) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @07:45AM (#32277020)

    Or it's just a creative way to foster elitism - which is a fundamental part of the competitive motivations of the game.

    The meta-game in EVE is huge. Tons of business is conducted on forums, in person, and over the phone. EVE really extends beyond the GUI running on your computer.

    The CSM is just another arena for the players to compete in.

  • Re:Their thinking (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Hadlock (143607) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:21AM (#32277814) Homepage Journal

    For those of us following along at home, what is 0.0 space? I caught the tail end of the Goonfleet collapse, but that's about it.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:24AM (#32277848)

    Asking your player what he wants when you sell them a "normal" game, i.e. one that generates revenue at sale and never again, is pretty stupid. He already bought it. Changing a game to suit his needs is pretty much a waste of time. He will not buy it again. On the other hand, someone else who WOULD have bought it might not when you make the change.

    MMOs on the other hand make most of their income from recurring subscriptions. Thus changing the game to make people play it longer does indeed give them a lot more money. So yes, it is very much in CCPs interest to do what its players want. Maybe not to the whole extent (hey, which player would refuse a few billion ISK? I guess that's something every player would enjoy!), but making changes that makes a lot of players play longer, or even make players who stopped playing to return, is a pretty good idea.

  • by illectro (697914) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:32AM (#32277968)

    Eve is not a hard game at all, Go is a hard game, Chess is a hard game, Eve is a broad game with a lot of things you can choose to learn. The process to build a tech 3 cruiser and subsystems is pretty complex, but buying and flying one doesn't need you to know about that.

    I play Eve with my 5 year old daughter [youtube.com] (when she's been good of course) and she's quite capable of building a ship and taking it out to run missions, she'll tell you all about her Omen or Punisher and how the colour of the laser affects range and damage. She was even involved in a carrier kill recently, getting a grand total of 5hp damage before her frigate was demolished by smartbombs.

    Anyway your characterisation of ' Widespread Protests is so ridiculously wide of the mark that it demands correction, the CSM process includes a method to protest the vote, you simply select the 'abstain' option, and in CSM4 less than 3% of votes registered this option. Turnout is low, sure, but that's more an indication of the indifference by many players, or a general acceptance that the people that do get elected generally are quite committed and don't do a bad job. Even Larkonis Trassler who was kicked off the council for insider trading had been relatively effective at raising issues.

    I was also a candidate for CSM this year, wish this story had hit Slashdot yesterday so I could have trying to court the slashdot readers voted.

  • by nacturation (646836) * <nacturation @ g m ail.com> on Thursday May 20, 2010 @10:44AM (#32279292) Journal

    Supposedly Slashdot checks to see if your IP address can be used as an open proxy. If you can find a way to accept the connection and immediately say "nope, not a proxy here" instead of having it timeout that would likely cut down the preview time.

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

    by nschubach (922175) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @11:58AM (#32280554) Journal

    I'm not sure how that makes someone a legend... but I'm a little confused here.

    Person A was escorting Person B who was new. Person B was shot by someone, and CONCORD (the NPC police? Who's CONCORD?) showed up to kill Person C, but killed Person A because he was escorting Person B? How does that make any of them heroes? Where did they save any ship? Where did they prevail?

    And maybe I'm off here, but how is piloting a carrier or dreadnought heroic? Why is it limited to certain space? How is the location of your capital heroic? Are you talking capital as a ship or a base of operation?

    Do you consider CEOs heroic for controlling a huge company? (That's why I'm confused on how you define a hero...)

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

    by zeropointburn (975618) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:53PM (#32284168) Journal

    Before I address your posts directly, I should say something more on-topic. Not all the CSM candidates are 0.0 alliance figureheads. They try very hard to make that happen, but there are more pilots in empire. Certain popular figures are already espousing their intent to improve the lives of lowsec players (pirates mostly, but a lot of industry happens between 0.1 and 0.4). As for a game company actually listening to their user base, I only wish more software developers operated like CCP.

    On to the response...
    It's a big galaxy. You need to go to lower-security systems to find random pirates. If you want slightly more structured destruction, go run combat missions. If that still does not fit what you want, go to lowsec and attack players. They have much better loot than the npc's... If that doesn't do it for you, look for a friendly corp (or a ruthless one) that offers nullsec access and go shoot npc battleships with one eye on local watching for players who want to help you into a new clone.

    As for the economy, you have choices. Fill an existing buy order (where another player has set the price), or place a sell order and try to undercut the competition. If you were in a proper corp, it is possible that they would have deals on mission loot and ammo, etc. for members. You could be invited to run group missions more difficult than you could complete alone, receiving rewards orders of magnitude higher than what is possible on your own (without a very expensive ship and over a year of training).

    I get what you are saying about wanting to be self-reliant. A lot of the people in my corp are like that; we associate to have people to talk to, and to get the occasional deal on t2 ships or components. We often buy and sell amongst ourselves first before considering the market as a whole. But it expands over time; people realize they can achieve their goals much faster by working with another person or two here and there.

    If you are still interested in playing, I would be happy to invite you to my corp, no strings attached. The corp chat is a good place for advice; we have players anywhere from 1 month to 4+ years experience. There are occasional (voluntary) group operations, everything from mining and missions to lowsec roams and POS takedowns. It sounds like you've already decided not to play, but if you change your mind reply to this post or leave a note on my journal and we'll work it out.

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