Welcome to the 46th EVE Blog Banter, the community tradition that shares a single discussion topic across the blogosphere and beyond. For further information, check out the Blog Banter section above. For this edition’s topic, read on…
The Main Event
“EVE Online is a unique piece of science fiction that is ‘participatory’.” – CCP Seagull, December 201
EVE Online is heading into its Second Decade with renewed vigour and a new development strategy. At the CSM Summit in December, Executive Producer CCP Unifex and Development Director CCP Seagull explained how future development and expansions will be broader in scope than recent “collections of features” stating that CCP “want to create something more inspirational, that players aspire to play.”
With the return of Live Events such as the Battle for Caldari Prime, clearly the prime fiction of EVE is back in favour as part of this new thematic approach to expansions. However, EVE’s story is very much a tale of two playstyles, with an entirely player-driven narrative unfolding daily in parallel to the reinvigorated backstory. Often, they do not mix well. How can these two disparate elements be united or at least comfortably co-exist in a single sandbox universe?
Dammit, I just wrote about this a little while ago.
So this time I am going to expand a bit on it. Some folks do NOT want lore or story to interfere with their own personal story of domination of other real players. There were a lot of complaints of the inconvenience of having to go around a system just because other people had their own little theatre club going on.
Some games solve this by having RP servers where you are a little more willing to play along and then pvp servers where shooting in the face with the best weapon you can find is the order of the day. But Eve does not have that nor should it. We ARE ONE server (and damn proud of that fact) So does one side just live with the other sides foibles? Do we set a side group of systems where you can RP in peace (You KNOW what will happen then, don’t you?)
Segregation is the equivalent of making sub servers. You do not make a small side sandbox for the kids building castles and another for those who want to race their toy cars. The cars will crash into castles, towers will fall and bury the cars. And maybe . . . just maybe . . . some new gameplay will come of it. I am not saying that all the players should hold hands and do a rousing version of Kumbaya just that even not getting along is apart of the game.
So we are going to play together and sometimes it will piss off one side or the other or both. GREAT!
In the lat post I spoke of my four categories of storyline. Lets see how they would play out in a bit more detail.
The Luminaire battle was a set piece where everyone knew how it would come out before it even started. That did NOT stop some from fighting on the losing side and making a valiant attempt to change a foregone conclusion. It happened in a very busy system and caused a change in the political structure of the games Lore. In a way you could consider it the Eve equivalent of a cutscene. Epic and game shifting but you are there as an interested spectator. Unless you were there to shoot stuff and get in on a Titan kill. Or just hoping to shoot everybody else in what became a free fire zone in highsec.
Only thing I would change is maybe create a channel for those who are there for the story so that they do not have to put up with the screaming masses posting ascii images for mom to put up on the fridge. The draconian (I have a migraine, you don’t want my opinions when I have a migraine) part of me thinks CCP could add a moderator to the system with Dev powers to ‘move’ offensive players out of the system/constellation/known space. Post spam? Link a naked image? *poof* . . . and so was yer dad. (migraine remember)
The events with no story aka the pinata fleets. Usually hotdropped by a larger organization and ended fairly swiftly. A great load of fun and usually one most played by the non RP crowd. I think almost everybody agrees that there needs to be a few more twists . . . and I do not mean Hax-level buffs to armor or shields. What if they arranged their own hotdrop? What if the fleet was not big slow targets but all dramiels? What if the fleet came in and exited via wormholes, a large fleet following might find themselves far far from home.
But even if they did gank the CCP staff in their shiny fleets. What if one or two of the drops were story related and of no intrinsic value? A specific survivor or some religious tracts? To the right people they would be worth a lot of isk. But to find the right people you would have to . . . you know . . . have a clue about storyline and lore?
Ah, the road not taken. THIS is the one type of storyline event that I think has the best chance of making Eve something more. Something that the gaming media will talk about and will bring new players to the game. Live events happen in other games but what if how the players acted in them decided the future lore? What if systems could fall, security status change? What if what a band of dedicated pilots did made a difference when the story played out?
For example. Empress Jamyl gets captured while on a goodwill tour. Ground forces fight to rescue/take her. Once taken she must be moved. Damsel in Distress written in HUGE letters across space. She is the MacGuffin that could drive a dozen events as each Faction Organization or Alliance would strive for her capture and the power such a ‘rescue’ would bring them. Kill her and it ends as she clone jumps back so oddly her rescuers want her dead and her enemies want her alive.
We don’t have to wait for CCP. We are the content and we can make stories. Hell, we ARE the stories.
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
But if the really BIG stories , , , the really GOOD ones became part of the Lore then we would be something new, different. It has happened before and I think it will happen again. Not when it is random acts of vandalism but when a really large part of the games population goes in the same direction, demands a change or makes a statement. Or one small group does something so phenomenal that even the CCP people are saying ‘holy shot? did you see that?’. THAT it is so good that it was never planned to become part of the game but it does, because it should.
This post is a bit of a borderline for me. I have been writing personal opinion without the usual RP trappings for the length of the CSM campaign. All the votes are in now, polls are closed.
For me, the stories are driven internally. I don’t need some other person holding my hand or telling me what the outcome will be. If I don’t like what is being said in local there is block. I like that some of you enjoy what I write and I will miss the traffic I have had, the past few weeks. But I write for me. The stories are mine and I will now return to them. If CCP gives us the tools to share those stories I will. If others invite me to become a part of thier stories I try to get there (Thanks Kirith, Rixx)
And some do not like stories. They play on an entirely different level and find people like me amusing (at best) or an object of pity and scorn. Tough. I find waiting three hours for a fleet that never fully forms to be a pretty silly way to spend your gaming time as well.
A lot of other people have written some fantastic opinions about this subject, I recommend that you take some time seeing what they had to say. Rixx’s will never happen but damn the idea blew me out of the water.
Thoughts From the Bantersphere:
- The Main Event by Eve Scientist @ A Scientist’s Life in EVE
- Making NPCs Matter by Grimmash @ Warp to Zero
- Time to Open a New Playbook by Orakkus @ 2nd Anomaly From the Left
- Evanescence by Helena Khan @ Aggressive Logistics
- Two Types of Eve Playstyle? by Drackarn @ Sand, Cider and Spaceships
- The New Frontier… by TurAmarth ElRandir @ A Carbon Based Life
- Easy Transition by Kirith Kodachi @ Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
- Player Driven Story by Stabs @ Stabbed Up
- MY GOD WHAT IS THAT THING!!??! by Rixx Javix @ EVEOGANDA
- Eve’s many choices by Sered Woollahra @ Sered’s Lives
- Making a meaningful impact by Samwise Potato @ And Other Bright Ideas
there will be more, best list is always Seismic Stans (link at the top of the page)