Eve is a PvP game. I have heard that yelled often enough by so many people trying their damnedest to be loud enough to make it true. Except . . . it isn’t. Eve is a living work of science fiction where we play. Yes, you can shoot someone else and take their stuff but you also can mine, build, play successfully for years without killing or being killed by another player. Now understand that I define PvP as direct person on person violence and none of the namby-pamby ‘if I mine then it is pvp because I deny someone else those same rocks’. Bullshit. The same goes for MOST market transactions. (Although I will make an exception for major market manipulations).
So we have a game with PvE in it and the PvE is considered the low end, predictable, safe. (Until the pvp folks drop in to say hello) Some of it is also needed. I honestly would love to see what would happen if players actually did stop mining. Yes, there are reserves but they would run out. But I am chasing a distracting squirrel. PvE is changing.
Some if it comes down to newer, better coding. The AI has improved three times over the past few years. Sleepers were tough, Sansha was tougher, and now the Drifters who WILL pod you, will follow you into warp, will call for reinforcements. Cool. I almost think we are ready to see even stronger regular forces who run when overwhelmed or get more help proportionate to who is hitting them. The there is the idea that we are in a living universe and not the only space jockeys out there. So NPC convoys and caravans roaming the spaceways. Space will happen even if nobody is there to hear the trees fall.
But part of space happening is other players as well. So enter the tribute system. Encouragement to be in the game, if only to do a mission or two. An extra thing for the average casual player who doesn’t play for 5 hours straight. I already can hear some of you screaming ‘Oh God, he is talking about dailies’ Yup. But before you follow that cry with the suggestion that I go back to WoW (which I have not played) think about what dailies are and WHY they are. Think about number of people online and the user count. The people who only log in for Pap links and wars. Think about the ‘one more turn’ habit of gamers and rell me how many will just log on for the daily.
A lot of this came from the Eve Vegas PvE roundtable with CCP Affinity. Things like NPC’s that will follow you, system to system. Drifter Capital ships. Fleets that react to the size of the force facing them. But all was not sunshine and roses. Standings may change . . . you cannot be friends with everyone. (darn it) Sansha will not keep throwing bodies at us forever.
Affinity has a 2 year plan and I, for one, am looking forward to blogs from her as well as plans for the short range. She knows as well as we do that PvE is part of the game and that it needs a solid jolt to make it more alive. This is not a theme park where we can put in a new ride and call it an expansion. Tools have to be made, coding done to make the NPC’s dynamic and interesting. It has to fit with the play in place and not suddenly start handing out isk like there was no tomorrow.
Bottom line? There is still hope for PvE and incentives for the casual player coming soon(tm). Now if we could just make mining interesting.
fly it like you won it