Did you miss the quotes in that title? Did I make your heart skip a beat – for whatever reason? Yeah, I did it on purpose. That’s how I get my laughs, imagining the expressions on all of your faces. But I personally did not quit Eve Online. You are all stuck with me.
The title simply reflects a bit of curiosity on my part. There were some comments made on my last post (and good job to all those who made them so insightful!) and it made me curious. The comments concerned how lasting the effects were on Eve Online from someone playing a high-sec pirate/ganker play-style.
So I did a Google search on the phrase, “I quit Eve.” You can see the results here if you like. Let’s just say the reasons people quit Eve Online are as varied as the reasons they started playing in the first place. Here is what I hope is a representative sample of the reasons. As I went through them, I realized there was a common thread underlying their reasons. I’ll let them speak for themselves, and I’ll let you try and figure out the common thread.
I am going to start with Alt + Enter and a post he wrote a year ago. This post is excellent. I am envious in fact because I don’t think I could write better. Here is what Steve, the author, said about why he quit,
“And after a series of mishaps, and falling out with a couple of corp members, I quit Eve Online. Every so often, I return to see what’s new, but my interest rarely lasts more than a month or two. The reason for this? Boredom, mistrust and a slowly festering sense that New Eden was becoming a rather nasty place to spend my evenings.
The bottom line is this: people are pricks.”
The next reason comes from TallGuyCalif’s Computer Gaming and Entertainment Site. I think his reasons involve the learning cliff more than anything.
“The reason I dropped Eve Online and never looked back was the travel time. The time it takes to navigate to the next acceleration gate in a mission just got tedious. It turns out that as you get bigger and better ships, they get slower, so the problem gets worse. My destroyer was slower than my smaller frigate, while my cruiser was slower than my destroyer. I realized that it would only get worse and never better as I progressed to bigger, “better” ships. So I quit cold turkey. If they ever change that hierarchy, I would be happy to try again, because I did have fun, for a while, but until then, I don’t like having my time wasted for me.”
Next, I’m off to MMO Misanthrope. With a title like that, you’d think this fella was a prime Eve new bro candidate. Nope, it seems Eve Online is a crappy PvP experience. I’ll pull out the reason that sums it all up, for me at least.
“4. The PvP sucks. There is no balancing mechanism at all. You can get ganked by as many and as powerful ships as anyone wants to. In my time playing:
-One destroyer, a ship barely above frigate class, got ganked by three battleship-using pirates.
-One frigate, in RvB, got killed by a Tech 3 cruiser from a hundred + KM away, to the point where it would be impossible to respond.
That’s just a couple. The PvP simply isn’t fun. It’s too reliant on player stats (and dont let people lie to you, having all level 5 skills and being able to equip tech 2 stuff is a huge difference, as well as shipping up to higher ship classes) too reliant on large fleets all coordinating fire on single targets, and has no point.”
Here’s one straight off of Reddit. He also thought the PvP sucked, but from a different point of view.
“TL;DR: Life sucks, so EVE sucks. The best part of EVE is imagining how cool it would be to fight in spaceships. But you have to sit on your hands for obscene amounts of time to do so and once you can, you realize it sucks. Also, feudalism.”
The next one, from Mogzine, has a bit of a different twist on why he quit. It really wasn’t because of other players. However, he does have an interesting view of skill acquired by playing a game versus the Eve Online skill method.
“Unlike other MMOs, Eve doesn’t implement a traditional leveling system based on race, time spent in game, or XP gains from kills. Instead, there is a very extensive skill system. This skill training can take a few minutes or several weeks. Skills continue training even if you are logged off. This is the same system that time management games use, such as Farmville and We Rule. Personally, this is exactly the game mechanic that I want to stay away from. These types of games tend to play themselves with minimal interaction from the player. The bottom line is, the player with the most time wins, not the player with the most skill. Insert face palm here.”
The last result I want to quote comes straight off the Eve Online forums. Check this reason out.
“I’ve often complained countless times over the past 2 years that gameplay mechanics have changed for the worse, the play style that is often talked about in eve advertisement videos about the sandbox and null sec has intruded itself heavily into high sec (PVE play) space. An area of play that is supposed to be reserved for those with a much more casual style of play, or so we were led to believe so many years ago. Which had allowed eve to accommodate many different types of players, not just that hardcore gamer.”
So what is it I think is lurking under all these reasons people quit? Here is what I think all these people allude to. Eve Online bills itself as a PvP game. The primary PvP area is supposed to be null-sec. That’s where player alliances are supposed to vie for power and keep things lively. The null-sec “lords” have failed miserably at this. Null-sec PvP is a long, boring trudge. No one I have ever heard discuss it actually likes how it works, except perhaps those who are in control. Feudal lords like their positions of power but not so much the conscribed serfs.
This has caused those serfs who want “fun” PvP to look elsewhere. Low-sec, wormholes and NPC null-sec can have reasonable PvP, but even Jester awhile back was complaining of the lack of good PvP. His alliance blamed it on those who would rather farm than fight: the carebear mentality as others would call it. He called it risk-averse thinking. How nice. I think it’s pure laziness. None of these “PvPers” want to take on the risk of NPC null-sec or low-sec because they don’t want to loose their stuff. They just want to cause ships to explode.
So where do they end up to get their PvP jollies? That’s right, they come to high-sec. They prey on the easy targets they find there just as Spawne32 alluded to. It’s not really because they think there is some higher cause they serve. That’s just whitewash. High-sec is the only place where they can routinely and consistently blow up other ships. They don’t care what sort of ship it is and they don’t care who is flying it. Noobs blow up just as easily as freighter pilots with years in game. The only thing that matters is it fits their “kill it now” mentality. Just like TallGuyCalif said, they don’t want their time wasted.
Oh, and they also want to minimize the risk. That’s only natural. It’s the same thing as wolves attacking domesticated livestock. Why risk injury attacking an Elk when you can kill a defenseless cow instead? It’s a very fundamental and, I hate to say it, natural response.
That doesn’t mean it’s good for Eve Online. It is terrible for Eve Online. As many of these folks who quit have pointed out, it’s ending Eve Online. High-sec isn’t what it’s supposed to be according to CCP’s own descriptions. As several of these people pointed out, it’s changed tremendously over the past decade.
CCP has tried to address this situation but I don’t think they completely understand the dynamics behind it. They gave us bounties, but the wolves just made sure everyone got bounties so it was a zero-sum change. Then they gave us duels, but that violates the risk averse nature of wolves. They don’t want a fair fight. They just want to blow another ship.
CCP has done some things that work. I believe Faction Warfare is working well mentally if not mechanically. It seems to satisfy those who participate more than other PvP options. And wormholes are working for nearly the same reasons. PvP isn’t always easy to find, but when it is found it can be very fun. I know, even Mabrick was in a 40 ship fleet fight – once.
But that’s only a 50% success rate, and the problem persists. I am hopeful that Odyssey will be a big piece of the solution, but it will have to go a very long way to make everything right. But if CCP can pull it off, it will solve two of the biggest game-killing issues facing Eve Online. It will give back to new players a place, and a chance, to learn the ropes. That’s what high-sec is supposed to be for. And secondly, it will give PvPer’s the explosions that they long to have.
But there is one extra thing CCP must do to completely resolve this issue. If they don’t address the risk-aversion portion of this problem, nothing else they do will succeed. The wolves will continue to prey on the domestic livestock. That’s what wolves do. Today the United States does one of two things about it since wolves were reintroduced to the lower 48 states. They either pay the rancher for his loss, or the capture and move the wolf back to the wild. This is a forced relocation and it doesn’t always work.
And that’s why I also have a word of warning for the wolves. In the United States, wolves were eradicated in the lower 48 states because of domestic livestock killings. Today, when a reintroduced wolf kills it is “encouraged” to stop and go back to the wild. If it returns to killing livestock, the government ends it. For those of you who think it is not harmful to Eve Online to prey on high-sec players, remember that lesson. Don’t leave CCP with any other option than to exterminate you by making high-sec a PvP free area. They could, and they will, if you continue to threaten their livelihood.
He’s been around the block a time or five. With over 15 years of MMO playing under his belt and a memory that reaches back to pencils and dice, he offers his insights into the not so virtual reality we call Eve Online.
PS: I will be particularly picky and subjective on approving comments for this post. If your post contributes little to the discussion, I will not allow it.