There are awful lot of zero-sum PvP games where the loser loses ranking, kill:death ratio and other stats. Yet these games are popular. The PvP games where you can farm XP and credits, therefore “progress” like in World of Tanks or League of Legends are even more popular, despite you still have losses in the individual game. I don’t think that the losses make EVE a small niche game.
It’s not even “unfair”, ganking PvP. You have little effect on the outcome of a World of Tanks game or a World of Warcraft battlegrounds. You are just one soldier in the battle. Sometimes the game is lost on loading screen due to matchmaking unbalance, teammate AFK or something like that. Still these games are popular.
The thing that all PvP games have but EVE doesn’t is the ability to trust in your teammates. In these games you fight side by side with other players. They might suck or even go AFK. But griefing is rare, banned and its effect limited to one short battle. Also, by handpicking your team, you can be 100% free of AFK-ers, noobs and griefers.
Not in EVE. In EVE a single hostile getting into your team can destroy a supercapital fleet, drop Sov, steal everything or simply go on an unstoppable awox spree. This is a bad design, not because these actions are “bad”, but because the individual player is completely powerless to do something about it. Only the leadership of his corporation/alliance can keep spies out. The little guy can only hope that they succeed.
You might say “but EVE supposed to be real”, but such spying power is not real. The president of a country cannot disable all infrastructure, grab everything in the treasury and jump it in a minute to a hostile country all by himself. Such act would need a huge conspiracy to bypass the checks and balances.
I do not suggest to ban spying or GMs reverse awoxes. I want built-in tools to limit the effect a spy can do. My suggestions:
– Remove highsec awoxing. Simply make shooting corpmates a suicide gank. Since there are duels, there is no legitimate need of shooting a corpmate.
– Make set standings take precedence over corp/alliance membership. If you set a corpmate -10, he still shows up as green and not red. Fix it, so a low/null awoxer can be marked after his first awox and also locked out of services. (I understand that instant-kicking is not possible due to abusing it to avoid war targets in highsec)
– Create a time lock for every possibly harmful activity. It can be activated selectively and makes actions like offlining a tower, SBU, TCU, cancelling a job, removing stront from the tower, disbanding the alliance, kicking corps or even members impossible. To perform the action, first you have to switch off time lock, wait 24 hours and then perform it. This way the members have 24 hours to respond before the bad thing happens.
– Daily withdraw limits to hangars and wallets. You can only remove this amount a single day. The limit itself can be time-locked, so the rogue director can’t just remove it.
– “Equal share” setting. By switching it on, the shares of the corporation are equally distributed between members all the time, allowing them to vote out the CEO. Protectable by time lock too.
– Automatic reimbursement feature. The replacement of lost combat ships are the largest ISK sinks of an alliance, so automatizing it would remove lot of ISK from the hands of people who could steal it. You just put the ISK to the reimbursement wallet and automatic algorithms send it to players who lost their ship in an eligible way. It would also remove huge administrative workload.
With such improvements, the players could more easily trust in their blues/greens, allowing much more players to participate in group content. And we know that group integration is the best predictor of remaining in the game.