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Core Issues in Eve Design

May 26, 2019

By Seraph IX Basarab

Reading through the forums, reddit, and your own alliance discord, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with all of the major issues plaguing Eve. Everyone’s got their own complaint and there are countless solutions offered for the same problem. Various CSM candidates have attempted to address these issues in their opening bids at candidacy. With so many things flying back and forth it can be difficult to keep track of what the actual issues are. Here I’ve concisely put together a simplified list of what the main issues are and given a general description.

 

1. Resource Scarcity: In a way everything hinges on this issue here. I was on board with farms and fields. I did think people should be rewarded for working said fields. However there needs to be some crop rotation rules put in place for Eve. Right now anyone can take any corner of space and turn it into tip tier farmland. While in theory this is good because it allows everyone to go out and claim a piece of land for themselves, in practice it also means there are no conflicts over resources. Scarcity breeds conflict. With so much wealth going around people don’t have any real reasons to go to war beyond boredom. And even if they do incur losses everything is so easily replaced that it turns any conflict meaningless. How are you ever going to develop any burning grudges if nothing that happens matters?

 

Having some kind of resource depletion in place will be necessary. I can already hear the krab bloc leaders claiming that “whatever hurts the big blocs will hurt the little guy.” This claim has often been used as a defensive mechanism. Unfortunately it is false. A small group will not deplete through their system nearly as fast as a major one. Small groups will be mostly unaffected by this. But the large behemoth blobs will have to ration their space out better. Will they try to expand? Yes. Will that mean they will over run the smaller groups? Not necessarily. You cannot balance the impact of the massive blocs by sating their resource needs. It needs to be done by limiting the effectiveness of jump bridges and their ability to hold control over wide areas of space. Right now both the Imperium and PanFam essentially just make use of one region for all of their needs.

 

2. Capital Proliferation: With resources being so easy to attain, the value of capitals across the board has gone down. Part of the issue is skill injectors. We’ll never get rid of them but we have to do something in order to adapt. On the economic side of things, the scarcity solution should help in terms of wealth generation. On the skill point front, any time you lose a super or titan, there should also be a skill point loss. It’s not a complete reversal of the issue SP injectors have gotten us into but it’s something. Another idea is anti-capital battleships. We have battle cruisers with battle ship sized guns. Why not battleships with capital sized guns?

 

3. Citadel/Structure Proliferation: The idea of stations that could be destroyed is awesome. The idea that you can’t destroy any of these cheap spammable stations and then even if you do nobody actually loses their stuff is the most terrible way to implement said idea. The limitless cheap spam of structures is worse than pos warfare ever was. The novelty of having a station somewhere in 0.0 as a strategic point is nonexistent for the most part. You can just assume every system has some kind of structure someone uses. Beyond that you also have the issue of jump bridges, and alliance only gates. All of these issues basically encourage “turtle krab gameplay” where you win by sitting in your space, grinding rocks and badposting on reddit about how you’re winning. There’s no real incentive for the majority of players to do more than that.

 

Citadels having a heavier fuel cost or even just limiting them to only being anchored on celestials (smalls on moons, mediums on planets, larges on stars) would help with some of that. When entosis mechanics came out we had some interesting potential for more “mobility warfare” getting us away from the “pile all the people in one system to win” way of doing war. But once citadel spam arrived we’ve once again returned to that dynamic. Structure timers need to be addressed/shortened some way. Overall we have farms and fields, but we need ways to burn them down as well as a reason. We need ways to make conflict/content. The ESS was a good start. Although badly implemented and kind of gimmicky, the concept behind it is sound. Imagine that all ratting bounties had to go through an ESS structure, or there was a way for people to steal a portion of ore from Rorquals with some kind of module. You can incur some kind of loss but not something crippling. It’s enough to cause a response small gang fleet rather than requiring some big blob F1 mash fest.

 

 

4. Perfect Intel: The moment you see someone enter your space, they’re already on all the intel channels. If they come into your system, you push one button and you land on a structure and you are safe. Someone hitting your sov? You know who, what, where and when. This game needs opportunities for us to screw up. The only good argument I’ve ever heard for having local in nullsec is that we need ways for fleets to find each other and fight. To be honest it’s not a very good argument since a half decent scout in an interceptor should be able to do at least that. But giving people the benefit of a doubt, fine let’s say that’s true. However we can have limited local that shows how many people are in system as a way to ensure fleets find each other without detailing exactly who is in the system. This will also limit botting.

 

In any case this is just a short round up some of the key issues in the game currently. They all kind of work together pushing toward a new kind of Eve… one that plays off of the older core “HTFU” concepts that made the game popular. The goal is a more conflict driven Eve that encourages smaller gang content. An Eve where resources, strategic positioning and loss actually matters again. Each one of these issues could have multiple articles written about them on their own. It was eye opening to read Jester’s reddit past a couple weeks ago. For those of you who haven’t I strongly encourage it.

 

Hit me pretty hard how far we’ve strayed away from Bob’s light. Like me he shares my concern regarding the way the game has become safer, more grind oriented and how much small gang’s taken a hit. I’m not saying it’s impossible to do small gang. But it’s not really meaningful. Some may be asking, “but what’s important about small gang? Isn’t that just what try hard nano gang gankers love?” I would say small gang is a metric by which we can judge how well players can group up with 3 or 4 of their friends and do something impactful in the game. Right now most of the null player base seems to crunch rocks, or join blob fleets to press F1 on grindy structures that don’t much matter. Hopefully the new wave of CSM candidates elected will take note. More likely it’ll be the same bloc level candidates blobbed through that’ll simply want to maintain the status quo.

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