Disclaimer: The following article was written by Angelica Everstar. All statements made in this piece are hers and not EN24’s
A long, long time ago, in a space game called EVE, people started to join corps to avoid getting CONCORD’ed when they killed their apparent “corpmates”. This was considered a good thing by some, but really, really bad by many…
(Skip next section if you don’t care about the author’s reason for writing this)
The main reason why I wanted to write about this change is that I can’t help but feel somewhat responsible for this change that I also think is much needed for the game. After spending some effort trying to get this changed through different means, I finally had some success at last year’s charity dinner at Fanfest. During Fanfest, one of the head honchos at CCP was very interested in the issue. He wanted to refine my idea from removal of the corp “Concord exception”, to something that could be switched on and off. 9 months later that very idea was announced as part of the upcoming changes for corps, which have lead to many posts on the EVE forum.
(AWOXing, for the purpose of this article, only refers to the mechanic that corp mates are not protected by Concord.)
I personally don’t know why AWOXing was originally introduced into the game. The version I personally thought to be most believable, was it was to stop people getting CONCORD’ed when they were doing missions with corp mates and accidentally shot a corp mate before there was anything called a safety button. Just imagine the amount of petitions this would have created when the game was brand new.
Many people have used this Concord exception for many good things, like corp events, testing of fits and avoiding being CONCORD’ed while doing missions with friends.
Later we got warnings from shooting people that could get us CONCORDed or lose security status. This was improved again as the “Safety Button”, which automated the reply to the annoying popup box. Later, CCP introduced a dual feature so we could also test fits safely from Concord regardless of our corps.
EVE has moved a lot from its original design where corps were the largest organization. Now coalitions work together, despite the fact that not even alliances are fully implemented yet from CCP’s side. With the upcoming changes to corps and alliance structures to come, this was a good opportunity to fix some old issues.
So what is it that AWOXing does? On one side, there are a few people that take part in AWOXing, and they enjoy it so much, that if removed would probably leave the game. Some would likely just change their game style. AWOXing leads to the destruction of assets and brings a higher level of metagame to EVE. It also makes the game harsher and more complex, some would argue.
On the other side, AWOXing leads to many players leaving the game. It led to RL consequences and paranoia. I have heard about and experienced this first hand, through my years of being an alliance leader. Sure, some of these players were not a great loss, but many were.
I have heard of people having to give personal details to be able to join corps, having to meet in RL or similar things to be able to join basic HS corps. All because these corps happened to be afraid of AWOXing.
I personally always saw AWOXing’s largest damage to EVE through what it does to corps’ recruitment. CCP has stated repeatedly that new players are much more likely to turn into long staying players, IF they join a corp. I’m not afraid of the number or kind of players we are losing because they got AWOXed. It’s all the players that leave, because they never got into a corp. The grey faced masses that tried EVE, and never really got the hang of it, because there was no one to help them just a little, or make them feel part of the game. Let’s be fair, most of us would still not be playing if someone had not helped us at some point along the way. The tutorial and “new player experience” leave a lot to be desired. And as much as I love EVE, the main part why I’m still playing it is the relationships I have forged over the years.
The number of corps currently recruiting freely in EVE is scarily low to me, and for good reason. It’s a lot of work to have a basic chance of un-avoidable AWOXing, and there will be some good players that did not.
That is precisely what it’s about…But that is exactly what we need.
It’s no secret that CCP has been firing people and that the number of bitter vets vs. newer players has been growing. This all means we NEED to become better at turning new players into real players that stay around. And as any good alliance or corp leader knows if you’re not recruiting, you’re dying. I know that this change will come at the cost of AWOXers and a bit of the harshness that is EVE, and that some asshole will have to come up with something new to do in EVE. I’m sure that they will find some new way to be a dick.
I’d also rather have more new real EVE players coming into EVE, than AWOXers in the game any day. We might even see a huge change in many corps’ recruitment approach and in how coalitions are formed—who knows.
I for one am looking forward to this change, and am planning on bringing a gift to a certain CCP dev at this year’s Fanfest as thanks.
Written by Angelica Everstar.
EVE entrepreneur and hibernating alliance leader.
[For more information regarding the proposed changes Funky Bacon’s post goes through the fine details]