No, before you start getting all groan-y about yet another candidate entering the fray, I’m not actually running. However, I saw a really interesting post over on Neville Smit’s blog in which he laid out his CSM platform, even though he’s not running. It’s an interesting take on the same concept that powered the CSM Vote Match tool back in the day (is that site still operating?). Instead of finding a candidate from among the dozens available that you think you might like, take a second to analyze your own desires when it comes to CCP’s future development.
A Little More Lowsec Love
I’d love to see lowsec get a little love in the coming year. I know, I know, nullsec sov is the big thing and corp/alliance mechanics are hot on those heels in terms of CSM platforms, but a man can dream right? While it certainly does seem that lowsec is in a better place than it really ever has been before, there is still tons of untapped potential in that space. An expansion of faction warfare to include the pirate factions, dynamic system security ratings, and more unique features to the space (smuggler’s gates, neuroenhancement/drug use, etc) would be pretty awesome. As a person interested in lore, I think there is a ton of really great storylines that could be folded into lowsec space as well.
Bounty Hunting Reloaded
Hey, remember bounty hunting being a thing in EVE? Yeah, me neither. I still really would love to see a functioning bounty hunting system, particularly if it includes a revamp of the locator agent concept. Making money from killing other players as commissioned by other players sounds like just about the most EVE thing you could do, and while that opportunity does technically (through the current bounty system) and conceptually (through wardecs and mercenary work) exist, a more well defined ‘bounty hunting’ role in EVE would be fantastic. It would also be the one thing to convince me not to be a pirate anymore.
“CCP pls” – off grid boosting is a bane to solo/small gang pvp, raising the bar for entry quite significantly and discouraging newer players from entering the arena in the first place. Just get rid of it!
Greater Social Tools
Okay, so we had EVE Gate, which was basically intended to be FaceSpaceBook, and that REALLY TOOK OFF but I think there is pretty broad support in the community for greater social tools. However, most of this seems to revolve around NPSI communities, making corporations that aren’t really corporations, etc etc. Personally I think some of these proposals are not very well thought out, but the main issue I have with them is that they don’t address one of the more pressing concerns (at least from my point of view): the inability to be a member of channels on an account wide basis.
Obviously, this would require a great deal of customization, but the best analogy I can think of for what I’d like to see is something akin to the Battle.net process that Blizzard rolled out. Using that, I can have an account based friends list – particularly useful when one friend is obsessed with Diablo 3, I’m playing World of Warcraft, and another friend is doing nothing but Hearthstone. I’d love to see a similar ‘meta account’ system rolled out where you can be a member of a channel (or social group, however those things play out) across the board. I play on no less than 4 characters at this point (Scaurus, station trader, Beth Weston, and a TMC related character) with the potential for 2 others at any given time (RVB and a freighter/prober alt). How great would it be if I could just talk with my friends as I wanted in a convenient fashion?
New Player Experience
Right behind Sov Null and Corps/Alliances in the ‘most campaigned-upon platform’ this year is the New Player Experience. Having run it recently, I found it to still be largely unsatisfactory as a primer to what EVE is, what is in the UI, and how to use the various tools at your disposal. It isn’t clear upon completing the tutorial that you’re in a massive universe full of interesting characters and entities (both in a lore-sense and player-sense), nor is it clear that the tools at your disposal from the get-go are far more important than what ship you’re flying. Now, I’m no game designer, so I don’t have the time to try and figure out how to do these things, but I would certainly have some ideas about where to get started.
I’m genuinely curious to see what CCP Rise has up his sleeves in terms of the NPE, as that seems to be largely his baby (at least from a public-facing perspective).
The standard mission structure we have today is the same as developed just after Y2K. While EVE has done a more than admirable job in upgrading the game’s looks so as never to appear too dated, when it comes to the actual form and structure of the every day tasks players are faced with, there have only been additions – no revamps. See: Incursions, Wormholes, Exploration, etc. I’d love to see a ‘public quest’ system and randomly/procedurally generated mission content take the place of the current Totally Obscure Agent Needs 10 m3 Of A Thing structure. This would, of course, be a huge project, but it is never too early to get a conversation started.
Mining has seen more overhauls in terms of structure (moving Ice from belts to anomalies, for instance) but overall is the same completely massive, utterly boring experience it was in 2003. As with the Revamp Missioning goal, let’s start having serious talks about how this can be changed.
Overarching Goal: Bring EVE To Life
In terms of visuals, CCP has been on the ball with updating EVE. It seems a bit overdue that some of the actual structures of the game begin to be overhauled. Similar to the changes made to another 10+ year old game (World of Warcraft), there’s nothing wrong with trying out different structures for content delivery. Obviously, changes need to be balanced with the desire to preserve EVE’s complexity and depth – we’re not looking to turn our game into a theme park with free candy and soda on every corner, after all. The game can certainly be made more interactive and engaging on any number of levels, though, and should be.