Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Everything Helps Vets More Than New Players

In EVE it is commonly believed that any given change will always help older players more than newer ones. This doesn't really make sense. If you make a change, and it helps vets more, and you switch it back, it can't help vets both ways. So in theory we could be assured of helping newbies by reversing previous changes that helped vets, thusly the law is a contradiction.

The most important thing to actually move forward however is to look at WHY a change will always be more helpful to a vet. The most important aspect is alts. Any change that helps newbies must have a relatively similar positive effect upon vets because new vet alts will benefit from these changes. Boosting training time on new accounts? Faster training for alts. And a vet may have dozens of alts, which is dozens of times more benefit from the change than a newbie gets.

This alt effect is the major reason for the whole issue. NPC corps can't be war-decced? Fabulous. Vets put JFs and freighters into NPC corps. Moreover newbies must pay taxes to NPC corps from mining and ratting while the major value for vets does not involve taxable income. Vets also are far more adept at avoiding suicide ganks while newbies are often clueless so the lack of war-decs really doesn't protect newbies but is massively beneficial for clever vets.

Its true that there are changes that benefit vets without being alt based but clearly alts are a massive issue when trying to buff only newbies.

The major issue in EVE is lack of regulation. In order to be all sandy and what not players detest regulation. Scams? Only hurt newbies. But fuck those losers anyways right? We could fix margin trading scams any time if we really wanted but the internet sociopaths would probably drop a pipe bomb on the EVE monument or something.

What's the fastest simplest way to nerf force projection? Banning alts. Imagine if you had to have a real life individual person manning those cynos? Who would sign on to a null sec alliance just to sit in a station and man a cyno all day? You'd have to fly cyno ships out to every system. This would massively diminish the ability to spawn capitals half way across the map because you heard someone fucked up a titan bridge.

Now before you all lose your minds, CCP would then be able to change the gameplay to be more friendly to an environment where people couldn't outsource tedium to alt characters. Currently all gameplay changes need to be balanced around how easy it is to scale an activity with an alt.

I'm perhaps the poster child for overuse of alts, at the current time I possess over 300 characters and can successfully multibox 10 subcaps or up to 20 titans or supercarriers in a fleet fight. I know that a lot of the methods I employ to prepare for the PCE would not be possible in an alt free EVE Online, but then perhaps I wouldn't need to launch the PCE to clear out the stagnant, decadent, bloated nullsec coalitions that are generate by EVE's alt addiction.

The real question is, while alts may relieve the tedium, is that worth the massive impact they have on gameplay  and gameplay changes? Could removing alts and reworking the game mechanics be the necessary option for CCP to create engaging, dynamic, thrilling gameplay? Are the benefits of alts worth the costs?

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