Eve’s Alternate History (meme)

I often look back on my two years in EVE and wonder what it would be like if I’d been around since the beginning. I’m pretty happy with the way the game plays now. No matter how many billions of complaints there are when CCP makes a major change to game mechanics (deep safes, electronic countermeasures, speed, ghost training), I am usually pretty happy with the end results. So, if the game is improving at a constant rate and I like it just fine now, would I have liked it enough to stick with it in the early days?

Jerry Ragnar, Mike Azariah and David Talvoces spent an evening posing the question, “What would you change about Eve if you could go back in time?”

Since this will no doubt mean something slightly different to everyone, I’ve formulated my own meaning. To me it means, “What long standing feature should never have been a feature in the first place?”

Let’s be honest, changing any game mechanic that has been in place since the early days is going to cause a lot of angst among the older players (or even newer players who have, in their limited time, come to rely upon it). And, any game mechanic that has been left in place for this long is still there because removing it would leave a gaping hole that’s difficult to cover; happily, I assume that if it had never been included, the hole would have been filled in long ago by a new feature.

The feature that I think suffers most from it’s-there-so-we-need-it is local. This is the feature which we must not mention out loud (writing is okay though); for if we do, the whole of EVE will descend upon us and peck our eyes out for daring to wish for the removal of the tool which is everything to everyone. It is at once the savior of those who fear PvP, the guiding hand of those who love PvP, the power behind the AFK cloaker and the omniscient intelligence tool.

There is no group who does not love the local channel for some reason; simultaneously, there is no group who does not loathe local for the same reason. Whichever camp you are in — hate, love or both — you will probably agree that removing local without providing some form of system intelligence gathering is likely to be a bad thing. That’s why it’s so great to imagine we could go back in time to when CCP made the decision to include it and simply wipe that moment from history (you’ve been erased). By now, they would have been forced to add some mechanic for intelligence gathering with more utility than the directional scanner.

Since we’ve wiped local from existence (phew, that was hard work), there’s no reason to debate the merits of local or it’s removal — at least in this post.

Edit: Other entries for this meme found here, here and here.


~ by paritybit on 2010/04/14.

7 Responses to “Eve’s Alternate History (meme)”

  1. LOCAL! Get Rid of LOCAL! OMG would that change the entire dynamic of the game. I woudl also agree that the ONLY way to get rid of it wihtout a mass upsrising is by goign back in time and erasing it. I like the site desing by the way. Looks very professional.

    • Thanks; I owe it all to WordPress.

      I’d still like local to go away; local kills immersion for me when I can pull up all the relevant data on a pilot before he even drops his gate cloak. I’m just not sure I want to debate it here at the moment. The EVE-O forums are already a cesspool of flames and panic, no need to expand it.

  2. I definitely agree that local does kill immersion and that it would need to be replaced with another mechanic. I disagree though that you can pull up the relevant data on the pilot. Knowing he’s there and knowing his intentions are two different things, as is knowing what he’s flying.

    I could see justifying local chat in high sec from a story perspective without killing immersion – like it is a CONCORD regulation that all pilots broadcast on frequency X, but it is hard to justify in low/null sec.

    • As soon as a pilot jumps into a system, you know he’s there — whether you saw a gate fire or not, whether he came through a wormhole or not, whether he just logged in or not. In all likelihood, if you care that somebody new is in system you’ve double-clicked on him and know his name, what he looks like, how long he’s been a pilot, what corporation he’s in, if he’s a friend or an enemy, what he wanted to write in his bio and if you look hard enough you can probably find what he had for breakfast. Sure, you don’t know what ship he’s in but you know in general what he’s capable of flying. This is doubly true if he’s a regular in your area — and in that case you probably do know what he’s flying. Also, if you have recent intelligence about that pilot.

      Pretty soon afterward you’ll know if he had friends. Because, again, you can see the names, corporations, alliances of anybody who jumps into the system.

      And you can determine all of this without being present at the gate when he uncloaks. You can do it from the safety of a station or your very own POS.

      There is no possibility for a failure of intelligence about what pilots are in a solar system with you.

  3. Interesting. I’d add that I usually have looked him up on BC already and know his killboard stats. 🙂

    The thing is, it does apply to everyone. He can see you as well. So it does level the system somewhat. Although I can’t imagine it changing now, it would have been interesting to see what would have taken its place.

    The more annoying thing to me is that I can’t see outside a station when I am docked. That just doesn’t make any frickin sense at all, all the stations I dock at have windows… I can see that they do! Why can’t I use them??

  4. Here’s where the “applies to everyone” argument goes with me: everyone has to poop so it applies evenly to everyone; does that make pooping good? Personally, I consider it a waste of time. Perhaps that’s too much information 😉

    I do totally agree about seeing outside of a station. From the notes of the last CSM visit to Iceland, though, it sounds like CCP knows there is a need to see outside.

    But, if you wanted to get terribly technical (which I’m sure none of us do) there probably aren’t a lot of windows you could see through from your pod to the docking bay through the dock doors and around the outside of the station.

  5. […] Some other opinions may be found in the blogs of 0.5 or higher and Victoria Aut Mors and Paritybit […]

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