Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blog Banter 47 - If Knowledge is Power....


So this month's Blog Banter will gravitate around knowledge, specifically EVE knowledge. Some examples of topics to cover: Is EVE too complex for one person to know everything? Is it, in fact, too complex for one person to know everything about one topic? How do you maintain any knowledge or skills related to EVE over time with breaks and expansions? Does CCP do a sufficient job documenting the features of the game, and if not, what could they do better? How does one determine where the gaps in their knowledge even are?"

First off I'd just like to thank Mat/Siesmic Stan for keeping the Blog Banters going post CK and good luck to Kirith as 3rd Supreme Overlord of the Bantarino's!

Right, what was Ripard Teg on about? Oh yes knowledge, Eve and documentation. Actually there are sort of five questions in the topic for BB47 and I think I'll answer each one.

Is Eve too complex for one person to know everything?


Is it, in fact too complex for one pers.....

Hang on. I'll just elaborate on that first answer. Have you ever looked how big Eve really is? Its mahoosive. Do you dabble a bit of everything in game? I doubt it. Unless you have an army of alts it is unlikely. I do not see Eve as a single game. It is many games rolled into one and what one person does in game might not what another sees as enjoyable. But that doesn't matter. The game is so big with so many paths, there is something for everyone!

I lived in sov null-sec once as part of a large coalition. Boring! The space in Vale of the Silent was empty and when there was a fight it was 500 BS and all you needed to do was jump, lock, F1, repeat until you become primary and are insta-popped by the alpha from a few hundred battleships. I am sure people will disagree with me on the null-sec thing and absolutely love it out there. I personally love small ship, low sec PvP. I know others that hate it. We all find our niche in our area we enjoy.

Ask me about T2 production and I'll say "Erm you need to invent a BPC with datacores and some loot thingy decryptors or some sort and then you need some moon goo materials and then cook them with a T1 hull and some other bits and there you get a T2 ship!". Now I have not looked that up. I seriously don't know if that is right or wrong. But ask me about fighting with a 10mn Thrasher in faction war plex's and I could go on all night.

Eve is huge and I doubt anyone (who has a job, a partner and a life) can know everything about everything in game. And that includes the developers!

Is it, in fact, too complex for one person to know everything about one topic?

Well I don't know. Please see my first response! I don't know anything about moon mining so I don't know if that is very simple and you can learn absolutely everything about it in an afternoon or so complex that the experts in moon mining in Eve are snapped up by NASA as soon as they are identified! Those making T2 Matari ships certainly are.....

In my area, PvP I would think there are only a few who know everything. In PvP you may know all there is to know about the ships you fly, but what about those you come across? That Drake, is it HAM or Heavy? Both may require different ships and different tactics. What is that? I wonder what that ship does? Not got time to look as here he comes!

I've been PvP'ing now for four years. I have flown or fought nearly every combat ship in the game from titans to battle badgers. But I still have no where near what you could call total knowledge on the subject. In fact we are all constantly learning and then that knowledge is rended useless by CCP when they change something. Three years ago who would have expected they'd be so many T1 frigates and cruisers zipping around low-sec in 2013? It always was battlecruisers and T2/Faction ships. Since tiericide huge rafts of ships are suddenly not only viable PvP boats, but are also bloody fun to fly!

A new slot layout and new stats threw all the old knowledge on how to fly these ships out of the airlock. We had to EFT-Warrior new fits, talk, discuss and try out.

So the answer to the question is no, but also yes in some areas. Depends how you define topics. Some areas of Eve are small, others are vast.

How do you maintain any knowledge or skills related to EVE over time with breaks and expansions?

With regard to breaks, you don't. There is no way you can do that. When you come back it will be time to face the learning cliff, although as an ex-player it might be only a slightly tall wall this time! We've had people take a break, comeback and boggle at how the game has changed. When they left we were flying Hurricanes and Hawks, now Breachers and Tristans are clogging up the station undock. It can be bewildering to come back to the game after a long break to find you get your ass handed to you in a fight you'd have won hands down before you went AFK for 6 months.

How do you get back into it? With me.... and you.... and you, and you (actually better stop there, getting a bit Saville!).

The primary way to find out what is new and shiny is from people. Corp mates, blogs, Twitter. The patch notes might give you the mechanics but they don't say at any point "A dual web, rocket, 400mm plated Hookbill will give your enemy a nasty surprise!". The best way of finding out these changes is to be in an active group who talk about the changes.

Does CCP do a sufficient job documenting the features of the game, and if not, what could they do better? How does one determine where the gaps in their knowledge even are?"

Who here reads the manual? Real men don't need manuals right! Could CCP do better at documenting features? Probably. Should they? I don't know. For new bro's then the experience has always been painful. But how much resource would CCP need to put into creating useful documentation for every element of the game. It would be huge.

Then, how long would it last? When the next expansion comes in and an area is shaken up, that documentation would be obsolete in some areas. So we get back to Eve as a "sink or swim" game where new player try it, scratch their heads, give a puzzled look and bog off to something easier.


In the end, is that the draw of Eve? There is no instant gratification to be had here. No "Press button, receive bacon". At the start you are really limited in what you can do in a massive and complex game. You need to invest time and effort into that game. You specialise, you find your niche in the game and move on from there. You learn, some you teach yourself, some times others help. You improve, you pull yourself up. Then you find you cannot do it all alone. You need other people who specialised in other areas. Suddenly you need the player in Massively Mulitplayer!

1 comment:

  1. I still play eve because of all the choices that are around. One day I am in my stealthbomber doing naughty things and the other inventing T2 stuff so the day after I can build and sell them. FYI, your thing on T2 ship inventions is pretty much how it goes. The crazy choices in game are what makes this both frustrating and fun. Add in all the meta gaming stuff and it becomes clear why we still play this crazy game.