Monday, September 15, 2014

Star Citizen. Threat?

Every two and a half days someone suggests that Star Citizen is going to kill Eve. Every third day it is Elite: Dangerous that will spell certain doom for our own brand of important internet spaceships. However, are these really a threat? Well, yes and no in my opinion.

No doubt SC and E:D had the potential to be great, fun games. If it was not for my limited monthly bandwidth I'd have paid for the Beta for E:D already. However it appears to be much more of a twitch game. Get a flight stick and throttle, Oculus Rift headset and pew-pew away. Whilst there is "space trucking" and missioning, its no Eve and I cannot see how it can compete in the long run.

SC is too hyped. Even if it lives up to half of its hype I can see people getting bored quickly. Instanced PvP and more than likely heavy enforcement of rules. Scamming, ganking and all the underhandedness that makes Eve so popular won't be in SC. It'll be WoW in space.

However is it just those two? Isn't nearly every game is a threat to Eve currently. My personal opinion, and one echoed be quite a few players, is that the game is stagnating. What have we got to look forward to? What is the next big thing to hit Eve? What are we all excited for..... whats the next hugely anticipated feature to arrive in Eve-O..... erm.....

A Revamp of the Corporation and Alliance UI!

Wow.... I cannot wait.

I mean Hyperion had some good stuff for wormholers but for me, its embarrassing to say, but the bit I was looking forward to was the introduction of some more vanity as this will help some "art" shots for my fictional Fridays. Yup, that is pretty sad. Oceanus has even less. Cloaking effect is cool but its a graphics heavy expansion that has nobody excited, again!

Whilst the corp and alliance UI revamp is absolutely and totally bloody needed as its pretty terrible at the moment, 90% of Eve are unlikely to ever see those panels. What else have we got to look forward to? Erm.... we have no idea given CCP's policy of keeping quiet following the star-base/POS rage that kicked up in 2012. They have a point though, far too may players took "We would like to do......" as "We are 100% absolutely going to do this....." and then raged when it didn't happen. Apparently its a hard distinction for some to make between "We have this idea we are thinking about...." and "We are 100% doing this"!

We know it is Corp/Alliance UI then starbases and POS and then 0.0 Sov and then new space and player built stargates but we don't know anything more than that. So we have limited stuffz to look forward to at a time many are getting bored with a stagnating game.

There are a few reasons Eve Online has lasted so long. One of them is that every six months its had a big expansion. Something new and exciting. I wonder how many current players would still be here is The Empyrean Age hadn't deployed? Would subscriber numbers be at current levels if we'd never had Apocrypha? I don't think so. Its these that have kept the game fresh.

This is the biggest threat to Eve Online. Star Citizen, if it is released whilst we are still in this state has the potential to take a lot of players away. Same with Elite: Dangerous. Then again, so does every other game. I'm playing more Titanfall, LoTRO, RimWorld and Stronghold Kingdoms than Eve at the minute.

It is the community and the freedom of the sandbox that has kept Eve going. For a game famous for its toxic community, we players know better. I cannot see how SC will have the same longivity as Eve simply because it is unlikely to have the same level of community.

SC and E:D are likely to be shoot 'em ups more than the vast player-driven sandbox we inhabit. Whilst in the short term they will hit Eve hard, I cannot see them being a long term threat.... providing CCP do something to refresh Eve in the next 6-9 months.


  1. Probably the nearest thing to an EVE alternative (I'll refrain from "killer") is Seldon Crisis:

    It's currently up on Kickstarter. It's a dark horse (and they really need a copy editor) but as far as being something that could appeal to EVE players, it looks a lot closer than Star Citizen is. I mean, Mission-style PVE is a stretch goal.

    Their fundraising goal is also a lot more modest than Star Citizen's.

  2. EVE is combination of three primary features: shared persistent sandbox, non-consensual player interaction, player driven economy. Spaceships is only a secondary aspect, in many ways. So I fully agree about Elite and SC not being competitors -- any people who would leave EVE for those games were bound to quit EVE at some point regardless.

    Despite what certain blog ranters and forum warriors would have you think, the reason EVE has survived, despite all the various incidents and current lack of big new features, is simply that they have managed to find a unique working balance point between those three key factors. It is an extremely difficult and fine balance point: tipping the scales slightly one way yields Uninteresting Instanced "Single-Player-MMO" with in-built Chat #23424, whereas the other way yields constant meaningless gank deathmatch.

    To take a more positive view, as the current generation of WoW youngsters, and also people drawn into MMO gaming by Elite/SC, become tired of mindless gear progression (the old Elites were essentially done when you finished shiny-ing up your one ship), we may see new players coming into EVE (or a genuine EVE competitor -- ArcheAge? maybe not) looking for something more substantial.

    It's likely if CCP were in a position to deliver amazing new content at each turn, they would. The fact is, parts of EVE are ~10 year old software, and unfortunately it seems they cannot do so until the current round of revisiting both previous game design and, I believe mainly, engineering decisions is done. Inadequately constructed/maintained software ages very quickly, and a lot of money is spent on legacy software problems. For my view, Python is one of the worst languages they could use for this sort of work.


  3. PCU at 12:00 EST on a Monday is 27,816 as I type this. Summer is over, kids are back in school, and I don't see anything like the 50,000 plus Eve used to get on a Sunday. And yes, the PCU is correlated to future sub rates, as accounts that are not logged on slowly lapse.

    CCP listened to the null sec - online crowd, and destroyed high sec. Whatever derisive comments you may have for the high sec players who just wanted to go about their own business, they were the bulk of the sub base.

    The next jesus feature will be new space, serviced exclusively by the null sec player gates, which will do nothing to draw back the high sec players, as they do head to Star Citizen, or something equivalent.

    Now, is Eve dying? Doubtful. CCP has pared way back on expenses, so it will still be profitable for the foreseeable future, based solely on the hardcore players, and the reduced operating expenses. But do I see CCP ever rising back to the heights of a couple years ago, prior to the consolidation of null sec courtesy of the cartels, and the subsequent decimation of high sec and wormhole lifestyles?

    Not a chance.

  4. Every game is a threat to EVE, and Star Citizen especially so. It's right in EVE's gorgeous spaceship game wheelhouse, with a development/launch budget CCP can only dream of.

    It doesn't matter that one is much more of a twitch game than the other, nor that there are any number of other overlaps. One game or the other is going to be more appealing to particular demographics on any given point. There's only room for a certain number of MMOs in the player base.

    Star Citizen is going to steal players. How many and for how long depends on how soon and how well (and whether) SC gets to market, and how well EVE innovates in the meantime and afterward. I hope that CCP *can* give Roberts some serious competition, as both games will get better.

  5. I think there are a number of upcoming games which will appeal to EVE players, but playing Devil's advocate (at least with regard to Elite and Star Citizen), they offer a more immediate and connected gameplay experience. Where the new competitors deliver a FPS twitch element, EVE has a more RTS approach, so there's room in any gamer's stable for both/all titles depending on the kind of gameplay you're in the mood for.

    I mean, it's not like EVE is a particularly hands-on experience a lot of the time, you could probably even play both at once (whilst waiting for fleet/sitting in TiDi/mining rocks, etc.).

    The more EVE-like clones which are starting to proliferate would pose a more direct threat if any of them ever saw the light of day, but I'm not holding my breath. Besides, EVE has the advantage (although admittedly a double-edged sword) of experience, fully-developed and rich content, and an established community.

  6. Ur comparing apples and oranges man neither of these games is a mmo. Simple as that. This is like saying x from beyond or sins of a solar empire is going to kill eve. I played freelancer 12 years ago enjoy for elite I will buy this game for sure but lol themepark equivalent games wont kill a hardcore sandbox mmo ever. Swtor had space ships and it was an mmo lol if it wasn't themepark trash it had a way better chance of killing eve.

  7. Also where is that good stuff for wh at???? All I can find in wh now is empty space and the acu is even worse then I expected ccp is killing eve not any other game.

  8. I see a game like archeage as being able to pull subs from EVE. sandboxish, PvE, but more PvP based. the other thing is it out and running.

  9. "90% never see those panels" ...and don't you think that there's a slight chance CCP might actually deal with fratricide (that duel popup looks custom made for intra-corp goofing off and preventing neutral RR safaris), or maybe tone down the depth of penetration a raw recruit has in a player corp, or even perhaps encourage veteran CEOs to actually feel comfortable opening their doors to n00bs in the hopes that 5% are actually genuinely not alts out for griefing fun

  10. Every game is a threat to EVE, and Star Citizen especially so. It's right in EVE's gorgeous spaceship game wheelhouse, with a development/launch budget CCP can only dream of.

    Star Citizen will kick ITS ASS!!!!