Thursday, December 16, 2010

EVE Blog Banter #23: Rome wasn't built in a day, neither was New Eden

Welcome to the twenty-third installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
With Incursion giving us glimpses of what Incarna will have to offer (the the Character Creator), this month's topic, by @Minerpewpew, comes just at the right time. He asks "What are your thoughts on how Incarna will effect the current EVE Online social dynamic?" I'd like to see this questioning go a bit further. How will this affect EVE's player base? Who will Incarna attract? New players to the genre? Seduce old players back into the game? Will we see new players come in that will never leave their station? Please explore to the best of your abilities!
EVE Online is a game about spaceship combat. Right? I mean, in the end what ever you do in this virtual world, the result is some ship, somewhere, somehow, gets blown to smithereens! That's the whole purpose of the game right? Not quite so.

EVE has always been a lot more then just blowing ships up, whether against NPCs or real flesh and bones opponents. New Eden is a world of traders, miners, industrialist, mercenaries, espionage, political intrigue. And so much more. Over the years, CCP has built upon this universe of alter egos to create much more then a "game of Internet spaceships".

Over three years ago, when we first saw glimpses of - as it was called then - "Walking in Stations" all of a sudden EVE was no longer just about Space, about Ships, or Asteroids and minerals. Suddenly our avatars were no longer simple portraits. They were no longer this abstract concept of a body in a capsule within a powerful spaceship. To some, this was the promise land. To others, an inconvenient waste of precious developer resources. To many of us, it was a far away illusion that could not be grasped. Like sand in water.

Incarna has the potential to a lot for EVE Online. If CCP plays its cards right, Incarna could be the most important expansion to launched. But the window of opportunity is very narrow, and the potential for disaster exists, even if it is small.

If Incarna is to be successful, it will need to
  • No impact on the current game as it is. That is it must not create lag to the "spaceship game", or be a requirement for those who do not wish to partake (missions for examples should still be accessible from docked ships)
  • Be more then a simply avatars in an empty station. It needs to provide a means to create, to manage, to interact in a constructive and fun way with patrons (other players). And from what we've seen demonstrated, CCP understands this very well.
  • Be part of the EVE universe, and not simply a separate game within a game. 
If done well, Incarna will attract both some of the current players - myself included - curious about this new land of opportunity, and new players for whom the personification of an avatar is important. Let's face it, some MMO players out there have a hard time identifying themselves with a spaceship. We don't, they do. And Incarna will be a way to bring them in New Eden. At first they may not venture outside their station, but some will. And a whole new world will open up to them.

Now I can see a few of you already raising their hands and jumping up and down to tell me that CCP shouldn't change EVE, just fix what's broken and let the spaceship game be. I also hear the others that say that Incarna is just a test bed for the other MMO CCP is developing - which I believe involves fangs if I'm correct. You're all correct. But Incarna is a lot more then that.

Incarna is a means by which CCP will attract new players, new paying customers. Revenues which will help both the current "spaceship game" and the up coming "avatar game". It's a delicate balancing act yes, but one which I believe they can deliver. With new players, comes the assurance that EVE will continue, that it will evolve. Not everyone will be pleased of course, but who would expect that.

We've been waiting a long long time for it, but I for one am willing to give CCP and their Devs the chance they deserve.

And I hope to see you walk into my bar, sometime in the not so far future, and we can share a pint of whatever it is that you drink. The first one will be on me!

Participants List:
  1. BB 23: What comes with Incarna? | A Mule In EvE
  2. Captain Serenity: Eve blog banter #22 - Force Fed
  3. Blog Banter XXIII – Incarnal Desires | I am Keith Neilson
  4. Blog Banter 23: Nobody Will Use Incarna — the remix « OMG! You're a Chick?!
  5. Confessions of a Closet Carebear: Blog Banter #23: Who enters the new incarna(tion) of EVE...
  6. Depth of Vision (Blog Banter 23) | Interstellar Privateer
  7. Blog Banter #23 – Shiny « Roc's Ramblings
  8. Drifting: The 23rd EVE Blog Banter (December 2010 Edition) - Topic: Incarna
  9. Blog banter #23: The Incarna effect « Diary of a Pod Pilot


Ilix E'ka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ilix E'ka said...

Hi CK, thanks for adding me to the blogroll. Here's a link to some of my thoughts on Incarna:


shackdavid said...

Am at present testing Incursion on Sisi (Test Server), Can't wait for it to go live :)

H said...

Here's mine :)

Anthony Thurston said...

I tried this time around with my first ever video Blog.

Redundant blogger said...

A topic worthy of discussion. We may either embrace walking about a bit or become reluctant to do so. Whatever happens I'm certain that New Eden will become a richer and more diverse place to call home.

I for one am eager to jump in feet first. But it's always wiser to look before you leap...

Cliches aside here's my contribution from many moons ago:

Knee Anderthal said...

CCP will surely meet its goal of encouraging microtransactions in EVE by offering shiny things for sale in Incarna, but the content within the stations will be what drives people's sustained interest, and what I've seen from CCP on that front so far is dubious.

My contribution to the banter: