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Posts Tagged ‘eve’

Hat tip to sid67 on the PLEX angle:

You want risk in your game?  Something that can really kick you in the head for failure?  Play EVE and try shipping some PLEX.

I’ll pass on that one, but as sid67 notes, this seems to play right into the EVE playerbase, and may well be sound business on CCP’s part.  It hurts to fail when you’re involved in risky behavior, but some players like that.

I’ll also point out that this was something that the player chose to do, not something that the system imposed (a crucial difference).  Sure, PLEX units are now destroyable, which is dev-imposed, but choosing to risk it was something that the player did.  Also, the pirates risked the destruction of the PLEX (which ultimately occurred) with the ship’s destruction.

Player-defined risk, playing with dev-created toys.  Interesting stuff, if you’re so inclined.

Speaking of piracy, though, the Machinarium guys have a “Piracy Amnesty” sale going on for their game.  It’s available for $5 until the 12th.  Apparently, 2DBoy (World of Goo, annoyingly pirated rather extensively) isn’t the only indie developer team to have trouble with pirate scum.  So, if you’re up for a good adventure game and don’t mind tossing $5 at some guys who do good work, drop on by the Machinarium site.  Is it a perfect game?  Nah, but it’s worth it.

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Hit the Dirt

So, if Gamasutra is to be believed, this “Dust 514” thing is a new CCP (of EVE Online fame) project that introduces a “dirtside” aspect to the EVE universe, specifically for console gamers.  It’s supposed to be a part of EVE, inasmuch as the “EVE proper” players and the Dust 514 players will have effects on each other, fighting on different fronts in the same war.

That’s a different notion of MMO console/PC cross pollination than I’ve seen so far (including the Champions Online proposed console version, not unlike FFXI’s PS2 version).  If anything, it reminds me a bit of Savage, where you could be a “general” commanding troops in typical RTS form, or a “foot soldier” on the ground, executing the orders firsthand.

I like it.  It’s an interesting idea that lets the devs tailor the gameplay to the hardware and the player base.  PCs and consoles do have significant differences between them, and it’s smart to play to the strengths of each.  I’m not sure if the different sets of players will play nice, or if the intersection will be significant enough to offer some fun interactions.  Still, this looks like a pretty cool idea.

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I was prowling the Escapist’s latest issue, and happened upon this little article:

That’s Entertainment?

One point that Mr. Zacny makes is that game themes have polarized to the dark, immature “M” rated stuff and happy shiny pretty world, with little in between.  I exaggerate a bit, but there’s truth to it.  I have to wonder:  can gamers handle subtlety?  Do they want subtlety?

Framed in MMO terms, currently everyone is a hero (or a scrub who is just training to be a hero).  I touched on this back in Fewer Heroes, MMOre Adventurers.  Where are the games that allow for small, modest, humble lives?  I’d argue that the social framework of an MMO is the best place for such subtlety in games, since you’re dealing with a large variety of players.  There will be those who just want to stake out a mining claim on the side of a mountain, or plant a small crop and build a house, or make a pub and cater to travelers.  They can’t do that in real life, so they do it in a crazy, fantastic alternate world.

A Tale in the Desert and EVE apparently have some of this sort of “low key” activity going on.  Notably, I think that they are possibly the biggest MMOs with functional, in-depth economies.  Puzzle Pirates has a good economy, but isn’t quite the same sort of game.

More and more, I believe that a vibrant, healthy world with room for subtle lives and player creativity will need a strong economic model and a healthy crafting suite.  Yes, there should be opportunities to be the Hero, but sometimes, it’s enough to just go to the digital equivalent of the Cheers pub; a place where everyone knows your name, and it’s OK to just relax and be some dude whittling a new trinket.

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EVE Exploit

There has been a bit of a kerfluffle about this incident, where an EVE exploiter broke the system and released the dogs of war.

Stealin’ Stuff in EVE

I’ve seen more than one commentator use this as an excuse to whine about RMT, considering that the pirate in question was able to translate his ill-gotten gains into subscription time via the GTC-ISK translation.  (Buying subscription time with in-game currency.)

I’ve written before that making time and money fungible in a game economy allows for more players to buy into the game, because they can do so on their terms.  That’s the nature of a real economy, and giving players options in line with that makes for a more robust game population as well as a more interesting in-game economy.  Puzzle Pirates, for example, can be played to its fullest without spending a dime.  Other players subsidize parts of the game by buying doubloons, and other gamers can trade the in-game currency for those doubs.  You can either pay with time (and someone else’s money via the doub exchange) or with money of your own.  That flexibility is excellent for the user, and Three Rings still gets money for doubloons, since someone had to buy them.

No, the real villain of this little morality play is the exploit. Taking advantage of a loophole in the game code to generate disproportionate wealth is against the game rules.  What is done with that money is a completely separate concern, and as far as CCP is concerned, the GTC-ISK trade function is completely legitimate.

Exploits are one thing, and economies are quite another.  There are certainly exploits in economies, but in this particular case, the game bug that became the currency fountain is the problem (as well as those who exploit it), not the “RMT-lite” ability to buy game time with game currency.

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