This month’s EVE Blog Banter comes to us from Manasi from A Mule in EvE.
Manasi asks: “How do we, EVE bloggers, adapt to changes as they are thrust upon us (speed changes, no more ghost training, all the dev blogs, etc), or as our lives make playing the game different (more time, less time)?”
The changes I've experienced since I started playing began with a nerf on certain ships' drone capabilities. I was a bit disappointed, since at the time I had a ratting base in a quiet corner of lower Syndicate and it cut my ability to chuck heavy drones at bs rats from my Myrmidon. That was fine by me, since I discovered I could pack a hell of a lot of medium and small drones into the Myrm's bay without a flight of ogres taking up the space. It seemed everyone else who flew Gallente was bitching, while I, who hadn't been playing long enough to have a set of tactics and expectations ingrained, simply shrugged and adopted new tactics. The change came hand-in-hand with shiny new graphics, so I wasn't particularly fussed.
Quite a few of the changes since then haven't really affected me, as a player. There was the nerf on security status, boosting the cost of engaging and killing; my response was well, fuck it, then, I'll stay outlaw; I have alts for highsec, anyway. If anything, it would be nice if I didn't have to pod so many people to get down to true -10 status. A pirate's gotta eat, ya know! It just seems a shame that the Weekend Warriors of Eve appear to have died out as a result, now that an afternoon's lowsec ratting isn't enough to repair two days' just-for-fun sec-wrecking.
I think the speed nerf was a great idea and had a positive affect on combat. It was easy to adapt to, and has (I think) increased the need for strategy and tactics when going into engagements. People will always be after the best win-button ship and setup, but QR balanced that out. Anything which kicks powergaming in the arse is brilliant, as far as I'm concerned ^_^
Ghost-training was never something I engaged in. Killing that did seem a bit like a money-grubbing tactic on CCP's part, but it also increased the investment people have to put into making capital-ship alts, again kicking the powergamer aspect a bit.
I'm glad they caved in to popular demand and let non-combat capitals stay in highsec. I have encountered (and spent half an hour orbiting) the Veldnaught while Chribba bantered cheerfully in Amarr local. Carebears make the world go round, and they should get to keep their highsec shinies.
Dev-blogs. I have to admit, I don't read these as much as I ought to. I think largely these are used to create a sounding-board from the player-base and get a feel for how well or poorly things will be received. QED: changes which do not go through Dev-blogs and are implemented without advance warning tend not to be so popular (see above regarding highsec capital ships). It's nice to know what our 'gods' are doing to enhance our experience of the world we're creating together. I shall repeat that: the world the Devs and players create. Without the player-base, the world is an empty shell; i.e. a failure. That's the last thing the Devs want, so of course they're going to keep lines of communication open. After all, it's not nice to the kids if you suddenly pour water into the sandbox to make it a swimming-pool instead.
Real Life issues. I'll admit, I'm on Eve more than I ought to be. I have coursework I ought to be doing, and even using the 'it's a shiny MSN!' excuse doesn't fly when you're browsing the virtual market in lieu of finishing that overdue report. My method of dealing with the RL-Eve interactions is simply to work with the situations. I do my coursework in college, away from the distractions at home (if I didn't have Eve, it'd be a book/sketchbook/Photoshop/dvd, so there's little sense pointing fingers at the game). If I'm away from an Eve-capable computer for three weeks (as happened last summer) then I set long skills and use MSN/Facebook/Jabber to chat with people instead. If I lack money... let's put it this way, my gaming bills cost me less than what most other people spend on alcohol in the same amount of time. I try to balance things as much as possible, and it seems to work for the most part.
In the end, changes to the game are there to stay, with the odd exception. I welcome them: they encourage players to think, adapt and develop new ways of doing what they want in Eve. They keep gameplay from becoming so routine that players don't have to think. The only way to stay at the front of the pack is to keep your mind open and go with the flow.