The Real EVE

CCP Quant's analysis of player characters by type of space

By CCP Quant's figures, three out of every four characters in EVE Online reside in high-sec space. Even if you assume that a substantial portion of this is comprised of alt characters of null-sec residents, that still means that well over half of all players operate almost exclusively in Empire space.

This is a tragedy, and is horrible for EVE Online.

The EVE Pretenders

No high-sec resident is actually playing EVE Online. Only players who operate in null-sec space (the elite 12 percent of all characters, according to CCP Quant's statistics) can legitimately claim that title. The Real EVE is a PvP game, and only a PvP game - no other activity in EVE Online has any significant impact or value. Null-sec residents only do ratting and mission-running and moon mining and complexes and other ISK-generating activities simply to cover costs of The Real EVE: PvP and fighting for sovereignty.

It is true that wormhole and low-sec residents engage in something that resembles PvP, but they do so without the ability to plant a flag and publicly declare their space. As a result, their kind of PvP isn't really EVE either. In fact, they are cowards for hiding in unclaimable space. This is probably because they suffer from a universal character flaw: they are unwilling to commit themselves to a larger purpose, and therefore, are just amateur null-sec wannabes, at best. Fortunately, so few people play in low-sec and wormhole space (a combined 10 percent of all characters) that we can discount them all as insignificant.

High-sec PvP is a laughable idea. Ganking, wardecs or dueling are not really PvP, as there is no lasting impact beyond asset losses. Just because two or more players are involved does not mean that combat in high-sec is meaningful. High-sec fights are just the strong preying on the weak - nothing of enduring importance is at stake, and therefore, there is no honor in it.

How to Fix EVE

CCP owes null-sec players everything. Null-sec battles and wars generate all the publicity for EVE Online, and are truly the only reason that anyone ever joins the game. Virtually all new subscriptions are generated by null-sec activity alone. Without the public relations engine of 0.0 politics, new entrants into EVE Online would dwindle to nothing, and CCP Games would cease to exist as a business. CCP's plan to lure new people in with a free-to-play option will fail if null-sec alliances don't create newsworthy wars to attract Alpha clone players into the game.

It is right and just, therefore, that CCP devote all their time and attention to the needs and wants of null-sec players, before any other player constituency. In fact, allocating valuable CCP development and customer support resources to cater to any group other than null-sec players is a poor use of time and money. In The Real EVE, the only things that matter are fighting and holding sov. Everything else is simply a wasteful distraction, and should be eliminated.

For example, EVE Online's science fiction theme, lore and backstory are unimportant. No one who plays The Real EVE cares about lore - it has no impact on PvP or on sovereignty. Imagine if CCP Games were to redirect the funds spent on pointless lore writing, video production, website development and artwork to improving the vitality of The Real EVE in null-sec space. No one would miss this extraneous misappropriation to meaningless atmosphere in the game.

There are far too many useless features in EVE Online. Attributes, factions, standings, skill training, ISK - all are unnecessary for playing The Real EVE.

In fact, if CCP stripped out all mechanics for resource gathering and building things from the game, EVE Online would be the better for it. Ships, modules and ammo should be readily available for free, so that players can focus on real EVE play, and not be distracted by mining, invention, manufacturing, hauling, market trading, exploration or anything else that takes away from the only important parts of the game: fighting and holding sov. The only reason for preserving player-owned structures in the game is that they provide interesting explosion fodder for combat operations.

Null-sec sovereignty - everything else is irrelevant.

The Only Space that Matters

The huge cancerous mass of high-sec, low-sec and wormhole-based characters is distracting CCP Games from focusing development resources on making The Real EVE better. In fact, the best thing that CCP Games could do is expunge the cancer and convert all systems to null-sec security levels, immediately. Eliminate Empire space completely. Get rid of the weird netherworld of low-sec space. Drop the lore-laden disaster of faction warfare altogether. Make every system claimable, even in wormhole space. Instead of starting them in meaningless NPC corps, place all new players (including all free-to-play Alpha clone players) automatically in null-sec alliance corps, where they will be taught to play The Real EVE.

Drop all PvE, industry and market mechanics from the game. In return, make ships, modules and ammo freely available from NPC stations. Let all players start with maximum skills, so they can fly anything. Discard any aspect of the game that isn't The Real EVE. Make New Eden great again, by converting it into a PvP and sov-holding paradise, everywhere.

Only then can EVE Online be saved. The carebear attitude fostered by the safety of high-sec will be eliminated, and all new players will be forced immediately into The Real EVE. The pretend PvP of low-sec and w-space will disappear, and those players will see the light and convert to honorable, sov-holding alliances. Sov warfare on a scale never seen before will break out, and the publicity generated will cause hundreds of thousands of new players to flood into the game. CCP's coffers will overflow with newfound wealth.

It will be a glorious Golden Age for EVE Online.


Note: the entirety of the preceding post is composed of statements I have read in EVE-related blogs, forums, and social media, or have heard in EVE-focused videocasts, podcasts, or at player gatherings.

In case you thought this wasn't satire, I would like to make you familiar with Poe's law.

My sincere thanks to a couple of fellow EVE media friends for the valuable input on this post. You know who you are.

Fly safe! o7