BB35 – Late to the Party

May 15, 2012

Now approaching its tenth year, the EVE Online player community has matured into an intricate and multi-faceted society viewed with envy by other game developers, but is frequently regarded with suspicion by the wider gaming community. 

Is this perception deserved? Should “The Nation of EVE” be concerned by its public identity and if so how might that be improved? What influence will the integration of the DUST 514 community have on this culture in the future?

[Unrelated and random bonus question sponsored by EVE News 24: What single button would you recommend be included on an EVE-specific keyboard?]

So, I am super late to the Blog Banter 35 party, having only started my blog a week or so ago. I had planned to wait for the next one, but eh… I got impatient. So here are my thoughts.

EVE’s reputation as a home for gankers, griefers, scammers and other unsavory types is not wholly undeserved, but it does get a disproportionate amount of attention – as in the real world, horrible events generally make better copy than good ones. People and organizations like Chribba and EVE University are well-known inside the community, but you almost never hear about them outside of it. In my own experience, the emphasis on all the scummy things you can do to other players in the game does keep some people away. EVE isn’t for everyone, sure, but I bet there are more people out there who could and would play it if our press wasn’t all about what horrible people we are to each other.

I think the best way to go about improving the situation would be to give more emphasis on the people and organizations that do good for other players, and on how valuable and precious it is when you do find people you can trust – and the deeper the trust, the greater the value. Use the cutthroat nature of EVE as a backdrop to enhance the contrast. Keep selling the cold, uncaring universe, but also do more to sell the opportunity for good people and strong community ties inside it.

As for what button I’d want, definitely a Launch Drones button. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in PVP and forgotten to launch my drones.

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