Eve Online’s miners’ strike signals uncertain times for the space MMO

World War Bee 2, the largest and most expensive war in the MMORPG’s 18-year history, ended earlier this year. However, as the warlords have returned to a more ‘normal’ mode of operation, they have discovered that the massive space game is different now than it was before – and many have disliked what they have found.

On the weekend of 13-14. November, thousands of players from both sides of the massive conflict came down on Jita 4-4’s main trading center and fired salutes at the assembly yard orbiting the planet. They had organized a protest over proposed changes coming to Eve Online’s industrial systems, described in an Eve Online developer blog published earlier this week.

Even the best MMOs are quite complex, but Eve Online is notorious for its complexity. In the blog, Eve’s developers suggested changing the way the game handles mining. The idea, says CCP, was to make the process more interesting than it has been historically, by adding new systems for mineral compression and waste. According to the plan, miners will have to compress materials (ore, gas or ice) as they bring it on board their ships, and this process would involve losing a certain amount of material as waste based on a number of factors – primarily equipment quality and mining.

As it stands now, it happens instantly to compress minerals so that they can be efficiently transported to a refinery, but the proposed system will change that: players would have to manually compress raw minerals, and this would only happen at a speed determined by skills and number. of compression modules installed on their mine ship. In addition, loss of materials such as waste can cause corpos to deter or even prevent new players from participating in any valuable mining activity.

Meanwhile, CCP has implemented changes to other key systems – especially the construction costs for capital vessels, which now require more resources and supply chains.

It’s clear that many of Eve’s most experienced players feel disconnected from the CCP

All of this, combined with some planned nerves for popular mining ships (especially Rorqual), made some players feel as if Eve Online was pulling the rug out from under them. Miners worked hard to earn the ISK they needed for their setups, and the combined changes threatened to make it impossible to achieve profitability with these ships.

The CCP’s promise of an ‘Age of Prosperity’ sounded rather hollow to miners. Even with the double the amount of resources available in the galaxy, the new mechanics seemed to obliterate any advantage they could have offered, all the while routine tasks like mining became more cumbersome, tedious, and time-consuming.

One of Eve Online's bloodiest conflicts

Worse was it, at least in the opinion of a few players, that the changes seemed to make it impossible for new players to catch up with the established players, and thus for new companies to ever challenge the large institutions that have existed for years.

every single one of us involved in this publication has read every single post on the forums and a lot on Reddit

Sæmundur Hermannsson

Brand director

Kazanir, who heads the Empire’s finance team, says the past few rounds of economic change have played a major role in shaping the outcome of World War Bee 2, which left Goonswarm still standing after spending many months under siege by the PanFam Alliance Please Ignore .

“The industrial changes that took place in the spring have really made it probably somewhere between 10 and 20 times as difficult to build any capital class of ships, the endgame ships that you need to handle structures and conquer space, “Kazanir tells us. “When they first came down to the final constellation that we had, they did not have the ability to replace capital ships very easily anymore – one could not build new ones for the price.”

It is not just a calculation of how much a ship is worth, Kazanir explains, but also the uncertainty of whether a particular ship is worth building at all. “Cost is a bit of a question mark because no one actually knows how to gather the amount of resources you need to build a significant fleet of new capital ships. It sounds crazy, but it’s really true.”

Some players have invented conspiracy theories about the changes and postulate that they must be part of a scheme from CCP that aims to increase the engagement number of its new parent company, Pearl Abyss, which bought the Eve Online developer in 2018. Most experienced players dismisses this kind of talk as ‘tinfoil chatter’, but it speaks to a gap that players feel has been widened between them and the developers, many of whom started as players themselves.

“Here’s the problem,” says a frustrated Ranger Gama, a director of the Empire and another member of its finance team. “They’re not listening to the players, majority. They’re listening to one person. They can find one person and listen to them. Then they make 20 of us say, ‘hey, we do not know where you have that number, but it’s not really.

A ship leaving a spaceport in Eve Online

Clearly, many of Eve’s most experienced players feel separated from the CCP and are frustrated by the economic insecurity that has been introduced by the combination of new mechanics, adjustments to aging economic systems, and the end of a years-long war. Eve’s last two annual Fanfest gatherings, traditionally held in Las Vegas, have been canceled due to COVID-19. It’s not hard to see why players feel alienated from the game they have grown to love and feel a sense of ownership over.

However, the CCP says that player feedback is very important – in fact, the developers say that there is literally nothing that means more to them.

“I think I can say for sure that every single one of us involved in this release has read every single post on the forums and a lot on Reddit,” says Saemundur Hermannsson, brand director at CCP. “We want to take in everything from the constructive feedback as much as possible. And luckily, Eve players are extremely smart. ”

Hermannsson points to a recent blog from Brave Collective’s Dunk Dinkle, which digs into the dev diary and provides some insights based on Dunk’s time with the patch on the test server. Hermannsson says that this post, other blogs like it, and ongoing discussions internally and with Eva’s elected Council of Stellar Management have formed a kind of ‘think tank’ that has been invaluable in setting a course forward.

The changes in the spring mean that it is between 10 and 20 times as difficult to build any capital ship


Head of Imperium’s finance group

The developers are already making significant changes to the upcoming patch based on feedback from the dev diary. The compression mechanics that players resented, for example, are dropped.

“I think it sounded better on paper,” says CCP’s product director Snorri Árnason. “The original timer, which was set to how long it would take, was simply set up drastically for a long time. It was inadvertently both boring and long, but the plan was simply to create a decision point … it was meant to “It should create an interesting choice, but we’ve missed the point. We’re simply pulling all the compression stuff out of this release, wholesale. Compression is not a thing in the new proposal.”

Another thing that can help smooth things out is the return of the personal Fanfest event. Community developer Peter Farrell says the team misses the closeness they have been able to create with fans at these festivals and that they are looking forward to the first personal event since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is currently scheduled for 5.-8. May at Laugardalshöll Sport Center in Reykjavík, Iceland.

“We’re really, really happy about the end of Fanfest coming back,” Farrell says, “because we’re going to see these players, we’re having those conversations in the hallways, in the pubs, just talking about things. So that’s something. “I personally’m really looking forward to it. And it may be less, but it’s just this little reinforcement that goes on top of everything.” Árnason says that the work that CCP has put into modernizing Eve’s backend makes it easier for the team to respond to player feedback as well.

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“We’ve created our systems to have better controls utilized on our system, to be able to say, ‘Okay, I hear you, let’s just raise the bounties by 5%.’ “And it’s a dial instead of 50 or 100 dials. So yes, if I could say anything, it is that we are definitely working on the feedback and we hear you loud and clear.”

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