Do you remember those times where you laid in bed late at night with some awesome idea for a game that you’d love to play? What about those times where people piped up on Reddit about how their brand new idea is the best thing ever that would make EVE so much better? I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Reykjavik, Iceland right now and I think it’s time to address something I see and hear nearly every day. I’m guilty of it myself, even.
Jumping straight to the moral of the story here and as something of a tl;dr, game design by community or by Reddit, or by a random guy on comms – it’s always bad. At least most of the time it is. Managing a game like EVE Online is a huge task that balances hundreds of different levers and you have to be so damn careful. Even what might seem like a small change to improve ISK generation for a marginal group can be exploited and turned into the main money-making method for everyone once they find out that the ISK/hr is good. The knock-on effects can be devastating to the economy, the playerbase, or really anything else.
On top of this, we have another little thing to consider: if you think up an idea for a game (any game at all) then it can often damage the potential for this to actually be included in the game, ever. Why? Because once your SKIN/cosmetic/game design idea is out on social media it becomes very hard for the company behind the game to actually use it without potential legal issues or otherwise. Listening to the community is great and we’ve seen CCP doing so in recent patch notes, but just keep this in mind when throwing your ideas onto the internet. Even an excellent idea can’t simply be absorbed into the game instantly.
So what’s my point? Honestly, the main reason for writing this now is because it’s a quick article to write. It doesn’t need 10 hours of Pyfa-warrior’ing. Let’s go through a ton of random ideas for EVE. From the relatively minor and what I would consider positive to the outlandish universe-flipping ones. I will also try to add an italicised section after some points to offer at least one counterpoint or other commentary.
Also note that not every idea is my own. It’s a mix of stuff I’ve thought up and things I’ve seen people ask for.
Ideas that are probably good
- Spreading scrams (or points) around different ships in higher end combat sites.
Potentially difficult to code to make it work properly. Would upset the balance of nullseccers being 100% safe right now.
- Access lists/logging of asset removal to facilitate safer communal hangars in small corps.
This is just something I think would be useful as a CEO. Doesn’t affect that many people.
- A better default UI that doesn’t require lengthy setup to make it usable in higher-end gameplay.
Or how about a full UI overhaul? Either way I don’t think there are any counterpoints to this beyond how the new default would be decided.
- Prevent Rapid Light Missile Launchers from being bonused in Wolf Rayet wormholes
This has been an oppressive and stale meta for years, leading to either very short fights or people being sat aligned out.
- Increased or exponentially harder damage cap on structures. The flat 30 minute time to kill is dull and discourages bringing more than the bare minimum.
Going too far would go against the reasoning behind this change in the first place. Let’s not instakill structures.
- Structure SKINs – It would be nice to have them!
Outside of dev time I don’t see any major issues with this. New citadel models would be welcome too.
- Finish weapon tiericide to do away with ‘Scout’ autocannons and the like. Bring in compact/precise etc. weapons.
This just takes a ton of dev time to accomplish and breaks old fits.
- More variability on mass and time for wormholes with smaller holes tending toward shorter lives.
I actually don’t see any problems for this beyond how it might affect the three C1 residents that exist.
- Cat ears pls
No counterpoint, I would like cat ears for Ashy.
Thing that sound good which might be (or are) bad
- Removing local chat in nullsec.
This already happened, everyone except wormholers hated it and quit the game 😀
- Allow frig hole rolling again.
Frig holes can be great with how they encourage fighting over pure hole control in wormhole eviction scenarios. And they can be controlled using EDENCOM ships anyway.
- Integrate Dotlan-style info into the game client itself.
While a useful tool, the proliferation of incredible intel for everyone is problematic. It can be used to hunt, but also very often to simply dock up and hide.
- Player-created SKINs (with harsh regulation over them).
If Forza is anything to go by, ships would be covered in nudes and swastikas…
- Increase the loot from wormhole space Avengers
While it would be nice (they drop almost nothing and are cap killers), the sites fundamentally need a total rework again. Drifter farming is too easy.
- Remove drone auto-agression to fix AFK PvE.
Honestly, I was shocked when this happened. It sounds so simple and easy, but the nullsec krabs freaked out and threatened to quit because they would have to.. play the game? Weird.
- No asset safety in nullsec.
Massive loot piñatas and such would be cool, but the nullsec playerbase would be incredibly upset.
- Remove the Magic 14 entirely right now.
This would just lead to a new set of skills branded as the ‘magic’ skills, the minimum necessary. I won’t deny that things like basic fitting skills are boring to level up though.
The weird ideas that live in my head
And to finish off this weird article after flying back to England: here are some of the ideas that I have thought would be cool. They are also very subject to the whole thing where player-submitted ideas are often trash. I can pretend to be Reddit for at least a little while anyway.
- A long-range weapon variant for Trig ships. Imagine a weapon that only works BEYOND a particular range. It would be very strong as a kiting fleet in smaller fleets, but it would die to brawlers very easily.
- New ships as a priority update. This might be my inner theorycrafter speaking, but could you imagine if the pirate factions had 3-4 frigates, cruisers, and battleships as options? Now imagine pirate faction destroyers and battlecruisers and you’ve got the juiciest update for me in the history of EVE ever. This is also waaay too much dev time. Still…
- Projected shield modules like in the AI-war games. Wouldn’t it be interesting to have a ship which can project an overshield of sorts onto others? Think about how WoW/FFXIV have barrier vs true healers. This would be the third kind of repping beyond armour and shield. To be able to put a really strong overshield on someone in one shot but have a cooldown. Maybe this can be EDENCOM logi hmmm?
- Generally taking “spell” ideas and applying them to ships and modules. Regular mechanics from many other games could translate well into EVE. Poison/corrosive weapon mechanics, shield stealing, more AOE, weapons and EWAR which overheat enemy modules! There’s so much potential beyond N+1 DPS balls that hasn’t been tapped into yet. I almost want to write an entire article about the potential this has.
- Drifter ship line. This was already an amazing post about this. It mostly falls into my category of wanting more toys to play with.
- NPC Paint Shop for SKINs. What if you had to pay Upwell or some other NPC group a fee to permanently fix a SKIN that you don’t own onto a ship. Or what if this handled corp/alliance SKINs. It could end up being a decent ISK sink while also fitting into the universe quite nicely.
I think I’ll close things out at that point for now. I’ll be back with a better (proper!) article next week 🙂