WoW player and iconic carebear Tobold’s recent attempt to ‘get’ EVE (or as is clear to anyone reading between the lines, and pointed out countless times in comments, simple experience it on a surface level in order to bash it and the overall gaming style) has confirmed something I’ve suspected for a long time now; kid players really need to stay in their kid games and leave the adults to play in theirs.
Relax, there is more to it than just that bit-o-flamebait, and by kids I’m talking more mentality than actual age, as plenty of ‘kids’ can act as adults, and very clearly lots of adults still require parental supervision to have a good time.
Take this post for example, where Tobold is complaining about the ‘bullies’ of EVE shooting him down when he entered controlled 0.0 space, and how he thinks EVE would be much better with parental supervision making sure everyone plays nice and everything is fair. Examples attempting to compare EVE to soccer are included in the comments, but really this part is all you need to understand just how far off Tobold really is:
You enter null sec space, other players will shoot you down, not just your ship, but also your pod. For no reason other than that they can and for no crime other than you being there. There is no strategic challenge in this sort of PvP, it is simply ganking.
I’m sure anyone who actually gets EVE just threw up a bit in their mouth over just how incredibly wrong not only the ‘ganking’ part is, but also how wrong the part about “no strategic challenge” is, but let’s continue.
A major component of a sandbox experience is that the players, not the devs, determine many of the rules everyone plays by, and that the environment itself is more world-like rather than a simple collection of activities. Want to make your piece of 0.0 open to everyone? You can do that, just like you can make it instantly KoS. Want to live in 0.0, you can do that as well, but unfortunately that will require you actually talking to others in an MMO and working with them.
Tobold’s take on what happened to him is exactly how any solo-hero reacts to something that disrupts their own activity in an online game: Why me. Every so often I get a similar reaction when I kill a gatherer in DarkFall; the all too familiar “why?” message from the victim. My response is usually “Welcome to DarkFall”, but the fact that the player even asked tells me all I need to know about how long that players is going to be around. It’s the wrong mentality, and its one that unless you change and adapt, you won’t ever ‘get’ the game.
Let’s take the above-mentioned 0.0 trip and play it out through the eyes of someone who DOES get a sandbox. First, you don’t just randomly fly out to potentially hostile space unless you are looking for a fight or to see how quickly you are going to die. If you want to conduct some business in that space, you know to contact the local owners and work something out. This happens all the time, and most of those ‘bullies’ will be more than willing to deal with you. In DarkFall, traders come to player cities all the time, even if that very same player raided the city the day before, just like he will the day after. All those terrible ‘griefers and bullies’ that only play for the ‘lulz’ won’t touch the trader, even in a game with full loot and no hard-coded ‘parental rule’ to stop them.
Second, anyone who gets the sandbox will know how a cheap frigate looks when entering 0.0. They get that you look like a spy or a scout, they get that if they let you pass because you in your little frigate don’t stand a chance, they are not doing their job in keep the space safe. The player entering knows about the world beyond his own character, he knows which sections are KoS and which are kill reds only. Point being, both sides get it. The gate crew is not griefing you for lulz, just like the frigate pilot is not shocked or angry that he gets shot down, nor does he view his killers as ‘bullying’ him. But in order to get this, you have to put in a little more effort into the game than just logging in and playing in your own little solo-hero bubble. That works in kids games that keep you safe with plenty of parental supervision to guide you from one controlled activity to the next, keeping everyone away from you unless you specifically ask, but it does not work in a virtual world run by the players, and everyone actually playing gets that.
It’s because of this mentality that I’m glad most solo-heroes don’t last long in a sandbox. They bring nothing but whining and cries for mommy (Trammel), they will likely never contribute anything positive to the community or progression of the world, not to mention the fact that there are plenty of other environments for them to go play in already. And as both CCP and Aventurine have shown over the years, you don’t need millions of players to churn out content at or above the level of a mass-market game, so having a smaller but more in-touch community is more of a bonus than an issue. So long as the servers stay up and the devs get paid, everything is peachy in the terrible, cruel, and unfair land of sandbox MMOs.
Bit of friendly advice: next time don’t come looking for mommy to give you a guided tour of the sights and sounds of the world, you might end up getting ‘bullied’. But to all those ready to play a game where people do keep score, where skill and smarts do matter, and where being a part of the community means more than double-clicking an icon and typing in your password, welcome. Just please don’t ask “why” when I cut you down.
Also, thanks for allowing me to remove Tobold from my RSS feed. You helpfully highlight his goofiest posts, so I don’t have to read all of them!
Reading your post is like entering 0.0 space!
Are you asking “why”, or trying to spy on me?
Well, no, I get it, I think. And it’s why I don’t play DarkFall.
See, this “know who owns what” and “negotiate with the folks that own it” and “know the local rulers” is honestly *exactly* like the Bullies in the Sandbox. Or the kids that rough up other kids for their lunch money. Or the prison yard… you need to cross these guys turf? Best to arrange it beforehand.
Now, I’m not disparaging this overmuch. Please don’t say I’m not saying this is a legitimate playstyle. Human society ordered itself like this for most of prehistory and much of history. But it isn’t civilization, it’s just roleplaying complete barbarism. Purest anarchy means that some local strongmen set up shop and everyone else pays tribute unless they are strong enough to knock him off.
That isn’t where I want to spend my entertainment time, though. Again, not saying that it can’t be fun, in a pretend world! But I’m already a serf in the real world. I honestly don’t have the sort of playtime to devote to getting to be more than that in DarkFall. I’d rather not spend my fantasy time on being either someone’s mook or someone else’s cannon fodder, thanks.
Again, I’m enjoying hearing about what you are doing in it, and glad that you are having fun with it. But it’s not for me, nor my family.
Here is the key difference between EVE and prison or even a playground at school: You make the choice to play EVE. And when you make that choice and hand over your money, you accept that everyone else is playing by a set of rules, which include how people run 0.0 and the ruler/serf ratio.
If its not for you, cool, no problem. If it is, enjoy. What I can’t stand is when people who clearly don’t want to play by the rules come in, and rather than learn and understand how things go, they start preaching about how this and that is broken, and much better things would be if they just played like WoW (or whatever game).
Agreed. But I did find the discussion useful for firming up my own feelings on it.
As I posted on both of Tobold’s threads on this, we’re back in the usual territory of one player trying to tell another player what “fun” is.
It’s not at all surprising that Tobold turns out not to enjoy playing EVE all that much. Who thought he would? As a would-be analytical blogger it’s entirely reasonable both for him to try out MMOs he doesn’t expect to enjoy and for him to discuss and examine his experiences. What does surprise me is how judgmental, proscriptive and didactic he is in his analysis.
Partly, I think, this is at least in part a cultural thing. SynCaine’s amusing explanation above of how PvP sandboxes work is very American. Tobold’s reaction to his experience is very European, specifically Central European. The legacy of centuries of warfare on home territory has led Europeans to look rather favorably at the idea of an authority above and beyond their direct control. The idea that someone is there to set rules to curb their own excesses is an attractive one. America, on the other hand, is still in thrall to the myth of personal freedom.
Whatever, as SynCaine points out, this isn’t a prison regime that we are looking at, it’s a private members club. If you don’t like the rules, don’t join the club.
Very astute observation in terms of culture, Bhagpuss. I think that’s very true. I’ve noticed Tobold’s attitudes to be decidedly more “pro-goverment” (as in more developer-regulated) than Syncaine’s, and these attitudes are roughly mirrored by each culture. Europeans tend to be much more welcoming of handholding and protection from on high than Americans, and Americans seem to be much more of the “let us do what we want” type. I could be wrong, that’s just my impressions. But I find it interesting that the quintessential games of each type are developed by the opposite culture (both Darkfall and EVE are from European/Scandinavian dev studios and WoW is obviously American). Strange.
So over simplistic, tons of Europeans play EVE. I’m american, very anti war, very anti authority, and what most people would consider to be “far left” and yet, I can separate REALITY from VIDEO GAMES. No one is really dying in EVE. Its a game with a set of rules that the players who play it tacitly agree to by virtue of playing it. Its like, you can be anti-violence and still play American football, because if you play, you’re agreeing to being tackled.
You’re not really “far-left” if you’re anti-authority. You’re just an anarchist.
Never knew that’s how us Europeans work!
“next time don’t come looking for mommy to give you a guided tour of the sights and sounds of the world, you might end up getting ‘bullied’. ”
Based on your response here, Tobold is right.
I guess it all comes down to Obi Wan’s, “It all depends on your point of view.” To those who like Eve and Darkfall, they are just wide open player driven sandboxes. To others it does seem like bullying. “You want to cross my turf then pay the toll. If not we kill you.” Numbers rule. Strength is king.
I wrote this on his entry, but I think what he fails to get is that 0.0 space is about Territory Control.
His sense of entitlement (that he can go where he wants) in a game where players OWN areas of space is the source of his ignorance.
He was trespassing. Plain and simple. And he got killed for it. Big surprise.
So I think this has less to do with the solo-hero than it does with that sense of entitlement. There are just some places you don’t get to go — or at least — safely get to go. Not because people are asshats, but because they OWN an area.
All this boils down to yet another reason why I think “Sandbox” is such a horrible term to describe these games. It’s a game about “Dominance”.
His sense of entitlement goes beyond just 0.0 though. Look at his mission running. He is mad it takes X days to fly bigger ships to get points faster, but he is at that stage only because he bought ISK and unnaturally outgrew level 1 and 2 missions. HE ruined that progression path for himself by paying to get past it, yet he blames the games design for now not having content he wants immediate access to. He also blames the design for facing a tough level 2 mission, again because he skipped the training phase of level 1 missions. He has yet to learn how the economy really works at the lower levels, because again he paid to skip all of that, and again blames the design and his incorrect perception that you have to ‘max out’ before you can trade effectively. I could go on.
Point being, his entire mentality is just plain wrong for a sandbox, yet rather than moving back to his themepark, he blames the design rather than pointing the finger at himself. He is by far the worst type of MMO player; the one he instead of leaving quietly to let others enjoy a game, cries and cries until (bad) devs cave in and change what they originally set out to accomplish (UO, SWG, etc).
I agree, Syncaine. I don’t want to bag on Tobold. I have nothing personally against him or his opinions, but his type is the reason we can’t have nice things.
And by nice things I mean choice, variety and interesting gameplay. His type is the reason we get the gamers that bitch and moan about difficulty and when things are made easier, bitch and moan that everyone can do it and it’s no longer rewarding. They don’t seem to recognize that DIFFICULTY and CHALLENGE not only go hand in hand, but are inherently part of the experience itself. They’re not something to be avoided and marginalized but to be embraced, adapted to and overcome.
The Tobold-type of MMO gamer wants the shiny, and they want it on their terms according to the capricious mood they happen to be in on a particular day. They don’t want to have to adapt to the game, they want the game to adapt to them. Which, honestly, is fine, but the problem is what you see–they become used to it, they become spoiled and entitled when a truly good game (WoW) gives them exactly what they want at every turn. Then when they’re thrown into a more “primitive” experience, one in which rewards cease to become simply a function of time and contingent only upon having a pulse, they kick and cry and wonder when and why the world suddenly became such a cruel place.
The world never changed, just the way it was presented to you. How’s that quote go? A society that gives up freedom for security deserves neither. Freedom and security are inversely proportional to each other. Tobold’s been living in a world where there is 100% security and 0% freedom. There is nothing you can do that the gods have not expressly decreed can be done. They have positive powers. They CAN do this and therefore you CAN’T do that. You are then moving into a world in which the gods have only negative powers. They CAN’T do that, but you CAN do this. Your freedom just increased a millionfold, but at the price of inherent, guaranteed security. Don’t be surprised then when you step foot in someone else’s space and the only law there is vacuous (no pun intended) and you’re shot down. What do you expect? You’re trying to apply the rules of Buddhism to Olympus. You’ll never survive until you let go.
“his type is the reason we can’t have nice things”
No, not at all Adam.
His type is the reason why MMOdom will fragment. Some game developers will make games for people like Tobold, some game developers will make games for people like Syncaine.
WoW will probably be the last game that makes a serious attempt at doing it all. (It does have world pvp and even territory control although neither really took off).
Future MMOs like SWTOR (play a story then roll a new alt for a different story), APB (shoot people, reload, shoot more people) and Secret World (shoot monsters, drink a bud, shoot more monsters) are reducing complexity so that consumers can make accurate choices.
We’ve moved full circle away from the UO experience of buying a game and having no idea what to expect.
I agree it will fragment, but not in the way you think it will. I think it will fragment into ‘easy’ MMOs like WoW, ones that cater to casual MMO players just looking to log into something and make a bit of solo-based progress, and then games like EVE/DF that are ‘true’ MMORPGs in both complexity and the time required to ‘get it’.
And I can’t wait. The market is big enough to support both styles, and once the distinction is a bit more defined, we won’t have nearly as much back and forth between the two groups over a game.
I agree it will fragment, and the problem I have with it is that the biggest part of the market is dominated by those who want the “easy” experience I’m talking about. Now don’t misunderstand, I have no problem with market determination, but at this point MMO gamers have been weaned on an experience that is patronizing, unchallenging and ultimately unsustainable, and they’ve been utterly convinced (by the developers and themselves) that this is the type of experience they want. Most games are like this, but I guess my point is I’m hoping and wishing for an MMO that comes along and blows that all away by offering a truly immersive, sandbox experience, one in which players can literally shape the world (not only through politics but in terms of ecologies and physical manipulation). As long as players like Tobold consume the same old regurgitated crap and open their mouths for more, we won’t get that. All we’ll get is partial attempts from underfunded and undermanned studios like Aventurine. Make sense?
Buying a game like UO and having no idea what to expect was a fantastic experience. I was there at the beginning of that game, and when it went carebear I quit. Not because I was hardcore but because it just seemed so pandering and groveling. Ugh. And that’s why I don’t play WoW anymore. It was always a theme-park, yes, but it also required a challenge, some effort, and didn’t just whore itself out for the masses. And no, I was never a raider. At all. So I’m not some elitist pissed off about welfare epics or whatever. Those who played in ’04 know what I mean. Yes, it had its problems, but it was a fundamentally different and more interesting product in those days.
Again, as long as the Tobold-type dictates the flow of the MMOG market, I don’t know if we’ll never have a truly self-determining, mindblowing experience from an MMOG. At least, not one that was specifically planned out on a notepad in a boardroom somewhere beforehand.
I’ve read your arguments regarding using “dominance” versus “sandbox” and I completely reject them.
Human beings in the “sandbox” of the real world seek and maintain territorial control.
The “sandboxes” some of you folks seem to want in the game world are by their nature artificial and stilted….
Meh. I just don’t like the word. I think it’s vagueness leads to too much discussion about what is and is not a sandbox.
Rather than focusing on the underlying features that make a game distinct.
Darkfall and EVE are very different games and yet, they are often held up to each other and other games for comparison.
The result is that you end up with prominent bloggers like Tobold and Syncaine making these broad generalizations. It’s the exact reason why Tobold can twist my latest post about Darkfall into why EVE sucks.
Nevermind that I don’t agree that my issues with DF even exist in EVE. Nevermind that I wrote that Darkfall is a great game. Nevermind that to a lesser degree, the problem I named with DF exists even in games like WoW (albeit to a lesser degree).
/rant off. Sorry for digressing. The selective editing was a little irritating.
You should point that out to him and hope he does not delete your comment.
I get what you are saying about the sandbox term, and I agree that it’s not a perfect term, however it still works more often than not, and I’d rather not type out something else just to basically say ‘sandbox’ each time. Most people get what someone is saying when they say it, and those who don’t are usually trolling more than anything else.
I get that. It takes a lot of effort to NOT use the word. I should know, I self-edit myself all the time to intentionally not use it.
In some ways, it’s like trying to write about MMOs without using the term MMO. And perhaps for similar reasons — after all, what’s Massive?
While both types of games are very valid and there is plenty of room in the genre for both types fo games (sandbox vs theme park) to flourish…i agree with Syncaine that what i don’t like is when a fan of one style tries the other style and declares it broken or a failure or here is what they need to do to fix it yada yada yada. Play the game you like, enjoy it, and leave the other side alone.
Personally, i started out enjoying the theme park PvE games much more than PvP/sandbox games. I loved EQ for example and it’s my favorite game to this day. But then the PvE games started becoming more and more casual-friendly (thank you WoW) which had the effect of removing challenge, which led to a really watered down experience sorely lacking in the fun department. I turned to pvP/Sandbox games to get some of that challenge and fear (in a good way) back into my games and it’s worked for the most part.
I’m still a fan of PvE and if one of those games would be developed more in the vein of the old EQ non-instanced competitive long character development style (curse you for bailing on that original vision and then failing miserably Vanguard)…i’d be all over it. Don’t see that happening though after WoW so i’ll stick with the Darkfall’s of the genre for now.
Wish i could get into Eve. Tried it for a while and while i like the concept, my avatar being little 3d Ship icons just wasn’t my thing. Now a space sim in actual “humanoid” 1st person combining ship/space battle components with regular non-space battles on different planets or whatever…what i always hoped any Star Wars mmoprg would be…that i could get into. Alas, that will never be as well.
Maybe not exactly what you want, but a revolution non the less.
I think he is a victim of the game’s scope. He is simply trying to experience all aspects of the game simultaneously, while not specializing in any one aspect and seems committed to a largely solo experience. Most of his assumptions are largely incorrect and based on a lack of understanding of the game and its mechanics.
Killing an unknown frigate pilot to protect your PVE players deep in your territory is just smart game play. That player could be a cyno alt with the capability of calling in an entire fleet in your interior systems. That one player in a frigate could easily disrupt industrial operations by attacking mining ships and haulers.
Zipping about in someone else’s space is risky, but certainly manageable with the right ship setup. Not sure on what he was flying, but based on his own statements that he is training for battle cruisers and medium weaponry, I doubt it was something fast or cloaky.
I so much WANT to enjoy pvp but I can’t. #1 I stink at it #2 I don’t have the time to devote to getting un-stinky
I agree that Tobold went into EVE with the wrong mindset… by his own admission on his blog he went to 0.0 space to see if the stories were true, well.. they were. He shouldn’t be getting upset when he had heard the stories.
Keep writing, i love reading about the excitement you have playing. :)
What Tobold misses is that Eve is a team game. There’s a lot of why can’t I be Emperor? and I got ganged up on but there’s no sense that he wants to be a part of something big.
It’s actually very like Vanilla WoW.
I was disappointed with his post. He’s usually reasonable but it was very passive aggressive to him to call everyone who plays Eve “bullies”. It’s like calling everyone who plays Rugby or Judo “bullies”. If you’re small and weak it may seem like they are bullies but in their mind they’re just playing a game to have fun, not to hurt anyone.
Tobold and most PVE players in the guise of being “nice” are in fact grossly anti-social.
Tobold is so anti-social that he made no attempt whatsoever to gauge the social rules of the environment he was in ie 0.0 space in Eve. He made no attempt to make friends, figure out who his enemies were, figure out what the rules were etc.
He just assumed that his rules should apply to this gamespace.
As a metaphor- imagine Tobold as a hobo wandering into your frontdoor in real life and then saying to you “dont mind me man… im just questing”. That’s profoundly lacking in social graces.
I don’t agree with you often, Syncaine, but this is one of those times. All of Tobold’s posts have made it quite clear he’s not attempting to learn and play the game by it’s own rules, but rather to compare and contrast to WoW and complain about the differences.
The fact that he finds having to take time to build up to bigger and better ships to be abhorrent while taking time to build up to bigger and better dungeons in WoW (leveling) is a-ok great just points out the depth of his bias. In WoW, you can’t expect to start running a level 50 dungeon on day one anymore than you can expect to start running a level 2 mission in eve before you’re ready.
A lot of his complaints just seem bizarre to me. I’m much more of a themepark player than a sandbox player myself, but I still didn’t have any trouble getting up to flying battleships and tech 2 cruisers in EVE. I progressed through the missions in a normal fashion, and I managed to never die since I stayed in high sec. *shrug* I never had the problem with missions that he seems to find insurmountable without training up to battlecruisers for level 2 missions 0.o
His inability to recognize the value of players to a fleet in low cost, low tier, low training point ships is also baffling. It doesn’t take long to train the skills for tackling, and a tackler is a valuable part of a fleet even though they’re not toting big guns in a battleship.
So, yeah, I have to agree with you. Instead of writing multiple posts Tobold could have summed up his points with the following sentence: “It’s not WoW, so I don’t like it.”
This is the same guy that compared dragon age to world of warcraft, two totally seperate genres.
Why are gamers so divided over genres? Is this medium becoming more like the others (cinema and music)? Where the metalheads rip on the pop fans and dialog heavy drama fanatics look down their noses at the latest Will Ferrel movie? Just reading over the comments here and at Tobolds I am getting the impression it is. Which is good, it might mean this industry may be taken more serious much like the other forms of entertainment.
I like Bhagpuss’ cultural analysis. Makes great sense.
Syn, thanks for linking this. Tobold has epic status as a WoW blogger and has spent hundreds of hours min/maxing on elitist jerks and bosskillers, but can’t be bothered to talk to players in EvE to learn about the depth of a completely different game. When I pointed out how lazy and weakminded this approach was, his response is we are all bullies, and don’t play “fair”…
Dude, the stink of failtard is strong in this one.
Rock on man. Never played DF, but love your blog. Keep ’em coming! Veni, vidi, vici.
I think Tobold’s Eve posts have the opposite effect of what I think he hopes to accomplish with them. After I read them, and then more importantly read the comments I get the urge to play Eve. Especially the comments on his 0.0 trip show how an amazing game Eve is. It is some of the best commentary on the game I’ve read. All that thanks to a thick headed WOW player.
EVE is a remarkable piece of technology. It’s a (at least, seems to me) fully realized economic simulator with a lot of complex interactions on every level imaginable, all the way up to the intense meta-game outside of the game itself.
I lasted about three months.
It was so intimidating and complex and intricate, I knew there was no way I’d be able to dedicate the time and effort necessary to enjoy the experience the way I wanted to. While I was playing I’d sit and wish I could see and enjoy all the aspects of the game I knew were there but couldn’t participate in, and in the end I just stopped playing because of it. I knew I’d have a hard time keeping up with those who’d been playing longer and I knew the social effort required to really succeed and really see the game for what it is was more than I was able or willing to put in. 100% my problem. But I had a hell of a time for those three months. If you have the time and ability, I say go for it. If you don’t, reconcile yourself to the fact that you’ll be limited and you’ve got to be okay with it.
Awesome to hear…. I’d strongly suggest getting in the eve-blogger channel when you do try, as the people there will be extremely helpful, and offer good advice.
Contrary to what “some” would have you believe, the vast majority of eve players love seeing a new player start out… just don’t do what Tobald did.
As an aside, I’d say the problem is not the “why?” question, but the context in which it is used.
Ironically, if he’d contacted the people that had podded him, and asked why they did it (explaining he was new)they would have probably given him some good advice.
I’ve had some good conversations over the years I’ve played with people I have shot, or been shot at by.
As for the infamous “you can’t catch up” argument… I started playing in 06, 3 years after teh game began, and even then it was a common refrain. Now 4 years later, I can fly ships I only dreamed of when I started….
… the true irony – my wife that has played for just over 6 months, and already as ships I have never flown.
It is near impossible to do everything in eve, so there is always ways to beat the old players….
In the 129 + 153 comments Tobold has gotten about this subject he has shown some interesting personality traits. I wonder why he only responds to the weakest arguments :3
What he does is responds to the arguments that make easily refutable criticisms against his METHOD of argument, rather than the substance of argument. Someone says “You can’t call them bullies” and he says “I can call them whatever I want,” focusing on their words rather than their meaning, and so on ad infinitum.
I never understood the so called tobold ‘hate’ from SynCaine until now.. Tobold always put up a good front of being the ‘nice’ guy when he really turned out to be a ego driven tool that just likes to hear himself talk while being comforted by a bunch of sycophant blog followers.
As much as he tries to act like a worldly MMO expert and player he’s completely shown himself to be devoid of any credibility or expertise, all he can do is state his opinion without debate and shout down anyone with a credible debate or counter that he’s always right because it’s his blog, his opinion, his sandbox.
I’d be tempted to call him the Glenn Beck of MMO gaming but that might be too cruel and on point.
Both Tobold and Syncaine fall prey to the exact same fallacy but from different sides of the issue.
The fallacy is that there is a “right” way to play an MMO.
They both think they are right and vehemently so, and in doing so pigeonhole themselves and their following into the same narrow view perpetuated by their own notion of the truth, which is anything but.
There are at least as many “right” ways to play an MMO as there are players, everyone determines their own level of enjoyment from an MMO based upon their own personal goals. To call any style of play “childish” or “adult” is just as big of a mistake as believing that there is only one “right” way to play.
MMOs are designed such that they provide an entertainment service to their players, a games objective success is determined by their profitability. ALL MMOs are interested in having as wide a player base as possible because the nature of the business is that churn rate is very high so a steady stream of players is required to remain in business.
Even the so-called hardcore are subject to this reality and why for instance all of the so-called hardcore have been required (voluntarily so) to add features that the extremes of the player bases simply find baffling. Eve and DF have very care beary functions, DF recently added new player protections. WoW runs quarterly PVP tournaments, and has hundreds if not thousands of items that take tons of time to attain.