One major contrast I see between the player base in EVE and the one in DarkFall is permanence, alliance loyalty, and the ability to recover and continue the fight. As I was reading the 0.0 activity report in EON, I was surprised and amazed at how many of the alliance names I recognized despite the fact that I have not been following the game for a few years now. In addition to this, I was also surprised to read the different approach to each conflict, and that even in major battles the conflict was between a set group of enemies rather than everyone showing up like in DarkFall. Now some of these changes can easily be explained by differences in game design, but I certainly don’t believe this is the only contributing factor, and this leaves me wondering why the territory conquest game is so different in the two games.
The first set of questions I have is whether EVE has always been like this, or was it closer to what DF is today in its early years? Did clans/corps and alliances raise and fall as quickly? Did key figures come and go as they do in DF? Was CCP still figuring out exactly how they want 0.0 to play out like Aventurine has in their first year of patching? And overall, is the stability and longevity of EVE’s major players more a tribute to the game design itself, or due to an environment where worthy foes are always around, always trying to one-up each other?
I ask this because I believe such stability and permanence is key to keeping a negative-sum PvP game going, and while DF has exceeded the expectations of many, it’s certainly still very much a niche game even when compared to subscription-based MMOs not called WoW. Tough defeats happen in both games, but I think what EVE has going for it right now that DF lacks in many ways is a solid community to retain those who end up defeated. In DF right now, when your clan or alliance gets crushed, there is not much to fall back on to regroup, and many times those defeats are both absolute (in terms of holdings) and swift, which I think leads many to quit. Obviously for the long-term health of any MMO, finding a way to retain those players is key, and in EVE I believe the community itself, rather than some CCP-lead development, is that difference.
What I’m left wondering is if Aventurine needs to do something major to help grow such a solid community, or if this is something that naturally happens in this style of MMO?