Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday, I got distracted by this old-school indy title called SW:TOR. Have you heard of it? It’s kinda cute. Very linear, short, and looks pretty dated, but not the worse way to burn a few hours. Just don’t go in expecting anything major and you should be good. See if you can pick it up for $5 on a Steam sale, good value buy then. Does wear out your spacebar though…
But given that this is mostly an MMO blog, let’s get back to talking MMOs.
CCP has released some stats about the game a week after Crucible launched. The short summary is that the new Battlecruisers were produced, used, and blown up, and that more people are playing EVE now than pre-Crucible.
That last bit is both “well duh, expansions = interest” and “but Crucible was just for vets” pondering.
The biggest criticism around Crucible was that it did not contain a real ‘seller’ feature that would make headlines and draw in new players. The lack of Pandas, many suggested, is only going to retain existing players, rather than bring in those oh-so-important newbies.
Now certainly one week of data, especially the week right after an expansion, is not a clear indicator that Crucible ‘worked’ and that EVE is back to its growing ways. On the other hand, how many ‘dying’ MMOs return to near-peak levels in their time, expansion or not? Come panda-time, is WoW going to hit 12m+ ‘subscribers’? (better question, will WoW have half that pre-Pandas?). When EQ2 releases an update, do they, even in the first week, return to peak levels? The answer is, of course, no.
As for bringing in new players with a panda-like gimmick, I don’t believe EVE needs that right now. There are plenty of under-developed systems already in the game. ‘Fixing’ factional warfare would do more for the game than adding another half-baked system on top. Hell, even fleshing out what Incarna started, while not of high importance to bittervets, would be a better move at this point than something totally brand new.
Which is not to suggest that CCP should be done adding stuff to EVE. Hell no. New ships, new game systems, new PvE and PvP ventures; all of that is good stuff, especially in EVE given how the game just expands rather than shifts. It’s just that at this moment, and for the expansion after Crucible, I believe more good would come of fixing what is there than leaving it be and adding on something new.
While fixes might not make headlines on news sites, they do make players happy, and happy players attract other players looking to join in. And once there, they, and those who brought them, end up sticking around for a while. Some a very, very long while.