Does WIS have a place in EVE?

eve online incarna wis

Walking in stations and the Incarna update of 2011 was met with widespread criticism, following which CCP Hilmar stated that the EVE developers would focus their time on the traditional EVE online game play aspects. Whilst CCP ultimately was starting to change its course and make a move in the right direction the reason for doing so was based on malformed logic by CCP Hilmar.

Looking at the media surrounding the event it’s all very carefully crafted for its PR impact so may not reflect CCP Hilmar’s actually understanding of the complaints being made by players. At its core the complaint came down to two things:

  1. The introduction of micro transactions and fear of this escalating to pay to win play.
  2. The lack of station based play mechanics we effectively just got a solo lobby.

Do these two points alone mean that walking in stations or even micro transactions for that matter are bad things that should never be in EVE Online. I don’t think so and think there are positive and viable uses for both walking in station and micro transactions.

Personally I spend somewhere between half and three quarters of my EVE time docked, whether that’s installing industry jobs, adjusting market orders or just talking with corp mates they’re all station based activities. These activities present some great opportunities for station based gameplay lets address the most obvious first station based corporation lobbies and establishments.

One of the first stumbling points for many EVE Online players is finding a corporation to join the whole process doesn’t feature predominantly enough to encourage new players to get involved in the most enriching part of the EVE experience. Finding a corporation is an activity that would be much better in a station environment perhaps first starting the game in a training academy in station you could then walk out towards your ship for the first time past a bunch of player corporations’ recruitment bases. Straight from the off you set this expectation that the player is joining a game driven by its players, you also let them know that they need to graduate basic training before most of these corporations will consider taking them on.

These recruitment stations would effectively be the reception room of player corporations with a connected corporation members only area, this helps encourage players to dive straight in and join small local corporations in the area where you’re already playing making it easy access gameplay. When I first joined EVE I didn’t spend any time researching my future home I jumped in when I learnt how dysfunctional they were I then moved home after more research, but this time in a dysfunctional corporation educated me and got me hooked on EVE. Right from the second I could see the failure of a corporations leadership I saw something to strive towards which saw me bouncing between all sorts of different positions in corporations ever since always looking to better my predecessors.

At this point in the recruitment base features could be integrated for security checks to prevent the need of setting up and handing over APIs. It would be great to see a player’s trades, contracts, contacts, wallet journal and their communications right there on a big screen inside the client allowing recruitment to be a more immersive activity less dependent upon external tools. During these security checks you could go through the normal interview questions and generally introduce the player to the corporation.

The next walking in station feature I player would likely see would be a corporation lobby this is effectively an area with games and gambling where you can not only socialise but also pass some time if you’re camped into station or simply waiting whilst the fleet forms up.

Games in stations would be a great way to pass the spare time that we seem to have as capsuleers. EVE always involves waiting whether that’s waiting for industry jobs to finish, fleet to form up or simply waiting to have enough guys to respond to the enemy. All of these things are extremely boring right now so 2-3 games that are station based would be awesome I’d probably aim for a mixture of twitch game play, strategic turn based game play and then a variant of Poker. All of these games should have the choice to gamble for ISK too as us EVE players are very competitive in our nature.

These actual features for a recruitment centre and corporation lobby could work alongside more decorative elements too, some of these could be player industry based and others unlocked through AUR purchases for those corporations who really must have golden furniture. At the same time we’d also have more incentive to better interact with our current wardrobe options and New Eden Store clothing options. Right now having so many clothes is simply a waste as 99% of the time you’ll never see below a player’s neckline. With establishments for corporations you’re bound to start seeing role players create corporation uniforms too which right now is rather pointless as you don’t truly get to see what other players look like.

Moving on to something even more involved science and industry jobs could have related mini games to provide a bonus for individual players. Take for example being able to optimise build costs by completing a mini game related to in station hacking and stealing research data from NPC corporations on BPO optimisation. The final benefit of this should be somewhere in the region of 1% so that it’s small enough that it can be ignored without too much of a financial impact but big enough that players are actually rewarded for their time. You’d even see more experienced players see it as a necessity for example in jump freighter production where savings would be higher potentially adding up to 10% to final profit.

Similar games could be added for invention for example you take an invented BPC and you try to fine tune it through a game. This lets you increase the ME and TE up to the maximum of 10% and 20% respectively but each level of the game gets progressively harder and more risky with the BPC being destroyed if you don’t succeed. Not only does this add a profitability element it also adds in risk and reward too which is one of the core foundations of the game.

The main thing is mini games should be both engaging and difficult it should be something that varies through different play throughs and can catch you off guard. No easy mode and a real taste of the EVE Online learning cliff right there inside station true to the same values upon which EVE Online was formed.

Further reading: I know many of you will have little love for WIS with that in mind I’m spending the rest of today exploring the Crius changes. Later today I’ll be updating the Crius patch notes to reflect the latest build currently on Singularity. I’ll also update with any additional news or new Crius features that are announced throughout the day in their own posts.

  • Nige

    “It would be great to see a player’s trades, contracts, contacts, wallet
    journal and their communications right there on a big screen inside the

    Not this. Any time spent in this direction would be better served improving the Corp roles/security model so that API disclosure is no longer necessary until high level positions are considered — by which time the Corp should know enough about the person anyway.

    Tesco don’t need access to my bank account before employing me as a shelf stacker, so why should AnyCorp Mining need it if they want me to mine for them?

    • Danny Centauri

      The biggest problem here is that anyone in a corp can shoot anyone, so its not as simple as applying for a job at Tesco.

      If everyone at Tesco’s carried guns you could pretty much guarantee they’re recruitment would be really security conscious too.

      • Nige

        And they’d do it by stopping me from taking my gun into work, *not* by checking my bank account, scanning through my Ebay purchases, or jumping the postman on my doorstep :-)

        We’re getting exemptions from fleet-warping. Hopefully a “no target/only logi + web/total awox!” option is just around the corner…