Sunday, September 30, 2012

In Eve, content is you!

Now that I am CEO of our corp, I am looking at some things differently than before. One of the issues that worries me more than it used to: our inactive members. Even in a smaller corp such as No Fixed Abode, there are members who don't log on as often as they used to, and when they do they log off after a few minutes, apparently they only logged on to update skills. Most Eve pilots have times when the game just doesn't have it's usual appeal, so you're not as active as usual.. but from what I've heard from my corp mates, that isn't necessarily the only issue here.

When you live in highsec, CCP provides you with some content to fill your time: there is always a reliable agent that will hand you a mission and the rewards after you've finished it. It used to be that all agents would give different kind of missions, which occasionally forced you to run a courier or mining mission - or triggered you to do some exploring instead for example. But CCP dumbed down the agent system, and now you can be sure you will be spoonfed the kind of mission you are looking for. Boring perhaps, but for many pilots it's enough to keep them engaged for some time.

In nullsec, there are no agents to hand you a mission. CCP does provide content there, but it's much less obvious than in highsec. You can go exploring, you can run anomalies and there are belt rats abound, but this is no content until you choose to make it so. It is there, but it is just the basic materials, waiting for you to activate it.

In short: highsec is paint by numbers, nullsec is an empty canvas.

For some pilots who move to nullsec for the first time, this is quite a surprise. I distinctly remember that I was automatically checking for agents when I docked in my first nullsec station, even though I knew there weren't any. And so we went ahead and created our own activities, ratting and exploring and mining and pvp'ing, scouting the area, asking friendlies whether we could join them ratting.

Next time a nullsec newbie applies to No Fixed Abode, I will make sure to discuss this with him or her: you're welcome to join, but you'll have to show some initiative yourself to make nullsec worth your while. Conversely, as a corporation, we may have to pay more explicit attention to activating new pilots in nullsec, taking them with us whenever we undock to 'create content'.

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