If you look on page 76 of the December minutes, you will see a very in-depth discussion on what CCP is doing about having live events in Eve Online. The CSM was impressed that CCP has increased the number of permanent event managers from two people to nine. In addition, CCP has opened up another 6-10 devs to help out when developing teams for Live Events. The information that they discussed was very informative and they go on for a good five pages discussing the ins and outs of what makes a good live event.
They were also completely and utterly wrong.
Both the CSM and CCP were on the same page and the on very same playbook.. the problem is, the playbook is the same one that has been used by Everquest, Lotro, WoW, and pretty much every MMO since they started. Think about what they are wanting to do, what they have done in the past: An event happens in a system and everyone who wants to join flies there to have the fun. A system duplicated by every other MMO.
Now, that playbook works because in games like Wow, Lotro, etc. it takes only five to ten minutes tops to drop what you are doing and get to the location where the event is happening. And if you wanna leave, its only five to ten minutes to get back to what you were doing. It is a playbook with zero hassle in most MMOs.
But, in Eve Online, it is the exact opposite. Eve has almost 8000 systems. A ten minute trip in an interceptor means you’ve gone through ten of those systems, just ten. But let’s not forget the time you need to get the right ship, the time it takes to rearm, time it takes to avoid gate camps, etc., etc. etc. As it stands, the vast majority of Eve players probably will never ever get to participate in a Live Event if they are continued to be held this way. Especially if the goal is to only have them once or twice a year.
An More Aggressive Live Event Plan
Now, what if, instead of CCP being passive about players joining Live Events, they were more active. What do I mean? Well, currently Evewho shows approximately 225,000 corporations. While that is a lot of corporations and alliances, we can take out a LOT of those if we remove holding corps, single member corps, dead or dying corps (i.e. CEO/Director activity less than three logins a week, for example). We can further lighten the number by removing corporations with 10 to 20 or less members. This should bring the number of corporations you can interact with to a more reasonable number.
Let’s now suppose, that instead of a couple of devs or GMs going to a particular system and starting a “Live Event”, they randomly select a few corporations based on certain criteria, contact them, and give only those corps a live event for that day? Sounds daunting, right?
Well, let’s look at the numbers. If you have 9 Live Event Coordinators, suppose each day they run three live events interacting with three to four corps each, five days a week. That means each week, 405 seperate corporations will be involved in Live Events. Suppose each of those corporations have 25 people? That works out to about 10,125 people, each week, having the opportunity to be in a live event.
Ten thousand players EACH.. WEEK. Probably won’t ever reach that.. but the potential is there, even with the current crew CCP has set up. And it would affect hundreds or more players than the current system could even dream about. And let’s not forget that since you can identify and categorize your target corporations, you now have the means and reasons to develop Live Events that involve more than just “Shoot ebil pirate A”. Live Events can be made so that corps of all sorts will want to try them out. You could even have some of the corps work together to reach certain goals, while other corps try to compete against them, or hinder them in either combative, or more sneaky ways. Hide and seek events, mining events, building events, exploration events, political events, the options are only limited by the developer’s imagination.
How could it work? – The Basic Concept
First off, get each of your Live Event members to develop six separate Live Events. Three of them will be one-time events adjustable to be usable for larger or smaller groups. Two of them will be story-line events that will need to expanded on later, and one will be an “impact” event, something that has the potential to change the lore of Eve Online, or something that will result in the introduction of a particular ship or module. In my opinion EVERY new item in game should only be released via a Live Event. Make it a challenge for new items to get in game! Each of those events though would only be outlines, allowing for the creativity of each game team. Faction Warfare Events would especially be good for the introduction of new ships, or even the when ships get remodeled.
Next, CCP could break a lot of the corps down into general categories. It’s not perfect, but then again, you have a clearer idea of what Live Events certain corps would be interested in doing. Then you break those corps apart by timezone (the afternoon/evening in each area) and overall activity. Distribute your GMs and Live Event Coordinators to match those groups. Pair up your Devs and GMs so that they can work off each other if the Event can call for it. Once you build your list, randomly generate a certain number of corps, and interact with them via roleplay to see if they want to do the Live Event. If one corp doesn’t want to do it, just move on to the next one.
It can get as complicated as you want, or.. leave it simple. At the end of a successful event, since only a few corps were involved, you can award them with a medal, some isk, or whatever you think is an appropriate payout. Those that fail, well, better luck next time. Either way, the corp then gets removed off of the list for say four months, then they get put back in the pot for another random chance with a new event. Plus, those medals give the devs and GMs a clue about what Live Event not to use the next time they get picked. And since you have only an outline and several events to choose from, it is highly unlikely that any corp will have the same Live Event ever.
Bigger Events that impact Game Lore, could see an early introduction of certain, soon to be released ships/modules, whereas failure would mean that a particular ship/module might not be available until sometime after the others were released. Think of how exciting it would be if live events actually carried weight in Eve Online. More than just an Event, but an actual game, even lore impact.
Is it a perfect system? No, no system is perfect and I’m sure quite a few bloggers can (and likely will) point out the flaws in this idea. But, a system like this is far, FAR more dynamic and engaging than anything that comes out of those cookie-cutter MMOs. And it has the distinction of being in front of the curve, rather than behind. CCP, the developer, would be directly involving players in their own worlds, in their own environments. Not just waiting for players to find them, but going out, looking for them to become more involved in the world of Eve.
Or you could just sit, and read up on a Live Event, handled like all other live events in MMO history, perhaps never really feeling a part of Eve itself…
Hong WeiLoh said:
Great idea, _but_ I can already see how that formula would lead to accusations of favoritism, and what good is a “live event” really if it’s only for certain people to play in??
Rather than saying “let’s invite a, r, and z corps to this,” why not spawn several smaller-scale, shorter-duration events all over the map?
To me, live events should be something cool that starts off with, “There I was [mining, missioning, gate-camping, running Bananaboats with Mukk] and all of a sudden….” and culminating, “I Was There,” and all that. lol
Well, as far as “certain” people, those criteria would be announced ahead of time and would be adjustable depending on interest. Plus, if people really like the feature, more GMs could be hired, and then more people/groups could be included.
Back in the old days when I played JumpGate (thats more than 10 years ago o.O; time goes fast), and yes that jumpgate which should have got a huge expansion the day I started and waited for it even years after I left, …
Back to the topic, they had faction missions and every time there was new module or ship introduced each faction had to complete there missions and you could see the state of all running faction missions.
Most of the time it was boring hauler trips with endless jumps but the few hundred still playing the game at that time worked together and teamed up.
In Eve the devs could use such things to manipulate the market in almost any part. Say a faction mission to Introduce changes to the Gallente Brutix cruiser would need several thousands of this ships delivered to research facility XY. Payout lower than market but if you perform well you/your corp might earn a medal for participating.
Money is good but ego and prestige is much better as a reward.
Hans Jagerblitzen said:
The impromptu “Live Events” in their current form are merely the tip of the iceberg of what the team responsible wants to do with the lore and various levels of player participation. We discussed at the summit the limitations of the current events, including time zone and geographic specificity, I think your mistaking joy over the fact that these events are -back in the game supported by team at all- with endorsement of these events being THE way that lore should be explored in the context of the game.
The community team responsible for these is currently busy writing story arcs that go far deeper than simply some sporadic pirate attack events. What you describe in “How does it work” is remarkably similar to the process the team is actually going through, but as this is very quickly evolving it may not have been covered well enough in the minutes.
In fact, the very presentation shown to the CSM last week that included all of the potential features for the summer expansion included a comprehensive lore primer leading up to the story arcs that are all but complete for -at least- the next 6 months, with an emphasis that the delivery of these new features can and -should- compliment the direction the lore team will be taking the universe’s fiction. It’s incredibly exciting to see CCP attempting to weave story through everything they do once again.
Had this team been up and running a year ago, I have little doubt that we would have seen Live Events of some sort be the delivery vehicle for many of the changes in Faction Warfare, this was something I specifically requested as far back as the May summit but the personnel and infrastructure just wasn’t in place at the time.
All that to say, I think what we were discussing and praising at the summit was a refreshing change of pace from the lore-empty development of the last 18 months, but its also very clear that what we’ve seen recently are simply warm-up exercises for a team that has much, much, deeper plans in motion.
Well, that is good to hear, Hans. Still, it seemed from the minutes that Live Events were still being thought about as they always have been, and CCP has the opportunity to really break the mold on this and really make Eve Online personally immersive. Essentially an “I was There” for literally almost everybody. The live events as they are now, and as they seem to be perceived from the minutes still require people to put forth an enormous effort for something that may or may not be worthwhile to them individually.
Going through and conversing directly with players, with little but more personal events, can add to the amazing beauty of Eve.
Plus, thanks for giving us some more detail on what went on between the CSM and CCP on Live Events.
Helena Khan said:
The trouble with the past live events is they have tended to be all in the same timezone… which kinda of leaves out all the people who normally sleep or work about then.
CCP Goliath (@CCP_Goliath) said:
As one of the members of the EVE Illuminati (the team responsible for organising live events) I would love to get into a discourse with you on this topic. I think you have a lot of cool ideas, a lot of which are in line with our own. I do feel that you have misunderstood a fair amount of the minutes, in terms of team composition for instance, or what events we are actually running and planning to run. Please DM me on Twitter with a good way to get in touch with you and we’ll talk!
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