Monday, December 19, 2011

Consequences, Consequences, Consequences

"Scams and real, tangible losses will be great on a number of levels, first; because listening to whiners is always fun. They are the natural resource that keeps EVE running." --Unknown EVE Player

"There's loads of easy boring, all about KDR FPS games out there, it's about time we had an in-depth complex shooter with some meaningful consequences to it. "--Prius Vecht

Want to hear something sadistic, odd, and probably even a little creepy and cool at the same time? Consequences are a big part of the Dust 514 draw that interests the mature console players like you. Many of you are fatigued with the efforts of many contemporary shooters. Look at the current state of gaming... Sure we're seeing many RPG-style elements where you can progress your character with skills, unlocks and weapons, but what do you ever risk or lose? NOTHING. Those added RPG elements give the game depth, but also give you a reason to play for a long time. Developers like that.

"The simple harsh reality of scamming, spies, betrayal, and tangible losses even down to skill points if your stupid enough not to upgrade your clone, and the overall complexity keeps the kids and idiots away, well most of them at least. "--EVE Veteran

Play COD, BF3, MAG, BRINK, SOCOM, or any other number of competitive shooters and lose a match - there are no real negative effects other than some lost pride and anger. Losing is no different from winning other than a larger winning side bonus. Frequently, we see players on the losing side outscoring players on the winning team. The reason for this is simple, developers have long decided the individual player is more important than the team and the way players are rewarded for individual efforts proves this. Any lip service developers pay to "teamwork" is folly until there is a complete paradigm shift in the me-first, KDR-rules mentality of most FPS players. We understand there is certainly a market for individual-focused, KDR-critical games, but there is also a market for something else. Mature gamers have wanted tangible, truly persistent, objective-based gameplay for some time, and they look at DUST as a Holy Grail of what could truly be.

The experience of today's FPS is a lesson in monotony. You don't have to wager skill points or XP on the outcome of a battle, and it's a process of shoot/explode/rinse/repeat. While these games have persistent aspects, there's nothing really continuous or lasting about them, you aren't going to lose money, assets or other mechanics you've worked hard to obtain. Games like that just don't work that way. Early on, some of the hardcore communities in those games setup competitive matches where embarrassing losses will be on Youtube for all to see. But still, you aren't risking anything but a message board reputation that doesn't mean a whole lot to begin with. Is there any wonder why winning and teamwork is secondary in games like those? Losing means little and your KDR is the ultimate measure of success, nothing was taken from you after all. As long as YOU did well--that's what's important. STATS.

The first time I'd ever heard something tangible about EVE was on the MAG forums. Someone familiar with the universe posted a scam that had taken place where a group of moles infiltrated a corp, stayed for years, and then in one fell swoop, made off with an astronomical amount of money and resources. I think the title of the post was "Should Developers Allow This?" the responses were varied and filtered from "How could the devs allow that?" to "That was cool."

Obviously I was intrigued, "What is this universe where gameplay rewards outside-the-box thinking, a good grasp of tactics, politics and good old fashioned betrayal?" It's a stark contrast to what we see in games nowadays. In today's gaming developers often hold the hands of gamers to make sure they don't fall down crossing the street. We're all for cheat-prevention, addressing loopholes and exploits but the "nerf-mentality" must stop. We understand the whole world is crazy about 'doing more with less,' but these are video games, not real life. Do more, not less. While companies like CCP should certainly listen to input from their customers, they have to balance feedback with the complaints of the vocal minority who will complain about everything because its in their nature to whine rather than adapt.

"Delicious tears are always fun and tasty.They are a vital natural resource that keeps EvE functioning. There is quite simply, no greater joy than the the tears of whining high-sec carebears that have just been ganked in their 3Bil+ officer fitted Machariel." --Silus Matra

Make no mistake, those of us who have been tiring of the standard cookie-cutter shooters have dreamed about this day for a long time. Will there be scams and setbacks? Sure. Will we shake our heads at some of the horrible losses inflicted upon us? Probably. But that's what will make it good. That's what will make it worth playing and make the casual shooters seem pale in comparison. There is no progress without taking chances and inevitably, loss. Sometimes you have to risk everything to gain anything.

"All hail the learning cliff! HTFU or GTFO!"--Post on EVE message Boards

Fortune favors the brave, and we hope CCP succeeds with their endeavor. They seek to bring to consoles a level of gaming many of us hadn't even dreamed of seeing until the 9th-gen (the PS3 is seventh-gen) at the earliest. So we can't wait to see how truly deep the rabbit hole goes. But we won't lose sight of the chance they're taking and backing up with time, resources and money, so we owe it to them to show our support with money as well. A shooter with real depth with consequences in the same age that a horrible game like COD can sell 6M copies in 24 hours? The SAS motto is "Who Dares, Wins" and we really hope they do.