Carrier Blues

A very nicely written article over on CZ had a negative take on making carriers more active and skill based to use. This may be an oversimplification, but when the article talks about going from AFKtars to 4b isk carriers to combat ratter hunters, it sounds a little bit like whining about being unable to AFK to me. The article does bring up the idea of how changes to the game can impact players wanting to play the game. I don’t agree with one of the underlying pretenses of the article: Isk making should be an activity that by and large should be low risk.

By low risk, I mean the article implies that in most cases, a player should be able to make isk without losing more isk than they make in the process. The comments about the progression of nullsec home defense and escalating cost of ships needed make this pretty clear in my assessment. The writer is worried that making carriers more like RTS games (higher APM makes a better pilot) will push out some older players or players that do not want to devote full attention to the game.

Each player in Eve should be free to play how they want, but I’m not sure catering to low effort isk-making is a valid game design choice. There are many ways to make isk in Eve, each with benefits and drawbacks.

I happen to use a mix of methods: Industry, PI, site-running, and investing in trusted operations. A few of those are almost entirely risk free. The risk-free activities tend to have hard or soft caps on how much time and effort goes into the activity, and caps on how much I can make. But those activites can more than pay for a PLEX, if I chose to do so.

Ratting, missioning and site running have only a time limitation on participating: How much time you are willing or able to spend in space. The cap of isk is how quickly you can complete these activities. Since there is an open cap on this type of isk making, it follows that the risk should be higher. Further, every player has a choice as to where they can engage in killing NPCs. You can do it in all areas of space in a variety of ways. If you want safety, high sec exists. You make less, but you are safe. This is where the pretense of the article starts to fail.

Since you have a choice in where to rat, and a corresponding degree of safety/protection, you must take responsibility for your choices. If you rat/mission in LS/NS/WH, you know the risk you are taking. If you join a corp or alliance that lots of people like to kill, you know the risk you are taking. Asking for the game to remove the consequences for these choices breaks the fundamental concept of rsik versus reward in Eve.

Specific to the article on CZ, asking CCP to forgo exciting changes to the game in the name of protecting semi-afk gameplay in the areas designed for PvP, even if it saves a handful of players, is missing the forest for the trees. Those players have options to continue playing in safer places and keep their community going. Those players could choose to participate in ratting in places and corps that are not targets for half of New Eden.

Eve is ever-changing. Change comes from the players, and from CCP. Each player needs to make choices and adapt as the game evolves.

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