Buy a Retriever!

My name is Aiko Danuja.

I’m a Highsec gankerette.

Ever since James 315 ran off for a pack of cigarettes, and got ran over by a drunk semi at the truck stop, I’ve been struggling to find my way in EvE Online. All I want is to play the game, but I have to keep dealing with awkward declarations.

When James wrote this, he didn’t actually think he was victorious. What he thought, like so many before him, is that he was going to quit the game and facetiously declare victory. However, let me be clear. Quitters are not winners, they are lossers. Of course, I can understand why someone might quit, after playing for more than a decade. Unfortunately, roleplaying autists thought that this was a real victory, and they refused to undock. Indeed, if you truly believe James saved Highsec, then it is heretical to try and save Highsec. James already saved it, right?

This is not what victory looks like.

Someday I will quit EvE, and I will actually be victorious. In fact, I fully intend to declare victory before I quit, so I can lock in my winnings.

Meanwhile, we are not even close to victory.

The latest scandal is CCP’s decision to sell retrievers.

If he were alive, James would compose an eloquent monologue. Unfortunately, as a kickboxing widow, I’m not inclined to write essays. However, I want to emphasize one of the most compelling aspects of EvE Online. We have a market economy in which items are produced, distributed, and sold by players. This is hardly the first time that CCP has undermined that sacred pillar.

I understand why CCP wants to sell barges. I am sure that new players join the game, and aren’t sure how to get a ship. CCP just wants to give them a path into space. However, the correct solution is to improve the user interface. The correct solution is to improve the tutorial. Instead of fixing existing problems, CCP has taken a shortcut which offends the playerbase and undermines the economy. Of course, the sale of a retriever won’t destabilize the economy, but CCP should take heed that economies operate on faith. To quote John Maynard Keynes, “Markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.” If players do not have faith, then the game will die.

I kill more miners than anybody else. According to zkillboard, I am the top retriever killer, and my alts claim second place, third place, fourth place, and fifth place. I don’t care if CCP adds a few more barges, because I’m going to shoot them all.

However, the problem with slippery slopes, is they are slippery. In World of Warships, you can buy a battleship – why not in EvE Online? What is to stop CCP from deciding, as Merkelchen observed, that capital ship production is too difficult to balance? Instead of the tedious task of trying to manage an economy, why not just sell titan warpacks? Why not just skip all the nonsense and cut straight to the chase? $100 for a zkill loot box, and we can get dank killmails without logging in?

I’m not on the CSM, and CCP won’t make me a Partner.

However, if anyone is listening, I will say this. There is a red line, and CCP has been across that line for a long time. They should not be selling tangible items, which might give an in-game advantage. CCP should not be selling gold ammo, gold ships, skill points, destroyers, or mining barges. Any attempt to do this will cause players to lose faith in the game, and they will see it as “pay to win”. The players will quit playing. I would encourage the developers to focus on the monetization of superficial vanity items. For example, I have no objection to luxury monocles, and cat ears are clearly desired.

However, if CCP continues to sell spaceships, they will inevitably destroy the very essence of the game. People play EvE because it is difficult, and they will stop playing if ships are available with the swipe of a credit card.

One thought on “Buy a Retriever!”

  1. Long time listener, first time caller.

    While I may not agree with how you go about things, this post was too on point not to acknowledge. CCP is a business and no one can justifiably claim that they shouldn’t be making a profit. But, this kind of monetization is so antithetical to Eve’s core values that it genuinely hurts. Eve is special and to those that “get it” is more than just a game. In fact, I would argue that Eve is a pretty shit game. It is the player-driven sandbox where the magic really happens. Anything that takes away from that has no place in Eve. Personally, I have no problem with much of what CCP has been doing lately. It’s not all winners but the core gameplay has been steadily improving over time. But, none of that matters if they choose to chase easy money over principles.

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