Sunday, June 3, 2012

Blog Banter 36: Riddle me this!

"With the Inferno expansion upon us, new seeds have been planted in the ongoing evolution of EVE Online. With every expansion comes new trials and challenges, game-changing mechanics and fresh ideas. After nine years and seventeen expansions, EVE has grown far more than most other MMOGs can hope for. Which expansions have brought the highs and lows, which have been the best and the worst for EVE Online?"

I had a friend tell me that "Expansions are much like movie sequels. Rarely are they better than the original."

I disagreed and pointed out that expansions are more like the various episodes in a long running series. And what he was most likely referring to were game titles that were attempting to milk their franchises by releasing them under II, III, IV monikers.

And this got me thinking about blog banter 36 and prompted me to sit down and actually write something. As a side note, I've had lots to say but most of it seems to be coming out verbally as I've been challenged to write. Sorry for the diversion, back to the banter.

My answer:

Which one is best? All of them.

Which one is worst? All of them.


Much like in a series of books or television shows or movies there are elements within each that I like very much, find simply ok, think sucks, and don't even notice. And that's the beauty of a well designed ongoing series.

If I didn't like it, I wouldn't keep coming back. I wouldn't be engaged. I wouldn't care to spend the time to pick it apart.

You must pick!

So I often play the "what if" game complete with rules like "you must pick". So if I apply my game to this problem (crap... really? do I have to?) of the best and the worst my answer becomes the following.

Which one is best? The latest one!

Which one is worst? The first one I played!


That's not in the rules! You have to pick! Is this some kind of riddle?

Well, the best one is the one that's keeping me here. It's giving me enough to continue to pay. To play. To have fun. It's fixing things and adding things and changing it all up to remain enjoyable.

And the worst one. Well, that was the first one I played. It clearly was flawed: look at all the changes, fixes and additions since then! And, on a personal note, it is the one that changed my gaming experience. Pulled me in. Gave me a new dark master. The one that dangled the new addiction and feed it to me. Fucking game!!

Riddle me this!

Which one will be the one that is neither the best nor worst?

Why the next expansion of course! For it is unreleased!

When it is released it will either continue to support my first answer of All of them or it will break my second answer and be the expansion that changes the magic of the game and makes me put the story down and walk away. My answer will then become:

Which one is best? The previous expansion. It kept me playing.

Which one is worst? The latest one. It made me quit.

A serious moment

This is the challenge that CPP faces with every expansion. To not release the one that drove people to put it down. But look at what's been created! 17 expansions. Thousands of things to do. Player driven content. No single way to play and enjoy the game. 

What a daunting task! 

But guess what. We can help.


Even if you do nothing else in this game recognize the daunting task that CPP has in front of them to produce a game that makes everyone happy. And realize that you can't make everyone happy all the time. Also recognize that with each release more variables are added to the problem.

Play your part

Player feedback in EVE is different than other games. We get to be more personal with the keepers of the sandbox than in other games. They want the feedback so give it to them. But do it with the recognition that it might not change or change the way you want it to. 

Then go enjoy the parts of the story that you do like. And let them do their job of creating the next best expansion that will keep you playing. Or be the one that made you quit. 

In the meantime, enjoy the best and the worst of what EVE Online has to offer right now!

P.S. If it wasn't clear... I was the friend. :)

P.P.S. Looking for other ways to help? Go to to take part in the crowd sourcing project I started.

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