Eve Lead Designer: Drama Is Cool!

Eve’s lead designer (you know Eve, it’s that really hardcore PvP game that we at Broken Toys are honor bound to despise because, um, I’m sure there’s some reason that can be found in any 200+ comment thread on Darkfall) was interviewed by MTV and I bet you can guess the first question!

When you give players freedom to do whatever they want, then you’re going to have these sorts of massive political scandals — and the players really love it. The largest alliance in the game was broken up by a trader on the inside and when this happened we were really worried at first because we were like, “Oh no! Everyone’s going to quit!” And it was really horrible for us.

That was in the morning, but a couple hours later the buzz on the forums was crazy, subscriber numbers were growing, and everybody was really excited. Because everyone was becoming complacent and bored with being the biggest alliance, and then all of a sudden now there’s war and turmoil. People who used to be in the alliance were re-subscribing and everyone was really excited about it so it’s not necessarily always a bad thing when this sort of stuff happens. Somebody on the other side was interviewed, and he was saying “When you beat the biggest raid in World of Warcraft you don’t get an interview in The New York Times but when this sort of thing happens it makes real-world news.”


28 Responses to Eve Lead Designer: Drama Is Cool!

  1. Longasc says:

    So this made real world news? People loved it?

    Let me repeat, EVE’s community again made a testament that they are dreamers that cannot get it that this was no great political intrigue…

    but someone who decided to crap on his whole guild/corporation out of boredom and abuse all the powers given to him. He just dissolved the guild with everything it had.

    It is like me killing your children next to you, but you cannot do anything about it, as the game mechanics or lack thereof allow it.

    EVE battles are never decided by combat. Never by strategy. Not even by economic superiority.

    Always someone decides to be the Judas, and then you have a scandal and game event. Then this is called subterfuge.

    /irony on oh well, time to get back to WoW to hone my management skills /irony off

    I would also call him a cold faced liar. “Subscriber numbers were growing ” can also be “one more account got registered”.

    I really admire CCP staff for making another example how GREAT Eve is out of some total bullshit. They did it every time someone scammed their corporation. One time it was called a “Heist”, sounds so much better.

    I hope people who really subscribed will realize soon that they have to mine for their corporation and run agent missions for months and then wait for several months till one or another corporation or alliance dissolves due to someone getting bored and screwing all others over. They do not take part in this great, imagined political intrigues of galactic level… that are actually just scams, as the game makes it near impossible to win in any other way. Intentionally or not, this is not commendable, it is just amazing that they get so good press, giving people a totally false impression of the game.

  2. Longasc says:

    I did not read the interview before, and funnily, the first guy to comment on it mentioned mining and running missions till he was bored… hehe.

  3. sinij says:

    What does this have to do with Darkfall?

  4. dartwick says:

    As an EVE player I can say the significance of the “drama” has been exaggerated everywhere.

    In game everyone had a good laugh about it for 2 days then it was back to the normal – nothing changed except the corp name.

    To be honest the game could use a big shake up, but this wasnt it.

  5. Pickly says:


    Another example of a hardcore PvP type game being fun/not fun and working/not working (depending on the commenter’s point of view).

    (Unless the replied to comment was being sarcastic, I’m a pretty new reader and don’t really know anyone in the comment section yet.)

  6. sinij says:


    Comment is an inside joke for us old timers.

  7. Vetarnias says:

    Precisely why I’ve been wary of EVE and never tried it out (even though they’re offering free 14-day trials left and right).

    On the one hand, cloak-and-dagger stuff which pretty much ensures nobody trusts anybody, least of all new members to your corporation (assuming you were not just trying to scam them in the first place). Besides, how many EVE members does this aspect really involve?

    On the other hand, mine that rock, ship that ore, avoid the gankers and just do your stuff.

    What a great game.

  8. Mist says:

    Ranting at people and telling them they’re not actually having fun when they think they are actually having fun is a great way to just lose peoples’ attention.

  9. The Claw says:

    It’s hard to argue with him. I know the first I heard of EVE was from a story on Slashdot about the great “developers cheating and giving rare blueprints to their friends” scandal, and, perversely, it made me WANT to check out the game.

  10. Freakazoid says:

    That whole metagaming trust thing is probably the most effective copout in game design I have ever seen. On the other hand, only a fraction of their customers are actually participating it. The majority are actually bumming around in what is effectively pve land doing typical pve things.

  11. wins32767 says:

    The thing I found most interesting about the BoB disband was how it illustrated how badly broken their territory capture mechanics are. Right now the Goons et al have pretty much taken Delve. Current estimates are no station systems remaining by the time BoB gets their previous control levels back but a year ago greater forces couldn’t take Delve against only slightly stronger levels of opposition. I would put a large amount of money on them getting patched soon.

  12. Mike Darga says:

    Personally I just find it conceptually very satisfying that the balancing factor in the game is human greed and entropy. It’s a risky thing to bank on, but as Isuldur was mentioning in the other thread, codified server resets as official game mechanics are less than an ideal solution.

    Relying on large groups breaking down to stir up the community and keep things from getting stagnant seems to be working out for them. And as for PvE players, my understanding is that those players in High-sec can completely ignore this kind of thing, and continue playing uninterrupted.


  13. Pete says:

    I think this shows that the value of fantasy in Eve: that this sort of dramatic shakeup happens allows a particular kind of person to fantasise about being involved in the dramatic events themselves. The “planning” game has always been big in MMOs – “when I get all this cool stuff, just think of what I can do! Now I just need to” (insert six-month shopping list here). Eve just leans more heavily on the planning/fantasising side.

  14. EpicSquirt says:

    You clearly never played the game for real.

  15. gyrus says:

    dartwick :
    As an EVE player I can say the significance of the “drama” has been exaggerated everywhere.
    In game everyone had a good laugh about it for 2 days then it was back to the normal – nothing changed except the corp name.
    To be honest the game could use a big shake up, but this wasnt it.

    That’s a shame… what I read really ‘excited’ me. (EvE has been on my ‘to-do’ list for a while now.)
    An MMO with lot’s of Political Intrigue could be really interesting if it was well done.
    A proper Political/Industrial/Spy/Espionage MMORPG would be a breath of fresh air (please – no-one mention The Agency)
    And the best part? Totally different market to WoW!

  16. adam says:

    Funny. I downloaded the Eve trial about the time the story broke because of how interesting I found it that this kind of ridiculous social engineering was an intended, emergent part of Eve’s gameplay. So I guess he’s right. I’m very anti-drama but I’m sorry, betrayal and intrigue are awesome and a developer willing to allow its players to engage in it freely on such a massive scale wins big points in my book. Plus the design of the game being such that the downfall of such an alliance can spark such a far-reaching and heavy-consequence conflict is pretty cool.

    Also, I enjoyed the trial so much I subscribed to Eve about a week ago.

  17. chabuhi says:

    Played Eve in beta … left. Tried again a few months after launch … left again. Tried a year or so later … left again. Etc. Yeah, I’m a glutton for punishment. I love the pretty space scenes and their version of space-travel, but as Freakazoid commented, I was mostly “bumming around in what is effectively pve land doing typical pve things.”

    Eve was a game that, imo, you had to get in early and get big fast in order to participate. Otherwise you were just mining somewhere out in the empty bowels of “carebear” space.

  18. Klaitu says:

    I don’t know why everyone gives Eve such a bad rap. It’s completely unique among MMO’s. I think that people who don’t play Eve make a way bigger deal out of it than there actually is. The whole band of brothers thing has died down already.

  19. geldonyetich says:

    They kinda picked up the wrong lesson from it. It wasn’t that allowing people to undermine the progress of other players is a good thing because of the “drama” aspect. It’s that the standard EvE territory stalemate is so boring that having something disrupt it, even if it involved a massive loss of progress on behalf of the players, becomes preferable to having the typical nothing happening at all.

    In other words, when the drama value exceeds the game value, that’s a pretty good indicator of a problem existing. However, if they want to ride that problem as a feature, and it works to generate a profit, I guess I can’t fault them.

  20. Muckbeast says:

    I really do not see how this can be considered anything more than simple, yet extreme griefing.

  21. Mordur says:

    Thing is though that this happened because of leadership negligence. CCP has, and had before this, checks in place that can stop this from happening. It’s a UI setting in the alliance that makes it so that it can’t be disbanded without a majority vote.
    But for whatever reason the BOB leaders didn’t have this enabled.

  22. Queso says:

    LoL at all the people that think they know EvE when they never trained higher than Frigs III.

    @Smallsac, You never roamed in nil sec at all in your eve career and I can tell.

    Battles never decided by combat? Excuse me, but wtf, are you talking about WoW Bg’s? Cause those dont mean jack.

    Battles never decided by Strategy? You have no understanding about gatecamping, covert ops, “metagaming”, Pos Warfare.

    Battles never won by Economic Superiority? Ever heard of a titan? The ships that if you exchanged your ingame money would cost about as much as a Used Cadilliac in real money.

    Eve actually reached its highest number of concurrent users in its gameworld that same weekend, and yeah I had a bunch of people get back into the game in my alliance that weekend after BoB was destoryed.

    So Longsac, Please get off your high horse and shut your mouth, cause you have no idea what you are talking about please.

    @Dartwick, Delve, looks pretty Yellow to me

    @Vetarnias, No one said this game was for everyone.

    @Freakaziod. Yet another person who never left high sec.

    @wins327, Well you could argue that this “flaw” in game design has been in the game since they added it(and that was years ago). And this one time it actually did anything. My current alliance is ran by my Corps CEO and only he would have the power to do this, not all the CEO’s that are members.

    if anything this is probably a good lesson for all alliances to review how their alliances are being ran. I doubt CCP changes anything.

    @Mike Darga, you are completly right, and infact thats why I love this game as you arnt stuck to doing just one thing.

    @Geldonyetic, Dont you know, people love drama. TNT has been marketing it for years. But no other game Drama has such consequences, thats what makes it so great.

    Anyway I just want to end my comment about how what makes eve so great, the sandbox play is also somewhat of a double edge sword. I came from WoW to go play eve, and I think I was so used to how wow holds your hand and how you have to waste so much time for gear.

    In wow its pretty clear on what you need to do next, where in EvE its up to you, and I think people that are trained into the whole quest/grind thing its really hard for them to get out of that Paradigm. Also, the PVE in EvE sucks, I wont lie. Put its easy to tell by the changes that CCP is making that even they know that now. The new rats have new AI, and they are adding Mission Arcs.

    Put please, people that tried it out on a free trail and all you did was mine rocks, you have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to eve. Thanks.

  23. Longasc says:

    It is Longasc, not SmallSac or LongSac. There is not need to be insulting.

    Interesting that you feel the need to assume that I am both clueless and incompetent and whatever. Be assured, I have played EVE for years, having Tech II cruiser training and all that.

    On the other hand, I can only make assumptions about your education and social competence.

  24. Freakazoid says:


    (I never played eve :3)

  25. Queso says:


    Did you ever do anything in your t2 Cruiser? Cause I kind of doubt it. You clearly have no idea on how the alliance mechanics work.


    So someone claiming they know what they are talking, but dont. heh ❤

  26. Longasc says:

    Queso, instead of “doubting” other persons with ad hominem arguments, feel free to go on what YOU do in your alliance and educate us how the mechanics work. 🙂

  27. Freakazoid says:

    You might find it hard to believe, but it is possible to have a valid opinion about MMOs despite not playing the game.

    Oh, but if you still want to argue using logical fallacies, I have a good one for you: I get most of my information about eve from goons! :O

  28. Kiler says:


    Jebus man, tone back on the assholeness. You make a lot of valid points but come off completely dickish and the attitude is one of the big reasons people hate with a passion hardcore PvPers.

    The great thing about Eve is it really is a sandbox. You can pretty much do whatever you want within the game mechanics. Pretty much the main drive in the game is to aquire ISK (gold) and there’s multiple routes to get that.

    For the political landscape, it’s usually slow to change but Band of Brothers was doing their MAX campaign for a while in the North and a few alliances fell.

    The main reason BoB held their space for so long is that no one was willing to go after them. A few years ago they were forced back in to just the Delve region due to sustained attacks on a few fronts but multiple alliances. If they were attacked in this manner again they would have been pushed back, regardless of a Director disbanding the alliance. Yes, for the most part combat doesn’t make much of a difference, especially in small skirmishes, but those will lead to larger engagements when little resistance is met in key systems and the big guns come out and start dropping stations.

    Also, another nice thing is if someone pisses you off, you have the option of retribution, either by declaring War on their corporation, or hiring mercs to do the killing for you. In that case they aren’t safe anywhere, even in PvE land.

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