Tuesday, January 22, 2013

POS implementation inhibits community

A POS is OK for a small corp; 1 division per player; with the CEO sharing the first division and master wallet.

Foo Holdings is such a small corporation.  We live in a wormhole, doing PI, sites, a bit of exploration and very occasionally PVP (mostly the recipients of said activity rather than the initiator).  The corporation is open to new players, and is a significant factor keeping two of our corp members still playing the game.

However, I won't expand the corporation too much further; the compromises in providing secure storage (one player per division) are not worth it. 

As such, while I can say 'Come and join me; EVE is harsh'; I can't go to my work colleagues and real life friends and say 'I have a welcoming home for you'; some of whom are EVE's target audience (and ex players).

One only has to look at something awful to see the value of 'a welcoming home' to bring outside players into EVE (as goons).  I am not on that scale, but there are still many pilots in my position.

My wish list for POS : (TL;DR make POS access more like what already works : NPC stations)
  • Removal of individual storage per building (i.e. you have a corp hanger and a large ship assembly array; why do each need individual storage?  We use our LSAA for storage)
  • Station based storage similar to in 'real stations'; even if it is limited to maximum storage volume. Potentially with role based quotas.
  • Role/player based segregation of ships in the ship hanger array;
  • Role based access to modules.  (Bob has paid for access to refining but not research).
  • Let me set 'out of corp' roles to pilots.  Later possibly allow these role based permissions to be applied to alliances and even standing (similar to access to player owned customs offices - "POCO"?).  This especially includes storage.
I am an unusual pilot.  I am yet to do a security mission; yet to shoot a rat; yet to kill a player's ship or pod.  (I have both killed and repaired POCO's).  My personal experience and needs may not reflect that of the average player. Regardless of the above, I fly WH and lowsec.  I am a builder of a small community; and will probably remain so.

Separated POS access for 7 players in a single C2 wormhole is probably enough; but I have grandiose plans of building a wormhole or lowsec based empire one day; I am already prevented from setting up the way I want to with setting up a PVP corporate wing in the extended group (alliance?); they would need their own POS, with the expense that goes with that : more segregation.

As an aside; a POS anchored 'look at my achievements' billboard (similar to those billboards already floating around space) would attract the attention of many players, and would drive community participation.  Not my personal preference; but I have seen entire guilds driven by these activities in that other game.

A POS is player housing with a purpose, badly implemented.  I accept that a POS revamp seems like a feature that will not directly drive new players.  However, POS as it is today, drives segregation of players, encouraging isolationist play rather than combined communities.  But it is community play that holds players far longer than game content would otherwise allow.

The question is for CCP (and the rest of us) is one of opportunity cost: Given a limited set of resources; will EVE gain/retain more players out of a POS revamp; or out of another feature?

The advantage (and disadvantage) that an MMO has over a single (or few) player games is community. 

New players will not benefit directly from a POS revamp; but they might be brought into the game by
community builders who have tools to build their community the way they want.

One day, a space trader/pirate MMO will be implemented with "community housing" done right; providing community building players the tools they need.  It would include player trophy/achievement boards and infrastructure. Community housing would preferably be the 'go to' place for this infrastructure: building; research; defence; storage. Player POCO's are a very small scale version of this infrastructure. 

I do have some hope based on this CCP Seagull forum post, but bittervet is a term I came across first in Eve.  Looking at historical blogs and forum posts, POS implementation is something that has been bothering players as long as their have been POS.

In and of itself; any kind of "community housing" is not a solution.  That said, the game that does "community housing" properly, whether it is EVE or another one; will have a significant advantage.

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