Welcome to the twenty-third installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
With Incursion giving us glimpses of what Incarna will have to offer (the the Character Creator), this month’s topic, by @Minerpewpew, comes just at the right time. He asks:
What are your thoughts on how Incarna will effect the current EVE Online social dynamic?” I’d like to see this questioning go a bit further. How will this affect EVE’s player base? Who will Incarna attract? New players to the genre? Seduce old players back into the game? Will we see new players come in that will never leave their station? Please explore to the best of your abilities!
I have to first issue the caveat that we don’t yet know what it will be possible to do outside of one’s ship. In that sense, it’s too early to say. On the other hand, the mere fact that we don’t yet have any answers to that question implies that answer to be “very little.”
So I don’t think that Incarna will much affect the overall social dynamic of EVE, at least after the new-and-shiny first month or so dies down – we may see a dip in typical casual/hisec activities for a bit as people explore the new elements. If mining drops this should affect the economy as well. I also think that ambulation will be widely used by, say, RP corps, but they’re a minority and have little impact on the game’s social environment outside of their own RP circles.
Down the line, I expect enhancements to “walking in stations” that may make it more attractive as a way to spend one’s in-game time. I have a whole list in my head of what those enhancements could be, but CCP has been pretty firm in stating that they don’t want ambulation to be a huge distraction from the main, spaceship-centered thrust of the game. As cool as it could be, I don’t expect to ever see things like in-station shootouts, but we might see player-managed shops selling manufactured goods related to avatars, i. e. clothes, cosmetic gear and such.
One fun aspect of Incarna, for the pundit at least, is that it’ll forever remove the criticism of “in EVE, you can’t even get out of your ship.” Even if station life isn’t actually rich in activities (and it certainly won’t be at first,) the option will still be there. Amusingly, years from now EVE old-timers will be saying stuff like “I remember back in the old days, you couldn’t even get out of your ship!”