Blog Banter #23 – Shiny

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 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 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!

Shiny things. We all know I like them. What some might not also realize is that everyone likes shiny. Shiny is exciting. Shiny is usually hyped up in advance. Shiny makes us happy in the pants.

The problem with shiny is that it quickly loses its lustre, and most move onto whatever the new shiny is. This is particularly true in the gaming industry. One of the biggest dilemmas any game producing company faces is how to manufacture content more quickly than their players consume it. They almost always fail.

Things have gotten better in the last two years in this industry, with downloadable content for console platforms (DLC), regular expansions to many PC/MAC based games, etc, etc. Yet still the players always consume more quickly than the gaming company can produce.

Will EVE Online’s player base like Incarna? The answer is simple: some will, some won’t. I’m sure CCP will market the hell out of the initial uptake statistics, as I’m convinced nearly everyone who has played EVE, heard of EVE, or sees the plethora of EVE banners on the interwebs will at least give Incarna a try.

Hardcore players will probably stop playing with Incarna within a week.

Regular players will probably give it a month.

Roleplayers will definitely enjoy Incarna, and if the mechanics are solid and the graphics as beautiful as the Character Creator appears to be, will probably work it into their regulation play rotation. Some may even spend more time in Incarna than in regular space.

Casual players will also be drawn to Incarna. Why you might wonder? Learning curve. We all know EVE Online has, by far, the hardest learning curve for noobs. Hell, I still don’t know anything about research, manufacturing, corporation management, etc, etc, and I’ve been playing nearly four years now.

Incarna will be easy to learn. Make your avatar. Start walking around. Chat up a few people. That’s what most casual players end up doing in that type of game; it becomes a glorified chat engine, a social tool more than anything.

Personally, I’m going to enjoy Incarna. My guess is any other male Brutor will probably be as muscular as allowed, wearing shades, and more than likely look 90% like me. That’s the downside. Not having a visual representation of a character has allowed my blog to flourish, to develop my character and allow Roc Wieler to become the well known badass ex-Colonel we all know and love. Seeing he looks just like everyone else might be a bad thing, but we’ll see.

On the plus side, having a fleshed out character for others to interact with directly, on a more personal level, is a good thing. And I like to think I’m quick witted, and I know I’m a very fast typist, so that can only help me in a real-time chat environment.

I’m sure CCP will introduce many micro transactions, mostly related to clothing. I mean they hired a fashion designer after all. Would I spend real money on virtual clothing? If it’s something relatively unique that will differentiate my bald, sunglasses wearing Brutor from the rest of the flock, damn straight I will.

So I think Incarna will be around for a long time. I just hope it doesn’t go the route of Faction Warfare, and countless other content introductions, that are seen as shiny, even by CCP, then forgotten for the next shiny thing that catches their eye.

One response to “Blog Banter #23 – Shiny

  1. I agree with this, the RP side of Incarna is extremely attractive for a lot of people I talk to regularly. However I do think that a lot of people will either not care or just have a look and move on. What CCP have to do is find a middle ground where Incarna is fun to do, but not mandatory. For example many people are saying that they shouldn’t have to leave their ship to get a mission from an agent, and I agree. The option to go and meet your agent in person should still be there though. Personally I’m really looking forward to it 🙂

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