EVE ONLINE – Micro-transactions, how they could work

Jita Protests

Jita Protests
Jita protests yesterday at the new Incarna implementation
We all know the recent EVE Online controversy is not just about microtransactions. It’s not only the feeling that the players are already paying €15 a month, so paying more is a bit much, but the attitude revealed in leaked internal emails that the players will act up whatever CCP will do has enraged the lifeblood of the game – the people who cough up monthly. They’ve got people to buy into EVE Online on one principle and are changing the very philosophy of the way it works without consultation.

So after my last post I began to think about the problem. Yes, the micropayments are more macro than micro but they could take a leaf out of other ‘games’ endeavours.

Take Second Life for example and I know that one is free. There is a thriving market of people designing clothes and in some cases people are charging top dollar for these items. The difference is that it’s the ‘players’ who are making profits as well as the ‘game’. Second Life take a cut and everyone is happy. The value of having thousands of people designing means that the environment is enriched with far more creativitiy than the game makers could get with employees.

Of course this would only work with items which couldn’t affect gameplay. Allowing people to create guns and ships would of course not work. At the moment CCP just looks greedy. Opening up so that the players benefit along with CCP would benefit both sides.

I think that could work – what do you think?

EVE Online Controversy – the peasants are revolting

Jita Protests

Jita Protests
Jita protests at new Incarna
I have a confession to make. I have a character in EVE. a couple in fact. Yes, I am officially a geek. So it was with horror (and a pint of cider in me) that I found out about the controversy.

For those not familiar with the now infamous EVE, it is a massively multiplayer online game. There is a subscription which means I play sporadically. The fee is a not insubstantial €15 a month.

In the game I am Squeaka, a proud Amarr warrior, slash miner, slash engineer. Ok I’m a bit career schizophrenic I couldn’t work out what job I wanted to concentrate on, (sounds a bit like real life unfortunately). The career decision I mean not the miner/warrior obviously.

So to the controversy. EVE has decided to open a shop which currently sells clothing for the avatars. Now I know what you are thinking what is all the fuss about a monocle or a sexy pair of jeans or two? Well the micropayment for the monocle is around $70, which is not micro by any stretch of the imagination.

Still, if you are like me you don’t really care what your character looks like, I’d settle for a dustbin outfit as long as she is just a little bit pretty. Well it is the principle of the thing that has got people all hot under the collar. Well that and the rude internal email that was leaked.

Basically people are worried that more than just clothes will be offered for sale, that ships and weapons will be next on the list. Curently to earn enough to buy such items means hours of gameplay and dedication, I am ashamed to say, I have a couple of battleships, one Amarr and one Gallente, work out my overall sadness rating from that.

These take months to earn, doing mission after mission, mining, researching, murder mayhem, that sort of thing. If you can simply buy one of these ships from the store then it throws the ecosystem out of the window. It suddenly comes down to how much money you have not how much effort you put into the game and that just isn’t fair.

So what is happening? Well, people are unsubscribing in their droves but what is more interesting and quite funny is that there are subversive freedom fighters in the game who are sticking it out and protesting for their characters right to slave away in the mines. Yes, they are rioting. Login and pop into Jita and you will find hundreds of people attacking monuments. If they could do graffiti they would. On 12:08am on 26 June 2011. at the time of writing, there were 1480 rioters.
“tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!” …Braveheart

OK rant over.

Happy gaming everybody!