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Blog Banter 23: Nobody Will Use Incarna — the remix

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 crazykinux@gmail.com. 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’ve pretty much said my piece about this back when it was revealed exactly how many resources were being used for Incarna, but I’ll repeat them.

Incarna is a complete waste of CCP’s time. There are a lot of people who do not play Eve and many of them will tell you it’s because they’re not a person in the game, that they’re just a face and a spaceship. So the reaction has been to make a completely unrelated feature where people can wander around stations.

What the CCP devs are missing with Incarna is that the people who say they don’t like Eve because they don’t feel like a person aren’t asking for an add-on to the game where they can walk around. They’re saying they don’t like the basic content of the game. It’s a way of summing up all of what Eve is about: Internet Spaceships. Eve will still be internet spaceships after Incarna, except there will be a lot of empty stations and probably one full one, probably in Jita, that like The Reets Retreat in AO or Pocket D in COX is full of a couple of dozen G.I.R.L.’s cybering guys for isk.

Once the newness is gone, the only reason anyone else is going to venture into stations is if they’re forced to by game mechanics and we can only pray that CCP isn’t that stupid. I dealt with being forced to use stations in Earth and Beyond, which was at its heart another Internet Spaceships game. In order to do anything in stations, one had to leave ones ship and go to the relevant room to do it. This additional “feature” of having to run around a station in order to get to the button to do something was not exactly a plus.

Instead of docking and hitting the fitting button, imagine docking, hitting the leave ship button, and running through a maze you’ve memorized for each cookie cutter station, so you can get to another room where you can press the fitting button stuck on a wall. Or “talk” with the “fitting sergeant.” That’s not a social experience, it’s just a really really bad interface. And if you force people to run around stations, you aren’t going to get meaningful social interaction, you’re going to get silent zombies standing around like the mob of “bank alts” you find in every Auction House in WoW.

Other features have similar issues. People frequently mention poker. I have an online poker account with Full Tilt Poker and I don’t have an “avatar” I have a functional game client. The same already exists for Eve, though outside of CCP’s control. Why would I want some clunky thing where I have some avatar running around to play poker? Among other things, that would mean I have to travel to the same station. Am I really going to go from nulsec to Jita in order to play poker? Are you mad? And I hear we will have players who will be diplomats who will never leave stations! I don’t know how to break this to people, but we already have those.  They communicate between alliances using email, ventrilo, jabber, not to mention the occasional troll in Kugutsumen or CAOD.

To sum it up simply. Incarna is just going to end up as dark fiber. There’s no good reason to try to pry people out of their spaceships and once the cool factor is over, they will stop bothering. Most of all, it’s not going to bring girls to Eve. It’s not going to bring people who want to play people not internet spaceships. Those folks? They’re just not that into you. CCP needs to get over it and work on finding more people who are into the game.

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