Aug 4, 2015

Reasonable Expectations

Sugar Kyle raised some interesting questions today in a blog post titled Deserving: "What as a player do you think you deserve? What do you expect when you log in?" She mentions the anger she feels when some players claim that those who embrace certain play styles don't deserve to be well-treated, or deserve the ISK they make, or deserve other things they may possess or experience in the game. Her post prompted blogged responses from both EVE Hermit and Mike Azariah (and I bet more will chime in; this feels like a mini Blog Banter in the making). EVE Hermit makes the point that some players don't seem to get that in a sandbox game, anything that doesn't violate the TOS/EULA is fair play. Mike Azariah talks about the irksome attitude of entitlement, in particular that of players who fail to put in the effort to inform themselves and then whine when they experience a loss because "no one told me" about this or that danger.

All of which got me thinking about expectations in-game and out. We all have our own ideas about what to expect from CCP, the game client, and our fellow players. For most of us, those expectations fall within a spectrum of reasonableness. I like to think that's where mine fall, anyway.

As a CCP customer, I expect access to a reliable game client, regular information about the game's development, expedient communications about issues, community engagement, and ongoing effort to iterate on and evolve the game. I expect the game to provide interesting challenges, mechanisms that support accomplishing objectives, visual beauty, and good usability. I expect the sandbox to be preserved and to get some new sand every once in awhile that is consistent with New Eden's lore and its fabled harsh environment. I don't expect that the way these things get implemented will please me 100% of the time (although I do expect to express my opinion about that by for example voting in CSM elections or responding on the forums or in social media). CCP has been meeting my expectations handily in the last couple of years.

Probably not a reasonable expectation but one can DREAM!

As a player, I expect to have to inform myself to thrive and survive. I expect that uninformed, misguided, or risky decisions will provide expensive lessons. I expect that other players are out to kill my ship and my pod and take my stuff. I expect that if I'm clever, I can avoid most of the mistakes that are there to be made. I expect that what is fun for others may not be fun for me but is still worthy of respect. I expect that every player I encounter or engage with in some way has the potential to be an in-game friend or enemy in the future but either way treating everyone with respect has no downside. I expect to forge my own path and figure out how find profit and fun. These expectations have served me well in balancing "EVE is Real" feelings against the reality that all the stuff we worry so much about losing is just pixels in a video game.

As a CEO, I expect to fiercely and lovingly nurture the corp culture envisioned by myself and my co-leaders and that my corp members signed up for. I expect to have to deal with issues, drama, fumbles, and dropped balls. I expect to have to remind new players constantly that learning to play EVE means reading...a LOT...and that undocking and dying is part of the game. I expect to demonstrate at least once a day that I am still a noob in so many ways. I expect to be annoyed, frustrated, challenged, overwhelmed, and to fail at many things. But most of all, I expect to have fun, to be delighted by the people I play with, and to have memorable experiences with them. Signal Cartel has exceeded my expectations in every possible good way.

Having reasonable expectations is essential to maintaining a healthy perspective on CCP, EVE Online, and our community of players. It helps inform the patience required to stay the course whether you're skilling for a specific ship, growing a corp or alliance, or are fostering dreams of sov, market, PvP, or other paths to glory. It helps keep things in balance both within the game and between the game and RL. It helps by giving new players a longer-term view which hopefully encourages them to stick with and become immersed in the game. I think most long-term EVE players are pretty good at managing their own and others' expectations. One of the best things we can do for new players is to help them do it better, too.




7 comments:

  1. God, every time I read something you've written I feel like an infant trying to talk. You nailed it, thanks Mynxee.

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  2. Awww, thanks! But that's why it takes me so damn long to write these posts...I pound out a wall of text with the basic ideas and then have to edit out all my terrible-speak and make it sound like I can connect two thoughts coherently!

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    1. Lol. and that my writing style in a nutshell too. Pour it all out, then reread it and try to make it seem like sense!

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  3. Well done, well said (squeee, she mentioned my name)

    m

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  4. Well said. Can't compete with that.

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