The upcoming Inferno expansion for EVE Online is likely to send huge numbers of EVE Online players into a nerd rage, which is exactly how CCP likes it.
“There are some seriously pissed off people in the drone regions, and actually, no, I don’t apologise for it at all. It’s great they’re pissed off.”
Speaking to Eurogamer, senior producer Jon Lander said CCP no longer owns the game, but acts as its janitors, and that it’s his team’s job to stir the pot regularly.
“It’s the players’ game. This is why you see such strong reactions when people play it. They are the owners of it. They’re the people who create all the good stuff. They’re the people who are massively invested in this,” he said.
“All we do is provide some good content, throw a stone in to muck everything up every now and again. As we got to the end of last year, you could see Eve had started stagnating because we hadn’t messed up the balance. You could see the number of PvP kills per person per day was tailing off. It was going down. People weren’t engaging in the game any more.”
Lander said the Crucible and Escalation updates changed enough that they sent out ripples of activity, as players scrambled to adjust their strategies to match new content, but that the upcoming Inferno will be even more consequential.
“The changes will have a big impact. We’re saying, you know what? Things were stagnating. Things were boring. Things were exactly the same. There are some seriously pissed off people in the drone regions, and while I – actually, no, I don’t apologise for it at all. It’s great they’re pissed off,” he said.
“If they’re pissed off they have this visceral reaction to it. They have this, I am really unhappy about this. But they care so much about the game that they’re telling us they’re unhappy about it.”
The producer said players don’t rage if they’re intent on leaving EVE; they just quietly quit playing. Rage means people care.
“People who shout and scream, ‘how dare you do this! Damn you, damn you, damn you!’ They care so much about it. It’s a great thing,” he said.
Lander allowed that CCP does make mistakes sometimes and takes player feedback into account, but won’t leave things static while players exercise their adjustment disorders.
“People, when they care deeply about something, get pissed off when it changes. People hate change. People absolutely hate change,” he said.
“We love it, because it forces people to get back engaged with the game and start thinking again and to get involved in it.
“We’ve got a ton of new modules coming out. We will change how people fit their ships in the most meaningful way in about six or seven years,” he added.
“People will look at this stuff and think, how will I use this to screw someone else over? How do I get an edge by using these new things?
“Right now, everybody knows that for every ship, there are two or three fittings you put on it given the situation. Everybody knows that’s what you do. We’re going to mix that up. We’re going to completely change that around. People will say, do I put the micro jump drive on? They’ll have all these different things.”
Inferno releases on May 22; EVE Online’s economy has already been significantly affected by the impending changes, as players speculate on resource costs. Hit the link above for the full interview.