However, CCP did eliminate nearly the entire EVE Community Team. For example, CCP fired CCP Phanton, the man responsible for locking my groundbreaking Manifesto and Manifesto II threads so many years ago. The threads, which are from the pre-Code era, provided much of the intellectual justification for what would ultimately become the Code. Dismissing these historic threads as mere "rants" (like the Declaration of Independence was a rant?), CCP Phantom tried to strangle the Code in its crib, so to speak. The Code survived. CCP Phantom did not.
Among the Community Team, CCP Falcon is the only notable member who has been confirmed not to have been terminated. The full extent of the CCP "banwave" isn't yet known. Reportedly, there are few if any layoffs among the EVE Development Team (those who design the game, rather than interacting with the community). CCP Fozzie remains at his post.
Naturally, these events have intensified the "EVE is dying" chatter, which has been growing steadily over the past few years. Clearly, CCP is in trouble, and so is EVE. How can they be saved? As always, the answer is for CCP to listen to me. CCP, you'll want to read MinerBumping especially carefully today.
STEP ONE: FIX NULLSEC.
Nullsec is in a state of unprecedented crisis--which is to say, peace. In the nearly two and a half years since the introduction of FozzieSov, there have been no major wars in nullsec. Actually, there's one big exception: World War Bee (i.e., the Casino War). However, WWB/Casino War doesn't count in any meaningful sense when considering the health of nullsec, because it only occurred due to massive funding from the now-illegal EVE gambling sites. Since gambling sites can't fund any future wars, we need to look at major wars that occurred organically during the FozzieSov era. There haven't been any.
In the year and a half since the end of the Casino War, there have been no major wars in nullsec. None. Zero. And no, your alliance's little local conflict that nobody cares about didn't count as a "major war". Nor did your alliance's aborted attempt at a campaign that lasted a week and didn't accomplish anything. Major wars in EVE are events, and you know them when you see them. You can't miss 'em. They attract media attention, they reshape the map of nullsec, and they cause the number of logged-in EVE players to spike.
In short, they keep EVE going. Nullsec isn't going anywhere at the moment, it hasn't for a long time, and it doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Nullsec is broken. Jump fatigue helped break it, and FozzieSov made sure it stayed broken.
Here's how to fix nullsec:
#1. Fix sov. Do it simply: One structure with one reinforcement timer that can be pre-set to last anywhere from 0 hours to 24 hours. That's it. Whoever shows up when the structure comes out of reinforcement and holds the field, gets sov.
"But James 315, we need a massive advantage for the defending side, and lots of intricate mechanics, and multiple timers spanning days."
No, you don't. All you need for a sov system is a simple mechanic that forces the defender to show up at a given time and win a fleet battle.
"But James 315, the defender needs lots of advance notice before a fight."
No, they don't. It's better to have a faster-paced system, even if that means not everybody can show up to the fight. If you lose, launch an organized counter-offensive.
"But James 315, the winner needs to have overwhelming force, otherwise there will be ping-ponging back and forth."
Good. Ping-ponging means the sides are actually fighting. A good sov system is one that encourages the underdog to at least try to win. You also want a system that tempts an attacker to action. When designing a sov system, you need to do everything to minimize the EVE player's natural risk-aversion, rather than maximizing it. Then action might take place.
#2. Delete jump fatigue.
There are ways to adjust jump fatigue to make it work properly, but that's too complicated for CCP. Get rid of it.
#3. Delete all supercaps.
Again, there are ways that supercaps can be adjusted to make them scale with the other ships and integrated into a rock-paper-scissors dynamic, rather than being an unstoppable apex force. Years ago, I wrote at some length about how to do this. However, it's complicated to pull it off, and CCP won't be able to get it right. Therefore, all supercaps should be deleted from the game.
"But James 315, Pandemic Legion would be very upset if this happened."
I remember PL before they became all about supercaps. If there's anything left of that PL, they'd do just fine in a post-supercap EVE.
"But James 315, some people spent years grinding isk to get their supercaps, or they PLEXed to buy supercaps using real money."
That's not what EVE is about.
#4. Delete remote reps.
There's a case to be made for remote reps on smaller ships, and there are probably some ways you could make remote reps not inhibit gameplay, but it's too complicated for CCP to get right. Eliminate them instead. The problem with remote reps has always been that they can make battles too one-sided. You need to tempt the underdog into battle, or else conflict won't take place. The idea that a powerful but losing fleet can inflict little damage because they can't quite break the remote-rep tank of the other side--that outweighs any benefits remote reps add to gameplay. Besides, remote reps have had their time in the sun for far too long. It's time to explore different metas.
#5. Make shifting, scarce resources.
Remember when tech moons were the big thing? Remember the technetium cartel? People complained that conspiracies to control tech would bring peace and stagnation to nullsec. Actually, the value and scarcity of tech in those days made them a conflict driver. Even when the cartel was functioning as intended, there was a lot more conflict and a lot more war in nullsec than there is now. The reason is that people had an incentive to try to conquer and defend space; some space was significantly more valuable than other space.
CCP should learn from that experience to create a couple different valuable, scarce resources, and then periodically shift their locations on the nullsec map. To make them amply desirable, these resources need to be bottleneck items that everyone needs, like technetium back in the day.
STEP TWO: GO ALL-IN ON THE CODE.
CCP tried Walking In Stations, World of Darkness, DUST 514, and VR. None of those things worked. They cost the company untold amounts of money. It's time for CCP to put its faith in something different--a good idea. Why not the Code?
#1. Nerf highsec PvE into oblivion.
Highsec rewards are far too great, considering highsec's low risk and and the convenience of highsec's trade hubs. PvE in highsec should offer almost no rewards at all. Delete incursions, higher-level missions, ice, mid-level ores, etc.
#2. Buff highsec PvP.
All of the anti-fun measures taken by CCP over the last several years should be reversed. Mining ships and freighters' EHP should be cut back down to size. Ore bays should be removed. Can-flipping should return: Delete the safety button and all crimewatch rules that discourage aggression games. Make wardecs cheap against corps and alliances of all sizes.
Increase the time it takes CONCORD to respond. Decrease its effectiveness.
Delete the faction police entirely.
#3. General amnesty for everyone banned for non-botting reasons.
Everyone who has ever been banned for anything other than botting should be unbanned. Think about all of the great players we'd get back. Imagine the headlines.
#4. Put my face on the one dollar bill.
Maybe not literally, but you get the idea. EVE has something really great and special with the Code, so CCP should promote it. Don't be embarrassed that people are actually generating content; acknowledge their effect on the game and its players. CCP should make the Code part of the EVE tutorial. They should end dev blogs with "Praise James!" Then people might read them again.
Until nullsec is fixed, the Code is all EVE has. Let's not pretend otherwise. Let's celebrate the Code and everything it has done for the game.
If you're one of CCP's remaining employees, now is not the time to wallow in misery. There's no need to torment yourselves with sleepless nights spent wondering how to get out of the mess you've made. You've got all the answers--everything you need to do--right here in this one MinerBumping post. I didn't even stretch it into a two-parter, though I certainly could have. Fixing EVE couldn't be easier. Get to it.