Sunday, March 25, 2007

Miss Me?


Yeah, I know it's been a while...longer than I'd anticipated, and it may be a while still before I'm again posting with the kind of regularity I started with. I can only plead an overwhelming amount of RL stuff to deal with. My new position still hasn't begun, though the launch is (hopefully) coming by the end of the month.

So, I finally had some time last night to fire up Eve and try to get back into it and pick up where I'd left off. This was fairly easy to do, and plus I had the added bonus of Drones V, Heavy Drones IV, and Battlecruisers IV, all of which I'd trained during my off-time. The one and only real advantage to having to take so much time off from Eve is that by the time I get back to it I'm more powerful and more capable than when I left.

During my off-time, Revelations 1.4 was deployed, as well as Eve Voice. To be honest, other than the lighter shade of grey of some of the information screens, I really haven't noticed the slightest difference thus far, but I've also just played for a couple of hours since the patch so I don't think it's really fair to judge that just yet.

Eve Voice, on the other hand, I do have something to say about. I think the idea of a built-in voice chat is a great idea, however, the way this has been offered to players frankly pisses me off. I've already invested over $150 in this game this year, and frankly, I think asking me and other players who make that level of investment in this game to then shell out even more for Eve Voice is not only unfair to players, but will ensure its failure.

After all, why should anyone shell out extra money for this when TeamSpeak is already in use in every alliance and once the server is paid for, is completely free to use? Where's the benefit here? Where's the incentive to switch? I wish someone would clue me in because right now I don't see any point in signing up for even a free trial of a voice chat system that few, if any, at least of those I've spoken with or read their thoughts in the forums on, have any intention of using.

The only way Eve Voice can possibly be successful is if everyone uses it, otherwise, no one will use it. In a nutshell, CCP is asking players to give up a free service that almost every corp or alliance which currently uses voice chat relies on, and instead take on a new, untried system that everyone will have to pay extra for. This thing is dead on arrival unless and until CCP realizes that most of the serious players of this game, the ones who continue to play (and pay) month after month and year after year, just aren't going to willingly shell out more money to replace a system that's not only already universally used in the game, but is free. Again, where's the incentive to switch, or even bother with a 30-day trial of a voice chat system most of their fellow players aren't going to be using when they go into battle because they've already got their TS servers up and running with easy and free access for every single member of their fleet? It just makes no sense for anyone who's really serious about this game to even bother with Eve Voice right now.

Eve Voice should be free, at minimum, to any player with six months or more paid time in the game (not actual chronological time playing, but paid up to that point or later). It's the only way it's even going to be seriously considered by any alliance now using TS or Ventrilio. No alliance leader with half a brain is going to risk using a new and relatively untested voice chat system in battle, especially one that requires players to pay extra for it. What would they do if some of their pilots flying ships critical to their fleets decide, for whatever reason, that they can't or don't want to pay for it? They'd be fucked and they know it, so they're just not going to risk it and will stick with the tried and true. That's just common sense and good leadership, and I'm frankly amazed that CCP apparently doesn't see that.

For myself and other players at my level, Eve Voice would serve no useful purpose other to facilitate casual voice chat at this point and that's just not a good enough reason to bother with it. I spend more than enough time behind a microphone in RL, thank you, and unless I've got a damn good reason, I'm probably not going to bother with in-game voice chat at all. Right now, I just don't see one. I'll save my 30-day free trial for when and if people actually start using this thing.

For a company that has invested such a high level of planning and forethought into this game, CCP certainly doesn't seem to have given Eve Voice and its impact on the game and its players anywhere near the same level of consideration, and that's really a pity.


Lucas said...

aha! was beginning to think RL had spirited you away! welcome back.

Bekka Jae said...


Yeah, RL has been taking up 99% of my time lately, but there's a lull just now...though I know it's the calm before the storm. Once the network actually launches, I'll probably have to disappear again for a little while until the big debut is over and things calm down to something approaching normalcy.

In the meantime, though, I'm going to try to get in as much Eve time as I can, especially since I just (finally, after 30 years) quit smoking, I have a feeling that I'm going to need some high-interest distraction over the next several days.

See ya out there!


Anonymous said...

Well it was only 10 bucks for a year. I agree that people arent going to buy it, cuz obv im the only person i know who has it. the main problem i see is that i have multiple accounts and i have to pay the 10 bucks for each account, which sucks! maybe if they had a package for entire alliances or something it may sell. but they need to sell it better than they have. I want to see some cool features with this, like a better UI interface that is integrated with EVE voice. I listened to some podcasts about this and supposedly there is gonna be faetures like voice-to-text, ability to actually call from your mobile phone into the game and let people know if your gonna be late or get an update on the current news. some neat things, and i dont care about the ten dollars. i guess we will wait and see.