Why is Eve on my ‘Return’ List?

In my previous post (regarding the current sabbatical from online gaming), I left Eve as a second option for returning (other than GW2).  But it does not have any element at all of the new metric I am seeking from an MMO now – an engaging Story element.

Or does it?

Eve is a fickle game to many, including me.  One of its core tenets is to have its players shape its universe, in turn making their own Stories.  CCP just supplies the core mechanics.  And in its own way, that kind of Story can be fun too, because you really are a part of it.  In fact, this form of ’emergent’ play is similar to how some LARPs work on a long-term basis.

There are drawbacks to that of course; I don’t call Eve ‘the largest game of Diplomacy on the planet’ for nothing.  But if you can find the right folks to hang out with its not bad at all – my final year there was involved with the relatively small RP community, and is my likely re-entry point for any venture back to Eve.

The main problem for me, even now, is the need for a Subscription to enjoy the style of play I like there – Industry and its Market.  Nothing is unlocked on an Alpha for that form of activity, which I can understand, but that makes it even harder to want to re-enter the game at $15/month to unlock the other half of my character’s potential.

Which is why I have been predicting the idea of ‘Tiered Subscriptions’ – lower cost options with lesser restrictions than the free Alpha clone.  The main price point I see happening is $10/month to remove access to XL sized ships (Capitals and Super-Capitals), which I’ve been calling Gamma.  That is a very reasonable cost for a sizable part of the community to get behind, as many do not fly those anyway.  Another option, which I call Beta, is a partial unlock of Industry and the Market (as well as more of the ORE mining ship line) for $5/month.  It would be a serious no-brainer for me to pick that up, because even with a minor unlock of ships and skills my character would go from about 50% effective to 75% or more, and I could possibly support myself in-game with that kind of price point as well.

While I can see some potential downsides to this (in particular where to balance the Beta point at – if it happened at all), I feel the general idea may be worth pursuing, and hope CCP considers the options at some point.