The new “teams” feature: a shift toward better immersion?
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Keynote_cost_scalingEarlier today, CCP SoniClover announced a new aspect of industry jobs: the workforce. Once the summer release hits, all jobs will have a basic workforce by default, but if you want to improve things like material efficiency or speed, you can hire a team of experts skilled in manufacturing whatever you’re producing. Players will be able to work together to bid for a team to come to a particular solar system. The system winning the auction will have the team there for the next month improving efficiency in their area of expertise.

One potential impact I see is that it could encourage industrialists to work together. Industry can be kind of a lonely activity. You tend your jobs, haul goods around, buy and sell — but you don’t actually have to interact with anyone else if you don’t want to. This won’t necessarily require interaction, but there’ll be a sense of other people working toward the same thing you are — i.e., getting a particular team into your home system. One thing that might happen is people who are otherwise not associated with each other will find ways to cooperate, even band together in cartels, to get particular experts to their areas.

I don’t know. It just seems like a possible outcome.

And here’s something else that intrigued me in SoniClover’s post:

Teams are now generated and seeded by the system, but putting team creation and training in the hands of players would add a new profession to the game. Creating and developing teams would likely be something players could do on planets, as part of Planetary Interaction (PI). A team owner could then auction of his teams and get a cut of their extra salary cost.

planetaryOoooh, now THAT interests me quite a lot. EVE has often felt to me like this place with little to no regular people. Yeah, we know our ships have crews, but they just don’t become a factor that often, at least not in my experience. It kind of breaks the immersion for me — this feeling that I’m in a universe with these big glowing planets with nobody on them, and just about the only living creatures around are fellow immortals.

Oh, and with PI, I can hook up these giant extractor units and Hoover stuff right out of the planet. But what about the people living there? They might’ve wanted those, umm, autotrophs, whatever the hell they are. I have factories down there, but no sense of people actually working in them. (Well, who knows, on the more inhospitable planets, maybe it IS all automated.)

Fleshing out the worlds will make things cooler. I’m sure of that. It won’t feel so much like we’re the only things stirring in the universe, and I think it’ll be more apparent that capsuleers are different from regular people.

I’m hoping this means CCP eventually intends to do stuff with ship crews. What about those Leadership skills, hmm? What if having particular Leadership skills gets you better performance out of your crew? In my D&D game, we sometimes use the Of Ships And The Sea supplement, and a captain’s skill does have an effect on certain rolls.

And that also goes back to immersion. I mean, I’ve had one of my Drakes for a couple of years now, and I would hope I know at least a few of my crew members’ names. If Old Ironysides blows up, a bunch of those folks will be dead. I’d like the consequences to be more obvious and to have more of an impact than they do now.

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About Suzariel Kel-Paten

Software developer by day, writer and EVE player by night. My three mains are Suzariel Kel-Paten, Ystvan Chang, and Weyland Zaslow. I live in the Southeastern US with my husband and our cats and dogs. I have a Twitter account (@suzariel), but I mostly just read and don't often post there.

Comments

The new “teams” feature: a shift toward better immersion? — 1 Comment

  1. I would like to see NPCs made more important in the EVE universe. Our crewed ships should have to be staffed using money and standings (or at least security standings) whenever they are assembled. Lose a ship in a mission or in PvP? Take a hit; find it a little bit harder to crew your next ship that you assemble in a station of that same corp…or even faction. Take hull damage? Lose a proportional number of crew, and the cost of repair includes, or is supplemented by, the cost of rehiring. Throw away a crew in a suicide gank? Your next crew is significantly more expensive as your standings drop. These penalties could be offset by victory conditions achieved, or avoided if you buy your new ship in the right station/empire.

    Capsuleers are the nascent gods of New Eden. There should be a bit more pressure on us, I think, to be benevolent deities sometimes. It should be possible for us to inspire the masses, but bad behavior should wear out one’s welcome.

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