By now I'm sure many of you have read the recent dev blog on the upcoming industry changes coming this summer. It is universe shaking, to put it into a proper perspective, and will drastically impact what is truly the center of EVE, the economy. Recently Mabrick remarked that these changes, along with the average gamers desire for casual gaming was a combination that does not bode well for the long term growth of EVE. It is interesting that he remarks on this now because I have, in my own gameplay, been experiencing a bit of this and been wondering what to do about it.
Many aspects of EVE do not lend themselves to players who only have a limited amount of game time. For example, even in our wormhole, it takes me roughly 12-15 minutes to run a site and that assumes that I can directly log on and jump into a combat site. The reality is that the prep time to possibly scan down our connection, scout the hole and then switch into combat ships is enough that even a simple task starts to approach the hour mark. I would venture to say that other areas of space have similar setup time around activities though in different ways. And these types of activities seem to be the least time consuming in EVE. Others like mining, industry, station trading, etc. all appear to require a larger commitment of time. Even my PI which makes me money while I'm not in game can take a relatively large portion of time for someone who may only have an hour of gaming available to them.
Much ado is made about how to retain players. Perhaps this aspect of "casual gaming" is one of the reasons that EVE has a harder time holding onto a large percentage of new players. Gaming has always had it share of dedicated hard core players and casual players looking for fun in small portions. It is an interesting issue and perhaps one that does not have a decent solution for EVE. Turn based games like Civilization can be picked up and put down on a moments notice. Even FPS like Titanfall have a limited time spent in each fight making it relatively easy to consume in small bits. EVE takes dedication and can be frustrating to someone just looking to spend a short period of time playing. It can make that time spent seem wildly unproductive and eventually lead players simply to no longer log in.
I find myself in the same situation. Running a corp takes time. It consumes pieces of time that you never thought it would just in communicating with members, answering questions, etc. My own personal play requires a certain amount of time to maintain my PI infrastructure to fund my accounts. This has left me recently feeling like I haven't really "played" EVE in a while even though I'm still getting things done. Sometimes things aren't about just the ISK/hr I'm making from PI but the desire to simply be playing...flying spaceships in space and maybe blowing some things up. I believe I've come up with a good way to balance this going forward for my own personal enjoyment. It will perhaps be something that I bring up more with new recruits to temper their expectations of EVE. While it may not cater to casual gamers, if you can find value in what you do and make sure that what you do in EVE has value to you, then it will be time well spent.