Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where is the "Ding" in Eve Online

I'm unfaithful to Eve Online, I'm ashamed to admit. I do play around. I'm a bit of a gaming slut. I justify this by saying it's like your favorite food. I love fillet steak, but if I had it for every meal, every day, I'd soon get bored of it. Therefore I like..... no, I need, some variety! Please note guys, this excuse does work for computer games and food, do NOT try this after the wife catches you! It doesn't work in THAT way.

Anyway, I do play other games. Obviously not as much as Eve which takes up 90% of my "gaming life", but now and again I have a spurt on something else. So far this year it's been Starcraft II, Skyrim, Dwarf Fortress, Civilisation V, Modern Warfare and a few others. But I'm getting a bit bored of them so needed something new to spice up my gaming life alongside Eve Online. Therefore in the week I called in at the (only) local games shop in the city (I live in a desert, computer games shops are not popular here!) to see what was out. Restricted bandwidth means downloading a game is not ideal as I'll have to be very careful with internet usage for the rest of the month.

So I poke through the shelves. Diablo III? Heard its nowhere as good as one and two and the real cash auction house ruins the "ZOMG! I found an amazing bit of loot!" from the originals. SW:TOR? Again, heard it's very "theme parky" and "Not as good as SW:G before SoE right royally ****ed it up" so may be not for me. Ha! Look at that, they have the original World of Warcraft box!

Now I used to play WoW many years ago, and I did so for a long time. It was natural progression. I started with Everquest in the late 1990's and tried most of these types of MMORPG. Everquest and WoW were the only ones I spent any time on. Age of Conan, Warhammer Online etc were a few months distraction before being left on the shelf to gather dust.

Anyway, seeing WoW on the shelf there, I started reminiscing about Everquest and WoW. I cannot compare them to Eve Online. No way. But these games were fun to play and did hit the brains pleasure centre. It has been said that many games rely on the work-reward system. You work hard (bashing 100's of spiders) and then DING (the sound that was made when you leveled up) you are rewarded with new stats, spells, equipment and the like. This hits some particular part of the brain to give you a good feeling, so you do it more. It has been said this is one of the reasons Diablo III hasn't been as successful. With the auction house there is no "high" when you loot an amazing bit of kit.

Now, never one to shy away from a controversial subject, I will ask the question. Is this "hit" missing from Eve Online?

In a few hours Drackarn will "Ding". He'll complete Gallente Cruiser V. I'm now very close to being able to fly every sub-capital combat ship in game. Just missing Amarr Frigate V and Minmatar Battleship V.

Now will this give me the same rush and same feeling of achievement as I got ten years ago hacking and slashing dragons, goblins and the various walking dead until I heard that little "Ding"?


It's no real achievement to get Gall Cruiser V, it wasn't hard work or skill. In fact it was very easy. 4 weeks ago I right clicked the skill in my character sheet and selected "Train after current queue". And that's it. In some respects it gives me the same things in game as leveling up in other games. I will be able to fly (equip) a new selection of ships (gear). I have all non-racial ship classes (and other prerequisite skills) already trained so I will instantly "unlock" the Gallente HIC, the HACs, the Recons, the Strategic Cruisers (with a day of subsystems training) the logistics and all other T2 cruiser hulls in case I missed a class. In fact I could have my own personal fleet of ships given the range I can fly.

But do you get the same feeling as levelling up in a traditional XP based MMOG? Do a trick, get reward? 


I do get that "Ding" feeling in Eve Online though. I get it from PvP, especially solo and small gang PvP. You work, you achieve, you get rewarded when that scum-bag's ship explodes in a fire-death-ball-of-death. However, it can go the other way when they destroy my ship and I don't get the "Ding" feeling, just the ability to use three swear words in rapid succession F***-S***-B*****!!!!!!!!

Is the lack of a general "Ding feeling" one of the things that stops people sticking with the game. Does CCP need to implement some form of mechanic to add in the "Ding feeling" to boost player numbers. Do we need something like an XP bar? Should some professions be boosted by grinding or experience type play?

Or should we stick to telling people who want that sort of gratification in their computer game to "**** off to WoW" and hope we find enough people like us who can play the game without the "Ding"?

What do people think? Should Eve have some for of "levelling" system to pull in more players?

P.S. - Personally I don't, but thought it might make an interesting blog. ;)


  1. I spent many years playing WoW before I found this internet spaceship game you might have heard of. To me, the only significant dings I got from WoW were the last ones; reaching level cap, getting to the top(bottom) of the skill tree, capping out professions. All accompanied by that tell-tale gong blast.

    You got it right when you said that EVE isn't devoid of its "ding" moments, minus the pomp and circumstance. Seeing your wallet tick over a billion for the first time, getting your first solo kill or anchoring your first POS are all noteworthy moments in the life of a capsuleer. What separates achievements in EVE from those of other games are the steps we took to get there. Our goals are more ephemeral. Our paths are dramatically less defined.

    I think our accomplishments mean more to us not only as players, but as humans because of this. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

  2. When I hear "Skill Training Completed" on Corelin my usual reaction is "What was I training again?" Stupid 30 day trains....

  3. I dunt know about anyone else... but I see EVE as simply too different from all other MMOs for any comparison to work...

    Jellybeans (instagratis = WoW) to Steak (EVE = the longrun).

  4. /quote
    Does CCP need to implement some form of mechanic to add in the "Ding feeling"

    no No "NO!"

    1. I concour - NO, NO, NO and hmmm, NO!

  5. I do get a 'ding' feeling when a long skill is trained but it is more like "yes, I can finally fly that ship I was training for (or those I can finally use those t2 turrets)." The feeling is definitly different for support skills.. engineering lvl 4? .. ehm not so exciting. Useful yes, but exciting? no.

  6. If you think you're a gaming whore, you're wrong. I total over 400 games, digital and "hardware" editions. I like them all. Makes sense, I bought them.

    I like WoW for fantasy pew. I like SW:TOR for the Knights of the Old Republic feeling, it really isn't a MMO, it's more like of a KotOR unplugged, which makes it nice. I love EvE. I like WoT a lot but I hate the MT part with all my heart. I like FPSs and RTSs with SC2 being on top of my list there.

    I don't have a favourite game. I don't have a life. I'm a gamer. I have many lives.

    I don't think people should be ashamed of this. I strongly believe that some 1337 EvE players that dismiss this sort of attitude should pull their heads out of their collective WH and admit there's other stuff around that's worth it. And no, it's not Tanks. Nor ponies.

    Game on. Destroy all the mice. Crush all the keyboards. Win them all in the way that each is meant to be won. Life would be so boring without them :)

  7. I have long thought of something tangent to this. Like everyone I like the train while you are gone aspect. However, I have always thought it would be nice to have a leveling system in some regard for playing. At least if you are logged in and doing something, say killing rats or players you would learn fighting and or fitting skills faster. If you mine or run industrial pursuits you could learn industry skills at a plus rate. In a similar fashion to loyalty point gain or standing increase. Yeah, I know some haven't the time and just enjoy logging in once a week or so to change skills and mess around. I just wonder if one found it more advantageous to log on (even if for skills) it would populate the game more. Could be a new can of worms with leveling botters but, wouldn't they be just as detectable as current botters?

  8. @Kik, wherever you copy'n'pasted that, cool story bro! word.

    @ding-theory: NO FUCKING WAY! to implement a level-alike system into EVE, the ONLY sandbox (or 'near sandbox') MMO available, would totally destroy the EVE feeling we all know and like! the 'ding' you're talking about would only result in people degenerating to pure isk-farmers and bot-mining soulless zombies, even if pvp would contribute to the 'xp' you'd be needing for levelling up. I mean, where would be the advantage? EVE's skill system is ok the way it is now and I don't need another piece of EVE which adds to the pressure ('ding') I have today with my skillqueue, pvp'ing, FW and stuff. No thanks.

  9. No copy paste, just speaking my mind :)

    I think you're implying that sandbox can't exist without a skillsystem like EvE has. That's utterly false. And dunno what game you're playing, but in EvE there are people that are just ISK farmers and bot miners.

    In EvE there are some "ding" moments. Have HAC/Recon/Logi/CS V and just finished Gallente cruiser V? You just unlocked a ton of ships and a new type of gameplay. Oh yea, you don't turn gold or smth like that, but it might still feel like an achievement.

  10. Yeah right but that's exactly what I was talking about, there ARE dings in EVE, you don't need to create new ones by adding a level-up system. Agreed?

  11. I most certainly do, it'd be actually retarded to swap the skill system for a level-based progression.

  12. Level systems are kind-of stupid, that is why most RPGs since GURPS have replaced them with skill and attribute advancement based advancement allowing for a more customized character development.

    For me the old (A)D&D style leveling system was something that always broke the immersion factor and made suspension of disbelief hard. So you reach a certain XP cap, and all of a sudden you get a new special ability, you can use spells you couldn't access before and all kinds of other things change at once and out of nowhere.

    Most games these days have replaced that with a skill tree system even if they use levels. Why they keep holding on to the levels is beyond me. Maybe it is like Drackarn says, and people just want to have that moment of achievement, that 'ding'