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Monday, March 9, 2009

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Noah Ward Discusses EVE Online Scandals
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

MTV Multiplayer recently posted a new interview with CCP Games' Noah Ward. The lead designer for the company's sci-fi MMO, EVE Online, discussed player reaction to in-game scandals and CCP's interaction with the player elected Council of Stellar Management.

MTV Multiplayer: Recently there have been some player scandals [regarding in-game economic exploits]. Do you feel that is a natural consequence of giving players more freedom? What do you think happened there?

Lead designer, Noah Ward: Well yeah, but that was actually sort of the goal. When you give players freedom to do whatever they want, then you’re going to have these sorts of massive political scandals — and the players really love it. The largest alliance in the game was broken up by a trader on the inside and when this happened we were really worried at first because we were like, “Oh no! Everyone’s going to quit!” And it was really horrible for us.
That was in the morning, but a couple hours later the buzz on the forums was crazy, subscriber numbers were growing, and everybody was really excited. Because everyone was becoming complacent and bored with being the biggest alliance, and then all of a sudden now there’s war and turmoil. People who used to be in the alliance were re-subscribing and everyone was really excited about it so it’s not necessarily always a bad thing when this sort of stuff happens. Somebody on the other side was interviewed, and he was saying “When you beat the biggest raid in ['World of Warcraft'] you don’t get an interview in The New York Times but when this sort of thing happens it makes real-world news.”

MTV Multiplayer: So you think when these scandals happen, it’s not always a bad thing?
Ward: Yeah, I think it’s what makes “EVE” so unique and what makes the world rich. We could’ve never scripted that; you would never be able to come up with something like that. It’s what the people like, they have this freedom and that’s why this stuff is happening. Even if you were on the losing side of that, in a few years you’ll look back and say, “I was part of that crazy thing that happened.” Another big interesting thing that happened was during the alliance tournament, there was an assassination. Somebody killed one of the guys on his own team as part of some contract. People in the gaming press were comparing that to the assassination of Lord British [in "Ultima Online"].
Head over to the page linked below to read the full interview.

MTV Multiplayer: EVE Online In-Game Scandals, Player Corruption
CCP Games
EVE Online

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Archives  News  Noah Ward Discusses EVE Online Scandals