The masters of Eve Online aren’t the people with all of the information. The elite are those who know what to do with the information and how to organize it. This is the philosophy that I had in mind when I first launched the Neocom. As time went by and our team grew to extend into different realms, I had lost sight of this and found myself caught up in havering fingers dipped in several pools of information at once.
Not that I was focused of taking any kind of exclusivity from other sites, but rather attempting to simplify the labyrinth of information sources available to new and experienced players alike. Instead of improving the wheel, I found myself trying to reinvent it. Conversely, this ended up complicating our original intent of focusing on the new player. I now realize that focusing on the new player as well as the game itself are not mutually exclusive.
Individuals are Smart, the Mob is Stupid
One dynamic of disseminating information is the fact that as an individual, a single person is able to take on information differently than information targeted at a large group of people. I believe this to be a general flaw in the way most of the eve media pumps out information mixed with articles which is further diluted by idiosyncrasies in game and Alliance meta for the sake of entertainment.
Early on with our affiliation with Brave Collective, this was a trap that we fell into right off the bat. The game meta heavily influenced the type of content that we ran, including the inaugural podcast. As far as exposure went, things couldn’t have been better. But we fell into the Trap of dissemination of information that was focused on a group of people rather than a single individual regardless of their play style or affiliation.
This was also a philosophy that I believe CCP Ghost brought to the new player experience. The sense of individuality needed to be brought back into the game. The methods for doing so were up for heavy debate for some time, but I believe in the end, the focus on the individual did bring new life to the new player experience. I believe the same philosophy needs to be taken with the information regarding the game as a whole.
When you just put out information for the masses, again that sense of individuality is gone and you feel that you’re just trying to catch up and absorb the same information that’s available to everybody and you always feel like you’re behind or not informed about a certain aspect of the game. That’s not to say that people should know everything right off the bat, but you should give them the information that lets them feel as if they are growing in some type of progression.
Drinking from the Fire Hose
Our new focus will be tailoring information to the individual prospective player or existing player with a multi-pronged approach. But first we have to dissect the types of information that is available in the world of Eve Online. This information can be in any form from articles, YouTube, Twitch, audio podcasts, etc:
- Game experience and Immersion
Game Mechanics / How To’s
Corporations and Alliances
Out of game resources
Events both in game and out of game
And finally individual player / developer spotlighting
Let’s not try to reinvent the wheel here as all of this kind of information is out there. The question is how do we organize it and centralize all of this information that makes it both user-friendly and easily consumable for the individual? The in-game menu that organizes functions at the click of a button is called the Neocom. That is where our original inspiration for our function came from, thus that is going to be the re-envisioned focus of the Neocom.
The Enthusiasm Effect
Our excitement and enthusiasm for the game has always been genuine. Whether we are promoting individuals or events, our goal has always been to make this type of information consumable for players and prospective players alike. This will always be the legacy of Kira Tsukimoto. We intend on continuing in that tradition.
Enthusiasm alone however will not garner all of the necessary attention needed to be a valuable resource for attracting new players. Player generated events and even the drama that ensues are also things that put a considerable spotlight on our community. No, the outside press might not always get the nuances and circumstances a hundred percent correct, but we can still use it to our advantage and even be a source for methods of clarification regarding complex subjects by centralizing the information available from within the community.
The Spider Web
Being a centralized hub of information without duplicating or over complicating the process is the challenge. While some out of game resources such as TotalEve.com makes good use of RSS functionality to aggregate news and Eve-related blogs, people still have to navigate through the sites that are linked or use search engines to get content from resources like the Eve University wiki. Updated wiki pages are a great resource of information, but it’s not engaging. One of the problems that we often talk about in the community is that once you alt+tab out of the game, you are no longer immersed in the game. The best we can do is to bring the Eve Online experience out of the game. That means an interface of available information published from as many available sources as possible.
This is going to lead up to a complete relaunch of the website. The new site will navigate much like its namesake and bring content aggregators and generators together under one roof. Their content remaining exclusive to them, related articles, videos, and other media sources will be available to every player who uses The Neocom site much like a giant navigation menu. In the longer term, this will be launched as an application that people can navigate on the go, or have it in easy to read formats for their phones or tablets.
Overall, the new Neocom project will benefit everyone without stepping on toes and violating media boundaries. Everyone who is an information resource from mister blogwriter, to large media sites like TMC and EveNT, to video content producers of all kinds will have a chance to participate and be part of the out of game experience that will feel like an in-game resource. This also allows development teams from CCP to feel less pressured to constantly update game information and features posted on the Eve Online website that might be outdated as community resources will supplement existing information as its generated in real time.
As exciting as this vision is, the new Neocom will be a living resource with a marketable bow tied neatly on the top. Our video productions will supplement new information, news, and resources in the entertaining format that made it popular in the first place. This will take time – a lot of it. But once the shell is completed, new sections and information can be added easily thru utilizing both automatic and manual tools. We look forward to bringing this vision forward and releasing more info as its updated.