In EVE Online there is an on-going war that has lasted for 6 months already. Called World War Bee 2, it has seen several EVE records smashed. EVE is long-running MMO with a reputation for drama and intrigue. While it is a centralized game, there is a lot that can be learnt from its successes. A recent conflict that took place on 30th December 2020 highlights a few interesting facets of EVE that Decentralized Gaming can learn from.
We will use a recent article in Polygon as a point of reference: “Players in Eve Online broke a world record — and then the game itself”
The headline is based on the a new record set in terms of the number of ships in one battle and the total value destroyed. However, there is more to this scenario that we can unpack for discussion.
- The community prides itself on the value of items destroyed.
- EVE hit it’s scalability limit and had server issues.
- The developers won’t reimburse for any losses due to server problems.
Value of items destroyed
Rather than talk about how much is spent on items as we see almost everywhere else (Star Citizen, every NFT project), the EVE community prides itself on how much is destroyed.
True Ownership must also include the ability for a player to destroy an item and burn the underlying token. In the blockchain community, we haven’t yet seen any pride in destroying assets. This may be a facet that never catches on, since many see blockchain gaming assets as investments.
Scalability limit hit
13,700 players attended this battle, which beats the previous high of 6,557. Whenever there are a lot of players in the same area of EVE, the server slows down the passing of time.
For decentralized gaming to consider competing with centralized gaming, it must aim for a comparable number of concurrent players. Arguably, concurrency is doable with current blockchain technology, but speed is still a huge restriction.
Developers won’t reimburse for any losses
This sounds fair when the development team have a policy of not getting involved, but it also seems like a situation that is ripe for cheating. Either for players cheating (perhaps say command injection) or developers quietly favoring one side or the other.
It can be difficult to prove the latter whenever the data is not public as it is with blockchain; however, I’m going to suggest that isn’t the case here. The developers do apparently have internal checks to prevent corruption. Centralized games always depend on developer honesty, even if it isn’t likely the case here. There has been numerous cases in the past where developers have helped a small set of players.
We do wonder how player cheating can be detected whenever the EVE servers are unstable at such a scale. As mentioned in the article, the developers don’t take any responsibility for what happens. Decentralized gaming should be able to solve this. Blockchain networks require a high degree of redundancy but there is a high guarantee on the validity of the computation.