Thursday, July 11, 2013

BB #47 The Complexity Complex

"Ripard Teg over at Jester's Trek wrote a post called Don't Do Anything Stupid and offered it as the basis of a Blog Banter as he is curious what others feel on the subject.

Is EVE too complex for one person to know everything? Is it, in fact, too complex for one person to know everything about one topic? How do you maintain any knowledge or skills related to EVE over time with breaks and expansions? Does CCP do a sufficient job documenting the features of the game, and if not, what could they do better? How does one determine where the gaps in their knowledge even are?"

For this month's Blog Banter there are several questions posed that all tie into each other and tend to relate to the knowledge about Eve Online.

While Eve has a complex system and depth on various topics the fact that one person can know everything can be kind of a stretch.  I'd consider that there are several Eve players who know most of the things in Eve whether in-depth or generalized they could give an accurate depiction of any one of the dozens of subject matter available.

The key aspect with any knowledge which you have is maintaining what you know.  I tend to play a lot of other games and sometimes I'll return to one I liked a year later only to find my advancement halted by how complicated things seem.  I had already figured the system out and was advancing quite rapidly only to forget all of that a year later.  The lack of use allowed me to forget simple things, but a key difference is the ability to quickly review and adapt your current ability of learning into an area which you know something about.

Knowledge is the key to everything, and what one knows can either aid or destroy him.  Just because we play a game like Eve where video games have a stigma of being a waste of time and not educational; how easily do we pick up new concepts and mechanics in every game we play?  Having had to introduce a new game to people who have never had a background in gaming, it can be quite difficult for them to grasp basic concepts which we take for granted. 

Eve Online is our world, and it is something we have invested time and effort in.  There is no quick guide to understanding a concept, and most of the mechanics or functions of modules are not documented very well in game.  This requires one to "play the game, out of game" to really learn how things work in a reasonable manner.  While keeping proper documentation on a game that is constantly evolving can be difficult and take up time, I think CCP should put a little more effort into keeping key areas regularly updated.  Since players spend more time figuring things out and providing plenty of in-depth documentation on theories or methods on how to accomplish something, all CCP really needs to do is keep a summary of these mechanics or methods where a newer person won't have to wade through all the jargon to find a simple answer.

For a more in-depth look at how things work, the internet is full of guides and explanations.  But even for advanced "veteran" status players, they still will probably have to look stuff up, and they have been playing the game for years.  We really don't know where our knowledge is lacking until something happens in which it pertains to us.  I never bothered to learn missile mechanics because it didn't concern me at the time.  Since I've joined Stay Frosty I've had to deal with players using missiles and I decided to learn how they worked because the situation applied to me.  That is how things go in real life, rarely do we say "I know nothing of quantum mechanics" and then go out and look it up when it won't have any application to what we are currently doing.

Whether in gaming or real life the only true constant is not how much you know, but your ability to learn which will decide the end result.

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