SOE talks player power in EVE and Planetside 2: "It’s impossible to be everything to everyone"

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A few weeks ago Graham got to interview Planetside 2's creative director, Matt Higby, about the MMO sequel.

Even though the interview was conducted before last night's post from CCP, the now contentious subject of Eve Online's Council of Stellar Management came up. They're a selection of players who represent the player base and meet with the developers to discuss development.

Matt admits that it's important to keep players happy, but insists that developers must maintain a clear vision during development: "The quickest way to fail, I think, is trying to be everything to everyone. You can't really do that. That's the surest and fastest way to make a bad product. We will have to say no to some things."

"I think that [CCP] have a really unique and viable approach to getting feedback," said the creative director.

"They take suggestions, they use them when they can, and at the end of the day, all of us want to make our players happy. That's what we're there for. And I'm going to play the game, too. So I'm going to want to make myself happy. It's just a matter of figuring out priorities, figuring out timelines for things."

Matt's views echoed the sentiments expressed by CCP's CEO in last nights post, where he admitted to suffering from "hubris" before addressing the player base directly : "The greatest lesson for me is the realization that EVE belongs to you, and we at CCP are just the hosts of your experience. When we channel our passion for EVE constructively, we can make this vision a reality together."

The Planetside developer is determined not to make a similar mistake.

"It's impossible to be everything to everyone, and I think in general people like feeling that their feedback was heard and that their concerns were appreciated." said Matt.

"I think that's worth the trade-off rather than just say, "It's a black box. We'll give you what you want, we'll tell you what you'll want, and you'll want it." I don't like that approach very much. Because we're wrong all the time about stuff.

"We make assumptions non-stop that we think this is the way to do it - we're dead wrong. That's why we have usability testing, that's why we have beta testing."