EVE Evolved: Motivating the troops

In EVE Online, pilots are encouraged to join player-run corps in order to find a place in the game they can belong and meet like-minded people with similar goals. As the CEO of a small EVE corporation, I've often found the hardest part of running a corp is keeping the members motivated. In a previous article, I gave advice on running a corporation, from details on keeping your assets secure against theft to the different types of operations a corp can go on. Following that, I explored the importance of corporate goals and a few of the things corps routinely work together to achieve. Maintaining motivation is integral to both running corp operations and achieving goals. Demotivated pilots will rarely join in on corp activities and are more likely to leave the corp in search of a better one. This is a particularly big problem in PvP-based organisations like faction warfare corps, pirate squads or territorial alliances.

In this short article, I look at four of my favourite ways a corp can motivate their pilots.
Regular events:

While some corps are simple communities of players that like to chat with each other, the most effective corps are those with a purpose or goal. Whether your corp's chosen speciality is mining, mission-running, PvP or anything else, players that join an active corp will expect organised events in which to participate. Holding regular events can be a great motivator and a good bonding experience for corp-mates. To ensure high participation, it's recommended to schedule events at least several days in advance.

Medals and rewards:
A good corporate reward scheme has the potential to greatly raise pilot morale and encourage participation in events and operations. Rewards needn't even be monetary in nature. A similar motivating effect can be achieved with the in-game medal system, which allows the CEO to design custom medals and give them out to corp-mates at his own discretion. Medals and rewards are both very effective ways to promote behaviour you'd like to see more of. You might want to give out medals for attending a certain number of corp events or make a medal for flying essential electronic warfare or tackling ships in PvP operations. They can also be used to make pilots feel better about losing an expensive ship during a successful operation and help stop a loss of motivation after a defeat.

After-action reports:
Particularly in PvP-oriented corps, a short blow-by-blow account of an entire operation from start to finish can be a big motivator. In addition to highlighting corp successes, this gives an opportunity to explain anything that went wrong and what can be improved upon. Battle reports are the perfect time to dish out rewards, medals and commendations to pilots that performed well. They also give an opportunity to console corp members on their losses and can serve as promotion for a future event. A well-written battle report can turn an ordinary night's PvP into a narrative adventure featuring members of your corp.

Videos and posters:
As EVE can produce some spectacular videos and screenshots, films and posters have become a very popular way to boost pilot morale. As an added bonus, videos of your corp in action are a great way to draw in new recruits and showcase what you're capable of. It's always worth celebrating momentous victories with a video of the event or a round of screenshots. PvP-focused alliances will often ask a few members to record footage of operations specifically for this purpose. Some go as far as to produce full-on propaganda posters and films.

Summary:
Motivation is one of EVE's main limiting factors and without it the game can really lose its appeal. In the face of frequent PvP losses or low corp activity, players may leave in search of another corporation or another game. There are things that a corp's CEO can do to help improve the morale of his team and motivate them to work together. Whether it's running a weekly frigate tournament, handing out medals or celebrating corp achievements in film, there are plenty of ways to motivate the troops.
Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at massively.com. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you want to message him, send him an e-mail at brendan.drain AT weblogsinc DOT com. Stay motivated! :D

This article was originally published on Massively.