EVE Plex and Other Things: The Search Problem

EVE, EVE Online, EVE Online Market, EVE Online Ships, Eve Plex, Eve Ships, Opinion, Reddit

EVE is many things, but one thing that it isn’t is a game with a fully functional search utility on its in-game market. It can be quite a pain for the business savvy folks just to go about their daily buying and selling of EVE online ships, various other EVE items and, to a certain extent, even EVE plex.

The world’s largest spreadsheet can be a huge turn off for newbies trying their hand out in the market for the first time. It leaves a lot to be desired and can certainly get some improvements and upgrades. Luckily, a certain redditor took note of this lack in search functionality for EVE ships and other EVE items by presenting his own points and suggestions for improvement.

But, first, why is this even a problem for new players? How would they even know how to work it in the first place? Well, that’s exactly the problem; it’s always going to be their first time whenever they would decide to work with the EVE market, no matter how long they’ve been delving in space wars at that point in time.

EVE, EVE Online, EVE Online Market, EVE Online Ships, Eve Plex, Eve Ships, Opinion, Reddit 2

Here’s an example set out by our redditor:

Type A prefers to use the search function to get to the products they want, where type B prefers to use a category view. Players of type B won’t have that much of a problem, when they at least know what kind of thing they want. Type A players, people who don’t even know how modules could be called, will terribly fail when trying to find anything.

EVE items have some of the most notoriously difficult-to-remember names and can pose quite a huge problem for Type A players. Searching for something as innocuous as “Shield” won’t exactly yield all shield-type items as many of these items don’t even have shield in their name in the first place.

As with the OP, the naming conventions in EVE aren’t awful; they’re just not sensible or customer-friendly.

EVE Plex Conundrum – Some Suggested Improvements

The search logic of the search function in the market behaves in a manner that requires full words and quite unlike the auto-tracking or correction function found in most search engines these days like Google. Typing in ‘lar shi boo” will not at all find any Large Shield Boosters in the market, unlike the capabilities of mainstream search engines that will find the most relevant thing to the gibberish one just typed.

Let our redditor continue on with this:

This is the first point I would consider changing: Some kind of “split” search, that doesnt just use the full search term, but each word within it, seperated by spaces. Now this would be a really easy thing to add, no matter how complicated EVE’s market services work.

A few more examples for this would be “neutron II” for the ‘Heavy Neutron Blaster II’ or “CCC” for all Capacitor Control Circuits.

Now for my second suggestion: At the moment, items are just matched by their title, nothing else.

It would be a great idea to add things like description, type, race, attributes, traits, tags and so forth to comparison – just with a lower match factor compared to the title. So if I searched for “battlecruiser bonus boost” I would get the Cyclone as a result.

This is the most important feature for newer players, as they often do not know any of EVE’s item names. Searching for “shield boost” would return all items related to shield boosting, sorted after relevance – wouldn’t that be great?

More advanced stuff like typo-tolerance are neat, but absolutely not neccessary in this case.

Another, more performance-drawing feature (at least for the server), would be adding some kind of autocomplete (little box below the input field), that only lists items with exact word match (something like the current search).

This comes off as a helpful change, not just for newbies, but for veteran EVE players as well. No matter how small of a change this is, considering that EVE is a game that holds economic power in high regard, will make the game far more accessible to new players as it already is.

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