Thursday, April 12, 2012

BB 35: Eve and the people that hate it.

Now approaching its tenth year, the EVE Online player community has matured into an intricate and multi-faceted society viewed with envy by other game developers, but is frequently regarded with suspicion by the wider gaming community. 

Is this perception deserved? Should "The Nation of EVE" be concerned by its public identity and if so how might that be improved? What influence will the integration of the DUST 514 community have on this culture in the future?

 Eve is indeed a complex society. From random newbies just starting a trial, to the most experienced and respected (or feared) players in the game, one thing binds us all (at least those who participate) and that is community. Bloggers, like those who will also grace this blog banter, the podcasters, the tweetfleet, even the folks who lurk in such places as Eve News 24, Fail Heap challenge or Kugutsumen are still a part of a vast community network.

It is this network that makes the events of New Eden that much more interesting. Jade and Rundle talking about Fanfest on Lost in Eve (for 8 hours, holy crap guys), Others regaling us with their nefarious doings like Hulkageddon organizer Helicity Boson. New Eden is vast but it's this external interface, this metagame, in combination with the sandbox that makes eve the envy of it's competitors.

The wider MMO scene is naturally suspicious of eve. It is a very dark place where things that don't happen in those other games (guild thefts, non-consensual pvp, scamming, etc.) are allowed. They are not able to comprehend the full ramifications of the Sandbox, or the reason others would be drawn to it. They play the game at their pace, level their characters in a largely unchanging landscape, run instances, eventually raid, and maybe even kill the Lich King.

Except the Lich King and the other 12 bosses you killed to get to him will be right back where they were on Tuesday when the instance resets. Along with C'thun, Chogall, Kel'thuzad and all the rest. Their world is static, stale, and to be perfectly honest, fucking boring. I should know, I came from it.

You can run around gleefully mining copper in Elwyn Forest or Mulgore all by yourself and never have to worry that some bad man will kill you and take your precious items. Eve is not an online single player game. The actions of others can and will affect you. So, get involved in the community and keep an ear open, if nothing else.

Eve players are generally don't care about our public image or bringing in many people. This is a very niche game for a very select (read: mature) audience. While new blood should be welcomed the newbies need to be divorced from any foolish preconceived notions as quickly, and perhaps, as painlessly as possible. While it may be fun to scam a 2 day old player, I would find such a thing unsporting. After all, what skill does it show on the part of the scammer that he got an easy mark?

With DUST 514 coming out soon a huge contingent of players from a radically different age group and a completely different genre of game will be, in a way, joining this community. Hopefully it will attract more of the older FPS crowd (although that may not be the case given the exclusive PS3 release.) In addition there will be an influx of eve players who will hopefully be able to explain the greater intricacies of the world they are participating in to the FPS junkies.

As for those who think that the eve community will allow their game to get softer for the sake of gaining subscribers, I offer a simple HTFU. This is our game, and we like it just the way it is. If it is not appealing to you I suggest you go elsewhere, after all if it isn't fun why are you still here?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tenal: Well, that was easy.

Last week, in what has to be some kind of record the CFC took control of the Tenal region from Raiden. , the current incarnation of Goonswarm's ancient nemesis Band of Brothers. While there was a battle initially with Raiden losing 100 battleships and 10 carriers, they disappeared afterwards, leaving their NCDot and Initiative Mercenary lackeys to poke at us from time to time. Black Legion also made a few appearances along with Against All Authorities and friends moving up from their holdings in the south.

Why -A- would deploy in Pure Blind to harass us is due to the Goons involvement in the battle for C-J. The system is a landmark in Goon history from the early days when no one in eve would have them. No friendly alliances to Red Alliance were given docking rights in that system, it was essentially a VIP system for RA alone. As part of their reward for helping destroy the Knights of the Southerncross Alliance, the Goons were the only non-RA entity to gain docking rights in C-J. This obviously was a major milestone in Goon history and the Goons have returned to C-J in the past to assist RA.

-A- however is also allied with SOLAR FLEET and by proxy another favorite Goon target, Intrepid Crossing (IRC). Apparently they weren't made aware of that caveat prior to reinforcing a Capital Ship Assembly Array POS owned by IRC. Goons caught wind of this and finished the job, fighting IRC and ironically enough an -A- Tengu fleet.

-A- and company may still attempt to assault us, and that's fine. Hope they are remapped for subsystem skills. And if they become too much of a nuisance, we can just hellcamp their staging system. Black Legion just runs when we come after them, or they are stupid enough to sit in our staging system. surprise surprise. And for all those "we want gud fites!" people. This is nullsec. There are no good fights. We will use anything and everything we have if you come to our space. You have two choices, flee or die. We prefer you choose the latter.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Urziel and Uziel: An excercise in duality.

Guess which one is the nice guy.

Having played Eve for over a year now with both of these characters, I find that each has taken on it's own persona of a sorts. It's odd in a way, but I think I understand Jester's post on hats a little more than I did prior.

Urziel is the nice guy, his skills are focused on mining, research, industry and production. It is under his alias that I primarily interact with the Eve community as a whole.

Uziel is the combat oriented guy. He can mine and haul, but that's about it. This is the guy who goes out to murder your space pixels if you cross him or his friends.

With the new campaign to burn Tenal to the ground in full swing I have spent for more time on Uziel than I have my other accounts. I find I've become more hardened and cynical towards the general community in the wake of the recent scandal and subsequent dog-piling by idiot journalists who can't be bothered to look into facts and the ever present PC police types in the world.

If you play this game and think that any part of it is super happy fun land, please quit playing now. I'm not trying to be rude or anything (believe me, I could go all trucker on you, but I digress) but eve is not a cheery place where people are gleefully mining veldspar in highsec, holding hands and singing kum-by-yah (sp). A friend once told me that EvE is short for Everyone vs. Everyone and from what I've seen in the last year I can't deny it as an accurate description.

Eve is dark by nature, and some would argue it attracts a playerbase of dark, socially awkward and/or sociopathic people. This may be true to a point but even people like Chribba (whom most would say is the closest thing eve has to a saint) can prosper and thrive. Why? The sandbox. This virtual universe we call New Eden is incredibly vast and it's the actions of it's players that shape it's course. Chribba is one of the oldest players of the game, considered by everyone (I've yet to hear of a single complaint about his servies) an honest dealer and host to numerous websites supporting eve's community. Does he own vast swathes of unsecured space? No. Does he lead a coalition of twenty thousand players? No. His greatest asset is his reputation.

Most people who come to eve without a friend soon find out just how much this game eats it's young. New players are scammed and victimized all the time. This may seem ruthless and evil to some, but in a way it's more a way of separating the chaff from the wheat. One of the CSM7 candidates Mike Azariah said it best. "There are two levels of paranoia in eve, total and insufficient." The ones who adopt a wary mindset are the ones who aren't tricked. The ones who learn to keep their ears and eyes open aren't caught unaware by Hulkageddon or the Ice Interdiction. The ones who get mad that such  things could happen typically don't last long.

One of the major alliances in the game is Pandemic Legion. They are known as some of the best theorycrafters and pvpers in the game. The slogan they used when they introduced the Armor HAC gang to counter drake fleets was "Adapt or Die." It doesn't matter what profession you choose in eve, the slogan rings true.

So now I stand at a crossroads. I've never been one to grief or suicide gank people, yet, in less than 30 days I will be sending Uziel to take part in the Goonswarm's attack on Jita. When the campaign was on The Mittani promised the Goons and the CFC that if he got ten thousand votes they would celebrate by attacking Jita. At the time I just shrugged. A victory lap to celebrate a huge milestone in the history of the Goons (and the CSM itself) and a chance to collect tears from pubbies and little else.

Then Suicidegate broke, and The Mittani was banned. Ten thousand votes down the drain (including two of mine). The Goons were pissed. The CFC was pissed, initially at CCP, later more at the sensational press that in a way had forced CCP's hand. It was then that Mittens wrote the current CEO Update and State of the Goonion.

The Jita celebration was still on in 30 days. Mittens himself would be there. The whole affair felt like it had taken a far darker turn. This wasn't about celebrating a glorious triumph. It was about revenge. Against who or what is hard to say. Only one thing mattered, Jita. Must. Burn. and so, I, the nice guy will be out there in my Tornado destroying Freighters and Industrials with impunity. Why? Because I want to. I want the pubbies to suffer, to fear our coalition, to cry great tears and feed them to us. Why? Because if you are there, after one month's warning you brought it upon yourselves. The same way the Gallente Ice Miners did. By not paying attention.

In the end there is no morals in eve. Only the winners and the losers. Your honor won't save you from a suicide ganker. Your reputation doesn't keep people from competing with you. Adapt, or Die.

Welcome to EvE.