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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Schofield's Definition of Discipline - Why this bear won't be quiet.

In a previous RL, I did something few people get to do - or can do. The details are not important to EVE. However, I learned some very important life lessons while engaged in the other RL. One very important lesson is this:
The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction and to give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself. 
Major General John M. Schofield
August 11, 1879
This is, IMO, one of the most important things ever said by an admired and respected leader. But, it is not the first half of the statement that is important. That is a simple statement of fact. Sun Tzu and Clausewitz understood it long before General Schofield spoke of it. This is a fact that all true leaders understand.

No, the really important part of the statement is in the middle. Let me provide emphasis for clarity's sake. "The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander." He goes on to explain how this corresponding spirit manifests itself. You can freely substitute inferior for subordinate. In this context, they mean the same thing. The repercussions are clear. I've seen it time and time again and not just in my previous RL endeavors.

You see, that one sentence encapsulates the genesis of all human interaction. It isn't just a statement pertinent to those who lead soldiers in combat. It applies to the whole of human interaction because it describes the point from which those interactions begin: the manner in which they start; the tenor of their execution. It applies to the Army. It applies to the corporate boardroom. It applies to EVE.

What was all the hullabaloo about last summer if this isn't true? Though few are so bold to mention it, CCP showed great disrespect toward their player base. Not because of the fact that Incarna happened. But because they completely ignored the player base that had told them for months it was wrong. Did the players  show strong resentment? Did they, in essence, disobey? Oh, you betcha' they did!

This applies to you too mister griefer. When you target a noob [1] and blow her away in a hopelessly lopsided engagement, you embody quintessential disrespect. It isn't a learning point. It isn't a PvP lesson. It isn't any sort of concealing rationalization like that. Simply put, your idea of fun is ruining someone else's fun, and as I've said before, that risks the future of EVE.

Knowing this, but more importantly that it is your choice to act this way, incites strong resentment in me. Disrespect of my person real or virtual means nothing to me. I know with certainty who I am and there is nothing in EVE or beyond that I can't handle. But that other sort of disrespect, endangering EVE's future, affects everyone. In essence, you flip us all off when you gank another noob because "EVE is hard" and they should "HTFU."

Guess what, it's easier for them to just leave. They have nothing invested in staying; you've seen to that. In this universe, all things take the easiest path, including humans. Loosing new players because of behavior you could easily control while still having fun, concerns me deeply. We need new players. EVE needs them. They are the future: not bitter vets, not pirates, not established industrialists and not you.

So look long and hard inside your own breast if you want to understand the labels applied to you. The answer is there. Your actions betray it at every turn. Everything you do springs from your inner spirit: every savored carebear tear; every ransom betrayed - even if you think this is only a game and it doesn't really matter. It does matter to the future of EVE, or lack thereof. Think about that before you fire on another noob.

Fly careful - we're watching. [2]

[1] - I am not a noob. Go ahead and shoot at me. A noob, IMO, is a player who is less than 6 months old and does not wish to participate in PvP. That said, if they shoot first, have at them. They started it.
[2] - It's a conceit but prithee allow me to think others agree with my opinion.


  1. By having this much of an emotional investment in something THAT IS NOT REAL are you not showing that EvE (everyone v everyone) is more important in your life than it should be? Everyone needs to remember that EvE could shut down tomorrow due to any number of reasons so should we not all be playing the game in any way we want?
    EvE could be gone by the time that player you want to gank reaches 6 months of age. Also how does anyone know that a 1 day old player that has been ganked is not a 5 year old players alt? What if an alliance has intel that a new char is moving out of a nub system towards 0.0 to be used as a scout?
    I think there are many reasons to both kill and leave new characters alone but putting a blanket ban on killing chars less than 6 months old is to much.
    2 weeks and within a 2 jump radius of nub systems is more than enough. Gives nubs time to get used to the game but wont allow new chars to be used as unkillable scoults.

    1. You see an emotional investment where there is none beyond the enjoyment I get from the game. I blog for fun too. How interesting would this blog be if it was emotionless? That's the trick of being a writer. Writers need to evoke an emotional response in the reader or the reader will stop reading. Your points in the first paragraph are all valid. EVE could stop tomorrow for no reason at all. However, until that happens...

      I also understand the alt dilemma. I do not advocate a ban on noob killing. Laws like that don't work RL and they won't work in EVE. How long has mary jane been illegal? I go on and on about this topic because change will only happen when everyone thinks about it and agrees it is no longer socially acceptable to gank noobs. I seek to raise awareness that there are ramifications to EVE at large for ganking a noob that players should consider before doing so. The last thing I want is for CCP to start messing around with the game mechanics that everyone loves (or at least can live with.) See the results of the last blog banter for verification of that last sentence. *smile*

  2. Virtually everyone I have met that plays eve, plays eve BECAUSE it is hard. BECAUSE this can happen. BECAUSE there is no artificial segregation. BECAUSE it is a sandbox and represents the nature of the people in it better than anywhere else.

    Your argument has to insert "people like me" in it, because it is only people like you (risk averse carebears) that don't like the fact this can happen. I was canflipped and ganked and lost a significant ship and chunk of ISK weeks after joining the game. Here is the lossmail - before that, I was courier scammed and out a couple hundred mil collateral -

    Both these things made me want to play eve more than ever, to rise to the level where I can reverse this and be on the other side. People like you, just QQ in your cereal and leave.

    Eve caters for those able to adapt and get on with it, not those who think PVP in a PVP game is driving people out.

    I do, however, also know quite a number of missionbears who got bored of the game and left.

    1. Man, do you have me wrong but I generalize so you're allowed to generalize too. However, these are not QQ from me any more than your second paragraph is QQ from you. Looking at it that way, I am reaping an lovely crop of PvPer QQ. ;)

      Here's a little interesting fact about Mabrick. I didn't loose a ship until I was 1 year old. I lost it because I got lazy and did something stupid. It was my own fault. I've never been can flipped though I used to hope someone would try. I've never been successfully ganked, though back when self-destruct used to be favored for that purpose, one capsuleer tried. I've lost 2 Thorax to PvP I sought out. One was a damn good fight in Seylin with an Ishkur. The second was a same fit Thorax against three battle cruisers. I didn't know when to run and hung around too long so, again, the loss was my own fault. My other two three losses were in worm holes. The first was when they just started happening and stupid me forgot to bookmark the exit. I was in a Velator just "checking out the new stuff." The second was also a velator lost to a Sleeper. I wanted to see how tough they were. They were plenty tough. The last wormhole loss was not that long ago. I lost a Helios because of an unfortunate decloaking. I think that was probably my own stupid fault too. The point it, back to my first year of no ship losses, I think any noob with half a brain can avoid a lot of hurt if they just remain situationally aware.

      But this isn't about the noobs (other than retaining their subscription.) It's about getting capsuleers to consider the overall ramifications of their actions. I agree, I love EVE because it is hard. We all want EVE to be hard. The harder the better don't you think? So, let's make it harder. Think about the ramifications to the future of EVE before you pull down on a 3-day old capsuleer. Sometimes it is harder to not pull the trigger than to pull it.

  3. Actually, just noticed your entire blog is you getting your panties in a twist at people who don't play the game in the way you think is right.

    Way to over-react, bro.

    1. Thank you. At least you are reading. ;) I really appreciate you taking the time to do that. Now, get out there and play some EVE!


Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.