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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Reward for my hard work is all I ever wanted.

Earlier today I read CCP Affinity's post titled Carebearing 2.0. It was a very gratifying read. I also had an email from Ophilia IV (read her alter-ego's adventures here) not long ago asking if I had any thoughts on the Drone region changes. Why yes, yes I have. Thank you for asking. I should start from the beginning with this one. Please bare with me. There is a point to the non-sequitur seeming blather.

(tl;dr: The coming changes to Drones, T1 drops, and bots are good for carebears - period.)

I know from my own experience that many of the pew-pew players just don't understand what motivates a Carebear. Fortunately I understand them... mostly. Hopefully I can explain carebearing in a way they'll understand.

In the pew-pew world, a kill is an affirmation of worth. Kill-mails are the proof of that worth. With kill-mails come all sorts of public statistics that define the capability of the pew-pew pilot. How many times have you read a Kill-of-the-Week post by one blogger or another and applauded the pilot? I know I do all the time. Pew-pew pilots' psyche, I believe, are primed to need such public reinforcing. That is not a bad thing. We all want positive reinforcement of our self-worth. That is the nature of being human. I would never have it otherwise. In fact, many of the most interesting things going on in New Eden at this very moment are driven by this need. I think you all know of what I speak so I won't belabor those details. There are many other bloggers who have happily covered it in great detail - and I say that in both meanings of the word great.

A carebear though does not need that sort of external indication of our worth. Our sense of self is highly internalized. Our private bank balance is one indicator of our worth but is usually only known to us. Another is the less tangible idea that the things we make are used throughout New Eden. Our efforts are reflected in the world itself. Our hard work is seen in everything around us. When I undock and see another ship, I know that I am at least partially responsible for making that other ship possible. It is the source of carebear pride if you would. Me and my ilk build those ships. We also manufacture the modules, the weapons, the ammunition. We mine the raw materials from which everything in New Eden is made... or do we?

Hasn't that been the problem for a long time? In 4 years there has only been one expansion that bolstered my carebear feeling of self-worth. PI gave us one more reason to be proud. To feel like we contribute to our chosen society in a meaningful way. Every other expansion has catered to the pew-pew need for more things to blow up; to more public cries of, "see how valuable I am!"

To make matters worse, many of the things done to bolster pew-pew had the unintended consequence of reducing the worth of what carebears value. Rogue Drones are just one incident of several. Meta 0 Tech 1 drops have long been worth more in minerals than market value. "Mining with guns" as I read recently supplanted true mining long ago. I myself gave up on mining last year. Here is what I told Ophilia IV about it in my reply,
"It's a better use of my time turning 1MN MWDs into resources than mining in hi-sec right now. They cost less than their resources' value. I sell what I need to break even and keep the remainder. What's better yet, I don't have to spend hours drifting in a belt. Buy orders are automatic. That's terrible in more ways than I can count but it is efficient and frees me up to do other things."
Those "other things" I mentioned are the activities that bolster my own sense of self-worth. It's mostly taken the form of PI. I've also restarted my Helios production line. But recycling, though profitable, was never very fulfilling. It only served to increase my Helios production margins, which were thin to begin with. But all in all, it was better than spending hours mining for little or no gain.

And to make a bad situation worse, there are the bots. They cheapen everything a carebear cares about. In my early days I spent a lot of time in asteroid belts. Even as a noob, I could tell many of the ships in the belts of Cistuveart were bots. You know the ones, those Iteron V transports that seemed to just drift around all the time. Bots have always been "illegal." However, I came to believe that CCP would rather take the monthly subscription than enforce their own EULA and make my gaming better for it. I cannot express the joy I feel at being proven wrong on that score.

In conclusion (and finally,) I look forward to the coming changes with great anticipation. The higher prices are just another variable in the the economic equation of profitability. Any industrialist worthy of the designation can handle cost swings. It's margin that matters and passing costs on is a part of business. The markets will bare it. These changes will be good for New Eden as a whole. It'll hopefully put the mining back into Mabrick Mining and Manufacturing. Reward for my hard work is all I ever wanted.

Fly careful.


  1. You're dead right. Thanks for saying it.

  2. Bots are bad, mmmkay?
    Then again, so's running a "mining op" of 10 alts on 5 machines (MMO = Massively multiPLAYER, not multiCLIENT) ... game-breaking also, just in a diff way, even if the player is still present at the comps "playing". (obv that's a hyperbolic example)

    The problem with "true" carebears is that they believe PvP shouldn't be part of the game. At least, part of _their_ game. They want to be "part of the universe", as you say, making ships and building modules, etc, so they see others' ships and go "I might've helped make that one..." but at the same time, want to be _removed_ from that universe in such a way that it cannot affect them back.

    Part 2 of the problem goes for both carebears AND ebil PvPers: that whole "self-esteem" thing you were talking about. EVERYONE needs LESS of that, not more. More "self-esteem" = more egocentrism, narcissistic attitudes, entitlement mentality, and a need for...more "self-esteem". It's a vicious cycle, and once started is difficult if not impossible to stop. Creates its own feedback loop and all that.

    That being said, I do support the removal of drone goo and bots and putting mineral production back in the hands of miners. All for that, and carebears using "market PvP" to counteract the "actual PvP" of ebil PvPers, etc is a good thing.

    This OTEC thing from the ebil Goon PvPers though...? Not sure that's gonna end up being a good thing for bears OR other ebil PvPers. :-/

    1. Oo-Oo-Oo, I have always wanted to ask this! *with a straight face* Does your name mean it's attached at the knee or the ankle? *LOL* Sorry, I really couldn't resist that one.

      Anyway, I hear what you're saying. I believe that anyone who wants to eliminate all risk in hi-sec doesn't really understand how bad that would be. There are several very good posts out there about the "Trammelization" of EvE. Personally, I like a little risk. I just don't want a lot of risk all the time when I'm trying to relax, know what I mean?

      Now, as to your self-esteem comment, too much of anything is bad. I'm a firm believer in the Daedalus Principle. Fly neither too high nor too low. The best course is the one down the middle. Unfortunately humans as a group have a hard time figuring out where the middle is. Our actions become pendular as we go too far one direction and then over compensate and swing too far the other side and - as you noticed - it can become a vicious cycle.

      Fortunately all motions are self-dampening in the absence of externally applied force. Since there is no such thing as perpetual motion, all we have to do is wait. The natural entropic resting place of all pendulums is dead center bottom. That's how this OTEC thing will turn out. We only have to exercise patience.

  3. Can I pay you in gum?

    [OK... I am soooo sorry but I HAD to...
    dunt worry if ya dunt get the reference, itsa bad commercial... but funny]

    1. Well, I don't do TV at all (so many channels, so much wasted time) but fortunately there is Google. I agree, it's funny. But I don't chew gum. We raised steers for beef when I was a kid and that whole cud chewing thing is pretty awful. I just can't bring myself to masticate like that. However, you can pay me in dark chocolate any time!

    2. ZOMG!! You and I share THAT bad habit also my friend...

      (I am flattered I made your list, and jelous you made Ripard's) =]


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