For the best experience use full HD.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Mantra and the Dogma

We hear this mantra from CCP all the time. It's their justification for all things nerf. It's the glorious promise of every expansion. Yet it's the biggest fallacy in EVE Online. And what's worse, most players believe it's true. They swallow it hook, line and sinker, because it's what they want to hear. It comforts them when their anxieties grow. It embodies the uncertain promise of a better future. But before I tell you why Risk vs Reward is a fallacy, let's define a few terms first.

What is risk? That's the issue at the very heart of the mantra. According to Google's handy-dandy "define risk" search parameter, expanded to get the complete definition, risk is:

  • a situation involving exposure to danger.

  • the possibility that something unpleasant or unwelcome will happen.

  • a person or thing regarded as likely to turn out well or badly, as specified, in a particular context or respect.

  • a person or thing regarded as a threat or likely source of danger.

  • a possibility of harm or damage against which something is insured.

  • the possibility of financial loss.

What is a fallacy? Again, using Google's handy define parameter expanded, a fallacy is:

  • a mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound argument.

  • a failure in reasoning that renders an argument invalid.

  • faulty reasoning; misleading or unsound argument.

I think we all know what a reward is. But just to be thorough, the Google supplied definition is:

  • a thing given in recognition of one's service, effort, or achievement.

  • a fair return for good or bad behavior.

  • a sum offered for the detection of a criminal, the restoration of lost property, or the giving of information.

So how is the mantra Risk vs Reward a fallacy? It's a fallacy because, for one thing, we've got it ass backwards about who is taking the most risk. Risk is a relative measure. It is not subjective. For example, let's say you have two men making a $10,000 investment on a bona-fide inside tip. One man has $50,000 to his name and the other $1,000,000.  Who takes the most risk? Any bookie will confirm it is the man who stands to lose one out of every five dollars he owns. It is not the man who stands to lose one dollar in a hundred.

Applying that reality to EVE Online, the comparison point is still monetary in nature. The player who flies a 1 mISK ship and only has 5 mISK in his wallet stands to lose far more than the suicide ganker who flies a 1 mISK ship but has 100  mISK in is wallet. By the Risk vs Reward mantra, it should be the poor player who gets the most reward because she is taking the most risk. That logic even holds if the target is a gient freighter with billions of ISK worth of goods in the hold. The freighter is taking the greater risk, not the suicide ganker. But suicide ganking must be allowed if EVE Online according to CCP, if the game is to maintain its "unique" social atmosphere. Furthermore, these ganks take place in high-sec because that's where the lowest risk is for the ganker. CCP's stance on the Risk vs Reward mantra and the suicide gank seems a bit schizophrenic doesn't it?  Google's definition of that disorder is:

  • a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.

  • (in general use) a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements.

I believe the general use of the term is entirely appropriate here. It is contradictory to claim more risk brings more reward in EVE Online, while maintaining that losing your ship to a suicide gank just for undocking is proper. If you really believe that, why don't you undock from Jita in a Kronos this weekend and see what happens? What's the matter, don't have a billion ISK to lose?

Fact is, new players risk more every day in EVE Online than any veteran ever risks. Industrialists moving goods in freighters risk more in ISK than their PvP brethren in most instances. New bros risk their entire ability to just play the game. They undock in shit-fit mining barges because that's all they can afford. When they lose it to a player with far more experience and resources, they are ridiculed and made fun of. But it doesn't change the fact they are the brave ones, not the l33t PVPers who blow them up. And what does CCP do to reward them? Not a damn thing, except tell them to find a group to play with for protection. That changes nothing. The noob is still poor and risking most of what he owns just to play the game. So tell me again how EVE Online rewards risk taking?

Let's move beyond new bros, freighters and suicide ganking. What about the big null-sec alliances? Who took the most risk at B-R5RB? Wikipedia has a good summary of the entire battle, including ship losses. Those summaries don't show how many ships both sides had in total before that battle, which would normally be necessary to determine who took the most risk. But fortunately Titans were committed, and there are so few of those, and they are so resource intensive to build, it's a fair assumption that each side committed what they had. To do less would give the opposing side an unacceptable advantage. That's the nature of weapons of mass destruction. When you launch an all out nuclear assault, you launch everything you have and hope it's enough to stop the other side. Looking at the Titan counts alone, the CFC had 143 Titans and N3 72. Guess who took the most risk? Guess who got the reward? Of course, if N3 had prevailed they would have gotten the reward. That's the nature of PvP. And they really had no choice but to fight. They were the defender. Those who risk most seldom, if ever, get the reward. That's life. The strong prey on the weak because there is little risk in doing so. It's the way of the world.

In that way EVE Online truly is real. Even if CCP could mitigate the risk to non-PvPer, they would not. Truth is, the only place they can dictate risk is in PvE content, where they directly control the risk level the rats pose. But EVE Online is not touted as a PvE mecca; far from it. No, everything I've written above is not the biggest reason Risk vs Reward is a fallacy. EVE Online is a PvP game, where player driven content is the holy grail, and CCP encourages every depredation. Encouraging that depredation is CCP's dogma, and its mantra flies in the face of it. That's the biggest reason Risk vs Reward is a fallacy.

CCP has been and always will be intensely PvP oriented. That is simple truth. The mantra is an excuse. It's one CCP invented to mollify gamers like me. It's the false promise that if we just work hard enough, our efforts will be rewarded. It's a lie. CCP has no intention of rewarding non-PvP play styles. Non-PvP is treated as merely a means to an end - nothing more. When everyone starts to concentrate on non-PvP gameplay, and the play style grows in popularity, CCP changes the playing field. That's what the PI changes did. They bound PI to PvP according to CCP's dogma: the principle game elements must have "actual gameplay" attached to it. "Actual gameplay" is a euphemism for PvP if you hadn't gotten that by now. The PI change penalized players who only wanted to play PI. CCP's dogma demanded it. Now Building a Better Future seeks to bind all Industry to "actual gameplay." The future is clear. The only way any effort will see reward is if it conforms to CCP's dogma.

Unfortunately the mantra forces the devs to concentrate on a carrot and stick approach in the vain hope CCP can coerce players into changing their preferred play style. They unfailingly seem to believe the mantra will do this. It seems to blind them to the fact failure to comply as a player means all your futures end - or perhaps they're counting on it. If you won't participate in "actual gameplay," there's the door... or you can have what's behind door #2 if you're willing to participate just a little. Can you blame the devs? Nope. It's just another bus to Abilene.

But the incompatibility between mantra and dogma is causing conflict within the community as a whole. Most of the threadnaughts generated by recent developer blogs arise from basic player misconceptions revolving around Risk vs Reward. It's the fullest manifestation of the dichotomy generated between dogma and mantra. To be certain, the conflict has always existed, but after 10 years it should be settled. EVE Online is a PvP game. Sadly Risk vs Reward befuddle those who want to believe they have a place in this game when their chosen play style does not contribute to the dogmatic reality of "actual gameplay."  Only "actual gameplay" gets rewarded in EVE Online. When the mantra fails to encompass that simple truth it becomes a lie of omission and leads to false hope.

That said, let's dispense with the fallacies and deceits. Let's get past the conceit Risk vs Reward is what EVE Online is all about. PvP is what the game is all about, and in that the strong will always subjugate the weak. Own it CCP. Don't ever forget that fact players. And to both, don't let the mantra fool you. Those who risk the most usually get a kick in the teeth. Throw Risk vs Reward into the dustbin of poorly conceived notions and move on. The sooner that happens, the sooner the threadnaughts end, and those who still want to play the game will realize their futures in an environment they fully comprehend and enjoy.


  1. Wow.... need a napkin to wipe the froth off yer chin man? =]

    My take on RvR in EvE, my last 2 posts, led to this...
    Whatcha think?

  2. "The player who flies a 1 mISK ship and only has 5 mISK in his wallet stands to lose far more than the suicide ganker who flies a 1 mISK ship but has 100 mISK in is wallet. By the Risk vs Reward mantra, it should be the poor player who gets the most reward because she is taking the most risk."

    If you're scaling Risk relative to assets, then you should scale Reward relative to assets as well, in which case, the poor player does get the most reward.

    "Furthermore, these ganks take place in high-sec because that’s where the lowest risk is for the ganker. "

    This is simply not correct. The reason people gank in highsec is because that's where the barges/freighters are. As Willie Sutton is falsely claimed to have said : "I rob banks because that's where the money is." There are no barges in highsec, and in nullsec they all log as soon as a neut gets in the same constellation.

    "It is contradictory to claim more risk brings more reward in EVE Online"

    No one is claiming that, your fallacy is a straw man. The risk vs. reward paradigm is this: the most rewarding activities should be among the riskier activities. You've reversed the directionality of the 'should' , creating an artificial fallacy. No one is saying "all risky activities should be more rewarding than less risky activities", except you. Requiring bidirectionality is basically saying risk = reward, but the saying isn't risk = reward, it's risk VS. reward.

    "it’s a fair assumption that each side committed what they had...Looking at the Titan counts alone, the CFC had 143 Titans and N3 72. "

    The fight started during morning work hours in US time, it's a fair assumption that each side had a huge number of Titan pilots not online when the fight started; and no one wants to jump into a losing fight in deep Tidi (because of risk vs. reward ;) ), so CFC titans kept jumping in since they were winning and N3PL titans didn't.

    "Unfortunately the mantra forces the devs to concentrate on a carrot and stick approach in the vain hope CCP can coerce players into changing their preferred play style"

    I currently don't live in Null, because null sucks for industry right now; after the changes, there's a good chance I'll move to null. This isn't about changing people's preferred play style, this is about making null viable for more play styles. If this change won't entice you to move to null, possibly, then this change isn't aimed at you. And that's fine. These changes don't have to get 80% of hisec to move out to null to be a success, they only have to get 5-10% to move out. That means that 90% of highsec can share your opinion that this doesn't make null worth living in, and it will still be completely fine. You've just set your standards way too high, here.

    "“Actual gameplay” is a euphemism for PvP if you hadn’t gotten that by now. "

    I agree somewhat, and yet I don't. There's not that much cooperation possible in EVE right now, sadly, and CCP is trying to discourage overly profitable solo gameplay, so that means your above statement is largely correct. And yet, taking your PI example, you can do the best possible PI, by taking an otherwise undesirable WH, or joining a corp in deep null that doesn't require a bunch of pvp ops; so you can avoid PVP for the most part and still find good rewards, but it does require some effort, at least.

    EVE is large enough to be the PVP dominant game you describe it to be, and still have a concept of risk vs. reward. It isn't large enough to have room for risk = reward, but who wants that anyway?

  3. "There are no barges in *lowsec"

  4. Good job here. I think you may be ignoring the one bit of risk that the gankers run. Established players may have a great emotional investment in the meta-game that demands they be pretend-hard as they fly their pretend spaceships. You can hear it in their reflexive cries of "Sandbox!" every time someone makes a post anything like yours, and points out the essential inequity. Listen to the wealthy talking heads in the US on the subject of Occupy Wall Street. They really are playing a different game, and the risk they run is that one day the rest of us will notice.

    In the world of EVE, gankers are certainly aware--consciously or not--of the unfairness and the small possibility that one day CCP will disallow it. We know that that probability is low, but the risk is very great to those who harvest tears. It might be that one day *their* industry will be nerfed, if CCP ever decides that more subscriptions is really what's needed.

  5. The whole problem with current PVE is people running PVE missions use a very different fit than PVP - so when a *gangsta* shows up to *help* - we have no choice but to run, as we *seldom* are strong enough to beat them at a PVP (with rats assisting them). We need that changed - if PVP is really the only game style - why are the PVE missions not designed to be handled with PVP fits? I feel a blog post welling up inside me...

  6. Interesting take on it. I know that before I dipped my toes in PvP I found ganking to be horribly frustrating. Now... I am ambivalent towards it. I think the point about new player risk is a good one. But you run into another problem. Accepting that Eve is a pvp game and that all other facets of the game feed the beast of exploding starships is well and good. But how do you balance the economy? If you increase low end pve rewards for new players, or increase the isk from industry it would inflate newbies wallets and reduce the risk as you outlined above. But I think a knock on effect, given the nature of skills and the meta game, is that just about any reduction of risk for new players will be co-opted and magnified for established players and organizations. Do you have any ideas to address that? Or is dropping the mantra enough?

  7. You assume rage where there is none. Why rage at the mountain just because it is tall? Besides, you've heard me on comms when things get tense. The pitch goes down, not up. Rage is counterproductive.

    As for your proposal, it assumes CCP can reward player driven content. When they do that, they are accused of favoritism. It's untenable. The entire reward mantra needs to be dropped. If the game is suppose to have player driven content then it needs to have player driven rewards as well.

  8. The problem with over-reliance on dictionary definitions is that you can often not see the wood for the trees. You ask who got the reward from the battle at B-R5RB and assign a purely ISK value to your answer, but there are aspects to the battle, to PvP, and to EVE Online in general that are rewarding even when a loss of ISK is involved.

    I would be amazed if most people in the fight didn't feel rewarded in some way, even if it is merely from having bragging rights at being at the battle, or plinking a tiny hit on a titan to be on its kill. I am sure many pilots felt rewarded for playing their part in the battle, for helping to blockade the system, for batphoning support.

    Sure, an obvious reward is inflicting huge ISK loss on the enemy, or cleaning up the loot afterwards, but there is also having control of the system at the end of the battle and the logistic benefits system control will offer for future actions. And again, that doesn't fit neatly in to the definition of 'reward' that you provide.

    The reward can be different for different people. Are you at the alliance level and looking at system control, or system denial? Are you at FC level and enjoying flying your wings in to some significant action? Or are you in a battleship and taking images to whore for karma on reddit?

    Just as reward is different for people, so is risk. Everyone has their comfort zone, and it differs greatly between different people and different personalities. Suggesting that someone with a small wallet is taking the greater risk with the same ship, fitting, and objective than the player with the bigger wallet is over-simplifying matters. Maybe the player with the thinner wallet thrives on finding the right kill to finance his operations, and the player with the thicker wallet is actually more worried about his sec-status than the ISK.

    Of course, none of this addresses your main point that 'risk vs. reward' is a meaningless mantra that is meant to placate players and justify dubious changes to the game environment. Personally, I think you and CCP are aligned, that both of you understand EVE Online to be PvP at its heart, and that you would prefer it to be stated outright but CCP perhaps want to soften the language to the more catchy and marketable 'risk vs. reward'.

  9. Although I agree, perhaps it is less that missions should be designed to allow PvP fits and more that PvP activities would need some way of funding themselves.

    PvP isn't a zero sum game, as there is always some destruction of virtual property. EVE Online couldn't survive on PvP content alone, there always needs to be some PvE ISK 'faucet' that helps fund the PvP.

    Something like the faction warfare system, earning points for kills that can be spent on new items. But that has bootstrapping problems. It would also kill the often-lauded EVE Online economy which, at its heart, is driven by PvE activities.

    I don't think you can have a pure PvP system that doesn't trivialise item ownership, and trivialising item ownership then undermines the idea of risk. So perhaps CCP are better served with 'risk vs. reward' than emphasising that everything is PvP.

  10. I was joking bro... see -> =]

    And actually I believe my idea does exactly that... reward the players for their active involvement. I just think it needs to be recognized that the Risk is (1) a valid concept in a game filled with players, of all ilks, flying heavily armed spaceships and (b) Risk in EVE is created by the players... NPC dunt gank people... NPC dunt gate camp (OK, I have heard Incursion rats will, and TBH I think that's really good PvE), non-Incursion Rats dunt gate camp... IE 99.99% of the Risk in EVE is player driven... lets track it and reward em for they hard work, an reward them as mitigate such threats for their efforts too... but let's stop sayin you're at greater risk inna Nullsec desert system that hasn't seen 10 jumps inna week...

    As for CCP being trolled and je accuse! for that 'tree that fell quietly in the woods' .... that BS will go on NO matter WHAT they do...

  11. " Personally, I think you and CCP are aligned,"

    No, definitely not, not on risk vs. reward.

    "that both of you understand EVE Online to be PvP at its heart"

    But this part yes, they are aligned on this statement.

    "and that you would prefer it to be stated outright but CCP perhaps want to soften the language to the more catchy and marketable ‘risk vs. reward’."

    EVE is PVP at it's heart is the y-axis on a graph, Risk vs. Reward is the x-axis on a graph. Risk vs. reward is found both in pve and pvp content, in marketing, in manufacturing, in high and in null. One can design a game to intensify or diminish the role of risk vs. reward, but to completely eliminate it is not even really in the bounds of possibility. Reward is measured by value. If something is obtainable without risk, how to you maintain its value? You can put in a long but risk-free slog so that the time cost is immense, or you can charge real money for it, but that's about it. If you want to offer something ingame as a reward, without real money, and without a long artificial time barrier, risk vs. reward enters into the situation intrinsically. Content which is riskier than its reward will become underutilized (LOWSEC! whispers the mouse); designing content/areas of space which are underutilized (DESERTED! whispers the mouse) isn't very rewarding for either devs or players. The fact that a game is a PVP game at its heart, or not, doesn't change this basic situation, at all. Hence, the relationship of these two facets of the game as perpendicular axes on a graph-- their interaction defines many aspects of the game, but you can adjust them independently of one another--and one is definitely not the other 'softened'.

  12. I started a couple ideas threads in F&I that are related to this.

    I think the arguments when concerned with the new bro's are the more serious. I think veteran eve griefers are clearly keeping new players from getting established in this game

    I also think that despite what mynnna implies about nulsec not able to be bothered with ruining highsec, on the eve of burn jita no less. I think that a mechanism in game that makes it harder for established nulsec players to operate in highsec would be good. Only after nulsec does get straight up better rewards and can become self sufficient.

    Probably a redesign of the standings system. Though it could and should wait till they finish this current arc of changes.
    Another way to separate the highsec player and the nullsec player would be just to make space bigger. Nerf power pojection and add 2 to 10 times more space in nullsec. New Eden is surprisingly small these days.

    Overall I liked this post and it is clear that CCP are muddling the message. But if they didn't would they get any new subscribers at all?(actual new people that is)(would love to know the number of people that play on Traquility and how the number of people has changed over the years.) And what about after this next wave of space sims comes out over the next year?

  13. The mantra could also be de-emphasized by CCP's applying it to themselves: the risk of changing some of the flavor of the game vs. the reward of greater sub retention.

  14. " The risk vs. reward paradigm is this: the most rewarding activities should be among the riskier activities. You’ve reversed the directionality of the ‘should’ , creating an artificial fallacy."

    This describes perfectly what's wrong in this post.

    Mabrick's reading of Risk vs. Rewards leads to these kind of absurdities:

    "By the Risk vs Reward mantra, it should be the poor player who gets the most reward because she is taking the most risk."

    Would risk even mean risk if it were indiscriminately rewarded?

  15. The mantra of "Risk vs Reward" has been broken for a long time. The sov null min/max brigade have Blue'd, NIPed and NAPed pretty much all the intrinsic threats. Furthermore, control of the CSM allows for interdiction of all extrinsic threats (in the form of mechanics changes).

    A while ago I looked at a very simple Risk definition and, using data that's publicly available, it is very clear low sec is the riskiest space to inhabit and has been for several years (see here ). Let's be honest, CCP don't even believe their own mantra otherwise low sec activities would be areas getting buffed.

  16. "Let’s be honest, CCP don’t even believe their own mantra otherwise low sec activities would be areas getting buffed."

    A. You clearly define what 'risk' means, but you haven't clearly defined what you believe CCP mantra of risk vs reward to be. Mabrick's definition doesn't work, what's yours?

    B. Perhaps lowsec activities are indeed being buffed? We're not yet midway through a new plan on that.

    C. Another way to fix the issue your analysis reveals is to change the relative riskiness, instead of changing the relative reward. Again, we're just starting a new plan which seems to be aimed at doing exactly that. If you rerun that analysis in 3 years and it hasn't changed, it still wouldn't prove that CCP doesn't believe their own mantra; as there would exist an alternate explanation: CCP failed at achieving their stated goals due to their goal being complex.

  17. p.s.: You also fail to consider that your definition of risk, while clear and concise, might not match CCP's definition of risk. If you want to talk about CCP believing their own statements, you need to base your analysis on definitions which match theirs, or you're just equivocating.

  18. @Rammstein: my definition works perfectly well as other's who've left supporting comments here agree. Let's be real about this. My definition doesn't work for YOU. But your interpretation is no more valid than mine. That you seem to feel you have to come back to the comment thread and continuously declare your position... well, let's just say it's interesting and leave it there.

  19. " Let’s be real about this. My definition doesn’t work for YOU. But your interpretation is no more valid than mine."

    A. You haven't responded to any arguments regarding it, if you want to discuss it substantively then let's do so. If you want to simply handwave it off with "your interpretation is no more valid than mine", then the obvious counterargument is for me to say that "your interpretation that my interpretation is no more valid than yours is no more valid than my interpretation that my interpretation IS more valid than yours", which leaves us in an endless morass of "no more's", to which I say, "no more, please, no more." That's a nonstarter, which leaves us agreeing to disagree, yes? Since we're agreeing to disagree, that short mention to Kinis Deren was simply a reminder to pick a side, I wasn't trying to pick a fight with you.

    B. More importantly, since we're talking about CCP's mantra and their self-consistency, shouldn't we use CCP's definition for risk vs. reward? I was waiting for you to make some response before saying this; but since you are now sticking up for your prior definition of risk vs. reward, the obvious next step is for me to look for somewhere where CCP clearly defines risk vs. reward, and if that definition doesn't match yours, then your criticism that CCP doesn't believe in their own mantra will have a fatal flaw.

    "That you seem to feel you have to come back to the comment thread and continuously declare your position… well, let’s just say it’s interesting and leave it there."

    I don't feel like I have to, but I do enjoy a civil and constructive discussion. If you find that interesting...well, let's just say that's interesting and leave it there :)

  20. Come on mab you never joined a 0.0 alliance to do indy work and then found out you would have to work out of high sec to get the best yields? I live in low personally and have no interest in the 0,0 blob area. but honestly I moved to null on my indy alt some years back and because of the yield restrictions its completely lame. Why should a player built outpost not have better refining then a high sec npc station??? I know everyone hate the blue blob out there but this is a change that should have been in eve from the start when there were no stations in null. I think to balance the risk reward however we should see actual station destruction in null sec. all that said I don't see all indy moving to null just because of this change. But I feel if null sec is going to have proper rewards station destruction should be on the table. Cost of doing business in null. And what about low sec? why should low sec not get some benefit from this? I don't think we should make indy completely not profitable in high sec but I feel we should have greater rewards for the carebears that brave low and null sec. this seems like a step in the right direction despite its benefits to the current null holders. Hopefully come winter we are seeing rage over massive changes to the sov system. Its a step up from the old POS system but I think we all agree its broken unless your a goon.

  21. Well, that's my 15 minutes trying to google a source wasted, I'm giving up.

    Can we agree on this much?

    A. With your definition for risk vs. reward, CCP's mantra is flawed.
    B. With my definition for risk vs. reward, CCP's mantra is fine.
    C. CCP is free to choose which definition for risk vs. reward they want to use; so, if we charitably assume they're smart enough to be reasonably consistent, we could give them the benefit of the doubt and agree that there's a good chance that they're using definition B.

    So, we keep our own personal definitions of risk vs reward, agree to disagree on that; but perhaps we could still reach accord on A-C above? At least until CCP clarifies their meaning.

  22. p.s. And realistically, that's all I meant by "Mabrick's definition doesn't work". What I should have said to be more clear was "Using Mabrick's definition to analyze CCP's consistency requires assuming that a somewhat ambiguous statement is defined in a way that makes CCP obviously inconsistent, which is not a generous interpretation and I'm not willing to go there", which I shortened in the interests of brevity. In retrospect, that warrants a bit more explanation, I apologize.

  23. @Rammstein,

    A. No I haven't. That's on purpose. I've had my say. I only replied to two people: my friend Tur and you. With Tur, I wanted him and everyone else to know this isn't a rage post or anything like that. See item B for why I replied to you.

    B. CCP, you, me, The Mittani - no one in EVE Online gets to define risk. That's why I included the definitions. That's not the subject here. You are trying to redefine a word (risk) that already has a definition so arguments made seem inadequate or require more supporting evidence to bring it in line with your new definition. That is an informal logical fallacy known as moving the goalposts. Have a look for yourself:

    Lastly, I'm not objecting to your number of comments. I feel honored. Just be careful not to harangue the other commenters please. Thanks! :-)

  24. " You are trying to redefine a word (risk) that already has a definition so arguments made seem inadequate or require more supporting evidence to bring it in line with your new definition.That is an informal logical fallacy known as moving the goalposts. Have a look for yourself:"

    This isn't about the meaning of risk, and I'm not moving goalposts. Risk has all those definitions you listed, and I love them all equally. This also is not about risk vs. reward, which also has an established meaning: "the possible profit that a particular activity may make, in relation to the risk involved in doing it:" , nor risk-return tradeoff, which is "The principle that potential return rises with an increase in risk.". This latter definition is actually pretty similar to the definition you use, but it glosses over the implied condition "for equally worthwhile investments, the potential return should rise with an increase in risk". However, CCP isn't talking about the risk/return tradeoff in their investment portfolio, but about 'our risk versus reward philosophy' This 5 word phrase is what we're talking about here,so bringing up your definitions of the word 'risk' without those other 4 words is a red herring. Have a look for yourself:

    (We could trade links from forever, but that would be the fallacy fallacy, wouldn't it? Perhaps we could just try to reach agreement without cartoon links?)

    note that the exact quote from CCP itself is not "the risk vs reward philosophy", but "OUR risk vs reward philosophy". Yes, risk vs reward philosophies already existed prior to CCP, but if they explicitly came up with a new risk vs reward philosophy for themselves, which I assume they did, it still wouldn't count as moving the goalposts, because that fallacy refers to moving the goalposts after the game begins, but it's their game so they decide when it begins, and it's perfectly legal to move the goalposts prior to the beginning of the game. When I search through google to try to find out where CCP put the goalposts, I'm not moving the goalposts in the future, I'm analyzing the past to see where they are and where they've been.

  25. Warning: this comic may put you off linking comics from forever:

  26. Great Post Mab, as always.
    I can see why some players, who rationalize the risk they want to believe they take, would not appreciate your position.
    It’s tough on the ego to admit to yourself that your ‘Han Solo’ self-image is a big lie.
    Easier to believe that the players you gank are risk-averse when, in fact, they are not fully aware of the risk they take.
    The Risk vs Reward mantra is a fallacy but it has not always been so.
    I recall the early years when nullsec exploration was actual exploration.
    In these days, higher rewards were indeed deserved for those brave enough to go in the Wild.
    But the Wild is looong gone now. It became a Blue donut of friendly mutual exploitation that bears no likeness to its inception days.
    I would argue that it is a LOT safer to operate in nullsec now than it is in highsec.
    Players have proven themselves a lot more efficient at policing the far reaches than Concord will ever be in the civilized core worlds.
    For instance, the NPCs in nullsec have been made a non-issue for so long that you never hear about them.
    And they’re supposed to be part of the ‘Greater Risk’ justifying the greater rewards.
    Likewise, it might seem that having no Concord in nullsec opens the field to summary executions, but that risk is now shared in highsec thanks to:
    -unilateral wardecs
    -the fact that past a certain revenu stream level (provided by risk-free nullsec ops), Concord can’t blow enough ships to really impact on a pirate’s operations.
    I don’t have a clear picture of what, if anything, should be done to correct these problems.
    Obviously, everyone except the new players are totally comfortable with these realities.
    But one thing is crystal: The veterans of EVE don’t have any bragging rights over their newer brethren.
    Whatever tough times they may think they went through are long gone now.


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.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.