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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What's in It for Me?

As many of you currently suspect, I'm taking a bit of a break from EVE Online. There really is only one reason for this hiatus. Some people describe it as burn out. Well, that's not really an apt description as far as I'm concerned. Burn out is what happens when you've been working at something for so long you no longer care if you succeed or fail at it. That really doesn't apply to EVE Online as a game, though I suspect it applies to CSM members. There is no winning or losing an MMO - especially one as open ended as EVE Online. And I still very much care about the future of this game. No, burn out is not the problem.

It took me awhile to decide what the hiatus inducing issue is. I now have a pretty good idea. It was making me sick to my stomach. That's a really unfair thing to say though. There are only a few things about the game making me sick to my stomach. Well, actually there's only one thing making me sick to my stomach, and it really isn't the game itself. It's not a specific person, place or thing either. It's an attitude. A sense of entitlement that really makes me want to vomit. And to be certain, it isn't even a dominant attitude in EVE Online. It's a very small minority of an attitude. It's the attitude that EVE Online is a game and one can do whatever one wants to other players because "it's just a game," even commit transgressions going beyond the confines of common decency and respect for one's fellow human being.

No, this isn't just about Erotica 1. Get over that already. It actually has more to do with those who believe what he did is okay than he himself. And in that, it really means I just got tired of reading all the excuses other people could come up with to defend that sort of unacceptable behavior. It wasn't even that one event alone. It's everything I've experienced in the past six years of playing EVE Online, and the three years I've spent blogging about it. A sort of war weariness if you would. A feeling that no progress was being made, that no progress would ever be made, and that it was just one huge lost cause.

That lost cause feeling is still with me. What's more, I know it's a "wrong" feeling. As I said, this is a minority issue. There are so many wonderful people playing EVE Online - I can't even begin to name them without risking unintentional slights to the remainder. The list of people I really like is far, far longer than the list of people I dislike - or the few I actually despise. FYI, The Mittani is NOT one of them. I actually have a great deal of respect for the man, if not the character. And I don't dislike goons just because they're goons. They make very interesting debate opponents most of the time. No, the one's I dislike/despise I've had personal run-ins with. I'll leave it there.

It just started to seem it was the ones I disliked most, the truly abusive people who wore their characters as an excuse to act poorly, who occupied my every thought about EVE Online. I couldn't shake that preoccupation, and it threatened to invade everything I wrote about the game. You wouldn't believe the number of rant posts I started on this topic and ultimately deleted because they just were not productive. I couldn't let it continue. To let it continue risked a permanent dislike of the game, and that would be completely unfair. The game is not the problem here - at least not totally.

The problem probably has more to do with my wants and desires than the game itself. I do have specific desires for EVE Online I wish CCP would fulfill, and it's got nothing to really do with anything that would benefit me. I just want this game to be something more people want to play; where new players aren't intimidated so much they won't even log in. Is that such a bad thing? But to be the game I want it to be, it has to not be the game it is today. We've hashed this out so many times on this blog and others... I frankly don't want to read it all again. That's a dead end alley with no escape at this juncture. I'm just going to wait and see if anyone will make it a through street by demolishing the wall at the end of it. I figure that might take three years. Who knows except those that are NDA'd within an inch of their legal existence - and maybe not even them.

And speaking of NDA'd persons, it's time to elect another Council of Stellar Management. As in any election, the primary question voters have is, "What's in it for me?" Well, since no one seems to seriously think new players need a risk free zone when they start paying money to play this game, I don't really think there's anything in it for me at this point. No, that's not throwing the whole thing out over one issue, even if it is the biggest issue facing the future growth of this game. I'm still going to vote for CSM candidates. Even if that's only to have the right to bitch later about what they don't do for my "cause."

But you know, this is the ninth CSM we're electing. And I have to ask, has anything really changed? Oh, there have been nips and tucks here and there for which the previous CSMs can claim credit. But there is nothing on the books like the Child Labor laws a century ago, or Social Security was for Depression era workers, or Medicare was to elderly Americans half a century ago. There has been no serious improvement to EVE Online from my admittedly subjective point of view. At its roots it's the same game today as it was when I started playing it six years ago. There are those who think that is a good thing. I differ on that opinion. I'm certain there are more players who agree with me rather than don't. But they are a silent majority, and they seldom say anything. The certainly don't participate in CSM elections. They vote with their feet as the old saying goes. Regardless, go vote for CSM9, especially if you're part of the silent majority. Who knows, you might actually get what you want.

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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.

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