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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Be the Hero; Not the Villain

There was this today, which was prompted by this, which was prompted by this. I was going to ignore that last article, but my incredulity quotient has gotten too high. To wit, ZOMG! The Mittani thinks there should be noob friendly space in EVE Online now because, "shit, politely, is fucked." Really? REALLY!? Holy crap Batman, EVE Jesus has spoken - "shit, politely, is fucked." Like this is some sort of divine revelation. I'm astounded some see this as such. As Rixx Javix points out in the first link in my opening sentence, this idea has been kicked around the EVE Online blogosphere for years. I myself have addressed it on many occasions. I began with the post titled, "You are killing the thing you love one noob at a time." I wrote that at the end of my first year of blogging, December 2011. It's just as true today as it was then.

Why is that? No, I don't mean why do we need a new player safe area. That's derp. Why is it still just as true today as it was in 2011 that players are killing the thing they love? That's the question everyone really needs to ask themselves. Because until they do, and address the reasons why, EVE Online will continue to die. Yes, I said it. EVE Online is dying - and you may be to blame.

But before I go on, honestly, I really don't care any more. I've written about it until my ink runs dry and nothing ever changes. All I get for it is trolling and abuse by the same people who kill EVE Online one noob at a time. So I'm going to troll you knuckleheads back. Some of you are genuine, grade-A pig rectums. YOU are the reason EVE Online is dying. Your juvenile rationalizations for anti-social behavior are pedantic drivel. You drool your stupidity in every word you utter defending your faults. I know. I've been on the receiving end of your pointy sticks often enough. Now make your purulent comment condemning what I just wrote about you and prove my point. Stick poking is all you're really good at anyway.

And it wasn't just me getting the pointed end of that stick. When Jester, you remember him don't you, brought up the idea there should be limits on antisocial behavior in EVE Online, he was treated so badly he shut down his blog. Now, I don't know for fact that one specific incident involving the bonus room was the reason, but I'd wager it was a large contributing factor in his decision. He didn't need the abuse any more than me. Fortunately he had an out. He walked away, just like I did.

That's the first time I've admitted that to anyone. Yes, I walked away from the EVE Online community. I got fed up with the abuse, and the same old tired rationalizations for antisocial behavior. I gave up on it because it is hopeless, and I have no faith this most recent call for change from EVE Jesus himself will make a damn bit of difference. After all, a major tenet of that religion is they're here to ruin everyone else's game. Until that changes, they are just part of the problem.

Now don't get me wrong, it is completely unfair to hang this problem on Goonswarm. Sure, there are some in Goonswarm who promote anti-noob behavior, but not all of them, or even most of them. In actuality, even though it's more than in most MMOs, the number of players creating this problem is a minority percentage. The problem is they are becoming a larger percentage every day because people who just want to have fun, not at someone else's expense, are leaving the ship like rats. How many bloggers alone have moved on? Jester, me, Tur Amarth (edit 8/20/14: the correct spelling is TurAmarth - no space. Also, he'd like everyone to know he hasn't left EVE, but is just on a forced RL extended sabbatical. And he posted to his blog two days ago as proof. I apologize for including him in this group. I was obviously mistaken to do so...), Corelin, Krazy... and the list keeps growing. They don't all say it's because of anti-social behavior. Most claim to have just become bored with the game. Some may even come back, or so they say. But regardless, losing community bloggers is a serious symptom of the overall malaise. That wasn't obvious to me until Jester threw in the towel. EVE Online is just not fun anymore. If it's not fun for long-time, committed players, how much fun can it be for the noob who runs into extortionists who hang out in high-sec because they think it's l33t to harass new players?

If you still play EVE Online and are part of the problem, get this through your thick heads will you? No one likes to have their fun ruined just because you get lulz from it. They don't have to put up with it. Those with nothing yet invested in the game will simply never log in again. "Fuck that shit" leads directly to "shit, politely, is fucked." That's the correlation here, and anyone who has ever taken joy at another capsuleer's misfortune is to blame.

But what do you do when the game designer itself promotes the thing that is killing it? "Be the villain," is an ongoing ad campaign from CCP. CCP actively recruits those most likely to kill noobs. And it works. Just do a Google search for "EVE Online be the villain." Players offer extended 21-day buddy trials to anyone who wants to be the villain (I won't link the web site because they don't deserve the link but you're smart enough to find it I'm sure.) Non-villain noobs only get 14-day trial periods. This is CCP's doing, and it is yet another symptom of what is killing EVE Online. In a world where the vast majority of people don't find it enjoyable to harm other people, it is self-defeating to promote the minority view. There's a good reason the Empire was defeated in Star Wars.

But as I said earlier, I don't care anymore. If EVE Online doesn't change it can just continue to rot, and deservedly. I won't shed any tears for it. I am so beyond that now. EVE Online doesn't deserve to live if it can't be a game where all players find enjoyment doing what they want. Even if that's not blowing up other people's space ships and not being blown up in return. If you still play, the ball is in your court. Do something. Be the hero, not the villain. Or watch the thing you love die. Peace out.


  1. That is probably the singularly best thing I've ever read written on the subject. Kudos, sir. Kudos.

  2. Dinsdale PirannhaAugust 6, 2014 at 5:38 AM


    Imagine if the failed lawyer put his money where his mouth is and publicly stated that anyone caught griefing players, scamming players, etc, would be banned, along with all their alts, from goonswarm. Naturally, Burn Jita, MiniLuv, etc would have to be shut down. Instead, goons opened up a high sec mining wing for new players.

    Now that would be interesting.

  3. Ishtanchuck FazmaraiAugust 6, 2014 at 5:59 AM

    "In a world where the vast majority of people don’t find it enjoyable to harm other people, it is self-defeating to promote the minority view"

    Well said, sir. I will just point you CCP's handbook answer: "But, our players are free to choose! They can choose to not be evil!"

    And that's true... EVE-like true. In EVE, you can choose to not do evil, for the modest fee of becoming a potential victim. Take miners, FAI. Or mission runners. Or freighter pilots. Victims as per game design. Their ony chance to not be victims is to do harm unto others themselves... nice range of choices here, CCP.

    Oh, but here we have CCP again, with the second handbook answer: "It's only a game!"

    Yes, it's only a game. But then why do I lose my ship forever? Why some players harvest "tears"? Because "losing" in EVE is meant to hurt. And if it hurts... how you call it "just a game?" Pain is real. We experience it to keep ourselves alive in a hostile universe. When that survival mechanism is triggered by something, that something stops being a "game" and becomes real. "EVE is real", heh. And then, what's the goal in harming people for real, just not in reality but "virtually"?

    Suffer is always real, no matter if it stems from "reality" or "just a game". This is why EVE "matters". And this is why EVE is evil and deserves to die.

  4. It isn't the pig rectums (of any grade). It's CCP's catabolic game design. A few simple things and the game would be fixed. A few more and it would be stellar. And I have wasted enough ink on it, too.

  5. Art is right on this subject, but so is Mabrick. I see the lack of PvE content as part of the (intentional) drive toward PvP, in which players are forced to make things happen. That was a virtue--I guess?--once upon a time, and it's been plenty of good fun for a lot of years, but the unfun seems to be catching up lately. EVE dying? I dunno, but it does feel a little stagnant, doesn't it? That's not tenable.

  6. For a game that encourages behavior banned by 99.9% of other games' EULAs, what do you expect? EVE Online needs that 90% noob mortality rate to replenish its ecosystem...properly. I only know about this game from what I read, but it is obviously one in a million. It will survive by attracting those personalities that thrive in its cutthroat environment.

  7. well said mabrick. i live in low sec. i am a solo player with two alts. i was doing a ded 6/10 site and got ganked. i didnt get mad tho, i just went out and bought another tengu and went on with life. i run into other players all the time scanning and mining in low sec. i warped in on top of a couple guys doing a besieged site. they just about freaked. all i did was watch. we talked later on and they were a couple of good guys. at every opportunity i try to be neutral and helpful to the strangers i see. i find a lot of the other players i run into are like me, they just want to play the game their way and be left alone. the idea of neutrality is so foreign to the majority of players it boggles their mind. esp. the ones that horn their way into your anomaly, kill your ship, and steal from all the effort u invested. thanks! and they muscle u out. this happens all the time and i can see where the newb would get pushed out, pushed around, and defeated in spirit by the hostility that exists in eve. thats eve. at this point. but i dont agree with that hostile bullshit attitude most groups in eve project. i remain neutral, do my thing, help where i can, make a friendly contact, and play the game my way. *ive played eve since 2009 and lost billions in ships including freighters, marauders, battleships, and industrials, you name it. even had a 3 billion isk investment in moon mining in low sec wiped out in one night, but i still remain neutral help those i can and keep on keeping on. there are the few who do appreciate it.

  8. There isn't a limitless pool of newbies out there to feed a 90% new-player attrition rate, especially now that Elite: Dangerous is coming online - because the veteran attrition rate also has to be taken into account. Jester, Tur-Amanth, Corelin, Mabrick ... those aren't freshly-rolled players who are walking away.

  9. […] today, has brilliantly addressed this today and I could not agree with his sentiment more.  Be the Hero, not the villain.  And no – that does NOT mean go out and join HERO.  It means quite simply that we should […]

  10. Ishtanchuck FazmaraiAugust 7, 2014 at 3:56 AM

    "in a role playing GAME where as a player you have the freedom to choose between lawful good and chaotic neutral and anything in between, you NEED the full diversity to make the game interesting."

    And you missed the point of EVE being biased to favor bad behavior and punish good behavior.

    FAI: the incentive to become a spy and awox a corp while posing as a noob is way better than the NULL incentive to trust a noob volunteering for your corp.

  11. An aside: It seems to me even if EVE is dying off, it's been around for more than ten years. Most games at that age are hemorrhaging anyway (or never made it that long in the first place), so I'd think CCP would be happy just that they lasted as long as they have.

  12. The statement you have quoted is simply a true statement to be read in just that way, nothing more or less than that (read it again, the statement is not about any form of bias -- indeed, I followed "with rewards for ALL styles of play"). The positition of the current risk/effort/reward balance between the various styles of play is of course a key topic but not the current one (note: bias towards "good" or "bad" is simply not an issue here, only risk/effort/reward).

    OTOH, the current topic of potential safe havens in EVE -- and more specifically the game design direction that such a first step would be heading down -- is exactly exhibiting bias towards promoting one style of play other others without considering potentially more EVE-like alternatives. For example, instead of segregating new players, we should rather promote their integration into the "main" game as quickly as possible. The real issue at hand are the "painful" penalties of mistakes that newbies are surely prone to. So one direction would be to find a way to allow newbies to go through the initial trial and error period (a really fun part of any new game) with less penalties. Perhaps giving newbies free insurance for a restricted range of ships for a short period of time. And to cater for the class of newbies which, despite being newbies wish to protect their pride and act as if they are experts from day 0 (I find EVE suffers from this problem in particular -- newbie special snowflakes self-crippling their own gameplay options due to fear of making dumb mistakes and injuring their egos, where others would simply laugh about it), killmails could be completely disabled for this period, for example. Just one random option out of many, of course details would need to be fine-tuned and potential abuses restricted.

    BTW: "Because “losing” in EVE is meant to hurt. And if it hurts… how you call it “just a game?” Pain is real." What pain exactly are you feeling if you lose something in EVE? Does it matter if its a ship blown up by NPCs vs humans? Are you feeling "real pain" when you lose anything else you have acquired or built in any other video game with perma-loss/death (or any other game for that matter)? Are all those games evil and "deserve to die?"

  13. Ishtanchuck FazmaraiAugust 7, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    " For example, instead of segregating new players, we should rather promote their integration into the “main” game as quickly as possible."

    The "main" game according to whom?

  14. It looks like EVE Online's active subscription numbers have steadily increased for the past decade, reaching a half million last year (based on some quick web searches). That defies most other games for such a long length of time. WoW's numbers, for example over about the same period, now seem to be on the reverse side of the bell curve (but will probably adjust once WoD releases). Unless there is some recent news I'm missing, EVE's subscriber trend is probably the healthiest out there.

    There is definitely a lure to EVE Online, be it its uniqueness, mechanics, environment, population, or all of the above. I looked into the game a few times but never pulled the trigger for fear of getting sucked in.

  15. Personally, I hope that EVE stays alive and doesn't die. That way all of the "A Grade Pig Rectums" can stay in the festering shithole they call EVE and not infect and ruin some of the other fantastic upcoming titles coming out such Elite Dangerous or Star Citizen. I am currently playing the E:D Beta and it rocks!!!! suggest you try it.

  16. KN: BTW: ''“Because “losing” in EVE is meant to hurt. And if it hurts… how you call it “just a game?” Pain is real.” What pain exactly are you feeling if you lose something in EVE? Does it matter if its a ship blown up by NPCs vs humans? Are you feeling “real pain” when you lose anything else you have acquired or built in any other video game with perma-loss/death (or any other game for that matter)? Are all those games evil and “deserve to die?”''

    Defensive much? For a new player who has very little ISK and very little idea of what he's doing, loss maps directly to how quickly they're gaining (or failing to gain) competence. Whether against PCs or NPCs doesn't really matter, though PCs in high sec tend to exploit rules in a way that leaves the new player feeling completely lost and out of control, where NPCs are more straightforward.

    And while losses to NPCs are frustrating and humiliating sometimes, there's no trust issue; they don't generally trick you or exploit the high sec rules that are so arcane to most new players. The pain of an AWOX and corp cleanout can't be compared to losing to some entirely in-game opponent (PC or NPC) who beat you in a straight fight.

    The problem is not that there is loss, nor that there is pain. The problem is that there are a number of things that come together to make the vast majority of new players--including people who specifically come to EVE for the scamming and backstabbing!--say "screw this" and let their trials expire. You have to look at all of those things, even the ones you think should stay in the game, because there may be a way to tweak them.

    Or you can just blame everyone who leaves by mocking them as failures and jeering that they should play My Little Pony Online. That seems to be a popular pastime on the forums.

  17. One note, the numbers are a bit misleading. A couple of years ago CCP added into the total the players in China. They have a separate server from everyone else and were never counted before. Now they are. I'll leave it to you to ponder why.

  18. […] was in response to my post on Wednesday Be the Hero, Not the Villain. Rixx is proof one can be a killer and still be a genuinely nice guy. That is why I am willing […]

  19. For what little it’s worth…

    You said, “How many bloggers alone have moved on? Jester, me, Tur Amarth, Corelin, Krazy…” “Most claim to have just become bored with the game. Some may even come back, or so they say.”

    I am not gone, in truth I had to unsub due to financial issues (6 months out of work) and I didn’t want to seem to be cryin-online about it. As soon as I get back to work (please wish me luck) I am resubbing and as long as I don’t have any othr RL>EVE issues, like now, I WILL be playing EVE and flying with my kith & kin out in the black….

    Some of us feel it is a far far better thing to stay in the fight than to give in to the assholes… while other’s despair then run away and let them win.

    As for NPE and it's relationship to NPR (New Player Retention), ... I have spoken on those subjects here and here... 'nuff said.

    TurAmarth ElRandir

    (PS Mab, this didn't act normally on hittin 'post' the first time, if the first comment does show up please delete, this is my actual full comment.)


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