Friday, May 7, 2010

Why I like EVE Online Tobold's Style, Not Exactly in My Own Words

I'm fairly new playing EVE Online but I've been a fast learner so far. Though life is pretty quiet in high security space atm I'm quite aware of where you don't want to venture in EVE as a noob and especially unskilled or not aligned with the right faction or side of the law for many reasons with ever present danger all around. Sure makes it exciting! However I like the fact that the danger is there, it makes it exciting. Though I'm not much a PvP player that don't mean by any means that I won't fight if I have a cause either or learn how to If I need to.

If you ever read this blog a good length of time you probably know I'm fairly patient in doing things. So I don't mind taking the time learning to play a open sandbox MMO game like EVE with self motivation and learning how to operate in the down and dirty, dark, twisted and in some regions totally lawless universe of high, low and nullsec space that EVE is.

The Universe of EVE reminds me if anything of the lawless days of the Wild Wild West but just deep in space where regions can be quite vast, uncharted and unpredictable in happenings. Life aren't fair and who says the universe is or will be if we actually were really out there. Any way I'm totally amused with Tobold's series on his analysis of EVE Online which I have been following for some time now. I even really got quite a kick out of his last few blog post which elicited quite a bit of heated comments only to come back with the recent review post on his blog taken from the comments of his previous blog post. Totally made my day. Classic!

I totally get that. And if I was a Pirate or a inhabitant in null sec space, I would put my target on you too, shoot first and ask questions later because I probably would be that paranoid that your a spy or a drone scouting ahead of a incoming Fleet! No spies allowed here. But that don't mean if your daring its can't still be fun to try to try and sneak into null sec space. That's kinda the thrill of it all and you might loose your ship trying too.

You may not like EVE don't bother me one bit, we don't all like the same things and the world aren't fair, I live with that just fine. But these are the reasons I like EVE and why it stroke my interest despite however many people may feel about the game one way or another. But straight from Tobold's latest blog review of recent comments and not quite in my own words. This is why I find EVE appealing or interesting and don't bother me if you don't:

I think now is an appropriate time to link to the infamous EVE learning curve cartoon:

I have been playing EVE for a couple of weeks now and I can say that while EVE is interesting, it is not exciting yet. The "yet" part is important I think and I am prepared to be patient and continue the learning process.

First commandment of EVE - never fly what you cannot afford to lose.

EVE will totally let you flounder if you don't set yourself some goals.

Unlike other MMO's, the Eve Online universe is huge. Chances are you won't see other players as a noob except for the few seconds docking or undocking.

Well, first of all EVE isn't a game that is "friendly to everyone" :), and it pretty much is never going to be given CCP's track record.

eve isnt a solo game it just isnt. and the advanced eve where everyone that loves the game ends up and newbies dont see right away, isnt handed to you on a silver platter it comes from experience and listening to others.

Nobody really cares how much ISK you have atm. The important question is: How fast can you replace the ISK you just lost. And again nobody cares if you replace them by scamming, missioning, begging or selling PLEX, thats totally up to you.

As reviewers have said over and over, Eve isn't for everyone, and I personally am glad it's not for everyone. Twitchy, button mashing, strobe-lit, attention deprived children need not apply. When you stand to lose a couple weeks of in-game mission farming to replace a lost ship, you tend not to go off half-cocked.

Every time you leave dock there is some risk you will loose a ship. Maybe you weren't paying enough attention and got warp scrammed, maybe your drones wound up getting systematically taken out leaving you vulnerable to interceptor frigates, maybe it's just your 20th mission of the day and by gum you left all your scout drones at base for whatever reason. whatever the cause, no matter how much preparedness you invested in, your ship will at some point go boom. That's even without taking into account the manifold ways a griefer can help the process along.

EVE is not designed for the solo player.

There is an old adage that if you end up in a fair fight in Eve, someone made a mistake. If you look at the lore, New Eden is described as a nasty, violent, cutthroat galaxy. The game mechanics reflect that and by extension, so do the players. Philip Zimmbardo calls this the Lucifer Effect.

The constant sense of danger was one of the best facets of EVE for me. Every time I left the security of high sec space my heart started pumping faster. It turned what would otherwise have been very boring courier trips into a roller coaster ride of emotion. Whether there was a legitimate strategic reason why people were trying to kill me or whether they were just griefers looking to ruin someone else's day didn't matter a damn. The fact was a whole lot of people were out there trying to blow up my ship and pod me. I did lose ships and I did get podded many times and yes it always sucked but the times when I got away by the skin of my teeth as my screen flashed red and my body surged with adrenaline remain among my greatest video gaming moments ever. So this masochism is probably not everyone's cup of tea but I think that EVE without the danger would be a very boring game that would be even more niche than it is now.

Once again, New Eden is a cold harsh universe.

For a lot of people, a world where everyone is a hero is even less fun, and less realistic, than the mechanics / environment in a game like EVE.

This isn't WoW. Everything isn't handed to you on a silver platter.

I personally like the adrenaline i feel when I fly an expensive ship through dangerous space. without that risk of sudden and violent death looming on the horizon, it would be much more boring.

I actually get it in EVE Online for what it is in low sector or null sector space and these are some the reasons I do. I get why people shoot first and maybe ask questions later thats if they even care to. Its just a perspective:

Unfortunately there is quite a sound strategic reason for what happened to you. The key to holding a piece of 0.0 space is to have full claim on its resources. If anyone can just waltz into that territory and use its resources the whole strategic advantage of claiming it would be made moot. You trespassed on their territory and got a shotgun blast in the face so you would not do it again. Plus you might have been a spy, scouting things out for an attack. Your mere presence in the area was a threat that had to be neutralized. You are upset for the wrong reasons. The PvP in EVE is based on very base RL principles and lacks the tools for players to civilize things properly. It is tribal based and you did not belong to the right tribe.

There might be some corps that don't shoot strangers on sight; most probably will, thinking you are either enemy spy or just a profiteer on their property.

EVE is meant to be cutthroat and not friendly at all. The lore of New Eden support that. Very much like Cyberpunk in space. EVE is mainly about the PvP, and PvP is all about "if you're not on my team, you die". You weren't part of those 0.0 dwellers allies, hence you died. It's not about simple ganking. It's all about protecting their interests. Since there's no other way for them to keep intruders out of their space (you can't turn gates off), they have to shoot intruders. Just stopping you and telling you to go back through the gate might not work, as you could be a spy, or might try to flee somewhere else in the system once they stop scrambling you. It's not the players fault, it's the game. There's simply no other way to protect their space. Is it ganking? Not really. The gankers/griefers in EVE tend to can bait, scam people in highsec, or pirate in lowsec. You might not like that form of play, but it doesn't mean that EVE is broken.

For me, the issue is not player controlled 0.0. There is a perfectly good reason for them to kill everyone; they have claimed space and want to profit from it and don't want spies, pirates or vanguards in their space. Arguably in that environment, politics, planning and employee motivation are far more important than combat skills. At its best it could be epic. The fact that you would be just as dead in lo sec, for no real reason other than sadism is what I find annoying and pointless. Especially people who shoot new pilots in their rookie ships.

In most cases, consider nullsec to hostile unless you belong to the residing alliance as almost all nullsec operates on the NBSI principal. The point is to keep people out of their space, and to try and keep a handle on intel being leaked out. I would wager that bullying has very little to do with it, think of it as SOP. It also has nothing to do with a strategic challenge, think of it as entering private property with 'Will shoot on sight' warnings posted.

In real life there is no such a thing as fair pvp. Eve simulates real life.

They don't want you ratting, mining or possibly even traveling through that region without permission.

You might think you're just a frig, why not let me go ? Well you could be a spy, or you could cyno in capitals. So if you're not on the blue list you get destroyed, it's as simple as that.

But we're not on Earth in EVE. We're in new eden. A very cold harsh, dog eat dog universe ! That's where the roleplay comes in ;). That's the most basic thing you have to remember about Eve. Even if you don't pvp as in ship vs. ship.

EVE, at it's core, is an economic simulation powered in part by demand caused by from ship losses in null-sec.

Null sec is dangerous, it is very much a feudal society, with coalitions coming and going, with standings being used to identify who you'd should trust, distrust, and hate. If you don't want that, then live in high sec. It's a perfectly valid choice, with many people making their entire career based on doing this, focussing on being the best and richest. Personally, I love the thrill of all out war, the fact that it is not fair, that it is evil, nasty, and vindictive; is for me a cathartic release.

EVE PvP should be compared to UO, not WoW. When you die the cost of death is everything you brought to the scene.

Strategy is about shaping a conflict in such a way that all battles you need to win are unfair.

Most do camp either to protect their territory from cyno ships, spies, ninja miners, to take your ship components, etc. They have very legitimate reasons for it. They don't have a way to ask for your noobie badge so they can let you go on your merry way even if you aren't a spy or picking up a ship deeper in from another station. So yes they're going to blast you, and you know what, even popping a newbie ship will at least keep them on edge and provide some fun until the bigger targets do come through.

Like I said a couple of time before, New Eden is a dark, harsh, rough universe. Expect to be ganked at every gate, expect all your mining cans to be flipped and expect every contract on the market to be a scam. That is the harsh reality of Eve. Some people like it, most people don't.

It is very difficult to pay back someone for a wrong that they've done to you.

I just think you aren't understanding the reasons for gatecamping. It isn't because they enjoy beating up people weaker than them (which is what I associate with "bully"), but rather that they are protecting their home space. What they enjoy is being part of an alliance that owns some space in the game, and camping key gates that are entrances to that space is what you have to do to keep that space.

I think Eve is ultimately all about the nullsec wars. Sure most people are in high sec but they're in high sec planning to take over the galaxy one day.

EVE is not fair, it was never supposed to be fair and not a single EVE player in his right mind would claim that EVE and especially EVE PvP is fair. If you get into a fair fight in EVE then your either at Alliance Tournament or you messed up. To make this clear i'm going to quote CCP Wrangler, who is Senior Community Manager at CCP: "EVE is a dark and harsh world, you're supposed to feel a bit worried and slightly angry when you log in, you're not supposed to feel like you're logging in to a happy, happy, fluffy, fluffy lala land filled with fun and adventures, that's what hello kitty online is for."

Eve is more than a game. It is the most complete example of a virtual world that I know. A dark dangerous unfair place with few limits where you live or die by your wits. Eve is the closest simulacrum of the Hollywood wild west we have.

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