The four subjects I've been hearing about it the most often are surrounding:
- super-cap balancing (where I've weighed in here and very briefly on Failheap);
- the transposition of sovereignty mechanics to NPC null-sec and/or low-sec (where I've weighed in on Twitter)(1);
- the impact of incursions on the EVE economy (where I've weighed in everywhere); and,
- botting (where I've likewise weighed in everywhere).
- people who don't own super-caps apparently aren't allowed to bitch about super-caps; and,
- people who aren't in sov-holding alliances apparently aren't allowed to comment about EVE sov mechanics and how they're applied; but meanwhile,
- people who've never run an incursion in their lives apparently are allowed to propose massive changes to incursions; and,
- people who don't bot apparently are allowed to propose how bots should be dealt with.
I put the four topics in that order specifically because the two on either end -- super-caps and botting -- are both the topics most familiar to a wide swath of EVE players. On the other hand, the two in the middle (sov and incursions) are mostly of interest to EVE cognoscenti of various stripes and are less interesting those who aren't all that involved. All four topics, however, create quite a lot of e-drama within whatever audiences do subscribe to this opinion or that one. And yet, the irony remains: there exists exact opposite opinions on whether people should be allowed to talk about four problems which are in essence rather similar.
Why are they essentially similar? Because all four of them are viewed by a subset of players as existential threats to the game.
The e-drama comes from the fact that when I say something like "people who don't own super-caps aren't allowed to bitch about super-caps" or "people who don't bot are allowed to propose how bots should be dealt with", no matter which position I or anyone else champions, there will be dozens -- if not hundreds -- of people who will call bullshit. It's just the number of people involved that differs. Most people, when presented with discussions of sov or incursions, don't care all that much. It's a smaller but vocal number of players that are up in arms about it.
A couple of weeks back, I had the "you've never owned a super-cap so you shouldn't be talking about super-caps" thing thrown in my face a few times, thought it through for a few days, and decided that while I understand that position, I disagree with it. Super-caps affect me because they affect how I play EVE: I rarely undock in a battleship without considering the possibility and likelihood of hot-drops, for instance. My hictors (of which I have a couple) are specifically fit to tackle super-caps. Even in NPC 0.0, I encounter super-caps quite frequently, though of course in smaller numbers than what I used to encounter when I was a sov warrior. And finally, my main characters are all approaching the number of SP where I have to decide if a super-cap is one of my own end-game goals in EVE simply because sometime this year, two of them are going to run out of things to train for if I decide they're not.
So like it or not, I'm involved in that one, and in a variety of ways. I could make similar arguments for the other three, two of which I've directly done, the other one (botting) I haven't.
Botting comes up with the other three despite the fact that though it inspires a lot of passion in people, it's also a topic that's becoming less controversial year by year in New Eden, not more. It used to be very clear: everyone was against botting. These days, the player base is a lot less clear cut on this issue. We're in CSM election season and trust me: all four of these topics are going to come up. But last year, you couldn't go two posts in a CSM candidate's Jita Park post before "botting! is! a! cancer!" came up.
This year so far, it's barely visible at all, except in a question that UAxDEATH was asked about it on Failheap. His answer was interesting to say the least. It essentially boiled down to "if CCP doesn't care about botting, why should I?"... and the questioners on Failheap just seems to have accepted that answer. Quite a change from last year! Last year, if you even hinted at anything other than "Death! to! bots!", you were endlessly hounded. This year so far, it's rating a "meh". Hell, that lack of passion is in and of itself becoming a source of passion for some people. ;-)
Now, invalidating the opinions of others is, of course, nothing new either in EVE or in life. I'm sure the very first caveman that pointed over a hill and grunted that hunting was probably better over there was told that since he'd never been over that hill, he wasn't qualified to say how the hunting there was. "Opinions are like assholes", the (crude) old saying goes, "everyone has one"... with the unspoken implication that most people's opinions are as unpleasant as the body part they're being compared to.
Still, I live in the U.S., which means I believe in free speech. I play EVE, which means that I can be an anti-social jerk when the mood strikes me.(2) And I blog about EVE, which means I have a pretty thick skin. The combination of those three factors means that I'm going to continue to weigh in on these four topics even if it means the occasional anonymous commenter goes out of his way to try to invalidate my opinion.
Sorry about that
P.S. Solo L4 Mission Guide Part 3 tomorrow most likely, so you can quit asking about it, anonymous commenter. ;-)
(1) Note to self: write post about the transposition of sov mechanics to NPC 0.0 and low-sec space.