Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Kill of the Week: Straw

I kind of went back and forth on Saturday about whether to post this one.  I've finally decided to do so because the sort of thing I'm going to describe is part of the game.  But it's an unfortunate part of the game so I'm going to keep this one brief.

Kill of the week honors goes to this Tengu kill, brought to my attention by Steph Wing:
http://tftw.ganked.us/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=15232

On paper, there's nothing really all that special about this kill.  It's a pretty standard solo PvE Tengu, apparently solo'ing sites in a class 2 wormhole.  I like Warhead Rigors instead of Warhead Flares for missile rigs, and it's usually worthwhile to fire Scourge Fury missiles in PvE rather than T1 Scourges.  But other than that, nothing special to see here.  A little roaming squad found this guy, a cloaky Helios pointed him, the Sabre bubbled him.  The Tengu pilot managed to kill the Helios but by that time, he was caught.

Down goes one Tengu and one pretty standard +4 implant pod.  Again, nothing special about it.  Happens dozens of times every day in every part of New Eden.

Except this guy's reaction, which you can find in a companion post out at Failheap Challenge.  Short version (edited slightly):
[ 2012.08.01 03:35:42 ] Drakan290 > yeah i'm actually done playing this game
[ 2012.08.01 03:35:46 ] Drakan290 > i'm tired of not having any fun
[ 2012.08.01 03:36:12 ] Drakan290 > if you or your friends are still in this wh warp to last planet moon 1
[ 2012.08.01 03:36:19 ] Drakan290 > there's like 20 ships just outside chilling
[ 2012.08.01 03:36:24 ] Drakan290 > all fitted and shit
[ 2012.08.01 03:37:03 ] hanro > i'm sorry you aren't having any fun. i really do enjoy eve. if you're serious, i've got your POS BMd and will gladly take your stuff and put it to good use if you drop the shield.
[ 2012.08.01 03:38:01 ] Drakan290 > jetcan has 2000billion isk worth of shit
[ 2012.08.01 03:38:06 ] Drakan290 > all yours
[ 2012.08.01 03:38:09 ] Drakan290 > shield off
About ten minutes after the loss, the pilot involved here got back into his wormhole, took a look around his POS, and decided in that moment that EVE was no longer for him.

People stop playing EVE for all kinds of reasons, but all of them usually come down to "I'm not having fun any more."  Whether you call this rage-quitting or not, the response from those of us still here is always the same, some variation of "Can I have your stuff?"  Usually, the answer is "no" or the person involved just ignores the question (which comes down to the same thing).  The implication is that sooner or later, that player will be back and doesn't want to have to start from scratch.  But so far this year, I'm seeing an increasing number of cases where the answer is "yes."  It's an unfortunate trend, and one that I hope CCP is taking seriously.

The strange thing is that although this trend nearly always centers around some kind of loss-mail, it's hardly ever a loss-mail that's all that impressive.  As the post on FHC makes clear, this guy could have easily replaced this Tengu.  He had solo access to a C2 wormhole, a personal POS, and a nice ship collection that apparently included a replacement Tengu.

The straw that breaks the camel's back is never particularly different from all the other straws there.  It's only special in that it just happened to be the one that did the job.

Thanks for the pointer, Steph!  And congrats on your good fortune!  Wish you'd sent me something a little less depressing, though.  ;-)

EDIT (6/Aug/2012): Once his stuff was jettisoned, he appears to have sold his character, too.

29 comments:

  1. EvE is a harsh mistress. Sometimes having your "bubble of safety" violated one too many times drives people over the edge. At least he gave out his stuff.

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  2. I've never gone back to a game which I've quit playing.

    Why bother? Esp. if you quit because the game wasn't much fun anymore.

    There are always so many new and interesting games coming out. It is difficult enough to make time to play them all, let alone and go back to something old, boring and/or broken.

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  3. Not sure if he is out-out though. Seems he may have sold the character in the bazaar: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=1738060#post1738060. He sold it to a one year old toon. Does that mean he has another character? Perhaps. Makes you wonder though doesn't it?

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    1. The fact that he sold his toon in the bazaar makes it even more likely that he is out-out. He probably just opted to turn the ISK from the sale over to some in-game friends, rather than just biomass the toon.

      I've seen both happen when someone is committed to leaving and not planning on coming back.

      Delete
    2. Wow, he sold is toon too?

      lol

      Delete
  4. Eve used to be a universe of possibilities. The ideas CCP has for where they want the game to go are goals so far beyond what any other MMO have that you can't help but wish the devs luck.

    But the reality is year after year it isn't getting there. The grand idea of walking in stations, followed by shooting each other in the face in deep space starbases, and ground combat to follow is years off from being any sort of reality. And ground combat got spun off into an entirely different game. If DUST does well, I wouldn't be surprised if station combat is rolled into it as well.

    FiS is all well and good, but it's the dream that keeps me subscribed. I still log in, change skills, and futz around with station keeping activities; but I don't play for fun anymore. I pay for the ambition of CCP, game companies rarely shoot for the stars anymore.

    But, it's getting really hard to keep giving the devs 130 bucks a year when there is no visible progress on the grand plan that keeps the Eve experiment interesting to me.

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    1. I wonder what opening a a few new regions or a new galaxy through a big portal would do. I wonder if a land rush could make it interesting again.

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    2. Halycon, I have - more or less - the same feeling. The dream of the full SciFi simulator, including WiS and ground combat.. that's the thing.

      Delete
  5. I have seen this in my own corp. Not rage quitting. Just 5 and 6 yr old toons, guys I've been with for 4 yrs getting to the point that they feel there is nothing left to do. They log on for the comradery and not much else. Then one day they don't log in anymore. One such friend recently quit. He loved the game from running sites and pvp to mining. Thought he just went to another corp while I was gone for a week then noticed his DED recycle mail. Billions of Isk worth of stuff in offices all over. Not like he couldn't pay to play anymore. There is a point at which the game feels pointless. How much more Isk is going to make me feel better? How many kills? How many of the same old missions? Mining so I can build more pointless ships to lose or sell? Having an almost useless toon stuck in a Super? No one is ever going to be the richest, 'leetest pvper, or have the most skill points in the game. This coupled with another 18 months of meh. I've been there myself. Get on with Dust. Hope it hurries and sinks or swims. Frankly don't care which just that it's finally over with. Why do I log into this game? Ask myself that all the time. Maybe you need a post that asks that question. Goals? Yeah they were sweet when you couldn't wait to get into a Hulk or maybe your first cruiser. No you can't haz my stuff. I will biomass/destroy it all one day. Not going anywhere. Is that prophetic? LOL

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  6. risk aversion. really bad idea for playing MMOGs where there's no 'save game' function.

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    1. I don't think the point is about risk. The point is there is nothing exiting in eve. CCP has decided to let the game stagnate rather than have serious content development. People are quitting because they are bored not because they are rage quitting.

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  7. Sad, but could or should anyone do something about it? I think not. If he decided that he doesn't want to play a game anymore where random people can gank him in a wormhole, and he just wants to get space-rich in peace, EVE is not for him.

    For me it sounds like he was the item collector type who played the game to collect a large fortune and the coolest items. These types ultimately cannot like EVE because they will lose some of their stuffs. They feel like they work hard every day to fulfil their dream and again and again people ruin it and take it away.

    The long-term EVE player acquires his stuffs to do something with it. Losing some doesn't bother him because he never intended to keep it anyway. His stuff is a means to have fun, not the fun itself.

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    1. <- this.

      the "victim" has not fought hard enough for is wealth, had not suffered years of deprivation to appreciate the accumulation. Or if he had, he did not value his own time and energy sufficiently.
      If you can cut the EVE way of life out that decisively you should.

      Delete
    2. I have had the opportunity to fly with the gentleman in question briefly before his departure and have a few conversations. (Eve is actually amusingly small -- just days later I got to shoot at Ripard Teg.) An item collector he clearly wasn't. He went to WH to take a vacation away from the frequently frustrating scuffles of FW, (which, apparently, is not an uncommon practice) and didn't get that break.

      I'm told the sum he sold the character for was 1 isk.

      Delete
  8. I guess, what dissipated the fun for him eventually was solo'ing. EVE stays fun when you play in a team IMHO.

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  9. I think one problem with this story is that the guy was apparently living in his own in a wormhole. The surveys might show that many people play solo, but doing so makes the game far less interesting....

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    Replies
    1. Long term solo PVE is an almost surefire recipe for boredom and finally an end to your eve subscription.

      I do recruiting for our (small) nullsec corp, and most new recruits will mention 'boredom' as a major driver to look for greener pastures. Often, these guys believe Eve can be more than they are currently making of it, and they are usually looking for more excitement and social/team play.

      Delete
  10. Just unsubbed 4 accounts the other day, gave all my stuff to my teammates. Game just got boring, and I got tired of watching CCP apply fixes to things that weren't broken.

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  11. I was lucky enough to be hanging out in the C&P channel when Drakan pulled the plug. And managed to acquire 'stuff'. Not much, but it was stuff. And it is stuff that I'm just going to leave there waiting for him. I've even put the stuff in plastic wrap so I am not tempted to grab and use it if I'm in the area.

    I saw the pilot sale, and will be waiting patiently for someone to come back in a year or so after being frustrated on the theme park rides available out there, and coming back home.

    And then there will be some stuff to start with.

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    Replies
    1. If you are for real, I o7 you. Finally a 'Mensch' around here!

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    2. This is, just... wow ! Well, this is not WoW....ofc.

      o7

      Delete
  12. As usual with these discussions, some people think it’s about the kill and risk aversion. Clearly the guy was smart enough and competent enough to solo C2s. Risk was not his issue.

    I recently retired from EVE as well. I loved EVE (still do; here I am still keeping up with Jester :P) and played for over 3 years. I did just about everything there is to do from PvP to industry/trade. I found unexpected joy in Red Frog early in my time in the game. That weird, wild love of hauling led me in some very unexpected directions. Eventually, I founded Black Frog and helped to run the single most successful company in EVE. I still had a PvP character, production toons, and more hauling alts than you can shake a stick at. I got rich. I had a decent kill board. I could build anything, buy anything, and go anywhere. I never lost a freighter, never failed a contract, and never got scammed. Overall, my time in EVE was a complete success.

    Then I was interviewed by Utemetsu for his show. He asked what my role in Red Frog was. My answer was "director without portfolio." Even as the words left my lips, I realized that it was time to go. I had done everything that I wanted to do, with a few exceptions. And those exceptions were dreams so big that I couldn't hope to accomplish them for years. I could continue to log on and add a few spins to the hamster wheel, but the creative spark was gone. In the end, I sold everything and gave away the ISK. I parked my sentimental toons in a sarcophagus alliance, said my good byes, and logged off.

    IMHO, as time has marched on, the reality of EVE is that it has become more and more stagnant and entrenched in its ways. This is true of both CCP and the player base. Dreaming big is harder and harder. The sums of money necessary, the time sinks necessary, the coordination and planning necessary have slowly but surely increased.

    Sov warfare has become a very advanced form of RvB. New players aren't dreaming about forming their own alliance in nosec; they're thinking about which alliance they're going to join. New players aren't dreaming about forming a group strong enough to take sov and build an outpost; they know they'd lose it before the day was done. A lot of what made EVE great for the old vets was a byproduct of a smaller player base with fewer resources, smaller forces, and long term goals that few, if any, had achieved. Those things are all gone now. And with the incredible fortunes that the power players have amassed, its unlikely that this stagnation is going to be broken by the player base. They'll play musical alliance chairs and change the names and destinations, but it'll be the same old crew, doing the same old things. I don't know what the solution is. All I can say is that I won't return until there is something truly new going on. My vote is that they turn Incursions up to 11 and have the NPCs attack sov structures. Then sov holders would have to really stay on their toes. Throw in ring mining, no easy tech/goo, destructible outposts, and maybe limits on total sov based on activity levels (i.e. use what you hold or lose it) and I think we'd be on the right track.

    I have no idea why I wrote this wall o’ text. Something about the retirement thing struck a chord. --Zaxix

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    1. You have good reasons to leave, but you shouldn't blame the game. Sounds like you invested *a lot* of time during your three years of playing. I'm also playing for about three years now, and I'm not a casual player, rather quite dedicated. But I still have frequent periods of low activity and in general I have less time for playing EVE than many other people. I think this keeps me fresh, so I will want to stay with EVE for a long time... just not 10 hours per day, every day ;)

      Delete
  13. It's easy to dismiss this as some simplistic problem, but we don't have a window into his head. The fact that he thought about it, then arranged for his gankers to take trillions of ISK worth of his stuff, then sold his character, indicates that he was calm, and probably more resigned than bitter or angry. He might have been wondering why he was playing as his Tengu ripped through sleepers, and after he lost the Tengu he realized that even the small amount of effort required to wait, reship, and continue was more than he cared to invest. It could simply have been burnout. We don't know.

    Since all models of every ship in EVE are identical, and nearly all of them are replaceable, the distinction between someone who collects ships and someone who uses them is blurry at best. It's not like you're afraid you'll lose your '71 Abaddon Convertible with its pristine leather interior, right?

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  14. Pretty big straw here, h/t The Mittani:

    http://eve.battleclinic.com/killboard/killmail.php?id=17116952

    http://soundcloud.com/gecko-1-1/gecko-fleet-phoon-awox

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  15. I can't believe all these morons acting like he quit after being killed. He clearly had the wealth to replace the ship like it were t1 BC. I don't think someone so bitter against gankers/pvpers would then give his stuff to them. It is more likely that this was just that last, "yeah this is boring" moment.

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  16. I recently unsubbed my main toon with 100m sp. I've lost interest in the game. I had an idea though to sell all my stuff, sell my character and re-roll a single toon fresh. No skills, no corp history, completely new character. Perhaps join a pirate corp or high sec greefing corp and just slowly dwindle my 50billions away greefing people. Would eve be fun again?

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  17. I know a thing or two about straws, as I succumbed to the last one a few months ago. Mine came in the form of yet another 4.5 hour wait trying to engage in pew pew with the guys in a neighboring system and in te end going home without a fight. Not sure how that one was different but after that I decided I was done and nothing else seemed fun anymore. I donated my assets to corpies, and gave them passwords to my accounts so they can sell them . ( I wasnt gonna pay 40 bucks in transfer fees) and they sold toons in a week. Reading ur blog, as sad as it sounds , is all I need to feel like I'm having fun with EVE, and It's free too!

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  18. I'm a new guys myself, and came to Eve with relatively little MMO baggage - I'm more of the MUDer generation. Don't get too wrapped up about quits - people quit games all over all the time, from old MUDs to WOW. The PvP nature may make the trigger look more obvious but people get tired of things and people change.

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