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...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

There's no more heroes left in the world, son

So Kirith Kodachi has a remarkably well-timed blog banter out. Here it is:
Quick post. I was listening to a song and a question occurred to me. Where are the EVE heroes? Against a dark background surely all we have are anti-heroes? A lot of mockery is aimed at any who attempt to be white knights. EVE is a dark place and yet pretty much all other MMO's try to place the player in the role of some form of hero, boosting the ego and taking the player out of the humdrum 1 in 7 billion that is RL. Why have I fitted into EVE? Did I never want to be that? So I guess my question is:

Do classic heroes exist in EVE? Is such heroism even possible in EVE? How would you go about being one without opening yourself wide open to scams? Is the nature of the game so dark that heroes can't exist? How do you deal with that irony? What effect does this have on us and the psyche of new players coming in from other MMOs? Is it something special that we don't have classic heroes, or should we? Are our non classic heroes more genuine?
It's a great question and I don't just say so because I'm talking about the villains of EVE right now. Before I really dove into the topic of EVE players behaving badly and how I think this is impacting our game long term, I had intended to write a post about the good that EVE players do. So this strikes me as a fine time to do that.

Yes, I'm going to answer this question completely unironically. There are heroes in EVE. Here are some of mine in no particular order.

EVE University. Do I need to go over the remarkable amount of good these guys do again? I think I do, at least briefly. They're ten years old, and for all that time all they've tried to do is teach people how to play EVE Online. This alliance is one of the most remarkable creations in all of video gaming and we have it as part of our community. Take a moment and just think about that! I am simply in awe of all the good these guys do.

AGONY Unleashed. A very similar organization to E-UNI, I don't suppose it's any secret that I'm a fan. ;-) These guys have had their ups and their downs over the years, but every time they struggle they come back even stronger with one mission in life: teach basic and advanced PvP tactics to anyone who wants to learn... and have fun practicing what they teach on the side, too.

The Angel Project. One of the newer ones on this list, created in 2012 by Sindel Pellion, intended to help newbies with a few ships to get them started, and help them learn this game, build relationships, and connect with other EVE players. That this organization was started is remarkable. That it's had success is a freakin' miracle.

The Valhalla Project. Say what you like about the incursion community, but these guys took me in when I was lost and helped me find a purpose in the game again. This is a rest stop for wayfarers right across New Eden between careers, and a remarkable community in their own right. You can talk to ex- and current sov warriors from every alliance in the game here. It's just a terrific, eclectic community. They keep getting better and they keep getting stronger.

The Ditanian Fleet. ...but sometimes I wanted to fly an armor ship in an incursion and when I did, these guys were here for me. This is every bit as welcoming a community, every bit as fun to fly with, but sometimes tinged with that streak of aggressiveness that has been the hallmark of my own EVE play. ;-)

Red Frog Freight. I try not to miss opportunities to plug the excellent service these guys provide. The fact that they make a living based on doing it is just icing on a pretty damn fine cake. Jester uses this service. You should too.

Estel Arador Corporation. These are some of the unsung heroes of the PvPers of EVE. They run a free jump clone service providing support in dozens and dozens of stations right across New Eden. And they've been doing it for six years now. This is a wonderful service to the community.

People who donate to PLEX for GOOD. 190 thousand USD for aid in the Phillipines. Tens of thousands for other causes over the years. The people who give their hard-earned PLEXes to these efforts are champions. 'nuff said.

People who run EVE community fansites. Let me just say it: this shit ain't easy, and it ain't always fun. The rewards you get from CCP are nearly worth the value of mining veldspar for the same amount of time. And yet dozens of people provide maps, guides, tools, entertainment, advice, art, help, and communities to this little bunch of people playing with internet spaceships. I could not be prouder to count myself among them.

People who voluntarily run player events around the world. I simply can't imagine anything less fun or more stressful than signing up to run an event for EVE players, of all people! And yet people do it, they run terrific events, and I've had fun at every single one of them I've had the pleasure to attend. Bravo!

Players who unironically start new trial account after new trial account just so they can answer questions in the EVE Newbie channel. Yes, they use it as a recruiting opportunity for their corps. I don't care. Have you ever just sat in the newbie channel for a while and watched its ebb and flow? I'm always very impressed at the players who take it upon themselves to answer the literally thousands of questions that pop up here, many of them over and over again.

My fellow delegates on CSM8, and the delegates of past CSMs. Likewise, the intrinsic reward of this job is remarkably little for the enormously high expectations that the players and CCP put on them. If you haven't done it, you simply cannot understand. It's the hardest work anyone can do for EVE and I have nothing but respect for (almost) everyone who's volunteered to do it.

And finally, the EVE developers that actually talk to and listen to EVE players. I'm not going to name names. They know who they are. You know who they are. And if I start naming names, I'm going to forget a few to my sorrow. But every time I see an EVE dev interact with the players on a one-on-one level or as a group, I'm more and more happy I play this game.

So... yeah. There are a few heroes left in EVE, no matter what the nay-sayers think. And I've probably forgotten a few.

It's just a shame there aren't more.

45 comments:

  1. Cribba, for maintaining his integrity and honesty all these years.

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    1. it's popular to undermine C these days. <- Veldspar crak

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    2. If you want a real hero Cribba has to be top of the list. There is a whole industry of loans and big trades in the game that are backed by Cribbas integrity.

      If he turned Evil I am sure trillions of isk would vanish in seconds.

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    3. There is also a lot of Veldspar out there that thinks he's a hero.

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    4. I had the chance to meet Chribba and he's a great guy. But I'd describe him as more of a legendary EVE player than a heroic one. He gets paid, and frightfully well paid, for the things he does. If he provided those services for free (as Estel Arador does) or for cheap (as Red Frog does), that'd be heroic.

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  2. You forgot Brave Newbies (BNI).

    They do more good for EVE Online than EVE University, by far. You get real, practical experience with EVE Online with BNI. EVE University piles a bunch of rules onto your play, and then when you're unleashed into the world, you're not quite ready to fend for yourself. Why? Because EVE University invested a great deal of time and energy protecting you from the bad things, rather than teaching you how to deal with them.

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    1. What experience ?You undock and die ,that is not experience ,that is plain dumb.No training ,no explaining mechanic ,no nothing.Just mindless dieing with zero planing.Some people love that ,but you dont learn to much if you die in blob.
      EVE uni and other training corps have rules for reason.If you think you know what are you doing than you dont need training anyway.It is like school ,and there is rules to follow in any school you join.If you want chaos you join BNI.
      Protecting you from things is nothing bad.EVE pvp is anyway choose your target wisely.So what you are asking is wet dream for bitter vets.BNI are great we are killing them .

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    2. E-Uni's rules have been drastically relaxed since you were a member. Sov null restrictions are gone. WSOP restrictions are now just guidelines. Mixed fleet rules are gone. About the only restrictions left are the e-honor rules, no structure shooting and no pve in sov space.

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    3. As somebody with a character in both corps, I think they both have their strengths.

      I do like BNI's almost carefree attitude towards PVP and fleets. I think they promote a great mindset for both newer and older players, and I love that most members don't take things too seriously. It's a great community.

      But wardecs can be a pain in the ass on some trips. And they really don't have the same educational framing that E-UNI does. I found their courses on subjects like Exploration, Incursions, and Wormholes to be extremely informative. I also appreciate their guest lectures from nullsec entities or pirates, which are typically very interesting.

      You just have to know what you're signing up for. I really don't like to think of these two organizations as opposing each other. They're just different faces on the learning experience. And I'm happy to have them both in New Eden!

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    4. BNI is a fun thing, but heroic? That actually kinda remains to be seen. Their first couple of months lived up to the "N" in their name. These days, I'm not sure it applies.

      I'd expand the comment of Anon0636: BNI is mostly good in terms of their attitude, not necessarily their altruism.

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    5. Altruism. Free ships for all the newbies. When newbies don't have to worry about grinding ISK, and can just enjoy the game, that's a good thing. When they outgrow the free ships, they're in a better position of understanding the game and being able to grind out ISK more enjoyably.

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    6. Donating to your own members is hardly altruism. It's called a SRP by a different name, and it's mostly self-serving.

      I'm not saying BNI isn't a great organization: they are. But heroic? As I said, that remains to be seen.

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    7. Yet you call Red Frog Freight heroes..

      Me I'd say the public couriers who do freight deliveries much cheaper and faster than RFF and deliver to far more places are the real heroes there.

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    8. Oh and you discount Chribba as a hero because "he gets paid for the things he does".

      Why doesn't that logic apply to RFF too?

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    9. Chribba gets paid 300 million ISK to sit at his desk and play Tetris until two guys in a chat channel say he can type a few characters and press enter. Red Frog Freight gets paid 10 million to do work that pretty much every EVE player ever regards as tedious, boring, and silly.

      It's a subtle difference, I'll grant you. Oh wait, no it isn't. ;-)

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    10. (And see above for my prior comments about Chribba. It's not that Chribba is a bad person. He's definitely not. He's just not what I would describe as heroic.)

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  3. What about OUCH University .They are doing null sec training for tree years now.
    They dont post to much ,but who ever finished training didnt regret.I know they dont fit in mindless pattern "if you lose your ship you win in EVE" ,but they are doing their job for long enough that it proved it self as something good.
    Btw Greygal left Agony and she made new corp.
    Anyway there is many corporations that introduce people to new stuff .I would not count BNI in that ,cause there is no training there just dieing and making other people KBs green.

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    Replies
    1. I'll look into them. I'm not familiar with them.

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  4. and once again the community by extend, and you directly ignore to name those people who spend countless hours working on all the 3rd party tools that *everyone* is using.
    Apparently fansites are worth mentioning, but tools like the software that runs such fansites, or tools like EVEMon, EFT, the killboards, ECM - there is no love for that.

    But hey, thats what we are used to be treated by CCP, by other Players and specifically by the CSM nowadays.

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    1. He did mention these tools... Unless he edited his post after yours?

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    2. no he mentioned that some fansites provide such tools, thats basically those guys who run a website (such as him with his blog), and actually get rewarded for this by CCP.
      The Guys wo write the actual Software (but don't run a fansite) don't get any rewards, and are not mentioned. And they usually are not represented by the CSM either.
      This goes to an extend where while CCP is offering two different API and the database dumps 3rd party development is still against the Terms of Service of EVE Online. (Read 'em, its in there. CCP i just not pursuing it).

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    3. It's a fair point. I said right in the post that I'd forgotten a few.

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  5. I'd like to give another shout out for 0UCH. Great bunch of folks.

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  6. Thank you. I was hoping you would write something more positive.
    A few jerks don't define the culture. Actually, I encounter helpful heroes all over New Eden, who avoid fame and thus becoming gank bait.
    By "fan site," I think you included developers who make "tools," like Dotlan, wormhole mappers, guide and videos of all kinds, apps like Aura, LMEve and Neocom. Also, every podcaster.
    Keep up the good work, hero.

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  7. I hesitate to say this a bit (bias and all that) but I think RvB does a lot of good.

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    1. ...for the Goons.

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    2. Can you really call two alliances that were shaking down small corperations for their high sec customs offices heroes? And I heard an interview where an RvB director says that if they get bored that they'll start doing it again.

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    3. Definitely. This isn't WoW that has a pretty standard definition of heroic. This is EVE. It's libertarian. Heroic has a different definition. You could argue the GHSC theft was an act of heroism. :)

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    4. We actually offered fair market value to those small corporations for their pocos. Most realized that they had no chance of holding on to them and accepted our terms... Seeing how we reimbursed them for structures they were going to lose anyway, I think it was more than fair.

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    5. Did you just say that shooting someone's POCO to get his revenue stream is fair just because you offered to reimburse them? lol. Now I don't mind people fighting over POCOs but let's not pretend it was "noble".

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  8. Mangala and everyone else involved in running RvB Ganked every week.

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    1. And not just Mangala, there's also people like Jayne Fillon with Spectre Fleet or Greygal with Redemption Roams.
      They are offering a great service and game experience to the public for free, and some even have price drawings as cherry topping :)

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  9. CAS does a lot for new players and jaded vets, and all from an NPC Corp. They have more to offer than most corps I've known.

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  10. Nice post. I always enjoy when people point out the fantastic communities, of which there are many. I would say the unsung heroes of Eve are pretty sizable. My addition: The pilots who kill newbies, then offer to explain how the did it. I have been on the recieving end of that a few times long ago, and it made getting popped a good experience.

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  11. No love for RvB Ganked or Spectre Fleet? Both are essentially the PvP versions of the Incursion communities you've listed.

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  12. Does the fact that I donated most of my PLEX to see Dolan suffer make me less of a hero?

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    1. No of course not! You are a klingon for God's sake :)

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  13. I'm going to go sit in the "that's a different definition of heroism than I hold dear" camp.

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  14. Jester! Read the question again. I asked it. Your nominees are heroes yes, your heroes true, but how "heroic" they are is debatable? I guess I'm probing the nature of classic heroism (whatever that is) and the lengths to which it can exist in EVE. Consider the guy at the start of the Butterfly Effect trailer. Does he exist? Can he exist? Was he a "hero"? If that happened, is he a hero, an altruist or something darker entirely. Consider Neville Smits recent post about altruism. My god, heroism is "quantum"!

    Incidentally, I too liked the timing and need to have a damn good think about your Reavers analogy.

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  15. There is a growing Anti Ganker community that efforts to prevent and avenge ganks in high sec. They meet in the Anti-Ganking chat channel. There be Heros.

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  16. Would like to echo the commenter who praised the EvE tools we all use, Without EvEMon and EFT for myself (and the others used by others) there would be a lot of people who unsubbed long ago. I see you've admitted this as an oversight, but it is an important one. Otherwise, good post.

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  17. You missed the logistics guys behind the scenes, that keep feeding the beast that any eve corp / alliance is. They are very much unsung heros. A shame ccp still doesn't really value them as much. Reminds me of all the talk about instigators, how good that will be supported...

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  18. I don't understand how a particular incursion community, and one that has leaned more toward elite fits as opposed to noob-friendliness, is heroic by these measures. Incursions are all about ISK/hr. If Chribba doesn't qualify because he gets paid, then no incursion community should. But if that isn't a disqualifier, then you should look at Warp To Me Incursions. They are far more new-player friendly than the other major incursion communities, by design.

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  19. Thanks for the kind words about EVE University. If you are curious about anything we do, feel free to ask.

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  20. What about Gevlon Goblin? He has single handedly funded the destruction or removal of every Goon POCO from highsec. Now that's a hero.

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