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.
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Monday, October 31, 2011

Quote of the Week: Entitlement

I think the quote of the week becomes deeper and more meaningful the more you think about it:
The problem is that too many people in EVE are risk averse and feel entitled.
The quote comes from S.W. at Confessions of a Closet Carebear, and the context is the anger that ice miners being denied blue ice are displaying in a variety of fora over the GSF interdiction.  It's a great quote, and it's true... as far as it goes.  The only problem with it in my view is that it doesn't go nearly far enough.

Avoiding risk is something that virtually all EVE players share.  When PvPers are denied "their" kills because the other side sees they cannot win, that's the most common risk adversity in EVE, of course.  And it's rather amusing to note that the level of invective directed at such "cowards" often increases in inverse proportion to the likelihood that they could have won the fight.  When two relatively evenly matched fleets almost meet, but one side chooses to avoid the engagement, you rarely hear them being dismissively and collectively called much more than a rude term for a part of the female anatomy.  But if a single recon or nano-HAC slips through a large gate-camp without getting himself killed, the verbal rage can be entertaining.  ;-)

Even Goons themselves are risk-averse in their own way.  Turn-of-the-century anarchists had philosophical discussions about whether one anarchist could give orders to a second anarchist on what misdeeds should be carried out, or how they should be done.  Goons skip the philosophy.  Their gank-ship fittings and tactics are as regimented as anything chosen for large fleet combat.

But the more I think about it, the more I think a sense of entitlement is the one and only thing that every EVE player shares:
  • ice miners feel entitled to mine as much of "their" ice as they like in peace;
  • ore miners feel entitled to "their" belts and become angry if someone comes along and denies them "their" rocks somehow;
  • site runners and those that live in wormholes become furious if someone runs "their" sites;
  • incursion runners become angry if someone closes "their" incursions prematurely;
  • high-sec corps rage if a war-dec prevents them from conducting "their" business in high-sec;
  • players running the market get angry if someone comes along and tries to take over "their" market;
  • PvPers and gankers rage if something -- even enlightened self-interest on the part of their enemy -- prevents them from getting kills;
  • non-sov-holders in null become angry if someone moves into "their" pocket of NPC null;
  • God help anyone who tries to push a sov-holder out of "their" space; and,
  • all of us, and I do mean all of us, feel entitled to non-stop never-ending spaceships from CCP until the end of time.  ;-)

PvPers will protest most loudly at being lumped into this camp, I suspect.  But the most common term for being denied expected PvP is to be "blue-balled".  This happens to be a colorful western euphemism for what occurs to the male anatomy when that male is denied expected sex... sex to which the man in question surely felt entitled to...  ;-)

And the level of rage that EVE players can display when we are denied what we feel entitled to can be quite entertaining.

So, great quote!  But it didn't go nearly far enough.  ;-)


  1. seems to me the whole tone of eve can be summed up like this.

    dear ccp:
    'paper's fine. nerf rock'
    disgruntled scissors

  2. Oh man, I laughed so hard while reading this, ugly truth.

    Nice Post.

    Thing is everyone feels entitled, but no one wants to take the responsibility that goes along with that entitlement.

    Also, @ Anon 31/10/2011 08:41.... brilliant.

  3. But isn't the ownership and then denial of the things we expect to "own" in EVE what makes EVE better then other games? It's the reason PVP has meaning in EVE; and why people still get that adrenalin rush after playing the game for years when entering combat. What is the point in working to attain something if you can never loose it? It's the losses that give the gains meaning.

    Jarth Skyrunner

  4. A decent post, but one odd bit:

    "Even Goons themselves are risk-averse in their own way. Turn-of-the-century anarchists had philosophical discussions about whether one anarchist could give orders to a second anarchist on what misdeeds should be carried out, or how they should be done. Goons skip the philosophy. Their gank-ship fittings and tactics are as regimented as anything chosen for large fleet combat."

    What does standardized fittings have to do with entitlement or risk aversion?

    Also, GSF is an autocracy, not an anarchy by any means.

  5. PvPers and gankers rage if something -- even enlightened self-interest on the part of their enemy -- prevents them from getting kills;

    Well, speaking for myself, no. I feel disappointed the fight didn't go down even when it is my side standing down.

    non-sov-holders in null become angry if someone moves into "their" pocket of NPC null;

    Having recently lived in NPC null, again speaking for myself, nope! Bring it on, love to get the fights.

    God help anyone who tries to push a sov-holder out of "their" space; and,

    Having had this happen a couple of times, gain no. The last time was disappointing in that alliance level bickering and in-fighting prevented us from defending our space. We could have easily done so, but other corps and especially their leadership wanted to do other things and didn't defend against an invader. And keep in mind we defended the CSAAs of the corps that were not fighting against the invader. If anything I'm far more pissed at the traitorous corps than the invaders.

    But hey...maybe I'm different I do know my age is probably at least 1 standard deviation (positively) away from the mean age...probably close to two standard deviations--i.e. maybe it is a maturity thing.

  6. @Anon October 31, 2011 10:07 AM

    Yes. That is exactly what makes EVE great, yet relatively few people recognize the truth of it; they are too busy feeling entitled to their peaceful PVE grinding.

    I still get grumpy when I'm blue-balled, but I often gain respect for the other party if they aren't avoiding fights in the whiniest way possible. If someone avoids fighting me because they think they were gonna die, they're probably right, and made the right choice. I'm not entitled to PVP any more than everyone else is obligated to die.

    As for everything else, I am very aware that my place in EVE is, to a greater or lesser degree, tenuous. This only makes it more special that I am where I am.

    I wish more people saw the game the way I did.

  7. Probably hit it right on the head here, jester. Excellent post.

    You should also mention mission runners screaming when someone comes in and takes "their" wrecks.

  8. ----------------------
    dear ccp:
    'paper's fine. nerf rock'
    disgruntled scissors


    There's another class of player that is largely silent and that's the player that doesn't rage, doesn't flame, and goes with the flow. They accept losses, play the game for fun with or without fanaticism and min/maxing.

    These people (and I strive to be one) are largely lost in the debate because they'll play the game and are content to be uncomfortable, risking assets, and trying new things.

    As usual the loudest (and most extreme) voices are the ones driving the conversation while those best able to adapt are content to watch the drama and go back to our ways.

  9. @Mittens: It's reverse risk aversion. "Gank people with this ship, in this fitting, using these tactics, so you'll succeed every time."

  10. It's a pretty common occurrence: I'm flying around in my shield hurricane and see another BC in a belt. I hop in and engage; local spikes seconds later and a dozen of his closest friends show up.

    I leave, of course, feeling a bit offended always that he called in that many friends on an 'even' fight. Really though, all his plated myrm was going to get from my cane was barrage from 20km. He never really had a chance.

    At the same time, I often get smack for warping off. As if I owed it to them to stick around when it was a clearly un-winnable engagement. Everyone ends up being a bit miffed the other didn't die as he should have.

    It's interesting though, my usual tactic to local spike is to align out, kick the mwd and watch (on d-scan and then grid) what's coming in and where. It's not that uncommon to swat a over-zealous inty pilot or frig tackler and extremely satisfying. The odd part is I often get 'GFs' instead of smack for that, despite not only bull-balling them but actually giving them a bit of a bag-tag (to keep with the lingo) on the way out.

  11. @Raelyf - You need to be more ballsy and nuke the fast cruiser as well before the rest of their fleet can catch you.

  12. Pretty much steel on target. Currently reading The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, by Jean Twenge & Keith Campbell (PhDs). A bit on the dry side, but pretty much explains celebreality shows, EVE players (by and large), and that hawt chick on Facebook who's a cute lil cocktease but keeps playing the boyz lookin for the best angle.

    Also Mittens commenting in a post about narcissistic behavior: just golden. I lol'd, for rillz yo.

  13. @Jester: I think you're wrong about the GSF fleet doctrine.

    The idea is less "fly this fit or we'll lose", and more "Fly this so we can fight the same way". There will always be people who rock up to fleet fights in battle Badgers, rainbow Drakes and Scythe Fleet Issues, but you just have to accept that they're not playing the same game as you.

    Like the parents of ADHD children, GSF leaders have to set strict boundaries because the rank and file bees need the rigid (but constantly-changing) structure to redirect their whimsy.

  14. I feel entitled to more blog posts. According to Blogger Dashboard, it's been 13 hours.

  15. At the end of the day EVE is a game, one which players pay for and for that they are entitled to have fun. When a player logs on they want to be able to have fun and the game should be able to provide that in whatever form the player wants; so if the player wants to mine endlessly all day then they can and should be able to - they are entitled to that fun / gameplay because they pay for the game and the game should provide.

    Now this isn't a big issue most of the time with mining for example because if you find that one belt is taken then you move on; its an ineviability of playing an MMO game (and if you don't accept that simple fact then they should play a single player game).

    But when ALL of the belts are taken without leaving the player much recourse players are more likely to feel that the gameplay that they are 'entitled' to or 'paying for' is being unfairly withheld from them.

    Its like doing a quest in a traditional MMO to kill 10 spiders for example, but someone is following you around and whenever you get close to killing a spider the other guy jumps in and kills it instead; so you can't progress or enjoy the gameplay you are 'entitled' to because someone else is cutting you off from it.

    The developer isn't under any obligation to provide the players with a constant feed of 'fun' but when that feeling of entitlement is restricted or removed a lot of player feel cheated because the content that they are 'entitled' to is not available to them.

    Why do you think Instances dungeons exist? Because players got pissed off with not being able to use the content that they are 'entitled' to play because another group got their first.

    Instance / PvP queues, raid locks, group teleports etc are all designed to offer convience to the player to enable a better feeling of accessability to content that players pay for and therefore entitled to.

    MMO games are becoming more and more about accessability because games that are not accessable cut off a large section of casual players who are happy to pay but can't invest multiple hours per session to get into the content the game provides.

    We all know that EVE is not a traditional MMO and its a different mindset that players need to adopt before they can play and get something out of it so the majority of the responses from existing players are along the lines of "Adapt and survive or don't and die"; but is that attitude enough to keep EVE afloat with new and existing players for the foreseeable future or will EVE also have to 'Adapt and survive' to adjust itself to the MMO marketplace?

  16. In a world ( even if virtual ) where the acquired cultural environment suggests to every individuum the ability to claim its stake, I would conclude that it is identification with the personal claim more than entitlement. The result is the same ( commonly called "whining" ) but the morale implications are slightly different.

    Still, post made me smile !

  17. @Lee
    People don't pay CCP money to be able to mine, or gank, or any other game activity. They pay CCP money to play EVE. That's it. And that's all they're entitled to. Playing EVE means you might have to dodge gankers and fight over mining spots, but that's part of the game and what makes it fun for the majority of the player base.

    EVE does, in fact, need to adapt or die. That's part of capitalism. EVE needs to adapt to attract new players and hold on to existing ones. But that doesn't necessarily mean EVE needs to get more casual. Accessibility is always good, but accessibility means just that - helping people get involved in the game. It doesn't mean dumbing the game down and giving everyone a trophy for showing up.

    EVE's niche is that it offers a hardcore sandbox where you can't just bury your head in the sand and play 'alone with others'. People and events affect you and the universe, and that's what makes it special. Sure, it's not for everyone - but if you change that you'll have several hundred thousand dedicated players to replace with 'casuals' who will play a couple of months and move on to the next game.

  18. @Lee

    "At the end of the day EVE is a game, one which players pay for and for that they are entitled to have fun"

    wrong, you are entititled to log in to the server, nothing more. Everything else can be denied from you.

  19. On the note of:"Turn-of-the-century anarchists had philosophical discussions about whether one anarchist could give orders to a second anarchist on what misdeeds should be carried out, or how they should be done."

    Shamelessly taken from the guide to the know galaxy:

    LIBERTARIAN MILITARISTS. A society that is frequently met with, at least among EARTH HUMANS. These people believe in minimal government and maximum personal autonomy, yet they have a large military establishment with very well-disciplined troops.

    This raises some interesting questions. How minimal can a government be if it collects enough taxes to support that enormous military?

    Don't people feel that if they're going to pay all those taxes they might as well get some roads or public colleges as well?

    And how does a society so devoutly individualistic provide sufficient recruits to an organization as essentially and necessarily group-oriented and authoritarian as a military force?

    More generally, how does this odd combination arise in the first place?

    If these people are libertarians, they're unlikely to be EMPIRE builders, so they don't need a big military for conquest. And if they are so threatened from all sides as to need it for defense, how have they avoided a garrison-state culture in which (necessarily authoritian) military values become generally dominant in the society?

    Political scientists and sociologists have yet to provide a satisfactory answer to these questions. They need to work harder. It can't be for lack of examples, because PLANETS with Libertarian Militarist societies are found all over the KNOWN GALAXY.


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