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...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What are you doing to that strawman?

I'll make this quick because I want to get a much more important post finished and out today.

From time to time, I am accused of writing incendiary rhetoric aimed solely at getting people worked up and generating page views.  It's an argument that I find kind of amusing because I don't accept advertising and I'm not paid by the hit.  Granted, having a lot of readers is gratifying but I wrote this blog just as much back when I was getting 300 hits a day and I'll continue to write my stuff if it ever goes back to that.  I'm motivated by the fact that I like to write, my visitors (whether few or many) seem to enjoy what I write, and I like having an influence on the game we all love, not by the number of visitors I get.

Still, for all the times I'm accused of writing something inflammatory in a deliberate attempt to get people riled up, it's amazing to me how it's never recognized on those very rare occasions when I actually do it.

A couple of days ago, I finished reading the comment storm that I generated for daring to hold the opinion that CCP is conflicted about the nature of their own game.  People have asked me if I'm done with the CSM Minutes.  To you, I say: I've barely started on the CSM Minutes.  ;-)  In particular, I haven't written word one yet about far and away the most important section of the Minutes.  That starts today.  Look for that post shortly; it'll be called "Fractal".  But I've been gently leading up to it through posts like the "Conflict of self interest" post and the post I wrote highlighting some of the comments from that post.

In those comments, I was struck by just how many people brought up three factors:
  1. high-sec ganking is most often a solo play style;
  2. there is an enormous power and wealth gap between high-sec gankers and their targets; and,
  3. high-sec gankers were horrified that anyone would want to suppress their way of playing EVE.
Given that high-sec gankers are suppressing the way their targets want to play EVE and regard those ways of playing EVE as somehow sub-human, the irony of the last point was not lost on me, I assure you.

So I chose a comment that I thought summed up all three points and wrote the COTW post describing that perspective.  But then I decided to be a bit provocative and inserted a couple of subconscious references to those with enormous power preying on those without it.(1)  And then, just to really put the icing on that cake, I titled that one with part of the most incendiary quote from that comment I could find:
The Carebears need teeth.  And frankly, the PVP guys need to get their faces kicked in a bit to realize that ganking a freighter or an exhumer isn't PVP and never was.
I added a bit of sarcastic banter, because that's what I do, then I topped the whole thing off with the following paragraph which absolutely nobody seems to have read:
Am I exaggerating to make a point?  Maybe just a little.  But... just maybe I'm not exaggerating at all.  This sort of thing happens every single day in EVE and most of us have just come to accept it -- and the cost it wreaks in player unsubs -- as part of the game.  The question that started the philosophical debate: should we?  I still don't know.
Emphasis at the beginning mine.  Amusingly though, that very last line is literally the one and only opinion that your humble narrator expressed of his own in the entire piece:
I don't know if we should accept, on a completely unlimited basis, that "the strong may prey upon the weak as much as they like" as part of the game.
And just maybe, neither does CCP.  More on that in "Fractal".

But my comments thread turned into a river of flame anyway.  ;-)  It's up close to 150 comments now and still rising.  They're coming in faster than I can read them in detail and think about them.  I'll likely have time to do that this weekend.  It's started a Reddit thread, launched thousands of words of blog and forum posts, and both rage and agreement with "what Ripard said" from one side of New Eden to the other.  Two bloggers in particular wrote what are practically massive scholarly treatises about what they think they read, or maybe what someone else told them I wrote.

Problem is, they're viciously attacking a strawman while I stand 20 meters off with my hand in the air saying, "Ummm... guys?  I'm over here."  Nobody seems to have actually read what I actually wrote.  It's really rather epic.

"Obviously Jester approves of this position because he chose it as his COTW.  Duh," the counter-argument might go.  Nope.  I've chosen COTWs that I disagreed with lots of times.  It's never been a problem before.

For the record:
  • Do I think war in high-sec should be limited to suicide ganking?  Nope.
  • Do I think there should be a PvP-free zone in EVE Online?  Nope.
  • Do I think there should be any condition under which an EVE player can be in space and be completely safe?  Nope.
  • Do I think new or inexperienced players should be safe in low- or null-sec should they travel there?  Hell no!
And know what?  My COTW post didn't argue in favor of those things.  Go read it again if you don't believe me.  Anyone who is curious about my own current EVE play style should go ahead and read the post I wrote last year called, of all things, "Play style".  That sums it up admirably.  I wrote it, quite ironically, during a time period where I was being accused of being a bully myself.

The other thing I find quite funny about all this: absolutely nobody burning me in efigy has expressed any disagreement with the basic fact I presented in the post: the gankers involved have all the power in this relationship and are preying on players vastly weaker than they are.  That was a fact, not an opinion.  The response I'm getting from those defending that position appears to be "Yeah?  So what?"

So I'm asking if that's how we, as EVE players, want the game to be.  And in so doing, I obviously wish to totally and forever destroy every aspect of their EVE play style.  Obviously.  Someone let me know if that strawman screams in pain or something, will you?

(1) Those who truly do have massive moral objections to my oblique references to slavery and rape should really go into the game you're playing and review the history of the Amarr and Ammatar factions.  And then when you're done, presumably never fly Amarr ships or use their technology ever again.


  1. Lol!

    I don't usually say 'lol' but this one deserved it. I'd also didn't see you espousing total saftey.

  2. Heh. Looks like every CSM candidate is going to have to answer the question: "Have you now, or have you ever had, carebear tendencies!"

    1. I have a list of 7 CSMs with secret communists err I mean carebear affiliations


    2. By holy antimatter these carebears must be purged!

      ( warms hands on the flames of his carefully built burning strawmen )

    3. If you define a carebear as someone who is going to whine and complain about anything which might jeopardize their current style of game play, or increase their level of risk, then most of the CSM members are carebears.

  3. "My COTW post didn't argue in favor of those things. Go read it again if you don't believe me. " Ok, I'll do that. Let's see what we find:

    Well, looky here, the very first sentence after the quote from that comment expresses an opinion on it: "And yeah, I gotta say that kind of sums things up." Dang, you really disagreed forcefully there! Wow, people really misinterpreted that line! How could anyone think you agreed with the quote after that scathing rejoinder!

    I'm sorry, but pointing to weasel language like: "Am I exaggerating to make a point? Maybe just a little. But... just maybe I'm not exaggerating at all. " carries absolutely no weight whatsoever with any reasonable person. Maybe you're joking, unless you're not, could be, could be not. Who effing cares? The only reason you'd waffle that much in one single written paragraph is so you can do exactly this: deflect criticism by pretending you didn't mean it...no matter what people take issue with. The fact is, you expressed tens of opinions in that post, and pretending you didn't is blatantly dishonest.

    The other thing I find quite funny about all this: absolutely nobody burning me in efigyp[sic] has expressed any disagreement with the basic fact I presented in the post: the gankers involved have all the power in this relationship and are preying on players vastly weaker than they are. "

    That's not even close to reality. Many people have pointed out that the players being preyed on have massive options that they aren't using. Including a little something called concord. The gankers at -10 sec status can't stop moving for a second, are free game to anyone. The gankees have tons of options. In the new order, the gankees are often many years old, being ganked by pilots rolled literally a week ago. What is the real reason the gankees don't have any effective power in that situation? They're afk--but that's a choice they made. Or are you only referring to people burning you in effigy in the comments on your blog? You didn't specify that, so it appears otherwise.

    1. Oh come off it- trying to pretend that having -10 sec status is actually a hindrance to gankers is total BS, and you know it. Insta-undocks to safe spots/perches, spotters/warp-ins using cloaked ships or other barges/exhumers, and the 'fast response' time of properly cleared Concord/Faction Police means that even *non* AFK miners have really only one recourse to stop from being ganked- stay constantly aligned, spam D-scan every few seconds, and pray that you can warp out fast enough if you see Catalysts coming in on the off chance they're hitting you.

      I've gone on New Order ganks. It's come down to a repetitive, rote science- scan down target fit, determine EHP, x up with damage, bring *precisely* the needed amount of DPS, countdown, undock, group warp to insta, group warp to perch, group warp to target, ganky ganky, pop, clear Concord, rinse-repeat.

      As you're effectively undocking in a ship you've written off and intend to have asploded, even if the gank fails, you aren't *risking* anything. You're in a ship you have already thrown away, in a pod with no implants, gaming a very mechanical system (Concord) with the intent of giving you the very specific window you need to pop your target.

      So please- tell me what these 'tons of options' the gankees have are, short of not undocking to mine. Because as far as I can see, there are effectively only two - bring something with a bigger tank (which still doesn't take power away from the gankers, just means they have to bring more of it) or effectively start playing the game in a manner which requires more attention than the people doing the ganking. Which, even then, doens't tip the power balance in their favor, but rather just makes them slightly more able to get away.

    2. "Oh come off it- trying to pretend that having -10 sec status is actually a hindrance to gankers is total BS, and you know it. "

      It's not BS. Every method you list, used as a tool to overcome the hindrance and still operate successfully, only proves my point. You seem to be confusing the word 'hindrance' with the phrase 'insurmountable barrier'. They are not the same. Your new order gank trips worked because the FC was putting in :effort:, and the miners weren't. What's wrong with :effort: defeating someone who's afk in space?

      "So please- tell me what these 'tons of options' the gankees have are, short of not undocking to mine."

      Sure thing, since you asked so nicely. I mine pretty much every day in New Order systems, and my moderately tanked retriever has survived every attempted gank on me--of which there have been three. I don't believe I've ever been successfully suicide ganked in highsec, actually. First step: don't go afk, pay attention. Next steps: adapt to your environment as needed. If my low skill alt can do it, so can everyone else. As a fairly new player, who isn't part of a giant coalition, I am intimately familiar with the dangers of going it alone, which you and Jester seem so in awe of. It's really not that bad, and there is no way to make it less frustrating for people who can't currently handle it, without ruining the game for me. EVE has to choose which audience it's aiming for...the mass market is large, but there's much more competition aiming for it, and it would be throwing away all the success it's had up to now. People like you and jester who want to make EVE easier, are its greatest enemy in the long run.

    3. You still don't realize the point of the comparison Jester was making (albeit in a very hyperbolic way) - none of what you just describes has shifted the balance of power to you *in the slightest*.

      As mentioned below, there is still NO way for 'Han to shoot first': every 'option' you have listed is a reactionary measure, a means of telling gankees that they 'shouldn't have been wearing revealing clothes/should have been more careful'. This has nothing to do with making Eve 'easier' - there have been few things I've done in this game that were as 'easy' as ganking AFK miners.

      It's about the discussion that needs to be had over just how much the sandbox really is a sandbox, and what kind of sandbox it needs to be. Because atm, the way that current game mechanics works, and the way that those mechanics are used, puts ALL of the initiative in the hands of people like the New Order when it comes to hi-sec.

      Also, I really, really don't understand how people still seem to confuse anecdotal evidence with 'fact'. Phrases like 'if I can do it everyone can do it' are absolute rubbish- because not everyone is you. Not everyone wants to play like you. And that's okay. But the fact is (and as jester points out in Fractal) that currently, the 'Enablers', be there miners or people managing POSes, are treated, to quote, 'like shit'.

      Not to mention, I really do hope that James 315 reads these comments and sees yours. I'm sure he'd love the blog post that could come of it.

    4. Addendum to the last bit- your question is flawed. The "effort" on behalf of the gankers isn't 'defeating' anything regarding other players. It's 'defeating' the game mechanics. It doesn't matter if the Order is ganking someone who is AFK or watching local like a hawk, they still have to go through the same hoops to gank. -10 sec status has nothing to do with miners 'protecting themselves'.

    5. So Rammstein,

      I just want to clarify what you said in response to the question "So please- tell me what these 'tons of options' the gankees have are, short of not undocking to mine."

      It was:
      1) don't go afk, pay attention.
      then (quote) "Next steps" (I note the plural) were
      2) adapt to your environment as needed.
      and given it was plural, presumably
      3) misrepresent people and whine that they are killing eve.

      As I'm a noob. I don't go afk and I pay attention as it's all new and exciting to me, so I'm part way there on step 1. I even enjoy pressing the dscan button once every 10 seconds to see which other ships are around. High sec really does have a lot of traffic. Every dscan press shows different ships. I'm still unaware of what 90% of them are though.

      Step 2 is rather vague... How should I adapt to the environment? And how would this save me from suicide gankers who land on top of me and kill me within a few seconds? What environmental factors are you speaking of? The asteroids? The rats?

      As for your step 3, I don't get how that helps me avoid suicide gankers. Please explain.

      If you could provide something a bit more concrete with some substance behind it rather than just some vague philosophy and whining, I'd really appreciate it.


    6. Ramm - you really don't know what you are talking about.

      The only two options that miners have to protect themselves from ganking are:

      a) Running away
      b) Staying docked in station

      Both of these options are entirely lame, from a game design POV, and certainly not PVP.

      And, you obviously don't know that CONCORD does not chase pods, do you? Not even blinky red pods. An -10 sec status isn't even a minor inconvenience to gankers. Don't believe me? Talk to Weaselior or any other Goonwaffe pilot who participated in the Gallente Ice Interdiction and/or Hulkageddon.

    7. @Ram,

      I think you're still missing the main point. It's not so much about the power distribution but whether we--the players--are ok with the side effects.

      People quit Eve because they can't get over being ganked. **Is this OK?**

      Forget about power distribution and whether the gankee can defend themselves. People get ganked, then they quit.

      I think CSM and CCP need to discuss this. I'm not saying they need to 'fix' or change anything, but as a noted source of attrition it's an *important* topic of discussion. To gloss over the issue doesn't help Eve stay a successful game.

    8. @Wes... This, This and THIS. This may be the most concise definition of this issue that I have seen to date.

      Well said and I still say a well done Tutorial that give an HONEST picture of the real dangers of New Eden is possible and would go a long way to preparing new players to survive their noobhood...

  4. "the gankers involved have all the power in this relationship and are preying on players vastly weaker than they are. That was a fact, not an opinion."

    Yep, and so long as :CONCORD: is the way it is, Han can NEVER shoot first. "But transports/barges/freighters" can't really "shoot" anyways, so what's the point?
    Right. Well, even if a corp did put out a "defense" force for their op, again, they can't shoot until after the gankers have done their deed, thanks to current game mechanics.

    Like I told Poetic, this is the same argument essentially that's going on in Murrican politics right now. One side screams for a gun ban, saying that no more guns in [hisec] means no more dead people, and the other side saying hell no to gun control, and demanding more armed citizens and guards to 'secure' things. Pretty much exactly the same dichotomy.

    And they say EVE isn't real. ;-)

  5. At least we can say you're eminently qualified to be a spaceship politician, considering you refuse to commit to any position and weasel your way out of any argument you don't feel like having.

    Also, I'm not sure if you were saying that hisec ganking is a solo type of gameplay or if you were simply stating that others claimed so.. but alas, it is not. It used to be, before the barge buffs. Now you need multiple ships to take down any target. The New Order forms fleets and uses comms when they take down barges. They use cloaky ships to get bookmarks and warpins on targets. You tell me that's not PVP. (because yes, everything in your post indicates that you agree with your chosen COTW, even if you just tried to weasel your way out of that snare.)

    1. Its not PvP. It's PvE. You are playing against the environment (concord) and exploiting a known weakness (response time). None of the decisions you make are impacted by other players. Ganking an NPC miner would be the same as ganking a bot, an afk player, or an 'activite' miner.

      But that's ok, lots and lots of MMO players enjoy PvE, and at least this version is 'forced' group now. Baby steps.

    2. New Order are just a bunch of pussy griefers. They only go after easy-to-kill soft targets, mainly new players.

      I regularly do AFK mining in their systems in my uber-tanked Procurer, and they never bother me. It would cost them far more in ship losses than it would cost me to replace a Proc.

  6. The other thing I find quite funny about all this: absolutely nobody burning me in efigy has expressed any disagreement with the basic fact I presented in the post: the gankers involved have all the power in this relationship and are preying on players vastly weaker than they are. That was a fact, not an opinion. The response I'm getting from those defending that position appears to be "Yeah? So what?"

    That's not what i did read on minerbumping. iirc, it was the story of a noob triumphing against a gatecamp. And other stuff noobs can do to stand against a stronger opponent.

    Same comment for Poe's last post.

  7. Jester, that masses have decided you clearly have a suit to fill: denounce gankers for being actual child raping Nazis with tiny penises.

  8. Scumbag blog commenter:



  9. "So I'm asking if that's how we, as EVE players, want the game to be."

    ...how is it you Rote Kapelle guys say it?

    I do not believe that this state of affairs is the most optimal for the game and its community.

    (obviously this then means that I too wish to totally and forever destroy every aspect of their EVE play style.)

  10. New players and carebears (having played both roles recently) have sufficient game mechanics to stay relatively safe (to the degree that a gank "isn't worth it" to the ganker). However, it seems that these players lack the knowledge and information to take full advantage (spreading out the mining fleet, ignore can flipping). The biggest failure seems to be the ability of the game and community to transfer basic wisdom to newer players. (predatory war-decs aside)

  11. I read many of the comments and some of the blogs in reaction to your post and I have to say, for me personally, James 315 has disqualified himself.

    I was about to give him a vote, if he so decided to run for CSM8, based on the emergent game play he created, but after his polemic post, which was inaccurate in so many ways, that ship has sailed.

    I'll gladly allocate that vote for you, Jester, please continue your interesting and enlightening posts.

  12. Speaking as someone who stirs pots and lights fires all the time for various reasons, I say good for you. Stand by your words and let the fire burn. Sometimes the underbrush has to be burned away for new growth, whatever. The point being, lighting fires and stirring pots is fair enough - but sometimes we will get burned. Often it isn't fair. But it happens anyway.

    The important thing isn't always what you say but what people think you say. Managing that is a real task and often impossible. Let the fire burn and all that will be left is truth.

  13. If you'll indulge the curiosity of my inner web marketer Jester, what *do* your blog's traffic stats look like? :)

  14. After reading your first post, I wasn't shocked by anything of what you said, not because I didn't detect sympathy towards the ganked people, bur rather because I also feel sympathy. The whole post did make me perceive that you feel sorry for at least some of the people who get ganked. You never did say that you think it should be impossible for other players to gank.

    Your post talks as you mentioned about power. What you didn't mention initialy, but that your detractors mention all the time funnily enough, is choice. As someone said before when you posted your "Rote Kapelle bullies Syndicate" series, the aggressor always justifies his actions by blaming the victim; the most ironic accusation in this case, is explaining how the victim had a choice. Everyone in game has the choice to cause, or not, harm to others, wether they chose to put themselves in harms way or not. The ganker has the power, through his aggression, to deny someone else's choice/desire to be left alone. It's this power trip which gets gankers on a high that they must not be deprived of, OR ELSE.

    I don't understand eve's fulltime gankers, but I also don't wish to do anything in game to stop them. It is after all just a game, and the fact that you do have the choice is the one thing that makes the game worth playing ( apart from cool spaceships and ray-ban glasses). Do I feel sorry for people who don't know better, or who behave as idiots and pay for it? Yes I do. Many of your Kills of the Week posts tell me you don't feel sorry for everyone, but the latest COTK post makes me think that on some level, you do feel sorry, at least for some of those people.

    We can see that this isn't a thing you're allowed to say publicly in Eve, especially not when trying to get elected... please reassure the public opinion and let them know what a dirtbag you are.

    Now burn the witch


  15. Remove highsec ice like they were supposed to 4 years ago, and no one will care about high-sec miners or ganking them.

    Go to any ice field in highsec, it's disgusting.

    1. Seriously?

      And place this ice where? Low-sec?. Wait, there's ice there. The big blue, safety of NIP/NAP sov null-sec? Wait, there's ice there too.

      Why don't you just inform us of where you'd like all the ice to be, so everyone can play the game how you'd like.

    2. ...it's disgusting...
      Really? Please, don't hod back and tell us how you really feel... and then PLEASE, for the sake of everyone of the rest of us... go selfassplode, unsub and go play WoW...

    3. I like this idea. CCP should also remove all of the Tech moons from null sec and then no one will care about avoiding wars in null sec, and the super cap proliferation problem will fade away.

  16. I concur with your stance Jester, and will vote for you should you run for CSM 8.

    EVE must never be a safe place, but work needs to be done to balance the distribution of power/risk in current wardec and suicide ganking which are inhibiting the growth of EVE.

    Shooting corp mates with zero repercussions also need to be addressed (not corp theft - that is fine). In fact, they contribute to the current trend of lone wolf players preferring to fly solo or with alts.

    Would you consider looking into asking CCP to revise the contract system so that Mercs/Freelancers can accept contracts formally via the game system with collateral involved? Also to allow customers to grade them via the game system which others can view via a tab in the corporation information (like some kind of job history)?

    You should consider tapping into the player base in highsec for votes. (Those carebears that do not bother to get involved in CSM voting normally).

    Good luck!

  17. Really disappointed....

    Whether you admit it or not, you're encouraging themeparkesque constructions in Eve. There will always be players whining, look at themeparks, even there people go for PvE servers. We need to encourage carebears like Rammstein who, instead of whining, HTFU'd and displayed a bit of intelligence.

    This is not the real world. There are no moral or ethical issues with ganking or crushing upstarts... we are killin pixels not people. As much as I think goons, for example, are d-bags, they put in the effort to be where they are in terms of leadership, logistics, and all the other stuff that goes into running a space empire.

    I think the #1 thing that could break up the blue doughnut is improving the sov system, not creating some artificial constructions to encourage more Costa Rica's in Eve. I mean how pathetic is it when, in player run conquerable space, all people want is meaningless gudfights because real fighting is that boring? I'm not a hardcore RP'er but seriously where is the hate of our enemies? You want to talk about the carebear lifestyle... most of null-sec are basically carebears now.

    At the end of the day PvPers either have to do, or pay other people to do, boring logistics and ISK-making stuff. No reason carebears shouldn't face the same issues. Certainly no reason they should make demands to suit their playstyle to the detriment of others.

    And congrats to people like Rammstein who are may be hardcore carebears but fit in perfectly in Eve.

    1. "This is not the real world. There are no moral or ethical issues with ganking or crushing upstarts... we are killin pixels not people."

      Your reasoning is wrong. You are not only interacting with pixels when you gank someone, you are affecting, although in a limited way, another player of the game, who is a real person. They can chose to feel more or less affected by their ingame-loss, but you do affect them, they have spent real time or money to acquire the pixels you have destroyed. The choice whether to gank a player in game or not is a moral one, like it is a moral choice to bot or not.

    2. But the issue isn't long-term subbed carebears getting ganked. The driving issue at hand is when people who have only just stepped into EVE get wtfstomped by TNO and decide that it isn't really worth their time or their money to play the game anymore. And before you say 'But we don't want those scrubs in our game!' (which every playerbase ever says in an online game) it stands to reason that more subs ultimately means a better game (as long as CCP doesn't f it up horribly).

      I do agree that to break up the blue doughnut you need to improve the sov system, make it easier for border territories to be taken, maybe combine an improved sov system with a vast amount of added systems to bring back exploration, maybe some roaming NPC fleets that do things like attack POS's.

      At any rate, ganking miners should always be allowable, but more proactive (and easy access to) means of protection is really necessary for the health of the playerbase.

    3. First of all, the choice of whether to gank in a video game is a hardly a moral choice. That is like saying its a moral choice whether to use all of your abilities in some sporting event, with the worry that your opponent might feel bad. The point is that while some of us may feel some guilt from actions like ganking, it is in no way comparable to a similar real life situation for any mentally stable person.

      And to J, I think we need to accept that the Eve we know is, and always will be, a niche/semi-niche game. With the player you describe I wouldn't say hes a scrub per-se, but he certainly lacks persistence and hasn't done much if any research into the game. I would say those are both characteristics required to do just about anything in Eve.

  18. I actually felt really bad about setting this whole thing off, especially with you running for CSM 8 - even if all I did was add a spark it seemed to be enough to start this big fire along with all the other bloggers mis-quoting you and making you look like your a 'perma-safe' advocate; so I'm glad that this post clears up your position (at least to those who will listen).

    Personally I still think that these are the types of questions that need to be asked, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes people feel.

    "All who gain power are afraid to lose it" - Emperor Palpatine

  19. Disclaimer: I'm the kind of player who enjoys a solid dopamine-inducing grind for upgrades.

    Mining looked like a lot of fun when I first heard about EVE.

    Imagine my surprise when I found out that mining in EVE was actually just sitting still for a very small reward over time. But I still figured it would be fun to get some progression in mining, build up a Hulk, and start on industrial skills.

    Then I found out what a ganker was, face-first while hanging out mining and watching Netflix. Then I found out what a war-dec was; first I wasn't safe while mining, and now I couldn't be in a corp with my friends in hi-sec? I didn't resubscribe.

    In EVE, you've got people who know the ropes just waiting to wreck the people just starting, and they're a lot more obvious and influential on the experience of a new player than the helpful resources and corps.

    That's what kills your new subs. People who take their ball and go the hell home, because the game almost ISN'T one for some new players. Their "options" are shitty; the people who ought to be interested in building the fresh meat (read: future content) tell them their choices suck and that they suck.

    1. I'd imagine in a theme-park MMO you'd prefer a PvE server. That's not an insult, just an observation. If you view Eve this way, I doubt you could ever really enjoy it or be successful at it without changing the fundamental nature of the game. Again not insulting your tastes or playstyle.

    2. How hard is it to ask someone like Rob what he'd want, instead of just ass-u-ming that he wants WoW in space and dismissing him on those grounds?

      Who says that he wouldn't have been happy in EVE as it is if he'd been able to learn the game under different circumstances?

      So, Rob, given the nature of EVE, what would have helped keep you around? Resources? People? Better or more accessible documentation?

    3. Actually, I've found that PVP servers are much more to my tastes on walking-on-planet MMOs. I'm a big fan of HoN, and Path of Exile's cutthroat league looks like something I'm going to be enjoying a lot of.

      But the fact of the matter is that in most of those MMOs, there is enough segregation of activities that I'm not very likely to be engaged in any way if I choose specifically to avoid it.

      In EVE, that sort of intrusion is nearly fetishized at this point by people who get off on "carebear tears." Scanning in EVE is unique in that it allows you to locate someone in a pinpoint fashion that is nigh on impossible in a traditional MMO.

      What it does is it removes a choice, and if that choice means enough to someone, they'll just quit. The lack of segregation of PVP allows veteran players to wreck newbies (along with veterans who don't care to PVP). It creates a lot of content for the PVPers, but destroys a lot of content for the carebears who don't want to fight back or "improve."

    4. Sorry Dersen, I missed your questions.

      Resources were not lacking - I found some EVE mission-running sites and other resources right off the bat - not to mention this blog.

      People were excellent as well - most of them. I actually found that the war-dec system in hi-sec was the biggest issue.

      It was the war dec that killed EVE for me. I'm a social person, and the fact that none of us had any idea what the hell to do about it except disband (which actually happened shortly after I left) really soured me on the game. None of us had anything worth wardeccing for, it was pretty much just for tears.

      A lot of people love the idea of a flying-in-space game that has a little more security to it. Does that mean I think EVE should be it? No, not really. Does it mean that I think it's an opportunity for CCP? Yes.

  20. A lot of the answers to these questions can be found in lore. If more attention was paid to lore when faced with these design questions not only would the game become richer, new players would have a ready source to find survival strategies.

    Lore is also a major recruitment tool for new players, most who will leave through disappointment that the game is nothing like the 'Official' presentation of it.

  21. The highsec griefers are always on the "winning" side. the reason simle. they decide who to attack and when to attack. with zero to none consequenses. (except flagging etc).

    Allowing some kind of Q ship whould be great.
    I would love to hunt highsec griefers in a Q-ship.
    allow it to "Morph" in to something "innocent" then deliver its full payload of "pain" to the griefer.

  22. First, let me second Rammstein up there. My immediate thought upon reading this was, first, that pointing out your own wishy-washy "maybe not but maybe SO!" sort of language is no defense against the accusation that maybe you do think SO.

    And second, people were telling you that you are incorrect about the power balance between ganker and gankee. It is true that a catalyst ganker has more power than a hulk. It is true that a "level 80" wardeccer has more power than his newbcorp victims. It is absolutely false that the ganker or level 80 has "all the power" -- your words. Miners can, for example, fit a tank, and mine in orbit. Again, words have meanings.

    Now, of course I can read and your general point here is correct. It is quite possible in EVE to be strong and to prey on the weak. Domination. Is this desirable? You seem to be unsure; yet that is a huge part of the game. This is why people are mad at you. Domination in our game is good. Domination: to achieve it requires force. Domination: to escape it requires guile or force. Conflict. Force. PVP. These are the things we want to encourage in EVE. These are why EVE is hard, and because EVE is hard I want to play it.

    Note that I am a carebear who has little experience with PVP. I have ganked a few Noctises in wspace; that's about it. But I want the possibility of ganks in everything I do to earn ISK; otherwise the game is too easy. Gankers are my competitive advantage against other bears.

    Your for-the-record bit was clearly stated and reassuring. That's good.

  23. I rejoined in november. Mined a few days. Probly the forth or fifth day I log on a new order agent is telling this guy in local pay me 10mil or we hurt you. I left my friends irl corp that was just me now and appt to a low sec corp. If I'm gonna be grieft, I might as well constent to it and know that I might have some backup coming even if its too late.
    Best move I've ever made in game. I am on my alliances top ten kb this month. And I still mine but if you come into where I'm at and go "oh look a hulk on station". Wait a few sec and see what this carebear and his friends got for you.

    I hit the station before you can scan me in belt. I stay off dscan form gates. Always aligned and with bm to the edgeds or behind the belts. And rat multiple belts on dif planets to leave wrecks scattered on dscan and a few jet cans. Then I go to town for hours on roids until a nuet or red shows up. I dont plan to be hotdropped on in my hulk. I've seen those killboards.

  24. "...oblique references to slavery and rape..."

    This This and THIS!!! I was once going down a row of new books and, actually accidentally injected an Amarr Frigate skillbook. It is still there in the list of skills... it is still untrained AT ALL... and if I could, I would remove it. Period. Because I have read and understand the lore and as a Matarii, I WILL NO FLY AMARRGH!!!!

    I as for Noob Griefing... I'll sing an old song...TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL.. The Tutorials CAN be fixed and hey CAN impart the information necessary for a new player to survive.. IF they take advantage of it, or... mebbe... are forced to. My answer would be a form of PvPAI... an attempt to give new players some experience, as close to the real thing as is possible with AI, of the real dangers of EvE BEFORE they are thrown to the Wolves, Tengus and Ishtars of New Eden...

    I personally as very worried we might end up with a Trammel... in EvE...

    1. The tutorials cannot be fixed. CCP has already invested a considerable amount of effort in the tutorials, in an attempt to reduce the entry barrier and get more trial players to convert to subscribers - and to prepare players for PVP. More efforts/resouces, in fact, then they spent on just about any other area of the game. Net result: fail.

      Simply put, the scripted tutorials are just not capable of teaching PVP skills to new players. PVE, yes - PVP, no. For PVP, you need real players with PVP experience to do the teaching, such as you'll find in E-Uni or Agony's PVP classes.

  25. "Problem is, they're viciously attacking a strawman while I stand 20 meters off with my hand in the air saying, "Ummm... guys? I'm over here."

    Well what the hell did you expect?

    You're far too experienced as both an EVE-blogger and an EVE-player to think that "well maybe but maybe not but maybe anyway" would avoid a river of flame. And calling those predictable comments a river of flame in the first place... Wut? So you were just trolling?

    Your handling of this whole thing is terribly disappointing.

    Intentionally stirring up a shitstorm is fine. It's a great way to promote discussion. But it only works if you then actually *engage* in that discussion, point for point, to get to the nice and juicy bits of understanding that such a discussion should seek to uncover.

    Pointing your finger and going "hah-hah!" while people stomp on the strawman you erected achieves nothing. Have you considered the possibility that those people are attacking the strawman because they want to see what's inside? So far it looks like just more straw. Again - disappointing.

  26. My two cents.. As a miner who has been ganked a few times. To a certain expect I can understandable that yes, it does teach you to tank your ship after your first failfit miner gets ganked. However, when you tank to the best of your ability, run with shiels rigs, a DC, and as many AIS you can fit, not afk'ing and you STILL get ganked by a crew of misfits who find it funny, well, then I understand why people ragequit, and that is NOT to the benefit of EVE as a game, because those potentional quitters are what keeps the game alive in a year or two. I think ganking is a decease and the people that think they are pvp'ing when all they are doing is shooting at others that can't shoot back (weaker than any form of grieving I can think of) are what's wrong with this game. Incidentally, they are the same idiots who shout the loudest about 'its a pvp-game, if you don't like it gtfo! Play my way or don't play at all.' An attitude like that is so stupid and self serving that it makes me sick, and you won't have anybody to shoot at(that won't shoot back, Oh noo, can't have that!?) before long, then how fun will your game be?!

    I don't think removing any kind of risk is the way to go, but I DO believe that if you have tanked your miner, you should be relatively safe from the idiots out to ruin your day for lol's. Anybody that has an ounce of decency and believe that newbies are what will keep this game alive further down the road will get my vote

  27. I sense the force is strong with this thread.

    Jester, please make a personal competition trying to provoce the most thread comments with the least words. You of all good bloggers I deem capable of blasting such a scale.


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