Be Excellent to Each Other

Plus one.

I’ve been reading.

I’ve noticed a thing, anonymously posted in the comments of a few Eve blogs. I’ve seen it twice now on Sugar Kyle’s blog.  It’s a comment that goes a little something like this:

I used to try and do good. I used to try to just do my own thing and have fun in Eve. But I was scammed, ganked, or otherwise robbed of my enjoyment. I was treated poorly by my fellow gamers for their amusement.

This game is a “sandbox”, where the game designers do not intervene between players. Bad behavior is encouraged. I am powerless to get justice against the people that did these bad things to me.

And since they will not give me justice, I now prey on their livelihood. I treat the new player as I was treated. I want to stop them from wasting their time supporting this game.

So you become what you hate.

I don’t understand.

Me neither.  I want to understand, but I don’t think I can.

I’m going to give a little more thought to this. But I think I am going to pull the string and it’s all going to go back to the same simple point:   We’re all not playing the same game, and too many of us don’t respect 90 percent of the player base that is not playing our game.

I just sometimes wish Eve players could be a little more like Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan.

Minus one.


A Little Cynical

Plus one.

If you’ve read through my posts here, you’ve figured out that I am a newbie lover and a bitter vet hater. I have said on more than one occasion that I believe the biggest hurdle that new player have to overcome in New Eden are Eve Veterans, who by ignorance or design, just stand in the way of the development of new players in Eve Online.

Sugar Kyle is working on a few projects, one of which is a plan to help new players who have reached that crossroads where they are considering quitting the game, because it’s just too damn much for them to deal with.

Now, I love me some Sugar Kyle and you know what, I’m a fan of helping new players. So I made some comments on her blog.

You might have been a little cynical.

Man, did I get some feedback. It was so awful that I even got Sugar thinking that I was against her proposals. I hope that after my explanations yesterday she understands that I want her to succeed, and I am just I’m cynical about the recent fervor that all of the ‘vocal minority’ are putting out lately in the Quest to Save New Players.

Kaeda Maxwell, whose blog The Wild Rose of Molden Heath is a favorite of mine, commented on one of my posts on Sugar’s blog, Low Sec Lifestyle. I started to address it there, but I realized it was getting damn big that I could probably better place it here.

Kaeda Maxwell said:

There’s a difference between being against the reduction of overall risk in EVE and being against taking care of newbies.

I am all for taken care of our newbies as well as we possibly can. They are the future and the sooner they’re up-to-speed the sooner they create meaningful content for us grumpy veterans and themselves.

I am also vehemently against making EVE safer however as the constant risk is at the very heart and soul of EVE. And I think many veterans see that more clearly exactly *because* they’ve been around long enough to get good feeling for what makes EVE tick.

I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive :) Not sure if you were mixing anything up, but never hurts to clarify either way :)

I read Kaeda’s stuff, and I agree with him more than some might believe.  In fact, I think we might become friends if we can get into TS with each other sometime.  But I have so many issues with the current trend of Veterans discussing Newbies and Risk.  I think that it’s easy for the Eve Veteran to beat the “Eve is about Risk” drum at the newbie… Veteran’s have already learned to mitigate risk with ISK, SRP, or target selection.

For the New Player, Risk is Real. Their wallets are not large, losing an expensive ship can be a true hardship. A single loss can make the difference between sticking around and enjoying Eve, or never playing this stupid game ever again. We veterans need to somehow encourage the new player to take risks, while not making the consequences of failure so debilitating that they quit playing.

We need to coach every single new player we can get our hands on.

If Eve is Real, then newbies are our children. It’s our responsibility to take care of them, educate them, and help them grow.  If we luck out, they stick around and become useful members of our community.

Unfortunately, for the past ten years, Eve veterans have been content to hand the kids knives and send them outside to play.

And then use them for target practice. HTFU. 

My fear is our veterans will beat the “Save the Newbie” drum a bit and then go back to their evil ways. The benefits of teaching new players how to play the game will not rapidly reveal themselves and the Eve veteran will be miffed that they wasted their time. They will eventually complain that it’s CCPs job to retain players, not theirs, and return to the status quo.

But I have hope.  I hope our Veterans they read this and posts like it on the various blogs and and feel ashamed that they have spend the first decade of Eve Online killing the goose that laid the golden egg:

Newbies grow up and eventually provide content as opponents. 

I truly do hope that the Eve Veterans can change.  That they can be sincere in their desire to help new players, even part time. I hope that they come out in force and support the initiatives that both CCP and the player base are working on to help Eve grow. I hope that they take off the blinders that has them focused on their little neighborhood of low sec, high sec, sovereignty, wormhole space, etc and start looking at the community as a whole.  Because, and I have said this before too, neighborhoods do not make a community.

I don’t play this game just because I love spaceships. I play this game because I have the privilege of playing it with some really great people.

Some I teach, some I talk to, some I fight.

So long as I get enough pleasure from all three, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.

Minus one.

Making Contact

Plus one.

Let me point out one of the things that annoys / amuses me to no end.

RandomStudent75 has added you to their contact list with excellent standing.

I’ve been playing these silly internet games for a while. I understand the concept of a contact or friends list. Something to provide easy access to communicate with your friends in game. That’s cool.

Here’s the problem with RandomStudent75 adding me to his contact list with excellent standing:

You’re not friends?

Worse. I’m a PvPer who doesn’t set individuals to excellent standing. I am not going to reciprocate and place him on my Contact list with excellent standing. I am going to leave him alone, in the default “No Standing” condition.

As a stranger without standing, he’s what we commonly call a “neutral.” My band of pirates fights neutrals. If he shows up in my neighborhood, me and mine are going to try to take his ship and his pod. Then, the next thing I expect to see from him will be:

RandomStudent75 has added you to their contact list with terrible standing.

So for those of you thinking that you’re playing the same old game you been playing, listen up. In Eve Online, you don’t have a Friends List. You have a Contact List and how you manage your contacts is important.

Unlike all the other games we might play, the Contact List in Eve Online is a tool to help manage Rules of Engagement by setting standings. The same Contact List that some of you are using to collecting buddies on Spacebook is used by other players, corporations and alliances to control who is in their fleets and on their Overviews.

NBSI. Not Blue Shoot It.

“Blues” aren’t necessarily friends either. They are just the people you help. Or at least, they are the people you do not harm.

Unless you like making work for your Diplomats and CEOs.

My friends in Eve? I have them on my contact list, but they are set as Neutrals. We all are in separate corporations and alliances. Our corporations and alliances determine who we do or do not engage. If I end up on their overview, or they end up on mine, our personal standings will not prevent us from supporting our respective fleets and engaging one another.

There are no enemies, only adversaries.

So Sugar Kyle? Neutral. Greygal? Neutral. TuxedoMask? Neutral. Alekseyev Karrde? Neutral. Real and Space friends alike. I will try to take their ships if I can.

And they never have to tell their fleetmates,

Sorry guys, I can’t engage Bren Gnezan. He’s blue to me.

Minus one.