Crabs In A Bucket

Plus one.

Eve is real, or so they tell me.

In the real world, the most developed nations hold the greatest territory and control enormous wealth and resources.  With no serious threats on their borders, they use their resources to build on a scale that dwarfs their closest rivals and obtain technology on a scale that smaller nations do not share.   They have powerful militaries and the threat of them deploying them is enough to keep most other nations in check.   They have nuclear weapons, and the threat of deploying them is enough to keep the other super powers in check.

And the world lives in comparative peace.

In the real world, the developing nations struggle to catch up to the developed nations.  They might have nuclear weapons, but they can’t afford to deploy them, else they be annihilated.  They can’t project power, despite having carriers of their own, else that capability be destroyed.  They spend the majority of their time, effort and wealth dealing with conflicts on or within their own borders.  Internal and regional security issues are a real and economic threat to their survival as nations.  India and China come to mind.   But they aspire.  They dream.  They rattle their swords and demand to be taken seriously.

In New Eden, mega-coalitions, such as the HBC and CFC, have no real threats.  With stable and secure borders, they use their resources to build on a scale that is unrivaled.  They project their enormous military power with a network of jump and Titan bridges.  They can safely deploy massive sub capital supported super capital fleets.  They boast Titan fleets, and unlike their smaller rivals, they can afford the risks of deploying them.   They’ve proven that they can take on any a rival coalition and grind them to dust.

The secret to maintaining a vast empire is to have peace inside of your own borders, and control conflict such that it happens inside of someone else’s borders.  That’s why Goonswarm and TEST look for fights outside of CFC or HBC territory.   That’s why the leadership of those coalitions honestly don’t want a war between superpowers.

You don’t shit where you eat.

The secret to growing a vast empire is diplomacy and the judicious use of force is a tool of diplomacy.  Test Alliance could not have grown into what they are today without the support of Goonswarm and Pandemic Legion.   They have treated one another as allies and equals, BFFs on an epic scale.  Breaking that alliance would be foolish.  Despite statements otherwise, wars in the real world are fought for economic reasons.  Wars are ultimately fought for money, territory and control of resources.

Hate is only an excuse.

There is little benefit in a large Sov War between CFC and HBC where systems change hands. There’s just no money in it.  But the benefits of fighting skirmishes, getting bragging rights, and talking smack are great morale drivers.  Good leaders know that motivated troops will follow you to the gates of hell.

In the meantime, developing corporations compete with developing alliances and developing alliances compete with developing coalitions.  They gather resources.  They rattle their swords.  They fight over resources.  They obtain super carriers and titans only to keep them logged off 95 percent of the time.

Well, Pandemic Legion has spies everywhere.

So where does the new player fit into this?  After they decide what kind of Eve they want to play?  After they decide where that play style is going to take them?  Maybe carve out a small safe life in high sec doing research, or PI, or Trading?  Mission run, mine or PI?  Do they go to low or null sec for the opportunities there?  Form a new corp or alliance and try to control their own destiny?  Join an established but still developing corp or alliance with aspirations to be something greater?

If you want to move up in the world, do you try to live in Africa, the Middle East, South America or Asia, where there are opportunities but it can be a hard life, where the governments themselves are so stressed that stability is an absent condition?

Like a bucket of crabs.  Whenever one tries to climb out, another crab drags them back down.

That’s life in most of Low Sec, NPC null and a quarter of SOV.  Unfortunately for the new player, the super empires are already built.  Maybe you’ll just have to be happy with being part of a lesser alliance.

Or do you try to emigrate to Europe (CFC) or America (HBC), where even if you’re poor, at least you’re poor in the richest nations on Earth?

New players sign up for Eve because they think that they can play the way they want in the sandbox.  New players leave Eve because veterans kick over their sand castles and tell them that there is no safe place for a new player to build them.  We have veterans whose sandbox is gathering the tears of the new player, and if the new player quits because of it, well, the veterans didn’t want that new player anyway.

Eve is real.  But in real life, we don’t give six year olds bus fare and tell them to get to school on their own.  We take them to school, teach them what they need to know, and bring them back home safely.  We don’t throw them in the pool and see if they can swim, and if they drown, say we didn’t want that kid anyway.  We hold them by the hand and teach them right from wrong and teach them not to take candy from strangers.  We protect them while they have a chance to grow up, because they are precious.

And if someone harms them while they are growing up, we take action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  So organizations like Eve University who are trying to teach people how to play the game without scaring off the new player, are necessary institutions.

But organizations like Test and Goonswarm are doing a great job, too.  They’ve made space safe for their people to live and grow in, they’ve made the game fun for their new players to play in.  They’ve established safe peaceful regions where their people can enjoy their sandbox and not worry about the lesser alliances and corporations trying to drag them down.  They’ve brought them into their community and treat them like they are part of a family, even if they are just a number.  They nurture them like parents do their children.  All they have to do is get their new players out of High Sec, and into the indigo glow of sovereignty, before they get chased out of Eve.

And the space that’s left over?  It’s a big enough bucket for all of the crabs to pile right in.

Minus one.