Tobold's Blog
Monday, May 03, 2010
 
Bullies in the sandbox

Just to make sure the stories weren't exaggerated, I took a small frigate I didn't need any more, insured it, updated my clone, and took the shortest route into null sec space in EVE Online. I had to cross two low sec sectors, but nothing happened there. On entering null sec however, within seconds I got warp scrambled so I couldn't escape, and then three much bigger ships shot me into pieces and then even podded me. I survived null sec less than a minute.

This exemplifies the fundamental problem of communication I have with EVE players: They consider this "normal". You enter null sec space, other players will shoot you down, not just your ship, but also your pod. For no reason other than that they can and for no crime other than you being there. There is no strategic challenge in this sort of PvP, it is simply ganking.

Much is being made of EVE being a sandbox game, but in reality the new players are just playing in the dirt on the outskirts of the playground. The sandbox with the fine sand and the nice toys is occupied by bullies, and if you even get close they are going to beat you up and kick you out. So the goal in life for EVE players is to become strong, gather friends, and be able to beat up the bullies, kick them out of the sandbox, and become the bigger bully.

Personally, I don't see the point of it all. I don't want to become the bigger bully. I don't enjoy beating weaker players for no purpose. I don't even enjoy beating up the bullies. I am clever enough to realize that this isn't the only playground around. There are lots of other playgrounds with as nice or even nicer sandboxes and toys, with supervision by grown-ups, so there is no bullying. Sure, in those supervised sandboxes you can't do everything you want, because the grown-ups will prevent you from hurting the other kids or doing other too dangerous stuff. But if you just want to play with the toys in the sandbox, without having to fight the bullies over it, those other playgrounds are much better suited for you. Because the only restriction is that you can't do the stuff you shouldn't be doing anyway if you were a nice kid. If you aren't a bully yourself, those supervised, bully-free playgrounds are the much better places.
Comments:
Pretty sad, isn't it. Your analogy to bullies is spot-on.
 
Ergo and in conclusion ... if you enjoy the nulsec sectors in EVE ... you must be a bully?
 
No it really just means that CCP every year needs to launch a new shard so that you will be no longer than 1 year behind anyone else on the latest shard if that is what you want to do.

Either that or every few years a hard reset.
 
Ah, the "NBSI" ("not blue? shoot it") principle. There are, I believe, some regions of nullsec which are claimed by alliances which instead run a "NRDS" ("not red? don't shoot") policy - i.e., they won't instantly kill you just for being a stranger in their territory, they'll only attack if you belong to an enemy corporation or alliance.

My one trip to nullsec occurred after I foolishly forgot to bookmark the wormhole which led me into W-Space, and had to find a different way out. This led me deep into nullsec, where I carefully jumped across a few systems, until finally, on the last jump before re-entering lowsec space, I had an experience like yours: warp scrambled, ship instantly destroyed, and then podded.
 
One reason why I don't play MMORPGs and have no hope for them is that they are too open. Players are generally the problem with mass-market (or even large niche) MMORPGs: the more power you give them, the more broken and childish the game will be.
 
Um, they're not bullies, they're the local government. What you did is the equivalent of showing up at an international border with a gun and no passport and then getting upset when the local border guard is upset. They're not killing you in order to have a fun challenge, they're killing you in order to secure their borders.

Ironically (from your point of view) without this sort of ganking null sec would be far far more dangerous as any random gang of people could wander around killing people. Due to the sort of people who killed you a good bit of null sec is (relatively) safe for PvEing.

The only ways to keep bullies out of a sandbox is either:
A. Have game mechanics set up so that bullying is impossible.
B. Give players the power to police bullying, in practice the only really practical way of doing this is to set up governments and do things like keep out people who wander in without securing prior permission. How can you police an area if you can't even secure your borders?
 
I got the impression that the whole point of a sandbox is that you could get some friends together and go claim ownership of a small piece of real estate, which is what these big corps are doing.

If random people wandered into a capital city in WoW, there are plenty of players who would also kill them on site. It's just than in a non-faction game, the players decide who is in which faction and not the game.

I assume heading into 0.0 space is like having your gnome run to ogrimmar.
 
There is an old adage that if you end up in a fair fight in Eve, someone made a mistake. If you look at the lore, New Eden is described as a nasty, violent, cutthroat galaxy. The game mechanics reflect that and by extension, so do the players. Philip Zimmbardo calls this the Lucifer Effect.

It is a deeply cynical (but unfortunately sound) argument to make that the other sandboxes are nicer because there's someone to force fairness upon people. It's as if the threat or actual application of said force is the only reason most people are nice.
 
There are, I believe, some regions of nullsec which are claimed by alliances which instead run a "NRDS" ("not red? don't shoot") policy - i.e., they won't instantly kill you just for being a stranger in their territory, they'll only attack if you belong to an enemy corporation or alliance.
There was. Providence was, until recently, controlled by the Curatores Veritatis Alliance and their friends, who enforced the NRDS policy. They made the mistake of attracting the attention of a bigger fish, the Against All Authorities alliance. The new management of Providence doesn't enforce engagement policies, but steps in if the hostilities between occupants escalates into sovereignty warfare.
 
Unfortunately there is quite a sound strategic reason for what happened to you. The key to holding a piece of 0.0 space is to have full claim on its resources. If anyone can just waltz into that territory and use its resources the whole strategic advantage of claiming it would be made moot.

You trespassed on their territory and got a shotgun blast in the face so you would not do it again. Plus you might have been a spy, scouting things out for an attack. Your mere presence in the area was a threat that had to be neutralized

You are upset for the wrong reasons. The PvP in EVE is based on very base RL principles and lacks the tools for players to civilize things properly. It is tribal based and you did not belong to the right tribe.
 
Bingo, very much tribal. However that is a BIG step up from most other free for all PvP games where most player factions act a lot more like street gangs. And tribal is a far cry from "bullies."
 
Tobold's experience is pretty interesting. I agree with some of the commentators - they are not bullies, but rather local militia enforcing their territory.

However, consider a few things. What if these local governments were given the tools to manage their territories?

1) They can tax people wanting to use their resources.
2) People can pay for a "protection pass" to move across their territory.

EVE sounds very "tribal" at the moment. Would the game be better if there were improved communication tools?
 
Nullsec with corporate ownership highlighted:

http://go-dl1.eve-files.com/media/corp/Verite/influence.png

There might be some corps that don't shoot strangers on sight; most probably will, thinking you are either enemy spy or just a profiteer on their property.
 
Actually the borders from null sec to high sec are like that. Deep inside you sometimes wonder if anyone is there.

I got a similar story, but quite different and Eve like: I had a trade route, very profitable, but didn't notice that I can only reach the goods by going through one low sec.

Of course my freighter was attacked and I told my attackers in local that I would pay if they let me through. They didnt listen, but one Battleship did and held them off so I coudl escape, but he was loosing his Tempest (Battleship) in return.

So I replaced it for him, he was excited, his corp too, so they now offering me protection and convoy through this sector since then.

Not too bad.
 
What Hirvox said. CCP isn't stupid and the community of EVE is largely the result of game mechanics that encourage a cutthroat, shoot first ask questions later attitude. People are natural risk/reward optimizers. If you create a context in which people can exert their power over others with no potential recourse, guess what happens? Even Darkfall has had to progressively implement systems to safeguard new players, in essence adding in recourse, to discourage players from using the most optimal (and sadistic) strategy: gank newbs.

Want a less soul crushing, sandbox MMO? Try Love. I've heard good things.
 
Basically what Azzur said up there. That's a true sandbox. I think the issue here is the lack of communication, tactics and options here.

All those "border patrol" anologies people bring up is fluff, in the real world even criminals think how they can make a profit out of a given situation.

I'd expect nullsec would at least have people who's willing to escort you or be the slimy snaky gangster type who demand money for passage [and safe escort]. Maybe even as going as far as extracting "protection money" out of you.

It's truly telling for the most profitable space to be the most primal as well, kill on sight, no questions asked....you'd think a strategically/INTELLIGENT game would be more open to extortion and negotiation tactics....
 
People are not out there to annoy Tobold.

I don't want to do some psychoanalysis, but your behaviour is consistent with your behavior if somehone complains on that blog about something you don't like. (Like you posting about the 'wrong' topics). Just that on this blog you are the owner and you don't owe anything to anybody.

EVE doesn't belong to you. The previous commenters have given many reasons, why people might have shot and even podded you.

Imagine some centuries ago spanish people ventureing into native indian holy ground, being killed instantly and then complaining about there having beeen no reason(.. well, their relatives).

If I were to lead a corp in null-sec I certainly wouldn't pod kill people without warning, but to assume that these are just 'bulies' who want to annoy Tobold is egocentric and quite simply naive.
 
You are upset for the wrong reasons.

The only thing I am upset about is that several commenters here obviously failed to read past my first paragraph.

I am *not* upset of having been shot down in nullsec, as you can see from my preparations that was planned. But what that episode shows is that there is no long-term goal for me in this game, because I don't want to be one of those gatecampers shooting down unarmed frigates for just being there.

Take any sort of team sport, lets say soccer. Soccer works within very strict rules, matching two equal sized teams against each other, and sending players off the pitch if they transgress the rules. EVE is like soccer with no organization and no referee: People turn up on the soccer pitch whenever they want in whatever number they want, often against no opponenent at all, or against a far smaller number of opponents. And if there are enough players on both sides, there are a lot of fouls instead of a match.

My problem is not that I can't win that, my problem is that I wouldn't even want to play that if I was sure that I would win.
 
Damn, even Nils can't read past my first paragraph. I'm disappointed, Nils. I would have thought that it was obvious that I'm *not* complaining about having been shot down, because that was completely foreseeable and planned.

Or are you guys just using that straw man argument because you are afraid to answer the real question? You don't have an answer to the question of what the purpose of conquering null space is, if it forces you to "defend" *cough* *cough* your conquest by ganking. Can't you see that most people won't want to play such a bully game?
 
Actually, most of us have been reading beweet the lines and in my opinion it is pretty obvious, that you are complaining ..


I am *not* upset of having been shot down in nullsec, as you can see from my preparations that was planned. But what that episode shows is that there is no long-term goal for me in this game, because I don't want to be one of those gatecampers shooting down unarmed frigates for just being there.


That's just not the point. The point may be (I am speculating) that they expected somebody to scout the positions with some cheap frigate. Since this guy would obviously don't care about the frigate, they would also pod him. Actually, they don't think that this is even enough, because you are probably some 4th account of somebody who never logs into the first one, because this one is just skilling :).

I really am speculating, but to assume that they are 'just bullies' is just naive.



Take any sort of team sport, lets say soccer. Soccer works within very strict rules, matching two equal sized teams against each other, and sending players off the pitch if they transgress the rules. EVE is like soccer with no organization and no referee: People turn up on the soccer pitch whenever they want in whatever number they want, often against no opponenent at all, or against a far smaller number of opponents. And if there are enough players on both sides, there are a lot of fouls instead of a match.


This is what I describe as the difference between 'fair PvP' and 'PvP'.

EVE is PVP, it is not counterstrike, not chess, not soccer. The PVP in EVE is not there to be fun in itself or fair, or requiring skill. It may provide some of these things, but the real reason it is there, is to provide a credible, immersive simulation. That's why people are not restricted in their actions.

Combine that with the (absurd) U.S. American attitude that you are morally allowed to kill people on sight who enter your ground without even asking - not every player in EVE has grown up in Central Europe. Some are just, well .. less civilised :)


Before I quite EVE I actually got into my best ship that I couldn't afford to lose (destroyer :).
I ventured into 0-sec and I moved around for about two hours. I quit only after realizing, that nobody even bothered to attack me. It was just too boring.
 
The thing is, like someone mentioned before, EVE is meant to be cutthroat and not friendly at all. The lore of New Eden support that. Very much like Cyberpunk in space.

EVE is mainly about the PvP, and PvP is all about "if you're not on my team, you die". You weren't part of those 0.0 dwellers allies, hence you died.

It's not about simple ganking. It's all about protecting their interests. Since there's no other way for them to keep intruders out of their space (you can't turn gates off), they have to shoot intruders. Just stopping you and telling you to go back through the gate might not work, as you could be a spy, or might try to flee somewhere else in the system once they stop scrambling you.

It's not the players fault, it's the game. There's simply no other way to protect their space. Is it ganking? Not really. The gankers/griefers in EVE tend to can bait, scam people in highsec, or pirate in lowsec.

You might not like that form of play, but it doesn't mean that EVE is broken.
 
I started to think of 0.0 space in EVE as kind of like a game of Masters of Orion or Civilization. If the computer puts any units near you, you have to destroy them. No thought. No worries about diplomacy. They crossed your borders, so they die.

I just wish that a game like EVE had more involved politics that would allow for more than this. People don't even ransom ships because they know that unless it's a cargo hauler, it's not worth any read money. To me, EVE should play more like a game of Diplomacy instead of the video games I listed above. Unfortunately, unless you're the leader of one of the big alliances, you're just either roadkill or the truck.
 
For no reason other than that they can and for no crime other than you being there. There is no strategic challenge in this sort of PvP, it is simply ganking.


There is no strategic challenge, yes. But the crime of being somewhere can be a considerable crime and you just cannot just assume that they just wanted to gank you. I am pretty certain they were angry that you didn't even put up some kind of fight.
 
Tobold you have hit on one of the many reasons why EVE will never have a much larger playerbase than it does now.

I have had one experience like that but I managed to get warp before they could fully lock me. I then played cat and mouse for an hour shooting their miners until I got bored. I would have left their miners alone if they wouldn't have tried to lock me. They decided to be dicks and lost some miners because of it.

What you experienced is how some people play this game. They log in, sit on a gate, and hope someone comes through. Sounds real exciting, huh?

EVE could be a great game with a few changes, I'm looking at you passive skill system, but it never will be since they are profitable the way they are.

Hopefully one day we get a space based game with some actual structure to it. Until then EVE will be a game I pay for every once in a while when I am desperate for some sci-fi and only last until I get bored with it again.
 
I can't wait to see all the crying and gnashing of teeth from EVE fanboi's that this post generates.

I'm not against negative-sum PvP or ganking but the excuses here are pretty funny.
 
Tobold:

There are two basic kinds of PvP: war and sport. You are obviously coming down in favor of Sport PvP, which is a fair fight between two evenly matched teams on a level playing field. As you say, you want PvP that is like soccer.

Eve PVP is not trying to provide a soccer-like experience in its PVP, it is trying to provide a real world war like experience in it's PVP. Obviously you don't like this, but some reasons that some people would prefer war-like PVP instead of sports-like PVP aside from being bullies:

A. It is pretty much impossible to combine sport-like PVP with sand boxes (aside from doing duels with your friends for fun) as sports only function with rules and sandboxes don't have those kind of rules.

B. Sport-like PVP doesn't result in history, War-like PVP does. It is impossible to write up a history of a WOW server's PVP, while EVE PVP has a history with alliances, campaigns, logistics, betrayal, etc. Some people don't care about this, some do.

C. War-like PVP (at least for me) creates a lot tighter social bonds than Sport-like PVP. I'm a very bad PVPer, I only like PVP because there's nothing like fear of getting killed to encourage social bonds.

D. War-like PVP feels a lot more "real" than sports like PVP.

E. War-like PVP results in much larger social organizations than sport like PVP. For me at least, having player made operations that function like actual governments is very cool.

Why would you expect sports-like PVP in a game geared for war-like PVP?
 
That is exactly why I don't play Eve.

I am glad it existed for the 300k or so who love it.

But it sure as heck ain't for me.

-Muckbeast
http://www.muckbeast.com
 
silvertemplar: excellent point, the main point is that doing things like charging for safe passive/protection money/etc. is logistically difficult and creates a lot of hassle. The way the standing system is set up in EVE it'd be hair-tearingly difficult to set up a system in which solo pilots could be sold permits to fly through certain bits of nul sec for a certain amount of time.

This is a failing of Eve, the incentives align towards tribal-like organizations in null sec so that's what you get.

Ideally in a territorial holding game incentives would be set up to allow territorial holding groups to act more like governments than lilke tribes who kill more outsiders, but this would require a standings system that's a lot more comprehensive and better-designed than Eve has.
 
Or are you guys just using that straw man argument because you are afraid to answer the real question? You don't have an answer to the question of what the purpose of conquering null space is


Conquering nullsec is about creating your own end game. It is all about status, prestige, money and warfare. Every alliances wet dream is to get their name on this map: http://go-dl1.eve-files.com/media/corp/Verite/influence.png . That map is a territorial map and basically says that your alliance has accomplished something in game. Other reasons for owning null sec space is ofcoz all the riches you get out of it by installing infrastructure hubs and the use of bridges (gates between far distant systems) so you can move gods to your null sec bases quickly. Nullsec also has conquerable stations and you can build your own stations if your alliance has enough money to do so, this is also one way of putting your "landmark" in the eve end game since these cant be destroyed. Industrialists also loves nullsec because the high end moon minerals they can get and high grade minerals from mining so they can buy nice shining ships and ofcoz, the possibility to put up POS:es so they can research and even build those null sec only capital ships.

Ofcoz, just getting fat on nullsec will be boring in the end so some PvP oriented alliances ofcoz search out other people to destroy, eg defending their own territory or hunting in enemy alliances territory and looking for fights. Warfare might not be so fun (POS shooting etc) but it is essential for nullsec holding alliances. I personally think it is fun trying to out man your enemy and take territory, even if it ends up in a blob fest with lag.

Regarding getting shot in nullsec, you can get shot in lowsec to, and thats just for pure ganking to because that's what pirates do, they don't care who you are, they just want to shoot everything and hope you drop something nice worth their while. Meeting a gate camp in low sec is way higher chance then in most null sec space, except borders from low->nul and alliance borders/choke points. Atleast that's how it is in the area I live.
 
Still harping on the straw man argument, Nils. I'm not questioning whether gatecamping frigates is "justified". I'm questioning whether it is fun.

Answer me this: Do you want to play a game in which the long-term goal is to "conquer" some space, which then involves shooting anyone on sight who steps over the border, in completely one-sided and unfair fights?
 
Dave: Sorry, its not government when it is kill on sight. They did not even ask for his "papers."

Everything about Eve's gameplay design favors the super long term players. That is just a fact.

The only reason to even start playing Eve is if:

1) You already have super long term players who will help you.

2) You enjoy bullying and griefing people.
 
The only thing less fun that being blown up the instant you go through a gate into a nullsec system? Sitting next to that gate waiting for someone to come through so you can blow them up.

That's why I can't see myself ever playing EVE seriously.
 
I agree with David.
I have been repeatedly critizised the Counter-Strike mentality in WoW: The idea that PvP has to be fair.

Fair PvP and (non-fair) PvP are really two different things and can both be fun in their way.

(Non-fair) PvP is about much more than just the PvP abilities. Most wars have been decided before they start. Actually, this kind of game should be more to your liking, Tobold, as I understand that you are attracted by strategy and tactics more than a clickfest.

Complaining about EVE PVP in this way is like complaining in Civilisation that your 1 unit doesn stand a chance against the 5 units of the enemy.

EVE allows for 'Heroes'. Exceptional PvP abilities on a small scale. But what shapes the world is not the small scale, but the large scale; that is how it should be.


Alexander the Great, Caesar, Hannibal - they weren't heroes who could 'spill the blood of their enemies' like Conan. They were much more.
 
Answer me this: Do you want to play a game in which the long-term goal is to "conquer" some space, which then involves shooting anyone on sight who steps over the border, in completely one-sided and unfair fights?

I think it can be fun, yes!
I'm not sure that it is fun in EVE, but that's really another topic. The general idea is what you critizice and I think that idea is great.

As long as you can influence the 'unfairness' of the fights and actually make them fair, or better, unfair, but to your advantage, I'd like to participate.

As I just wrote: I prefer to play Caesar and not Conan. Conan spills the blood of his enemies. That's something for 16 years old CS players; a WoW BG. Fun from time to time, but ultimately boring.

Caesar checkmates his enemies 1 month before the first battle actually takes place. That's something I admire.
 
"I'm questioning whether it is fun."
Depends on your tastes, not the sort of thing I mind doing (it's the sort of thing you can do when focusing on something else like crafting is in a lot of games) but it could be implemented better in order to encourage patrols rather than manning choke points. *shrugs*

"Dave: Sorry, its not government when it is kill on sight. They did not even ask for his "papers.""

When he came through the gate his standing didn't show up as blue, that means he didn't have any papers. Having standing with a group means that you have "papers" if you don't you don't.

"Everything about Eve's gameplay design favors the super long term players. That is just a fact."

Right, that's one of the reasons I don't play it. Basically Eve is a basic model that WORKS but it's clunky as all hell. In a lot of ways it's a lot like EQ I, it encourages really handcore mentality and really caters to the hardcore long-term players. What I'd want to play is a game that is to Eve what WoW is to EQ I (basically taking a clunky game that works and polishing it up, making it more accessable and fun). Eve DOES have a lot of things in it that are incredibly boring (just like EQ I did) but the basic ideas are solid (as is shown by the fact that you could get hundreds of thousand of people to sit through things as boring as mining in Eve and Meding in EQ I).

"You enjoy bullying and griefing people."
Shooting people who aren't blue who come into your null sec space isn't griefing. Griefing is killing people for no reason but for lulz, killing people who aren't welcome in your null sec space is pretty damn vital for territorial control.
 
I already described that I ventured into 0.0 before I quit EVE. I wanted to find out if EVE actually manages to make people sit in front of some gate for many hours. Because if EVE couldn't it would be boring.

In contrast to you I haven't been shot down or even attacked for about two hours. This was the last of many reasons why I quite EVE offline.

I had hoped to have somebody attack me. But even more I had hoped somebody to ask for some ransom.
 
Let me say at this point that in my opinion these EVE posts and especially the comments have really become a great source of knowledge for game designers.

You manage to attract intelligent, insightful discussion to this blog.

Your posts are just contentious enough to spark interest without being too contentious, or contentious for the sake of attracting commenters. That's a balance that is very hard to achieve.
 
For me, the issue is not player controlled 0.0. There is a perfectly good reason for them to kill everyone; they have claimed space and want to profit from it and don't want spies, pirates or vanguards in their space. Arguably in that environment, politics, planning and employee motivation are far more important than combat skills. At its best it could be epic.

The fact that you would be just as dead in lo sec, for no real reason other than sadism is what I find annoying and pointless. Especially people who shoot new pilots in their rookie ships.

P.s., use one of your other two pilots, with no training, and you have zero cost to go sightseeing. Everything is replaced. And your main can still continue EVE Offline.
 
Hey Tobold. How many hours of EVE did you have to play before you found out it was not your kind of game ? Its a sandbox with kids throwing sand at each other. And if you want to play with them you gotta start with a blindfold. You really should have seen this from the start. Im kinda disapointed in you.
 
"If you aren't a bully yourself, those supervised, bully-free playgrounds are the much better places."

I am a complete care-bear and yet I disagree with this statement. The constant sense of danger was one of the best facets of EVE for me. Every time I left the security of high sec space my heart started pumping faster. It turned what would otherwise have been very boring courier trips into a roller coaster ride of emotion. Whether there was a legitimate strategic reason why people were trying to kill me or whether they were just griefers looking to ruin someone else's day didn't matter a damn. The fact was a whole lot of people were out there trying to blow up my ship and pod me. I did lose ships and I did get podded many times and yes it always sucked but the times when I got away by the skin of my teeth as my screen flashed red and my body surged with adrenaline remain among my greatest video gaming moments ever.

So this masochism is probably not everyone's cup of tea but I think that EVE without the danger would be a very boring game that would be even more niche than it is now.

Finally as proof that you cannot always tell the bully from the helper consider that my very first podding in EVE was at the hands of the supposedly noob friendly EVE University. They had instituted a NBSI policy after their enemies had started to use lowbie alts to scout out their territory. Of course it didn't matter to me what their motives were I still got podded when I ventured into their corner of 0.0 space.
 
Do you want to play a game in which the long-term goal is to "conquer" some space
I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say here. "Conquering" space in Eve is not unlike "conquering" territory in Civilization or Risk. That can be fun. Feeling strong because you're a part of something greater than you can also be thrilling. And most of all, people love to win.

in completely one-sided and unfair fights?
Sun Tzu: "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."

The fights can be quite dull and downright anticlimactic. The planning leading to said fights is less so. Unfortunately, on whether planning is fun or even a part of the game we seem to have an irreconcilable difference of opinion, so it would be pointless to belabor it further.
 
I completely agree with your post Tobold. I'm a fan of "fair" PVP all the way, which is why I'm stuck playing PVE MMOs :(
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
I agree with you Hirvox, but I do not agree with

Unfortunately, on whether planning is fun or even a part of the game we seem to have an irreconcilable difference of opinion, so it would be pointless to belabor it further.

This discussion is very important. It is also about or culture, our media. Consider Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Stargate, 300, Gladiator, etc. etc. etc.

All these movies are about the fight itself. Almost evry Holywood movie is. As if the soldier on the battleground could make a difference. It is certainly important that the soldiers themselves believe this. But it is wrong. 10.000 soldiers believing that they can make a difference on the field of battle do make a difference, together.
But each single one of them doesn't.

This is the basis for religion. It can be evolutionary advantegous for a society to believe in things which are totally wrong.
Our media supports this, because they know that most people are stupid (no offense).

But I consider myself smart enough to see behind it and I enjoy games like EVE for being credible and immersive in contrast to the WoW arena or Star Gate.

Back to game design:
The best games, naturally, offer both: Cold, long term strategy and hot, short term fights that always have a small chance to end the other way, because one of your enemies was quite simply brilliant.

We, humans, consumers, love both. Heroes and Cunning Leaders. WoW PvP offers only the first, EVE PvP only the last.
The perfect MMO offers both. (As does the perfect movie).
 
"There is no strategic challenge in this sort of PvP, it is simply ganking."

What does a lack of tactical challenge have to do with strategy? Did you research whose space you were heading into? Did you contact any of their CEOs or Diplomats for clearance? Did you do anything in any way Strategic before entering Nul sec? Oh yeah, you switched to a cheap ship.

"Or are you guys just using that straw man argument because you are afraid to answer the real question?"

Your first argument isn't a question. You posit that all nullsec players, a group I formerly was numbered among, are mere bullies. You base the whole last paragraph on this assumption.

"Personally, I don't see the point of it all. I don't want to become the bigger bully. I don't enjoy beating weaker players for no purpose. I don't even enjoy beating up the bullies... Because the only restriction is that you can't do the stuff you shouldn't be doing anyway if you were a nice kid. If you aren't a bully yourself, those supervised, bully-free playgrounds are the much better places."

The only straw man argument here is the one you yourself wrote and that they have refuted.

"Answer me this: Do you want to play a game in which the long-term goal is to "conquer" some space, which then involves shooting anyone on sight who steps over the border, in completely one-sided and unfair fights?"

No, but what does that have to do with EVE? First of all, EVE has a multitude of long term goals. Second of all, they don't shoot anyone who steps over the border, only those who do so without proper authorization. Sure, you showing up in a cheap frigate is a one sided fight, but there are plenty of people who make a pass-time of running fleets of 3-8 ships and having extremely tactically interesting skirmishes on those same borders. As it so happens, some people find all the less than fun blowing the crap out of people in cheap frigates who didn't talk to the right people a worthy trade for being the scout that notices the 100 man fleet jumping in, or the interceptor that holds down a marauder while your corp mates desperately attempt to put the last nail in it's coffin before it's support ships take you all down.

Is it fun? What a terrifically useless question. As an amateur game designer who has studied the questions of fun at length, it has only equipped me to tell you that I can't say. What you find fun is wholly subjective.

I can tell you though, that a large part of it is determined by you yourself. You have chosen to see EVE through a certain prism, and then undertook the steps to see that small sliver of it's greater whole first hand. You could choose to see it through another prism, and take other steps to see that whole first hand. Or you could say that you have no interest in a game so overly multi-faceted that you can prevent yourself from experiencing what is fun about it.
 
Also, why is tobold saying that people are only responding to the first paragraph of what he wrote, most people were responding to this:

"For no reason other than that they can and for no crime other than you being there."

Very pointing out the (very valid) reasons why he was gunned down. Letting anonymous frigates wander through your territory can be dangerous.
 
We, humans, consumers, love both. Heroes and Cunning Leaders. WoW PvP offers only the first, EVE PvP only the last.
The perfect MMO offers both. (As does the perfect movie).


Elaborating further:
'Cunning Leaders' offer player created content to an MMO. This is why the industry should have a look at EVE.

It is incredibly cheap to just design the framework and have the players make their content. And if well done it is also great for the players.
The perfect MMO allows players to offer quests players. These quests, if done within the correct framework, are not 'kill ten rats'.
They are deep, interconnected and imbedded into the political landcape.

To develop the framework is more than just a daunting task. It is incredibly difficult. But certainly well worth it; also financially.
 
I wish the people writing these uber-lengthy responses smashing Tobold would step outside themselves for a moment.

Tobold is approaching this from the perspective of a reader who is new to the game, a mass-market player looking to have fun weather they invest a great deal of time or a little.

Only to find that for all the hype people give EVE, theirs no "catching up", you can't even play hard-core to catch up due to the "EVE Offline" factor, and a new player is shut out of the political system and podded for transgressions they may not understand.

All your posts about the greater meaning of this closed system are simply an impassioned warning - we have enough people in EVE, new players not welcome.
 
Most wars have been decided before they start. ... Alexander the Great, Caesar, Hannibal - they weren't heroes who could 'spill the blood of their enemies' like Conan. They were much more.

And how do you plan to realize that in a MMORPG? There are some problems to this approach:

1) Any war game in which you can play Alexander, Caesar, or Hannibal is tuned for the battles to be *not* one-sided, because playing through one-sided battles even in a single-player game is not fun at all, not even for the winning general.

2) Alexander, Caesar, and Hannibal each had thousands of soldiers. You simply can't have a battle in which there are dozens of Alexanders, Caesars, and Hannibals on each side, but no foot soldiers.

3) Being a foot soldier is hugely less fun than being Alexander. But that is all that is available for new players. Tell me, what time would a new player need from character creation to leading a successful corporation in null sec. Years, I'd say, if it was possible at all. And how many of a thousand new players starting out with that dream will reach it? Only a handful.
 
The reason much of this discussion doesn't make much sense is the same reason many MMO discussions don't make sense:

there is no fixed value of "FUN".

MMO blogs, forums and in-game channels are filled with people trying to tell each other what "fun" is and how to have it. Worse than that, they are also filled with people telling others that waht they call "fun" actually isn't "fun" at all and trying to get them to swap to another type of "fun" instead.

For several years I used to deal with this in discussions by making it clear that I wasn't interested in having "fun". Life offers an awful lot more options than just "fun" or "not fun". Even that, though doesn't get past the basic problem, which is that people are more different than they are the same.

This is why, after a decade of playing MMOs, I firmly believe that the overall experience for the majority is best when the smallest number of people possible is responsible for decision-making. In other words, when a game company makes a world and offers it "as-is" to find an audience that appreciates it.

From what I read, this is what CCP largely do. Inevitably this means the game cannot achieve WoW-like levels of popularity, but it can, and apparently does, achieve high levels of satisfaction for those who are in tune with the way the designers think.

That such MMOs are highly off-putting and unattractive to most MMO players is exactly how it should be. What we need are a lot more MMOs with strong, determined design, which don't seek the mass-market but strive to perfect their own paradigm. Then we all have a better chance of finding something we really find to be "fun".
 
This reminds me of the article on twentysideddice.

I personally prefer to build the sandcastles. In games like Anno 1404 I don't even bother with the warfare part. As long as I can just build my pretty cities I'm happy.

And of course, playing WoW on a PVE realm means that noone can destroy my sandcastle!
 
Its not bullying, unless you class what every government in the world of the real does to protect its borders. If you want a real taste of what nul-sec is like, you have to use a bit of diplomacy and communication. You don't just turn up on someone's doorstep and expect to be allowed to use their pool. Its only polite to ask first.

The bullying analogy may look apt at first glance but on closer examination it doesn't hold water. That same gatecamp would probably take on anything that came through the gate, no matter its size or experience (that is assuming that they are a border control force and not just simple gankers). The thing with EVE is that is is full of nuances, There are many possible reasons for a gang being on a gate. Did you actually talk to the people who shot at you and ask why? Or did your automatic "Blegh, Gankers" prejudice kick in and you simply assumed that they were griefers/pirates/bulies?

The rule in 0.0 is generally if its not blue, shoot it. (NRDS, not red don't shoot has fallen by the wayside somewhat with the collapse of CVA) and podding is usually mandatory for a variety of sound tactical and startegic reasons.

That aside I'd like to take issue with one of your comments:
"But what that episode shows is that there is no long-term goal for me in this game, because I don't want to be one of those gatecampers shooting down unarmed frigates for just being there."

You have to get out of the mindest that is leading you to erroneously believe that there is only one 'endgame' in EVE. The endgame is whatever you want it to be. If you don't want to camp gates in 0.0 you don't have to. If you don't want to PvP, again you don't have to. Your falling into the 'theme park' trap of assuming that the developers want you to end up doing a specific set of fairly restricted activites once you've been playing for a while, when with EVE this is not the case. You can do whatever you like, wherever you like. If anything, everything in EVE is the 'endgame'. You seem to want a 'long-term goal" handed to you on a plate, EVE doesn't do that, make your own goal and go for it.
 
EVE doesn't do that, make your own goal and go for it.

If EVE is so full of goals, then please name ONE. One goal a new player could go for, which is achievable within weeks of playing, and which offers interesting gameplay.

I think all that "make your own goal" talk about EVE is just a lame excuse to hide the fact that there aren't any achievable goals with interesting gameplay for new players. You mine a bit, you run a couple of mission, and after a few weeks you realize that all the interesting stories you read about EVE are far outside of what a new player can reach. The best you can hope for is being an underpowered grunt in a large corporation, on whose affairs you don't have the slightest bit of influence.
 
Apparently EVE players think that if a US border patrol accidentally steps over the border, the Mexicans should shoot them. Fortunately the real world doesn't work like that.
 
@Zode: "Only to find that for all the hype people give EVE, theirs no "catching up", you can't even play hard-core to catch up due to the "EVE Offline" factor"

Not true. The diminishing returns from the skill-level ranking system forces "highend" players to spend enormous amounts of time achieving relatively little, whilst "young" players gain access to new techs and advance their capabilities quite rapidly. There are effective skill point caps in place too - when there's nothing more to learn, there's no to continue improvement, so they must move on to a different area of advancement.

"and a new player is shut out of the political system and podded for transgressions they may not understand. All your posts about the greater meaning of this closed system are simply an impassioned warning - we have enough people in EVE, new players not welcome."

Shut out? Huh?

Nullsec Alliances and Corporations have recruitment posts and forums, just the same as hisec ones do. If a new player wants in on the nullsec game there are plenty of ways to get into it. Joining EVE University, and following the posts in their Recruitment Faire department is one very friendly way to do it.
 
If EVE is so full of goals, then please name ONE. One goal a new player could go for, which is achievable within weeks of playing, and which offers interesting gameplay.

Goal: Skills to get into a nullsec corp and actually be useful in pvp.

Way to achieve this: Skill interceptors and tackling.

Timeframe: Roughly 1 month. Even less if you fly normal frigs as tackler first.

There are enough corps out there that will even take a lowskilled newbie and teach them the tricks of pvp. Just keep an eye open on forums and in recruitment channels.

Goal: Get into production

Way to achieve this: Train up Production efficiency and mass production + a T1 hauler.

Timeframe: about 20 days

You can start producing ammo then move to bigger things after you gathered some skills and money. For even more win join an industrial corp. Again look forums and recruitment channel.

Just be creative, set your midterm and longterm goals and get playing.
 
Apparently EVE players think that if a US border patrol accidentally steps over the border, the Mexicans should shoot them. Fortunately the real world doesn't work like that.

I don't like real-life comparisons, but this would actually work that way in real world, if there wasn't permadeath.
 
@Tobold: "Apparently EVE players think that if a US border patrol accidentally steps over the border, the Mexicans should shoot them. Fortunately the real world doesn't work like that."

Tell that to [IN] and [PQ], or [KP] and [KR].

[US] and [MX] have a NAP and show deep blue to each other.

Large areas of EVE, owned by different alliances, are varying shades of blue for mutual benefit, and against shared enemies. Some of these are strong bonds, others purely of the moment. It's true that EVE is tribal, but the tribes ("coalitions") are very large fluid constructs.

You may not be aware of this: ships can mount modules called "Cynosural field generators." These, when activated, disable the ship's drive system, and raise a field that capital ships within 10-15 lightyears can lock on and jump to. Remote titans can fit a "jump bridge" and send a fleet of subcapitals to the same target.

So one tiny disposable neutral ship through one gate, one module activated (you did bring fuel, didn't you?)...

...and suddenly there are a hundred ships from a red coalition in local, destroying valuable assets.

There are ways to guard against this (POS modules which jam cyno fields in a system) but the simplest way - to guard against hotdrops, capital incursions, spies, roaming gangs - is to maintain a NBSI policy.

To be blunt: you were as likely to be a nuclearshoebomber as you were to be a tourist.
 
I think we all get the war v sport choice and we can all pick our preference.

I think people are reacting negatively to your use of loaded terms like "bully" and "gank".

People who like the war style simply don't see what they are doing as bullying or unfair.

It's not bullying because there's a detachment. They're not hurting YOU, they're defeating your unit. Like killing a mob in WoW isn't bullying.

Of course there will be exceptions and some players play for the pleasure of schadenfreude.

For most people in null sec, they're trying to build something up, part of which involves fending off the opposition. Building a space empire against the odds with a solid team of friends is where the fun is I think.

You're spot on about the lack of options for new people. It's very hard to get into a good corp without at least 5-10 million skill points and some pvp kills. And hard to get the kills without the corp. It's Eve's version of the Link Achievement Catch 22.

For me I rather enjoy the missions and my solution to the problem of being a new player is simply to wait until I'm not one. I can play other MMOs and run missions while I'm waiting to become an old player. I'm unusually patient and I think that eventually being able to help build a mighty space empire will be pretty awesome. I have no interest in bullying anyone but I am very interested in shooting enemy units in the unpredictable and dangerous universe of Eve.

It's certainly not for everyone and thank you for trying it and writing about it so thoughtfully.
 
"If EVE is so full of goals, then please name ONE. One goal a new player could go for, which is achievable within weeks of playing, and which offers interesting gameplay."

Lead a small frigate gang against pirates. Take a Celestis out and scan down low level complexes at the low end of high sec or the high end of low sec. Try and visit as many systems, or better as many planets, as you can. Lay down a set of safe spot bookmarks in low sec. Work as a spy. Get involved in a corp and get to know your corp mates. Tag along on level 4s. Run a tackler frigate in pvp. Run the 100x price frigate scam. Steal a corp bank. Finish the storyline missions.

"Fortunately the real world doesn't work like that."

Indeed, it's so great the way people freely walk across the Korean DMZ. Mostly the argument is a complete red-herring though because getting podded in 0.0 is more like getting deported than like getting shot to death.

"The best you can hope for is being an underpowered grunt in a large corporation, on whose affairs you don't have the slightest bit of influence."

Or you could get involved with a small corporation and have a huge influence. Who knows maybe you could luckily wind up in the same corp as someone who knows Sir Molle on a first name basis, it happens. Over time you may learn how to get in on the ground floor and be a founding members for corporations that will go on to do much bigger things.

You can join a pirate corp and go yarrring. Or a mercenary corp and be well payed for being a unnoticed grunt. Get into a W-Space corp and become filthy rich while helping to scan down people who are jumping in and out of your system.

Best times I ever had in EVE were far from 0.0 and at a solid middle point in the corporate ladder. The reason is simple, EVE is a game of people not sparkly starships. Oh and manageable goals.

If you really want me to shut up though, all you need to do is apologize for insulting all the kind, hardworking, intelligent and interesting people that make up the EVE naught dot naught community.
 

1) Any war game in which you can play Alexander, Caesar, or Hannibal is tuned for the battles to be *not* one-sided, because playing through one-sided battles even in a single-player game is not fun at all, not even for the winning general.


In a world with many parties, not just two, no war can ever be truly one-sided. Even if you were fighting a totally one sided war you could still turn to guerilla tactics. A game, should allow that.


2) Alexander, Caesar, and Hannibal each had thousands of soldiers. You simply can't have a battle in which there are dozens of Alexanders, Caesars, and Hannibals on each side, but no foot soldiers.


A common argument and a good one. However, there are many Counter Strike players and, obviously, almost noone is the hero.
The same holds for WoW Battlegrounds, Arenas, Chess, Soccer.

Not every leader is grand. Alexander the Great had some cunning Generals who had some cunning sub unit leaders and so on.

3) Being a foot soldier is hugely less fun than being Alexander. But that is all that is available for new players. Tell me, what time would a new player need from character creation to leading a successful corporation in null sec. Years, I'd say, if it was possible at all. And how many of a thousand new players starting out with that dream will reach it? Only a handful.

In the end you always have the single grunt, of course. This 'new player' should have a way to become more. You already know that I totally disagree with the EVE skill system.

But I also do not agree with the new WoW system which produces two kinds of players:
Tx und T(x+1) players. They are perfectly homogenized, wear the same sets; other than items there is no difference (except for achievements..). Currently these sets are T9 and T10.

There is no way in any game that any majority is ever the great hero. This applies to small scale fair battle in Counter Strinke and WoW, and it also applies to Master of the Universe (literally) in EVE.

It is the perspective that makes us play. To get us hooked, we need some nice new-player-experience. Something EVE not only doesn't offer, but due to the skill system cannot offer.

And, what should never be forgotten, gameplay itself can be fun, even without any goal whatsoever.
Fun gameplay is the real strength of WoW. Any other property fades when compared to the importance of it.

 
"Apparently EVE players think that if a US border patrol accidentally steps over the border, the Mexicans should shoot them. Fortunately the real world doesn't work like that."

I live in South Korea. The real world works exactly like that for me.
 
I assume its fun to play border gaurd for the border gaurds, no?

Meanwhile, a couple of thousand other people spread across their associated corps and alliance are further into that space, researching, playing around with the npc mobs, building, mining, etc.

To focus on "playing the gate-camper" when it probably doesnt factor into most peoples gameplay at all is a Strawman arguement of its own. As is "playing to win" in an MMO.
 
I think Tobold is spot-on with his line of questioning where time constraints are concerned.

Playing "catchup" is not fun, regardless of how you define the word "fun".

I subscribe to the notion that game developers should fragment their worlds, not the playerbase. Once player density reaches a critical mass, then problems with an open world sandbox become apparent as levelling, skilling and the acquisition of wealth and power outgrows the ability of the game to provide the same level of "fun" for every player.

Which is why Tobold and others are correct with their assumption that there can be no balance of "fun" in such a system - when what Tobold experienced and wrote about in this post, occurs.
 
Would just like to say that you *dont* need a lot of SP to get into PvP.

All skill points are, are literally a measure of "how old" the character is.... You can be a pure industrialist with 10mill SP in related skills, but only have the starting frigate SP and combat skills. I should know, i started that out in a similar way (being able to fly a hulk before i could fly a cruiser class ship).

Not to mention as well that one of the best combat pilots in my corp has around 1/2 the SP that I have... and has been in the corp since he had around 3million SP.

Infact my 1st few PvP kills were when I was out flying tackle. (You can actually make a "semi ok" tackle pilot in about 3 hours from starting the game (if not faster).

Now saying that, i do agree with the earlier mentions that being a "gate camper"/bully is *not* always the most glamorous job out there but it can be one of the most essential ones out there in the long term plan of things (for security of the alliance/corporation holding that space).

Personally I dislike them when they run for several hours at a time, but for a couple of hours in duration, they are generally a nice way of winding down, talking shit etc

There *are* other ways to get up towards 0.0 space without many SP... one of which is via the PvP classes that Agony Unleashed Alliance run every so often; it wouldn't suprise me if they have recruiters there to help you out.

Quick Q to eve players out there... how many of you copy over bookmarks from your main character to contract them to your alt characters so that they have the nice safe spots literally from the moment that they are born? I know i do, because after living in 0.0 space (and then moving regions recently) they are pretty much essential
 
@Nils: "To get us hooked, we need some nice new-player-experience. Something EVE not only doesn't offer, but due to the skill system cannot offer."

Cannot?

You were never in an EUNI warfleet, then. Lots of fun, lots of new pilots. :)
 
I think nullsec has both bullies, and those who wish to preserve their territory. Just as any other game that includes PvP will have both. I understand why Tobold was shot down. That's not to say I don't wish for an EVE that didn't let the big kids knock me down and take my lunch money.

I'd like to address the comments about not being able to "catch up" to veteran players in EVE. This is a common misconception. EVE's skill system develops horizontally. Yes, those veteran players can fly many more types of ships and configurations than you can, and their ancillary skills such as those affecting CPU usage will be better developed. But a new player can and will be able to fly their own ship and configuration just as effectively as a veteran can fly that same ship and config, and do it in a relatively short timespan. The new player just won't be able to jump into a different ship as easily, or outfit his ship with different weapons as effectively. All those extra skills the veteran player has are unused by virtue of the fact that they apply to ships or equipment that aren't fitted to his current ship. You can tango on a equal footing with a veteran much more quickly in EVE than the vast majority of other MMO's.

The Level V skills are typical MMO min-max fodder .. small increases for a large effort to get them. Those Level V skills are the ones the new player will be missing, but honestly I don't believe they don't make that much of a difference.
 
Ok.. change that to
"Has problems to offer"
 
@Nils: 'Ok.. change that to
"Has problems to offer"'

Really? I repeat my above quip. ;)

I suggest that a new EVE pilot, with a couple of days (hours, even) of tackle-skills and some lessons, can be useful in a PvP situation remarkably rapidly.

They will also lose their ship a great deal, but that is part of the role. :)
 
Apparently EVE players think that if a US border patrol accidentally steps over the border, the Mexicans should shoot them. Fortunately the real world doesn't work like that.

Tobold,

I don't think US border patrols ever "accidentally" step over the border to Mexico. Also, like Sterroneous pointed out, these countries are actually quite close allies.

However, and I'm sure you are aware of this, a large number of Mexicans have your exact experience every day as they try to cross that border in the other direction (as someone pointed out, "dying" is not really a concept that translates well in this context).
 
@Chris: 'Playing "catchup" is not fun, regardless of how you define the word "fun".'

No, it can be fun. Seeing others on the path ahead of me, as examples of where carefully planned skilltraining and practice can lead me, whilst I'm still being useful in the present... It was, and continues to be, fun.

Seeing oneself "behind" - by whatever metric - can dishearten some pilots, or provide direction, ambition and aspiration in others.

Unless the gap ahead is a chasm, fixed or unbridgeable. In EVE, thanks to the tiered skill training rates, and the overall envelope of applicable skill sets, it is not.
 
Personally, I don't see the point of it all.

In most cases, consider nullsec to hostile unless you belong to the residing alliance as almost all nullsec operates on the NBSI principal.

The point is to keep people out of their space, and to try and keep a handle on intel being leaked out. I would wager that bullying has very little to do with it, think of it as SOP.

It also has nothing to do with a strategic challenge, think of it as entering private property with 'Will shoot on sight' warnings posted.
 
In real life there is no such a thing as fair pvp. Eve simulates real life.

Japan ganked China and Pearl Harbor in WWII, then Truman ganked them back with a couple nukes. We also ganked Iraq... twice

In Eve there are bullies and ganks because there is twisted fun about destroying somebody with overwhelming force, however finding gatecamps like you did is the exception, not the rule.

Here in Texas there is a "Castle" law that gives you the right to "shoot first, ask later" to any stranger in your property. 0.0 is the same thing but being a game people actually shoot you.
 
It also has nothing to do with a strategic challenge, think of it as entering private property with 'Will shoot on sight' warnings posted.

So, why aren't there any messages that pop up, when you are about the enter the space of another corp, that tells you that you will be shot on sight?

This is why I would like Blizzard to make EVE 2.0
Above all, EVE needs polish, a good GUI and some sharply defined changes (skill system, perhaps RMT,..). It could be one of the greatest games ever.
 
So you arrive at the border to a hostile nation you neglected to establish diplomatic relations with and you get shot at and you're surprised???
 
What do you think will happen if you try to drive a car inside the green zone in Iraq without credentials?

Your car is not marked as "friendly" (blue) so the military follows orders and neutralize the threat to protect all the people inside.
 
Point to all the people that whine about CCP needing to warn players that moving into 0.0 without establishing diplomatic relations with the residents is "dangerous". The diplomatic reality is not established by CCP it's established by the players. There was that warning when you crossed into low sec.

Now the reason you will get chased with extreme prejudice: You are not just minding your own business. You are a scout for a hostile fleet. And if you tell them differently they know you are lying so you can continue scouting and reporting on their fleet movements. Use two braincells please... I challenge you to prove your lone newbie ship is not a scout for someone. You do not exist in isolation in EVE.
 

Unless the gap ahead is a chasm, fixed or unbridgeable. In EVE, thanks to the tiered skill training rates, and the overall envelope of applicable skill sets, it is not.


Perhaps an EVE-like game should actually implement classes. I know this suggestion will make some people scream in agony, but hear me out :)

Since I play one (main)char in EVE, somebody who flies a Titan just seems to be vertically advanced much more than me. Actually that is horizontal progress, but it certainly doesn't feel like it.

Imagine starting a career as fighter pilot, frigate pilot, Titan pilot, a trader..

Now, if you meet somebody who is able to fly some other ship that is much bigger, but not necessarily effective fighting you, you wouldn't get the feeling that he has advanced farther than you did. You could just make a second Battleship character and level him up (train him).

This wouldn't work well with EVE's realtime skills system. But if you could actually advance a char yourself, with your own actions it would work quite well I think.

In EVE the gap certainly feels fixed and unbridgeable right now. It is hard to believe that the guy in the massive dreadnought is not vertically advenced further than you in your frigate. And it is even harder to believe that the gap to somebody who played for 4 years and trained constantly is actually not fixed and unbridgeable.

A class-approach in combination with a change to the skill system (progress with played time, diminishing returns per day/week)could help here.
 
Its funny, people keep repeating the same argument and apparently missed the 18 responses that completely destroy that argument.

Anyways, to all those who dont want to work, but just want to start EvE and within a few months rule a massive alliance:

-Thats NOT the only goal. And PvP isnt the only goal. Gatewatching either. As people keep saying, you CHOOSE your goal in EvE. You dont have everything planned out for and given to you like themeparks.

-You may want everything handed to you, but (just like RL) unfortunately it doesnt work like that. Just like the leader of Against All Authorities, you too would have to work your way up, prove yourself time and again, and EARN your place.

-instead of whining and being consumed by a need to "catch up", how about take some initiatve (unless its been depleted entirely by WoW), set your own goals, and ENJOY the game in the way its meant to be played (i.e. you can do whatever you please, however you please) instead of thinking about what you DONT have.

There is a word for hating others for having what you don't. It's called ENVY.
 
Ah, don't mess up the real world with Eve. North Korea will shoot without asking first, before 1989 some Germans did as well.

But thats a silly argument. Fact is the Eve limits the possibilities to control a sector to violence. Thats the key problem here.

If Eve would allow traders to own a sector purely with money players would love it. Or with skill, diplomacy or war.

Currently there is only war. Thats the major problem I have with it, even though some players with endless riches do own alliances or sectors, but thats the exception
 
The new sovereignty system is also working to make interactions with 0.0 more interesting--and corps/alliances will be able to use that final economic tool they didn't have yet--taxing activities in their space.

And Tobold, as others have said, having a non-blue in 0.0 is down right dangerous.

One of the first things that happens in militia fights is getting NPC-corp alt into the system. Fairly quickly they can at least give you the numbers of the opposing fleet there and with some luck, composition too.
 
The things you mention are definately avenues that CCP should explore. Opening up more options for a sandbox experience is never a bad thing.

Particularly expanding the diplomatic system. This had endless possibilites, but of course requires a very difficult implementation.

However, this could encompass almost every area people have mentioned here. For example:

-Allowing corps to form more complex and realistic contracts/alliances/diplomatic bonds. This would allow "rich" or indutrial corps to hire a mercenary or warrior corp to protect them. Or imagine merchant convoys of say 10 haulers (all strangers) with a mercenary bodyguard unit.

-A corp controlling an area of null-sec could allow traders, manufacturers, and miners to inhabit their empire, paying a tax on everything they do. This would emulate a real society, where citizens pay taxes in return for protection (and other services irrelevant here).

The only thing preventing things like this currently is the lack of accountability and insurance. If players could be assured that their deals with others would be honored, interaction/diplomacy would increase dramatically.
 

The only thing preventing things like this currently is the lack of accountability and insurance. If players could be assured that their deals with others would be honored, interaction/diplomacy would increase dramatically.


Just like in the real world, a life worth living (a character in a game worth playing) need some framework.

So I absolutely agree with you. The trick is to make this framework in a way that is not too narrow, not too complex, not too hard to code/run on servers but still powerful.

Thinking of frameworks, be it game rules or rules for financial markets in real life (that's quite similar, really!) is very difficult, but absolutely necessary to have 'fun' (at living/playing).
 
Nils posted:
Complaining about EVE PVP in this way is like complaining in Civilisation that your 1 unit doesn stand a chance against the 5 units of the enemy.

I haven't read all the comments, only some. I noticed this quote in particular though and felt that it deserved an answer.

There is an inherent problem with this kind of PvP, and I'm pretty sure that that's what Tobold is trying to say. It's a GAME. That's the bottom line really, but I will expand upon that. It's also a game that you pay to play. When the peasants, which aren't a part of the ruling few get ganked over and over again WHATEVER THE REASON they will just stop playing.

In ANY game that's not a healthy way to uphold subscriber numbers. Either they will be dwindling, or like in EVE's case (AFAIK) just remain at a very low level.

If you want to build a large player base you need to have some pretty decent restrictions on the PvP options because there are just a few people that can handle being ganked repetedly in a GAME with SUBSCRIPTIONS. They are there for fun, and that isn't fun however you twist it.

In some games, like WAR for instance, there are set factions that are at war. If one of those factions become too strong the other faction will just become weaker and weaker because people don't like to lose all the time.

You can bash Tobold all you like but it will not change the fact that EVE is a game that only a small number of people enjoy playing.
 
Tobold,

The part of your analogy that fails is that EvE is a territory game. I wrote on my own blog a while back that "Sandbox" is a bad term.

A better term is "Dominance" because EVE is all about territory control.

Yes, you got killed when entering Null sec. However, did it ever occur to you that you might have been trespassing?

You entered PLAYER OWNED space and then are surprised when those players (whom you didn't ask) don't want you there?

When you fight a WAR, you setup Blockades. You ran into a Blockade.

When you fight a WAR, you use reconnaissance to learn WHERE the enemy is at before committing resources or forces.

It's a frame of mind thing, Tobold. You went into null sec as-if you had a right to go into that space. You didn't. It's not yours. It's owned by another group of players.

As such, what happens in that space is important to them. They don't want you ratting, mining or possibly even traveling through that region without permission.

What if you were an enemy corp on an Alt running a scouting mission?
 
It's impossible not to notice how the EVE posts attract a *lot* more comments than other posts. Does this mean that EVE players are overrepresented (in comparison to real-world player metrics) among Tobold's readers?

It is also impossible to miss, like Nils pointed out earlier, that many of the posts are well-thought-through and carefully worded. Civilised, even!

If so, why is that? Are EVE players older? More... prone to debate? More defensive of their (relatively) tiny turf?

Like for so many others, EVE is the game I'd love to want to play. Or want to love to play, if that's different.

Anyway, kudos to all the civilised EVE-ers. You may be ganking bullies the lot of you, but you hide it pretty damn well here!
 
@Tobold

I think Sarah said it best. It seems you did little to no preparation for your trip except for preparing for failure. Try talking to locals in advance. Use the map and avoid 0.0 border systems with large populations. Do some social engineering.

I personally flew out to 0.0 with a T1 frigate and set up there within the past month. Granted I have been playing for a while and I do have good skills but none of them were responsible for my survival. It was all a matter of my negotiations with locals.

If you are interested in giving 0.0 a try contact me in game and I can help you get started. Check out Stain. Its a great region to get your feet wet in 0.0. Also try joining the 'HUB514' channel in game. There are a group of players in there from Stain dedicated to getting young pilots set up in 0.0 without being in an alliance and they are entirely NRDS(ask questions first, shoot second).

@Teut

"If Eve would allow traders to own a sector purely with money players would love it. Or with skill, diplomacy or war. "

You can. Its called hire mercs to protect your space or rent space from an existing space holding alliance. Most alliances actually are a mix of PVP and non-PVP players. Often members run pvp with one character and have others to make money with within the territory their main is protecting.

Please people stop expecting that there needs to be a button in the game labelled whatever you want to do. Try thinking outside the box. If you want to live in 0.0 without pvp then team up with another group who wants pvp and build off of each other's strengths.

This does not require a game mechanic. It only requires some (not really) original thinking and effort.
 
@Tobold

One other thought. If I remember right You are living in Amarr space. Based on that I'm guessing the 0.0 border system you entered was HED-GP. This system is a major entrance for most of the southern regions and it is the most notoriously gate camped system in the galaxy. Try going through somewhere quieter like Doril and you'll have a much better chance of success.
 
@Oscar

Thanks for noticing. To answer your question, in my experience the average age of EvE players is relatively high. Most of the people I have flown with have been married, had children and a significant portion seem to work in fairly high end careers especially IT. The youngest player I have ever known in EvE was 16 and he is a pretty bright guy. I rarely run into players under 20 or even 25.

As the community of EvE is smaller I think we do get a little more defensive about it (even when it's not really being attacked). Speaking for myself I have dabbled in a number of MMOs (although EvE was where I popped my cherry) and none of them have ever inspired the same feelings of awe, wonder, or of endless possibilities as EvE. I think we all feel like we have something great and we like to clarify it and enlighten others in hopes of bringing them in. As we can all see though this is not an easy task.
 

If so, why is that? Are EVE players older? More... prone to debate? More defensive of their (relatively) tiny turf?


Many players who often argue in favour of EVE do not actually currently play it. I am certainly one of them.

The reason why I comment a lot on this post is this:
EVE is some kind of flawed utopia. In the midst of WoW clones there is one game that truly tries to be a sandbox. With territory control, one server, player generated content and much much more. All done by some rather small company.
It is a prove of concept.

Everybody who played Frontier Elite some decades ago always wanted to play such an MMO. It is a dream! And this post of Tobold targets a part of that dream that is very precious to me.

Without unfair PvP you will never get a credible, immersive simulation. If all PvP is normed and regulated and balanced you get the WoW arenas. Fun for some time but ultimately boring and meaningless.

Strategy is about shaping a war into battles that each are unfair to your advantage. If you take this part away from a MMO you get 'just a game'.

I am not here just to comment on a game. MMOs are not just a game to me. MMOs resemble real life much more than most people realize. Inventing rules for an MMO is very similar to inventing rules that regulate financial markets for example.
Playing a MMO, takeing over the role of a character in the game world is like having your dreams become reality.

We are not there yet, maybe we will not get there in my life time, but I envision a future where humans are able to delegate most work to machines and concentrate on the fun parts of life. MMOs are part of that future.
 
This has nothing to do with bullies, just people protecting their piece of space.

You might think you're just a frig, why not let me go ? Well you could be a spy, or you could cyno in capitals. So if you're not on the blue list you get destroyed, it's as simple as that.
 
Never been interested in EVE. Most gamers paying attention saw the problems with it in the begining. Nothing to see here, move on.
 
If Beowulf is right and you tried to get in through HED-GP, there is a good chance you didn't get killed by the sovereign alliance, AAA, but by pirates, probably Brick Squad, who camp the gate regularly and are only sporadically cleared by AAA.

It is a dangerous entry point either way.

One problem with the way space is distributed is that CCP apparently decided to create a limited number of chokepoints between lowsec and nullsec, so it is much more difficult to get into 0.0 than it is to fly around inside it, as it is mostly empty.

Also, since you always show up in local chat, it is harder than it might be to slip in and live in a mostly vacant system without rousing alarm. It would be better if there were a smoother declining population and increasing risk gradient between high and lowsec.

In general, though, you need to try joining a 0.0 alliance and carebearing in the rear. It is the best of both worlds!
 
From all these comments, it seems to me that Eve lacks at least one of these:
- possibility for beginners to wander around randomly before being sophisticated enough to really knowing much about the game
- signals explaining the risks of entering a specific nullsec zone

These can generally be found in real life (some of the posters seem to believe that MMOs should be similar to real life), especially at risky places such as the Korean border.
 
I am not here just to comment on a game. MMOs are not just a game to me.

Wonderfully put, Nils! "Relax, it's only a game", that must be the one of the most common discussion-stoppers out there in our part of the internets. It often fails to stop any discussions, of course... but:

You're absolutely right. It is *not* only a game. For many of us it's a serious hobby. It's a pastime we spend endless numbers of ours doing.

Like any hobby, I think we should do it because we like it, because we derive enjoyment from it. But that does not mean that we should expect to be having fun all the time, nor does it mean that we should never get emotionally involved.

Thanks for putting it so succinctly!
 
This has nothing to do with bullies, just people protecting their piece of space.

Sorry, but protecting their piece of playground space is just what the bully does as well.

If you count all borders on planet Earth, and then see on how many of them you are likely to be shot on sight, you will notice that there are very few, and everybody else considers the countries that do that sort of shooting to be rogue nations, like North Korea which was frequently mentioned. The overwhelming majority of nations will first ask you for your papers, and then kick you out with the minimum amount of violence necessary.

And no, I didn't enter HED-GP, I've left Amarr space long ago to join the space where my corp is.
 
"If so, why is that? Are EVE players older? More... prone to debate? More defensive of their (relatively) tiny turf?"

Yes, the average age of the EVE player is 35. The majority are university educated and are professional peope, mainly in the IT feild but with quite a few others thrown in the mix as well.

Wit regard to J.DanderouS's comment about avenues that CCP are exploring with regard to diplomacy mechanics. Its very difficult to encode in a game something like diplomacy, trust, and honour without it being open to being gamed. Once you reduce something to a number and have a finite number of things which can affect that number people will figure out how to manipulate it to their advantage. No such system is watertight and I feel that the 'gentleman's agreement' method of diplomacy extant in EVE at the moment is probably the best we're going to get. It allows for nuances which a purely mechanical system wouldn't and is more flexibile in the options available to the various groups of players in their relationships with each other.

I completely agree with whoever said the UI is awful though, that is probably the greatest of EVE's current failings. Not enough to make me quit though :)
 
If you count all borders on planet Earth, and then see on how many of them you are likely to be shot on sight, you will notice that there are very few, and everybody else considers the countries that do that sort of shooting to be rogue nations, like North Korea which was frequently mentioned

But we're not on Earth in EVE. We're in new eden. A very cold harsh, dog eat dog universe ! That's where the roleplay comes in ;). That's the most basic thing you have to remember about Eve. Even if you don't pvp as in ship vs. ship.
 
Tobold, posts like this just make you look like a troll. Seriously, everyone already knows EvE has the most extreme learning curve of any MMO.

If you are not willing to get on vent and talk with an experienced player or corp who can give you an idea of what is possible, please just stay away and go back to sports PvP.

And as for the troll post, weak. But it's nice to see the 20-odd posts from EvE players trying to edumackate your lazy butt.

If you honestly wish to give the game a fair shake, join E-Uni corp and fly some training and PvP ops with their fleets, then post about that.

Cheers.
 
Defconquell (and several others),

I think Tobold has made it very clear on many different occasions that he posts about his own feelings and his own topics. He's not playing EVE to give it "a fair shake", he's playing it to see if he likes it. From that perspective the "shake" he has given it is way more than "fair".

Tobold is not under any obligation to any of us to test games, nor is he bound to post about them "objectively". Instead, he writes about whatever MMO he happens to be playing. To him, and millions of others, WoW has been the best game of the last six years. Therefore, we have seen more comments about WoW than anything else here.

Some of the things he posts (I hope you excuse me for being blunt, Tobold!) are not very well thought through, and certainly not argued from all perspectives (see above). He also gets quite defensive in many arguments in the comments from time to time, which I suppose shows that he is a human being.

But it is distinctly unfair to call him a troll, or to claim that he is somehow not entitled to post certain views. And as I said: he has absolutely no obligation to like anything. You think EVE is a stunning game, the beater of all others. Super. Tobold appears to want to think the same, but he seems to come up short. Too bad. But a troll? Come on.

Having said this, I just want to reiterate what I said above: I believe most commenters here are very fair about all this and certainly do respect Tobold's views (more than he realises himself, many times). The insightful comments and interesting debate is one of the main reason I (and I believe many of you all) keep coming back here.
 
Seems like some are trying to say that there is no early game mechanics in eve that allow for the younger players to engage in pvp. Unlike in WoW or other level based MMO's, a group of newer pilots can engage and destroy a single or group of older pilots. It would be mostly impossible for 10 level 1 players to kill 1 level 15 player in WoW for example. There is plenty of "starting" content in eve, but you have to be the one to go find it, there are no big signs pointing the way.

Tobold's blog asks if camping gates in 0.0 is really the end game, if being the bigger bully is what people strive for in eve. Of course it isn't, but as your skills grow in-game, as you get better, fly more ships and learn to survive you begin to gather friends and form some kind of direction, be it mining, PvP or otherwise. Doing these things in a social structure makes life more interesting and also makes Eve or any MMO game interesting. Those pilots could have been camping that gate to deter numerous small gangs from infringing on their space, protecting their miners, or just hoping for another similar sized gang to engage in a ~goodfight~ with.

In eve I mostly operate in smaller 5-20 man gangs who move quickly across 0.0 roaming for targets or seeking engagements, often running from larger fleets or engaging in skirmish warfare along the borders of 0.0 empires. To me this is the endgame I am looking for. Are there times where we play the part of the bully engaging forces much smaller, or under gunned than ours? Of course, but that's not what drives us to continue to play. We enjoy the even fights we get, or even more the ones where we are outnumbered and still manage to survive or come out on top through pilot skill, awareness of the battlefield and understanding of the current tactical situation.

To put this to bed, flying a ship to the border of a 0.0 entry point, is analogous to walking up to any border station with a gun in your hands. Even more so with this weapon you are seeking to pillage the spoils of that country and return with it to your country. Contrary to Tobold's recent response, there aren't any countries who would take kindly to that, fringe or not. That's why border's have patrols, armed guards, fences, etc. Not to mention standing armies to prevent invasion.

In the real world you contact people before you enter their country or denied access unless your country and them have very close relations, think a US citizen can get into even the UK for an extended period of time without a Visa? Even crossing into Mexico or Canada from the US requires proof of citizenship and even then you are only granted a visitors Visa, if you are found without when then you are expelled. Podding in eve is just like that, you have been deported.

TL;DR Tobold's blog post question is based on a flawed concept, that bullying is the "end-game" in eve. For some it might be, but there is such a variety of other directions to move in eve, other tricks to try, that simply put, there is no traditional end-game. I think he just likes calling eve fans bullies and waiting for the tears, making him, unwittingly, just like the majority of the very eve players he dislikes. =)
 
So I guess what we have learned here is that sandbox games are for sociopaths who chaff against the rules they are forced to follow in their own lives and like to have fun and get away by violating rules they don't want to follow.

It's escapism. For a certain crowd, but it's still just escapism.
 
About the kind of player EVE attracts:
Have a look at this.

Chaos Theorie,
Sensitive dependence on initial conditions,
butterfly effect,
ermegent behaviour of systems

We can probably agree that 50% of WoW players wouldn't even understand that movie or the references it makes.

The movie is, of course exaggeratory, as should be expected. Most interestingly, however, they describe the experience of a 'lone wolf' as they call you :)
 
It's escapism. For a certain crowd, but it's still just escapism.

Of course it is! What else is a hobby? You like to watch soccer? Escapism! You cannot think about work while you do it!

You like to have sex? Escapism!! You cannot do anything else while having sex (well most people can't)!

You are a successful author of a series of mathematical books and became rich writing them? ESCAPISM as extreme as it probably gets.
 
Nils, maybe you try to play this game a bit more. :)
 
I think I'm rather successful at this game, Tobold.
Perhaps too successful, as I have so much time to comment your blog :)

You should know that right now I earn quite a lot of the real world currency for doing some work some people wouldn't want to do at a place many people wouldn't want to live - even though it is in central Europe. (I keep telling this to myself :).
 
Oscar, you miss the point. If Tobold is your boyfriend than I can forgive your comments, but let's assume you don't know him personally.

Tobold is one of the most popular WoW bloggers, with an audience certainly in tens of thousands, if not hundreds. If he is going to "test" a game and post about it, he has a certain standard of intelligence and interaction to rise to. He does his homework with WoW, but in EvE he can just let go of the handlebars? Weak.

The trolling label is meant to illustrate a few possibilities:

1. He is really unaware that he might need to get permission before entering a corp's sovereign nulsec territory. I find that hard to believe.

2. He is too lazy to at the very minimum equip a cloak, so at least he isn't instagibbed while getting their hackles up in local.

3. He is too lazy to talk to people to find out what nulsec corp might welcome a visit from a new player. There are many EvE bloggers who could make such an introduction.

4. He really is trolling in an attempt to demonstrate how many fanatic EvE players will post on his blog. Attempt succeeded.

And I don't think EvE is better than all other games. There are a lot of things I wish EvE did better, but if you are going to level criticism, don't just phone it in.
 
Defconquell,

I thought I might have missed the point. But reading your reply, I'm now sure I didn't.
 
what Sara Pickell's first post said.
 
@Nils: "In EVE the gap certainly feels fixed and unbridgeable right now. It is hard to believe that the guy in the massive dreadnought is not vertically advenced further than you in your frigate. And it is even harder to believe that the gap to somebody who played for 4 years and trained constantly is actually not fixed and unbridgeable."

Perception, particularly perception coloured by the player-training conducted by the majority class-alt based MMOs, is not reality.

"A class-approach in combination with a change to the skill system (progress with played time, diminishing returns per day/week) could help here."

Better player education would suffice, rather than trying to rip out one of EVE's USPs and turn it back to the more conventional mechanics you seem to desire.

There already is a "class" system in EVE, it's call "board ship" and thankfully it provides a superset of the class-alt mechanics necessary for balance in other games.

EVE's secondary character mechanics (the alt slots) go far to weaken what impact of social responsibility/attachment there is in-game. Forcing secondary characters to differentiate character functions because it would make players from other MMOs feel more comfortable, would just make it worse.
 
@Mandrill: "No such system is watertight and I feel that the 'gentleman's agreement' method of diplomacy extant in EVE at the moment is probably the best we're going to get."

The provision of "treaties" was discussed during Dominion - a way of mechanising the blue/not blue process of access to particular areas for organisations renting access to space from another alliance. It didn't happen, and hasn't appeared in Tyrannis, but I think there's hope for it in the future, perhaps after the Tyrannis contact list changes are complete.

It would certainly have made CVAs activities easier. ;)
 
@MagrothJ: "In ANY game that's not a healthy way to uphold subscriber numbers. Either they will be dwindling, or like in EVE's case (AFAIK) just remain at a very low level."

305,000 (ish) subscribed accounts as of Jan 2010, I think. Roughly the population of Iceland.

"If you want to build a large player base you need to have some pretty decent restrictions on the PvP options because there are just a few people that can handle being ganked repetedly in a GAME with SUBSCRIPTIONS. They are there for fun, and that isn't fun however you twist it."

EVE's design includes features that touch on many of your points.

It does indeed have substantial restrictions on PvP options - or at least it has large core areas of space where the consequences of random PvP is sufficiently severe that only lolsociopaths engage in it or for the less pathologically comedic the financial benefits have to be substantial (aka suicide ganking).

Most of EVE's population lives there. It's called "hi-sec", it's "safer space". Ganking still happens, but it's an exception that provides thrills-and-chills rather than the daily rule. It's probably fair to describe the majority of EVE's player population as risk-averse, that's why hi-sec exists, or rather because CCP built it that way, people were prepared to come and stay.

Tobold's short trip went out of highly populated hi-sec into low-sec (much smaller consequences for randomganking, and players receive a pop-up "There be dragons!" warning) where there is a very low population indeed. Players tend to behave aggressively there, often purely for fun, sometimes as part of organised piratical endeavours (yaars, ransoms, etc).

He then deliberately entered null-sec, a substantial "halo" of interconnected regions around the star cluster's densely populated hi-sec core. In null-sec there are no persistent consequences for engaging in combat (other the combat-risk to your own ship and pod). These null-sec areas are controlled, patrolled, publically claimed and used by other groups of players to earn money to pay for ships to fight other players for control of their regions. It is very much in their interest to maintain control over their space. Several mechanics for spatial control only operate in null-sec. It is a dangerous place to be.

EVE, at it's core, is an economic simulation powered in part by demand caused by from ship losses in null-sec. All that war out in the edges of the universe are what drives the industrial machines in Empire, and gives the risk averse people things to do and make. :)

"In some games, like WAR for instance, there are set factions that are at war. If one of those factions become too strong the other faction will just become weaker and weaker because people don't like to lose all the time."

EVE's null-sec wars has very many player-operated factions, and game mechanics such that control by a monolithic organisation over all null-sec is functionally impractical, as well as politically very unlikely.

"You can bash Tobold all you like but it will not change the fact that EVE is a game that only a small number of people enjoy playing."

The number of players is less than the 300k headline, since multi-boxing in EVE is quite common, but the subscription numbers are in the "not doing too bad, really" second tier of MMO subscription numbers along with most things that aren't operated by Blizzard. ;)

And astonishingly they have been increasing reasonably steadily, since the game's original quiet launch seven years ago. What goes up will come down, but they've been doing something right (so far).

We're not bashing (are we?), we're disagreeing, and providing helpful context. I hope. :)
 
I would like to offer an opinion that seems to be a bit under represented here.
I am an EVE newb. Like Tobold I have played WoW for many years and
enjoyed the hell out of it. I have been playing EVE for a couple of weeks now and I can say that while EVE is interesting, it is not exciting yet. The "yet" part is important I think and I am prepared to be patient and continue the learning process. I have not yet been to low or null sec space but one suggestion I read here that I
will pursue is the use of an alt toon to go and "see what happens" at essentially no cost. To address Tobold's primary question about whether gate camping would
be "fun", it does not sound like my kind of fun. However, I understand the points about defending established territories as well as the fact that there are some folks who think that gate camping and ganking noobs is fun. More power to them. I have not joined a corp yet but I would guess that guard duty is a job that has to get done and is passed around depending on who is online rather than people just sitting around waiting for someone to jump in because that is their reason for playing.
This brings me to what I like about EVE. AFK play is a functional approach to the game. I can take my wreathe out to the asteroids and let it mine for 90 minutes while I watch tv or go play in bg's in WoW. The training process is constant so it is always in the background. WoW is a constant attention whore
that punishes AFK play fairly quickly and I like that change of philosophy.
I think what Tobold is looking for is where EVE has critical flaws. New player education is really poor. Gate camping is not my kind of fun but I have only a
vague idea of where else to look for fun things to do and how to progress toward them. I learned a boatload of stuff just from reading the comments on this thread. I learned that there is something called w-space and I should google it more to find out what it is and how I can do it. I would guess that Tobold will find the industrial side of the game more interesting than the pvp side until he finds his own way of participating. The availability of in-game guidance versus out-game
information is where WoW excels. WoW keeps you moving along a path
through quests and progress is easily identifiable. EVE offers a blinding plethora of options which you have to sort by doing external homework rather than simply
playing. In my opinion this puts WoW's endgame experience at the front end of EVE where you have to figure out what you are supposed to do before you show up and try to do it. This will always be a confusing experience for new players who don't know where to get that information. We can all agree that the UI is a clunky clickfest and contributes to the negative new player experience.
I have had the luxury of watching the new player help chat for 2 weeks now and it's a constant stream of the same questions. This tells me that the teaching
process is not working well and needs much improvement.
 
So, defconquell, what you're saying is that now that Tobold has "an audience certainly in tens of thousands," as a result of posting his thoughts and feelings about the games he plays, he should now not post his thoughts and feelings, but instead restrict himself to posting reviews of a certain professional standard?

Sounds like a load of bollocks to me.
 
"The number of players is less than the 300k headline"

That number doesn't take game time cards and the plex system into account. It is merely a count of active subscriptions (ie paid monthly wiht a credit card)

Taking PLEX and gtc's into account its proabbly about right, if not on the conservative side,
 
Well, troll or no troll, Tobold – you have now gotten me so low that I have resubbed to EVE after being away since 2004!

And thanks for the tip about the "free stuff for newbs" container. I won't take it :)
 
“So, why aren't there any messages that pop up, when you are about the enter the space of another corp, that tells you that you will be shot on sight?”

Exactly. Right now with the standing system nobody bothers dealing with small corps let alone individual players. A lot of the standing system should be automated, for example “if Player A has paid X into the treasury within the last Y amount of time then set their standing to Z” (automatic visa payments) and all kinds of stuff like that. Having a pop-up when you enter (or are about to enter claimed space) explaining standing policies of the polity you’re entering is the sort of thing Eve needs.

“You can bash Tobold all you like but it will not change the fact that EVE is a game that only a small number of people enjoy playing.”
I think that over the full lifetime of Eve the number of months played will be about comparable to the number of months played in EQ I. EQ I and Eve are comparable in a lot of ways (great basic model that really struck a nerve with a lot of people but way too much catering to the hardcore, lots of *head desk* programming moments, and in need to *lots* of polish).

“It's impossible not to notice how the EVE posts attract a *lot* more comments than other posts. Does this mean that EVE players are overrepresented (in comparison to real-world player metrics) among Tobold's readers?”

I think it’s also the case that there are a lot of people (like me and nils) who really like the idea of sandbox gaming in the abstract but don’t actually play EVE so we have a lot of free time to write messages on blogs  I don’t play Eve for a lot of the same reasons that most WoW players wouldn’t play EQ I if it were the only big DIKUMUD-style game in town.

“The overwhelming majority of nations will first ask you for your papers, and then kick you out with the minimum amount of violence necessary.”
Checking to see if you have blue standing *is* checking your papers and killing you pretty much *is* the minimum amount of violence necessary to keep you from being a scout for potential enemies.

“Seems like some are trying to say that there is no early game mechanics in eve that allow for the younger players to engage in pvp.”
Tackling.

“So I guess what we have learned here is that sandbox games are for sociopaths who chaff against the rules they are forced to follow in their own lives and like to have fun and get away by violating rules they don't want to follow.”

Huh? What Tobold is talking about is people enforcing rules, (don’t enter our territory without a visa please) not violating them.
 
I have a feeling, from some of your earlier posts that you are in the north (Caldari space)?

If so, then it's fairly likely that you jumped into a 0.0 sector that is currently involved in all out war. (i.e SC vs NC)

As others are said, a lowly frigate is indeed a threat... and I myself have jumped a capital to a lowly frigate that sneaked it's way into enemy territory.

Is Eve tribal - yes. Most definitely.

Are we bullies - no.

The best context is to thing of 0.0 being like player factions being able to build their own Ogrimmar or Stormwind.. Would you expect as an alliance player, be able to enter any "ogrimmar"?

Null sec is dangerous, it is very much a feudal society, with coalitions coming and going, with standings being used to identify who you'd should trust, distrust, and hate.

If you don't want that, then live in high sec. It's a perfectly valid choice, with many people making their entire career based on doing this, focussing on being the best and richest.

Personally, I love the thrill of all out war, the fact that it is not fair, that it is evil, nasty, and vindictive; is for me a cathartic release.

To a point, it satisfies an primal need to belong, there is nothing like the sheer buzz from being on the winning side of a battle involving hundreds. The sense of being part of somthing that is doing something, other than repeating the same staged match each week.

My gut feeling is that eve is really proving to not be for you, but despite that, for a large number of us, (enough to make it profitable) it is exactly what we want.

And as others have said, a pvp capable character can be created in under a month (I did this to try out a pvp in faction warfare with a brand new alt).
 
@Mandrill: "That number doesn't take game time cards and the plex system into account. It is merely a count of active subscriptions (ie paid monthly wiht a credit card)"

QEN Q4 2010 uses both the phrase "active paying subscribers" and "active accounts". I would expect that includes accounts "paid for" via PLEX-application, but it's certainly possible that it doesn't, given the fuzziness of their terminology. :)

The headline figure is also 330,000. I need to keep up!
 
@Tobold: "I think the over hundred comments from "fanatic EVE players" are the proof that deep in their heart they are very well aware that this is a bullying game."

It could just be that a popular blogger has taken the time to engage with a game and its community, and those people are returning the courtesy by taking the time to engage with his issues. Couldn't it?

"Which other games features players putting up containers in newbie zones with a label of "free newbie stuff here", and a cloaked ship nearby to shoot down the newbies who fall for that scam?"

I thought we were discussing the delicacy of null-sec territorial control. Not hi-sec griefing of new players. I think doing that in starter systems is petitionable, been a while since I checked.
 
I thought we were discussing the delicacy of null-sec territorial control.

I think that is where the discussion went wrong. As you can see from the title of my post, I'm discussing bullying, aka ganking, aka asymetric PvP, or whatever you want to call the sort of PvP which doesn't have two sides with about equal strength battling each other. My point is that such asymetrical PvP is bad, because it is neither fun for the winner nor for the loser, and that it reveals a mean streak in the kind of player who likes that sort of ganking.

Your point is that EVE *forces* you to gank other players, because ganking is necessary for "the delicacy of null-sec territorial control". I don't contest that. But I say that a game which not only allows but actually encourages or even enforces ganking is bad and evil, because ganking itself is bad and evil.
 
"Your point is that EVE *forces* you to gank other players, because ganking is necessary for "the delicacy of null-sec territorial control". I don't contest that. But I say that a game which not only allows but actually encourages or even enforces ganking is bad and evil, because ganking itself is bad and evil."

I'd question whether it can really be called ganking if the person warned you ahead of time that this is the way things work and they will be forced to blow you up if you break the rules. You admitted to knowing how things work, so you were well aware you were breaking the rules of the system.

It is quite humorous though that law enforcement is seen as 'evil' and 'bad'.

In any case I have loved reading through each and every response to this thread, it is great to see such well thought out and clear posts from the EVE community, I don't play the game but it seems many of you would be great clan-mates.
 
is bad and evil

Yep it is. Once again, New Eden is a cold harsh universe.
 
For the curious, one can view eve's subscription history at http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/150k-1m.png . It's a niche game, but it has been adding subscriptions steadily since it came out and the player base is extremely loyal.

As for being shot in 0.0, I'm obligated to say that even suggesting somebody is good or bad for doing so indicates you have missed the point entirely. I'd tend to suggest that you take some time to find out how 0.0 works and what both winning and losing a real battle are like, but it's pretty clear this isn't the game for you.

As for me? Today I was part of an awesome fight against a group of more than a hundred skilled enemy players. Because I'm a 0.0 dweller, and that's what we live for.
 
Would just like to point out, that when you enter a low sec or 0.0 system/region you *DO* get a warning explaining that Concord are not able to help you if you do get attacked by other players... Of course, you *CAN* also disable that warning as well.
 
"As you can see from the title of my post, I'm discussing bullying, aka ganking, ..."

I think the reason here that so many people rail against you here, is that you use the term 'bullying' a little too loosely.
The word as I see it defined is more of an action of browbeating, or perhaps causing fear in someone for the pleasure of seeing them scared, and feeling powerful because of it. Bullying does not even need real power behind it a lot of the time, merely the threat of it.
What I think you experienced here, was not bullying, but you ventured into someones area that they feel was theirs, and they defended their patch against what they perceived as gun bearing intruders, and exercised whatever power they had to do it, be it having the bigger guns.

"...aka asymetric PvP, or whatever you want to call the sort of PvP which doesn't have two sides with about equal strength battling each other."

This is what it really is. I consider EVE to be a simulation of a territory without a government. A wild-west type frontier in space. The people with the most guns, or maybe at the root of it, the most money to buy the biggest guns controls that territory. The person who had more guns than you did controlled that territory by ejecting you from it, violently.

"My point is that such asymetrical PvP is bad, because it is neither fun for the winner nor for the loser, and that it reveals a mean streak in the kind of player who likes that sort of ganking."

While I agree that it was very likely you didn't have fun, I don't think you should presume that they didn't. Some gatecamps can be very fruitful, yielding dozens or more of victims in an hour, and some people just love causing chaos, explosions, and defending their territory. And besides, even if there was no victims/explosions to be had there is still fun to be had in the comaraderie in hanging out with your corpmates. EVE online is much more about building relationships with other players than possibly any other MMO. You quite possibly need a corp or gang to do almost anything of any substance in the game.
It is only a matter of diplomacy and joining the right corp before you could be on the other side of that gatecamp shooting people, or be in a gang big enough to take down that gatecamp.

I also disagree that asymmetrical PvP is "bad" as well, but I believe there has been enough comments before mine to cover that side of it.
 
Apparently EVE players think that if a US border patrol accidentally steps over the border, the Mexicans should shoot them. Fortunately the real world doesn't work like that.

Currently there is a war on between the Southern and Northern coalitions that involves something like 20,000-25,000 players.

In real world terms, you aren't talking about crossing a border in 2010, you're talking about crossing a border in 1943.
 
loved this post!!
 
You just found out why IRL space requires treaties to keep it neutral: Capitalism.

You were killed because in EvE, laissez-faire capitalism isn't an ideal, it's the rule.

Real capitalism is brutal, ain't it? It's the reason why every civilized country tries to enact some set of regulations to keep control of it, else you end up with corporations that are extremely powerful controlling not only abstract markets, but exerting real power, be it political, economic, or even militaristic.

I don't play EvE because I prefer my games to be games and not more work. But with your complaint all I see is a complaint against pure Capitalism.

Which is indeed dangerous, both in EvE and the real world.

/rant
 
To be honest - I'd have to agree with Tobold's comment regards this instance of "PvP"

...I'd say he met some in-game space henchmen - as that's probably all they are if they can hang around all night waiting for odd ship to appear.

....but in real life they are probably supermarket trolley attendants with a chip on their shoulders and something to prove on-line.
 
wow talk about people misunderstanding the logistics behind eve pvp, i have seen a FRIGATE take out 2 cruisers, this shouldnt have happened right, its not a fair fight... but guess what it did, and it happens every day....

Just because u got gank'd doesnt mean that its the norm... i fly through nullsec with my transport 2-3 times a week and have been quite safe while doing it it comes down to learning from mistakes...

Tobold, you really seem to be stuck on the, i'm going to ignore everything and try to play this like any other generic mmorpg... its not its complex and requires for you to make mistakes and learn for it....

as for getting gank'd? thats not eve specific even in wow i've gotten ganked in certain areas by overwhelming odds...
 
I just wrote 4 paragraphs of well written thoughts, and your blog ate it. :(

I guess one of the highlights, not so great out of context was:

If a guy in the street calls you an asshole, and you call him an asshole back, would you expect him to suddenly be open to a discussion of why he thinks you are an asshole?
 
I played EVE some myself. The problem is that the people don't act like rulers of space.

People are using law enforcement analogies. That's fine. They aren't doing that though-they aren't challenging incoming ships, or hailing them, or demanding bribes to go through safety. All they do is blow people up they don't know, even ones that can't be a threat.

They may be nice about it after, but it makes the game very dry. Why shoot a freighter or industrial travelling into lowsec? Maybe he would be okay to set up a trade route for you. Rather than blow up tobold, why not hold him scrambled, warn him about restricted space, and offer him a corp invite if he is new?

Game currently though is just gank or escaping ganking, unless you like very dull PvE.
 
I wonder of Paris Hilton felt a similar sense of outrage last week.

She got "scrambled" and "ganked". Then "podded".

Scrambled = detained and questioned for 6 hours by border authorities from whom she could not escape.
Ganked = turned away at financial cost (if she was there on business)
Podded = forcibly returned home.

Border guards do behave like this. It's not bullying if it's legitimate defense of the realm. And it's equivalent, in effect, as although in eve we talk about killing and podding, really it's commercial loss and forced eviction, because in eve we are immortal.

-JV
 
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