Tobold's Blog
Thursday, May 06, 2010
A discussion of fairness

So this guy builds up his virtual character since 2003, and then uses the power he acquired over all this time to attack and gank players of another group, just because he can, and because he doesn't like them and the way they play. So the other players point out that the fight is uneven, they don't have 7 years of training and all the attack possibilities that the veteran has, and they start shouting that this is "unfair". Are they right, was that attack unfair? Or was that fight fair, because the other players have the same starting conditions, and anyway could get up to nearly the veterans level in half a year, if they work hard enough?

If you are an EVE player and just spontaneously cried out "of course that is fair", you are probably going to change your mind in a second, when I explain what I am talking about.

I'm talking about me creating the virtual character of Tobold, the Blogger, back in 2003, and having since then frequently attacked PvP on my blog. More specifically I attacked EVE PvP and the PvP fans this week. In response I got several comments that I wasn't giving the game "a fair shake", and complained about my journalistic "standards". Not so fun being on the receiving end of the ganking, is it? Well, what did you expect? I always hated PvP, always posted that I hated PvP, especially the asymmetric kind, and that is something that isn't likely to change. You could say that my reporting on EVE PvP is exactly as predictable and "fair and balanced" as a Fox News report on president Obama. See, journalistic standards, there they are!

But seriously: Many of the comments I got also contained disparaging remarks about World of Warcraft, probably written under the mistaken assumption that it somehow would hurt me if you insulted WoW. It doesn't, but it serves to demonstrate that EVE players aren't shy to say negative things about other games they don't like. Why should I not have the right to say negative things about the parts of a game that I don't like? Just because, and I quote: "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."? I feel strongly negative about PvP, and when I write about EVE PvP my remarks will always be strongly negative. I'd say I easily reached the standard of intelligence demanded, it is just that people on the internet tend to think that everyone not agreeing with them is a moron. And I also met quite high standards of interaction, playing EVE for three weeks now, which is more than most professional reviewers give a game, not to mention Ed Zitron. If you think, as many of you said, that I don't "understand" EVE PVP, you are mistaken, I fully understand it, I just hate it. What the critics are effectively saying is that I should only write about aspects of EVE that I like. Sorry, reviewing games doesn't work that way. Bloggers tend to be passionate and thus often biased about something, and you don't get to complain if you end up at the wrong end of that bias. Especially if you are defending a game in which treachery and underhand attacks are part of the game, and are often "played" outside the game itself on forums or other places, so you're basically still playing here.

Because, see, all of the "advice" the EVE fans gave me also applies to this situation: If you feel that my blog having a lot of readers gives me an unfair advantage in a battle of opinions, all you have to do is to open your own blog, work hard on it for 6 months, and you can have thousands of readers too. This blog is my territory, my nulsec, in which I staked out certain positions, which includes a strong anti-PvP bias. I will do everything to defend my position, I have all the weapons I need for that, and if that makes you feel unfairly ganked, well, life is harsh as you repeatedly told me. Maybe you shouldn't enter unfriendly nulsec in the first place, if the result is that you complain afterwards about unfairness! There certainly were enough warning signs posted at the gates.

Tobold's MMORPG Blog : Bitching about PvP since 2003
I guess your personal preferences don't sync up strongly with large parts of your audience. But I don't know if there is any solution, if your goal is to eliminate critical comments.
Tobold, I've been reading your blog long enough to know how you feel about PVP. I completely respect your last few posts and understand that you come to the review with a bias against PVP gameplay. I don't know why everyone is getting worked up.

By the way, I agree with you. I hate unbalanced PVP. I only enjoy PVP when it is fair, otherwise it is extremely stupid.
The goal is not to eliminate critical comments, but to establish my right to say what I want about any game.

And a large percentage of the people who came here to bully me out of saying negative things about EVE were in fact NOT part of my audience, but had never left a comment on my blog before, and probably never even read it. I'm pretty sure that a larger percentage of my audience is WoW players than EVE players, they just don't participate much in this discussion.
It seems like you approach PvP as a strategy game. And that's what PvP actually is in MMORPGs: It's a strategy game in the context of the MMORPG.

And no MMORPG is a good strategy game, because these games aren't built to be balanced and skill-focused. They're built to be reward chains with ego-tickling along pretty passageways. The mere fact that characters progress over the course of many years and this progression has little to do with player skill only compounds the issue.

So PvP in MMORPGs perhaps is fundamentally broken as a strategy game. That doesn't mean that it can't be fun, though. You need to approach it as "comparing time spent in-game and resources brought to bear", not as "strategizing to win in a contest of skill."
I posted about this in one of your earlier posts but it must have gotten missed in the huge thread, but at the time you had made a very similar statement about disparaging remarks about wow being made in an attempt to discourage you. At the time of that posting I scanned the thread for all references to the search term "wow" non-case sensitive and was unable to find any posts that had the clear intention of causing you discomfort by mocking and or making clearly negative comments about World of WarCraft.

So I will now re-pose the question in a slightly different way; when you are making this claim, is it based off the threads or is it based off of personal e-mails? If it is based off of personal e-mails and/or private messaging of some for then that clears up confusion on my part. However in the situation that you are referring to your post "Institutionalized bullying" posted on May 04, 2010 then I am unfortunately not looking at the thread deeply enough and would like an example if that is not too much trouble, one that is very clearly using malice in its content if that is also not a problem.

Apologies if my missing the disparaging comments was due to my only using the search term 'wow' and not perhaps 'world of warcraft'. Of course in my defense I have read every reply in each of your threads, though there is no guarantee that I did not accidentally gloss over the comments. Even still it would also seem that even if a comment or two could be found, that they are in the clear minority.
I am not sure if I qualify as a bully or not for commenting, though I have never commented here before. However I have read your blog prior to this recent series, and I do enjoy it when you discuss emergent behaviour in online games.

I am wondering though, aside from the occasional, lets say, overly zelous participant on both sides of this discussion, I though it has largely been fairly civil?
So I will now re-pose the question in a slightly different way; when you are making this claim, is it based off the threads or is it based off of personal e-mails?

A small part happened in a deleted comment section where two readers got into each other calling the other's game "retarded", which is a level of discussion I don't allow here.

But there were at least half dozen remarks saying "WoW is a ganking game" in various forms. And a couple of random remarks like "Go back to WoW, N00b", "This isn't WoW. Everything isn't handed to you on a silver platter.", "the lamefest RP world of WoW", "WoW is the easiest and most skilless game ever!", "Tobold the Ultimate Solo-Hero Carebear King of the Wowzorz ", etc., etc., etc.
So you think this about attacking and defending? I thought it is about discussion. This mindset does explain a Lot.
I am not sure if I qualify as a bully or not for commenting, though I have never commented here before. However I have read your blog prior to this recent series, and I do enjoy it when you discuss emergent behaviour in online games.

This is not about the people who simply disagree with my vision of EVE, and who like EVE PvP and defend it. I'm only calling out those "comment bullies" who are telling me that I'm "not fair", and "should go back to WoW", or are criticizing my "standards".

So you think this about attacking and defending? I thought it is about discussion. This mindset does explain a Lot.

I'm trying to explain my position to EVE players in a language they understand. Do I feel attacked if a horde of strangers descends on my blog to tell me that I am stupid, I don't understand EVE, I'm a clueless n00b, and that I should stop writing about EVE immediately and go back to WoW? Of course! But the attack is coming from them, and I am just holding my ground.

It is you who called me "stubborn" for holding onto my beliefs.
What about setting a limit of level range on free PVP?

Eg: With a limit of level range = 20
A player level 80 cannot kill players 60- or less, like 50 cannot kill 30-.
But the same players can duel if both sides accept the challenge.

I'm not talking about EVE only, but about MMORPGs in general...
I have played a game recently that when I was level 20 trying to make a quest, there were high levels players 50+ killing me and others lower levels in the place of the quest. That was so annoying and unfun for me, but for the killer there was an advantage of looting my items in case they dropped from my character.
Complementing my previous post. The idea of level range limit is not only to avoid fights against low levels newbies but, specially, to keep a high % of ballance between 2 players in a free PVP.
I can remember a while back a couple posts in which you bemoaned the lack of comments on a series of armchair game design/reflection posts you published. At the time I suggested that one of the possible reasons for the lack of discussion was that each post was a loose collection of thoughts appraising different aspects of MMOs and not the basis of an argument for any given position. People will argue over positions; not so much over taxonomies (unless your a biologist or philosopher...). That and your writing style at the time was far less cutting than the internet-standard of passive-aggressive snarkiness.

Not sure if any of that has changed in the interim - if you've staked out a position (or just better expressed a personal preference and your rationale) or taken on a different tone. What is for sure is you picked the right hornet's nest to poke. I couldn't believe the number of people that rose to the defense of EVE at the slightest hint of criticism. I wonder why the community is so defensive, and I posit that it reflects its insularity. Not exactly the best quality of a game that's hoping to bring in new players to replace those that will inevitably tire of it.

Not really on topic I know, but it just amazes me how each of your posts generated tens of thousands of words of response, sometimes in less than 24 hours. Incredible.
@Sean Boocock

You do have a point on what prompts engagement verses what does not. I know that most of the posts informational or analythical posts I write don't attract much interaction at all.

It is a lot easier to comment when you feel that you:
1) have a personal stake in the conversation
2) have a simple position you can assume on the issue discussed
and the one that actually gets me to start talking,
3) feel like you can actually contribute something interesting to the conversation


With the examples you pulled out in your other reply, I see what you are refering to now. You make a fair point.
Hey, as long as you admit you jumped into a pvp-centric game with the advance knowledge that you would hate it, and then spent a week talking about why you hate it, that's fine and completely your prerogative.

It does beg the question as to why you bothered, and also waiting a week to ask a pissed off fan base for help in enjoying the game you just spent a week bashing...doesn't make much sense to me.

I think I'm not alone in feeling disappointed that you chose to exercise your freedom of opinion in such a fashion. I had a lot of respect for your opinion in the past. Kinda like the loud and brash guy spilling beer all over the place at a sporting event - sure, as long as he isn't physically messing with you, it is his right to do yell out obscenities and act like an idiot in general. Still doesn't make me like it :P
Looking at those remarks again from your perspective I can see why they would be considered an attack (plus I am sure the ones you deleted were worse and the type I would have noticed), so I concede the point and thank you for the reply.
@Sean Boocock: I would say that EVE population has very active blogging community--won't be surprise in game where players generate content--which got pulled to this blog by its latest content.

Tobold's claims and observations more less irritates lot of EVE bloggers I would say. Not that we would not mind opposite or different view, but I think postings Tobold made so far hurt their sense of righteousness.

There has been already a cascade of blog posts between EVE blogs addressing this place. Not many were praising statements made about EVE here.
I can't imagine how much your masterpiece annoy the people who got used to being the "veteran" who does the ganking instead of the "noob".

I just laugh because I did exactly what you told: started my own blog, grinded audience and all that needed.

However your post is actually a counter-example to your point:
* you DO like unfair PvP and use it happily when you are on the ganker side
* the ONLY way to end ganking is to grind into veteran status
This is a blog. What you get here is the blogger's opinion.

If you expect anything different from a blog, you need to reassess your expectations, not the blogger.
Tobold, what you still are missing and what you kind of ignored over the last few weeks is: EVE is not fair, it was never supposed to be fair and not a single EVE player in his right mind would claim that EVE and especially EVE PvP is fair. If you get into a fair fight in EVE then your either at Alliance Tournament or you messed up.

To make this clear i'm going to quote CCP Wrangler, who is Senior Community Manager at CCP: "EVE is a dark and harsh world, you're supposed to feel a bit worried and slightly angry when you log in, you're not supposed to feel like you're logging in to a happy, happy, fluffy, fluffy lala land filled with fun and adventures, that's what hello kitty online is for."

And tbh...the discussion about your views on EVE are not about fairnes, they are about bias. You are biased, but you shouldn't feel butthurt when someone tells you that you are. Everyone is biased, it's human, not an accusation.
I've been reading your posts through Google Reader, and I agree completely with your thoughts on PVP.
I was not at all surprised with the comments about your EVE PVP posts.
It is a typical response to anyone who says anything negative about PVP. Take the game forums (any MMO forum), as soon as someone posts "I don't want/like PVP", they get attacked by the PVP crowd being called "carebear" etc - the whole thing becomes infantile.

I was part of STO beta and PVP always came up with the typically stupid argument "this game will fail without PVP", and it would then degenerate into name calling "carebear" vs "gankers".

I much prefer PVE. So what if it is computer controlled? I like the predictability of it - at least a PVE mob can't use exploits on me (or take advantage of better lag).

I'm happy to admit that I like to play WoW, but I avoid the PVP in WoW too, as I hate the way players act in PVP, especially Arena.
I have been reading your blog for a while now, with much interest. My perception has been that you have had a balanced perspective on what you comment about - you've said it before, if you post something anti-WoW the WoW "fanbois" call you biased and if you post something pro-WoW the WoW "haters" call you biased. Whereas it's merely (in my mind) commenting on the most successful MMO to date. And this is a useful discussion, to talk about what makes an MMO popular. After all, the more popular an MMO is, the more resources can be given to make it better (in theory).

A problem here is that EVE is a niche game, not a mass market game. I don't think that they're aiming to make it a mass market game, and that's ok. Much like in my small business my services are for a niche market that are interested in the services I offer as opposed to services that can be better served by another company with more resources but less of a targetted approach. I think your comments about most people preferring a more balanced playing field are probably accurate, but some people do prefer playing with or against the odds (and yes, angels do exist in EVE).

You are absolutely right and justified to hold your own ground with comments that you feel are out of line, it's your blog. I would say, however, that the comparisons of your excursion to 0.0 space as a month old character to a level 5 going to an opposite faction capital city are on target, and that your general categorization of eve players as gankers and evil-doers is, well, offensive. There is something to be said for players who thrive in the face of adversity, who help each other against the prevailing piracy and lawlessness. That, for me, is one of the more interesting aspects of eve, especially since I agree with you that the mining and missioning is not very interesting.

The game isn't for everyone, it's niche. That means people who love the game love the game, and get upset when they're told it's bad. Because it's not bad for them, and they don't want other people who haven't played the game yet to hear it's bad.

Last comment, you haven't touched on (that I've seen), the market system that is the most intricate of any that I've seen in an MMO.
If nothing else, comparing ganking to your leverage in owning a popular blog was an interesting one.

The thing I find interesting in this is just how fast people's opinions change as far as judging you go. You started posting about eve and a lot of people treated you one way, and you when you started to post things you disliked about the game there was a surge in opinion change, a lot from the same people.

It really felt like there were people out there who felt that if only you actually played the game your opinion would magically change to match theirs.

I will say that as a long time fan, you can come off a little defensive. Especially since it is hard to catch all the comments on all your posts, a reaction like this seems like an overreaction, even when it may very well not be. This is neither here nor there, just throwing out what I see.
Tobold, is this going to be the last blogging about blogging about EVE PVP post? I understand you blog about what's on your mind, and this is it, but it has been 3 days of this same discussion. I don't understand what is left to discuss.
It does beg the question as to why you bothered, and also waiting a week to ask a pissed off fan base for help in enjoying the game you just spent a week bashing...doesn't make much sense to me.

Actually if you look at it you'll find it was only 2 days. Should have been just 1 day, but then I felt I hadn't expressed myself right in the first post and tried to explain my position better on the second.

Tobold, what you still are missing and what you kind of ignored over the last few weeks is: EVE is not fair, it was never supposed to be fair and not a single EVE player in his right mind would claim that EVE and especially EVE PvP is fair. If you get into a fair fight in EVE then your either at Alliance Tournament or you messed up.

Why would you say I've been missing that or ignored it? Exactly that was my point, which I expressed several times in different forms, and for which I got so much flak: EVE PvE isn't fair, and I hate unfair PvP, and call those who like it "bullies" instead of "border guards".

I don't think there is actually any disagreement about the facts of EVE, I just have a different judgement of them.
I don't understand what is left to discuss.

Compare this to the comment above of

If nothing else, comparing ganking to your leverage in owning a popular blog was an interesting one.

Needless to say I agree with the latter.
Suppose you took your level 5 WoW character into Icecrown. You'd most certainly be insta-killed upon setting foot in the zone with no way to defend yourself. But something about that exchange doesn't seem particularly unfair. You went somewhere you weren't ready for and got killed for it. You've learned not to go there anymore until you're prepared. (this example isn't necessarily contrived: undead players start out right next to Scarlet Monastery and the Western Plaguelands. A new character could very easily find themselves in bad territory without much explanation.)

When you step into nulsec space in EVE, you're doing the exact same thing. You're walking into a zone with high level elites that will kill you immediately. The only real difference here is that EVE's elites are other players. I'm not sure why that should make a difference. EVE doesn't have much in the way of high level PvE mobs by design (the closest I'd say is accepting a mission level way too high for yourself). In EVE, the players form the endgame. The fact that you're killed by a PvP action instead of a PvE one is incidental, but the principle is the same: you shouldn't have been out there to begin with.

Yes, EVE is a harsher world than WoW. But there are some pretty clear signposts pointing out the riskier areas. Players who choose to ignore those signposts may find themselves in trouble. Because the enforcement comes from players instead of AI, it feels more personal; but that doesn't excuse the willful ignorance in the first place.

Anyway, you're certainly entitled to your opinion and I welcome your continued thoughts on the game.
Why would you say I've been missing that or ignored it? Exactly that was my point, which I expressed several times in different forms, and for which I got so much flak: EVE PvE isn't fair, and I hate unfair PvP, and call those who like it "bullies" instead of "border guards".

And there's your problem. You stated the obvious, some EVE players came along and corrected some of you mistakes, such as a newbie can't catch up, which isn't true and you got butthurt over it and started insulting the EVE playerbase by calling them "bullies".

That's the essence of what happened here at your blog, if you ignore the few haters and trollposts then you will see it too. But unfortunately you were never good at ignoring trolls, so you jumped to the wrong assumption that the trolls and haters opinions are the opinions of the EVE playerbase and here we are. EVE isn't fair, but it's ok for 90% of the players. The other 10% will ragequit sooner or later and don't count towards the target audience of CCP.
Hi Tobold. In among the Wow sux Eve rox comments there are also a lot of comments from genuinely committed players who took your posts at face value and tried to offer constructive comment. Following the series has allowed me to reevaluate my own opinion of Eve. I now realise that if you look at Eve just as a game it is a pretty boring and flawed experience. Nevertheless I love Eve and that is because Eve is more than a game. It is the most complete example of a virtual world that I know. A dark dangerous unfair place with few limits where you live or die by your wits. Eve is the closest simulacrum of the Hollywood wild west we have. And by the way those who say that Eve is only a pvp game have missed the point . I have seen statistics showing most Eve players never pvp. The truth is that Eve is whatever you make it to be.
I think the only response to this post is: Boom! headshot

-fantastic :)
"This is my Blog, my nullsec"

genuinely committed players who took your posts at face value and tried to offer constructive comment

A lot of that "constructive comment" came in one variation or another of "if you don't like it, then you didn't understand it". Why do people think that somebody cannot completely understand the nature of EVE and still dislike its harsh and unfair nature?

A dark dangerous unfair place with few limits where you live or die by your wits.

I never contested that. I'm just saying that after a hard day of work this isn't exactly where I would like to hang out and relax.

I think the only really contentious thought of mine here is that I question the moral compass of people who enjoy unfair fights in their favor. I *do* think there is a difference whether you are killed by an unthinking NPC or whether you are killed by a player, because the player actually had a moral choice to make.

Look at all "great" stories of EVE that are widely reported. They are all about treachery, assassination, bank fraud, betrayal, and scams. Several EVE players here said that half of the "offers" in Jita are scams. Is it not normal for a regular person to ask himself "who the heck plays such a game, and why are they behaving badly like this?"?
PVP is the only thing that keeps me playing online.

With that out of the way:
The recent comments of Eve-players have been overly rude.

Mature persons don't dish out more than they can take themselves. Many Eve-commenters did.

Of course they're intelligent grown-ups. But that's not enough for a fruitful discussion. Empathy is required as well. I'd say respect, but that's been abused too much by hip hoppers. This is about taking the other seriously and about seriously trying not to offend him.

I've learned long ago that the PVP-community has a different mindset. So I know that what I say will not please them. But I'll say it anyway :-)
Is it not normal for a regular person to ask himself "who the heck plays such a game, and why are they behaving badly like this?"?

No it's not normal. It's a freakin' game. Do you ask your opponent in a party of chess, why he wants to kill your pieces?

In EVE you can play the bad guy without hesitation and without hurting society or other human beings. It's a roleplaying game ffs.
If you dislike PVP so much, why are you even reviewing EVE? I mean, it's a MMO in which PVP is a major feature. It's a reason to play it.

I really don't understand why you started reviewing it, while you knew you were going to dislike it.

If I hate horror movies I won't review one and say it's bad, because I already knew it was gonna be bad because I don't like horror movies.
The question of morality in gaming is a really interesting topic that I would love to discuss further. I think the current debate is too caught up in the emotions around Eve to do the topic justice though. perhaps later.
"Bitching about PvP since 2003"

So what's next ? Reviewing First Person Shooters, even though you hate them ?
I think plague`s comment summs it up. Seems like pvp players think they are playing chess and that they can remove the opponents queen before the game starts, then win and cheer /dance. As several others coment, pvp players have a different mindset. Maby you should take Gevlons adcvice for once and do /ignore on them. Just a thougt.
I think PvP inside an MMO really teaches one thing; what society would be like without police. And I'm already quite sure that they both really suck.
Very nice analogy. Works for me.

@Dave: As I recall Tobold's been asking for help and suggestions to let him enjoy EVE since he started playing it. I could be wrong, but that's my recollection.
"Winning [is] the overriding moral imperative within the context of [a] game." -Me circa November 2009

Any debate on the morality of players in a game necessarily breaks down because of this. Winning is never kind to your opponent. Therefore part of the agreement upon entering the "magic circle" is that all sides will do whatever they deem necessary within the rules to win.

In the case of EVE fulfilling your overriding goals is the win state. If theirs is to hold a section of naught dot naught, then it is their overriding moral imperative while playing to do so.

To purposefully act in such a way as to promote your own loss while playing with a team is morally reprehensible. It would be a betrayal of all members of your team. This holds true in EVE, and in WoW, and in RISK. This is one major reason why games are considered to be part of a "magic circle", so that players may safely attempt things that are expedient for victory but might not be acceptable in real life without fear of censure.

"you are probably going to change your mind in a second, when I explain what I am talking about."

I didn't. But I could just as easily point out that it is silly to equate the implied moral context of a game with the moral context of reality.

I could also point out that you aren't ganking a small group. The EVE naught dot naught community includes the guys from SA. If I were too enumerate what they would do if you were even remotely close to ganking them it would probably come across as a threat which is not my intention here. I'm just trying to say, EVE may be a small game but it's not that small. Most responders here are more likely readers of yours that simply didn't like what you wrote than any sort of organized attempt to save nullsec from you.
You will always get the vehement fan boys in any genre or game really, even old ones there are people who will defend their game to the death.

PvP is inherently unbalanced, which is why allot of people dislike playing it. Now I've played quite a few PVP games in the past from the Zek ins EQ (and more recently the battlegrounds in eq2), Dark Ages of Camelot, Original UO gankfest days all the way up to EVE and WoW battleground.

And I've actually yet to play anything that is remotely balanced in MMO PVP, I just don't think it can be done in a mmo setting unless you give them all the same gear which, imo defeats all purpose of attaching pvp to a MMO in the first place (go play CSS or Call of duty instead). There are differing amounts of fun to be had from each game I've played across the years, but one thing rings true ...

When you are completely outclassed, out-geared or out-leveled PVP is neither fair nor fun to be on the receiving end. But the bullies love it, in fact they go to big lengths to make it unfair and seek to push misery on the weak just because they can. I've seen it in every game I've play in my almost 15 year MMO career.
It's quite ironic that the EVE fanboys get so emotional about you giving the game your opinion.

Especially since your weeks of attention to EVE probably have had more then a handful of new players to try it.

I didn't see them complaining when you were talking about the skill system or questing missions.

Guess you touched a raw nerve about nullsec :(
It doesn't work at all for me, the analogy falls at every hurdle.

I despair Tobold, I really do. You're sounding like a stuck record, presenting a very blinkered opinion of a system as complex as EVE PVP having only experienced the shallowest levels of said system. Your follow up posts have summarily been obsessed with only the shallowest comments levelled at your blog, perpetuating

PVP in EVE is about the consent to pit your resources against your enemies, to establish a plan of attack and putting yourself at risk in order to execute said plan while trying to keep yourself out of trouble. This forms the majority of small gang and alliance PVP encounters and is easier said than done.

Your "analysis" of PVP completely ignores this planning and resource-maneuvering aspect, the most important and time consuming aspect of the game. Your unfortunate foray into lowsec exhibited the plan "today I will fly towards bullets".

I used to think that you tried to offer an objective view of the systems that you encountered. So far I haven't even seen you encounter the system that you purport to be talking about, instead (as you have been more and more prone to over the years) you have focussed on baiting the immature commenters who don't make up the majority of your readership. It's getting old.

I'm Tobold's Corp's CEO.

First, Tobold, you *really* didn't like getting ganked eh ? Damn :P

Second, i will agree with people like J.Dangerous and others, when they said that if you don't like PvP, why did you put yourself in a situation where inevitably, you would get into a PvP fight ? It sounds like you were willingly putting yourself in a situation where your "biased" opinion of Eve would shine. Like so many others commented, why not get into the Trade/Market stuff ? I can totally train you on how to put Buy Orders, how/when/where, and where to sell them for highest profit. Use Eve-Central and Eve-Metrics, this is the part of Eve i think you would enjoy the most !

I also, on many occasions, suggested you join us on level 4 missions. Like so many others said, even a frigate is helpful on level 4 missions, because a Battleship has trouble killing frigates (yes, drones help there, but humans > drones, and it's more fun too). This would've showed you a complete, COMPLETE other game than the level 1 missions you've been doing, and even the Sisters of Eve Epic Arc. I've done SOE on my alt, as you remember i mentioned it last week, and.... it's completely not the same game i'm playing when i'm doing level 4's. SOE/L1 are like, orbit a ship, pewpew, next ship, pewpew, and so on. In level 4's, you have about 5-20 ships shooting at you, and you have to use your brain.

If Eve PvP isn't your cup of tea, you can totally never PvP at all. Never, ever. Unless a wardec happens, in which most PvE Corps will have a temp-alt Corp you can join during the war, so that you're not affected by it, if you're not a PvP'er.

I also wanted to say... Nils, i've been reading Tobold's blog for over 2 years, and i read all your comments recently, i really really like you. Not in a man-man way lol, but, i really like you.

Tobold, i'll say it, if you DON'T want PvP, then just don't put yourself in a situation where it WILL happen. Our Corp can provide you with non-PvP Eve gameplay, for as long as you wish.
The errant ", perpetuating " should have simply been a full stop.

I also want to point out that if you really want to try PVP, then your setup/planning phase as a new character would involve exploring the skills window and narrowing your training regime down to a path (of your choosing) that would *very quickly* allow you fit and fly something that would match up against the "big boys". Interceptors and assault frigates are a perfect fit in this case.
Everyone should be aware that Tobold didn't just set out to review EVE because he "hated" it.

He accepted donations and suggestions from readers about games that he should try out and review on his blog.

EVE came up and since it had been years since he played it, he agreed to give it another try - and although you probably all forgot he actually praised some of the improvements to the game since he last tried it.

As well as PvP activities in a structured environment, where you will be supported by a fleet of experienced players, making it a more "fair" fight, one that you MIGHT even enjoy, god forbid !! :)

All i'm saying is, the "haters" are not really haters, they're just saying Eve has so many different options, and gameplay types, you can't "review" Eve saying it's a ganker's game, when it's all but one part of the whole game.

Yes, PvP drives everything in Eve, but instead of being an active participant, why don't you supply weapons and modules to the fighters instead ?

Yes, and i really did my best to ensure Tobold gets the most out of his Eve experience. I was the one sending him an email, telling him to join us. Why ? Because our Corp does a little bit of everything. I seriously didn't want Tobold to get into a "close-minded" PvP corp, or one that has their leaders inactive, or logging once a week. I wanted him to get into a Corp that has hands on every type of gameplay, so he could try them all, and with motivated people leading these said divisions.

Am i to fault for Tobold's negative opinion on PvP ? I don't think so. He did that one on his own. But i'm totally open to helping him discover other aspects of Eve.
Well said Tobold!
So what you're saying someone could have way more SP and skills trained and tons of money and they could have a titan, the most powerful ship in Eve, and go out and fight a bunch of people in ships ranging from t1 frigates to battleships.

And that wouldn't be fair.

Here's the killmail where I can see an Imicus and a merlin, both T1 frigates. Several unknowns with T1 200mm cannons are almost certainly rifters. You can be flying those in ten hours. I see a Thorax, a T1 cruiser that you'd be flying after maybe a month. Interdictors maybe four or fivemonths. Battleships to do them right at about 8 or 9.

You can't look at Eve through the prism of a diku model. An infinitive number of level 50s in WoW or EQ can never kill a level 80. It's literally not possible. That's not true here. Building coalitions and the social equation are what the game is about, not XP or SP or what ship you are flying.

It might be if you gave it a fair openminded look that you wouldn't like Eve--it's definitely a niche game. But right now, in complete sincerity, you just don't understand what's going on here.
I think this post really proves you're getting into the Eve mindset. So you're saying PvP'er tears are the best kind?
Personally, my goal was to simply persuade you to judge EvE based on the aspects you have a chance of enjoying, rather than one that you knew beforehand you hated.

Once again, you can play EvE without ever entering null-sec, so I really can't understand why it is so paramount in your judgement.
I would have said that the player's advantage was his in game knowledge--and your's is the 7 years work you have put into this.

I have no problems, or any surprise really (having read your blog for more than a while) about your conclusions and indeed you have given EVE, as a whole, a very fair shake.

To say though, that you know EVE PVP in 3 weeks is silly, and as indefendable a statement as saying that because you did some open world PVP in WoW in 2006 you know WoW PVP. You don't.

But I don't expect you do go delving deeply into EVE PVP--your views are well known on the subject and I wouldn't expect you to do something you don't enjoy to get an even better sense of why you don't like it.

EVE has 3 major forms of PVP: faction warfare, 0.0 and low-sec piracy (yarrring). Ramming face first into a gate camp counts as none of them.

You wouldn't like EVE PVP because it can be non-consensual. You absolutely can minimize the chances of being attacked, but you can't eliminate them. Additionally in EVE all death is consequential. A death can literally wipe a character out so they have no ISK and no ships. And EVE PVP fully allows unfair fights. There is not a single element there you would like right off the bat.

I didn't have any real expectation that you would like EVE PVP but without getting into a corp or faction that supports it, I would have told you don't even waste your time. Solo PVP is for those who are true enthusiasts of the art and not something I would recommend to you, ever.

To, however, characterize one of the richest PVP environments in MMOs with a single really poor test isn't "ganking" EVE, but really poor blogging. You're claiming knowledge you don't have. That isn't ganking, its bold faced lying.

A fair statement from you about EVE PVP would be something like: I have never liked PVP. EVE PVP takes many of the factors I don't like about PVP, magnifies them and lets players run wild--in some areas. My views are a foregone conclusion and I didn't spend a lot of time exploring those systems.

Your opinions of EVE PVP are fine, heck I would have been fine with you skipping that step of the experiment all together, particularly as "tested". You can look at the systems as presented in EVE and go "bleh" and I would support you on that.

But you're claiming knowledge you don't have and then drawing a conclusion. That's crappy blogging and below the standards you usually maintain for yourself.
I share your view of PvP and agree with the majority of your posts but citing Fox news as your benchmark for journalistic standards is setting the bar pretty low don't you think?
I play EVE (if that wasn't obvious already). I am not a bully, or a ganker. I try to treat everyone I come across (both in game and out) with the same respect that I expect from them. I listen when they disagree with me, and I also listen when they point out the flaws in my own arguments.

I make every attempt not to insult them or their preferred pastimes (be they WoW or gay hobbit porn), and I never stick to any position as if its the most important thing in the world without testing it against contrary arguments presented to me.

It would seem that you do none of these things and therefore it is pointless to argue with you. I'm going to try anyway, I'm a masochist like that.

You say you hate EVE's PvP. thats fair enough, but everyone who has said that you haven't "given it a fair shake" is perfectly correct. You have demonstrated experience of one highly unbalanced PvP experience and have rejected any suggestion that there is any other kind of PvP in EVE. Thats just one kind of PvP, and I would personally agree that it is probably the least fun. You have yet to experience the full breadth of EVE's PvP; small gangs, honourable 1v1s (they do exist, honest), organised tournaments, large fleet battles, POS bashing, and many more. These are just the combat facets of PvP in EVE, because ultimately, when you boil it right down to the very basics, EVERYTHING in EVE is PvP.

You mine, play the market, haul, explore, dip into wormholes, whatever you do it will ultimately impact someone's experience in game either positively or negatively. It may not be pew pew, but is is PvP.

If your hatred for all things that negatively impact another players game experience extend to all PvP, as you claim. (regardless of asymmetry, there is no such thing as symmetric PvP in an MMO, there are different people behind every keyboard after all.) Then you really should stop playing EVE, because there is nothing in it for you.

Another thing I take issue with is your claim to be "reviewing" EVE. I have a couple of contentions with this.
a) It can't be done, especially in a mere three weeks. You cannot power level to the cap and be playing endgame content in 2 weeks like you can in WoW. There is no cap, and has been stated before, there is no fixed endgame. You would need an awfully long time to completely 'review' EVE if you wanted to treat is as you would treat any other game.
b) It is expected that a 'reviewer' of anything, game or otherwise, comes to it with as few preconceptions and fixed opinions as possible. Though I do realise that its impossible to remove all bias from the equation.
and c) When reviewing a game, it is customary to restrict your comments to the game and refrain from insulting the people who play it.

You are welcome to your "Strong anti-PvP bias" but ad hominem attacks on PvP players are not necessary or appreciated.

The analogy used in this post cuts both ways. Many people have repeated the same mantra/question over and over again: If you hate PvP so much, why on earth did you go looking for it?

The thing is that, as EVE players, we like PvP. We like the danger of entering 'enemy' nul-sec and trying to cause them problems. You can try and gank us on the gates, and you might even get a few of us but that's okay with us, its part of the game and we accept that. The best way to deter us from entering your "space" is not to antagonise us in the first place, or make your space so tempting a target. As you have demonstrated, EVE players are used to asymmetric PvP so taking you on on your territory where you have the advantage is our bread and butter. We might never win, but as long as its a 'good fight' we don't really care.

If you hate PvP so much stop inviting it on your blog :P
The weird thing is that I am mostly a WoW-fanboy, dislike PvP, find EVE a deeply flawed and unpleasant game and I still strongly disagreed with Tobold's recent comments about the game.

I think it is really the manner in which he approached the situation that irked me. He created a situation where he could be self-righteous and then basked in how he was 'martyred' by the commenters. It makes for a very hollow debate.

I've read your blog now and then, but as a (fresh) EVE player, your last posts caught my attention. I read the most of the comments; I'm not the commenting-kind of reader, but here I go:

First of all, I agree that this is YOUR blog, you can say whatever you want; more: you don't even have to write something just to please your readers.

You said your opinion about EVE PvP and got several polite, logical and clear responses (from EVE and non-EVE players!) pointing that maybe you've missed something, explaining how EVE PvP is somewhat different from other MMOG's PvP. An interesting discussion about MMOG PvP could follow from that (fairness, the sport/war analogies, starting conditions), but, unless I've missed something, you choose to give more attention to the emorage, bullying, unpolite responses.

And for the post itself, I think your blog/PvP analogy just help to sell the EVE PvP point: yes, it is "fair" that you have many readers and can afford to have strong opinions! You started earlier and worked hard! That's the EVE approach. Those who play EVE know this - or will learn (and keep playing or quit). And they will also learn that are some other ways to engage the strong, older player: teamwork. Using your analogy, the EVE Blog Roll might have as many readear as you, and can also have their strong opinions. Of course, you could join up with other older, stronger bloggers, in a massive blog PvP! Then strategy and tactics come into play. That's EVE PvP! ;)

Of course, you can hate this kind of PvP, or all kinds of PvP ;) But it seems that you're missing a great topic for PvP model discussion.
@ Mandrill

EVE can't be reviewed in 3 weeks?

Do you know how long a professional reviewer for a magazine or web site normally spends to review a game or MMO...?

How long SHOULD someone spend to review EVE in your opinion?
@ Koal

Re-read his reference to Fox News a couple more times.

If you've read Tobold's blog for any length of time you'd understand he is not sympathetic to Fox "News".
So Tobold can call people bullies and that is considered academic quality analysis, but if someone else throws out a name or a negative phrase then they are childish. Glad we cleared that up.
@zode: Maybe I could have worded that better. What I meant (as I think I made clear in my comment, but maybe I was mistaken) that only a superficial impression can be gained of EVE (or indeed many MMO's) from a mere three weeks worth of play.

I understand the difficulties professional journalists have reviewing MMOs. Not only do they have deadline's to meet, they may also have a few other games on the go at once. Thankfully many reviewers who are published in the professional press realise this and adjust their reviews accordingly. There are even problems with some single player games these days with the trend for 'open world' games which have no discernable end and a large number of gameplay options for the player to participate in.

It has been a problem that all online multiplayer games have had since their inception, which has only been exacerbated in the case of MMOs where it is often impossible to get through all the content.

As such any review of an MMO will be constricted to the content that the reviewer can get around to in their limited time with the game.

This is why Tobold's approach to PvP in EVE was flawed. If he already knew the conclusion he was going to come to regarding PvP in EVE (and gatecamping particularly), why didn't he simply go off and do something which he didn't have a pre-determined opnion about?
Tobold, you can say whatever you want. Whether I agree with you, or like what you say, or like how you respond, or agree with how you respond doesn't matter to me. It's your blog. If people don't like what you say or how you say it they don't have to come back.

I know it's a cliche, but life isn't fair, perhaps our games simply reflect that reality.

Keep on saying whatever you want, it's your space to do with how you will!
This is why Tobold's approach to PvP in EVE was flawed. If he already knew the conclusion he was going to come to regarding PvP in EVE (and gatecamping particularly), why didn't he simply go off and do something which he didn't have a pre-determined opnion about?

Because you can't possibly write a series about various aspects of EVE and leave PvP out. The larger part of the map is PvP. A large percentage of players engages in PvP. And most of the stories about EVE are about PvP. How can I write about EVE and pretend PvP doesn't exist in that game?

What you are all doing here is trying to bully me into writing only nice things about EVE. And I react very badly against people who are trying to tell me what I can write and what I can't write. It only causes me to strike back and write even more of the stuff those people don't like to hear.
No offense Tobold, but I think (eventually) you will stop playing Eve because of the reasons you have been expouding upon. If you don't like unfair PvP, then Eve's end game will probably not be for you. If you were a friend of mine, I would have not recommended this game for you. I have friends similar in mindset to you, and they have expressed interest in Eve, and I have warned them about the harshness of the PvP at time.

I kinda look at Eve in someways like I do Shadowbane (in my experience one of the best pvp games ever, but one of the worst pve ones). Some of the appeal of Shadowbane (and other open PvP games) is that you have to interact with every player you come across to some extent. I can remember several encounters with other players that turned out to be perfectly friendly, however, the first few moments were tense as we were waiting (almost expecting) the other player to attack and to react. It's this uncertainty when you meet people in the world, that you do not get from other MMOs. In WoW, I pass by hundreds of people on a daily basis, and I do not pay attention to any of them. Even on the PvP WoW servers it seems world pvp rarely happens, and BGs and Arenas seem so artificial.

Anyway, I think I have digressed from my original intent with this post. My recommendation to you Tobold, would be to play Eve until you're no longer having fun, then quit for another game. I don't think it's a bad thing that there are elements of Eve you don't like.... to each their own. We MMORPG players are varied and many, and our particular tastes are just as varied. As they say, variety is the spice of life.
So the question is: leaving PvP out, is EVE still fun to play? In the majority of the games this is true: PvP it's a non-essential component. What in EVE's case?
Tobold said:
"[...] It only causes me to strike back and write even more of the stuff those people don't like to hear."

Good to know that. Always a nice way to deal with different opinions...

You have the right to write whatever you want (or whatever the readers want you to write); I have the right to unsubscribe your blog from my Reader.

"So the question is: leaving PvP out, is EVE still fun to play? In the majority of the games this is true: PvP it's a non-essential component. What in EVE's case?"

It has been stated by CCP that something like 80% of players never leave highsec. Considering how concord works you could assume that more than half of those players take no part in pvp. That means that a significant portion of the existing playerbase is at least not into pewpew pvp. They must be doing something to entertain themselves.

As for if Tobold finds the non-PVP parts of the game fun, thats a different story that I'll let him tell.
Because you can't possibly write a series about various aspects of EVE and leave PvP out.

That is definitely correct, but in all honesty, I think that's effectively what you've done.

You could have taken part in some actual serious PVP, with a group, taking a place appropriate to your skills (tackler) and using the tools the game gives you for intelligence like checking the map for ship and pod kills before you go through low/nulsec.

You could have learned how people who aren't set up for PVP or aren't interested deal with a full PVP environment and commented on that part of the game.

You could have examined how PVP is inextricably linked to the economy by limiting access to resources.

Instead, you've "reviewed" Eve PVP doing little more than screaming "Leroy Jenkins! and running in the room, then declaring the raiding in WoW is completely unbalanced and horrible.

Did you even wait until your session change timer was completed and burn for the gate? Do you even know what that means?
"What you are all doing here is trying to bully me into writing only nice things about EVE."

If you read my comment I specifically did not say that you shouldn't write about it, you can write about it all you like. What I was questioning is why you did it if you knew beforehand what your opinion was going to be. You wasted your own time for no discernable reason, you didn't learn anything from the experience that you didn't know before and neither did the experience change your opinion. It seems that you were just using it as justification for publishing your opinion on your own blog, which of course you don't really have to justify to anyone.

And can we drop the accusations of bullying please? I'm trying to engage in a discussion and you keep dragging it back to insults which does nothing to help your argument. I don't think that my comments on this series of posts have been 'bullying' though others may well have been. If I have come across as such then I apologise, that was not my intent.

You say there are things about EVE that you don't like? Thats fine, there are things about EVE that I don't like. But I don't understand why you went out of your way to experience one such thing when there were so many other things you could have been doing. You didn't need to prove your opinion of EVE's PvP, to us or yourself. Stating it would have been enough.

Of course I'd like you write nice things about EVE, but if you ultimately find that you have nothing nice to say about it then I'd rather you were honest. I will argue with you, I will also question your methods and suggest other avenues you could have taken which may have made the game more enjoyable for you. But ultimately you can write what you like.

The point of any argument is not to win, but to gain a deeper understanding of your opponent. You don't ultimately have to change the person's mind, but you should at least gain some understanding of why they argue as they do and hold the opinions they do.

There are three sides to every argument: My side, your side, and the truth. The truth can only be ascertained by vigourous examination by both sides, and not by resorting to namecalling. That merely undermines the side of the argument doing the namecalling and reveals that the arguer may not have as much faith in their position as they claim.

And for your information:

A large part of the EVE map may be a PvP 'free-fire' zone, but it is largely empty of people, and the majority of those that are there are running missions, mining, manufaturing and running plexes, just like the inhabitants of high security 'safe' space.
The actual population of 0.0 is a minority within EVE. There are far more players inhabiting and playing in high-security 'safe' space than there are anywhere else in EVE (thats everywhere else put together, nul-sec, lo-sec, and W-space)
And can we drop the accusations of bullying please?

Well, how would you call the numerous "requests" telling me that I shouldn't have written about PvP, and shouldn't have flown into nullsec?
What you are all doing here is trying to bully me into writing only nice things about EVE.

Besides some obvious trolls and namecalling, I haven't seen any of this bullying. I have seen a lot of constructive posts of people that try to be helpful. I wouldn't mind at all if you said you don't like eve or some aspects of the game. It would be nice if it was actually based on somewhat more experience than running into a gatecamp and calling all eve players bullies based on that experience.

If you browse through a lot of eve blogs, you'll see that some are highly critical of ccp and some aspects of Eve. Most of us aren't blind fanboys.

Regarding trying pvp, running into a gatecamp isn't the best way to experience it, as it is highly frustrating. I am sure there are people that read this, that would be willing to take you on a losec (anti-)pirate roam, and show you pvp that is a lot more fun.
So let's say I start out my comment with, "Hey Tobold, you stupid piece of shit...." and continue from there. Would I get my comment deleted? Would I get reprimanded? Well that's exactly what Zode did yesterday, except his ugliness was pointed towards JDangerouS.

JDangerouS handled himself much better than I would have. Kudos to him. However, I've been waiting for a response from Tobold. Whether intentional or not, it seems Tobold approves of bullying in some situations.

Tobold, I respect your opinions Of EVE. I don't agree with all of them, but I respect them. I've enjoyed this blog for the past two weeks or so, but in the last couple days it has become typical internet garbage. I hope you can get back on track soon, otherwise you may start seeing many of your more respectful followers moving on.
Awesome! I love how you turned the argument around by referring to your experience and the advantages of being an established blogger.
"The goal is not to eliminate critical comments, but to establish my right to say what I want about any game."

And your right to call other gamers bullies whenever you so wish?

"Is it not normal for a regular person to ask himself "who the heck plays such a game, and why are they behaving badly like this?"

Are you serious or are you just trolling? Are chess players behaving badly when they are capturing bishops and queens? Are Team Fortress players behaving badly when they kill and obliterate other characters in the game?

Do you understand that some people might enjoy a game that enables you to perform an assassination or a bank fraud, just like some other person might enjoy a game where he can kill dozens of other characters in the game? Or do you consider killing a game character (that somebody else plays) to require higher moral than, say, assassinatinating a game character (that somebody else plays)?

"What you are all doing here is trying to bully me into writing only nice things about EVE."

What most people seem to be doing is trying to make you understand that they feel bad when you call them bullies, as they don't see themselves that way.

Are you amazed when people respond strongly to jackthompsons of this world when they call first person shooter games "murder simulators"? You are doing exactly the same thing in here.
So . . if the people gate camping in EVE are bullies and griefers (by your own description), and your blog is the equivalent of an EVE gate camper (again, by your own description), you've just called yourself a blog bully and griefer?


Oddest post from you in a long time Tobold :p
Well, how would you call the numerous "requests" telling me that I shouldn't have written about PvP, and shouldn't have flown into nullsec?"

I took the comment I quoted to be directed at me specifically, since you quoted mine at its head. So let me rephrase my request:

Please refrain from calling me a bully. Target my arguments, by all means. Use reason to point out the flaws in my postion. But don't attack me, personally. I have extended you that courtesy, and merely ask that you repsond in kind.
Heh, by the end of this, I finally came to the realization that the problem is basically this: people are complaining about use of the word "bully".

If you're a level 80 wandering around Stranglethorn in WoW, ganking lvl 30s and 40s, you're probably a bully. Unless you've decided you're patrolling to protect against enemy lvl 80s, and then you're a guard or some such. If two lvl 40s get in a fight there, one wins, and the loser calls in the lvl 80 to kill the winner, the winner feels like he's been the victim of bullying, even if the others feel otherwise.

Tobold, I think you're going to have to face the fact that people are going to take exception to your use of the word "bully".

Everyone else, I think you're going to have to face the fact that Tobold is going to use words with negative connotations to them from time to time. And he's right from his point of view. And his point of view is just as valid as yours.
The weirdest part of this story :
There are some people on internet who feel deeply insulted being called bullies...
Do they really believe that internet blogs/forums are famous for polite and well-tempered discussions?
Because we all know that CNN and MSNBC are perfectly fair and balanced in their coverage, too.

No one is free of bias.

As for the rest of the post: Good read.
"There are some people on internet who feel deeply insulted being called bullies...
Do they really believe that internet blogs/forums are famous for polite and well-tempered discussions?"

It's not just about being called a bully. I think that most blog readers and pvp gamers have a pretty thick skin and they don't mind the occasional name-calling.

It's about the notion that if you're a pvp gamer in a sandbox game, you are forced to be antisocial, your behavior is evil and it tells something about you if you really like this kind of antisocial and evil behavior in a sandbox game.

Which is a completely wrong idea and couldn't be farther from the truth.

I've been playing pvp mmo games since UO and in my opinion, if mmo pvp games force you into anything, they force you to be social - you have to join groups and guilds to survive and succeed. In mmo pvp games where I've been in pvp guilds, people are not concerned about their character as much as they are concerned about their guild and the group of players they belong. You're doing fine and well when your group and guild is doing fine.

Playing like that - organizing guild events, participating in pvp raids and assisting occasional newbie player to survive in the harsh game world - for over 10 years and then listening to someone who has been playing a sandbox pvp game for a week or so telling me that my behavior is really antisocial and I'm just being a bully just means that whoever it was that called me a bully doesn't really understand the game that I'm playing even though he says so.
Great post Tobold.

Personally I love PvP, but I also understand how fickle it can be in certain games...MMOs in particular. You're going to get this type of response about MMO PvP from just about any MMO PvP'er...regardless of the MMO.

Again, PvP is specifically asymmetrical in MMOs; the whole point of a MMO is advancing your character with arbitrary "skills" or "levels" through time.

I'll go one step further than you Tobold, and say that MMO PvP is a joke compared to true PvP in other types of games (RTS, FPS).

MMO PvP is specifically designed to be unfair. MMO players know it, but some of them won't admit that the PvP is unfair. They'll tell you instead that you "aren't ready for it".

Which is the same thing.

You're never going to please most of these people, Tobold, so I'd just ignore them. I'm a twitchy FPS player again (gave up MMOs) and I love it, but I sure wouldn't expect you to give my games exemplary reviews. They are nothing but PvP.

But then again, I still come here and read your blog for your ideas and analysis even though I've quit the MMO scene. I'm not here to get you to praise or fall in love with the game I'm currently playing.

The people crying and complaining are only here to convince you to love the game they are playing too. Any criticism you have for it is going to be fought tooth and nail.

Hence, your seen to either hate EvE and have concocted a straw man to savagely burn down in public, or you're just not comprehending how great EvE is and are making baseless complaints against it.

Which one is it Tobold? We all know it couldn't be that you hate PvP in just about every game ever invented.

Where is your journalistic integrity! (sarcasm).
"However your post is actually a counter-example to your point:
* you DO like unfair PvP and use it happily when you are on the ganker side"

Happily, or in self-defense? I got a more "if you don't like my review, it's not because i'm playing wrong, QQ more.". Just because he did it in their style, doesn't mean he liked it.

/thumbs up to Tobold, you're usually a bit too passive with jerks.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I love this post, great response, I have been a PvP'r since UO and MMO PvP has always been about ganking, not fair fights.

It's doing everything I can to "win" and sometimes its going further to "grief" and make you log out in anger or log on an alt to tell me how much of a loser I am for ruining your fun.

Not all MMO PvP'ers play this way, but a lot of us do, most are just afraid to admit.
However, I've been waiting for a response from Tobold.

My apologies, due to the flood of comments I missed the one where JDangerouS was being called names. Thank you for bringing it to my attentions, I deleted it now.
If fairness is any kind of concern then it's a waste of time "discussing" anything in the comments of any blog. The lack of real-time response and the ability of all participants to pick and choose what they respond to makes the whole thing stilted enough, but once you add in the misquoting, decontextualizing and misrepresentation of the arguments being opposed the entire excercise descends into futility.

In an offline discussion all these problems would be addressed and rebutted as they occurred and after robust discussion there would usually be something like consensus on who had carried the day. Hardly ever would the host's arguments count for more simply because he was the host.

I'me beginning to think that Blogs shouldn't even have comment sections. Most of the ones I enjoy the most nowadays attract very little in the way of comment and seem to be all the better for it.

For the record, I've never played EVE and never expect to, and I don't much like PvP in general. I just get irritated by reading a lot of obvious sophisms and cant dressed up as logical argument.
as a WoW ex-addict (if there is such a thing) and an EvE player,
Your meta-thinking was awesome.

On a side note I would like to read your opnion on Factional Warfare in EvE if it didnt burn you out yet.
Personally, I "trust" negative comments and criticism more than fanboy positive stuff.

It's like someone telling you about a movie. They loved it. They loved the movie they saw last night, too. They seem to love the last movie they saw better than any movie they've ever seen.

I'd rather talk to an intelligent, critical thinker about a movie that they liked, found interesting, but can point out the flaws.

Your posts have actually intrigued me to consider playing the game. I knew nothing about the game at all (I play WoW exclusively), and I certainly didn't get the sense that you were trying to disuade anyone from playing it.

I'm interested in hearing about other games you've played and want to criticise. That's why I stop by here DAILY.
Because you can't possibly write a series about various aspects of EVE and leave PvP out. The larger part of the map is PvP. A large percentage of players engages in PvP. And most of the stories about EVE are about PvP. How can I write about EVE and pretend PvP doesn't exist in that game?

Tobold, the problem is that you did not experience PvP. You experienced a 'ganking' which is exactly what you set out to do by going alone to a null-security region. You intended to be blown up. Your conclusion was self-fulfilling.

It's true that most stories from EVE are about PvP; but I would challenge you to find one that was about a pilot who went to null-security space by himself to 'find PvP'.

I've written about the experience of being 'bullied'; the experience of being forcefully removed from space by someone much bigger and stronger. It only happens a couple of times because then you learn to avoid it.

You took it the other way around; you already knew that you were going to be obliterated and you went and did it anyway -- that is not playing the game, that is supporting your own conclusion by causing it to come true.
The core of the problem remains the logical inconsistency of the following series of statements you made yesterday.

"How do you evaluate a sandbox game with a non-linear game structure and no fixed goals? Well, given enough time, the only method I can think of is to play different gameplay elements one at a time, and blog about them one at a time. That is what I have been doing."

"Of course it was unavoidable that when I wrote about PvP in EVE, I came out strongly against it."

You can have a strong bias against pvp which is historically consistent for you as a blogger and a point of view which you vigorously defend. It’s your blog and you can say what you want. The problem is that you have not tried eve pvp any more than I have.
I have a 3 week old main but I have been zipping around nullsec for several evenings now on an alt in his newb ship without getting killed much. I have discovered systems full of ice and rare asteroids, unclaimed systems, systems with people but not at the gates. I was out there for almost 5 hours last night without getting killed when I got bored and started to chat with the occupants of the system. They tracked me down and killed me. But I don’t have any illusion about my having participated in eve pvp, I have not. I simply went somewhere dangerous and consequences followed.

You can argue your point of view based on what you have read about eve pvp and even if you are dead set against it in principle you can discuss it from that point of view. However, you can’t claim to dislike a critical element of the game from the point of view of having tried it when most people would look at your experiment and say the interpretation of the results is logically inconsistent with your originally stated intent.
Thank you Tobold. I think if you can keep the beligerent comments deleted, civility will return.

By the was, it was the excellent discussions about EVE that brought me here. Hopefully, we can get back to that soon.

Just for the record, I've been playing EVE since January and am enjoying it. My focus at the moment is on exploration. I agree, mining in high sec is boring, and low level missions aren't much better.

Keep up the good work.
"This post has been removed by a blog administrator."

So I'm not allowed to call someone immature when that person calls me a jerk?

Huh. Who's being the bully now?
It's funny to me how many commenters seem to have this idea that you decided to buy the game, pay the monthly subscription, then spend dozens of hours playing it all for the specific purpose of annoying them by writing about how much you dislike it. The amount of delusion I'm reading in these comments is amazing.
I don't especially understand your concept of morality in gaming though. In what way does killing someone else's game character (fairly or unfairly) constitute evil when both players have put themselves into the position in which such an action can take place? They know the risks of the actions that are being taken, it's a part of the way the game works. How can playing within the confines of a game's structure be considered evil?

It's like people rolling characters on a WoW PvP server then complaining when someone comes by and ganks them. If they didn't want that to happen shouldn't they have had the foresight to roll on a PvE server? How can the ganker's on a PvP server be evil when that mechanic is almost entirely the reason such a server exists in the first place?
"How can the ganker's on a PvP server be evil when that mechanic is almost entirely the reason such a server exists in the first place?"

I've wondered about this myself and the only reason I've come up with is that some pve players feel some sort of entitlement that when they've bought a game, it's their game and they should be able to play it any way they want to play it, they don't see any difference between a single player and a multiplayer game. When they first time enter a sandbox full of other kids playing in there, they feel entitled to play anywhere they feel like (it's their game as they just bought it and besides, people said that you can do anything you want in there) and then they act surprised when someone defends the sandcastle he has just built in there with his friends.

I'd be more than happy to hear better explanations for this sort of behavior though, I really wish I'm not correct with my assumption.
@neuromanse your analogy is a little off; for the most part PvE players are using parts of the sand that nobody else is using (or ... grains from an infinite supply). Granted there are cases where this is not true (exploration sites in EVE for example) but those generally expect to be assaulted.

It is not the PvE players who are knocking over somebody elses sand castle, if anybody is it's the PvP players who gank them. But I don't think that is accurate either.

The players who believe ganking is evil believe so because they believe that they've done nothing to offend the ganker and that if the ganker has not been offended, he should not commit violent acts -- that if you have been attacked there should be a reason, and they don't believe that "because I wanted to" or "because I like your tears" are valid reasons.
Tobold, I've known about your PvP hate from previous posts, but I thought you would have at least given EVE PvP an actual try. Not take the quickest way possible to get instagibbed in 0.0, then use it to further your opinion that unbalanced PvP sucks.

I'm not upset that you don't really seem to like EVE at all. Heck, I've had my issues with it many times, and have simply decided to leave it alone. I'm more concerned over your seemingly juvenile attitude to the negative feedback you got. I thought you were a better person than that.

Maybe you just took things more personally than expected, but when you have a blog with as many readers as yours, you have to take the good with the bad.

This entire scenario has really put me off reading your blog, actually. Hopefully you can get yourself back to discussing things in a calm, intellectual manner. Cause you seem to be on the slippery slope of only wanting praise, and the internet doesn't need another Tim Buckley.
Now I remember why I started reading your blog Tobold awsome article.
I'm a WoW and Eve player and in response to your first comment, no it's not "fair". Eve isn't a "fair" game. That makes it better suited to it's audiance. I don't think Eve has ever tried to appeal to the masses and if it did, it would lose most of its current player base - myself included.
It seems to me that PvP, fair or otherwise, isn't as hated as having your ass handed out to you in a plate.

I personally like unfair PvP... I can always blame the loss on the other guys being stronger and not me sucking big time. :D
Tobold Said:
"A lot of that "constructive comment" came in one variation or another of "if you don't like it, then you didn't understand it". Why do people think that somebody cannot completely understand the nature of EVE and still dislike its harsh and unfair nature?"

Because, quite simply, it is painfully obvious that you DON'T understand it, you just think you do.

EVE is all about setting your own challenges and goals and then finding ways to meet them.

Me? I love difficult challenges, so I joined a nullsec corp with my 5m SP 'toon and have been having a blast since.

But then again, WoW doesn't exactly cater to people who like real challenges, the ones where you actually have to think about things that involve actual opportunity cost.

Eve is a game of choices, difficult ones.

Until you understand THAT, you cannot possibly understand EVE for what it is, and you just dig yourself into a deeper hole every time you insist that you do. And yes, it IS that obvious.

If you want good advice on how to take EVE as it comes, go read my previous posts. I'll wait patiently for your epiphany.
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