Crossing Zebras Episode 46

Been a wee while since we last recorded but Xander and Jeg more than make up for it this week with a packed out episode full of juicy treats. We also have two very special guests joining us! First up, new CZ staff writer and video dude, Hendrick Tallardar from Sniggwaffe. We’re very excited to have Hendrick on board and all the amazing video work and writing he is going to be doing for us in the coming weeks and months. He is joined by Sniggerdly pilot, PL diplo and scourge of Zulu, Dirk Action. Who said we didn’t represent all sides of 0.0 here on CZ? Huh?! There’s plenty to discuss this week starting with the HAC changes announced by CCP Rise, particularly the Ishtar. We had also heard murmurings of a change to the Nestor which have since been validated since we started recording… In the second part of the show, we discuss a question asked by a listener about how the Eve community is viewed from those outside the game. Finally, we take the opportunity to go over the ATXII meta, rules and prize changes before it starts this coming weekend. Buckle in… lGRMo1L (0:32) Introductions HAC Changes / Ishtar – CCP Rise has announced the tweaks coming to HACS in Hyperion. Of particular note are the alterations to the Ishtar, much used both in PvP and PvE. A lot of people (CSM9 included) feel the proposed Ishtar changes don’t go far enough… Nestor – The Nestor hasn’t had a lot of love in the game since it hit New Eden a few months back. A lot of people have been lobbying to fix it and CCP had made us aware that they were looking at it. We discuss where it could go. (Please note, in the 24 hours since we recorded, CCP Fozzie has posted the changed coming to Nestor for Hyperion. Xander genuinely didn’t know these final confirmed stats when recording.) (31:11) Eve Community Perception – We were asked the following question from a listener on twitter – compared to other games communities, how do u feel the Eve Community is viewed from the outside? can it be improved? We take the time to answer what is a huge question. (59:03) ATXII – The next Alliance Tournament is mere days away so we take the time to discuss what the new rules mean in shaking things up and how the new prize structure will change the motivation for different teams Site news – A wee bit of site housekeeping where we discuss our new writers and how you can help contribute to all the awesome content we post daily. What We Are Up To In Game Shoutouts Keep on RTing us on twitter (@midi2304 and @jeg_elsker), telling your corpies and friends about us and posting reviews on iTunes! We hugely appreciate you spreading the word. You can subscribe to the podcast and post reviews here: This episode’s playlist is as follows: N*Sync – Bye Bye Bye Ten Walls – Walking with Elephants Adele ft. Childish Gambino – Rolling in the Deep (Jamie xx Remix)  
Tags: ATXII, community, dirk, hendrick, ishtar, PL, snigg, waffles

About the author

Xander Phoena

The good looking, funny, intelligent member of the team, Xander set up Crossing Zebras with Jeg in April 2012 mainly because he was talking too much about Eve on his other podcast. Playing the game for almost five years, Xander still has absolutely zero clue about how to actually play Eve but somehow still manages to talk a good game.

  • Smokey

    Am I being a dumb, or is there no way to download the podcast without itunes?

    • Jeg_Elsker

      you can now, there was a minor link problem. Sorry!!

      joys of a new server, always some small change to think about. Thanks for the heads up!

      • Messiah Complex

        BTW: good job on the shiny new speedy server. +1

        • Jeg_Elsker

          Glad its making a difference! 🙂

  • Kir

    Yeah… way too much “preaching to the choir” in this one. “Image problem? naw… all online game communities are bad, brah. Eve just requires lots of dedication and passion… yeah, that’s what it is. It’s fine that we’re all racist misogynistic homophobic psychopaths because it’s a cultural thing, you wouldn’t understand.”

    I’m trying to imagine the self-righteous indignation of ANY of the people on the show if another voluntary group of individuals (like a college, team, or club) tried to get away with that excuse.

    Here’s a clue: “collecting tears” already breaks down the game/real-life barrier. It explicitly claims to. Eve is also the _only_ game I’ve ever heard of where “collecting tears” is tossed around as a real motivation for doing something.

    • Hendrick Tallardar

      I think you completely missed the point of what was being said. EVE’s community is no more toxic than a LoL community, Call of Duty, etc. It’s not the EVE community that is the issue it’s the entirety of the video game playing community and the anonymity of the internet that has allowed people to act out in deplorable ways.

      You bring up real life sports. Go to an event and you can see and hear vitriolic things. “Number 15 is a fucking faggot” “kick his ass #57” etc. and the excuse for bigotted language (let alone the subtle racism) is “that’s just sports.” However the key difference, as I stated in the podcast and just above is that there is the anonymity of the internet. At a real sports event, you won’t get away with saying what you’d say in a video game, because you have the real world social stigma and risk of being ostracized the moment you say it. On the internet, the worst that will happen is you’re banned from a TS/Mumble server.

      Regarding “collecting tears” is that why griefing is a thing in every single game that is multiplayer out there? Go read the griefing thread on SA, or read any of the countless stories and blog posts around the internet. EVE’s “collecting tears” meme isn’t as unique as you think it is.

      • Kir

        Heh… “you wouldn’t understand what nice people we are normally”, in other words.

        EVE is actually quite a bit more toxic than the other games you listed mostly due to game mechanics (which someone rather blithely dismissed during the podcast). At the end of a LoL match I can rank the team and never have to deal with them again. A “short match and then you’re gone”-style game inherently has less long-term trolling than you can manage in EVE. But let’s be honest, “match”-style games aren’t a fair comparison to an MMO, culturally. A match game will be intensely vitriolic during the game, and most people won’t be able to remember the other guy’s nick 5 mins after it ends.

        I’m not sure what the sports aside was about, as you seem to be saying it happens, then saying it doesn’t happen due to “real life consequences”… not sure if this is just a bit of leftover “geeks” vs “jocks” from high school or what…

        Let’s ignore the forums for a moment, EVEs forums are about equal to the WoW forums (and seem to be populated mostly by the same people), or any other game. What’s interesting is how much worse the Eve community is in the game itself.

        Griefing in one form or another does show up in most online games, but Eve is unusual in how much the community accepts it as an acceptable motivation for actually playing the game. I noticed that you completely ignored my point about tear collecting inherently breaking the “real life”/”gaming life” boundary that was held up as some kind of “rule by the EVE community” during the cast…

        …and your defense was “it happens in other games too!”… really!?

        Frankly… that entire segment only sounds reasonable/logical to someone who is already convinced.

        • Jeg_Elsker

          I wasn’t going to chip in here with a comment, but I really don’t understand what the point on collecting tears is supposed to mean? EVE, by its very nature, punishes players for mistakes, if that causes tears, then I would argue that it is not the person who is collecting the tears that has broken down the rl/game boundary, but the person producing them. Quite frankly, EVE is an unforgiving game, and it is made clear that you should not take an action (undocking, trading or otherwise) unless you understand that you are making a risk. Now, that does not extend to the non game play trolling, victimising and other general evils that happen, clearly those are way outside the line and where appropriate action should (and has been) be taken against the perpetrator.

          Can you elaborate a little on what your point about tear collection is actually in regards to?

          • Kir

            If you ask someone in eve why they did something “tear collecting” is a socially acceptable response. Doing something that causes a material loss for yourself, your ‘victim’, and causes no particular benefit to anyone, lacks any sort of challenge or skill… is considered acceptable IF your goal was to make the other PERSON upset.

            No one questions it in this community, but it’s idiotic.

            The community talks as if everyone actually was motivated by tear-collecting… which makes us out to be a rather specialized form of JK Rowling’s Dementors.

          • Jeg_Elsker

            That is a fair argument, I definitely agree that as far as the language goes, it is pretty awful and conjures up a rather damning vision of an EVE player, though having said that, I would say it is probably reasonably appropriate way of describing the darker side of the game and the sometimes emotional link people make to pixels, particularly in a game of “when it is gone, it is gone”.

            I would also concede that EVE as a community tend to be more accommodating, indeed almost welcoming in some areas, to this sort of behaviour. I do think that is really a necessity born out of that permanent loss, the HTFU ethos, unlike in other games, is almost a necessity in order to survive and continue playing. That is not an excuse for the attitude of course, but I can definitely see your point.

            Do you however think that this is a reputation that the community has to people who are not involved in the game? I am not sure I do, but it is rather hard for me to argue looking from the inside out.

          • Kamar Raimo

            “Do you however think that this is a reputation that the community has to people who are not involved in the game?”

            It is definitely and impression that exists outside of the community. Just read the Steam user reviews of EVE.

        • Kamar Raimo

          As I said above, I agree with the general notion that the EVE community is not any worse than the rest of the internet when it comes to being nasty to each other.

          The main difference is, that elsewhere – like in your LoL example – you can ignore all the trolls and hostility. In EVE one is required to get involved with the community because it is a central part of what makes the game what it is.

          As for the whole griefing thing. Wait until next Monday. I am working on a piece about that. Also I have written one in the past where I actually place part of the blame with CCP themselves 😉

        • Hendrick Tallardar

          Correct, at the end of a LoL/Dota 2 match you can rank your teammates or opponent. However that doesn’t stop them from using misogynistic, or even racist, comments mid-game. That’s toxic. Them harassing a new player for “not knowing how to play” is also not curbed through this mechanic. You also only get the opportunity to rank one player (at least in Dota 2) this way, and more often than not it’s never the offending party.

          The sports reference was brought up by you, I simply pointed out there is just as vitriolic language and behavior as you’re assigning to the EVE community. There are social consequences to those behaviors but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. If you’d like, try rereading what was written as you were the one who brought it up so I don’t get your snarky “geeks vs jocks” thing you’re going on about but v0v that’s your dealio not mine.

          You’re blaming players for utilizing in-game mechanics CCP allowed and sanctioned and calling it “toxic.” I didn’t ignore your attempt to claim that any motivation that elicits “tears” is breaking the real life vs video game boundary. You cite that players use “collecting tears” as the sole purpose of their actions. That’s a very broad statement, there are subsets of the community that do this yet but not all EVE players do it. Not all players do their actions in game based off the concept of “collecting tears” but it’s also a meme within the community. “tears” are used to describe anything that comes close to complaining about something. This can be a “fuck you” in local after you suicide gank a freighter, or even after a close fleet fight. It’s just a way to describe someone going “ahaha this guy is super mad at what we did.” Due to EVE being a game designed entirely around the social dynamics of the players, it’s not surprising there are people who like to push other people’s buttons in-game, but it’s also not the sole motivating factor for players as your post makes it out to be.

          The point of bringing up other games was that people were assuming this is only a feature of the EVE community and thus it’s a problem with EVE itself and not gaming in general. I suggest you re-read what was said, and what was talked about in the podcast with a more open view on the subject to understand it better.


          • Kir

            “There are social consequences to those behaviors but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.” Thank you for making the point so succinctly. Frankly, in EVE, there are no consequences for these behaviors, it’s an accepted part of the culture. You tried to defend those behaviors by saying “it’s part of the culture, you wouldn’t understand”… which you say does not fly for the group you’re trying to compare with… which was my point.

            Yeah… your summary of what I said in regards to tear-collecting was… bad. Please reread. I’m not talking about what the individual eve player does, I’m talking about what is considered acceptable and the language used to describe it. You know, the cultural aspect of this, the topic of the conversation.

            Frankly, the eve echo chamber on this podcast was fairly painful to listen to. I realize the podcast attempted to _claim_ that there’s no problem with Eve’s culture, but there was even less defense for that than has been offered by you in this thread. “Open Minded” does not mean someone needs to accept as fact random, undefended statements from a couple of game players.

          • Hendrick Tallardar

            Please point to where I said, or even implied, “it’s part of the culture, you wouldn’t understand.” I stated that yes it is part of the culture of EVE to be backstabbing people in-game, but the moment something takes place out of game like that the community is very agreeable and defends the affected party. (See: Erotica1 scandal, “Kill Yourselfgate”, Digi outting Manny’s OKCupid account on Kugu etc.)

            No claim was ever made that there was no issue with EVE’s community and it’s behavior, but that it was a result not of the game or the mechanics but of the greater video game player mentality/culture that has festered for decades. I’m sorry you felt the podcast was an “echo chamber”, perhaps you could join the next one and explain how your thoughts and opinions are more valid than someone elses. As the point being made was, it’s not just an issue with EVE’s playerbase but gamers in general. My comment about having an open mind is not to come in, make hyperbolic statements about what was said nor to grossly misinterpret what was being said very clearly. That indicates you came to the podcast with your own opinion of what was said and ignored the discussion in lieu of cognitive dissonance. Again, listen to what was said, and understand the viewpoints and comments being made and from the perspective they’re being made from before being so quick to write them off as you have been. It’ll work out better for you in life if you do this with most discussions.


          • Kir

            I’m starting to wonder if we’re in some sort of strange reverse-order argument. Your responses are so effectively dealt with by the thing you’re responding to, I couldn’t really decide what I could add to it.

            No one on the podcast challenged anything that was said about eve culture. You say something about eve culture on mumble in a 5-person channel and you’ll get 8 strong opinions. “echo chamber” is putting it lightly.

            No rational argument has been put forward that eve is no worse than other games. At best we have lame attempts like yours above, trying to compare to a game with a legendarily bad playerbase. (hint: just because eve is bad, doesn’t mean something else can’t be worse) And you actually even failed pretty badly at that.

            I’d actually appreciate it if you’d quit implying I’m mentally unfit to challenge your ramblings on the podcast with all the “cognitive dissonance” bullshit. Invoking pop-psych terms because you’re afraid to defend what you said, or simply trying to hard to be sophisticated is growing a bit thin.

            Frankly, if I misunderstood the podcast, than you did too… since you’re continuing to defend the statements made on the podcast.

          • Hendrick Tallardar

            Please point to where I ever said or even implied you’re “mentally unfit” and simply stated your comments were from a blatantly narrow minded viewpoint and required some re-analysis on your end. The question was, does EVE have an image problem. The answer was “Yes, but overall it’s no worst off than other communities. There are issues that come up every now and then but the same can be said about almost any game or it’s community.”

            Here’s a recent example for you to digest the point being made – That’s a rather toxic and problematic thing to have the PS4/PC/Tomb Raider community have upon themselves is it not? When DUST 514 was announced as a PS3 exclusive, EVE’s community were upset and some probably even lashed out at CCP but I don’t recall anyone harassing people who wrote the EVE lore over the situation, or the game designers. If that is not a suitable example please refer to the harassment of BioWare’s lead writer by it’s community over various issues not specifically related to the story within the games, or the death threats towards Anita Sarkeesian etc. representing the overall shittiness and hostility of the video game community as a whole.

            I apologize you feel my analogies or examples weren’t rational and instead were “lame attempts” and didn’t fit your yet-to-be-described standards of suitable examples to support a point you disagree with. I’ll be sure to run them by you next time the subject comes up on our podcast.

            As for “being afraid to defend what you said”, which is a rather silly thing to say as you’re replying to a response by me in which I am defending my points, I have been actually discussing this with you rather than simply ignoring your posts that make broad assumptions, and claims about what I said, when there is evidence disproving your assumptions of what was being said. I can only assume this is a rather poor attempt at comedic summarization of the podcast which is rather sad since the punchline hasn’t been delivered yet.

  • Kamar Raimo

    Regarding the community discussion: It is fair enough to say that people within the community treat each other rudely and that’s fine because it is all in good spirit. Where I personally draw the line is when third parties get offended in a way that is completely out of context. Racist and sexist “funny” banners that would just appear on Kugu for no contextual reason come to mind.

    If people feel they must engage in that sort of low-brow humor, they should at least hide it behind a login and make those forums members only.

    That being said, it is a subject of much musing for me how men in their 30s can still find jokes funny that lost their appeal for me when I was around 20.

  • Saint Mick

    Great podcast as usual chaps. Another entertaining set of guests.

  • Sticker Jim

    It’s funny you use the term “us vs them’ because Eve fanboys are the poster-boys for that mentality. While other games have toxic assholes like Eve, it’s easy to ignore/avoid them, and it’s also easy to report their anti-social asses. Avoidance and reporting is not an option in Eve when being an asshole is encouraged.

    Also, Eve players aren’t experimenting with reprobate behaviour in a vacuum. You’re not being assholes an abusive to NPCs. You’re being an asshole to another person, in a video game. Big difference, and that is why subscriptions are tanking and CCP is finding more and more ways for people to spend plex – it’s trying to make up for the dwindling subscriptions.