CZ Minutes: Brutality


Last week on CZ Minutes, we discussed just how passionate the Eve Online player base actually is. Some players take that passion and determination too far on occasion and cross lines when it comes to interacting with other players. Is this situation getting worse and if so, is it CCP’s fault and what can they do about it?

Xander: It has been a subject of much discussion lately, both in Jita Park CSM candidacy threads and on various blogs that the Eve player base is getting ever more harsh and brutal. Is this healthy for the game or have we reached the point where it is to Eve’s future detriment? Do CCP need to take responsibility for the player base and attempt to fix this issue or would doing so destroy the game we know and love as ‘Eve Online’? Answers on a postcard…


I don’t believe that the game is any more harsh or brutal than it was when I started. If anything, it’s a lot nicer.


MarcI don’t believe that the game is any more harsh or brutal than it was when I started. If anything, it’s a lot nicer. The aspects that ‘people’ have complained about – ganking, scamming, griefing, etc – are for better or worse intrinsic to Eve Online. It wouldn’t be the same game without these features. And yes, they are features. Defining features that differentiate Eve from the million and one WoW clones out there.

That being said, if the community had truly grown toxic, then yes I believe that CCP would have to take responsibility for that community, in much the same way that Riot took ownership of their toxic community and are constantly striving to make it a little nicer. I’m not saying CCP should do the exact same thing, though I’m sure a psychologist on CCP’s staff would certainly have a field day.


Xander: This conversation came up in my Jita Park CSM thread and I answered broadly the same as you just did Marc. There needs to be a clear differentiation between ‘brutal and harsh’ via legitimate in-game mechanics and people simply being disgusting. The problem is, I do believe that people are getting nastier in various local channels and in comms and such like. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as bad as some people are suggesting but on the other hand, I do think it is is getting worse over time.

The thing is, I’m not sure what CCP can do about it without fundamentally changing what Eve Online the game ‘is’. As long as CCP leaves ways for players to communicate with one another in-client, there will always be dicks being dickish to other players. And It’s not like CCP can remove in-game comms. And with game allowing the opportunity for players to be nasty and brutal to one another using in-game mechanics – scamming and griefing and such like – I don’t see any way to simply solve this via cultural improvement.

Basically, I don’t see how CCP can solve this issue without breaking Eve. As such, it’s a ‘suck it up or unsub’ affair. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, it’s just the way it is what with the fundamental nature of a sandbox MMO. I don’t see how CCP fixes this like Riot did with LoL.


So is it the “nice guy” thing to do to make fun of someone for being stupid? No, but then Eve isn’t nice.


Joran: I think Ripard has a small point, but as a counter to Xander, I just don’t care about it. Maybe nine years ago the majority of these scams, heists, and griefers were new things that someone couldn’t foresee. Maybe nine years ago 25 billion was a lot of ISK, instead of something some people spend in a month on PLEXing alt accounts. Maybe nine years ago there weren’t ALODs, dozens of news websites or podcasts, or perhaps even Jester’s own blog that would allow the user to engage with the community, and, yes, learn from it.

Most of us are quite cordial to each other when it comes to anything resembling a real forum, be it townhalls, shared comms, or Fanfest. The players mocked in such a fashion refuse to educate themselves, to join the teeming mass of vermin that is the larger Eve community, literally almost any of which could have educated someone on how why it’s stupid to fit your Navy Raven with officer mods. The thirty day old character in BNI or EUNI gets that type of education, long before they have the resources to lose, and they’re better for it. I think the community has proven in the last couple months that the vitriol would not spill in such quantity if it was a genuinely new player making his first mistake. So is it the “nice guy” thing to do to make fun of someone for being stupid? No, but then Eve isn’t nice.

Xander: I’m not really sure how that is a counter to me Joran seeing as you aren’t contradicting anything I say and I agree with you. I do think the vast majority of people are civil to one another and the problem is nowhere near as bad as people such as Ripard are suggesting. I do however think the % of ‘bad pennies’ as it were is probably on the increase.

Joran: Counter was the wrong word. I guess I meant you seemed to take his point a bit more seriously.


The ganks, the scams, the sharks; this IS EVE just as much as Brave Newbies and the Angel Project.


Niden: I would go one step further and say the the type of mentality Ripard (with all due respect) is suggesting CCP should cultivate (meaning enforce) is down right dangerous. EVE is freedom. Suggesting that it’s ok to sacrifice some of that freedom to weed out ‘the sharks’ is the same mentality that spawned abominations like the National Defense Authorization Act in the United States. In Ripard’s utopia you’re free to do… what the rules tell you to do.

Picking out an event like the Raven scam and similar events and suggesting that this is proof that EVE player morality is going south is simply wrong. Using that to motivate collective punishment/control is even worse. Arguing that there is a rise in this type of behaviour and that there’s more exposure ignores the simple fact that there are more EVE players and that EVE media is a lot more established, naturally producing more events and more exposure.

I’ll echo what Marc said; if anything, EVE players have become nicer over the years. 99% of the time EVE players are perfectly respectful with one another – just like people in a free country are nice to each other 99% of the time. Let’s be honest, that guy with the blinged out Raven was a tourist if I ever saw one. Tons of new players come in to EVE with the right attitude and get treated just fine. Fuck, more than fine, they get treated very well. Not because CCP told us to do it – because we chose to do it, out of our own free will. And that is the ONLY way EVE keeps it’s authenticity.


I know we’re all more or less agreeing in this week’s Minutes, so it’s not much of an argument, but it’s important that we are clear on this matter. The ganks, the scams, the sharks; this IS EVE just as much as Brave Newbies and the Angel Project. I, for one, would have it no other way.

In short: if you only want to do it missionary style; go back to WoW. This is EVE – we play hard but we play free.

PS: When the Raven pilot mentioned above suggested that he would find the people responsible in real life, HE stepped over the line. If anything HE should be punished. In my opinion he deserved everything that came his way and earned well ridicule he was exposed to.

Forlorn: EVE’s playerbase has always been brutal against the carebear. I remember mailing lists with carebear tears, that were filled with anger and many people looking down to other individuals because of lossmail. What changed is that this behaviour is now more openly broadcasted via the different media pages and discuss applets. It may look like the community gets more rude, but I don’t think that has to do with a mentality change. The peer group became larger, not the old 10 man corp chat, now it is the 10k readers of a media page.

Tags: brutality, bullying, cz minutes, sandbox

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.