Editorial: Winning EVE?

One of the first things you learn about writing is to never do it while angry. At best it comes out as passive aggressive, at worst you attract the trolls on /r/eve. But here I am, angry and writing. We, the EVE community, pride ourselves in being the co-creators of what EVE actually is. But as soon as the shit hits the fan there is a significant portion of the very same player base who will happily renounce any responsibility and point the finger of blame squarely at CCP. How do you do that in a sandbox game? Certainly, the interactions between players are governed by the rules set out by CCP, but it remains the main component of the game, rather than game-generated content. I would even argue that the rules players place on each other have much more impact on the life of an EVE player. Is the game stopping you from attacking your neighbour? Nope. You are. Amongst the generations of nullsec sov players whose way of life and understanding of how EVE “works” was moulded under Dominion sov, there seems to be quite a few that saw fit to clamour for change, but once it finally came, can do nothing but complain because they themselves have to change. The complaint about not being able to hold territory AND attack somewhere else at the same time (at the recent Phoebe roundtable) really drove that point home. What that person in fact said was “I want to have my cake and eat it”. Maybe I’m just a lowsec meathead and don’t know what I’m talking about, but I can’t help but get the distinct feeling that parts of nullsec are having a hard time adapting to change. They prefer instead to lay the blame at CCPs feet entirely, something I don’t believe you can do in a sandbox game. So instead of constructive feedback and a willingness to learn a new way of life, they lash out in the most toxic way. Some even refer to Dominion sov in a positive light, which is utterly hysterical to me. I think what actually angers me in this scenario is that the tone of the negativity coming out of some (not all, and this is important) nullsec players. In their hubris they have equated their own qualms about the game to that of all of EVE. However, their background is often old and archaic empires with stale bureaucracies that suffocate gameplay on the individual level. What they fail to realise is that their need to hide behind the biggest skirt (- Dirk McGirk, 2015) is what has led to the stagnation of nullsec, or at least that’s what it looks like from where I sit. No system can change the mentality of the people, that has to come from the people themselves. The real crux of the matter, and my source of not perhaps anger, but frustration, is that these loudmouths are often the first thing a potential or returning player runs into. Don’t confuse this with the intelligent feedback coming out of people like MukkBarovian, but rather a wall of unconstructive, finger pointing and apathetic noise which spreads like cancer. Meanwhile, I’m having the time of my life in lowsec. My EVE is amazing. I am not starved for content. My killboard is humming along nicely and I’m making new friends (and enemies) all the time. I don’t know if it’s a mentality thing, but people in lowsec just want to fight, simply for the love of fighting itself, for the love for EVE Online. But who’s going to read a post called “Everything is peachy”? We’re all too busy enjoying ourselves and killing each other to tell you about it anyway. I’ve seen players quit EVE after having their enthusiasm slowly strangled to death in nullsec bloc warfare and politics, without ever sharing in the fun I experience in the game. That’s not to say that these things are bad for everyone, some people enjoyed these aspects of the game greatly. But that doesn’t negate the fact that it happens, and often. What’s worse is that I’ve seen people interested in trying EVE turn at the door when they see the negativity spewing out of elements of nullsec, predominantly. That’s a sad thing to me. By my book, they never got to see the fun side of EVE. Like I said, I may be a narrow-minded lowsec caveman, but the apathy I’m hearing from parts of nullsec cannot be denied. That leads me to believe that people sometimes come to this game, look to join the winning team, and become a statistic that must be viewed as irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. They become a tool basically, just so they can say “we did this”, “we did that”, when in fact they didn’t do shit. They were just a brick in an uncaring wall. Essentially these people have sacrificed fun at the altar of “winning”, or even worse, in order to avoid risk. Perhaps that’s what floats your boat, not only do I not intend to shit on that, but I also have no right to. However, it also often ends in a loss of passion for the game, not seldom leading to a cesspool of pessimism that puts everyone down. “Winning EVE” is always bad, no matter if you mean living with ratting blues in every direction, or because you quit the game. In my world, both of these things mean you’ve actually lost EVE. </rant> You can send hatemail to niden@crossingzebras.com, call me an idiot at @Niden_GMVA or in the comments section below. Meanwhile, allow me to spread some EVE cheer with this excellent video of quality autism elite PvP from one of our fleets (created by BFish).

Tags: editorial, niden

About the author


12 year EVE veteran, Snuffed Out scumbag, writer, graphic artist, producer, Editor-in-Chief of Crossing Zebras and the second most influential player in EVE, according to EVE Onion.