Losing Pixels Like a Man

 
“GF”. For a two letter abbreviation, that simple statement conveys a lot of information. We fought, one of us won, and I am not butthurt. Good fight. It’s a salute to an opponent, a respectful nod to their skill and attitude, and in some cases an ironic reference to the one-sided nature of an engagement; such as popping cyno noobships or dunking on TEST. I kid, I kid. As the aphorism goes: If you find yourself in a fair fight in Eve, one or both of you screwed up. For many players, how people react to loss – particularly a surprise pants-down spanking – is a defining characteristic. Does this guy “get Eve” or is he to be written off as a WoW In Space assclown? Hotdrop him, gank his freighter, exhumer or mission boat and you’ll find out.

wow in space. I’ll show myself out.

The AUTZ community learned something in this regard about one of its spaceship celebrities last week, and something else about e-fandom. There’s nothing particularly outrageous about the killmail, and I shan’t be mocking anyone ALOD-style, but the story suits the topic perfectly, and who doesn’t love a little bit of light drama amirite TEST? I kid. Freighter ganked by Miniluv & CODE in The Citadel. Not newsworthy. But the pilot was nGR RDNx, organiser of Eve Down Under (the Australian Fanfest) and a relatively high profile individual in the antipodes as host of the weekly Eve show on Net Game Radio. Celebrity down? I’m listening. He was also, coincidentally, hauling T1 cruisers to a staging system for the traditional Eve Down Under 1v1 PVP tournament. The plot thickens. And finally, the gank was completed one server tick before downtime, making it heart-stopping for all concerned. You can read the AARs from both Code and RDNx’s perspective on the Eve Down Under blog, suffice to say that there were long-form GFs all around. RDNx solidified his reputation as one of the good guys who gets Eve, and gained much in the way of respect from Miniluv and CODE, which he returned. Where it gets a little sordid is not in the reaction of the combatants, but in the brickbats thrown from the peanut gallery. As we’ve seen in other high profile cases, those who get the most offended are often the white knights on the sideline; horrified that something or someone they hold dear has been brutally violated ingame even while their unwilling damsel-in-distress has moved on and is baffled by the fuss.
“Glad to see RDNx can see the fun side in this. I just wish everyone else could also.” – Facebook comment
No names, no pack drill. My intent is not to get anyone banned or turn the situation into something bigger than it was; but to illustrate the point of the article, you might want to ask yourself if the following are the reactions of people who are ready for an MMO like Eve: “Out of all the people to gank, you gank RDN.” “You are really a shit person.” “Wonder if anyone will have the balls to be from CODE at EDU. Punch their feking lights out man.” that-escalated-quickly-will-ferrell Those who engage in non consensual PVP in highsec see this with monotonous regularity. It’s easily recognised for the nutless bluster that it is, usually brushed off, and it’s rare (but not unheard of) that a credible RL threat is made or followed up. In many PVP corps, a reaction like this will get you tossed out; as much for revealing that you are a whiny shitlord as for any principled stand against threatening language. Sadly though, these qualities seem to thrive in highsec and in some channels are even celebrated. It’s easy to forget as Eve players that we are mixing with people from all walks of life, from all over the world, and from a large age and maturity range. They play Eve for different reasons and look for different things out of their game time. But it’s unarguable that they are playing the same game, and that ship loss is possible in the game anywhere by design. Remember this next time you feel like raging. Pick a side, create content, be a suicide ganker or an antiganker, or that guy who whores on Concord and salvages 20 Catalysts every 15 minutes. But keep the perspective that you are playing a competitive PVP MMO, and the aim of the game is ultimately to outwit, outplay and/or space-murder other pilots. Be excellent to each other, win or lose. Interviews with RDNx and loyalnon follow. The responses have been minimally edited for grammar and structure only. the-joker-batman-dark-knight
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RDNx Interview

B: Hi RDNx, and thanks for speaking to Crossing Zebras. Firstly, could you let our readers know who you are in Eve, and what you do in the Australian Eve community? RDNx: I am mostly an industrialist type who likes to build things. However, I have been known to indulge in a little PvP, mostly supporting public (NPSI) roams in the AUTZ with Andideath and Greygal. B: You recently lost a freighter to a Miniluv / Code gank in highsec, and you’ve stated that it was hauling cruisers for the Eve Down Under PVP tournament. Can you describe the leadup to the gank? RDNx: Yes, it was funny. As I mentioned, I like to build things, and because we run the EVE Down Under 1v1 PVP Tournament on Tranquility (much to some people’s surprise – although it definitely adds to the fun/drama), I was preparing for EDU by building a decent stock of T1 Cruisers – all 16 variants – and shipping them to our tournament system. Unfortunately, my high sec home build system is on the opposite side of Uedama to the tournament system. I was well aware of the dangers of transiting that system/area as it has been the site of previous freighter losses. Notwithstanding, given I would prefer to die on my feet than live on my knees – I decided these cruisers needed to be moved, so decided to take three quarter load with an approximate value of half a billion ISK – given the general “rule of ganking thumb” was it wasn’t worth the effort under about a billion ISK. Most high sec industrials are acutely aware of the recent increased ganking activities in the choke point systems, and as a result, decided to take along a scout / webbing alt. So, off I go, refining the freighter jump / web combination through the gates as I approached the critical systems centred on Uedama. On the in-gate in Uedama I noticed signs of a recent gank, with elevated numbers of Concord, which was not a good sign. Undeterred, I warped through and jumped out, and into Juunigaishi. B: From your perspective, how did the gank go down? What were you thinking and doing at the time? RDNx: After landing in system and issuing the command to align/jump to the out gate, I found my web alt was unfortunately 24km away. Quickly issuing the align to command and hitting the microwarp drive, I came within web range within a few seconds. About the time my web alt got within range, a Machariel gets the first bump on the freighter. At this point I am thinking, “here we go again” as this is not the first time I have lost a freighter and know the routine. This time however, I wasn’t going down without putting up a bit of a fight. For the next few minutes I spammed the align and web buttons on main and alt respectively hoping for the lucky break and the warp out. Sadly the first Machariel was joined by a second and the bumping began in earnest. However, to use my friend Otto’s comment… “Never not believe”, so I continued to try and warp off, however as time went by the likelihood of this occurring became less and less. Although at this stage the possibility of surviving until down time came into consideration. As expected the Catalysts arrived en masse, and started chewing through the shields and armour. I don’t recall the exact timing / details, however after surviving the initial volleys and downtime fast approaching I started to seriously think I was going to tank them. Sadly for me, I saw the ominous “capsule ejected” the very second the screen darkened and the client disconnect message appeared. B: Has there been any lasting impact on the Eve Down Under cruiser tournament? RDNx: Not at all. This was only a small percent of the total number of T1 cruisers we will have available for the tournament, and quite frankly with the great support we are getting from the community, the loss of a few cruisers in the least of my worries. B: You posted to Facebook shortly after the loss, urging people not to be mad at Goonswarm & Miniluv. For the record, the gankers I’ve spoken to have all complimented you on your relaxed attitude. However, there were reportedly some poor reactions from some of your fans. What happened? RDNx: I didn’t post on Facebook, (not a fan of Facebook), however I was asked to respond to a nice little article about the kill that was posted on the CODE website. [B: post-interview correction – the Facebook post in question was made to the Eve Down Under Facebook page, but not by RDNx.] RDNx: Like any normal person, I am always sad after losing a ship, however as everyone knows, in EVE, anytime you undock there is a chance your ship will die, so no point getting mad about it. Furthermore, I play this video game for fun and getting angry is not a lot of fun – so I try not to – especially when it comes to losing a ship. It is simple, the minute it stops becoming fun, I will stop playing, although I cannot see that happening anytime soon. I am not sure I have “fans” per se, however as I am known in the Australian timezone for my work with EVE Down Under, and I think a few people were sad to see me get killed to high sec gankers. As a demonstration of how awesome the Australian EVE community is, by the time I had logged back into EVE after the loss, I had ISK well in excess of value of the ship plus contents in my wallet. I also had a bunch of people offering to “avenge” the loss somehow, which I thought was a nice show of support, and I did suggest they could “go right ahead” however was necessary on my behalf. Quite frankly I have been surprised how much interest / entertainment has been generated by a mildly straight forward freighter gank on an industrial scrub like me. I think part of the excitement from the gankers was the because of how close it was to downtime, and the adrenalin rush that occurred when they pulled it off. As someone who spends quite a bit of time trying to entertain people in the EVE community via the EVE Down Under Show and the Event, I am pleased I created, in some small way, a little more content for the AUTZ. B: What are your general thoughts regarding highsec PVP and ganking? All part of the game, or broken? And any final thoughts? RDNx: Although I am not a huge fan of highsec ganking, mostly because, in my opinion it appears to somewhat imbalanced between the gankers chance of success and the gankees chance of survival. However, I don’t want to start some long winded discussion about it being “broken”, and in the most part I would agree that it is just all “part of the game”. As we all know, EVE-Online is a sandbox game, which is what makes it the interesting and appealing to most of us. However this comes with the potential downside of some people doing things in the game that we may not always like. That is EVE! Most who have listened to the EVE Down Under Show will know, I do have opinions, sometimes passionate ones, about various parts of the game, and of course putting these suggestions forward to CCP Games is part of our passion for the game. However, as I mentioned earlier, it is still a game we play for fun, and I try, not always successfully, to deal with and play the game as designed today and finding the balance with the game we hope to see in the near future. B: Thanks for your time RD, and all the best for a successful Eve Down Under. RDNx: Thank you, and I look forward to meeting all of you at EVE Down Under 2014 (21 – 23 Nov), including buying those involved in this little gank a beer for a job well done! Close game is ALWAYS a good game!
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Loyalanon Interview

B: Hi loyal, and thanks for speaking to Crossing Zebras. Firstly, could you let our readers know who you are in Eve and what you do ingame? loyalanon: I am the Primary FC in Code Alliance, and CEO of The Conference Elite a CodeDOT Alliance Corp. B: You were recently involved in a highsec gank that took down RDNx’s Obelisk as he was hauling ships for the Eve Down Under cruiser PVP tournament; and you and several others involved have said that it was a notably fun kill. What was it that made it special? How did it go down? loyalanon: We had word from Warr Akini [B: the leader of the CFC’s Ministry of Love] who was in fleet with us and scouting targets, that a particular pilot was coming through, we had 5 minutes until downtime, so I called for the undock to fleet and Warr called for all bumpers to get to the staging system. RDNx had a webber, however, that’s useless after the initial bump. With about 45 seconds to go we were landing and had aggressed, but with 10 seconds left he was still in low armor. Once the remainder of the fleet had agressed he instapopped and seconds later, downtime hit. It was the closest gank I have ever FC’d and would be one of my most memorable. The one thing I believe that made this so special is that within a second of blowing up, the socket closed message came up due to downtime. The reaction on comms was priceless, if we were 1 second later, or had 1 catalyst pilot less I don’t believe we would have got him. B: Comments from the gankers have been universally positive about how RDNx reacted to the kill. However, there were some players in the EDU community who didn’t react so well. What’s your comment on that? loyalanon: Im pretty sure RDNx is one of those guys who knows what Eve is about and wouldn’t be too upset, I haven’t spoken to him or seen what he has had to write because I personally didn’t know who he was until I saw the Eve Down Under Facebook page on my newsfeed the next day. A lot of people are always going to be butthurt no matter what you do in Eve and I’ve given up trying to please everyone. A Wise man by the name of James 315 once said – haters gonna hate. B: You’ve personally killed, at the time of writing, over 100 freighters, jump freighters and Orcas over the past few days in highsec; in the face of some anti-ganker opposition. Can you explain to those who might be curious what’s fun about “clubbing seals” as it’s been called? loyalanon: There’s a lot more to it then just undocking and F1’ing on something, as freighters are massive targets and rarely stationary, and when we have “whiteknight” logi/ECM/counter bumpers on grid it makes it that much more exciting, The anti-ganking “community” still fail to stop us doing anything, however I believe having the audience watch us dunk freighters all day is another exciting aspect. We gank as -10 characters. It makes it a lot more exciting also as warp-ins, bumps and DPS numbers all have to be perfect and there is limited room for error. B: Given that you probably deal with a fair bit of abuse as CODE’s foremost FC, do you feel that it comes with the territory, or that players take things too seriously? And any final comments for our readers? loyalanon: In regards to the abuse a lot of players dish out, the majority of it comes from the anti-gankers who believe that blowing up spaceships in this game is the equivalent to cyberbullying, which in reality it’s not. They and a lot of other people need to just chill out and remember this is a game, the mechanic of suicide ganking has been in this game a lot longer than these whiners have been playing. Older players understand that it’s valid game mechanics and don’t really bitch about it as much as the newer players. If I was going to leave your readers with any final thoughts, I would like to say – don’t forget a mining permit for your freighter, and long live James 315 the Saviour of High Sec. B: Thanks for your time loyal, and all the best for a successful campaign.
Tags: Blackhuey, CODE, eve down under, highsec ganking, Miniluv

About the author

Blackhuey

Blackhuey splits his time between hisec and nullsec, and enjoys creating content in both. He likes that feeling when a plan comes together, and dislikes people who get mad about being beaten at spaceships.


  • Bam Stroker

    Good yarn, huey. FYI I’m the one who handles the EDU FB page, and both RD and I tweet from the @evedownunder account.

    • blackhuey

      Got it thanks Bam. More AUTZ content to follow on CZ, and I’ll have to chat to you about a press pass for EDU 🙂

  • Kamar Raimo

    One thing that always occurs to me and I ask myself whether gankers may or may not see it the same way. You are interacting with random people online in ways they didn’t ask for. You cramp their style. You want to have tears. Is it really surprising that every once in a while you will hit that strange psyche that just waits to explode?

    • blackhuey

      I know what you mean Kamar, and I guess it’s not surprising given Eve’s combination of permanently destructible assets and nonconsensual PVP that people do get upset about losses. As I hope I made clear in the article though, that’s the game, by CCP’s design; and it makes no more sense raging about a gank in Jita than it does complaining about losing your queen in chess.

      While there are certainly some who are in it for tears, there are plenty of others who do it for profit, strategic reasons or genuine ideology. There are definitely some who intentionally aggravate their targets and provoke them into over-reacting, and to some extent they do deserve what they get. But there are also plenty of overreactions that dip into racism, homophobia and misogyny in response to nothing more than unexpected ship loss, and those things shouldn’t be acceptable in any context let alone space pixels.

  • GF. god to see some people just not create dramas over some pixels.

    good read

  • Justin

    I think it stands to reason that if you want someone to lose like a man, you should fight like a man…