I suppose I should get the disclaimer out of the way as the cry of 'care-bear' always follows as the comeback to anyone speaking out against the game. Ready? Okay. I'm not a care-bear. I like PVP and I like ganking. I like the odd bit of griefing as well. In my brief time in EVE (8 months) I did a bit of low-sec solo-roaming, noob-ganking, ninja-salvaging, afk-miner bumping, can baiting, and corporate infiltration (though some bastard cleaned them out the day before I had planned my theft). I'm not exactly thin-skinned either having spent a good deal of time amongst truly anti-social individuals. I'm not talking about "lets' bump this afk-miner for lulz" anti-social either, but "let's shank this fucker in the shower because he looked at me cross-eyed when I stole his jello" type of anti-social. In fact, I often find the antics of the staunchest EVE defenders, or the bigger personalities in the game, amusing. They're like little children who think they're all growed up...but I digress.
I have, over the last few months, been following the game through various blogs (Hardcore Casual, and The Ancient Gaming Noob mainly). I also read the whole scandal surrounding the comments made by 'The Mittani' and the debate on cyber-bullying that followed but through it all I remained silent. Silent because I'm not playing EVE anymore, and silent because people don't really engage in rational debate on the internet. We hardly do it in real life, never mind on a forum where you can stay anonymous and say whatever you like without the potential consequences that come when you engage in real-life social situations (like I'm doing now- see how easy it is).
I read The Mittani blog last night, and ironically enough while I was doing that I was afk mining, and while I was doing that, the alt of the guy who was mining next to me was bumping me. I know, it is rather funny, but it was the end of the night and this article was already on my mind so I couldn't help but think 'yup, the game is still full of dicks'. Now, of course, while I afk mine I usually use my alt to scan down mission runners and steal their shit so point doubly proven I guess.
I really liked the post that I read discussing the recent 'nerfs' to some practices in the game (not written by Mittani himself). From what I read it seems that some activities in high-sec (where you can't openly attack people and the 'care-bears' congregate) are being discouraged. Things like suicide ganking mining ships and even my much-loved, ninja-salvaging. I liked this article not because it was well written (and it was) or that his point was passionately made (it was), no I liked it because it was, essentially, a child's rant about how the big bad company is not letting him do what he wants. It's even funnier because I don't think that Mittani himself bothers with that petty griefing bullshit anymore. I'd say he's too busy making an ass of himself in public settings by mocking mentally ill people to do any afk-miner bumping.
Essentially the author was saying that CCP (the makers of EVE) is trying to make is safer in the safe zone for people who don't want to be griefed, ganked, or other-wise bothered. He says this is against the spirit of EVE which allows anything to happen, but yet if that was the case then shouldn't some people be allowed to play free of these things? Ah, well, there really is no point getting into it. As I said, meaningful debate about this is difficult because of the nature of the internet, and the personality types of those who always defend these behaviors. You see, in prison, the guy who steals your stuff and beats you because you dare to complain isn't interested in debating why it's wrong. His mind is made up and he simply sees the world in a different way. Your cries of 'this is wrong' seem stupid to him. You are weak, and he is strong.
The funny thing is, though, that all these griefers and pain-in-the-bollocks type EVE players aren't tough. No, really, you're not. There's two things you should know. First I know you. I really and truly know you and how you think. I could probably guess your race, age and describe your personality fairly well. Second, I know tough guys. Real tough guys and you know what? You aren't one so while you're free to keep living the dream, just realize that some of us can see you for what you are.
The thing is, from what I understand, the grand aspects of EVE, the things that truly make it great like massive fleet battles, corporate intrigue and espionage, low-sec piracy, Worm Hole battles, and the like, won't be affected. The author's complaint, as I said, is that CCP wants to attract more players by making it safer for those who don't want to be bothered. A new post on that blog points out the popularity of Day Z and it's free-for all nature. The author uses this to 'prove' that people want a free-for-all and that secretly everyone wants to get griefed.
DayZ has blown the lid off of that particular box of misconception. With over a million current players, and tens of thousands more added each and every day, the DayZ mod (even in its ‘alpha test’ state) has proven that there is a hidden yearning from more than just internet spaceship geeks for a game that has no compunction in letting the other guy kick you when you’re down. It may even make the argument that every gamer out there secretly and subconsciously wants to play a game in which you are not rewarded for waggling your fingers in the right order, but instead find small rewards ultimately fulfilling for the effort, knowledge, and cognitive ability it took to achieve them.
I liked this bit a lot but only because it's funny. His point is almost well made but slightly flawed. Day Z has no 'care bear high sec' so everyone playing it knows what's up. No one is getting scammed, or griefed- just robbed and killed and this is what the game is about. People, especially now, playing Day Z know what's up, and they are, in fact, up for it. Some people playing EVE online just want to do their own thing and NOT get kicked when they are down. That's why they hang in high-sec.
In the end though, who am I to talk? I'm only pissing about on EVE because they allowed me to re-activate my accounts for two weeks free of charge. My emotional investment in the game is very limited, and while I do like the passions that it is evokes in people I find it's most reverent supporters slightly annoying and not-so-slightly full of shit. But hey, if you've got a problem with that then I suggest we fashion up a couple of shanks with whatever's on hand, and then we can meet up in the shower afterward to debate the issue. Oh, and don't forget to wrap it in a towel you fucking shank-noob!