Blog Banter #20: The Joy of Loss

Posted: 2010/08/24 by evilsilents in Eve Blog Banter, Thoughts
Tags: , , ,

Please note that the following Eve Blog Banter post is as-yet unofficial.  I just couldn’t resist, as it’s a topic very relevant to the whole purpose of Evil Silents.

Welcome to the twentieth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

With the recent completion of the 3rd installment of the Hulkageddon last month,@CyberinEVE, author of Hands Off, My Loots!, asks: “Griefing is a very big part of EVE. Ninja Salvaging, Suicide Ganking, Trolling, and Scamming are all a very large part of the game. What do you think about all these things? You can talk about one, or all…but just let us know your overall opinion on Griefing, and any recommendations you may have to change it if you think it’s needed.”

Timmy sits in his Retriever shooting rocks.  Yawning, he drags another load of Arkonor into the jetcan spinning lazily beside his ship, parked unaligned and solo in the midst of a pristine belt.  Bored already, he brings up his mining spreadsheet.  No need to watch D-scan, Local or the grid; he is safe.  Eve no longer permits non-consensual PvP, can-flipping, ninja salvaging and scamming.  With a few calculations, he smiles – four more months of doing this two hours a night, and he’ll have enough ISK to upgrade to a Covetor.

If you have played most other MMOs (for the record I was an endgame Rogue in a 2nd-tier WoW raiding guild for a looong time) you will understand that Eve is different.  The sandbox is not just a marketing concept, it is literally the case – every player action does have real effects on other players.

But many people do come to Eve from other, lesser games; games in which they had a slow grind upwards, risk-free, with the amount of input effort the only factor in their rise in wealth and experience.  They are conditioned to expect that they can play how they want to play, and others have no ability to upset that.  PvE servers on WoW are the classic example: outside of battlegrounds and arenas – tightly controlled and consensual – there is no real way for another character to interrupt your slow climb.  Effort = reward.  Linear relationship.

Then they come to Eve, and their slow climb is interrupted by a flipper, a ninja salvager, a suicide gank.  They are offended and confused – how can this be?  Another player has affected their slow climb to wealth and power!  Hax!  Griefing!  Shenanigans!

Welcome to Eve.

Eve without risk is this: shooting rocks and shooting AI.  Is that really what you want? Without loss, there is no market for ore and salvage because there is no market for replacement ships.  There’s no market for those looted modules.  There are no people to play Eve with, because they all got bored and went away.

Oh I get it: you want loss and risk, lots of it.  You just don’t want it to happen to you.  That’s the crux of the matter right? You want to pursue your strategy in a bubble, safe from the chaotic maelstrom around you, reaping the benefits of that storm while being insulated from it.  I’m sorry Timmy, that just ain’t how it works.

You are Tony Stark. You have wealth and power, obtained by providing the tools of misery to others for profit, all the while insulated from the harshness of the world you help create.  Then you are forced to confront the realities of that world in the harshest way imaginable.  Do you curl up and die, bemoaning your misfortune; or do you rise as Iron Man from the ashes, using your intelligence and creativity to forge a path to greatness?

Losses are without doubt a source of grief for the loser.  Whether you’ve lost a jetcan of Veldspar or 74 Plexes, it hurts, and I know that all too well.  But people, transcend your hurt.  The chaos and lawlessness of Eve is it’s biggest attraction – it is a big boy’s MMO, where you have to grow up fast or be eaten.  Either you find that awesome, or you don’t belong.  Unfortunately it’s as simple as that.

Eve is ultimately about the balance between convenience and risk/reward.  AFK mining Veldspar in 1.0 space in a Mammoth is low risk, convenient but very low reward.  Autopiloting that same Mammoth with a POS tower in it to Rens is also convenient.  But, as it turns out, high risk when you traverse known trade pipes in the process.  Mining to a jetcan is more convenient than returning to the station every time your hold is full, but you accept a risk when you do so and, according to the Eve Wiki, can flipping is officially considered griefing only in rookie systems.  You could fit a huge active tank and salvage each mission wreck as you make it, almost eliminating the risk of having them stolen, but you make a convenience trade when you do so.

I’m all for letting new players settle in, as I believe this is an investment in future targets – similar to throwing back undersized fish.  This is why I have a personal ban on targets under 1 month old, and avoid rookie systems.  For reference, the rookie systems are (I believe):

  • Gallente : Cistuvaert, Bourynes, Duripant
  • Minmatar : Ryddinjorn, Hulm, Ammold
  • Caldari : Todaki , Amsen , Kisogo
  • Amarr : Emrayur , Sehmy , Chaven

However, arguing the amorality of stealing is utterly bogus in a game.  You simply can’t make the case that it’s OK to blow up somebody’s prized battleship in “fair” PvP (which almost never happens), which they worked and saved for; but not OK to steal someone’s ore, salvage or loot.  Every loss is an ISK loss.  But though you grieve for your losses, you must understand that you have not been Griefed.  Your loss was part of the game, and you accepted the risk of that loss when you undocked.

If you get suicide ganked in highsec, you get kill rights.  Now you have a month to exact payback.  Exciting huh?  Doesn’t that add a dimension to the game that fires you up and leads you in interesting directions?  Revenge.  Locator agents.  Hannibal chewing on a cigar, saying “I love it when a plan comes together” with a mischievous grin.

If someone takes your ore or loot, you can shoot them without Concord’s interference, and bring in corp buddies to help.  Feel that thrill?  That’s the risk/reward centre of your brain kicking in, arguing with your pride and struggling with adrenaline and testosterone.  Why the hell else would you want to play a game, if not for that awesome high?  Someone looking sideways at your wrecks?  Bait them, trap them, convo them and practice social engineering.  Don’t be a victim.  Play the game.

Feel the joy of your loss, as it opens doors for you.

Timmy sits in his Retriever shooting rocks.  Yawning, he drags another load of Arkonor into the jetcan spinning lazily beside his ship, parked unaligned and solo in the midst of a pristine belt.  He grins as the can flipper beside him falls for the trap, and laughs as his corpmate decloaks his Rifter and blows the flipper to glowing dust.   Exhilarated, he brings up his mining spreadsheet.  With a few calculations, he smiles – four more days of doing this two hours a night, and he’ll have enough ISK to upgrade to a Covetor.

Other Blog Banters:

More to come…

  1. CrazyKinux says:

    Added yours to the list! As for adding you to the list, I always reply to those who email me requesting to be added. If you did not get such a reply please email me again with “Add me to the EVE Blog Banter List” in the subject of the email. Drop me a comment here when you’ve done so!

  2. […] Blog Banter #20: The Joy of Loss « Evil Silents […]

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