Quote of the Day

“This is why I have called EVE a bad game in the past. I do have strong mechanics-related complaints about the game (poor UI, poor ship combat, weak avatar support, slow travel, gank PvP), but more than anything, I just don’t enjoy other people’s suffering or want to hang out with people who do. That’s not what real games are about, and it’s certainly not how I want to spend my life.”

~ Skycandy

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21 thoughts on “Quote of the Day

  1. For real?

    People aren’t sociopathic sadists in EVE. That stereotype needs to end. Instead, many players in EVE enjoy competition. Fighting. Etc. The exultations and grandstanding around that isn’t any different than the touchdown dances and taunts that you see in the NFL. Are football players evil? For @&$@’s sake – the “hate on EVE” meme is so ignorant.

    I’ve played a ton of MMOs. The camaraderie in EVE – between friends and for alike – far exceeds anything that you will find in a game like WOW or LOTRO.

    The blogosphere needs to stop posting EVE-hating nonsense from people that have never seriously played the game.

  2. Such a twisted and stupid view of the game. I don’t even know what to say..

    I’m fine with people wanting to be treated by a game as if it was their own mother, but why do they then have to project their opinion on games that don’t fit the pattern and claim their conclusions as facts? I wonder what real games are about in his / hers view?

  3. @Epic.Ben: Not everyone in EVE is a closet sociopath.

    But there are plenty who are. Whether you like it or not, they’re the face of the game you like so much. Very properly so – you cannot play the game without being affected by them, being constantly aware of everything from roaming ganks to suicide strikes to market exploits and scams.

    I understand that the good players of EVE are on this “We’re not bad!” kick of late, but if you can’t understand what those sociopaths do to the community and reputation of your game, and at least acknowledge it and try and deal with it, the bloggers really aren’t the ignorant ones.

  4. I’d have to follow Mynsc here. I don’t play EVE. It’s pretty unlikely I will ever play EVE. Space is a big load of emptiness and spaceships are as dull as cars. If I want politics and financial scams I’ll read the newspaper.

    Those preferences don’t entitle me to look down my nose at consenting adults who don’t share my tastes. If they break the law then I trust the authorities to deal with them. Short of that, live and let live.

    I do wish bloggers who don’t play EVE and don’t want to play EVE would just stop commenting on EVE. Really, I’d much rather hear about your current favorite album or read a review of the last movie you saw.

  5. You completely misunderstood my comment. The people you describe aren’t sociopaths, but instead competitive people playing a sandbox game with clearly understood rules. That many act ruthlessly out of self-interest, sheer nihilism, or whatever – that doesnt make them sociopaths. We’re all just gamers playing the game of EVE.

    PS – the majority of EVE gamers are simpletons like me that like a little member warfare, PVP and space drama.

  6. “The people you describe aren’t sociopaths, but instead competitive people playing a sandbox game with clearly understood rules.”

    I see this a lot, and it’s simply not true.

    They’re not “competitive”. Gameplay in EVE is anything but competitive. Lowsec pirates don’t roam around looking for competition – they’re looking for victims. Same goes for every alliance out there – it’s all about who can put the more numbers, and usually the more supercaps, on the field. If you haven’t got a dominant advantage, you run.

    “Competitive” players don’t park on a gate with smartbombing battleships that insta-pop any random ship that arrives. “Competitive” players don’t suicide gank, or run scams in Jita, or intentionally put up market orders they know can’t be paid for, or set up delivery contracts to stations they know nobody can dock at.

    Those players are dark, twisted people who are too chicken to take their nastiness out on people in the real world, and EVE attracts them like flies.

    You can think they make good villains – I typically treated them as the best AI you could find. And I’m fully aware that not everyone in EVE is like that. But denying that they’re there, that EVE is a game that attracts them, and they make up a sizable portion of the playerbase is simply deluding yourself.

  7. Your definition of competition and competitiveness is very limited. “Competitive advantage” – as defined by its origin in the theory of Darwinian evolution – would totally apply to tactics like suicide gankIng, blobbing, gang warfare and gate camping. Not sure why that bothers so many people.

    No one is forcing you to play. And, as you don’t play, I think you’d be surprised how anti-sociopathic EVE is. Sociopaths, by definition, abhor human contact. In contrast, EVE is the most social MMO in existence.

  8. I agree completely.

    This is why I stopped watching football. All that conflict for a pointless trophy, and my heart breaks when my team wins, as I imagine the anguish that must suffuse its supporters. I just don’t understand how anyone could have fun in such a competitive environment.

  9. You can argue it all you want. I’ve played EVE off and on for a long time – I’d even guess since well before you – and I’ve seen it. Excuse it as “Darwinian competitive advantage” all you want – many of the people I’ve seen and dealt with cared for nothing more than pummeling anyone they could, and running away from those they couldn’t. They’re about competitive advantage as much as the high school bully or the gang of thugs on the corner.

    That’s my experience, the experience of plenty of other people, and the face that EVE shows – and even brags about – to the world. EVE likes to hold these things up to show how tough it is, and then gets pouty when people call it out for what it is. EVE is a harsh, brutal place, right? HTFU, right? Well, guess what? A place doesn’t get to be harsh and brutal unless the people there are harsh and brutal. I believe that being online and being drunk have the same effect on people – it takes away inhibition and social pressure so they can be who they really are. Mittani didn’t get up and say something he’d never say just because he was drunk – he got up and said what he really believed, and showed everyone who he really is.

    Again, not everyone in EVE is like that, but this campaign to show how nice and fluffy the EVE playerbase is will never gain any traction, because people like him are the ones who define the game.

  10. “You can argue it all you want”

    Always the best way to concede a losing argument.

  11. Or maybe just a concession that we’re not going to convince each other.

    The EVE community has a massive image problem. I don’t believe anyone will debate that. The point at contention is whether that is justified. In my experience – in the game, since the very beginning – it is very justified. Those arguing that it’s not really that bad have to handwave over a great deal of behavior that people outside EVE find objectionable.

    That’s the root of the problem, and exemplified by Ben’s comments. To EVE players, the nastiness they visit on each other is just part of the game, and nothing personal, and “it’s only a game.” People who don’t play EVE think the behavior is generally reprehensible. The EVE community is not going to win any arguments by claiming that things like attacking unarmed ships or running market scams or stealing from your own corp are all justified in the name of competitive advantage.

    Fun dismissive internet one-liners aside, that’s my point – you really can argue that all you want, but it’s simply not persuasive to anyone. So it’s not a “losing argument” – I have no argument to make here. Certainly, nothing I say is going to make the gaming community as a whole have a WORSE opinion of EVE’s players. I’m pretty sure that reputation is at rock bottom. The EVE community, on the other hand, seems suddenly desperate to distance themselves from the worst elements of itself. Trying to claim that everything that goes on in EVE is justified in the name of “competitive advantage” does nothing but reinforce the negative views people have of EVE players.

  12. “The EVE community has a massive image problem.”

    Its the longest-growing MMO ever, and for a spreadsheet simulator in space, it has more subs in the US/EU than all but a couple fading MMOs. I’m sure most devs would love to have such a ‘massive image problem’.

  13. EVE’s got a “cult-classic” thing going on; that position alone is enviable from the perspective of other MMO dev and design teams.

    There are players in EVE who will in fact help you learn and get by. Some of them, however, think it’s important that you learn what it’s like to be ganked, swindled, tricked, robbed, or cheated. The game supports these things (they lie at its very foundation), so it is honestly important that you learn about them. You need to so you can make an informed decision as to whether or not you’d like to continue to play.

    That said, I found myself solemnly nodding as I read that quote; I really couldn’t have put it better.

    Some people do in fact enjoy “feeding on tears” as they call it; and either they are utterly immune to likewise treatment, or they rebound from it quickly and consistently, or possibly it fuels them in a way I purely don’t understand.

    They have their game. No reason they can’t keep it. It’s not for everybody but there’s nothing wrong with that.

  14. Two points:
    1) That is a lot text for not having an argument to make?

    2) How is EVE any different than any other MMO? You speak broadly about the context for EVE and the players that play it, but have you spent more than one month in WOW? It’s not that different.

  15. Buhallin, I see you describe playing a game, while pointing out the game encourages and supports playing the game, yet dismissing any who play along as sociopaths. I think what you’ve written here could apply to competitors in any MMO, any game of any kind — I think it even applies to how chess is played in tournaments—I’m guessing it applies to how a friend’s husband plays Magic tournaments—you look for a rating bracket where you have a chance to win before you even agree to play. If that’s not Eve-like enough for you, then consider this: Eve is how human beings fight. It’s not just how gangs of thugs and bullies fight — it’s how neighborhoods organize to respond, how a group of kids stand together against bullies, how the police respond when they must, how the military responds to everything from riots to invasion. It’s the only approach that makes sense when losses have an actual impact: fight when you can win, flee and maintain the ability to fight later when you cannot. It’s not new, and it’s not limited to the bullies.

    It’s your perception that they take joy in the misery of the defeated rather than simple joy in victory. But that’s assuming they even think defeat causes misery. For many determined competitive people, it’s just a learning experience and a motivator.

    I think that’s a theme that can be repeatedly found in Syncaine’s recent writing about Eve. Sure he enjoys winning, but it’s more of a pride in his cleverness and ability than joy in causing suffering. But more importantly, he doesn’t rage or get miserable at all when he’s defeated. He talks about what he learned, and several times even talked to the player that destroyed his ship, finding out what he could about how or why.

    We could focus on whatever we dislike the most about any game or community and use those game aspects to claim psychological disorders for the majority of the community — I’d actually probably find that an entertaining exercise, but I wouldn’t think it was actually factual.

  16. EVE is different. Its players like to claim its different. EVE applies cost – that’s what everyone likes about it, and it’s what makes it different than chess or Magic. Originally, Magic had an ante system – each player picked a random card from their deck, and the winner kept them. That didn’t last. Not only because people didn’t like the cost, but because it encouraged the worst sort of unsporting play from people.

    There are indeed lots of people who can take it in stride, win or lose, and are just out to have fun. But there are also plenty of players who take their joy not in a hard fight or their own success, but in stealing, punishing, and exploiting. There’s also a serious problem with people who just see it as competition without limits, and the victims who don’t – it’s inherently an environment which tells each player they can do whatever they want without consideration of the impact to others. And they do.

    If EVE didn’t have an image problem, then the community wouldn’t be out so hard trying to convince everyone that they’re not so bad, now would they? Is it an image that makes CCP lots of money? Certainly, but I don’t think that’s the prime consideration.

  17. Frankly, I am grateful for the existence of a game like EVE. Like the author of the original quote, I have zero desire to hang out with gamers who truly enjoy preying on others, stealing/griefing/whatevering and then gleefully feeding on their “tears.” I just find it boring and a little pathetic that some people seem to like that. RL is competitive enough. In my downtime, I prefer a more collaborative environment. /shrug

    That said, hey – different strokes for different folks. At least EVE provides a playground for players who DO enjoy such tactics and, candidly, that keeps them out of games I DO play. Win-win, I say.

  18. Epic.Ben, I’ve played both WoW and EVE Online. They are *fundamentally different*.

    EVE is a Sandbox MMO.

    WoW is a Themepark MMO.

    Get up on your terminology, man.

  19. @thade: thanks for pointing out the obvious :). What I meant, was, how is EVE’s community drastically different? Both games are full of a@@hats.

  20. Not seeing how it’s obvious that you meant the community when the question you asked was about the game, but hey.

    There’s more community interaction in EVE as players are making the content: setting the prices, posing threats to each other, shifting where the action is. As a result you get big names like “the Mittani” and Kelduum Revan that everybody knows about; I mean everybody. If you play the game for more than a trial and you get into it, you quickly start to see that there are players will real influence on the direction of the game. This disregards the CSM, which is a player-populated council that has real influence on the game’s core design (they pitch requests and ideas to CCP). The community is also universal as it’s all on one shard.

    The community in WoW (and most other theme parks, with Rift being a partial exception) is much more segmented. You might know one guy on your server for being a super tool or for leading one of the big end-game guilds, but he has little to no influence on your in-game experience. The community is extremely clickish; you interact with your guildmates and – for most players – that’s it. There is no need or motivation to go beyond that.

    There’s no “Gear Score” in EVE. There’s a lot more altruism in the unreasonably devout player base – people going out of their way to help rookies in an attempt to keep them in the game. That an organization like EVE University exists at all does massive credit to the game’s community; there is no WoW Guild that exists purely to teach people how to play the game. In fact, being a “leveling guild” is more a stigma than anything else.

    The communities are very different. Go jump on Syncaine’s offer of a long-haul trial and really get into it. You’ll see the differences plain as day.

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