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Monday, May 3, 2010

Spoiled Little Children

I suddenly had a realization where a long time irritant of trying to explain EVE came from. I'd like to thank Tobold for the revelation. Contrast the following points of view:

Newbie coming from most other MMOs: "Wow, this is great, I can fly anywhere in the game"... Immediately tries to fly to 0.0... "Holy crap I just got blow out of space for no reason what so ever"... "This is griefing because I wasn't doing anything but minding my own business".

Experienced pilot finding a neutral pilot in an NPC corp flying in their space: "Yo! FC, we've got a potential alt scout in system XX-XXX, you got anyone in the area that can respond?"

Experienced FC: "Support squadron 1 go chase down that idiot, scouts head to systems YY-YYY and ZZ-ZZZ and see if there's anything that guy could be scouting for".

Here is the issue: The newbie may BE minding his own buisness, but there is no way to tell a newbie apart from a scout. Not to mention a spy. The fact that the newbie has not realized this is because he is conditioned to be the "star" of the game by most of the other MMOs out there. Other MMOs try and make the player feel like they are the hero, that they are better than anyone else, that only their actions and intentions matter. This conditioning causes them to act like spoiled little children who can't play well with other. Grow up, we're treating you like an adult. The grownups in EVE live in a world where realtime spying on the opponent is not only expected but assumed to be happening even when it isn't. I operate assuming that I've been infiltrated by spies (I hope they find us highly boring). All mid level to large alliances operate in this environment.

Get it straight: a lot of the high sec stuff (suicide ganking, can flipping) IS greifing. 0.0 is not. It's politics and metagaming. It's not about you, it's about what you could be representing. It makes the diplomatic situation in Europe prior to the First World War look like a model of stability. Your assumed experience (based on when your char was created) is meaningless since one of the common things is to use low skill point alts as scouts. That 2mil sp char that suddenly finds itself in 0.0 space is actually more likely to be the alt of some 50mil+ skill point pilot giving way more information away to "the enemy" than any alliance feels comfortable with giving up. The ship he's flying may be setup to be a cyno boat. The truth of the matter is that "scout" is a fairly critical to large fleet operations. SP do not make a good scout. Observation and clear communications make a good scout this is eyeball mark I stuff, a 1h old character can do this. This is one of the reasons we say newbies CAN make a difference in EVE. Even when we have a hand full of experienced high SP scouts using cov-ops and fleet recons, we can always use a few extra eyes in frigates to keep an eye on surrounding systems.

The unwillingness of certain new players to understand in the true environment the rest of us deal with is the cause of a lot of grief between the experienced player an the newbie. The fact that most newbies feel more comfortable in corporations made up mostly of newbie corporations and one or two experienced pilots is understandable (I've known quite a few high SP assholes that are poison to a growing corp). This however does nothing in instructing them of what really goes on at the alliance level and what alliance leaders and FCs have to deal with. The fact that the game mechanics allow for a lot of true griefing in high sec does not help. It doesn't prepare one AT ALL for the reality of 0.0. There has been REAMS of information published about the realities of living in 0.0. Yet newbie after newbie insists that according to their experience they should be able to waltz in and do what they want how they want WITHOUT REGARD FOR OTHERS.

Well boyo, I've got news for you, you have no way of proving you're a newbie, so excuse me while we treat you like any other 50mil SP intruder running a scouting alt for his fleet. The fact of the matter is you didn't run into a griefer, you ran into the pros and they flattened you without a second thought and you were forgotten as a rather idiotically easy kill about 5 minutes after it happened. Just because YOU are incapable of seeing the damage a 2mil SP character can do does not mean the rest of us are incapable of seeing (not to mention have seen in the past). We will do something about it. Scouts don't exist in isolation. The age of a character means NOTHING at this level. The abilities of the player behind the character is EVERYTHING.

The unfortunate thing is that because this is a SANDBOX in the sense that CCP just provides the mechanics, and we do with them what we can get away with, CCP isn't really in control of what the players do with the sandbox once they get their hands on it. The mechanics allow for scouting alts, scouting alts will get used. This is the major reason for the NBSI policy most 0.0 entities use. Now that CVA has been kicked out of providence I don't think there are any NRDS entities left in 0.0. There's a reason for that.

This inability to connect your actions and how they may look to others together with the whining to high heaven afterward is what makes a lot of newbies look like spoiled little children instead of adults to most experienced EVE pilots. This is why the reaction to this attitude tends to be fairly harsh. You act like a spoiled little child, you'll get treated as one.


Anonymous said...

So you've just helped all the newbies who read your blog. The trouble is, pilots you might consider a "newbie" don't read your blog -- experienced pilots do. So now the conversation will go:

Newbie: Hey, why did you kill me?
Experienced Pilot: Didn't you read Letrange's blog? It explained in great detail why I just killed you.
Newbie: People blog about EVE?

I am in no way arguing that killing neutrals in 0.0 is griefing -- it's clearly not. But that's where you should have ended the argument. Maybe suggest that there is some easy access to information about 0.0 for brand new pilots (there isn't any now).

NRDS is not what killed CVA; the heavy lifting was done by fleets of supercapital and capital ships with a solid backbone of battleships. No alt scout led the charge there. Your argument really has nothing to do with NRDS except to tag it on the end as a conclusion about why NRDS doesn't work. CVA's role play killed them. It led to their reactions and simultaneously made them "not cool" for being role players. The "cool kids" squashed them.

You've also missed that Star Fraction holds sovereignty in the New Providence -- and they are NRDS. I think there a couple other entities in other regions as well.

Benoit CozmikR5 Gauthier said...

If the term "Null Security" isn't big enough as a hint to noob pilots that the space they are about to trespass can be lethal (NRDS, NBSI, I don't care which), then I don't know what is.

What is it... players coming from other games need to have their hands held ?!?!

Anonymous said...

Tobold's 0.0 example was perhaps poorly chosen; he would have been about as dead about as fast if he had gone to most of low sec.

You must remember that Tobold writes about MMOs and the economics of MMOs. Perhaps Disappointed might be better than Spoiled? At some point, some people realize that EVE will never have the customers that many other games do and thus will never have the resources of other games. It doesn't affect the existing niche players, but at some point new players will increasingly expect support for things like multi-core, 64 bit, DX11. Maybe even a better UI? Which is sad for what EVE could have been as well as regret for the time and money already invested.

I presume that is why CCP is using EVE Online's profits as a cash cow to fund their console business. I am sure they hope those games to be more mainstream.

Stabs said...

Well said Letrange.

What I found disappointing was the passive aggressiveness of calling everyone "bullies" just because they have a different gameplay style.

Anyway I'm sure WoW will be glad to have him back.

@ Sally Eve's numbers are decent. WoW is the only western MMO ahead of it. In the final analysis though if the investors, workers and players of CCP's game are happy who cares if 10 million people play WoW or 80 million play Farmville?

Dax Jr. said...

Letrange, I have to agree with your comments even if they may seem trenchant to others. I can’t help but feel that Tobold would have written differently had he began EVE earlier with a 50 mil SP toon in some null-sec alliance. Yeah, it seems spoiled kids cannot bear the fact that they won’t be able to catch up veterans within a month. No heirloom items in EVE. :(

paritybit, your three-week old newbie player is right here. I follow the EVE blog pack and other newsfeeds. It seems only right to do so when playing a game which could well be the most community-intensive MMO in existence.

Anonymous said...

Yup, relative EVE noob here too (just over 2 months) and I agree totally with what you said about the spoiled kids mindset that seems to permeate the gaming community nowadays. Most people just whine incessantly about every little thing that they can't have their way RIGHT NOW instead of accepting that with any good stuff there's bound to be a bunch of not-so-great stuff.

Initially I tried to give Tobold some tips, but it's becoming more and more apparent that he's just not capable of making that jump from WoW to EVE (and isn't even really trying to) so I just wait for the glorious train wreck that will make him /ragequit now.

Great blog btw, your articles are part of what persuaded me to finally jump into EVE (also thinking of moving into industry once I finish training more support skills).

The Editor said...

Well, let's be honest here.

Even if there were some magical means of separating new players from an experienced player's recon alts, most 0.0 pilots would cheerfully pod the rookies - if only to teach him/her and object lesson about entering null-sec.

I think your scenario gives a bit more credit than is due to the motivations of the experienced 0.0 player. It's not all strategery and frosty calls up to the FC. A lot of null-sec pilots would pod noobs for the lulz - never mind it's about as challenging as going after a kitten with a shot-gun.

It isn't good. It isn't bad. It just EVE.

As Ford Prefect said:

"Listen. It's a tough universe. There's all sorts of people and things trying to do you, kill you, rip you off, everything. If you're going to survive out there, you've really got to know where your towel is."

As for spoiled little children, they come in all sizes - some with tens of millions of SP. We all know a few.

Anonymous said...

I think it is just that EVE requires much more meta gaming even for something as simple as poking about in 0.0. There is just so much information that EVE players get used to processing in only a few seconds that no one really sits down and explains to new players (outside of entities like Eve-Uni of course).

How many pilots are in system along your route? Is this a major pipeline into some other 0.0 region? What time zone is the controlling alliance most active in?

Numtini said...

Fantastic if a bit harsh comment and at least for me, all of those little things that could be going on, the complexities and politics, are what make Eve worth playing.

pjharvey said...

This is an excellent post that highlights many points that will perhaps not even occur to a pilot who is fresh out of high-sec.

Paritybit makes an interesting point about newbies not having read this post first, but at least now other players have this post as a resource to point to in order to explain 'what just happened?' Finding out after the fact is just as important, and it is good to have this explanation freely available.

Letrange said...

@mord True, but you need to realize that from an alliance leaders point of view it really IS that cold of a reasoning. You only need to get infiltrated once or twice to realize just how damaging it can be, both morale wise and actual damage wise. And FC's really don't care the reason you're killing potential enemy scouts so long as it's happening. Sure at the individual pilot level they may be happy ganking the newbs, but if there were issues with making recruiting harder due to pilots doing that word would have come down from on high and said pilots would find themselves without a home in a lot of space. The truth is it's NBSI policy at work (and it keeps the more abrasive pilots occupied and out of the hair of people trying to do stuff - added bonus).

Shona said...

You play with the big boys and girls you've gota expect to be treated like one. As a noob myself I can't believe how much my peers whinge! You go into low sec as a low sp player then you are cannon fodder.

Glenn said...

Not regarding any above comments I say this: it is personal.

To a newbie, you just wrecked their day, to an FC or a spotter, you are a threat. I really like how sometimes the rational of "it isn't personal" is tossed about. I think of it as seriously personal in this: you mean me harm.

"Me" being both the territory holder and the newbie fresh fish.

The damage spies make is massive, the power they can wield relying on their wits can be very high, regardless of both praise and damning judgment they receive, they are a legit factor in an intellectual game. So having a new character flying about in space teaches a veteran that you are complacent or sloppy if you let him fly there. On the other hand, it teaches an actual new player that there are consequences in EVE, which is not something that MMOs of other western origin have in as serious of a matter as a very real game mechanic.

So, what I am saying stems from the promo vid CCP put out in the early days of EVE, the Caldari Outlaw. The thought is that something is yours if no one else can stop your claim. Essentially that effort purchases power to rule. I would think it hilarious if someone came to your space and claimed it as their own if they had no way to enforce it.

Good post, great blog, thinking of bookmarking it and saying to the dude who whines: read this link.

I don't take dying personally, I take it personally when I could have done something to not die and became complacent.

Spill about the blood of your enemies