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Monday, September 20, 2010

The quiet conspiracy

As I'm reading through various and assorted articles from non-CCP sources, one of the most frequent whine I see on comments about an EVE article is how all the articles glorify the negative. To a certain extent this is understandable. Positive articles don't generate as much reader interest as negative ones. And there are some ostentatiously negative articles about shenanigans in EVE.

I think I need to point out a few things here the casual reader might have missed. This is not just the media focusing on the "bad" stories. The truth is there is a lack of investigative reporting going on. The reason for that is that most gaming media relies on someone telling them what is going on. When someone gets his ass handed to him in spectacular fashion, either he or someone associated with the event usually screams the details of the event either on the EVE-O forums or some place like scrapheap challenge.

Then there is the secret to moderate success in EVE. RUN UNDER THE FRICKEN RADAR YOU NOOB! I'm not what could be considered massively successful by any means in EVE. But most of my endeavors have ended on positive notes with progress being made. You will note that I'm also one of the FEW blogging industrialists in EVE. I'm not much into the traditional routes to riches that the truly rich players follow. One of the major things I have noticed is that a lot of success can be had by keeping quiet and not attracting attention. There's a reason for the preponderance of pirate blogs vs any other type of blog. In this game, flying under the radar means you remove yourself from the "low hanging fruit" syndrome. Visible people get targeted by those aforementioned pirates. Opening your mouth and whining in public does nothing but paint a big "tears can be had here" sign in front of all your ships.

Letting gankers know just how successful you are means they will start to track your location within EVE and get intelligence on your operational procedures for a proper attack on your operations. So all the smart people learn early on to "fly under the wire". They also learn such things as "avoid the Saturday/Sunday gank fleets". "How to move things relatively safely". "How not to get lazy". There is satisfaction in operating successfully in a dangerous environment. But it's a quiet satisfaction. And since it depends on operational security, if you're not able to keep quiet about your successes, you won't be successful for long.

The corollary to all those insane blow up situations the news reports are thousands of successful operations that no one except one person or a few, tight lipped mature players know about. Because they are mature players, they don't feel the need to boast about it. So the successes keep coming. There's a reason EVE keeps growing. There's a reason the average age of EVE players is higher than a game like WoW. It's the quiet conspiracy.


Kename Fin said...


Aw crap, you let the cat out of the bag. We makes our monies, flies our ships and keeps our heads down and people fly right by us.

We tanks our Hulks [even in high sec], scouts our routes and keeps our Stront reserves at 100% + reserve.

We keeps quiet in local, blogs about our corporate lives and makes deals with others for mutual gain and benefit.

When we lose [fortunately less and less as we get more experience], we fly away. We debrief, we learn and most of all we keep quiet.

FWIW, EVE is still a relatively small world where it is not uncommon to run into people that you have seen before. Keeping records can make a big difference.

Unknown said...

Love your article! Completely agree. One of the main reasons I think I got hooked on EVE, is the fact that I rarely run into immature characters. When I do, it's easy to avoid them (or blow them up if that's your game). I am definitely not a big online game player, but I log into EVE every day when possible.

Latro said...

On target as usual. I was discussing this very concept with a new recruit. Explaining to him, that there are many facets to the game, not just those discussed in the open.

Frankly, my main (Latro) doesn't do anything interesting. He's a mission runner and I started my blog around him to comment on the game and push out some poor fiction as I felt the need.

Now, hypothetically speaking, if maybe, I kinda had other potential theoretical accounts/alts, they may or may not be doing other things. I would have no desire to draw attention to them or their activities and no in-game relations would exist between them and Latro...hypotheticaly speaking. If I comment on the blog about non-missioning stuff, you can bet that hypothetically speaking it's because those hypothetical characters are involved...or not. :-)

Latro said...

One other additional comment as there is an unintended consequence to the silence of the majority. See Kirith's blog about trusting another player to lock and web his Orca.

This kind of thing would be far more common if more players could feel safe interacting with each other. Since the negatives get hyped, the pygmalion effect is in full swing, i.e. we all expect the worse from players we do not know. I would say there are actually far more players just going about their business and willing to help out than would be expected based on the hype.

Me, for instance. I just like flying shiny spaceships on the computer. I have done so, off and on since Elite. Doing so in EvE is just a far different experience as you can truly trust nobody. So, I am more than willing to help...but very, very cautiously.