Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Ethics of EVE

Ethical behaviour in EVE is largely accepted as being purely optional. There are those who take pride in their high ethical standards, even build successful business models upon it, and there are those who will corrupt your naivety in any way they can. I've been at both ends of the spectrum and I won't pretend I'm something I'm not. Generally speaking, if I'm generous to another player that isn't known to me, it's because I can see that they're new to the game and I don't want them to be deterred from playing. I really like to give advice when I can and encourage new players to try all aspects of the game; it's a large part of the reason that I write this blog.

It's not always how I saw it, of course. In my very early days of EVE I was a HiSec griefer, mercilessly attacking soft targets with my friends and reveling in it. In fairness, I was a new player myself so I didn't perceive any advantage over my quarry, I just saw them as sheep and I was the wolf. Then there were those times in LowSec when my friends and I would bump capitals away from the docking rings of stations, demand a ransom and then destroy their vessel regardless. Again, I justified it because our targets were from powerful NullSec blocs and a few billion extorted from their ISK train was only good for the game as a whole. Those on the rough end of the stick would invariably recover from their loss. Then there was the time I infiltrated an industrial corporation who had just moved into a low class wormhole. After only a couple of weeks I cleaned out everything they had in system and pulled down their tower. In more recent times I've coordinated HiSec ganks in and around Osmon on shiney PvE Marauders and Tengus. My point is, I've done some bad shit. Nothing particularly heinous, but I'm no angel either.

I've been on the receiving end of some low ethical standards too. I lived to tell the tale and most of the time you only have yourself to blame. Maybe you were too lazy, too trusting or just too stupid. You get gamed, you move on and get on with life.

The one that stays with me was an ANZAC Day roam shortly after the Tier 3 Battlecruisers were released. ANZAC Day is pretty sacred in Australia, especially as an ex-serviceman, and a roam through LowSec with about seventy other Aussies to celebrate the day promised a lot. It was also my first real introduction to Northern Coalition. They had infiltrated the fleet with the express purpose of intercepting it. I don't have a problem with that, we were after a good fight, but Northern Coalition had zero interest in a good fight. Our swarm of Battlecruisers was met by several Heavy Interdictors, webbing Lokis and more Archons and Abaddon Battleships than I could count. It was a turkey shoot. As I recall, our combined DPS managed to kill two sub-caps before we were defeated or withdrew. Worst of all, the fleet was less than an hour old. Now a similar thing seems to be happening with Pandemic Legion and Bomber's Bar. Twice this week they've infiltrated the fleet, waited for an opportune moment and used their spy as a warp in for smart bombing ships to kill the bombers.

To be clear, it's not the loss of a bunch of Bombers that anyone cares about. The great thing about Bombers Bar is that you can throw caution to the wind and the worst case scenario is that you lose a fitted bomber worth maybe 70 or 80 million ISK. What I hate seeing in this scenario is the endangerment of the public roam. They are a great content generator for the EVE Universe and they will survive the likes of Pandemic Legion. I do worry that those sort of tactics drive away players from trying content they might not otherwise have access to, however. For Pandemic Legion all it will achieve is to see their members black listed from a source of content they could otherwise enjoy. Sure, they'll have a belly laugh about how they bombed the bombers, maybe even dine out on the anger a little, but really they're just damaging their game.

Be a cunt, don't be a cunt, I don't really care. But don't fuck with public content generators, that's just bad for the game and in turn, bad for you.


  1. Yep they are filling the evil goon hat quite nice. Comes to mind a quote from Batman, " You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

  2. Welcome to the age of the PLooNS flexing their power, always in a way that protect them most, the kings of carebearishness.
    I run for CSM and I fight to oppose them.

  3. It always amazes me how the view changes on the other side of the fence. Does not matter what the item/topic is if the thing you like is interfered with you will rationalize it to make the person who is interfering with it bad and thus it should not be done. "It might damage the game if we allow this to continue!", really... that's your best defense? You! one of EVE's finest examples of gaming evil and ass fuckery now says "this inflicted buggering is bad for the game" or just bad for your preferred game play atm?

    LOL you make me laugh Bex,

    PS still love your blogging.

    1. Finest examples of gaming evil? Stop it, you're making me blush.

      I'm not defending my actions, I'm just saying my actions don't damage the game. A few individuals might get stung, sure, but that's EVE, baby.

      I just don't like seeing public roams targeted in such a way that it might deter newbros from getting into PvP; talk to some of the guys in the Bomber's Bar channel and there's plenty who will tell you that's where they got their first taste. Do you think they'd have gone on a roam in the first place if they thought it was a death sentence?

      Losses are always acceptable, I have no issue with people actively engaging public roams. It's another thing entirely to target them to the point of trying to make them extinct.

    2. "A few individuals might get stung, sure, but that's EVE, baby."

      That is true for you. And for the guy playing next door to you. And for the thousands of folks playing across the world.

      "Then there were those times in LowSec when my friends and I would bump capitals away from the docking rings of stations, demand a ransom and then destroy their vessel regardless."

      It doesn't need an organized group to hurt gameplay, just enough people doing the same thing because, in their opinion, they are hurting just "a few individuals".

      Those individual victims add up, though, leading to a situation where (using this particular example) gameplay like ransoming is no longer truly viable. Some players may still honor ransoms, but they are outclassed by the folks with victory tales of 'SUDDENLY BETRAYAL!' in their eyes. Of course only very few people pay ransom anymore, since in all likelihood they get shafted anyway!

      Your criticism of the handling of public roams was spot on - but you, too, are part of the problem.

    3. "Your criticism of the handling of public roams was spot on - but you, too, are part of the problem."

      I'm pretty sure he admits that right from the start, he just knows that fucking with public roams is a bridge too far.


Keep it civil!