Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Criminal is in the Name

EVEOGANDA : Criminal Intentions

First let me state, that as in my comment there, I will not be sitting over here trying to convince Rixx's character that he is a criminal. Self perception being what it is... let's just say that is futile, and would be like trying to convince Stalin that what he was doing was evil and unjust, he certainly didn't see it that way.

The idea that "nobody" controls lowsec just simply isn't true and can be clearly defined by looking in the upper left corner.

This is taken from just some random screenshot I found online, I didn't have time this morning to fly all the way to Rixx's home system in lowsec just to make a point on my blog! It clearly states "Sovereignty > Amarr Empire" and if Rixx still lives in List then it likely says Sov is Gallente. Out in Syndicate, it says Sov > Syndicate. Even when you engage in combat against a neutral, non-flashy target, your GCC lists (usually) the Empire/Republic/whatever that is pissed at you for engaging in combat in highsec, and lowsec, but not in nullsec.

"Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory."

Sure there are no police, faction or otherwise in Lowsec, as are present in Highsec, but it's a lot like the wild west analogy brought up by Rixx. One where if you jump into the real fort (aka highsec) or to an outpost (aka stations in lowsec or gates) the guns will engage you and your criminal acts (Global CRIMINAL countdown, security status punishments and restrictions) are punished in some fashion or another. I'd get into a million game design arguments here but I really don't think that 15 minutes is a fair offset for fighting in lowsec, it should be much shorter (5 minutes). In lowsec, Law is "enforced" or maybe better explained by "represented" by your security status. Kill enough ships, pilots, pods etc, and your security status drops below -5.0 making you "flashy"until you use another broken mechanic to rat your way back above -5.0.

Punishments in lowsec may be light in comparison to highsec (CONCORDOKKEN) but they are still present and are enforced by the controlling parties and Concord in the case of your sec status.

Ships of all sizes do indeed have crew, so although the pod might or might not escape and the legality of destroying another players pod is questionable (although with the monstrous sec status hit one takes for killing a pod strongly suggests that it is illegal). Digressions aside, it has long been established in PF, or as cannon that ships, even frigates, do indeed have crews in addition to the capsuleer.

Now survival rates and "real math" aside (that would lead to the startling knowledge that the eve universe would be facing near extinction with the current crew losses faced on a day-to-day basis). The proof is in the pudding that fights and kills in lowsec made against other capsuleer ships do cause casualties, and is a pretty solid crutch used in RP, as by this token we are all mass murderers to some extent (especially you high-sec red + killing people, those ships have crew too!).

This image, shamelessly stolen from a post entitled "Your frigates have crew" on Backstage (thank you Victoria Valadeus, of KotMC), and originally from a Dev blog on the same subject, clearly shows that there is sizable crew on most ships and even room for passengers with the maximum capacity stat. Survival stats are much lower than I would expect(I think it should be closer to 80-90% survival or more across the board), however, people are sure to die as a result of Rixx's ship opening fire on them.

Now on to the more philosophical argument, does Logan and by extension Rixx understand what they are doing?

I am sure Logan, the character, is aware, he knows some of his crews, and understands loss all to well. Does this deter him from fighting? No, as he also is aware of his cause, outlined by Stimulus, requires bloodshed to enlighten and advance their cause. To him these deaths are justified, further, he sees himself as a freedom fighter on a scale that not even pilots of Ushra'Khan can comprehend.

Rixx on the other hand seems, judging by Rixx blog post, chooses to either not understand the deaths he inflicts or marginalizes them by not choosing to acknowledge their deaths, or instead, like pirates, claims to own his own house and only direct force to bring him to justice would label him a criminal. Or that he is simply defending his home, albeit aggressively.

Criminals aren't "criminals" because they are in jail, they are criminals long before then, judged by acts they commit. In the confines of this game, capsuleers are largely "above" the law of concord in null and lowsec with the obvious exceptions (gate guns, sec status). Does this freedom grant us, as capsuleers, the ability to stand above the repercussions of our actions, I think the answer there is a resounding yes. If every time one broke a "law" in Eve or murdered an innocent, you were punished fully, I think Eve would take a bit of a turn for the dull.

While certainly individual capsuleers in eve each have different view to death and loss in eve, and the destruction that they cause, and others cause. I'll wrap it up here and just simply say that to some level we are all criminals in eve, all the rest is up to perception, both yours and theirs.


  1. Logan, Ok you sorta took some of my thoughts for tomorrows post!! Today's post was a set up for more to come, so I'll have to revise my plans somewhat.

    Within the universe of Eve however, I still think some are missing the point. Just because it says Amarr in the upper left corner doesn't actually mean it is owned by anyone. When the Spanish arrived on the shores of Cuba and planted the Spanish flag did that mean they "owned" the island? I guess what I'm really saying is this, within the context of the game, the Empires say they own low sec systems - but do they really?

    They make no effort to enforce law beyond sec status and GCC, they don't pursue, apprehend or otherwise act like they want to stop me.

    Rixx might indeed be fooling himself, as you point out so wisely, if he is then everyone is. But I've been thinking about it a lot lately and trying to work this thing out in my head. For him, on the ground per se, he has no worries from the Empire, no threat really, as long as he doesn't actually go into their space. So does he really care what label they throw on him?

    I don't think so.

  2. Glad to throw a wrench in your posting plans, make you think more!

    I think it's something that you need a certain level of belief to follow. I think it might more accurately reflect the population's allegiance and station's allegiance, rather than a more tactile, in space, police force. It's a little different in that respect than any European "discovering" Cuba and claiming it or outposts vs indians could be as these societies have been in place for generations in most cases and these area's were settled by the empire listed in Sov rather than natives that were claimed to be a part of x or y empire by virtue of suddenly spanish.

    Lack of the ability for the game's sake to persecute you deeper into lowsec than just outside of stations and gates speaks less to "not wanting to stop you" and more to "Don't have the resources or the means to do so, regardless of desire."

    I agree with your statement "if he is then everyone is." Viewed in the right light, like I said "we are all criminals in eve."

  3. You guys looked like you were having too much fun debating virtual morality. So I had to join you.