Tuesday, January 17, 2012

BB32: Life's not consensual.

This month's Blog Banter comes from Drackarn of Sand, Cider and Spaceships. He has foolishly chosen to poke the hornet's nest that is the non-consensual PvP debate. Whilst you read his question, I'll be finding a safe place to hide.

"A quick view of the Eve Online forums can always find someone complaining about being suicide ganked, whining about some scam they fell for or other such tears. With the Goons' Ice Interdiction claiming a vast amount of mining ships, there were calls for an "opt out of PvP" option.

Should this happen? Should people be able to opt-out of PvP in Eve Online. Should CONCORD prevent crime rather than just handing out justice after the event? Or do the hi-sec population already have too much protection from the scum and villainy that inhabits the game?"

Like I post in my title, life is not consensual. PvP shouldn't be either. Above all, this is a game, if you aren't having fun then go play something else. If Eve loses a few players because it is too brutal, too hard for those players, too difficult for them to stay alive, I say let them go.

I know that business sense says that you should expose your product to the largest audience possible, so that might mean that CCP offer some option to allow those really risk adverse players an option to play Eve without risk.

How wrong that would be, how many ways that system could be gamed, taken advantage of. All hauler accounts would be combat opted out, miners would be too, industrialists. It would remove more than half the targets from high sec, ruin corp warfare.

Alternatively, when would CONCORD deploy to be proactive, could you no longer even target another ship, guess that rules out RR, to name one thing. Would they arrive a second or two after aggression (don't they already)?

Eve's supposed to be a cold, dark, ugly place. No part of eve is forgiving, not Highsec, not Null and certainly not Lowsec. If eve as a whole analogous to any location, it would be down a dark, cold, wet alley. Highsec is closer to the light of the street, the wetness on the ground is less pronounced but the cold is still all around you. 1.0 is the closest to the street, but still back from the light. Lowsec is further down the alley, where the light just barely reaches, that place where dark things lurk, begging for your wallet. Null sec is like the path off the alley, the small narrow pathway that leads to a dead end, one way in, one way out, it just takes one Thug slipping in behind you to make it even more unforgiving.

From the second you step down that Alley you know it's not safe, it's the place your mom frowned at when you were a kid, that place that just never feels right, never feels safe. Not even the thugs who live in that dark place think of it as safe, think of it as home. They know how dangerous it is, they are prepared. The first time you follow Eve down that alleyway, you aren't prepared.

I won't say that high sec has too much protection, but they certainly have enough. There are so many mechanics that can be used to stay safe. You get a 24 hour notice before war targets get to shoot at you, docking mechanics, given you can survive that long, jump mechanics. The more you look at it, the more you realize that outside of suicide ganking, something that can be avoided by scouting your route, or just not AFK piloting (in most cases), there isn't a whole lot in Highsec to worry about.

It's like the pilots who want the ability to opt out of combat just don't want to learn the game. They expect to walk down that alley and not have to learn to protect themselves. They don't want to take the time to learn the ways to protect themselves. They don't spend the time to learn about avoiding combat, can agression, and how to avoid being shot at in missions. They just want to hide in their little bubble and get away with what they think Eve is all about.

Well here's some news, Eve's not that game, Eve's the game that seduces you down its dark alley, and comes out with your blood on her hands and your money in her pocket.

It's the universal risk that keeps me coming. Eventually you might emerge from that alley, a little blood on your hands, a little money in your pocket. Decrease that risk, let people avoid it and Eve begins to lose that charm. Begins to lose that danger, lose that intrigue, lose me.


  1. Hmmmm. Nothing, and I mean no game at all, prepares you for EvE.

    Every other game, holds your hand as you progressively skip though the fields of flowers and slowly but surely venture into the dark, forbidden forests.

    With EvE, you open you cabin door and BOOM - headshot (bleed, bleed, bleed....). Wot? No automatic resurrection? Where is my stuffs?!?!?

    I'm all for keeping the status quo because it is at the heart of what makes EvE special. You need the dark and gritty for something to have dark, gritty realism.

    I'm just not entirely sure that the new player experience really does prep people for those random acts of violence.

    And without someone to give a new player a little bit of guidance - BOOM! Headshot!! is all too likely (esp in low and null).

  2. I agree with you to some extent, though I think the new user experience has come a long way, some kind of protection could still be extended to newer players, opting them out of combat for perhaps the first two week, but limit it so they have a list of things they can't do/can't be done to them so it prevents possible abuse.

    At the end of the day, I have very little sympathy for new players since their experience is much smoother and much better in every way then when I started the game, so it's hard for me to feel for them too much.

  3. If new players had an optional 2-week invulnerability flag, it should be clearly visible as a timer. This way high-sec gankers would know who has opted to hide behind the invulnerability and exactly when to strike. This way a targeted education could be administered. It'd be like a hazing.

  4. Like a POCO timer, I like it! free fire in....

  5. "Null sec is like the path off the alley, the small narrow pathway that leads to a dead end, one way in, one way out, it just takes one Thug slipping in behind you to make it even more unforgiving."

    And WH space is like the alley in deep fog. You only know that a bad guy is there when knife is already firmly between your shoulder blades ;-) I like your analogy

  6. Man I fail for not including W-Space! W-space is like the locked doors to either side of the alley, leading to area's dangerous, and unknown :)