Hawaiian Shirts and Shorts…

For those who don’t refresh #tweetfleet every ten minutes whilst at work, there’s been a rather large… well it’s not really a shitstorm… Kartoon thinking he was going to continue as CEO after losing Delve was a shitstorm… this really isn’t that. Perhaps a cat turd and a small fan? But feces is flying, so I suppose a shitstorm, if only a Cat 1.

Anyway, Tobold of blogging fame started playing Eve a few weeks ago and making some observations. Some weren’t bad, such as debating the skill system. But the other day to “prove” that Eve was nothing more than a ganking game, ran a frigate up one or another pipe into nulsec and ended up getting spaced. Which seemed to be his intent and was probably more predictable than the sun coming up tomorrow.

He then declared that Eve was nothing more than random ganking and then when challenged further elaborated that Eve was nothing more than a bunch of people kicking sand at the little guys. And the shitstorm began.

Now Eve does have plenty of ganking. I’m sitting off a station waiting for my ex-alliance to undock so I can shake them down for some isk. (And Persephone, I really like that “I’m in a covops pay me and I’ll go to bed otherwise I’ll camp your mission” thing.) That’s part of the game. There are things that could be fixed, high sec suicide ganking for example is ludicrously profitable and I won’t weep when they adjust insurance payouts to make it a bit less so. But Eve is definitely more than Bonedood and Platedewd in space.

For one thing, apparently Tobold missed the four year old war with 20,000 pilots involved which is one of the reasons that, really, nobody will be heading through EC-P8R, or any other pipe right now unless they have a major deathwish. You want to get into nulsec? Try a wormhole. Other than a few unrelated sections, there’s a war on or two if you’re going to count Providence as separate and most of the access points to nulsec in both the north and south are pretty well locked down or fought over.

Tobold seems to think this is just some random excuse, but it’s a very real reason. In WoW, pretty much everything is separate. You even have different PVP and PVE armor sets. If you raid Ogrimmar and win, the entirety of the horde doesn’t suddenly have to move and lose access to their bank boxes. That’s sort of how Eve is. In Eve everything is related. Mining and missioning play into industry, pvp keeps factory stations secure, and how both feed into the industrial machinery that keeps ships flowing out to pilots.

His complaint was he was just a frigate going into nulsec and presented no threat. But he’s missing how much threat he could have been. He could have been a scout. He could have been a cyno alt with a couple of hundred pilots in caps and battleships ready to hot drop at a moment’s notice.

A lot of people have been arguing with him, myself included, but really, he seems immune. Some have been simply unkind and that’s unfortunate. Some have decided he’s malicious, but I can’t help but think that really he’s missing what makes Eve Eve. He’s like a tourist in a Hawaiian shirt who can’t understand why everyone is eating that green stuff over rice and there aren’t any decent steaks in Bangkok. Yes, there is ganking, there is cruelty, there is mining tedium, there is politics, there is drama. But all of this is in service of the greater story of an entire real living breathing universe.

What escapes me is how to communicate this. To explain that a gate camp isn’t just an unfair form of battleground. That there’s a major difference between a 24 person raid and a 700 person fleet battle that decides control of a station, perhaps one that build two or three hundred of the ships in that battle or a system that has been fought over for years.

This ability to affect the game. No not the game. The world. To have meaning in the game and not just be a playground is what Eve is. At least for me, it has always made the entire game “feel” different and intriguing, even when I didn’t play. And playing is really almost optional. I listen to one Podcast where one of the people doesn’t even play in the game anymore, he just covers what’s going on in it. That’s really nothing you’d see in any other game.

So whether you like it or not, well, whatever, but to have completely missed what an incredible thing the universe of Eve has becoem seems just so tragic to me and I feel very frustrated in not being able to at least communicate some hint of it.

And from the now hundreds of responses, it appears that I’m not alone.

But if you like Eve or you’re at all interested in the topic at all of what makes it tick, the Tobold threads are worth reading even with all the epeen waggling and such.

One Comment

  1. Persephone Astrid May 5, 2010 12:47 am

    Thanks for the shout out. I’m astonished how fast and how far the story of the ransomed Eagle is going. Strangers are hailing me in local chat to tell me they read about it. O.o !