In the Far Future

Each day of reality is a full year in EvE Online. Obviously, battleships cannot repair catastrophic damage in the blink of an eye, nor can a spaceship accelerate instantaneously to velocities exceeding several thousand times the speed of light. That’s nonsense.

We experience EvE through a relativistic blur. One minute lasts six hours. Consequently, capsuleers are ancient space vampires, hundreds and even thousands of years old.

James 315 died in Poinen, on May 17, 2012. That was three thousand eight hundred and thirty-five years ago.

It’s been nearly a millenia, since we acknowledged this, with a modest funeral. Roleplayers continue to praise an absent messiah, but people without autism move on.

Meanwhile, CCP has waged a Great Crusade against non-profit ganking. Apparently, if you steal billions from a new player, that’s ok. However, if you gank a half penny Venture, then you are a born again griefer. With this in mind, for the past few years, I have been meditating in lowsec. What is the future of ganking, after CCP changes the rules?

Antigankers are so incompetent, that CCP decided to nerf bumping, increase hitpoints, remove tether, and prevent docking. However, if CCP truly doesn’t support PvP gameplay, then why bother? I’ve got better things to do, than fight carebear developers. If they really want to convert EvE into a boring AFK grind simulator, well ok!

Ever since Falcon left CCP, emergent gameplay has been nerfed and restricted. The PvP community has declined, and content has evaporated. James 315 was inspired by Falcon, but today we live in a different reality. It’s no longer the same game.

I was thinking about this last year (yesterday), when I arrived in Gamis. It was here, two thousand years ago, where Kalorned established his home. A lot of people claim James 315 loved them. However, who did James 315 actually write about?

This is for you, Kalooronded.

I made a profit, but that was never my intent.

BORING

Today’s gem comes from antiganker Githany Red.

Githany has been “a bit bored” because there isn’t sufficient opportunity to fight gankers. Her recommendation is that CCP allow gankers to dock in Highsec. That’s a good idea!

When NPCs start doing your job, you run out of things to do. I feel sorry for antigankers, and hope they don’t get too bored!



Still Griefing

CCP wants to protect griefers.

So they released a patch to protect crabs.

CCP values their most toxic customers.

Highsec miners are truly precious.

The new rules are clear.

Antigankers are so ineffective, that CCP stepped in like the referee of a boxing match. They’ve awarded gankers a technical knockout, declaring a stoppage and an end to the carnage. This is fair, because obsessive antigankers are ruining their own lives, desperately following me around and consistently failing to stop me.

I’m having fun, and they aren’t.

So CCP changed the rules of the game.

It will be more difficult to gank newbro freighters, which are used by Highsec wardeccers and nullsec blobbears.

Antigankers thought this was a big win.

It’s the end of ganking forever!

Right?

The gankers are done, right?

I decided to investigate.

Can I still board a Catalyst?

Can I undock my Catalyst?

Well, look at that.

I didn’t even do it for profit.

No tether required!

Safety Forever

Apparently, CCP intends to change security status mechanics. The specifics are uncertain, and difficult to verify. I can only condemn CCP’s professional incompetence, as they have neither confirmed nor discussed what is already public knowledge. They have created an environment dominated by speculative rumors.

CCP is likely to remove the ability for gankers to tether, unless they purchase security tags (which will increase in price). This will substantially increase the cost of Highsec ganking.

Ignorant developers, like CCP Strudelwaffen, claim ganking was possible before tether. Therefore, the removal does not pose a problem. This uninformed opinion indicates no awareness of the many nerfs to ganking. Autopiloting has changed, hitpoints have changed, bumping has changed, and ganking has changed. By definition, negative security status gankers cannot loiter in space. If they cannot tether, they cannot kill many targets, which require gankers to be prealigned at a specific location. Nor can gankers be expected to purchase security tags, as most ganking does not generate sufficient profit to justify additional expense.

An existing game mechanic is being removed, and placed behind a paywall. There is no skill in swiping a credit card, and no skill alters the mathematics which already render most ganks unprofitable. CCP has recently increased subscription prices, and I don’t know any ganker who is willing to pay even more. Although I may continue, many gankers will not. Ultimately, EvE will have fewer players.

An additional change, unconfirmed but likely, is that individuals with low security status may be unable to dock in high security stations. This will place another mechanic behind a paywall. In the real world, I understand that pirates are not allowed to operate within the port of New York. We have effective security, for obvious reasons. However, EvE Online has always been a game about piracy. The removal of the means by which pirates operate is an end to the game itself. If EvE Online is no longer a game about piracy, then it is no longer EvE Online.

It also appears CCP will prevent alpha characters from ganking. Their safety setting will be permanently locked. This means gankers like Lewak, who already quit the game, will never return. I see no reason these individuals should be removed from the game. I have personally never ganked on an alpha account, and I don’t know any ganker who abuses alpha accounts. Therefore, I see no justification for this change, which simply reduces the number of individuals who play the game.

Furthermore, it appears CCP intends to prevent low security pirates from docking with a criminal timer. In places like Tama and Amamake, this will decrease active gameplay. This is once again a nerf to piracy. It appears CCP intends to protect faction war roleplayers, by disrupting unscripted PvP engagements. The game is thus being converted from an open world, to an instanced environment.

The consequences will be significant. For example, there is an economy involving Highsec freight. Freighter pilots associated with groups like Red Frog and PushX earn fees from the transport of cargo through dangerous locations like Uedama. Their skill is rewarded with isk. However, as Highsec ganking declines, the danger of Uedama will decrease. There will be less risk, and less reward. It will be easier to AFK autopilot, and players will have no incentive to employ professional haulers. Experienced haulers will inevitably be replaced by literal bots.

The same is true for Highsec mining. No ganker will purchase security tags to gank a barge. I will not do it. This means Highsec miners will have less risk, less incentive to engage in active alert gameplay, and less reason to refrain from maximum yield. As the supply of ore increases, the price will decline. As ganking declines, destruction declines, and the demand for ore declines. The isk/hr profit from Highsec mining will decrease. Many newbro miners will perish, as they will be unable to compete with swarms of bittervet Hulks and Mackinaws.

A safe Highsec is not a profitable Highsec. New players will join the game, and quit. How many hours will it take to PLEX? They will see that the game is a tiresome grind, which requires time rather than skill. Although miners desire safety, what they really want is profit, and profit only comes through scarcity. Risk is the sole factor which ensures that miners can earn a meaningful income, and further reductions to ganking will devastate the economy. Indeed, if you kill all the wolves, the deer population will become environmentally unsustainable.

I am aware my objection delights antiganking trolls, who enjoy ganker “tears”. The antigankers see this as a win, because they are retarded, and don’t recognize their doom. The antiganking community needs gankers. They derive income, by obsessively following gankers and looting wrecks. Tethering provides antigankers with a station to attack. However, after NPC police evict the gankers, antigankers will no longer have content. Nerfs to ganking are also nerfs to antiganking. CCP is literally replacing the antiganking community with NPCs. It is astounding that CCP is replacing actual human players with artificial bots.

At no point have I ever called for the removal of mining, or even a nerf to mining. Likewise, I’ve never called for a buff to ganking or piracy. The status quo, as it existed, was a fair game balance. Highsec miners were at risk of being ganked, and the ganking ship would automatically be destroyed by NPC bots, even if the miner was too lazy or incompetent to fight back. Shifting this balance will not increase player retention, and it will have an adverse impact.

Highsec gankers teach new players how to survive. When CCP prevents us from ganking, this means a wayward pilot cannot learn an important lesson. They will not learn until they are a more valuable target. Their initial loss will not be a million isk, or a billion isk, but five billion or fifty billion isk. Miners will operate in illusive safety, slowly gaining wealth, and adding increasingly expensive modules. They will then lose everything in an instant, and quit the game.

In the past, I have criticized the argument that Highsec ganking must be conducted for profit. Carebears like MacGybo and Hateless argue that ganking must be done for isk, and it is griefing to gank an unprofitable target. I certainly disagree. Early losses, of cheap Ventures and unfit Tayras, teach new players how to play. These players would be more likely to quit, following a more significant loss. If players are protected from loss, they cannot learn, and CCP is setting them up for failure. If you are truly concerned about retention, it is for-profit ganking which is more likely to cause players to quit.

For-profit ganking is not more ethical than non-profit ganking, and arguably it is less ethical, as the victim experiences greater loss. Now, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that I think there is anything wrong about PvP in a video game, or that MacGybo is genuinely unethical. I think for-profit ganking is acceptable gameplay. However, if you want to allege that non-profit ganking is unethical (which MacGybo does), then taking large sums of isk from a new player is obviously a more egregious offense. I would have to gank a single Venture twenty-nine thousand times, to equal the damage that MacGybo did to Ionel beck.

MacGybo is deliberately preying on new players, whereas a Venture ganker is performing a non-profit educational service. New players must be exposed to risk, in order to learn fundamental game mechanics. Unfortunately, by nerfing non-profit ganking, CCP is not going to eliminate the “trauma” of loss. They are merely going to ensure that inevitable loss is far more significant when it does occur, and the shocked miner will undoubtedly be more upset.

This change suggests that CCP developers no longer understand what originally made EvE Online a success. People did not play EvE Online for casual safe grinding. They played for continual danger and drama. Complaining and whining and crying are indicators of a healthy PvP environment. Salt is a natural emotional response, which stimulates meaningful gameplay. However, if CCP puts the players to sleep, then the game will die. Nobody enjoys boredom.

Meanwhile, carebears are demanding one more nerf.

What is next?

Mad Cuz Bad

CSM Angry Mustache made a fan art.

Meanwhile, carebears are concerned.

Nova worries about noob jump freighters.

Who will save the newbros?

Nova is delusional.

We met Nova last year, at the Battle of Torrinos.

This is the ‘antiganking main’ of Everess 88.

Everess knows the current year is actually 1985.

After sending me a billion isk, Everess became a former fan.

All antigankers are like totally incompetent.

What a crazy loon!

This is clinical madness.

Thanks for the free killmail!

Cheers!

Taking Out the Trash

Are new players exempt from PvP?

Rookies are, by definition, less than 30 days old.

Although it’s not clear what constitutes “rookie griefing”, it can only occur within a few specific locations.

What exactly is griefing? Nobody knows. I’ve spoken with several gamemasters, and they clearly do not agree with one another. They informed me that CCP has no official definition. Aside from three examples, there is no formal policy.

We are not allowed to scam new players (within a rookie system), or trick them into opening a yellow box, or disrupt the tutorial. However, what happens when a rookie begins mining? They are no longer in the tutorial, so are we allowed to PvP? Indeed, a gank is not a scam, nor a trick, nor is it a scenario in which we “fire freely”.

Is ganking griefing? I find it noteworthy that the rookie griefing policy does not mention ganking, at all.

Only forum trolls claim otherwise.

I’ve asked CCP, whether ganking new players is allowed. If the developers did not want to endanger nubs, then why send them to Hek (a notoriously dangerous system)? I believe the intent is to expose rookies to PvP, via the risk of ganking. I can’t say that CCP agrees, but I asked if they agree, and they certainly did not disagree.

Regardless, Landslide is not a new player.

He died in Eystur, which is neither Lustrevik nor Hek.

He still claimed rookie rights.

What a loser crybaby!

He reported all my accounts.

All of them.

He cried for a long time.

Landslide believes in the Hateless doctrine.

PvP, in a PvP game, is “greefing”.

Landslide decided to take a stand for justice.

He reported everyone.

Subsequently, Landslide followed me to Abudban.

He was on cougar patrol.

The other miners mocked his emotional distress.

The miners didn’t listen to Landslide.

Nobody cared.

Landslide begged Hon Risalo to flee.

However, Hon didn’t want to stop mining.

Indeed, Hon won -46.7 million isk!

Landslide was left crying into the void.

There was nobody left to run away.

Boring in Stations

Hateless went live, to discuss his theory of griefing, but I don’t recommend watching the show. Hateless had an opportunity to discuss griefing, but instead he droned on about his computer, his multibox setup, and bragged about how easy it is to avoid “griefers” whilst ratting in nullsec. As you can see, host Nick Bison fell asleep.

Hateless clarified that ganking and bumping are allowed gameplay mechanics, but gankers and bumpers are griefers.

In particular, he cited the precedent set by notorious roleplay griefers Zaenis Desef and Chance Ravinne.

As Hateless explained, bumping and ganking are totally ok, except when this inconveniences him.

The moderators could have engaged the debate, asking Hateless to define griefing, or discuss specific examples. They could have asked Hateless what he expects CCP to do, or how we can discern the subtle difference between “griefing” and “adverse gameplay”. They could have asked Hateless how anyone is “stream sniping” him, when he literally sits in the same system for months, doing the same repetitive tasks in the same exact location. Instead, they simply banned everyone who asked these questions, and allowed Hateless to talk to himself.

Hateless only cited one specific example of griefing.

He called my channel “horrendous”.

Supposedly, gankers trigger this toxicity.

Biased moderators banned all disagreement.

Hateless said he doesn’t want anyone to attack me, or go after me. However, I am his singular example of griefing, and griefers (ie: me) should be permanently banned from the game.

As evidence, he cited my blogpost about SSno1.

It is true, SSno1 quit the game.

However, he wasn’t “griefed” out.

In fact, I urged him to stay.

What Hateless doesn’t understand, is that my “victims” love Queen Aiko. They enjoy PvP. They enjoy losing the game. A lot of them enjoy it so much, that they swipe their credit cards and come back for more. I’m playing the game as intended, and that’s not griefing.

Hateless had some interesting ideas. For example, maybe CCP could make players in NPC corporations invulnerable to PvP?

Hateless, I know you are reading this.

You are a miner.

You aren’t concerned about griefing.

You just want easy risk-free money.

Maybe you should try a less challenging game?