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Looking Into the Neighbor's Yard

[Wherein Sugar:
Talks about something she doesn’t know anything about
Discusses things she vaugly under stands.
Asks if WoW can learn from Eve
Debates topics from another gamers blog unrelated to Eve
Bad posts
Overdoses on Koolaid]

There is a lot of comparison about games. There is a lot of Ego as well. As an Eve player I have drunken heavily of the CCP drugged Kool-Aid. I know that Eve is amazing and I must be amazing for playing Eve. I have this incredible world view that is achieved only by playing the most amazing game ever.

Or, perhaps not. I do happen to love Eve and I make sure to keep my glass of Kool-Aid topped off. But, I am not a gaming expert. I’ve never played WoW. Not because I have a problem with Wow. I don’t. I never played it because I was angry at Blizzard that WoW was a MMO and not a RTS like the original World of Warcraft. That’s all. Nothing deep just me sulking because at the time, when I first started playing games the only things I played and truly enjoyed were RTS and I felt that Blizzard had mocked me by taking away what I wanted and replacing it with something else.

I was reading the MMO Melting Pot. I like the site a lot. I’ve never played many of these games and I have little interest in changing that fact. However, the difference in viewpoints combined with the passion for their game play is refreshing. It’s nice to know that Eve bloggers are not the only ones obsessed with their game. Do I still think Eve is amazing and special? Yes. My glass is very full. I’m going to take a quick sip to refresh myself before I continue.

A lot of the games are also similar when it comes to the theme of people being people. However, I feel that the MMO Melting Pot doesn’t pay enough attention to Eve. Sometimes, I’m reading articles about things they point out and I go… but that’s like erryday in Eve why is it some noteworthy thing here? And that’s when I sip from my full glass (always full) of Kool-Aid and note that what is normal for Eve is not always normal in other games.

Can WoW Guilds learn from Eve Corporations?

The article that caught my attention was one in which the blogger discusses giving supplies to guild members and how self sufficient guild members tend to perform better then ones that receive guild handouts. The over arching question is what is the personal responsibility of the player and the functional responsibility of the guild?

Matticus titles his blog post: "Where Personal Responsibility Begins and Guild Responsibility Ends"

Hello life in the corporation structure (cuz we don’t have guilds, yo) of Eve. This question surprised me because it didn't occur to me that anyone would ask it. That is because I play Eve and those questions are as intertwined with the game play as the fact that the ship spin counter changes color every thousand spins.

I wonder, can WoW Guilds learn from Eve Corporations and Alliances? I am on the outside looking in. Never having played WoW I will lay out the fact that I may be completely and totally wrong and these concepts can never possibly port over in any way what so ever. Now, with that out of the way onward the musing of social structures in video games and the pros and cons of working with people.

Matticus says, in relation to Wow:

"My theory is that the more inclined a player is of maxing their character’s stats, the more inclined they are to maximize their play. It seems to help instill a sense of discipline. They’re spending thousands of their own gold to augment their character. Why not spend some more time referencing the information needed to play better? It shows me that they are heavily invested in their character and they’re not willing to wait around because they need to have that super awesome enchant right now."

I look at that and think, how does that compare to Eve? It reminds me of the average, successful Eve corporation and the player that they seek.

Most corps are relatively small. The individuals may work as a cohesive whole but individual self sufficiency and independence is the relative norm. There is a lot of me and I in the small corporation. I may not have anyone logged in to assist me at any given time. I have to be able to take care of myself to some extent. I need to be able to gather my own resources and meet my own needs because when the group comes together as a whole we are often looking for group activities to do. In Eve, these group activities are often destructive (to others and/or to ourselves).

But, the support of others makes everything better. A new player is often advised, "Find a corp." Then, if the situation does not improve the advice becomes find a better corp but rarely will one be told to not have a corp. There are specialized situations for that but they are specialized and not the meandering tracks of the mainstream Eve player.

The Individual

My summary of what Matticus says is that a Wow Guild Member is expected to take care of things like basic stuff to make the consumables they need (I’ll equate this to our ammo needs and basic module needs) or the parts to make it (such as giving ore to someone to refine it at max yield and build at max productivity). And preparation for whatever preplanned activities there are.

I would think that this is a basic need of any average player. To get stuff one must go to get stuff. Does WoW foster a player that just lays in the grass and has things dropped on their head? Or is this the result of the ‘ theme park’ aspect of the game and the hand holding that is accused of happening in such a system. Is the nature of WoW’s game play such that it does not create an independent player?

I do not know. I've never played it. "Go back to WoW" is a common eve war cry to those that struggle. But I would believe that the average player does their own thing at their own pace. The game may not merit punishments as Eve does and may contain more hand-holding and points to the right direction but it would seem that a player would advance. In fact that advancement seems to be the problem.

An Eve player has to learn the game. There is no floating through it. Without focus, goals and some type of base education there will be little to no success. The upward curve of improvement is not guaranteed. Even with all of the skills in the game someone who has not learned the technical aspect of ships to fly, fits to put on the ships and how to then fly that fit ship will fail. They will fail spectacularly because Eve does not guaranty power through levels, time, or equipment without game play knowledge as well.

So, Matticus may be looking for an average successful Eve player but someone motivated by personal achievement in WoW.

The Organization

He continues with how a Wow Guild would then cover things like repairs, some shiny gear build needs, and some money reimbursement. I've summarized as per my understanding.

Eve’s two largest alliances (both over 10 thousand players strong) both have such large, complex and important finical plans that they are obsessed over. They are even made public. Their members can study their finical plans and cash flow. The public then combs through them and looks for errors and lies. They look for mistakes and possible weaknesses. Some look for strategies and future competitions. And then some just look onto the Eve player base and go, “You all are insane. It’s a finical spreadsheet!” Of course we shush them and explain how very important our fiancés are to us. And they are. My own corporation is small and our finical goals simple yet they are deeply, deeply important to us.

We embark upon business ventures and make investments. This is fun game play to those of us that play Eve. Fun, fascinating game play. I am currently discussing how to properly share and split assets vs labor with someone for a possible business venture. This is very exciting to me in my video game. I also consider this normal. Finances. In a game. Yet we love it to pieces and our virtual video game economy gets studied by people.

Sov Null is the best example but Worm Holes are a strong secondary for where Eve’s corporation structure, in a very base aspect of game play takes a 90 degree turn and heads away from player groups in many games. And if WoW considers giving basic compensations and assistance a possible form of socialism instead of a natural part of encouraging and supporting its members to bring more to the guild and everyone's playing experience what must they think of our largest Alliances?

But our large alliances work. They are highly successful machines. Sometimes they fail but they are run by people and people are people and Eve is a video game. It does not negate the success that they have but in a game where one is challenging other people and not just the game itself failure has different rules.

Is it Socialism?

1 - : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2 - a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3 - : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

The end statement is, "One would say that some of these policies are socialist."

There are many socialist factors to Eve corporations. Eve is not a single player game. Yes, one can play it alone. One can even play it without alts and try to never interact with others in a non-business manner. We’ll ignore the player run part of the market for the sake of span. It’s possible and I’m sure there are people who will pop up and say it's fun and that is how they always play. I nod to them and continue on because that is not how the vast majority (almost all) of the players play.

It would seem that any organization where the organization was meant to benefit others would have socialist policies. But what I started to wonder was do socialist policies benefit WoW?

I took some time to do some reading about WoW. In no way did I feel that WoW harbors a secret wish to create socialist structures. I was rather startled at how irritated many players were when it came to playing with other people. Min/Max is not a concept I have personally developed yet the constant trek towards the best/fastest/most powerful/only way was something I stumbled upon quite often. People seem to get irritated with people very quickly for not having the best stuff. It all seems rather vicious. People who are not X are bad for you and helping others seems to detriment or be considered detrimental.

It makes me ask if WoW could support a complex interconnected social structure like Eve does. Where the players have value regardless of their shiny things. I ponder that it may not because WoW isn't set up to reward people for working together with those who are not as 'powerful'. The leveling system gets in the way at this point.

Giving people stuff out in Sov null becomes a different deal. The corporation and alliance is the reason that the player is playing. The corporation and alliance needs the player where in Empire there is a reverse in that the player benefits from the cohesion of the corporation. Null, as much as people seem to hate it, is about numbers. Each group is competing against each other for the most basic resource. The player. This leads to the fantastic and complex systems of corporation reimbursement, ship reward, ship replacement, Fleet commander payouts, capital ship fleets and many other things that would strain the resources of an individual player to gather in the quantity and at the speed that it takes to feed a war machine.

Because the sov null alliances are war machines. Their players are their troops, their units, their battalions. They have war generals, they have logistic teams. They have diplomats, spies, scouts, and specialists. They function on a level where the individual becomes a highly specialized part of a cohesive whole. The individual no longer has the time or access to support themselves, individually at a level that the alliance needs to burn those resources. A group can ask their pilots to individual fund all of their own resources but it comes with a high potential to cause degradation in the overall performance of the group.

Compared to WoW, is this strange? Continuing to read about WoW it seems that it is.

In a way, Eve’s little quirk of destroying the very things that you work so hard to earn seems that it would make people more selfish, not less. Less trusting (then we already are) not more. But, yesterday, I contracted my Poohbear (newest Sleipbear) to one of our carrier pilots to transfer for our Vacation. The very sociopath tendencies that its players are accused of seem to foster an environment of corporation and mutual support.

Because of the potential size of the corporation and the lack of numerical limits to its members people who want to resource gather (farm as I understand it’s called) or resource assist (logistics) add to the pool overall and help to pull the weight off of others. I know that I may be missing what the game itself can provide to the player and what the player has to make from the game at this point. I am now very used to Eve where (almost) everything is player made.

And from the small bit of reading I have done and the deep pool of ignorance that I have about WoW, it seems that the game itself does not support a system where the Guild and the members create a fluid exchange that benefits through corporation based upon peoples interests. WoW seems to be a sandbox that you wander through but you will still meander along a predestined path. The problem with the path is that it is completely focused on constant increases in personal power.

I don't think that this stops the possibility of emergency game play in WoW. Perhaps the players are so seeped in the culture of self improvement being the best improvement that it is not a correctable situation without a massive push through some social force. But, because of the split shard server nature of WoW such a massive push would be nearly impossible on a macro level. Otherwise the comment of socialism would not have come up. Something about it seems to grate at the larger culture of the game.

So it looks from my comfortable seat in this house over here. I've never been in the neighbors house, just looked through the windows and admired their decorations and like suggesting how they might want to arrange their furniture instead of what they have.

And Eve... well Eve is a game about playing with other people.

My favorite flavor of Kool-Aid is fruit punch.


  1. "Min/Max is not a concept I have personally developed yet the constant trek towards the best/fastest/most powerful/only way was something I stumbled upon quite often. People seem to get irritated with people very quickly for not having the best stuff. It all seems rather vicious. People who are not X are bad for you and helping others seems to detriment or be considered detrimental."

    ^^ see also: Incursions.


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