Friday, December 21, 2012

Castles in the Sand

I stumbled across a live event, accidently, months ago.  I had no clue what it was.  Live Events were something I had heard of, past tense.  To stumble across what turned out to be a real one was amusing and rather funny to me.

What I did not realize, and only came to later over the course of a lot of reading and some confusion was that these things were being done in a role-play manner.  That immediately defused my interest in live events to the point that I have not even been able to get onto the band wagon of suggesting some way to bring more of a global time balance to these events.

The Dev events are better, but they have to much of a rockstar quality for my tastes.  It is about "the devs are on the devs are on!"  That type of group excitement has always been unappealing to me.  Its like screaming fans at a concert.  I can't get into that type of emotional state.  I know some people enjoy the chance.  I'm glad it works for them.  It doesn't for me.  Which is good.  It doesn't have to work for me.

Poet posted his opinions about live events and their value.  What caught my attention was one of his commenter's idea.

Perhaps the solution is to try and calcify player allegiance by linking player corps to the major in-game factions. Perhaps every player corp has to pledge allegiance to one of the NPC factions. Once you do this, players have a connection to the story. Anyone who aligns with Serpentis can get standings (or LP, or ISK, or ...) for helping the CCP Serpentis fleet, while Gallente players can get the same rewards for attacking the fleet.
I think this will provide motivation for players to fight on both sides of future live events. And when there are players on both sides, victory becomes both relative and uncertain, which means it becomes possible for players to influence the lore.

I understand that this was an idea, in a post, thrown out to look at a perceived problem.  That didn't change the fact that I didn't like it.
But Eve is about the players making the game. That is the problem with some of the apathetic nature of these events.
If I want to be tied to one 'side' or the other I'll go and join faction warfare or roleplay.
I want to play spaceships with other players. I want to play in a world where its about my intaractions with the other players for reasons we have as people. I do not *care* about the NPCs or their 'lore' nor do I want to.
Your meaning only has meaning if someone cares about those things. Many people do not care about many of those things. ISK, LP, etc. That's not what drives people. Forcing them into it would suck. What about Sov Null? Why would they align with an empire faction? Why then would others be penalized by being forced to align with one when they want to avoid null.
Neutrality is a real thing and a powerful force. Some people want to chose every side or both sides. To chose one, to align with it already has a place in the game for people to go to if that is what they wish. 
It should not be forced on everyone.
TL;DR: Sugar does not approve of players being forced to roleplay
I found that I was caught up in my little mini-rant there.  Caught up enough that I had a hard time answering the person that was asking me a question IRL because I needed to get those words out right now (while foaming at the mouth a little bit, but that's okay.).

People need to find meaning in a lot of things in their lives.  Their games and hobbies are no different.  Often, these meanings are predefined and part of selecting the game is deciding on liking that meaning.  It may be a subconscious choice.  Sometimes people shy from powerful races and classes in games because they cannot get behind them.

For me, I do not wish Low Sec to be defined by Faction Warfare.  Its come up numerous times and I normally have a complete fit when it does.  But, to expand that across the entire game and preforce people to chose an empire faction to side with makes me want to growl.  If that was meant to be done then Eve should have restricted players to their faction ships and then allowed them to eventually cross skill into their co-faction or something else unpleasant and limiting.

The best thing about Eve is that the world doesn't matter, the players do.  The history of Eve is interesting.  People like it.  They have recently added over 100,000 new words of lore.  I think that is fantastic.  But I also love that iut does not matter and does not bind us to the game.

What binds us to the game is the people that we play with.  It is the other players in this Massive Multiplayer Online Game that matter, not the Non-Player Character Computer Simulated Mobile Interactive Artificial Intelligences that serve as decoration.

A player can choose to side with them, but it is a choice.  To point to my case, I was reading a discussion about it being hard to find groups in Eve for PvE content due to the lack of pickup groups and how random people choosing can be and often is very dangerous. I found myself saying some steamy, passionate things.  Not the romance novel type, but the obsessed gamer in love with the video game type.

What I said in that chat was:
"The backstabing makes the trust and comfort of having a good group even more delicious. To have people who will drop their ships which means their isk which means their time for you in an instant to back you to try to save you, support you, or take revenge for you. Who cares about convince, the people you have in Eve when you find them, are amazingness dipped in quality dark chocolate."
This works into my concept of why I am against forced participation with NPC factions of the game.  I don't care about them.  They are not real players.  It is the real players I want to align with.  It is the real players I want to be with.  It is the social connections and the interactions with other people based off of nothing but how well we get along and if we do or do not need each other that I want to matter.  If I want their NPC standing to matter then I can integrate that into my social interaction.

But I want a choice.  I want many choices.  I don't want someone to walk onto the beach and scoop up half of the sand and take it away because all of those grains of sand included free, unrestricted by NPC choice.  I do not want that anymore then I want all the grains of sand that are about restricted NPC affected choice to go away.

I want all the sand, not less of any part.  I'll happily take MORE sand but not less.  I don't want Faction Warfare for me but I want Faction Warfare for all the people that want Faction Warfare.

I don't mind that the world interactions are identified by the four races.  They are our tools.  To fly a ship, to pick a tower, to lay a station egg, to pick your character's features are bound by choices and decisions and the consequences of them.  That's fine, it is a game and the game needs to have building blocks of some sort.

But, I do not want my meaning automatically defined in that way.  It would have less meaning to me.  Not more.




8 comments:

  1. "I do not *care* about the NPCs or their 'lore' nor do I want to."
    That's a pretty common statement, especially where EVE is concerned.
    It also makes zero, repeat zero, fucking sense.

    People keep talking about the sandbox. EVE isn't a sandbox. It's a stage, as "all the world" is. So NPCs and the lore? VERY important. Why? The NPCs, the 'lore', set the backdrop: the players may be the cast, but the NPCs and the lore, that's the crew, and the set. You can have great actors on-stage, but without some sort of background, and some props to interact with, and some crew to help you with those things, you're going to have an 'abstract' 'artsy' POS of a production that nobody wants to see.

    "TL;DR: Sugar does not approve of players being forced to roleplay"
    Last I checked, even if starships like in the game existed, none of us would be capable of flying them. Ergo, we're ALL roleplaying in the game, the only question is the degree.

    Then again, I think the meta, and the extent to which it completely pervades the game, actually has, to a large degree BECOME the game, is in itself doing a lot to wreck the game, and prevent new players from actually being sucked-in and immersed in this unique, interesting, "Massively Multiplayer RTS/Social Experiment".

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    1. I realized that its okay for us to disagree. I don't agree and I enjoy my game of Eve now while that game I might enjoy, might not enjoy, or might have become disconnected with.

      But we disagree on many aspects of playing.

      If the statement is common but it makes no sense, it would seem as if something is wrong that is more then "people should care" and perhaps a byproduct of how people get into the game.

      I'm not sure I've even written or debated engaging in posts about my place in the NPC empire of Eve and how loyal I am to its members. Maybe if that was what interested me more I would. Its not, so I don't.

      I also think they are tools not back drop.

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    2. Right, they're the set, the props, etc. That's why EVE really isn't a "sandbox" -- a sandbox is just a box, with sand ... and nothing there besides formless sand, unless you MAKE something.
      EVE is a stage -- the set is made (and, at least in hisec, is far, FAR too static), the props are available, and it's up to us to write the scripts and play out our roles.

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  2. ""I do not *care* about the NPCs or their 'lore' nor do I want to."
    That's a pretty common statement, especially where EVE is concerned.
    It also makes zero, repeat zero, fucking sense."

    No, it actually makes a lot of sense. The fact that you felt like you had to swear about it was a dead giveaway that your objection to that viewpoint was emotional, not rational.

    "So NPCs and the lore? VERY important. Why? The NPCs, the 'lore', set the backdrop:"

    It's possible to agree that something is "important", and still not care about it. This is the distinction between 'important' and 'important to me'.

    I'm somewhat interested in the lore, but 99% of the time, the only thing that matters about the NPCs in this game to me are the programmed hard interactions and structures built into the background. You are talking in the same sentence about the backdrop as a functional piece of hardcoded game rules, and about the backdrop as included lore. This is useless equivocation, and the point of the post you are responding to is about caring about the former but not the latter. If I were you, this would be the point where I exclaim that this " makes zero, repeat zero, fucking sense."

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    1. More specifically, the rules and objects of the game are the crew and the set. The "lore" is a better analogy for the names of the crew, and the historical background for why this particular set looks a particular way. While the crew and set are important, it's obviously possible for an actor to not care about the names of the crew, and plays are commonly set in different time periods, and it's definitely possible for an actor to not care that the Shakespeare play he's doing is being set 400 years later this year than it was last year. Whether or not the name of the crewmember, and the time period of the play's set, are important or not, is completely irrelevant to the discussion here. The point is whether it makes sense for one specific person to not care about those things, and the answer is yes.

      When you consider going to a production of King lear, do you ask who the cast and director are, or do you ask what the crewmembers names are, and which century the play is set in? It's fine with me if you do the latter, but I do the former, and if you have an issue with that, then you make zero fucking sense, as the saying goes.

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    2. Points made, and taken. However, I swear, a lot -- it's a part of my normal mode of communication. Ask Sugar, she's met me IRL and can attest. If you'd like to paint me as a knuckle-dragging neanderthal for it, be my guest: again, as you don't know me IRL, you're in a poor position to judge what I actually think and feel based upon a couple paragraphs. That's useless equivocation, and also makes zero fucking sense.
      ^^ see, I can do that too. ;-)

      Anyways, I wrote a couple entries that more accurately explain my position on things at carebearswithclaws.blogspot.com -- since a couple of comments really don't even scratch the surface of the subject. Please feel free to read, comment upon my useless thought processes, and mild sprinklings of fucking invective ... and the actual content to, if you like. ;-)
      You can also pick apart the obvious "stream of consciousness" style to my writing as well, unlike the "pro" bloggers, I tend to skip the outline-->draft-->revision process, and yes, it does show. Oh well. I make no claims to my "pro"-ness.

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    3. Also, have you ever done drama? I have, several times, in high school, college, and including private theatre company productions of The Music Man and Black Comedy (a British play). I knew the rest of the cast, I knew the crew, knew the director, and I had to know and understand the time period and social norms, etc of the time to accurately portray the characters I played.
      Now here's where YOUR argument falls apart: you take my analogy and apply it to you and Sugar as audience members. Here's the thing -- YOU'RE not the audience, WE are the CAST, as, after all, CCP says "the PLAYERS make the content".
      Now, imagine being in King Lear, and the rest of the cast has no clue about Shakespeare, the period the play's set in, and performs the script with surfer-dude accents and addresses each other as "dude" and "bruh".

      Oh wait, modern Murricans would prob love that. :-/ Carry on.

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  3. You call them swear words, I call them sentence enhancers.

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