Tuesday, January 15, 2013

To: Memories

[TL;DR: Where Sugar writes a lot of words about her side of losing an Eve friendship due to change, doing what she loves regardless and getting on with things.]

I've recently had a falling out with someone. Our perspectives have drifted apart from each other over the last year.  I've found myself biting my tongue often but it seems not often enough.  I was accused of jumping down the throat of disagreement.  I find it almost amusing, if it were not so frustrating  how in an conflict of opinion my disagreeing is "jumping down their throat" but their disagreeing and criticizing is "expressing an opinion and I need not be so sensitive." 

At the same time, I realized, that I am the bad guy in Eve.  While there are many different bad guys depending on who you are, the entire low sec pirate thing is the proverbial feather in the cap of being a bad guy.  I realize that I do not see myself as 'bad' or evil.  This explains my constant, exasperated confusion with people when the anti-pirate rants come up. 

I do terrible things to people in game and I enjoy it.  The other day I was so caught up in catching ships, trying not to die and nabbing pods that I never thought, "Wow this is awful of me."  I still don't. I know that none of that cancels out my sweet nature (:P) and relative good humored temperament.  Yet, that very evil/bad embracement that I have so stepped into is exactly what caused the fissure.  For two people, who both PvP to find themselves at such disagreement is disappointing.  But, we all have limits.  I (vaguely)have mine.  He has his and I believe that we both met them.  The differences in opinion became too great.


One of the first and most basic differences in opinion starts with fleets.  I am a fleet fighter.  I did not come to Eve with the plans to play alone.  I once read an account of a null sec battle.  It started out with subcapital ships and turned into a capital escalated incident.  They were dropping super carriers and titans on both sides.  Ships were blowing up.  Bhaalgorn's on field.  Aion's escaping in 3% structure.  It sounded fantastic and I wanted to go to null and experience that.  I also fell in love with Bhaalgorns.  At the time I'd been playing for a few months and barely understood what was going on in the report or what it was like to be on a field of battle but it sounded amazing.  That has always had draw for me.  The smoothly working organized machine. 

That is not to be confused with any lack of respect for solo pilots.  The two are not the same and should not be compared to each other.  I will be sure to brag of the day when I can accomplish things solo in a regular manner.  Confetti and glitter will be everywhere.  I shall adorn Sugar's portrait like Kesha while flinging pixie stick sugar everywhere.  It will be amazing.  Yet, I do not think that the fleet experience and the solo experience are things that can be weighed in the same way.  They are different.  Very different.  If one wishes to say that they are solo when in fact they are in a fleet (because even if it's you in the fleet with you if you are in a fleet you are not just you).  I have no problems with people who can duel and tribox their way into battle.  Each is its own skill subset.  I'm not one to line them up and grade them the same.

I find a lot of pleasure being part of an effective fleet.  In a small gang you do not get lost in the mix.  When we make a fleet we normally ask, "What do you need/want" to whomever is in the fleet or running it.  I separate the two because some of our fleets are loosely coordinated balls of individuals used to working with each other while others are coordinated in the more traditional fashion with fleet commanders and all sorts of grown up knobs and widgets.

And sometimes in unfortunate but not unexpected ways these foundations and findings of self create social seisms that rip through a social tie and leave behind a tattered memory in its wake.

The moment that started the cracking was sharing a kill mail.  I was proud, because I had grabbed and held point on a fast ship while the boys took care of business.  I shared the kill mail because I am used to sharing kill mails.  They are conversational pieces because killing people is what we do.  We discuss the fights, the fits, the situations and the loot.  I find it no different from sharing a market buy order or a wallet size accomplishment reached.

In the sharing of the kill mail came the question, "How many people were with him."  With that came the first shattered strand.  The answer was, "None."  It was an old argument and one that I was tired of hearing.  The situation I had wanted to share was my thrill in flying my Jaguar and being an effective tackle ship.  The view seen was about the lack of honorable fights in low sec due to fleets.  That particular fight had been good, with him tanking until he ran out of charges for his ASB.

Fleet size is a no win situation.  You are a blob or you are not.  You are always a blob to those that you kill.  I have watched people call a smaller fleet a blob.  It is an insult term.  It is a fall back: I died only because you brought unreasonable numbers to the field.  Even if my numbers were greater, they were not unreasonable.  In an argument against it, the fleet will never win because the fleet is more than one person.  This allows me to easily include the falcon/logistics alt into the bundle of fleet being more than one.

I'm fine with that.  I have not made claims to solo PvP.  Even my smattering of solo kills have been cyno frigs/noobships and the occasional frigate in a fleet fight.  I find it frustrating to be treated as if the fight or kill are in some way dirty because more than one person participated.  I guess I don't expect to be sneered at because I was in a fleet.  If I was bragging or smack talking sure. 

I can understand if someone favors a particular play style.  I understand the appreciation of the effort to solo kill or the logistics and planning of large fleets.  I even understand if those that do not violence others or enjoy the violence sneer at said violencing. I do not understand being upset because people fly around in fleets in a game that is a lot about fleets and then kill people in said fleets.  And I guess it is an attitude that I tired of from someone that I considered a friend.  The low level buzz of "Why do you insist on doing more than 1v1?  It is the only PvP of value."

I avoid the word respect because it is too reactive.  Between the random chorus of Aretha Franklin that it automatically summons (I know and you know it's now in your head but you can pretend it isn't) and the knee jerk reaction of, "You have to earn it!" I try to avoid it but when needed.  Instead,  I select acceptance.  One can accept another's choices even if they do not agree with them.  Not agreeing with something is not the same as right and wrong.  For instance. I do not eat mayonnaise.  I will not eat mayonnaise.  I will never agree that mayonnaise is delicious and satisfies.  I would also never tell someone not to eat mayonnaise because it is disgusting.  They don't find it disgusting.  They like it.  Even if I find it disgusting they still like it and at that moment I have to remember (as hard as it might be) that they are not me and therefore privileged to their own enjoyment of things.  Just as I expect them to not pour mayonnaise on my food and tell me that it would be most delicious that way, even in my tea.

And I guess I just want that level of acceptance back.  I don't have a right to it but I will admit, for those that I spend extended amounts of time with and would consider a friend, I do want it.  And it is only one thing among many but the constant friction wore away its own supports.  The straw, a needle, whatever the catalyst was (be it Interbus or Aliastra) happened and the last strands snapped.  And with it went my tolerance and my desire to stay in the situation.    In a place with no agreements is there reason to stay?  To worry about sharing the most core aspects of my game play without inviting censure or a sigh of sadness that Eve has come to this.  A place with fleets killing people instead of good fights where one person fought another.

If the relationship had been different my approach would have been as well.  I do not drop killmails into channels with people whom I share interests with that are not PvP.  But for someone that PvPs and wishes to teach others it is a natural thing to share what I have done as they share what they do.  But I am bad because fleet and they are fine because any solo.  As I said, with gritted teeth to another person, "Then ask them for a copy of their fit and reship into that exact ship and offer them the fight.  Maybe then, you'll be happy."  For me, no apologies.  Like what I do or not.  Everyone has their own taste.  But on the hand of friendship of pleasant socialization the understanding and acceptance needs to come from both sides.

It is sad in a way, watching the roads divide.  The angle is subtle enough that it takes a long time to notice how far away they have become.  And then, there is no turning back because the road behind is gone.  You can call to each other but you realize that you can no longer hear anything but the final words, "I remember when I used to teach you things."  So do I.  I remember when too.

But down the path that I stand on I hear, "Of course you can come!  Hurry and get here!  We will wait for you."

10 comments:

  1. Sounds almost like a bad star wars book or something. Master/Mentor takes apprentice under wing. Teaches apprentice the ways of low sec and gudfites. Apprentice goes her own way and finds out she prefers fleet fights, even if it's 6 on 1 action because everyone knows there is no honor in low sec. Now they each go their own way knowing deep in the back of their mind, the next time they meet will be at the end of some hot pew pew.

    But on a serious note. Good blog post. Just started reading your blog and good stuff. Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! This means cloud city and enslaved ewoks. I'm down for this.

      Delete
    2. Oh, I will add that they didn't teach me about low or PvP stuff. I was with the boys by that point and unwilling to leave. I was always asked to come play in high.

      Delete
  2. Strange. I guess we disagree on more things than agree (favorite: PvP must always have a point) but I still have your blog on my list and you have mine. And you still hang out on my channel.

    What made this situation different? Why was his attitude a breaking point and mine not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of it is how it is brought to the table as well as the person. I may not get you or agree with you but I know where I stand with you.

      If I don't argue with you it is because I am not in the mood to argue (normally lacking the energy) vs it being a study in not offending you because I disagree.

      Delete
  3. The point of pvp is to kill shit. Doesn't matter if its a 1v1, mining barge, 1 day old noob, ultra expensive tengu, cyno ship or a suicide gank. Inflicting damage makes this game fun.
    Mind you the best rushes come from engaging fleets solo. The moment where the tackle frigate pops and the last overheat cycle of the MWD before it melts pushes you out of point range of the fleet and the ship enters warp. Almost better than sex.
    But I'm rambling. Pvp in Eve takes many forms. As much as I hate falcons I make an effort to understand how they work since they are a part of the game (helps with killing/evading them). So all forms of pvp are valid IMO.
    Hell, you can even learn useful stuff from highsec carebears (fitting a sebo to counter serp damps and what sort of damage to tank when mission busting ^^)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Feel free to fleet and kill all you want, how you want. Just don't complain when you get called all sorts of vile names due to it. Personally, you or any of your corpmates will never get a fight with me unless I'm in a blob myself as I know if I see you in system and engage it will just be a matter of time until the rest of the gang jumps in. That alone limits the types of engagements you'll get to other fleets who think they have the numbers to match you or pointless ganks where the other pilot might as well go afk if he can't break tackle before the gang shows up.

    Love your blog, but the recent YARR PIRATE EAT PODZ! turn recently is a little disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the feedback! I have a stack of nonpodpopping stuff to finish up. I promise my lack of focus on any one topic will continue.

      Delete
  5. Who can define us pirates as bad? are we so diferant from and 0.0 block that defends its boarders or roams in others, or a FW side that dose the same, dose killing haulers who are moving products or ships for older players trough low sec make us evil? Killing noobs may be a bit harsh but CCP has pop ups in place to warn them that they often ignore. We are pirates because we like making our own rules and thats far from evil :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Eve seems to be full of peeps trying to tell everyone how to play "the game". Play "your game" and move on. Love the blog!

    - Dunmer Orion

    ReplyDelete