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Ramblings: What is a Good Fight?

[TL;DR: Sugar mulls over topics of personal reasonings]

After a fight, in local, the participants often say "gf". GF is the abbreviation for good fight. It is a polite way to recognize the other side and the combat that happened between each. It is a wonderful way in which people engage each other beyond the immediate aggression of the first explosion.

Or so I wish.

It is also (and often) used with a thick layer of sarcasm. This transference of sarcasm can be for both sides of the fight.  It can come from the party that annihilates an opponent and it can come from the person who suddenly found themselves facing a situation with no pleasant outcome.

A few months ago I toiled over the question. I wrote a lot of words that I never published because I was trying to understand the motivations of some of the neighbors. There is a fine line between wondering and whining. I know which side I stand upon but balancing it for others is not as easy. The neighbors like their Guardians. They will leave them logged out in space and log them in if a fight happens. They will bait with a cruiser and bring in two Guardians to rep while they kill the other ship who cannot push damage through the repair speed.  It is a frustrating situation and eventually people stop fighting them because of the lack of progress. I sat there, frustrated one night and asked why? Why do they fight that way?

Eventually, I had to realize that what a good fight is to one person it will not be to another.  I had to drag myself out of the social circle that I was inured to. It does not have to be the one ship stomped by the blob scenario   It can be as simple as the fact that the good part of the fight for some is winning the fight.  How the fight is won does not matter. It is destroying the other ship and getting out in their own.  For some that is a good fight.

For others a good fight is about comparable skills. They want to go up against opponents and work at what they are doing. They may win.  They may lose. The outcome may sweeten the pot but it was never the reason they were on the field in the first place. They were there to clash their ship against another ship. To fight and receive satisfaction from the experience.

Or it may be those that fight out numbered. They may win, escape, die but as long as they made a good showing of themselves they are happy. It may be that they micromanaged their overheating and used every last resource before their ship went down. They may win the ISK war, destroying more in value of the opponents ships then their own.  hey may escape the situation and find the thrill in their ability to remove themselves from the situation even if there is no ship loss.

It may be not losing one's ship because losing the ship is always the unpleasant choice.  I watched someone asked, "Why do you play station games?" and he was honest in that he did not like to lose ships.  That meant he fought in the safety manner for him.  Insults and ridicule did nothing.  Losing much removed the pleasure of the game from him. While loss may be a fact of the game it does not mean that people will automatically embrace it.  In fact, the aversion (or risk aversion) is created by the very mechanics of the game in such a basic way that it should come as no surprise that people will react to it.

And as angry making as it may be, sometimes the good fight is the one not taken.  The one escaped from.

I have taken to describing my own boys as 'hungry'.  They are hungry for spaceship fights.  It leads them to take a lot of very aggressive actions that I personally would not take.  I spent quite a while frustrated as I attempted to understand why they took some of the fights that they did.  Or why fight some opponents who always have the same tricks up their sleeves (falcons, logi, blobs).  Why, why why?  And only recently after trying to listen with an open mind and hear what they said beyond my own thoughts did I start to realize that they were more drawn to the combat.  The conclusion was a separate thing.  The positive conclusion was extra pleasurable but more often than not they preferred to take the fight if there were slim changes then skip the fight just in case.

That was their fun.  In that discovery I found my own.  I learned to join fleets and focus on what I was doing more and not worry about dying. To say no if I was uncomfortable with the situation.  My example here is suicide roams.  I do not like them.  I understand that I may or may not make it to the end of the roam. I do not derive pleasure from running around with the goal of losing everyone to end the roam and I had to accept that just because others found this a fun pass time did not mean I had to.  Nor did it mean something was wrong with me for not enjoying it.  If I was going to afford others the  right to have fun as they desired I could also afford to give myself that same respect.  It is all too easy in this game to do things you do not want to do because you feel that you should do them.  There comes a time when this starts to drain the pleasure from the game.  It can be PvP, it can be PvE, it can be the corporation that one joins.  It has to be defined personally.

I can't define a good fight for someone else.  I might be able to provide that good fight for them but I cannot define it. I cannot rage at the person that always has a falcon.  His win clause is different from mine.  To belittle and ridicule someone for not taking a fight that I would take is to belittle and ridicule myself for not taking a fight that someone else would take.  It also means that someone else can not define it for me.  I cannot be convinced that something I do not enjoy is fun because someone else enjoys it.

And while 'playing a game' is the end excuse for 'it not mattering' these things are excuses to not define a reason for an activity any further. It does matter to me.  It does not matter that I lost my spaceship in the video game. It does matter that I enjoyed myself. If I do not enjoy myself then it does matter because I do not want to replicate that experience and continue to not enjoy myself.

My good fight may line up with someone else's good fight but they will never be the same. As simple as it is, accepting it has allowed me to stop reflecting upon it with confusion.  If baiting a ship and jumping it with a blob is what someone wants to do that is their good fight. If fighting with logistics and falcons that equal the dps on the field is their good fight that is what it is.  My good fight is mine.  Slurs will not change it.  Ridicule   does not matter.  I no longer need to ask myself, "Do they really think I am an 'insult here' and a 'slur here' because I will not let them dictate their win conditions?"  The answer is no.  They do not really they only hope that I will succumb to my emotions and need to defend myself.

I don't need to ask why because why is answered.  What is not understood or shared by me does not make it invalid for another to understand or feel.

A fight is what you make of it.  Like many other things in this game the decision falls directly into the hand of the player.  However it is picked up, held, viewed and interacted with is an individual thing.  We can only hope to interact in such a way that we enjoy ourselves and enjoy our game.


  1. I have yet to be in a sitation where a 'gf' was given or understood as sarcasm - maybe I got lucky in my choice of company. In gang situations, straight ganks against a chance-less victim are left uncommented - 'gf's are kept for fights where we had to work for our win (or the delaying the loss).

    Outside of gangs, whenever I get engaged in a combat ship, I offer a 'gf' at minimum out of professional courtesy, but usually because it was an entertaining or educational fight (I usually lose). If I get engaged in an industrial ship, I often acknowledge the loss with a 'well played' - not a 'gf' because I was in a non-combat ship, but at the same time there is no harm in acknowledging a defeat (especially if I made a mistake or willingly took a risk).

    After all, it's just a game, so there's no need to be a dick about it.


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