Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blue?

As with any game, Eve has its share of words that have meanings only inside of the game. Blue is one of those words. Blue is a color. It is my favorite color. It is also the color used when you set someone to positive standings.
Standings in Eve is a wide subject. Standings stand for your status with NPC corporations and factions. It also stands for your status with other players. There is positive, negative, and neutral. +5 and +10. -5 and -10. +5 is light blue. +10 is dark blue. -5 is orange. -10 is red. Neutral, if you have it set to show up, is gray.
Standings are a fast and easy way for people to ally together. The overview, Eve’s control panel in space, allows you to filter out people and things. One of the filter options is by standings. This allows the more trigger happy of us not to shoot our friendlies during the heat of battle when everything must burn.
You can have person standings, corporation standings and alliance standings. It makes a lot of sense and it lets you filter a lot of information out.  But, like so many things that are once simple, Eve players make hard. Some people shoot their blues because their blues are not corporation or alliance. Others hold blues to be sacred and shooting those allied with you is a great, great sin.
In low sec groups tend to loosely ally. I have people that I hang out with who are not blue to me. This means that they can shoot me and I can shoot them. Our relationship is friendly but it is not intimate. Blues are used to tag our alt characters (we tend to have many and they are often work horses doing things like cynos, hauling and scouting) and our closest friends.
In my world, I've been raised to regard blues as important people. They are the second most important people with my corporation members the first. We do not blue people lightly and we do not blue many. We trust them and for the most part we let our guard down against them. This is what lets Awoxers, those that infiltrate to kill friendlies, have so much power and damage as quickly as they can.
Sometimes we shoot blues. Over view glitches happen. Overview resets happen. Sometimes an alt is not marked. Sometimes standings are refreshed and people have not logged out causing them to personally lose the standings. However, these things are often explained. If someone dies their stuff is reimbursed and an appolgoy made. We only get along with each other because we make that effort. Or, we assign someone to be the corporation diplomat to make the effort for us.
Another layer of complexity is added when we fleet with personal friends. When we all live in the same area, and all shoot at each other, it is easy to join one fleet of people and wind up engaged in people that you are blue with. Often, in my world, this is discussed  “I can’t shoot 7-2” I might say. One of our friends is in PL and will roam with us at times. We know that if we engage PL he will not engage PL. We’d not ask him to engage his own people and assist us in fighting them. Corporation standings often come before personal standings. A player makes a significant commitment when they join a group. There is a lot of trust put out there and Eve is a game where trust is easily abused.
It has never occurred to me to put my personal standings before my corporations standings. I’ve sadly told people that if push comes to shove, I will shoot them if I am in fleet. I’ve also told people not to set their standings to me blue because I cannot give them the promise of honoring those standings. I don’t wish to place them at a disadvantage if I am on grid with them because our personal connections. I consider it part of the price I pay for the decisions that I make. I can’t be friends with everyone and be a pirate queen at the same time. I have told people that I would not shoot someone before because free of a fleet environment  I feel that I can make my personal calls.
This led to confusion on my point when I heard of a blue on blue shooting between two of my blues who are also blue to each other. A little blue triangle if one will. We had just had something similar when someone joined corp and did not have their standings set up properly and popped a blue cyno. Apologies  replacement, it was an accident and it is moved beyond.
I assumed it was such a thing. A mistake, a happy trigger, nothing more. Shit happens. You move past it. However, that was not the case. When I found out the base details it came to someone deciding that their personal standings were greater than their corporation standings  The fleet they were with engaged in the space that the other fleet lives. They joined knowing they would probably be hunting blues.
I don’t know if a heads up might have helped. It probably would have simply moved the drama to an earlier point in history. As is, retaliation was had when it was explained that it would happen again. Diplomacy was deployed and the results will fall as they may. Nothing dramatic. Just a difference in opinion that was unexpected, to me. But, also a reminder that we do not all get along quite as well as one might hope.

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