[TL;DR: Where I mangle concepts of good, evil, and punishment to my hearts content]
"I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way."
"Make them pay, and I don't mean money."
-The Angered Murmurs of the Eve Online Forums
There are many people who are angry about the Tags4Sec feature. They want people to pay for their actions. They want this payment to happen before redemption They often want this payment to be great enough that it moves outside of the playability of the game and expands into affecting the players real life. A true punishment that would so affect the person behind the avatar that they would become averse to casual 'bad' behaviors.
I have read everything from months long grinding to a decrease in training speed for every infraction that makes Concord pay one notice with the time frame of one month to pay for the experience. A month of real time to pay for playing the game in an allowed method that is not 'nice'.
Eve is about choice and we can all run around and quote CCP Soundwave saying that not all players are entitled to success. Success does not have to be assured in Eve but that is a different aspect from a player not being able to engage in playing parts of the game.
When I wrote about Low Sec's PvE content being neglected and that perhaps it needed to be updated in such a manner as to assist newer players with keeping their play styles above water, there was a lot of commentary about piracy and 'you choose to live there you get what you deserve'.
What do people deserve? There is a layer of personal morality that often seems to obscure the more simple question of game play mechanics. Is something good or not good should not be dictated by 'well you don't deserve it because you are bad." I often see this method of thinking affect players opinions on things.
Objectivity is not an easy thing. It is one reason why we look for second opinions or third party reviews of various things. It is that narrow line between what I want and what is okay. The line goes over to far in one direction and we come up with a massive imbalance in game mechanics. It tilts to far in the other and something fizzles out and dies due to lack of interest. The sweet spot is hard to achieve and it may take more then once or twice for it to be reached.
But what of evil?
I don't believe that Eve is a PvP game. I believe that Eve is a game with PvP. If Eve was a PvP game such as Dust, people would not spend time debating that some people should not receive gains because they choose to do unpleasant things. Because PvP is optional to voluntarily engage in and a player has the choice to attempt to avoid it and to not volentairly attack others it changes from what the game is to a thing that is part of the game. A thing that is dictated by opinions and thoughts, personal morals and decisions.
The Tags4Sec feature is one I am very hopefully excited about. I'm hopeful that CCP will continue to listen to our feed back to make this feature something that adds to low security space. Yet, in the thread for the dev blog explaining tags for sec, around page six or seven things started to derail. The topic switched from one that discussed the feature and the pros and cons that it had to one that discussed the morality of the actions of the players that will find the most interest in this feature.
moralMorality in Eve is an interesting thing. In many ways, the only morals are the ones the social group decides upon. But, because we are people, we bring into the game the ones that we have worked under our entire lives. Some of us shed them, some can put them aside, but many continue to live by what they have always lived by. Let me say now that nothing is wrong with that.
1. of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong;ethical: moral attitudes.
2. expressing or conveying truths or counsel as to right conduct,as a speaker or a literary work.
3. founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom: moral obligations.
4. capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct: a moral being.
5. conforming to the rules of right conduct ( opposed to immoral ):a moral man.
I consider myself a nice person. I think I am reasonably pleasant to hang around with. I believe myself to be trust worthy and I will defend those that I care about. However, to the bulk of the game, due to my playstyle I am somewhat immoral or evil because I do bad things. Most of those bad things involve living in low security space and having no problem with shooting first and asking no questions.
The game does define this as, somewhat bad. I get a security status hit. The gate guns and station guns will fire on me. I cannot dock for sixty seconds. To regain the security status hit I will have to regain security status through engaging and destroying non-player character pirates. Soon, I will be able to lay down some cash and a handful of dogtags and do the same thing.
The question is "am I punished enough for my actions?" Or, that is the question that people ask. The real question seems to be more along the lines of, "am I punished enough for my actions based upon how my actions make the person judging it feel?"
If it is a fellow outlaw the answer may be, "Yes. I also dislike the methods that must be used to regain security status. I tire of engaging non-player character pirates and seeking Concord's blessing that I have redeemed my sins. Even the Tags4Sec feature frustrates me for I must collect tags and travel, spend ISK that I could use to purchase spaceships, and again ask Concord to forgive me."
If it is someone who does not engage in shoot first and ask questions later or who may even be a pacifist the answer is, "No. You did the crime and now you must pay for it. You must be punished and that punishment should not be light or fast but should take a long time and cause you to seriously engage in thought about doing that action again."
My perspective is skewed by what I do. By who I live with. By the social structures around me. They have all molded my perceptions. I've been in a situation where I chose not to raise my security status because the punishment was to great. But a lot of what I hear would push beyond the individual choice I have to live with my consequences and enforce a constant state of punishment that would effect every aspect of my game until a predetermined period was through. And is that what the point of the punishment inside of the game is for or is that what people want as their pound of flesh when someone does something they don't like?