Sunday, January 5, 2014

And What Standards Are Such Things Defined By?

TL;DR: A continuation of my recent rash of argumentative communication on random topics.

Upon Rubicon's release some persons of my close acquaintance have taken it upon themselves to go and explore the mechanics of high security space as related to deployable, player owned, structured. Their exploration may be different from some others. They are stalking the high sec mission systems for those aggressive enough to defend their deployed, property.

The subject of griefers and griefing is one I'm hesitant to write about. It is emotionally charged and often leads to more reactive responses then thoughtful ones. I also know that my opinion is skewed. I play with the griefers although I am not interested in griefing. All of the negatives things that I hear said about them makes me raise an eyebrow because I know the person being referred to. The opinions on why people grief and what they get out of it and what that means about them as a person are often wrong. The communication gap between the two is enormous.

It is an absolutely terrible topic to work over, objectively. I, for instance, don't like when someone does not honor a ransom. However, I know someone who was not honoring ransoms because they needed to acquire ISK. They ransomed and killed and took both ISK and loot because that was their goal: as much ISK as they could make off of their target. I didn't like it but it was not me doing it nor was I forced or encouraged to do what they were doing.

The reason I picked the subject back up was because of a blog post where a post of mine was referenced and a corpmate used as an example. I have zero need to defend my corpmates. They are all grown ass adults who make their own decisions and I do not know a single one that needs me to come and defend them from anything. Yet, I have been argumentative of late and not inclined to shut up as much as I, perhaps, should.

I am unable to focus on the topic of griefers in Eve because I am neutral to it. I can only assume it is a result of my close relationship with so many that grief as a part of their game play. For all the words spoken, someone can still not know someone if they do not know them. I can discuss the merits and amazingness of all of my acquaintances to my hearts content but none of that will sooth anyone.

Instead of approaching that I had another question related to the entire topic and indeed the blogpost that started this rambling stumble across the landscape of definition. I want to know why mercenaries are not griefers and why accepting ISK to do a job for another person removes the aspect of griefing from the actions.

I know griefers who grief and griefers who random and honor their ransoms and griefers who ransom and don't honor their ransom and people who are not griefers but do enter into a playstyle with the goal to make ISK although those are few and far between.

Is it the concept of enjoyment and pleasure in the act of griefing instead of a doing a job one has been paid for? Is griefing only griefing when approached from a particular direction or is it anytime someone goes out to ruin someone elses day. It is well problem that one can grief the griefer and this is often seen as justified and fitting to the crime of making other people miserable.

I have no problems with mercenaries. It is one of those areas of Eve that I would be attracted to. Nor, do I think mercenary groups are by definition, griefers. I am asking a question not based off of moral judgement but comparative questioning. If one is okay and the other is reprehensible and they both cause their targets great misery, why is one okay and the other not?

25 comments:

  1. I stated rather clearly in that random post that I perceive a griefer as a player who attacks others just for fun and a Merc is a player who does it for ISK. The one's I do not understand at all are the 'tear' harvesters... the noob griefers... the kind of players who pick on (ok, single out if you will) solo players who are not PvP players... I'd much rather fleet up and take on a group of guys who WANT to PvP than kick sand in the face of a guy who just wants to kill Red Crosses...

    I, and THIS IS JUST MY PERSONAL feeling ok??, but I just could not take any pride in killing a PvE fit ship flown by a player who is not ready for, nor wants to PvP. I tried ninja salvaging once... stealing others salvage while they were running sites... left as bad a taste in my mouth as when others did it to me TBH. I can't see how baiting a PvE player into a fight they cannot win would feel better.

    And yea, I know they can HTFU and reship and get friends... but then the griefers just run away and dock up... I know... they've done it to me many times. Not your guys, I've never run into any of your corp as far as I know... ok?

    And it’s interesting... but of all the times I have posted about other bloggers, such as you Sugar, I have never once referred to anyone, or a post of theirs, without a tip of the hat to who they are... so, "a blog post where" is... well...

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    1. I'm not you. I sometimes write names and sometimes just link. If you find that insulting you find it insulting. There is nothing hidden or not referenced. Consider me an impolite scrub.

      I'm commenting on the idea. You did not cause this post. After that entire exchange I am curious about that one thing. It to me seems like an exception and it is a big one. Unlike antipirates mercs are more neutral. So why does money make it okay where it wouldn't be.

      I'm not attacking you Tur. Yet you feel attacked? Which is exactly the situation that just happened on your blog.

      My corpmates whom occasionally grief are not the people that caused me to ponder these words. Its an ugly subject and hard to write about.

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    2. Nope, not attacked, mebbe dissed a little and wondering why is all...
      And yea... writing anything on griefing is highly charged and elicits strong responses...

      Take my post for instance, I tried to make it very clear it was my personal take on griefing... why I don't like it of find anything fun in it... I only used Kaeda's comment because it was a very clear comment that included that 'word'... and yet it has elicited more comments than almost any other post I have ever written...

      It is an ugly subject and hard to write about... mebbe that is why we need more discussion on it... no?

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  2. It's the difference in doing a dirty job because you get paid and someone must do it vs you knowingly and willfully set out to hurt others in a way that is beyond spaceship pixels because you can. There are those that do things because they are difficult, take a lot of skill and have a high challenge, they can be respected even if you don't like them one bit. Spaceship ninjas are somewhat like that. They do it for isk and so on, they work hard to do what they do and while I despise them, they don't generally shit talk the victim and so on. At least not where I have seen though I could easily be wrong. Many griefers are seeking to hurt the people outside of spaceship pixels by attacking their ego and feeding off of the pain inflicted. These cannot in any way be respected as they are simply the game expression of the school yard bully and this is why people hate them so much.

    I have been on both sides of the school yard issue in real life and just like real life, some of those that bully can be decent people and good friends, that doesn't make what they do any more palatable. I stopped being involved with that issue due to some life lessons, many don't. Some, like in Eve and other online venues, take the chance offered online, using superior knowledge, somewhat quick reactions and anonymity to become what they can't be in real life. Some are like the quote from Alfred "Some men just want to see the world burn." Real life stops this with the real consequences of prison, shootouts and a one way trip to the morgue. Online games allow and encourage this behavior with little or no consequences for it's expression.

    In days past, there were socially acceptable outlets for aggression that might actually include physical conflict, violence and the real possibility of injury with mentors to instruct and pass on the wisdom and the responsibilities of adulthood. In our modernized, effete society these days, we have little or no such outlets and our society and the ones left are the subject of derision and attack. What is left are video games and unfortunately, anonymity and lack of a mentor/mentee relationship results in what you have now. It is the online expression of present society lacking outlets for aggression and violent tendencies and few strong mentors. In Eve, it's griefers and pirate gangs, in real life, it's just gangs.

    Yeah, that got long and overly involved, hope it makes some sense.

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    1. I'd like to point out modes of gameplay/behaviour are rarely mutually exclusive. One can be both a griefer and a pvp'er and a bear and get satisfaction from all of those. Some people that grief/ninja/merc/whatever might be good at and involve themselves in multiple of those things.

      I also think people that truly deeply enjoy the suffering of others are very rare even in video games. Sometimes in the course of my spacepixel adventures people get really angry with me in really funny ways and then I share that with my corpies because it's funny (angry people can be very funny after all). So I guess I 'enjoy' those tears but not because of the 'suffering' (really, it's pixels I can't use that word without quotation marks in this context) but because somebody made a clown out of himself.

      Also I think I'd have used sports and sports fandom as a modern day example of outlets for those emotions in real life, the number of rather overly involved (and mostly harmless in the greater-scheme of things) sports-fans still seriously outnumber gang members I think :)

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    2. Damn Kaeda... "really angry with me in really funny ways" That is exactly what I was talking about... This is the definition of ‘tears’. How it is that making someone upset is funny? In order to see another person’s upset or anger as funny, I don’t believe you can have any empathy for them... to me, griefing is based on this lack of empathy.

      "I 'enjoy' those tears but not because of the 'suffering'... ... it's pixels... " and "...because somebody made a clown out of himself..." I really am not dissing you, but this is the part I cannot understand. Those 'tears' are caused by 'suffering' you look down on because it's all 'just pixels' to you... but as I said, they value the game differently than you do. You see only pixels and, I assume, think rationally then that it really isn’t more than that therefore their emotional involvement in the game makes them, to you, ‘clowns’... players who are not worthy of respect hence your use of a derogatory term for them.

      To many in EvE however, it is not ‘just pixels’… to them the virtual things in the game represent many many hours of their time and for some, a sense of pride in accomplishment. I for one cannot afford to buy PLEX therefore ALL the ISK I have ingame I have to make ingame. (That was NOT a comment on you or anyone, it is about ME…) I only reached a point where I could “afford” to fly, and potentially lose, the more expensive and, I think we can all agree, more fun ships and fits… There was a long time when this was not true. Until I lived in Bastion and took part in C6 fleets running sites I had to be very careful not to lose my Loki (yes I had only one at that time)… as I could not afford to replace it easily or quickly.

      CCP has gone to great lengths to make EvE an interesting and really immersive virtual sandbox environment… I mean “EVE is Real” and “Internet Spaceships is Serious Business” right? Is it any wonder some players get more involved than others? And from that disparity we get… griefing and rage quitting and ‘tears’ and carebears etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam…

      We each make our own definitions and moral judgments... I do not see any upset I have ever caused other players as funny in any respect. If I want other players to respect me and my playstyle, I need to respect theirs... if I don’t care what others think, because I have defined them as ‘silly’ or ‘over involved’ and therefore I have judged them not worthy of my respect… then I can allow myself to laugh at them because of the upset I intentionally cause them… and seek to do it over and over because I find it ‘funny’.

      That is what I don’t get… how making someone angry, making another human being upset is ‘funny’… I never got it when I was young and I get it even less now… Maybe I’m just a sissy being all concerned about other players “feelings”... I mean, it’s just a game, right? It’s not real, they’re not real, so no consequences… right?

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    3. Tur, you seem to be part of the crowd that believes that pve (specifically hisec pve) should be pvp free if the player does not want pvp. You don't seem to have any problem with pvp happening to those in low/null/wh space when they want to pve, so why do you view hisec differently?

      I tend to view Eve in terms of game mechanics, if you understand them then you can almost never die unless you knowingly put yourself into a position where that can happen. If you don't learn or don't care about game mechanics you will die at some point and you will feel there was nothing you could do to prevent it.

      The majority of people living and missioning in hisec don't want to learn game mechanics, or even go into any other area of eve. And to say that they are all new just because they are in hisec is a mistake as there are far too many multibillion isk missioning boats running around to make that entirely believable.

      Now I too am a huge bear, and I also have never paid a penny for Eve, but I understand game mechanics to the point that I can make up to 200m an hour based solely off of lp conversions from blitzing in hisec (600m at t4 fw lowsec missions) per account. I am also a massive griefer with a long list of kills from people who have been playing Eve for months and seriously believe that hisec is safe and concord prevents pvp outside of wardecs (in case of wardecs they just drop to npc corp).

      So not only do they have what is generally a significant lack of knowledge on hisec mechanics but they also tend to want to completely avoid learning anything about the game beyond what they do in hisec, especially if it is related to pvp. If you read the csm minutes these are generally the same people who join, play, get bored of pve and quit. If they quit the game because they got ganked or blown up and 'weren't ready for pvp' then they likely never would be ready.

      At the very least ganking and griefing forces them to acknowledge that there are game mechanics they need to understand and pvp does happen eventually. The person doing such evil things as blowing people up ad stealing everything from their wormhole or what have you makes a profit out of that. You can learn these lessons the easy way by just reading up on game mechanics and asking questions, or the hard way by getting ganked, robbed, etc. People tend to learn these lessons eventually and honestly if you learn them the hard way you tend to only have yourself to blame.

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    5. Ah, you seem to be referencing ganking in terms of wardecs, which generally don't result in profitable kills and are done mainly for tears. I tend to refer to ganking as suicide ganking which is generally done for profit.

      In your reference of griefing you likely don't make much of a profit or have any reason to do it beyond whatever tears you get and since you don't focus on tears much you see it as essentially pointless. My reference is from the viewpoint that the victim suffers a sizable loss which profits me and any tears are bonus because it was done via misplaced trust (wormhole theft) or idiocy (untanked hauler carrying plex).

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    6. (sorry, hadda correct a bad typo...)

      Please, please read my blog and my comments again... I HAVE NEVER ONCE said I want EvE to be safe. I have lived in wormholes for all but 6 months of my 3 years...I have said I will most likely quit playing if CCP ever seriously nerfs PvP at all in EvE...

      I was foraying into the playstyle of such as Miura Bull... see below. A player who's primary and direct enjoyment is from basically being a bully... and the morality etc. of that playstyle... and yes, there is a place for morals in EvE... because PEOPLE are in EvE... mebbe it would be different if we were just all well armed hamsters... but we're not.

      PS And yes, the kind of griefing I was basically referring to attacking players for fun not profit... IE Paul Clavet of My Loot, Your Tears (http://www.mylootyourtears.com/) style griefing... and mebbe the type Miura Bull seems to like...

      Basically, anyone who thinks, tears are somehow a bonus... somehow fun. NO one is answering to that simple fact... that pissing on someone playing a game is still pissing on another human being. Greifing for the joy of causing others upset, not a for profit gank or a paid Merc Op...but solely or at least in large part for the 'tears'.

      And JIC anyone is interested, I do have some options in mind... please see;
      http://turamarths-evelife.blogspot.com/2013/02/griefers-throw-stones-at-frogs-in-sport.html

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    7. You twist my words. I never said making another human upset is funny. I said angry people can be very funny to observe. These things are not the same, and the difference isn't even all that subtle.

      Remember that if no investment existed in the items we own in EVE they wouldn't inspire any sense of value in the first place. I worked for the ships I use as much as the guy I explode, it did not magically appear in my hangar either. Like VoV above, when I go out to hunt carebears I largely rely on perceived (by me) superior knowledge of gameplay mechanics these too I actually spend time acquiring.
      In fact I'm a pretty terrible pilot, if it wasn't for decent knowledge of *how* shit works in EVE I'd rarely win any fight :P

      Also they don't become clowns to me they *turn themselves into clowns* when you wish cancer upon me and tell me you hope my mum dies an question my sexuality all because I blew up your carebear boat in a video game (yes that happens, I bet VoV has had similar insults thrown at him) I can't help but think you might be a wee bit out of touch with reality. They don't lose respect because they're upset (I get upset too sometimes, though I do try to preserve my dignity when it happens), they lose it by how they deal with the perceived slight. They look like a clown to me when they behave like that, because it's an utterly absurd response to what actually happened. If you can't see that we'll just have to agree to disagree.

      And the last thing I will say on the subject, if anybody genuinely perceives anything done to them in EVE as real suffering, they must have led exceptionally sheltered and shielded lives so far.
      Maybe get up from behind that PC and go to pub, talk to that guy (we all know one) who used to be the brawny yet cheerful dude back in our school days and who went and joined the army. You know the one who went to Gulf1/Bosina/Gulf2/Afganistan/Oneofthemanyafricanconflicts (depending on age) the one who drinks a lot now while trying to keep up the cheerful façade. Maybe have a chat, a long one, buy him some drinks. Perhaps it'll get them some perspective on life and things that can be reasonably classified as suffering.

      P.S. Miura is in reality an exceptionally skilled solo pilot, an old school no links no falcons just him and stars one at that, you might want to work on you sarcasm detector ;-)

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    8. Dude, in real life they are people but in Eve they are capsul-fucking-eers. When the greifed react to the griefers in game as they would in real life, it's not just ridiculous on their part, it's frankly hilarious. I don't want people to suffer as the griefer may, but you can't help if someone is a child about a computer game- you can however laugh at it.

      Exhibit A: https://soundcloud.com/gecko-1-1/gecko-fleet-phoon-awox

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    9. This comment section delivers! ♥ Kaeda.

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  3. I'm curious what you consider "griefing" to be. I'd define it as someone whose happiness is dependent on making someone else unhappy. Is you're definition broader?

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    1. I don't know. People define it very personally. Some people feel griefed by me for killing their mining barge in low sec because they couldn't fight back and just wanted to mine better ores. My happiness does not depend on their being unhappy. I've shot their ship and moved off with the roam.

      Griefing can be one side or the other or both, depending.

      Some people are griefing with the intent to grief people who are not being griefed, but intent matters does it not?

      It is a nasty topic to try to pry into. I started picking at the concept when Jester asked Kirth to do a blog banter about Bullies in Eve. Its just a mess and each argument stands strongly with the individual arguing but disintegrates in someone elses hands.

      Yet, in a game like minecraft where griefing is a very big problem it is more cut and dry. People come onto the server with the intent to destroy everyone's projects and laugh at them when they become upset. The most direct correlation that pops into my mind is the entire AFK cloaking argument and even there people can do something about the situation and their being griefed is based off of a massive list of various reasons why they are being griefed.

      The entire topic is more than I can chew. But I decided to gnaw at it some.

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  4. You don't understand griefing because you couldn't be griefed. If you'd lose even your jump freighter, you wouldn't be shouting or crying in real life. You would simply act differently to prevent such losses in the future.

    The fundamental belief of a griefed (or a griefer) is "X harmed Y just because he wanted and there is nothing Y could do about it". Y is at the mercy of X and X is merciless, just because he can be.

    You know that the above is bullshit, you can always do something about anything.

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  5. I read this and then went back and read that other blog and the comments and would just like to say that I love griefing and I hope that it makes my victims cry into their pillow at night. teehee.

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    1. And we have a vote from the brute squad...

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    2. I kill players because they are there, including newbies in ventures or that half-fit destroyer they got as a reward for completing the tutorial arc. The onus is on them to avoid being killed.

      I love it when they respond with in-game or real-life threats, or verbal abuse. Their response makes it clear that I'm the good guy in all of this, it makes me feel like some sort of vigilante superhero lel.

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  6. "If one is okay, the other is reprehensible, and they both cause their targets great misery, why is one okay and the other not?"

    I guess that the question is rhetorical. I say this because I noticed that you have already given the answer to it in your previous post: "Play Eve how you want as long as you play it my way".

    In other words, it seems to depend on who takes the picture and on who tells the story. Well, like almost all the things in life.

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    1. I'm not sure if you confused a statement that I wrote which echos things often said with my own opinion or are just using said statement to emphasis the ambiguous tone of the entire topic.

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    2. I'd recommend that you reread that earlier blog post. Your comment implies that "Play Eve how you want as long as you play it my way" sums up Sugar's stance. You're wrong about that.

      You make a solid point in your last statement. I've heard it as "The winners are the ones who get to write the history books," or "It depends on whose ox is being gored." The point is solid, although it doesn't really relate to the topic at hand.

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    3. @Sugar Kyle, @Wex ManchesterJanuary

      I used that statement to emphasis the ambiguity of the topic, and by topic, I don't mean your post but rather the topic itself. In my opinion, you/me/rest of the world can't quantify human feelings (i.e. note that I'm not implying you ever said that.)

      My comment doesn't imply what you said/wrote (speaking to Wex). In addition, once you read my comment in the spirit it was written you can notice that my last remark fits quite well. In my opinion, mercenaries, griefers, targets they all have a different story to tell. Which one you/me hear more often it largely depends on who shouts louder.

      To make it clearer, my previous comment was written as a general observation and it was not direct to anyone in particular.

      Cheers,

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  7. "What delineates griefing?"
    According to our modern society, "It all depends what the victim _feels_."
    So anytime you upset or piss someone off intentionally, whether in PvP or PvE (say, :Falcon:, for example), you're griefing them.

    You're asking a good question, but I think you're asking the _wrong_ question.
    It's not "What is griefing?" it's: "HOW MUCH griefing should be allowed? When, where, and under what circumstances?"

    _That_ question will properly stir the bees nest up. ;-)

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  8. I'm not sure that Tur is talking about 'griefing' from the point of view of the target, but from the point of view of the attacker. For example, I've lost any number of ships in any number of variously embarrassing ways, and (at least after the first couple) my attitude is, 'welp, off to get another one.' However, some people have come at me in missions with the very clear intent of getting me to rage. Tur seems to be more interested in what sort of appeal that intent has: why would you go and seek to make someone miserable, whether or not you succeed?

    That's a more interesting and more precise--and more personal--question than any discussion of 'griefing' generally. I don't have a link handy, but I remember Penny Ibramovic of Tiger Ears mulling over the question of why she found it more exciting to attack industrials than other combat ships. She had no answer to the question. As someone who gets absolutely nothing out of attacking things that don't attack back, I find that fascinating.

    And, just to be clear, I in no way support PVP free zones, or flags, or anything of the kind.

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