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Building an effort?

Two things happened after I wrote "A Better Badger".

The first was that someone sent me ISK. I was very excited about that and a bit embarrassed. I thanked them, for I like ISK. I also apologized if it seemed that I was begging. I then stalked them into their corporations public chatroom and proceeded to loiter and chat for a bit. I like meeting new people.

The second was that someone approached me and asked me how would I help talk newbies down off of ledges with a donation of billions.

I answered honestly. "I don't know." However, it got me to thinking.

ISK is an enabler in Eve like no other. However, I am not fond about throwing ISK at people. I'm more into helping people stabilize and get onto their feet. I, however, do not feel that needs to mean you are whole as if the event never happened. A mistake was still made. Learning needs to happen. That learning should still hurt. But, there is a difference between loss and devastating loss.

But what to do with it? How do I spread my habit of helping when I can if I see it into something more systematically productive? I have to be reasonable and look at my current commitments. What I do right now, grabbing those that I find into chats and such fits into my schedule. A venture would be larger and I'd need to figure out how to add other people into it.

A question in a similar vein about helping players get back on their feet after devistating loss had someone ask "But, isn't that what the Angel Project is for?" For those who are not familiar with it, Sindel has the Angel Project. It is a charitable organization to help players in need. Be they young players, older ones, or people who want to help other people. It is a fantastic concept and like Eve Uni, highlights what type of worlds player's can build beyond the classic Empire. And there are always room for more organizations. "But we have this that does that," isn't really a good reason to me not to do or try something.

My closest idea is a negotiation team. A loose circle of people willing to put some time and energy out into grabbing people where they can. But it would involve a lot of out reach. It would involve the gankers sending victims to the team. I'm not even going to think about those who want to scam.

Another idea is to take something like Von's Bootcamp idea and mold it into something player run every 2-4 weeks.

I'd love to have an adoption program. That involves people being willing to have more one on one interactions.

The best idea would be just to start another training coronation. I don't have the time for that as long as I am on the CSM and I am not ready to leave my own corporation much less lead anyone.

But, with the idea proposed to me I need to think about it. After all, I promote education for players.


  1. Sugar Kyle,

    Before responding I first looked up the word “devastating” because it didn’t feel quite right to me. Devastating (adjective): causing severe shock, distress, or grief

    “Devastating” certainly captures the *moment* but I think the particular word only gets half way there. Seems to me that the crux of the matter is whether a devastating loss becomes a demoralizing loss. In Eve, if one pays their subscription, one can eventually recover from most any space pixel loss. The question is whether one chooses to or not. In this sense, it’s less a matter of education before the fact as it is counseling after the fact. (It’s difficult to prepare people for devastating loss. If they were prepared, it wouldn’t be devastating.) You’re negotiation team idea is the only real option.

    In a game where loss has meaning, pain is terribly central. Suffering it, avoiding it, delivering it and observing it. Accordingly, truly effective negotiation teams are probably going to have to be rather stern because, post vent, the raging player must come to a thorough understanding that what was just suffered is central to the game being played.

    I’m coming to conclusion that over the long run it’s often observing the pain we capsuleers visit on each other that trips up many players. Ripard Teg over at Jester’s Trek appears to have succumb to just this difficulty explaining he was shutting down his blog because of (among other things) “the constant reminders that ISK is piling up in the wallets of EVE's most hateful people.”

    Playing Eve requires a hard space heart. You have to be comfortable with space villainy. You also have to be comfortable being comfortable with space villainy. When one gets to that place (or at least when I got to that place), seeing players rage quit becomes much less distressing. Eve has a very peculiar target audience - probably gonna require a lot of churn to find them.


    1. You may consider me much softer of temperament than I am. I have never stated a problem with 'space villainy'. However, the improvement of avoidance and recovery processes from said villainy is what I have focused on.

      You decided that devastating is the incorrect word. In the same vein, distressing is also the incorrect word.

      This thought path is not new for me. Nor is pondering ways to improve the first bit of time in game for new players. Because of other members of the communities recent actions it may be more tender to some or reasons not present may be extrapolated from my words.

      I'm fascinated by the society in Eve and what we can build with nothing but desire and the skills we bring to the table. Some people may make space empires from it. Some of us may try things a little less spectacular because that's part of Eve's enjoyment as well.

      I happen to enjoy new players and I find a particular satisfaction in helping people not wallow in states of frustration and confusion that can be avoided with a little bit of energy and a bit of interest.

    2. Xaeroflex below has already framed the question better than I. One of the difficulties I was trying to get at (however poorly) is that effective Crises Management (the most promising option if you ask me) is going to require, at best, tough love mentors. This could lead to wonderfully weird stuff . . .

      “Eve Crises Hotline, DireNecessity speaking. Tell me your pain.”

      “Some bastard just blew me up in Hi-Sec! I did nothing to deserve it. We’re not even at war!”

      “Ah yes, we call that suicide ganking because Concord delivered retribution after the fact on your attacker.”

      “I don’t see how that helps me one bit.”

      “It doesn’t. Eve’s not just. One excellent way to learn how to avoid suicide ganks is to actually try it for a while. Here’s half a dozen typical fit suicide Catalysts. Spawn an alt. Go forth and murder then return and tell me whatcha learned.”

      So . . . I didn’t grief my caller. Actually I was helpful, generous *and* set my caller down a “get comfortable with pain, both your pain and others” path which is an important Eve lesson.

      Would something along this line be seen as acceptable to other Eve Crises Hotline supporters?


    3. I disagree. One of the first things that needs to happen is to calm them the fuck down so that they'll be receptive to whatever information/wisdom you can impart. You get there by initially being sympathetic and listening, not by, for lack of a better word, preaching.

    4. Xaeroflex,

      I’ll take the preachy tone criticism to heart. Writing under the DireNecessity appellation tends to get me in character and while it’s great fun (I rarely get to be so blunt in real life), the character’s bluntness occasionally gets in the way.

      I find the Crisis Management Team idea intriguing. Huge swaths of Eve are unfriendly. Unfriendly is supported game play. People need to process the resultant pain. It helps - a lot - to have a sympathetic ear and perhaps I’m putting the cart before the horse by calling attention to what must happen when venting has finally exhausted itself. Being old and crotchety, I grow impatient when I observe a mismatch between what a player wants (commiseration) and what a player needs (fortification).

      I’m trying very hard to avoid the hackneyed “Eve is Toxic! / Baloney! Eve is packed with Helpful People” debate because it’s not an either/or proposition. Rather it’s a both/and proposition. Yes Eve is toxic, yes your helpful comrades are out there, yes you can navigate the difficult minefield between your current disaster and your thriving future. Accordingly, you've every reason to keep your cool.


  2. So after some thought, I'm going to try and frame the problem into easy chunks.

    The overall objective: Get a person brand new to Eve who knows next to nothing (or maybe a little cue Murder Inc event, B-R, etc) to the grizzled vet...well that's aiming for the stars. A more manageable end condition would be someone who has a basic understanding of the game and can walk away from an error in judgement with a cooler head than someone completely oblivious and knows how/where to get information. Higher reaching goals would be someone involved with an ingame corp, or off forging their own destiny. This is, of course, vague at best. It's hard to draw the line in between complete newbie and grizzled vet as there's people who've been playing this game for years and are still ignorant, but it's a start and is obviously open to more concrete definitions.

    So, how do we get someone to a point where they're able to take care of themselves and take things in stride?

    There's two approaches: Preventative and Crisis Management. Should be pretty self explanatory. Preventative would be everything from the tutorials to corp training, wikis and other helpful information. Crisis Management (for lack of a better term) is dealing with a newbie that's gone and gotten him/herself into a ragequitting situation.

    1) Tutorials-Much improved from what I understand, yet woefully ineffective. Can't do much about it.
    2) Newbie friendly corporations-BNI, E-Uni to name a couple. I'd rank these as very effective, but still have a limited target audience (who does the aspiring industrialist [NOT MINER] go to?). I'd imagine there'd be people who would know more that I simply haven't heard of.

    Crisis Management:
    As you've alluded to, there really isn't one in game at the moment other than maybe a ganker convoing the ganked upon noticing the pilots age, not a guaranteed thing to happen and as others have pointed out before, would someone who just got ganked be willing to listen to their ganker?

    1. So we start a Crisis Management Center and go from there?

    2. That's certainly an approach that hasn't been covered very well. I can think of several options for making it happen without CCP's help, all of them somewhat clunky to implement involving people posting themselves to NPC corp chat, e-uni chat, and other chatrooms where newbies tend to congregate and try to damage control from there.

    3. Turning clunky into streamlined is a specialty of Eve players.

    4. I think a main problem about Crises Management is how you get the affected player and the helper together. So how about trivial CCP support, like - just as one drive-by example - the newbie channel: If your ship gets destroyed, you are automatically joined to a Crises Management channel with a little flavor text (where players who care, like Sugar, can easily pick up a conversion with you).

    5. Hehe, thinking about it, if those players stay, it could become a self-help group. :-)

  3. IMO the best way to help a true newbie is what many players already do... Give him a little ISK, 20 million ISK is about perfect, to a brand new player that's a lot of ISK, but it's peanuts to anyone who's been playing for a while.

    Someone gave me 20 million ISK on my first day and I appreciated it a lot. I occasionally give a newbie having trouble myself too. I like to tell them to consider it Karma and pass it along to some other new player later.

  4. So we should give you isk. Then we should create a social group to gank new players in Lowsec. Then refer them to you after we gank them so you can give them isk and do research?

    1. Gevlon tried the "we gank because we care" thing, trying to force education and enlightenment by being a "nicer ganker". I can't say how effective it was.

      That said, I think your idea has some merit, ie the first loss to another player is in a more controlled situation.

  5. To me, one of the most important things for the new player to have is a person -- one specific person, not a channel, not a hotline -- who he knows is on his side, who will listen to him, give him good advice, and help him if he runs into trouble. That's part of what my boot camp idea is supposed to do. Put a couple people there who can hold his hand as the inevitable slings and arrows strike in the first months. Consider highsec ganking: the training should mention it, and that might help many newbs. But what some of them need more is someone to explain ganking to them ASAP after they are ganked, not as an abstraction that happens out there in the future.

    I have a fairly new player in my corp. He's found his way into wspace, so not an average guy. But he still had to learn to the ropes. He's gotten killed and podded out more than once. Each time it is something different, and he learns. But I am always there to say: "Yup. Everyone dies doing PI. I did. Everyone does. You should..." I think that helps.

  6. Some organized effort like this is something that I would love to support. I have been trying to think of a way in which I could do just this (help newbees with advice) without severely impacting my play-style or the characters whom I log into.

    If you figure out some mechanism to do this: count me in. I would love to help.


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