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Ramblings: Crusades of Balance

This is a continuation of last nights thought. I was going to write something about absolute statements. I don't like them and try to avoid them. They are unproductive. People like to argue them just because they are there. But, I also feel that they tend to be incorrect. As someone who often refuses the labels others try to stick to me I try not to label others in absolutes. I'm sure that I fail.

Instead, in another conversation I looked not at the absolute statements but at the reason the statements were being said. And, mixed with my pondering over the nature of Eve I started to think that the statements were themselves a side effect of the most touted aspect of Eve.

The sandbox.

This is the game where you step in and make what you want to happen happen. That very thing that is so amazing about Eve is frustrating. And it does not seem unreasonable for people to attempt to define the world around them because the virtual world is not defined.

The problem is that we cannot define it. I was trying to figure out why people sneer. I wanted to move past the acceptance of human nature and understand the triggers behind it. Why they are so scornful to others? Why people who have no interest in high sec declare that level 4 mission runners cannot make the ISK that they make. Why people who have never left high scream and rant over the bounties of Sov null. I sometimes crouch at the sidelines of battle between solo and fleet pilots or listen to the rantings about what ship is worth it and what ship is not.

And all around me, people are making absolute statements. Hundreds of them. Dozens of them. And these statements are in fact structures. They are the stones, the mortar, the roofing of homes and games. It is the creation of win clauses. It is the lines that they will walk and the successes that they will judge themselves by. They are people defining their game of Eve.

Or, that is how I saw it today.

And that made me  decided that I needed some of my own. I realized, as I started to work through this rambling thought and combined it with the earlier post that someone might be worrying that I am running at full speed off the cliff of community burnout.


Combined with my Crisis Intervention concept I've decided that I just need to make sure that the positives of the Eve community are also brought to the surface. Evil is fun. So is good. And they are both there. It isn't about squashing the bad part of Eve. It's about showing that there is a balance. No one should be surprised that so many of us passionately love the community.

I've said more than once that by many definitions I am a bad guy in Eve. I don't see myself charging to high sec to become an anti-pirate anymore than I see picking up a null sec banner to have 'real reasons' to PvP. Instead, I'll keep doing as I always do. Talk about life in Eve. The good and the bad. I'll help newbies and occasionally decide to assist in a gank. I have no interest in being a moral compass for others to guide themselves by. But I also refuse to accept the labeling of the community as toxic. That is another of those absolute statements. I am part of the community. I do not believe that I am a toxic member and I am not going to accept that label.

And if that means I have to prove that conceptt wrong then so be it.


  1. Sugar,

    What a pleasing post to read. The frustrated tenor of some of your recent posts was distressing. I’m pleased to hear this may well be fueling motivation to create/advertise the game space you wish to play in. I can think of nothing more sandboxy than that.

    Please also be aware that the ongoing thoughtful presence your blog provides produces more benefit than may seem apparent. I mean this not in the entirely admirable sense of noobs rescued or rage quits averted which has your current attention but rather in getting people (like me) to rethink what’s going on.


  2. This is key... The sandbox

    This is absolutely key for me and has been since I first undocked. As I have said before I was not an MMO player. I played Doom the first week it was released and its horde of FPS variants for years after but every MMO I tried bored me to death... every single one until EVE.

    Maybe its just me but when I realized that there was not storyline to follow, no quest laid upon me, not path set for me to follow... when I undocked and realized that what I did and where I went was TOTALLY up to me... I was internally ecstatic... I was quietly absolutely thrilled to my bones.

    THIS was what I had wanted all along. I world ripe for exploration with unknowns at EVERY turn (this is also why I hate. with a white hot hate, that damned Discovery Scanner...). EVE was and is an entire stellar cluster of thousands of stars and planets and stations and ALL of it just waiting for ME to decide 'what next'. Gods I was in heaven.

    I wonder if mebbe the vast majority of players do not share my particular reaction to EVE and the sandbox because, as you pointed out they want/need more definition, more structure, more of the 'what do I do next?' type questions already answered. I wonder if this is just human nature or a set expectation from the Themepark style games that are 99+% of the MMO games out there?

    I do believe EVE can be frustrating for those who are used to Dungeon Masters and preset Quests and set piece Dungeons and Raids... EVE's true sandbox nature... the almost total and unrestricted freedom of action and completely non-predetermined nature of it's gameplay could be vexing to those who for years have come to expect all the above... I have heard and read an echo (more a background feeling than anything direct) of this many times in comments and posts.

    And we, humans, are the people who 'label the world'. That is after all what language IS at it's core. Every single word we utter or write is a label for an action, a thing, a thought, an idea. We label the world so we can act and respond in ways that are not instinctive but rational and sandboxes do not have swingsets or monkeybars, predefined and comfortable.... they just have sand.

    And sand is moldable and shapeable but without rules and definitions and this requires the player to work a bit harder, to be creative... and for some, if they come to EVE and, knowingly or not, are looking for a Dungeon Master to hand them a Quest (and even hold their hand through it a bit)... this could be very uncomfortable.

    And for those who do stay and make their way... well, they need to set their own definitions and structures and labels now don't they? And these can become VERY important as they are the base by which they operate in the game and to go against them is to fly in the face of their learned experience. I too have had many run ins with those who feel I don't play the game ''right"... but I could care less.

    From day one I know how "I" define EVE and how I play it are totally up to me. I accept that this is a truth for all of us and that each of these truths is as valid as mine. This is what I do not hear from all those who argue, whether with words kind or vitriolic... they do not accept that your truth is as good as theirs. And to me... that's just human nature. We can fight back and argue or smile and just say "I See." and do as we each feel is right anyway.

    I am in a corp now with a player, or FC who I respect deeply. I know for a fact from years of association that he is more knowledgeable about fits and how modules work together in EVE than I probably ever will be... and he does not always agree with my fits and he does, tactfully, make suggestions... but he also accepts that I am not him and that it is my game to play and my ship to fly and fight... and sometimes lose...

    He just hates that I am always carrying, as he sees it, wayyy too much T2 and faction ammo when I do die... =]


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