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How to Make a Perfect Storm

[03:05:40] Wex Manchester > The Kitten War is not a typical example. It required a perfect storm of things to happen.
We were discussing so many things. Life, newbies, ganking. It is an eternal discussion. Almost any conversation rolls back around to it. What is and what is not. What has been and what will be. And all around the edges we all crouch and observe. Sometimes, we dive in.

It was a discussion about defending yourself vs not defending yourself. It was someone who wanted no violence to have a place where there was no violence. It was those who have come to enjoy spaceship violence defending their right to engage in spaceship violence. It was the beginning and the end of a conversation that never starts because it has never stopped.

When I started writing this, I was in a different mood. Someone came and crushed that mood. From the tattered remains I shook my head and crawled back to my keyboard. In many ways that short, unintentional incident was a reminder of why I had gone to help Rykki and co.

The perfect storm was Rykki's war dec happening at a moment when I was not only trying to figure out how I was going to create my Crisis Helpline but when I was also trying to understand myself. It was a moment when I was ready to throw everything down and walk into the unknown. It happened to work out but... what if we forced the conditions?

I play minecraft. I play it off and on. On my server, I have a few large projects I'm working on. One is a massive, sprawling tower with a courtyard and various rooms and things. I play in survival mode because gathering my stuff to build with is very satisfying to me even if it slows down my projects.

Minecraft and Eve are very similar in the fact that the world is out there for you to do things with. Go and do it. Inspiration has to come from internal places. The external may give you ideas and help. There may be corporations to join or a cliff face with plenty of coal at your spawn point. You may stare at a gorgeous spread of beach and decide to build a beach house and grow watermelon.

The same principles apply to whatever you decide to do. The hardest hurdle in Eve is figuring out what to do. Then, you have to figure out how to do it. Sometimes it is a simple problem and sometimes it is a bit more complex.

And sometimes, you decide to save the world.

It is interesting that helping others can be a productive gaming hobby. There are plenty of training corporations, help corporations, and people who just hang out in places where they can share information. There are wikis, and guides, and videos to fill the waking hours with information. It is a symptom of the game that we enjoy.

When I decided to focus a bit more of my time on helping I had to decide how I was going to do it. It wasn't a straightforward thing. I needed to do something that wasn't done better elsewhere and I needed to do something that would fit into my particular interests and personalities. The concept of a Crisis Helpline was the first kernel of the idea and from there its been slowly growing into something a bit more comprehensive.

I expected to undertake this alone. However, I've received a lot of support. And from those offerings I started to build the first stage of my idea. I needed something that I could start sooner rather than later and the key that I needed was the time I spent with Rykki's corporation. It allowed me to mull over my thoughts and reactions as well as all of the positive and negative feedback and attempt to create something that is not just a cool project to buff my ego but that is viable and obtainable.

The largest hurdle is that helping people is exhausting. Teaching is exhausting. Many veterans run the other way when newbies come around.  It takes a lot of energy, time, and patience to help them. I don't blame them for running. One can tell people that something is their social responsibility from sunup to sundown but shaming people is not a productive or sustainable method to run a project where people need to interact with each other. The players of Eve come to Eve to use their free, personal time. Many come to Eve to let go of all of that patience and helpfulness enforced by society. Not everyone is innately nice. Yet, that doesn't mean that people don't want to help. It simply means that people don't want to help all of the time. And in that was some of my needed direction in how to make helping appealing to veterans without expecting them to hand over their entire game of Eve.

A help line is often staffed by volunteers. My help line will be the same. My goal will be to collect volunteers. The volunteers will be gathered into loose teams as availability and interest dictate. If a situation is needed where a corporation wishes to learn more about PvP during a war dec, a team of 2-4 can be assigned to them to help build the content over the course of the war dec. Later, we can discuss permanent employees. For now, we will start with volunteers.

The goal is not to have to much weight on an individual. They can pick their content. Everyone has support, helpers and helped alike. I want to help people who want to help themselves. However, I have no interest in doing it for them. I'm not trying to make a mercenary corporation. I'm not going to go out and solve peoples problems with bullets while they sit back and are smug. Everyone will be getting their hands dirty.

I'm moving in small steps, but I am moving forward. I was telling someone that it is easier to put down an idea than do it. Making things happen can be amazingly easy and they can also be incredibly hard. I find that where the ease and the difficulties lay are often the hard parts to plan for.

What if no one wanted to join in?  Well, I'd do it alone simply because it is what I want to do. However, I have already had offers of help. And now, I'd like to start coordinating them. Step one is simple enough. I need to start collecting volunteers and then go from there. My gameplan is still in a nebulous stage but it is developing. Feedback and interaction are helping.

No one really asks, "Why" help. I do it because I enjoy it. I like Eve. I like sharing Eve and I know that helping people past some of their, largest, most scary hurdles improves the game for them. It isn't about future targets or anything else. It's a little bit of payback for the help that I got and a little bit of empathy from the confusion that I had. And it's probably a personality quirk. I might as well work with what I'm stuck with.


  1. I don't have much in-game time, but I'd like to help out too. I'm in teacher management and training, so I can give tips and tricks on coaching techniques.

    You're right, teaching is exhausting, but a lot of rookie teachers make it harder for themselves by not understanding how to go about it. If you like, I can draft up some guidelines and training documents for your volunteers.

    1. Sure. Send me what you are thinking about writing and we can figure it out.

  2. I like your idea about a small team training the locals to fight for themselves. Reminds me of a US Army Green Beret A-Team. There to provide experience and training and critical support.

    1. That's exactly what I thought when I read this.

  3. /chuckles

    Problem as I see it is few people want to help newbies full time. If they did, they'd join the training corp, or man the Help Channel full time.

    I guess I'm a cynic. I think most vets (that want to help newbies) see newbies like grandkids.

    They like the option of taking care of the newbies for the weekend. They don't want to actually live with them.

    1. "energy, time, and patience" is what Sugar pointed out...Those that do want to help n00bs and have those three qualities are probably already in the official volunteer program.

      Energy probably refers to the activity of seeking out n00bs to help, whereas time is just the motivation and capacity to play eve alot (damn that RL fulltime job)...patience...well, that's critical

      I get the impression you think anyone who can't volunteer full time and just want to be weekend warriors simply lacks patience...or are you implying patience is a finite resource? or are you saying helping n00bs is just another career in eve that you can get burned out at?

      hmmmm...speaking of the latter, i don't think the wtd chart actually has n00b help...would be a shame if it didn't, eh?

  4. Sugar - killing eve's perfectly anarchic sandbox one theme parked 911 at a time. lol

  5. Today, New Players are important. Everyone has an opinion because CCP made a big deal about it... Rise showed the math and it was sad.

    Two years ago, the same vets that are telling people we need to do something for the new guys were driving them out the game, or encouraging others to do so. Players encouraging players to behave badly.

    I'm not implying anything. I know how hard it is to raise newbies. I just think that most of our veteran's will help a newb today and then pat themselves on the back for it until next Fanfest.

    1. That's fine with me. One person at a time. I honestly have no idea if you approve or if you ate irritated with me for my approach.

      I try to be honest in that this isn't what I want my entire game of Eve to be. I'm happy to give a chunk of it away. I believe there are other people like that.

      This has been a thing for me for a much longer time than CCP Rises Fanfest presentation.

    2. I've no problem with you or your plans, Sugar.

      I <3 Sugar Kyle.

      If this site and my phone were more compatible I would have replied properly to the Anonymous poster who has questions on what I am implying or impressing. It didn't accept my fully edited and properly formatted post. I'm sorry that I was not perfectly clear.

      My issues aren't with 2 year old players like you who are trying to make it better because you realize that helping the next generation is good for the game. My issues are with the five year old and older players who told new players to HTFU for the last 10 years and suddenly are on the "Save the Newbie" bandwagon.

      And allow me to remind those who will interpret me as they will, I did say that I'm cynical about this.

    3. There's a difference between being against the reduction of overal risk in EVE and being against taking care of newbies.

      I am all for taken care of our newbies as well as we possibly can. They are the future and the sooner they're up-to-speed the sooner they create meaningful content for us grumpy veterans and themselves.

      I am also vehemently against making EVE safer however as the constant risk is at the very heart and soul of EVE. And I think many veterans see that more clearly exactly *because* they've been around long enough to get good feeling for what makes EVE tick.

      I don't think the two are mutually exclusive :) Not sure if you were mixing anything up, but never hurts to clarify either way :)

  6. Unfortunately, Bren Genzen is 100% correct on this issue. I have been involved in a Help Chat on and off for 4 years now and it is amazing how often the channel is spied on by CFC, CODE and other groups who just want easy targets. At some points its gotten so bad, we have had to shut the channel down because we were getting attacked everywhere we were, all because we help. And like he said, it pisses me off that now those same players are regurgitating "save the Newbie: when they post but are still doing everything they can to drive people away.

    1. Eve is unique in this. If they are not your friend, they are your enemy. If not your enemy, then your friend. A lot of people in null automatically lump all neutrals into the enemy category and do the NBSI thing.

      Unfortunately for the new player, this means that their first interactions with other players is usually at the receiving end of gunfire, trash talking in corp/local (if they notice it), or other 'unfriendly' behaviors. Believing that is all they will ever find in Eve, they quit... (Note that these are the ones that didn't already have friends in Eve when they started... As the graph showed, those who were involved with the community were far more likely to stick it out long term)

      For your new project, I think you might think about contacting the Angel Project (Featured on the launcher right now) and see what advice and help they can give you.

      - Serinas Setzuni

  7. All I have ever encountered in this game is trash talking juvenile behavior. Or smooth talking scammers. Including the "New Player Corp" that told me to quit and restart so U could assign the 'buddy program' plex reward to them.

    15 monthes in, and everything I was ever told is a lie. No one starting today will ever be FC in null, or fly the caps, or do anything else 'big' unless it is handed to them like a Lord handing out titles to his serfs.

    I don't want to be handed anything...I want to earn it...but the game is domninated by the isk billionares of null, and ccp has had 5 years since T20 to fix things, and null is more tightly owned by fewer people than ever before. For us to have 'run out of space, in space, is absurd.

    So, although I lothe pvp, I now devote all my time and isk to ganking new players. In 0.8-0.9 when I can. Preferably in their first few days.

    It is better to drive them elsewhere than add to the Pyramid scheme that is EVE.

    1. True and not... Yes trash talk and scamming etc are rampant in EVE... but, look at Sugars blog and mine and many MANY others... it is not ALL doom and gloom out in the black.

      And you seem to be fixated on nullsec... probably because you came in after some "Big Newz" (TM) about some "Amazing Things Happenin in Nullsec" (TM) ... well, Null aint everything, not by a FAR shot.

      You wanna earn your own way? You wanna feel like what YOU do is important?? You wanna be a part of something where you are not just one insignificant F1 monkey-cog in someone else's Vast Amazing Game???

      Join a wormhole corp my friend.... join a wormhole corp.

    2. I tried that. I was doing PI in a hole, when a new corp came in, destroyed and replaced all the POCO's. I started messaging the CEO overall several days, explaining my peaceful intent, desire to do PI and industry (it was a corp that said they focused on industry).
      He said, "no problem, we'll work it out". Then the stealth bombers from his corp started hunting me in.. one managed to kill one of my Epithals, with ~350mil isk on board.

      THAT is my experience with a wormhole industrial corp.


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