[TL;DR: Starting at the bottom. Why is there so much negativity to losing spaceships that it drives our social behavior in the game?]
For the last week or so a few ideas have been rolling around. They've developed into incomplete thoughts and partially worded posts. I've been thinking a lot about winning and thinking more about losing. Not in the competitive way of wanting ether of these things but in the function of motivations for people.
I was pinged about AFK cloaking on twitter and my opinion of it. For uttering those words I expect the rest of what I say to be missed. I'll say it anyway because it is not about the discussion of AFK cloaking. In fact, I am a poor subject to have this discussion with because I live in hostile space that is always full of neutrals. What the topic made me think about was loss.
A bit ago, I commented how dying in Minecraft often makes me giggle. I get frustrated. I love my enchanted diamond gear. I get attached to things. But I do not face the dread of loss that I do in Eve even though I often lose my items and have to go craft and gather more. The dread that I feel in Eve is also not about the loss. It is about the repercussions that come with loss. This is often ridicule and anger from people that share the killboard.
In exploring the discussion about AFK cloaking I was asked, "And if a cyno opens?"
My response was, "I die?" I then continued, "Or I don't because I don't hug the beacon? Or maybe I kite them off and escape. Perhaps I kill them. Mabye I am in a mission site and they can't light a cyno." The answers were varied because I don't know but the first answer was that I die.
What does dying mean?
It means irritation. I have never been one to find amusement in loss for the sake of loss. I dislike losing things right now to my cyno rookie ships. I am irritated when someone kills them. It inconveniences me for a few minutes. It may disrupt my jumping plans. I move on.
What happens when I lose a ship?
It is irritating. I lose value and items I have put time and effort into collecting. On the flip side because I may lose them is why I put value and effort into them. I lose time. I may have to change my activities. I lose ISK and assets.
Some will say it is not bad. Some only redock to gain another ship. Others have used the same hull for years and would like to do so. I feel that we pick the area of Eve that we play in and the things that we do as part of a greater plan of goals. Part of having a goal is planning. Part of planning is dictating the possibilities. Mining in low sec is different from mining in high sec. Doing a data site in null sec is different from doing one in wormholes. The environments are different.
The ship may be lost. But there is a difference between going out and not coming back until you are dead or even taking a risky fight and just going and sitting somewhere inactive waiting for someone to harm you. To bear with me, I'd ask for some base assumption that we want to keep our hulls.
Why is ship loss bad?
If I am out in space, Sugar with my ISK and my assets, doing a plex, making my money, and I get tackled and local spikes.
Then I lose my ship.