Teeth or Dentures?
For you younger players I will spin you a yarn about a place that once existed in New Eden, a place that is long gone and whose like we may never see again. This place wasn't special, it was just a place that was unique. Especially to a two-week old Rookie. It was called Providence. It is still called that, but the Providence I'm talking about hasn't existed for almost three years now.
It was a Null-Sec Carebear kingdom, ruled over by a strict NRDS role-playing Alliance called CVA and managed by their little group of holder Alliances, LFA, Paxton and the others that seemed to come and go. Providence is among the worst pieces of Null-Sec real estate you could ever want to own, so mostly others left us alone. They may have not wanted our Sov but they surely wanted to hunt and kill us. The great thing about Provi in those days was the fights.
Surrounded by -A- on one side and Goons on the other, Providence was the choice destination for anyone that wanted a fight. Constant border fights, incursions ( back when that word meant real players entering your space to kill you! ), and roaming gangs from the four corners of New Eden.
The Provi Holders were an incredibly mixed bag of young players ( like me! ) and seasoned vets, and everything in-between - but for the most part we were all carebears. Provi loved to carebear. Which was yet another thing that drew the fighters to our shores. Easy kills. You wouldn't believe some of the dumb stuff my fellow Alliance pilots did back in those days. One of my first corporation CEO's used to lose so many Hulks, at one point it was almost one per day!! I kid you not.
We deserved the reputation we had back in those days. Looking back on it.
But at the time, it was an entirely different story. For one thing, Provi allowed a very young player to get a tremendous amount of experience in fighting the enemy. We never had to go far to find a fight, since the fights were usually coming to us. Especially between us and -A-, in those early days we both had a "gentlemen's agreement" regarding good fights.
But, even as Carebears, we all took a tremendous amount of pride in docking up and bringing the fight to the enemy. We often sucked at it, no doubt about that. But that didn't stop us from trying, learning and working on getting better. We were defending our space.
Defending your own space. That is a feeling that has stuck with me even now as a Pirate. I still consider the system I live in to be mine. And anyone that comes to attack it is an invader that needs to be dealt with.
I've never understood the fundamental distinction between Carebear and PvP pilot. Maybe it is this weird upbringing of mine that is at fault. Sure I mined some back in those days, but mostly I made ISK off ratting and trading. For a brief period of time I was the sole supplier of rigs in Provi, I must have made several hundred trips to Empire and back in my Badger Mark II with a cargo hold full of large rigs ( that was the only size back then!! ). Believe it or not, I only ever lost one Badger!! Gosh, I made a ton of ISK off a 7% margin. lol.
In my mind Carebears defend themselves. In Empire when our Corp was War Decc'd, we'd fight back. We didn't just take it. We'd often War Dec 'em right back and sit off their station and wait for them to undock. I've sat off the Jita station waiting for some poor schmuck to undock in his freighter. And I had 4m skillpoints at the time.
Oh yes, all of this happened between two weeks old and about 20m or so skillpoints.
I hear a lot of whining these days about safety. About hi-sec and how it should be safer to coddle the carebears so they don't leave the game. I disagree. I strongly disagree.
I do believe the new player experience needs to be better. Over the years I've advocated for several great ideas on how to do that. From Sanctuary Rookie Systems to two-weeks tutorial simulators, to allowing Rookies to experience more than their share of combat, mining, and everything Eve has to offer. And more.
But Eve itself? People do not keep playing a boring game!
I have three young boys. They love Minecraft. They've built some amazing structures and have been playing it for almost three years now. You know what they do almost 90% of the time? They PvP. In Minecraft! You know why they do that? Because Minecraft is frikkin' boring as crap!!
Hell the best moments in Sim City are when you unleash Godzilla or the Giant Robot on your City!
Carebear and Wimp are not always the same thing.
And I just went off on a mini-rant there. But I've been, over the past three days, trying to make a point. Eve is dangerous. That's why Eve is great. Eve won't be great when the danger is gone. It'll be boring. Yes, we need to work harder to keep and train new players so they don't get frustrated and quit. But we also don't need to coddle anyone.
Carebears without teeth are simply victims. Carebears with teeth? They are survivors.