The Great Divide


There has always existed within Eve a schism between negativity and positivity, between anger and hope, fear and strength. This dynamic has been with us since the beginning. The balance between these two, I loathe to call them "sides", has created and perpetuated a palpable tension that has kept Eve taunt like a fraying string for over a decade. From time to time one side or the other will hold sway. As in the destruction of Walking in Stations for example. The CSM controversies of the past. Recent swings of the BanHammer, or in other multiple instances - one side may temporarily have a stronger voice than the other.

This has always served to give Eve a distinctive and recognizable voice in the world of gaming. A voice that has not always served it well. Eve is rather notorious because of it. Spend any amount of time on the Eve Forums or on the Eve Reddit channel and you will find yourself wondering why anyone in their right mind even plays this damn game. It can often be soul-crushing.

Why exactly do people who hate Eve and often hate whatever CCP does continue to write and post about it? It is a mystery to me, one that I have no interest in learning more about frankly. I have always tended to avoid the forums, I went almost four years without posting or commenting on them. And I generally avoid Reddit, although I will sometimes (rarely) post something I think would be interesting to a larger audience. Or someone will post something I've written or drawn. I find avoiding those places increases the pleasure I take from playing a game I sincerely love. And one which, I make no apologies for believing, I find to be better now than it has ever been before.

But something new is happening. The schism has changed, the tension is different now. It appears as if the introduction of occupancy based mechanics in null space has created a rift. (Which is odd given how vocal the cry for such a system has been since Dominion.) A great divide that is growing stronger every day. If this is so, and it continues to play out in the coming months, then I want to be the voice that says GOOD. If this is finally the moment that the negativity and hate that has often dominated the conversation about Eve finally dies, then I for one will welcome it. It is time. It is way past time. I would like to encourage anyone dominated by a sense of despair, doom, anger, or hate about Eve to please quit playing, posting and commenting. Go on. Feel free to spend your time trolling Xbox Live with the pre-kids. Believe it or not there are those of us that think Eve is better now than it has ever been before. In fact, the overwhelming facts support that conclusion.

You and your ilk have accomplished nothing. You have failed. It is time to move on. All that you have done is perpetuate a sense of negativity about our game that has served to limit its growth and expansion. You are, in a very real sense, the self-fulfilling prophets of your own created doom. You've given this amazing, talented and wonderful community a bad name. You have discouraged trial. You have kept new players from staying in-game. You have helped to force others from the game.

Things are changing. And it would be better for all of us, if you just got out of the way. The great divide is not just about bitter old anger, it is also about the other side of that coin. There is a rising and growing sentiment about Eve that needs more room to grow. A sense of positivity and fun that a lot of us are trying to spread around the universe. There are those of us that strongly believe Eve's best days are ahead of it. And we want to bring more players into that universe. New players, old players, and anyone that would like to play in our sandbox.

I know that A Band Apart is only one of many groups that are trying to re-cast Eve in a different light. My good fiend Mynxee's Signal Cartel is yet another. And there are countless more out there fighting to make a stand and provide young players, old players, and players that just want to play, a place to do so. A place that isn't about anger, but about joy and friendship. In fact, almost all of the players that I know are in this camp. As are all those that I have met at CCP.

Personally I'd like to see the tide continue to roll in and wash away that bad taste in our mouths. We've all stomached the trolls, the haters, the malcontents long enough frankly. Maybe it is finally time to realize we don't have to.

Evil survives only when good people do nothing.






27 comments:

  1. I agree wholeheartedly, this is an awesome game and better that 3 years ago when I started. Thanks for giving voice to those who love and enjoy being an EVE player.

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  2. Consider yourself upvoted, +1'ed, or whatever it is that Redit uses as a pat on the back. :)

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  3. Well said, and needed to be said. If EVE subs dip by a few thousand because the most notorious negativity spinners go elsewhere, it will be more than made up for in time by the ability of the improved social environment to welcome new players who aren't saddled with a bad attitude.

    This is not to say everything is peaches and cream with the game or with CCP but DEAR BOB the improvements in the game and in CCP since I was on CSM in 2010 are wonderful and quite frankly, remarkable when considered as a whole and compared to the times before that. I for one enjoy watching the process of big changes like sov evolve over time due to game design "better ideas" discovered along the way and in response to constructive feedback from players. That kind of organic change done within the framework of a big picture keeps the game interesting.

    Big sov entities will probably say "What do you know, Mynxee? You're not a sov player." That's true enough. But I do know that a little bit of chaos thrown into any mix helps keep the challenges fresh. When such changes have real holes in them, the right thing to do is respectfully disagree with CCP where you must and offer constructive feedback as you can while meanwhile continuing to look for fun in-game in unexpected places.

    After what Signal Cartel has taught me about finding unexpected fun in trying something new, I always wonder about the biggest complainers: Have you honestly and creatively looked outside the box to see if there just might be some fun in the current changed environment that you might be overlooking?

    Long and short of it is, anyone who thinks CCP is going to be kowtowed by bad attitudes is wrong. Like any creative humans invested in their work and vision for a project, they will be far more likely to listen to informed, amiable reason. I'm willing to bet even they won't miss the temporary bottom line impact from a mass departure of the most negative attitudes prevailing in this game.

    tl;dr You get more flies with honey.


    Aside: I'm not sure you meant to say "my good fiend Mynxee" but it made me chuckle.

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    1. I caught the mistake and then decided to leave it, does that count?

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  4. Truth, my brother. Intent behind the criticism is important. Does a comment come out of your love of the game, or Ida it something darker?

    And it's not just limited to words and opinions, but actions as well. Or in game events that seem to be a cancer to the game. I believe there's a way to do things that is enjoyable, then there's a way to do things that's enjoyable and enables fun for others. We should be striving to do the latter, as best as we understand it.

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    1. And all within the context of the game mechanics as well, I'm certainly not suggesting we all hug and shoot fireworks at each other. But I also don't believe being a pirate means you have to be an ass either, as an example.

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    2. One of the things our members often agree on is that going into dangerous places and escaping PvP'ers by the skin of their teeth due to being on their toes is part of what makes exploration fun and challenging. So hurrah for everyone who tries to catch us AND for those who actually do! It would be a boring universe if there wasn't some element of risk vs reward in what we do!

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    3. Absolutely. There's a way to target and kill a character, then there's a way to target and kill a player. One is perfectly acceptable, the other isn't.

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  5. This is a classic case of "careful what you wish for."

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  6. By the way... you need to change that head image to a Ragnarok over the Golden Triangle. Let's promote this thing!

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    1. lol, take it easy the event isn't until June. We have to pace ourselves

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  7. You guys said most of it but there is not only one thing or aspect that generates some issues. While many aspects of the changes implemented in the last 1 year year and a half are good there are others that don't appeal to me and feel that I wasted time doing what I like most. do a little of everything the game has to offer.

    I build - the new UI is a great improvement, but feels to me that the new cost/timing is an issue that would prevent new players to join the group properly. When you ask 3 billion to research 1 ME of a BPo in addition to the already long time it takes to do so, you exclude new players from going that path and make the position of older ones like myself more solid.
    I PVE - nullsec PVE is only good in WH and really lowsec systems -0.8 and below. Some attempts were made by CCP on this area but reality hasn't changed thus most nullsec space is not really worth to conquer considering the new sov mechanics making it a second job to protect it. Exception being when you want to see your alliance on the map though.
    I fly Supers - not anymore as there is no use for them and with the Phoebe changes if you are not part of a big group you can't move without losing it. Many of my friends that are super pilots already unsubed cause of this.
    I PVP - while terrible at it I enjoy both small gang and large fleets. You can get really good ones nowadays in lowsec and once in a while in null but the drive to bring people for a nice brawl is gone.
    My issue is nto with the cons I raised above as there are options as we adapt. My issue is with the implementation process CCP is using. I workd with IT consulting and if I did anything like that to my clients they would kick me out in a second. Can't write anymore as I have to catch a plane. but you get the gist of it.

    Cheers,

    K.

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  8. Let the round ups begin

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  9. Top post. It is hard not to say something that is not polarising. But there certainly is a nihilistic tendency that the null changes have brought to the fore. Eve seems to have beaten them but they can't let it go. It's sad they can't imagine other ways of playing the game. But that being the case they should move on and find something they actually enjoy doing.

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  10. Server population has shrinked from 47,000 players online to 33,000 players online in the last 2 years.

    Obviously you guys are having a blast with EVE and "strongly believe Eve's best days are ahead of it", but 1 in 3 persons who played the game in 2013 aren't playing it in 2015.

    The issue it's not those who speak foul. The issue is those who just hit the door without saying a word. ;-)

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    1. Kinda proves my point really. Besides most of those were link alt and super sitting accounts from everything we hear. Eve is a better game with less link alts in it frankly. If people are leaving on main accounts then that does make me sad, however in my experience I see more new players or returning old players than those leaving the game. Again, this is just my side of the universe.

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    2. Signal has seen a ton of returning players, many former hardcore PvPers/pirates who just want a more casual experience for :reasons: and who have developed an interest in casually helping new players. We get a lot of those coming through our doors (most who are on trial) thanks to referrals from Mike Azariah and many others. We give all new players a great deal of personal attention and a good, handheld start. We encourage all our new players to join in our fleets and organize things as much as possible so there is a fun and doable role for them.

      Even though Signal's focus is on exploration activities, after a few weeks our new players have had plenty of opportunities to become familiar with game mechanics, fleet jargon and protocols, flying logi, challenging difficult PVE sites, eluding would-be killers, war decs, gate camps, bubbles, wormholes, out-of-game tools, engaging in the wider community, being on comms, and much more. Along the way, we also provide information about and show respect for other play styles. As a result, many of our members decide after awhile to move on and try other things in game. By that time, they've typically subscribed and are beginning to feel invested in their character(s) and in the friendships they've formed.

      We've seen it happen several times now where someone is so thrilled with the supportive Signal corp culture that they encourage their friends to play EVE because they know those friends will get the same supportive start and then they can all have fun together. And the funny thing is, it's not even a financially supportive start--it's a socially supportive start made up of cheerfully-shared expertise, inclusiveness, and optimism. I believe that many small groups like ours doing what we do play an important role in helping to bring the numbers back to EVE. Positive word-of-mouth spreads as fast or faster than any negativity and like you, I think we're starting to see that shift happen.

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    3. We are also putting our own plans into motion in this regard as well, not copying what Signal has done of course, but forming our own version of it. I want to help make the ABA experience as welcoming as I can for new and younger players as well.

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  11. I think you miss the reason for the current state of affairs.

    CCP welcomed, even sought out (remember "be the villian"?) people who were sociopathic. Well, that negativity that CCP relished in the game has come home to roost. More and more "good" people have quit, and what you are left with is a more distilled essence of the typical Eve player.

    Yes, of course, there are many notable exceptions, but I am talking about the rule.

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    1. I didn't miss that, it is what the post is all about. However true that may be, it does seem to be changing for the better. I hope.

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  12. I agree that it is a lot more fun with positive people and atmosphere. But but but...
    Who will bring balance to the force?

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  13. Here here old chap, extremely pleasant!

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