This is how Eve dies, with a whimper

It occurred to me as I was chasing a Hookbill in my Atron. It also happened to pop into my mind as the thirty or so Logi-supported Afs and Cruisers ran from two of us in Stabbers. And again with the cloaking, stabbing, warping, chasing and generally avoiding conflict going on this weekend.

Granted, weekend Eve is different than Eve during the week. But this isn't something new. This has been building for some time. And it suddenly hit me, as yet another Atron ran from my own Atron. So this is it then, this is how Eve dies.

It won't be because of CCP, or lack of modular POS towers, or the failure of WIS, or lack of cool new ships, or the CSM, or any number of other dumb reasons - it'll be simple. Quiet. A whimper and not a scream.

Eve could die simply because no one plays anymore. Call it what you will. A lack of engagement. Risk aversion. Or pure apathy. Is this where Eve is headed?

Not yet of course, but are we seeing the beginnings of a trend? Has the player base become so wealthy, in general, that risk is now something to be avoided. At all costs?

Eve exists on the basis of a universally accepted pact between all players. It isn't complicated, but it boils down to this - Eve is a game that we are all playing together. It is a conceit surely. An unconscious expression of virtual tomfoolery, a common agreed upon action that we all take each and every time we log in to play.

But what if? What if the majority of players simply stopped engaging in space? They could. Or at least enough of them to make an impact. Enough to start a trend. Enough to kill Eve.

Are we already seeing the wind blowing in that direction? Look to Null as a pre-cursor of what is coming. When was the last large-scale movement in Null? The last epic story, the last crushing Alliance defeat? Didn't someone just cancel such an action simply because it was too much work? I think they did.

Avoidance has become so entrenched that people see it as a viable play-style to attach cloaks to ships that have no business, or no aggressive purpose, to have them attached. Combat ships with low-slots loaded with WCS.

People are arguing over consensual and non-consensual PvP in every area of Eve. Including high-sec for goodness sake. I've got news for those engaging in such mealy mouthed debates, you are not expressing a viable opinion - you are feeding the beast of apathy. There is NO debate between consensual and non-consensual PvP! You log into Eve and you are agreeing to participate. Simple. You want to avoid PvP? Don't play.

Consider this fair warning. This is indeed a trend. Perhaps you are too blind to see it, but I'm not. This has been building for years and it seems to be picking up speed. Null sec is static. High-sec is entrenched. And low is increasingly full of avoiders and big hammers. ( Big Hammers are those that will only engage when they have far superior numbers, yet another risk aversion tactic )

To much has been invested in "the way things are". The wealth is building up in station. The ISK is easier to acquire. The benefits of taking risk have been mitigated to a nominal result. The biggest rewards fall to those that take the least risk. This is backwards thinking at its worst.

If this trend continues Eve will peak and then slowly, very slowly die.

Not screaming and kicking. But mired in wealth. Spinning in station.