Overcoming Fatalistic Carebearism

A 12-Step Program for Recovery

By Furious Fukuda, Stay Frosty

Before I begin, a distinction needs to be made between fatalistic carebearism and participating in carebear activities. One can run missions, explore, be involved in industry and even mine all weekend without suffering from fatalistic carebearism. The difference is not dissimilar to that of a social drinker and an alcoholic. A social drinker knows when enough is enough, whereas an alcoholic does not.

Fatalistic carebearism is a disease. It does not focus its attack on the body or mind like many other ailments. Instead, it attacks the will and wreaks havoc on the soul. Left unchecked, fatalistic carebearism will chip away at a person’s sense of self-preservation until they become nothing more than a habitual victim. Those afflicted will come to accept that they are merely prey, food for the predators of New Eden.

Fatalistic carebearism doesn’t have to be a death sentence. By following the steps outlined below, and with perseverance, you can break the shackles of this horrible illness and reclaim your rightful place amongst the other immortals of Eve. It won’t be easy, but I know you can do it.

Accept that death is a part of New Eden – No matter how well you plan, or where you hide, death will find you, or at least your clone. The only way to truly avoid death is to never undock, or never log in and where’s the fun in that? Accept death as your companion and minimize its impact by flying things you can afford to lose.

Understand that YOU are a higher power – You are a capsuleer, an immortal, a god amongst men. Remember, if someone turns your pod into confetti in the depths of space you will be reborn moments later. You are an unstoppable force limited only by your will to succeed. Just remember to keep your clone up to date and your losses will only be material.

Know that PLEX is not the answer – Contrary to what many may believe, there is no “I Win” button in Eve. No amount of officer or deadspace mods will save you from a determined foe. All they will do is paint a bigger target on your back, and make it less likely that you will dictate the time and place you engage. As an example of what not to do I give you this: Quan HonorTheCall.

Take a personal inventory of who you are and what you can do – Do you prefer to kite, brawl, or maybe you prefer something stealthy. Know what you are comfortable with and then check your skills to see if they’re in alignment with what you enjoy. If not, develop a training plan to get you there. Knowing your skills will also help you determine what fights you have a chance of winning. Once you’re in your comfort zone start trying out other combat styles. You may find you have more talent than you realized.

Learn from those who have come before you – Ship fitting can be tough when you’re not experienced in PvP. Luckily, there are many resources available to help you fit a ship that won’t get you laughed at. Failheap, Battleclinic, the Eve University Wiki and even Eve-Kill are all great places to find fits. When you find one that interests you bring it into EFT or Pyfa and take a closer look. Do you have the skills to fly it? At what ranges are all the modules effective? What sort of DPS do you get with different ammo types? Read the module descriptions if you don’t know what they do; understand the ship and its purpose. Then, consider taking it out for a spin.

Prepare for the road ahead – Never walk blindly into the abyss. Learn as much about the area you’ll be flying in as you can. The ingame map statistics, Dotlan, and Eve-Kill can all provide valuable information about where you’re headed. Knowing what has been killed, and what has been doing the killing, will help you in deciding if you’ll be able to have an enjoyable hunt.

Never forget where you’ve come from – Bookmarks, bookmarks, bookmarks. I cannot stress enough the importance of bookmarks. Make safespot bookmarks, bookmarks of perches over gates and bookmarks of spots to scan from in relative safety. Hell, make bookmarks of bookmarks. Bookmarks will keep you alive and help you find good fights. Not sure how to make good bookmarks? Check out this guide from Rixx Javix: Idiot's Guide to Bookmarks.

Know your surroundings – The Overview is probably one of the single most important tools in Eve. A properly set up overview can save your ass, and one that’s not set up correctly will get you killed faster than singing the Amarrian national anthem in a Matari biker bar. Azual Skoll of The Altruist blog has written a fantastic guide on the subject. You can find it at: Overview Setup for PVP.

Look before you leap – Probably the second most important tool in Eve is the directional scanner. Dscan while you warp, Dscan when you’re in a safe spot, even Dscan while you fight. Dscanning will help you find great fights and also let you know when it’s time to haul ass. Azual Skoll, again, has written a great guide to Eve’s directional scanner here: The Directional Scanner in PVP.

Paranoia, paranoia, everybody’s coming to get me – If you want to be a shark in the sea of New Eden you have to live like a shark. Many species of shark need to keep moving to stay alive, and so do you. The longer you sit in one place, the more likely a larger shark will come and take a bite out of your ass. This is where all those bookmarks you’ve made will come in handy. Bounce between them often so you don’t give probers a chance to lock your position.

You are not alone – For me, this was the most important step. Finding the guys of Stay Frosty permanently changed my Eve Online experience for the better. I still fly solo most of the time, but they are always there to talk to about my experiences and as a batphone if I bite off more than I can chew. Finding people to share Eve with can be difficult, especially if you’re shy, but there are a few places you can look. Try starting an Eve twitter account and follow some of the people on #tweetfleet, or check out Stay Frosty’s channel in Eve, Eveoganda. Finding people to learn from and share Eve with will greatly enrich your experience.

Never underestimate a big set of balls – Ok, so you’ve learned about ships, skills, bookmarks and how to find or avoid trouble. You may have even found a few friends along the way. Now comes the most important part. You have to hit that undock button. Get out there and get into a fight. You’ll probably get your ass kicked, but at least you can say you tried. Who knows, you may actually win. All the things you’ve learned will amount to nothing if you don’t put them into practice, so go have some fun.

These are only the first twelve steps in a much longer journey, but they will help you on your path. Fatalistic carebearism is not an easy monster to slay, but it can be defeated. Just remember to always learn from your mistakes, relish your victories and Stay Frosty™.

[This post originally appeared on the Stay Frosty Forum and is reproduced (!) here by permission of the author. Seriously, I asked him and he said yes.]


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  2. Well said and well thought out... Shame it's so wrong.

    'Fatalistic Carebearism'... really? This from a someone who enjoys the open sandbox nature of EvE? If this was written tongue-in-cheek then I could accept it, but if not...

    I have been flying in EvE over 2.5 years now... and we, my small corp, are finally where we have wanted to be since we sat down and created HBHI... that stands for Hiigaran Bounty Hunters Inc. and back when we created HBHI, we knew the 'bounties' were going to be coming from NPCs... but the plan and dream was to one day be PAID to seek out and kill other players… to be good enough at PvP to be reckoned with. And in skilling up and undocking in the face of adverse odds instead of seeking safety... and in joining a like minded Alliance (at last) we have finally attained that goal.

    In our case we are not ‘lone wolves’ out there seeking mortal combat mano-a-mano, we have found we work best in a team. And while we have blobbed on occasion, we have also Leroyed in, as a fleet into uncertain odds… HBHI is now a blooded and experienced Anoikis Mercenary Corp in one of the best Mercenary Alliances in the 'verse. One of our latest Merc Ops netted over 500 Billion ISK looted or destroyed. When we roll into another Alliance or corp in W-space, we ship up and fleet up with anticipation and we fight without any hesitation.

    ...and yet I still get just as sick and tired today as I ever did of anyone saying (no matter how well it is said) that playing EvE a 'certain' way is stupid, or worthless, or somehow intrinsically wrong. I know plenty of players who are not, and NEVER ever will be, interested in PvP, period. It is just not their cuppa tea and that is just effin that. And the people I am talking about are not players you will ever find raging and crying on forums about getting ganked. These are players who completely accept ‘our’ preferred playstyle… who accept the risks inherent in the sandbox that is EVE 'because' it is those very at risks that give worth and value to their preferred playstyle.

    But tellingly one other thing you will never find ANY of 'them' doing... is writing up well worded treatises on the evils of 'Fatalistic Piratism', or how pirates (griefers, war decers, mercs, IE PvPbears of all stripes) can, with a little patience and perseverance break the bonds of their ebil, anti-social and destructive ways... You know why? Because 'they' (unlike you) accept you and your playstyle as valid and worthwhile, and also because you and me and all those we grief, pirate, merc, war dec and gank... are their customers and the source of income that allows them to easily 'afford' any ships of theirs that you destroy...

    So, of the two, who has an attitude that needs correcting here?

    None of the above was typed in rage or anger... more in saddened frustration with those of us, PvP centric players, who for reasons I cannot fathom, do not accept all playstyles in the most demanding and complex open sandbox virtuality in the world today. I believe 'we' can and should uphold a higher standard than that.

    [Posted, deleted and reposted due to very poor typing skills... still can't find that damned "Minmatar Basic Typing" skill book on the market anywhere...) =\

    1. Tur, you've been a reader long enough to know me better than that m8. I totally support all playstyles in Eve and I understand the fundamental balance between destroy and build, probably better than most.

      Furious intended this as humor mostly, but also an important call from his own perspective as a long-term carebear who only last week scored his very first PvP kill in Eve. See his comment.

    2. Actually I have followed you long enough to know that full well and as I said at the top, if this was written tongue-in-cheek, I get it...

      And, as is so often the case, now better armed with better ammo... IE Furious's recent ascension from Carebear to blooded pirate, I do truly 'get' that too...

      But, the genesis of my response was his equating playing a PvE ONLY game to Alcoholism but then equating playing PvE 'just' (I assume) to fund PvP to as acceptable as social drinking. The negative onus that is brought to mind by that comparison was what I was furthering discussion on... and only that aspect. And I, with all due respect and courtesy, disagree with that negative onus.

      While "I" do not feel PvE is fulfilling, or even well done, in EvE, there are those who disagree strongly and do not see their playstlye as equal to Alcoholism... mebbe more akin to a milder form of the harder and stronger crack (PvP) 'we' are addicted to. =]

      As for those who moan an rage and cry and forumwhine about PvP in EvE... those who feel they have no options or are a 'victim' in a game... I am sorry, but you cannot be a victim if, with the push of a button you can make it all 'go away'... which you cannot do IRL. I do feel we need to protect and teach our young a lot better, and I do not believe in forcing rage quits, ever... but at the same time I accept EvE is a niche game, a very niche game and it is quite simply not for everybody.

      I actually am currently teaching the Tao of EvE to a RL Female (gasp!). She is my dottir's summer Au Pair and is a long time gamer (WoW the poor thing) and she (and her hubby AND her mum [Yipes!]) saw EvE and was hooked. So for 30 mins to an hour after I get home (but afore the 'wife' does) we play side by side as she is working her way through the tutorials... (Which BTW she is going to write up a strongly worded yet scathing treatise on to send to CCP & the CSM... with pages of recommendations.)

      As for assisting those ingame as willing to learn more and not cry to the gods of EvE to CHANGE the game to be PvP free, I am all for it and in my time I have always extended a 'hand up' to them as are seeking the knowledge of our black arts, but always remember...

      You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him fly a Rifter. =]

    3. Agreed in principle. I also support the fact that Eve is available in many formats and potential play-styles, some of which I would find mind-numbingly boring, but for which others may not. I cannot however, always speak for all Eve players, as I wear many hats. I do try, as often as possible, to speak for all of us. But I also happen to be a strong advocate for PvP and Piracy of course. Heck, we are saying the same things.

    4. This is not about taking up the sword as a professional soldier. Instead, it's about avoiding the victim mentality.

    5. "But, the genesis of my response was his equating playing a PvE ONLY game to Alcoholism but then equating playing PvE 'just' (I assume) to fund PvP to as acceptable as social drinking. The negative onus that is brought to mind by that comparison was what I was furthering discussion on... and only that aspect. And I, with all due respect and courtesy, disagree with that negative onus."

      This seems to be the problem right here. You've made an assumption, and an incorrect one at that, of what I was saying. I am in no way implying that people who only PvE are like alcoholics, not even remotely. I was a PvE player for 8 years and never thought of myself as such, not even now that I choose to PvP. Like I said in my earlier reply, this isn't written for those who are happy with their PvE gameplay and are feeling fulfilled by their Eve. This was written for those who do feel helpless when it comes to involuntary PvP and do feel like they're being victimized, but don't believe they can do anything about it. That is where the "fatalistic" part comes in.

      I am also not implying that there is no other option but to PvP. One can PvE much smarter and not be a victim. There are many guides on the internet on how to avoid ganking, how to properly tank your ships and how to gather intel when hauling so you don't end up in a trap. It was simply my choice to write about this option of gameplay. It was meant as a guide for those who've had their noses bloodied and wanted to bloody some noses back, which can be extremely satisfying in Eve. Though, I don't recommend it in real life do to legal reasons. :)

    6. Then may I extend my sincere apologies for what was not intended to offend. I feel I may not have said what I meant as well as I hoped... evidently... *facedsk*

    7. No worries. I probably could have clarified the analogy better in my initial post. Things may appear to make perfect sense to us when we're writing them because we already know their intent. Conveying that intent to others so that what is written will be as clear to them can be the tricky part, and something I probably need to work on.

  3. Well, it was written to be funny and informative for those who are looking to try out PvP as a play style. Second, you seem to have missed the point of the entire opening paragraph. Like it says, a person can participate in PvE activities as much as they like and it's not a problem, nor something I would consider a "lesser form of play." The article is targeted at those who feel they are always going to be the victim and don't know what to do about it. There are many people who only PvE who don't fit into that group because they take precautions, such as tanking their exhumers or not jumping blindly into a lowsec system in an industrial. I support all play styles in Eve, and participate in most myself, but I don't think anyone should have to feel victimized.

    1. I agree 100%. No one should ever feel victimized, in a game, and no one has to... 'cause unlike RL, you can turn off the game. However, as I said above, I am ALL FOR assisting, teaching and helping those who want to learn how to actively defend or even fight back in our amazing virtual 'verse. =]

  4. @TurAmarth ElRandir
    I hope you can see that this superbly written article was directed as an encouragement to explore all aspects of the EVE universe. The feeling I get though is that you have completely missed the point of the article. This is a shame as you seem to be a highly articulate writer.

    Many EVE players have only explored small parts of EVE and either because of circumstance or lack of a decent support group never move out of their safe space and never engaging in the wider sandbox. This is how I spent my first 4 months in EVE and once I had the blinkers taken off I realised that I had only scratched the surface of what EVE has to offer. Now I have turned a new chapter with the wonderful folks at ST-FR and am looking forward to my first kill and learning a hell of a lot in the process.

    Strangely enough I think we're all arguing on the same side here. ;)

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  6. That's the weird part.. I will admit to a certain feeling a bit jumped on as twere over a comment... It partly sprang from teaching EVE to a RL fem friend and seeing EVE through her eye's is a truly eye opening experience to say he least...

    Being a total noob she does not want to jump into the PvPpool until she has her spacelegs... this may have colored my response... Hell, I don't know why my comment came off the way it did...

    Sorry if I offend.. mebbe I need a Snickers... =\

    1. No offense taken. This is a prime example of why we have comments, to openly debate in a friendly manner ( usually! ) the points being made. Personally I've enjoyed the back and forth. Good points all around, even though everyone was actually saying the same things. lol

      Not unusual

    2. Actually, post Snickers...

      I do see where I overreacted a wee bit due to my current mentoring of a real noob... I would have done better by taking a lighter 'tone' instead of Yer WRONG! ... We are saying the same things basically, I just am so tired of so many, none here Rixx and Fukuda, but those out there who are rabidly anti-PvE such as James314 and his ilk... (again which you guys most definitely are not) I guess I knee jerked off there a bit... =]

      I too was enjoying the back-n-forth until I felt I had offended Fukuda which was not my desire or intent... Some of my favorite blog related memories will be comments that turned into discussions...

    3. Just a side note here - James315 isn't anti-PvE - he is pro-sandbox and very much pro-EVE. When my old friends corp first came into contact with The New Order in our home system we were horrified when our new players mining ships were vaporised and pilots podded. In a strange way this encouraged members of our corp to research the game and understand why these things happened, how we could be attacked in highsec, and how to return the favour.

      It also reminded us that our virtual spaceships are merely consumables that drive the economy of EVE. The James315 group acted as a "catalyst" (pun intended) to spur us into action to explore other aspects of EVE. So when I see a group like The New Order, or the Jita Scammers, or the highsec station baiters, or the ISK doublers, or the pirate corps (of which I am a member of) I don't see them as being any worse or better than any other group in EVE but simply another amazing facet of the EVE universe. If anyone takes personal offense to anything the aforementioned groups do they probably need to take a step back and understand what exactly EVE is and why they play it.

      We are all EVE content providers - just the method of delivery differs.


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