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.