EVE more than any other online hobby has a fantastically strong community borne from the game’s inherent complexity and the constant need to evaluate risk v. reward. Inevitably with communities, group-think develops and members love to associate with each other by repeating each other, thus creating a) cohesion internally and b) separation externally. Case in point was this month’s random EVE-is-dying meme which – thankfully died as quickly as it flared up. Consensus is, EVE is not dying. It can be improved – it needs to improve, it needs to attract new players but it ain’t dead by a long shot.
While we are there, lets bust a few other myths.
Myth 1: All EVE players are autistic no-lifers squatting in their mum’s basement raging at pixels to compensate for their failed lives.
Aside from the insulting and mostly inaccurate definitions of mental afflictions, this is total bogus. The aforementioned blog banter busted this myth wide open well as participants posted about their challenges to balance game time and real life. In general, EVE players appear to be busy professionals with children, maybe college grads but rarely fit the stereotype of a basement-dwelling troll. My own corp has IT managers, marketing and sales guys, truck drivers, recent college grads and pipefitters. All with some form of family in different growth stages and we are tolerant that people sign off fleets with the mock-exasperated “wife-aggro, bbl”. No, EVE
can be is played by normal people, people who like the challenges and complexity of this simulator and like to work solo or as a team to overcome real challenges.
Myth 2: EVE can only be played with large groups and when committing 10h / day minimum.
This is a hard one to bust since it is true under some circumstances, generally when playing in deep null and with Sovereignty. Even as the lowest level grunt, I have seen first hand just how much effort it is to build, mobilize, lead and fuel a warmachine like the Mercenary Coalition. The people who make this happen are truly dedicated and hopefully find fulfillment. Many can not keep up and even with literally no obligations I felt overwhelmed and walked off-stage. But I didn’t quit EVE or assumed that the “game” is bad. No, I chose to find areas within the Universe that accommodate my play-style. But to be honest, 1h / day or 2h/2 days seem to be a reasonably limit below which one has very few activities that are worthwhile. One could argue that PI can be done in 20minutes (true) but one does not include the massive effort to set up operations in an area where PI is worth doing (i.e. not high sec). And PI alone as a game experience is terrible. Hacking and analyzing are fun (occasionally) and financially rewarding – if done in low, null or WH space. Which means one needs to roam, scout, build a regional base, all of which takes more than 1h to do.
Myth 3: EVE players are sociopaths or worse
That myth is perpetuated by EVE players to create a sense of belonging to an “elite” as a differentiation from WoW and its clones. The first problem is that WoW and other clones are slowly fading from people’s memories while mobile games see massive increases. Secondly that it just isn’t true. I have never seen random players be as helpful and supportive as in EVE. As background for the following convo, I saw a Heron jumping into my wormhole and tried to scram / shoot it. He reacted well, didn’t panic and got clear.
Me > good reaction
Me > well done 🙂
Heron Pilot > nail biting
Me > hehe
Heron Pilot > sorry did i enroach?
Me > you are new?
Heron Pilot > just getting the hang of exploring
Heron Pilot > newish
Me > ok
Me > may I give you a tip?
Heron Pilot > sure 🙂
Me > if you scan a new hole
Heron Pilot > get something better then a heron?
Me > never sit on the hole and be uncloaked
Heron Pilot > thanks mate
Me > if you cant fly covops, make a safe spot, scan from there
Heron Pilot > dont have anything good to use yet
Me > its good enough
Me > just please dont sit on a hole, decloaked 🙂
Ok, in this case, he escaped and we had a good chat. But I had similar chats with people who I killed and who killed me. Always? Of course not! But far more often than one expects based on EVE’s reputation. Everyone of us has encountered a “random act of kindness” and that makes this game so incredibly special.
Myth 4: New players can’t catch up
This is an old myth based on EVE’s weird time-based “leveling”. Whereas all most other games have activity-based leveling, EVE skill queue runs at a reasonably constant clock and hence a 10 year old player is “higher” than a 1 day old player. Reddit has an entire subreddit to discuss this question and its a fair one to ask when one comes from a gear-based game into our “ability-based” environment. Experienced EVE players know that this is a myth. Skillpoints don’t equate ability. If you gave me a Super Carrier, I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea what to do with it. Give me an Interceptor, Bomber or T3 Cruiser, I am not terrible. Do I need 85 mil SP for this? No. Skillpoints now give me choices but not ability and now with Skill Injectors, a new bro can get into a Destroyer or Cruiser for the price of a couple of PLEX if they so choose. But even my Heron friend from the convo above has found “content”. Below a continuation of our conversation – notice his enthusiasm for exploration and lore.
Me > i did try to shoot at you but you escaped – good reaction
Heron Pilot > didnt think I was going to make it
Heron Pilot > well im a bit on edge. went and looked at a null sec system and straight into a warp bubble
Me > yes, those can hurt
Heron Pilot > got out of that but got damaged
Me > I saw
Me > a little armor damage
Heron Pilot > are all nullsec gates camped?
Me > many are bubbled
Me > few are camped
Me > but kudos to you to get out and explore
Heron Pilot > haha thanks I find it the most engaging. love the lore of this game
Heron Pilot > woah
Heron Pilot > 😀
Me > the lore is good, true
Me > every thought of joining signal cartell?
Heron Pilot > i want to go see the eve gate
Heron Pilot > well tbh havent decided whether to join a corp yet
Me > you should, really
Me > there are bad corps and good corps, of course
Heron Pilot > are they exploration corp?
Me > Signal Cartell are awesome
Me > also, no fighting, they are “peaceful” explorers
Heron Pilot > oh nice
Heron Pilot > when i decide to go into the unknown ill check them out
Btw, the “woah” exclamation in the middle is likely his response to seeing his wallet filled up. A few minutes of PI for me would replace his boat 10 times or more.
So, here is a new player that has a Heron, few skills and loves lore and exploration. He flies into Null and wormhole space, aware of the danger but “loving it”. EVE is not just for old players, EVE has so much to offer for newbros, its insane. Rather than whining on TMC, we need to go out and create good experience for newbros and I don’t mean just using them as tacklers and cannon fodders. Help them appreciate the vastness of EVE, the scale of the things one can do, the boundless opportunities for someone with a Heron, a probe launcher and guts.
I guess, I could go on and bust a few more myths, about WH space being so rich that we all fly bn ISK Tengus or that every single fight in our space has Hard Knocks as the winner. No, WH space is still rewarding for small gang stuff, our team spent 2h yesterday camping and shooting things in a C3 with 3 (!) high sec connections near Jita… (Among the killed btw was a newbro who refused my invitation to chat after the kill so, I paid him 2 mil and send him a mail offering support.)
But its Saturday and writing this blog “is” my weekend morning EVE time. Many other things await this weekend!