EVE Online used to have two distinct reputations: a) its a spreadsheet game played by the hyper nerdy, basically those who are so socially inept that their D&D group threw them out and b) total and complete immoral bastards who plan for years how to stab their best friend in the back. Like all stereotypes, these are vastly exaggerated but have a kernel of truth: EVE is complicated and driven by numbers and mechanic lets you be a total asshat as long as you can deal with the in-game consequences. The same mechanic that lets you be a dick also lets you (and the group you fly in) actively reject being dicks. There are pragmatic reasons behind not being a dick, especially in smaller wormhole outfits. By nature of the wormhole mechanic, we run into each other all the time and getting a bad reputation is a recipe for an eviction. On the other hand, being true to one’s word allows rapid, temporary coalitions to form to help in a defense situation or when fun demands it.
The video that my corp-mate Seraphessael recently posted shows off the bizarre nerdiness that EVE is and the honor code that our small world lives by. See, in the video, Seraphessael chose to show the entire engagement, not just the juicy combat parts. That’s a little unusual but I personally love it, it really shows so much more how a team functions than just the choice parts where missiles are in the air (well, vacuum, whatever).
So, first, full disclosure. I came into this really late, I had had the audacity to eat dinner while the corporation had been “rolling for content” and I only logged in when the ping went out.
In wormhole space, you push enough heavy ships through a wormhole, it eventually dies and a new one spawns soon after. The mass-calculation, the fleet coordination, the fits of the various “rollers” are finely tuned and a good corporation can crush a hole within a few minutes, scan down the new one and have scouts in there to search for targets. Its entirely routine and in Seraphessael’s video, the first 2:14 minutes show the team in rolling action, coms are relaxed and people goof around. However, when the scout finds a mining fleet with their pants down, the tone and content changes dramatically. I love this inflection point because in good corporations, within seconds a PvP fleet forms, pings are sent and everyone gets down to business. Unlike Nullsec, its not always organized, there are no real FC’s but the roles are flexible. Much, much hangs on the scout – whoever it is at this time. A second experienced person quarterbacks the fight relying on the word of his scout and the competency of his team to execute. In the video, shooting starts at 4:48, basically 2:30 minutes after the target was first seen.
The fight itself was short and brutal, it could have ended either way since nobody (not our target, not us) had any idea what they were really up against. We won – this time – but next time we may be the victim. In this light, notice the call not to loot the field, keep the very expensive mining drones on-field and basically not be dicks. We had what we wanted (kills), now was the time to display our honor code.
Of course, we could have spammed /local with taunts. Instead we typed “gf” and nothing else. We could have looted everything denying our target valuable assets. Instead we chose to leave the field unlooted. We could have podded everyone, laughed about them on /r/eve, sent meme-gifs and basically be dicks. Instead, we chose not to any of these things because it goes against our “bushido” and dishonor would have been worse than defeat.
And here the video: