Consenting Adults and other Eve Online Pvp Myths
Jun 05, 2009 14:25:01

“You can press your head further into the sand if you like and assume whatever you wish; reality will chug right along without you just fine.”

“Okay, let's pretend the earth is flat after all…”

“I don't care about proving anything, because it's simple reality. [If] you don't want to accept reality, that's okay, it will still be out there doing its thing.”

The above statements are from the official forums of Eve Online. As any of the regular “No Prisoners, No Mercy” listeners know, I have returned to Eve Online. There are some new things and a few wonderful surprises. But in many cases, as grandmother used to say, “The more things change the more they remain the same”. There are some very valid reasons for Mark Jacobs originally not agreeing to have an “official forum” for Warhammer Online. Grand dad, on the other hand, had another name for it…

A micturating contest (to put it in polite terms)

Now there is certainly nothing new about gamers who measure the degree of their manhood by the size of their genitive case. What spawned the well aimed barbs (all lead in put downs to lengthy diatribes) was an argument over pvp in Eve Online - at least that was the bottom line.

For those not in the know, where Eve Online is concerned, here, as Bugs Bunny used to say, is the “nickel tour”. Pvp in Eve Online is a bit of a different animal than in any other game. Until Darkfall recently came along, it had one of the harshest death penalties of any game. In a game where the players “are their ships” some of the larger ships cost the equivalent of in game currency amounting to the GNP of some smaller countries. The common misconception is that you can “insure your ship” in Eve Online. Actually this isn’t entirely true. You can insure a portion of a value of your ship - in the case of my mining ship I can ensure the cost of the 110,000,000 isk (“Isk” is the in game currency for Eve Online) to a grand total of 29 million and that’s only if I put up 10 million to do it. So in the end, even if I DO ensure my mining ship the best I would ever get back for my output is a net 20 million isk. What about the rest of the 90 million isk? Well…

Goodbye Charlie.

Not only does participating in pvp in Eve present some serious risk, in some cases it is not entirely consensual. The usual answer to this is something along the lines of “Well if you can’t take heat get out of the kitchen.”

Eve online, one of the biggest virtual universes in existence, is divided into “security zones” that start at 1.0 and range down to 0.0. Think of it like this. In 1.0 space you are safe, sound and secure. A player can’t so much as fart in the general direction of another player but the in game police force (called concord) take notice. But the security gets a bit more lax with each step down the scale. By the time you get to .4 space it is like the space cop who notices someone is in trouble and says “sure I can help - just let me finish my donut. Oh and make sure I don’t have to go more than 150 km out of my way.” By the time you get down to 0.0 security space it is like the old west - completely lawless.

The problem is that the Eve Online Universe is NOT designed in a straight line. If you want to stay in safe zones sometimes you must go way out of your way to do so. The rough real world equivalent would be like going from Chicago, Illinois to Dallas, Texas by way of Pittsburg.

And all this is affected by a virtual economy that, as complicated as it is, does not operate as would a real economy. The simple reason for this are called “external influences.” In other words, real money trading (RMT) is allowed in Eve Online so long as it follows strict rules. This involves selling game time for subscriptions in exchange for in game currency. All this has worked to produce some rather interesting circumstances for the Eve Online “griefers” (or pirates). But that is another story I will discuss next time in an article I call...

Real Pirates Don’t Say “Yarr”

- Julie Whitefeather

Submitted by Brent on Jun 05, 2009 14:25:01 CST (comments: 6)


'Retribution and relative safety' by Shalkis
Submitted on 2009-06-05 16:21:32 CST
CONCORD does not protect, they avenge. Just like in real world, the police can work as a deterrence, but cannot prevent you from being robbed unless the robbery takes place right in front of them (and the robbers don't outnumber/outgun the cops). The cops cannot undo the crime, but can make the perpetrator suffer the consequences.

Likewise, living in a relatively wealthy neighborhood will not stop you from getting robbed, but it's probably much less likely to happen than in a bad part of town. And if you happen to take your limousine with gold-plated rims there.. let's just hope that you have some trigger-happy buddies to watch your back.

With all that in mind, I personally consider consenting to PvP to happen the moment one presses the Undock button. :-)

'An important distinction' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-06-05 16:39:35 CST
The important distinction here is the speed with which concord responds. In 1.0 space the only way for one player to kill another is if they have the capability of taking out the other player in one shot. While I am not yet able to fly the corporate freighter is even that the freighter has such a high structure that it would require quite a few battleships to be able to take out the freighter, known as a "suicide gank", before concord took the battleships out. All of it meaning, of course, that if a player is attacked in high security space, whatever benefit is being gained by the attacker has to outweight what will be lost.

It is true, however, that there is always a chance of an attack even in high sec space. That is why my hulk has lots of shielding.


'The cost of a gank' by Shalkis
Submitted on 2009-06-05 17:30:03 CST
That balance also works for the freighter pilot's favor. As long as the estimated dropped cargo from a successful suicide gank is worth less than the fleet of battleships required to kill the freighter before it can use a gate or dock, the freighter will be safe from smart pirates. The pirates will also have to take into account the accompanying security status loss. Even if the payoff is large enough to warrant the gank, the opportunity cost of being temporarily banished from highsec could be substantial. It'll be a while before they have a security status high enough to be able to gank an another freighter.

BTW, it could be interesting to interview an Eve pirate on your podcast. My impression has been that a majority of the pirates that blog are quite personable and not just doing piracy for the sake of an e-peen.

'Loopholes' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-06-05 18:14:02 CST
Not to mention the current popular loophole regarding pilots with low security in high space...use the corporate hanger of an orca to get ships in to a high security zone while the low security pilots travel into the same system in pods.

As far as the pirate idea is concerned it is, in fact, a good one, and I had a particular individual in mind - namely a salvage looter that I put on my friends list for just such an occassion. However I have had second thoughts about doing such a show. The main concern, of course, being the show getting out of hand. At present the idea is simply "being considered".


'Still the rage-ing carebear eh, Sister Julie?' by Letrange
Submitted on 2009-09-25 15:29:57 CST
While I'll be the first to admit that empire griefers are the most annoying part of EVE. With all the morals of your local bully, all they are good for is ganking haulers and miners and masters of station games (a more boring form of PvP has yet to be invented, but they seem to like it). Course these days empire is simply a place to sell my wares and buy stuff.

The interesting thing is that I can remember the level or rage you can rase against these coakroaches. So I can see where you're coming from. Part of the problem is the feeling of defenselessness when one is in an effectively un-armed ship with paper thin defenses. That can change over time (although as I blogged the rage against the griefers never goes away). The biggest change happens when you start figuring out ways to avoid these idiots and to handle them when they can't be avoided. There are plenty of tactics and techniques to avoid guys like that for the most part. And then a bigger change happens when you get to the point in your EVE career when you're in a good corp/alliance and for the most part don't even bother worrying about them until they annoy you and you "bring out a bigger hammer".

What's really amusing about them is when they chew off more than they can handle and for the most part flounder around like a fish out of water. Check out my blog for a classic example of that.

As for pirates, actually the real low sec Pirate with his attachement to his -10 standing is not the issue Julie, those are usually not the guys who go around ganking in high sec. They are actually proud of doing their chosen profession in low sec where their targets can fight back. The fact that their lack of targets is a classic self fulfilling prophesy is not relevant to the grieffer problem. Most of them have as little regard for the high sec griefer as carebears do. If you REALY want to have sparks fly you need to interview someone like Le Skunk. Heck for a show like that I'd bring popcorn.

(My imagination is FAIL as I have no idea how Julie interviewing Mynxee would go... Talk about epic contrasts: the pugnatious careBEAR nun interviewing the softspoken sweet sounding pirate............. my mind just broke, and I've talked to both ladies)

But I digress. The issue with insurance is that it's cheap only if you stick to tech 1 ships. In that case, due to a bunch of economic factors I won't go into, for the most part your only loss on a fully insured tech 1 ship is usually the price of the modules you have fitted. The hull is almost entirely covered. If you're a full blown manufacturer, you can sometimes even make isk loosing a ship. But your'e flying a Hulk (110mil ship that used to go for 500mil and only insures for the amounts you list) which is a tech 2 ship. Most of us never even bother insuring them - just not worth it. The idea is that by the time you can fly a T2 ship you're supposed to be "grown up" enough to handle the loss. Covetors on the other hand cost about 20 mill and the 10 mil insurance gives a 29mil payout on those as well so you would normaly only "loose" 1mil and the cost of the fittings - which is much more affordable.

These days with my income coming out of wormhole space - either T3 related or Arkonor Bistot/Crokite based) I can usually afford to replace a hulk if I loose it. And if I think the situation may be "iffy" I have some backup Covetors I fly instead.

'Get out the dredge' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-09-25 16:31:57 CST
...because this is really bringing up old threads from the bottom. In fact, as Brent commented about Eve Online on the live video coverage from GDC, most of the times in Eve ONline I just sat around twiddling my thumbs. I had been simply training and thats it. The only reason the account is live any more is because I keep forgetting to close it out.


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