This month’s topic was proposed by @KatiaSae of the much praised “To Boldly Go” blog. Katia asks: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As an astrophotographer, I’ve found it in the stars and planets of New Eden. Where have you found it? Perhaps you’ve found beauty in the ships we fly? Maybe it’s the sight of profits being added to your bottom line? Or maybe it’s the pilot portraits you see in the comm channels? Where ever you’ve found it, write about it and post an image.” Don’t be afraid go beyond the simple visual aspects of EVE as well. Is the EVE Community in itself a thing of beauty? What makes EVE the game, the world, the Community, so appealing to you?
As always, I’m late to the party. I didn’t get CrazyKinux’s original e-mail about this one for some strange reason.
Fortunately, having been late to the party, I’ve had a chance to read some others’ thoughts about what is “beautiful” in Eve. I’m enjoying the outside-the-box thinking. I was originally going to write some crazy nonsense about how awesome Planets in Eve look. Then I thought about writing about the Eve Community, but I did that last week. Then @TheMittani (MY CEO) directed me to this wonderful, delicious article at Massively, a website which is apparently read by – judging by the comments – thousands of people who take video games way more seriously than anyone I know does.
That article is one of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen written about Eve. Not in a damaging way, but it’s just a Really Bad Post™, and I know a thing or two about Bad Posting. However, in that horrible post, lies one of the most beautiful things about Eve Online. the never-ending buckets of tears and rage of pubbies.
Articles like that are one of the main reasons I still play Eve. The writer’s impotent rage where he pounded angrily away at his keyboard for what must have been hours, trying tell me that I’m a terrible person in real life based on what I do in a video game. I am, in essence, a role-player. I play a role in Eve that is not only allowed, but also glorified by the creators of the game. The future is a horrible place, and it’s up to you to navigate the land mines that are people like me.
Should one of those landmines hit someone, we get anything from long winded psychological evaluations of why we’re bad people, to illegible all-caps keyboard mashing in local. A couple years back I decided to try my hand at recruitment scamming. I managed to get someone to fall for it, and made about 200 million ISK off the guy. I just found that it was way too much effort and I really didn’t want to invest the time in it. However, the 200 million ISK was nothing, I got an eve-mail where the guy threatened to come to my house and harm me. I of course fired a petition off to CCP with the contents of the evemail as I didn’t quite know how stable this individual was. I added him to the watch list of my alt, but never saw him, or any of his alts log in again. Eve was obviously not the place for him.
Eve Online is the ultimate griefing game. In World of Warcraft, if you die, you lose nothing aside from a little gold. In other MMORPGs, you have similar, or even lesser death penalties. In Eve, you lose your ship, all it’s modules, and possibly any implants you had in your clone if you’re podded. This should never make you angry enough to pound over a thousand words trying to psychologically evaluate why the person that podded you is the scum of the earth in real life.
On a similar note, I recently re-joined Goonswarm’s Blackops group (The group that they named the ships after). We’re AFK cloakers that you hate so much, and I think it’s funny as hell to check NPC kills in a system on Dotlan, park there for a few hours, and watch the NPCs killed go from hundreds to 0. Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, you’ll get people raging in local about cloaking ships, and how dishonorable it is. It’s great.
So, does this all make me a terrible person in real life? No, because I have a wonderful sense of reality vs fantasy. And video games, as much as some people hate to admit it, are a form of fantasy.