Saturday, September 23, 2017

Who Do They Think I Am?

Highsec carebears tend to suffer from a lot of confusion about the various aspects of EVE. One of the elements they're most confused about happens to be among the most important in the game...

...Namely, me.

The good news is that most highsec players have at least heard of me. Because EVE's population is concentrated in highsec, and because nearly all of highsec's content is concentrated in the New Order, I am probably the second-most widely recognized player in the game. Before the typical new player ever gets a grasp of who's who in nullsec, he's been ganked and heard "Praise James!" a dozen times or more.

Name recognition is a very low bar, though. Many carebears get caught up in rumors about me being permabanned or quitting the game or being a bully, etc. All false.

To the average carebear, I have become a sort of bogeyman. Miners gather around the campfire and try to scare each other by telling James 315 stories.

Even the intellectually curious highsec dweller struggles to understand what it is that I do. They imagine all sorts of roles for me:

Some think it's my job to handle their complaints, like I'm some kind of customer service representative for highsec.

Others see me as a diplomat...

...While others think that I'm a piggy bank whose job it is to send them isk. Where did these guys get the impression that I'm made of money?

Even people who have never spoken to me before assume that I'm a sympathetic ear for whatever they want to talk about. And a very patient one, at that.

There are many rebels who hold, quite sincerely, to the belief that I am an apocalyptic force bent on destroying EVE itself. (Art credit to Gorila Vengaza, who painted this during his time in the resistance.)

My Agents know better. They know me to be a force for creation, not destruction, in EVE. (Of course, to create our perfect new world in highsec, we need to destroy the old one. Creation of this magnitude necessarily requires an incalculable slaughter.)

Because the fact is, very simply...

...I'm the Saviour of Highsec. The truth was right in front of you all along.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Avoid Even the Appearance of Botting

In highsec these days there's been a real hunger out there for the Code, and for deeper and more meaningful discussions about the Code. Have you noticed it, too? A few weeks ago, I wrote an entire MinerBumping article about one provision of the Code: Why Are Carebears Required to Say GF? It helped a lot of people, I think.

In today's post, I'd like to focus on another very important provision of the Code, popularly known as the "appearance of botting" provision. And it goes a little something like this:
Miners should strive not only to avoid botting, but to avoid even the appearance of botting.
Miners (and other PvE'ers, as we know it applies to them, too) sometimes ask: "Why do I need to avoid even the appearance of botting? Isn't it enough that I don't bot?" Actually, there are a lot of reasons why this provision is in the Code, and yes, it's vitally important that a carebear avoids both botting and the appearance of botting.

For starters, let's talk about practicalities. If you know that there's a host of armed, deadly, elite PvP'ing Agents descending upon the asteroid belts shooting all the bots and bot-aspirants... Isn't it a good idea not to look like a bot? There are negative consequences to making it appear as though you're a bot, and a Gallant would want to avoid those consequences.

To put it another way, it's a bad idea to give off the appearance of being a child molester, even if you technically avoid the crime of child molestation. It's the exact same thing with botting.

Another good reason to avoid even the appearance of botting is that it shows deference and courtesy to our Agents. Remember, the Agents of the New Order have made it their mission to root out the botters and expunge them from highsec. If you look a little bot-like, they'll need to investigate you, and that slows down the process of transforming highsec into a bot-free paradise.

As I first wrote many years ago, when miners look and act like bots, it makes it easier for the actual bots to hide among them. That's one of the many poisonous attributes of bot-aspirancy, in fact. As the conversation about bot-aspirancy implies, there's a gray area between bot-aspirancy and botting, and one tends to lead to the other. There's a similar problem with PvE'ers who give off the appearance of being bots: They tend to become more and more bot-aspirant. The bot-aspirancy creeps up on them--subtly at first, and then fatally.

That's another dangerous feature of bot-aspirancy: Where do you draw the line? Luckily, it's not up to a miner or a mission-runner or a hauler or some other PvE'er to decide. By the time they realize they might have a problem with bot-aspirancy, they've become corrupted. It's up to the Agents of the New Order to decide whether someone is behaving in a bot-aspirant manner or a manner that gives off the appearance of botting. Worried about an Agent being too tough on you? Then don't get near the line. Stay as far away from it as you can.

This brings me to one of the most common complaints we receive from recently deceased carebears: "I wasn't botting!" It's amazing how righteously indignant a carebear can get when "falsely" accused of botting. As if they're some kind of saint just because they resisted the temptation to download a bot program.

Here's the thing. If an Agent of the New Order accuses you of botting or potentially botting, you're already guilty. Maybe you're not guilty of botting, but you're certainly guilty of giving off the appearance of botting--otherwise the Agent wouldn't have accused you. Either way, you violated a provision of the Code. You're like the guy who's offended by being accused of murdering a school bus full of children because he actually murdered a classroom full of children instead.

I know that there are going to be some carebears out there who, even after reading all of this, will still have some misgivings about this provision of the Code. If you're worried about the rule being too easy to break, maybe that's a good thing. Maybe you'll decide to pursue some other career in EVE, one which doesn't run the risk of making you look like a bot. For example, maybe you'll become a full-time PvP'er, or even an elite PvP'er like one of our Agents (no bots have ever been designed for suicide ganking). In that case, you'll be much happier with EVE as a game and with yourself as a person. The CODE always wins. Always!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Bob Goes Forth, Part 2

Previously, on MinerBumping... Agent Bob the Fourth marched into the Solitude region, handing out the blessings of the Code like they were going out of style. Actually, the Code's never been more in style, but Ganebass Orlenard kept littering highsec with Mobile Tractor Units. Bob was happy to clean up the mess.

I guess you can only destroy so much of a man's property before he sets you red.

Agent Bob's bumper alt might have played a role, too. Ganebass didn't like having his mining ship get kicked around the belt.

Ganebass made some ominous threats, but Bob didn't put too much stock in them. What were the odds that this miner would take action?

As expected, the miner was quicker to reach for his wallet than reach for a gun. However, Bob noted with some concern that the miner kept slipping back into his native language.

Ganebass let his temper get the better of him. He switched into a Gnosis-class battlecruiser and began yellowboxing our hero. Clearly this miner was angry, but was he angry enough to do something truly desperate?

He was. In the heat of passion, Ganebass opened fire on a duly licensed Agent of the New Order of Highsec. Bob retaliated with a brilliant show of force. CONCORD was also present during the battle.

Ganebass' Gnosis was a sorry excuse for a ganking vessel. Apparently the miner thought he could tank CONCORD. When he died, he was so stunned that Bob was able to catch his pod, too.

Ganebass tried to put the blame on Bob, but he was the architect of his own destruction.

It should've been obvious by now that the New Order cannot be stopped. Ganebass should've known that his old way of life was unsuited to the new, Code-compliant Solitude region. Even so, Ganebass bitterly clung to his traditions.

...Which included the ritual use of MTUs.

A few weeks later, Bob tried to get in some good ice mining, only to have his Retriever terminated during one of Bob's patrols.

This time, Bob didn't even need to employ suicide ganking; he simply used his kill right while Ganebass was AFK. The miner was utterly discredited.

In spite of his glorious victories and rapidly growing fame, Bob remained levelheaded. He kept his focus. There were plenty of miners who still needed his help.

To be continued...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bob Goes Forth, Part 1

One of the many benefits of a career in Code enforcement: Watching the seemingly worthless PvE'ers of highsec begin to blossom. Another benefit: Rock star status.

Agent Bob the Fourth and his bumper alt, Bob the First, have become a source of guidance and purity in the Solitude region. However, not everyone likes guidance and purity. The appropriately named (and inappropriately behaved) MiC Lawless attempted to gank our hero.

Can you guess what happened? Probably. Agents of the New Order always win. Always!

Miner bumper Bob the First easily shrugged off the attack.

The silly miners who say ganking is easy and risk-free never manage to do it successfully. They must assume that everything in EVE is as simple as AFK mining--otherwise they'd have to admit that they lack skill.

Nevertheless, when a miner tries to gank an Agent, at least the miner isn't mining. Bob congratulated MiC Lawless on his attempt to play EVE for the first time.

The combat experience seemed to perk him up. Maybe Bob was getting somewhere with this miner?

Over the next few days, things took an unexpected turn. The miner's failed gank attempt gave Bob a kill right on him. Bob periodically activated the kill right, forcing MiC Lawless to dock up. The miner got so tired of this that he declared war against Bob's corp. At least then they'd be on a level playing field.

In his generosity, Agent Bob set the war to "mutual" status so that MiC Lawless would no longer need to pay to renew the war each week. It also meant that the war would continue indefinitely.

Eventually, MiC Lawless realized that there's no such thing as a level playing field when dealing with an Agent of the New Order. Of course MiC Lawless didn't stand a chance against our Agent--what was he thinking? The miner decided to go AFK for the next several weeks while the kill right expired, and then he retracted the wardec. An entire month's worth of mining time was lost.

Bob was happy to teach MiC Lawless a lesson. The miner wasn't his only student, though. Bob, an enthusiastic teacher, taught the miners of Solitude about Mobile Tractor Units. Unlike most things related to highsec, MTUs can be destroyed without summoning CONCORD. Bob demonstrated this by attacking every MTU he could find.

Sometimes the same miner needed to learn this lesson repeatedly. Bob eventually attracted the attention of Ganebass Orlenard, who was tired of losing his MTUs.

Ganebass had something important to tell Bob, but he had trouble expressing it.

Despite the language barrier, Ganebass eventually got the message across: He had a score to settle with Bob.

To be continued...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Kino Rebellion Begins

Kino. One of the very first systems to receive the benefits of the Code.

The New Order, and in particular the mighty CODE. alliance, has deep roots in Kino. Agents Bing Bangboom and Spine Ripper are household names--and the subject of recurring nightmares for non-compliant carebears.

But it was only a matter of time before a rebellion rose up against Kino's masters.

With the chilling words "THE REBELLION BEGINS", highsec carebear Germaldi Barviainen rallied every miner he could to the cause. After his drones popped a suspect loot-scooper, Germaldi felt as though nothing could stop him.

...A standard question in light of recent events.

At any rate, there was no telling how much devastation Germaldi's rebellion would inflict upon Kino before it could be put down. If it could be put down.

Already, Germaldi had recruited the assistance of "a friens". This new resistance movement was spreading like wildfire.

Granted, not every miner Germaldi met was receptive to his message. I mean, five years of Code enforcement can't be undone overnight. There are going to be skeptics.

Some miners choose to remain non-political. They prefer to do nothing while they wait their turn to be ganked.

Earlier, Germaldi Barviainen challenged our Agents to face him. His open defiance was meant to inspire fear among the gankers and to stiffen the spines of the miners.

Instead, Germaldi only signed his own death warrant. His Endurance was destroyed, along with his 116 million isk pod.

Germaldi went silent. At last, the rebellion was over. Peace returned to the Kino system.

And yet, no matter how many would-be resistance leaders lose their ships, there's always another Goofus waiting in the wings. Our Agents stand at the ready.