Saturday, February 9, 2013

Real Talk for the EVE Community, Part 1

In my continuing efforts to speak directly to the EVE community as I campaign for CSM, I've written about my philosophy of campaigning and my platform for changes to game mechanics. A lot of people have expressed an interest in learning my view of the CSM and what its role should be. That's the subject of one or two future posts.

But today, before we go further, I think it's important for us all to sit down and have an honest conversation about where we are as a community. This is real talk. It's like an intervention in reverse, with one person telling everyone else in the room how it is.

If we're going to have real talk, we need to get real. By continuing to read this post and not clicking away, you are giving me permission to get real.

EVE is not in good shape at the moment. In 2011, I began warning you about the threat posed by carebearism, specifically from highsec miners who influence CCP with their endless whining. I claimed that the carebears wanted to remove all danger from highsec. I warned that a skewed risk/reward balance in highsec's favor would cause active PvE in lowsec and nullsec to be shifted into highsec. The boost in highsec population would give carebears ever-increasing influence with CCP and enhance their ability to further skew the game.

That was then. Let's stop a moment and take a look at where we are now. According to the most recent CSM minutes, miner ganking is now at "historic lows". Can-flipping is on the brink of extinction. In their last summit, the CSM and CCP engaged in a serious discussion about scrapping non-consensual wardecs altogether. We've come a long way.

If I had told you a year ago that they would even consider eliminating wardecs, would you have believed me? It would have sounded excessively pessimistic and paranoid, no? But that's not what should concern you. What should concern you is, if I told you today what they'll do a year from now, you wouldn't believe me, and for the same reason.

The discourse has changed just as dramatically. Even though pretty much everyone agrees that risk/reward is imbalanced in favor of highsec, it's considered "radical" and "extreme" to suggest fixing the problem by lowering the rewards of highsec or increasing its risk. Yet it's not considered radical to make the problem worse. We all know highsec has too little risk, but no one calls it "extreme" to continually lower the risks and to give the highsec miners an AFK money-printing machine.

We're told that this is all done for the benefit of new players. We need to tilt the risk/reward further in favor of highsec because otherwise EVE will lose subscriptions, they say. I find this interesting, because seven years ago I was one of those new players. Things were much more difficult for newbies back then. But for some reason, no one ever thought it was important to eliminate wardecs or suicide ganking or can-flipping. Highsec is safer than ever, and all anyone can talk about is how to make it even more safe.

Carebearism isn't limited to the people who mine in highsec full-time. Part of the problem with our CSM process is that we're electing candidates without knowing what the candidates stand for, or even asking for that information. Let's consider two of the people who can rightly be considered extreme, even though they're treated as mainstream moderates in today's environment:

Trebor Daehdoow is currently on the CSM. I wrote about him in my review of the CSM minutes earlier this year. He's one of the CSM members who's in favor of eliminating non-consensual wardecs. But he's not some newbie miner; he's a 2007 character in a PvP corp.

Ripard Teg is considered one of the leading candidates for CSM this term. I took him to task in a post a couple weeks ago. He's a member of Rote Kapelle, an alliance known for PvP. He has thousands of kills to his name. Yet he's one of the most strident advocates for the carebears. In a recent Twitter exchange with Poetic Stanziel, Ripard confessed that he's a believer in the thoroughly-discredited concept of "isk tanking". Ripard thinks it should take 20 or more tier-3 battlecruisers to kill a freighter. He also thinks killing Hulks with 5-6 Catalysts is "too few" (even though Hulks are supposed to be the low-tank, high-yield option).

Advocates of isk tanking believe gankers should always lose as much as their victims. Why? Probably because it would eliminate ganking. It's important to note that isk tanking does nothing to help the newbies that people like Ripard claim they're trying to protect. Newbies do not fly 200 million isk Hulks or billion isk freighters. A perfectly safe highsec is perfectly safe for everyone.

While we're debunking the "protect the newbies" argument, we may as well debunk the other favorite argument of the carebears. They say they don't want to make highsec 100% safe, they just want to make it a little safer than it is now. I don't buy that any more than I buy their concern for newbies in freighters and Hulks. If highsec is the safest it's ever been, why do we need to make it safer by eliminating wardecs? If miner ganking is already at "historic lows", why do we need to increase the cost of suicide ganking? It's simple. I've said all along, there is no stopping point, because their actual goal is 100% safety, regardless of what they say. Actions speak louder than words.

And, lest we forget, these CSM representatives are supposed to be the guys telling CCP not to make EVE into a theme park. Instead, they're leading the charge. So here's the situation. On the one hand, the "Monocles and gold ammo" faction of CCP is pushing for the lucrative theme park option, and on the other hand, supposedly hardcore PvP'ers on CSM are saying "yeah, what the players want is a safer highsec". Now it's easy to see how things have gotten out of control, and why they'll get a lot worse if nothing is done to change the trajectory.

I have a question for everyone reading this. How many of you, prior to this post and other recent posts on MinerBumping, knew about Trebor and Ripard's pro-carebear positions? Though Trebor's been on the CSM before and Ripard authors one of the most popular EVE blogs ("Jester's Trek"), their views weren't well known. You wouldn't guess their positions, based on their PvP corp affiliations. For the most part, those type of affiliations are the only thing people know about the candidates. We know nothing about what they intend to do when they're elected. So you have normal EVE players voting in people like Trebor, and they're shocked to find that he's telling CCP to get rid of wardecs.

Do you think Trebor and Ripard are the only carebear candidates out there? Don't forget, in my review of the CSM minutes, Trebor wasn't alone in his views--he's just the example I gave in this post. You have to wonder how many other candidates feel the same way. Based on what we've seen so far, it's impossible to tell. They certainly don't all run on a pro-carebear platform; Ripard, for example, will probably run on a platform of knowledge and work-ethic. So will the rest, but how will we know what they're going to use that knowledge and work-ethic to push? Is it a good thing for them to be skilled and experienced, if they're going to pursue a destructive agenda for EVE? I would rather they be incompetent and ineffective, if they're pro-carebear.

Prior to voting day, I will evaluate all of the leading CSM candidates and let the readers of MinerBumping know which are good and which are bad. However, my ability to expose their carebearism is subject to one major limitation: If no one asks them about it, they may not disclose it.

This was originally supposed to be one post, but I'll need to stop here. Rest assured, the real talk will continue.


  1. I think that the detractors of minerbumping have the wrong idea. Ive given it some thought, and if you disagree with un-consensual PVP, or ganking, or the ability for one player to maliciously interact with another player...


    You feel that the activities above will, in fact, be the death of EvE...

    Then you should be voting for Jim to get his CSM seat, and you should be joining his guild, in order to advance those causes as far as you can.

    Was it not the Cabal, that warned Alpha Legion that if Horus (who was bad) were to succeed in his goal of killing the Emperor. (who was good) that within a few generations, evil would wipe itself out?

    Or for the non-40k fans out there, (and there cant be too many of you.) if you feel that Jim and his guild really will destroy EvE in their drive to act like assholes, then you should help them do that. Because youre right. EvE -IS- the only place where he and his can do these sorts of things. If EvE were to be shut down tomorrow, what game could he fall back on, in order to satisfy his grief-gland?

    Viruses destroy their hosts. Bad players destroy good games. Cancer kills its victim. Sometimes, you have to amputate the limb you love most dearly, to get rid of the infection.

    Either Jim IS, or IS NOT, a bad thing for EvE. He cannot be both. If you agree with him, pay him the money he asks, and join him, for a better EvE. If you disagree, then fan the flames of the fever, and help him ruin his favorite toy. But you have to make up your mind on the subject, and act.

    1. straw man much?
      Please show me an eve player who disagrees with un-consensual PVP. In fact, show me 20. Should be easy right?

    2. Ed, your grossly aggressive post aside, please re-read my statement. Far from "strawman"-ing, (easily the most overused modern tort) I did not confirm one belief, or the other. I didn't rail against non-consensual PvP, nor did I hoist it above PvE. I stated that people who want to decry James, need to decide what camp they are really in, and act in their own best interests.

      In fairness, any other ultra-aggressive responses will be ignored. Debate is acceptable; choleric nonsense is not. Cheers!

    3. "If you disagree, then fan the flames of the fever, and help him ruin his favorite toy."

      That seems to miss the point that EVE is also the favourite toy of a lot of the people who disagree with James. And it assumes that the only possible positions are "James will save EVE" or "James will destroy EVE", not a middle ground where James will just be less useful than other candidates, or where James would be bad for a voter's own playstyle without necessarily destroying the game as a whole. Also, arguing that people should do something based on how things happened in a work of fiction is... not necessarily solid advice, you know?


      JAMES 315 for CSM.

    5. Hivemind:

      There doesn't seem to be a middle ground between how Hi-Sec and Low-Sec. They are both forever about to destroy each other, if you read the forums/blogs.

  2. the problem is... that unlike players that join the game in response to hype, old players are more likely to own multiple accounts, which is more profit for CCP, and old players are less likely to quit on a whim, since they have already found an aspect of the game that they "enjoy"(phrase liberally used, for your sake~ you generally assume that there can be absolutely no enjoyment in mining. in actuality, masochists exist in every form). therefore,it is in CCP's interest to encourage policies that favor OLD miners over NEW recruits.
    the extermination of high sec ice miners is a finite goal, while the mining of ice is non-finite. assuming that CCP plans on existing non-finitely... you get my drift?
    now, what i personally WOULD support is the ability to obtain all the materials required for running POSes from Planetary Interaction or something like it. if the ice miners can't run a profit from ice mining, ice miners would be eradicated and highsec would be saved.
    finally, i find it odd that you continue to feature the indignant responses from ACTIVE players when your platform runs on the extermination of bots and afk ice miners. i feel that it would be a lot more legitimate to ignore local trolling and just post killmails.. though maybe that's not quite so fun (but your task is not supposed to be fun. you are running for csm. this is srs bzns)

    1. Youre making the mistake of assuming that the indignant responses arent the goal. They are. "Local trolling" is not -incoming- to the guild, it is -outgoing- from them, and in waves.

  3. I support this message.

  4. I started Eve last November, so I guess I qualify as a new player. I was drawn to the game by stories a friend had told me - stories of war, deceit and ever present dangers. When I started out to mine the ore required for the mining turorial, I was nervous and looked over my shoulder, expecting to be attacked. I loved that feeling.

    Later, now in an Osprey, I started to mine. I still was under the impression that mining is something dangerous. I always aligned to the station, used dscan and got very careful when anything showed up. I loved the idea of having to be careful regardless of what I do.

    Sadly,the attack never came. I "learned" to alt+tab away when mining. First, I came back to move the ore from the Osprey to my can (that was strangely never flipped...much to my disappointment). Later, in my mining barge, to switch rocks, before they ran dry.

    I got ganked once - a loss of about 30 million, but that was what I made even on a bad day. ISK accumulated. I got bored. I went to 2 billion ISK and decided to stop mining.

    Nowadays I try to get the money needed for PVP by blue print research an building stuff. Sadly,I had to realize that the ISK I make now is a joke compared to my former mining income - despite all the effort, invested skill points, excel spread sheets, research and so on. The same is true for the missions I can do on my skill level. Economically, the best choice for me would be to mine away while being afk. I don't get the ISK in a week now, that I could get daily AFK'ing in a mining barge. It will probalby take me months of research to get even close to that. Risk, effort and reward are definetly out of balance and playing in high sec is, contrary to my initial expectations, boring as fuck.

    I am a new player and I want high sec to be exciting and challenging. I want there to be dangers. I want others trying to profit from my careless errors. There are tons of games out there that offer you perfect safety. I want a game that does not do that! You definetly got my votes.


    1. "Economically, the best choice for me would be to mine away while being afk."
      Technically, your best economic choice would be to mine; afk is immaterial.

      Do you want hi-sec to be exciting and challenging, or mining to be exciting and challenging? Your story is about mining and looking over your shoulder, then you turn around and mention hi-sec.

  5. The very first week I was in EVE I heard about my friend getting jumped in high sec. Did I quit EVE like Jester would predict? No I thought that was a unique and amazing thing, and it add risk and excitement to high sec.

    315 for CSM8

    1. "and it add risk and excitement to high sec."

      About 6 weeks in the game, I had my retriever ganked by Shadow Cartel back in early 2011. Had a couple of good chats with the gankers afterwards and probably because of that was left alone.

      Most of the other local miners moved to Caldari space back then and the gankers actually did me a favor.

      This Ripard Teg guy looks somewhat clueless, given the time he is playing the game. Highsec is much too safe by now. But at least the New Order is shaking things up a bit.

  6. People aren't drawn to EVE because it is easy. They join because it is hard. There are plenty of easy games, consensual PVP games out there, and they all had a lifecycle that quickly expired. EVE's longevity and appeal is centered around its niche, around real loss and genuine competition. What the carebears and their enablers want to do is nothing less then kill what makes EVE financially viable. In essence they want to kill EVE.

    They can claim otherwise, that the "PVP-intolerant" demographic is a significant part of the subscriber base that CCP would not dare tamper with. But that's a lie.

    The closest EVE has come to dying was when CCP started catering to the mythical 'carebear demographic', with pure PVE expansions like Incursion and Tyrannis being considered failures that killed CCP's otherwise uninterrupted growth.

    James 315 gets this. Even Issler Dainze gets this on some level. But people like Trebor and Aleksandr Karrde don't, which is quite alarming.

    1. "The closest EVE has come to dying was when CCP started catering to the mythical 'carebear demographic', with pure PVE expansions like Incursion and Tyrannis being considered failures that killed CCP's otherwise uninterrupted growth."

      Hilarious and the tears oh so sweet. I think you'll find expansions like Incarna were the closest EvE has come to dying. But don't let obvious facts sway your evident bias and lunacy. Just keep crying about PVE (which doesn't stop anyone PvPing btw - it just gives them ISK to PvP with, duh).

      But hey, if what you say is true and James 315 "gets" this, he's a bit of a moron who will never get my vote. EvE requires PVE and PVP and I'll vote for someone who "gets" that and not some muppet who thinks the Incursion expansion brought EvE closer to death than Incarna.

      Now you say you're lonely, you cry the long night through, well you can cry me a river, cry me a river...

    2. Incarna was merely the tipping point after the previous two expansions (Incursion and Tyrannis) had already stoked player ill-will by focusing on things they don't care about (carebear catering). The damage was already done. If Incarna was a one-off thing, there would have been no mass exodus.

      The only tears are coming from you. With no end in sight.

    3. Such utter rubbish. You are wrong about everything in your last post. Almost everyone PVEs in EvE at some point, so why would catering to almost 100% of the subscription base kill eve? Your reasoning is flawed to such an extent that I must presume you are a troll, not to mention that catering to PVE now and again does NOT kill PVP. So why are you crying like a little girl who has lost her Barbie?

      Also there would be no mass protest at Incarna were it not for Incursion???? HAHAHA I haven't read anything so ridiculous in a very long time.

      Also errr yeah, please point out the part where my tears flow (WTF? knob). All I've done thus far is refute your BS with simple logic where as you're crying because people do PVE stuff in a sandbox game.

      If you are representative of the average James 315 supporter, he's properly screwed as he must surely be catering to the bottom 3% of 2nd graders in the bottom 3% of underachieving schools. Still, it's a niche that no one else is bothering with, but I can't help but feel he's gone for the wrong demographic with his CSM campaign.

    4. "People aren't drawn to EVE because it is easy."
      As Eve is well-known as having the most ridiculous learning curve in MMOs, this sentence is true because Eve isn't easy.
      "They join because it is hard."
      This, however, is a blanket statement. A blanket statement which may very well cover 80-90% of the player base, sure, but a blanket statement all the same. There are at least a handful of other reasons why one would play Eve. It has so little competition in so many categories, it kinda wins be default.

  7. Dear James

    Is your manifesto so utterly weak that you have to concentrate on slagging off other CSM candidates to deflect attention away from your oh so obvious irrelevance and inabilities?

    If you put as much effort and thought into your manifesto as you do in flinging poo at other people, you might even make a passable candidate. Though given your recent posts, I'm currently doubting this too.

    1. James wrote his first manifesto in 2011, hth scrub.

    2. Which doesn't mean anything regarding the quality or substance of it or reflect the effort he put into it. So errr, yeah, stfu twat.

    3. Common sense is extremely rare these days. Your posting is an example.

  8. If you want danger you should mine in Low sec. If you want peace mine in High sec. I will grant the tax system is out of whack and you should pay state taxes, mining (mining royalty fees deducted as you mine) and everything else taxes in empire space. How else do the empires pay for the police!

    1. There should be a difference in danger between low sec and high sec. That does not mean that high sec should be completly safe. Or at least, if it is completly safe, the reward needs to be way way way lower than now.

      Why the hell should it be rewarded to do something without risk and without effort? I really ca't get that into my head.


    2. Simple calculation:

      Right now I can do about 9-10 million ISK/hour mining rocks afk (alt+tab). I work from home, so I can easily mine 6-8 hours a day. Let's say I do 50 million ISK a day. Even in todays EVE the risk of being ganked is minute. If you get your wish. there is no risk left.
      Let's say I get 20 days of mining / month. That is a BILLION ISK without actually doing anything.

      Now compare that to a miner in lowsec. That guy needs to be on the keyboard scanning away all the time. Even so he still risks its ship and will probably loose one quite frequently. He also has to tank it, which not only makes it more expensive, but also sacrifices yield. The ore he mines might be a bit more valuable, but he still won't make as much ISK as the afk'ing risk-averse afk miner.

      And that is just for mining asteroids. At tleast you have to alt+tab in every 10 minutes or so. In ice belts, you drop your ship and go away. When it's full, you fly back to the station. Ice isn't worth as much as ore, but therefore you really don't do anything anymore. It's ridiculous.

      I don't want a risk free high sec, but if we really are to get one, it shouldn't be the most attractive economical choice to just parrk your space ship there. Period.


  9. Maybe these CSM candidates that have carebear platforms and are in PVP corps/alliances have those platforms because risk free high-sec would allow them to abuse the system and recover from their PVP losses without interruption or risk?

    1. While speculation, this might just be it!


  10. To elaborate a little bit more, don't assume that someone running with a highsec platform will support your vision of EVE by default just because you live in highsec. Current CSM's are making this stand out more than ever. Drill them for information, ask questions, question the answers. This will give you the insight you need to decide whether the person is who you want to vote for.

    Some CSM candidates are very vague in their platforms & will give vague answers, while spouting on about how they'll bring a hard working ethic to the CSM. This has already been done. If they're unwilling to tell their potential voters what they stand for they aren't worth wasting your vote on.

  11. Hi,

    I consider myself a new player as I started playing Eve in Nov 2012.

    Currently, I do some high sec mining, refining, a little trade / selling stuff, and level 3 Security PVE missions.
    I lost a Retriever by hanging around in an Incursion zone too long and nearly got ganked mining in a .5 a couple of jumps from a .4

    I enjoy learning about the Eve world, playing with Evemon, EFT, pyfa and talking to other players in and out of game about Eve etc.

    I have plans to get a Crane/Bustard to do some trade between lo and high sec., get into jump clones, maybe go ratting and/or mining in lo sec with a Corp that is established there.

    I've even had thoughts about joining the gankers as I get home from work and see an empty asteroid belt due to a Corp sweeping through with their Orca and Hulks. LOL

    I've watched quite a few You Tube PVP videos and while they're interesting, with regard to fits and overloading racks and tactics etc, they're not for me at present, although that may change one day and I might find that fun! Who knows.

    The comments here seem to be split into several groups

    a) High sec is getting too safe which is affecting their gameplay e.g. wardec elimination being considered.

    b) High sec is too boring because it is not dangerous enough i.e. not enough ganking, can flipping.

    c) More money can be earnt in high sec from mining than can be earnt in low sec activities or from pursuits such as blueprint research.

    Here are my thoughts :

    to a) I sympathise if others are trying to change the game into something which you would not enjoy so much or at all. Good luck with your battle to keep Eve as you enjoy it.

    to b) Take a trip into low sec, there's plenty of danger there. I know several people who have lost their ships and have been podded at the first .4 they entered, including a friend in his shiny new Drake.
    I survived a warp scramble attempt and was chased across 20 systems by a local when I went into lo sec in a shuttle for a look around. That was quite an adrenaline rush :-)

    to c) Does it really matter if that is the case?
    If the other person has to do what you may consider monotonous mining, then does that affect your gameplay at all if they have more ISK than you?

    After all you will have spent your time pursuing a pastime that was fun and they just sat there doing nothing of interest but earnt more ISK than you.
    So who has had the more fun / the better game experience at the end of the session?

    People seem to be saying that because someone else can make more money high sec mining that there is no point getting into Blueprint Research etc. which they consider more difficult.....but is that not missing the point that one pursuit may be considered boring and the other may be considered interesting by person A and vice versa by person B?

    Personally I regard both those pursuits as requiring a non trivial investment in both time, ISK and skills to particpiate in at the "money printing" end of the spectrum.

    I just see the amount of ISK in my wallet as something to enable me to get into other parts of the game, rather than something I measure success by.

    I have this view because I know a couple of players who have said that "once you have loads of ISK, this game gets very boring...". They have subsequently quit the game!

    I'm truely curious as to why this real or imagined imbalance between high and lo sec / risk reward / ISK making potential between one profession to another, impacts the gameplay of one player compared to another?

    I've paid for a years Eve subscription so I also have an interest in how the Eve world develops.

    I'm open minded about this whole thing, so I welcome reading other people's opinions as they may change my own.

    Thanks for reading.

    Dave W

  12. Hmmm, bittervet tears, YUM!

    So, the game has gone from having half a mil subscribers to having maybe 100k subscribers TOPS, with an average of what, 4 accounts each?

    I think the devs realise they have now reached the limit of how much money they can extract out of individual people, and if they don't grow the playerbase in terms of real human beings, they're going to lose their jobs soon.

    Mad that you can't be a sociopath in some parts of eve? Cry me a river you ugly nerd. Cry for me.

    1. Ah, but we can gank in highsec in Eve. Easily, as a matter of fact.

      We are simply acting to prevent carebears such as yourself from petitioning CCP into Hello-Kitty online.

      A worthy goal!

      The only tears here are the ones dripping from miners' endless petitions.

      Highsec is worth fighting for!

    2. You're acting to prevent carebears from petitioning CCP into Hello Kitty Online. ganking people? Making them feel that highsec isn't safe enough is going to prevent them from asking CCP to make it safer?

      Isn't that a little bit counterproductive?

    3. So they shouldn't gank because they want to gank? When do they gank then? Great logic man.

    4. I was discussing James 315's CSM candidacy, Anon-10:28AM.

      I am sorry that I confused you.

      James is working to help prevent carebears who would turn Eve in to a non-violent game by running for CSM, as well as organizing our effort to punish this behavior in game.

      By continually refusing to enable their bad behavior, we are encouraging them to change.

      You do not get an alcoholic to quit by giving him booze. You do not get an AFK-Miner to stay at the keyboard by leaving him alone.

      And you do not oppose their attempts at petition-tanking by NOT running a candidtae for CSM.

      I hope this help alleviate your confusion, Anon.

  13. AFK mining, biggest joke in the entire game. A simple solution would be to disable auto cycle from Strips. Why is that so difficult to suggest? And seriously - not any one of you can work that out? No instead of decapitating the problem - some idiots need thousand cuts.

    1. It's been suggested. The miners got extremely vocal about it & the thread suggesting it was locked, which is what happens to every other thread containing something that miners don't like.


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