Friday, February 28, 2014

If You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers

As the Father of the New Order and Saviour of Highsec, and as an EVE rock star, I am the recipient of a great deal of mail. Commensurate with my exalted status, I don't respond to most of the mail I get. And yet, incredibly, I do read all of it. That's just one of the many ways I keep my finger on the pulse of highsec.

If you're still not impressed, check this out: On occasion, I do reply, even to random people. Random person Alex Doverhill sent me a series of six questions about the Code and the New Order that he was dying to have answered. I responded as follows:

Botting is the use of programs that violate the EVE ToS. "AFK" means being away from keyboard. Bot-aspirancy is when a player attempts to become as much like a bot as possible, without necessarily breaking any rules. A bot-aspirant would likely use botting to automate their gameplay, if it were allowed. Being AFK while playing EVE often goes hand-in-hand with bot-aspirancy, but not always. For example, it is perfectly fine to be AFK while docked in a station.

(On a related note: Much controversy erupted recently when someone dug up a quote from one of my earliest MinerBumping posts, which was on the subject of AFK cloaking. The quote read:
"First of all, we can note that nowhere in the Code does it say anything about AFK cloaking--or any other AFK activity other than AFK mining. Once again, this makes perfect sense. We would not, for example, threaten to bump someone who was AFK while docked in a station. Nor is it bot-aspirant behavior to be AFK while docked. Mining in highsec is the only situation in which being AFK is problematic."
Rebels and skeptics argued this was directly contradicted by more recent actions taken by the New Order against AFK autopiloters and others. Is there a contradiction here? Not at all. The point of the quote is that only AFK mining is inherently bot-aspirant. Other AFK activities are forbidden by the Code if they carry with them elements of bot-aspirancy.

For example, AFK autopiloting in an untanked vessel such as a shuttle or freighter is bot-aspirant, because it assumes the pilot is 100% safe in highsec and has no need of a tank. Similarly, a blingy mission-runner who fits for maximum decadence instead of tank is a bot-aspirant. If you can go AFK and not commit the offense of bot-aspirancy (e.g., by heavily tanking a cheap ship and carrying minimal cargo), more power to you. By contrast, AFK mining is always bot-aspirant, even if done by a heavily-tanked miner who owns a permit. The Code is very clear on this. Now, back to the questions.)

Players with less than 10 million isk are encouraged to raise funds by exploring other types of gameplay, such as running combat missions or scamming/begging in Jita.

The permit is the outward sign to the EVE community that a miner is not a bot-aspirant. Permits are only 10 million isk, and since they last 365 days, it is always economically rational to purchase one. (For example, if you lose a Hulk worth 300 million isk, that's equivalent to 30 years worth of mining permits. You would need to mine illegally for three decades just to break even.) Therefore, the only people who are unwilling to buy a permit are those who are so greedy and so unwilling to deviate from their pre-programmed expectations about the game, that they cannot bring themselves to pay. They are bot-aspirants.

I consider myself to have been voted in by the entire EVE community. I voted on everyone else's behalf. This was only necessary because the institutions required for a working democracy do not yet exist in highsec. I do not consider myself to be self-appointed, because I never would have cast everyone's votes for myself if I did not believe I was the right man for the job. I would have voted for someone else.

As the Father of the New Order and Saviour of Highsec, I am in charge of highsec as a whole. I am also the Supreme Protector of each individual highsec system (0.5 security and above). Originally, I was only Supreme Protector of Halaima, but my roles were expanded as the situation in highsec evolved.

Oh, I'm certainly against that.

Alex's excitement was palpable when he got my reply. Then he sent an additional five follow-up questions. Are you sitting down? I answered those, too.

My Agents and I very often encounter new players to teach them about the Code. Everyone learns in a different way, but we've found that it's best to provide players (new and old) with practical examples of why permits are needed.

Yes. Licensed mining costs 10 million isk per year. The loss of a 300 million isk Hulk carries the same cost as 30 mining permits, or three decades' worth.

The belts are already spoken for, by the New Order.

A foundation is normally found at the bottom, is it not?

In many ways, highsec mining--even with a permit--is no better than a necessary evil in EVE. In my judgment, it is a bad game mechanic because it is boring and requires little from the player. I would love to see an EVE without any highsec mining. Until that day comes, the New Order is willing to tolerate highsec mining, provided it is kept within the bounds of the Code.


  1. So far as I can work out the code can be summarised by saying that if you wouldn't do a certain thing in low sec because of the risks, you shouldn't do it in high sec under the assumption that it's completely safe. So.. common sense really, though perhaps not that common.

    1. I see the New Order as breaking down the silos of High Sec.

  2. This article is a real treat. Everyone, please evemail a link of it to all your friends.

  3. "A foundation is normally found at the bottom, is it not?"

    Brilliant retort. :)

    1. I thought it was funny too, but illogical. He is comparing economic bottom feeding with social status. Gankers and PVPers are the true economic bottom feeders, relying on donations from others usually to replace their losses.

  4. Thank you, Saviour, for taking the time to address my concerns!
    I am not worthy!


Note: If you are unable to post a comment, try enabling the "allow third-party cookies" option on your browser.