The future of life in highsec is clear: Everyone must comply with the Code. Resigned to their fate, the carebears are increasingly concerned with the interpretation of the Code, rather than its legitimacy. How does one become a Code-compliant citizen of highsec? If one must mine in highsec, how does one do so in a way that glorifies the Code instead of violating it? Today's post is about the Gallant highsec miner--the modern miner.
Anyone who's been at his keyboard within the last two and a half years should know that a mining permit is an absolute necessity for PvE in highsec. The price of a permit has always been just 10 million isk, easily affordable by even the newest of EVE players. As the number of Agents and permit-holders has skyrocketed, the concept of the permit has evolved somewhat. To avoid being ganked by mistake, permit-carrying miners are instructed to update their bio with some identifying information and a pledge of support to the Code. Despite the complaints of the rebels, this is all very basic stuff. Compliance with the Code goes well beyond merely buying and carrying a permit.
We all know that AFK mining is forbidden in highsec. How does a miner prove he's not AFK, though? Sadly, the game mechanics of mining do not require a miner to remain at his keyboard most of the time. The AFK miner might appear identical to the ATK miner, if not for local chat.
A miner's participation in local chat is actually quite a big part of the Code. Did you know that among the enumerated provisions with "-" bullet points, at least half a dozen expressly or impliedly refer to a miner's activity in local? When we study the Code daily, we learn something new every day. Given the frequency of the Code's references to local, it's worth a carebear's time and effort to really give this matter some thought.
To begin with, miners prove that they're ATK by responding in local when our Agents request it. How quickly should a miner respond? Agents vary in their preferences, but most agree that a miner is generally considered responsive if he replies within five seconds. If a miner is at his keyboard and attentive to local, that's plenty of time to say "hi" or "o/" (or even "all hail James 315" for a skilled typist).
Some miners attempt to fudge the ATK requirement by being technically within reach of their keyboard but functionally absent. For example, a miner might alt+tab to something else, or have another chat window obscuring local, or cast his gaze to a nearby television screen. All these things impair a miner's ability to promptly respond in local when requested. Thus, the miner is considered AFK despite his physical position next to his keyboard.
For these reasons, a miner should take great care when consuming food or beverages. This is especially true if a miner decides to eat a full meal at his keyboard. A TV tray might seem wonderfully convenient at first, but are you able to eat your dinner and still keep your hands free for typing? Be cautious. An empty stomach is better than a Code violation.
The botters of highsec have suffered greatly at the hands of our Agents. But those who design mining macros are inventive. Over the years, suicide ganks have forced them to incorporate anti-ganking protocols. For instance, some bot programs will cause a miner to automatically warp back to a station if a certain ship type (such as a destroyer) appears in the asteroid belt. It's not inconceivable that a future miner macro could automatically type a message in local--if they're not doing it already. Therefore, it's not enough for a miner to simply say "hello" in local. He must be able to carry on a conversation.
Miners should refrain from profanity, and should always respect--and show deference to--New Order Agents and the Saviour of Highsec. We know this from reading the Code. The modern miner strives to go beyond the words of the Code and fully embrace its spirit. How should he comport himself in local?
Whenever a miner goes out to mine some ice or some ore, he should imagine that he's headed off to an important job interview. Perhaps an Agent won't visit him that day. If an Agent does appear in local, the miner should be prepared. Being able to greet the Agent isn't enough. A bot can do that. The modern miner should be interesting to talk to. He should be impressive, even charming. It's not a terrible idea for a miner to keep at his disposal a few jokes or anecdotes to share, when appropriate. Our Agents should walk away from the encounter thinking, "You know, I really like that miner!"
Striking the right balance is key. A miner should demonstrate awareness of, and respect for, an Agent's superior position. Yet the miner shouldn't be cloying or oleaginous. A sycophantic miner can come across as a sarcastic one. Our Agents have finely honed senses; they know when a miner is being sincere or not.
One could write volumes on this subject. Today's post is merely an introduction to a conversation that highsec dwellers will be having for many years to come. The Code packs so much into so few words. For example:
Miners should strive not only to avoid botting, but to avoid even the appearance of botting.A miner should consider this provision when he's designing his character portraits. If a miner uses multiple accounts, is there sufficient variation in the portraits to make clear that each character has its own identity, and is not merely a cog in a mining machine? Or this:
No excessive mining. Miners should not fall into a routine of mining all day. I want well-rounded people in my system, not ice-mining machines.Miner, have you considered the appearance of your skill queue? Do you have characters that only train industrial or PvE skills, or is each character given ample time to develop PvP skills, keeping in mind that EVE is at heart a PvP game?
Think about it. My Agents and I look forward to continuing this conversation with you.