Previously, on MinerBumping...
Why They Hate the Code, Part 1
Why They Hate the Code, Part 2
Why They Hate the Code, Part 3
Why They Hate the Code, Part 4
Why They Hate the Code, Part 5
Why They Hate the Code, Part 6
Why They Hate the Code, Part 7
Why They Hate the Code, Part 8
Why They Hate the Code, Part 9
Why They Hate the Code, Part 10
XXVIII. The Elitist
"Nice region, we'll take it."
We end our tour about as far from its beginning as one can get. The Elitist has little in common with the Common Bot-Aspirant. If one were to look upon the Elitist, there would be little reason to call him a carebear. He's no PvE'er; indeed, he has disdain for PvE. Some of the richer Elitists have gone years without touching a mining laser or even engaging in any sort of PvE whatsoever. The Elitist sits atop a pile of isk, but he has every intention of spending it. He plays EVE for the PvP. He's a cutthroat player who craves destruction and explosions. He's an unlikely candidate to be a Code hater.
Even so, the Elitist does hate the Code. Whenever he contemplates the idea of the Code, or miner bumping, or PvP in highsec, he feels nothing but contempt. There's something in the Code that nags at him, something that gives him a sharp prodding in some distant corner of his mind. He cannot fully perceive it, but neither can he ignore it. When the subject of the Code materializes (as it always does whenever and wherever people gather to discuss EVE), the Elitist sneers. He reacts to the Code almost as if he were a carebear, yet from all outward appearances, he's the opposite of a carebear.
The enigma of the Elitist demands a solution, and solve it we shall. This is MinerBumping--that's what we do here. In order to understand where the Elitist has gone wrong, we must approach him from two different angles. The first will allow us to use the elements we've learned from our journey thus far; the second angle will take us still deeper.
We may imagine one half of the Elitist's hatred as the culmination of a dozen negative influences. While carebears often attempt to play EVE solo, the Elitist tends to have many connections, and to seek them out. After all, one cannot join an elite PvP alliance in nullsec without references. So the Elitist comes into contact with many enemies of the New Order. In isolation, they are not enough to convert the Elitist into a hater, but when taken together, they cannot fail to influence him.
The Elitist isn't as credulous as the Gullible Gull, but he hears many awful rumors about the New Order and is inclined to believe that where there's smoke, there's fire. He doesn't deny our existence, but like the Denialist, he is troubled by how much attention CODE. gets--attention the Elitist would rather be directed at his own alliance. He discounts the Conspiracy Theorist's wilder ideas, but he may feel there is some connection between the New Order and his Goon enemies.
The purest Elitist probably hasn't spent enough time in highsec in recent years to lose a ship to our gankers. The same can't be said for all of his friends. He likely spends some time dealing with Grudge Holders and Closeted Highsec Dwellers and Furlough Men who are still angry about the losses they suffered at the hands of CODE. They, of course, speak ill of the Code at every opportunity, to whomever will listen. The Elitist listens--at least with half an ear.
The Elitist is a more receptive audience for the Nouveau Null, who looks down on all things highsec. The Elitist treats most of nullsec as beneath him, so why not highsec? And though he struggles mightily to deny it, the Elitist has much in common with the killboard-obsessed Green-Eyed Monster, who grits his teeth each time he views CODE.'s stats.
Then there is the Sheep. The Elitist certainly doesn't see himself as one. No, he must be a wolf--a leader of a wolf pack, an elite wolf-pack! However, the Elitist, too, is guided by what others think. He chose his alliance because of its image. He craves status, covets the status of those above him, and treasures what status he has gained. There's more than a little of the Sheep in him, after all.
The Elitist therefore finds himself under siege, his good sense progressively eroded by all these negative influences. He buckles. But it is the other factor--that second angle of which we spoke earlier--that drags the Elitist down into the pit.
At its core, the Code challenges the Elitist's values. The Elitist has already rejected the carebear's view that the point of EVE is to gather as much isk as possible. Once upon a time, the Elitists believed that the highest goal in EVE was to hold sovereignty in as many nullsec systems as possible. This ideology also fell into disfavor, thanks to the rise of coalitions, renters, and pragmatic considerations related to the benefits of staging out of lowsec. In its place was established the great idol of "relevance", a term encompassing the Elitist's aspirations for status and power.
The Elitist's ideology is brittle, though, and seems ready to crack open at any moment. It leaves him uneasy. Indeed, he can already see the fissures stretching out their limbs. For do the Elitist and his fellow elite PvP'ers truly behave as such, judged by their own standards? They don't rise up and challenge the most powerful alliance they can find, as brave warriors might be expected to do. Instead, they join it. Nor do they even attack their most powerful rivals. They're more likely to attack easy prey, a group like Brave Newbies as it ventures forth into nullsec--putting the lie to all the hand-wringing about CODE. ganking "newbie" freighters. In fact, the Elitist and his ilk tend to seek out the weakest enemies available. They have no interest in fighting wars where losing is a possibility.
I have occasionally written about the hypocrisy of condemning gankers for "shooting ships that can't shoot back". On the micro level, the most esteemed PvP outfits of EVE spend much of their time camping gates or dog-piling stray ratters, situations in which the target hasn't the slightest chance of fighting back. Scaling up a bit, virtually all nullsec battles are over before the first shot is fired. Zooming out to the macro level, the same is true of virtually all nullsec wars. There's no suspense. The underdogs can save themselves time and expense by simply forfeiting--which is precisely what most of their pilots do. In other words, they don't bother shooting back.
Even victories such as these can leave the farsighted Elitist with an empty feeling, for their defeated opponents simply move to another part of nullsec. Over and over again, they circle the outer regions of the EVE galaxy, the process restarting itself with each move.
How does the Elitist cope? Simple: The lack of an alternative. For all the faults and falsehoods of being an "elite PvP'er" who preys on weak alliances and shrugs his shoulders as the defeated enemy replants itself on the other side of the galaxy, it's better than being the defeated enemy. And the Elitist doesn't see any other option in EVE. There are only two choices, and the other one's worse, so this one must be right. This is the thinking that quiets his doubts and keeps his supercap accounts subbed.
Enter the Code.
The Code didn't merely transform highsec, it changed the conceptual framework upon which EVE is built. It introduced, for the first time, an entirely new way of thinking about the game. As a result, it challenged the values and assumptions that make people like the Elitist feel good about doing what they do. The Elitist must therefore look away and cover his ears when the subject of the Code comes up. The more he thinks about the Code, the worse he feels. If he only played EVE for fun, it wouldn't be so bad--but he's got his ego wrapped up in his elite player status. It wouldn't survive too long an introspective moment contemplating the Code.
If the Code is the source of the Elitist's turmoil, it's also the solution. It would never occur to the Elitist to belt out a hearty "praise James!" in local; he's too busy praising himself for hitting F1 while facing hopelessly under-powered opponents. If pressed, he would accuse the New Order of picking on the weak. He can't stand the idea that he, too, picks on the weak--but without result. The New Order enforces the Code, regardless of the strength of its enemies, and reshapes highsec in its image. This feat, once thought impossible by all--this goal, too high even for an Elitist to dare reach for it--is the glory of the Code.
The CODE always wins. Always!