For many years now, people who fail at EVE Online (e.g., everyone who attempts to oppose the mighty CODE. alliance) have accused New Order Agents of being bullies. This topic was squarely addressed four years ago in a classic two-part essay on MinerBumping. (Here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2 in case you need a refresher.) But as anyone who has lived in highsec over the past few years can tell you, the New Order has gained a lot of power since then, and correspondingly our Agents are far more powerful than they were when that essay was written.
In theory, there's more potential for abuse now that our Agents exercise so much control over life in highsec. We've all heard that famous quote, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," though the man who wrote it obviously never met an Agent of the New Order.
Anecdotally, I've noticed that as our Agents have grown in power, they've actually grown more moral, more decent, and more incorruptible than before. That could just be my memory playing tricks on me, since the MinerBumping archives show that our Agents were almost unbelievably moral, decent, and incorruptible to begin with.
Still, the bot-aspirant carebears continually proclaim (without evidence) that our Agents are bullies. I'd like to help the carebears understand why they're wrong. For some people, learning new concepts is easier with the aid of an analogy. Today's post is for them.
We all know about spaceship pilots in EVE. Airplanes have pilots, too. The captain of a commercial jet has responsibilities that go far beyond activating the autopilot and going AFK. The lives of everyone on the plane are in his hands. Accordingly, the pilot has a lot of authority. One might even compare the captain's power to that of a dictator, at least while the plane is in the air. This is especially true in the event of an emergency.
When you think about it, Agents of the New Order are a lot like captains of highsec--captains of the spaceship of state, if you will. They certainly have a lot of responsibility, power, and authority. And so long as there are bot-aspirants out there violating the Code, highsec is in a state of emergency.
Is the captain of an airplane necessarily a bully? Well, let's sketch in a few more details on this analogy. Imagine that the captain decides he's going to safely land the aircraft at an airport, the plane's intended destination. Obviously, most people agree that this is the way to go. However, a handful of the plane's passengers object to that decision. They feel that the plane should be deliberately crashed into the side of a mountain instead. These passengers would be like the bot-aspirants and Anti-Gankers of the plane.
Consider the dreadful consequences that would unfold if the captain listened to the carebears. Many innocent lives would be lost. The airline would lose a perfectly good plane. People would lose confidence in air travel. Even if by some miracle the captain survived, he would likely lose his job, and deservedly so.
Thankfully, most airline pilots wouldn't listen to the bot-aspirants and Anti-Gankers on board the plane. They would silence the Goofuses and guide the plane to where it's supposed to go, just like our Agents do for highsec.
"That's not fair," cry the rebellious passengers. "I paid for my ticket, so I should be able to do anything I want." Yet the pilot forces them to fly according to his own plan, not theirs. Is the pilot a bully? Of course not. He does the job that needs to be done, and he saves lives.
The same goes for our Agents. I'm so glad that highsec's destiny is in their hands and not the hands of those crazy, irresponsible, bot-aspirant rebels. Aren't you?