How awfully ‘keen’ of you Tobold

Whenever Tobold talks about EVE, it’s always entertaining, but sadly it’s the “Keen” kind of entertaining, if you know what I mean. And just a day after making a “WoW is too easy and not fun now” post (wish someone had said that earlier to avoid the problem…), today is a fun trip into the EVE economy, with a WoW comparison at the end (those always work out well).

The major problem about Tobold writing about EVE is the same one I get accused of when writing about WoW; not playing the game. Yet unlike Tobold, I’ve actually played WoW save the last ten levels, and the concept of 99.9% of the content being more faceroll easy now is not THAT hard for me to grasp (plus I read TAGN, which is basically like playing WoW anyway) . Tobold played EVE in beta, so you know, just a FEW things have changed since 2003 (even if Tobold is using the Blizzard-pace scale of MMO updates, and not CCPs).

Here is his last paragraph:

The funny thing is that EVE has a lot of hardcore fans, which will undoubtedly swarm all over this post in the comment thread to defend EVE. That is exactly the same people who tend to complain about games where you can buy your way to power, but somehow in their mind it is different if EVE does that. Imagine Blizzard would offer gold for dollars, and automatic leveling of unplayed WoW characters as long as you pay a monthly fee for that, there would be a huge outcry. I wouldn’t like that in World of Warcraft, and I don’t like that in EVE Online. EVE being a PvP game doesn’t change that, just the opposite: You being able to boost your power with money is even worse if you directly compete with other players in PvP.

Now troll bait aside, can anyone tell Tobold why WoW PvP and EVE PvP are different, or why paying Blizzard to reach max level (you can already do that ‘buddy’) is a non-issue? If you said “stuff blows up”, you are indeed smarter than a Tobold (TV show reference, not a personal attack). Anyone who has played EVE has come across or knows of some fool who bought a ship/character he has no clue how to use (the ‘dreaded’ and ‘unbalanced’ RMT part) only to have it blown to bits the second he enters low-sec (or even high-sec if the target is rich/stupid enough).  Actually I’m sure even WoW players have come across some decked-out character who can’t set up a hotbar, because RMT happens in WoW all the time, only in WoW it’s far less controlled and more likely to cost you a CC number or bank account.

That’s what separates games like EVE from WoW though; in WoW I can buy a top-tier raiding character, faceroll every instance save the final raid, and learn (risk-free) the 1-2-4-1 combo I need to win in PvP in short order. Even if I’m ‘special’, the additional week it will take me to master WoW PvP still does not mean I risk a thing, and no matter how poorly you play (intentionally or not), you NEVER lose that bought power, at least not until Blizzard resets it for you for the low price of $45 (coming ‘soon’). Plus if I’m Richy Rich fresh off the short bus, I’m very likely queued up and ready to join you in that instance. “Whats taunt?” says the all-epics warrior. (That joke would be funnier if taunt was still required to clear an instance, but just go with it)

Tobold, you need to play EVE. For someone who talks about economics as much as you do to not have at least tried the best econ MMO in the genre is almost a crime. We know you won’t be flying out to low-sec and setting up a gate camp, but Empire space will keep you entertained between now and your paid gear reset, and you can finally put all of that good economic knowledge to work in a game with a real market and real competition. And in the rare event that you do lose a pixel or two (you won’t, but you know, fear the PvP boogie-man), all that economic mastery should mean you can easily get back on your feet. I can even, just for you, set up an affiliate link for you to use, because I’m a nice guy like that.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in beta, crafting, EVE Online, MMO design, Rant, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to How awfully ‘keen’ of you Tobold

  1. pitrelli says:


    Its been too long since the last Tobold vs SynCaine bout!

    On a serious note I rarely listen to Tobold when he writes about games other than WoW (or links bad reviews of games he doesnt play).

    I still enjoy his blog and he gets good conversations going but meh, he should stick to what he knows in my opinion.

  2. Latrodanes says:

    Hehe. I just shared Tobold’s post with a buddy, who plays WoW, saying exactly what you just wrote. I cannot count the number of reports of big shiny vessels, mostly carriers, flown by obvious newbs that have entered low-sec, thinking they can wtfpwn anything now they have bought their way into a big ship. -> Splat -> emorage -> back to XXX (XXX = some other game with little or no PvP cnsequences).

  3. Shukaro says:

    You and Tobold both need to just cool it, you make valid points, yes, but they are mostly wrapped in a nice thick layer of personal attacks.

    • SynCaine says:

      Such as?

      • Shukaro says:

        It’s just that every time you write a response to one of his posts you put in personal jabs at every opportunity, “it’s always entertaining, but sadly it’s the ‘Keen’ kind of entertaining, if you know what I mean“, “Now troll bait aside, can anyone tell Tobold why WoW PvP and EVE PvP are different, or why paying Blizzard to reach max level (you can already do that ‘buddy’) is a non-issue?.” Stuff like that, it just isn’t necessary.

        • pitrelli says:

          Why has the world turned all emo? Seriously?! do you really think any of those comments are out of order or indeed personal attacks?

          Come on man give yourself a shake, its the blogosphere not god damn sesame street.

        • Shukaro says:

          True, I’m just saying that Syncaine seems to be more condescending than most people, and it really isn’t necessary.

        • SynCaine says:

          The first is a jab at another blog, not Tobold (and I never denied that I love taking jabs at that blog), the second is a reference to the buddy system you can buy to powerlevel in WoW. Just seems you are looking way too hard to find the ‘attacks’ rather than reading the post for it’s actual point.

        • Shukaro says:

          It’s just that you two act like you hate eachother’s guts, playful jabs are fine, but it is possible to ladle it on too thickly.

        • Adam says:


          Dude the role of “internet moderator” is really not a good one for you (it doesn’t work for anyone really).

          Have you ever noticed yourself or others being insulting or making lame generalizations about someone as you “moderate” the internet for the rest of us?

  4. bonedead says:

    He’s not your buddy, guy!

  5. Tom Hoffman says:

    In EVE there is nothing more fun than fighting a less skilled opponent flying super expensive ships he bought with real money.

    Also, when I decided to start an alt in EVE focused on economics, I bought a plex for seed money. If you’re really patient you can build up an empire from zero, but nobody starts playing Monopoly with $1 in the bank, and in real life there’s venture capital.

  6. Wilhelm2451 says:

    “plus I read TAGN, which is basically like playing WoW anyway”

    Hey, wait a minute… is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    • SynCaine says:

      Good thing. You describe the encounters well enough that I don’t need to play them in order to understand them, and the reports are ‘honest’ enough not to be fanboi or hater tainted.

      Plus anything that allows me to NOT play WoW but still bash it is a huge plus.

      • Wilhelm2451 says:

        How “Joaquin” of you!

        I’m not even sure what that means, but I felt I had to use it.

        • SynCaine says:

          “Well, ‘aight, check this out, dawg. First of all, you throwin’ too many big words at me, and because I don’t understand them, I’m gonna take ’em as disrespect. Watch your mouth and help me with the sale.”

  7. Sleepysam says:

    Is it Friday already?

  8. mbp says:

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Tobold is deliberately being provocative in his EVE post. Whether or not you agree with his opinions Tobold is definitely a smart guy. Too smart I think to make bold pronouncements about a game he doesn’t even play without realisng there will be a backlash.

    By the way I can be provocative too. It seems to me that Tobold’s irrational rejection of EVE based on misinformation and some kind of inner belief that he “knows best” is very similar to your own rejection of Eurogamer!!!

  9. PixelCody says:

    I agree that Tobold should give EVE a proper shot. Ultimately I doubt he’ll come to enjoy his time in the game thanks to its slow pace, work-like industry and his preconceptions about it.

    He’d benefit from the experience though, as an avenue for economic activity EVE is unmatched. I personally funded my PVP by buying low and selling high, then running a Gallente-space ship business with a little hand in R&D and invention. Not a space-rock in sight.

    RMT is moot as a reason to not get into the economic side of the game as the enjoyment comes from exploring the research and production mechanics and exploiting gaps in the market. The game is just the same with plenty of capitol as it is on day one.

  10. CF says:

    What happens when you cross “Keen” and “Tobold”? Answer: A Teen Kobold! :)

  11. Hudson says:

    So you play first person shooters, he plays WoW. What is the big deal? I would much rather see you attack the crap that Keen spews than Tobold for what it is worth.

    • Adam says:


      I appreciate that Syncaine is willing to summarize either of them.

      I find both so vapid as to be unreadable.

      The summary is just enough to get the sense that yes Tobold is as silly as ever without having to read him.

      • Bhagpuss says:

        I read and enjoy all three of them. I’d rather read any of them writing about games than about each other though.

      • GlenBelt says:

        Another amusing post… I don’t give a flying fuck about personal jabs at other bloggers but lets knock on the door and ask for Ronnie Real here hmm?

        You play Aion for how many hours again? ..and what was your verdict on the game and the people playing it from all that time you played?

        You haven’t even played STOR yet but already know 110% what it’s going to be like? Based on the promo material released I guess yes?

        ..and you call out Tobold for posting an opinion on EVE without playing it that much? Or slag off EG for doing the same shit you do yourself?

        Whatever works for you buddy ;) Whatever works…

        • SynCaine says:

          Notice all those Aion players around here reminding me how wrong I was about that game and how it’s endgame functions? All those bloggers still happily playing the next great thing? No, I don’t either.

          Feel free to come back two months after SW:TOR comes out and tell me how wrong I was about ‘story’ in an MMO, how you are still listening to voiced dialog for the 5th time, because it’s just so great, kinda like how everyone is on their 4th play-through of DA and still loving it…

          Opinions can’t be wrong, but man can they come close.

        • sid67 says:

          What about all those WoW players that come around here reminding you how great Wrath is?

          But, wait, they are just tourists so their opinion doesn’t count, right?

        • Adam says:


          The WoW players are around because its the biggest zerg…

        • SynCaine says:

          @Sid67: But I never said WoW is an overall failure of a game. I’m just saying its the Bigmac of MMOs, and we all know how many people love special sauce.

          Plus their reasons for Wrath being great are exactly the reasons I left WoW to begin with.

        • sid67 says:

          Just pointing out that opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.

          That doesn’t make you right. :) It just makes you an asshole. :P

        • SynCaine says:

          Obviously pointing out the obvious is obvious.

        • GlenBelt says:

          “Notice all those Aion players around here reminding me how wrong I was about that game and how it’s endgame functions”

          So.. If I can find some Darkfall players that think the game is shit. That makes Eurogamer/Ed Zitron’s opinions on Darkfall correct?

          After all, it’s basically the same situation.

          Fair enough, Zitron may have made false claims about DF, but without playing Aion.. your opinion is as valid as his. But because there is no Aion players here to disagree with you, you are correct?

          I’ll give you the fact that Aion could well be shit.. I don’t know, never played it. I do know that it is supposed to be a hell of a grind which put me off. The fact remains, I can hardly give a valid opinion on the game without playing it. And to assume shit about the players based on a preconception?

          What kind of arse backwards logic are you using here?

          “Feel free to come back two months after SW:TOR comes out and tell me how wrong I was about ’story’ in an MMO, how you are still listening to voiced dialog for the 5th time, because it’s just so great, kinda like how everyone is on their 4th play-through of DA and still loving it”

          See, your prove my point further with your attitude. You’ve assumed me to be a STOR fanboy and responded appropriately, again with no knowledge of me or STOR.

          Until it is established that STOR is a WoW clone, or has something going for it.. I wont be trying it, I wont be posting any opinions on it without info, and I wont assume anyone who wants to play it at launch is a douche.

          Do you see how this works yet?

        • Adam says:


          Anyone that has played WoW and Warhammer/AoC or something can see how deeply dumb and derivative Aion is.

          Don’t kid yourself that it’s a game worth even talking about.

          I think most people with even a passing familiarity with Eve can see how shallow Tobold’s post is… see the first few posts.

          How does that work for you buddy?

        • sid67 says:

          Wait. So did you read it or didn’t you?

          Because I didn’t think it was shallow. He’s just being critical of RMT.

          It’s really more of an indictment of how we view RMT in games. That it’s an unfair reward that can be gained by not PLAYING the game.

          My only contention with his point is that, as far as RMT goes, PLEX is a better implementation that most.

          That doesn’t make legel RMT a good solution, just the lesser of two evils (the other being all the crap that happens with illegal RMT).

        • sid67 says:

          *typo: meant better implementation than most

        • GlenBelt says:

          “Anyone that has played WoW and Warhammer/AoC or something can see how deeply dumb and derivative Aion is.”

          no.. anyone that has played WoW and Warhammer/AoC or something can have a fair idea that Aion is dumb and derivative.. but without playing it, you cant talk in fucking absolutes.

          How does that work for you buddy?

          I’ve never been to Italy, but I’ve been to France. Does that mean because both countries have hills, grass, rivers, and people.. they are both the same? That I can skip going to Italy and still make opinionated claims about the country?

  12. sid67 says:

    As I wrote on my blog today, as far as RMT goes, PLEX is a solid implementation because it’s actually part of the economy. That makes a huge difference.

    I also don’t see how it takes away from the economic game. If anything, it provides an “iWin” card to any economic player who can afford 280M ISK every month.

  13. High Plains Drifter says:

    I enjoy your blog generally, and stop by at least daily. However, I do not care for bloggists generating posts based on critiquing other blog posts. Turns me off. Seems fine to me to spin off on a topic raised by another blg, but I am rarely interested in hearing one blogger critiquing another blogger’s post. The less of that the better in my view.

    • bonedead says:

      I think this commenter is full of it. Look at the way he types, it is sickening! What kind of name is that anyway? Is bloggists even a real word? My spell checker doesn’t seem to think so. Pfffffft!

      • sid67 says:

        You are right. Can’t find a definition of it anywhere. Tried a Google search and Urban Dictionary.

        I mean, at first, I thought he was spot on for calling out Syn on yet another ad hominem attack, but then I realized the truth!

      • High Plains Drifter says:

        If the intent was to crush my innocence and demonstrate that the internet is chock full of twits – well too bad :
        innocence lost long ago and I already knew about the twits part.

    • Carson63000 says:

      Different strokes for different strokes. I personally enjoy a bit of point/counterpoint between two bloggers that I read. I don’t mind a monologue (I wouldn’t read blogs if I did!) but I like some dialogue mixed in with it.

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  15. Edwin says:

    Tobold’s biggest problem is that anyone who criticizes World of Warcraft for being too easy is right away labeled as some elitist asshole who “doesn’t want other people to be able to have the mad epics that they have”. It’s tiring.

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  17. PeterD says:

    Hmm, I mostly agree with Syncaine on this one . . . I think that’s the 2nd or 3rd time ever! :b

  18. Sean says:

    Let’s imagine that I played Darkfall, became jaded with the game for whatever reason, and then having left, continued to blog about the current state of the game using ForumFall or fellow cynics as my primary sources.

    That seems to be the state of all of your recent commentary on WoW and it only seems insightful to those also unfamiliar with the game, or more particularly its current environment.

    To say, for instance that

    “and learn (risk-free) the 1-2-4-1 combo I need to win in PvP in short order. Even if I’m ’special’, the additional week it will take me to master WoW PvP still does not mean I risk a thing, and no matter how poorly you play (intentionally or not), you NEVER lose that bought power, at least not until Blizzard resets it for you for the low price of $45 (coming ‘soon’). ”

    is laughable to anyone who has had even cursory experience in WoW’s PvP. Moreover, it suggests that there is something deeply dissimilar between what one buys in an RMT EVE character and an RMT WoW character. In both cases you buy invested time. In the first, that time is almost directly proportional to total skill points with the variation being their allotment. In WoW, the major differentiators at the high end are gear, titles, Arena ratings, rare mounts or pets, etc. In neither case does anything in the games endanger what one has bought. No pirate in EVE can threaten skillpoints earned and they are only ostensibly in danger so as to tax players through clone bays.

    As for Tobold’s criticism of EVE’s RMT, I think it’s fair. Nearly everything in EVE has an ISK value and outside of player skill, it all can be bought or sold. That the game allows for a player to translate his discretionary income into influence within the game is problematic in a PvP environment that is predicated on an equal playing field. I can’t buy achievement points, raid IDs, or gear of any kind in WoW. I can’t directly buy gold. The best I can do is dual box characters using the Refer-a-Friend program to level alts and buy minipets in Blizzard’s store. I find the latter objectionable as pet/mount collection is a primary activity in the game for some people. However, it is compartmentalized and I can’t buy pets that then have any value outside of their social utility; 30 million non-combat pets don’t equal the uber sword of uberness.

    Btw… I played EVE (dual boxed actually) for a little more than five months about a year ago. I’d still be playing if I had time in my life for two MMOs.

  19. silvertemplar says:

    I don’t know hey, i’m subbed to the RSS feed and usually don’t read the Darkfall posts, but i do like your (syncaine) writing style and oppinions.

    So it’s quite ironic that every non-darkfall post seem to be of the contraversial and sensational, almost like you’re trying to regain some traffic back to here.

    Darkfall might be a good MMO, but it is still a niche MMO and posting 90% of time about it = niche crowd. So its unfortunate that the blog seems to go into obscurity with every Darkfall post and then this specific post seem like a “last ditch” attempt…

    I think you could’ve said the exact same thing about economies and PvP, without mentioning any other bloggers OR Darkfall and we would be discussing the merits of the subject now…

    • SynCaine says:

      Regaining something would require losing it in the first place, which is not the case here. And either the DF niche is bigger than anyone expected, or like you, plenty of people enjoy reading what I write, even if it’s often about a game they don’t actually play. Funny how some blogs work that way, eh?

  20. Herb O says:

    You know, I usually skip some of the DF posts, but I genuinely love the rebuttle posts to tobolds blog, because honestly, I think that guy is an idiot, only because he was comparing dragon age to wow, when its two totally seperate genres.

    Ive played wow for awhile, but I also played warhammer, eve, havent touched darkfall yet, might be a bit to hardcore for me:P

    • pitrelli says:

      I think thats a bit harsh to brand tobold an ‘idiot’, he is probably one of the best MMO bloggers out there in terms of content and thought process.

      In saying that I too like SynCaines counter posts to Tobold. If nothing else it reminds us that opinions differ and often there is two (or more) sides to everything.

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  22. mandrill says:

    I had a rebuttal to Tobold’s poat pretty much ready to go, bar the tweaking, saying almost exactly what you have said here (although probably a little less tactfully). No need now :)

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