EVE’s very own Ed Zitron encounter

Ah all day work training, how I love you. At least it’s Friday.

And as the week ends, I can’t help but reflect on the EVE-related activities of this week. For one, the game came out ahead if for no other reason than the number of people who have had their interest piqued enough to try it, mostly thanks to all of the real EVE players commenting on either the errors or misconceptions presented. Thanks to this week it’s also very clear just what kind of community follows EVE, and how far they are willing to go to not only offer help and assistance in-game, but out of game as well. That community is one of the main reasons EVE is the only MMO still growing 5+ years after its release, and it’s a ‘resource’ any MMO dev would die to have on their side.

The week also shows once again just how far some people are willing to go to discredit a game in order to further their own personal agenda. The cult of Ed Zitron is indeed alive and well when it comes to reporting on MMOs it seems. On the plus side I think a lot of eyes were opened, and what some have seen for a while now was on display front and center for everyone else to see. This combined with the fact that rather than having its reputation tarnished, EVE and its community came out looking even better, it’s been a very enjoyable week.

Hell, I might even re-activate my old pilot and have a go at it again myself, get back in touch will all those griefers and bullies I played with before.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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19 Responses to EVE’s very own Ed Zitron encounter

  1. pkudude99 says:

    “Peaked” should be “piqued.”

    Yes, I’m a Grammar Nazi! Well, today I am, at least. . . . ;-)

  2. Ob says:

    So whadya think of Tobold’s player-written Eve reveiw? Good stuff, that. :)

    • SynCaine says:

      First time ever on the internet that someone has taken a hand-selected bunch of quotes to make their point while ignoring everything that does not. Sheer genius, that.

      • Kyir says:

        I’m surprised EVE hasn’t simply gone out of business after he pointed out the crippling flaws that are completely integrated into the gameplay.

    • PeterD says:

      Sigh, Tobold’s is turning into a troll blog. I mean seriously, what was that post but one giant troll?

      I think I only go there now to get a daily dose of befuddlement. I can’t even remember the last sensible post he wrote :p

  3. Bhagpuss says:

    As a carebear PvE player of longstanding I’m finding it all very confusing. Tobold’s blog frequently either infuriates me or bores me almost to distraction while SynCaine’s is reliably entertaining and amusing. Not only that but I find myself agreeing with the PvP enthusiast more often than with the PvP objectionist (is that a word? It is now). Prose style is SO important.

    When I started MMOs I was bloody petrified of PvP. It really scared me and not only that but, like Tobold I had serious and heartfelt moral objections to it. Before I even bought an MMO I spent about a month reading about UO and EQ and in the end I went for EQ because of the UO horror stories I read. Spending three hours chopping wood and then having someone kill your character and steal it all just didn’t appeal, somehow. So I played EQ and took to it like a duck to water.

    All the same, I felt I couldn’t justify those feelings without at least experiencing PvP to some degree. I rolled a troll warrior on one of EQ’s Zek servers, logged in and was ganked in seconds. Tried again, same thing. That pretty much confirmed my expectations.

    I gave it a break for a while, then tried a monk on one of the Zek team servers. Managed to play for a good while there without actually seeing any PvP at all. That took the fear down a notch. Enough that wehn DAOC launched the RvR element didn’t terrify me sufficiently to stop me buying it.

    I still remember the first time an Albion group made it into our Midgard territory and I experienced my first real PvP skirmish. It was almost viscerally thrilling. No-one even got killed that time, but it seemed so vital. That took the fear another notch down. Hunting and even being hunted could be fun, whatever “fun” means.

    In DAOC I became initiated, then familiar and finally inured to PvP. The fear diminished and fell into line with the fear of being killed in EQ and losing xp. Actually, PvP became less frightening then PvE. Back then you seemed to be less at risk when dieing to another player than to a mob. No CR. No xp loss. In DAOC opposing teams couldn’t communicate directly, so even humiliation was blunted. Elves jumping up and down on my corpse seemed remarkably easy to tolerate.

    The ice was well and truly broken. With fear out of the equation, the question was much more simple: was PvP fun? And the answer? Not all that much.

    Why? Well, by far the main reason I don’t like PvP is the unreliability. Mobs stay where they are supposed to be. They fight when you get close or leave you alone if you stay clear. Players don’t do any of that.

    I spent far too many nights in DAOC running around just looking for someone, anyone, to fight. Even after they put the battlegrounds in there were so many Saturdays spent trying to tempt the enemy out of their keep to no avail. Hours of flirting with no consummation.

    PvP became synonomous with tedium. I left DAOC and didn’t really touch PvP again regularly until I played Warhammer. Now that was an odd experience. Like eating a bag of sherbet lemons. The first few are wonderful. After that your mouth gets sore and they taste increasingly unpleasant, but somehow you just can’t stop pulling them out of the bag.

    Mrs Bhagpuss and I didn’t stop playing Warhammer becasue we were bored with it or didn’t like it. We stopped becasue we agreed it was making us mentally ill. We couldn’t stop doing Battlegrounds or open skirmishes even though after an evening of them we felt we’d utterly wasted our time. Eventually we just had to go cold turkey and unsubscribe.

    The upshot of all this is that, even though I don’t play EVE, which looks to be about as boring a game as Elite and all those other utterly tedious 1980s black-screen space-trading games, I am not scared by it. Tobold is.

    That’s fine. No reason at all that he shouldn’t be. His objection to PvP seems soundly morally rooted and I believe it’s a sustainable, arguable position to take. But the arguments and the rhetorical devices he uses to express his position are horribly flawed. He won’t involve himself sufficiently in the PvP game in EVE or anywhere else to speak from experience, but he won’t stand outside and criticise from the position of an abstainer.

    His single trip into PvP space in EVE provides no meaningful statistical data. Nor does it give him meaningful personal experience from which to extrapolate universal truths about the game. And yet not only is that what he does, but that is why he took the death trip in the first place.

    It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s an attempt to present a priori logic as evidence-based scientific method. It’s self-serving sophistry built, in my reading of it, on fear.

    Sorry to take up so much space on your blog’s comments, SynCaine, when this really should have been either on my own (still nascent) blog or in one of Tobold’s elephantine comments threads. It’s on this blog, though, that I feel both the host and the guests actually hold a conversation rather than a hagiographic handfasting ceremony or a fist-fight.

    • PeterD says:

      Excellent post! If Tobold had only argued his point as rationally I doubt he’d have so thoroughly stirred up the hornet’s nest. Sadly, I think stirring the nest was his whole point, so, yeah.

      DAoC was my first major encounter with PvP. Terrifying would be a good description for my initial experiences. I can still remember the adrenaline pumping and my complete inability to do anything useful, ha ha. Eventually I became accustomed to it, and WoW’s no-impact no-loss PvP removed the rush entirely.

      I think that’s why people who like PvP games like them though – they invoke the flight or fight response in a way that PvE mobs do not.

    • valkrysa says:

      Bhagpuss, if Tobold wrote and reasoned as well as you do then not only would he not be have to result to trolling but he would likely have many more fans outside of World of WarCraft communities.

  4. Scott says:

    The thing a lot of people never bothered to understand or get from many of the sandbox style PvP games was ‘loss’ actually meant nothing. The claims of people being ganked and having all their posessions on them meant nothing, because all that gear was comoddity items easily replace in under an hour or whatever. That made the games more realistic, death really didn’t hurt that much, but it still just grated on certain people to have their worldly goods taken.

    EvE isn’t that much different from Ultima Online in that respect, in UO I’d keep chests full of multiple outfits, regent bags, etc all ready to go and re-equip after a death. Just as in EvE I keep my hangar stocked with 10 E-war Blackbird ships fully stocked with modules and ammo in case I need a quick re-fit after a death, their cost being minimal. I do the same for Battlecruisers, Battleships, etc.. always keeping a few spare ready to fly.

    Some people are just so bloody scared of leaving their comfort zone, it’s crazy, especially in a imaginary world, a game where there really are no limits but those you place on yourself.

  5. DrPest says:

    I recently wrote a blog post inspired by Tobolds ventures into EVE about his misconceptions on moral implications in MMOGs. He seems to have lost the ability to draw a line between game and real life by taking it personal when he gets ganked or when anyone does something evil to him in game. After all, EVE is a game where ganking and scamming are legal tactics, so you have to expect them as soon as you log in. Tobold knew what EVE is about and still he started bitching once it hit the fan.

    • Numtini says:

      What really irked me about his comments was that he simply ignored that there were reasons in Eve for the PVP other than just to kill someone. There’s this enormous economic simulation that can’t be separated from territorial control and therefore PVP that he just utterly ignored.

      To me, at least, fighting over something has this draw that just fighting for the heck of it doesn’t.

      I can’t tell if it was pure trolling or whether he just couldn’t change mental gears and see Eve as something other than WoW with x, y, and z. (That’s why you never free a mind from WOW once it’s reached a certain age… it has trouble letting go.)

  6. neuromanse says:

    I used to think that Eve’s own Ed Zitron was someone you could reason with. This week has proven me wrong.

    • neuromanse says:

      As Tobold seems to have proclaimed me as a troll and removed my writing permissions to his blog, I thought that I might post my last reply to him in here which he apparently wanted to delete as “too trollish” (hence, this is not word-for-word copy), as I think that I’ve managed to explain reasonably well in it how some people think that his knowledge of pvp games is certainly lacking even though he keeps on saying otherwise.

      I hope you don’t mind, Syncaine, this reply is on-topic under this blog post of yours as well, after all. :)

      – – –
      If you [Tobold] really honest-to-god think that “the persistent world and constant character advancement of MMORPGs are actually a disadvantage for PvP” and you don’t see saying this as trolling, then why don’t you visit some sandbox pvp game forum and write something like the following:

      “Why are you guys still playing this game, haven’t you noticed that Modern Warfare 2 is a much better PvP game as it doesn’t have a persistent world which is actually a disadvantage for PvP game? Why do you want to play an inferior PvP in a persistent world when you could be playing clearly a better PvP game that isn’t hindered by persistency and constant character advancement?”

      Sure, some people in those forums might call you a troll just like I mistakenly did earlier but you might actually learn that arena-style pvp games (like Modern Warfare 2) are in a totally different genre than massively multiplayer pvp games (like, say, Ultima Online, Planetside or Eve), just like Dragon Age is in a different genre than WoW is, and you can’t really say that one genre is better than the other (although you can say that you like one genre more than you like the other, but I hope you see the difference). Some mmo pvp gamers might even describe how persistency and character advancement can actually be an advantage for a certain type of pvp and how you couldn’t have the same pvp battles and wars in the game that didn’t have persistency and character advancement. Maybe after you took some time to learn about those differences you wouldn’t keep on repeating that persistent worlds and roleplaying elements are clear disadvantages in an mmo pvp game?
      – – –

  7. Ob says:

    Seriously Syncaine, you shouldn’t let what Tobold writes occupy so much of your time/thought/effort, :)

  8. Crevex says:

    Tobold is a carebear sophist and is losing all credibility rapidly with his recent “review” of EvE. I must admit i had tried EvE twice before and it didnt take, but when tobold opted to give it a go i decided id give it one more chance. Third times a charm for me. Once you can start to get past the overwhelming size and scope of EvE, and its rather steep learning curve, the game is really is both brilliant and enjoyable. Its tough at first because the game doesn’t come to you, rather you have to think/work to get ahead. Once you get a good player corp however it really takes off. *gasp* you have to socialize with other people!! Its definitely not for everyone, especially not the thin skinned, entitled solohero, carebear crowed. =D

  9. Crevex says:

    Also, i think this is a video of Tobold, and a possible explanation why he hates EvE so much.

  10. Starburn says:

    I don’t get it. I read Tobold’s ‘review’ and thought it was both
    * a fair summation of life in EVE
    * made me consider reactivating my account

    What is there not to like?

  11. Dblade says:

    If anything he missed even more of the dull stuff because he didn’t play enough. I played for roughly six months, and it was a joke of a game.

    Endless pissing matches in red versus blue, empty sector after empty sector in lowsec, the paranoia of corp leaders thinking all newbies are spies, the joke that is the recruitment channel and the even bigger joke that was the official forums, “piracy” meaning blowing up mining barges in empire and stealing salvage: both carebear activities as hell…

    The joke that is meaningful pvp-people refusing to fight unless its so overmatched that it sucks the fun out of it. When they don’t run.

    If anything his not playing probably gave for a better review. If he had actually tried to mine much, or grind to l4 missions, or ninja salvaged like i did, he’d be a lot worse.

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