Make or Break

(I apologise in advance for my amateur and unsubstantiated psychology.)

Simplistically, I feel people in EVE tend to be either builders or breakers. I know there are variations, but most fall into having a long term preference towards either accumulation or destruction.

When you consider the activities and population spread of players, there are likely to be more builders (by a fair margin) in EVE than breakers.

Obviously the builders are more likely to be labelled Carebears or prey, while the breakers are more likely to be labelled PVP’ers or hunters.

These two groups tend to complain about each other.

Generally it takes longer to build something in EVE than it takes to break it. What that means is that when a builder suffers loss, it can seem to them that the effort of the breaker was disproportionately small in comparison to their own.

Meanwhile in many ways the game is easier for a smart builder than it is for a smart breaker. This leaves some breakers frustrated that their targets can avoid them and remain out of reach.

I think EVE works best when there is a balance between these two groups. Breakers challenge builders, making success more rewarding. Remove breakers, and you end up with a stale game. Builders give breakers something to, well, break. Remove builders –by allowing their sandcastles to be kicked over too easily and too frequently and you end up with a more hostile and dynamic game – but with I strongly suspect less than half the players.

I often smile to myself when I see people from each group wanting to eradicate the other, without any apparent comprehension of the synergy between themselves, and how it helps make EVE what it is.

6 thoughts on “Make or Break

  1. I’m a builder – I produce a lot of stuff on 4 characters and I’m happy when things explode and people lose stuff and buy what I produce.
    I’m a breaker – I PVP on 2 characters, I break my ships and others ships (trying to break more that I lose of course) and I’m happy that people build stuff so I can afford to lose my ships.
    It all creates a very healthy economy and a lot of fun, I see no issues and no hate between the groups.

    • I’m surprised you haven’t seen the Carebear v PVP vitriolic I’ve read. You mustn’t read the same EVE related forums I do. Smart move on your behalf.

      I’m aware there are plenty of people who both build and break in EVE. I wonder though – would you remain playing EVE as a builder if breaking was removed?

      • Well I’ve seen a lot of forum hate but that is mostly between “builders/miners who wish nothing could be broken” and rest of the world.
        If breaking was removed, every item in game would be quickly affordable by everyone and the only broken thing would be economy.
        I would probably get bored quickly and leave – there would be no profit left in building anything.

        Nice blog BTW.

      • I was thinking of all the animosity I’ve witnessed and read over the years between Carebears and PVPers. There is not always a lot of respect shown between the groupings.

        Thanks for the kind words. The blog adds to the enjoyment and depth I get out of playing EVE.

  2. You hit it on the head… The Carebear vs the Grieferbear is what I call it. And, Marcus, you said you see no hate between groups, and that you’ve seen, …lot of forum hate but that is mostly between “builders/miners who wish nothing could be broken” and rest of the world. I believe the ‘rest of the world’ in this case is best described as PvPers.

    I agree w/ Hermit… but I feel you are, shall we say, reading what you want to? ish? I’m not being contentious but there is as much hate to be found from grieferbears (hard core PvP centric players) towards carebears as from those (hard core PvE players) who say they want a risk free game.

    The difference as I see it is the carebears tend towards vitriolic ranting and raging against non-consensual PvP, most often referred to as ‘tears’ and the griefers tend towards sarcastic belittling and laughing at the afore mentioned ‘tears’… while at the same time calling for the nerfing, and or outright removal, of things like WCS (Warp Core Stabilizers) and mechanics that provide ‘protection’ from non-consensual PvP. But the hate is still the same…disrespect for another person’s feelings.

    And for me… that’s what it boils down to. The Griefers find it hilarious that someone gets ‘upset’ about losing ‘pictures’ of not-real-things in a “game”… and yet, they spend a huge amount of their playtime trying very hard to make people lose their stuff, in order to get them upset… fully intentionally. It even has a name, “Harvesting Tears”.

    And yes Hermit, I am in full agreement that if they both really understood and accepted that each as absolutely necessary to the balance in the game as night is to day, then a lot of the what I call sophomoric and juvenile attitudes and such might all go away…

    But, people aren’t like that, and CCP, and everyone else knows it… And it is this eternal struggle… the bully and the peacenic, the griefer and the bear, the left and the right, the Yin and Yang… the eternal dichotomy of life, that keeps em both building and flying and fighting and crying and laughing. In the end, they need each other… and they each ‘care’ deeply, IE really enjoy, what they are doing here, whether creating or destroying (or in Marcus’s, and I feel many others case, both) and each is absolutely necessary to the other.

    But to ask them to understand this truth and just ‘get along’? That’s like asking my 2 11yo kids, who love each other dearly, to stop fighting… Oh please! LOL

  3. I don’t’ think this your observation is amateurish at all. It’s something many people have noticed and not just EVE Online players. Those scientists in the real world that deal with cultures and the psychology of communities have long noticed an 80/20 (approximately) split in peoples behaviour. There are 80% of the people that want to cooperate. They are your builders. But there is about 20% who don’t want to cooperate. Those are your destroyers. I’ve seen them referred to as takers rather than destroyers though. There was a great study published on the Hadza people of Africa not too many years ago. One quote in particular has always stuck with me. “We found that what modern people are doing with online social networks is what we’ve always done—not just before Facebook, but before agriculture.” (“Social networks and cooperation in hunter-gatherers” by Coren L. Apicella, Frank W. Marlowe, James H. Fowler & Nicholas A. Christakis, Nature, January 26, 2012) I believe EVE Online is simply a reflection of our own human natures. It actually speaks well of the game that such a fundamental behavior is so accurately reflected. It means the game is more real than most believe.

    And since I can’t help but talk about me, I have no problem with the destroyers/takers in our society. Takers are necessary. In RL these are the people who rise up after catastrophe to save those who have survive. I’m not joking. That’s what the science tells us. It’s their independent streak and the ability to make hard decisions that evidently enable them. The only thing I object to in our EVE Online culture are those who prey on the defenseless, and by that I mean new players. Losing even one two week old character who quits because of a gank is too much to lose IMO. So I advocate for a risk free environment for the very new. Send the gankers my way. I know how to deal with them.

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