Clubbing Kittens and Baby Seals and Puppies

Code have announced an event that runs from after Ascension is deployed until downtime on the 31st of December.  Details here:

So far there are seven prizes, all focused on Hi-Sec kills.  Four are for people using Alpha Clones.  I guess you could see that as a way of encouraging new players into the world of CODE.  That’s fair enough – no problem with that.  Not sure many new players will find themselves in the EVE Events and Gatherings forum, but you never know.  Mostly I expect it will be Alts for the already CODE inspired.  Four prizes are directed at POD destruction, and one on ship destroyed value.  Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing worth even noting aside being slightly more cautious.

However – the very first prize mentioned is for killing as many brand new registered pilots as possible over the next 7 weeks.  Often these will be the inexperienced, generally defenceless, and likely ignorant pilots CCP is trying to encourage to join EVE.

I have a very pragmatic approach to EVE.  I don’t mind that CODE exists.  I accept some of them have religious levels of self-justification.  I try to ignore them when they excitedly masturbate over killmails that look lame to me.  Overall I think they and their events add something to the game.  All fine.  I can’t however work out what spin you could use to say that the targeted and deliberate griefing of likely brand new players will somehow do more good than harm.

11 thoughts on “Clubbing Kittens and Baby Seals and Puppies

  1. It’s really not that hard to see the other side’s position. Eve is a PvP sandbox game that features losing ships at the center of almost all game play. Exploding ships are what give most activities value and meaning by creating the demand for resources, modules and building/collecting other assets that are the focus of many player’s game play. Stimulating players interaction, and asset destruction is a good thing, but more importantly is to rid new players of the mindset that losing a ship is something that should be avoided at all costs. The game’s economy literally depends on that.

    The worst thing that can happen in a game like Eve is that the majority of players decide that they will never risk anything and the game then grinds to a halt. Normalizing ship loss and competitive/criminal game play as a fundamental and intended part of Eve is a good thing, as is underscoring the fact that this is an MMO and other players can and will influence your gaming experience without your consent.

    Eve as a solo mining experience where you sit in a Venture and nothing happens for weeks on end is an objectively terrible gaming experience in 2016 unlikely to retain many truly new players. Thankfully, the new NPE is reportedly sending players off to Faction Warfare where they can see players interacting with each other and real activity in the universe around them. So any effort to generate content and draw new players into greater universe in highsec is a ‘good thing’ and the raison d’etre for the New Order of Highsec which has pledged to bring player-driven content to the most content-starved sector of space.

    Don’t fret for the new players. They have plenty of time to learn the basics in the rookie system, and will benefit from the most developed training experience ever in Eve, and they also enjoy protection for the Sister’s of Eve arc. You can’t bubble-wrap them forever though, and it is better that they learn early that nowhere, including highsec, is safe either to teach them lessons on how to avoid criminals early when they don’t own too much, or to show them that they really don’t want to play a full-time PvP sandbox game before they invest too much in a game that makes them unhappy.

      • That’s what CCP says:

        I don’t get this mindset that “new players” are too fragile to play the game. You don’t teach a new player a competitive sport by making them sit on the sidelines or they will never learn. No, you get them to play with you, gently at first easing them into the game slowly ramping up the level of competition until they are equal footing with you.

        So you should shoot new players, and more importantly get them to shoot other players like this contest is also trying to do. When they explode you should give them advice and/or replacement ships like many players (including the New Order) generally do when they happen across a true newbie, but you should definitely not treat them as porcelain figurines to delicate to play the game.

    • More like we like PVP but dont want to risk it in Nullsec/WH’s so we will sit in high-sec and kill people who don’t fight back.

    • Thanks for your thoughts. I might throw up a handful posts about some of the common topics you raised.

      I do wonder though why I shouldn’t fret for the new players?

      It takes time to adjust to the unique landscape of EVE and find your feet when you first start playing. It doesn’t work the same as almost any other game out there. During this process you will run into older players with good and bad outcomes. I have no issue with that. Hopefully in the end you find something that grabs your attention and keeps you in the game.

      What the subsection of this event does is deliberately targets brand new players. It is not just normal interactions – it specifically hunts them down to grief them. It is something an older player won’t find any challenge in, and is done with little consequence, cost or risk to themselves. I guess a small number of these brand new players might react “well” to this – but I expect many more would find the encounter unsatisfying, leaving them feeling powerless and frustrated.

      To me there is a big difference between CODE being CODE, and CODE deliberately clubbing as many brand new players as possible. Isn’t that counterintuitive to what CCP is trying to do? Isn’t that trying to sabotage CCP?

      • I don’t think so. CCP is trying to develop essentially a ‘battle royale’ universe where everyone is against everyone all the time and everywhere. That concept necessitates that there are no safe spaces or ways to opt-out of that competition or you no longer have a free-for-all universe, but just another consensual PvP space game.

        I guess part of our differences in view is the question what is a ‘new player’? I think everyone, CODE, included, is against rookie griefing and agrees with CCP’s tough stance on the issue. New players need a place to learn the interface and game concepts and get some practice playing and that is what the rookie system is for. If you consider a player who has completed the tutorials and learned the basics no longer new even if they are still green and at a disadvantage, then CCP’s and my view make sense. However, if you think that a player is “new” until they are on equal footing, then I can see why you would not agree with shooting newer players.

        That said CCP might still step in here. You are indeed not allowed to systematically target new players for no other reason than just to grief them. While they are fair game just like the rest of us, you could still get in trouble if that is all you shoot with no gain for yourself. I would expect this being an emergent player-driven initiative that has a specific goal and purpose that it will be tolerated by CCP, but their enforcement of their purposely vague rules is both opaque and inconsistent so who is to say?

        But in general, as I linked above, “new” players that get exploded are more likely to subscribe to the game. Whether they like the experience I cannot say, but the alternative of a first few weeks in the game where nothing happens but watching your mining lasers work sounds also like it would be pretty unsatisfying for many people. It’s perfectly reasonable to me that being exploded and shown some of the promise of Eve has a higher chance of being more engaging than being left to languish on your own in a highsec ore belt. There is only a short window to get players engaged with the game and while repetitive missions and the prospect of gathering and building things might captivate some people, the data suggest it bores many more out of the game.

      • See the response is always the same. This is a PVP game, mining, PVE is boring and you will be forced to play differently.

        The whole thing about EVE for me is that you are able to find your own way and intetests.

        So if I was mining and enjoying it why should I have a permit (dumbest concept that they keep pushing). So yeah I think there should be a limit on who you can kill. Maybe above a certain amount of skill points to be fair game. Anything below there is a mechanic that prevents an attack. Maybe less than 3 mil skill points. Above that you are fair game and you can also participate in killing. (Example only I dont have a sound idea just throwing the concept out there).

        I also think there should be a visible aspect to the game that immediately shows if a player is an Alpha or Omega clone.

        Now back to me mining. If I see the almighty brave Code members jump in and attack a miner and I think hey that looks fun can I join. If I have the required level to allow me then I can reach out and join. How will I know to do this because without a doubt the Code members are fond of belittling the killed member in local and gloat over the Killmail so Im sure they also suggest another play style without actually picking on the new guy.

        Grow balls, continue to attack older players (or move to nullsec/WH) leaving the new players to find their way in their own time.

      • I find your view insular Black Pedro – and simply disagree that people must play EVE in a certain combative way. There are people who have mined happily for years. Just because you can’t see fun in that, doesn’t mean others can’t. CCP seem to verbally support me in that – with their claims and assurances that they focus on accommodating all different sorts of play styles. Having said that – I do concede that in practise many of their decisions in recent years tend towards supporting your idea of a battle royale universe instead of a true sandbox. We can agree to disagree on how good or bad that is.

        Regards the protection of new characters. There is no simple line in the sand for when a new player will cope well with being griefed. Some might love the experience in their first 10 minutes of playing, others might never grow accustomed to it. There is also the fact it is not always practical to view the age of a character before violently interacting with them, and no way to know if the character is in fact a brand-new player, or the new alt of an EVE veteran. It is also appropriate to give a deadly response to new characters who undock from Jita with PLEX in their rookie ships, or when they venture outside of Hi-Sec.

        I would hope that in Hi-Sec, people give an extra allowance for new characters and leave them unmolested if aware of their age for the first week or two of their life. In the subsequent month or so it would be preferable that instead of trolling a new character you have stomped on, that you provide educational feedback. It is up to them if they take it or not. I think it is important to give them a little breathing space.

        The subsection of the CODE event I disagree with requires participants to hunt Hi-Sec for characters who won’t be more than 6 weeks old by the end of the event to suicide gank them. The younger the character is in that 6-week time frame, the less I agree with the idea.

      • I find your view much more insular. Not everyone plays the game as you. We all self-select our social groups and impression of the game based on what we like to do in the game, so we have to be quite careful in extrapolating what other players like to do. If we mine with our friends, we think everyone likes mining. If we roam around low-sec looking for random fights, we think everyone in Eve think small-gang PvP is the pinnacle of the game. That is wrong. Eve is (or is at least trying to be) a virtual world where everyone can influence everyone else to create emergence and player-driven stories and you can (try) to do anything you want.

        To avoid these anecdotes entirely, CCP looked at the data for all players and is clearly shows a strong correlation between new players exploding and staying with the game. It also shows that players who mine or mission by themselves ‘leveling their Raven’ as in a traditional MMO will quit the game on average much sooner than players who get engaged with the sandbox. That doesn’t say playing the game a certain way is “better”, maybe just that this game play is more developed and thus more engaging and likely to draw players in. It is informative though of the game’s strength and clearly should be a focus for CCP especially for trying to draw new players into the game.

        New players progress at different rates yes, but if you let players self-define themselves a “new player” and to benefit from safety, you are effectively give them a ‘opt-out’ to PvP. All that would happen is every veteran player looking to grind or build things will declare themselves as “new” and thus off-limits to attack. CCP cannot do this of course as we are all suppose to be each others’ content.

        Maybe the current rules protecting new players aren’t sufficient and there needs to be a bigger/longer safe space for new players to learn the game. I won’t claim to know. If CCP thinks new players need more time, and is willing to build a larger safe space for them that cannot be exploited by veterans to acquire resources or do industry or trade, I have no problem with that. But you have to draw a line somewhere, and right now that is when the new player leaves the rookie system/finished the Sisters of Eve arc as that is when your actions start influencing the greater universe of New Eden and you are competing with the rest of us.

  2. It’s perfectly reasonable to me that being exploded and shown some of the promise of Eve has a higher chance of being more engaging than being left to languish on your own in a highsec ore belt.

    There is this. But you really think an organisation like CODE will bother with decent feedback? I would expect more along the lines of foisting their protection racket. We are talking about the same organisation that intentionally trolled a widower; that they extent a CODE member released a public apology on Eve-O forums. And some of their own members quit in disgust?! That CODE right?

    I am happy if players know from day one it is a PvP game. Pleased to see the direction into FW. Personally the smart option would be to have locked out all Industry options from the NPE. But is also my opinion that the game would be better served without ridicule or condescension. If you can demonstrate to a new player what errors they made and what they can improve; that is a player that stays.

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