I went to Fanfest in April. I met people. It was cool. I went back home. Summer happened. We went outside more. Less playtime for most of us. Less traffic through our home systems. Things slowed down.
Searching for action, I took people out Roaming. It killed some time. We gained training value moving fleets hither and yon, jumping through gates, looking for trouble.
Roaming PvP has always has bothered me for some reason. Growing up, I was never one to go out with my friends looking to see what trouble we could get into. I’ve always looked to go someplace, party like a rockstar, have a blast and make it back in one piece. So deep down, I guess I question the logic in going on PvP roams in the first place. Too random. So in the end, the summertime roams left me with a question that has been heavy on my mind for these past six months.
And that is?
What are we fighting for?
I’ve spent more than the past few months mulling this over, working on this post, trying to find a honest answer that question, at least from my point of view.
Honor? There are no universal codes of honor that everyone follows in life let alone in New Eden. Honor is a personal thing and while I consider myself an honorable person, and I might show courtesy to my opponents, I certainly don’t fight for honor. I definitely don’t expect the random players that my corpmates help out of their ships to agree with my point of view.
Achievement? After a while, a killmail is just a killmail. I’m not in any danger of being the top pilot on any killboard. If Art of War Alliance or OUCH ever reach the top 100 on Battleclinic, I will be proud, but I’m not driven by killboard statistics.
Wealth? I’ve accumulated enough personal wealth in game to fly what I want, when I want, where I want. I’m not rich, there are people with trillions in ISK and I am definitely not one of them. But I’ve more ships in my hangers than I have time to fly. So much stuff that I can’t find things. I threaten to fire sale every week. I’m certainly not fighting for money.
Resources? I’ve a home in NPC null sec where I can do all of those things that people do living in Sovereignty null sec or wormhole space. I’ve lived in both and admittedly, living in NPC null sec it’s not as lucrative as either. I’m not fighting for resources.
Entertainment? I’ll admit, I get a huge rush when the right sized gang comes into our training system and our tactical plan is sound enough to send them running away in their pods. I love when well trained young players in T1 frigates beat the tar out of veterans in shinier ships. Still, I’m just as content sitting in voice comms for hours, talking with my corpmates while we are all just docked up in station.
I’m not an action junky. If I was, I’d play a much faster paced game. I play Eve for mental exercise. I play for the mental stimulation that you get from developing strategy, tactics and teamwork as part of a complex universe. I play Eve because this is a challenge. In the little corner of the universe where I live, doing all of these things, not fighting can be just as good as fighting.
In Curse, I fight to train others how to live and thrive in null sec space. My view of OUCH instructors is that of martial artists, or professional soldiers, continuously training, building expertise in military skills, passing along what they know to others.
But experienced martial artists do not go out seeking fights, and professional soldiers fight for a purpose, not for pleasure.
And there’s the root of my problem. Five years in and I still don’t have a full grasp of what we’re all fighting for, I just know we’re all not fighting for the same reasons. As an independent small gang pvper, I’m sad to say I don’t play Eve right because I simply can’t fight just for entertainment. I need a purpose, a goal, an objective.
I’ve famously said that Eve Online is a role-playing game, and everyone is role-playing the same asshole. The principle of Not Blue Shoot It that makes this true enough: if real life was like Eve, we’d walk out the front door only to be punched right in the face by our next door neighbor, He’d kick our ass, toss us back inside the house and as he ran off, he’d give us a shout:
However you cache it, if your rules of engagement are “attack anything that moves”, you’re a pirate.
My corp interdicts traffic though our training system, we destroy people’s ships loot them. Very pirate-like, in the truest sense. But since we live in NPC null, we don’t take security hits and we get to use mobile warp disruptors.
Well, the typical New Eden roaming gang doesn’t appeal to me. Randomly flying around, looking and hoping to run into another right sized group of pilots and fight them for entertainment? That’s just not me.
Everyone likes explosions.
I like my explosions to have some purpose I guess. I work to afford my losses, and work is time, and I just don’t feel like giving that time away to entertain just anyone.
Taking that random roam and catching some carebear ratting in some backwater system doesn’t thrill me. Oh, I like a good hunt just as well as the next guy, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes, the realization that this poor slob, just playing his game in his sandbox, didn’t ask me to come kick his castle down tonight.
It’s kind of like finding a fat kid sitting on his porch eating a ham sandwich. In Eve, you kick the crap out of him, take his sandwich and tell him he’s got no right to eat on his porch. Noob.
But this is Eve.
I know, I know. But it still seems wrong.
See, deep down inside, I’m a role player. I’m playing Bren Genzan of Open University of Celestial Hardship. I’ll admit that I am playing a stylized and perhaps Over-Exaggerated-Me: what would I be like if I was an immortal space pilot in a future vast universe? I’ve developed in my role over the last five years, from pilot and wingman, to fleet commander and pirate, to leader and teacher, to lobbyist and diplomat.
To be honest, I’m so much cooler online.
Eve is real.
Why fight then? I suppose that I fight to defend my home in Curse, to support my corporation and allies. I train students and instructors to that end. The people that come to my house and try to harm me and mine, I deal with harshly. I am ruthless in the protection of my friends and companions. I do not fight fair: I use every advantage that I can to defeat my opponents and minimize losses.
Kill more, die less.
I am surrounded by good people. Together, we live in null sec and help pilots, young and old, to develop the confidence to live in New Eden doing the things they want to do, whether that’s solo or in group, PvE or PvP, hardcore or casual.
In reality, our content is people and relationships, not fights and explosions. That’s good enough for me anyway. Because in the end, you fight for what you believe in. Whether that’s the militia, sovereignty, your corpmates and friends, or just an adrenalin rush is up to you. Just seems to me that if Eve really was real, we’d draw lines in the sand, divvy up territory and learn to live in peace with our neighbors.
Big Blue Donut anyone?
Nah, there’ll always be some clown named Vladmir or something, trying to steal a little beach front property.