Blog Banter #35: “Perceptions”

Welcome the thirty-fifth EVE Blog Banter.

Now approaching its tenth year, the EVE Online player community has matured into an intricate and multi-faceted society viewed with envy by other game developers, but is frequently regarded with suspicion by the wider gaming community. 

Is this perception deserved? Should “The Nation of EVE” be concerned by its public identity and if so how might that be improved? What influence will the integration of the DUST 514 community have on this culture in the future?

[Unrelated and random bonus question sponsored by EVE News 24: What single button would you recommend be included on an EVE-specific keyboard?]

Better Late with this post than Never!

Now there is a topic that everyone surely have an opinion on and if you play EVE Online opinions on this can run layers deep and with some bitterness for some. This will be my very first participation in a EVE Blog Banter and more so to because the topic is one with a lot of bite and a lot of conflict from my point of view. On a lot of previous Blog Banter’s I just haven’t had much of an opinion either way, some topics I just have no real experience or position either way in my young EVE career, other topics just never generated the intensity of emotions to dive into with opinions. But when I first saw this topic well over a week ago, there was already a conflict of opinions from within about it. And so I decided to write that first day but was conflicted in thought to write about it. I just put it off and played some EVE instead…………….. all the while subconsciously thinking about it all that time since. After numerous rewrites and trashing of posts this will have to just do, without any more delay as I’m already behind on things.

EVE is a “Missunderstood” game!

I’m going to take a completely different angle on this in that EVE Online is a very “Misunderstood” MMO game by and large by the outside community and new players. That perception is also reinforced by the ever constant periodic shock value that  eventually make it into the greater MMO media and outside MMO media. The Outside Media don’t understand or get EVE and thus the majority of time improperly explain EVE and EVE events for those who have never heard of EVE or barely a correct concept of it. From my view-point or the angle that I take looking at EVE I have to go back to the first time I head about EVE Online.

Back in early 2003 very new to online MMO games I had read and saw a few online ads for EVE. Right at that time I was just starting to play another online virtual game (SecondLife) I had heard about EVE as well which was why I was just starting to play online games. So in considering both games I choose the other game (SL). At that time nothing about online spaceships in EVE Online made sense to me as I read it at that time. MMO games at that times was totally new as well to me, so I didn’t look any further, research or play EVE. That choice lingered for years, year after year playing various MMO’s from SL though mostly WoW all the way till 2010!

Throughout the years as I played MMO’s I would hear various things about EVE Online briefly mentioned on other MMO blogs, in online news reporting or on some MMO news site. Nothing I really every read or heard helped me understand EVE Online. So I remained ever in a confused state about EVE Online. As I blogged about other MMO’s I played I stepped out the Community I was apart of and read other MMO blogs as well for interest,  some only having some passing mention of EVE Online. Again no understanding of EVE Online but just the planting of a little seed of the name EVE. Over time I would see more online Ads on various MMO sites about EVE depicting a Spaceship Universe game but that’s all. I just heard it was a hardcore game.

Hardcore game about what? No clue!

I remember reading about a scandal a few years ago about a Dev and some BPO’s because it was in the MMO news big time. That was the first really big scandal news piece I remember reading about EVE, though seemingly interesting. I still had no real understanding of the game. I remember a bit later reading a new article on some MMO site about formation of the CSM. At the time that didn’t make much sense to me either ,as it talked about elected representatives and all sounded like elected game politicians. Yeah that didn’t make sense either. But that did sound different to any the MMO’s I was playing at the time. EVE is a curious game that eventually draw you in slowly just out of curiosity.

I had remember seeing on a blog somewhere with a video posting about a guy mining getting pissed in EVE, I thought it was a funny YouTube video and one the very first video and impressions I ever had relating to EVE as a whole.

I though after watching that video man that’s funny…….but that game must full of pricks!

Yet no real understanding of EVE Online. Over 7 years of hearing about the game and still no real clue what it was about. And so I just threw EVE to the back of my mind and forget about it……. again! I just didn’t have an accurate picture of EVE every time it came up, read or heard about it. Am I the only one as a EVE outsider that this happened to? How many people outside of EVE Online have heard about EVE and have no clue what the game is about and their opinion and perception of EVE is based solely on what they read or hear truth or otherwise. I once tried to explain EVE to a co-worker, he just never got the concept but he did hear about it.

For over 7 year period of time while playing other MMO’s EVE Online remained an almost total mystery to me. It was some mysterious hardcore space universe game. Every time EVE made news and I read about it, it was 100% about a scandal, heist, theft of some kind reported in the online MMO Media but no clue about what the game was really about or how it worked. Yet it was intriguing to hear about. Good news never leave EVE, only Bad news! I would hear it’s a PvP game! I head EVE was hardcore! I heard they had spaceships, really? But that’s all I ever heard. I must have been a hermit for all I know. That was all and as little as I knew about the game.

Tobolds MMO blog was a blog I frequently read and he often mentioned or comment about EVE when it made the MMO media news in some shocking way. The news on EVE was never positive. Is it ever? It was some person stunning record theft, spy infiltration, or something similar.  EVE is always intriguing to hear about, because the stuff that happened in EVE didn’t seem to happen in other MMO’s let alone the ones I played. Yet no real clue about EVE Online. But the intrigue of the game does make one take notice out of curiosity of the game as something totally different from the usual MMO.

The only thing I could think of when I though of EVE Online in mention was this:

Yeah EVE,….. yeah that’s some spaceship game I saw an Ad for somewhere on the internet with a cool looking Trailer, funny looking spaceships though. It’s a hardcore PVP game I hear, got politicians or something like in it too. And somehow that game always make the news every few months with someone robbing someone or some Corporation or something like that. 

That was my TOTAL perception of EVE on the outside of EVE Online/Community. How many people have a complete misunderstanding of EVE and have remained that way for years for whatever reason. The BAD in EVE, can and do draw you in though!

My only read source of EVE related news as a non EVE player at the time was reading Tobold’s MMO Blog. One blog post a few years ago he was mentioning about him doing a EVE experiment or Trial. And then he made a series of about a dozen post of various perspective about EVE over the course of the next 3 weeks which I all read. That gave me some more perspective on EVE with a lot of curiosity. I learned more about EVE over the course of 3 weeks from a really non EVE player, playing EVE than I learned anywhere else. Allot of people just don’t understand EVE Online because it’s so different from any the usual MMO’s that’s more easily understood. What they usually read truth or otherwise may just be their whole perception of EVE.

After reading Tobold’s various blog post about EVE and his perception of EVE that’s when I finally decided enough was enough hearing about EVE decided to try the game out myself wanting something different in a MMO than the usual. Confused MMO players about EVE are out there playing other games. They have an absolutely confusing view of EVE, having never tried the game except what they read or hear. The existing EVE community do a commendable job about reporting on various aspects of life in EVE, but could they do a better job? Probably. CCP has put allot more effort in the time I’ve played EVE to make it more easily understood what EVE Online Universe is about, especially with the EVE Online website revamp.

I’m now 2 years into EVE. I believe a great majority of people on the outside perception of EVE is likely what they already think it is. Their perception is what they hear about EVE, its cold its hard, its unforgiving, its full of jerks, assholes and elitist pricks. EVE is not full of all of those but it does have many of them. I’m sure they are many potential players out there just as confused about EVE as I once used to be until I finally got a completely accurate picture of EVE by trying it.

EVE is like the Wild Wild West in Deep Space! Instead of horses, they have Spaceships with guns.

When I first started EVE Online I couldn’t help nor stop thinking it was like the Wild West in space. Unlike the vast majority of current MMO’s EVE Online is unique among them all. To me EVE is the real MMORPG! EVE is full of characters! Good, EVIL, Villains, Shady Characters. EVE Online is a harsh cold universe where you can choose to be whatever role you want to be within the parameters and mechanics of the universe as it allow it. You can choose and forge your character as a Space Pirate, Mercenary, Militant, Explorer, Miner, Con Artis, Scammer, Corporate Spy, Griefer, Industrialist, Scientist, Trader, Corporate Politician, or you to can choose to be King of Space if you choose to work at it. For me I just exist as a Space Trading Industrialist, that’s how I exist within EVE Universe. EVE allows you to choose your own destiny within its Universe. How cool is that! The freedom that EVE Online allows it capsuleers is a hard concept to grasp for many people who don’t play EVE, have never played EVE, only ever heard of EVE and probably yet to ever have head of EVE.

The things that EVE allow players to do, the freedom that the games allow is unheard of in other MMO’s thus at times shocking stories straight out of EVE. It certainly was unheard of when I played those other MMO’s. It’s shocking to other players that play other games other than EVE. EVE need both the BAD as well the Good to exist and within some balance. Good news never make headlines! Only BAD News with shocking headlines make the headlines and thus the stories you always hear about EVE. Likely True! EVE is envied by many who play other MMO’s but just can’t stand to live and exist in such a cold harsh unforgiving Universe. A Universe that also refuse to hold your hand and guide them through it with training wheels like other MMO’s. I wouldn’t change it, but that don’t mean parts of EVE can’t be improved, much can be improved in EVE.

Is the perception of EVE deserved. Yes, EVE has a hard reputation yet often misunderstood game and a misunderstood universe. So different and unique a game from all the other MMO’s EVE remain a confusing game to many who never really take the time to try to learn and find their way in the EVE Online. EVE does have its faults, but that’s a different story as well for another day.

DUST Storm Rising

I’m an optimist. Though I don’t know an overwhelming amount about what CCP’s eventual grand vision is for DUST 514 in a few years down the road, I do believe it will have an impact on EVE and much more so than capsuleers think. EVE players don’t really seem to want to embrace DUST for what it is and what it eventually will be. EVE players more seem to want EVE for themselves, all to themselves. The overwhelming feeling I get is many capsuleers want EVE to secretly fail. EVE players don’t seem to like change and almost seem to resent it. Growth and change are not easy to adapt to.

The way I see it is EVE is the only thing CCP has at the moment to bring in the money to keep CCP and its employees afloat as well grow the company. CCP wants to grow! A failure for DUST will have massive consequences for CCP as well its employees and potential job losses  and that will have huge impact on EVE which can be worrying. It’s a tough place to be for CCP, it’s a huge gamble with DUST. But I admire CCP for being bold and innovative with their concept vision of the future vs simply copying other MMO’s currently and do the same old thing. If DUST succeed as well brings in more players to the base and CCP makes more money its a win for EVE with new blood and as a whole in EVE. CCP also now have more money to reinvest into EVE as well as grow as a company and pay their investors.

Will there be two different cultures in EVE Universe with DUST? Probably! But if enough EVE players permeate the ranks of the Dustbunnies maybe some of EVE will rub off on the Dustbunnies as well. However I believe DUST will have far more potential Impact on the game as a whole than most people realize and I’m sticking to that opinion.

Button Key

As for what one button if I could wish CCP would make for a EVE specific keyboard: Well… that would be a button to electronic scramble all of Jita local when entering or whenever in Jita system. As well any of the 4 major commerce Trade Hubs also.

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