Friday, 7 September 2012

Day 82 : Lamentation

I’m feeling better, my mind is clearer, time to stop spending the weeknights as downtime and draw all the half arsed musings I’ve been doing into some form of plan.

I can make a lot of money making plans since I generally mine while I am doing it. One of these days I really am going to have to learn Mining V and do it well. The danger is that I have an overwhelming temptation to run off and mine in low sec. The first plan I make involves mining lowsec 0.2 or less for the different ores you get there. I do in fact rush off in a scout fit Atron to survey the asteroid belts of a 0.2 system, wasting loads of time. Wasting? Yes because on my return I look up these ores and their return when sold as refined minerals is less than that of Scordite. That can’t be right, I must have made a mistake somewhere. I need to get back to my spreadsheet. Pyerite has soared back to prices equaling those before the mining barge patch but it can’t be that good can it? Maybe supply has fallen. Super tanked mining barges and huge ore bays are so last month you know. No one mines anymore...

The remainder of mining/planning/investigation time fails abysmally because of the following.

a) I spend ages faffing with Google+ who won’t let me be called “Space Noob”. If I ever have a kid that’s what they get called just to spite Google. So now it is even easier than before to find out who I am in game!

b) I spend ages deliberating over whether or not to buy a Procurer which are finally back to reasonable prices, under 7 million at Jita for instance. One day I’ll take this hunk of potential victim down to low sec and see what happens. As I said above I’m unimpressed by lowsec ore value but I’m a bit of a loss based adrenaline junky and attempting to mine 0.2 sounds like fun. It’s like I’m masochistically milking my own tears.

In EVE “tears” is a term used to describe a players rage when some form of loss is inflicted on them, whether ship loss from combat or money loss from a scam. From reading around, “tears” seems to have become a generic term describing moaning about the status quo, moaning about money, moaning about CCP, moaning about game balance, moaning about people moaning. Moaning. You know. Like “politics” used to mean something other than thinly disguised moaning. Actually I don’t think that ever did mean anything else.

Originally I was put off by the thought of farming tears. I thought of it as “space schadenfreude” and I just didn’t understand. How could people take pleasure in other peoples misfortune? It didn’t take long to shed this attitude for a couple of reasons, and I think it was a Warcraft based attitude to start with.

Firstly EVE is a game built on loss, at it’s core a PVP game where defeat comes with more penalties than in other types of MMO. Without the potential for loss, there would be a lot less excitement in doing anything. It can be played in ways that don’t involve PVP but those ways will have to survive in the same game world as others playing a PVP game. While EVE caters to each playstyle in some way it isn’t the same as Warcraft where you only lose a small amount of time to game loss, and PVP loss in particular is very easily avoided for PVE players. Warcraft has different targets for it’s players, it is a different game. A good and perfectly valid game, just different in its intended player goals. Sure, there are PVP servers for Warcraft, but even there the losses aren’t so wounding as they are here in New Eden and most players seem to still follow the same built in storyline targets as on the PVE servers (in my admittedly limited experience). I brought some of my PVE Warcraft game style opinions along with me and had to start discarding them as soon as I realised it was a totally different game. I could set my own targets, as could others.

Secondly, childishly, there are just some people that make me want to be a bit bad. Before I get into this let me say that I am aware that I may be being unfair to new(ish) players, I am aware that this isn’t my usual behaviour, I am aware that this may be the pot calling the kettle black, I am aware that I’ve been in a bad mood for about a week. I’m a Space Noob, not a Space Saint (although that name is getting saved up for something), and this is a diary.  A newbie (lowercase ‘n’) to me is someone who has been enjoying the game for up to a couple of months. A noob is someone doing something daft when they should know better. A Noob (uppercase ‘n’, prefix: Space) is an idiot forever! I’ll try not to talk about the guy who got recorded crying over a lost ship after being shot in the back by a spy. Recording and publicising it was way over the top but crying about it in the first place was daft too. Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose. I get a couple of other examples of annoying behaviour during today.

1. I am on the forums and read an old  thread (I’ve lost the link and I’m not going back to find it because it was that annoying) where some poster complains that a friend can just buy PLEX and then buy whatever he wants. I get why he is annoyed, welcome to capitalism, in this case capitalism YOU chose to play in. I am not sure why he feels the need to tell everyone else. You can still make cash without PLEX and if you make enough through skill then you don’t even have to pay for the game! Not content with a moan though he then goes on to say it causes inflation by adding cash to the game. Now I’m not very good at the economic side of things, I am new to the game and I got the wrong end of the stick with PLEX at the start but I don’t think it adds cash to the game. The other side of the transaction is another players in game cash isn’t it? The other posters in the thread say the same (those that I read before shutting the page in disgust). So basically this guy annoyed me by publicly moaning too much. See what I mean about pot calling the kettle black? I have a blog where I am moaning about people who moan too much? The point is that no one likes a pointless moan, or a moan that attempts to blame someone/something else for their troubles. If you do that then you expect to get people milking your worthy tears.

2.  I am out mining before logging off for the night when a Retriever lands in the same belt. He sails in towards the rocks and deploys a set of five tier II drones. Interesting, I think, he must be quite accomplished. A large mining barge and tier 2 drones. He then begins to mine a small Veldspar rock. The one next to the 99K worth of Dense Veldspar one. I look at all the Condensed Scordite, why not mine that if he was just after cash and not fast Tritanium? There is no Massive Scordite by the way, I have it all, mwah ha ha ha. I check his Employment history. He is older than me, a month or so. I’m fairly tired by this point so I put a message in Local asking him why he is doing that. Hands up, it’s a little snarky and sarcastic. I’m a real person. I’ve been ill. I’m tired. I’m human. Anyway, I get no response. Oh well, heaven forbid I should lecture anyone else on learning the hard way. I pass through the belt slightly later on while “experimenting” with the Comet. The drones still orbit him but the mining laser is off, he has gone AFK. At some point he used the drones to kill some rats. I loot one of his wrecks and get no response. At least that’s one thing he got right. Still, for some reason I am more annoyed than I should be. Had the drones attacked there would have been one less mining hull in New Eden even though he might have been a mining newbie. In a PVP game he was asking for trouble, hisec or not. In the war of words between null and ‘bear he is waving a red flag in the nulls face. Is there a point to all this other than the fact that I can be an irritable SOB sometimes? Am I feeling guilty that I used to be an AFK miner? Not really. Just hoping that others watch out for annoyed people in a ship full of guns.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning to become a space sadist. I’ll never set out to become a griefer, I’ll never target hisec industrialists and traders playing the space trading game just because they are there doing what they do, it’s too near to my own heart as an ex Warcraft player and an ex Elite player. I think that playstyle should exist. I think I’ll follow that playstyle a lot of the time, just not all of the time. New Eden is too gorgeous and fascinating to become just another flame factory. Pilots other than me can provide the antagonistic element of danger for those players. Unless the players in question are older players, doing something noobish, inviting a troublesome lesson or maybe if they are a daft miner whose behaviour annoys me. In that case they are Noob fodder, or I’m noob fodder for letting it annoy me.

Thinking about playstyles and what people get out of a game reminded me of the scene from Conan the Barbarian where they sit around talking bollocks about what they think is good. After that incoherent rant I need a bit of humour.

Conan the Barbarian ( )

Mongol General: Hao! Dai ye! We won again! This is good, but what is best in life?
Mongol: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.
Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

Conan sounds a bit like some EVE players.....

I always preferred the parody from the Light Fantastic where Cohen the barbarian is the equivalent of Conan, except having done it all, lost it all and is now an 80 year old warrior, he is the ultimate in bittervet. To paraphrase Pratchett...

Chieftan : What then are the greatest things that a man may find in life?
Warrior: The cry of the white eagle in the heights, the fall of snow in the forest, a true arrow in your bow
Chieftan: Surely it is the sight of your enemy slain, the humiliation of his tribe and the lamentation of his women
Cohen the Barbarian: Hot water, good dentistry and soft lavatory paper.

(you have to read the original, and now I’ll have to re-read it)

Here's the Space Noob effort equivalent of EVE with a bit of affectionate mockery. Feel free to fill comments full of your own versions, it'll be funny. Full internet points to the best. I couldn’t figure out what a Wormhole dweller would say.

Space Noob: What is the best thing in EVE?
CFC Pilot : Putting the entire map under your control, we win all internetz, what could be better?
NC. Pilot : No, the destruction of cartels, reenacting decades old military mistakes, the rush of blood to the head after overreacting to British colloquialisms.
Low Sec PVP Pilot : The thrill of one on one combat, salvaging opponents tears from their shipwrecks. Having a good old chat about it for a couple of hours afterwards while hanging on a gate waiting for someone else to come through.
Can Flipper : Bathing in the tears of the new, the confused, and the lazy (Space Noob I am looking at you).
HiSec Trader/Industrialist aka Carebear : The enjoyment of a successful business, the ability to build things that affect the game world, the fact that I have more money than you. Please stop trying to take it off me or attempting to blow it up.
Bittervet : To be able to stop playing would be favourite, but it’s all just been too good to leave.
Space Noob : Hey! I just nicked that station. Fucking ace, man. What else can I do in here? Everything is great apart from my attention deficit disorder where the skill queue is concerned! Nah, the only thing wrong here is that I can’t shoot a panda in the face. Er? What were you all saying again?

Lots and lots of play styles and ways of existing then.

Gosh that was cathartic. Ironic at times but cathartic.


  1. Veldspar is just a little less valuable than Scordite, plus the rocks are bigger so you don't have to switch as often. Here's a nice spreadsheet that some guy is keeping up that gives some good value calcs for mining.

    Sounds like you're doing well, fly safe.

  2. I think griefers, like any other subset, have a variety of reasons to pursue that playstyle. Attention seeking is one, feeling powerful (often to combat a conscious or unconscious feeling of powerlessness) is another. To me griefing is an act of domination, intended to demonstrate the inferiority of another person. It's parallel to rape, although nowhere near the same in consequence or moral repugnance. Not all ganking is griefing; if the motivation is anything other than causing suffering it isn't griefing.

  3. Low-end ores went up in price, due to the massive amount of pre-patch speculative construction of Procurers. Prices will crash again, as the buffed Retrievers are mining 50% more ore per hour than pre-patch and able to do it AFK, thanks to the massive ore cargohold.

    High-end ores have dropped in price, 'cause those same uber-tank Procurers (and Skiffs) are now out in force in low/null sec, mining ABC 'roids - and doing it nearly as well as the old Hulk, with the new 200% buff to mining turret efficiency on the Procurer/Skiff. And even if they do get blown up, they only cost about 2M ISK each, for anyone who was smart enough to build or buy them, pre-patch.

  4. Went through your blog in a day.. probably like most people.. a great read. Especially since I am on the same boat as you (i.e. ex-wow/eve2monthish player discovering things).

    Just had my first low sec trading run and well.. ye.. I'm hooked

    Next stop a pvp/salvagin/whatever alt.

    again.. well done!

    1. If you want to get involved in PVP, why not give TRIBE a try and come out to Period Basis =)? If you are interested, send and EVE mail to Startrad3r in-game and we can talk about getting you out to nul =). There is something for every play style out here.

      Nul isn't the "end game" of EVE, just another part of it. We have players who started in 0.0 and don't venture into high-sec until months into their EVE careers.

    2. Low Sec is a big problem in EVE. When you talk about unbalanced risk vs. reward, low sec is a prime example.

      One of the myths of EVE is that there is a progression from High-sec to low sec and then to nul. Low-sec is currently a development waste land, and a place of massive risk and annoyance for little reward. Travel through it is quite safe, although of course you can still get unlucky, but as for mining rewards, mission grinding, market and other PVE activities... not so much, with the exception of Faction Warfare. Low sec is the combination of NPC 0.0 levels of risk, horrendous PVP mechanics (GCC Timer, I'm looking at you), with little reward for line members or organizations attempting to hold the space.

      Not that you could really "hold" the space anyhow. The lack of bubbles, the awful aggression mechanics.. low sec needs love more than any other part of EVE. My advice to new players, if you are thinking of heading out into low-sec, you are ready to head out to 0.0. Save your selves the misery (and boredom) of having to go through it and just join a good 0.0 corporation in a sov holding Alliance that isn't shit. There is one out there for every play style. Just, like always, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

    3. thanks for tips and outlook on low/null, Matt.

      I may take you up on that TRIBE bit ;)

  5. Here is something to end your confusion about "cheap" low-sec and high prized high-sec ores ;)

    Keep up the good writing

  6. I am a carebear born and whatever, but if there were Space Pandas to shoot ....
    (perhaps with someone paying 0.01p per Panda-cide to a RW Panda charity)

  7. IF you want quotes, Eve quotes no less, this site will keep you busy for a long time:

    1. OMG. You just made my morning. Off to work with a grin on my face for a change.