Monday, September 15, 2014

And nothing of value was lost.

TLDR: Taking a vacation from EVE. No you can't have my stuff.

In my opinion, there is a little moral compass that directs what’s right and wrong.  A true sociopath doesn’t have that compass and if they do, its stopped working within the boundaries of society. The majority of people in real life follow that compass to a T.

But in the fantasy game of EVE online, that compass can be suspended, if you got the balls. If you can put aside that compass, be a bad guy, be terrible, you can profit from fame and fortune. But that path brings danger... thats the draw... the hook. To be good or to be bad. To eat the apple, or not.

Here we come my tattoo and I. People might be under the false impression of why I have my tattoo of a video game. That I’m some sort of ultra fan boy or insert reason here “____ “

The true reason I have this tattoo and I have said it many times before privately and publicly is, it’s a reminder of how diabolical humans can be to one another, when given the rope to do so. When given the choice between right and wrong, people can shock you and impress you. That little “compass check” for lack of a better term. EVE teaches you to be aware, cautious and question everything, because not to, has consequence. Just like real life.

I played EVE multiple times before it truly clicked in my mind the potential of this game and it got me “hooked”. My “hooked” moment was a guy was trying to recruit me to join someone else’s corp for the soul reason of tearing it apart from the inside. The idea that someone would want to destroy another player group from within and to lie to another group via a total new person… was shocking at the time. It was like video game role playing. Something I could never do in real life. I could be a double agent, I could join their corp, talk to them as one human to another on their voice coms, acquire their trust only to totally destroy them from within, and not without reproductions either. I had to be on voice coms with that person while I did it to them, to hear their hard work go down the toilet because they were dumb enough to put faith in me.

It takes a special kind of person to do that and not have some level of empathy. Someone without a moral compass to guide them. Or at least the ability to suppress that compass. That was the fantasy, that was the draw. I could be an internet sociopath without the real life consequence.

I chose to not do it, because at the end of the day, I simply didn’t have the heart.

But the choice was there. That choice, between right and wrong is why I got my tattoo.

A video game managed to capture and facilitate that choice over and over again. To do wrong, or not.  EVE made me a more critical person, to question human emotions and motives. I carried that new found perspective to real life, its proven incredibly useful and removed the level of naïveté I had about others I wasn’t aware of before.

People ask why I play EVE. My answer every time is, “Because its hard, and the people who play it at the level I do, are hard!”

The game has become less hard in my mind. Its devs have become less hard and its player base, the people I respect as opponents are less hard. EVE to me is the razors edge of morality, trust and betrayal. The thought process you had to engage to conduct yourself successfully, is that of a paranoid trauma patent.

In my mind, this is no longer the fact. What worse, it’s my view that the players, the people I called opponents, threats and victims are fully embracing this change. Those that don’t, well theirs the door.

This was made apparent to me in a conversation I had on reddit.

I said:  Quoted:  “ Clearly you are just trolling for trolling sake. “
“he isn't if you actually read the comments. He didn't get banned, he doesn't seem to care if people are banned or not, but what he is crying for is clarity, the same thing the rest of non-peons are asking for. Its not a huge request, its a logical one made by logical people who don't make a habit of eating the shit we are shovel” – Longinius Spear

Unrelentingone responded: 

“You'll eat it, you'll like it, and you fucking well know it. That is of course the source of all these wonderful tears. But you go ahead and see what making demands to CCP does for you. I'll wait here, you come back when you've got your answer, or you cancel your sub. Because after all, you won't eat the shit, right?”

This was my “Ah Ha” moment, the second I realized. Wait a minute, I’m paying these people to do this to me. I’m paying CCP for the privilege to treat me like a consumer and not even going so far as giving me the pleasure of a reach around.

It all fell into place in my mind. I’m paying these people who don’t even give a fuck about me, to give a basic explanation on how they are fundamentally changing the reasons I play this game.
By removing people from the ecosphere who are deemed less desirable, they are removing the choice that I value in this game. The idea that I could be terrible but choose not to. That choice is gone in my mind and now its just another video game.

The thing is, without that moral compass, and that right and wrong to hide EVE’s actual issues. This game really isn’t good. It’s a terrible space simulator with a broken economic system, and I’m paying for 5 accounts worth.

$75 dollars a month gone in revenue because the devs can’t stand behind the idea that EVE is a harsh game filled with hard people. The game to me is less harsh… filled with people who are a little less hard.

Here are some very upvoted comments found on reddit voiced in response to people being banned, for reasons not even the responders know. They just know mean people are gone.

Darfidiot -- Good riddance. Fuck anybody who is involved in this shameful business.

Lowlevelguy - Oh that's a real shame. Now you can have more time for real life activities, like bullying your girlfriend, making fun of developmentally disabled people, suffocating puppies and kittens, and generally feeling like a badass because of all that cool stuff you like to do.

Bryn987 - Good. Gtfo

Paladin327 - At least nothing of value was lost

That final comment is what got me. At least nothing of value was lost. Remember what my hook was in playing this game. The danger, the moral compass that I needed to consult, that right and wrong choice matrix.

At least nothing of value was lost. When you remove the flavor of something, it becomes more bland. Sure its easier to consume by the masses, but easier to consume isn’t what kept me here as long as it did.

You could say that banning these people who are the equivalent of internet bullies, you can even spin it in random ways that these people were torturing another human. I say it was someone who was tricked, a stiff warning to others that the danger is real, that this is the limitations of meta. That consequence and difficulty are real.

BUT--  To remove these people without even so much as to what line was crossed, makes me sick. CCP would like you to think these people are just a different version of an internet bully. But the point is, no one banned bullied the HUMAN, they bullied the persona, the meta.. They were meaner than most, bragged about it and found wanting.. by CCPs never to be written rules. Because I quote "Will never be written,  so people can just skirt the edge".

I hope you get 5 more subs from this course action CCP, because you just lost my 5.

And nothing of value was lost.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rant: I think my EVE is being destroyed

TLDR: CCP needs to iron out clear rules for bad behavior or someone like me might get the wrong idea.

First before I begin my rant. I want to point out, I was not banned. I don’t know the people who were banned. I have 0 investment in the banning.

BUT! --- I am a firm opponent in the “grey area shuffle” and the evils it brings. That is why I’m posting this.   

Titus Tallang wrote:
can we expect some clear-cut rules on what you would classify as 'real life harassment'?

CCP Falcon wrote:

"It isn't our job to dictate to people how to maintain a base standard of human decency toward one another, and we're not going to do so.

The bottom line is that it's down to members of the community to know where the line crosses from common decency to harassment. We will not draw a line in the sand so that people can skirt on the edge of it and bend the rules as much as possible.

This isn't a debate about what constitutes "harassment". If you're not familiar with the word, find the definition in a dictionary and that will satisfy your question.

What we will do, is continue to use best judgement on a case by case basis to ensure that real life harassment is kept out of the game, and ensure that those who choose to involve themselves in such activities are no longer permitted to be part of our community.

Cut and dried, that's all we have to say on the matter."

The above post by CCP Falcon is useless, condescending and it is devoid of clear boundaries needed on this topic.

OK, I'll bite, 

Let’s do what he says and move forward shall we?

Since this isn’t a debate about harassment and if I’m not familiar with the word, CCP Falcon says I can “Find the definition in the dictionary” and that should clear everything up.  

Well here it is.

noun: harassment; plural noun: harassments
  1. aggressive pressure or intimidation.

"Harassment (/həˈræsmənt/ or /ˈhærəsmənt/) covers a wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature. It is commonly understood as behavior intended to disturb or upset, and it is characteristically repetitive. In the legal sense, it is intentional behavior which is found threatening or disturbing."

I would like to point out at this time. Nearly everything done in the market, ship pvp or even talking to another person in an angry tone, could be considered ‘Aggressive pressure or intimidation’ on one level or another.I might go so far as to say nearly everything done in EVE Online, is just people harassing one another.

Its vague, and that’s why I’m pissed. You have an entire culture based on being a total jackass (or not) to your fellow players and suddenly you want its player base to self-govern – OR ELSE.

It’s FAR from "cut and dry". It’s far from clear and it sure as shit shouldn’t be the basis if someone is banned or not.  

Moving on…

This sentence really worries me and it should worry everyone in EVE.

CCP Falcon “It isn't our job to dictate to people how to maintain a base standard of human decency toward one another, and we're not going to do so.”

That’s just it. If it’s not your job, why are people being banned over it? Clearly at some point, somewhere CCP felt it was their job, otherwise why are they banning people? 

Is this the action of some rogue GM that wanders around and says,“This isn’t ‘my job, but your banned! Be nicer to people!” "Sorry, can’t tell you why I’m banning you because it’s not my fucking job"

Being mean to someone and being banned in an environment that supports being mean to your fellow players, is CCP trying to have its cake and eat it too. You can’t have both! In this statement by CCP Falcon, they are trying to have both.

So where do we as the players draw the line?

Here is some hint to were the line is, because at this point in the game, we just have hints.

CCP Falcon -- What we will do, is continue to use best judgement on a case by case basis to ensure that real life harassment is kept out of the game, and ensure that those who choose to involve themselves in such activities are no longer permitted to be part of our community.

Well that clears it right up! 

Real Life Harassment”! That I think is the key. 

But here is the crux, since what makes EVE... EVE is the meta and the meta is defined as things that occur outside the game, that effect the game, the meta can be defined as something “Real Life”. For those of you who might think I’m drawing conclusions, please respond with what you think everything outside of the game is called, other than real life.

I know that’s confusing, but hear me out.

If I email you in game and say “I’m going to hunt your character, kill your character, and make your time in EVE shit”. I have made an in game threat, which I would like to point out, is OK. 

Now if I use voice coms as a medium for my projection of this threat, is this a “Real Life Harassment”? The threat was made, outside of the game.

We don’t know.We do know, that being a human piece of waste, recording it and posting it outside the game will get your ass banned.

This is where it affects me and may effect you... My in game victims, might just think I'm a human piece of waste. They may even think YOU are a human piece of waste. They might even go so far as to say you don't 'belong in their community, see ya!

 Is it all out of game content projection. IE a blog, or reddit, or the EVE O forums.  All of those things based on precedent set can and have been construed as “Real life”, based entirely on the bannings of E1 and his cohorts. 

This should worry, every single person who uses voice coms, blogs, forums, whatever reddit is or even 3rd party recordings of conversations. Not worried? Really? Since you can't clearly define what is real life/meta and just a digital medium to continue the EVE(evil) so supported in game.. who's to say? O I know.. CCP SHOULD~!

All of these media forms are the meta of EVE. 

Ask anyone who has played this game for any length of time about what makes this game different than any other, they will say “the meta game”. The ability for out of game actions ‘Real life’ to affect in game actions. Wars started by people at fanfest, or fan fest itself. Player meet ups, blog posts, youtube videos… you name it. All of those things that make EVE what is, are things that could be defined as “Real life” they sure as shit don’t happen in the game. It’s a two way street, entire disagreements are sorted out via out of game conversations. Entire agreements are sorted out the exact same way. IE – B0tlord accords.

CCP Falcon said - We will not draw a line in the sand so that people can skirt on the edge of it and bend the rules as much as possible.

Instead you will let people unknowingly pass over an ever changing and broad definition of harassment to the tune of having their accounts banned.  GENIUS! That sounds reasonable.  Are you fucking kidding me?!

Will this post on my blog get me banned? Who knows. I might be deemed an unruly subject by this CCP kangaroo morality court. I am being critical after all, and that could be defined as harassment based on the definition in the dictionary. 

This is an “Out of game” AKA Real Life post. I guess I’ll just ‘find out” by trying to log in one day I was too mean in my post.

 CCP Falcon said -- What we will do, is continue to use best judgement on a case by case basis to ensure that real life harassment is kept out of the game, and ensure that those who choose to involve themselves in such activities are no longer permitted to be part of our community.

Lets hope you have your coffee the morning you review my file, so I might have a chance at a favorable ruling.  Since no one knows the rules, and it seems like the majority of you are simply flying by the seat of your pants on this topic. Here's to crossing my fingers if I fit into “Your community” at whatever moment you choose to review my case.

Don’t think this is a hot topic CCP? Something you need to apply some level of effort sorting out? Think its 'cut and dry'? Well here is my proof that it isn't;

Check this It has 500+ comments in less than 24 hours. That’s more than any dev post in the past year. Think about that! Thats 500+ posts and discussion on this very "cut and dry" issue.

CCP; You need to apply some level of effort to address this issue and stop the condescending bull shit!  See --  CCP Falcon -- “If you're not familiar with the word, find the definition in a dictionary and that will satisfy your question.” Really?! Is this really the response of an adult, let alone someone with some level of power?

Here are some terms you can look up Falcon – Ivory Tower, Diffusion of Responsibility, Kangaroo Court, Witch Hunt and my favorite Moral Ambiguity


 I'm at a loss of what I can do to change minds. There comes a point when you just stop, write it off as a lost cause and remember the good times. 

Sad honestly. Sad. 

EDIT: FunkyBacon Said it better, and with paint gifs!