Greedy Goblin

Friday, May 11, 2012

The caveman bias and the IQ of EVE vs WoW players

If you ask anyone where did our prehistoric ancestors lived, he'd answer "in a cave". Most of what we know of them is from cave painting, fireplaces and graves found in caves. However caves are in short supply and completely non-existent in plains areas. The available caves simply couldn't support significant amount of population. Therefore only a small percentage of the prehistoric men could live in caves. Yet we call them cavemen, because we found nothing about the non-cavemen, their remnants were washed away by the tens of thousands of years, while the caves preserved the relics of the tiny minority who actually used caves.

Why is it important in an MMO? Because of the long-standing stereotype of player "intelligence" in different games. "Intelligence" rather mean to being informed and prepared than actual IQ. The consensus is that players of hardcore games like EVE are much smarter than of player-friendly games, especially WoW, which is dubbed as a collection of retards.

The above consensus cannot be explained by self-magnifying group bias ("the players of my game are awesome, so I'm awesome too"), as it extends to all players. I mean a skilled WoW player would accept without question that he is a rare breed and most WoW players are dumb like a piece of rock.

Most would ignore the question itself, claiming that the explanation is simply "this is the truth". Maybe would add that even a medically declared retard could level up in WoW if he is capable to press buttons without breaking the keyboard, while only a smart and well-informed person can survive in EVE.

I believed that too, but the "Burn Jita" event forced me to rethink. This was a ganking event when several players - lead by the player group Goonswarm - went to the "capital city" of EVE, the Jita star system and killed everyone they found there if he was in a weak ship or carried worthy cargo. More than 10000 players were killed during the event, granted it includes gankers killed by the NPC police. But still thousands were slaughtered. The event was all over the EVE forums and blogs for a month, so everyone with more than one brain cell could avoid Jita.

Who were killed then? People with one brain cell maybe? But how can be so many idiots in the "game of highest IQ"? Similarly how can anyone gank a Hulk in a small destroyer? With the fits and advices available, no destroyer-ganker should kill anyone. Actually a solo Tornado-ganker shouldn't kill anyone. The fact that people in throwaway ships can effectively gank means that there are lot of idiots in the game. And unlike in "Burn Jita" you can't even pull the newbie-card. Learning to drive a Hulk takes more than a month.

I believe that the average knowledge of players in EVE is one of the lowest while in WoW one of the highest! The reason while people believe the direct opposite is the caveman bias. In WoW, due to the random group finding and the fact that people of your faction cannot harm you in any way, people are mixed very much, pugging missing people or the whole group. They are exposed to large amount of players which include terrible idiots.

This has two effects: at first the bad players are often called on their mistakes, therefore given a chance to learn. If you are a fire mage spamming nothing but ice lance, I'm 100% sure that within an hour someone will tell you that you are doing it wrong. Maybe he won't use nice and friendly terms but you will be told to stop it. In EVE you can fly an Amarr ship equipped with railguns and nothing but warp stabilizers in low slots for years without anyone telling you to stop it. Therefore the average player in WoW, while mediocre (by definition), isn't so terrible. "Bad" in WoW is defined as 50-60% effective. I don't say they aren't bad, considering the amount of resources available, but they aren't 5-10% effective like in EVE.

However the second effect of mixing players of different skill is that you are often exposed to the failures of other players. You regularly see yourself on the top of the damage meter, followed by the tank and 2 "idiots" who do half of your damage. To make it worse, they can't be removed after exposing themselves, you can't even kick them from your group, let alone blowing them up like you would in EVE after their first line in the chat. While a semi-competent player makes no impression, an epic moron is remembered. Therefore you come to the conclusion "this game is full of idiots".

In EVE and other "hardcore" games players avoid each other. They play solo or with their known friend group, considering every stranger a possible ganker or spy. This means that informed, intelligent players (who are the opinion leaders on blogs and forums), are surrounded by other good players and even their enemies are similarly good ones otherwise they couldn't even play against them. The swarm of idiots are invisible as they live in high-sec, doing solo missions or mine. This also means that the idiots are not called on their idiocy, they keep remaining idiots while being sure they are great.

This is exactly the utopia I mentioned as perfect design of MMOs. This is the recipe for the ever-growing happy MMO: players stay with their own kind, everyone in your sphere is someone like you. Why EVE is not the #1 on the market?

Enters the ganker. A good player, who for some out of game reason (mostly because he is a slaving underdog in real life), choose to spend his time harming other players, despite the game punishes that. And he is terribly successful. He can devastate targets with 100x more expensive gear and could do it endlessly if the NPC Police wouldn't take him out after every gank for a some time. Ganking is the living example of the utter stupidity of the average EVE player. I mean how many times have you seen a WoW-player with no combat gear, equipped only with a fishing pole or mining pick farming semi-AFK in the middle of a PvP area? And how many times you see Hulks with no combat fitting, semi-AFK mining during Hulkageddon? Any more question which playerbase is dumber? As a general rule, as long as grief-ganking is not a sporadic event, we can surely say that the average EVE-player is dumb like a piece of rock.

Another evidence: I did pretty well in WoW, making 5-10K gold/week. That's about 2.5-5 Euro at the goldsellers. And I reached this peak after years of playing. In EVE, only after three months I can get 3B ISK/week, that's 90 Euro. OK, official shop prices are higher, but even if we half it, I still make 10x more ingame currency in EVE than I did in WoW. That tells a lot about the ratio of smart competitors vs mindless grinders in the two games.

This is the reason why CCP should make high-sec (or rather part of it, the 1-0.8 systems) totally safe. It would soon be populated by swarms of happy morons, skyrocketing the subscriber count. Just don't make low-null safer or the people will start to mix and the magic goes away!

The UI suggestions page has been turned into a permanent page, feel free to discuss and add.
EVE Business report: Friday morning 20.6B. Oops! I either made an accounting error and tomorow I'll have a peak, or I made some epic fail that you can soon laugh on. (2 PLEX behind for second account, 0.3B spent on Titan project)
Remember that you can participate in our EVE conversations on the "goblinworks" channel (60-80 people on peak time)


Micko said...

I don't really think that's the reason why EVE has low numbers. From what I understand their player retention is quite high for an MMO, implying that once hooked, things like gankers don't really drive people away. What keeps the subscribers low is the fact that to a lot of people such as me, the core game mechanics just don't seem interesting enough for me to warrant trying it. (By core game mechanics I mean flying spaceships, which to me sounds boring compared to fighting dragons). My brother-in-law tried it for a month and he quit because he said the combat, mining and missions were boring, nothing about ganking at all.

Caug said...

Very interesting. As a veteran of WoW and a semi-experienced EVE player I had never thought of it that way. I do agree that a bad WoW player is still 50% effective while a bad EVE player is only 5-10% effective, however in WoW going from 0 to 50% effectiveness takes only a couple buttons while in EVE it takes a lot of knowledge and skill. I think that there are plenty of people who just like logging in to run missions and mine, essentially playing solo, who never read the forums or news sites so they never know what big events are going on. So when Burn Jita and Hulkageddon happen they don't know about it. But there are also plenty of people who underestimate what will happen too. That is why you see small ships carrying mission loot and ore getting killed off along with freighters holding billions of isk worth of goods.

Foo said...

By making the AFK player immune, you are reducing the number of targets for the 'i gonna gank some noob lol' crowd (i.e. the ones purchasing PLEX).

Anonymous said...

"mining and missions were boring"

exactly the problem - mining and missions *are* boring, and if a trial account is only exposed to that, they will obviously quit.

Gevlon said...

@Micko: because WoW quests and WoW mining/herbing/skining is all fun and thrill/chill?

@Caug: Maybe Blizzard is doing better making the proper spell usage intuitive, like FIRE mages should use FIREbolts and not frostbolts. However I think the reason why you can go from 0 to 50% in hours is that you would get constant help from fellow players.

Parasoja said...

>(mostly because he is a slaving underdog in real life)

I know right? Just like how practically everybody who doesn't spend all their time doing pvp is a whimpering coward.

Personal attacks against entire classes of player do not help your credibility.

>This is the reason why CCP should make high-sec (or rather part of it, the 1-0.8 systems) totally safe. It would soon be populated by swarms of happy morons, skyrocketing the subscriber count.

This is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.

The reason eve doesn't attract players isn't because the average trial account has done thorough research and decided that a game where ganks are possible isn't for them. Neither is it because very many people actually ever get ganked.

The reason eve doesn't attract players - or attracts only a few types of players - is because most people don't find it compelling. You aren't the hero, you don't beat bosses, you don't level up every hour. You probably don't get shiny loot, and if you do you sell it instead of using it to build the best set. You almost certainly don't play with your friends, because your friends don't play either.

In short, because it's a sandbox game. People without their own goals will find no purpose here.

Gevlon said...

@Parasoja: Griefers have nothing to do with PvP-ers. A PvP-er fights a worthy opponent for killboard ranks or sovereignity. The griefer seeks helpless target for no other reason but to make him (the person) feel bad. The griefer is a filthy, lowly person IRL.

You aren't the hero in any MMO, you kill the same mobs as everyone else. Most people don't get exceptional loot in any MMO, and besides WoW, the #1 MMO, it's likely that their friends are not playing it either.

The reason is ganking. Most of the prospective players don't even get to trial because EVE has a bad name of tolerating griefers.

Steel H. said...

Most (all) of the miners I at lest have ganked are bots. Certainly ice miners are mostly bots. The bad ones will be in a totally untanked Mack, stay with their capsules for hours in the belts or get stuck on station undocks, the good ones will warp off automatically when you enter local or get close enough. I would say that the vast majority of targets ganked during Hulkageddon are bots.

Also, as a side note, ganking is not totally without profit you know. Besides bounties, check out the price of intact armor plates.

As for EVE profit making, the complexity of the economy, and of the crafting system, the fact that distance, volume and time matters, AND the destruction factor I think plays a part in it. You simply have a much much more fertile terrain to work with here, and a lot more "job opportunities".

Steel H. said...

General reason why I switched to EVE - got bored with farming the same raid bosses over and over, and mining the same herb and ore nodes over and over, plus the standard "Cata sucks!", and wanted dynamic, impact content (plus Syncaine had just started playing and was raving about it on his blog). Specific, direct reason - I had read about the Gallente Ice Interdiction, and I too wanted to shoot ice miners, which I did in my first week into the game. Then I ended up shooting Russians in 0.0, which are just as good as ice miners, except they shoot back (Thanks You For Smoking).

As for retention, what works for me is the metagame. The hate of the enemy, the politics, the drama, the conflicts. It's not a game about spaceships, it's a (bad) game about (bad) people. I remember my main worry about EVE was "will I be able to enjoy it if I'm not a sociopath?"

Péter Zoltán said...

I've been playing wow for 6 years, moved to EVE recently. At first glance the EVE community seemed much more intelligent than the WOW one. Now I'm not so sure.

There is NO central information source for EVE. You need some info? Google it! You will find tons of wrong, contradicting or outdated answers, the rest will be incomplete. As a wow player you can easily google THE correct answer for your question most of the time. Reaching a high degree of efficiency is just a decision and few clicks away if you're playing that game. In EVE - no chance for that. You got to climb the rather steep learning curve alone, or toghether with a few people who also climbed it alone. WOW is reverse engineered to the atomic level. Information are well categorized and publicly available. In EVE there is no such network of knowledge. In this game sightless people lead the blind, as the proverb says in my country. It is very very easy to stay uninformed or misinformed in EVE.

On the difference of generated ingame currency:
Gold is pretty much useless in WoW. The low amount you really need will come automatically as welfare if you do any kind of endgame content. By raiding 3 x 3.5 hours per week I was the top geared horde priest on my realm. I didn't even log in outside of raid hours.

In EVE you HAVE TO make some ISK in some way. Sooner or later you'll need money for the next ship and its modules. Either because you lost it or you can afford and pilot the better one.

Ephemeron said...

WoW mining/herbing/skining is all fun and thrill/chill?

Yes, it is. I know that you find it incredibly boring, but for many people, these activities are actually highly enjoyable.

Really, it's just another one of those "ape subroutines" that you happen to be disconnected from. Our ancestors spent millions of years picking up small berries, mushrooms and herbs. WoW's mining, herbing and skinning taps into that ancient "gatherer" routine and triggers a dopamine release.

On other hand, nothing in our evolutionary history required us to sit around for hours in passive contemplation of progress bars. That is why EVE's mining is perceived as a boring activity - our brains don't interpret it as being necessary for survival and withhold reward.

Thomas said...

You don't have to learn alone, there's pleny of new-player corps that will happily help you learn the basics, Red vs Blue, Eve University, etc.

I do agree that finding info outside of the game is harder with EVE than it is with WoW. Do consider that WoW has millions of people playing the same game and doing 100% exactly the same instance as you. In Eve very few people (outside of mission and plexes) are playing exactly the same game as you are - you can however, and will affect them somehow, either by shooting at them, building their ships to shoot at one another or manipulating the market so you sell high and buy low.

It's just what you prefer. People will love it right off the tutorial, grow to love it, never try it due to being 'scared'/unattracted or leave right as they undock as they have no clue where to go and are too afraid to ask one of the many, many helpful players out there (or simply have no idea where to look)

Peter Petermann said...

making highsec totally safe would ruin one of the unique features of eve - its atmosphere.

Gevlon said...

@Ephemeron: so you think that an "Azeroth Online" which is exactly WoW without battlegrounds but people could kill each other on the field and their gear and backpack stuff would drop with 50% chance to loot would be more successful than EVE Online? It would have the same herbs and ores and such after all.

Gevlon said...

@Péter Zoltán: the fact that you MUST make ISK in EVE makes the difference of my moneymaking even bigger. I mean in WoW I practically took gold no one cared about and everyone had more than he could spend smartly. In EVE I'm taking something people really want to keep.

Anonymous said...

An Azeroth Online with the best possible approximation of EVE mechanics in a colorful world of elves&dwarves, done by a major studio, will end up more successful than the stark spaceship game.

But the major studios are all after WoW clones.

And the indie studios can't compete with CCP. Yes, CCP was an indie studio once, but so was Blizzard. Paying customers care about polish, not history.

Hivemind said...

Gevlon, you really have got to stop making posts that hinge around your assumptions about an aspect of the game that you haven't played yourself and clearly haven't bothered to do much in the way of research on. For those of us familiar with what you're talking about, it just makes you seem petulant and ill-informed.

> The consensus is actually that players of ANY game that isn't WoW are smarter than WoW players; I saw the same thing repeated in the early days of SW:TOR many many times, and in Rift, both other theme park MMOs that borrow heavily from the WoW model .

> Most EVE players wouldn't just say "it's the truth" - they'd argue that EVE is a more complex game and probably point to the high amount of new players who start, are unable to grasp the game and leave as signs it's more intellectually challenging.

> You mention the importance of being well-informed, then you state a figure like "10,000 players were killed in the event". Where did you pull that number from? Even worse, you say they "killed everyone they found there if he was in a weak ship" - they were ignoring plenty of weak ships; fly an empty frigate in and even on autopilot you'd probably be safe, especially if you didn't go via the Perimeter gate. Even the CFC killboard ( only lists about 2,600 kills from Burn Jita, and 1,700+ of those are their own losses. A majority of the actual kills were straight up PvP fights with the Save Jita people who had wardecced them.

> How was anyone killed at all? Well, you need to be reasonably smart, or at least stupid but very very determined, to succeed at this game at all. You don't need to read the forums, or EN24, or the Blog pack. It's a smart thing to do, but there is a disconnect between "You need to be smart to succeed at EVE" and "You need to read forums/blogs/news sites to succeed at EVE". Occasionally the two do intersect with events like Hulkageddon and Burn Jita, but that’s the exception.

> You assume that any Hulk that's not fit for tank is done because the player is an idiot. This is not the case - when fitting a hulk you get to trade-off between survivability, mining efficiency and mining ease. Survivability is obviously fitting tank, efficiency is fitting mining upgrades (which will then eat most of the CPU preventing you from fitting more than a very basic tank in the midslots) and ease is fitting the most cargo space so that it needs attention less frequently. During Hulkageddon especially, fitting for survivability is the most sensible decision, but you seem to assume that there is no cost for a survival fit, which is not the case.

> Related to that point, your analogy of an untanked Hulk pilot being like a WoW player fishing naked is stupid. The closest analogy would be "How often do you see a WoW player fishing using gear that provides a fishing bonus rather than a combat bonus", the answer to which is "pretty frequently". Even there the analogy fails - all the fishing gear does is help you fish in higher level areas, and by raising your character skill and other buffs you can do that anyway. The actual comparison to "A naked WoW character with a fishing pole" would be "A hulk with nothing but strip miners" - how often do you see one of them?

> Throwaway high-damage ships like Destroyers and Tier 3 BCs will always make effective gank vessels. In the case of Exhumer ships, they have massively disproportionate cost vs EHP which makes them very effective gank victims - even tanked it's only 5-6 destroyers to gank one, and if such a group drops in on a mining vessel it's pretty much already too late (which also applies to gatecamps, of course).

> Being 1 or 2 months into EVE still qualifies you as a newbie, sorry. That card's still valid.
[Continued below]

Hivemind said...

[Continued from above]
> You're probably correct that the average EVE player probably knows less of everything there is to know about EVE than the average WoW player does for WoW, but you're ignoring that there is a lot more to know about EVE than WoW, so that smaller % of the whole may well still be more total knowledge. Or to put it another way, you seem to be suggesting that if we have two pies, Pie A and Pie B, and Pie B is twice the size of Pie A, then if Person A eats 20% of Pie A and Person B eats 15% of Pie B, Person A is better at eating pies because they ate a bigger chunk of their pie, even though Person B ate more pie total.

> 5-10% Effective at what? At getting the most ISK? The most enjoyment? The most kills? The best K-D ratio? I think that aside from a few VERY bad players who don't stick around long, most EVE players manage a lot more than 5-10% effectiveness in the areas that they choose to pursue.

> You can only fly a failfit ship for a long period of time if you are completely avoiding all other players and not doing anything remotely risky. Your Amarr ship with rails and core stabs will die very quickly in any appropriate missions - a Frigate or Destroyer in L1 missions with that fit will die, though a Cruiser or BC in L1s would probably still survive. As soon as do anything with other players, someone's going to ask why your ship isn't shooting lasers, or they'll do an equipment scan of your ship and ask about the fit. Much like how in WoW you can have your plate armor warrior wearing level 10 cloth greens, but they're going to find content that should be easy very difficult for them, and the moment they group with another player they'll get called on their gear. That all assumes that the player also managed to miss the tutorial where it told them that Amarr use lasers, the laser bonuses on Amarr ships in their information or the fact that amarr characters start off only able to use laser turrets, it’s hardly the norm.

> You assume that players only engage equally skilled opponents in PvP - if you ever actually tried it you'd see that there are small elite groups and there are large incompetent groups and everything in between, and they win through skill or through expensive ships or through sheer numbers. Players are not exposed only to a narrow band of other players of equal skill.

> Gankers represent a small % of the player base, affecting an even smaller % of the playerbase. You seem to have an obsession with them since you bring them up constantly, and yet you don't really seem to know much about them. Gankers are not automatically 'good players' - some gankers are wannabe-PvPers who are so bad that shooting hulks is the only way they can get kills, others are complete rookies who heard about it and know nothing aside from "This fit someone else told me about kills Hulks and Macks". There's also nothing like common reason, ingame or IRL, for ganking. Your claim that it's due to being a "slaving underdog" IRL ignores that ganks can easily be profitable from loot and salvage, let alone the Goon bounty.

> You've simply said "Why EVE is not the #1 on the market? Gankers." Why does the existence of gankers keep EVE from the #1 spot, and are you seriously saying that the difference between EVE's 350k subs and WoW's 10-12mil are the few thousand of them?

> I do not understand your logic: A small subset (miners who don't know about Hulkageddon or who prioritise mining efficiency over survivability) of a small subset (miners) of the EVE player base get blown up by another small subset (gankers) of a small subset (Hisec PvPers), therefore the average EVE player is dumb as a rock. What?

> You're comparing the economic systems of two completely different games, one of which revolves far more heavily around economics than the other, and somehow using that to directly compare the players of said games. Again, what?

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: the consensus about Rift and SWTOR is based on the same: they were being new games lacking community and mixing (as everyone was busy leveling)

"Smart" and "reads relevant stuff" are while theoretically not the same, good luck finding someone on ANY intellectual field whose No1 advice to be good on that field would not be "Read!"

The opportunity cost of tank fit in terms of yield is nothing compared to the cost of the gank, so yes, an untanked Hulk pilot is an idiot.

Who is the bigger idiot? The one who eats 15% of the pie he paid for 100% or the one who eats 20%? Or with other words, who is the worse student? The 1st grader who makes 10% mistakes in the simple 1st grade math test or the 10th grader who make 50% mistakes in the much more complicated 10th grade test?

5-10% of everything he gets involved. I accept that at this post WoW has an unfair advantage: you only get involved in the activity you choose. You can be a successful top raider without doing any PvP. You can't do this in EVE. You must make ISK to pay for your stuff and must be able to defend yourself in PvP (at least by smartly avoiding it). However the player choose to play EVE, so it's not an excuse. The untanked Hulk EHP is about 10% of the properly tanked one. The ISK income of the random missioner is about 10% of what you can do with incursions (and 3-5% of trade).

It's true that a rail fitted Amarr frig will fail L1s. But nothing stops him to overship the encounters. I don't doubt that any proper player group would ask about his fit, but the very point of the post is that most players don't get into such groups, as the groups are isolated.

I agree that gankers are a small minority and they are over-rated. They are clearly not the reason for 0.35M vs 11M. The reason is the bad PR they cause. People are risk-averse, they fear gankers. I'm ALWAYS telling that they are over-rated, just check how many times I wrote "Come, try out EVE, it's much more safe you'd expect". But it worth zero. People think "EVE is a place where anyone can and do gank you.

Not just the ganked miners. The ganked randoms on Jita, the "carebears" who don't dare to go lowsec despite they are poor in high (I'm not talking about traders who are dirty rich on Jita)

I answered the last question to Péter Zoltán, read it!

Bristal said...

Excellent post, thanks for that. You proved to me that EVE players are not only more intelligent, but more nuanced.

I've never played EVE, but it seems pretty obvious that it's wildly successful with a limited audience because it requires more from the player. More planning, more imagination, more patience.

Changing the ruleset to increase mass market appeal would essentially destroy all that, wouldn't it?

Gevlon, you tend to approach things as if they are broken and need to be fixed by you. Is EVE really broken?

gnome of zurich said...

are you sure that accounting error and fail are the only reasons your total would drop? does it include the value of your inventory? How do you value it if it does? at purchase price? sell price? something in the middle?

I know in wow, my actual cash would vary tremendously from day to day or even week to week, because my biggest profits were made by buying up huge amounts of things at low prices that might take weeks to process and sell off.

Yureina said...

This is exactly what I have been thinking privately ever since I started playing Eve again in March of this year. Eve players really aren't "better" than WoW players at all. Good players, because of their natural abilities or whatever makes them good, will always thrive no matter what game they play. Bad players however will always be bad. Whether you play WoW or EVE has nothing to do with that.

Good post. :)

- Rei

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, I think your assumption about how connected most WoW players are is exaggerated.

I'd assert that most WoW players either play completely solo or with very small groups of friends, and that they effectively never interact with others outside those small groups, and more importantly to your comparison with EVE, it's impossible for anyone outside their group to interact with them, which isn't the case in EVE.

Most players in WoW are effectively "hidden" from others. You couldn't interact with them in any meaningful way even if you wanted to, to realize how clueless they are.

On the other hand, players in EVE can never completely hide from meaningful interaction.

Anonymous said...

I'd assume Gevlon is valuing his net worth using a tool like JEveAssets.

If he isn't, he should be.

Gevlon said...

Assets: money + escrow + sell.

I found it: I had 160M worth planetary material sitting on Rens and 120M worth minerals in ship production.

Killerbee said...

I find issue that your solution of a 100% safe zone goes against the core that is EVE;

This is a giant sandbox, anything goes.

I think the biggest thing to become successful at this game is being social. Quite a few of my friends have picked up EVE and stopped after the trial or 1 month period. They all say the same; Mining / missioning / spaceships are booooring. Follow up with the question "How many real players did you talk with in that time", and you can be LUCKY to count them all with one hand.

>"In EVE and other "hardcore" games players avoid each other. They play solo or with their known friend group, considering every stranger a possible ganker or spy"

I do remember feeling this way early on, and even for a year or two after i started playing. But again, being social decimates this thought; You're in a game where the majority of your dynamic game play is dealing with people, not NPCs, whether it's the market, exploration, mining, ganking, whatever. This is the core of EVE, and this is what makes it so appealing to everyone that plays.

For your section on ganking; I don't know of your personal experience with ganking in EVE, but to call a ganker a person that does what they do out of vengeance because their real life sucks is 95% absurd. Unless someone is REALLY pissed off, gankers do what they do because there is profit of ISK to be had, and LOTS of it (Privateers and the Orphange corporations are products of this). You're also seeing a huge uptick in exhumer kills because of Hulkaggedon, which Goons are paying 100mil for every 10 exhumer kills. I also need to point out that gankers just don't simply get away with killing you and then getting destroyed by NPCs. You, as the victim, get kill rights on that player for a very, VERY long time, and have the right to exact vengeance on them whenever, wherever.

Btw, back to the VERY top of your article about the IQ of EVE and WoW gamers (btw, the latter 1/3 to half of your article had NOTHING at all to do with your title after the gankers paragraph), I do find your idea intriguing, but I think you've portrayed a minority of EVE players as "good", and the majority "idiotic" as complete garbage. I think when you meant to say "10,000 players were killed during the event", you meant to say "10,000 ships were destroyed".. Big, big difference, as many goons simply flew into Jita 4-4 to get a new ship out, as well as a small group of Save Jita players came in to try and fight back the swarm (which, failed).

The reason I brought this up was because those that were ganked was because they didn't have one brain cell. I think those that were killed in a freighter / hauler fell victim to one of two reasons;

1. They are not social (i.e. Doesn't talk with people / read forums)
2. They are a bot.

The latter, i think held more true for those that were killed. My reasoning lies in video from streams of the burn Jita. You can clearly see that not all freighters were destroyed coming out of that death zone, quite a few of them actually had instant warp points outside of station, which they can use to avoid the gankers :) I would contend that that takes more than one brain cell to plan ahead and to continue doing what you like to do in EVE.

Killerbee said...


And for your last comment that sticks out to me;
In WoW, due to the random group finding and the fact that people of your faction cannot harm you in any way, people are mixed very much, pugging missing people or the whole group. They are exposed to large amount of players which include terrible idiots.

You talk about WoW creating very diverse groups for raiding / events / what have you. While this is nice and true, I think you're missing EVE's version; Incursions. Incursions were designed so that players stayed on their toes and made sure they had a proper fleet ready to engage, which a lot of the time requires people to bring in logistics / DPS players that they've never met before. Again, filling this gap can be solved by simply being social and talking with people.

SOOOOOOO.. to sum up major points;

I believe you meant to say 10,000 ships killed, not 10,000 players;

EVE is a sandbox, there are going to be winners and losers. That's what a sandbox is.

To grow in EVE, you need to be willing to talk and become social.

Incursions are EVE's equivalent to raiding / prematching groups together. If you screw up here, you will be told as such

Gankers are not "mostly because he is a slaving underdog in real life", they do it because it is either fun or they (most likely) are making a profit off of this profession.

I look forward to your rebuttal :)

Anonymous said...

@Micko re retention: one of the great things about CCP is their openness. IIRC they said the average player age was seven months so for a stable population of 350k players that means about 50k players are leaving (and another 50k joining) every month. I am not sure that is particularly higher than other MMOs.

There are a number of changes that would make the EVE forum warriors enjoy the game less and make the CCP shareholders more money. But perhaps CCP has decided that you can't change the culture of a 9YO MMO and so they will be putting increasing resources into development for other games e.g. DUST and WoD. There is certainly no

Stumblebeard said...

I started reading this blog years ago for wow. I tried eve out during the break after ice crown. I consider myself a good player. However I did not like eve for one main reason. I kept getting killed. I only played for about 2 days. I think they would benefit from something like wow has when you start a new character.

Also I had a hard time finding info websites for guidance - like yours and many other blogs for general wow info or something like elitist jerks for specifics.

I have been thinking about playing again due to your blog. If diablo sucks I'll give it a shot.

Thanks for the read.

Aureon said...

Hulks with no combat fitting, semi-AFK mining during Hulkageddon?
here we go, AGAIN!
You are misinformed, and talking about things you don't know. Again.

For this one: Tanking a hulk is better at one gank every 50 hours. Which, even during hulkageddon, isn't likely - unless you're mining in Amarr, which then IS your problem.
Switching to a covetor is still better tahn tanking your hulk.

ANYTHING is better than mining non-semiafk. Including not doing anything at all, for your sanity's sake.

Anonymous said...

As a player and CEO of a corporation who recruits pilots with less than 10mil skill points, would I sat that the biggest "wall" for new players to face is the trial periode.

I think alot of potentiale subscribers burns out during that periode. Either because they are left all alone or because the game at first, feels overwhelming. Being in a corporation that wants to see it's members progress makes all the difference.

Just as you pointed out is there always a risk of someone being either a Spy or a thief. Because of this are there only very few (if any) corporations who are willing to accept trial accounts, forcing all the new players to be left alone for the first month in the game.

It is not uncommon to encounter players up to 20mil skill points who has no basic understanding of game mechanics, such as timers or simple fittings. However i think alot of Eve players are too quick at throwing the blame on such pilots.
If someone hauls 500mil worth of items in a poorly fit Tech 1 hauler or warps to the low sec gate guns and die after finishing a POS bash is he really to blame?

I would personally blame is corporation / Alliance for not teaching him in the first place.

Alrenous said...

I realized both D2 and WoW are designed to encourage moronic players, creating morons out of marginal cases.

Specifically, neither will let you know you're bad at the game until many hours after you start playing. In the case of WoW, aside from the mentioned player criticism, the game won't tell you you're bad until you step into a heroic, minimum 80 hours. That is a long, long time for bad habits to set in.

Even pvp won't do it well, because it is so easy to blame the team - as indeed most do - unless you're in the arena, which you can't play, again, until 80 hours in.

Yeah, if someone told me about EJ I'd go check it out, but what if I were naturally against it, instead of naturally curious? Why would I listen when the game is so clearly telling me I'm more than good enough?

In D2's case, it won't tell you about how bad your talent build is until nightmare - until after the story is over and it is surviving entirely on replay value.

Both games specifically teach awful players they're good enough.

Anonymous said...

"Both games specifically teach awful players they're good enough."

[I smell anti Blizzard bias.]

Or it allows you to grow by playing, and then beating a different difficulty.

Games have traditionally been doing this. Wolf3D did it, CoD still does it. Diablo 3 does it. WoW does it. Dune 2 did it, SC2 does it.

The problem with WoW is that the lvling isn't challening. You can make it however more challenging by setting challenges. I do this in SWTOR; I try to beat premades in PvP with a group of random PuGs, I try to beat quests far above my level. YMMV. In WoW, an example of such a challenge is Ironman, or trying to solo a Algalon.

gnome of zurich said...

regarding EVE being must make gold. I actually think it is easier to make gold if you are really good in that environment. Why? In WoW, at least during wrath and cata, most of the market transactions were indirectly with people who played the market as recreation, goblins and gold farmers.

Why? Because regular players don't need gold -- they have enough from doing random shit and selling things for whatever price they get on the ah/trade. The only reasons to have gold in wow involve supporting boutique playing behavior (collectors, achievement whores, twinks, GDKP raiding, etc.) or to be better geared than your natural play skill, group and time spent would warrant. But there's only so much you can do for that in WoW, since most of the best gear is raid or PvP only.

So in practice, the only people who worry about the market in wow are people who make it something of a hobby -- either for the intrinsic fun of market PvP or to support one of the above boutique activities.

OTOH, it seems like in EVE, if you aren't active in the market at least somewhat, you will wither and die.

Interestingly enough, in earlier versions of WoW, gold was more valuable. When I started playing in the middle of BC, getting enough for your mounts, especially epic flying, but even just epic ground and regular flight, was a big deal for most players. Also, there was a fair bit of grinding for gear and rep to be able to run the minimal raids, and you could speed up a lot of standard grinds with gold. One thing that indicated how much harder it was to get gold if you were not a goblin, and how much more people wanted it was the pay rate at goldsellers. I remember around my peak gold in BC of around 100k in the summer of 2007, I estimated the RM value, and gold was selling for $20US per 1000g. And it was dropping. It had been much higher at the beginning of BC or in Vanilla. So my 100k back then was worth $2000. Note that this was about 4 months after beginning to play, so this works about to about 8k a week *average*, and for the first month or so I was earning peanuts, so my peak earning was a lot higher. That means I was making >$200 a week back then, comparable to your current earnings in EVE. And this was starting as a full on noob. I had no loans/gifts to start. I didn't even know enough to ask for a starter gold loan until I didn't need one anymore. Also, it was my first MMO ever, so I was spending a lot of time just getting used to the milieu, and I was already making a fair bit of gold before I even found some of the resources I ended up depending on, like auctioneer, etc.

My point being that earlier WoW, a reasonable economic player could make gold with real money value comparable to what you see in EVE today. And I know I could have done better. Much better, with the tools that were later available in wrath.

But of course, the reason those tools became available is that you and bunch of other people started publishing the goblin secrets and pretty soon there was lots of competition for flipping, and for all the really big profession industries. Industry profit margins went down, and great flipping buys became a function of luck, rather than something I could expect to see a bunch of nearly every time I ran an auctioneer scan.

So in the end, my gold per hour never got all that much higher than it was in the summer of 2007, even as the real money value of 2-3000g plummeted.

Since I forgot to post this the other day, now I've read your tuesday post in which you notice that your profits have decreased due to competition, exactly the same dynamic as in WoW. You publishing how you make profits station trading, has encouraged some people to start doing it who wouldn't have before. Like you, I am confident you will always be able to make ISK, and probably always be much better at it than 95-99% of EVE players. But I expect the real world value of what you earn to go down as you continue to publish your secrets and attract more goblins to the EVE trading game.