Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I'm a carebear and I'm not happy about it

Care bears are extra cute and extra nice cartoon figures. They are also used as a term on people who do not engage direct competition, instead stick to safe methods of progression. I barely undock and farm ISK instead sitting on a station. I never engage in financial speculation either. I simply buy a bit lower than equilibrium and sell a bit above equilibrium. Even miners take more risks than me. I'm probably the biggest carebear of EVE Online.

"Carebear" is used on such players because they are too soft to dare to stand face to face with an opponent, so they settle with inferior results that they can gain without competition. I'm not like that at all, you saw it countless times that I see no problem doing things that enrages lot of people. Hey, I'm the first guy who was kicked from TEST - the alliance of trolls - for trolling. The reason why I'm a carebear is that my methods aren't providing inferior results. I'm making 35-45B/month with my completely safe trading methods. When I did a PvP test, I killed 52B ISK a month solo, dozen times more than "real PvP-ers", again without risks as AFK mining barges rarely win encounters.

I did not choose to be a care bear, I choose to win and as Sirlin taught us if the optimal move is "cheap", than we do that move. Just like the camper in counterstrike (God how much they hated me in the University for being able to camp until the end of the match), the station trader and the ganker are playing in an optimal way that is "no fun" according to most. If the best way to get ISK is sitting on a station, then I sit on a station. If the best way to get kills is farming Retrievers, then I farm Retrievers.

It's not my job to fix the game. The developer must make the game "fun" while winning. As soon as the best way to get ISK will be fighting in nullsec, off I will go to nullsec, providing fights to PvP-ers. But as long as the best ISK/hour is in a station, can you give me any reason to undock?

I am supporting James 315 in his CSM campaign exactly to change the game in a way where winning doesn't mean sitting in a station or farming AFK retrievers. I agree with most that these kind of activities aren't fun. Where I disagree, is that I rather be bored than a loser who doesn't have a billions in his wallet and has a few billion ISK damage done. A fix to the EVE economy would remove this distinction, you'd be able to win while having fun.

25 comments:

Yagamoth said...

Well, you are playing to win - no doubt. The only problem in Eve seems to be, that there is no clear/game-specified win condition which everyone agrees to. Basically you are trying to make achieving your definition of winning "more fun".

In your goal alone, there are already two variables. "winning" and "fun". How do you intend to convince people who have a different definition of these variables, that they should support you?

Obviously there are people with the same definitions, but I dare to say those wre rather rare.

Anonymous said...

I do agree that the risks in nullsec just aren't worth it in EVE.

Highsec: Little to no risk
Incursions (60m?/hr)
L4 missions (30-60m?/hr)
Mining (36m?/hr)
Station trading (you know)

Lowsec: Risky
Exploration (best drop: 1.9 billion, from guristas 6/10 ISK/hr varies wildly)
FW (500 mil/hr?)

Wormhole: Very risky
100 mil/hour is what I think

Anonymous said...

I personally never understood why you did not try to get into Goonswarms banking / market manipulation arm, where you could have combined your love of manipulating and controlling markets with PvP.

As Yagamoth said, you are playing to win in a way you find fun, but then Eve is a sandbox, so we all get to define our own version of winning and fun.

For some, it might be logging back to an old char they bought trit on a few years when it was stable at 3 isk p/u, and finding todays right click sell price to be double that.
For others, it is blowing up mining barges
For still more, it is running incursions, farming level 4s, running a production chain solo, controlling sov, running a mega mining fleet, can flipping, low sec piracy, and yes, some even enjoy station trading.

One of the things many struggle with in eve, and the reason it has not reached a huge market is that there is no one way to win, or have fun, unlike themepark games.

As Yagamoth said, I think finding two people with the same definition of winning eve, and having fun is very unlikely

Anonymous said...

Your understanding of winning is is much different than other people's. For example - to me, you are loosing the game since you are doing extremely boring stuff like trading and ganking and you have no pvp experience, which you try to mask by lying to yourself that ganking is pvp (and you will die to pretty much everyone who has real pvp experience). Eve is a sandbox - you cannot force your view onto others as the end goal, since the game design makes everyone entitled to have their own view. You cannot win, but you surely can fail by thinking otherwise.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of losers in EVE. Every day I hear of people grumbling because they have no money. It isn't that hard to make money. Anyone who is dirt poor is simply lazy.

90% of the people in nullsec are lazy because they squat on their moons sucking easy money up and expecting an SRP program to replace all their ships. Instead they should be developing themselves to make money without having to rely on others.

EVE is full of lazy dumb people.

Anonymous said...

No, the definition of a carebear is that you are extremely risk-averse and do pretty much nothing but farm isk. You match it perfectly.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure i would call it winning what you do. While you do much better then most players financially you seem content with what you have.

If i was in your shoes i would look for goals that go much further. If being rich is easy for you why not go for super filthy space rich and mess up some stuff in the game big time for shits and giggles? Miner ganking goes in that direction but it's childs play. Why not crush some people who are in a much better situation then your average miner?

Endgame in Eve is not a big wallet but power. But big wallet helps a lot to go there if you're clever.

Anonymous said...

"boring stuff like trading and ganking and you have no pvp experience,"

"you are extremely risk-averse and do pretty much nothing but farm isk"

Has everyone forgotten when Gevlon piloted logi in fleet ops and spent months in null? Or are you going to say 'flying logi isn't real pvp' now?

Anonymous said...

lol, you still think there is a way to win eve.

guess you still don't get the idea of a sandbox.

YOU (and nobody else) can ever win eve. To have a winner, there needs to be an END, of which eve has none.

Anonymous said...

"Has everyone forgotten when Gevlon piloted logi in fleet ops and spent months in null?"

Compare null blob logi to frig 1vs1 or small-gang in lowsec and you'll see the difference (I hope). Basing on his posts about pvp - it's pretty obvious what he did learn about pvp: not much at all.

Johnicholas Hines said...

ISK is not necessarily victory points; it is only victory points if you, the player, decide to make ISK victory points.

The game's marketing emphasizes the economics aspects, and ISK has a special role among other goods in that the devs treat it differently (you can transport it more easily, for example).

However, you the player are choosing to win at ISK and lose at, for example, sov. Other people choose to lose at ISK and sov and win at roleplaying being a pirate. You could choose to collect one of every good in the game, and viciously DEFEAT those losers who only have one good, ISK.

Anonymous said...

You could always go for the idea from this thread:

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=83918

Winning at isk could be done by gaining isk off of socials, like the various casinos/lotteries
Winning at isk could be from predicting and projecting on the market.

There are many ways you could "win" the isk game, which is what most interests you, the only limit is your imagination...there are so many gaps in the market.

Sure, you can flip stuff at a trade hub, and haul stuff around, but the ROI diminishes after a certain amount...then it takes more effort to sustain, or more research at least.

Anonymous said...

You're saying it's CCP's job to hammer away until rational actors are rewarded for the gameplay you happen to like.
Why don't you stop being rational for a moment every now and then and make your own damn fun. If a fun strategy is not "playing to win" then you are a victim of self-imposed limits.
James 315 might like nulsec turning into a WWI-style calamity, but he wants to do it without blocs putting prideful obstinate idiots in charge and tactical retards as FCs, i.e. without ceasing to be a rational, risk conscious players. Ain't gonna happen.

Hivemind said...

@Gevlon
I've said it before and I'll probably say it again; EVE does not have any definite success or winning conditions. It's up to each player to define for themselves what they want to get out of the game and how they will measure their success at that objective.

In your case, you've defined your goal as "Be winning EVE*" and you've further defined "winning EVE" as "Having high income, large wallet, high kill value and high ISK efficiency" with no further qualifiers. As such you're going to measure success in terms of how well you meet those criteria and so you'll go specifically for the actions that best achieve those criteria. Those are station trading for income and ganking for kills.

Most other players view your playstyle as "no fun" because they are concerned with enjoying the game now rather than meeting criteria for an eventual win. Their perspective is reinforced by your refusal to acknowledge pursuit of fun as an acceptable motive for any activity (T1 frig/cruiser roams, for example - enjoyable for the players but unacceptably inefficient for your goals) and even posts like this one where you are effectively complaining that you are not enjoying the process of completing your own goals.

Considering that "winning" is an entirely subjective term and that when you use it you're referring to a set of personal criteria that you and you alone have set, CCP are under no obligation to change their game specifically to correlate your definition of winning and your sense of fun. You can argue that the developer has an obligation to make every aspect of the game fun, but given that different aspects of the game will appeal to different people you cannot simply cite "I am not enjoying this" as "this gameplay aspect is not fun".

It seems like your problem is that you refuse to compromise what you have taken up as your "success" condition but you're also not enjoying the gameplay that you need to meet that condition. All I can really suggest is finding some way to reconcile these issues; either you need to alter your "success" condition to factor in "enjoyment of gameplay" or you need to find a way to take enjoyment from meeting your "success" condition regardless of the gameplay involved.

"I rather be bored than a loser who doesn't have a billions in his wallet and has a few billion ISK damage done. A fix to the EVE economy would remove this distinction, you'd be able to win while having fun."

The problem with that assertion is that just as you get to define your own success condition(s) so does everyone else and you can't impose your conditions on other players any more than players saying your playstyle is no fun or that things like your ganking kills "don't count" can impose their conditions on you. The player you're comparing there isn't necessarily a loser by their own terms, their success criteria may involve frigate combat in RvB or FW plexes, for example, which they could succeed at while still demonstrating the attributes you name. Once again, the fact that you can't "win" while having fun isn't automatically a problem with the game's design; it could just be a problem with the criteria you use to define "winning" and "fun".

*You would probably say your goal is specifically "Win EVE" however by definition this would require an eventual end to the game, which is not currently likely. As such your ongoing goal must be "Fulfil the criteria by which I will judge victory when the game is over", in other words "be winning".

Tiye Q said...

You have to realize that another nerf to hi-sec income (industry, missions, incursions, etc...) will be the end of EVE Online.

It's fairly common knowledge that the bulk of CCP's income comes from hi-sec players. These players pay their $15 a month per account to log in and play. You don't pay to play this game. So CCP does not need to design content around you or anyone else who does not pay to play. Nor is the paying player responsible for generating content. That falls in the hands of the developer.

If hi-sec income gets nerfed, the money will leave the game, plain and simple.

The only logical reason that anyone would support a nerf to hi-sec income while not looking at the bigger picture, and solving other major issues, would be to kill the enjoyment of the majority of the player base.

Druur Monakh said...

Did you consider the possibility that maybe you haven't been 'winning' EVE at all? That having the most ISK or fattest KB aren't the victory conditions you thought they'd be?

And your underlying problem with EVE could be that EVE doesn't have an "objective" win metric, externally validated by CCP - which would explain your past posts about kb statistics and the like, and even your support for James315. You want a game with external challenges, because you failed at giving yourself meaningful self-imposed ones.

Look at it from a risk/reward perspective on a meta level: You played the game in a very risk-averse manner. You did mostly what you were already good at, or could minimize the risk, but not what you could ultimately fail at. Do you think you deserve entertainment reward for such little effort?

The only way to "win" EVE is giving yourself challenges, and then work your best to achieve them. Everything else - ISK, KB stats, corp member counts - is just book keeping.

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: my problem is that no form of competitive play can be defined on the alternatives you mention "having fun in RvB" is valid play, but not competitive. So it's not that my win condition is boring, but ANY is. I tried sov and its mostly bashing empty structures. I tried "PvP for killboard", I tried ISK, can you give any competitive goal that isn't trivial or boring?

Hivemind said...

@ Tiye Q

I've said this to Gevlon before, but "paying ISK for PLEX" is not the same as "playing for free". The PLEX was paid for with real money - at a rate higher than any of the sub fees - by another player because they wanted a quick infusion of ISK, for whatever reason. Whether they're a weekend warrior who wants to fight, not farm, a new player looking for a leg up or a veteran who needs a quick infusion of cash to kick off a new project, they all place sufficient value on ISK to pay IRL money to legitimately acquire it. It is players like Gevlon and all the others who invest time to accumulate ISK and then make it available in exchange for PLEX that motivates the PLEX sellers to buy timecodes or PLEX from CCP for RL money. CCP have every reason to keep PLEX-consuming players around because their continued willingness to exchange their ISK for game time is worth more than them actually subbing their accounts would be.

@Gevlon

Given that in this post you're talking about hoping that EVE changes fundamentally to make it into the game you want to play, I'm not sure that you will find what you're looking for in EVE as it currently exists; if you need CCP to go in and make deep changes then clearly you don't like what we have now.

That said, what exactly do you count as a "competitive goal that isn't trivial or boring"? I've seen multiple posts where you basically write "This thing you all think is competitive really isn't" and then debate it in the comments, but I don't think I've seen you lay out exactly what it is you do consider competitive?

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: for something to be competitive, it must:
- force the players to fight for limited resources (points, game currency, "you won" end screen), something that the winner gets and others not
- allow players to advance to level N+1 by defeating level N enemies

In EVE everything is available in unlimited supply, all you need is time to get it and you can get anything by farming easy enemies or NPCs

Anonymous said...

315, Goblin (and others of that ilk) are actually motivated by causing grief. They are not 'playing Eve (whatever that means) but are using Eve to score points in another game (how many people in this activity did I upset today)? The consequence of that is that they don't really care if the game stands or falls (unless the fall can in some sense be credited to them in which case they say 'Kudos'). CCP lost control over the griefing element a long time ago (and probably at that time it wasn't really a big deal) society however has moved on, Eve players/CCP (i.e. those 'stakeholders' who are interested in the game as the game) need to catch up. Even the best regulated sandboxes occasionally needed the catshit cleaning out.

Kalven said...

I don't know anything about Eve (honestly, I've been skimming since you switched from WoW), but I know what you mean by "Carebear". I don't think the term applies when the dynamic of high risk/high reward vs. low risk/low reward breaks down and a low risk strategy results in the highest reward. Taking advantage of that isn't carebear, it's just rational.

Hivemind said...

@ Gevlon

Frankly your definition of competitive isn't really compatible with the nature of EVE as a sandbox; if there is a reatable process to obtain the item (the 'limited' nature coming from a hard limit of how many times it can be repeated in a given time period) then the item will become available to anyone with the ISK to purchase it; look at Officer mods for example. If the process is time-limited (get it during a brief period then no more will ever be added again) then either that limited nature makes it a destabilizing tool (an already-powerful group amasses a monopoly and gains an insurmountable advantage) or they aren't powerful enough to be especially valuable or equivalent-but-different items will become available frequently enough to again make that power level available to any willing to work for it, which defeats the point of the items being limited.

I can't really think of anything in EVE that satisfies the condition of "allow players to advance to level N+1 by defeating level N enemies" as that isn't really a mechanic that comes up in EVE. The closest I can think of would be incursion mothership sites, where I believe players have to push the incursion control bar all the way into the blue by farming sites (level N) to reveal the Mothership (level N+1) but the reward level and repeatable nature of Mom sites as a whole doesn't satisfy the first criteria. That being said and with the disclaimer I've already written above, there is one example I can think of that satisfies the "force the players to fight for limited resources (points, game currency, "you won" end screen), something that the winner gets and others not" clause; the Alliance Tournament. Players fight through brackets matched up based on performance in previous matches (would that satisfy the N/N+1 requirement?) and the winning team get limited run BPOs of a unique ship type that out-perform any other equivalent vessels, often including unique features (the Etana is the only practical logistics vessel that can use a covops cloak and black ops jump bridges, for example). It is definitely a case of players competing for limited resources.

EVE being a free-market game it's still possible for sufficiently wealthy players to purchase those limited edition ships from the actual winners, but then that is always going to be the case in a game that has a free market; unless soul-binding were introduced there will never be anything preventing a player from obtaining the fruits of another's work simply with a sufficiently large amount of ISK. Does that fact completely devalue winning the tournament and being the one who receives the original blueprints? If so then any limited resource competition will fail to meet your criteria (though as a note I did a little checking and I can't find confirmation on whether BPCs go to individual members or to the captain of the team - if the latter then as a captain you could choose to ensure that no copies ever go on the market).

Naturally if that was a route you wanted to go down you would have to learn to PvP against ships that actually shoot back, but other than that you could potentially leverage your ISK to recruit a team of veteran PvPers or possibly buy your way into captaincy of a competent alliance team who don't have the huge ISK that the likes of PL can throw around. A PLEX auction for places as was the case in the last AT would also let your ISK guarantee that you get a place in the competition.

Azuriel said...

If you are bored, you are automatically losing the game. Playing a boring game to win, when winning derives no other benefit, is simply irrational. Pretending that imaginary pixel money constitutes winning in a boring game is even worse.

Why don't you, I dunno, play to win at a game you actually enjoy playing?

Ruby Porto said...

This reminds me of the Econ 101 "How to pick a career" slide.

1. Do you have a special talent (i.e. will one job be easier than usual to do for you)?

2. What is in demand (easily abstracted as Salary)?

3. What do you enjoy doing?

The weights of each criteria are up to the individual (which is why there are more professional oboeists than well paid oboe chairs in major symphonies).

Anyway, in EVE, most PvP falls under the oboeist category. It's not profitable in terms of ISK, but people do it because you enjoy it, and enjoy getting better at it. Just like any other hobby.

If you don't enjoy PvP for its own sake, but do enjoy trading and ganking, then maybe trading and ganking is the right EVE "Job" for you, and progression for you is getting better at trading and ganking.

If someone else doesn't enjoy Trade in spite of its lucre, but does enjoy PvP for its own sake, then maybe PvP is the right EVE "Job" for them, despite the crap pay (like the RL Rational Oboeist).

Rational behavior is acting to maximize your returns. What units those returns are in is outside the scope of what is or is not rational.

This is the tricky part of applying Sirlin to a game like EvE where there are not, generally speaking, overall winners and losers. There are Slackers (people who set goals but don't work to achieve them), Morons (people who set goals but don't know or want to learn how to achieve them), and a whole rainbow of people who set differing goals and work to achieve them and learn to do so efficiently.
They're all playing to win; there are just a bunch of different finish lines.

swp said...

Eve Online is the anti-Sirlin. If you go by the Sirlin mentality this game is not even playable. It is simply poorly designed for it.

Eve Online is more like life: there are no universally agreed up on goals, however there are some things the cultures claims ought to be goals, except such claims are riddled with innumerable implicit rules that a true optimizer would collide with all the time.

The different communities with different values clash all the time in complex ways, and that is somewhat unique in games.

To me, it is my personal sub-goal in the game is to understand how the directionless environment combines with personality to form individual "characteristic play style" and perhaps it is one of your sub-goal as well. It is similar to learning how space geometry and player patterns generate market opportunities.

It is a different kind of enjoyment then what the game directly offers, but if it works for me then its fine.

*also a trader, and posted on sirlin/fantasy strike forums for a while.

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