Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The effect of griefing on the victims

At first I'd like to emphasize that ingame griefing has no real victims. Not because "it's just pixels lol", but because all games are designed to let you start over. EVE is called the most harsh game, yet there is no permadeath, you can't lose more than 5% skillpoints if you did the dumbest possible mistake in EVE by not updating your clone. Whatever you lost, you can get back by playing better. You can be annoyed, set back, harassed, but not permanently damaged, which would qualify you as "victim".

The Mittani wrote that "This new generation of players rejects the very idea of adaptation and demands that their desire for a ‘safe’ EVE" and "To prevent EVE from becoming a PvP-optional themepark of the sort that coddles this shameful demographic, something must be done - the players who actually do participate in the EVE community must either educate these people about the nature of the game, or blow them up. Through education or violence, they must learn that EVE’s difficulty is what makes the game unique and worthwhile, rather than just another consequence-free PvP-optional themepark game.".

I replied that "Ganking M&S and hoping that they start to play smartly is just as good idea as punishing a 2 years old for peeing into his pants." I still believe that they can't be punished into thinking. They will just give another rage or cry. But what then? The World is populated by these bio-bots and something has to be done. Writing posts or even books like Ayn Rand did will make no difference since they don't read. The "Goon magic" helps those who are already seeking a way out. But most people would refuse to even try that. They are fine being a sheep.

Of course ganking reaches them. Actually nothing else does. The only way to get their attention is smashing them with something big. OK, we have their attention but what shall we say? Left on his own devices he'll just think "evil thing happened someone come save meeeee!" So without further communication the griefing has no positive effect on them.

However not all communication is useful. A technical answer like "you died because your Hulk had no tanking modules or received any form of repping" don't help. He won't listen to you because you are evil, so everything you say are lies and madness. I think the best would be to say "I know you believe you shouldn't be attacked. I did exactly to prove you wrong. If you keep doing nothing you'll be ganked again by me or someone else like me. Beliefs won't save you. Proper playing will. I failed several ganks to smarter carebears. Find smart carebears, join them, learn from them!"

This answer is good the same way as the "Goon magic" itself. It doesn't try to plant rationality into someone in 1 minute, that's impossible. It doesn't want to turn the person into an individualist, it offers a better social environment. Just like the Goon experiences breaking moral rules with the social support of fellow Goons, this advice urges the victim to seek a social group that will teach him. He doesn't want to be ganked so he is motivated to do something, but he'll be dead before accepting advice from an "evil ganker". The "magic" in this idea is that it tells him nothing else than he'd do on his own: ask for help. However it points him not to the forum to cry to devs but to more rational players. A carebear group which can fit a ship isn't the Objectivist convention, but definitely smarter than a carebear group that cannot fit a ship. A working carebear corp isn't a place of enlightened capitalism, but will demand its members to not just receive help but give it in the form of participating mining raids and such.

The "magic" solution isn't big at all. The opposite, it's series of small steps. For a "special snowflake who deserve it all just because he is existing" joining to a community of mutual help and cooperation is a huge step. This is how griefing will make the world a better place: forces socials to be social with a bit better group than they are in now. So if you don't want to spend the rest of your life with idiots and sheep, next time you see a moron, defeat him, then point him to the guy or group who can help him. If you have no better idea, simply mail him the list of the people you failed to gank.

You shall give no mercy to a stupid, or you give mercy to stupidity. However you should always give good advice how to stop being stupid. If just one out of 100 listens, that's a person saved. The rest of them will be return customers.

You can join trading discussions on the Goblinworks channel.
Tuesday morning report: 94.6B (1.5B spent on main accounts, 1.3 spent on logi, 1.0 on Ragnarok, 0.5 on Rorqual, 0.9 on Nyx, 0.8 on Avatar, 2.6B received as gift).


Anonymous said...

beliefs may not save him but complaining to CCP might do the trick

there have been quite a lot of nerfs to suicide ganking recently (insurance removal, Orca nerf and the latest changes that prevent warping away to hit another target before CONCORD gets you).

Weren't you yoursekf advocating to lobby CCP for carebesar interests?

As long as the option to make high-sec "safe" through pressure on CCP is realistic, "adapt or die" is not an option to most carebears.

(And all goons achieve through their actions is force CCP into bringing EVE closer to Hello Kitty Online one small step at a time - one suicide ganker adds some flavor to EVE and is a net positive to the game, one thousand suicide gankers cost most subscriptions than they add)

Gevlon said...

Suicide ganking isn't the only way of griefing. It's maybe the most loud.

I still believe that limiting griefing increases subscriber count, I just no longer care about subscriber count.

Azuriel said...

How do you not consider time lost to be permanent damage? Especially leisure time lost?

Gevlon said...

@Azuriel: what time lost? You are keep playing the game. If you mean "I must grind 10 hours to regain my ship" than you are losing time because you are grinding in a video game for a pixel ship and not because the ganker.

Dioxin said...

>"I know you believe you shouldn't be attacked. I did exactly to prove you wrong. If you keep doing nothing you'll be ganked again by me or someone else like me. Beliefs won't save you. Proper playing will. I failed several ganks to smarter carebears. Find smart carebears, join them, learn from them!"

When you gank someone and then tell them "I blew up your ship because I had a moral obligation to teach you a lesson," the usual response you get is not "oh how helpful, tell me more" but "fuck you, you self righteous prick. Go die in a fire."

If you're padding out your kills in order to collect hulk bounties, this kind of provocation is great. On the other hand, if you're actually trying to modify player behavior, then this approach is going to end up with your fighting common human emotional reactions all the way to the ignore list.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe the "We gank because we care" line for one second. It is a quick defense trotted out by gankers to pretend they are being socially productive as opposed to just getting their kicks from making small kids cry.

Small scale ganking drives the brighter carebears to adapt. M&S don't learn because they think they were just unlucky. Large scale ganking doesn't teach anyone (those that can learn already have done, those that can't will just moan for changes or quit).

For perfect education you need teachers than can point people that want to learn in the right direction and a limited threat that keeps the learners on their toes to stop them getting fat and complacent.

Gevlon said...

@Dioxin: the point is that ganking is the only thing they can't ignore. They can ignore my words but they can't ignore lost ships or systems.

Also, the message can be simpler: "If you don't want to be ganked, join EVE-Uni, they can teach you how to play"

Anonymous said...

so basically you are saying "M&S, get social!"?

btw, while the eve-uni wiki has some nice information, almost all recruits i've seen come from eve-uni where more than useless. (Poor understanding of game Mechanics, different Terminology than most other alliances, used to get sugar blown up their...)

Gevlon said...

Very good point. The development line is something like M&S -> productive social -> successful, griefing anti-social -> rational.

SiderisAnon said...

Based on the first paragraph of this blog entry, by your logic, Gevlon, since all you lose is time, if someone breaks into your apartment and steals everything you own, it's not griefing, not harmful, and really doesn't matter because there was no permadeath and you can simply replace it all in time and so are not permanently damaged.

I'm sure you can come up with some Minimalist response about how stuff doesn't matter and you can always get more stuff. An attitude which you might think works for you, but which I doubt would hold up to reality.

Ultimately, griefing is about power and control. If I grief you, I have the power and the control; you lose power and control. There are many violent crimes in the real world that are about the very same thing. If you can destroy a thing, you have power over it and whomever values it.

So, before you start saying how griefing does not have a victim and does not matter to you, keep in mind that you raged against an entire game and (I believe) quit playing it because you lost your perception of having power there. In World of Tanks, you came up with spreadsheets to show how the game itself was conspiring against you so that you started losing if you did too well overall. This took the power away from you. This means you were griefed by the game. And you hated it.

So, keep that in mind as you try and justify griefing.

Gevlon said...

@Siderisanon: My point is NOT that it's not griefing. It's that you are not "victim". You can and shall regain power. The victim has no way to regain control. When one could but doesn't, the word is "moron and slacker" and not "victim".

I did left WoT, denying them income and stopping them griefing me since defeating devs in their own game is hopeless. What I hated was the "bad luck", not knowing what is going on. By making statistics, figuring out how it works I regained control, made proper adjustments and now I'm happy about it. My tour in WoT wasn't wasted time, and the page where I caught them messing with the system was one of my most visited page.

A robber DOES grief me, but I do not respond by this threat by whining but by keeping little money at home, locking doors, having a gun and voting for the party with harsher laws.

JacktheManiac said...

Interesting. Good followup to your old post. I don't play eve and read more the philosophy posts since you stopped writing on WoW, but there are gems every now and then.

However, what I wonder is how to apply this lesson, as to how to help people evolve, from moron and slackers to average working people in real life.

In real life it usually is the same thing. People whine they can't do stuff. Or they seem uncapable of going the more efficient way, being trapped by self imposed rules and beliefs, arbitrary rules and beliefs.

In real life you can't just beat the crap out of them then say "I know you believe you shouldn't be attacked. I did exactly to prove you wrong..." or be better than them. People don't really want to listen to the better people unless they seek to become better (and even so, listening to someone seemingly better could get you into a sect like the Seduction Community, where Mystery and his goons, Ross Jeffries are usually worse than you- stay away.) so you can't just trust someone in a higher position and most self help gurus are like Seduction Community people (i.e usually shit).

So, considering that, do you think there is a way to apply today's post's lesson in real life.


Bristal said...

"The Mittani wrote that "This new generation of players rejects the very idea of adaptation and demands that their desire for a ‘safe’ EVE"..."

I argue that rejecting the idea of adaptation is a valid strategy, and not a pathology of your reviled M&S.

Why should I work and learn to adapt when I can win, or "regain power", by just voicing my dissatisfaction?

And why isn't demanding a safer EVE an adaptation?

Perhaps this is bourne of a generation that has seen an essentially peaceful planet their entire lives; one which is now so economically linked that the notion of self reliance is an inefficient strategy.

When you are robbed, you don't decide to keep less stuff. You call the cops and insurance to complain and hopefully get someone else to get your stuff back, then you increase your insurance.

Adaptation can come in many forms.

Anonymous said...

So you redefine the word „victim” to fit your philosophy. Gevlon, I think you are a victim of the just-world fallacy. Quote from Wikipedia, Theory paragraph: “There are a few modes of reinterpretation that could make an event fit the belief in a just world. One can reinterpret the outcome, the cause, and/or the character of the victim. In the case of observing the injustice of the suffering of innocent others, one major way to rearrange the cognition of an event is to interpret the victim of suffering as deserving of that suffering. Specifically, observers can blame victims for their suffering on the basis of their behaviors and/or their characteristics.” Your entire philosophy is based on this fallacy. Just look at this post. Reinterpreting the character of the victim? M&S. Check. Reinterpreting the cause (of griefing)? You encourage people to teach by griefing. Check. Reinterpreting the outcome (of griefing)? Yes, the too lazy and the too unintelligent (your M&S) will surely learn from their griefers… Most likely the position of the cancel account button. Check. You are too quick to jump into conclusions and make sweeping generalizations based on them and rarely admit your mistakes (on your blog). In other words you are a perfectly normal human being. Just out of curiosity: What amount of data/evidence would make you abandon your belief in the existence of M&S?

A bit more on topic: It’s hard to educate people, who don’t want to be educated. It’s almost impossible to teach them something that conflicts their existing beliefs. We are really good at ignoring/forgetting/discrediting overwhelming amounts of evidence. If you want to change what people believe… you can’t. They have to do the first step and start doubting. You can easily show someone that homeopathy is nonsense, except if they believe it cured them or their child or their cat. My point: EVE players hold a series of beliefs about themselves and the game. Examples: “I’m a good player”; “high sec is completely safe”; “evil doers will be punished”. When they are blown up in their lolfit hulk, they are confronted with hard evidence. They could alter their beliefs to match reality, but most of them won’t do that. Most of them will try to alter reality to match their beliefs. If they fail, they will alter their perception of reality. They will deny that their hulk was lolfit or it was dumb to afk mine during hulkageddon, and continue to do the same. Why do you think they will listen to a random ganker, if they can successfully ignore just about everything?

Druur Monakh said...

I am not sure how to read your post.

If your point is that the aftermath of a gank is a good opportunity to give the victim advice on how to avoid future repetitions - yes, that is a workable method, and PVPers do garner respect for such stand-up play. But the purpose of the gank in such a case is the gank itself.

However, if your point is that ganking should be used with the express purpose of dispensing advice afterwards, that is simple zealotry. You'd be using force to impose your ideology onto other people (who are happy as they are) for the only reason that they don't play in a way you approve of.

And neither interpretation strikes me as "anti-social rational".

Anonymous said...

"" It’s hard to educate people, who don’t want to be educated. ""

Then exploit the ever-loving sh*t out of them, for fun and profit.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please. Gankers gank for the lols and the killmails. No one but you (not even Mittens) tries to dress up gankers as "crusading educators of the weak."

Typically for an ideologue who hates the group he wants to change, you ignore positive reinforcement entirely. In my MMO career, I've probably achieved more actual education by carrying people through content and making positive, respectful (i.e. helpful friendly ppl style) comments about their gear and tactics than you have by kicking them from your groups. Leading by example and letting the individual know that you're basically on their side as you criticise them goes a long way.

Similarly, EVE-uni has helped the weak far more over the years than have the Goons.

The goal here isn't education. There is no message. It's just petty sadism.

Anonymous said...

You & Mittens do not care about the subscribers. ( Although perhaps many griefers would be happy to hurt CCP's revenue as well as the care bears. ) Going out and ganking morons either
1) reduces CCP's revenue and make EVE Online less than it could have been with more development dollars
2) Forces CCP to change the mechanics to protect the paying customers
Either way, EVE the way you and he want to play is diminished. If CCP allows it, they are morons and not skilled at running a business. Bar owners want everyone excited and noisy but at a certain level, you have to throw the worst drunks out to keep from losing other customers.

I think the rank & file just enjoy hurting others - no philosophy is required. OTOH, my guess is perhaps Mittens is just curious: will CCP let the crowd keep driving away their customers? Or will CCP cave and turn EVE into something no longer EVE? IDK the answer to that. Back when they were profitable, I would have been confident they would have held firm. We shall see.

Anonymous said...

Later this year is when this really gets interesting: DUST 514 ships. CCP purchased multiple companies on multiple continents to develop console games. (A marketing strategy consultant might argue EVE Online is a "cash cow" and DUST is supposed to be the strategic product for CCP.)

A recent MMO podcast talked bout how you can buy the very best equipment in DUST for $0.26 - but it is lost when you die. Console Kiddies, RMT, Sony and Goons mixed with CCP's abysmal PR skills mean it should be quite entertaining! That is far more strategic than whether 10% more or fewer Hulks get ganked. If you and/or Goons are looking to harm CCP's revenue, IMO that will be the way to do it.

Dioxin said...

"the point is that ganking is the only thing they can't ignore. They can ignore my words but they can't ignore lost ships or systems."

Swarms of gankers have already done this, a lot. Hulkageddon infinite comes on the heels of hulkageddon V, an annual event now in its fifth year. And that's not even counting the ice interdiction, burn jita, and all the other random ganks for lulz that happen all the time. If gankers have been at it for that long but have yet to make a dent in highsec carebear behavior, what makes you think you doing the same thing is suddenly going to lead to a mass pubbie awakening?

stubborn said...

Ah, Gev, you're becoming more and more a teacher. That satisfies me to no end. Altruism comes in many forms, not just as mercy, but also from giving a little of your time to better those who are simply ignorant as opposed to lazy or stupid.

It seems you are a carebear after all, just one that's fine with carebear staring all the ones who can't be helped into oblivion.

Ironically, in the same time frame, I've become much more vicious towards stupid and lazy people, moving more in your direction. Unfortunately, WoW prevents endless vote to kicks (further protecting its over-privileged population), bu I've found that the tank and his wife, the healer, asking someone else to vote to kick gets the job done.