Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Highsec miners, missioners and traders aren't enablers

Jester in his newfound support for gank victims wrote "I think there's room in EVE for all types of EVE play. Even people who insist on being high-sec lurker enablers. You know them as solo high-sec miners and missioners." I don't argue with the "they have room" part. I argue with the "enabler" part. Enablers are people who do background work that make other people able to do their thing. For example the guy who fuels the jump bridge allows the alliance fleet to respond quickly. Or the JF pilot who hauls for contract from Jita to the nullsec HQ.

People tend to look miners, missioners this way. I add traders too, exactly to include myself into this bunch. They see themselves enablers too, "without miners you'd have no ships" is a field in the miner bingo, the collection of the standard replies of ganked/bumped miners.

The error comes from a wrong real life analogy. If you give something useful to everyone, you are great, as you increased the well-being of every people. If you give something useful to everyone in a game, you just nerfed the game and no one is better off. In-game items are worthless pixels. They gain only value by comparison to other players. It is very easy to see in MMOs where itemlevel is elevated every patch. The sword of uberness which makes the wielder envied will be random crap next patch when the first murlock gives better. Also game developers are capable of giving everyone everything, but I don't think that anyone (except morons and slackers) would be happier if everyone would get 1T ISK, a billion units of every minerals and 10 titans after next downtime in EVE.

The highsec missioner, miner and trader indeed participates in the game economy, supplying various things. But if they would be replaced by an NPC, no one would notice, exactly because their minerals, LP items and smaller Jita margins are available to everyone. It gives exactly as much help to a Nulli guy as the Solar guy gets from them.

The real enablers aren't neutral. They enable one group against the other. The Solar tower-fueling guy makes Solar stronger relative to Nulli. You can't replace him with an NPC since the developers can't take sides. By running warehouses I'm an enabler for the New Order. The Red Frog guy who hauls the Catalysts to the warehouse on the other hand is not an enabler for us, as he transports Skiffs to miners just as happily. From the point of view of AFK miners vs New Order, the Red Frog guy acts as a hauling nerf. Neither of us need to haul, we just have to pay a small sum and in a day or two our items arrive to their destination. A CCP given "magic transport" tool would be just as good.

Of course this "enabler" nonsense came from the very entitled position of the average EVE player. Jester - similarly to the "without us you'd have no ships" miner - tries to convince the PvP-ers that "carebears" have a purpose in the game. This entitlement is crystal clear in Corelin: "I am perfectly OK with people playing in highsec. What I really want them doing is creating content for ME. A highsec player who does nothing but accumulate isk running missions, mining, doing whatever, doesn’t really add value to MY experience. A griefer potentially does. Alts have mains, who potentially do. A carebear? Meh. His replacement is a dime a dozen. The ore he mines will rapidly be acquired by someone else and my prices will stabilize The isk injected by that mission runner who got horribly ganked will be replaced by another mission runner and the prices will stabilize. Again I don’t care what you do much, or where you do it. I care that you bring something to the table, that you contribute to this game, to this community, to me. If you can do it by moving, great, if you can do it by blogging, great. If you can do it by doing what you are doing, fantastic, but if you aren’t doing anything for me, why should I give a rats ass about you?"

Jester tries to make understanding between the ones who feel entitled to others providing content to them and those who feel entitled to be left alone in an MMO. There cannot be such understanding. These groups can't coexist. The MMO side could go on with miners being NPCs, and the PvE could go on if PvP-ers would be replaced by NPC buy orders. The developers must make their decision how much they cater to these groups.

Please note that I didn't say that either group is worthless. I said that they are worthless in the eyes of the other group and there cannot be peace and understanding between them.


Anonymous said...

can you provide a link to that original comment by jester...

Anonymous said...

I don't really see your reasoning. Miners/missioners/traders enable other people to do something. That is undeniable and it doesn't really matter WHO gets "enabled". The fact is that someone IS, thus those guys are enablers. Let's make a thought experiment: miners mine some ore, industrialists build the same ship for everyone in the game to use. According to you, that makes then non-enablers. Well, without them, people would not have that ship and would not have any means of doing anything ship-related. By getting the ship, all those possibilities became enabled. Does it matter that everyone "got enabled" in the same way?

Bobbins said...

Miners and to a lesser extent missioners produce something that 'enables'. Why not just let the market mechanism deal with deciding what is of value. If what they produce/enable is of value players will buy it for isk otherwise they will pay less.

Gevlon said...

Jester link fixed.

They are enabling, but this could be replaced by NPC sell orders without anyone noticing.

Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

I agree that "without us you wouldn't have ships" is pure nonsense, born from need to justify a virtual game activity against people that do other virtual game activities and find yours not worth doing.

What i don't get is the whole "enabler" concept.

You are saying the following "if X can be replaced by an NPC, he isn't enabling anything".

Well, consider RL postal service. Technically, it could be completely replaced by robots. But at the same time, it enables a lot of things.

Your definition of enabler requires enabling one group of people against the other. What group of people does postal service enable against the other?

I just don't understand the way the term "enabler" is used here. I see nothing wrong with people providing basic infrastructure calling themselves "enablers".

Do miners, missioners and traders provide basic infrastructure in Eve?

Anonymous said...

If all miners would get replaced by a sell order, someone WOULD notice: Your very own New Order as they would lack targets.
Ironically, isnt it ;)

Anonymous said...


Of course it could be replaced by NPC, just like most things in Eve. But they are not NPCs, therefore they are enablers. They enable people to do things and that's the reasoning behind the term.

Anonymous said...

It may be a field in "miner bingo" but that doesn't make it wrong.

If you had no AFK miners, you would have no cheap ships to PvP in.

As a terrible PvPer, I am thankful for the AFK miners.

Chris K. said...

Everything in the game could be replaced by an NPC or AI script. CCP could make it tomorrow so that all POS could draw fuel directly from the corp hangars of the nearest station, without the need of manually refueling. Does that mean that the person doing said activity now is not an enabler?

The fact that the mission runner does not enable a specific small group or subset of the community does not change the fact that he is providing a service that would otherwise be missed.

Anonymous said...

lurker-enabler is not a thing...

Anonymous said...

I'm fine with miners, missioners and traders - but only those who actually play the game, as opposed to botting. Botters I do not and will not tolerate in any way, as they ruin the livelihoods of the active players.

Creed said...

As a solo player who does a bit of hi-sec mining, I actually find myself approving of this post. Good stuff.

While you are probably correct in your assumption that solo players could theoretically be replaced by NPC's from the PvP:ers' point of view (and vice versa), I think it's only true in terms of game mechanics, not in player psychology. Even though I'm running EVE mostly solo, the fact that I KNOW it is a persistent, player-driven world makes a lot of difference to me. Even though I rarely interact directly with players, the mere knowledge that I'm surrounded by real people adds a lot of weight to the game, and makes the grind (for solo mining is a grind in it's purest form) worthwhile in a way it would never have been had there not been any other human players in the world. As strange as it may sound, there's a difference between solo grinding in an MMO and grinding in a pure single player game. It's likely has something to do with showing off your e-peen. :P

And yes, the possibility of being ganked does add some spice to my everyday miner's life as well. ;)

Bobbins said...

'The error comes from a wrong real life analogy. If you give something useful to everyone, you are great, as you increased the well-being of every people.'

However highsec miners,missioners and traders are not 'given' anything. They invest time and effort in becoming proficient in their field. While highsec miners are not competing against PvPers they are competing with other miners. That is why you see untanked ships someone is trying to beat a tanked mining setup. Rightly or wrongly afk highsec miners are trying to maximise their output and what the New Order stands for restricts the output of the permit holders which causes them to whine about unfair competition.
If left to the New Order alone there would be fewer minerals gathered and the cost of production would rise ie Pvper's would be poorer. To counter this rise the New Order wants to give nullsec even more passive income streams.

Gevlon said...

@Bobbins: I meant that miners make minerals cheaper to everyone, so they act as an overall nerf to the rest of the playerbase

mordis mydaddy said...

EVERYONE would notice if you replaced the supply side miners/missioners/traders with NPCs. The miners would notice for sure, the haulers would notice, and gankers would notice the lack of targets, and everyone else would notice when CCP shut down the game for lack of subscribers.

Remember CCP removed as much NPC stuff as possible to increase the variety of people playing and things to do. Your New Order friends are example of emergent gameplay only possible with PLAYERS, AFK or not, as targets. Enjoy the depth of the universe. If you want just a PVP world, World of Tanks may be a better fit.

Anonymous said...

Hey! ccp doesn't want to sell stuff using NPC's, the only reason they do is so they can keep the game from going pear shaped (skill books) or to sell things they haven't figured out how to get the players to make yet. they want you to be able to come from nothing and do anything, mission runners give us probes, faction mods, salvage for rigs, and so much more, miners, same thing. they want the prices to move and supply to move based on what the players are doing, they want a world that doesn't need ccp to sell you everything. and those miners would sell and build ships and mods and ammo cheapr for blues, and corpies. they enable PvP corps to fly bigger better ships for the same price that their targets pay for smaller and shittier ships. and they don't nerf the player base, you will always see miners, no matter what you do. just look at chriba

gallego said...

Are you kidding? Miners are the greatest enablers of the content that you enjoy! And James's CSM platform is based solely around increasing the ability for those miners to provide your content.

All of James platform points are targeted at:

* putting miners in low sec so that you're not confined to concord's structure to enjoy the content they provide

* focusing where they operate so that you don't have to work to find your content

* getting rid of the intel tools that give them a chance to avoid being your content

James's CSM platform is all about turning EVE in the theme park MMO for pirates were welfare players are just served up targets without having put forth effort or compete for them. Where you can just arrive at a belt and munch on asteroids, I mean miners... :)

You and James show clear signs of psychological projection, you harbor disdain for something that you yourself are. You hate the miners but you too just want to just fire at objects that don't shoot back and can't run away.

Rammstein said...

"Your definition of enabler requires enabling one group of people against the other. What group of people does postal service enable against the other?"

Gevlon already explained that making this real life analogy is faulty, and why. Did you even read the article?

"Do miners, missioners and traders provide basic infrastructure in Eve?"

yes, which in real life is enabling, but in game it is not.

Someone who organizes a pirate gankfleet is an enabler in EVE. This is someone who DESTROYS basic infrastructure. In real life, the default condition is no basic infrastructure. In game, it is very easy for the game devs to make the default condition all infrastructure provided. In EVE, then, an enabler is then someone who provides interesting complexity to the game world. If there were only a small amount of miners, then miners would be somewhat of an enabler. If miners are very common, then each individual miner actually provides negative marginal complexity, and is a negative enabler. Real world analogies are very valuable, but you have to be exceedingly careful with them or you come up with some very strange deductions.

Johnicholas Hines said...

Fake economies are difficult to build with the realism and richness that occurs if you can persuade humans to be in the mix. The Red Frog hauler, by advertising a brand, by picking prices, by showing up on, say, weekends but not weekdays adds texture to the world.

Playing in a world with rich texture is a lot more fun. Highsec economic currents, their stability to some extent and dynamics to some extent make things like the New Order fun.

Highsec enablers do make Eve as a whole more fun, even if they don't consistently pick one side and try to make it win - zero-sum winning is not the only cause of fun.

Bing Bangboom said...

The problem isn't that miners, mission runners and traders serve no purpose when doing their chosen professions. We have a player run economy that requires resources and ISK to operate so, not disregarding Gevlon's point about who it helps, they are still pumping needed items into said economy.

The problem for me, and I think the basis of the New Order is when the miners especially decline to perform their most useful role, targets. Not declining in a "warp off when danger arrives" or tanking their Macks, or flying skiffs. This is smart and fighting back with their brains. No, what I mean is the getting CCP to make it more difficult or even impossible for the pvp hunters to actually attack them. is full of miners making the claim that this is what is supposed to happen, that the New Order is griefing or harassing them. Another viewpoint, even more insidious, is that "sure, pvp is part of Eve, its just unbalanced in favor of the killer, nerf them "a little"". Astonishingly, for a game with the reputation of Eve, CCP has repeatedly obliged the miners and is discussing how to oblige them even more in this move away from pvp danger.

"Oh Bing! Your usual falacious (new big word!) arguments again!" you say. "Making the miners a little safer isn't the same as making highsec pvp fully consensual." Let me tell you a little story.

I was a can flipper. Shocking, I know. I would fly my trusty Rifter around my standard circuit of about 12 Caldari systems, d-scanning the belts and when I found a miner with a can out, I would move his ore into my can. Such a simple thing but from which so much game play emerged.

Why would I do such a jerky thing? Well, I didn't want the ore (you'd be surprised by how many people actually thought that was the point). I wasn't looking for "good fights" although I often got them. What I wanted was to destroy my target. And to do that, I had to get my target to agree to it.

If you are one of my former playmates you may be thinking "Whoa! Whoa! I didn't agree to nothin'!" but the truth is that each target I destroyed did agree to it. You see, when I took that ore I was giving them a range of choices. And the fun for me was getting them to make the choice I wanted them to make. They had a LOT of possible choices.

1. They could just abandon the ore to me. If there wasn't much ore OR they were particularly smart or cowardly they would just fly off. I didn't want this.

2. They could immediately take the ore back. Yeah, they did it. I would then destroy my target's mining ship or Badger. This was ok, but not the best thing I wanted. It could lead to it though.

3. They could go get a pvp ship and come back and attack me. Now we're talking! I fought everything from Bantams (!) to Ravens 1v1 in my Rifter and won. I fought everything from Merlins to a Cynabal (!!!) one time and died horribly.

4. They got their CEO or other corp mates and we had a big to do. I won 1 v 4 s and I lost 1 v 4 s. I killed some and lost a few overall.

That they didn't want to actually do ANY of these things was what made it fun. I had to talk to them, send them "citations" for illegal jetcan mining, warp away and come back, and sometimes just sit silently and still like a crocodile in a water hole. Just to get them to make the decision I wanted. It wasn't easy but it was fun.

So, at the insistence of "carebear" miners, along came the increased ore holds. Suddenly jetcans became extremely scarce. Only people who couldn't fly Rets and Macks had them. And what possible purpose could these giant ore holds have other than to eliminate jetcan mining and of course, can flipping. So, don't tell me miners aren't trying to get CCP to remove them as targets. I not only believe it, I've seen it!

to be continued

Bing Bangboom said...


And to answer those who say I can still can flip, I just have to harden up and accept that I can be attacked by everyone. Well, there is a difference between setting up a confrontation with my target, manipulating the situation to my advantage, monitoring local for incoming danger to put boundries on my risk and FORCING the target to choose,and the current set up where the target can immediately take back his ore without consequences while I plant a flashing target on my *@@ and wait to see who shows up to kick it.

I understand that miners don't want to be targets. And I understand why they argue that CCP should not allow us to make them targets. But I don't intend to let them get away with it.

315 4 CSM8

Highsec is worth fighting for.

Bing Bangboom
Agent of the New Order of Highsec
Belligerent Undesirable

Anonymous said...

What i don't get is the whole "enabler" concept.

This was a phrase used by CCP Seagull in the CSM minutes. In modern speech "enabler" has 2 meanings:

1) Someone who helps make things happen.

2) Someone who does things so that a drug addict can keep being an addict without facing the consequences of their addiction.

For definition #1, "enabling" means making the ships and weapons used in PvP. Depending on your skills, it takes about 8-10 hours of mining to replace the average battlecruiser (call it a Drake, since there are so many). Without the miners, then ships would need to be supplied by NPCs, or PvPers would have to do their own mining to replace the ships they lose.

For definition #2, you'll encounter them in dysfunctional families where the enabler is the one who cleans up after the addict and gets a job so that the addict doesn't have to be the breadwinner. "Daddy can't come to work today because he has a tummy ache." is "enabling" behavior - because daddy is hung over again and the boss would say so if the addict got on the phone (and fire the bum).

Bobbins said...

@Bing Bangboom
While I appreciate your right to blow miners up with your million isk catalyst I don't agree that you should be able to destroy a 200million isk ship so easily.
CCP has forced gankers to do a little bit of work and all I hear are them moan about how good it used to be when they were lazy and could get away with flying cheap fits.
As for your can flipping rifter what risk did you really take. The answer is none. You used a cheap ship knowing that you could not lose. That is just plain wrong! Miners still risk ships many many times the value of your rifter and yet you claim your hard done to. Funny that.

Anonymous said...

They help fund the game - how's that for 'enabling'?