Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The "carebear", the "PvP-er" and the blue doughnut

I've been repeatedly called a "carebear". When I earned billions a day without mining or shooting a single red cross, gaining all the money from other players, I was a carebear. When I took part in capturing regions with TEST alliance, I was a carebear. When I killed ships with ISK/month in a magnitude of small-gang alliances, outperforming the members of even the most "elite" alliances hundred times, I was a carebear.

For long, I believed that the word "carebear" means nothing else than "pubbie", used by Goons: someone who is not us, therefore we hate him. But it was always odd. The word "carebear" was used descriptively instead of pejoratively. I mean when you call a fat man "pig", you are fully aware that he is not a household animal. You mean that he is similar to the household animal, therefore use this unfavorable comparison. However when you just call him "ugly, fat man" you mean your words literally. It always felt they mean "carebear" literally, despite I'm obviously not someone who cares about the feelings of others or scared of losses.

Mabrick calls himself a carebear, maybe the only man doing so openly, since "carebear" isn't a badge of honor in EVE. His post about being one helped a lot to understand what "carebear" and it's opposite, the "PvP-er" means.

The other thing that helped is my time in TEST, which is indeed a PvP-er alliance, therefore a place where I never belonged, no matter how hard I try to contribute to their stated goals. Neither supporting their budget or TEST_free, nor flying in their fleets did not bring me any closer to them. I was always a "carebear". Similarly I was constantly puzzled about their frigate/cruiser roams and their obvious happiness flying them and telling stories about their adventures. To me these were rather meaningless and stupid waste of time with kills that could be replaced by a single AFK miner.

The "carebear" is someone who fights other people for a goal. I want your loot so I kill you. I want your region so I fight you. I want to pad my killboard so I kill you. I want your ISK so I steal your corp hangar. While such "carebear" does PvP, he only does when there is a point, and usually there is not. In most cases it's easier to farm than kill another guy for the same loot.

The "PvP-er" is someone who fights for the experience of fighting or for domination over other person (tears). He can't care less about ISK and objectives and when forced to care by game mechanics, he whines about the game being horrible and tries to avoid it as far as he can: he flies cheap ships so he doesn't have to care about ISK loss and grinds Sov only when he is absolutely forced to. In wormholes there is an often recited moral guidline: "do not evict PvP corps".

If we understand this, the myth of the Blue Doughnut becomes understandable. It's a belief held by "carebears" that nullsec alliances are all friendly with each other. This is because they do not evict each other and miss on obvious opportunities to gain the upper hand. The source is the "carebear" thinking: I want their moons or ratting space, so I take it the most effective way. If they don't do it, but clash in Talwars, they don't really want to go to war. Which is true: they want to have fun fighting with each other and complain when their leaders blue someone, decreasing the number of players to shoot. The NCdot line members indeed didn't want the moons of TEST (their leaders might) and just went to fight TEST for the fight itself.

The problem is the difference of objectives: a "carebear" thinking says "if you want the same objective as me, we are enemies". The "PvP-er" thinking says: "if you don't respect me, don't afraid of me, we are enemies". When "carebears" see "PvP-ers" fighting, he sees a thunderdome, while the participants are doing their best to gain respect and to humiliate their opponent. When "PvP-ers" see "carebears" fighting, he sees cowardice, bargaining and blobbing, while the participants are doing their best to get as good ISK ratio as possible.


Another Byte on the Web said...

Wouldn't it be easier to say that carebears engage in positive-sum playing, with non-carebears doing the opposite? I am not only talking about currency gains, but also about some immaterial "fun" quotient, so that a carebear might not do PvP if there is sense it is only causing grief to the opponent, while a non-carebear wouldn't care about that.

Aeek said...

This is your ISK focus speaking. I'm very much carebear but if I have my ISK buffer that's enough. I'd rather mission in a ship that's fun rather than efficient. I would only podkill if called in to support our wormholers, that's good WH strategy.

Nursultan said...

Different people put different meanings into the word "carebear". Most often I saw it used simply to describe people who avoid PVP.

Von Keigai said...

You are making some progress in figuring this whole PVP thing out. But when you make statements like "outperforming the members of even the most "elite" alliances hundred times", you show you've still got more to learn.

Even though ganking is a form of PVP, nobody respects it. Exactly because it is easy. It certainly is not carebearing, though.

Here's two things to think about.

First, you brag often about your earning ability, and good for you. But what is the point of making ISK? So you can buy PLEX and fund your account... or fund 12 accounts, whatever... to what end? To make ISK? This is circular. It is not an explanation.

Let me suggest what I guess is your motive, because it is what I like about making ISK. You make ISK to prove you can by the one true test: doing it. You want to prove you can to show that you are superior to the average player in earning ability. But why do you want to do that? Why is it important to be able to earn money in a game?

I think it gets back to dominance, and self-perceived competence. You get a nice feeling by earning where lesser competitors ("morons and slackers") don't. And you get a nice feeling of superior competence over said morons and slackers.

Or at least, I do. Perhaps your motives are different. Let us know.

But how is that any different than what the PVPer wants? His dominance is far more direct, and it is also proven, on the field of battle. His competence (or lack thereof) is something he knows about himself, and wants to work on. As you might anticipate optimizing a new spreadsheet to earn money better, he has fun in EFT looking for a new fit.

If you want to be respected by non-carebears, set yourself the goal to become a good PVPer. Not just a ganker, but a real PVPer beating people who can fight back on at least more or less even terms. Sadly, there is no metric for this. But I guarantee you that many of your readers can tell you whether a particular fight was a good one or not. So, if you can't tell yourself, just ask them. You have experts at your fingertips. Use them.

Second, even taking a narrow ISK-focused approach, who is to say that your method of ISKing is better than The Mittani's? You control yourself and your alts, and put in long hours of work to make a billion per month. The Mittani controls an organization of thousands, that makes, I don't know -- a hundred billion a month? Maybe just 10? I expect more than you. And what does he do? He talks to people, writes propaganda, gives orders. I do expect it takes hours of time, but I also expect it is a lot less like work than what you do, plugging away moving goods in jump freighters, setting market orders, etc. (or whatever you are doing). How does he do it? He does it by understanding the hardest EVE system: the players.

If you want to prove you a real master of EVE, win the metagame. Prove you can win a war against a powerful coalition in the only way: by winning one. Win one by getting 1000 pilots fighting for you. Set up your new improved-TEST or whatever, grow it, and become a power.

Honestly, I doubt you have the social skill to do this; it will remain forever beyond you. But I don't know. Perhaps if you started to see it as a worthwhile goal you'd start to read up on these strange "humans" and how to understand and manipulate them. There's a lot of stuff about them on the web.

Gevlon said...

@Von Keigai: I outline my earning methods accurately, exactly to teach anyone to do it. I want to prove the usefulness of these methods, allowing anyone to get the same results.

It's always the method, the idea which is superior, and never the person (if you do what I do, you earn as much as I do). PvP-ers try to somehow attribute their results to their person and not what they know.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting viewpoints, and I certainly agree with most of it. I've been pvping in this game since 2006 (of the hunting and killing variety) and within the last year I have finally come to some important realizations:

Objective-less pvp is worthless. You get bored, you burn out, you leave the game. You need objectives to keep you focused, to keep you efficient, and give you a reason to log in.

If you're good at something, you should get paid for it. Yes, getting paid to kill people isn't nearly as good isk/hr as farming missions/mining but I'm bad at those. Bad as in I can only do an hour or two before I log off out of crippling boredom.

My buddies in null sec link me these kills that they have and there's at least 30 ships on each. I don't respect those kills whatsoever. I used to, but now I don't.

I think the important realization is that there isn't much difference between an objective-oriented PVPer and an objective-oriented Carebear. Their objectives may be different, but many times they aren't. In the case of their objective being the accumulation of wealth the only difference is their methods.

People in "griefer" corps don't have objective-based pvp. They're just there "for the LOL's". These are the people who get the most attention from the eve populous because they're only there to get kills, and that doesn't really accomplish anything tangible.

Von Keigai said...

Gevlon, I have read many of your earning methods. Yes, they work, at least those I have tried. To varying degrees, of course. I have not earned centibillions though, because making more than 2 PLEX per month seems like more work than it is worth.

But again: what is your motivation in all this? To prove something works? To me? Why? Why do you care what I may think about your earning methods? Why do you bother to write? I am enjoy reading it, but this is about you not me.

I do reject your idea that only methods matter. People are diverse, and our abilities matter. There is such a thing as superior ability, in various ways. You demonstrate superior intelligence (in both senses) and conscientiousness via earning and other metric-maximization things you do in EVE, like being the most prolific ganker for a month. But people can replicate methods that they would never think up themselves. One can also demonstrate superior reaction time, interface control, tactical ability, strategic thinking in EVE.

It is true that method is considerably more important in PVE operations than PVP. I take it you see this as a strength; but try to wrap your brain around the idea that many see it as a weakness. They don't want to crank out a proof that anyone can prove. They want to demonstrate their own personal superior qualities.

Anonymous said...

Positive Sum = Carebears
Zero Sum = Goblins
Negative Sum = Griefers
There are no PVPs just Carebears with a mask.

Gevlon said...

@Von Keigai: the "why" will be the Monday post

Unknown said...

When it comes to impact on the real world, methods are the only thing that matters.

Abilities matter, but only as far as having a certain level of certain combination of abilities allows you access to a certain method.

So it's person -> abilities -> methods -> "mattering".

PvPers operate in a space where all the methods of winning are explored rather quickly, with immense stress being put on being able to execute the best method in the best way. In a mature PvP game dicoveries of new effective methods are actually somewhat rare. Rather, at any given moment of time, a specific method (or group of methods) dominates the field and people with abilities most suited to these most effective methods are prised (and occasionally revered).

PvE environment, on another hand, can be characterised by a much slower rate of adoption of new methods. People will occasionally even deliberately stick with inferior methods, just because they make them feel good about themselves (go-go D2 Meelee Sorceress :D).

What Gevlon seems to be doing is constantly trying to find ways to increase the rate of adoption of new methods in PvE environment, without making it become full-on PvP. That's actually a very interesting goal, with pretty far-reaching implications.

Don Santo said...

I think at this point people just use the word carebear to insult someone. I have been called a carebear for baiting people outside a station.