Monday, March 17, 2014

BB54 - Eve Ain't No Place for No Hero

Blog Banter #54 - Heroes

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 54th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

Today's topic comes Diaries of a Space Noob blog and other sources:

"Quick post. I was listening to a song and a question occurred to me. Where are the EVE heroes? Against a dark background surely all we have are anti-heroes? A lot of mockery is aimed at any who attempt to be white knights. EVE is a dark place and yet pretty much all other MMO's try to place the player in the role of some form of hero, boosting the ego and taking the player out of the humdrum 1 in 7 billion that is RL. Why have I fitted into EVE? Did I never want to be that? So I guess my question is:

"Do classic heroes exist in EVE? Is such heroism even possible in EVE? How would you go about being one without opening yourself wide open to scams? Is the nature of the game so dark that heroes can't exist? How do you deal with that irony? What effect does this have on us and the psyche of new players coming in from other MMOs? Is it something special that we don't have classic heroes, or should we? Are our non classic heroes more genuine?"

And I would add to this, who have we elevated to the level of larger than life heroes ourselves in the game, and do they actually deserve it?
Get Writing!

Right! Currently me and the wife are watching season 3 of Strike Back and I've always thought the theme song to that show would be a great background track for an Eve Online video. However as I have all the artistic talents of a cluster of colour-blind hedgehogs in a bag I've never done a video. However the song it fits into this topic perfectly. I'll link the Youtube video at the end. You want a TL;DR? Just scroll down and listen to that song.

White knights/knights in shining armour, in Eve Online? No... I don't think so. You'd think the dark, gritty world of New Eden would allow these goodly heros to shine. However, we don't get White Knights, we get dark, gritty characters. Anti-heros we have a lot of in-game, but we are not talking about them here. We are talking classic heroes here.

Even in the official Eve lore there are few true heroes. Korvin Leers? Admiral Yakia Tovil-Toba? Otro Gariushi? Nope, not even CCP have given us any real "knights in shining armour" type heroes. All these men are heroes to some, but villains to others. Those three are examples of how close we get in Eve, but they not really meeting the requirements of the kind of hero this banter is talking about. So what about the players? Well, what do you need to be/do to be a proper Disney style White Knight?

First up, surely the first thing that a 'knight in shining armour" needs to do to qualify for the title is put themselves in mortal peril. Can you be one of these types of hero when you cannot die? Think of any hero from popular culture and they all have the potential to die. Superman/Kyptonite is perhaps the best example. Immortal capsuleers cannot die per say.

The immortal part of the game really scuppers the White Knight thing. Where is the risk? Where is the sacrifice? Oh, and financial sacrifice does not count! You do not feel empathy for Batman when he loses some kit do you? If you are never in any risk then how can you be a hero?

Next a true White Knight needs to be of a lawful-good alignment. We don't have those in game.

Oh, your character is lawful-good? Really? Yes? Are you sure? Yes? Well sorry, he isn't! And not by a long chalk.

We capsuleers kill with impunity. You may think you are one of these white knight hero types in Eve but you are not. I don't care how you play, you cannot be one in Eve.

Have you rescued the damsel in distress? What about all those people you killed? All those ships? All those innocents on that pleasure garden you blew up? OK they may have been visiting an illegal pleasure garden but you decided that the punishment for that is death by explosive decompression? The nightclub revellers you killed, what were they doing wrong? Did you take out the seperate casino structure too? The punishment you decreed for visiting that casio was to be roasted alive in zero-G fire? What about the staff? People just trying to make a living and you wiped out thousands of them all for a couple of million ISK, some loyalty points and 2000m3 of loot. Yeah, you're a real Knight in Shining Armour!

Also do you sell loot from your missioning? So you are an arms trader then! Who has ever heard of a White Knight type hero selling weapons to anyone who will buy them on the open market!

No, you are no 'white knight hero' as we don't have them in Eve, we cannot have them in Eve.

When I started Drackarn I wanted a 'Space Hero' type goodie-two-shoes character. In previous MMO's I have tended to play the good guy. Getting into Eve and learning about New Eden I soon found I couldn't be. Now I'm -10 and no way anyone would ever describe my main as a hero. The Gallente people might at a stretch, but the Caldari will define me as a pirate, a traitor and a mass murderer. But if he's not good does that mean that he is bad? What is good in Eve? What is bad?

If you look carefully there are is no good and bad in Eve Online, just personal perspectives. The Matari see the Amarr as 'evil' but the Caldari don't. Probably the closest thing we get to "evil" is Sansha's Nation. However, when you look deep into the lore its not all that black and white. Eve Online is grey. We are more Firefly than Star Wars. More Mal than Luke.

I think what I'm trying to say is that in Eve Online there is no place for white knight type heroes. One nations hero is another nations murderous butcher. CCP's lore does not really have any of these heros. With regard to us, the players, we are capsuleers and capsuleers are not heroes. You might think you are a classic hero/white knight with your +6.0 security status, but you have killed more innocents than you can ever count! You have sold weapons that may have lead to thousands of deaths. You have chosen money over the safety of others.

This is Eve Online, and this ain't no place for no hero to call "home". 'The Heavy' sing it a lot better than I can say it:-

This ain't no place for no hero
This ain't no place for no better man
This ain't no place for no hero
To call "home"
- Short Change Hero. The Heavy.


  1. Eve online, like the warhammer 40K universe (or Dark Sun, my favorite D&D setting) is a dystopian place with no real place for heroes.
    Mercy and compassion are seen as weaknesses while a dictator is seen a strong leader.

    OTH, not every eve player is a sociopath killing rats. It is quite possible to earn your living doing PI, hauling or market trading noncombat items.

    1. "OTH, not every eve player is a sociopath killing rats. It is quite possible to earn your living doing PI, hauling or market trading noncombat items." - Totally. But can you call these players classic heroes or knights in shining armour?

  2. I disagree.

    It would be possible to take on the white knight role in Eve by trying, for instance, to increase the security of defenceless targets.
    Taking down pirates only if they attack someone, at bit like a vigilante.

    You could also defend freedom by trying to shake the mega-alliances stranglehold on null-sec on a purely altruistic basis.

    I've never heard of anyone being successful at either endeavours but it doesn't mean it's impossible.

  3. There is no ship that can be earned with noble deeds that can't be taken down by a frigate swarm in 1.0 space. I'm sure there are well-intentioned, brave knights out there exploding every minute of every day.

    Their wrecks don't yield any better lewt, and CCP doesn't erect monuments to them.

  4. As you say, it depends on your perspecive. Am I a white knight by putting myself in danger to help a corpmate complete a tough mission? Am I a white knight for guiding noobs through those tough L2 missions ? Am I a white knight for helping that lost soul in my WH find hisec again ?

    Umm, no on that last one, as I had him warp to our POS where the guns exploded him.

    White knights onlly exist where we need heroes. EVE capsuleers don't need heroes. The players at the keyboard, yeah, we need heroes.

  5. heroes in eve, closest you can get is maybe pure incursion runners from players, but NPCs have them in The Sisters of EVE

  6. You might want to visit the Anti Ganking chat channel. There be Heros.

  7. The staff that sell me my beer for Friday night shinannigans are my heroes. My wife letting me play eve for countless hours is my heroine although she plays too and not quite as the hero type.
    The crew on my ship are the real hero's though.
    But pod pilots? Were immortal, the only thing we lose is pride and isk.

    Would like to know what this Anti Ganking channel is all about though.