Sunday, August 5, 2012

Clubbing Seals and Eating Grandma in Eve Online

The written word is perhaps one of the worst ways possible to communicate over the internet! Time after time we see things taken the wrong way, tears where there is no need, the Drama Llama released from it's stable for no good reason, emo-rage-quiting and other generalised rage over something that doesn't warrant these levels of kicking and screaming. The problem is that in many case the written word can be taken a number of ways. The men reading this in relationships will know. You say and mean one thing but somehow the other half will take it in a completely different way.
Some of you might have seen the title of this blog entry and know what is coming. Two famous internet meme's that relate to punctuation:-
With the simple addition of a comma, both phrases are giving totally different meaning. A simple typo can change the statement from inviting your granny to the dining table to turning into Hannibal Lecter. Yet in Eve Online the written word is one of the, if not the, most common form of communication. Yes, we have voice comms but think about most of the communications within Eve. Local and corp chat, Eve mails, forums, blogs. Mostly it is the written word. And in the last week or so we've had two instances that prove the written word is dangerous.
Mate-Gate (aka The Mate War)
When I initially read about this, I thought it was someone trolling. An NC dot director had an alt in Red Vs Blue. He was in a convo with a RvB officer/director or some such person and was referred to as "mate" a few times.
For you non-Brits out there "mate" is just a form of address, same as "friend", "buddy", "dude" etc.
"How you doing mate?" - "I say good sir, how are you doing?"
"Cheers for that mate!" - "Thank you my good man!"
"See ya mate." - "Good bye."
Not sure what other forms of address are used around the world (pretty sure "mate" is common in Australian and South Africa) which are equivalent but I bet there are a lot. Over here in the Middle East "Brother" is used as we English would use mate - "How are you doing brother?". Being in a predominantly American corp now (QCATS) I see "Bro" used in the same way as "mate". I am sure that every country in the world has a word that means the same.
Except this NC dot director did not take "mate" in the way everyone else uses it. He took it for a homophobic slur. Got to say, I've never heard "mate" used in that context before! Ever! If I was ever to say "Oh **** off you total and utter mate!" most people would be rather confused! Anyway, for what ever random reason he truly thought it as an insult.
So in the end the NC dot direction, aka Mr A+ in English Literature, told the RvB guy who had called him "mate" that he was going to get him banned by his "GM bro" for using that word. The NC dot then war-decced RvB. Shortly after that the Goons decced NC.
And so it started, the Mate-War, all over how one individual mistook the word "mate" in a typed convo!
At the end of last week the CSM minutes were published. In the crimewatch section it was discussed that CCP wanted to break up static gate-camps. The method they were currently working on was adding scaling damage on the gate guns. To start of the guns would hit you less hard than they do now. In fact so much so that an Interceptor could take a few hits. However, the damage would ramp up over time meaning that after taking fire for 4.5 minutes, the damage would be sufficient to even WTFPWN a triaged carrier.
This was my take on the proposed changes....
"So in the Winter Expansion the current idea that is being worked on is that gate guns will have scaling damage. As a pirate I can sit on the gate with my mates in BC's same as now, but under the new system we could have an interceptor with us. Neutral jumps in, Interceptor gets initial point, we get secondary points, Interceptor warps off, we kill neut. Gate guns open up as soon as we go GCC and the gate gun damage means we need to warp off soon, logi or no logi. Therefore no longer can we perma tank the gate guns with 6 or 7 BC with a couple of Logi. But also no more Snuffbox insta-locking-T3 gangs camping Tama all the bloody time!"
Others took it differently.
"So next week as soon as I land at a gate, if I'm worse than -5.0 the gate guns will automatically start pounding me. You will not be able to sit on a gate or have a fight on a gate if your are -5.0 or worse as the guns will destroy your fleet very quickly. As such low-sec piracy is now dead. The only fighting in low-sec will be Faction War, War Decs and at belts. CCP has killed low-sec PvP and there is nothing we can do about it! Might as well unsub now if you are a low-sec pirate."
Now I don't agree with the last interpretation and I'm sure those guys don't agree with mine either. However, we don't really know as both of these are just that, interpretations of a few paragraphs from a text document. This text document was written by someone who listened to a recording of the meeting and therefore that document is too an interpretation of what was said at a meeting (although that was checked and approved by others).
Basically the written word is dangerous. You might think your words are clear and cannot be misinterpreted. Trust me, they can be and will be.
Elsewhere in the CSM minutes, drivers for conflicts was mentioned. Examples were given such as Tech moons or simple personal hatred. You know what CCP? Just encourage people to write to each other more often! You'll certainly get a lot more rage, conflict and wars then!


  1. P sure that's a jet engine there posing as a death ray :D

  2. Um... -5 standings don't get shot at by gate guns. Not unless they go GCC.

    Either i missed something and CCP is planning on changing that, or someone isn't familiar with the game mechanics like they should be.

    1. I agree with you, but I have seen someone who disagrees. They took the minutes to say that the gate guns will open up on -5's no matter if flagged as GCC (or suspect/felon under the proposed flags).

    2. I think it is the line "Sentry guns will now shoot anyone with a criminal flag, suspect or otherwise." that different people are interpreting differently.

  3. Yeah, -5 isn't a criminal flag. GCC is "Criminal Cooldown", perma-flashy is a known "Outlaw".

  4. Confirming that it was never suggested that those below -5 would just be shot by gate guns wherever they go.

    Even the proposed UBERWTFPWNDEATHRAY sentries were just that - a proposal. CCP Greyscale has already confirmed to the community that this was simply spitballing and that we have plenty of time to hash this out and speak our minds about the idea. If any of you have strong feelings about this stuff, be sure to get in touch with me and send your ideas my way.

    Thanks for the great article, Drackarn!