Are EVE online players bad people?

It’s always the same. Some EVE story breaks and three things happen:

  1. reading about EVE is great
  2. i think about diving in again
  3. commenters call eve players bad people

Case in point: Massively Overpowered’s really great post about the current war in EVE.

The largest PvP war in gaming history has begun in EVE Online

So that was number 1. Number 2- i actually downloaded the client because i have a 10-day-return-card in my mailbox. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but it’s really just a matter of time until i’ll take at least those 10 days. It’s actually the mining/industrial branch that interests me the most and wartimes are good times for that. Whenever i visited EVE, i’ve found it to be hugely relaxing (mainly because i prefer starting on the mining route). And it’s a true sandbox. And there’s something happening in the game right now.

Now onwards to number 3: Are EVE players bad people?

I haven’t met any abuse, pvp action or similar while playing EVE. Questions i had got answered quickly and politely. Now, of course there are bad news we can read about all the time- threats even to real people, scams, people treating other people badly or just griefing other players among many, many other things.

But EVE is also the place of the EVE university– a guild corp dedicated to teaching new players the ins and outs of the game and other really great stuff from a huge blogosphere to dedicated news-sites and so on.

While i hold the impression that different games attract different folks- that much being obvious when looking even at themeparks like Lord of the Rings Online, The Secret World or Final Fantasy XIV having polite and friendly communities in my experience compared to World of Warcraft, Blade&Soul or Archeage (yes, i’m putting that one in the themepark category now), i think that in most cases, there’s a huge range of players- from the friendly to the griefers, from polite to barbarians.

Even in Rocket League’s normal friendly games there were many people cursing and insulting others before the game added a way to report players. I could tell you about my first dungeon finder experience in Wildstar, for instance- that was only the training dungeon but when my friend, being the tank, struggled with the game mechanics, the other people were all over her. In the end, after trying to kick her out of the group (and failing, of course, because i didn’t agree), everybody left.

Looks quite different than the artwork, doesn't it?
Looks quite different than the artwork, doesn’t it?

Coming back to EVE, i think here the impolite, griefing players get put more in the spotlight because the game allows them to do more than just insulting other players. The game makes it possible to gank, rob, extort and even hijack property of a whole account. If it were for game mechanics only, i think EVE would have a very normal playerbase. But unfortunately, CCP goes even further with its hands-off policy. They regard everything fair game that is possible to do via game mechanics. They don’t stop players to do actually, really bad stuff even to real players – i count hijacking all properties on an account as an attack on the human.

In my opinion, that last part is the mistake. I know it’s difficult to draw a line sometimes- is something ok because game mechanics allow this type of action or is it an ad-hominem already? But by refusing all responsibility in regards to these player actions, CCP allows rotten apples of the EVE community to go even further- and there will always be people who test the boundaries. If there are none set, well…let’s just say i think if CCP were to take a different stance on this, i guess EVE would have much more subscribers.

So no, i don’t believe EVE players are inherently better or worse people than the average MMO player- but i think both the game and CCP allow the “evil players” to be at their worst- and that is what’s getting noticed from the outside.

4 thoughts on “Are EVE online players bad people?

  1. VipEri (@ausj3w3l)

    in my experience eve players were actually better than the average mmo rabble – by far. Yes they take advantage of the mechanics available but most of them don’t do it personally, just a part of the game. Even those that do gank and rob newbies quite a few are rather polite about it. Had a few really nice talks with gankers as a newbie. Talked about builds, strategies for next time and all that. one eve gave me a few million isk haha.

    ANd then they have an extensive, and extremely helpful network of players there to help. asking for help in most mmo’s usually just meets a lot of trolling. Here it’s actually.. well, helpful

    1. Mersault

      I’ve heard that statement a few times, as well. And i think it holds true, at least somewhat. Getting adive in EVE is much easier and you don’t get trolled as much. I can still remember those Aion launch days, when everyone was looking for that pig you have to find for an early quest. As it wasn’t glowing/sparkling, many didn’t find it on the barbecue where it was roasting. So they asked. Days 1-4 saw quite polite answers. On day 5, trolling began.

      Are you still playing EVE? Gotta have to re-read your noob pod posts if i really make it into the game in the coming 10 days.

  2. tithian

    EVE players generally have a thicker skin than the average gaming population, because the game demands it. Some behaviours may come out as a bit asshole-ish, but there’s no inherent mean feelings involved, most of the times. Are there antisocial psychos going on cyber bullying and such? Sure, but those are rare occurences and all games kinda have that, just look at MOBAs.

    If nothing else, the inherent flaw I’ve found about EVE players is that they are boring, not mean :p

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