Sunday, December 29, 2013

It's All About the ISK, Cause I Can't Spend the Tears…

~or, “What If NPCs Could Cry?"

I do not label myself a carebear, yet I do not think of myself as a griefer either. The way I play EvE is based on actually making it in the game, because EvE is to me, a virtuality… a virtual REALITY and I want to live and experience it as a alternate reality… I don’t want to cheat by buying wealth (buying and selling PLEX) I want to make my way, and pay my way with the ISK I earn in game.

Now making ISK in EvE is not ‘easy’. EvE is, as we all know, a Reward equals Risk game. In Hisec PvE the risk is low and the ISK is shit, however put together a gang and gank a fat loaded Freighter and Hisec PvP can give you a shot at a real payday… but you have to cover the losses you WILL take and recover the loot before the vultures snag it… risky.

I found my way into Anoikis early in my Evelife, Negative Security space, negsec… the highest risk for the highest rewards (for smaller groups) than even nullsec. The PvE is very risky and I also greatly enjoy being a Mercenary, PvPing for ISK and being a Merc fits my personal Moral Code. In Anoikis I was finally making enough ISK to support getting really involved in PvP and I had found my Modus Operandi, one which allowed me to PvP without qualms… as I like to say, “I’m just doing a job. You did something to cause me to be here, look to yourself for the reasons why.

So… I am not a carebear at heart, as I first said it a few years ago, I consider myself a Carebadger, an EvE player who wants to make enough ISK fast enough to afford to PvP in something other than cheap T1 frigs and cruisers… I like faction fit T3s, Oracles and HICtors… I like living Anoikis and I like living in a POS (yes, I actually LIKE it… oh I do wish we could dock and shit… mebbe one day) and living inna POS in Anoikis can be a logistical nightmare… and a costly one.

I my time I have tried many forms of PvP, some for the experience, some just for fun and some for the ISK...
-I once joined a WarDec corp (run by a Hisec Noob WarDec'er), I got one fight to a (personal) draw while my 2 corpmates got a WarTarget kill;
-I joined RvB for a while... fun at first, but that's moar mutual masturbation than PvP really;
-I have joined in many late-night-after-the-Op-is-done lowsec roams… some funish, some not so much;
-I fleeted up with Allies once (and only once) to gank a freighter in Lowsec, but, well... simply amazing fail was had that night;
-I have fleeted up to kill-all-the-who-ever-I-am-PAID-to-kill... This I would do again in a heartbeat… for ISK and glory;

Ganking just seemed stoopid to me, even if we had won; War Deccing was boring, and TBH felt dirty; the roams were never really fulfilling, same as RvB… but Merc Ops and cloaky hot drops in Anoikis are the life for me! Merc Ops cause you’re getting paid and Anoikis Hot Drops are simply not the same as Hisec ganks at all… it’s Anoikis, wormhole space, negative sec… If you jump the crazy marble you accept that you are risking it all, and I am one of the reasons you are.

The thing for me is, I hate, morally, the idea of virtually destroying another person's virtual stuff without a reason (IE rationalization) I can live with… one that fits my moral compass.

In a recent post, “The Corruption of Ideals” by Sugar Kyle of “Low Sec Lifestyle”, Sugar opines about Killing-all-the-things in EvE, the morality of PvP in our very weird and unique sandbox. She talks about how morals, values, focus, reason and goals are all lacking in the basic structure of EvE… How the game sets no path or overreaching quest for you, how nothing shapes these but we ourselves. In this post Kaeda Maxwell, the Wild Rose of Molden Heath, commented and the post and comment stirred the electrons in my grey matter…

*** NOTE ***
The following is in no way personal nor is it a slam against Kaeda or even on grifers/griefing as a playstyle... It is just a discourse on my thoughts and feelings on griefing as a playstyle in EvE...

Kaeda said, "I take viscous (real) delight in griefing (in the knowledge it is only a game and I'm not causing any real damage)." When I hear/read this I always ask myself, where does this delight in ‘not really’ destroying these ‘not real’ things come from? What is the basis? Where is the enjoyment? How is this fulfilling, what makes it "fun"?

This is my moral line-in-the-sand. I have read so much from so many who enjoy griefing, and it all leads me to believe strongly that most, if not all, do it because they enjoy the ‘upset’ this causes other players. They see this upset as childish because to the griefer it is really ‘only’ a game and nothing more... The rationalization they justify their actions against other players by is that as it wasn’t a ‘real’ loss of a ‘real’ thing then the other player is being juvenile for being upset about it and that in turn justifies their playstyle...

I believe, deep down, that if NO ONE ever got upset... griefing would be far less fun than it is for all who play that game. The ‘real’ enjoyment griefers get is over the very ‘real’ upset (“tears”) they cause another ‘real’ person whom they can then justify looking down on because “it’s just a game”… Well, IRL people get murdered over poker, a gods damned card game, and for far less RW dollars than some of the ‘cost of doing business’ in EVE. They say “It’s only a game”, “It’s not real” and “I’m not causing any real damage.”… Really?

SYJ has been paid many times to raid and kill… we got paid billions of ISK (in loot n ships) to take down TLC’s “Office” wormhole… 3 Lrg POSes destroyed, a massive crap load of Capitols, BPO&Cs/mods/ships.etc/etc/etc stolen or destroyed… with an approximate value of 517,000,000,000.00 ISK… and because there is a direct RW USD to ISK ratio thanx to PLEX, that equates to a RW value of $19,460.00 that was ‘not really’ destroyed and ‘not really’ stolen… Yea… it’s only a game… but it can be a damned expensive game to lose at. I wrote up a post about that Merc Op in which I even discuss my moral qualms over the fact that we were paid by a traitor in TLC to do the job…

But it’s the other aspect, the outright disregard for another human beings feelings, that is why ganking and griefing has never sat well with me. Yes they can get just as upset and 'hurt' due to my actions as a Merc, but that is not ‘why’ I do what I do and it is the part I get no enjoyment from at all.

To enjoy that aspect of an open sandbox PvP/E game, you have to have absolutely no empathy at all for the players you target... no empathy for other people. Kaeda said also, “I no longer recall ‘the faces’ of my in game victims, I used to... But they have become faceless ghosts behind keyboards…” I don’t know about you, but I am not a faceless ghost… and the thought that there are so many out there who see anyone they don’t know personally as such does not sit well with me.

No matter how much EvE Online is a game, the players, each and every one, are real people, with real feelings and they are each as different in game as they are in the street, at the office and at home.

Just because someone is different from you, just because they invest more of their ‘feelings’ into the game than you do... to me, this does not justify or provide an acceptable rationalization for enjoying hurting them emotionally just because you 'can'…

And don’t say it is ‘just about blowing up ships’… cause it aint JUST about blowing up pictures of internet spaceships, otherwise griefers would fukkin LOVE PvE… but they don’t do they? Nope... NPC's don't cry. The truth is, in the end it is not about unreal pixelships or virtual explosions… It is about the very real emotional reactions griefers have to the very real emotional reactions of the very real people they grief against.

EvE is not harsh and hard, EvE is what we the players make it… we are the reason EvE is harsh and hard and dangerous and full of everything-going-pear-shaped risk... and I may even be one of those reasons on occasion, but it aint ever for the tears... for me, it’s all about the ISK.

Fly Wreckless and see you in the Sky  =/|)=


  1. Hear Hear! I agree with everything you just wrote. It's also why I haven't been out to null or joined any of the main PvP groups, because they're all after the tears and that, to me, isn't a good enough reason to grief someone.

    Good to see you posting again, we missed you!
    -Baljos Arnjak

    1. Thanx Baljos... I am flattered and pleased at your kind words. I hope to be posting moar but in truth, not alot going on to post about really... I am currently hole diving looking for a new home for our little band.

      I tried null and have forayed there many times and found nothing of interest to me mostly because in order to live and profit there you have no choice but to be part of one of the nullsec groups (corps, Alliances and coalitions)... without their uberCONCORD like protection you are dead and podded out. However, Empire space (Hisec and Losec I refer to as Empire) hold only utility for me... IE Empire is where I sell my loot and salvage and where I buy the necessities of life...

      Anoikis is real... wormholes are as close as we can come to the realities of living in space in the virtuality that is EvE. We won't have 'local' or invulnerable stations IRL... we will be out there... alone and vulnerable with everything on the line, just like those of us who choose to live in Anoikis.

      As for this post, it is as good an explanation of how I feel about griefing in EVE. Understand, I do NOT EVER want griefing or the truly open sandbox gameplay in EvE to be nerfed or restricted in anyway. I LOVE our sandbox... I live in a wormhole for the gods sake and I want us all, griefers and bears and badgers alike to play the game however we want... for myself however, I am not a griefer as I find no joy in that playstyle is all.

  2. I don't grief for tears.

    I'm just creating engaging gameplay for myself. When you go out and try and trick other players, that creates engaging and unpredictable game play, if they give 'tears' so be it, but it is *never* my primary or even my secondary purpose.
    Also major pet peeve; EVE items have no $ value, there's no legal way to convert ISK into dollars after all. I'd also like to point out the intellectual dishonesty/double standards in calling buying/selling PLEX for ISK a form of cheating and then equating ISK loss with $ loss in the same post.

    When I blow up a victims shiny faction battleship, I'm not inflicting any real world harm on that person, other then perhaps the sense of loss in a game. I'll go as far as stating that if that loss stings more then say losing at an intense game of chess, maybe that person should venture into highly competitive environments like 'always on PvP' mmorpgs. So I cross no moral line -in my mind- I also take real pleasure from winning at an intense game of chess through smart/devious game play and I don't think that is morally wrong either.

    <3 Kaeda

    1. To quote me:
      *** NOTE ***
      “The following is in no way personal nor is it a slam against Kaeda or even on greifers/griefing as a playstyle... It is just a discourse on my thoughts and feelings on griefing as a playstyle in EvE...”

      Notice the BIG “NOTE” part?? And yet here we are with a (not surprising) rebuttal to a post that was specifically noted as (1) not a slam on Kaeda or even ‘against’ greifing and (2) was a post SOLELY about my ‘personal’ take on greifing as a playstyle in EvE. I used Kaeda’s comments because he said, and I quote once more, “I take viscous (real) delight in griefing…” This is a DIRECT quote from a comment he posted personally.

      Second… all that aside, ”I don't grief for tears. I'm just creating engaging gameplay for myself.” The only enjoyment possible from attacking and destroying 14 innocent, defenseless MTUs, between the 19th and the 21st of Dec, is that those acts fucked with the players who owned them, or as he puts it, “When you go out and try and trick other players, that creates engaging and unpredictable game play…” … really? unpredictable? The outcome of attacking an MTU was somehow in question? LOL right…

      ”EVE items have no $ value…” uh… crap. That RMT is not legal is an interesting statement… Legal? really? CCP can create law now? and here I thought it was a company policy and contractual agreement.

      RTM is not a legal issue, it is a breach of contract and therefore a ‘civil’ matter, not a criminal act… but that is completely nonsensical argument as to whether or not ISK has a dollar value. This is a simple provable fact as you CAN turn dollars into ISK, and people do that every day. People also DO turn ISK into into dollars every day against the policies of CCP… just ask Poetic Stanziel… so meh.

      Current market value… 1 PLEX = approx 600,000,000.00 ISK ( = $16.95 USD (… ISK has a definitive dollar value period.

      My issue however, as stated, has NOTHING to do with the ISK to USD damages done but with the emotional responses engendered from the act of greifing, IE ”… perhaps the sense of loss in a game…” That is why greifers grief, that is why some blow up defenseless MTUs… to CAUSE that ‘sense of loss’… to cause an EMOTIONAL reaction which then leads inevitably to the boiler plate rhetorical answer that maybe they (the upset player) should not ”venture into highly competitive environments like 'always on PvP' mmorpgs.” This is the rational they use to justify their chosen gameplay… ” I cross no moral line -in my mind” and “I also take real pleasure from winning…”

      14 MTUs, 1 Mobile Depot, 1 Vexor, 1 Megathron, 1 Raven Navy Issue and 1 Raven killed between the 19th and the 21st of Dec. (

      I don’t know about anyone else but I am really impressed by this ‘winning’ record against the Terrible MTU Menace… how does one tank against MTUs??… Anti-Tractor Stabilizers?

      Kaeda, I was not attacking you or your playstyle… I was discussing the reasons I don’t enjoy greifing... that's all.

    2. Mate I don't know what kind of drugs you are taking, but the monetary worth of those items isn't even the equivalent of glass of beer at the bar getting knocked over. "emotional reaction", lawl.

      It's nothing to do with "causing that 'sense of loss' and create an EMOTIONAL reaction" (paraphrased). Only some kind of sicko would think along those lines. It's simply to poke a few mission runners so perhaps they will shoot back for some consensual pvp in a pvp spaceship game.

      He's clearly shooting the MTU's to temp mission runners to shoot at him. Shooting the MTU is the method, not the goal. And do mind that the second he does that everyone can come shoot at him since he just became suspect. There's nothing inherently safe about shooting mission runners. Nothing in eve is.

      So again, this isn't about what happens to other people. It's about getting someone to shoot you so you get to blow up his nice and hopefully shiny ship. His emotional state and opinions are irrelevant.

      And the reason there is a difference between blowing up NPC rats and players is because with rats the outcome is inevitable, there is no risk there is no random factor, fuck there isn't even a challenge. But against a player anything could happen. You don't know how he's fit, you don't know if he has friends nearby, or if he's actually quite ready for you and just waiting for you to go suspect. That creates risk and uncertainty, then by being under shipped, taking on battleships in underpowered cruisers you also create some challenge.

    3. First of all, I don't feel attacked. I have no idea where you got that idea.
      I was merely clarifying the quote you took of my blog and making sure people that got all the way to the comments would realize I that my delight is not in tears themselves.
      As to my recent highsec record; I spend 400 mil isk on tags, I made about 800 million in stolen loot over the course of 2 days. So I got to PvP and I made ISK! Surely you can relate.
      And yes the outcome of shooting people's MTU's is in doubt, you see most people never return fire. In fact I can't even shoot at your ship unless *you shoot at me first* everybody that dies to me after I blap their MTU made a concious decision to commit an act of aggression against me (an unwise one perhaps, but still their decision). Anyway I don't even consider this griefing really, it's a form of piracy just happens to take place in highsec because unsurprisingly that is where most the valuable easy to kill battleships are :)
      Further more when I'm suspect in highsec everybody can shoot me (not to mention numerous people have kill rights on me), the system I killed those ships in has local average between 30 and 40, I most certainly take a risk to make isk (I rhyme now, kaeda the poetic pirate, I need a beatbox parrot).

      Anyway if you're going to quote me to argue your case on why you don't enjoy something that's fine. But you made a presumption about where my enjoyment comes from that is incorrect so I felt a need to point that out. When I did Hulkageddon 5, I was trying to win a competition (I didn't I ended like lower half top 10 :'( I won for Amarr Highsec though!). When I tempt people into aggressing me in highsec I do it for the ISK and for the rush I get from it, it's exciting being flashy in highsec with everybody being able to shoot you!
      Hell there's mission runners who find it highly amusing when I come into their missions, I'm as much content to them as they are to me. The ragers are a slim minority in reality. When I gank a random person in highsec I'm usually just bored, and want to see something burn.
      Peoples negative emotions if any are collateral damage at best to me, certainly not my aim in any way shape or form. And when people actually try and get even I welcome that, it greatly increases my fun in game. Anyway I wrote a lengthy blog on tears once;

      Let me quote myself from that blog (my opinion on this hasn't changed);
      "The entire concept of 'lol tears' is basically just a sad form machismo of the same ilk that deems all negative emotions to be somehow a sign of weakness, if you actually really believe that to be true I feel sorry for you and you can stop reading now!"

      Anyway, no hard feelings, I just felt a little misrepresented and hence I clarified.

    4. Kaeda, glad you were not offend as was not my intent. I have read your comment and will reply... I greatly enjoy the back-n-forth of the comments part of a post... but it's late and I'm tired... LOL

  3. @roigon... Ahh, the eternal cry of the grieferbear… (Having proved the ISK to USD ratio, I’ll not waste anymoar time on that… so) ”Only some kind of sicko would think along those lines.” Those lines being that someone in a ’game’ is a ‘sicko’ for having ‘feelings’ or ‘opinions’ about what happens to them in that game.

    As he says… "emotional reaction", lawl.… Upset? Over a GAME? It’s just not manly mate! I wonder why if one ‘pokes’ at a mission runner, and the cost of the MTU and the Loot inside is so meager… why then would a misson runner in a PvE fit ship EVER consider shooting back for some good ol non-consensual PvP? (yup, I said NON-consensual as he did not ask for nor agree to you attacking him… not that we have that kind of WOW idiocy in EvE thank the gods…) And it’s a SANDBOX PVP/E game thank you very much… but I know tearbears will never agree to that definition, makes em look bad if PvE is actually an intentional and ‘accepted’ playstyle…

    Yes, Kaeda was most definitely shooting MTUs in the hope he would get to blow up nice and hopefully shiny ships. But he wasn’t seeking consensual PvP… I can guarantee you his ships were properly fit for PvP. No… you don’t want PvP… you want to kill PvE fit ships… nice blingy pubbie hisec easy kills. I’m soooo impressed. You say Hisec Mission Runner Baiting it is risky… really? How many losses do you have against em? How many times has he had friends nearby? How many times has he actually been quite ready for you and just waiting for you to go suspect?? You really get nervous when you bait a mission runner? Really? Oh please…

    And everything that happens in EvE is ALL about shit that ”…happens to other people.” because ”…getting someone to shoot you so you get to blow up his nice and hopefully shiny ship.” IS nothing but something happening to another PERSON caused by you… and your desired outcome of him shooting you back so you can pwn his PvE fit nice and hopefully shiny ship, is ALL about his emotional state and his opinion of the situation you have forced on him… otherwise no one would ever fight back and you would have no reason to grief anyone ever. But a few do get pissed off and a few make the sad mistake of fighting back in PvE fit nice and hopefully shiny ships… and that is your goal and reason for griefing. All the rest is rhetoric and rationale.

    Oh, and please read all of a post afore commenting… I have never said EvE was fair or easy or safe or that is should be in ANY WAY… Hell, mate, I have lived in W-space for 2.5 of my 3 years in EvE… But you’d hate it there, we don’t fit for PvE, or I should say the PvE fits we use are really just PvP fits anyway. And you would miss all the fun of going “suspsect” too, no CONCORD in holes… but then again, as far as we are concerned, yer suspect the second you jump the crazy marble and we treat each and all that way… all PvP all the live long day… If that’s what you REALLY want… but I doubt it.

    1. Some rather incorrect assumptions are made here Tur.

    2. @Sugar... not pure assumptions, much of what I have read on blogs and forums backs this. And of course, there is the whole I am being somewhat general here thing... but it is a PERSONAL viewpoint... not a condemnation of anyone... yet posts about griefing always seem to garner responses from those who feel a need to defend their playstyle... brings to mind thoughts of "He doth protest too much..." it does…

      But, as I said... (1) This was not a diatribe against griefing (or Kaeda etc.) it was a post on my personal take on greifing… I have always wondered about what griefers get out of it ‘cause for the most part, it has not historically been a high income avenue in EvE (though I think the MTU may be changing that a bit) and then there is the ‘goal’ of making someone "rage quit" (not good for CCP or public perception) and “noob griefers" (against the EULA but we all know it happens) and of course, all the “tears” posts and such...

      Also please note I use the term griefer, not pirate, Sugar, as I do see the 2 as different playstyles... One is basically someone who wants to always win... picking on younger inexperienced players or players who are not PvP players and stand little 'real' chance against them. The second are players who want to hunt 'live' players for fun and profit instead of NPCs. Plus, you personally, live and kill in lowsec… that’s a little like living in holes in that it is well understood that lowsec is far moar dangerous than Hisec and like Anoikis, to travel or live there is to accept that increased risk.

      We ran into the Tuskers a few times... they used gang tactics and were very good, and they ransomed... like real pirates used to do. They got the loot & salvage from their kills and ransomed the pods AND they respected ransoms... and I respected that. It was true pirate style PvP gameplay that made sense to me. And they never felt the need to argue that it was consensual or fun for their victims, they knew full well it wasn't but that was part of the point.

      Baiting Mission Runners... Can Flipping Miners... IE 'poking' at players to upset them so they will attack you in PvE fit ships is not piracy... its griefing... IE causing someone grief... and that I simply do not really understand. And I have always found it interesting that greifers find it hilarious when their victims get upset… when they show an emotional investment in the game… and yet, they derive great enjoyment, a positive emotional response… IE the LULZ… from the victim’s negative emotional response.

      grief: grēf/ noun
      1. deep sorrow, esp. that caused by someone's death.
      "she was overcome with grief"
      synonyms: sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, heartache, heartbreak, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, woe, desolation, dejection, despair

      Due to the well understood and generally accepted ISK to RWM (Real World Money) ratio and the fact that LOSS is real in EvE these ARE feelings, IE emotional responses, that are engendered when virtual goods, ships & mods etc. are virtually destroyed for no reason other than ‘he was there and I could cause it’s just a game and I can do anything I want’… and you find yourself just waiting for the ‘neener neener’ that should follow a line like that.

    3. When you use someone's name and then 'you' the two are connected. You said that Roigon would not live in Wormholes or like them. I understand that you are speaking in general terms but you are also calling individuals directly out with two separation of the two aspects of your argument.

      Using someone as an example does not invalidate their option to rebuttle your statements or clairfy their positions. None of this is about low sec piracy but both parties addressed so far are my corpmates. Nether needs my defense. My comment is simply because I find your direct comments to them by name in reaction to their comments incorrect and assumptive. Based off of my knowledge of the participants I commented because I found your statement incorrect.

      Is everyone is to step back with hands up and off because it is opinion?

    4. @Sugar, Yes, you are right...
      Roigon & Kaeda I apologize... on re-reading my responses, they do come off more direct than general as I actually intended. As I don't know ya’ll or your playstyles, for all I know you live in a C6 (hell I din’t know you were Sugar’s corpmates)... sorry bout that. It really was supposed to be a general this is my take on griefing than anything personal about anyone else.

      The genesis was Sugar’s post in general and Kaeda’s quite specific "I take viscous (real) delight in griefing (in the knowledge it is only a game and I'm not causing any real damage)." This was as clear cut ‘I Like Griefing’ statement as I have ever seen…

      And thank you Kaeda, Roigon & Sugar for weighing in...

  4. It was a C2 for about a year and I think and I have 2 killmails made in hisec of the 2000 odd I've made over the years.

    You've made sugar refer to me as a griefer for the better part of the day now. Your libellous griefing of my character has caused me severe emotional distress.

    1. Delicious comment tears...My work here is done...

      LOL =]


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