Thursday, March 20, 2014

BB 54 - One Man’s Hero is Another Man’s Villain…

”I aim to misbehave…”
            Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

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

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Today's topic comes from 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?


First a few definitions may be in order…

What really is a Hero? Hero’s are usually characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity.

There are basically three Hero variants, or sub-types…

The Classic Hero is usually a Larger than life character who goes on a quest to achieve some good end that benefits other people in some way. Such as rescuing maidens in distress or preventing a dastardly villain from ruling the world. While we look up to the Classic Hero, we may not fully believe in their seeming perfection. Nevertheless they are a clear ideal to which we can aspire.

The Tragic Hero reflects more of the real world in that the slings and arrows (and projectiles, missiles and lazors) that are thrown at them do not always miss. The Classic Tragic Hero is often doomed from the outset, yet they continue in their quest, perhaps achieving it just before they (tragically) die. The Tragic Hero may also fail in their quest, perhaps having bitten off more than they can chew. For the audience, the tragic hero may represent their fears for themselves, that despite their best efforts that they will fail.

The Anti-Hero (my personal fav) is often a lonely alienated figure, seen as inferior to the reader in dynamism, social purpose or morality… even in intelligence, as compared to the classical hero who is larger than life. Antihero's are often rootless, indecisive… or decisive yet selfish characters, unable to communicate while seeming to just drift through their own lives but they find themselves forced by circumstances, and reluctantly, they give in to an inner morality and do the ‘right thing’ anyway.

OK…that said, I can’t help but wonder if the Classic Hero in Noob’s query is more about a name we would all recognize. Gamefamous figures like Chribba, Mittani or Metafamous like the bloggers Sindel Pellion or Sugar Kyle.... or, are we talking about what I call the Real Hero’s of EvE?

The one’s who seek no limelight, the ones who simply Do The Right Thing because it’s just the right thing to do? And then we have to ask, how do we define The Right Thing?

For Goons, The Right Thing is whatever secures and safeguards the Via Goonian, the Way of the Goon. From that viewpoint there are well over 10,000 EvE players who probably see the Mittani as some form of very real Hero.

All those who aspire to the Goon version of NullSec Greatness™ look up to and respect the Mittani, whether they 'like' him or not… and the fact that a very large portion of the rest of the playerbase dislike or even actively disparage Goons and the Mittani actually increases this Hero worship.

Heck, during the Summer of Rage one helluva lot of us who were/are dead set against the GSF/CFC were glad Mittens was the CSM Chair at the time. We felt he was actually working not just for Goons or even just for Nullsec, but for the game as a whole in his advocacy.

However, on the flip side of that coin is BoB… all the players and corps who were a part of the Band of Brothers Alliance. An Alliance that has been reviled, whether rightly or wrongly this respondent knoweth not but, I can assure you that they and all the corps and Alliances that have been destroyed by the GSF and the CFC and a very, very large number of players, especially the Industrialists and Miners who have been on the receiving end of the Hulkageddons, Ice Interdictions, Burn Jitas and all the players hurt or butthurt over the ubiquitous Goons Gankers and Scammers, many of them will never see Das Mittens and his minions as anything but the vilest of Villains.
Is this an EvE Hero?

How about Sugar Kyle? She is an Industrialist, blogger of note, CSM9 candidate and an unrepentant Lowsec Pirate. Her EvE Kill stats shows over her 2 years and 2 months ingame she has racked up 1542 kills for only 78 losses… with that record is she a Hero? I am sure that while Ms Kyle is not partial to ganking miners or Industrials, preferring killing them as can at least fight back, I wonder if there are any who see her as Villain?

But… she is also intensely loyal to her corpmates, and spends a large part of her game working to build a market in her space in Lowsec… and not ‘working’ it in the 'Market PvP' sense, but to a very large degree her interest is ‘almost’ altruistic in a way. She wants to provide a viable, sustainable and affordable local market for ships and mods for her boys, for her customers… and, for her victims too… so is Sugar Kyle a Villain Pirate? or a Hero Carebear?

Is this an EvE Hero?

The one’s I personally call Heros are not E-Famous VIPs though… and they are not Heros in the Classical sense, they are heros in our shared virtual lives, strangely, in a very real sense, which is far, far better than any Character out of Mythology.

Some of my Heros in EvE are…

One of the very first guys who ever killed me…
I was a complete noob… I had bought a book at a really great price… in some other system… uh huh. Well, after I popped through the last gate to the system where the book was, I was just sittin there… lookin around, getting my bearings, trying to puzzle out what the orangey colored Security Status of the system info meant… while my jump cloak faded… and my ship exploded…  uh huh.

The guy what killed me convoed me right shortly after and apologized. He said he would have held off, and held off his corpies too, if he had seen just how new I was first. He not only apologized but gave me all my L&S back AND replaced my Rifter to boot.

We ended up on TS3, talked for a while… really great guys. I swear if I had not had my sons already playing the game, if I had joined EvE solo, I would have accepted thier offer to join them right then and there, and they would have accepted me. Turns out he was a corp diplo and his preferred methodology was Gunboat Recruitment. Seems you learn a lot about a man when you kill him… LOL.

The first guy to War Dec our fledgling corp, the guy who publicly thrashed us on the Soshin station undock…
We were War Decced for the very first time and we went nutz… we finally figured out it was not personal, just a Hi-sec War Deccing corp that targeted noob corps... oh well. We checked our pitiful bank accounts, girded our thin loins, loaded up our T1 ammo in our “best named” guns and told him to go eff hisself when he asked for the ransom.

He landed on our porch, we undocked, he (yea just one guy) was in an Ishtar (T2 Cruiser)… we undocked in a Rokh (T1 BS), an Exequror (T1 Cruiser) and a Thrasher (T1 Dessie)… and he pwed us. I reshipped to a Rifter, and he killed for a second time and podded me too…

That same day he just quite simply became one of our best and most trustworthy friends in the game, period.

And lastly those who step up and just effin Do The Right Thing cause it’s the Right Thing to Do.

I’ll refer you to Mabs old blog for this last one… Bring Him Home! Mab had been making some Hisec supply runs and had run afoul of a gate camp. He was able to get docked up but wanted to come home. A close friend of ours, an old Alliance mate, an experienced and trusted FC stepped up and put together a quick kitchen sink scout/escort fleet and brought Mab back in safe and sound… as Mab put it,

Soon I was sitting cloaked at a safe in Nourvukaike aligned on the Tama gate and waiting for my fleet to make the route to our K162 safe. When all three gates were confirmed clear (the camp had cleared out,) Sov ordered me to proceed through the Tama gate and immediately warp to a safe Tur had set up. There was a big red Megathron on the high-sec side of Tama but I was through before I got a name or he a lock. On the next gate a Tempest showed some interest in one of our fleet ships, but I was already past and we simply warped on.

This is how it went all the way back to Serenity Station, the HBHI POS. I landed inside the shields, off loaded my cargo and realized I was home. But it isn't the station. It isn't the wormhole. It isn't simply the sky or the life of a capsuleer.

Home is belonging. It is camaraderie. It is being with a group of people willing to lay down their implants to aid my safe return. It is sharing danger and sharing profit. It is sharing knowledge: Sov's knowledge of PvP; HBHI's knowledge of WH life; my knowledge of Industry. Sometimes, it's simply floating inside the POS and shooting the shit. It's the final exchange of the evening (paraphrased for brevity,)

    Corp mate: "Break, break: we have talk in local."
    Typed in local by a tourist: "Nice wormhole we'll take it."
    Corp mate: "Faction scum."
    Mabrick: "Want to reship and take care of him?"
    Corp mate: "Nah. He can't do anything here. We should just ignore him."

And we did. It did not matter where it was. It only mattered that we were there together. We were home.

Classic Heros in EvE? Not so much mebbe… but regular-everyday-run-of-the-mill-heros? Oh hell yes… thousands of em out there plying the black everyday doing The Right Thing for Allies, corpmates, friends and strangers… Every Damn Day.

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

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