Monday, March 24, 2008

Eve-Online: An incredible parody of the real world

If I were coerced, under threat of podding, to state the one best thing that CCP has done for the game, then I would tell my warp-scrambling captors about Eve being a MMORPG like no other: not Second Life, not WoW, not Ultima Online. Eve is full of market rivalry, corp thefts and assassinations, scammers, the rise and fall of power blocs starting massive wars on whims and fighting each other for resources (George Bush and his ‘WMD’ excuse to control oil output from the Middle East, anyone?). Simply put, CCP has been a pioneer in the gaming industry to build such a realistic virtual reality world, despite the frequent lagfest, nerfs, and bugs that everyone bitches about. The complexity of Eve is what gives rise to the steep learning curve that every newbie has to go through when he/she first starts playing.

In this entry I shall attempt to give a scientific (read: nerdy) explanation of why I think what happens in Eve is eerily similar to what happens in the real world. Take internal discord in certain alliances for instance. A paragraph taken verbatim from an interview with Frederick of BRUCE (who has a very good grasp on social psychology I might add) on Eve Tribune states:

“Any time a group is put into a position of stress, one of two things occurs.
A) The group attacks itself, fragments, and as you said, bleeds out members.
B) The membership bands together, becomes super-supportive, and covers each other's backs twice as hard.”

Ain’t that true. We’ve seen enough of A and B in our own alliance lately. A massive hemorrhage happened last week due to someone fanning a fire. However, most who left were already not involved in alliance affairs, or couldn’t care less and wanted to leave to do their own things anyway. I viewed it as a good time and excuse to get rid of all the rotten apples in our corp. Amazingly, for every 10 who left, 20 stayed behind and offered immense amount of support. Dalic, our new CEO, is highly motivated and has already started turning some wheels for us to inject new blood into the alliance, as well as getting some potential juicy targets for us to shoot at. He sure has a lot on his plate, and I admire him for taking up the job with gusto when there are some bad feelings for him. It is a fine line to tread between being completely drained of blood and just getting rid of the bad blood, but he will most likely succeed in completely revamping this corp and alliance when teamwork is enforced and encouraged.

Also, for anyone who is interested, here is an excellent blog entry by Terra Nova that describes the tension between pvpers (cowgals - me!) and the carebears in an alliance. It's an in-depth analysis of social psychology again, so don't bother reading if your eyes bleed easily. Specifically, the entry mulls over the difference between the casual pvper, the hardcore FC positions, alliance leadership, and industrialists. It makes good dinner-time/pretending-to-work-time reading, and I will writing up my own musings as an FC in a future post.

Eve is indeed a unique game. I have experienced far more leadership, conspiracies, camaraderie, manipulations, courage, and risk-taking in the 9 months that I’ve been playing, than any opportunities I’ve come across in college. Everyone says it’s a game. But it sure as hell is a deep game that mirrors the real world.

In other news: I have decided to train for a recon probe launcher on my rapier. Much more tasty blood could’ve been got if we had a prober in our fleet. *bears little vampire fangs* Also, I seem to have hit a motherload (of places with things to kill)! More to come on that.


Swift Voyager said...

Hi, and nice to meet you. I just found your blog today, and I've been reading your posts. Nice blog. Much of what you talk about sounds so familiar that you could be me writing about my corp/alliance.

That whole series on Tera Nova is great. I've been reading and posting over there for quite a while. The PDF version he compiled later is also good for getting the geek juice flowing. Any game can really be seen as a parody of real life; checkers, horse racing, soccer, tug-o-war, and yes Eve too. However, comparing Eve to those other games I mentioned is like comparing Shakespear to a Hallmark greeting card. Eve was my first MMO experience, and my only MMO experience so far. What a way to get started huh? I didn't know I was struggling through a rougher than average learning curve. I just figured that all MMO's were kinda like Eve. I was really surprised when I found out how different most other MMO's really are. That's when I started reading all the blog sites and trying to understand why Eve is so different. Now I'm hooked on Eve, and hooked on blogs too. I'm really getting some time-consuming hobbies. lol

Bri said...

Pleased to meet you too! I'm glad you enjoy my blog. The things I describe happen to more corps and alliances than most people would think. When you are on the other side of the fence, you always think the grass is greener there. And yes, Eve is famous for its near-vertical learning curve!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the grass is greener. We had an alliance meltdown right after New Years. I think about 75% of the alliance left. We're still rebuilding, but it's going well for those of us who stayed. Now we're looking at killing the old name entirely so that we can get rid of all the old bad blood and really start to move forward without the baggage of our name. Seems like a good idea to me. I haven't been online since the end of last week because RL has been so crazy, so who knows. Things change so fast in Eve politics that it'll probably take me a week to get caught up on everything that's happened over the past few days.

Bri said...

thanks for the commentary. alright, i'll look out for you ingame, and we can have a chat! i've been playing the sit-in-station-socializing game lately anyway...

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog through Virgin Worlds - well done.

I've got to agree with the whole percieved carebear / pvp dichotomy that seems to cause a lot of problems for EVE alliances.

You're not the only alliance in Drone Regions having that problem right now, either.

Anonymous said...

Oh and...

- Probes/exploration FTW - still trying to wrap my head around all that, myself.

- R64 moons are certainly a sort of equivalent of oil resources IRL. We've certainly had enough fighting and drama over them in our part of DR!

The Congo Sovereign said...

it's nice to see u come out this weekend, considering u knew it was coming.

run while you can.

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