Since I gave you short shrift on Monday, I figure I need to offer up something more meaty for this post. What can be more meaty than discussing my views on miner bumping? This has especially been playing on my mind since Corelin of The Fancy Hats paid me a compliment while giving us his take of the situation.
To sum up the issue, back in late November CCP decreed constantly bumping another ship is emergent game play and not grief play. You can read all about it from CCP Falcon at this forum link. There are 30 pages of locked comments. Since that decree, bumping has gotten some press. I honestly hadn’t thought it was really that much press, but it seems to have gotten into the current CSM campaign cycle. Besides, what do I know about the goings on of high-sec now I’ve got my head stuck in a wormhole?
Corelin was right in one regard though. If someone bumped me enough to piss me off, I’d take matters into my own hands. I won’t say they’d rue the day they crossed me, but I certainly know there are ways to hand it back to them in spades. But that’s me. That’s nearly five years of getting accustomed to this game and learning how it works. I’m comfortable with those thought processes now. But, I’m not about to tell other carebears that’s how they have to play.
And isn’t that really the issue here? It’s not about bumping. It’s not about some players being so fail at real PvP they have to extort ISK from PvE players. It’s not even really about bullies. This is about forcing people to play the game in a way with which they are uncomfortable.
Die hard PvP players are tremendously afraid the carebear mentality will nerf their game, turning it into something they no longer enjoy. Carebears are tremendously afraid they will have to PvP or quit. It’s two diametrically apposed alignments if you will, and CCP is caught squarely in the middle.
As in all things EVE, no matter which side CCP appears to favor, the other side becomes even more afraid and the situation escalates. I’d like to think EVE Online players are better than that, but we are just a mob of people. Mobs are panicky blobs with no real intelligence other than survive or die instincts. So when confronted with our worst fears, we react accordingly. At some point, the problem resolves itself when one side or the other is eliminated. That is not an optimal solution BTW.
So what does this have to with miner bumping? That miner you are bumping and extracting tears from is another player who is just trying to have fun in his or her own way. Your actions prevent that. They will determine whether that person continues to play EVE Online or leaves for another game. Chances are, if they are young enough in EVE terms, they will leave.
And that my friends, is a real problem. I’ve pointed this out before. It hurts all of us when we lose players – new or old. It hurts CCP by lowering their revenue stream. It hurts current players because it limits future expansion: less revenue equals lower headcount which means fewer developers. CCP may claim that does not affect the quality of their product but that’s just PR wishful thinking. I live and work in a real world. I know better. You should too.
As rational human beings, I’d hope all of us realize that our actions online aren’t just about us. What we do affects our virtual world tremendously. That’s the essence of emergent game play. It’s not about how you do things. It’s about your actions affecting the game. It’s unimportant how The Mittani took down BOB. It’s only important BOB went down, Goonswarm stepped into the power vacuum, the Technetium Cartel arose and TEST found an incubator to survive in long enough to thrive. Null-sec as it is today – for good or for bad – would not exist if these things did not happen. They happened because of what The Mittani did, not because of how he did it.
Was that good for EVE Online? With the luxury of 20/20 hind sight, I think it probably was. The net growth out weighed the losses from BOB rage quits. I’m sure a few of those happened during that collapse. Here’s a Mabrick secret. One of the things about EVE Online that caught my attention back then was this exact event. It was better marketing than I’d ever seen CCP come up with. But at the time, had I been a player, I think I would have feared for the very game itself.
I can’t tell you miner bumping will be the end of EVE Online. That notion is frankly unwarranted. I also can’t predict whether it could be its salvation. When BOB went down, how many of you bitter vets out there foresaw null-sec as it is today? I’d be tempted to call you a liar if you said you had.
So back to miner bumping. About the only thing I believe all of us can accept is this: when you treat people poorly they will leave. When it goes from being a game to being personal, we are all hurt. The game suffers. If the suffering covers a large enough scope, we run the risk of loosing the thing we cherish most.
Think of that when you play this most adult of all MMOs. Consider what your actions are doing to the other person and by extension the game you love. You can bump me and I’ll stick around. Bump someone who is only three months old and struggling, and you’ll get the other response. A response that harms you more than them. The decision is yours; choose wisely.