I started playing League of Legends (LoL) last year because I wanted to see what several million players found so compelling about it. That and the tournaments I was watching on Twitch were excellent entertainment and did a good job at marketing. So I created an account and joined my first versus AI beginners match on Summoner’s Rift. It went pretty much as you’d expect. I did nothing right. I was a total noob. I was a feeder.
Feed – To repeatedly die to the enemy team (whether through lack of skill or intentionally) giving them gold and experience. A player that does this is a Feeder.
I remember one of my first games vividly. There were three other players just as experienced as I was, i.e. total noobs. There was one who was not. It was a very difficult game. In fact, the Bots actually managed to destroy one of our inhibitors. It was touch and go there for awhile, but we eventually won the match. It took over an hour and the bots had a higher kill total than we did. For those of you who are not familiar with LoL, suffice it to say we were bad – very, very bad. After the game was over and we exited to the recap screen, the one player who was not very bad began to berate the rest of us. He said things like we should give up on LoL, we should kill ourselves… we should go back to World of Warcraft.
Now, in LoL, there is the Honor system. This is a mechanism by which players can either commend fellow players, or flag them as abusive. To this day, he is the only player I have ever given a negative rating to. I don’t know if he plays any more, but I can tell you players with an overall negative rating don’t get invited to the really fun groups and I drop out of any bot matches that include them. It just isn’t worth my time. Since my early days, I have grown out of being a feeder. Just last night I had a rather good series of games (for me) with 17 champion kills, 21 assists and only 1 death in three games. I was playing with friends, it was a casual game and yes, it was against bots. We were just practicing, but we were having great fun. Over the months they taught me how to not be a feeder and laughed about it the whole time.
So why have I told you all this? I’ve told you all this because of the 44 billion ISK Raven story that is making the rounds in the EVE Online community. If you haven’t seen it yet go read Themittani.com. I’ll not link it here, you know how to find it. The gist of the story is some poor noob with money to burn bought a bunch of PLEX, Officer fit a Navy Raven in Jita and was promptly ganked when he undocked. This story made all the rounds from what I’ve seen. It was featured on Themittani.com after all. In fact, it wasn’t enough this noob was ganked. Goonswarm then delivered the coup de grace by scamming another uber expensive ship out of the noob, and this time it had nine PLEX in the cargo hold. The headline loudly proclaimed, “Go Back to WoW.”
You know that last article I wrote? The one about CCP and EVE Online having a perception problem? Thanks for proving my point. It’s bad enough new players fear veteran players as this reply tweet to my post so accurately points out,
but heap on that what Dinsdale Pirhannha adds,
Sorry, but the biggest problem with Eve IS the fact that CCP revels in the fact that it’s hardcore player base does eat it’s own.
and you have a recipe for stagnation that is nearly impossible to overcome it seems. That is why EVE Online subscriptions are flat and games like LoL and WoW have followings in the millions. You know, CCP must really hate having to cater to the gank squads and scammers when they think about how much money Blizzard takes in every month through WoW subscriptions. (CCP’s 7 million dollars in monthly subscription revenue (500k players times $14 approximately, the real total is likely far less) looks absolutely anemic compared with Blizzard’s 70 million (7 million players times $10 a month and that’s a low-ball.)) The fact most EVE Online players who think of themselves as l33t believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with ganking a noob, and Jimblidge is a noob, out of hundreds of dollars, and then stealing hundreds more, sadly reinforces what Tone Kravanga and Dinsdale Pirhannha point out.
Jimblidge is not the poster child of bad EVE Online playing. He is the poster child for everything that is wrong with this game. We pretend EVE is this great and wonderful community, but frankly it isn’t. It’s insular and self-serving, filled with unfriendly people who claim “it’s just a game” when they act out their antisocial desires. They perpetuate this wrong headed idea that Jimblidge deserved what he got because he was stupid. He was not stupid. He was perhaps naive and likely ignorant, but neither one of those conditions labels him as deserving of what he got. It is not wrong to be naive or stupid. It IS wrong to victimize such people IMO. He is the victim here, not those who claim he should go back to WoW because he somehow reduces the greatness of “our game.” That last is the wanking sort of attitude I wrote of yesterday, where EVE players congratulate themselves for being the most badass gamers ever simply because they can blow up noobs and scam them out of hundreds of dollars.
I enjoy playing LoL because of the people I’ve discovered there who call you a feeder not out of derisive name calling, but as a teaching point on what you are doing wrong and how it negatively affects the rest of the team. It becomes a positive teaching point, even in the few PvP games I’ve played. That makes me feel included, not ostracized for being stupid. This feeling is not restricted to just me. There is a strong community of helpers in LoL that EVE Uni cannot even begin to match. It’s based on this fundamental proposition. Everyone in LoL starts as a feeder. If you say you didn’t you are probably lying. Even the pros admit they began as feeders. Every feeder deserves to get help because it benefits everyone. In turn they pay it forward. In EVE we all start out as naive and ignorant like Jimblidge, but unfortunately there is only paying it back in this game.
I’d like to think that some group like EVE Uni or Brave Newbies may step up and try to educate Jimblidge. But since he’s been ganked and then scammed, I’m not sure he’d be willing to trust them. And more’s the pity. We eat our young: that has been said many times before. We need to stop. One day a better Internet spaceship game will come along. Perhaps it will be Star Citizen. I don’t know. But who do you think pledged the nearly 40 million so far raised by it’s kickstarter? It’s from guys like Jimblidge who want to play Internet spaceships, have the money to buy into it, but find EVE Online to be as off putting as cat shit on your dinner plate. These types of players all want the same thing. Here it is in Jimblidge’s own words,
IF YOU WANT TO SHOOT ME, DO IT. I’LL DEFEND ME, BUT MY PHILOSOPHY IS A BIT DIFFERENT.
I LIKE: HUMAN INTELLIGENCE VS AI
I HATE: HUMAN VS HUMAN.
THE ARE TOO MUCH VIOLENCE IN THE REAL LIFE JET, TO LOOK FOR IT IN A GAME TOO. IT’S ONLY A GAME AND A GAME MUST BE REMAIN.
MAYBE YOU AR THINKING THAT I’M A DREAMER, MAYBE YES, BUT I CAN’T FIND ENJOY IN A DEATH, ALTHOUGH IT IS A GAME DEATH, BEHIND A KEYBOARD THERE IS EVER A MAN OR WOMAN.
THIS IS MY THOUGHT, NEXT DECISION IS YOURS.
If these players don’t get it from EVE Online, they will take their money and go where they can get it. You l33ts may say good riddance; they’re not a fit for this game. But when “they” are the majority, that attitude only means you are willing to accept a trivial role in the future of online gaming. Is that really what CCP wants? I don’t think so. But it’s all they’ll get from those who think it’s acceptable to victimize the Jimblidges of the gaming world.