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Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

Interview With an EVE Pirate 222

Within any game, especially massive games, there is usually a well established culture. This of course ultimately leads to some sort of counterculture (usually a la griefer). CCP's EVE has been able to give life to a counterculture that isn't completely destructive and makes for a very rich gameplay experience. Massively recently had a chance to sit down with one of EVE's leading criminals to discuss life as an outlaw. "One notable criminal organization devoted to piracy is Veto Corp, headed by their CEO Ethan Verone, who is without a doubt one of New Eden's more notorious pirates. Under his guidance, Veto Corp has been linked to numerous incidents of ransoming, hijacking, and illegal arms sales, among their many other crimes. Their modus operandi of shunning territorial control in favor of remaining fast and free ensures that Veto can conduct 'business' and hit targets anytime, and practically anywhere."
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Interview With an EVE Pirate

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  • ugh god (Score:5, Interesting)

    by deathtopaulw ( 1032050 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @01:55PM (#24483245) Homepage
    this is why I love eve
    the developers don't try to shelter their users
    they openly designed it so there could be things like this.

    eve is a real mmo the way it should be done
  • Unique... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Last_Available_Usern ( 756093 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:08PM (#24483411)
    Eve is very unique in that there is only one universe. In Warcraft, if you develop a bad name, you can change servers, even change your name. If Eve, you have to make the best (or worst) of whatever lifestyle you choose to follow. As a Lawful Good resident, Eve quickly became a little terrifying since the only way I could expand my experience of the game was to move into less-friendly territory, something I was slightly reluctant to do with a Navy Raven with the best equipment. I suppose I (and others like me) could hop into a clone and take a cheap ship anywhere we wanted and experience that universe, but it just seemed too much like starting over. As more and more people grow into the position I was, we'll probably see an ever growing ratio of pirates to lawful citizens. At that point it will be very interesting to see what direction the game takes. It will probably be a Mad Max world at that point.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:16PM (#24483553)

    Stuff like this happens in any and all games. The difference is EVEs focus on PvP and the ensuing legalization of practically anything. There are very large portions of the universe where you can quite literally get away with what would be consider a crime, your only real protection will come from being in a large player gang, as there is simply no protection from NPCs. Even in so called "high sec", theres still a risk of getting blown up by an overpowering strike force before CONCORD (the space cops) can show up and defend you. Further more, any in game "corporation" (eve's guilds), can declare war upon another corporation, or groups of corporations that have banded together in an alliance, allowing them to be attacked anywhere, including the safest systems, as you've basically paid the cops to look the other way for a week. Several other mercenary corporations besides VETO exist as well. In fact I've hired a few of them to take out worthless targets simply because I can afford it and I got a good laugh from pissing the victims off.

  • Re:ugh god (Score:3, Interesting)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:18PM (#24483579)
    And this is why Eve will forever remain a niche MMO. Fine and dandy with me if it helps keeps the assholes off WoW and Guild Wars.
  • Re:ugh god (Score:4, Interesting)

    by darkwing_bmf ( 178021 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:38PM (#24483881)
    No problem. I tried Eve. I found that the only way to beat the game, if griefing is not your style, is to not play. The game is made for griefers and, at it's core, is nothing more than an unbalanced pvp game. The few times one of the corps I joined pvped, it was mind numbingly boring (space is big). And when I was solo trying to mine, well, there was no point really. The missions get old. Honestly, if all the carebears would use some common sense and stay away, the pirates would have nothing left to do and the game would die. Pirates never fight on even terms (they always hide when out gunned), which means if there were only pirates, they'd either be waiting out other pirates that were hiding (boring) or they'd be hiding themselves from bigger pirates (also boring).
  • Re:ugh god (Score:5, Interesting)

    by azuredrake ( 1069906 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:54PM (#24484185)

    It's not newbie friendly at all, in that it takes literally years of paying CCP your monthly fee in order to reach the point where you can fly the big ships that bring in the massive profits.

    EveMon [] will let you see how long it would take you and how much ISK (Eve money) it would cost you. Basically, I quit when I realized I'd get more enjoyment running a mining bot for two years while I was at work than I would if I were actually playing.

  • by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:56PM (#24484233) Journal
    Every time Eve comes up in discussion I think about checking it out. I get the sense that it is really geared toward people who have lots of time to play it and it isn't very friendly toward casual players. What do you guys think? Is there any point in playing it if I only have 5-10 hours a week to devote to it?
  • Competition (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZeroConcept ( 196261 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @03:52PM (#24485395)

    If anyone is interested about the psychological aspects of competion-based games, I suggest to grab a copy of No Contest By Alfie Kohn:

    Google Preview []

    Makes a interesting case about the underlying stimulus for competition-type personalities. I often found interesting that PvP servers and games attract a specific type of personality, that book makes me feel better about myself in comparison to them (for the humor-impaired that was a joke related to the book).

  • Re:Death system (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Drakin020 ( 980931 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @03:56PM (#24485529)

    That's why I can't stand people who call for WoW like death loose durability. Big deal right?

    It brings no strategy or suspense to battles.

  • by TheGeniusIsOut ( 1282110 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @04:19PM (#24486011)
    It is not quite so vicious as others have stated, if you stay in empire space, but the real PvP occurs out in 0.0. To get the hang of the game, you can easily go it solo in empire space running missions for various factions, which can earn you a decent amount of ISK, as well as faction standings that give you discounts on manufacturing/research facilities, and loyalty points which can be spent in special faction stores to get faction specific and higher end items at a reduced monetary cost. My first year was spent mostly running solo missions, building up standings, money, and skills, while extending diplomatic ties to various groups, and gaining insight from some friendly, and some unfriendly, veterans. But like most things of value, you get out of it what you put in. If you only give it a couple of weeks where you spend most of your time complaining about how steep the learning curve is (which is one of the major reasons the average player age is over 20 years old, and not 12-13 like some others)you will not have an enjoyable experience, but if you approach the game with the preconception that there is great diversity in what you can do, and seek out those who can give you advice, you will likely find you enjoy the game, and possibly find yourself a group of like minded individuals to group up with. Many corps even have starting builds they reccomend to new players that want to begin in a particular role, and since you aren't locked into any particular class, you can expand into other areas as you learn and grow. One thing I have heard from dissatisfied players is that they want to know how to "beat" the game, or get to the end game content like there is in other, hack and slash style, MMOs. There is no "end game" to EVE, as it is a dynamic virtual world, with shifting political landscapes, and new expansions adding features, skills, ships, and more on a fairly regular basis, and best of all, they have never charged for an expansion. You pay $20 for the client initially, and can download it from the site at any time, and the base clent download gets updated with the latest patches, so you don't have to spend hours downloading, installing, and then downloading years of patches. I would recommend you give the trial a go, and if you have a Steam account, you can get a 21 day trial. Just be sure to seek out those with more experience, try the recruitment channels, and expect to lose some ships. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and you just might find yourself a new addiction.
  • Re:ugh god (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HanClinto ( 621615 ) < minus painter> on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @05:02PM (#24486905)

    If you keep thinking of the other players as 'intruding on _YOUR_ game', you'll never understand EVE. The players are the game, not the brainless rats.

    Wow, that was insightful, thanks.

    In all seriousness, this may be one reason why I've never understood EVE.

    I'm intrigued.

  • by Wee ( 17189 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @05:34PM (#24487453)

    Pirates never fight on even terms (they always hide when out gunned)

    Not at all true. We get in all kinds of fights that are even, lopsided, traps, whatever. You get a couple fleets slugging it out, and them you get stomped. No problem, you know now you can bait their big stuff out, so you plan ahead and then get your payback (and not necessarily with a larger fleet; more often than not, good planning and little quick thinking is more important than sheer numbers.

    Another example would be faction warfare PvP. There's gangs of all sizes flying around. You have 12, they have 21? Well, what sizes are we talking about? Hmmm, we have two more cruisers than them, yeah, might work, if we can take that ship first, then that one, then either of those two. Good tactics and a good fleet commander making good decisions easily doubles the size of your fleet.

    I think you were fell victim to one too many can flips and finally got pissed enough about all that veld you were losing that you quit -- without a full picture of what the entire game has to offer. You use the phrase "mind numbingly boring". What is mining if not that? Where's the excitement in watching a mining laser fire off again and again and again...


  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @05:50PM (#24487693)

    Absolutely Not. Eve is VERY much a "Play whenever you want" type of game. You dont have to sit for hours grinding, killing rats, bears, spiders, goblins and crap just to advance. The only time limiting factor is ISK (in game money), which can be made VERY fast if you know anything about commodity markets. (Even then, you dont need to know much to make isk) Game advancement is Equal for all players (well aside from the variances in Implants/Stat points, but that doesnt make a huge difference)

    5-10 hours a week may not be much, you won't be flying titans, but you'll have fun, and thats what its about right? You may not be the richest player out there, but if you and Bob started at the same time, you'd be about equal in strength.

    (6 year Eve player here, and currently on month 4 of a break, Haven't stopped advancing the whole time, mmmm Phoenix when I get back)

  • by darkwing_bmf ( 178021 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @06:57PM (#24488417)

    Mining was a mostly relaxing way to waste time. Sure I got upset when some griefer stole ore from me, but I wouldn't say I got "pissed", so much as it made me realize the game rules were made for griefers and I had no part in it since my idea of fun isn't taking away someone else's. It's not like I didn't try fighting back, like I would NPCs in other games, but a basic mining ship is not going to take out a fighter.

    It doesn't matter. Every other part of the game I played seemed pointless too. Running missions starts out fun, but gets boring because it's so repetitive. Waiting for people to undock or go through a gate or looking for groups to fight in PvP that you actually have a chance of beating, or alternatively running away, isn't fun. If you're claiming there's tons of action in PvP, well, that didn't seem to be the case when I tried it. And forming huge corps to build big things... well, that seemed kinda pointless too. Who cares if you have a big ship. Sure it looks cool, but ok I've got a big ship, now what? I suppose there is some fun in griefing others by stealing their ore, or looking for miners in low/no sec to ransom, or going around in groups and just ganking whoever you could find, but it seems like that would get boring too.

    As far as group PvP, MMOs just suck in general (for people with real life commitments) because of the imbalance (mostly rewarding time played and getting groups of people together with lots of free time over everything else). I'd much rather play a straight FPS where I can get on any time, join mostly balanced teams (by design if not skill) and have pure fun for the 30 minutes or whatever I have to play, from the time I log on to the time I log off.

  • by fitten ( 521191 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:49PM (#24489017)

    Can a handful of Level 5 players in WoW PvP gang up on a Level 60/70 (whatever the max is now) and kill him? Well, it's possible in EVE. If you can fly a frigate and power on a webifier or warp scrambler (if not possible as soon as you create your toon, within an hour of toon creation you can), you can be useful in a gang killing other players who have been playing for years. A huge corporation/alliance in EVE (Goons) once started out this way. The even had videos of large gangs of them teaming up in the noobships (wimpiest, crappiest ships in the game) and killing other players. The largest/most powerful alliance in EVE tried to destroy them and drive them out of the game and, instead, they've become also one of the most powerful alliances in the game. There is no game that has the drama of EVE ;)

    Plus, you can gain skills even when you aren't online. The only thing that really requires you to log in are to change skills and to make ISK.

  • Re:ugh god (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sobrique ( 543255 ) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @06:33AM (#24493817) Homepage
    EVE is all about the players. The market is player opposition and competition. Asteroid belts get mined out by other miners. Lab space and factory time is a contended resource. Missions and NPCs exist, and they're... ok, and getting better, but basically are just a side event - another resource to be exploited, as part of the multi-player RTS that is EVE.

    I've been playing for ... 3, 4 years now? I forget. But it's a while, and obviously I'm therefore biased. But I'm forever saddened by the number of people who play EVE, spend 6 weeks grinding missions, and then declaring it 'meh boring' and leave again. Yes, there's parts of EVE that are boring. But there's a whole lot of other stuff to do - anything you can think of, you can go and do. That's part of the problem with it - you don't ever get told what to do, beyond those basic missions, you just have to decide to go do it. EVE is about making your own fun, which doesn't suit everyone - if what you want to do is get told by an NPC to go kill 50 rats, frankly WOW does it better. If you want an open ended game, that's a single universe, and you can do whatever you want, provided you have the firepower to back up your will, then that's EVE. You're free to do whatever. You're free to lead, you're free to follow, and you're free to fail. Player vs. Player means you're climbing the ladder, and sometimes you're stepping on the shoulders of others to get a boost. Some will do so willingly, some will ... object.

    It's not a game for everyone. Not everyone likes strategy games, not everyone likes winning at a cost of someone else losing. Not everyone like a game that requires you to think, plan and organise extensively - large scale fleet deployments in EVE can take significant amounts of effort. Or rather, significant amounts of effort if you want to win. It can also be necessary to abort an operation, having 'wasted' an evening of gaming, because fighting today you'll lose, because they're ready for you. Some will charge anyway, lose ships, and maybe have fun doing so. Others will not, and will go home, or do something else. This can be very frustrating, and does have an impact on morale - and morale is also important in EVE. It's a managable resource like anything else.

    As said, I've played for ages, and still love it. I know others won't - some just won't like it, and others will come to the game thinking the 'wrong way' to get ahead. But I still get the shiver down my spine, and pumping adrenaline when engaging in a serious fight, and there's remarkably few games that still do that for me.

  • by Sobrique ( 543255 ) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @06:39AM (#24493857) Homepage
    Do you consider the person who beats you in a game of chess, a griefer? I mean, they're taking your pieces away.

    How about the guy who charges you a fortune to stay at Mayfair in Monopoloy?

    To say EVE is about 'griefing' is ... well perhaps true. You win at others expense. You take 'their' ore, by mining it, you undercut them on the market. But really, the only challenge in a game, is from another player - no NPC can ever be able to exhibit the necessary level of intelligence, deviousness and strategic thinking when opposing you.

  • by darkwing_bmf ( 178021 ) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:53AM (#24496771)

    Do you consider the person who beats you in a game of chess, a griefer? I mean, they're taking your pieces away.

    Not at all. In chess both sides agree to the start of the contest. Both sides are basically even. And if you lose and play again, both sides start even again. As a bonus, you can complete an entire game in one sitting. None of these things are true with Eve.

    And to be honest, the only thing you really lose in Eve is real life time... but you don't gain real life time by "winning" either. The best cost/benefit ratio of time spent to fun played isn't a zero-sum MMO.

  • by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:21AM (#24508417)

    How is what Veto Corp does different from what other corps do? Okay, so they don't claim large tracts of space for themselves (which might be the biggest form of piracy there is in EVE), but any corp will gladly kill you if you look at them the wrong way.

    And what's illegal about arms trade in Eve? Is there anything at all that's illegal there? Okay, attacking people in 1.0 space gets you in trouble with the cops, but other than that, anything goes, right?

    I guess the two distinguishing features of Veto Corps as far as I can tell are:

    1: Mobility.
    2: I suppose they're less diplomatic about what they're doing.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.