Each MMOs have player groups. Guilds, clans, corporations. Why to join them? The answer seems obvious: because these groups control resources: a successful WoW raiding guild can get you heroic epic items, a sov-holder EVE alliance can provide you access to jump bridges, stations, reimbursements and blob kill reports. They all give a collection of players who will help you in various things.
However this is a dumb answer. The corporations and guilds have no resources. Every item, station and piece of currency is claimed by the members. Unless you join to be a leech/thief at the first place, you will work for your own stuff. I mean as all resources are created by members and distributed to members, the average member gets exactly as much as he gives, by definition of the term “average”. It is true that often the form of contribution is different from the form of reward. For example the typical EVE Nullsec alliance pilot contributes his time flying in a fleet that capture moons and rented space and he receives ship reimbursements. But such specialization is done without formal grouping in highsec by trading: you run missions that give ISK and LP and can trade the LP shop items for minerals that others mined.
If not resources, then maybe it’s “friends”. The groups facilitate positive interaction between a subset of players. However such groups could be created by game mechanics too and such attempts are not successful. The NPC corp in EVE has no corp life and the “Looking for Dungeon/Raid” feature is considered a horrible social experience suffered only for the extra rewards. Considering that these features connect you to a sample of the playerbase, collecting another sample of the same playerbase should provide exactly the same result: annoyance.
“But my corp/guild isn’t just random players” – you might say and you are right. Not everyone can get into your group. Since your group is a subset of the playerbase, the only thing the group can do is set restrictions. For example a HC raider WoW guild only recruit people who can keep 95%+ raid attendance, have X ilvl and Y bosses killed. In EVE Pandemic Legion only takes you if you have a carrier and decent killboard history. These are all restrictions, locking out large segment of the playerbase.
The restrictions the group looks negative to the player at first glance: “I can do X, Y and Z in the NPC crop, if I join this group, I will be banned from doing Y and Z”. Why does anyone submit to such restrictions? Because he gets something important: groupmembers who are similarly restricted. Joe might want to do X, V and W. Since you don’t like V and find W especially disgusting, you can’t play with Joe in an unstructured environment. But you can both join a group which bans Y, Z, V and W, letting you do only X which you both like. The only thing that the gaming groups have to to offer is a set of restrictions that ban other players from activities that would harm/annoy you.
This came up when comments questioned what my corp has to offer besides restrictive rules? The answer is – just like for every other EVE corp is: nothing. Restrictive rules are all I have to offer. Let me explain these rules from a “what do I get” perspective:
- Provide 5B worth of solo highsec ganks every month. This rule guarantees that every other member is a seasoned ganker. If you see an Orca that needs 8 Catalysts to gank, you can form a fleet of 8 without having to worry that someone sits in a T1 cata, cannot overheat, has his safety green or fails in some other way. You, just need to do your job, they will do theirs.
- Zero nullsec, lowsec or WH kills. Killboard is a simple way of measuring activity and performance. But it has the technical problem of giving every killer the full value of the kill. If you had a noobship in Asakai, you could get nearly a trillion ISK kills by your civilian guns. This rule guarantee that the killboard data of the other members are not inflated by such killmail whoring.
- The corp chat is for sharing kills, asking questions, discussing strategies, trading equipment and forming fleets against whales. Not for jokes, stories, “funny” picture links or other random crap.
- This guarantees that the corp chat will never turn into something you’d like to turn off, it won’t be spammed by irrelevant nonsense and it’s not ignored by everyone but trolls. If you ask a question, you get an answer and not trolling and lols.
- Teach! This is why we are here. Your bio should contain teaching (see example below), you should link the kill on local channel to alert others, and to send them to your bio. It guarantees that others are doing the job too, so the goal of changing EVE is reachable, it’s not just you against the legion of morons and slackers.
- Be self sufficient, don’t beg for ships or modules! This guarantees that no one leeches on you.
Many people think that such restrictions make the game not fun. Which is the point! These people don’t belong to the corp and the only way to keep them out is making the game not fun for them if they still join. I want to find people whose fun is not limited by these rules – on the contrary, their fun would be damaged by the activities I’ve banned: non-performance, kill-whoring, idle chat, porn links, griefing people and begging.
While I claim that every single game group works this way, I do not claim that they use formalized rules. They often run by “we are a friendly group, join and let’s have fun”. Here the limits are set by actions of the leadership, what they do, what they tolerate and what they don’t. This is what’s dubbed as “the personality of the leader matters”. I could run the same corp without written rules, simply by constantly bitching on kill-whores, yelling on porn-spammers celebrating performers and trolling beggars. I simply prefer a formalized ruleset instead of “unwritten rules”.
The main positive of written rules is less noise. No one will join here who doesn’t belong. The main negative is harder start. By having a generic “join and have fun”, you can collect filler people to make the corp lively and active, make the impression that it’s not a “start from zero”. I terminated my business, focused all my efforts here, I’m here for the long run, I am fine if the corp will be very small for months.
I seriously hope that people will find this kind of play desirable. I find it desirable, I don’t find my play limited by the rules above. Unless I’m one-of-a-kind, the corp won’t be empty. It is very likely that 99% of the players would find this corp not fun. But considering that there are about 200K players in EVE, I still have 2K prospective members. To get them in, all I need is to stick to these rules and prove that I mean them.
- Gevlon Goblin
p/s: for the first time I started scanning. Mining barges. I just love my new scout Tengu. I also tested that you can’t be ganked in a mining mission as the ganker arrives at the mission entrance even if the scout is standing next to you. A ganky catalyst can’t just travel 10+ km because the police drones attack it if it’s below -5 security status.
His EVE journey show a very interesting “outside the box” approach to the game, PVE and the trade hubs, reason for which we invite you to pay a visit to his blog.