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This post has the potential to be contentious. Ah well. As the poet said, if you’re not being criticized, you may not be doing much.

In my previous post, I talked very briefly about the need to always keep learning about EVE mechanics, which is mostly not a bad thing. Learning is always good, et cetera. But it does sometimes create unintended consequences, which when they are good CCP labels as “emergent game play” and when they are bad generally escalate into “EVE players are dumb” situations.

Much of this simultaneously comes from the fact of — and can be avoided through submitting to — the “science” of EVE. Very little about this game, after all, is art. In many ways, there are definite right and wrong ways to do things: much of EVE Online can be plotted on flow charts. There is a science to fitting a ship, and a science to flying it. There is a science to where this ship fits within a fleet, how that snippet of a fleet fits within a doctrine, and how that doctrine fits within a large multi-fleet armada common to sov warfare. There is a science to capturing a territory within either faction warfare or sovereignty warfare, and a science to defending it, and a science to how to conduct high-sec war declarations including short-cuts specific to all three kinds of play that experts will know how to use and novices will not.(1)

There is, in short, a science to everything in EVE.

And when players know how to use these things, we say they are “good at EVE” or “smart” and when players don’t know how to use these things, we say the opposite, including labeling them as “dumb” when the correct word is ignorant. It’s not that that they’re inherently stupid (usually), it’s simply that they are uneducated. The day they learn something new, the clock I talked about in the previous post resets and hopefully they won’t make that mistake again. Certainly, there are people in this game that insist on making the same mistakes over and over. But contrary to popular belief, many EVE players are actually pretty smart and if you explain the science of how something works to them, they’ll get it and they’ll follow it.

It’s just that in real-life science, things are documented. In EVE, the science of how to do complicated things are jealously guarded secrets used by the initiated against those who are not.

“You can affect something big, even if you’re small,” the old Goon propaganda poster promises. What it doesn’t tell you is that the knife cuts both ways. If you don’t understand the ship fitting or how to fly it, you will probably lose the ship. If you don’t understand how the fit works within a fleet or the fleet doctrine, you endanger the fleet and risk its destruction. If you don’t understand how the doctrine fits within the armada, you threaten the armada. If you don’t understand faction warfare mechanics or corp mechanics or sov mechanics… well, you potentially threaten the faction, the corp, or the alliance.

For every story of a hero newbie tackling a high value target, there’s another story of a newbie whose name is mud who bubbled a friendly capital or super-capital… or got an alliance’s wallet and assets stolen.

And when the newer player makes a mistake that affects something big, it’s never the newer player that pays the price. The new player loses a dictor. It’s the vets that trusted him that lose billions. Or hundreds of billions.

And when the newer player falls prey to the dark side of the science of EVE, we bitter-vets are always quick to throw out the “dumb” label: he was dumb to fly that ship, he was dumb to get into fleet without understanding what he was doing, he was dumb to mess with corp mechanics without understanding them, he was dumb to trust Scooter McCabe. And if all else fails, the bully’s accusation comes out, that the vet was dumb to trust the new player.

But was he dumb? Or merely uneducated?

And then we bemoan how few content creators — or “instigators” as CCP Seagull calls them — there are in this game. With so much science to learn and understand, and with the slightest mistake being picked up on and exploited, it doesn’t surprise me a single little bit that there are so few. Who wants to take that risk in such a risk averse game?

I suspect we lose a lot of EVE players and potential EVE players and a lot of potential content creators to the science of EVE.

(1) Examples: using SBUs to “blockade” your own space as a defensive measure, the old dec-shields used in high-sec, placing your ESS in a spot inaccessible to anything but a fleet, and other such tactics.

- Ripard Teg

If you would like to read more we invite you to visit his blog here.

  • I just do not know

    Like at this point its seriously dumb to rent, let them collapse under their own excess, but nah people are too dumb!

  • Jack

    This site should be called EveBloggers24, haven’t seen real news in days despite null sec burning.

    • Puchoco_Voluspa

      “Null sec burning” … the war is over. There’s a lot of structure grinding and some timers which are uncontested. BOTLRD ( or however that shit is spelled ) is up and running. Test is camping Delve. BL are messing with CO2…. that’s pretty much all there is. Which one would you like an article for ?

      • Dick Hauser

        Yes.

    • Bo

      I prefer everumors24

    • Homophobic John

      CopyPasteNews24

    • Justin May

      I looked at tmc and they have nothing either. Where else are you supposed to go? At least en24 are still posting pieces..

      • Jack

        Goon forums are usually interesting. I’d rather have nothing than reposts of blogs I could seek out if I cared to.

  • Snargle

    “But was he dumb? Or merely uneducated?”

    In the age of instant communication and vast, easily accessible repositories of knowledge, ignorance is a choice.

    • Jack

      On the goon forums is a great picture relating to the scam he talks about. Someone googled “Scooter Mcabe” and Google suggested a ton of results all of which had the word “scammer” in them. Hilarious.

      • Snargle

        I just tested this by typing “Scooter Mccabe” into Google. Sure enough, the first suggestion was “Scooter Mccabe scammer”. I didn’t even need to do the damn search!

        “He was dumb to fly that ship”? No, he was dumb to fly that ship without bothering to check the ship would serve his purpose.

        “He was dumb to get into fleet without understanding what he was doing”? Yes. Considering he could have easily looked up what he he was trying to do in the first place, or just asked someone in fleet for help.

        “He was dumb to mess with corp mechanics without understanding them”? Yes. It’s not like there aren’t guides and forums out there to help with understanding this exact issue.

        And the whole thing that the vet was dumb to trust the new player is…confusing. You’re dumb to trust ANYBODY in EVE unless you have known them ingame for a VERY long time, or know them out of game and can drive to their house to kick their ass if needed. EVE is billed as a game where you can screw over anybody. Shit, one of the trailers is about a guy pulling a heist and disbanding an entire alliance because they ganked his Merlin!

        As I said before, with today’s technology ignorance is a choice. When you start out in EVE, you are uneducated. Trying to do things without educating yourself first is what makes you dumb.

    • M1k3y Koontz

      I have to agree, but disagree in the case of EVE.

      EVE’s mechanics are complicated and hard to find a clear, straightforward guide for. If a newbie makes a mistake due to complex game mechanics, they aren’t necessarily to blame. If a newbie is in a player corp and is shitfitting their ships, and they don’t ask for help on their fit, either from corpmates or searching for help on the internet, then they are most certainly at fault.

      • Snargle

        That’s why people encourage newbies to go out and lose ships right off the bat: the losses are very cheap even for a newbie, they help the newbie learn that ship loss is a part of EVE and nothing to rage about, and lastly they help the newbie explore the game mechanics and learn what they need to learn.

        Plus, there’s no shortage of corporations out there willing to help a newbie learn. BNI didn’t exist when I was a newbie, yet I managed. Newbies today will manage as well.

  • Billbo

    so someone isn’t “dumb” when they give Director roles to a outside person in your executor corp who then goes to “Karrtoon” you o? come again?

    • Dirk MacGirk

      No, they aren’t dumb. They are fucking stupid. Because by the time you reach CEO level of an alliance, you should have learned some very basic things in this game about role security. And if you didn’t, that is willful ignorance and Fucking Dumbass Stupid is a valid label.

      • Billbo

        I couldn’t say it any plainer that this^

  • Dirk MacGirk

    Guy makes a mistake once, he may be ignorant. Guy makes the same or similar mistake a second time, he may just need further education. Make the same mistakes over and over or don’t become part of a community that can help you learn from their own past mistakes, and yeah, the dumb label can be put into play. There are gobs of players in this game who think they know what’s up and no amount of telling them differently will change their minds. For simplicity sake, the label “dumb” will most likely be used and it isn’t always wrong. Some people are in fact dumb. Eve has some brilliant minds and some truly dumb ones. Dumb can almost be overlooked. Ignorant by choice is another matter altogether. Besides, if we didn’t have dumb people, it would be much harder to recognize smart people.

  • orly?

    LEADERSHIP – it’s one of the most powerful, valuable tools in the game of EVE. All the science, precise fits, exact doctrines, etc is worthless without real leadership.

    Science and logic are the beginning of success in the game, but only the beginning. Here’s a quick example in a tale of two pilots. Lets assume they both have been briefed and maybe flown a few fleets in their chosen ship and again, lets go with dictors since they’re a hot topic (and easy to hose your own fleet with).

    Pilot 1 has been given a copy of ‘how to dictor for dummies’ (which started well-intended but turned into a wall of text), linked a few fits, issued the ‘standard’ fleet-fit for his alliance and told ‘dont bubble unless FC says’. Recently his training completed for min. alliance requirements and he bought his first Sabre. He’s flown around with some fleets, had some dictors popped like all of us and generally prefers to fly in the BC/BS preferred for the doctrine. They live longer, get on more KMs and you don’t have the hassle of SRP or buying your own replacement. Only when the FC says fleet is short dictors does he fly one.

    Pilot 2 finished the training requirements for dictor pilotage according to his corp’s new-pilot trainer / on-boarder who personally reviews new member stats on at least a monthly basis. Being busy the leadership-guy delegated FC roles to a budding scout in the corp and several non-operation fleets were attended. After some fun kills, several truly-horrid whelps and about the same total losses as Pilot 1, Pilot 2 knows dictors are thin, primaried and highly valuable both defensively and offensively. He’s also bubbled his own fleet a few times – probably once or twice on orders from the FC and probably at least one ‘oops’.

    What’s the real difference between 1 and 2? Luck? Chance? Sure – anyone can get lucky, not lucky etc. Too, accidents can still happen and ‘mistakes are made’. The difference, though is the corp’s involvement in and ownership of the pilot in question.

    Which of the two would you rather be full speed aligned with in your non-SRP faction battleship? The guy who ‘can’ and got told he had to, or the guy that ‘does’ and wanted to? It’s like the fleet of people who were told to be somewhere and want to go home vs. the guys who all batphoned 3-4 of their friends each, want to be in the field and hope to hell the other guy takes a fight because they’re ready to throw down.

  • Billbo

    Riptard, EVE is a dark place and their are plenty of resource material out there on how corp/alliance mechanics work. If some random scrub fails to train Reading comprehension lvl 1 who happens to consoldate and lock up their assets as a whole it is their own damn fault.

    TLDR; Stop with the fucking wet nanny shit and #Learn2Sov

    • Kamar Raimo

      #Learn2Sov? That’s actually funny, because apart from highsec, sov nullsec is the home to the most clueless players of this game.

      I’m not disputing that their leadership is very good, but the average line member is total shit. I know what I am talking about because I came from sov-null to lowsec and I was as a babe in a basket and now I see the same thing with sov-null people flying through here.

  • Kamar Raimo

    “Certainly, there are people in this game that insist on making the same mistakes over and over”

    You mean Caldari Militia?

    • Dick Hauser

      Kinda… TEST alliance…

  • Nobrainz

    And every time yesteday i’ve read the title “silence”
    How could you, how could you blind him with silence?

  • arkady

    Ripard. The guy who fell for Scooter’s scam was not a newbie. He was a long time EVE player. He was however, a dead set idiot. He had no business risking his corpmate’s space, SOV and assets in the way he did.

    Also another thing. If a newbee tackles the FC and gets them killed, in GSF, that gets them showered in ISK, not punished.