Thursday, March 07, 2013

Dire Straits - Risk Aversion, Warp Core Stabs, Blobs, And Bloggers

Not quite what I meant...

Rixx Javix posted a dirge for Eve last week that can only be described as depressing:
Consider this fair warning. This is indeed a trend. Perhaps you are too blind to see it, but I'm not. This has been building for years and it seems to be picking up speed. Null sec is static. High-sec is entrenched. And low is increasingly full of avoiders and big hammers. ( Big Hammers are those that will only engage when they have far superior numbers, yet another risk aversion tactic )
To much has been invested in "the way things are". The wealth is building up in station. The ISK is easier to acquire. The benefits of taking risk have been mitigated to a nominal result. The biggest rewards fall to those that take the least risk. This is backwards thinking at its worst.
If this trend continues Eve will peak and then slowly, very slowly die.
Not screaming and kicking. But mired in wealth. Spinning in station.

Then the next day posted that "no, no, you don't get it!"
Writing 954 posts about a single subject can also get rather boring and repetitive. I strive to write about new things, new perspectives, new subjects and be as entertaining as possible at the same time. Mostly for myself of course, but judging by the numbers, for others as well. It can be difficult at times.
But even then, I am careful about my words.
I would never sink as low as to stand on my soapbox and scream that "Eve is dying!". A careful reading of my post yesterday would clearly indicate that indeed I feel the opposite. Eve is better now than it has ever been before. And yet...

I think I've read Rixx's blog as long as anyone and I can safely say that the first post sounded like an "Eve is dying!" post but perhaps I didn't read it carefully. ;-)

To be fair, Rixx is not altogether wrong. Although his current frustration with warp code stabilizers is misguided in my opinion, and I'm not sure that risk aversion is on the rise so much as we're more aware of it now than ever, but I definitely agree that risk aversion is a problem in Eve and one I don't know how to address since it is so fundamental to human nature to strive to minimize/avoid loss and maximize gain/victory.

Its not hard to see actions that reinforce this behaviour either. We mock the player that undocks and dies in a sub par fit or in a bad situation to superior numbers, and scream in frustration at the payers that fit warp core stabs or fly with friends and off grid boosting alts. We shake our heads at the play that jumps into a gate camp without scouting first and curse at an enemy "blob" that catches us at another gate camp. We tell the players that express frustration at some game mechanics to "go back to WoW" and then turn around and expect people to respectfully listen to our ideas.

We are in a game that celebrates success and shames failure to a degree that it should be no surprise that risk aversion is rampant: everyone wants the former and no one wants the latter.

So, is Eve in trouble as we march down the road to the future? I'm more optimistic than Rixx in this case; I think its a self correcting problem especially with the tiercide initiative and tech 1 ships regaining a lot of lot glory. I've come to terms with my strength and weakness in the game and the resulting failures and successes. I find that in faction warfare I have found a balance between small gang/solo and fleet gameplay that suits me. Perhaps Rixx needs to mix it up a little for a while to refresh his perspective. 

But off grid boosters, man, they have got to be changed! ;-)


  1. Anonymous2:37 am

    Risk vs reward. There is plenty reward around that requires little/no risk. Why would I do something risky?

  2. I did a piss poor job of writing and have no one to blame but myself frankly. I tried to mix several rants into one summation that resulted in a somewhat confusing and diluted mess. So I'm moving on.

    IF Risk Aversion is indeed a trend, it will spell the eventual end of Eve as we know it now. That isn't a false "eve is dying" idea, but one proven over and over again by history. What I failed to clarify is that I don't personally believe this is happening at the moment, but there are worrisome indications that it MIGHT BE. So fair warning. We continue down this path and whoa unto us.

    Either way, it got people angry and talking about it, so it worked. I don't mind taking a bullet every once in awhile as long as it keeps us all on our toes. Somebodies got to keep the pot stirred.