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EVE Online: Social Manipulation

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com EVE Online Correspondent Tom Wilson takes a look at the idea of social manipulation in CCP's sandbox space MMO.

When you take a little bit of time to think about it, social manipulation is one of the core tenets of being violent in any MMO. Minds are easily moulded; people are easily coerced if the correct words are used. Situations are caused through words, and words alone, and these words can cause more damage to the parties involved than say...an individual ramming ammunition down your throat till you submit to his or her way of thinking.

Prey on the weak; threaten to grind the capsuleer running his mouth off on the local channel into dust; despite what people may say; social manipulation in New Eden is a grisly affair. It requires a certain lack of morals, a selfishness that borders on the perverse, and an arguably sadistic attitude. The people that do it generally have one goal in mind: ISK. In a game like Eve, where loss has a physical effect on both your personal emotions, these entrepreneurs are playing for big stakes. The randomness that is human decision making means that you have yourself a game within a game, where the power of language can be the deciding factor between wealth and ruin.

Read A Brief Look at Social Manipulation in Eve Online

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

Comments

  • atamboatambo Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 21Member

    A better name for this article would be social engineering...

  • wesewese ViennaPosts: 21Member

    Slightly off topic..

    I always wonder how long it takes for a beginner to be able for a newbie to jump into the action.

    Since like Veterans already got their T2, Implants etc. your just no match for them.

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Sarasota, FLPosts: 2,601Member

    Read through the posts here. Many of them answer that question for you.

    EVE Online: 'Dominion' Trailer Now on YouTube
    "...if there is a fair fight happening in new eden, both fcs did something wrong." - batolemaeus

  • DevilXaphanDevilXaphan n/a, LAPosts: 1,144Member
    Originally posted by wese


    Slightly off topic..
    I always wonder how long it takes for a beginner to be able for a newbie to jump into the action.

    Since like Veterans already got their T2, Implants etc. your just no match for them.

     

    Week or two at most, can't take on the vets with firepower but use ECM, electronic warfare, support fire from a distance. Group warfare will be what you most need to get into to start off. Lots of support you can use first off while you train the nessessary skills to get where you want to, just find a good pvp corp that will take you in but make sure you are dedicated to this type of playstyle as most won't waste their time if your not.

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  • AirwrenAirwren Normal, ILPosts: 646Member

    This is a very good insight into one of the things that makes Eve truly unique in the MMO genre.  It's also the one thing that most new players cannot understand.  Most MMO companies flat out ban players from "stealing" or "scamming" another player.  Eve not only doesn't do this, they actually promote this type of behavior.  I have said this before and I'll state it again here.  No matter how hard MMO players try, we tend to invest ourselves in our characters and because we do so, they often become a reflection of who we are in real life.  In my experience, rare is the player who can avoid this phenomenon.  As the article writer stated, there is usually something in your character/nature in real life that appeals to this type of behavior in game.  I applaud those that get away with this sort of thing because it can have a huge impact on the political climate and the power struggle that is Eve Online. 

  • hinkhousehinkhouse Gnome, AKPosts: 29Member

    I think the reasoning in the article is a bit shakey. From the first sentence even. OK, i've thought about it a moment, and I DON'T think "social manipulation is one of the core tenets of being violent in any MMO".  It doesn't even sound like social manipulation is a core tenet of being violent in Eve. All that is described is someone stealing from their own corporation (guild). And he describes a particular example of this type of theft: where the theft is planned from the beginning--which apparently makes it social manipulation? The only difference from other MMOs is that a GM in Eve isn't going to step in and make things right. 

     

    The article seems to be more about guild/corporation management, which does involve social manipulation, and in fact can be a very sandboxy thing, but that's true in any MMO, not just Eve.

     

     

  • HYPERI0NHYPERI0N BirminghamPosts: 3,515Member
    Originally posted by hinkhouse


    I think the reasoning in the article is a bit shakey. From the first sentence even. OK, i've thought about it a moment, and I DON'T think "social manipulation is one of the core tenets of being violent in any MMO".  It doesn't even sound like social manipulation is a core tenet of being violent in Eve. All that is described is someone stealing from their own corporation (guild). And he describes a particular example of this type of theft: where the theft is planned from the beginning--which apparently makes it social manipulation? The only difference from other MMOs is that a GM in Eve isn't going to step in and make things right. 
     
    The article seems to be more about guild/corporation management, which does involve social manipulation, and in fact can be a very sandboxy thing, but that's true in any MMO, not just Eve.
     
     

    Not to the degree that EvE does it.

    Another great example of Moore's Law. Give people access to that much space (developers and users alike) and they'll find uses for it that you can never imagine. "640K ought to be enough for anybody" - Bill Gates 1981

  • TorikTorik London, ONPosts: 2,343Member Uncommon

    No matter how someone tries to describe it, corporate theft/sabotage in EVE is primarily a matter of exploiting the very weak corporate management tools in the game.   There are some very simple ways in which most of these thefts could have been prevented but the game lacks the tools to implement them.   Unless you want to seriously handicap your corporation, you have to take the risk that a rogue can clean you out. 

  • RoseburnRoseburn EVE Online Correspondent ShrewsburyPosts: 4Member


    Originally posted by hinkhouse

    I think the reasoning in the article is a bit shakey. From the first sentence even. OK, i've thought about it a moment, and I DON'T think "social manipulation is one of the core tenets of being violent in any MMO".  It doesn't even sound like social manipulation is a core tenet of being violent in Eve. All that is described is someone stealing from their own corporation (guild). And he describes a particular example of this type of theft: where the theft is planned from the beginning--which apparently makes it social manipulation? The only difference from other MMOs is that a GM in Eve isn't going to step in and make things right. 
     
    The article seems to be more about guild/corporation management, which does involve social manipulation, and in fact can be a very sandboxy thing, but that's true in any MMO, not just Eve.
     
     


    You're really missing the point.


    When I wrote it, it was a verbal splurge of my thoughts on social manipulation ingame, and the effect that it has on people. What it progressed into, and I'll concede on this, was a little bit of a tip as to how to avoid it. I'll be honest here and say I'm writing for a very mixed group of people. Writing immensely biased articles isn't on my agenda, at least not until I've got a bridge over this ocean.


    It's not an article to tell you how to play the game, nor is it a generalization to cover all MMOs because, in truth, no other game offers you the freedom to scam, lie, steal and generally screw over people to the degree that CCP do. Telling you how to scam, the different ways you can do it, and the nuts and bolts of the whole process would be counter-productive. It isn't the sort of thing that anyone can do. As I said in the article, cognitive capacity is a necessity, and a lot of it.


    Overall, I'm sorry that you didn't like it, and I can't stop you from taking it out of context; after all, this is the internet. I honestly don't know if you even play the game. No matter, though. Criticism of any kind is appreciated, even if it is ironically vague.

    image


    Your opinion. It means nothing to me. How about that?

  • uttausuttaus louisville, KYPosts: 120Member

    My experience with Eve has been tortuous (to myself) at best.

    I am by nature a peaceful non violent person.  However the behavior, trash talk, and manipulation of the seeder members of Eve are such that had I been in the same room with those people, they would have been in the hospital I would have been in jail.

    I'm not saying there are not cool people to play with and that there is not fun to be had, I even came back 3 times.

    I would just say that the level a social violence is beyond that of any game in existence. You have to have a thick skin or the morals a viking raider  to survive in the universe of Eve long term. I for one love the design and beauty of Eve but the player enviorment is one I can only tolerate in small short term bursts.

    Good luck all in the beautiful sciopathic universe of EVE. I'll likey be back to be a hapless victim some time in the future.

     

     

     

     

     

    Asheron's Call, Champions Online, Dark Age of Camelot, EVE Online, EverQuest, Lineage 2, Star Wars Galaxies and World of Warcraft.Waiting for SWTOR

  • DevilXaphanDevilXaphan n/a, LAPosts: 1,144Member

    If one was to really think about it, this game provides a freedom not seen in any mmo to date. This freedom does provide a manipulation much like the real world but with repercutions of a different sort. Socializing in EVE is at best tenous with others that you know nothing about, trust has to be earned but even then that trust can be manipulated. Read about many scams and thefts in EVE and even read about those people being targeted an hunted until they either create another alt or quite playing for a bit til things cool down.



    To be quite honest social manipulation has got a lot to do with EVE and how it's inhabitants play in it. It affects many things and how people play is that freedom that we who do play eve love.

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  • wlvnspectrewlvnspectre Prince Albert, SKPosts: 96Member

    To be honest, I have played the game non stop for 3 years taking no extended breaks.  The ammount of overt social manipulation I have seen in the game the way I play it has been minimal to non existant to they point I would not dignify it with the name of Social Engineering.

    Oh it takes place, I know that, and some players see it more than others, and in some places in the game it is more de regure than elsewhere.  Its just like this "bleak harsh heartless cuthroat" yada yada that everybody I hear describing this game to other people when describing EVE.  I know its there but if its so pervasive why is it I and most of the players I know just don't ever see it unless they actively go looking for it or start doing things that they know will as a part of what they are doing will lead to it?

    I have been in small corp wars and commercial rivalries, and even have a little black book of "Oh yes they will pay!" but I have never had the expierience of this drowning in the bile of inhuman viciousness that everyone keeps going on about.

    Then again almost all of the people I see talk about this stuff fit into 2 catagories

    1)Hardcore Lo/No Sec PVPrs or Corp PVPrs

    2)The people who initate or take part in the acts themselves.

    Now many people may say that that is the majority of the players in EVE but thats not what the QRs say.  Sizable portion, yes, but no where near the majority or players. 

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