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I applaud Ikonoclastia for posting about his experience in EVE, and his list of incident after incident of degenerate behavior that is taking place in EVE. He beat me to it in fact. But I wanted to make a new thread because I believe this warrants one.
I just left EVE this week after 10 months, completely fed up and tired of the harrassment that goes on day after day. If it isn't me, it's always someone else I know. And I kid you not... DAILY... and REGULARLY. It has gotten to the point where players literally log on for the sole reason to go grieve players.
I too have submitted a report of harrassment where a player targeted me and only logged onto his main to check out where i was and to see if I was vulnerable. He would go as much as 15 jumps to find me. Five weeks straight! And I'm a new player. And if he was contacted by EVE about the issue, clearly he didn't get the message.
The problem CCP refuses to deal with is that games need to evolve, and stubbornly hanging on to old ways of managing the game is killing it. The "open sandbox" view may have once worked when the playing field was more leveled and the diversity of players was greater. But just as they "had hoped", the game has evolved by player participation. Unfortunately it has gone awry in a horrible way. The bullies who have fun griefing players are staying, and the new gamers (to EVE, or even just to the world of gaming) give EVE a matter of a few months (even if that) before they leave in disgust at the cruelty and anti-social behavior displayed in front of their faces day after day.
What is ironic is that it is clear CCP is panicking over a shrinking player base. Look at the promotions. In addition to the extension of the 14-day trial to 21 days if you sign up through a buddy (thinking that a friend will help them through the game), there are rewards for those who bring back reactivated accounts, and a 6-month promotion for players who create a second account (the idea of double clienting was only recently approved by CCP-- no surprised there why they did that). They have initiatives having a GM personally contact every new player within the first day or two -- a real live responding GM. Talk about dedicating resources to trying to keep new players interested -- personal contact is expensive. I know. I worked for a big company at the highest level. There are workshops they offer to new players. There are links galore to places where new players can get information on how to get used to the game.
But CCP is barking up the wrong tree. New players -- the kind who will invest in a game like this -- will very quickly get over the steep learning curve of EVE. The challenge of manuevering through the UI and discovering the various kinds of roles EVE allows you to play is enough to keep them engaged. The complexity is an encouragement to stay, not a deterrent. And once in a real corp, they will settle in fast. So in my opinion CCP has got it all wrong. It's not that new players are not coming because of the complexity of the game. They are not STAYING because of the community experience.
The newest griefing trend is this ridiculous Alliance called CODE who is trying to take over high sec by ganking defenseless miners and forcing them into some sick kind of ideology where they are forced to not only comply to an individual's style of gameplay, but they are actually "commanded" not to complain when they get their ship blown up, looted, and then podded. If you want to take a look at some of the most twisted degenerate kinds of people who are enjoying EVE right now, go take a look at their website. minerbumping.com. (I'm sure they will love the press here). Calling players cancer and degenerates in public is not cool -- nor is it appropriate in any setting, including gaming. And since high sec is the home to EVERY new player in EVE, every single one (and I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE) will come into contact with this alliance within the first month or two. This alliance is literally holding "fun" as hostage and trying to force players to only play the kind of EVE game that gives them fun. The message: "play EVE how we want or get the hell out of the game." They claim they are making the game better, but in real fact, they are destroying the game -- and CCP is letting them do it.
If you want to make a program to see how fast you can get rid of new players in the game, this is EXACTLY HOW TO DO IT. The young players of EVE have no chance to even enjoy the game because they are bumped up again these bullies (no pun intended) and told "you are not welcome here unless you do things our way." Really CCP? You want to relinquish that kind of control? Because you are basically letting the game dig its own grave. When unsupervised, this is where the human mind degrades into. Or do you not study the history of the world AT ALL?
CCP has got to wake up. When a problem interferes with societal growth and development, like gangs or hate-generating ideologies, something needs to do something about it at the authority level. Unfortunately, gamers don't campaign for a game they only play for a few months -- or even just a year. They simply leave, and never tell anyone why. After all, who wants to admit they are being vicitimized for fear of looking weak and pathetic.
I wish they would just take their Terms of Service and actually follow it for once. They are letting way to many people get away with things that are hurting the game.
If you still don't understand the effects of how this alliance represents the EVE players who are destroying the new player base, take a look at the Stanford Prison Experiment by Zimbardo. It's a famous experiment which demonstrates how role-playing can have serious psychological effects on its participants. Unlike the experiment, players in EVE who are griefed just leave the sandbox. So its not loss to those players. The consequences of this fall entirely on CCP. And unless they sit up and pay attention, they can kiss their great game good-bye.