So I was browsing reddit because its a pretty good source of info about anything you can think of. As I was going through /r/EvE, I stumbled across a blog I inconsistantly keep track of, MinerBumping. In that linked post, James315 references Ripard Teg's post about "ganking not being pvp". Except it is, and Id like to toss my opinion on the subject out there as well.
Ganking IS pvp. As James mentions, there is a food chain and circle of life. He mentions starting out as a newbie mining, then moving to a Caracal to rat in, which he eventually lost. The story doesnt end, as he says, he spent the little bit of ISK he had made on a new Caracal, but dropped a damage mod for a warp core stab. From my time as a pirate, I cant express how freakin annoying those things are and they cost me several kills. Do I feel warp core stabs should be removed from the game? Not at all, they are a defensive module against people who would hold them down. Do I want to fit a second scram instead of a web? Not at all, and its a sacrifice I make and risk I take when hunting.
My own stories of being a newb and being ganked go as far as me spending roughly $700 on plex, buying an Orca, 3 or 4 Ashimmu's, shiny mods, and other such items that I thought were the best things since sliced bread. Up until this point, I had not really played EvE. I had played "skill training online". When I started out, I saw the Orca and wanted to fly it cuz it looked cool. Well, it happened as training for an Orca, I could fly a Hulk too. I ended up having 4 or 5 mining accounts at one point, but not until I lost billions of ISK worth of shit because I jumped my Orca, not once, but twice into Low Security space. I lost it both times.
Did I quit EvE? Fuck no I didnt! Not only was I incensed with rage and pissed off at MYSELF for losing these assets, I wanted revenge on the people who killed me. To this day, I dont feel Ive gotten that revenge, however, I was sent down the path of the Dark Side from that day on. I could already mine, but that wasnt going to help me. I trained up into a Harbinger, again, cuz it looks badass. And we all know that bigger ships are better right? Yeah, no, I was killed by an assault frig when I went into low sec again. This time, the single pilot told me to not come back to Low again. And I heeded his advice, for a little bit. I refocused my training from flying a Harbinger to fly frigates. Specifically, the Punisher. I hated this ship, so looked to the upgrades of it. I chose the Vengeance and that is what I trained for from then on.
I went to null sec to make money. Purely no other reason than that. Its the most dangerous space around, as I didnt know about wormholes at that point yet, so I assumed it must have the best payouts. And for awhile, I did pretty well. Orca support and hulks mining away in Branch made me plenty of ISKies and I didnt even need to buy PLEX to sell for it. EvE is not a pay to win game. No, it definately is not. After I made some isk and trained my character skills up some, it was time to PvP. I left null, a few months before goons burnt Branch to the ground actually. I sold my mining characters, all of them except Axazia. I bought a stash of Vengeances and went out to learn how to kill the people who killed me.
In the process, I ended up selling Axa and buying Korvus, as Ive mentioned a time or two before. I trained him directly into the Vengeance, and restarted on the pvp path and got into a pirate organization known as the Black Rebel Rifter Club, whom I owe just about everything I know about pvp to. You can see through my lossmails on Korvus that I started out with a normal, not shiny Vengeance fitting. You can see, as time goes on, I developed a more shiny, more efficient fitting. Its not the most powerful ship in the game, far from it. Yet, my fitting fits me and I can kill alot of ships in 1v1 combat. Wolves were my primary choice of dinner, then I lost two duels to Darkstar. That kind of made me go "wtf". There are just some pilots you cant beat, he is one of them.
At some point during my time learning how to pvp and eventually get my revenge on those who cost me alot of money, I kind of forgot about them. PvP is fun. Killing people, its fun. Putting your ship on the line knowing that if you lose, your ship explodes and you have to go and replace it; thats fun. I appreciate the people who ganked me when I was in one of the most carebear state of mind one can be in. If it wasnt for them, I wouldnt have turned to PvP and being a pirate. And I never consented to it in the first place.
Which bring me back to the point; consensual PvP is bad for New Eden. EvE is a game designed around the idea of Everyone vs Everyone, its in the god danmed name for cryin out loud. If you are playing EvE and you want to solo and never interact with other players, too fuckin bad. This is a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. Go play Star Wars:The Old Republic if you want a solo experience game. Go play Star Trek Online for the solo spaceship game. EvE is not a game designed for the solo player. Casual, maybe. Hardcore, maybe. Solo, definately not.
And if you argue it is, then why do so many people have multiple accounts? Is it because you can only train one character at a time? Thats a design feature that is trying to force you to interact with other players and youre just working around that so you dont have to. I dont want EvE to cater to the solo, casual, weekender player. I also dont want EvE to focus on content only for the end game players. I want EvE to focus on the new player to EvE, the middle player who is hooked but not capable of doing everything yet, and I want EvE to focus on the end game players. This is not the same as focusing on everyone and failing. I can also believe two contradictory things like Jester does on many occassions.
Am I defining the sandbox of New Eden? Perhaps. However, when you dont define it and try to cater to every playstyle, you will inevitablely lose the ball and your game will crash and burn. This was shown in both EverQuest 1 and 2, in both spectrums of focusing on the newbs and the end game too much. You have to balance the developement of providing for both but very few games have done it well.
Point is....Consensual PvP is bad for EvE Online. No one is going to give consent to possiblely losing their billions of isk worth of ship and fittings or even their pod willingly. Would I have given consent to allow someone the oppurtunity to explode my $700 worth of assets? Hell fucking no! However, if I had never lost those assets, I wouldnt have had the amazing experiences of gaming that I have had with EvE Online. The same is true for a newbie in his rookie ship. He will most likely never consent to fighting in his rookie ship. He wont consent to fighting in his first cruiser that drained his wallet dry when he fit it up for the first time. He wont consent to fighting with his mining barge. He wont cosent to any type of PvP that he is at risk of losing his items. This mindset goes for many, many PvP players, even the FPS crowd doesnt like the idea of losing their equipment in DUST514 and Ive heard many say thats why they wont play it.
Forced, nonconsensual PvP is an ideal that EvE was based on. There were others, but this is one of them. Taking this away is like taking the soul out of something. Eating away, little by little, the soul of a game is how you end up like EverQuest, EverQuest 2, Star Wars Galaxies, WoW and other such MMOs. Without a soul, even EvE will die.
So I leave you with these parting quotes that I learned very early on when I began my pvp::
"Harden The Fuck Up!!"
"Dont fly what you cant afford to lose; but if youre too afraid to lose it, HTFU and lose it anyways!"