Do problem players have any responsibility to change their own behavior?

For the purposes of this post, I’m not going to define what problematic behavior is. Different people have different opinions, and it is up to the various communities to define what is unacceptable behavior.

However, there is a larger meta-community that is EVE Online itself. And another one that is just people. While morality is not identical from region to region there are common morals and common unacceptable behavior. E.g. I don’t know of a single culture where it’s okay to piss on the table if you don’t like the meal you were just served.

So, as a larger, community when there is a problem player who is acting like a jerk. What responsibility does that player have to change? Is there any? Are the people who are being harassed by the jerk solely responsible for changing behavior?

When it comes to extended harassment or bullying, the bully typically derives satisfaction from controlling the actions of their victims. If the victim has to avoid certain areas, recite certain words or simply think about the bully all the time, then the bully has successfully controlled their victim. The victim’s altered behavior (e.g. blocking the bully) is the bully’s prize. It seems like asking the person being harassed to change their behavior doesn’t actually stop the bully, but encourages them. For some, having their victim rage quit is the ultimate win. Or for some, having their victim lose it and go into an incoherent rage while they remain calm and collected is the ultimate form of control – “I can literally make you lose it whenever I want.” It seems CCP has done a woefully inept job of dealing with problem players.

P.S. Given that CCP has stated on multiple times that ganking, by itself, is not a form of griefing or harassment, please do not turn this into a pro- or anti-ganking thread.


This thread will probably not go over well.

That said, do not confuse real world morality with that imposed by a game. No one played Call of Duty and then gets mad 1st all the killing happening in multi-player games. That is the nature of the game.

EVE is a sci-fi dystopic survival game. We are all trying to find our own way to survive and even thrive. Given that there is no real definition of thriving in game, it becomes a very loose gray area.

That said, we are all also very moral at times. When someone crosses the line, such as the horrible CEO trapping newbies in nul and ruining their game experience just to profit themselves, EVE tends to respond in full force.

So really, what we define as moral is complex because we play a game at odds with the real world. Yet when needed we are moral and punish those we see as truly problematic.

I agree that we are playing a game where people are going to lose in the short term and long term. Competition isn’t bullying. PVP is just competition. We use the two synonymously including in it, non-ship activities like market hi-jinks.

But bullying requires psychological harm as intent. Two players can support each other while trying to be the best. They can ignore each other in the same pursuit. But if the intent isn’t to win, but to harm the other player’s psyche there’s a huge problem.

So you are telling me that the big 6th grader calling the little 4th grader names is because the 6th grader has psychological harm as his intent? Sorry, not buying that at all. The problem is you are applying to complex motive to a simple action. The bully wants attention, good or bad, and doesn’t care about the harm inflicted or even realize the harm is there.

Also this is a game. It is not some deep psychological simulator. Sometimes people blow stuff up because it’s there. I’ve seen groups that normally have ample targets to kill, gank someone because that person was AFK in the wrong spot and the group wanted to try it. There was no motivation to cause psychological harm, just boredom and a target.

In the case of the evil CEO concept, the guy was greedy and was abusing the limited knowledge of people eager to play the game. He wasn’t trying to cause psychological harm, he was just trying to use others to make his own profit without realizing his action was viewed as extremely negative.

So really, since you bring bullying in, what is your ulterior motive for asking this? Wjat change do you want to see that you are trying to drum up support for in this off-handed way?


Why does their intent matter? There are clear (well mostly clear) rules and codes of conduct for people playing Eve like most other human interaction, and if you stay within those what does what is going through the head of the other guy matter?

I can really hate my neighbour and to get back at him I spend my whole summer reading books and practising with a chess tutor so that when school starts again, I can show up to the chess club and humiliate him in front of his friends. Is that especially healthy behaviour? Probably not, but from his perspective he is just playing another chess match whether I am his best friend or his worst enemy as long as we stay within the rules.

I recommend you stop trying to psychoanalyze the other players and just have fun playing the game. If someone isn’t especially pleasant to be around, block them and move on. If they break the rules with threats or insults (or are cheating), report them and move on. But as long as people are playing by the rules, you have to deal with them in game all the same regardless of their motives.


Why? How? This is a gray area. Say I and my corp wish to claim the ice belt on system X. We declare war on any corp we see in the belt. And people in NPC corps, we suicide gank them. We may not need all the ice but it is the space we wish to claim. We may drive people from the game and we will drive people from that system. And we won’t win anything. There is more ice out there, we just claim a little spot. It’s part of the game. Even if the person ganked is extremely upset, it’s not our fault. They chose to play a dystopic survival game. Just as it’s not someone else’s fault if we get upset when some bigger group kicks us out. It’s just the nature of the game we choose to play.

Hopefull you understand you have just opened pandora’s box on this forum with people reacting to this :joy:


All human interaction touches and changes the psyche.

Yes. Typically bullying, itself, comes out of a feeling of powerlessness. That’s why bullied people often become bullies themselves. Feeling a lack of power, they exercise power over others to feel back in control. Acting out for attention can overlap but is more a call for help. A way to express a need to help when the person in emotional pain can’t figure out any other way to get it.

This wasn’t bullying, no. It was greed as a motivator with an inability to empathize with his victims allowing him to harm them without feeling remorse. Which is a different potential psychological issue.

I want to see CCP deal with abusive behavior where someone’s desire is to cause emotional harm to another person. I’m not talking about banning ganking, PVP, or forcing people to sing kumbaya. Other PVP games have had to deal with it. CCP has some, but needs to get better at it.


Who determines what emotional harm is? Different people are going to react to the same stimulus in different ways.


Because motives and context matter to making future predictions of a person’s behavior. Theft is illegal regardless of motive and we usually don’t prosecute it differently unless the means change (e.g. with a deadly weapon).

But for some things context and motives matter. If I kill someone in a shooting accident, it’s manslaughter, but if I did it intentionally it’s first degree murder. Why, because accidentally shooting someone means you’re not super-likely to do it again. But if it was intentional, who knows what you’ll do.

I use these examples because they’re easy to understand, not because they’re equivalent.

However, if you make a point to follow him from place to place with the intention of humiliating him, that’s bullying. Motives matter.

This goes back to giving the bully control and giving them a win without actually changing their behavior. A non-solution.

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Then why not directly state this? Why not offer instances where you have seen it experienced this happening and show us how CCP mis handled it? Otherwise, no one will get this line of thought out of your initial post.

As for CCP’s actions, from the high profile cases I’ve seen, the offending parties were punished. As for bullying in general, it’s hard to police something well, when at any time a person can change their identity (including an ip address) to circumvent the most common form of punishment, banning.

Admittedly a difficult question. But something that still has to be worked out. There is a concept of “reasonable reaction”. If someone says you have a mustard on your shirt and you punch them, it wasn’t a reasonable response. It’s hard, but doable.

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While I understand that ganking is most frequently brought in on this. This isn’t what I’m talking about. Ganking can be a tool of bullies, just like language or harassment or doxxing or any number of other tools. CCP already has some outlines for this, though they need to tighten them up. E.g. you can’t follow a player around belt to belt after they’ve left. It’s a hard problem to solve, but it’s something I feel they need to focus on.

But if someone steals your trillion isk… A currency with no real world value, what is a reasonable reaction? Most people would say shrug it off and earn that much again. Yet some would argue that it is ok to threaten the thief’s real life family.

So given this is a game that you can walk away from at any point and do anything else with your time, them is there any other reasonable reaction than learning your lesson and moving on?

Threats aren’t okay. Period. I would argue that ISK has no exchange rate (even though it does), but it has the value placed on it. Is the value of a irreplaceable picture the value of the raw materials? Or does the emotional pain have value, too? Courts do award money based on the emotional suffering of others.

That said, being a poor loser isn’t grounds for recompense. I’ve been upset because I’ve been ganked. I’ve been upset I’ve been lost ships to PVE content as well. It happens. I moved on. I’m a huge gamer, both in real life and digital. I lose a lot. I can even enjoy myself in the process of losing. I think people on both sides of the issue conflate losing with being bullied. They are not the same.

As people, we have the ability to know when the other person has it out for us. Actually it’s kind of a requirement of successful bullying. I went through middle school along with everyone else. I knew when someone wanted to win and when someone just wanted to hurt me. People, generally, know. It’s part of why intent is important here. A coworker may do everything in their power to tank your career without actually breaking any rules. Does that mean you have no right to be frustrated or angered by their behavior?

Rules are our best effort to maintain cultural norms, but they only work so well when people are actively circumventing them. Bullies, big and small, young and old, have often bent the rules or used them to reinforce their own activity. The rules are an attempt to enforce good behavior, but they do not define it.

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That isn’t playing a chess match. That is stalking.

You cannot police motives. You cannot even know motives. All you can do is police behaviour.

Harassing another player is against the EULA we all agreed to to play Eve Online. As are personal attacks. I don’t know your experience, but CCP seems quite ready to enforce such rules and sanction or even permanently ban players who break the rules.

The problem about these discussions and why they often completely polarize is not everyone is on the same page as to what behaviours we are discussing. Should players not harass and threaten people in real life? Everyone agrees with that. But from there we have a continuum of behaviour some players think should be against the rules including scams, extortion, infiltration and some delicate players even consider all non-consensual PvP as bullying (see:

CCP has created a pretty free sandbox where we have to make up the reasons to explode each other. Keep it in game and avoid persistant campaigns of harassment and pretty much everything goes. I don’t see how or why CCP would want or even could start playing the role of school teacher telling players they aren’t playing nice enough.

Bullying, at its core, is about controlling another person. If that feels like stalking, it’s because so is stalking.

And, I would argue, that you can’t perfectly know motives, but that it’s possible and done regularly. Advertising, polling, elections, propaganda are all about knowing or manipulating motivations. And they work. And sometimes it’s not even that hard when the person doing the bullying announces their motivations.

Part of that is up to CCP to figure out. Sometimes CCP has been on the ball, other times not so much. They severity of their punishments also communicates what is and isn’t okay. The Mittani’s encouraging others to harass someone who was emotionally disturbed led to a relatively short ban. It wouldn’t have been hard to imagine that other companies would have issues a lifetime one. Having listened to the bonus room tapes, I was horrified. These were clearly very messed up people, but things like that were known to have gone one for a long time and just weren’t recorded. It’s taken time for CCP to wise up in some areas, but they still have a ways to go.

They already do that to an extent and it’s wholly necessary. Game communities like real-life communities have to be policed to some extent to make the whole a pleasant and positive experience for the whole. Anti-social behavior is, by definition, incompatible with social communities. And, frankly, it’s in CCP’s best interest to enforce social boundaries to make sure that people want to stay part of it.


Wanting to beat another player is not bullying. Just because I want to dominate you and win a competition we both voluntarily entered doesn’t make me a bully in any meaningful sense even if I take pleasure in your loss. You are stretching the definition of real bullying and doing a disservice to true victims of bullying who are unable to escape the persistent and prolonged campaigns of harassment of their tormentors.

You cite two examples where CCP enforced their rules. One they issued a permanent ban, and the other a temporary ban (and removal from the CSM) which is within their discretion for a first time violation. I still don’t know what behaviour you find problematic yet see going unpunished by CCP.

Great. We are on the same page.

CCP should and does police antisocial behaviour. It is very important for everyone that they do so we aren’t subject to threats or vile personal insults or persistent campaigns of harassment to the point we can’t enjoy the game.

So given that we all seem to agree they do this, and it is important that they do this, what is the point of this thread again?

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