Interaction and the social aspect of Eve Online

(Josh Elize) #1

So I’m not a social bunny at all. This makes Eve Online a very difficult game for me to fully appreciate, yet the depth of the game is what draws me. As you can imagine this is a difficult situation to be in and often leads me to quitting the game and coming back over and over.

I think the free-form nature of interaction in Eve Online is possibly one social boundary. In order to request a service or assistance from somebody I have to research or cold canvas it which adds to the difficulty/repulsion. What I mean by this is say I want an escort to null or a mercenary to protect me or a buddy to roam with, I have to trawl forums or ask around in game or corp until someone bites which is sometimes rare. Then I usually have to wait a long time until they’re available which may or may not be convenient. Oftentimes it is simply not worth the effort or the cost for an introvert to deal with. Added to this I get the impression there’s a lot of cliques and toxicity to outsiders or new ideas in Eve at its core, despite the “new player friendly” and care bear tags thrown about. (Forgive me if that is a false impression - I’ve just been reading a lot of new suggestion threads lately)

In a way I wish there was a game mechanic that draws social interaction more i.e. a contract for services or player driven missions of sorts, though I can’t say how it’d work. I remember once testing the fleet system to achieve this for an escort or an SOS (stuck in station with campers) “mission” but no one accepted which added to my dismay - even though I thought this was an excellent/fun idea at the time.

Another theory is to maybe just allow Eve Online to teach me or force me to interact in free form as a sort of learning experience. Though at my age (34) the forming new behaviors ship has probably sailed.

Anyway how do you guys, especially as a newbro or someone with very little repertoire, manage the “herding cats” or social aspect of Eve Online? For the successful, did you go through a lot of effort or was it a natural progression? How many of you are in the same boat?

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(Nora Maldoran) #2

I was in the same position as you for quite a while. As a result I mainly flew solo. That changed when I joined an Alliance that was actually not renting. I feel like it’s just a matter of time until you have found the corp with the right people in it. I also would strongly recommend to just leave a corp as toxic tendencies become clear. I greatly dislike when people start to disrespect others no matter “how bad of a player” they might be. They still populate New Eden and keep the game alive. And there actually are very mature groups prodrucing very little of such drama.
The reason you read some harsher posts in forum areas like “player feedback & ideas” is because people often suggest things without much thougth. The idea might be interesting from their point of view, but they often lack some knowledge to see the bigger picture or context to see what other problems their suggestions would cause in the process. Then people see their own ways to play the game at risk and react often a bit less friendly than they should.

About the idea of “escorting” someone: It’s not new, but not exactly popular for some good reasons:
In Eve, pvp usually happens when one party is sure it can defeat the other. An escort only puts their own ships in danger and even makes you a bigger target for pvp oriented players than you would be without them. The escort can also only fight that much. And a potential aggressor simply won’t engage if he does not think the can successfuly fight you.
Escorts also won’t be able to save you from getting ganked in highsec. They might kill one or two, but the aggressor will usually blow up their target anyway.
It’s much more practical to avoid pvp as much as possible when hauling. Having someone in an Interceptor to scout your route for you is much more efficient. Or use T2 haulers and fit them accordingly if you really have to do it solo.

An efficient escort in nullsec is something that can potentially scare off everything that would come your way… and that’s quite a lot, depending on where you are.

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(Josh Elize) #3

Thanks for the detailed reply. To be fair the corp I’m in now seems decent and willing to help - and the social barrier might be more a fault of my own than them. Now that I’ve come back to Eve Online recently I will give them a fair shot before deciding to move on if necessary.

Curiously I just read one or two other threads where the social nature of Eve was the biggest hurdle for the respective OP as well. I guess one could say Eve Online really presents an opportunity to grow in this regard if anything, and one such as myself really just needs to take that plunge.

However I guess it can be difficult for the lonely and inexperienced pilots to create and drive content as they know too little and fully rely on the vets to drive the whole community. Would that be a fair comment or a bit too one sided?

(Sexxy Vajaijay) #4

What are you complaining about?

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(Josh Elize) #5

'tis a discussion my darling. Not a complaint :stuck_out_tongue:

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(Nysta Miityew) #6

I had this issue as well and suspect it’s pretty common. The depth and complexity of EVE seems to attract people who love spreadsheets more than socializing, but also at some level requires social interaction to succeed. I, like many, tried to just play solo until I realized there were many things I’d never be able to experience because of that. Most of the time I’d just quit but this time I decided to force myself to try and join up with a group and participate in the group before quitting.

Luckily I found a decent corp on my first try. They have voice comms I’ll listen to but I’ve yet to talk on the mic because I honestly don’t like doing that. I communicate mostly through text and there are others who do so as well so it’s not a big deal. I’ve experienced a lot of great stuff flying with these guys and accomplished way more than what I could do solo. I got my first solo PVP kill after these guys helped me with my fit and taught me a bit more about tactics. I’d say do your best to force yourself to join up with some people and try to interact with them a bit. It’ll get easier the more you do it.

I found the following thread to be an interesting read. People are asking why local chat seems quiet. Maybe it’s just because there’s a lot of people who would prefer not to talk?


Oh and a side note.

For whatever reason there seems to be a ton of trolls in-game and on the forums. I’m not sure if there are more here than other places online but they certainly seem impossible to avoid. At least on the forums you can ignore them and it’s best that you do! “Don’t feed the trolls”. Too many threads on this forum unfortunately end in an off-topic flame war after somebody takes the bait of responding. I really wish there was tighter moderation on all the off-topic arguing seen in nearly every thread (often by the exact same people). Oh! And “carebear” is meant as a derogatory term.

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(Natocha Daisy) #7

Hi, I recently made a suggestion for a mercenary feature. You can read the discussion here:

To answer this: I simply treat Eve Online as a solo game with a chat forum. It’s easy to socialize in a chatroom, because it’s cyberspace, not ‘real life’ as such. Many people treat it as ‘real life’ and are comfortable joining corporations and befriending otherplayers regularly on voice chat: this doesn’t work for me.

It’s best to do what you’re comfortable with and don’t step out of those boundaries to please other players.

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(Josh Elize) #8

I actually saw your mercenary thread and it partly inspired this thread :slight_smile: While I don’t really have an opinion on NPC mercenaries as I don’t understand what impact it would have on the game, I think I fully understand why you suggested it though.

I’m fairly sure in one of the Eve Online events last year one of the CCP members on stage hinted at controlling NPC’s as a “what if” scenario. Can’t remember which/where.

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(Nora Maldoran) #9

I would say it depends on the content you are looking for.
But sure, in an MMO social interaction and teaming up with others will always unlock content for you, or make it at least easier available.
Certainly, experience plays a big role as well. But from my view, inexperience is no hurdle. It actually can be the trigger for content: Mostly it is just the younger character that is loosing a ship. But if you pair inexperience with social interaction, you can go a long way: Talk to the people you lost a ship to.
EVE veterans usually like to share their knowledge (maybe brag a bit too :wink: ) with the one that shows interest. Most veterans understand that the game will only be fun when the people keep playing it. We only have one server we can populate and play on after all.
If you show enough interest in peoples play styles, you will find them helping you to adapt it.

Inexperience has to be no obstacle if you are willing to experience.

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(Kaylee Rayl) #10

Well I would think some people have this issue, and prefer to solo play.

But Eve online being an mmo, and the fact that you keep coming back to play (because you like part of it), I’d strongly suggest you break the ice of ‘timidity’ sooner rather than in your later game play years ahead.

As some had proposed previously, eventually you will find the corporation or group of friends where you will feel ‘at home’. But for this to come, you’d have to walk through several corporations until you find the right one.

What could also help is that you hop around the Eve forums, Eve reddit, Eve twitter, Eve Twitch, Eve Youtube, etc, and comment or join in topics of your liking - that way you’ll be interacting more with others and learning (while keeping to yourself), and you’ll be able to gauge where you want to head next, or whether you’d like to continue solo or in group. Just as a note, unless the incredibly lucky, no one find their ‘home’ corporation on the first few strikes. Be patient and learn all you can, while you can.