Over the years, how did it come to pass

…that Ganking and Griefing became such a non-penalized game mechanic?

NOTE that at NO POINT in this thread will I attack players for ganking or griefing, so do not defensively set that expectation.

I like to look at things from the perspective of cost-motivation and incentivization. Taxes are a great way to illustrate this. Governments impose taxes for many reasons. Raise money for funding security and social programs: sure! Another reason is to try and discourage activities that are a net-negative impact on an economy or an environment. Take pollution taxes, as an example of penalization. Or charity tax writeoffs as an incentive to donate to charity. Alcohol, gas, and tobacco taxes.

Yet within Eve Online, over the years the game mechanics have clearly evolved to provide an edge to those who gank miners in asteroid belts or explorers in relic sites. Clearly, if we look at it from the perspective of incentive and penalty, CCP does not seem to want people mining or exploring. Ludicrous, of course–or is it?

Now, I’m not a moron–I understand that there is an inherent risk/reward structure in play, here. Frankly, I think that’s misguided or outdated, at best. It works for casinos and gambling, I suppose, but you don’t typically see people traveling to work in a personal car versus public transportation because one of the other is “safer” or “more profitable”. Even the stock market has less risk/reward if you’re properly researching stable companies. We call this risk-mitigation through due diligence, but really it’s just further proof that risk/reward does not apply to the stock market. Risk-Reward is outdated, unless we’re okay with calling Eve Online just an overly-complicated “Slot machine”.

But it is what it is–risk reward is here to stay–so let’s address that.

So, rats are placed within belts to make sure that miners can’t just warp in, scoop up the goodies, and haul back home with pure low-risk profit. (Slot Machine: DING!) But players aren’t rats. Is it fair that CCP has crowdsourced the risk-reward mechanism or is it just lazy community management? Griefers and Gankers are special users who generously donate their personal time and efforts to meticulously studying specific game mechanics that create situations which are practically impossible to escape, save for very specific builds, game knowledge, and precise tactics. Thanks–I guess?

I’m not criticizing people for being “good” at the game. In fact, I genuinely applaud the passion and determination of those who would so studiously learn about a game and master it so well. It’s truly an outstanding accomplishment to master a system so effectively. I’m asking how it got to this point in the first place. “Why does the baby crushing machine exist in the first place?” Or more aptly: why is the “crush the baby” lever so much bigger than the “save the baby” lever?

Asking why people are jerks is too easy. In short, truly, they are not. In fact, meeting and talking to many gankers, I’ve found them to be quite civil and rational people. Misled, perhaps, but who can blame them when they aren’t aware of how much better things could be. I never blame a child for being racist: I blame the parents and their adult company.

What problem was solved when Eve Online was created and evolved over time to implement game mechanics that heavily favor the victimization of people who are trying to build a better world?

Why does it seem like CCP wants to build a game that favors ganking and griefing over and above motivating people to work together for a better universe?

It is becoming obvious that Eve Online is transcending generations as parents are increasingly playing with their kids–what kind of precedent should this send to future generations?

Don’t risk what you can’t afford to lose.
Never trust anyone completely.
Accept that as soon as you leave the house, assume that you’ve already lost what you’re carrying.
You are never truly safe.

If I lived by these rules in everyday life, I think I’d develop clinical depression and anxiety. Is this really the kind of world we want to pass down to them?

Thankfully, this is a game, not everyday life. And we can play a game set in a dark, dangerous future. And maybe take lessons from the artificial simulation, and properly contextualize it in our own real lives: it is a game.

What the heck is the “baby crushing machine”? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Anyway, it’s because the diegetic forces of the original authors made Eve Online a dark dangerous universe where the only truly safe place was inside a station. The later addition of CONCORD (and subsequent iterations) were to then adjust the “risks and rewards”.

The original authors could have made Eve Online the bright cheery sci-fi future hallmark of the American 50’s and 60’s. Where everyone lives in a perfect space suburban house with 2 kids. But then it wouldn’t be the Eve Online we know today. And now we’re in non-diegetic arguments where we’re attacking authors for their decisions.

It isn’t? Being at the keyboard, using scouts, gathering killboard intel, breaking down loads, watching local, using D-Scan, not jetcan mining are some basic tools off the top of my head that gankers physically can’t stop you from using in your counterplay.

…because, again, the original authors of Eve Online wanted a dark and dangerous universe. And CCP Games has been trying to carry that original vision and torch forward. In case you forgot:


The answer is simple. In the beginning multiboxing was not-so-easy. Almost everybody had to mine at some point, so in order to avoid boredom while actively single boxing, people would venture into lowsec. The predators preferred to hang out in lowsec and kill the miners and mission runners that passed through.

There was also a subset of “hunters” that hung around highsec and jockeyed for territory with war declarations.

Now, multiboxing is super easy, so the miners prefer to stay in highsec and manage a bunch of clients. Most mission runners pretend lowsec doesn’t exist now. So, nobody goes to lowsec.

Also, CCP basically got rid of war declarations.

So now all the predators have moved to highsec because that is the only place to find prey.


I love your response. It’s a humble reminder to set my expectations appropriately. Perhaps THAT rule should take priority over the other Number One rule of Eve that we all have tattooed to the back of our mind!

Within that context, Eve reminds me of the Warhammer 40k mythos: horrors in space, and I do love a good horror. In fact, Eve may elude to this with the Triglavian threat, amongst other things that go bump in the night. --an environment where we just may, yet again, find out that the “real” monster is mankind, itself. Very introspective, and I appreciate that.

I feel like playing this game (and yes, I certainly do recognize this as a “game”) is equal parts mastery AND setting the correct expectations. Perhaps that setting is glossed over in the initial presentation, but make no mistake, some content is not suitable for a more youthful innocence, just as I would not YET invite my son to watch another contemporary horror such as VVITCH or the Conjuring. It’s so easy to forget that–thank you for the reminder.

It is rather more thrilling to anticipate the unknowable cosmic terrors of space: even if it is still we, humans, who are the most likely to go “Bump” in the night. And in space… It is always night.

Thank you for the civil response.

To iterate on what @Io_Koval wrote in his reply:

“The founders had two passions which they wanted to join,” explained Richardsson. “The sci-fi feel and vastness of space from Elite and the social interaction of massively multiplayer and player vs. player gaming from Ultima Online . I should also add that they were quite active PvPers in UO and this is the main reason for our emphasis on PvP . We feel that the emotions involved with losing something of value is just as important as gaining something of value, it makes a very immersive experience. There have to be lows to make the highs more enjoyable. PvP allows us to achieve that.”

This is a quote from an interview done with the senior producer of EVE in 2004. The rest of the article is can be found here: EVE: 2004


Yep, you’ll go a long way with this mentality. I feel like 99% of the angry ranting on the forums stem from changes that breach expectations.

Enjoy your time in Eve, I hope the game is still around when your kid is of an appropriate age to play.

Thank you for recognizing it as such & continuing the dialogue.

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High sec PvE players are looking for the least possible risk from other players. They want manageable risks.

High sec PvP players want the excitement of PvP, with the stability, convenience, and risk mitigation of high sec.

Low sec PvE players for the most part dont exist as CCP has removed any incentive to do this. And here is the root of the entire problem.

People who want small scale PvP can either gank and grief in target-rich high sec, or spend sometimes hours flitting about low sec looking for anything to kill. Every fight you risk everything, and you have to consider the occasional gate camp, so you are probably flying something that’s very cheap and/ or very fast.

You almost certainly wont find anyone running missions or ratting. They aren’t there because they have no reason to be there. CCP could, of course, fix this. They could increase the reward as much as they liked, plus mitigate the risk by drastically increasing insurance payout for low sec losses on characters with high sec status. Give high sec players a REASON to come to and fight for low sec space.

Until that day players will continue to gank and grief in high sec as it is the only place in Eve that they can reliably fight and kill and loot high value targets.


It’s hilarious that your little list of life lessons at the end is something I entirely agree with. These are real world things that people have to deal with. One of my not-friends I used to hang around with got broken up to the point of tears because she lost her super expensive phone, when we kept telling her that she worked in a shitty place and shouldn’t bring her phone there. This was after we failed in convincing her that she shouldn’t have bought the thing on a waitresses salary anyways. Couldn’t believe that it happened to her.

Bad things happen in the real world. Don’t coddle people.

Lol you’ve never heard of DED sites, have you? I make bank in lowsec, and rarely lose anything because I know what the hell I’m doinflg.

I was speaking in the general sense. Every player is, of course. unique. That said, if you are suggesting that low sec is crowded with players doing missions i would say that my experience differs from yours – and please tell me where this is happening!

Actually yeah, people do run missions, not as many as before since CCP reduced the rewards a bit, but FacWar missions pay out a lot, and most could be run in a bomber or a Jackdaw. Between those and DED sites, there’s no reason to run generic missions, since the pay for the others is so high. Think about it, why would I run a level 4 in lowsec when I could run a 5/10 instead and be guaranteed a 41m overseer’s effects with the possibility of a lot more? Just last week I ran two, one with a payout of 500m and another with a payout of about 400m.

And if you’re looking for something not so in depth, there’s hunting belts for faction spawns, clone transporters, and Mordus ships.

There’s a lot more money in lowsec than highsecers think, with only a little bit more risk.

Amamake is a good spot for PvE riches.

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