Wormhole space morality

30th November 2013 – 3.34 pm

I recently received an EVE-mail asking for my opinion on how a capsuleer handled an encounter with another w-space system's occupants. He and his corporation popped a salvager in their home system, and subsequently avoided a fleet considerably bigger than they could muster at the time that was brought in to their system as a response. One of those in the bigger fleet asked why they didn't commit more ships, and accused my correspondent of not providing a 'good fight'. This reaction concerned the capsuleer a little, writing to me that 'since I'm new to w-space can you tell me if I did the 'wormhole morally right' thing here?'

Sure I can! Now, how can I put this. There is no w-space morality.

I know many players like to say that w-space (and low-sec, null-sec, wherever) has the best fights and the best pilots and whatever, but in reality the whole of New Eden is just a conglomerate of different play-styles that occasionally align because of the environmental conditions. In w-space, this tends to be small and limited engagements, which naturally appeals to the player that enjoys small and limited engagements, which in turn gets that kind of player interested in w-space. And although this will tend to bring pilots of similar morality in to the same sec-class of space, it is nothing more than a generalisation.

Not all players in w-space will follow the same morals and rules, and w-space doesn't have a set of moral guidelines to follow. It's more that emergent properties of the mechanics of w-space set the tone for what the players can do. Tower sieges are much less likely, for example, because of the need to configure a staging tower and commit a fleet to a single system for a couple of days of mostly idle time. Because tower sieges are rarely a part of w-space life, w-space life then appeals to the type of player that doesn't want to be involved in that activity in null-sec.

Stalking pilots carefully and striking at opportune moments is a style that is suited well to w-space, because the lack of an automatically populated local channel results in more reliance on cloaky ships hiding from the directional scanner, and so you find it a lot. That's not because it's a rule of w-space, it's merely a result of what is possible in w-space, and nowhere else, because of the differences in each environment.

Ultimately what I'm saying is that if you are in w-space, play how you want to play. That then is the morally right way for you to play. Maybe this results in your not having fun, or the environmental conditions not suiting the way you want to play, or some other circumstances that make you want to leave. It could even be that your style of play frustrates another corporation to the point of hiring mercenaries to evict you. If any of these are the case, then w-space isn't for you.

Or maybe you will stalk and pop any defenceless ship you find with no remorse, take any fight that comes your way that you think you can handle or will have fun in, and hide from any fight you don't want to take for whatever reason. Or maybe you just prefer to harvest gas, mine ores, or collect planet goo whilst shooting the breeze in corporation chat. If you do what you want to do the way you want to do it and, as a result, end up thriving in w-space, then you are playing in the way that is right for you. Who cares what others think, or try to impose on you?

Don't pay too much notice to those who speak in local taunting you. It's smacktalk, nothing more, and solely intended to make you feel guilty. It's not asking for a 'good fight' if it means flying in to three-to-one combat in his favour; what he wants is to blow up some ships with little risk. If you offer him a fair engagement and he rejects it (which they did, and he did), then clearly the pilot isn't actually after a good fight. His reaction is nothing more than someone hoping he can provoke a response, preferably one where you send ships to a needless slaughter.

Of course, there are good and honourable pilots in w-space, just as there are anywhere. But there are also douches. Sometimes they are not easy to spot. Other times, like this, it is fairly obvious. But don't let anyone make you think you're playing EVE Online the wrong way just because you don't do what they want you to do, particularly if what they want you to do clearly works in their favour and against yours. You are out there, engaging what you think can take, sometimes what you can't, and having a blast. Good for you, keep it up! It sounds like you're doing everything right.

  1. 5 Responses to “Wormhole space morality”

  2. The only W-Space morals are the ones you bring with you. That's the way it should be.

    Personally I don't attack anyone under 3 months old and I repay any losses I inflict on anyone younger than 1 month if I accidentally shoot them down. Young players like that juts don't know any better and I'd rather give them some tips and let them keep on going to make sure they keeps playing. It means I'm tending the garden of future targets. Ransoms are honoured unless you're a dick to me, then it's the fast trip to HS. Seriously don't insult the guy with a gun to your head...

    There's this weird attitude that keeps popping up from the larger w-Space groups out there every so often, like they're owed a big fight. Like if you don't come out and fight their dozen T3's with multiple logi and E War support, you're the one doing something wrong. Mabrick had something like this a while ago.

    If there's nothing to gain in going after a target or a fleet, if it's going to end in certain death and you're not going to pick up anything of value out of the fight, there's nothing wrong with pos'ing up/cloaking up and not fighting. We're not here to be target practice, we also want something out of this.

    I watched an interesting documentary a while ago on Robert S McNamurra called the Fog of War. He talks about some life lessons he's learnt and one was "Empathise with the Enemy" You need to understand your opponents position in things and place yourself in their shoes. If you wouldn't fight your fleet with what they have, why would they?

    I think there needs to be more of an understanding about how much of an effect E War and Logi's have against smaller groups. They're both massive force multipliers in small gangs. I"ll throw down (and have thrown down) against 4 or 5 others, but make that 1-3 with a logi or E War and that changes to me not wanting to go near it. If you're stalking around groups who run smaller gangs, leave the Falcon and Guardian at home, grab something else cool instead. You're a lot more likely to get that fight you want.

    By BayneNothos on Nov 30, 2013

  3. I certainly agree with Penny that your morality is your own private business.

    I will point out that in "high wspace" (C5 and C6), where capitals exist, there is an ethos of giving fights. (Or at least this is my reading. Small sample size, probably biased.) Is an ethos "morality"? I don't think so. But that's just bandying definitions. The point here that there are at least some high wspace corps that will be annoyed if you don't bring them a fight. And in high wspace, they have the tools to enforce their displeasure with you. They can roll their hole, seed capitals in your system, then burn it down.

    All this gets back to what Penny was saying. Wspace, via its nature, induces a certain kind of play. And in this respect, high wspace is different than lower; high wspace guys can burn each other out without tremendous effort, assuming they win a capital fight. So, they can enforce any sort of ethos they want. Since what they want is gudfights, that what some of them do.

    In lower wspace, do what you want. It's possible to be attacked but there is no ethos of giving fights that I have ever noticed.

    By Von Keigai on Nov 30, 2013

  4. I don't think I have seen the 'fair fight' yet in all the time I have been in wormhole space.

    There is however cat and mouse. Some days you are the mouse, other days you are the cat. Sometimes the mouse gets away; other times mice are eaten by the cat.

    The Foo corps neither offer nor expect fair fights. Wormhole space itself has limitations on blob sizes and re-inforcement availability. We have lost ships and won POS and POCO.

    We do have arrangements with other corps; anything we offer we stick buy.

    But in terms of offering good fights? We live in wormhole space; with ships and assets. That is enough.

    By Foo on Dec 1, 2013

  5. Kill first, worry about whether you should have later. Why? If you don't, someone else will!

    It may on the face of it seem harsh killing a newish pilot, industrial ship or salvager, but consider yourself a teacher if it makes you feel better. I learned my best lessons whilst watching my hull disappear, and many targets have sought further guidance from me via mails and such post engagement.

    Punish the careless, enlighten the new. It's all good.

    By Mortlake on Dec 2, 2013

  6. Thanks for the comments.

    To summarise: do what you want, other players will do what they want, and don't take too much stock of idle threats thrown your way. Everything will work itself out, one way or another.

    By pjharvey on Dec 2, 2013

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