The MMO community site Ten Ton Hammer recently polled it’s readers and bestowed awards for a variety of accolades pertaining to the massively multiplayer gaming industry. At one stage EVE Online was in the lead for Best Game of the Decade, but was inevitably pipped at the post by the leviathan of MMOs that is World of Warcraft. Happily, EVE Online did not come away empty-handed and is now proudly recognised as the possessor of the Best Community of the Decade.

So well done us.

However, one apparently disgruntled commenter on Ten Ton Hammer (whose incendiary comment title I borrowed) had this to say:

EVE-Online as “best MMOG community” ? People giving such an award either can not or will not see the true nature of EVE-Online community.

I used to play EVE-Online for several years. Blatant sexual harassment being considered “normal part of game” by CCP and thus being ignored entirely. CCP’s Very Special Friend Players making utterly tactless insults towards other players at forums, and when other players respond with equivalent comments, those players get banned for “bad forum manners”. GM decisions being based on nothing more than personal preferences. The list goes on and on.

Truth is that EVE-Online community sure *looks* nice because it consists of little more than fanatic fanboy nerds. Any kind of criticism of the game, no matter how valid or justified, is responded with massive torrent of flames about “STUPID NOOB CAREBEAR WHO SHOULD GO PLAY WOW” and similar, followed by personal insults and similar… All at quiet blessing of CCP, of course. As a result, people who would have something negative to say about the game either become fully quiet or leave the game, and either way the facade of Great And Awesome EVE-Online Community remains intact.

All MMOG communities have their downsides, and EVE-Online is hardly *the* worst MMOG community around. However, no amount of fanboy whining can change the truth, and truth is that beneath its facade, EVE-Online has one of the worst MMOG communities of all.

It’s difficult to provide an objective response seeing as I probably fall under the label of ‘fanatic fanboy nerd’, however behind the rabid foaming at the mouth and the impassioned ranting, does Zanakar have a point? I know I tend to avoid the official forums due to the negative and ‘trolling’ nature of many of the regular forum users. I also had a relevant experience when invited to an in-game channel recently. This was how the conversation began:

Seismic Stan > Evening.
inSpirAcy > Odding.
Seismic Stan > Pithy retort. I like.
Seismic Stan > So how come I’ve appeared in this channel then?
fmercury > someone on your buddylist invited you to it
BlueMajere > eat a dick faggot
Natalia Kovac > yeah we only serve dicks in this channel
Thou Mad > eat a butt more like
Yvella > anyone got breast?
Yvella > I like breast
Natalia Kovac > breasts are allergic to eve im afraid
inSpirAcy > there are plenty of breasts in eve
inSpirAcy > not the good kind, but still
Natalia Kovac > haha true

Puerile certainly. Offensive and sexist? Probably to many. But to me it was easily ignorable, I was just too tired to come up with a suitable response and without my rising to the bait, the conversation soon reverted to fairly standard EVE-related discussions. However, I fear this example does give credence to Zanakar’s claims.

Has the ‘HTFU’ mindset of many seasoned EVE players created a hostile sub-culture that might put off some? Does having a Darwinistic universe excuse ill manners?

I’d be interested to hear the thoughts of an award winning community.


Jake · 04/01/2011 at 02:56

I think he is way off saying criticism of the game is not welcome by the community. Has he even seen how ruthless the community is towards CCP over the various aspects of the game that have yet to be fixed?

omber zombie · 04/01/2011 at 02:59

Sorry, but this is going to be a long one :p

Zanakar's point really isn't valid imho – every MMO has the same sort of people, the difference is how the community deals with them rather than the devs.

In general the eve community is far more helpful to newer players than any other I have come come across through both the sheer number of websites with guides/explanations as well as ingame resources like Eve-Uni or one of the entirely new player focussed corps.

On the other side the long-time players have over time developed a mindset of what 'eve' means when someone plays it. It should be a sandbox, not a themepark, and this mindset mirrors that of what CCP initially thought it should be. It has allowed large communities of players to be transplanted into eve from other games and not have the nature or those games take-over the core vision for the game. A couple of good examples are Jumpgate Evoltion and Star Wars Galaxies which both had mass exodus' of players into eve – who then adapted and embraced the harsher nature of the game.

Last but not least – The Goons. Most people consider the goons joining your MMO to pretty much be the death-knell for it. In fact the eve players at the time when they joined took it upon themselves to try and remove them from playing the game before they got a proper foothold. Thankfully they failed and we've had some of the largest wars between players any game has ever seen. The reason I mention the goons is because they haven't ruined the game, the game and community managed to subvert them to rabid fanboys just like the rest of us. Even to the extent that there has been a goon representative on almost every (if not all) CSM's to date as well as former goon members joining CCP in dev capacities.

If that last point doesn't explain why eve's community is by the far best, nothing ever will.

oz (who's eve subscription has been going for as long as the game has, even though he really doesn't have time to play)

Parasoja · 04/01/2011 at 03:11

Having a strong community isn't necessarily the same as having a polite community. Consider the user-made tools and videos that eve produces — this is where is stands head and shoulders above every other game, ever. Wow will never have an a3_oneforall2 or a Tortuga-Lacrimosa.

Niton Stormrider · 04/01/2011 at 03:20

Great points, all. Zanakar's complaints really focus on how CCP polices the community (answer:it doesn't), which such vitriol that if he/she DID play I bet they rage-quit over the T20 fiasco. Anywho. In no other game I've played (SWG, WoW, and both EverQuests) have I encountered a community that was this VITAL. Sure, a lot of pod pilots are puerile dickheads, but this game is driven by the players, dickheads included; we aren't the audience, we're the show. And it is that complexity and vitality that keeps me playing after three and a half years, when no other game, even with pixelated boobies and stunning fantasy vistas, has held my interest for more than 6 months.

Laria Raven · 04/01/2011 at 11:22

I think there is an element of truth to his criticism, personally, though much of it is bitter ex-player ranting.

Just because every MMO has it doesn't mean that it's right. And there is a lot of sexist and homophobic language around in EVE that is pretty offensive.

I don't hold out much hope of it ever changing, but it would be nice if the much-renowned "more mature" playerbase could shift a tiny fraction in the direction of not being quite as horrendous about it.

paritybit · 04/01/2011 at 19:11

Eve's community is at once both great and terrible. We have an amazing array of blogs, tutorials, new player guides and fan sites. The forums are extremely active and helpful. But you are as likely to be ridiculed with the most offensive, juvenile, sexist and homophobic language you've ever read as you are to get what you are looking for (unless that is what you are looking for).

The community is active and has greatness within it. But it would certainly help if the 'mature' players showed true maturity more often. Adult content is not an indicator of maturity (or necessarily immaturity either).

Eelis Kiy · 04/01/2011 at 20:06

CCP gets no end of stick from it's community and you get trolls and mouthy, rude idiots anywhere on the internet, in all mmos and on all forums. CCP just doesnt go around banning every player who types "bum".

I played Wow for a couple of years, the forum was a lot worse than Eve in many respects and my God don't go upsetting the "srs bzns" roleplayers on LOTRO.

I agree with Parasoja, some amazing things have come out of the Eve community.

Rixx Javix · 04/01/2011 at 20:39

I don't get it. Certainly the larger the community the more varied the individuals in that community, so making large scale judgements of that community based on individual relationships, or responses, seems almost idiotic. And unfair.

Having said that, certainly Eve has its share of morons, idiots and sexist players. Of course, so does every other MMO in the world, not to mention the Internet at large. Anyone that participates in either needs to develop the tools that fit their individual playstyle or lifestyle approach.

I've bumped into the same sort of things myself in Eve from time to time. I refuse to participate and generally find everyone to be extremely helpful, friendly and mature. Because those are the types of people I "hang out" with.

I say pfft to the comment. Grow up and get real.

Mark · 04/01/2011 at 22:13

I agree with omber zombie. His (?) post is spot on. Puerile and sexist abuse is common everywhere. It is a sign of the times rather than any one thing/place/game. The strength of the EVE community is that it exists in spite of it. For every rude-dude I've met in EVE I've met another who is more than willing to help. For every sinner I've met a saint. For every dick I've met a really cool Tom and Harry. Could it be better? Yes. Is it the best? My UO, DAOC, EQ, AC, EandB, SWG, WoW, and LoTRO experiences say hell yes!

BTW omber zombie, who are these goons you speak of. Never heard of them. 8D

Tom · 05/01/2011 at 09:06

"Has the 'HTFU' mindset of many seasoned EVE players created a hostile sub-culture that might put off some? Does having a Darwinistic universe excuse ill manners?"

HTFU does have a lot to answer for. I think there are a lot of people who take this as carte blanché to be arseholes. This may make me sound British (I'm not) but there is no excuse for bad manners.

Having said that eve's community extends beyond the official forums (a festering cesspit that needs heavier moderation) and I think this is what the award recognises. Because the diversity and depth of eve related material on the web is staggering. To the point where (I am paraphrasing Casiella Truza)I wish I loved playing Eve as much as I like reading, theorycrafting and thinking about Eve.

That statement is only true because of the strength of the community.

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