27/03/2012

[Eve] Is it right?

As the title suggests today's entry concerns Eve Online. However I'm going to take a break from my usual, light-hearted self-centred efforts and put my serious face on. Allow me first however, to present some harsh truths about Eve before I carry on.

See, Eve is a game that is dearly beloved to me. Has been for nearly four whole years. Within that game lies just about all types of person - loyal friend, to scumbag scammer; long-term allies to lifelong shitheads. A lot of people lie, cheat and steal within Eve as, I'm regularly reading everywhere, they can't do it in real life. Makes me wonder what will happen if the world ever truly goes to shit - will everybody's inner douchebag appear? As a reflection of what humanity harbours deep within itself, Eve is a dark and frightening place for someone who believes that rose-tinted glasses are the only way forwards and that everybody wants to help each other.

For years I've tried to play the game my way. Helping others where possible, supporting my friends, and stalking my enemies with a loaded set of guns while trying to keep out of people's faces and be as neutral as possible - a former alliance of mine was trying really hard to get into 0.0 and form New Switzerland, we were that neutral. I have a set of strong morales in real life and this carries through into the game. I have no desire to grief anybody and nor do I have any intention of being a dick about things. My way of having fun conflicts with the vast majority of Eve, but thankfully I have enough knowledge of the game and enough PVP nous to get by more or less intact. It's probably the main reason my neutrality gig never quite worked out as I will never compromise my morals in order to get a competitive edge over somebody.
Keep that moral blah-blah in mind.

Now last weekend, CCP Games held their annual Fanfest gathering in Reykjavík, Iceland. It's a big event for the Eve community whereby lots of people that play internet spaceships go get drunk and listen to a lot of upcoming plans for the game(this year's focus being DUST 514, an upcoming FPS on PS3 that directly links with Eve) and see people they wouldn't otherwise see. And for those that can't make it, there's a HD TV feed that can be purchased over the course of the weekend to watch the event live.
One such feature of this weekend is an Alliance Panel, whereby a few people from various alliances cock-slap people in each other's faces about what they've done in the last year, why they're mighty and awesome and other stuff like that. Some are quite funny, others are yawn-inducing - but credit to all for getting up on stage in various levels of drunkenness and having the balls to speak in front of a room full of strangers.

This year's Panel was being graced once again by The Mittani, grandmaster of Goonswarm. For the second year running he has been elected chairman of the Council of Stellar Management(CSM), a player-elected council of players who go to Iceland every now and again for a free holiday, and also act as a go-between betwix players and games developers. They listen to the players, take their ideas on board and tell CCP what we want, where CCP is going wrong, etc. To CCP's credit they actually listen to some of these ideas(part of the reason why the latest expansion, Crucible, was so good) and the chairman, The Mittani, is widely credited with both unifying the CSM and pushing CCP for transparency and improvements both with the company and the game itself.
And this year's panel was basically a chance for the rather ego-centric Mittani to flop his cock about in a mighty fashion about how not only had he been re-elected as chairman, but also the first CSM member to break the 10k votes margin.

As he took the stage, this guy - the leader of Goonswarm, and still leader of the CSM - began his powerpoint presentation. From what I hear it was quite amusing, I haven't seen the video yet but that's because I'm not sure I want to. Part of this involved his alliance coming up against a guy with 22 accounts, and repeatedly ganking him. For those of you reading this, in Eve when you lose your ship there is no restart button - it's gone. Part of this is the reason why so many people are put off Eve. Hey guys guess what, if you crash your car you don't get a fucking restart button. It's about time it was removed from a game. But I'm sidetracking. From what I can make out, the guy with 22 accounts wasn't a combatant and just sat there mining ice, a commodity that can be easily sold as after refining it's used for multiple purposes. Once his livelihood was gone, the guy was quite upset it would appear. He claimed to have had a rough life in recent months, dealing with a divorce and depression amongst other things. He was also scammed out of about 1.3bil ISK, which in RL terms is about... £60? I'm guestimating.
After the scam he sent this mail to someone, and this someone forwarded it to his boss - The Mittani. Who put it into his powerpoint presentation. And read it out for the crowd to mock the guy with him.

So now it looks like you still gank me and I work hard to keep going in this game. Sorry I am very mad that was more plexs for my guys. Yes I can make that back easily mining if I could mine. Now I will just get popped by you guys no matter what, and 400mil is nothing. That is like 3 maybe 4 hours mining for me. Sorry it is hard when I have had own alliance members send people out to gank me. Now I fell I have been suckered into giving away 1.3 bil isks.
Since my divorce all I want to do is die, and I have been doing tha tallot in this game.
I am sorry I did not understand. I am just sick and tired of sitting here allone and having to play with myself. Everyone that I have helped out in this game and in real life just takes what you have and that is it. Never to hear from them again. l I am getting tired of everything. It was nice mining ice while it lasted took my mind off everything.  Even though some people may say I am a bot I am not.  I run all 22 accounts myself it is not easy but it keeps me sane.
Sorry for making you mad at me. I will leave you allone now and never enter your space again.  I will be off looking for a nice quiet corner somewhere.



See, after the presentations are over there's a Q&A session with all the guys who made a presentation. One such question went forwards to The Mittani.
Questioneer: Just something about the guy with 22 accounts.  I think he moved to the Drone Regions and now he’s got kicked out of there as well.
The Mittani: Incidentally, if you want to make the guy kill himself, his name is The Wiz. Its “T-H-E SPACE W-I-S”.  He has his own corp. Find him.

Now take a step back, everyone, and read that again. Someone just encouraged a room full of people - and many more hundreds watching at home via the live stream - to find this guy and make him commit suicide.
This has caused much anger amongst the community, many blog posts appearing to discuss it. One of the main news outlets within the community has exploded with traffic here.
Not surprisingly The Mittani's crew are backing their man; it was just a harmless joke. Sure, a harmless joke that was planned for a powerpoint presentation. Planned in advance. However everybody else seems to be against him and calling for him to stand down from office.Some are saying The Wis was lying about it all and was attention seeking, and all this was brought down upon himself by himself.

Eve Online: Damage Control Unit. Mittani Edition.


The Mittani appears to be repentant and has since apologised both to the players and The Wis. However in the direct aftermath when there appeared to be no consequence to his actions, The Mittani didn't give much of a fuck. It's only now since presented with the possibility of losing his long-fought-for position of Internet Somebody that he's coming out fighting tooth and nail to save his position on the CSM.

My thoughts on this as soon as I heard about it? I was enraged. A lot of the arguing about the shit "joke" comes about because the guy was drunk and made his presentation as head of Goonswarm, not as chairman of the CSM.
Personally I don't give a fuck who it was that gave that presentation. Some things you just do not joke about with a fellow human being. If The Wis was making it up and it was a cry for attention/help, then chances are he was genuinely depressed.

I should know. I suffered quite badly with the fucking illness for many years(why, I refuse to go into) and it made me alienate many people that I once considered close to me. Even today I'm still trying to rebuild the bridges I burnt and I still suffer from depression. It doesn't just fuck off and leave you. It haunts you and your actions for years. My girlfriend has been a tremendous aid to me as have the few remaining friends I have left and there are still days I want to throw it all away. I even changed, from an extrovert who rarely stayed indoors to being full of anxiety about silly things like answering a telephone or starting a job at a new workplace. Throughout this however not once did I think about killing myself. In fact the main reason I call myself Master of Darkness on various places across the web(including this blog) is because that's what I had to do to conquer the depresson. I embraced it full-on and enjoyed being miserable. It helps me to see that there is always a sunnier side to everything and that there's no way in hell that things could be as bad as that ever again. And if it does then I'm mentally better prepared for it. I mastered my inner darkness.

But despite my online handle - MoD, Versuvius Marii, Former NC, ManicMadMan or disbelievingfate - I am the same person throughout. I have no persona to hide behind, I am who I am.
I don't give much of a shit about the excuses behind it. Some things you do NOT joke about. And if the guy is genuinely depressed which it really does sound like coming from my own experiences, then this is the last thing he needs.

Eve Online - a reflection of humanity in its darkest moments. And yet I'll continue to play as out there somewhere within New Eden are other like-minded people who don't tolerate bullshit like this. There aren't many of them and I'm fairly sure that when Eve players find out about this post I'll be trolled quite harshly for my opinions. But I don't care. The subject of depression is a touch personal for me and I'll willingly breach my neutrality to take a stance against insensitive pricks like The Mittani who's only really out to save his own skin from this point on - the damage is done so it's probably too late. I hope he gets his position of power stripped from him and I hope that the more people hear about this, the better. We should be helping those who are mentally weaker than ourselves, not publicly mocking them and encouraging our friends to make the sufferer kill themselves.

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