Monday, 13 September 2010
The Butterfly Effect: Reality Edition
1. Psychiatry. a mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions and the projection of personal conflicts, which are ascribed to the supposed hostility of others, sometimes progressing to disturbances of consciousness and aggressive acts believed to be performed in self-defense or as a mission.
2. Baseless or excessive suspicion of the motives of others.
[courtesy of Dictionary.com]
...in layman's terms, EVE makes you bonkers. It has you jumping at shadows, suspecting every other player of possessing a machievellian agenda and plotting to kill you and/or steal everything you own. Although you only have to read about a few of Paul Clavet, Cyberin or Aiden Mourn's antics to know that those suspicions are totally justified.
Any veteran of New Eden will tell you that distrust should be your default mind-set, but as a test of where you on the New Eden Scale of Paranoia, let me describe a situation in which I found myself yesterday and ask yourself how you would have acted. Consider this 'The Butterfly Effect: Reality Edition'.
Having just entered a high-sec system in a newly-purchased PvE-fit faction battleship, an unsolicited conversation invite pops up:
Seismic Stan > hi
Schneizel Veiss > hello! i dont know you but im stuck and im looking for help
Schneizel Veiss > i will lose my hyperion if i dont get it soon.....
Schneizel Veiss > there is a reward of 30mill if you will, im being warp scrambled =/
Schneizel Veiss > hello? =/
A minute or two had passed without response from me as I was suspicious and was information-hunting. Schneizel Veiss was a little over two months old but had joined his current harmless-looking small industrial corp on the day of his creation. A quick learner for a new player or an alt with prior knowledge of the game?
A minute or so before he convo'd me, this had appeared in local:
Schneizel Veiss > a reward of 30million is on the table if someone, anyone will please assist!
Seemingly the tail-end of a genuine call for assistance, but my egocentric paranoia nagged at me, telling me it was an elaborate set-up. Despite my reservations, I was curious. I proceeded cautiously. Back to the private conversation;
Seismic Stan > So what would you like me to do?
Schneizel Veiss > idk if you have a combat ship you could warp here and help me kill the 4 small ships attacking me?
Schneizel Veiss > that would be extremely helpful lol
Schneizel Veiss > i could form a fleet with you so you could warp to my location. if you want of course but im totally pleading with you
Spidey-sense tingling, at this point I'm totally convinced this guy is a ringer and is almost certainly the alt of a nefarious ninja. I relayed the situation to the denizens of the Old Pond Pub, seeking a second opinion.
Seismic Stan > Never happened before, but I've just bought a faction missioning ship. Coincidence?
Vsmit > I got convo'd by a "newb German" after he saw me take my Cynabal out.
Vsmit > Though he just wanted fitting help.
Pian Shu > I think I would let it go. It usually doesn't pay in EVE to be a good samaritan.
Pian Shu > Although I did save a KOS pilot in Assah one time when CVA was still in power, and we got a couple kills out of it.
Pian Shu > pirates were always worse than people who might be pirates.
Seismic Stan > I'm tempted to go buy a cheap frigate and fleet up with him.
Pian Shu > what exactly is happening to him? mission getting him or ninja salvagers or something? You're still in high-sec right?
Seismic Stan > He claims he's stuck in a mission being scrambled by 4 NPC frigates. He's in a droneless Hyperion.
Pian Shu > Should be okay if he just shoots everything else. They couldn't possibly kill him. Then he could just log off
Seismic Stan > No way I'm fleeting with him when I'm flying anything valuable.
Vsmit > What kind of missioner goes into a Lvl 4 mission in a BS without drones?
Vsmit > Man...
Vsmit > Just let him lose it.
So, the milk of human kindness is clearly not a popular drink in the Old Pond Pub. Still questions remain unanswered and the mystery of the scrambled noob remains unsolved. However, there's about fifteen other pilots in local so...
Seismic Stan > Why me?
Schneizel Veiss > because you have a high security status. your not a pirate and you wont kill and loot me as far as the security status indicates
Seismic Stan > So why can't you kill these four frigates?
Schneizel Veiss > because my guns are too big =/ i could tank against them all night but id would never be able to get away from them. and i freakin left my drones at my last mission site when i warped out! ugh... lol
The oh-so-innocent-noob routine is almost too convincing. However, despite lacking the wherewithall to take drones into a mission he seems to have a pretty clear idea of what he wants me to do. It just doesn't add up.
But even with Pian Shu and Vsmit's sage advice, my vanity gets the better of me and I'm determined to give curiosity the chance to kill my cat. Or at least for curiosity to realise the cat probably isn't worth the effort.
Seismic Stan > Ok, so there's no rush then. I could go buy a little frigate and come help.
Schneizel Veiss > yes. and there is 30million in it for you lol
Schneizel Veiss > and id get to save my baby! i love this ship XD
Seismic Stan > Gimme a few minutes then, I'll go find an appropriate ship.
Schneizel Veiss > thank you soooooooo much!!! omg you have no idea how much that means to me! lol
Schneizel Veiss > ive been sweating bullets for the past 30min!
Schneizel Veiss > would you like a down payment on the frigate? ill give you like 7million isk right now to help you pay for the frigate and its fittings
Seismic Stan > Heh, don't worry.
Schneizel Veiss > thank you sooo much like sincerely from the bottom of my heart lol i just got this ship not 4 days ago and i dont want to lose it soo quickly...
Seismic Stan > So is that your first battleship?
Schneizel Veiss > yes, and ive grown very attached XD lol i fondly call her the Avalon lol
He's laying it on a bit thick now, at this rate he'll have promised to pay me more than his ship is worth. Yet another reason to suspect foul play. But perhaps he is just really fond of his first battleship. I start to vaguely recall what it was like when I first started playing EVE. The wonder and the depth, the naive attachment to ships. I was reminded of Rixx Javix's post about new players and how we veterans forget what it's like. Oh dammit, I was starting to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Seismic Stan > Is this your main character then?
Schneizel Veiss > yes it is. this is my only character lol i started playing the game hardcore about two months ago, id played off and on before that for alittle while but im totally addicted now xD
Schneizel Veiss > especially now that im part of a corp and stuff.
Seismic Stan > Heh.
Schneizel Veiss > they offered to help but they are all 28 jumps away so i didnt tell them were i was xD i didnt want them to jump all the way here.... their in the middle of a level 4 blockade mission anyway
Seismic Stan > So you've not grown to distrust everyone else in the game yet then?
Schneizel Veiss > nope lol well i have a healthy distrust for anyone with a low security status but i know that not the only indicator of a theif. lol
Schneizel Veiss > but i have good friends in my corp that are accomplished bounty hunters with many locator agents so im not too worried as long as i get to go on the vengence runs lol
Seismic Stan > People can be a lot craftier than that.
Seismic Stan > You see, the only reason I'm taking my time [to buy a low-cost ship] is that the cynic in me smells a trap.
Seismic Stan > Which is why I didn't come to your aid in my usual missioning ship. I don't want to risk losing it in some elaborate trap.
It's almost like I'm trying to remind myself not to trust him.
Schneizel Veiss > lol thats what i was afraid of. i knew i wasnt going to be trusted, i didnt want to give up on help though, i wasnt going to just sit here all night hoping i dont die or lose internet connnection lol
Seismic Stan > Well I figure I can't lose now. I'm either helping someone genuinely in a predicament or I'm about to lose a worthless ship and an implantless clone. Either way my curiosity will be sated.
Schneizel Veiss > thats a great way to look at it lol especially since that perspective will save my beautiful Avalon!
Schneizel Veiss > i take it that your almost ready? just tell me when and ill form a fleet with you
Seismic Stan > Nearly ready.
Schneizel Veiss > yay! lol
Schneizel Veiss > ugh this was supposed to be my last mission of the night too.... i have a japanese test tomorrow...... =/
Schneizel Veiss > first class of the day and of course, it has to be a 8oclocker....
Schneizel Veiss > lol
Seismic Stan > I remember losing my first cruiser. It was a Thorax I'd spent weeks mining for.
Schneizel Veiss > damn...... lol that sucks =/ my first ship to lose that i really felt the blow was my first retreiver....
Schneizel Veiss > after that isk came easier (not easy enough though =/) but easier so i havent dreaded a ship loss since. but i will if i lose my Avalon ='( lol this is a huge freakin investment...
I'm still not sure. He seems young and guileless, but it could just be Khalia Nestune going for an Oscar. Meanwhile, in the Old Pond Pub, Pian Shu was doing some digging on our hapless noob. Nice work fella. Schneizel had clearly had previous experience of ninjas, he was telling the truth about losing a retriever to Durty Nelly of Suddenly Ninjas. He'd also lost a Myrmidon in low-sec. Perhaps he is as he appears. I'll go with it.
Seismic Stan > Ok, I'm in system.
Schneizel Veiss > yay!
I accept his fleet invite and disappointingly find he is alone. I warp to him and find his Hyperion is in a deadspace area with two NPC frigates and a battlecruiser. Not the four frigates he mentioned earlier, but perhaps he was just confused or innumerate. I set about slowly whittling away at the offending rats in my junk-fit Merlin, the Suicide Samaritan.
Schneizel Veiss > thank you!!!!!!
Seismic Stan > it's not a great ship
Schneizel Veiss > mine or yours? lol
Schneizel Veiss > haha
Seismic Stan > I built it out of loot I had in my hangar.
Schneizel Veiss > its doing the trick lol
Schneizel Veiss > thank you sooooo much dude....
Schneizel Veiss > damn the other elder corpii warp jammed me ugh i thought i was good to go for a sec lol
I dispatch the remaining NPC frigate.
Seismic Stan > Don't worry about the cash. I think you need it more than me.
Seismic Stan > You need help with the cruiser too?
Schneizel Veiss > no im good
Seismic Stan > Go and get yourself some drones.
He warps away, leaving me with the battlecruiser. I attempt to destroy it, but my loot-fitted Suicide Samaritan just doesn't have the DPS. Still struggling to grasp the concept of not being betrayed or entrapped, I idly wonder whether Schneizel intended for me to be destroyed by the battlecruiser. But it couldn't hit me. I warped out.
Schneizel Veiss > take the 15mil, its the least i can do to compensate you for your time
Seismic Stan > Thank you. It was a pleasure coming to help.
Schneizel Veiss > your welcome and thank you for helping...... some ppl can totally be trusted lol
Seismic Stan > Heh, not in this game. I have no way of knowing if the outcome would've been different if I'd turned up in a ship worth ganking.
Schneizel Veiss > lol fine dont trust me then. but check out my corp. perhaps if your a business man and in a corp that is willing, our corps could do some dealing.
Seismic Stan > btw - why didn't you kill that battlescruiser rat - it was worth 150k
Schneizel Veiss > i couldnt hit the damn thing! Lol
Schneizel Veiss > my guns are to big and my gunnery skill too low lol
Schneizel Veiss > im only doing these missions to increase my standing so i can get a level 4 research agent so i can go back to doing some real business Seismic Stan > You ever had your missions invaded by ninja salvagers?
Schneizel Veiss > nope. i dont even know what that is lol
Seismic Stan > Your retreiver was killed by one.
Schneizel Veiss > really?
Seismic Stan > Durty Nelly of Suddenly Ninjas was your killer.
Schneizel Veiss > lol wow i had no idea i had information online xD
Schneizel Veiss > and that wasnt my first retriever loss.
Schneizel Veiss > see? you can totally see by the pilot details that i am not a fighter at all xD and no im too busy either working (i work at best buy) or doing homework for college lol
Seismic Stan > Yeah, you seem genuine, but a clever ninja would have a convincing alt persona. Eve is, after all, a game where people spend months infiltrating a corp just to steal everything.
Schneizel Veiss > indeed lol
Schneizel Veiss > well thank you very much for you help, ive added you as a contact and i hope you dont distrust me too much as to not do business with me in the future (or my corp, i try to advertise as much as possible xD) going to bed and thank you sooo much!
Seismic Stan > Sure, it's been a pleasure.
Seismic Stan > By way of explanation as to my mistrust, some further reading for you:
Seismic Stan > http://www.mylootyourtears.com/
Seismic Stan > http://podlogs.com/findersandkeepers/
Schneizel Veiss > bastards all of them
Schneizel Veiss > ttyl comrade
Seismic Stan > lol, laters
So what did you make of that? How would you have played it?
Was I paranoid? Was he a ninja in diguise, secretly disappointed that things didn't go as he had planned? Or was he just a hapless new player struggling with the complexities of EVE? Would you have helped him? Ganked him? Can anyone really be trusted in New Eden?
And where is that damned butterfly?