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.