22 Sep 2013

The Guilt Game: or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Lossmail

I was recently browsing some random discussion thread that for the most part centered on ship losses, dealing with said ship losses, and also the idea of feeling guilt towards the person behind the toon whose ship you just blasted into smithereens.

Ship losses.

I have always lived with and championed the mantra that ship losses will always happen, and when they happen, you shrug them off as no big deal.

I see my ship that I have chosen to fly as a consumable, a part of a machine that would not work without this consumable, but nevertheless, an easily replaceable cog in the machine. The consumable is a token that entitles me to at least one unit of game time, or game experience. This one unit could expire after I get snagged 30 seconds into my roam by that insta-locking gate camp I just blindly jumped into, or my unit of play could be a ship that survives 50+ fights. The point being I shouldn't mind or worry too much when or how I use up my token. The tokens are endless. You simply can't ever run out of them and that is exactly how I deal with ship losses.

It's a dangerous path to tread when you get attached to a spaceship. Now, you don't ever want to get into that mindset. In the thread that I was browsing I had to read some of the statements twice just to make sure that I understood exactly what I was actually reading. It turns out that some people really do feel attached to their ships. I thought to myself that if I substitute the word spaceship for beloved family dog or much-loved cat, then it would just as easily fit into the bracket and train of thought of these crazies.

So it's no wonder people get mad when they lose a ship.

Do you treat your ship like a prized pet or a rubber washer?

The Guilt Game.

Mixing in the guilt factor with what I have already said above, it can be perhaps easy to see why some people who feel attached to their ships can feel remorse after shooting someone's ship. Or maybe to think that there's some weird hurting going on behind the keys. I don't want people to ever think that I am hurting because I just lost a frigate or a Loki or whatever. I would be happy for them to know I just enjoyed my experience, win or lose--thankya very much. For most people I would guess that is an alien concept. To me, this is just normal and me being me.

Admittedly, in the very early days of jumping into the PvP circus ring I will say that I did sometimes start to wonder about the person behind the keys. It was a brief flirtation though, and I think you do learn to grow out of this pattern of thought.

Although people do sometimes feel sorry for their victim and will give them ISK and advice after a fight, and I would be lying if I said I have never done this, but, it isn't something that ever plays on my mind, it is through choice. Can this feeling towards your opponent be selective? I do think it can be, yes. Or maybe I am just contradicting myself here? I'd like to think it makes sense what I am trying to explain with this.

The people out there who constantly associate guilt to spaceship loss, haven't learned to evolve and shift their mindset yet.

One time, quite long ago now, where I did get a pang in my stomach after a fight was when I shot up a Drake whilst in a frigate and the dude started begging in local for me to stop, of course I did not stop, and only after he went pop did he go on to tell me how his ship was purchased with the last of his ISK which came from a PLEX that was ultimately a birthday gift of money from his grama. He could of course have been making this all up but he did seem like a genuine sort. Perhaps that feeling was just human nature, I dunno.

Either way, we've arrived full circle back to those who are overly attached to their spaceship, one way or another.

Do you ever feel guilt or are you a cold killer?



  1. I admit to feeling some degree of remorse when I first decided to pursue this life we love / love to hate.

    I too gave advice and ISK to players who took their ship death well and showed interest in improving their game, but now? Well, I suppose I'm a bit jaded and time spent chatting to eager new players is time lost looking for the next kill.

    I do love me some KM's. I'll take 'em how I get 'em these days. New players, old players, multiple target engagements, higher ship classes. If I reckon I can get a kill, or even if I see it as a good challenge and / or experiment, I'll dive in, see what happens and breeze on out of there with nary a second thought regardless of the outcome.

    Most of the time, that is. I do hate insta-locking camps. The only time I feel a twinge of annoyance these days is when I feel I didn't get a chance to fight back.

    1. Yeah, think that's a fair enough assessment mate.

  2. Hmmm it always seems like they are more genuine after you kill them i suppose. I was never the sort of player who hated losses and just went for good ol' kills (maybe how i was raised in eve?), I just want either a kill mail or loss mail from any fight :)

    The only time i would feel bad for someone i killed is just suicide ganking :D, If you're in LS/NS/WH you checked an in game box that popped up before you were able to activate saying, "Duder, you will die horrible, you sure u wanna do this?". So for people in this area of space, I dont feel sorry for as they were idiots if they didnt read it :D

    I feel differently in HS, If someone is mining its cause for some odd reason, they want to mine. I aint got no right to tell em to stop or to kill em fer it (I still laugh if a very blingy ship dies in HS, especially if they were sacrificing efficiency for bling).

    So to sum it up, you signed a contract that said you're gonna die, might as well get it over with =D

  3. If they are so attached to these ships then why don't they take better care of them? Keep them inside the warm safe station, feed them, pet them, love them.

    Do these guys walk their dog on the lip of a volcano?

    1. |Do these guys walk their dog on the lip of a volcano?|

      Haha! Great quote right there mate.

  4. I don't stress over losing ships unless it's a fight that I should have won and lost because I screwed up, losing ships to instacamps is always inconvenient and boring because of the lack of fight but I accept that there is little that I can do if i run into them.

    I used to feel guilty about killing younger players but I've given up on that having seen so many warp stabbed fits that should be able to get away but don't because of the player being AFK. On Friday I killed and podded the same FW guy twice without him running away, on the third time within the hour that he warped in I killed him again and just watched his pod sit there for 30 seconds until he warped. I nearly ended up telling him off in local for being such an idiot. I just hope that everyone I kill learns a lesson and comes back for vengeance someday :D

    1. Hehe. The slaying of the younglings is payment for warp core stab crimes.

  5. Guilt, never. I've had moments that people who *politely* inquired afterwards (and are apparently unclear on the nature of EVE PvP) have gotten some of my time and knowledge on how to stay alive better in lowsec/nullsec imparted on them. And I've helped obvious genuine nublets with a little ISK at times, but real guilt never happens.

    "Or maybe to think that there's some weird hurting going on behind the keys. I don't want people to ever think that I am hurting because I just lost a frigate or a Loki or whatever."

    I find this the most interesting; People that assume you're 'hurt' because you lost a thing puzzle me far more then people that actually feel hurt being vocal about it. I always wonder if that says more about their motivations then about their presumed victims. It's wherein lies the difference (to me) between somebody who gets called a 'griefer' for doing what he enjoys in EVE and somebody who is actually motivated by trying to inflict grief, a subtle but very real difference.

    1. You're a cold-hearted one, Maxwell .... cold. :)

  6. I treat my frigates like pick-axes in Minecraft - they are destined to break and when they do just get another, no fuss.
    I also try to resist the temptation to check a pilot's age before committing a fight - if I know they are younger or older than me by a significant margin, it plays tricks on my confidence. Better just to commit and enjoy it as it comes, I can always recompense genuine newbies or ask vets for advice afterwards!

    1. I like your style, that's the best way to go about it! ~

  7. I don't feel guilt anymore. Or really anything.

    I am senior leadership in a large alliance and I have wagered entire capital fleets before. To me it is just another tool to be used.

    Welping a fleet is bad, but what good is a ship forever in port?

  8. Yeah nothing gayer than blowing somebody up and then giving him ISK. That's like kinda weird, tbh. ('issues')

    If I didn't care about losing I wouldn't want to play. But I don't let fear of losing keep me from playing, either. (I do let apathy keep me from playing, tho!)

  9. I have been known to "Awwww, poor little fella..." after clubbing a seal, but it's never caused me to be slow on swinging the club next time around.

  10. The only time I ever felt remorse was after I sweet talked two newbies in a Caracal and Venture, telling them that it was fine to jump into HED-GP and that a few members of the "guard fleet" on the other side of the gate would escort them to their destination for a small fee.

    They paid the fee and were brimming with excitement about getting to visit nullsec. They jumped into HED-GP and were instantly vaporized. I looked at the Caracal's killmail and saw how bad the fit was, and started to feel remorseful. About an hour later I convo'd the Caracal pilot and reimbursed him and his buddy the fees, ship loss, plus a bit extra. I gave him the standard "Never trust unless you know what you're doing" talk, and sent him on his way.

    There was a small twist though. I didn't tell the Venture pilot that I'd given the Caracal pilot isk for the two of them, and told the Caracal pilot as much. I left it up to the Caracal pilot to decide whether or not to steal the Venture pilot's isk.

  11. I don't feel guilt for killing newbs. Your first loss in lowsec is an important part of EVE. Like it should be part of the tutorial. If I do kill someone that has only been playing for a month or two, I usually convo them and offer them a bit of advice. Never ISK though. If you do the tutorial, and all the career missions, you will have several combat, mining, and industrial ships, not to mention 10-20 mill ISK in cash. So I'm more in the "teach a man to fish" camp, as replacing some newbies loss is going to be a pretty small drop in that bucket, and also, a little sting will help make the lesson more effective.

  12. No remorse, no regret. If it flies, it dies. Goes for both me and any potential target.

  13. I too used to convo up new players before shooting them. Usually while I was in warp to the belt they were in. The first thing I'd tell them was to run. Usually they weren't paying attention or didn't react quickly, so I shot them. If they took it well, I'd then use the convo to give them a bit of advice and possibly some isk. I never shot pods, mostly to keep my sec status up above -5.0.

    But in the last few months, with changes to crimewatch and the removal of the 15 minute GCC timer, I started getting in to a lot more fights, so I just took the plunge down to negative nine point something. There's no reason to not shoot pods, so I shoot every one I can catch, even going so far as to probe down and pod the logged-off cyno alt after I blow up his cyno ship.

    It was about that same time that I decided to go full on red that I stopped being so helpful to new players. It's just not worth the time that could be spent looking for another target. I used to look at it as a kind of grooming process. Be helpful to the new players so they don't shy away from low-sec completely and come back later so you can blow them up in bigger, more expensive ships. But I don't think it really works that way.