Thursday, February 26, 2009

CK's Blog Banter #5: Everybody Needs Sombody.

Welcome to the fifth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banters.

This month's topic comes to us from Mynxee of Life in Low Sec. She asks "Alts and Metagaming: Is playing two accounts who are logged in at the same
time and work together (hauler/miner, explorer/combat associate, trade alts in trade hubs) a form of metagaming that is "ruining the game"?"

articles at the bottom of this post!

I'll start this one with a little music. The song seems appropriate to the issue.

Metagaming to me is not a good or bad issue. It's a fact of life in MMOs. There are constructive uses for metagaming and others that tend to ruin the game for others, but in EVE metagaming is condoned more readily than in other games in the interests of realism.

A hauler alt for your miner. Explorer alt for your combatant. Trade alts for your indy. RP alts for your RP primary. These are all pretty harmless and do nothing but help a player create the most basic of personal support structures. Having a corp and alliance to go to for backup is nice, but when everyone is busy or AFK, you still got stuff that needs doing and it's in your best interests to figure a way to do it yourself efficiently.

It's really espionage that pisses a lot of people off. However, if you look at subterfuge and counter-intelligence IRL and extend it into the EVE fiction, then it's a fair assumption that one could change their appearance and identity quite easily in New Eden. Having a clone to download into that looks completely different from your original body but has the same brain isn't that difficult a concept to grasp in the world of flying internet spaceships.

Nobody on the receiving end of clandestine intelligence tactics is ever pleased, but that doesn't make it any less realistic.

So to answer the direct question, no. I don't think metagaming is ruining EVE because it embraced by the fiction.

Further into the issue, when it comes to programs and tools outside of EVE and you're asking yourself if this is "hurtful" metagaming, ask yourself if such a tool would not be available to an actual capsuleer. EVEMon, EFT, forums and killboards, etc... It's easy to see how such services would be at the ready for the capsuleer community just as it's at our disposal as gamers.





Anonymous said...

Good post mate.

EVE differs from other games in that metagaming is actually a feature of the game. Does it ruin the game, no, it enhances it!!!

Cyber said...

100% agree with your views, though I never thought about the out of game assets the way you have mentioned. It does make sense that alts, and evehq and programs like it could actually be viable 'in character'. Very good write up!

Mynxee said...

Well said, PD, particularly with regard to the tools we use everyday such as EVEMon and the rest.