Illustrative Story

A couple weeks back, noting a surplus of Gurista Hunt sights as I was traveling about Hi-Sec, I decided to buckle down and have a look see.  Grabbing my slightly bling fit shield tanked Wolf (she’s an odd duck but I like her), I effortlessly swept away the acceleration gate frigates.  Entering the goodie room yielded a batch of Gurista cruisers I lackadaisically targeted and began pummeling.  Jesus Christ!  While I was paying only half attention, the pesky little rats began beating the shit out my Wolf.  Though it’s been several years since I enthusiastically mished, the Wolf had a history of sailing through lvl 1-3’s so it seemed good choice.  Appears I was mistaken.  Finally waking up to the peril, I warped away in structure (structure!) mumbling to myself, “Gonna need a different boat.”

Limping home I lackadaisically jumped through a gate to discover a sea of spookily red player Catalysts drop on grid around me.  Oh hell, CODE. must have scanned my mangled loot piñata and prepared a profitable gank.  But I was mistaken.  The good pilots of CODE. weren’t hunting me, rather they were stalking a Marauder sitting close by.  “Since we’re here,” I mumbled before locking up the nearest Catalyst and popping a shot.  T’was the first time I’d shot a player in nearly two years and even then it was only ‘counting coup’ as my 0 damage kill mail reward would reveal.  Seeing the rest of the Catalysts get mauled by gate guns quicker than I could lock up and cycle shots at them, I returned to limping home in search of appropriate Gurista bashing boat.

It was an illuminating afternoon.  Thing is, I’ve been an active Eve player these last two years but, as my Gurista misadventure displays, I haven’t been engaging in classic PvE mishing nor have I been engaging in classic ship on ship PvP.  No, I’ve been living in the interstices between these two worlds.  I’m a near full time industrialist and for the last two years nearly all my in game actions have pointed towards nurturing that business.

This I Do(‘nt)

I don’t PvE.  Instead I contract harvesting minerals and salvage to other players via market purchase orders.  I don’t PvP either.  All my in game interactions with other players via the shared market (and there are hundreds of interactions daily) are mutually beneficial.  If they weren’t, no purchase or sale would occur.  It is a competitive environment (welcome to free markets baby) but it’s not I win, you lose competitive.  Rather, our actions affect each other.  What’s the going buy price for Burned Logic Circuits?  How does that affect Large Ancillary Current Router manufacturing expense?  What are LACR’s selling for?  Ahhh, profit to be made, start that job!

Sometimes people try to hike up Eve PvE as some quasi-version of PvP explaining that if I mine an asteroid into oblivion you can’t but that’s silly.  If you’re willing to move around a bit, asteroids never run out.  With mishing, you don’t even have to move around.  Agents always have another task.

Sometimes players try to hike up Eve industrial/trading play as market PvP but with one glaring exception – scamming – that’s just silly.  Scamming is a clear I win, you lose interaction.  In scamming, like ship on ship PvP, my win is built on your loss.  Your loss is the necessary component of my win.  Nothing else in the market is like that.  You making a sale by undercutting my price doesn’t harm me.  I’m no worse off.  I’ve lost nothing, I’ve simply stalled.  Your successful sale wasn’t built on my loss.  Rather it was built on you working a mutually beneficial deal with your customer.  You didn’t ‘steal’ my customer (another PvPish interaction), rather you completed a deal and I did not.  If this isn’t clear consider a situation where you’re the only one selling a particular item on a particular market.  When your deal closes you profit but absolutely no one else lost a thing – no one else was even selling.  Your win didn’t require someone else’s loss.  Nothing about the interaction was PvPish.  Market sales with lots of bidders are no different.

Two Types of Struggle

1) A determined effort under difficulties – “The pilot had to contend with torrential rain”

2) A conflict or contest where participants compete for supremacy – “A boxing contest”

These are not identical.  In contests for supremacy, contestants have the same mutually exclusive goal: defeating their opponents.  Boxers win only when their opponents lose.  In determined effort there is no mutually exclusive goal.  The rain isn’t trying to defeat you, its pursuing its own ends (falling to the ground as gravity dictates).

Market work is flying against other player rain drops.  They aren’t trying to defeat you, they’re just pursuing their own ends (profitable sales).

Living Between

I’ve begun to realize that the solish living between play style I’ve been engaged in these last couple of years helps explain why I’m so sanguine about the upcoming Citidel release.  I haven’t been PvEing nor have I been PvPing for years.  Rather congestion tax drives where I manufacture and hub location drives where I buy and sell.  Citidels won’t change this dynamic though it may move the locations.  I’ve moved before.  It’s manageable.  Meanwhile the big dance around me continues.  I watch from the front porch sipping Rum & Coke.  It’s quite serene.