Irony in SC

The Kotaku article ( I read got me thinking about SC, so I posted in Concierge a missive to CIG to do what they can to design the game in such a way that toxic behavior was less likely, mechanically, because I was concerned that the community was already too toxic.

A few hours after I posted it, something happened to my account that blocked me from seeing that thread, and just that thread, kept getting a Black Hole error in Spectrum. I received a PM from the mods this morning, apologizing that the thread had become so toxic that it had to be closed, and that they were talking to all of the people who became hateful and abusive and some were being disciplined.

A thread that the community might be toxic was closed due to the toxicity of the community.
In Concierge, the forum where everyone has backed > $1000.

So looking forward to SC going live. No, really.

Sounds like they are being too heavy handed and hoping problems will go away if they stop people from talking about it. They should have at least asked for clarification before doing that. I guess one must not bring up an issue because then we cannot hide our heads in the sand…?

My concern with CIG (and this is my only concern in all of SC) is that CIG’s attitude is “we’ll let it happen, they’ll put in a ticket, and we’ll look at it”. What CIG doesn’t understand is that most folks won’t put in a ticket, they’ll just leave. It’s not like we don’t have Steam Libraries full of 100s of other games to play, I’m not going to sit and be abused 5x, put in tickets, and help CIG “fix” behaviour issues.

@macallen I understand what you are saying especially when the younger generations have very little patience to go with the short attention span and probably won’t wait for a problem to be resolved. My concern, however, is the lack of exploration of an issue before CIG quelled the ability to discuss it. That is concerning.

That is some serious irony. Actually, I think if they ban those people now that will make the game better as obliviously those people felt the prick of truth, and reacted just like they will in game. Where is the Toxic Avenger when you need him?!!!

I just hope that CIG doesn’t do what Trion Worlds did with ArcheAge and ignore tickets and forums discussions about the trolls in the game. Replying to players that their behavior was role playing. It took Trion Worlds 2 years, and a lot of players /rage quit, to finally start listening to the majority of players.

That CIG locked the thread just hours after it was posted sounds like they are watching for trolls, hopefully they will maintain that level of vigilance once the game is live.

One of the hard lessons that SOE learned back with SWG years ago was that the community you start with is the community you have for the life of the game. They made the mistake then of seeing the chunk of pie that other games were getting for a particular type of game play and decided to try and shift their game to a similar style of play. It was a monumental mistake for them which ended in the game’s eventual demise.

So how does this apply to CIG? Well, the community they launch with will be the community they have for the life of the game. So they need to cultivate the type of players they want now. This will save them a significant degree of trouble in dealing with trolls and trouble makers later. Mind you it will not remove the issue entirely, but will reduce the severity.

I am one for strict and harsh punishment of any player who is caught cheating, or abusing other players. Period.
While I have long defended the pirate game play, and I still do, there are ways to allow pirate players to enjoy the game without letting them ruin the game for others. Anyone participating in well defined griefing activities should be immediately banned for life. It has to be a zero tolerance policy in order to be effective.

The catch is in defining griefing in such a way that it protects players while also not alienating PvP and Piracy at the same time. And it is the same topic that has had ample and heated discussion here on these foums.

If they start a habit of zero tolerance and build that type of policy into the game now, it will pay off big time in the future.

The biggest issue that drew the most discussion (good or bad) was around a simple fact…all online PvP game communities are or were toxic. Every last one. H1Z1, DayZ, ArchAge, Overwatch, LOL, DOTA, Eve Online, etc. Every last one. If it’s open world and PvP, the community is toxic.

Of course people are quick to disagree, but if you look closely at those that do, they’re abusive and toxic, they belong, so to THEM it’s not. Eve is far less toxic than it used to be…because it started at 450k players and is now down to 60k, of course it’s less toxic, all of the people who didn’t belong are gone, there’s no one to be toxic to but each other, and toxic people don’t “cry” so there’s no salt to farm.

The other issue is the fact that I mentioned the “bro” culture because the article did. Within minutes of that, I received a handful of toxic PM’s from guys who called me “bro”, mockingly. I blocked them, so I thank them for volunteering, but I’ve never seen something become so self-evident so quickly. To be clear, to those of you who don’t know, I am not a “bro”. I’ve never been a “bro”. I was beat up by “bros” in school, badly, hassled by “bros” most of my early life. I find “bros” to be neanderthals who long for the simple life where their wives were mannequins that fetched them beers and sammichs when they ordered them and shut up when they were smacked. Their culture is fading, they’re cornered and fighting back hard, hence the toxic responses, not just to me, but to anyone who questions it.

The last topic that was thrown back at me is “the game isn’t done, don’t worry about it, it’ll work out”. That is the “bro” answer, the “don’t mess with something that works” response. There is nothing CIG can do in the game to “fix” the “bro” culture, the toxicity is already here, now, obviously. What CIG can do is be intelligent about managing it, make the game unfriendly to the “bro” play styles, limit and lock down the damage they can do, make it virtually impossible to “game” ways around the lockdowns, then stand fast when they lose their shit and try to tear the game down and always remember, they’re a tiny-but-loud % and the overall game will be healthier when they eventually give up.

Great response Sim, and I agree completely. What I mean by “lock down” is as follows:

Reputation is permanent, sticky, and contagious. In otherwords, realistic. Pirate gameplay is absolutely in the game, as is PvP, but when you do it, it’s a choice. Pirates do not get to have their cake (piracy) and eat it to (go anywhere they want). Most of space becomes unavailable to them…forever…their choice. If they trade with someone, that person becomes a pirate. If they use mules and alts and those toons touch anything pirated, they become pirates. They use other accounts? Pirate. I they trade from A to B to C to D to E to try to game it…all pirates. Being a pirate should be a plague to non-pirate players. Pirates should be locked off in lawless space, fighting only each other, NPCs, and “pirate hunter” players who are foolish to go out there. They may love it, they may hate it, but that’s the choice they made, the gameplay they want.

Where it breaks is when the game dev tries to do that, but then responds to the angry “bros” and backs off. Then you get that toxicity in non-pirate areas, people using non-pirate toons to feed pirate toons, and no place in the game is safe from them.

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And I’m not longer using the word “griefing”, it’s too subjective. Toxic is pretty well defined, and preying on other players for no gain is the other. If you attack another player and gain less than you lose, you are preying and that should be a rep hit.

Oh, that’s the other big fight in that thread…over-moderation. I absolutely, positively do not want over moderation and banning. Moderation is putting a finger in the dam, not fixing the problem. Moderation is what is done long after the problem is rampant and out of control. What I want is design decisions in the game that prevent the problems from happening before moderation is ever needed. Banning cheaters/exploiters absolutely, but instead of banning people for bad behavior, simply shape the game such that the bad behavior is extremely difficult/expensive to do, have the game motivate the behavior it wants, vs relying upon CS folks to try to slap hands after the fact.

But… they called me “bro” in the military, even the black guys I lived with tho I am white… but… I guess I will admit to doing some thuggery in my day. Real thuggery, not virtual. It is quite a bit different when everyone around you can get you killed (on average it only takes 1 to 3 mistakes in the military for someone to be killed or maimed, true stats) so yeah when idiots make mistakes, sometimes the only lesson that sticks is one that makes them bleed.

That said, God I hope this game isn’t filled with asshats. I guess I will hang out with Mac in the carebear system pinning for the days when all the toxic people go to some other game to get their ‘salt’. :slight_smile:

So a couple of quick replies before I get back to work…

I agree with you about piracy being sticky, but it should still leave an avenue for game play of the fence. I personally am interested in playing a smuggler. I do not need to know what is in the box, I just need to know where to bring it. If a pirate sells things to a fence who needs me to move items from lawless to lawful space for profit, then I want that option without automatically getting tagged as a pirate myself. However if I am caught smuggling those items, that is another story.
So I agree, with that exception. Which ties into the second part of what you said.

Make the game so that it discourages certain gameplay instead of banning players for it. And I think we agree here as well but I want to clarify a bit.
Bad behavior like abusing other players should be an immediate ban, done and done. If you take the time in game to deliberately ruin the game time of others for no other purpose but to see it ruined then you need to go. And as we have said the hard part is determining someone’s intent - and there is tons of discussion to read back on in this forum concerning just that topic.

If you leave this type of abuse to handle itself through ‘difficult’ game play mechanics then you will still find those who will do it regardless. There are those who are just that vindictive. They will spend hours working to ruin 10 minutes of another player’s game time. So I think it has to be a combination of making it not easy to do, and a banning offense if done.

But that should not apply to Piracy. Not that being a pirate should be easy. In fact I hope it is difficult and that only those who truly want that type of game play are the ones who will pursue it. What it cannot be is an avenue or excuse for abuse.
(pause for effect here, ponder that statement if you will)
And there is the worry that many have, and rightfully so. I am not sure how you accomplish that, there are many theories and methods that have been mentioned and tried in other games.

But just as I would not want any particular profession to be so easy that it is the “best” way to make money, I would not want any particular profession, even piracy, to be so difficult that it is pointless to even attempt it.

It is a hard balance to strike, between making piracy challenging enough to keep only the dedicated pirate on that path, and also not making it so impossibly difficult a profession that it is no longer enjoyable for any players.

Now, I need to go get some work done before lunch :wink:

Not that kind of bro, brohawk! :slight_smile: That’s a friendly camaraderie, kind of like being called “dude”.

So, what do I mean by “bro”, in this context? I’m talking the toxic masculinity that comes with hypercompetitive behavior, most commonly seen in a group of men doing Crossfit training together, or hanging around the water cooler, telling sexist jokes within earshot of women (often called “gashes” by these guys) and laughing at their discomfort. Amusingly, this type of “bro” is most often white, though I’ve seen a number of Arabic men that also often behave this way at my company.

It’s the abusive behavior that comes from “small” men who need to abuse or bully people to feel bigger, and they’ve likely been bullies most of their lives and the internet is a panacea of victims for them, completely free of consequences, like the subreddit of incels who openly discussed driving their cars into large groups of women and then bragged about it online and got cheers from their fellows.

And Sim, I 100% agree, but a fence is a criminal too. Ask any cop, they know who the fences are, they’re the “usual suspects” that are roughed up regularly for information. Fences buy things for way below its value because they have to move it, which is why criminals are almost always poor and looking for that “next big score”. That’s how reality is, the game should reflect it.

As for bad behavior, yes ban for it, but also design to try to avoid it coming up. Early on this won’t be easy, because there’s no data, but there are many ways to design the game such that it is far less likely. Let me give you a negative example from Eve…the Cosmo missions. I really enjoyed the Cosmo missions, they were fun PvE content in a PvP game and I did the heck out of them…until they led me into 0.0 space. Really? PvE missions that literally tie me to a stake like a goat in the T-Rex pen? Every time I attempted to finish the arch I got ganked, every single time.

PvE content should be PvE content, it should lead players through PvE areas. I don’t mean PvP/PvE blocks, I mean that there is nothing of value in these areas for PvP players but “victims”, and the UEE is very present here, so it is EXTREMELY difficult to hunt them. Protect PvE content players from being PvP attacked and the abuse is minimized because the 2 sides don’t contact each other. Before someone jumps my crap about it, I’m not saying “risk free”, I’m saying PvE. CIG has said numerous times that the PvE content will be rough and risky, we’re likely going to die a lot, etc. It’s not rewards without risk, it’s enjoying the content we want to enjoy without having PvP forced up our asses like an unwanted proctologist with a strapon.

Next up, don’t have “ultra valuable” things in either “camp” such that there’s no real reason to cross over. Arkonor is only found in 0.0 space, period, so the only way to get it is a) risk and mine or b) buy from pvp players. That’s a ridiculous model, designed to enrich the PvP players and clearly favors that gameplay…which is great, that was CCP’s intent. Arkonor should be available in both “areas”, with similar risks, so there’s no reason to cross over.

Don’t put up a wall and physically prevent crossing over (i.e. PvP server, PvE server), design the game such that people are encouraged to “stay in their lane”. If people aren’t forced into each other’s space (literally), the toxic encounters will be reduced to only those people who absolutely must be toxic and will go out if their way to make it happen, which makes them low-hanging fruit for banning because they’re obvious.

I am with you in all of that.

I would even say it is ok to have some items of value only available in one ‘camp’ but to have a similar item of similar rarity and value only available in the other ‘camp’

Encourage trade, interaction even across camp lines so to speak. But make it so that it is not overly profitable to only be of one persuasion of the other.

Oh, and as for the fences - yes they are criminals. But if they operate in outlaw space then it isn’t really a big deal. The go between would be the smuggler who is willing to bring things over the line. He would only be marked as an outlaw if he gets caught.

The security space counterpart to the fence who is in outlaw space is taking a risk as well. If the smuggler is caught then he (the sec zone fence) is next in line for investigation for possession of stolen property. While I know the AI cannot be quite that intuitive I would hope there is still some link back from the pirate through outlaw fence and smuggler to sec space fence so that he risks losing his legit status. THAT would be awesome game play and make it exciting to play any one of those roles.

Pretty much this. Anything PvP will attract a large amount of assholes, because they’re attracted to causing other people grief. I personally quit Eve when it was clear that nothing would be done about suicide ganks in hi-sec space. And depending on how it works out, I won’t be playing SC online if it is open world PvP like they’re planning on.

“Oh, that’s the other big fight in that thread…over-moderation. I absolutely, positively do not want over moderation and banning. Moderation is putting a finger in the dam, not fixing the problem. Moderation is what is done long after the problem is rampant and out of control. What I want is design decisions in the game that prevent the problems from happening before moderation is ever needed. Banning cheaters/exploiters absolutely, but instead of banning people for bad behavior, simply shape the game such that the bad behavior is extremely difficult/expensive to do, have the game motivate the behavior it wants, vs relying upon CS folks to try to slap hands after the fact.”

@macallen Exactly this. I want CIG to be pro-active as to how they are developing the game and what sort of player they envision catering the game to. I’m not a believer that it can be all things to all people. No matter how noble the motivation or whether it is just to increase $$ by having more players, trying to please everyone is a fast track to failing to please a lot of people. Also, stifling conversation is a good way to enrage current and potential players especially in “open” development.

Well after seeing the “how to troll” RTV and all the enthusiastic support for that content, it makes you wonder wtf they’re thinking.

I don’t think it’ll be a problem in the finished product but it just seems to legitimize the douchbaggery in the test builds.

That’s what bugs me, if they don’t take it seriously in the alpha, how can they justify suddenly taking it seriously in live? 10,000s of folks having a blast in their perfect game, then suddenly CIG turns on them and throws them all out on their asses?

One optimistic thought I have is how CIG might be laughing about how things will turn around when they add reputation and law to the beta and these guys start dying, a lot. They’ll push back hard and try to break it and prove CIG wrong, which will only strengthen it. Maybe?

I am optimistic that it will be figured out in the end but it will be a rough ride along the way.