With the recent completion of the 3rd installment of the Hulkageddon last month, @CyberinEVE, author of Hands Off, My Loots!, asks: "Griefing is a very big part of EVE. Ninja Salvaging, Suicide Ganking, Trolling, and Scamming are all a very large part of the game. What do you think about all these things? You can talk about one, or all...but just let us know your overall opinion on Griefing, and any recommendations you may have to change it if you think it's needed."
I've been playing EVE for a fairly long time. I've heard lots of calls for "HTFU", or "Griefing is against the TOS" and my personal favorite "I hope you die of cancer." Right or wrong, good or bad, EVE is a virtual place we can be someone other than our day-to-day selves. I know some really nice guys who play EVE - guys with families, who would pull over on the highway in the rain if you were there with your flashers on - and in EVE they wouldn't bat an eye at scamming your entire corp's assets out from under you. These are genuinely good people, who play EVE to escape real life. So lets start with the inevitable fact that EVE is a game, and like any other game, is an escape from your personal reality. If you take EVE too far, and blur the lines between players in a game and the characters they play, you won't like what I have to say (hint: HTFU).
Personally, I don't like griefing. The idea that you play to make other miserable intentionally isn't my cup of tea. But I know (or like to think I know) enough to (a) not be a good target for a griefer and (b) to give as good as I get. Mind you, I have no issue with smacktalk, or laughing at someone in local. My issue with griefing (that I don't like it) revolves around the fact that you aren't playing an MMO if you grief one particular player all the time - if you get your jollies in game from being a general ass, that's cool - but I won't be one to play "with" you since that's not my style. ASCII genetalia - fine. Hassling another player so much they emo log or even ragequit - just not cool.
Totally within the scope of the game. Those who take this to the next level and get the mission runner to attack them and blow up their ships? Experts at harrassment. And no, this is not griefing - unless you are doing this to the same poor sod day in and day out without looking for other targets. I have even been a rookie ninja salvager, without the part where you try to get aggro and blow up the mission runner. I love this piece of the game though. Scan down a mission runner, warp in and salvage his wrecks. Back in the day, salvage could be as valuable as the loot in the cans. Today, maybe not so much, but still valuable. In addition, performing an important service keeping New Eden green by cleaning up other people's trash.
I am of two minds about suicide ganking. First of all, I think it's a perfectly legitimate tactic - my only concern is that even with the recent insurance changes, suicide ganking doesn't have a lot of drawbacks for the ganker. Choosing your ship wisely, you can still break even (or even make a bit of profit) when CONCORD responds to your actions, which I think is an issue since you can also collect the loot from your victim. When I mine in HiSec, I watch my overview, and if someone enters the belt in a vessel that doesn't do mining duty, I am aligned and ready to warp out. Will I survive? Not bloody likely. But I'm going to try. And if they succeed, more power to them. Confession: I have not participated in alliance suicide ganks/freighter ganks. Timing just doesn't work out. But I'd do it in a heartbeat if it worked with my schedule.
No brainer. This one brings a smile to my face, or a smack to the forehead when I'm a victim. Total HTFU.
Scamming takes two faces, that of the corporate mole/thief and that of the Darwinian opportunist. I think the Darwinian opportunist is brilliant, after all, you should pay attention to what you are giving your ISK for. CCP makes it easy to do this safely - and victims of these scams are frankly, stupid enough to fall for them and should learn from their mistakes. The corporate mole is a different beast, but one that has some grudging respect. Taking days/months/years to develop a character who is designed just to infiltrate (and steal) is a commitment to the game I can't make - although I do have such an alt in the works.
All of these are legitimate courses of play in EVE Online - whether you (or I) like it. So, in the immortal words of every scammer, griefer, troll, and ninja salvager: "HTFU" EVE is a dark, dangerous world, no prettier than the one we live in every day, except that we don't end up face down in an alley bleeding when we get mugged in EVE. It's a game, one that supports many paths to escape the grind of reality.
And if you want more sage advice, you can send 1,000,000 ISK to Swearte Widfarend, and I'll tell you which PI materials to produce between now and October 1st for the highest profit margins, and 1,000,000 more gets you which T2 items to focus your R&D efforts on.