02 March 2011

BB#25: The Condition of Mere Nature

Welcome to the twenty-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 or so 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 to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month’s topic comes to us from @Tetraetc – “Tetra’s EVE Blog” – who asks: “Have Alliances and the sovereignty system limited the amount of PVP and RP potential in Null sec? Imagine a Null Sec where anyone could build outposts wherever. Would the reduction of the alliance game mechanic, and the removal of the sovereignty game mechanics (or the modification of it from Alliance level to Corp level for that matter) force more PVP into Null sec, or would giant power blocs like the NC still form themselves?”

     The primary question here (in my mind) is “does the alliance mechanic affect PvP and is there anything we can do about it?”  The answer to this is probably complex enough to write a dissertation but can be boiled down to:
1) Yes, of course it does
2) Hell No!
As Thomas Hobbes argues, people are not very fond of death and are actually very fond of protecting their lives and livelihood.  While EvE is clearly just a game that only goes so far in changing human nature.  Alliances were formed long before there was a mechanic for them and coalitions now exist outside of a structured mechanic.  These alliances represent humans attempting to bring law to a state of nature because without this there would be 
no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.” (Again; Hobbes)
     In a sense these alliances act like states in the real world and conflict is all but assured in this case.  So the belief that alliances remove PvP is flawed; they merely alter it because they aggregate a group of humans into a more unified structure.  So removing this would theoretically thrust us all back to some form of the state of nature, but would that help PvP?  Let’s look at lo-sec for a very brief example. 

     Lo-sec is the most representative of EvE without alliances and as such it is wild and almost completely useless.  There is no commerce, no infrastructure (other than that we have been provided by the almighty CCP), and most importantly very little traffic that isn’t only passing through.  This is sure to draw much criticism but lo-sec proves that the removal of alliances from the game would cause the portions of space now dominated by them to become useless.  Of course individual PvP would go up without the protection of numbers but why would anyone want to go to this environment except for PvP?  So the players who would seek this out already have a place: lo-sec.  That is even going so far as to imagine that we can “force” people to behave as we want them to.

     Any reasonable person should know that without overwhelming force acting upon them people will act according to their own moral imperative and only follow the stipulations of another if it benefits them.  This means that out of the ashes of the crushed alliances new ones would be rebuilt and people would once again group together for mutual defense and the projection of power.  This has already been expressed in the original creation of alliances as well as in the current coalition structure.  Beyond that, this whole argument revolves around the supposition that one on one PvP is even a probable outcome.

     Ignoring the idea of honor or the seeking of glory there is never any reason for a person to fight another person in a fair fight.  Even those who espouse the idea of “1v1” or "small gang" battles follow this notion.  How many times do you see a Rifter attack a Dramiel or a Drake jump on a Widow?  How often do you see someone let a Hulk pilot go free because they are no match for a Hurricane?  If you remove the outliers (who exist in standard human nature as well) it is clear that in most cases the proponents of “1v1” or "small gang warfare" are themselves seeking out weaker targets to prey upon in order to improve their own livelihood.  If the champions of this ideal don’t feel a need to “fight fair” why should they expect anyone else to.  Human nature does not work this way; if their enemy has backup they will use it to remove the threat.  These pilots would do the same given the opportunity or an equal feeling of threat.    The point of conflict is to win and if a person or group has superior resources available they will use them towards the goal of winning the conflict.

   Anyway, that is enough of that.  Fly Safe


  1. CrazyKinux's Musing: EVE Blog Banter #25: And by Alliance you mean.....?
  2. BB25 What sov changes will come? | A Mule In EvE
  3. Confessions of a Closet Carebear: Alliances and Sovereignty
  4. Blog Banter 25: Nerfing Nulsec « OMG! You're a Chick?!
  5. Have Alliances and the sovereignty system limited the amount of PVP and RP potential in Null sec? | Nitpickin's
  6. Blog Banter #25: Alliance and Sovereignty Limiting PvP in 0.0? | Sarnel Binora's Blog
  7. Blog Banter #25 - Mad Haberdashers
  8. Alliances and sovereignty | Eve Online Focus
  9. ...Shall we not Revenge?: BB 25: What if the Alliance vanished?
  10. Blog Banter: Alliances and Sov
  11. EVEOGANDA: BB25: Sov 'n Go!
  12. » TBG:EBB#25 – Alliances and Sovereignty To Boldly Go
  13. Freebooted: BB25: Leviathans of the Deep
  14. Wrong Game Tetra ~ Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
  15. EVE Blog Banter #25 – Human nature what art thou? | Way of the Gun
  16. Who cares about Sov? - Hands Off, My Loots! ~ well sorta like an entry! :p
  17. The 25th EVE Blog Banter: Alliances and sovereignty - The Phoenix Diaries
  18. Achernar: The space commute
  19. Wandering the Void…my EvE musings. – Blog Banter: Alliances and sovereignty
  20. (OOC) CK’s Blog Banter #25: How To Break EvE. « Prano's Journey
  21. Captain Serenity: Blog Banter #25 - Crappy mechanics
  22. Helicity Boson » Blog Banter #25 Nullsec and sov.
  23. BB #25 – “With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?”
  24. Boom! Hull-Shot?: It's the End of the Eve as We Know It
  25. sered's lives: EVE Blog Banter #25 - Size does matter
  26. 25th EVE BB – Medieval Solutions to Spaceship Problems | Inventions of a New Eden Industrialist
  27. Eve Blog Banter #25: “Have Alliances and Sov Limited PvP and RP in 0.0?” « Align Outbound
  28. Banter 25: Sovereignty, Alliances and Power Blocs | TheElitist
  29. Blog Banter 25 – But I just left all that! « A Scientist's Life in Eve
  30. Nobody likes losing « One capsuleer against all
  31. >>>Vigil Ant: Alliances and SOV by Munny's eyes.
  32. Latro's Bunker: Blog Banter 25 -Nullsec and Sov
  33. A "CareBears" Journey » Blog Banner #25: Alliances and Sovereignty, and their affect on PVP and RP
  34. Blog Banter #25 – Unstoppable « Roc's Ramblings
  35. Nobody likes losing « One capsuleer against all
  36. EVE Blog Banter on PVP in Null Sec « Evehermit's Blog
  37. More to come...

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