Recently started frequenting EVE’s subreddit, and today I stumbled upon a post on trust. As soon as I saw that fabled ‘T’ word, I knew exactly what the post would be about and I was not disappointed. Someone and his experiences with New Eden with a friend being marred by deceit, and feeling like they were alone and had nothing to reach out to in the void.
I will not deny that I was extremely lucky in that I had a community I already knew would accept me the moment I finished character creation. I did, and it made life a thousand times easier for me than it would have been otherwise. But the flaw in asking for trust is that the people who you’re trying to get to usually never see it, or else they see it too late, after you’ve been played with and manipulated until you’ve lost your own soul and have degraded into a monster yourself.
EVE Online is meant to be a game, but I personally have taken it a bit further than that. The main factor is to have fun, and if I am not having fun I will log off and do something else. But even so, I still do things like send out alliance mails, organise alliance events, try desperately to make my trader work with limited capital, chat with people in alliance chat and TeamSpeak for hours, all of which could be spent doing other things, perhaps of more fun.
But there is more to just having fun in EVE Online. You are allowed to have burning desires or a dream for what you want to be in this universe, and that idea is seriously compelling. This is what excites me the most. I can say that my goal is to become a great FC, and it is something New Eden can let me achieve.
There is that age-old saying, that respect and trust are not given, but earned. That redditor asked for trust, even though he specifies that he and his friend play the game for the sake of playing. In a game like EVE, you can easily have fun lightheartedly, but there will be a lot of others who don’t want you taking their content. There will be a lot of others who have a goal and see you in their way. There will be even more who simply enjoy griefing, or are bored enough to mess with you.
Even more so if you have not earned your place. Playing the game lightheartedly is easy enough, but it also is short-lived. To immerse yourself in EVE you need a goal. You need to want to become someone. This earns you a place. This earns you respect and trust. How can you ask for trust, when you can offer nothing when they decide to trust you? Tell them you’re here to become the richest explorer in the universe, and suddenly they may decide to embrace you and want you to join them. Even if their only response is to become more aggressive in hounding you, you’ve achieved something. They know you and they don’t like it. You have something that they seriously don’t want you to have, their space, and you know it. That in itself is a bargaining tool.
EVE welcomed me with open arms, then threw me into the deep end. It was not a walk in the park, not by a long shot. But I believe it is because I initially had the goal of becoming a respected solo PvPer that allowed me to hold my head high throughout the months, and keep coming back, in the face of my difficulties. It was the motivation for me to get onto the forums and find events like the One Man Crew challenge, to boldly and stupidly challenge people like Calamitous-Intent, to attempt putting together videos on the game, to start this blog, all of these and more enhancing my experience of the game. As I developed my perception and knowledge of the game, my goals changed, but they remain goals nevertheless, and I am not afraid to let people know what they are. This makes me who I am, others see me for what I am and understand where I want to go, and if they want to join me on my journey, they choose to take that step, and inherently they begin to trust me.
Trust is not something that falls into your lap as you look surprised, in real life or in New Eden. It is something you have to search hard and long for, in the environment, within yourself, until after searching fruitlessly and at the brink of despair, you realise it is not waiting to be found, but waiting to be created by your own hands.