The Handicapper General

Welcome to the 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 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 directedhere. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month’s topic comes to us from Mynxee of Life in Low Sec. She asks, “Alts and Metagaming: Is playing two accounts who are logged in at the same time and work together (hauler/miner, explorer/combat associate, trade alts in trade hubs) a form of metagaming that is ‘ruining the game?

“Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. In simple terms, using out-of-game information, or resources, to affect one’s in-game decisions.”

It seems ridiculous to me to confine the information on which you make decisions for your gaming experiences to only what you can find in-game. I’m the type of person who reads every bit of literature I can get my hands on for whatever I’m interested in at the moment. I’m all about using any resource available to get the most out of life and of course that includes my gaming.

I’ve always been an alt whore. I love playing each class, exploring each race, and seeing what it’s like to be something other than what I began. In World of Warcraft my guild was named “You Killed My Alt” and I had a max-level toon of seven out of the nine classes. Of course, in World of Warcraft, it didn’t really make much difference that my characters weren’t online at the same time. Things are much different in EVE.

I can use my combat character, Gankis, to run a mission and my alt, Anyka, to salvage and loot as I go, stymieing the efforts of Freelance Salvagers (I feel, since it’s been recognized as an actual mini-profession, “ninja salvaging” just doesn’t fit any longer). I can probe down targets with Anyka and warp in with Gankis to pirate their guts out, avoiding anti-pirate belt traps. I can mine ice with Puriel and haul it off with Anyka, sticking it to those pesky can-flippers. But is this unfair and ruining the game?

Of course it’s unfair. Many of the arguments are for the have-nots versus the haves. “Some people don’t have the money to run more than one account.” “Not everyone wants to have to run two clients.” “You shouldn’t have to mine all day to pay for a second account.” Those are not my problem, fault, or business. Some people don’t have the money for a 22” flatscreen with a 2 millisecond refresh rate either. That doesn’t make my owning one unfair. Some people don’t have a comfy house with children primed to do their bidding. Or the charm and wit to land a great husband with a kickass job who’ll let them stay home to play Queen for a Day, bossing about said children. Again, not my problem, et cetera. However, I don’t believe those things I have access to ruin the game for anyone else.

I believe that as long as the opportunity is available to everyone and breaks no rules set forth by the game’s designers, it is not unfair. Whether every single player knows about it or can afford it in time or money is moot. Once we start trying to make things “completely fair for everyone,” games might as well ship with standard hardware required to play and software to check that we’re all using it.

Harrison Bergeron on a smaller scale?


{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Tony February 26, 2009, 5:04 pm

    Gotta love the use of alts personally. Hurry and make yours if you don't have all of your slots taken up.

  • WTM February 27, 2009, 2:59 am

    Three accounts and going strong…. Would never go back myself.

    Good post, and completely agree.

  • Mynxee February 28, 2009, 1:48 pm

    Darlin, I am so with you on the “life's unfair, get over it” position! And have I told you lately that I adore you? Cuz I do. We really gotta fly together soon. How's about you Ninja Pirates roll up to meet us Hellcats halfway some day and have some fun on whoop-ass roam?

  • Cyron (Bel Amar) February 28, 2009, 8:08 pm

    I don't like alts as a general rule, though I don't think they ruin the game either. I think your post neatly encapsulates my feelings. Whilst I personally chose not to use them, they're not game breaking, and if people want to pay the cash to gain the advantage, then more luck to them. Yes, it's unfair, but so is EVE in general 🙂

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