Fate and Fear, Entropy and Responsibility
Posted by Corelin
So one of my friends asked me to write a bit about “Fate” and how it (doesn’t) control us. I’m not going to get into the theological part of it, I’m going to talk about it as it touches EvE.
In EvE we play the part of immortals. We assume the mantle of responsibility for our actions in a way no other MMO really lets us. Our successes and failures are directly related to our own choices. What we choose to learn, to do, who we choose to fly with and against. All of these factors control our success in EvE. Nothing is really “fated” or “Inevitable” in this game save entropy. Things will fall apart, but it’s not fate, it’s just the natural order of EvE. The coalitions of today will fall apart, and new ones, probably stronger ones, will take their place, only to fall in turn.
Fate simply doesn’t work in EvE. It might be inevitable that you lose a ship, but that’s because EvE is a chaotic game that encourages and is driven by destruction, that is, the invisible hand of fate doesn’t exist. The invisible fist of Darwin is our weapon of choice. The difference is fate doesn’t care, fate acts without a guiding hand upon it, the fist of Darwin knows, it researches, it plans, it clenches and it strikes.
Fate is usually used in some sense to absolve people of responsibility. That is: if something was fated then there’s no point taking precautions to avoid it. If X is fated to happen, why worry about it. If X should be taken care of by others, why should I try to prevent it. I’ve advocated against this stance a lot, and sadly I’ve seen CCP bend its knee to the believers rather more often than I’m comfortable with. For example miners, rather than protecting themselves, simply whined a whole lot and got the meta changed, so that the assumption was that non-combat ships dedicated to mining should have battlecruiser-class defenses inherent to them.
What makes this game amazing, what makes it different, and what makes it worth playing even with all the pain and heartache is that we can EXPERIENCE these things, we can have the soaring joy, the crushing despair, the victories snatched from defeat because we create the content, because we are responsible, not because a wizard handed us a better sword. WE won those victories, WE lost them, the huge explosions are connected to OUR ships, not some random NPC, and they are caused or prevented by our actions. Fate is a stupid excuse. It reduces your enjoyment of the game, it makes your life harder. Don’t cave in to “Fate.” Take charge, you are potentially awesome, don’t whine, win.