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On Being Belligerent

by on February 13, 2013

Bel·lig·er·ent

Adjective: Inclined to or exhibiting assertiveness, hostility, or combativeness.

Un·de·sir·a·ble

Noun: A person considered to be objectionable in some way.

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The earliest use of the term “belligerent undesirables” that I’ve been able to find was by Tali Ambraelle, a two-year veteran of NPC corps and apparent defender of the carebear way of life. That was in the middle of the three months Psychotic Monk and I spent trying in vain to find another sandbox in which to kick over castles for fun and profit. Like all the best names, it was meant to demean us–and we loved it. It describes who we are and what we do so well.

Eve is a competitive game. I’ve written about this ad nauseum; if you really want to know more, read roughly 20% of my Eve forum posts or my old blog (curious side note: my last blog post there was written the same day as the first “belligerent undesirable” post on the Eve forums). In that respect, anyone who is not belligerent is at a distinct disadvantage against those of us who have, as Monk puts it, “that ‘cut you’ mentality.” In a sandbox like Eve, belligerence comes in almost every flavor you can imagine: from a guy solo roaming lowsec to a blob of Drakes in null; from a miner who makes it a point to mine asteroids out from under other miners to the New Order bumping miners out of belts; from traders manipulating regional markets to alliances creating resource monopolies. Anyone who realizes that Eve is about more than grinding and that your wallet balance isn’t a high score knows that belligerence is a way of life around here. So what is it that sets us apart? We’ve found our niche being bad guys in high sec.

Before I go on, I want to give you a couple of recent quotes about how some people view high sec.

From this chatlog:

Olivia shy > what part of high sec is pvp

Olivia shy > you want pvp go low sec
Wullie Arthie > Why should I? This whole game is a PvP game.
Olivia shy > no its not thats why there are safety switches on your guns dumb mofo

Another chatlog

Magson Otoya > Nobody knew that assholes like you are flying arround even in “safe” Sectors…

A lot of people think that highsec is about PVE. Even more think that it does, or at least should, only involve consensual PVP. They don’t want people like us in highsec. They see wars, ganks, bumping, theft, scams, and anything else besides rainbows and unicorns and shooting carebear-approved plus sign icons as–you guessed it–undesirable. What’s more, CCP has over the years made it harder for us to do what we do. Concord has been buffed more than once, mining barges and exhumers have been made harder to kill, and CrimeWatch 2.0 made ganks and thefts more hazardous. We’ve seen patches released to stop us from doing bad things like Incursion griefing. We’ve seen arbitrary rules issued to stop things like the boomerang maneuver. The overall feeling from CCP has been “we’re going to tolerate this behavior for the sake of being a sandbox, but we’re going to up the ante every chance we get.”

But we aren’t the type to back down. We like living in highsec. It’s like boxing; there are a lot of rules and the best fighters know how to stay just inside the limits of those rules. We’re going to stay here and we’re going to do everything we can to maintain our way of life. Why? Because it’s fun and challenging. Because we’re all a bunch of anti-authority misfits who don’t even want to take orders from each other. And because, truth be told, highsec would be boring without us.

Think about it. What stories do highsec carebears have to tell? “Hey, you guys remember that time we ran that incursion and shot the Sanshas? No, the 107th time. Yeah, that was great!” How about “I’ll never forget the time my agent gave me Angels Extravaganza twice in an hour,” or “Yeah, I’ll never forget the first time I mined in a mackinaw. It was amazing!” No? But I bet they can tell you about the first time they got ganked. Or the first time they killed a ninja salvager. I’ll never forget my first war and the lessons I learned from it.

Belligerent Undesirables create the stories of highsec. We are the bad guys those white knights desperately need to take them beyond the “what now” endgame of shiny PVE ships and wallet balances. I started playing this game with four good friends. We were carebears together for more than a year. Around the 18 month mark, the rest of them lost interest. I stayed on. I’d tasted blood in the handful of wardecs against us and wanted to learn to fight.

I’d become belligerent.

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