In the wake of Burn Jita 2, I have a few thoughts:
- Who plays Eve, but ignores the metagame?
- How do haulers, one of the most at-risk groups to events like BJ2, manage to ignore it?
- What responsibility does CCP have to players in regards to known events that CCP is not actually causing?
I’m fairly sure the answers to the first two are something like “many” and “through dumb luck”. But the anser to the third is not clear. One very angry pilot posted the following in part of a draft letter he plans to send CCP, and posted on the forums:
“Lack of capacity in Jita causing a large amount of ships (likely on autopilot) containing vast wealth to be stuck on the gates around the system.”
In the larger context of the letter, he was implying CCP’s lack of ability to meet player demand for access to a system was responsible for a large number of the deaths in Burn Jita 2. This made me stop and think for few minutes. What we have here is a player trying to apply a real world legal principle to Eve online, a game made on a pile of interconnected rules that are constantly gamed for profit and entertainment. A lot like the real rules in real legal settings.
The principle in question is that of “reasonable foreseeability”. For those unfamiliar, this rule is often applied in cases where negligence of one party results in some sort of harm to another. For example, if I own a store, and I have flooded floor, and fail to notify customers of this, and then a customer injures themselves by slipping and falling on the floor, I am in some part culpable for the injury, as it was reasonably foreseeable that someone could have an accident, and I failed to warn the customer. As long as a situation exists where the first party could reasonably anticipate harm based on action or inaction, that party has a duty to inform or reduce the risk.
So did CCP fail to reasonably foresee many of the ships losses in Jita? On one side, you can argue that any pilot using autopilot to travel is removing blame from CCP. By letting the computer just move you around and failing to pay attention, you are allowing other players to do what they will in your absence. You could also argue that no hauler, on autopilot or manual pilot, had a chance to make it through the gate camp because of the mechanics of hauler alignment, the power of alpha strikes, and the normal “after the fact” nature of CONCORD response.
On the other side, you can argue that in normal game functioning, in the vast majority of cases, autopilot will allow you to jump through just about any gate in the game. System traffic causing gate locks is very rare, and not to be expected by a reasonable player. CCP knew Burn Jita 2 would happen, so failing to reinforce the nodes for Jita and surrounding systems was negligent, and broke reasonable player expectations. Further, if CCP knew about BJ2, and given the warning issued last year for Burn Jita, and this year for Luminaire, if no warning was issued this year, CCP ignored a situation they knew would occur. They failed to act on a reasonably foreseeable harm to many players.
Eve is not a real legal system, nor is it governed by real legal principles. Most of the rules in Eve relating to player aggression fall far short of the legal principles in many real world legal frameworks. But we also know many people expect some sore of justice in Eve, and many players are angered when they perceive a loss to be unfair, out of their control, or if a loss can be perceived as CCP’s fault.
I don’t really blame CCP. If you can’t be bothered to keep up with the metagame in Eve, especially when it relates to large events that are public knowledge, then I have little sympathy. Eve is known for these sorts of events. But I’m an Eve blog writer and reader, so I’m in a minority of the player base that chooses to get into the metagame.
What do you think? Did CCP fail in their duty to act on a reasonably forseeable situation? Should all the ganked haulers HTFU? I’m curious to hear some of your thoughts.