Miniluv’s annual Burn Jita event has been described as a weekend-long bacchanal of violence. For many in the Imperium, it is the only time of the year they will visit highsec. For those pilots and many more, it is an opportunity to blow off some steam and blow up some freighters. The event represents a wide variety of what Eve has to offer in a brief window. For veterans of Eve, it’s an opportunity to pad a killboard or take a break from strategic operations. For new players, it’s a chance to be exposed for the first time to the kinds of things that keep many of us coming back to Eve.
The Diamond Frogs
Contrary to popular belief, “the goons” are not one monolithic cross-gaming organization. Any regular users of the SomethingAwful.com forums are referred to as “goons,” and generally speaking, the “official” goon organization is the first group to land and establish itself in the game. In Elite: Dangerous, that’s the Diamond Frogs, now the game’s largest anarchy faction. Unfortunately, Elite: Dangerous leaves a lot to be desired. In December of 2017, several members of the Frogs, tired of playing a game where the social elements are make believe, decided to either return to Eve or try it out for the first time. They formed the small highsec and later wormhole corp, the Diamond Pods. After two months of going it on their own, they decided to make their home in the Imperium, and so migrated into GoonWaffe as is their birthright.
For former Diamond Frog Director Space Texas, Eve provide an opportunity to play as the villains. “Normally, when you play a [game], you want to be the hero, never the bad guy. You want to be praised for doing a good deed a fight off a shitty bad guy to save the day yet again. I decided to turn my back on that and open my eyes to the sea of possibilities this game seems to provide, and participate in my first Burn Jita, essentially the antithesis of everything that I had seen and have been taught in video games.”
In particular, Space Texas decided to run a handful of scams including “asset reinstatement” and the sale of “white list” passes. Other former Elite goons made use of other established scams, having received instructions from their veteran friends. Guyonthecouch, for example, set contracts that paid him in collateral when the freighters lost his incredibly valuable cargo. John Spacehuman sold safe docking and undocking bookmarks to the needy, as well.
Full of Possibilities
“I was already doing something innately ‘shunned or frowned upon’ by the community, and then I started seeing the patterns more and more, that the game rewards you for being creative and just in general a clever bastard, in every sense and letter of the words.” Texas started playing in December, and it didn’t take long for him to realize the game wasn’t one that rewarded a linear method of play. Eve is notorious for being a game that allows the players to drive and create the content. Compared to other sandboxes, Eve gives the players considerably more tools. CCP makes no effort to prevent players from being victimized by other players, and makes the this clear in many places.
Most games make rules and policies against “griefing,” or simply don’t include mechanics that would allow players to take advantage to one another, but Eve is almost unique in explicitly allowing this kind of play and providing the tools. As a result, trust and distrust are major themes in the game. A player’s word is their bond, and the consequences of violating that come from the players themselves, not from the game. If you’re caught in a scam and you’re not able to take care of yourself, then you’re out of luck.
One Born Every Minute
You’d think that in a game so well known for being unforgiving, fewer players would fall for scams. But, it turns out there’s no shortage of marks in Eve. In fact, another reason Texas decided to scam this weekend was that he’d been challenged by someone who thought he couldn’t pull it off, saying “I was told I couldn’t sell a Burn Jita pass, and I wanted to prove someone wrong.” Desperate people in dire circumstances looking to salvage a little bit of a bad situation make for easy victims. Players who don’t want to put off their weekly hauls might be tempted to buy a pass. Or maybe, blinded by greed, the potential to trade while the competition isn’t around might draw somebody in.
Whatever the reasons, scamming remains a viable method of paying one’s way early in the game. Space Texas walked off of the event with a take of 1.9 billion ISK. For a veteran player, this might not seem like much, but for a three-month-old player it’s a major windfall. Texas plans to invest it towards some ships and skills that will help him contribute more to the Imperium, but compared to his previous experiences with Elite, Eve is proving overwhelming. “As for the future, I don’t know, I really don’t, I’ve been given just a taste of what really seems to be like an ocean of opportunities, within the few set rules the game has of course. So I’ll have to get back to you on that, because of how overwhelming the possibilities are.”
About whether he’s going to keep scamming, however, there’s less confusion. “My guy, do you even really need to ask?”
Burn Jita 2018 has come to an end, but it’s not too early to plan for next year. If you want to ensure a safe Burn Jita 2019, you can send an Evemail to Paramemetic. Ask about the pre-registration discount!