The Most Powerful Weapon In The Game

mistwarden 2019-01-02

Header Art by Smultar

The most powerful weapon in the game? It’s not a fleet of capital ships, it’s not a full titan fleet, it’s not the unbuildable Palatine Keepstar. It’s a simple thing called trust. You see, trust is what bonds us together. Corp members trust their leadership not to mess them over, and leadership trusts its members not to stab them in the back. Line members trust each other with ships and ISK, moving ships around and the odd loan to help reach a new ship or buy a new skill book. It’s all trust holding it together. That’s why abusing trust is the most powerful weapon in the game.

You see, we have to trust each other in this game due to one simple factor – the skills required to build/ research set up everything in the game is not something that can easily be achieved on everyone’s main characters. Every skill and each level can be broken up into two groups – a skill that enables you to carry out an action, or skills that make you better at said action. For example, medium energy turrets lvl 1 allows you to use medium energy turrets, while motion prediction gives you 5% faster gun tracking speed per level. You don’t need motion prediction trained at all. It just helps you perform better.

While skills to fly ships and use guns have no issue with trust, it’s the industry skills that will have the average Eve player looking for help. To showcase this we’ll break down the elements that you have to factor in for building a titan.

  1. First off you need to gather the ore required to build. For this, you have to trust that during your time mining no one going to awox you.
  2. After mining you then need to reprocess the ore at a refinery, unless you trained the skills to max refine, you will have to trust someone when you hand them the ore to reprocess.
  3. Now that your ore has been reprocessed into minerals you need to move them to your build site. Using a freighter to move is the best bet, and this will require many trips and, of course, using friends and trusting them helps cut down on required trips.
  4. You then need to build the capital ship parts. These require  capital construction 1, a skill which has prerequisites of around 1.3 million skill points in industry. At max you can only have 11 build slots per character, this means using other players build slots or alts will help speed up the construction process, trusting that players are not going to walk away with your parts.
  5. Lastly, after building the stockpile of parts, you then need someone who can build the ship itself. The requirement is capital ship construction 5, a skill that can take around 4.8 million skill points to train.
  6. You also need to make sure that you can trust that the structures you are building in are safe. Don’t want to have build up stocks and started construction of a Komodo for some nasty bees to come buzzing along.

When it came for me to have a titan built I asked my CEO to run the job for me. While there were a number of other people who could do the same job, I did not have a level of trust in them which I do with my CEO, as I found he was in a position of losing a lot more than average line members. On the other hand, I could train to lvl 5 which would have been around 3 million skill points and build the ship myself. With every step of the way I had to carry out a risk assessment. Who’s this guy who offered to help me, do I know them, have they done this stuff before for other players? When your handing over billions of ore to be reprocessed, or the parts to cook the Titan, you need a clear head that it’s someone who not going to back stab you, as that action could be what they were waiting for – it could be their payday.

The inspiration for this piece came from the Eve online video called Causality. It’s eight years old now and it’s one of the most watched videos on the CCP channel. If you have not checked it out, here’s a link for it here.

In Causality, the narrator explains that a player has just been killed by a group of pirates and is looking for payback. They know that alliances are held together by trust and to abuse that trust is how to break the alliance. The player understands that the pirates were part of a major alliance and looks for a way in by befriending a player and gaining their trust. He’s soon vouched in and is part of the alliance. From this point the player slowly works their way up, gets access to more information and is trusted with alliance funds. However, the player reaches their ‘breakpoint’ where the chance to flip and show their true colors is too great to pass up. The player carries out their act of revenge and steals the majority of the group’s equipment, enough to cripple and shut down the alliance as they no longer have the resources to wage war. Over time the player showed that they could be trusted, but human nature for personal gain or fame for the heist can turn the loyal servant to backstabber in a heartbeat.

So, what about yourself, how much have you trusted another eve online player with? Have you ever been backstabbed? Were you active during the times of POS living, with shared storage hangers rather than personal hangers in citadels, and if you were, how did you handle it?

Lets us know in the comments below.

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Comments

  • Alot

    I still find the most interesting dynamic of EVE is that unlike in real life, retribution for breaking trust is the exception in EVE, not the norm. We are mortal, our lives are finite, things which harm us usually have long lasting repercussions – and so a single successful act of retribution or even just being exposed carries impact. In EVE, not so much. You can’t die, your possessions and your skills can’t be confiscated (save for some borderline cases of self idiocy) and the act of tracking untrustworthy individuals is a full time job with no reliable third party to confirm history and no inherent reward – which means that save for some really high profile individuals (who’ve amassed enough virtual possessions and power to be able to lose something tangible) trying to track down people who break trust is inefficient gameplay unless you enjoy making gameplay out of it. And in the worst case, where the world does hate you, you can just sell an account and buy a similar one.
    I’m not sure what sort of a game could last where breaking trust could have permanent consequences. Would be interested to see what it would look like though.

    January 2, 2019 at 7:59 pm
  • Deni'z von Meanace

    The most powerful weapon is treasure/wealth (accompanying by inner greed) which you can trade of for trust relationships friendships responsibility etc.
    Trust is a tool by which you manipulate the opposite person.

    January 2, 2019 at 8:12 pm
    • Guilford Australis Deni'z von Meanace

      Though I understand the writer’s point of view, I agree with you that greed is a far more significant destructive force in EVE than trust. Relatively few players take advantage of the trust of others in a way that causes actual harm, but virtually all players take advantage of the greed of others in ways large and small. Sure, we’ve seen a couple examples of high-profile betrayal collapsing an entire alliance. But small corporations and alliances collapse every day due to a multitude of problems that are ultimately reducible to greed and the inability to manage it.

      Greed even has tactical usefulness, whereas betrayal of trust is situational. How many times has an attacking force been punished for over-committing its capitals and supers? I think, too, of TEST humiliating Pandemic Legion in Providence – PL’s greed for faction Fortizars and (probably more significantly) whatever glory they thought they’d earn from burning one of the softest regions in nullsec led them to a massive over-commitment which they were unable to sustain. There’s no need to work hard maneuvering someone into a position where their trust can be betrayed if you can count on simple human nature to turn them into greedy fools who make stupid decisions.

      January 2, 2019 at 9:19 pm
    • Garreth_Vlox Deni'z von Meanace

      you might be able to trade a pile of isk for someone’s short term friendship, but I wouldn’t trust them, because the next person with a bigger pile of cash is just going to flip them on you.

      January 5, 2019 at 8:08 pm
  • I trust Chribba

    January 3, 2019 at 12:08 am