It is worth repeating at this point the theories that Ford had come up with, on his first encounter with human beings, to account for their peculiar habit of continually stating and restating the very very obvious, as in "It's a nice day," or "You're very tall," or "So this is it, we're going to die." His first theory was that if human beings didn't keep exercising their lips, their mouths probably shriveled up. After a few months of observation he had come up with a second theory, which was this--If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, their brains start working.
In which I venture down the slippery slope of using the vast influence of my blog to make fun of another player.
In previous postings I've changed the names of those in my chat logs to avoid any embarrassment they might feel towards losing a fight. I had done this, feeling that the people were undeserving of that embarrassment, for they had simply not known any better and it would gain nothing for me to exacerbate their loss. Today I say, "Screw all that," after a couple of run-ins with pilots have left me feeling that they did, in fact, deserve to be embarrassed about their behavior.
The first involved me roaming about in lowsec in my usual manner when I spotted a Prowler on D-Scan. While it's not uncommon for me to see Blockade Runners in lowsec, I usually just ignore them. After all, they have no reason to be seen anywhere outside of the safety of Gate Guns, and I'm not usually flying something capable of Tanking those for any reasonable amount of time. What made this Prowler a bit different was that I then ran into him at a gate. Just sitting there.
I began considering my options for how I might deal with an AFK Industrial in lowsec, when I decided to see just how long my puny Assault Frigate could tank sentry fire. Starting off by firing my MWD up to ramming speeds I first collided with the Prowler, sending him about 12km off the gate and then settled into a low orbit. Lighting him up with Rage Rockets I managed to peel off half of his shields, but then warped away once my own armor started to get low.
Sitting in a safe spot with GCC, my armor now repped to full, I figured if I could manage to do this another four times before he woke up, I might just pull it off. Warping back in, I already had my target locked by the time the gate sentries responded to my Criminal status. This time managing to get through his shields, it would seem that the claxxon sounding had awoken the sleeping Prowler pilot. I'm pretty sure that he simply logged off, because he had disappeared from local, but came back about a minute later. What follows, was the transcript from local once he returned.
[ 2011.02.17 09:09:36 ] Midevil Princess > so how many times u gonna TRY to attack me before u realize that your pathetically small ship can't tank sentries? you are WAY to young of a character to be trying to shoot people... especially making enemies as old as i am
[ 2011.02.17 09:11:05 ] Li'l ol' Me > So...I should be frightened because I just made enemies out of an old guy?
[ 2011.02.17 09:12:02 ] Midevil Princess > no... take advice that sometimes u shouldn't shoot older characters... i'll give u a wave this time but i'd avise choosing ur targets a little more carefully... after all i was afk tanking u and u were about to go pop...
[ 2011.02.17 09:12:58 ] Li'l ol' Me > This is totally going in my blog.
Well, Princess, that is the worst advice I have ever heard. Looking at his Killboard stats, I'd say it's pretty obvious he's an alt. An alt of some Sovereignty holding Carebears out in nullsec from the look of it. Perhaps he has grown accustomed to his age and alliance keeping him safe, but to a lowsec Pirate these things are pretty meaningless. What's he gonna do, wardec me?
First of all, if I was not going to attack characters older than I am, when I'm only five months into the game, I've got a pretty shallow pool of targets suddenly. Second, if you're going to leave your Blockade Runner uncloaked at a gate in lowsec, maybe you should consider your own choices before trying to give advice. Moving on to just how poorly I followed this advice, the next day I decided to pick a fight with another character "WAY" older than me...
This time, spotting a Stealth Bomber in a Plex, I dove in to see if I could catch him...and he warped out. So I sat there for a moment, hoping he might be kind enough to come back. It's worth noting that my Vengeance can tank Frigate rats pretty much indefinitely, so I was able to just sit at the warp in and even after all the NPCs opened up on me wasn't worried. After a minute or so, the stealth bomber came warping back in, landing inside my scrambler range, but managing to cloak up before my lock resolved. Unfortunately, for him anyway, I was already approaching his last known coordinates, and he was only about 5km away to start with.
Once he had been decloaked it was a simple matter to lock and relieve him of his ship, but I was unable to catch his pod. As seems to be the norm, he logged off to save it. Once he was back in local I was greeted with the following.
[ 2011.02.18 02:59:08 ] Alberthofman > feel better?
[ 2011.02.18 02:59:32 ] Alberthofman > cunt
[ 2011.02.18 03:01:33 ] Me AKA cunt > Welcome back.
[ 2011.02.18 03:01:48 ] Alberthofman > ok
[ 2011.02.18 03:02:15 ] Alberthofman > good bye hope someone in ur family gets cancer
Now, I don't particularly mind being called a bad word. Stick and stones and all that, but hoping my family gets cancer? That probably crosses a line into "Your internet spaceship meant way too much to you." I hope he'd be happy to know that my grandmother's chemo treatments last year managed to leave her cancer free.
So now I'm just curious. Hopefully there's someone out there who reads this blog who isn't a despicable Pirate like myself and can manage to shed some light on why all the posturing over the internet? I mean, do you think people would say these things to me face-to-face? If it helps, I'm 6'1" and a former infantry Marine, so the answer to that question is no, no one says things like that to me in person if they've enjoyed unassisted breathing thus far.
I'm able to understand smack-talk insofar as it's a useful psychological tool to provoke an opponent into doing something foolish. I can understand it when someone teases me for warping away from a fight in the hopes that I might be foolish enough to return. What I don't really get is why bother hurling insults when you've lost. Do you feel validated by it? Does it make the ship you've lost worth it? Does it somehow make up for the mistakes you made during the fight?
I'd like to explain something about why PvP losses bother me even less than PvE ones. I remember once when I had been playing for about three weeks, I lost a Battlecruiser in a level 4 mission. I was genuinely upset about it. Why was I upset? Because I had done something stupid. I had been outwitted by an AI that is, from all accounts, not a very smart one. In contrast, my first PvP loss was to a person. A real live breathing human being. Being outsmarted by another person just made me...human. It didn't mean I wasn't good at the game (which wouldn't have really meant that much anyway), it just meant someone else was better. Someone who had been playing longer than I had even. So I took it as what it was, No Big Deal.
If I had instead insulted my opponent, and told him what a terrible person he was and how "fail" he was it this game, what would that have said about him outsmarting me? Would that have meant I was better for it? Actually, it would have meant quite the opposite. Why do sports teams congratulate the other team after a loss, saying after a game what a great opponent they had faced? It's to lesson the loss. If you lose to someone who's terrible at the game, then that makes you look worse. If you instead offer them praise for what a "good fight" it was, and how well they played, you're also saying that you played well, they just played better.
Consider that next time you start to type after your ship explodes. Ask yourself, what are the insults I'm about to hurl at this person going to say about me? Are they going to make my own inferior play seem somehow better? What's done is done, your ship is space dust, but your image as a player can change dramatically after the fight has ended.