Posted Mon, Feb 27, 2012 by The Mittani
The experience of a new Goonswarm player is radically different from that of the EVE-born. They are attracted to EVE by the megathread in the MMO subforum of SA; when they install the game they are an extension of an existing community - most have friends already in Goonswarm that they know from other games. Rather than learning the basics alone in hisec, on their first day newbie goons podjump to deep nullsec. There, they are surrounded by their fellows, ushered into massive alliance warfleets, mentored by veteran players, and showered with isk and ships.
A community-born player is able to entirely skip the dreaded ‘mining veld in a Bantam’ phase. Instead of a positive kill/death ratio, external communities place a greater value on enthusiasm and a willingness to die for the group. Because Goonswarm has thrived since September 2005 - making it one of the longest-lived alliances in the history of the game - there is no need for a Goonswarm pilot to generate or maintain an ‘EVE resume’. Similarly, other external community organizations are more durable in the face of the kind of petty drama that wipes out so many EVE-born corporations.
In practice, this means that Goons, Broskis and Redditors can be outright bastards to everyone else in the EVE - besides their allies, of course - and get away with it. The game’s normal culture of honor doesn’t apply; as a pilot from an external community never needs to worry about joining the ‘next’ corp, or fret that he’s lost too many Rifters and ruined his k/d ratio.
Somewhat similar to external internet communities, the ethnic/nationalistic alliances tend to take care of their newbies and have a low turnover rate; if you’re one of the few Finns or Romanians who play EVE, odds are good that you’ll stick by your countrymen. But misbehavior among ethnic alliances seems to be even less common than in EVE-born corporations, probably because violating EVE’s social mores would reflect poorly on their national identity; these pilots may not be polishing their resumes, but they don’t want to give their country a bad name through dishonorable behavior.
A pilot’s formative months provide the template for his attitudes and worldview for the rest of his career in EVE. When Goonswarm was new to EVE, the existing in-game community - all EVE-born - saw them as alien. And they were. But there are now ever more community-born players, and not only from Goonswarm. Where the EVE-born are less tied to their organizations and more beholden to the dominant culture of the game, the community-born always have a stable home, and are free to do as they please. Those primordial days where every EVE player had a roughly similar upbringing are gone forever - and good riddance.