PvP + PvE = ???
There have been a number of posts of late that have surfaced on a number of Eve Blogs that address the age old debate as to whether Eve is a PvP game, A PvP game with PvE elements, a 'Sandbox' game or whether it is perhaps in fact a whole new genre of it's own.
The arguments between the camps are legendary and probably don't require me to wade in and rehash them. Each camp is equally vociferous and it's very easy to be drawn into the simple PvPer vs 'Carebear' argument. However, I personally believe, as I do about most things in life, that a simple black vs white choice is fundamentally, and I really do hesitate to use this word, wrong.
Turamarth Elrandir over at A CARBON Based Life recently wrote about PeP or Players Engaging Players on his To PvP or not to PvP that is not the Question post. He wrote that in response to Sugar Kyle's post Rambling: What May Be where I believe the term PeP was first coined in one of the comments.
I personally think that this sums up perfectly what Eve is about. Eve is a game that provides a framework that presents numerous opportunities to it's players, enables them to make a choice - and continually switch choices - about the activities they engage in and it enables said players to engage with other players across the length and breadth of those activities.
That engagement may be overt ie shooting players in the directly in face through 1v1/gang/fleet warfare. Or more discrete, through market PvP, espionage, harvesting of scarce resources etc etc. Or it could appear to be so minimal that it doesn't appear to even exist but even the most carebearest of all carebears are engaging with other players when they purchase goods off the market or mine asteroids that others could be mining.
The corp my alt has recently joined - Signal Cartel - are a bunch of explorers who openly shun PvP - the corp's Credo states that it's members should never initiate aggression. But ... they are constantly engaging with other players. They are competing for exploration resources, they are evading the hunters of the game and escaping bubble camps, they are joining Hugs Fleets and engaging would be aggressors in a totally non-aggressive manner and emerging from it having enhanced the game-play of both parties.
Personally, I have PvPed in the past and if you dig through the killboards you can find the evidence. However, that was a long time ago now. So have I being playing the game the wrong way these past few years? I don't think so. Whilst I have not fought anyone 1v1 or as part of small gang or large fleet warfare I have certainly engaged with many players over the intervening years. Whether that be on the market as an inventor and producer of T2 items or competed over exploration sites as is my current in-game bent. And whilst I might consider myself somewhat risk adverse and have spent a large portion of my time in High Sec, I have based myself out of Null Sec and continue to wander the paths of Low Sec and Wormhole space where I constantly open myself up to possibility of being engaged by other players.
So to sum up, Eve, if it must be pigeon holed, is a game where the level of engagement is left to the individual and it is up to CCP to steer a path that ensures that whatever activities they make available to the player, that they are able to have an effect, no matter how small, on the Eve universe as a whole. If CCP provide a framework that encourages players to engage with the universe as a whole, then it becomes a richer place for all its inhabitants.