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Capsuleers and Their "Crews"

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Bluddwolf
Heimatar Military Industries
#1 - 2012-04-12 04:52:08 UTC  |  Edited by: Bluddwolf
I've read a number of fan stories so far, and many I have to say seem to not understand that a capsuleer does not walk the corridors of his/her ship or interact with the crew while in space.

After reading all three EVE novels and many of the official Chronicles, I'm not even certain a capsuleer would want to get to know his / her crew on a personal level. Capsuleers are often described as demi-God like, elitist, butchers of the humans that are stuck with their mortality.

I've never really thought about the relationship between capsuleers and evryone else until I read the first EVE novel. Although I've always pictured my character as an easy going, and relaxed person, he has killed tens of millions of people during his career.

Yes... We are walking genocide machines.

So, does it make very much sense that we would put a "human face" to anyone we deal with, outside of other capsuleers and agents we work with?

EVE Online Fan ... Looking for "End Game" since 2006 ... Happily, I still havn't found it

Jowen Datloran
Science and Trade Institute
Caldari State
#2 - 2012-04-12 07:12:47 UTC
Not everybody flying a spaceship is a capsuleer. But yes, writing about a capsuleer without a capsule is like missing the major point.

Anyhow, I live out of a freighter which acts as a mobile base of operations. It contains ships, modules and ammunition for whatever my needs. Also construction and research materials should I ever feel the need to do that. I even have a visible crew consisting of personel that I have picked up at various locations and with the size of a freighter I believe it is very likely that I can walk around in it and interact with all these people. Though, only when docked, of course.

Mr. Science & Trade Institute, EVE Online Lorebook 

Thgil Goldcore
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#3 - 2012-04-13 18:16:36 UTC
Indeed. We dont walk around our ships while flying them, but how the Capsuleer/crew interface works you can take some liberties with. I always envisioned there to be little holo-projectors near any major operations station in my ship, so If I needed to I could give orders directly... although most times it would just be the computer assigning personnel.

Its important also not to get to attached to your crew on a RP level. Most of em die when your ship breaks up, and it will break up. Makes for great character moments, but you gotta figure eventually you will grow numb to the needs of men. All of it part of the capsuleer condition.
Montmazar
Aliastra
Gallente Federation
#4 - 2012-04-14 05:44:08 UTC  |  Edited by: Montmazar
I figure whenever I log off in space in a ship, I leave the pod, my ship is powered down to be undetectable, and everyone just chills until I log back on. My character could hang out with the crew if she wanted to, but she probably keeps her distance, because otherwise that is just awkward when the ship blows up and she goes on with her life like it was no big deal. But, she is definitely out of pod, walking around, doing some calisthenics, probably reading a lot in some state room. And catching up on sleep in the rack.

I know the fiction doesn't fully support that, but if one was stuck in the fetal position for a month, your joints would fuse together a bit and all kinds of bad things would happen to your body and mind, pod goo or no.
Bluddwolf
Heimatar Military Industries
#5 - 2012-04-14 11:22:33 UTC
I want to thank everyone so far for your responses. As an aspiring writer, I'm trying to get a real feel for the psychology of capsuleers, particularly their coping methods for dealing with immortality, death of non capsuleers and being in the almost continuous state of war and conflict.



EVE Online Fan ... Looking for "End Game" since 2006 ... Happily, I still havn't found it

AlleyKat
The Unwanted.
#6 - 2012-04-14 12:12:32 UTC
Bluddwolf wrote:
After reading all three EVE novels and many of the official Chronicles, I'm not even certain a capsuleer would want to get to know his / her crew on a personal level.


The idea of the pod was created to feed game design, nothing more.

If you want my opinion on capsuleers communicating with the crew, I think you'll find in stories where this happens that there is a reason for it.

If there is no story-related reason for capsuleers having a discourse with the crew then it is not necessary and is either padding, or put in because the writer doesn't understand what their story or characters are about. It's not that we need these scenes and moments, it's that the writer does because they don't know wtf they are doing.

I can envisage a capsuleer communicating with his/her crew just fine - but would only include it if the character or story is stronger as a result.

There has to be a character or story need for the dialogue work, or they might as well be talking about cheese before we get back to 'the action'.

On the other hand - why assume that all capsuleers are the same? Human beings aren't, are they?

Not all capsuleers have a blood-lust for violence and dominance over other people and territorial control because they have a small penis - a lot of pilots mine Veldspar; reprocess the ore, then hit the casinos and bars at night. A hard day's work in a 0.8 system and what I'd like to think might be your 'average-joe' capsuleer...might even have a family...a daughter who loves and respect him...and a wife who tolerates any indiscretions because he's a good father.

Without character motivation, any story falls apart at the seams - and this whole 'Elite' & 'demi-god' crap needs to stop until someone learns how to write believable characters that people can relate to.

I guess I refuse to believe the future of the human race will only have capsuleers who want to destroy stuff, when the majority of pilots run missions, mine, live in high-sec and couldn't care about the whimsical murmurings of capsuleers who gate camp and wear an eye patch reject from Pirates of Caribbean.

No more than I look out of my window at the people below and see them all killing each other and riot vans everywhere in chaotic oblivion, like what is written too often.

The needs of people are physical and psychological. Don't be fooled with a hierarchical design on the needs of human beings, with food & water at the bottom and ∞ happiness at the top - that's not how it works.

The trick, or purpose, to existence, is the never ending balancing act between our physical needs and our psychological needs - both of which are essential to survival, although lack on physical side would end our existence, lack on psychological will not.

When humans are unhappy, it is typically an imbalance between these two needs. For example; you want to buy a new pair of shoes because you like the colour and they make you feel good wearing them - but you need to spend the money on food, or you'll die - resulting in imbalance at not being able to have both needs fulfilled.

So, all the way throughout the day you are making thousands of decisions related to this balancing act - someone might forgo delicious food and eat pasta for a month, to enable them to buy the shoes.

Some of the greatest characters and stories revolve around this concept, normally with a crucial decision to make at a pivotal moment at the stories climax, concluding the characters arc.

In other words, we normally get the learn about what influences the main characters, specifically the protagonist, in terms of how they make decisions and balance their equation. This will mean that when the character is confronted with a pivotal, climatic decision, we really really really want them not to succeed, but to be able to have both sides of their needs fulfilled, or even better.

This is story resolution, character resolution and is satisfying to read & watch because we all want to buy shiny shoes and have dominoes pizza every night.

AK

This space for rent.

Bluddwolf
Heimatar Military Industries
#7 - 2012-04-14 13:37:34 UTC
Alleykat,

There are a lot of good points you make in your post. As for my use of the terms "demi-God and Elite", this comes from the first EVE novel. I understand that not all capsuleers fall into this mindset.

As for speaking to crews, I'm sure it is done and is necessary. I like the previous idea that it is probably done by hologram, while the capsuleer is in his / her capsule. What I was referring more to was personal / social communication, not tactical communication.

As I'm developing my character, I'm considering what flaws he will have. One of those flaws will be how he copes with what he does, and how he attempts to disconnect from the almost continuous combat. He is a mission runner by trade, not a pirate as you may have assumed. Mission runners account for a hugh amount of death and destruction.

If you consider a Battle Cruiser is described as having a crew of a bit less than a thousand, think about how many Bcs a mission runner destroys in one mission. Multiply this by years of mission running, and you're left with a number of deaths that amounts into the millions.

It is an interestinbg task to write a believable account of a happy and typically pleasant character, who has killed millions. A coping mechanism has to be in place, perhaps similar to what a trained soldier uses, but at a much larger scale.

EVE Online Fan ... Looking for "End Game" since 2006 ... Happily, I still havn't found it

AlleyKat
The Unwanted.
#8 - 2012-04-14 22:32:01 UTC
Bluddwolf wrote:
Alleykat,

There are a lot of good points you make in your post. As for my use of the terms "demi-God and Elite", this comes from the first EVE novel. I understand that not all capsuleers fall into this mindset.

As for speaking to crews, I'm sure it is done and is necessary. I like the previous idea that it is probably done by hologram, while the capsuleer is in his / her capsule. What I was referring more to was personal / social communication, not tactical communication.

As I'm developing my character, I'm considering what flaws he will have. One of those flaws will be how he copes with what he does, and how he attempts to disconnect from the almost continuous combat. He is a mission runner by trade, not a pirate as you may have assumed. Mission runners account for a hugh amount of death and destruction.

If you consider a Battle Cruiser is described as having a crew of a bit less than a thousand, think about how many Bcs a mission runner destroys in one mission. Multiply this by years of mission running, and you're left with a number of deaths that amounts into the millions.

It is an interesting task to write a believable account of a happy and typically pleasant character, who has killed millions. A coping mechanism has to be in place, perhaps similar to what a trained soldier uses, but at a much larger scale.


I C.

Well, you might want to give some kind of reason why they do what they do. If we can connect with the rationalization for what they do or understand its logic, we might find the character more interesting.

It'd be very hard to connect with a character who feels guilt for what they do, but could stop doing it whenever they want to. It wouldn't make much sense if all they had to do to ease their guilt would be to stop doing it.

You could say the character owns a debt to someone, or is being pressured into doing it in someway; that may make them more sympathetic as a character. Once this happens the reader would then be interested in what they have to say and will let themselves learn about the character, and what makes them tick.

This allows you to build the story and expand it into new directions, which incrementally increase the knowledge the reader has of the character, and the situations with which we learn them in. This leads the progression and pace of the story, with injections of decision making moments which define the character. With each action or inaction to a decision, their choices will define the character's psychology and give them depth.

The initial issue, problem or event that triggers a story forward can be as simple or as complex as it needs to be.

The problem you face is that the premise of a mission runner is flawed, not the character.

If you want to follow a story that deals with guilt, pent-up remorse hidden behind a fake smile, perhaps; you face the other end of the spectrum with 'why to people repeatably sign up to be on a pirate vessel that will in all likelihood get shot down by a Raven the minute they put up another drug compound?'.

The issue isn't about the millions he has slaughtered for money, it becomes about why people willingly sign up by the (taking up the entire mission running activity) billions every day.

Where are these people coming from? Who hires them? Why would they be anywhere near an employment office for ship crews? It's got to be eventual death for anyone who signs up for it. Surely there are more jobs available for 'space station janitor' or plan old 'concord regional office administrator 3rd grade' not to mention the enormous amounts of Veldspar that needs loading and unloading at the space docks on stations.

AK

This space for rent.

Terazul
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#9 - 2012-04-15 17:27:38 UTC
Indeed, the whole premise of the mission runner is heavily flawed from a narrative - and even a mechanical - perspective.

There's really no way to explain away the billions of people willingly signing up for crewing ships that are meeting certain death. For that matter, there's no way to explain how they're replenishing those numbers so quickly simply in terms of reproduction.

(Bit of a tangent, but this is why changing the missions themselves to include far fewer ships is such a great idea - besides making the missions themselves more interesting or challenging, it helps to integrate the fiction side with the game side.)

That aside, more to the topic itself, I find it actually quite plausible that, say, a skilled high-sec mission runner would actually get to know the crew. Why? Well, I haven't lost a ship in months. For someone who regularly flies sorties against other capsuleers, I imagine the loss of ships (and thus, by extension, the crew) is pretty much inevitable, but that's not the case for someone who just runs missions against the baseliner scum of the universe. Even beyond mission runners, I imagine traders, market fiends, scientists, and manufacturers don't really lose that many ships, so the option of getting to know the crew is a very real one (social stigmas aside).

As for coping with the deaths of millions, it's easy to rationalize it with the thought that these people, or at least their captains, have the option of simply running away or turning themselves in. But they do not. They willingly throw themselves into the fray, time and time again, not even contemplating other options (which in itself is a silly thing and probably best not to think too deeply into - another case of segregation between game and fiction) . At that point, their deaths are their own responsibility.

And that's my 2c~
Bluddwolf
Heimatar Military Industries
#10 - 2012-04-15 19:05:53 UTC
Terazul wrote:


That aside, more to the topic itself, I find it actually quite plausible that, say, a skilled high-sec mission runner would actually get to know the crew. Why? Well, I haven't lost a ship in months. For someone who regularly flies sorties against other capsuleers, I imagine the loss of ships (and thus, by extension, the crew) is pretty much inevitable, but that's not the case for someone who just runs missions against the baseliner scum of the universe. Even beyond mission runners, I imagine traders, market fiends, scientists, and manufacturers don't really lose that many ships, so the option of getting to know the crew is a very real one (social stigmas aside).




This is an excellent point, and you are quite correct considering the ship loss rate to PVE being relatively low. I can't even remember the last time I lost a significant ship, it has been years.

OFF TOPIC:

I personally don't use battlenet.com, and haven't in years. I started getting phishing emails, supposedly concerning my battlenet account. As for API, I don't ask for it, nor do I give it out any longer, for the same security reasons.

EVE Online Fan ... Looking for "End Game" since 2006 ... Happily, I still havn't found it

Eko'mo
Eko Research Institute
#11 - 2012-04-15 21:56:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Eko'mo
Just because your ship doesn't get destoryed, does that mean you have the same crew throughout

I imagine every time you dock, some people leave, some people board. I doubt they stay assigned to the same ship forever there must be some kind of rotation. I could be a crew memeber aboard a raven and I could decide to quit, I could get sick, request transfer to another vessel, decide to live aboard the station innumerable reasons

Montmazar wrote:
I figure whenever I log off in space in a ship, I leave the pod


Also you can not leave your pod in space (other than if another pilot cracks your pod open for you with lovely guns)

Only one ship has been mentioned in fiction with an internal pod gantry allowing for the pilot to walk the halls of the ship without being docked in station. Everyone else is stuck in the pod until the dock.

http://ekolikecrayons.wordpress.com/about/

Roga Dracor
Federation of Freedom Fighters
VINDICTIVE
#12 - 2012-04-16 00:49:29 UTC
"The Wetgrave" would seem to imply that it is "possible" to leave the pod in space. Though the ship would need the redundant control systems to allow ships to operate without a capsuleer. Whether these systems are present in Capsuleer production ships isn't clarified, that I know of..

As to crew, I have always imagined the crew is hired on much like 19th century sea going vessels.. Crew come and go at most ports, signing on for a stint aboard the ship and leaving when the contract is completed. There is also the replacement of dead and the hiring on of new crew to replace those finishing their contracts. For those races that don't use slaves or conscripted crew, anyway..

I would also imagine that Capsuleers maintain a large retinue of port side staff at the stations they frequent..

It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then, and it's a poor sort of memory that only works backward.

Bluddwolf
Heimatar Military Industries
#13 - 2012-04-16 01:36:41 UTC
As a capsuleer, I would never leave my pod while in space. Why would I risk that? I can only clone jump from within the pod. I'm immortal in the pod, and only in the pod.

As for the other comments, about crew coming and going, I'm sure that is very true. I would also imagine that crews for one ship maybe very different than those found on another ship, even with the same capsuleer. Obviously, I would not have the same crew for my Sleipnir as I would for my Rifter, but I'm not just talking about numbers. I would think that some crew members are specialized to certain ship types.

EVE Online Fan ... Looking for "End Game" since 2006 ... Happily, I still havn't found it

Montmazar
Aliastra
Gallente Federation
#14 - 2012-04-16 02:17:24 UTC  |  Edited by: Montmazar
Eko'mo wrote:
Just because your ship doesn't get destoryed, does that mean you have the same crew throughout

I imagine every time you dock, some people leave, some people board. I doubt they stay assigned to the same ship forever there must be some kind of rotation. I could be a crew memeber aboard a raven and I could decide to quit, I could get sick, request transfer to another vessel, decide to live aboard the station innumerable reasons

Montmazar wrote:
I figure whenever I log off in space in a ship, I leave the pod


Also you can not leave your pod in space (other than if another pilot cracks your pod open for you with lovely guns)

Only one ship has been mentioned in fiction with an internal pod gantry allowing for the pilot to walk the halls of the ship without being docked in station. Everyone else is stuck in the pod until the dock.


I get that the fiction is clear on it, but it makes zero physiological sense. Even future space goo and nanobots and future spacetech don't completely erase all the problems that would come from being stuck in a fetal position for months or (in the case of supercap pilots) years. The human body and mind just do not work that way. Your muscles would go away, your bones would brittle and collapse, your joints would fuse together, your organs would fail, and you would go insane.

There are a number of things the fiction is crystal clear on that just do not square with any aspect of reality. That's normal, it's a sci fi universe. But for immersion's sake, I ignore them, because seriously. Similarly, for my immersion's sake, I don't think there are millions of pirate crew dying in Motsu every single day in the EVE universe.

And mechanically, in Captain's Quarters, we see that a pod gangway is nothing more than a ladder. I think my battleship can manage that.
AlleyKat
The Unwanted.
#15 - 2012-04-16 11:06:50 UTC
All,

If you want to have a scene/chapter where a capsuleer has a conversation with the crew of their ship, just write it.

I'd be happy to see prime fiction busted, than read something that was poorly constructed from a scene/character perspective.

This is fan fiction after all, not a contender for the Nebula Award.

Just write.

AK

This space for rent.

Telegram Sam
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#16 - 2012-04-16 21:19:00 UTC
One thought: The canon and the EVE novels portray New Eden as a pretty larcenous and treacherous place. Since that's the case, a capsuleer might want to know his crew pretty well. A multi-million isk ship could be a nice prize for a larcenous crew, if it could dispose of the pod pilot or somehow coerce him/her in a hijacking. (In the case of disposing of the pilot, they wouldn't be able to fly the ship without the pod. But they could have arranged for another pod pilot to take delivery and control of it).

Whatever, it seems that for security reasons you'd need to be able to trust your crew. Which, for warships at least, could create a psychological dilemma-- know your crew, but also consider them disposable. But then again, I suppose military organizations have been dealing with the comrade casualties issue for centuries.
Eko'mo
Eko Research Institute
#17 - 2012-04-16 21:44:31 UTC
AlleyKat wrote:
All,

If you want to have a scene/chapter where a capsuleer has a conversation with the crew of their ship, just write it.

I'd be happy to see prime fiction busted, than read something that was poorly constructed from a scene/character perspective.

This is fan fiction after all, not a contender for the Nebula Award.

Just write.

AK




Best advice. Now that you think about it, tis a big old galaxy, you can explain everything with experimental tech or some such, if it helps the story move along don't let it be a roadblock.

http://ekolikecrayons.wordpress.com/about/

Silas Vitalia
Nobilita Nera
#18 - 2012-04-17 02:54:10 UTC
AlleyKat wrote:

Where are these people coming from? Who hires them? Why would they be anywhere near an employment office for ship crews? It's got to be eventual death for anyone who signs up for it. Surely there are more jobs available for 'space station janitor' or plan old 'concord regional office administrator 3rd grade' not to mention the enormous amounts of Veldspar that needs loading and unloading at the space docks on stations.

AK


They sign up because they can make more aboard a ship on a short tour than they can the rest of their natural lives at regular salaries.

History has no shortage of people willing to risk life and limb just at the mere possibility of becoming wealthy.

We have to imagine capsuleer payouts to crew as substantial, not to mention insurance policies to the families of deceased crews. There's more than enough money involved for ships to be constantly crewed by willing individuals.

Sabik now, Sabik forever

Silas Vitalia
Nobilita Nera
#19 - 2012-04-17 02:56:31 UTC
Telegram Sam wrote:
One thought: The canon and the EVE novels portray New Eden as a pretty larcenous and treacherous place. Since that's the case, a capsuleer might want to know his crew pretty well. A multi-million isk ship could be a nice prize for a larcenous crew, if it could dispose of the pod pilot or somehow coerce him/her in a hijacking. (In the case of disposing of the pilot, they wouldn't be able to fly the ship without the pod. But they could have arranged for another pod pilot to take delivery and control of it).

Whatever, it seems that for security reasons you'd need to be able to trust your crew. Which, for warships at least, could create a psychological dilemma-- know your crew, but also consider them disposable. But then again, I suppose military organizations have been dealing with the comrade casualties issue for centuries.


Would make for an interesting story, an Ocean's 11 attempt at stealing a ship out from under a capsuleer. They'd have to work pretty hard though to prevent the capsuleer from self-destructing the ship and blowing them all up at the first sign of trouble though :)

Sabik now, Sabik forever

Thgil Goldcore
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#20 - 2012-04-17 06:33:18 UTC
Or the capsuleer from just turning off life-support.

Considered writing about a case of minmatar slaves trying to take over the ship of a amarr loyalist. Its why you always take good care of you slaves kids ^_^
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