In defence of AFK mining
The problem with the war on AFK mining is the line which defines what AFK mining and BOT mining actually is seems to have been blurred, whether intentionally or not. The reality is that they are two completely separate things and AFK mining is a perfectly acceptable practice in Eve. In this article, I’ll delve into why that is.
Let’s start by having a look at what Eve is. In the most simplest of words, it’s a sandbox that allows you to play whichever way you like. To further that though, that also allows other capsuleers to play however they like, which is what makes this game so interesting.
The important thing to note is, Eve has been tailored to accommodate all playing types. If you have a look at some of the features, such as the ability for skills to be trained and industry to churn even when you aren’t logged in is evidence that this game is specifically tailored for people who cannot be at the keyboard 23/7.
That is not to say that people who want to spend more time logged in will not receive further benefit for their time – that is certainly not the case. Those who want to devote more time to the game are rewarded for doing that just.
But the bottom line is, CCP has put the tools in place to allow you to play anyway you like and that specifically includes being away from the keyboard.
Now, onto AFK mining.
For some reason, many vocal members of the Eve community find being away from your keyboard for a few minutes or more as being tantamount to the destruction of Eve. The reality is much different – this ability to be away from the keyboard and still progress is what makes Eve such an accessible game.
Let me give you a few examples I have personally come across recently in Eve:
A mother of two young children – who happens to enjoy the company and companionship offered by the Eve community. However, her duties within her home don’t allow her to remain at the keyboard for extended periods.
A university student – who enjoys making a passive income mining asteroids semi-afk while completing their studies.
New players – It’s no secret that the learning curve of Eve is one of the harshest of any online game (as evidenced by the hugely popular image to the right). This steep learning curve requires many new players to do an awful lot of reading which while technically not AFK, requires them to be looking at other windows.
Traders – Traders spend an awful long time working on spreadsheets, calculating margins and working out where best to spend their ISK. Is there any harm in them making a passive income mining while they are doing this?
If you have a look at a few of the features that CCP has implemented, such a mining lasers that continue until the asteroid depletes and increasing the ore hold of mining vessels it is evident that CCP is trying to cater to all types of game play. On the flip side, the introduction of mining crystals, fleet boosts and so on also shows that they are actively rewarding people who spend more time at the keyboard.
The problem with the constant warfare on AFK miners is that it’s starting to make the game unplayable for those who want a more casual experience. Why would they bother logging into a game full of people who want to bully them out of existence? A game where trolls run rampant and take enjoyment in ruining the game play for these people?
While it’s completely understandable that with Eve being a sandbox, this makes that kind of bullying a side effect.
It may be worth considering – those kinds of actions are encouraging new and casual players to rethink investing their free time and money on Eve and without those casual gamers, the Eve universe would fall apart.