Another one of my threads on the Frontier Forums devolved in to a PvP vs PvE shouting match. I don't mind much because they're fun (especially since I put some of the more uninteresting and annoying people on my ignore list*) but I can understand if some people find it tedious. Luckily, if people don't like it, they can just not read it! Isn't technology wonderful?
This made me think that perhaps it would be good to explain my position in the debate in relation to what appears to be two extremes.
First, we must avoid the fallacy of the middle ground, better known as the argument to moderation. Whether you like it or not, sometimes one side is just right and the other one is just wrong. It frustrates me when people who enter a debate and look to find the middle ground as they are not interested in truth, just not upsetting people. Unfortunately many Internet forum moderators fall in to this trap when dealing with conflict.
So, are the PvPers right to bemoan the existence of some cuddly people who don't like to engage in as much combat with other humans? Are the PvEers right to complain that their game will be ruined by psychopaths?
I think I am inclined towards the PvP crew simply because the PvE position is inconsistent and bordering on delusional.
The old Elite games were single player and featured ship-to-ship combat. The good news for fans of these single-player games is that this game mode is still supported; you can just remain in a single player group. However, the unique selling point of Elite Dangerous is that it now features a persistent, evolving world occupied by other players. Now it is possible to engage with fellow humans in exactly the same way we did with NPCs in previous games.
It has been argued by some PvE players that they want to get on with the task of mining, exploring or trading without the hassle of unwanted combat. However, this completely ignores the fact that they will most likely be operating in areas that contain dangerous NPCs that will engage them. To say they are happy to fight NPCs but not players is totally bizarre.
Once this objection is raised then there follows a bait and switch. All of a sudden the conversation will move to griefing which actually has very little to do with regular PvP. This conversation can get really ugly when there are various definitions of griefing being used and people usually just end up talking past each other. The only useful definition of griefing describes (hopefully) very rare events, whereas some of the more sensitive people seem to think any unwanted PvP is griefing (I kid you not).
Put simply: Elite is a space trading and combat sim. It's in the name of the genre for goodness-sake.
* Let me be clear: putting someone on my ignore list is a last resort. I never remove voices of disagreement from my feed simply because they disagree (I relish the debate!) However, as you'll find on every Internet forum, there exist individuals who can only be described (politely) as intelectually dishonest. These are the people who, instead of addressing any points or arguments you make, try to help correct typos or spelling mistakes, attack strawman positions or who quote you out of context so they can feel smart. And also the people who, once you've eviscerated all of their shaky reasoning for their position, declare everything "subjective" and everyone is entitled to an opinion. These people aren't interested in actually discussing the merits of anything, they just want to score points by being dishonest or obtuse.