I’ve iterated on the eccentricities of our corp many times before, to the general befuddlement of most of our American cousins, but the one thing that really sums us up is the Eight Minute Rule.
The eight minute rule has been with our little gang through two corps now, there is no way we will ever give it up.
When I was first told the Eight Minute Rule, in our first corp, I thought it was quite harsh and inhumane in a way. Over time I’ve come to appreciate the depth of it and the real reason behind it.
So here it is, in a nutshell:
When a corp member loses a ship, be it a small loss or a shiny one, fair or unfair, be it shrugged off or game rage causing, for eight minutes no one is to laugh at the loss. For eight minutes, one must be consoling, understanding and comforting. One must carry the burden of his brother (or sister), showing as much compassion as possible. Anyone not complying must be punished in the following manner – no exceptions under any circumstances.
For every minute before the eight minutes is up that a person laughs at the loss, they must pay the victim one million ISK. Yes, one million ISK per minute per person laughing that was left on the clock.
Should the person who laughed early be bereft of funds they will owe the victim that sum until it is paid in full and no one else may pay in their behalf. CEO or new member, it makes not a jot of difference.
After the eight minutes is up, everyone is free, nay, encouraged to laugh their collective arses off at the victim.
Needless to say, this has led to some rather unique habits in our corp. When a pilot reports losing his ship, the first question always asked is generally, “Is it eight minutes yet?” Or, “How long ago?”
Killmails are carefully checked, not for the kill details, but for the time it happened.
The pilot reporting a loss will often find his tale followed by a sustained silence, as all the tight arses in the corp keep their fingers well away from the talk key for a period of time, lest they let out an expensive giggle.
Now, let’s examine the depth of this rule.
First off, losing a ship can be a disturbing experience for any Eve player.
A close encounter with a fifteen year old bottle of scotch and a brief “good idea” (relating to nullsec and a Navy Dominix full of faction mods) saw me not play Eve for three days and the first night not sleep a wink. Many others can relate similar experiences. The very structure of this unique game means a ship loss can be a devastating blow that can take months to reimburse. This engenders a very real sense of ownership, even affection, for something that is just code and pixels.
The eight minute rule helps the victim see the loss in real perspective. Everyone very understanding and commiserating (we have some excellent potential actors in our mob) for a whole eight minutes, followed by everyone laughing their arses off (not at YOU, but at the circumstance), acts like a slap in the face or a bucket of cold water to the same. It brings you round, brings you back to earth and helps stop the dreadful urge that is consuming your every fibre to give the age old ragequit-neverplay the stupidbloodygameagain-mightaswelltakeupknitting response .
The eight minute rule is quintessential Australian or Kiwi (it was a Kiwi who thought it up) – when you fall off a horse in the outback, your mates will generally dust you off, make sure you’re not seriously hurt; then laugh like hell at your fall. You end up laughing too, and the urge to never get on a horse again is soon forgotten.
There have been some funny events surrounding this rule.
Like the time a new member was mining in null sec in a Retriever and wasn’t aligned and had not yet learned what null sec rats were really like; the inevitable result was a very quick flash and a quick – POP!
There were ten of us plus him in fleet and he received an immediate payout of eighty million ISK! What was even better (for him) was that it was a corp Retriever!
There was the the time I charged straight at a red Cynabal in my Dramiel whilst in a home defence fleet and was insta-popped, making back enough ISK to cover the ship, loadout and implants in seconds.
There was also the time when I lost my Hurricane to a gate camp in three and a half seconds and my corpmates were all very kind and understanding and isn’t that terrible you must feel awful you poor bloke – the tight arsed bastards.
Many times when someone has told us how confident they were despite being in a risky situation, everyone has said something to the effect that they were “just checking I got eight million to spare here …”
Now, you may think this is all pretty cruel, pretty cold and unsympathetic etc, etc, but let me tell you this; we have NEVER lost a member to a ragequit over a shiploss – NEVER. In fact, although someone losing a ship in game results in months of gibes and ribbing, our members are generally more a part of the gang after a serious shiploss. For me, it gives a sense of belonging, almost a badge of honour to be able to say “Yeah, I been stoopid too.”
It definitely works wonders for us; but then I never claimed we were normal 😉
It’s all in the mind, you know.