As a group, the Reavers are already dangerously close to role play.
We are a small team that goes behind enemy lines to attack their infrastructure. We exist to reinforce structures, blow up defensive SBUs, kill the scattered locals, and then fade away when the enemy forms to fight us. When they form for us, we win, because that means they are not forming for the main front of the war.
We have our own fleet doctrines within the CFC and our ops are always considered strategic for purposes of ship reimbursement programs within the CFC. (And woe to any alliance accountant who tells Sky Marshal Blawrf otherwise.) And Reaver ops run pretty much around the clock. It is a perfect place for somebody who wants to drop in and do something (and click on a participation link!) for a couple of hours every day, because there is always something to shoot.
And we have our traditions. There was a big push when the group was launched to forge an identity. We have our forum sigs and our own forum Bee in the GSF forums.
In the field we don’t chat in local unless directed. We often work out of a single POS deep in hostile territory for weeks at a stretch. We burn out a fleet commander or two every deployment because they thrown themselves into the role and try to keep ops running around the clock. As a group, we go to great lengths to get people back from deployments. I have seen pings to help get a single pilot home two weeks after a deployment has ended.
However, in this ongoing effort to forge an identity, I think we might have crossed a line. We have moved from operational traditions into the field of dress up.
This week Asher Elias, our leader, announced that there was now an official Reavers jacket for our avatars. I am not sure where this idea came from, but it got a chuckle initially. However, Asher and the other leaders kept repeating it. And then people started buying the jackets and updating their avatars.
The jacket was 750 Aurum (Aurum is that odd ball other currency in EVE Online, specifically for the New Eden Store cash shop), but it turned out that a lot of us still had that initial 1,000 Aurum that CCP gave us when the whole thing came online back before the Incarna expansion. We had the money already, so why not? As we landed back at the station in our staging system, more and more people bought into the idea. I was in, though fortunately I had already figured out how to change my clothes in space, so it was a quick swap for me. Some had to figure things out scratch.
Then there was talk of an official pose for avatars. And, judging from how things have developed, I gather we were given an official background for our avatars as well. I wasn’t on last night, but I was putting together a composite of some of our avatars and noticed that, even as I was doing that, they were getting updated with that background.
Initially I had trouble putting together an array of twenty avatars to demonstrate the phenomena. Later I decided to stop at forty avatars, thinking that perhaps I had made the point already. Here is what I ended up with:
That picture expands out to 1280×2048. I am at the top left and I stand out for not having the correct background yet. (My method for finding the portraits was to scan recent Reaver kill mails over at zKillboard to see avatars, then go to EVE Who to look up specific names to grab 256×256 portraits, which I then pasted willy nilly into an ever expanding page in Paint.net.)
And, even as this was kicking off, other groups in the CFC started jumping on the idea. I understand that there is talk in capswarm about an official uniform, leading people to argue over which uniform you should wear. Asher’s view was that the first group to declare a uniform has precedence, so all Reavers should be wearing our jacket… and in our pose… with our background. I wonder if our effort… and how it seems poised to spread through some of the CFC… will cause a spike in Aurum usage and character updates?
And just think what would happen if we had hats.
Addendum: I now have the correct background.