When Sindel said she wanted to be a philanthropist in EVE, to help players in Eve get over some of the speed bumps such as having to save up for a skill book or for that ship you’ve wanted for the last several months, I thought she was just going to get scammed out of all her ISK. Since the charity has been going on for over five months now and seems to be functioning as she intended, perhaps she has stumbled upon that dark, never discussed, underbelly of EVE where people are actually nice to people they don’t know. So, I decided to interview her about the project, as I honestly don’t know a whole lot about what she has been doing with it.
B: About how much have you received in donations so far?
S: About 12 billion ISK and around 600 ships.
B: What were some of the most surprising donations you have received?
S: I received 5b ISK from one person. I’ve received contracts with 150 ships. I received an Obelisk BPC and a Tempest Fleet Issue BPC.
B: This is Eve, so I assume people have tried to scam you. What kind of scams?
S: I haven’t really gotten any scammers. I’ve gotten greedy people. Some people have thought this was a joke and asked for dreads and titans. Some people get mad. As far as I can tell, I have not been scammed. Most scam-worthy things are obvious and not within my means to give people anyway. If I’ve been scammed, it was for small things that I would have given people if they asked anyway.
B: How do you feel the charity has impacted people in Eve?
S: The people who know about it have been favorably impacted. I’ve really helped some people. I’ve opened some other people’s minds about the importance of being nice. I’ve changed some people's’ perspective about the game, one new player at a time.
B: How have new players reacted to the Angel Project?
S: I am more likely to get a bitter veteran donating a billion ISK than to have a new player accept ISK or ships. By the time I talk to them, they have been scammed before and expect to be scammed in any interaction they have with other people. Most new players view me as trying to scam them in a way they can’t understand. They are so tinfoil hat wary. I’m not trying to court new players anymore though. I’m started to get referrals from the few who took a chance and accepted a trade window early on, so that keeps me busy.
B: How have more veteran players reacted?
S: They’ve been very responsive. They are skeptical for a different reason. They don’t think I’m going to scam anyone, they just don’t think I will have much impact. Some older veterans have memories of things like project halibut. Some people say “I don’t think you will be able to accomplish what you want to accomplish, but here’s a couple hundred million ISK anyway.”
B: What are some of the most surprising requests you have received?
S: Nothing really surprises me. Some of the things that do surprise me are new players who ask for really small amounts of money or small ships then apologize profusely like they’re putting me out. I had someone ask for startup cash for a PI project. It was something I had never really thought about. It wasn’t a subject I had even considered. Some people begin to see me as a free meal ticket, but that’s not exactly surprising.
B: What motivated you to create a charity in Eve?
S: Being in Test. There are entire threads in the forums about scams that have been pulled. Proud of robbing people for billions of ISK. Blowing hours of time for that. It frustrates me that being bad at PVP and scamming people are the things many people know Test for. I wanted to be known for something bigger than that. I’ve never heard from the victim’s side, other than seeing rage mails. It makes me sad that so many cheer on the scammers and so few who are trying to help newer or less experienced players who are often the victims.
B: What did you set out to accomplish?
S: I don’t think a new player is properly prepared to play this game. Even if you have friends help you and give you advice. You are not prepared for the shark infested shit tank that is Eve. I try to throw out life rafts to people who have been bitten. I wanted to give players a place for people to get advice and help and not get ten scams thrown in their face in response. I wanted, as well, for it to be the apolitical place where it doesn’t matter what alignment you are in Eve, you can get help. CCP teaches people to play the game... alone. No one starts this game prepared for the drop cans outside the noob station.
B: Has the project gone as expected?
S: This is not how I originally intended the project to go. I had originally wanted to be the middleman to connecting vets to new players as mentors and support. A lot of the vets want to help with ISK, ships, etc... but don’t really want to spend time teaching the new players to not continue losing their frigates in sad ways.
Sitting in the chat channel, I have watched Sindel go from teaching a new player how to not get ganked, to helping a new ganker properly fit his ship to take out a miner, to replacing a week old player’s destroyer after he decided he was ready to try to enter low sec. It has been interesting watching her project running. I’m not really sure what to make of a charity in Eve, it seems so alien to everything else in the game, but it seems to me like it is working as intended (for the most part).
More information on the charity and it's efforts can be found at Sindel's Universe or the in game channel "The Angel Project"