The Hulkageddon Effect -
Eve Online is a great universe where anyone can do anything. Now in its 3rd iteration Hulkageddon has become a major event in New Eden, with many player creating alts just to participate in the event. With over 20 billion ISK in prizes who can blame them. But there are other consequences of such events, hulk prices shoot through the roof, mineral prices rise, and players loose their hard earned ships. So here is the question, do events like Hulkageddon do more to improve the game or hurt from the game?
Generally speaking, I'm definitely supporting the idea of player initiated events, such as the Hulkageddon or others, perhaps smaller events. It just adds more to the flavor of the game, and it also shows that people/players care for their game and wanting to share their feelings.
So, thinking back now a bit, there haven't been many really big - such as player-galaxy impacting events going on ingame (or better: none that I know of), which have been done by GM's for entertainment purposes nor from the playerbase. Since the Hulkageddon has been initiated people seem to enjoy these types of events, even if it was done to remove macrominers in the beginning.
I'm not against events as a whole, nor pvp events in general. I also understand and agree to the not quite safe due to constant gank threat concept of EvE, even like it. If it was possible, I'd contribute to some extent to event planning groups (ideawise, not ISKwise), and perhaps if it would be done, to some event team from CCP. During the time of those galaxy impacting events the prices skyrocket, good for everyone contributing to those events, miners - stockpiling minerals and selling them before and afterwards, prodder - producing clearly needed destroyable ships and modules, perhaps interacting with the aforementioned miners and mission runners, who find some metalevel stuff which can be sold for a nice price. In the end, everyone profits that there is an event going on, instead of the mind slumbering same old day to day content.
What I do not agree with are two things:
a)killing "defenceless" miners.
Its always the miners who get primaried first. And it does not matter if it is in low and nullsec, or wormhole space - or in high sec during the Hulkageddon. I've never got the point of a pirate or wannabe-pirate where the fun is of killing a mining ship. Thrillkill? not really. Even if its just for the killmail, I disagree. Most miners enjoy their profession maximizing their skills and their trade in that field, so even if people just say, go get a Drake and start missioning or even switch ships, shoot back, to some, that option is simply not possible.
Looking back on my mains career, mining hurts the ability to successfully fight back, if there is an aggression, and it takes a lot and long time to compensate this. So killing mining ships for the sake of fun, I'm not so sure if thats the right way to go - just because it takes a while to compensate the loss for a normal lowly miner.
Of course, there are options (and often repeated in the forums), such as watching local for disturbances, e.g. nonlocals, directional for warping ships, and perhaps the better option, locking up the barge for that week and do something else. Fitting an buffer fit, corestabs and such won't help, because if people want to see you dead in that ship, it will die. Also the suggestion I've read once (to fit Modulated Strip Miner II, Arkonor Mining Crystal) isn't an option, because the event is galaxywide nowadays, instead of just high-sec. That leads us to part two:
b) Miners are the victims, ingame and out of game.
As beforementioned, many miners can't join the hulkageddon, because of lacking skills, nor have the desire or the drive to join the massive slaughter and its resulting standing hits, thus are forced to do what they do best: mine. And get slaughtered, or option b, quit the game for a week and do something else. Sure, its a way of conduct to avoid the loss of expensive ships, but it's also a way of cutting off people who enjoy this game for its relaxed atmosphere, socializing while mining, and generally enjoy this game in a nonviolent, and peaceful way. So ingame, those people can't join their normal activities, and they loose a week of their fun, while being inactive - perhaps its also a real-currency impact, if those players loose a week for their plex or of gametime, which they had paid for.
In conclusion, I do agree for contests and galaxy spanning events. But it should not be on the backs of a (dedicated) group of people, not in any way. Especially if it is taken into account that they potentionally can't fight back. Make events fair, for everyone to enjoy and participate, then I could fullheartedly support any type of event.