Carebear is an often derogatory term used to describe players who prefer to refrain from PvP combat. Activities that involve playing against the game environment are collectively referred to as "carebearing."
People described as carebears can be mission runners, manufacturers, traders, or any number of non-player vs player centric fields of economic gain. The key perceived difference between 'carebears' and players who simply PvE is their attitude towards PvP encounters.
Although the term exists as an Eve meme, if one were to attempt to define a carebear as accurately as possible, some of the following attributes would generally apply.
In the end, the true difference between a mission runner, industrialist, business man, and carebear is what their reactive attitude towards PvP in EVE is.
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