Trust is a rare commodity in EVE Online, and is one of those aspects of the game that makes it at once interesting and frustrating. That friendly person who offers you assistance in a mission, wants to sell you a faction module, or seeks to join your corporation may very well be waiting to backstab you when you least expect it. This might sound bad, but it's not necessarily a terrible thing in terms of enjoying the game. Indeed, some may feel that it adds to the risk inherent in EVE, and thus the thrill. The fact that players can manipulate trust within the rules of the game is one of the aspects of EVE that sets it apart from most other MMOs.
The risk vs. reward stakes are raised when trust comes into play with groups of players. Collective action through corporations or alliances will, at some point in time, entail trust. It may be a CEO or director lifting restrictions on access to resources for a member of the corp, hoping that the faith placed in the recruit wasn't a bad move. In other scenarios, the situation is reversed -- a director decides to cut and run, seizing assets and leaving the corporation shocked and understandably enraged.
The concept of 'Trust in EVE' is explored in-depth in a piece written by Soleramnus, for EVE-Mag.com, where he looks at both sides of the dynamic -- the corp official who places trust and the thief who betrays it. Soleramnus writes: "It is this simple fact that trust is a real, dynamic element in EVE that causes the in-game player interaction to be vastly more political and intriguing than other games, from the smallest level of two mission runners, to the largest levels of 0.0 mega-alliances. The ultimate question becomes: who do you trust in this game, how do you know you can trust them, and how can you be sure you've earned theirs?"
These are questions that most EVE players will be faced with at some point. What have your own experiences been with trust and betrayal in EVE?