Thursday, April 24, 2014

Real highsec industrialists will NOT quit because of the changes

Tears are flowing since CCP announced an industrial rebalance that finally nerfs highsec manufacturing and research. Of course there are also UI changes and other improvements, but the gameplay change is putting up to 14% tax to jobs that are ran on high-traffic stations, typically in highsec. The tears are obvious: this will kill highsec industry, large number of players will quit.

It's not true: there won't be mass loss of accounts. At first, some of the "highsec industrialists" are actually nullsec alts. They are by-product of the current bad design where even those who live in Nullsec are earning their money in highsec. They will go home to nullsec.

What about the genuine highsec industrialists? They can be classified into two groups: those who play this way because they like it and those who want ISK. The first group is unaffected as the gameplay is still there. They will earn less ISK but they can't care less as the ISK was always a byproduct. If you roleplay a creator of things, you can continue. Remember, L4 missions didn't make newbies skip lower missions, despite they could just buy a pilot and jump on L4s on day 1.

The interesting part are those who want to earn ISK. Why do they do it? I mean if they don't PvP on alts, what do they do with their ISK? The only answer (besides RMT) is to use ISK as a success metric: I made more ISK than last month or more than most people, so I'm doing good. These competitive players will simply adapt, either by moving out of highsec or switching to another profitable highsec profession like trading. I mean if they are competitive, they won't give up after the first nerf.

Who are crying the tears then? Those who never liked industry, just did it because it was more profitable than ratting/missioning. They had their safe and easy farm that allowed them to fund their PvP or accounts. They don't want their free ISK go away. But for them, it was always a side activity and they will surely not quit.

Finally: what about those who PLEX-ed their only account using highsec industry and won't be able to adapt? The answer is "who cares"? The PLEX prices are just growing, meaning there will be more than enough demand for PLEX even if they quit.

The same applies to those who did research in POS, locking the BPO on stations: this change will remove this risk and gameplay-free "press button, receive ISK" method. Research will be done by those who are capable of defending a highsec POS some way. Fighting yourself, hiding the POS, getting blue status from locals and hiring mercs are all involving gameplay, not just automatic button pressing.

Final note:
This is my old favorite mineral graph. As you can see, mining in nullsec and especially lowsec is about 25-50% more profitable than in highsec. Not 14%, but up to 50%. Yet lowsec mining is non-existent, while in highsec you can't drop a Catalyst without hitting a Retriever. Why? Because most people value safety over profit. The highsec majority sets the baseline, the few who go mine/manufacture in null will sell for the same price, enjoying premium.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Get Burned in Jita announced

Goons did not learn from the high losses last year and announced that on this weekend they will organize the third Burn Jita. I wrote already how can you turn this event into "got Burned in Jita". This post is just a reminder and summary.

The first thing is to remember that despite minimal organized anti-Goon defense, the Goons reached pitiful 62% ISK ratio last year, which is a bad joke for suicide gankers. They are very far from being invincible, they are actually on the verge of complete disaster, held back only by propaganda. Most people who could turn it into a massacre didn't dare to show up, believing that they'll be fighting an uphill battle. So don't be scared, Goons are in a very bad shape already! I loved how Warr Akini tried to spin their recent loss of highsec POCOs: "Special thanks also go out to my right-hand honky Powers Sa for being a trooper on the POCO defenses in past months and helping us transfer them to RvB as a token of goodwill". They were defeated once in highsec this year. Time to finish their pitiful griefer pride march!

Secondly, they will have anti-wardec fleets, probably with their highsec slaves RvB. If you are a war target, do not try to battle them, use disposable ships and pods to grab a kill or two before going down.

Thirdly: if you are not a war target, you can have a massacre using ECM ships. Get green jammers on a Blackbird or Scorpion with brick armor tank, set safety to green to prevent accidents, prelock Goon Taloses and Brutixes and when they go GCC, jam them out.

Most importantly: the Burn Jita is a pogrom. Goons want to drink "highsec pubbie tears". Give them a finger with a troll freighter or Orca. Platinum insure it, put a double-wrapped package in it with a Damage Control I inside and fly in and out. Get a clean pod. Troll goons after they wasted a fleet for an empty freighter. They lose more ISK than you do, you can simply wear them down. The total defeat of Burn Jita will happen not if every Goon explodes, but if local is full of freighters spamming: "shoot me Goons". While PvP-ers can ruin the day of the Goon reimbursement department, only gunless "highsec pubbies" can ruin the day of the line Goon. Laugh into their face when they find the DCI in your wreck, grab a new freighter and do it again until they give up!

Remember! Burn Jita is a central event for the Goons. Take it from them and they'll have nothing but a bombless bomber, a paplink and multi-million HP structures to grind. The belief that they can ruin your game makes them log in. Prove them wrong, laugh at them, troll them and they'll be gone for good!

Focus your effort on Friday, the first day! If the killboards fill up with dead Goons and very few successful ganks, the majority of the Goons who can play on weekend will not "feel like" joining. On the other hand if you let them get kills on the first day, you'll face a self-confident and bloodthirsty swarm on Saturday.

Update: I checked GSF pod losses in 2013 Burn Jita. Goons are dumb, despite they were told to use empty pods, their average pod value was 55M. 366 pods were lost, 206 were indeed empty or just a cheap +1% hardwiring, but the remaining 160 had significant value, featuring a full crystal which is perfect for a suicide Thrasher. There is also an incomplete crystal, +5 learning with 5x5% HW, +4 learning with 5x5% HW, another one. What I mean is that it pays to sit next a gate with a ganky Thrasher and grab Goon pods.

I hope the nullsec and lowsec enemies of Goons realize how vulnerable Goons are in Burn Jita and how important it is to them and come and ruin it. This is the best time to hit the bad Goons hard!

One more thing: stop writing tear crap! Goons feed on it! Posts that emanate helplessness and beg for CCP help make Goons feel big and strong. Instead, kill them or feed them troll freighters!

PS: unrelated real life research about why the poor remains poor. Poor families give more pocket money for their kids and buy more toys to them than rich families, not only wasting their money, but teaching the poor kid to waste all their money on "fun".

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Morlocks and Eloi: not so bad after all (or worse)

Contrary to popular belief, I don't ignore comments. What I ignore is an opinion that the commenter pulled out of his butt or from the propaganda bulletin of his alliance. I wrote how the pilots of various alliances can be classified into the small elite of "Morlocks" and a large Eloi population who just die. Some commenters mentioned the effect of "inactives" in the scheme: since they have little kills and little losses, they get booked under Eloi, despite no one really feeds on them. Michael LeBlanc even downloaded the data set and found that if we order the people according to losses, most losses go to a small group, which leads to an opposite interpretation (few Eloi, lot of Morlocks). To resolve this, I included inactives into the scheme.

To find them, first I grouped the pilots into 5% groups according to total activity (loss + de-whored kill). This gave an exponential distribution (see the logarithmic scale on the chart), with the top 5% pilots (first dot) did 2/3 of the PvP:

The 80% of total activity of the alliance was done by approximately 15% of the pilots. The rest were defined as inactives. The limit of getting into the active group was 1.1B kill+loss/pilot/year for RvB, 3.2B for GSF and 0.8B for Brave. The actives were classified according to their ISK ratio into Morlock (60%+), Eloi (40%-) and Middle groups. The size of the groups is written on the chart as percentage of all pilots mention on kill reports (7645 for Brave, 9123 for GSF, 8171 for RvB). The results were very similar for the three alliances I had data for:

I don't know if this scheme is better or worse. I mean it's clearly more true, since it properly handles those who neither kill, nor lose significant amounts. But is it better for EVE and the mentioned alliances? The previous narrative at least had the "EVE is hard, only a small elite can prevail" glory. This one says: "most players just don't care to log in". According to this data, GSF, the largest nullsec alliance has 1400 active pilots. This also explains how can the much smaller N3 coalition keep so many systems: they have the "elite" skill of logging in. On the other hand those who care to log in are distributed pretty evenly among goods, bads and averages. So it gives a decent chance to everyone to be good, as long as he keeps logging in.

One more thing: if we compare the three charts, it's clear that Goons have the biggest ISK values, the most Morlocks and the least Eloi among their actives. So flying in Sov fleets has a positive effect on the results of a player. It makes sense since anchoring up and pressing F1 is easier than solo roaming. One of the problems with EVE is that everyone suggest the most frustrating way to newbies to learn to PvP: go lowsec and solo! It's clear that the easiest way is to find a PvP gang to join up to be lead and educated instead of just jumping into gatecamps.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter mini hilarity post

People don't really read blogs during holidays, so no real post. On the other hand they log in and play. If they were Goon servants, they shouldn't have. Then they'd still have their freighter, incursion Machariel, dumbfit domi, scythe fleet???, another freighter, hulk or transport interceptor. Learn from this people: don't be Goon servants!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Weekend hilarity: Goons are awoxing renters!

Goons still aren't burning Jita. Maybe they are scared. Maybe they are too busy setting up awoxing towers that kill their own renters, like this 16B JF.

I have to accept that this is a work of art. Awoxing without even being at the keyboard. This needs a Goon to come up with.

On a different note: the highsec Goon slave RvB have an industrial altcorp Blohm and Voss Shipyard who has sov in Goon space. They also had a 6B JF and a half B pod.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bots are responsible for the boring nullsec

Every time when an EVE site lacks a recent titan gank or a 100+ battle, yet another opinion piece comes forward about the boring nullsec. Or blue doughnut. Or how hard it is for a new alliance. Or risk aversion. Or how the small gang PvP is dying. Or some other version.

The assumed reasons are numerous, but of course none of them even mentions the core of everything: economy. The reason of the boring nullsec is economic, namely: bots. No, not in a political way, there is no secret botter conspiration where Goons and PL guys are meeting in dark corners to share botting money. The way is as mundane and primitive as it can be: bots make nullsec non-productive for players.

The original EVE philosophy is that the bigger risk you take, the bigger reward you get. Bringing an AFK retriever out for Kernite is much easier than conquering a region, building logistical chain and then mine while watching intel channels for incoming interceptors who can tackle you before you warp out. Yet the truth is this:
Why? Because of the large number of mining bots. Of course there are also anom ratting bots and NPC null missioning bots. These bots are flooding the market with the items that supposed to be rare jewels available only to the bravest and strongest. Their flooding reached the point when a player can earn more money in highsec than in nullsec, completely turning the design upside down.

How does it make nullsec boring? Because it takes away the reason to go there. There is no "leave the safe but impoverished highsec" drive. There is no "nice region, let's take it" either. Nullsec regions are just bragging rights, sources of pride without real value. This limits nullsec (and somewhat less lowsec and WH) playerbase to the competitive ones and the "let's have fun with explosions" crowd. Instead of endgame, nullsec became niche game. My own example: I fight Goons without wanting anything they have. If they collapse, I won't go to live in Deklein.

How can it be fixed: by removing botting. If bots no longer flood nullsec resources, they become rare, letting brave adventurers get rich. But it's easier to say than done. Catching botters isn't easy. However the extreme amount of botting in nullsec is caused by the following game design problems:
  • PvE is repetitive, trivial and usually not fun. This makes botting easy and preferred. There is no frigate PvP-ing bot that you can leave running to farm you some kills. Making PvE (especially mining) more engaging and less repetitive would make bot-making much harder and less people would say "I rather stop playing than PvE myself"
  • Avoiding PvP is trivial but mind-bogging: watch local, warp if anyone arrives. In WH space: spam scan for new signatures. This again prefers bots. A bot is better in this task than humans. The PvP-avoiding methods must be automated (like a switch next to the autopilot: warp if neuts in local) or removed (no local, nothing to watch). Same for new sigs and dscan: make spamming and watching unneeded or impossible.
  • Avoiding PvP is necessary for survival. If you are in a PvE ship, you are dead if anyone lands on your grid. So you must watch local. There is a consensus that removing local from nullsec would decrease null PvE to 1/10th or such. I'm not sure if it would be bad, but CCP wouldn't dare to try it out. The solution is changing ships, deployables and mechanics to give a chance to a PvE player to defend himself.
  • Hunting is zero risk activity. It's not unrelated from the previous problem: if you go to kill ratters, the worst thing that can happen to you is losing a few M ship. The best thing is solo killing a near-billion faction battleship. Those who are out to kill billion ISK faction battleships and capitals should risk more than a ship that is handed out by the newbie missions for free. If the hunters would have non-zero ISK value, the locals would form defensive gangs to kill them. Then fighting back (instead of running which is best done by bot) would be the preferred method for nullsec PvE pilots.
Anyway, until botting is the preferred method of making ISK in nullsec, players won't try to break in, so stagnation will remain.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Morlocks and Eloi: the dark secret of EVE Online

A few weeks ago I wrote a post named Morlocks and Eloi: the dark secret of RvB. I've found that Red versus Blue could be distributed into three groups that did equal PvP damage. The first group has 0.7% of the pilots in it, the second group has 3.3% and the remaining 96.0% also done 1/3 damage.

I attributed that to RvB being a scam that is designed this way, to feed "elite PvP-ers" with kills while they do their duty. I received the kill and loss data of Brave Collective for the last 6 months (2013 Oct - 2014 March) to show how a really newbie friendly alliance performs. Well, they don't do much better. The top group has 1.1% of the pilots, the second group has 3.6% and the remaining 95.3% also done 1/3 damage.

Oops. Almost identical numbers. So I turned to the last data I had, GSF 2013 kills and losses. The results are practically identical: The top group is 1.0% of the pilots, the second group has 4.2% and the remaining 94.8% also done 1/3 damage.

I've found back then that the top group has good ISK ratio, the middle group loses as much as kills and the bottom group is slaughtered. There isn't much difference here either if you look at the charts of RvB, BNI and GSF:

What does this mean? Two things: the first is that "elite PvP" is alive and well even in the alliances that claim to be the most newbie friendly and consider "elite PvP" a curseword. Secondly, it proves that PvP-ing is mostly irrelevant in the Sov scene. I mean it's obvious that the 87 pilots that form the "top 1/3" group of GSF, couldn't fight sov battles. Most sov battles have relatively low kills or no kills at all, because the enemy runs away. Sov warfare is rather PvE than PvP, fleet attendance and not PvP performance matters. Carebears are better for a Nullsec empire than PvP-ers.

What is the "dark secret of EVE Online"? That 95% of those who participate in PvP are slaughtered like sheep and even the most "newbie friendly" and "community based" alliances can't help them at all. Those who don't have the dedication and skill to get into at least the top 2-5% of the players are better off avoiding PvP completely and focus on making money, and flying "click broadcast, press F1" fleets. There is no such thing as "average PvP-er", just a 1% elite, a few % elite aspirants and 95% sheep.

Of course I'm not saying that PvP-ing is worthless. Hundreds of billions of ISK can be destroyed and even more stopped from being earned by hunting farmers and haulers. But this is a job available only to the top 1% elite.

Below you can see the elite PvP-ers of Brave Collective: Santo Trafficante, Seth Goa'Uld, Plask Arthie, Ripley Kaga, Nippery Slipple, Malphas Inanis, Leahcim Vinjen, Axandrias Darkstar, Janne Harkala, Black Bart Pirate, Andi Onthatop, Lumpymayo, Riper Dennom, Mattisen Arcanth, Mikey Ormand, Dardanos Herakles, Jack Heisenburg, Arik Alabel, Anna niedostepny, Sgtchronic, Toros Culzean, Le Petite More, Caprice Ohtar, Lefty Leftfield, chopper1k, Tyr Dolorem, Richard roarimlions, Larss Tivianne, Crazy HybridChick, Altrue, Nancy Crow, OriginalName IV, FricktheTurtle, Keesha Echerie, Vikkiman001, Verak Padecain, Braldye Sinma, pretty hair, Malik Fett, Calfis, Blue Ice, Dom Arilio, Drumin Cloud, Ryvarant, Thandion, watch yoself, Madison Madeveda, Skylif Beria, Bishop Halifax, Scrymjaw Dazai, Jobe Delaar, Nicholas Aideronne, Charles Wu-Wong, Revolt Sklor, Elena Cassidy, Forgione, dreamertt, D Montesquieu, Ayanamii Ikari, Alistair Chromewell, Andr Katelo, Nour Aerilon, Denae Soarus, Thirtyone Organism, Seb Solo, Nxtg3n, Socco, Laokoon Firetail, Clearly Knott, Panic Mangeiri, Motre, a DAMN PATRIOT, Chuck Fiinley, BrotherNick Tranquil, PillowFluffer, Xyvos, Janet Sukarala, Rae Kusoni, Moomincake, Colonel O'neil Tauri, Gullron, Tessa Gatria, Svana Shaishi, User Offline, ScentDeLaPwnage Loutte, Merling Erquilenne.

And the most ironic list: the elite PvP-ers of Goonswarm Federation: Warr Akini, Nina Hayashi, roaritron, Alex Gianturco, eC Cade, Rehtom Lamina, Ikolo, Benchab Mas, Aaron eVega, Mittani Alexander Gianturco, Proud Brother, rackarns, Unfortunate Uncle, Alexander Mittani Gianturco, JohnCrichton, shelly's Jihad, CowWarrior, Gad'ui, Silin Vespula, oodell, Furious Father, Vatek, ooeall, ooaell, Beryozka, Bubbles9001, Futility 101, LifesAbitch, ooeell, Mikalar, kaldarinka, kyrie1eison, Sipphakta en Gravonere, Durjaya Hemadri, Garnoo, 3Better, Cyber Yeti, Issabella, ooiell, Grizzly Baddums, Colosus blade, Bob Haldeman, Dungar's Sister, Gennel, Tamirr U'tath, Kasa Shadowman, Ministerial Duties, Aranorn, GubkaBob Mrazish, Blacklyche, M3AN FOOKER, sakhan Bravo, Alex Ribblestraib, FlamingLips, Gorn Arming, Sensei Chilinata, Gaara's sniper, sakhan Alpha, DaShmoo, AleksLuc, WildIRISH, PellePlutt, Forsaken Skipper, Lazei, Angel Logisticus, Dark Sn1p3r, ginmushi, Terminal Adtur, Agentile, Chikotilnik, Eliza d'Alikchi, Castle Sevas, Tiberizzle, Guuldan, Braygo Khallazar, Hentai-san Daivis, Monster Dude, Ymka Gotovcev, Gluttony the Voracious, Gilles de Rais, Lust the Lascivious, Wrath the Furious, Sloth the Indolent, Ebony Sniper, Seamus McLove, Jeanne D' Arc, Hassan- i Sabbah.

Update: Michael LeBlanc in a comment had a good idea, to display the pilots in an exponential scale. So I made the BNI chart. Please note that the X axis is not misaligned, there are 7600 pilots who got on killmails, but 3000 of them had no kills just losses, and ln(0) = -infinite:

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