Thursday, May 28, 2015

What would happen if everyone would no-life PvE?

You probably heard of my suggestion (many times mentioned on the blog and on the official forum), to place an account-wide time limit on simple farming activities like mining and ratting to stop no-lifer activity.

Now I want to address a common counter-argument and further point out why no life farming is bad. It's the Sirlin-esque "don't be a scrub, the option to do it is there for you too". The "scrub calls winning moves cheap" is indeed a central point of pay-to-win and farming all day is indeed a winning move in EVE. However Sirlin was talking about PvP moves and referred to the fact that every move has a counter move and a scrub would realize it if he'd try to emulate the "winning move". The fundamental difference is that in PvP one must lose, even if the game is reduced to "winning move vs winning move". In PvE, everyone can succeed at the same time (see also: everyone is a big hero in WoW).

Let's see what would happen if everyone would take this advice and start ratting/mining/missioning 10 hours a day with multiple accounts. The answer is quite simple: soon everyone would have a titan that he won't use because he is busy ratting/mining/missioning 10 hours a day with multiple accounts. No, it's not an exaggeration. If we count with 50M/hour, than a 4-account multiboxer makes 2B a day if he "plays" 10 hours. That's a titan in 2 months.

At this point PvP losses would be meaningless, so are kills. Unless someone literally suicides titans, he won't lose anything he can't replace a single day. If everyone would no-life in PvE, EVE would be an extremely boring and content-less game. Remember, the reason why EVE PvP is exciting and WoW PvP is boring is loss. Someone will forever lose his ship. He likely be mad about it. Or simply unable to reship (that's why SRP is given). If everyone would have hundreds of billions, this would all go away, and EVE would be nothing.

The problem is that until everyone is doing no-life PvE, doing it is indeed a winning move. You can literally keep a PvP alliance in ships single-handed. We shouldn't wait until most players do this. Losses should remain relevant in EVE.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Self hating Goons

In the last year, Goons/CFC did everything to be left alone. They abandoned regions (first Period Basis, Querious and Delve; now Fountain). They attacked no one first, only retaliated. They abandoned the "we are here to destroy your game" line and picked up a rather funny roleplaying gimmick, while changing their offensive name into a game-y. They pacified most pirate organization by hiring them, convincing them to move to Ethereum Reach or DoS-ing their region with BRAVE food. There won't even be Burn Jita anymore!

If you think these are "look, carebears!" insults, you are wrong. I like peaceful industrialists who only fight to defend themselves (or to take valuable resources from the morons and slackers), and they are capable of that. I always wanted to belong such group. Yet I fight the group most like that.

So after all the above retreats, what more could the Imperium do besides changing their alliance descriptions into "let us rat in peace pretty please"? Well, accept my peace offer. Seriously. Not because of me (though they have no hope to ever pacify MoA while I pay their SRP), but because my demands were all aimed at removing the most obnoxious and unacceptable behaviors from CFC/Imperium/Goons:
  1. No Highsec wars: highsec corps make no in-game sense. You can do any non-PvP highsec activity in a 1-man or NPC corp. People join highsec corps because they are clueless or because they want to socialize while doing solo activity. Disrupting this is just being a jerk.
  2. CFC member pilots are not allowed to suicide gank.: suicide ganking is a necessary mechanic to keep idiots at bay and keep the hauling profession (otherwise everyone could safely autopilot everywhere in highsec). Suicide gank victims should stop being dumb. But this message is ruined if they aren't ganked by NPC corp alts or the clown show of James 315, but by the "most powerful alliance". They will say "I can't do anything if Goons are after me" instead of "maybe 10B in a triple-antitank Charon in Uedama wasn't my brightest idea".
  3. CFC member pilots are not allowed to recruitment-scam. Recruitment scamming is the most repulsive activity in EVE as it targets those who express the most sincere form of respect: trying to be one of you. Maybe they wouldn't fit and should be rejected. But rewarding their respect by robbing them is an especially jerk move.
  4. RvBee treaty must be officially cancelled. RvB is a genuinely good, original idea to provide instant PvP for those who don't want to orbit a structure for hours just because some space-important metagaming guys cut a deal. Corrupting this to the point where RvB pilots were orbiting Goon POCOs day after day for weeks is evil. Maybe my original idea was wrong and RvB isn't a Goon front, but some RvB leaders prostituted themselves for some space (or real) bucks somewhere along the way. It doesn't matter. You shouldn't help corrupting something good. If it corrupts itself, that's not on you.
Most CFC/Imperium/Goon players didn't take part in highsec wars, suicide ganks, recruitment scams and didn't even know of Goon highsec POCOs. Yet the Goon public image shows the minority who does. The model Goon is a badass ganker/scammer/metagamer, while the real average Goon is ratting in Deklein. It seems the Goons hate their true self (the ratter) and aspire for the badass image.

Goons, stop hating yourselves, abandon the jerk-image and you'll find the peace you need to rat!

PS: It was an ass move to kick MoA (and R-Ducks) for "being carebears". It's obviously not true (being #1 CFC killer proves that they are really good in PvP) and also, it's you who are carebears. Just offer them an apology and exclusive rights to the Mordus Angels NPC space (no Imperium goes there if they go no Imperial sov) and your ratters stop dying hilariously (I'd cancel donations if they'd reject such offer).

Update: Goons hired Break-a-wish foundation, a small merc group to harrass MoA and given them docking rights in CFC space. This will be just as successful as all the previous "hellcamps".

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Members and power

I've seen a graph on the United States National Agricultural Statistics Service:
Well, it's obvious that agriculture in the USA is failcascading and soon there will be starvation.

I mean, it's "obvious" if we consider the common in-game thinking that losing members is terrible, while losing land, ships and battles is "content". You probably know the truth that the agriculture in the USA is fine, the worker decrease comes from efficiency increase: more land can be handled by a single farmer. Year by year farmers who can't compete with others leave the sector and join services sector. The 2013 pilot killboard analysis shows something similar: very few pilots, mere 7K out of the 520K total are responsible for half of the kills. The rest are like the uncompetitive farmers. They linger on for some time before they join the carebear sector.

A group shall be evaluated based on their results (kills, land owned ...) and not on their numbers. Hiring warm bodies isn't that hard, BRAVE excels in that, however it didn't help them much in Catch. Nor it helps them in Fountain. In both cases numberically seriously inferior groups (PL and BL) stomp on them. Or think how CFC alliances recruited most of the renters. Do you think they will learn to PvP overnight just because their alliance tag changed? Then how would this number increase translate into performance increase? (by increased ratting performance)

Why did I write this? Because of daydreaming Goons keep telling "MoA is much smaller than us, they can't win". Well, if you follow the monthly CFC loss reports, you know better.

Monday, May 25, 2015

For the Empress! (part 2)

As I mentioned in part 1, you can do lot of things to ruin "Burn Amarr" for the evil Goons. Now I outline the most effective strategy against them.

In last year Burn Jita they failed surprising amount of times to kill the target freighter on the first run. It's partially because it's impossible to know the EHP of the freighters as they are heavily reliant on skillpoints, partially because of lag and messups. But the real reason is that freighters and especially JFs have lot of EHP and in a 0.9 system you have little damage due to the short time before Concord arrives. It's hard to get large enough fleets, so the FC can wait more, making everyone bored or undock whatever he has and hope for the best. The latter often leads to freighters surviving in low hull. These cases the bumpers keep it tackled and after GCC is up, they finish it.

However it takes about 20 minutes (not counting TiDi) for a gank fleet consisting a ragtag crew to strike again. 15 mins GCC and 5 more before everyone is back at the keyboard and got a new ship. During that time you can repair the freighter, undoing the damage done last run. If reppers are doing well, Goons must kill the ship in one run or they did nothing. This slows down ganks extremely, since they must be absolutely sure that they have an overkilling fleet before undocking or they just provided fun to their enemies.

The simple way of doing it is any random repping ship. Even a logi frigate helps. If you want to participate fighting the Evil during Burn Amarr, you can get into a T1 logi cruiser in a few hours and make difference. I purposefully not post fitting, anything that is bonused for repping shield or armor is a great addition.

The bit more advanced method adresses the problem that most of the EHP of the freighters and jump freighters are in the hull, so repping only shield and armor will likely not save a freighter. It's still necessary, but not enough. If you see that freighters get their shield and armor up fast, but not their hull, you should switch to a hull repping ship. The problem is that no ship is bonused for hull repping, especially not logi ships. Remote hull reppers have extreme fitting and capacitor demands, so a you need to fit a large ship with cap rechargers to run them and keep very close to the freighter due to the low optimal. Not exactly the thing you'd want to fly during a gank campaign. Also, have you trained remote hull repping 5? I didn't think so. So you need a ship that is fast to avoid being warped on and ganked, have enough tank to survive long range trashers, while repping hull from distance, while cap stable. Oh, and if it's not too much to ask, some comedy value to mock Goons would be great too:

[Ishtar, AFK Gooner]
Damage Control II
1600mm Reinforced Steel Plates II
Prototype Armor Explosive Hardener I
Prototype Armor EM Hardener I
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

10MN Afterburner II
Omnidirectional Tracking Link II, Optimal Range Script
Omnidirectional Tracking Link II, Optimal Range Script
Drone Navigation Computer II
Drone Navigation Computer II

Drone Link Augmentor I
[empty high slot]
[empty high slot]
[empty high slot]

Medium Drone Repair Augmentor I
Medium Drone Repair Augmentor I

Heavy Hull Maintenance Bot II x5

You have time to learn repair drone operation 5, that's not a long skill and an overall useful one. Don't forget to name your ship "AFK ratter" and do what a true Goon would: set a large orbit around the freighter, send drones, go AFK for 20 mins. If you are the only player in EVE who can't fly an Isthar in 2015, use a Domi.

If you have multiple pilots, trained in logistics skills, you can go wild. Use a hull repping battleship, captrading with a logistics ship. With a 100mn MWD the battleship will be fast enough to arrive fast to the freighter and stay close when bumped. The logi needs to keep orbit the battleship due to short cap transfer range. It's probably better to use a T1 logi to avoid losing a T2 to gankers. Depending on skills, you can run 2-3 large remote hull reppers while cap stable, being much more powerful than an AFK Istar. Of course you should have hull maintenace drones on both ships and also armor/shield repper on the leftover fitting of the logi.

Below you can see what I will bring:
A 5x T2 large repper (+4x T2 large drone) Typhoon, a Basilisk, a Guardian and an offgrid booster Astarte (acting as freighter on the picture). The logies captrade with each other and provide armor and shield reps to the freighter and enough cap to run the battleship.

Come! Let's give the minions of Evil a "Burn Amarr" worth remembering!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Weekend minipost: is that a PvP ship?

MJD, dual xslab, point, web and nosferatus are definitely the tools of PvP. I wonder why rats were the #1 damage dealers. Was he baiting? Well, if he did, he was successful and the poor hellcamped, irrelevant NPC trash failed for the trap. Sort of.

Was he ewaring rats?

OK. I was unfair. These fails weren't pure blood Goons. True Goons know how to fit a ship.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Weekend minipost: Only MoA

I check the killboards and war reports in-between the monthly complete evaluations to avoid wasting donations. I couldn't miss the activity decrease in the Marmite-CFC wars. While the wars are still up, kills don't happen. According to the (inaccurate, but acceptable) war reports, on the week that started on May 3 Sunday and ended on May 9 Saturday they killed 30B CFC. On the next week 14B. On the one that ended today: 11B. This is too low to remain a donation recipient. Also looking at their killboard I had trouble finding CFC who weren't in shuttles. So today and on May 30 I send all my 12B donations to MoA, then analyze the May killboard and find a new donation recipient.

Please note that I do not say that "Marmite sucks", they weren't hired, they promised nothing. It's OK for them to not hunt CFC, just like it's OK for me to not give them donations.

Friday, May 22, 2015

For the Empress! (part 1)

The Evil One announced that this year there will be Burn Amarr instead of Burn Jita, because of roleplaying reasons. I doubt if he consulted with the Ministry of Love (CFC gankers in highsec) before this decision, because Amarr is 1.0 security, so Concord reacts the fastest here, faster than in the 0.9 Jita. This will force gankers to redesign their doctrines as usual gank ships (Talos, Brutix, Catalyst) simply don't live long enough. I'd guess they move to arty Trashers and Tornadoes. I'd like to point out that Minmatar T1 cruisers (Stabber, Bellicose, Rupture) only have 4 turret hardpoints, making them bad gank ships, forcing gankers to blot out the sky with Trashers or grab deep into their pockets for Tornadoes.

May is almost over and there was nothing burned yet, despite earlier Burn Jitas all took part mid-spring. The last year wasn't a victory march for the Empire of Evil: they lost several regions and the "NPC Trash" is slaughtering them left and right. That 2.4T in ships and the highsec POCOs that my GRR project took from them is irrelevant, they didn't want it anyway. So a weakened CFC is trying a harder task than before: burning Amarr. This isn't simply a doctrinal change. Large amount of ships and fittings needs to be built or transported to Amarr, which is a trade hub, but not as large as Jita and not properly stocked with ganker stuff. Not to mention that former stockpiles (like thousands of Catalyst hulls) now have to be liquidated or transported.

These are all positive signs, but doesn't give us victory without lifting a finger. At first, the stocking and doctrinal changes affect anti-burn pilots too. For example ECM ships worth nothing against alpha gankers, as they fire their one salvo in the moment they go GCC. Jamming them later changes nothing. There are three ways to fight Amarr gankers, two announced today, the third and most important on Monday.

The first is wardecs, available only to highsec PvP groups as no one else can capitalize on it. While decs weren't effective previous years, they are now, due to removal of death-clone-jumping. Today a Goonie can't just set his medical clone to Jita/Amarr and self-destruct, he must use a jump clone if any is pre-installed in highsec or take a looooong walk from Deklein to Amarr that includes the always camped Niarja gate. Also, they have to set their medical clone upon arrival, missing this and getting podded will get them back to deep nullsec. While there will surely be convoys, stragglers, disconnectors and TiDi victims can be pointed and killed on the way, teleporting them back. So it will be a turkey shoot for highsec deccers. Since arty trashers are pretty able to defend themselves, probing them out on insta-warp or camping their station is probably not as good idea as it is against blaster Catalysts. In all years RvB joined any anti-Goon war to protect them, but in last year this was an empty action: RvB ships didn't show up during Burn Jita, probably the line members were fed up serving Goons. Also RvB usually don't operate in Amarr space, so deccers will likely not face RvB action.

The second form of resistance is troll freighters. They performed well last year and freighters received fitting options since then. By fitting tank to your max-insured freighter and placing unscannable double-wrapped cargo box in it, you can waste lot of man-hours of the gankers with trivial losses to yourself. Simply place some worthless item in a container and then courier contract this to your freighter pilot and fly into Amarr. Then fly out. And in again until they bite. Or maybe orbit the most ganked gate (probably Ashab) and troll them on local, preferably with the title of this article.