I asked someone who raids, "Why do you raid?" "To get the best items," they said. "What do you use the best items for?" I asked. To which they could only answer "To raid with."Yeah, it's apparently incursion week around here. ;-)
As I've said on the blog a couple of times, from time to time, I bring up a controversial topic because I want to stir discussion. It's not trolling, as such, because I believe the side of the controversy I espouse. The difference is that I'm willing to be convinced that I'm wrong (and a couple of times, I have been). There's lots of good comments on my post yesterday about tweaking the frequency of high-sec incursions. I'm reading them all, and learning a lot. But some people really took swings at me for going after their golden goose, particularly after EN24 surprised me by syndicating the piece.
Typical of this type of comment (from an anonymous commenter here):
I'm one of those caravaners...and I won't even tell you how much shit I haul from one incursion focus to the next. I'm in the incursion community every day. If it was a choice of Lowsec or leave the game, the incursion community would die in less than a day. And some of those people who CCP desperately need to keep sending them cold hard cash and buying stacks of PLEX to fund their multi-billion isk ships, would simply logoff again, or move back to missions. I like a lot of what you have to say Jester, but in this, I would suggest you are simply delusional in attempting to get people out of Hisec. The only way to get them out of Hisec is to get them out of the game.Not everyone who said this got all apocalyptic, but that was the gist of several comments.
The thing is, I totally get this circular argument when it's made in World of Warcraft or RIFT. I'm sure this circular argument will eventually work in SW:TOR. But I simply don't see how it can work in incursions. The reason: the diversity of the raid sites. Those games have some diversity. EVE does not.
Take Vanguards, for instance. There are three types of Vanguard sites: NCOs, OTAs, and NMCs. They differ primarily in the make-up of the rat opposition. NCOs are frigate-heavy. OTAs are battleship and cruiser heavy. NMCs are in the middle. If you're really pushing it and trying to maximize your income, then NCOs have to be run with a T3/Command Ship heavy fleet (Legions and Absolutions do it best). OTAs should be done with battleship fleets (AC Machariels seem to do it best). And NMCs should be done with hard-hitting mid-range ships (Nightmares paired with artillery ships work really well).
What does this mean? If you're in a Legion/Absolution fleet, your best bet is to do NCOs over and over again, ignoring OTAs and NMCs because you're not optimized for them. If you're in Machariels, ditto, except you'll be clearing the OTAs and won't be particularly effective in NCOs. In short, this approach breeds ultra-specialization... It means to maximize your income, your fleet will be running the same site over and over again, nine or ten times an hour until you go blind... or your brain crawls out of your ear and goes for a walk out of sheer boredom.
I find for myself that while I like the social aspect of incursion-running, the actual game-play is repetitive on a level that is ridiculous. I can't run incursions for more than a couple of days before I become antsy to do something else... anything else. It's like playing Tetris over and over again... only in this game of Tetris, you get the exact same pieces in the exact same order every single time.
This is fun? Really? Can someone explain why?
Another anonymous comment puts it rather succinctly:
The game is better off without these zombies, and I don't mean the Sansha.I'm not that hard-line (maybe Garth would be, heh), but there's definitely a problem with the circular aspect of this. It's a merry-go-round as envisioned by Stephen King: ride it a few times and you get addicted. Ride a few more times and you never want to get off the thing. Ride it enough and eventually, your body hardens into one of the horses... which starts attracting new riders... ;-)
Thanks for all the comments! Keep 'em coming!