Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Comment of the week: Zombies

Last year at this time, Yahtzee did a funny, snarky little Zero Punctuation review of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, in which he talked about raiding:
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!


  1. For me the fleets I enjoy the best aren't maxing the income, specialized sure but not maxed. You start running first hour or 2 everyone is getting to know each other flying wise and the FC is getting everyone onto the same page then boom autopilot, everyone starts hitting the sites like a machine and without have to actually focus on the sites. At this point it no longer feels like your grinding or doing sites but like your at a poker night or such with the pals, ya your playing a game that it is only the method in which to gather.

  2. I cant speak for others, but I know when I run incursions its with a clear and persistent goal in mind. I want to move to nulsec.
    I want to fly carrier and participate in those massive fleet fights one reads about. I even took advice from your very own blog here Jester. I found myself a "nulbear" renter corp that's part of a much larger alliance. One that at this very moment is in a state of war (Shadow of xXDEATHXx) and thus has a few CTA's going at the moment. Indeed, I often lament that this 'war' happened now and not in 8 months time when I would be closer to my skill goals. But I figure stuff like this happens all the time out there so I should have plenty more opportunities.

    When I run incursions its for isk, its for something to do and its to socialise.
    In this endeavour I do -not- run vanguards. They make a lot of isk but as you've pointed out here run them enough and your brain crawls out of your head to go have a beer. In a VG no one talks, no one jokes, its all about the isk/hour.

    Assaults are a bit better, you have room to talk and room to joke but it's still about the isk.
    HQ's are in my opinion where it's at. You have enough room that you can shoot the breeze, enough logi's that you can joke around and enough downtime that its not about the isk. Yeah the isk is nice but its no longer why I run incursions. HQ's are the perfect place to meet people like yourself Jester, nulsec alts living the highsec high-life. From there its easy to pick up bits of gossip, advice and war stories. This is the kind of environment that will convince high-sec "bears" to check out low and nulsec. This is the kind of environment that keeps new players playing.

    Every-time I hear someone level some kind of complaint against Incursions I can trace their problem back to vanguards. Every-time I hear someone's plan to "fix" incursions what they really want to fix is vanguards.
    It is vanguards that generate the stupid amounts of ISK, it is vanguards that makes people into zombies.

  3. Of course one could run a fleet that is non-optimal for OTAs or NCOs or NMCs, and take whatever sites are available. Machariels, Nightmares, Vindicators, the occasional Huginn. The optimal fleets end up sitting around waiting for "their" site to spawn. They can't AFK otherwise they miss the site.

    Thus an optimal vanguard fleet will actually be suboptimal for each site, because it has cruisers and battleships.

    My circle of friends is solving the vanguard problem by running assaults and HQs instead. No more whining about vanguards, even though I still think they are a little too rewarding.

  4. 1 last trollcomment for the night:
    Man Jester, I will say that CCP has really brought the Gollum out in the bear populace with Incursions. Ya know most of the (ironically anon) comments I've seen from bears on the subject boil down to: "MAIII PRECIOUS!! NO TOUCHSIES THE PRECIOUS!!! MINE!!!"

    You bring good ideas, no matter how they fail to adjust for modern psychosocial behaviors and motivators, especially in the entitled, generally narcissistic Murrican populace that appears to constitute a large part of your readership.

    Argue with them all you like, but it's like arguing with a lil kid doing the Pee-Wee Herman "I know you are but what am I?" bit. In the end they're right and you're a doodiehead. Why? Because they said so.

    Think I'm gonna start calling you Frodo. Or Doodiehead. Haven't exactly decided which yet. ;-) lol

  5. I think its just a different mind set Jester.

    Personally as an ex mission bear (currently in TOR, but feeling the pull of EVE already :P) for me the consistancy was comfortable and more importantly SAFE.

    In a game like EVE where you can go from undock to FUBAR in a heartbeat its nice to have some sort of consistancy and a level of reliative safety in the game to earn your keep; and earning the ISKies is the core of every mechanic in the game. Sure the social aspect is there as well but thats icing on the EVE cake and not the core of the game itself (or at least not to me).

    I found it quite difficult to play and have a good time if I didn't make much ISK. Yeah I know it sounds bad but I had some times when I would gear up, grab a few corpies for a wormhole and leave with a handful of sleeper gear that sold for less and a few million. Compare that to the ISK I could have made in the same amount of time on missions and its clear why people stick with the missions; because they are consistant, simple, safe and soloable.

    The ability to solo content is also important (for me anyway) because I don't want to feel as if I am completely depenedent on other people or have to force them into something so that *I* can have a good time (yes you could argue that everyone has a good time but the primary motiviation is yourself) so I would prefer content that I could play and enjoy at my own pace.

    After a while I would get bored of running missions all the time and try and break it up with some industry, mining or exploration but I knew that my money maker was mission running.

    The problem with any MMO is that there are too many variables. I always found myself in small or inexperainced corps which ment that I could never learn the PvP ropes or get into small ganks out of fear of reprisal or simply wasting my time and money on an activity that I 'hoped' to make money off; yeah it could be more fun and be a 'loss leader' but eventually you would have to go back to the grind stone anyway to get back the ISK lost.

    A little phrase I came up with compairing WoW to EVE is "In WoW you do what is profitable and hope its fun, in EVE you do what is fun and hope its profitable".

    Now is it bad to be a 'zombie'? No I don't think so. Its like saying "are you bored of your drive / walk into work"? You may have done it a million + 1 times but its the best route, quickest and from consistancy comes safety and security. Changing the routine can cause problems if you go the wrong way, hit traffic or simply waste your time so to some people its better to stick with what you know.

    At the end of the day EVE is a game thats made up of a LOT of different play styles. Yeah the PvP, low / null sec play style is probably the most marketable and infamous but it takes the miners to get the materials to make ships & equipment, the PvEers to mission to buy the ships & equipment and it takes the PvPers to blow those people up so that they buy more ships & equipment :P

  6. I never did an incursion, but always considered it as an option in case I needed cash for some reason.

    Being an 9 year old veteren of EVE (10 if you count haunting the forums during development) it was to me the thing that missioning supposed to be.

    Incursion remind me of mining ops, nobody wants to do them (really) but when your doing them you know its going to earn you money and you just chill with the guys and talk alot. I hate mining but I love hanging out with buddies telling warstories or make homo erotic advances to female characters you know are being played by pudgy corpmates.

    In a perfect world, people would also migrate to low sec for these incursions. Being in a fleet, having been organised with intel and scouts. This however is usually done by entities who have a more strict mode of cooperation then the incursion fleets who are, as I understand it a rag-tag temporary crew, although I get that some form into longer lasting ones.

    Without trust in the teammates you fly with, or at least the believe you are safe if indeed he turns out to be unthrustworthy flying into lowsec would pose a problem for most of these "temporary fleetmates".

    In order to have people fly into low sec, CCP at least needs to adress some of the aggression flaws (like it has been doing) so that at least grieving would be harder or be limited to meta-level.

    Offcourse nothing would chance to the fact that if a fleet of orcas laden with booty pops up in low sec with a meta spy inside giving the position to a pirate/merc/0.0 corp and a very definite goal/endpoint would die a horrible burning fiery death.

    I like that last fact, I like you have to fight for every inch in eve and I like the burning of flesh and loot. But I do understand many others just don't.

  7. Oh just one more thing; ask a gambler why they play at the slots all day every day? The same psychology is at work with EVE and many other MMO games.

    Ask them if its more fun to work a steady job or gamble all day, even if the payout is identical. They would still say that gambling is more fun, simply because they are receiving rewards for their actions on a steady pace which encourages them to continue with the same activities.

    Yes its classic 'skinner box' game play, yes it is quite boring after a while but almost every sort of interactive media has an element of 'time investment = reward' mechanism (ie, press button = receive bacon).

    Games like WoW encourage 'grinding' of instances by using very similar 'gambling' psychology because the item that you want isn't assured to drop, so you play for your 'chance' to get the item you want (hence why is a gamble). When you don't get it you wait till the next day (when it resets), rinse repeat.

    Once you do get what you want you move onto something else and back to step 1. That process is what takes the majority of the time as it can take weeks and months to get to where you want to be in terms of gear.

    Once you've got everything you want you either move onto another character or the devs push the carrot out further for you to chase after and the entire process starts again.

    With EVE it is slightly different in that most of the rewards come in the form of hard currency, but essentially Incursions are a gamble where you play for your chances to make a lot of ISK and if you can reduce the risks in the gamble it increases your chances of making the maximum amount of ISK with the minimal amount of effort.

    So are 'zombies' bad? No not at all - its just another play style that people are comfortable with; and as long as they continue to play and pay the subscription fee then CCP shouldn't have any problem keeping them around.

  8. So your argument is that this can't be true of Eve because no one playing Eve has OCD?

  9. Hello, thank you for the interesting post!

    As a long time WoW player and hardcore raider I want to give you some thoughts about this (without refering to eve).
    Back in Vanilla you raided to get stuff others do not get, and you see content others cannot get to. Sure, the encounters change all 4 months or so, if another raid is added, but especially in vanilla you farm the same shit over and over again to get very dedicated gear that is ABSOLUTELY needed to tackle the next boss. Others just did not have the skill to finish the first instance but never the less try it every week several times and spend the rest of their time with preparation. By the way, I even got to know one person that actually always starts a orc warrior lvl1 and plays it to max, farms the pvp gear afterwards and creates the next one. They all look the same.

    From all I saw, I have to say: It is impossible to estimate - this will be more fun for all, lets push it this way. You simply cannot. Blizzard tried and pushed off players like me pampering the casuals and pissing off the majority long term players.

    It is good that eve offers many different playstyles, if it was not that, I really would have stopped months ago.
    I know people in eve that try to collect every ship. They enjoy putting ridiculously expensive equipment in it and watching it in dock! Yes they do not use it. Crazy eh?

    Or take me as an example: I am a newbee player and plan on trying incursions soon. I hack and slash my way through lvl3 missions with my hurricane (low skills can make it really hard). From the money I bought ONE Scimi and try to add one part at a time; while training to the point where I can actually fly it. I try to have the money to at this point in time to be able to buy another one if something goes terribly wrong. Do you really expect me to fly my most expensive ship into lowsec? I (and most of the incursion runners I guess) do not have much lowsec experience and the ones that have some probably learned (like me) that you should not go with a PvE ship to a PvP party. They just do not want to risk their ships willingly. A suicide ganker is maybe more like: "Well it can happen everywhere" but if you loose a ship in lowsec you know you yourself put it there.

    Just to add sth. to the discussion table (:

  10. Well one answer to your question asking "how this can be fun?" is the Skinner box theory that people have been discussing around MMOs for a while now.

    There's a whole load of articles on this around the interwebs already, most of it focused on themeparks such as WoW or EQ but it could be applied to Incursions as well.




    would be starting points

  11. "If it was a choice of Lowsec or leave the game, the incursion community would die in less than a day."

    Perhaps I am ignorant of how the Incursion system works, but doesn't a fleet have to go to lowsec (eventually) to complete the HQ in order to spawn another site to farm?

  12. I think the real objection to going to LoSec for an Incursion is that LoSec is a "no-mans land" full of pirates just looking for rainbows and nicorns brought to them by mission and Incursion runners.

    So where is your guide to living in LoSec? Or that projectile article I've been waiting for for months? b^)

  13. 1) reduce incursion payouts for Hisec VG sites - as much as 50% reduction would still be ok.

    2) AS and HQ sites are probably ok, due to the much longer time to complete and difficulty maintaining a large enough fleet

    3) reduce the time that the incursion takes to change to 'withdrawing', so that it is 24 hours after 1st time the incursion goes 100% blue. That way the MOM fleets will be active sooner, and prevent the 'milking' of incursions that goes on today.

    I don't have a problem with incursions in general, I do them as the fastest way to make ISK so I can go out and explode. However, there is no way I will do them in lowsec. Its not the normal losec folks I'd worry about, its the null sec refugees (I.e. PL) that bring that blob mentality.

    The greatest difficulty with incursions is maintaining a fleet. Incursion runners are seriously risk averse. You even mention the possibility of a hunter fleet and you won't be able to maintain any fleet. Even the possibility of 'bad guys' in the fleet has the EVE trust issues up. I've had fleets stall because they couldn't find a trusted logi pilot. The FC refused to consider a random logi pilot for fear of getting screwed.

    The vast majority of incursion pilots I have flown with would never fly incursions in losec, for the very same reasons that hisec mission runners will never run L5s. PVE ships do not PVP well, and a normal incursion fleet would get wiped by a PVP fleet half its size.

    The threat of such a thing happening is enough to ensure that no hisec incursion runner would try losec incursions for the meager increase in payout.

  14. @Jester I actually signed up, I figured its time to stop responding anonymously.

    Eve Zombies are here, hopefully to stay. While I don't enjoy their particular play style, I don't look down on it. It's their money and their time to enjoy this game as they please.

    Change their beloved activities and they might leave. Many say: "good riddance!" but to my way of thinking as long as we keep them in the game two things happen

    1-they pay their sub which helps keep the lights on at CCP which as you know recently lost a significant portion of its subscriber base AND had to lay off 20% of its work force.

    2-we as players and bloggers get a chance to rehab them into other aspects of the game should they decide they want to move on from incursions. If they go to SWTOR or WoW we don't get that chance.

    So I say (again) just leave their incursions alone. One of them who might have left if you changed them may wake up one morning shake off his or her addiction and become the next Jester Trek(!)

    Keep up the good work!

  15. Skinner theory interesting theory, but ignores the larger "meta" psychosocial aspects taking place in society at large that drive what those players' expectations ARE in the first place.

    Right now, society is about appearances, not realities; less work (or risk, in-game), for more reward; and emphasis on the individual vice cooperation. Dire Straits predicted it 25 yrs ago: "Money for nothing and chicks for free."

  16. First, I'm unclear as to how the highsec carebears are hurting anyone in Lowsec/0.0. They are playing the game the way they want to. Let them, or suicide-gank them.

    Second, I agree with the general idea in this post that the answer to increasing Lowsec population (the idea, right?) will NEVER be to get PvE players to move there. PvE players CANNOT be made to enjoy or desire PvP, and that's what Lowsec is, PvP space.

    Third, if the goal is to increase Lowsec/0.0 population, I suggest that CCP make it harder for large alliances to dominate the whole damn galaxy and effectively lock up huge portions of 0.0 and some of Lowsec. Probably 80% of the changes to EVE in the past 5 years have just made it easier for large corps/alliances to dominate. This is a HUGE barrier for entry of small (new) corps into low/0.0 space.

    Fourth, fundamentally, the largest barrier to entry for life in low/0.0 sec for most players is the availability of goods in said places. The very UNsecure nature of these areas is a barrier to commerce. Any station/system that becomes a hub of commerce is immediately camped by pirates or a controlling corp/alliance, and the benefit is removed for all but those players. There is really no way around this fundamental conflict, short of breaking the current balance of piracy/security.

  17. I have to say I agree with Jester entirely on this. I'm deeply cynical about the arguments being made against the original post which are essentially all variations on "If CCP upsets MY apple-cart I'll stop playing - then we'll really see whose boss!"

    Like most Eve players I'm proud that our actions earlier in the year have changed the direction of CCP. But an unfortunate consequence is some players (particularly those falling into the bitter-vet category) now have an attitude problem where they believe they can direct the game to their advantage simply because if CCP doesn't do what they want then they'll punish them by unsubscribing.

    I think Jester has been very reasonable and objective in pointing out the beneficial aspects of incursions to the game but he makes a good point - incursion running has become a little bit ridiculous.

  18. Hmmm, I think I said yesterday that I do incursions as much for the fun as I do the money (or maybe after how much money I have made now, I do them more for the fun) Either way, for me the incursion experience isn't entirely "circular" like you describe it- I spent the first few weeks worth of ISK making sure I had a better ship for incursions, but then I also spent the majority of the incursion money since the first couple weeks on PVP ships....which in turn made PVP more fun for me because I could finally afford to lose a HAC or BC, or even better, have another ship already fit and waiting to fly when I needed to replace one.

    I think the part that you misunderstand Jester- is that while you sound like the type that despises "grinding", many other people love, love, LOVE to grind- even if the only real function they are serving by grinding is to burn time. Take the game TETRIS for example: because of all the people who have played it, all the people who are going to play it, and all the people currently playing it, TETRIS is going to go into the books as one of the most popular video games of all time... the gameplay repeats over and over, level after level the way it has ever since the game came out in 1984(!), it never really changes, only accelerates when you advance to the next level. TETRIS as a video game is essentially nothing but mindless grinding to those who aren't really fans of the game, but to fans of the game it's an addiction most of them probably can't explain- it's just how they like to pass their free time instead of watching TV.

    One last thought to add here... PVP in EVE can also be considered a "grind"- me personally, I like to get in battles, but hate roaming half the galaxy to find one, or playing can games with people to get some action- both activities make the experience feel like a "grind" to me. I know I have heard you say here that you really don't like POS bashing, most likely for much the same reason...it feels like "grinding" to you compared to roaming.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes :)

  19. @Anon 1:28

    I think the problem isn't incursions themselves, I think the problem is that incursions are that much better PVE content than missions, ratting, sleepers or other NPC rat pockets currently are- since getting into the incursions I have tried to go back to doing the other forms of PVE for a change of pace, but then the "pace" just slows down to a dismal crawl and I lose interest after not too long. It isn't so much that I would throw a tantrum and "take my toys and go home" if they outright nerfed incursions...instead I would just have a really hard time trying to figure out what to do with myself instead.

    Long story short- instead of discussing incursions like there is something wrong with them, maybe we should be examining what incursions are doing right and figure out how to apply that to the other parts of EVE's PVE.

  20. tl;dr summation of comments by anonybears: "We'll go to lowsec, if you make it just like hisec."
    Surprising, that response, isn't it? ;-)
    Also, "Plz leave us n our game alonez, we don't hurt u, don't hurt us."
    As I point out at the end of my most recent post, when SOV-NULL people are doing HISEC INCURSIONS because it's "better money", SOMETHING is WRONG. Chances are, that something is NOT sov-null.

    Little risk, you get little reward, why is it so fucking hard to wrap the goddamned ursine head around that?

  21. @ Hong

    On paper, Losec and Nullsec incursions are worth more money-The only reason the high sec incursions equate to more actual earned money, is because people can farm them with less trouble....and when I say less trouble I am not talking about getting your ship blown up...

    In highsec, it is not an instant guarantee that you are going to make better money in the incursions than you would running missions....the amount of money you make is very dependent on the fleet you get into, and if you get into a bad enough fleet, you wont make diddly squat.

    To go to losec to run incursions, you not only have to make a fleet that will get the job done, but also a fleet of people you can trust to not backstab you (so the whole pick-up-gang incursion channel thing kinda goes out the window) and that same fleet will probably have to call it quits when any one member of the fleet has to go, instead of just looking for a quick replacement to rotate into the lineup like a highsec fleet would....so even if you make more money in an hour or two of running losec incursions, the highsec runners make more money in the long run, because they don't have to stop as often.

  22. This is not a new idea. This is exactly the same as the calls to nerf level 4 missions in highsec, or to move them all into low/nullsec. That somehow by having much higher rewards available outside of highsec, the droves of high sec players will grab thier pickaxes and join the gold rush.

    But here's the reality. That will never, ever happen.

    Move level 4s to lowsec? High sec players will just do level 3s in high sec, find something else in highsec to do, or not play eve.

    Lower or remove incursions in high sec? High sec players will do other high sec things or not play eve.

    Your argument that high sec players should be looking to maximize their efficiency is valid. They do that already. The only thing you don't seem to grasp is that they also have the condition that the activity must be in safe space.

    Essentially they play EVE as if it was WOW (or almost any other theme park mmo) in space. Sure, its not truly safe like those other games, but usually it is. Millions of MMO gamers repeat content for months or years at a time. As long as they feel they are making progress towards their personal goals, they log in day after day, and grind the same dungeons, raids, dailies, missions, incursions, ect ect.

    Low and nullsec minded players may not understand what the draw is for these people, but that doesnt really matter. The vast majority of MMO players enjoy this type of content and have since some early MMOs introduced it.

    Fact is that nerfing highsec will push its players out of the game before it pushes them into low or nullsec.

    There are always exceptions of course, but the average highsec player wants nothing to do with the perils of lowsec.

  23. I comment on your stuff from time to time and more often disagree with you than agree. On this one I think that you are right on the money. I feel like the incursions were a good idea in concept but did not turn out well.

    I tried incursions twice and did a little reading on them and the elitest attitude of the people running them, at least the vocal ones, was a turn off. My corp mate ran incursions last week and when it completed he said the top guy had like 871k loyalty points for that one incursion which he estimated at about 6 Billion isk worth and that's not including the isk payouts.

    Eve already has a boring repetative task for people to do as an excuse to sit in fleet and socialize it's called mining ops. I would be more for encouraging more mining than these incursions.

    I also think that incursions need to be more variable and not so static. Something where a good group would do better than a well equipped group. And by good group I mean people that are cooperative and work well together.

  24. I've been posting anon, and am finally signed in here.... my other posts on this thread have been 1:47, 2:19 and 6:09...

    Reading thru more of the comments here, this is breaking down into a PVE vs PVP thing, and I need to step in and say that incursion runners on the whole do a lot more PVP in losec/nullsec/WH space than a lot of the people chiming in here realize, and you need to stop assuming that since this is happening in high sec that it is somehow only full time high sec dwellers responsible for this "situation".

    A big thing people are missing when it comes to talking about hisec incursions being "too good for high sec" is that the incursion "alliances" like The Ditanian Fleet or BTL pub, are probably the biggest factor in what is actually making the high sec incursions so lucrative. (as well as super fun from a social standpoint, because you get to talk to players from every corner of the galaxy) Maybe if you think there's a problem with high sec incursions you should try to go to war with the people behind those groups- but I'd bet you'd be far from the first to have that idea...if somebody did try, it hasn't stopped the PUG alliances yet, so good luck with that.

    Me personally, I think the only change they need to make to incursions is to make it so the other pirate factions besides the Sansha have them too... Angel, Blood Raider, Guristas and Serpentis incursion would rock, especially if they came up with new sites, and if their respective incursions only occurred in their typical "territory", that would be really cool too.

  25. @Jester I can ask the same question about every single activity/method of playing EVE as you ask about raiding/mission running.

    To industry/mining players, when someone tries to tell them that PvP is fun, they respond "This is fun? Really? Can someone explain why?"

    Tell a mission runner all about null-sec sov warfare and why some folks find it fun and they'll respond "This is fun? Really? Can someone explain why?"

    Try to explain mission running to a hardcore PvPer and they'll ask "This is fun? Really? Can someone explain why?"

    Advocate sov-warfare to small-gang PvPers, and they'll look at you funny and ask "This is fun? Really? Can someone explain why?"

    The point here is that different people find different activities fun, for a variety of reasons and trying to convince someone that what is fun for them isn't "real" fun is about as useful as trying to nail down exactly how many angels can fit on he head of a pin.

    We don't have to get why what other players do is fun for them. We do have to get that what they are doing is fun for them, even if we don't, well, get it :)

  26. Stephen King cycle.

    See the computer game, oh its so fun, keep playing it. Cant stop playing it its still so fun. Grow fat and also grow a neckbeard but its still fun. People see you as a fat neckbeard sitting on comp all day. Grow scared and run away, cycel stops.

    though it was a funny stehpen king cycle.

  27. @ anon & Darkwater: I know. Read my last 3 blog entries. I realize fully that nerfing hisec will mean fewer players. Then again "nerfing" (or from "your" POV "buffing" lowsec to be hisec, basically) will probably mean a lot MORE "fewer players". At least one would hope. If lowsec becomes hisec w/ FW, and there aren't massive unsubs merely on principle alone, then the game truly has lost its soul and deserves to die.

    I realize CCP needs to make money, and basically anything except "leave things how they are" will most likely mean unsubs. Nerf hisec, bears will quit (actually a good thing, Bear misconception #1: PvPers rely on you to make hulls/mods/ammos for us, WE DON'T. Hong can make his own fave frig/dessie/cruiser hulls, guns, and ammo, meta stuff from the missions/ratting he does, bears can go bai-bai and his world doesn't change much ;-) sorry to inform you ... but I digress), "buff" hisec, or worse lowsec, and "real" EVE players will quit (bad thing, and who are you bears gonna sell shit to if nobody ever kills anyone else??? Ever think of that?? You supposedly supply everything, what happens when demand goes to shit?)... either way, CCP = unhappy.

    Really, at this point, their only option is to make a clear decision and send a ginormous "FUCK YOU" to either the bear or PvP populace (please please please let it be the bears???)...or keep the status quo and hope neither side gets much unhappier about that.

    Or, they can do what it sounds like they're planning to do: go fuck around with null, because apparently unlike hisec and especially lowsec, it's not broken and therefore needs fixing. ;-)

  28. And for what it's worth, Jester, there's no real diversity in WoW raiding either: you have to beat Raid Instance 1 before you can get the gear to do Raid Instance 2. You have to beat Raid Instance 2 before you can get the gear to beat Raid Instance 3.

    There is no variety. I don't know what you were smoking when you thought you were raiding in WoW, but it must have been pretty good stuff: maybe one of the tourist specials from a coffeeshop in Amsterdam?

  29. @Hong "Real" EVE players are people who pay CCP to play the game and have fun playing it however they want to play. Bears, lowsec pirates, leet null-sec PvPers, none are better than any of the rest. The three broad types just find different aspects of the game fun.

    If there's any real threat to EVE, it's players with attitudes like yours, be they bear-haters, low-sec deriders, of null-sec excoriators.

  30. @Heretic: I don't care if bears play in relative safety. Don't really care even if they play in COMPLETE safety (though EVE's "original vision" being a PvP game with PvE content goes bai-bai if that happens). However, bears should, in exchange for that level of safety, be willing to settle for low rewards (again risk vs reward), and really should NEED to play a very slow, steady grind to get anywhere monetarily.
    Problem is that bears aren't willing to settle for that, and feel ENTITLED to both safety and high-reward missions, incursions, etc.
    I really don't care about bears as much as I care about the general entitlement mentality that they display. Yeah, that I tend to have a bad attitude about, be it IRL or in this game, which I proved mirrors RL pretty damn well. ;-)

    Also illogic ftw: "have fun playing it HOWEVER they want to play." Only one problem: you have two fundamental playstyles at direct odds (PvPers and bears who abhor any form of PvP, even if not against them)... their fundamental goals and desires for the game are at complete opposition, therefore one of them has to give in some way or another. One has to be displeased to appease the other.
    Being as EVE was originally conceived as a PvP game with PvE content, and there are many, MANY other PvE games out there, with or without PvP content, I have little issue with displeasing bears to appease PvPers.

  31. @Hong

    My bad, I thought the video game was about space ships.

    Since I'm a player that tries to balance PVE and PVP, it really strikes me that you are the one who is overly entitled here... and I really don't get your theory that Nullsec players and Highsec players are somehow in "playstyle conflict" with each other...many "high sec players" have alts in more dangerous space or at least roam out into losec every now and again and the rest of them are either convinced that they can't handle dangerous space somehow or they are just indifferent on the subject- but I do notice a big hateful sentiment amongst some nullsec players whenever they find out people in high sec are enjoying themselves.

    I dunno, despite your copious use of the word "carebear", I get the feeling you are the one who "cares" a little too much about the video game- it shouldn't be so stressful bro, sorry to hear it's all such a dramatic problem for you.


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