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.
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Anatomy lesson

I was extremely tough on Clarion Call 3, so it's only fair that I give credit to Rooks and Kings where it's due.

Lord Maldoror has released a new video, "VideoBR 4: Anatomy Of a Fight".  In terms of keeping up the narrative from Clarion Call 1 and 2, this is what Clarion Call 3 should have started from.  The video focuses on a single fight where two carriers and a small group of sub-caps hold off four super-carriers.  The key topic is fighting out-numbered and how triage carriers can help a small gang up-engage under these conditions... not to mention survive themselves.


The video is not perfect by any means; it is cursed by Lord Maldoror's narration.  LM is good at a great many things, but narrating videos is simply not one of them.  Imagine George Lucas doing a dramatic reading on Broadway of all of the worst dialogue from the Star Wars saga and you'll have a pretty good idea of what the video is like sometimes.  LM simply needs to step away from the microphone, handle the parts of these vids that he is good at, and let other people narrate.

That isn't the only problem.  Like CC3, the video is also full of purple prose.  "The red mist descends," LM intones completely without irony at one point, sounding a bit like the leader of a Greek chorus.  And the musical cues are rushed and clumsy, often hitting all the wrong emotional notes.  Clear Skies 3 is invoked in the music at one point for no reason at all.  And the vid goes to far too much trouble to make an ally look foolish to no good purpose except to make them look foolish.

And you know what?  All of these problems are completely forgiven because the subject matter is so good.

The editing is tight and crisp, almost perfectly done.  You can tell exactly what is going on at every point in the battle, where things are happening, and why things are happening.  You can follow the progression of the battle at every phase, and understand why one phase ends and the next begins.

But the crown jewel of the vid starts at 7:42 in, and goes on for nearly six minutes.  This long section describes, with a remarkable lack of drama and a great deal of clarity, exactly how triage-fit Archons can survive massive incoming DPS singly and in pairs.  Close-up screen shots are used to show exactly what actions the pilots are taking, at what points those actions are taken and why.  It's a tour de force tutorial in an advanced EVE combat tactic unmatched by any previous R&K video.  I recommend this section of the video in the strongest possible terms to any prospective triage or rep carrier pilot.  Those six minutes will make you a better EVE Online player.

Within the video itself, the six minutes are merely an interlude explaining how two carriers are holding off four supers.  But they do a great job of acting as the center-piece explanation of the fight.  Once you watch that six minutes, you understand how R&K held off multiple supers without taking losses.  Excellent work!  And again, the editing of the rest of the fight is spot-on.

So despite the problems, overall: thumbs up!  Go check this one out and my thanks to Lord Maldoror for producing it.  Now go get yourself a narrator.  ;-)

38 comments:

  1. I read somewhere that CCP is thinking of removing the ability to refit while targeted. I don't have the link right now. Tactics like this would no longer be possible which I think is really too bad if it actually happens. It eliminates one way to exercise one's player skill to overcome the odds as opposed to skillpoints.

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    1. Removing the ability to refit while locked is part of Greyscale's most recently proposed plans to nerf titans. Here's the link to his post talking about the change and his motivations:
      https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=1074771#post1074771

      It's still early though so nothing appears set in stone yet.

      Delete
    2. That would be a real shame, and it's ironic because we can predict what the response would be in this particular case:

      Replace Archons with Aeons.

      Delete
    3. What was that line about Aeons only being useful as large guardians? :P

      Delete
  2. I think your criticism of LM as narrator is extremely unfair and disappointing. Of all the things I've thought while watching these R&K videos, this is not one of them. Not only does he give their videos a very distinctive voice, it is the right voice: the FC, the one who has authorship of the very story. To knock them for this sounds a preference for the very kind 'dressing up' of which you are critical.

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    1. I understand your concern. Nevertheless, I feel his narration is overwrought and overly dramatic about the silliest details. Internet spaceships are clearly srsbusiness, but I'd have a hard time seeing how LM could be more overly dramatic narrating Operation Desert Storm.

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    2. I couldn't disagree more. If there is one internet meme, its that Eve videos are boring and useless. It is because of the type of narration that LM brings that makes R&K videos such as Clarion Call worthy of wasting your time watching.

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    3. Overdramatic maybe, but if that's also authentic then that's not really a problem.

      If this guy is some pretentious douchebag and likes to assign deep meaning to his internet spaceships, then that's dumb. But, it's his fight, so viewing it from his pretentious douchebag perspective has merit.

      Delete
    4. I loved his naration. It provided exactly what i wanted. A story with tons of info.

      Well done.

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    5. I quite like his narration to be honest. His videos are a refreshing change from 5x speed fights with dubstep as the music and two gangs flying around bubbles with massive missle spam.

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    6. I like his info + f'airy tale' style of narrating. I wonder what Jester would call a good narrating for eve-vids.

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    7. I have to agree here too. the narration is ok. the best? maybe not. but as you put it yourself you know whats happening and why.

      the sound... yea could have been a bit better.. but i only noticed it because i read it to be honest.

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    8. @Tenris: I thought the narration for Clarion Calls 1 and 2 was pitch-perfect. It kept the drama in the right places and as such didn't try to build up things that weren't worthy of being built up. So when the narration got more intense or more ironic, you knew something important was happening.

      LM tries to treat everything as equally important, including smart-bombing a cloud of 10 light drones, for instance. Granted, it looks really cool, but in terms of importance to what was going on, not QUITE as important as some of the other parts of the video.

      Delete
  3. LM's narration is part of what makes these videos as awesome as they are, especially as he's the FC (also has the voice of an FC: strong, authoritative, and clear). The flowery language is also part of what makes these videos awesome, rather than a drab list of events. Did you watch the video? The R&K allies were completely useless, so of course they made fun of, and appropriately so.

    I do agree with you on the best part of the video. Definitely loved the explanations and close-ups showing exactly what's going on.

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    1. Yeah, I don't think its really fair to say they tried so make someone look bad. I mean the fact that they couldnt break the dreads reps at first glance may seem judgemental, but then a few minutes later they weren't even able to hold point and it warped off.

      Thats completely inexcusable and just terrible.

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  4. Yeah...Lord M's narration is perfect. This video was more in depth in the guts and gears of the "how to" department, but the point is kind of lost on anybody not training toward or flying a carrier. IMO CC3 and Ironclad are better videos in general- while you might not appreciate some of the "poetic license" or "theatrics" in CC3 or Ironclad, you can show those two videos to non EVE players and get them excited about maybe trying the game.... while this most recent R&K video doesn't even generate that much excitement from people currently playing.

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  5. If I had to choose between RNK/LM videos or the thousands of other Eve videos that are sped up 5x with loud dubstep music being played over it, I would choose the LM videos every single time

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    1. My top favorite EVE videos:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1E9uVtP7IQ4
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzxY4kiz_lg

      8m8m8m8m8m8 o7o7o7o7o7o7

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    2. If I had to choose between RNK/LM videos or being sodomized by an uncaring stranger, I would choose the LM videos every single time.

      Delete
  6. The failjump Erebus at the end was my favourite part.

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  7. I like the narration as well. It was an enjoyable video, I ended up watching the full half hour when I first saw it even though I expected to skip around.

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  8. "the musical cues are rushed and clumsy, often hitting all the wrong emotional notes"

    Are we watching the same video?

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  9. LM does a good job in some cases, but in others he makes me feel like I'm playing an Elder Scrolls game.

    The Noir parody video, "Noirion Call," is actually really spot-on in this regard. It brilliantly highlights the problems with LM's narrations.

    If you haven't seen it, check out this link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3avFWEadgE

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  10. Another plus one for LM's narration.

    Tastes vary, I guess.

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  11. I think Jester just hates LM, and so he's being overly biased about this (more likely it's the built up rivalry between Rotes and Rooks/Kings}. I think this video is one of the better examples of what Eve Online Videos could be.

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    1. I don't hate LM. I don't KNOW LM. ;-) My feelings about his narration are in my comment above, and are limited to that. R&K are an EUTZ alliance for the most part, I've never fought them, and it's entirely possible I never will. They are LONG asleep by the time I get logged in.

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    2. I agree on this!

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  12. +1 on being favourable to LM's narration. I actually like it: it's instructive. Not trying to tell a story (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAhRTeOwhLo - late been used for an eve video). Also not trying to convey a message (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY) (and don't mind the message - it's the presentation we talk about ;) )

    An instructional voice-over should be relatively neutral. And LM is. The poetic extravaganza adds colour. But doesn't take away from the message. Like it or not. It's not of consequence to the main message.

    Also: the first song I hear is metallica's sanitarium. Well, it made me smile, such a coming home to eve...

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  13. "..so it still pays to have a stopwatch on your desk - or an hourglass for the more discerning pilot"

    You don't like the dialogue? You don't like the PINK ELEPHANT?

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    1. I was face-palming so hard through that pink elephant analogy. If we want to talk about something being silly and out of place, why don't we start with that analogy...

      And that hictor pilot asking if he should point a Titan would have been out of Rote Kapelle before the day was out. ;-)

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    2. Whilst I hope he just hates RnK and is trolling, I start to fear my once-beloved Jester is one of those people who doesn't get this kind of stuff.


      The Pink Elephant is the best moment in the video. "The answer to the dictor pilots question is of course, point the erebus. Like many incarnations of the divine, Eve takes with one hand and gives with the other. The Hel has disappeared ... an Erebus has appeared". Delivery couldn't be more deadpan perfect <3

      Delete
  14. Jester, the hic isn't in RnK, is he. If you fallow what is said, so did RnK hic help from friends.

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    1. corr: so did RnK get hic help, from friends.
      sorry for the misspelling

      Delete
  15. A few key points

    - the dictor pilots with the exception of Golfsnake were all Mayhem.
    - due to the last minute call for dictors, 4 of us responded from systems as far as 10 jumps away in very short order
    - only two Mayhem were on RnK TS during the fight, myself in a dictor and Shadrach Vor
    - Vor was relaying orders to the dictor pilots on our own comms while simultaneously working with Purge. He was not in dictor just verifying the order.
    - Erebus landed outside of point range of all dictor pilots who had been maintaining points on the supers;despite burning toward erebus and fastlock we were unable to get a point as the erebus was in warp before we could get range, an interceptor might have caught it...maybe.
    - LM was quite charitable with Purge (and they will tell you so themselves that they were not at their best here) and the bit at the end with them not pointing a dread was a clear admission he had been a bit unkind. His emotions were running a bit high which anyone who has been in a fight in EVE understands is normal.

    As for his narration, part I am sure is personal preference. However, perhaps some people misunderstand his characteristic British humor. Personally I fell over laughing at several points including the pink elephant bit. He is articulate, well spoken, and lets the engagement speak for itself. Besides, who could resist those dulcet tones?

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    1. Thanks for the comments! Very enlightening! I figured SOMETHING must have been going on for that Titan to *warp off*, heh. Would have been nice to have an actual concrete explanation in the video, though, rather than the pink elephant story. ;-)

      I would probably have a lot harder time resisting the dulcet tones if they would avoid quite so many weird flights of fancy...

      Delete
  16. I love Maldoror's commentary.

    I could watch the Clarion call video's and listen to his purple prose all day long. To be honest many of the technical details just go over my head because realistically I will never play EVE at that level but Lord Maldoror's stirring commentary really does it for me.

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    1. I too love Mald's narration. His tone goes hand in hand with his undoubted knowledge of this type of combat. Heaven help the pilot who freaks out and fucks up in his fights I would say.

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  17. Everyone else has already said it perfectly; LM's narration is great and makes R&K videos worth watching. I wouldn't change a thing.

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