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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Friday, July 6, 2012

Minor detail

This doesn't make me angry, but it does make me sad.

A year ago, while looking for a new alliance to join and generally trying to decide "what's next" for my EVE career, I spent an absolute ton of time in incursion fleets.  I knew right away it wasn't something that I could do as any sort of long-term EVE play-style: it's too limited and repetitive.  Still, I found it interesting, engaging, and amusing.  There were two major "public" channels, for shield and armor fleets.  There were a large number of "private" channels for more "advanced" incursion fleets.  There was also a large, growing, and thriving community to participate in.  The community had non-incursion activities such as low-sec PvP roams, and non-standard incursion-related activities like CCP-sponsored live events and low-sec incursion runs.  The incursion fleets themselves varied from multiple fast-paced Vanguard fleets, up through more relaxed newbie-friendly HQ fleets.

I was never involved in incursions enough to be a leader, or an FC of anything other than Vanguard runs.  I don't even think I made much impression on the leaders as a "regular", because I wasn't really.  Unsurprisingly -- this is still EVE -- most of the leaders were EUTZ players and I'm trapped deep in late USTZ.  Still, I spent quite a bit of time defending this play style as perfectly valid (a lot of it on this very blog), and tried to make a distinction between the circular "making ISK to make ISK" care-bear play style and what I saw as a new incursion play style.  The latter was characterized by more casual play, specific non-PvE goals for which incursion-runners were playing for, and a structure that rewarded social, mature, non-annoying players.  Players that were too annoying simply weren't invited to fleets.

In particular, a year ago, I was thrilled to see the incursion channels full of a cross-section of EVE players.  There were true care-bears, to be sure.  But there were also a large number of null-sec ex-pats like myself, low-sec pirates, and active null-sec players just there to make a few ISK for their regular play style.  The conversations between this cross-section of EVE players were the most interesting thing about being in an incursion fleet.  And I pointed to and defended the community as a positive force in EVE.

As recently as this April, even after the first Escalation nerfs hit, things still seemed to be pretty positive and stable in the incursion community.

Oh dear Heaven, how the mighty have fallen.

This is a holiday week in the U.S., where we celebrate our Independence Day.  Since it fell at mid-week, a lot of Rote Kapelle players have been off on vacation, so my opportunity for PvP has been pretty minimal.  I'm looking at potentially buying a replacement dreadnought in the next month or two and dreads are a hell of a lot more expensive than they used to be.  So I decided to sit in on a few incursion fleets and build up my savings a bit.

Things.  Have.  Changed.  Wow, have they!

One of the things that impressed me about incursion fleets last year was how an incursion fleet was a great cross-section of the EVE community.  No longer: the hard-core care-bears have taken over.  And not just any care-bears, either.  I spent a ton of time having to listen to the chatter of people who simply would not make it for more than a few days in any sort of social corp or alliance in EVE.  The interesting conversations?  Gone.  It's amazing to me how many truly annoying, aggravating people there are in incursion fleets now.  Late this week, I ran into an old friend in one of the fleets, and it was an incredible relief to have someone to talk to in chat that didn't make me want to bash my head into my desk.  I'm not going to name names, but if one obviously well-known individual in the fleets said the words "minor detail" on comms again, I was going to have a brain aneurysm.

The vibrant community I encountered before has been decimated, and seems to have been cut to only a few hundred people.  Pull up your Journal and go to the Incursion tab and you'll be able to see exactly where they are.  Only one incursion is active at any given moment now, and everyone clusters there.  That part I knew about.  But Vanguard systems are basically useless now, eventually devolving into what the remaining community calls "OTA walls."  The Override Transfer Array, which a year ago was the most popular Vanguard site, is now a randomized mess that's no longer worth running at all.  The few operational VG fleets will clear out the non-OTA sites until nothing but OTAs are left, and then will disband or expand directly into HQ or Assault fleets.

And the HQ fleets are obviously being taken over by "shiny": ridiculously over-pimped battleships of various types, with faction and pirate BSs being favored.  Risk averse players and FCs are legion.  A year ago, an incursion fleet would accept people under war-dec and would work around it.  If the war was relatively minor, the risk could be managed.  These days, if you're under a war-dec, you're simply not welcome.  If you announce it, you'll be tossed out of fleet.  If you do not, you won't receive reps and your ship will explode.  A year ago, fleets would slip across low-sec systems into high-sec island incursions.  This year, risking a high-sec island incursion is regarded as worse than doing nothing.  Last year, competition between the shield and armor groups was intense but good-natured.  This year, the shield guys are openly dismissive of and disparaging to anyone who would dare even think about armor-tanking a fleet.

In short: what's left of this once-thriving community has become parochial, circular, elitist, and annoying to spend time in.

I realize the nerfs were bad and said as much myself, but this is a disaster.  What the hell happened?  Does anyone know?  Did that many good people give up on this activity because of the nerfs?

As I said, it doesn't make me angry, but it does make me sad.


  1. The cross section of players you talk about probably moved to places where better money could be made (after the nerfs) but at a higher risk. The highsec carebears continue to stay in highsec doing whatever (blitzing missions possibly) until incursions get a small buff so they are comparable again.

    The cross section can make money elsewhere, the carebears are too afraid.

  2. https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=1590407#post1590407

    Its a post about summer OTA site changes, if you haven't seen it already.

    Trolling: See the goons are helpful at times.

  3. Frankly, why should it be different than the rest of EVE? I think that's how the entire game has gone ever since the player base decided to push out all players it didn't feel was 1337 enough, and CCP opted for brosef management tactics exclusively.

    Sounds like the incursion fleet has become a condensed representation of the game as a whole.

    1. When I read "parochial, circular, elitist, and annoying to spend time in.", I immediately smiled and thought it sounds more like Eve then.

  4. Hah, I'm pretty sure I was in the fleet you mentioned. The "minor details" thing was a joke that had been running for hours, to the point where one fleet member had his adorable kid saying it over comms. Though that FC does say it all the time.

    Dunno, I must be quite the annoying prick, as I only have about 6 people muted (hilariously, above FC is usually one of them) and certainly enjoy the place. I've only been running for about two months, so I don't know the "glory days," but this all seems to be an overreaction to me; not seeing the forest through the mutated and misshapen trees in front.
    On another note, "shiny" has only taken over because that's what everyone has; there's plenty of Drakes and Maelstroms and T1 BSes that get in our HQ fleets, they just need to be the first ones to X under the line. In fact, yesterday morning, an unrigged T1-fit Hyperion was lost to the Outunies of an NRF due to never broadcasting. But those same people tend to cash their earnings in for shiny things before turning it into other things. I myself started in a Scimitar, moved up into my beloved but far-overdone Rattlesnake, and am now working on a Nomad before filling the coffers for PvP.

  5. Well I know in my corp that 3 regulars plus at least that many non-regulars stopped even visiting the incursion channels because it was no longer worth sitting around for and moved from being partly a high-sec/null-sec corp to being nearly 100% null-sec.

  6. It was two things that killed it, the nerf was only one part of it. The other part was that before the nerf the playerbase for incursions had polarized into two factions. Shiney VG Fleets in multi billion isk ships that followed anyone not shiney around and ran them out of the VG systems by out damaging them in every room... and the HQ fleet.

    The HQ fleet is where you'd find the Null/WH/Low people because it didn't require billions in capital to compete.

    The the nerf hit.... and well, you can kinda guess what happened from there once the cheap battleships random pug people brought to HQs couldn't tank it anymore because incursion control never went down. It only left the multi billion isk ships able to play.

    1. That's just bullshit, mate. Unless there was a huge disparity between armor and shield fleets, because I saw plenty of 0.0 guys doing nothing but Vanguard sites because Assault fleets and HQ fleets weren't capable of staying together for more than an hour or 2 max.

    2. --> The HQ fleet is where you'd find the Null/WH/Low people because it didn't require billions in capital to compete. <--

      Yeah, not sure you have any clue what you're talking about in the least.

      The Blitz Fleet, and ISN as two of the more active VG Blitzing groups were almost 100% Nullsec/Losec/WH people.

  7. Nothing new about this, Jester. It has been this way long before the nerfs were even announced.

    Experienced logi pilots and folks with shiny ships are invited to join; everyone else, esp. the noobs are pretty much ignored in channel or are rudely told to GTFO.

    It is all about farming Incursions for the maximum ISK, not about inviting players to join in and have fun. And, they certainly don't want to split the rewards with players who can't equally contribute to the DPS.

    1. I'm guessing you ran mostly shield fleets? ISN is/was especially about the shineness of the fleets ( which didn't really bother me because I could usually time sites to beat them, sure not always but enough to have fun competing which almost never happens now )even the legion fleets could be beat if you watched local with a hal opened eye & timed it right.
      Up until & for a lil bit after the NERF I was running armour VG pickup fleets ( I called them Darth's unPicky phat phleets :) and had alot o fun with them. The OTAs post nerf are just too much of an obstacle to try to train a newbbie thru and became not worth the wait for non noobs wanting to run casual fleets OTAs became worse then the NCNs ( and not worth the risk/logistics issues for the lo/null sec ISK mongers ): . I got disheartened by it & took a 2 week unsub 'vactation' from Eve it got so disheartening to me seeing how the community was decimated.
      It'll be interesting to look at the Incursion stats if CCP ever accidentally lets them out.

  8. Im unfortunately all to aware of what you mean Jester. Incursions used to be my primary income source and main activity in EVE. I used to love joining HQ fleets and getting to hear about the old nulsec war stories from ex-BoB or SoCo grunts. Sadly that just doesn't happen any more. Most of the old FC's have been replaced and the veteran FC's that do remain hardly ever lead fleets.

    Vanguards never interested me, I was one of the ones that polarised to the HQ fleets. Without the friendly banter though there's just no motivation for me to keep doing incursions. The isk was nice, but the social interaction was what made it awsome.

    ...I duno any-more, I really want to head on out to nulsec but I really dont want to put up with the shit sov-grunts have to in order to do that.

  9. To me, the real question is: is CCP interested in creating a new feature that would bring such a cross section community of social, mature players back together?

  10. Jester your comments are valid.
    I got into Eve because of Incursions. I saw videos on youtube, thought "I'd love to be part of a group doing that" and on signing up found
    A. I couldn't as a raw noob, but
    B. The TDF guys were willing and able to advise me on how to get into a fleet

    Once I got skilled enough to fly a BS (Abaddon by the way) one of the TDF guys actually bought and fit one for me. I joined a fleet and in a day or so I had paid him back.

    The community was great, we had a lot of interesting conversations, AND there were actual GIRLS in fleet who didn't feel hassled or hid their identities to avoid the usual crap that can happen.

    Then the nerf hit. TDF basically died then. Shiney ships became the order of the day just to survive not to force people out. As to competition for sites? Well that went too.

    I have no idea how many people unsubbed, went offline or found something else to do, but many of the people I met in fleet are now no longer logging in.

    FC's are now very careful about fleet composition otherwise the entire fleet is endangered. People aren't kicked for squishy ships but are politely told their fit isn't up to it. We still help noobs but the entry level now is much higher (and so cost).

  11. The Wall of OTAs killed Vanguard Incursions in null&lo sec.
    In HI Sec the Wall of OTAs killed the recruiting base for Assaults & HQs. Worst hit of course were those in the western TZs because the wall of OTAs was nearly always 100% 6 hours before downtime.

    The DEVs at CCP ignored the issue. When told repeatedly that the OTAs were the reason all we heard was a mantra of we're studying the stats & want to take small steps.
    Further disheartening to me was seeing all the FW/UI/Wardec patches while Incursions got the silly slapshod minimal as possible fix...

    The proposed 'rollback' was a joke in itself after a 2 month wait not only did it not address the reason for Vanguards population flooring (OTAs)... in a further slap in the face it was a 9/10ths rollback ( I'm guessing due to mathematic inepitude QA didn't realize that the HI SEC Vanguard payouts are now 10.395 million instead of the old 10.5 million )

  12. I'm sorry Jester, but you seem to have been very lucky regarding your fleets.
    Even one year ago all I saw in fleets were shiny ships, elitist FCs and hardly any interesting conversations. THis may have been concentrated more, since the the more casual incursion runners have gone back to other isk-generators, but it's still the same community.

    Maximum efficiency has always been the doctrine of the bigger part of the community.

    1. I almost never had a problem find a fleet, granted I flew a Basi but logi aren't that difficult to train for and they are great in other fleets as well.

    2. I'm sorry Taishi, but you seem to have been very unlucky regarding your fleets....

      Whilst maximum efficiency was the doctrine of some groups, there were far more groups willing to take on any pilot with a properly fitted ship (that is properly tanked with or without shinny mods). I've both FC'd incursion fleets and been in far to many fleets across a broad range of channels yet have not experienced the 'constant' eliteism that people seem to drone on about. My first incursion boat ? A Harby in a shield fleet...I didn't even have T2 guns and it was a primarily Mach blitz fleet!! That first fleet set me up on the journey that has gotten me into the just under 2bn Legion I used to fly before these incursion nerfs.

  13. Ok, i can offer some insight what happend to the incursion community.

    With the VG nerf the VG fleets basically died.

    * "BTL Pub" the former hub for shield incursions became a desert.
    * "TDF" the hub for armor fleets, not very active before, now became a total wasteland.
    * The former 3 huge shiny vg fleet network channels basically disbanded.

    Now the players looked for other sources of income and moved to the only active channel :

    "The Valhalla Project" the only channel still running incursion fleets on a regular base with nearly 23.5/7 coverage. Getting into one of the HQ or AS fleets was and kinda still is the only way to run highsec incursions.

    Which in the beginning wasn't really a problem.

    Most of the FCs ran under the fleet doctrine you described in the first part : A relaxed newb friendly environment where people from all over eden meet up to make some solid ISK while sharing tales from massive 0.0 fleet fights, the depths of C6 Wormholes and from market PvP on coms. The coms where a HUGE part why most people ( including Jester ) enjoyed those fleets so much and happly came back to share their own stories.

    After the VG nerf "The Valhalla Project" quickly became the new and only incursion hub.

    But the winds in TvP changed .. A LOT .. and i'll explain why.

    A little history lession : About half a year ago, before the nerfs and with the VG community still intact there was a split within the HQ FCs.

    Some FCs inside TVP endorised a way more strict and serious doctrine in running their fleets and formed their own HQ incursion channel called "CiD". The access was restricted and you would only get invited if the FCs running the channel would approve of you. Not only ship fit whise, but you also have to appeal to them personally.

    Those "CiD" fleets frowned heavly uppon speaking on coms, enforced way more strict broadcasting rules and how dare you would speak against the FCs oppinion.

    "TVP" continued to run the relaxed way.

    After 2 months most pilots have flown under both fleet doctrines and the uniform chatter was, that the wast mayority of them enjoyed the TVP fleets way more.

    The "CiD" channel died, because no one wanted to fly with them anymore. The HQ community was reunited again.

    Most of the "CiD" FCs stopped FCing and the rest joined back to TVP fleets as either normal fleet members or logi commanders.

    With the fluent nature of EVE the management and active FCs within TVP cycle every ones in a while. Old FCs train new ones up and those new FCs become the new staple FCs. Old FCs leave EVE or Highsec.

    3 month ago the management (chair mens) of TVP cycled due to real life things or they moved to new corners of Eden.

    Before the change the chair mens where all flying relaxed fleets. After the change the chair mens consist of 2 relaxed FCs and one of the former CiD FCs.

    Shortly after that the CiD FC talked the TVP channel founder into resetting the moderators for the public channel and the access to the internal channels. That denied most of the old TVP FCs from accessing the internal FC channel or moderate the public channel/motd. On top of it a lot of "unapproved" people and FCs got banned from TVP as well.

    The only way to get back to the internal channel or gain moderator back would be to get approved by set CiD FC.

    The old FCs still being occupied in RL, the old CiD way of running fleets keeped coming back.

    With TVP being the only incursion channel and with only FCs approved by set CiD FC allowed to run fleets .. things devolved in what you described in the second part of the article.

    The most important factor that made all this possible was that the normal pilots had no choice.

    Instead of having a choice between armor or shield, vg or as/hq, the TVP or CiD fleet doctrine, there is only one incursion channel left and only one fleet doctrine.

    As you said bad FCs are legion now and people have no alternative.

    1. I sincerely hope CID style fleets aren't on the rise. While there were a few occasional fun moments in CID fleets, most of the time they weren't that good, for the reasons you've mentioned above. I know of a few fellow FCs who bother me a bit right now due to their style of FCing, but overall I believe the major FCs in TVP still run as being all-inclusive fleets, where everyone is welcome to talk, socialize, and in general have fun.

      The FC shakeup you mentioned was a rather silly thing in hindsight, fueled more out of spite and general annoyance for older FCs who had since stopped FCing, but still commented on procedure. Being at the meeting where that happened, I feel a certain amount of responsibility, but that was quickly reversed to the best of our abilities.


    2. "'TDF' the hub for armor fleets, not very active before, now became a total wasteland."

      TDF was never "not very active" pre-nerf. It never had the numbers of the big shield fleet channels, but that was a consequence of Caldari pilots outnumbering armor tankers game-wide.

      It needs to be said that your entire post was made from the point-of-view of shield tanked fleets. Don't even begin to talk about TDF or armor incursion fleets in general. You're not qualified to speak on the subject.

  14. I think it is clear that CCPs intention is to make isk-making activities unpleasant. So that people will want to buy PLEXes for isk.

    Regardless, if what you say is a true assessment then CCP just nerfed their own content.

    1. There's no doubt they nerfed their own content. Incursion was THE major winter expansion 1.5 years ago. Poof! Just about gone. Look in your Journal Incursion Global Report. Low and null sec incursions were never that popular. Now they are completely dead. And in highsec, you could count on pilots to spread out and fleet up in every incursion constellation. Not any more. Was a highsec incursion in Amarr space that ran its course last week without anyone ever going there.

      At any given time now there is exactly ONE incursion that has people fleeting up to run sites. ONE out of anywhere between 4 and 8 active incursions. Does CCP really think that is a successful game feature at this point?

  15. Not sure how to respond. Your conclusions are valid, but a lot of what you have to say is bullshit, esp. regarding armor fleets.

    Nevertheless, let's move on from that. Null and Low sec incursions have been broken since Day 1 a year and a half ago. There was maybe 1 group doing lowsec (TEST) and in nullsec only Goons would do them.

    Now hisec incursions are broken as well. How many incursions are up right now? 7? And how many have sansha influence below 100%? 1? In hisec?

    That's right. CCP delivered an expansion 18 months ago and now EVERYTHING it gave and promised are pretty much done, over, gone, finito. There is a critical mass that game features must achieve in order to survive, and Incursions have fallen below that threshold.

    At this point CCP needs to remove them from the game completely, or switch ALL of them to lowsec with 4x the payouts and pay everyone in fleet up to 30 members: scouts, ore runners, off-grid boosters, OTA hackers, PVP sentinel fleets (we are talking about lowsec here) etc.

    But no, the offical CCP response is "It's Summer and everyone is having a happy unicorn vacation at the volcano!".

    CCP has destroyed everything they had hoped the Incursion expansion would be. Anyone left who thinks they'll get their master 5-year nullsec plan in order? Heh, 4 years left on that..... and not me!

    1. "There is a critical mass that game features must achieve in order to survive, and Incursions have fallen below that threshold.
      Incursions up until the day of the Escalation NERF were still growing & vibrant and even Dr E mentioned it in his state of the economy speech as model for a sucessful expansion.
      Even in null/lo they were growing
      What CCP DEVs did to this success is a complete travesty. I wonder what Dr E with the stats about it now would say?

    2. I'm going to agree that a lot of the article's points regarding armor fleets don't ring true. It's really amazing how many shield-types don't understand the armor fleets and channels at all, but that never stops them from thinking they know it all.

  16. Jester, im amused you did not whitness before the social evolution in eve, its natural selection nothing more.

    1. This wasn't evolution: it was a single nerf sledgehammer that wiped out Incursion numbers in a single game mechanic blow

  17. Well, you were one of the ones calling for the Nero hammer to fall, you weren't defending incursions. Go read your posts. CCP in one of their apparently standard screw-up patches of late, killed the incursion community. Whether it goes back to being similar to before, one can't tell, but it's a shell still. You were one of the loud voices railing against incursions and theeople that enjoyed running them, over and over. Laughable now that you think it's sad that the community is gone.

    1. Sir you are an idiot, go read those posts again and see if you get it. Also jester, disappointed that you made an entire post in this bitter-vet undertone. I mean sure we can all remember better times and when incursions where first discarded as useless only to be re-discovered later on, but such is eve and there's no changing it and it's pointless to ask what happened, you'd only work yourself into another eve-vacation-due-to-bitter-vet-syndrome. BVS trademark.

    2. I don't think anyone was calling for the nerf bat to swing the way it did. A nerf, yeah. But the nerf it got? CCP over reacted, instead of listening to the community and taking a measured response, they went for a full on scorched earth.

      At this point what I want from CCP is to put Incursions back to fully pre-nerfed state, let the community rebuild itself for a few months, and then slowly start adding small changes till they get it to where they think it should be. The way they should have done it in the first place.

    3. @Anon1402: you might want to re-read the introductory paragraph at the top of this blog.

  18. I'm not going to comment on the people who are left in Incursions these days, but I can definitely say that CCP did their utter best to take all the fun out of Incursions.

    A lot of the players simply had other ways to make money - ISK, 0.0 Anoms, Multiboxing Missions. Take the fun out of a community and you're left with whatever you've got there now.


  19. I think they all moved to FW. You can do plexes in a 10 hr old toon with minimal risk and make the same amount if nor more than you could do running incursions. If you want to do FW missions, you can make anywhere from 1-1.5b people have been claiming and you can do it all in a stealth bomber that you should never lose unless you're just bad. FW is by far the largest amount of ISK in the game with the least risk.

  20. 0.0 didn't used to be completely dominated by huge power blocks either, but that's what it evolved into. When wormholes first opened up, they were new and challenging to, but players soon figured out how to game them as well.

    Players simply min/maxed their way to success using the tools they had available. Happens in all MMOs, and life in general. Maybe i'm wrong, but any group activity where the desire for success is there, will suffer(??) the same evolutionary pattern and be exploited by the most effective means available.

    Jester, aren't you just as bad in other parts of the game, say in PvP? I'm fairly sure Rote doesn't accept casual players or noobs either... just not good enough for you to fly with.

  21. I'm terribly sorry my idiosyncrasies bother you. I know they aren't for everyone, as some comments and your blog attest to. I do try to ensure everyone has a place in the fleets I run, and that no one gets driven too insane by other fleet members comments. If said fleet member is me, feel free to call me on it at any time.

    For your conclusions about the state of incursions, many of them are correct, but not all, in my opinion. OTA walls are a huge problem, but luckily one that CCP has acknowledged, and is attempting to fix in the near future. War-decs have been frowned upon for quite some time due to the mayhem they cause with Basilisk cap chains. That said, being recently war-dec'd myself, I was politely reminded of the good old days when this was irrelevant, as long as it wasn't more than a few guys.

    The increased shiny numbers is simply the natural evolution of people continuing to train, and wanting to spend their isk. Whether they spend it on ships in the Delve war, or a Nightmare for HQs is not up to me. Newbies can and will always be welcome in whatever fleets I run, as will non-shiny ships, as TVP can and should be the all inclusive community it was/is.

    For Shield v. Armor, I once thought along the lines you say in your blog. That Armor was a waste of space, etc. I had never run with them in any meaningful way, though. When you never interact with them, its easy to dehumanize them. Then Escalation hit, and the communities had to merge into one incursion to keep it under control. Since then, I've come to truly appreciate Armor, and their community. Sure, there are specific individuals who I dislike, but overall its a vibrant, if smaller, community. Its struggles through Escalation have hardened it just as much as the shield community.

    As for risk averse players and FCs, I can understand your conclusions. You might even consider myself to fall into such a group. Since Escalation, we can't be as choosy with our members. We take who we can, because that's TVP. All inclusive, we take everyone. Newbies, bitter vets, one-time incursion tourists, and yes, the super care-bares. We try to mold who flies with us to be accepting of everyone. Sometimes, one group may dominate it for a while. Sometimes, some players get a bit too pushy or assertive on others. Sometimes, we're simply subject to the times we play in. But regardless, we take everyone and work from there. The day TVP stops accepting everyone is the day I'll leave it.

    I hope this has given you some extra insight into both the incursion community, and my views. Do enjoy flying, no matter what you're doing.


    P.S. Just a minor detail, but I say "Minor details." With an "s."

    1. Don't take it too personally Wacko all FC's have idiosynchoracies ( check out Shaddo's dressing down of a HAC FC sometime & laugh) I'd have loved to pair you with IMHO Armour's most Idiotsynchronistic FC: SolarX in a combined fleet & laughed at that FRAP :)

      "For your conclusions about the state of incursions, many of them are correct, but not all, in my opinion. OTA walls are a huge problem, but luckily one that CCP has acknowledged, and is attempting to fix in the near future."

      See how long I tried to point out the foreums?
      This acknowledgement only came last Friday. The development cycle for this 'fix' unlike the FW, UI, & wardeck issues which sprung up a full month afterwards (and have in some weeks resulted in 4 patches in a 5 workday week) won't show up until 'late summer'
      TVP better get ready for quite a dry spell because your recruiting base will be dwindling soon.
      Hope you can survive the burnout factor I almost didn't & unsubbed for 2 weeks & still haven't recovered.

  22. You got lucky the first time, honestly.

    The very problems you point out were there from the start, they just got more pronounced.

    I hate nothing more than SP elitism, and the premiere place to go witness it is in the incursion "community."

    They remind me of gearscore whores.

    Gas them all.

    I've come close to ranting about this issue myself, but the tl;dr is this:

    The main incursion community has been the caustic elitist mouth breathers that you currently still see; the hardcore bears. On top of that, you had a bulk of people kow-towing to them in part, because they wanted to get in on a completely broken ISK stream while the going was good.

    I once got banned for trying to lead a lowsec incursion, and this was over a year ago. Apparently the only reason to have wanted to do this is to grief them.

    The wider playerbase simply ignored people being complete retards in fleet/comms, because, hey, it's worth it for the 120mil an hour.

    Once that was fixed, the incentive for people with 2+ braincells to sit in fleets listening to this suddenly evaporated, and they're back doing something else.

    I'm sorry to say it, but incursions are simply the *wrong content* for EvE online, at least in highsec.

    1. lol here's what I remeber of the elitists' main complaints about lo SP peepswantsing to join in the fun:

      We (TDF) had the same issue with Harbi's but occasionally let them fleet in hopes they'd skill to BS's fast ( I held out for awhile & had the most ridiculasly faction fitted Harbi whose mods almost all where worth more then the HULL :)
      Letting 'welfare' fits into my fleets sometimes became ( & still does ) a badge of honur for me to help newbies over the intial humps ( after a lil bit o trolling & ribbing first of course :)

    2. Someones bitter, I gather you never gelled well with the FC's / community. Maybe shields were a lot more horrible than I've heard but AF's were never as bad as people such as your self seem to make incursion groups as a whole sound.

  23. I use to run incursions before the nerf to fund my black ops fetish. Ratting in null is pretty safe, pays well but ultimately it's a solo affair and rather boring. High Sec incursions were good fun, with decent fleets. I would regularly fly with people I was shooting in null and have a laugh about it.

    The CCP nerf which largely was uncalled for killed them, most of the people I know just went to null sec ratting. The most social PvE activity killed off largely because CCP didn't just use the nerf hammer: they used the whole toolbox.

    I would much prefer they just reset the incursions back to what they were, get that community back and then slowly tweak it.

  24. What you experience is the difference between a chat of investment bankers just hitting the jackpot (last year) or metal workers hating their job but doing it out of necessity (today).

    If a group works and everyone gains a lot then of course all is good and happy. If you work and the gain is "meh" then the group becomes mad.

  25. Pre-nerf, E-Uni had a pretty vibrant incursion community, made up of current members, ex members, and friends thereof. we'd regularly run fleets with over half the fleet T1 gunned BCs, and they mostly did OK, though did tend to lose contests.

    Pre-nerf, NCOs were fun because they were a race to see how fast you could do them. OTAs were fun because there was some risk and you were racing to deal enough damage. And NMCs were a grind you did while waiting for NCOs or OTAs to respawn.

    Post nerf, risk factor has gone up, grind factor has gone up, and the adrenaline rush is gone. Every VG site is now a grind; a hideously dangerous one for under-prepared ships in the case of OTA. A 30% nerf to hi-sec payouts would have been fine, as would tweaking the influence bar. Instead, they removed the stuff that made VGs *fun*, and simultaneously upped the barrier for entry.

  26. First of as far as shield tanking (BTL,TVP) is concerned, I cannot weigh in on "where it is at now". As I have only recently came to be part of that community, specifically TVP. In my opinion they're are very knowledgeable and professional. Insuring the safest and most efficient possible site you could hope for in today's New Eden. As close to a HQ blitz fleet you can come WITHOUT being fit specific.

    In regards to the way they treat they're pilots, sometimes less is more. The necessity to keep discipline on coms at times is a god send. You must be able to deliver commands quickly and efficiently to your fleet and the logis must be given priority. Lets face it, the random chatter on TS is at times obnoxious and the STFU attitude is welcome. Of course this is just personal prospective.

    The ridiculing of FCs is not helpful at all. If you have a better way to do things, step the fuck up! If not sit down and make isk the way your told. I can guarantee being an FC myself that the particular way we do things is not unfounded. Meaning we tell you to shoot the niarja first cause we know its potential, what is does where it goes. This is also true with all the other ships on the field. At one point we all said "why is the niarja always first?" if you say different your lying. Experience has in this instance taught us the proper way to do things. As with anything in the world(yes, i do know this is a video game). Learn from what we have to teach and build upon it so you may become a better FC than us.

    This game always seems to have a high turnover rate for pilots. The incursion community will educate new pilots on the principles of fitting, and intermediate fleet operations. Allowing one day themselves to take the reins on the respective groups. THIS IS CRUCIAL!

    As stated before a lot of pilots use shiner fits post nerf. The thought behind this is surely not anything "necessary" (moar EHP)it is simply because it improves the completion time. Even n00bs should hands down be able to acceptably fit a T1 BS/BC with meta 4 mods. Able to meet the most picky FC's requirements for EHP, resists, and DPS. If not than the pilots need to be politely pointed in the correct direction. At least this should be the attitude of FC's who wish to see our community restored to what it once was.

    With regard to the armor side of things. Blitzing VG's seemed to be a staple of the armor community. Its' all I could get into anywere I went(TDF,BAM,Vindis Only Blitz) was 10 man, 2bs 6t3 2oni blitz fleets. Which at the time was cool =] .

  27. (continued)
    The problem came when you took this ability away from the pilots who choose to do this as an acceptable isk/hour occupation. Being an avid TDF member from the get, I can truthfully say that 50-75% of our community was GONE within a week of the patch. Those staying were optimistic that remaining players would be the "die-hard" players we want running in our fleets. Although the is truth to that sentiment, the renaming were few and far between. After most abuse at the hands of CCP, most chose to peruse different careers or change teams in a manner of speaking.

    The armor community is on the upswing. In no small part in this pilots opinion to the Born-Ara Mob. This exclusive sect of TDF FCs has always been willing to invite novice pilots who may need some work with their incursioning. New pilots are given a place to grow, learning the ropes of VGs and Assults. If they choose, learning to become FCs themselves.

    The negative outlook on the armor community as a whole by other pilots is outrageous. The FCs in TDF and BAM are just as experienced and willing to start fleets as the shield FCs. The problem is the lack of able body's. Personally id like to be able to run armor tanked HQ fleets 24/7 the way TVP is able. The numbers just aren't there, the current dedicated FCs are having trouble keeping Assault fleets running much longer than a few hours. TDF as a whole community needs to get off its ass and motivate pilots new and old get involved.

    However a middle ground seems to be achieved between shield and armor pilots. Working together to keep the influence down is an amazing idea. Shield fleets run their HQs and take big bites out of the bar, armor runs their VGs helping keep it up along the way. It is a balance, symbiont if you will. One day going head to head, contesting MOMs on occasion will be a reality once more. Until then it is in the best interest of all to work together as a community.

    As shields, armor, TVP, TDF, or however else you can divide us. We must all come together to build OUR community to what it once was. By showing willing pilots the ropes in our corner of the universe, and by asserting the fact that we are not the bottom feeders of New Eden we are made out to be. After all, at least were not goons.

  28. It's not just shield vs armor these days. It's shiny shield vs general admission shield. The high-end of incursion running is starting to push out those who bring in new blood by blitzing their sites in front of them. It's a problem with the reduced area that incursions can be run over too.

  29. I was a part-time 'shiny fleet' public incursion FC for several months from the start of this year right up until the nerf. Although heavily courted by some of the more established, dedicated incursion bear groups, it wasn't my primary focus in the game (pvp, anyone?) and I kept it to a weekend thing.

    I have to be honest: I miss it - a lot, and I still get mails and convos regularly from a lot of the people that I used to fly with who feel the same. But because CCP removed, overnight, the ability of small, independent FCs like myself to form and run highly competitive fleets inside an hour or so of arriving at a staging system; Eve's most diverse and vibrant community to ever exist in the game has been dismantled. People like myself have left and there is nothing to go back for. It is FUBAR that CCP chose to destroy what I fondly remember as greatest, organic community that has ever, or probably will ever, emerge in this game over concerns about currency inflation (I mean... seriously?).

  30. have seen this as a born-Ara fc i train alot of new pilots to incursion and to fc and i have a problem with shinny fleets coming in on a training fleet steeling it from right under us which in my opinion makes people not want to fly with armor or not at all. its a bit sad

  31. Jester, this has been coming for a while. CCP's changes to incursions may have sped up the process but it was going this way anyway.

    Fundamentally the problem with Incursions is that they're competitive. The fleet that comes into a site and does the most damage gets _all_ the reward. In turn that means that you need the shiniest highest-DPS fleet you can put out there to be able to compete - so there's no place for noobs.

    For a long time getting into an Incursion fleet has increasingly depended on knowing the right people and being able to get into the right channels .The chances of getting picked up from a public channel have been increasingly small, and the fleets that are forming up from public channels either attract griefers or lose out when the bling fleet run through your sites and clean-up.

    1. I'm sorry, but that sounds as much like it's your own fault for being lazy. Why didn't you just go out and form fleets. Gather up random people, tell them how you're planning to do business and get to it.

      I ran in both Shiny Private channel fleets, and often did a lot of fleets with E-Uni. In E-Uni fleets, the policy was to accept anyone regardless of ship type and experience so long as they could field a reasonable enough tank to survive. This often included characters as new as 1 month old and plenty of drakes in the shield fleets.

      There was nothing wrong with E-Uni fleets. The only trouble they ever really ran into was when there was a single HS incursion up and literally everyone went there. Even then, the Armor Fleets were incredibly competitive. Any time the incursion was split up into two or more highsec incursions E-Uni fleets were able to compete regularly and often times with much greater success. (US TZ fleets regularly maintained 80-90% win rates, and could go evening upon evening close to 100% - Yes, we kept track for our own amusement)

      In closing, having issues getting fleets, and making isk in them is simply a product of yours and others laziness. You'd rather sit around and complain about how other people aren't handing you fleets, then be even a bit of a useful community member and do stuff yourself.

      I literally laughed at people who sat in TDF for hours crying about not getting fleets with several other people when they could have just fleeted up with each other. But they didn't want to, because rather then group up with other people in crappier ships, you all wanted to ride the coattails of people shelling out for shiny ships.

  32. "And the HQ fleets are obviously being taken over by 'shiny': ridiculously over-pimped battleships of various types, with faction and pirate BSs being favored. Risk averse players and FCs are legion."
    THIS is the WoW-ification of incursions, where the enjoyment of incursions is wringed out by people who want no risk but all the reward. All they need is a GearScore-type tool to make the transformation complete.


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