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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Monday, July 9, 2012

Quote of the Week: Failed diplomacy

I'm sorry I keep writing about Goons.  But with the famed "summer slump" upon us, there's literally nothing else going on in New Eden right now besides that and AT10.  So today is "Delve War V" day around here.  I'm going to make the points that I'd like to make about it, and then unless something extraordinary happens, this will be the one and only time I talk about it.

Let's start with the Quote of the Week, which according to Mittens, is caused by failed diplomacy

The source of the quote comes from an announcement about a "Southern Coalition" (or SoCo, as it's come to be called) CTA that was called to defend one of their stations.  Goons of course love what they call "forum porn" which in the last couple of years has expanded to include Teamspeak porn.  Both are defined by the lamentations of their enemies over various failures in their own defense.  Spies within the enemy alliances record what's happening on Teamspeak and then put it up on soundcloud.com for the amusement of all concerned.

This one involves a 90-second announcement that the CTA in question is to be cancelled.  The SoCo had intended to form up, only to find that their CTA system was surrounded by four larger fleets: an Alpha Maelstrom fleet, a Drake fleet, a Tengu fleet, and a capital ship fleet.  The last was reinforcing the CTA objective even as the announcement was made.  This was apparently happening right in the middle of the EUTZ, but the CFC fleet still numbered around 1000 pilots, and outnumbered the SoCo fleet by about three to one.

It sounds like a lot.  But keep in mind that the CFC alliances for Delve War V now include -- conservatively -- some 30,000 EVE characters.(1)

That brings us to the QOTW -- two of them, actually -- which both come at the end of the announcement, from audience members listening to it:
"That's a lot of fucking people."
"I don't like this game any more."
Expect to hear both expressions quite a bit in the next few weeks that it'll likely take the CFC to smash through Delve and the surrounding regions.  More on that in a bit.

(1) Goons, 9200.  TEST, 7700.  PL, 1300.  FCON, 2400.  FA, 2700.  SMA, 2100.  Gents, 1800.  LAWN, 1300.  TNT, 1300.  There's probably more, but that's where I stopped counting.


  1. Two things:

    Jester, you do know those numbers are HUGELY inflated with alts right? I'd cut them by about one third, and that might be overly conservative.

    I'm not saying the CFC is not blobbing, they are. But the expectation of the mythical good-fight and even numbers and e-honor or whatever other misconception people can conjure up to excuse (or rationalize) their losses - none of it matters. This is purely numbers. This is not attrition, this is not a grind, this is a smash and grab.

    I doubt that this is the end of small gang pvp or even-fleet actions. I'm sure the opportunities will continue to arise, when sov is not threatened or desired, for foes to face each other on a more level playing field. But for now...lube.

    1. You know...I'm sort of willing to be that the other side has something of the same issue with 'alt bloat'.

  2. "Good fights to be had" indeed.

  3. Evoke and NC. Vs Solar and Co? Think there was a major battle today. A lot more going on in geminate then delve.

  4. Why the sam hill isn't anyone running a guerrilla fleet or two behind enemy lines in Goon's home systems and kicking them squarely in the moons...?

    1. This. You'd think the ease with which one could kick the goons in the nuts would be too tempting...

    2. BL tried that in the terms of grabbing a PL techmoon up north.
      A fleet of around 150 got up to Deklein and help defend the moon.
      JB's are a wonderfull thing.
      Just saying!

    3. Yeah I know... but in terms of either standing and fighting an unwinnable fight (charge when we say charge) or committing harrasing actions against less well guarded targets which is the better?

      You may well pull force the attacker to commit some forces back at home, lessening the the amount of ships they can bring to the fight.

      Better yet, hit three or four targets (or more) and keep your enemy at a loss as to what you will hit next. Make it as difficult as possible to defend any one thing. Expose as many weak points as possible.

      This is more about asset denial than trying to capture and hold. You probably couldn't anyways.

      Guerilla warfare. Harrass harrass harrass. Be as much of a PITA as possible. That or be a speed bump to a massive supercap fleet...

  5. Ripard, here's food for thought. I am slowly coming to the conclusion that the Need For Speed initiative has succeeded only too well. CCP has exposed Eve's broken sov & combat mechanics by lifting the artificial barriers to mass grouping, and has yet to respond to the change. Hence, we get steamroller fleets.

  6. There's other things going on in EVE, they just aren't getting much press. Check dotlan for system kills and you might find the Solar-Intrepid Crossing-Gypsy and friends war on NC.-Sone-Evoke in Geminate and Kalevala Expanse at the top of the list on any given day. There's not much in the way of supercap action, just large subcap fleets playing cat and mouse and occasionally slugging it out as the NC. coalition steadily loses sov. Much more interesting than the massive blob going on in Delve.

    1. Loses Sov? http://evemaps.dotlan.net/region/Geminate/changes/2012-07
      Gain 4
      Gain 10 Lose 1

    2. You have to look at the sov losses in Kalevala as well. SONE has lost few stations, and some other systems. Things have slowed down there a little and are more focused on Geminate.

  7. That doesn't sounds like failed diplomacy to me... it sounds like the CFC is just overwhelming everybody else.

    Hope it's fun for *them*.

  8. Actually more like 35k - (in order of size) Goons, Test, RZR, FA, FCON, SMA, Gents, EXE, LAWN, TNT, PL

  9. There's not much the SoCo can do, when Goons+Pets form their huge blobs. I should know, I am there every day.
    Usually it works like this:
    Soco forms small smaller fleets, kills a ton of Goon roaming ships...Goons form a blob and chase us to 319 station. Then both sides are bored for 2 hours.
    We just don't / can't fight when they outnumber us 4:1 and more.
    On the CTAs the CFC just can bring more and more and more people. Still on SoCo side there is much fun to be had and many kills to be made. Most corps have an all time high in ships and ISK killed...so both sides get more or less what they want. Most SoCo alliances don't care much about Sov.
    As it looks at the moment: CFC will gain all the Sov they want and the SoCo will get all the kills they want.

  10. The fact that a 1000 man fleet is insurmountable for the Southern Coalition says all sorts of bad things about them, to be honest.

    They have the numbers to match the CFC's fleets easily. They just don't log in. Right now, they're getting fleets ~a third the size of the CFCs, despite the fact that they're themselves nearly 26,000 members strong.

    They have the numbers to make a fight out of this, but they're either unable/unwilling to co-ordinate, or unable/unwilling to get their pilots to undock.

    Or to put it another way, right now ~1 in every 30 CFC pilots is actively engaged in the war. ~1 in every 85 of their opponents is undocking. This isn't some monstrous behemoth picking on a helpless defender. This is two monstrous behemoths, one slightly bigger than the other. Its just that the other of them doesn't want to fight.

    If they were getting 850 man fleets, proportionally matching the CFC, this war would be very different. And they can do it. When it was just TEST+PL, they were happy to bring the blob. But now?

    1. There is probably some truth in that, in fact I wondered about that myself.
      To be honest: I partly blame that on the fleet doctrines. There are simply a lot of people willing to fight, that don't have the required skills for the doctrines.

    2. Tengus just strike me as an awful idea for a defensive doctrine anyway. The whole point of a Tengufleet is to kite your opponent. If your opponent is there to kill your structures rather than your Tengus, they're not going to need to chase you. If you're in high TiDi, your staggered damage is going to make it really difficult to overpower their logistics.

      Throw in awful reimbursement policies (I heard somewhere that their Tengu pilots are only getting reimbursed 20%. Anyone able to confirm/deny?) and I'd certainly be hesitant to undock. You need to really trust your FCs and to have the odds in your favour.

    3. The -A- tengu and loki fleets are mostly for -A- pilots, as they know the other larger alliances (nulli) don't have the skills for said ships.

      The issue really is that we're having some difficulty getting numbers, but that is partly due to the division of forces between EU/US TZ, and I also think that the summer is having an effect.

      I think the real issue is more that leadership seems to believe we can't match super numbers. There's no point building hundred man fleets when the enemy simply has the ability to escalate to a point that we can't counter.

      But otherwise it's a mystery to me. Morale is high and people want to get a fight on, there was a point where people were having difficulty getting new ships in 319, but that seems to have been sorted.


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