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...

Friday, March 15, 2013

War never changes

First thing: this post has nothing to do with high-sec.  Sooner or later, I'll try tackling the whole high-sec war-dec problem but today isn't that day.  Second thing: I'm going to try to make this quick, because if it goes long the topic I am going to cover is going to give me a headache.

We've been hearing more and more about the "war games" proposal that's being put forth by Shadoo from Pandemic Legion as an alternative to a massive sov war between the HBC and the CFC.  You can read Shadoo's post about it at TMC, and there's a pretty fair analysis of the piece written by mr0ts at EN24.  You can read the pieces yourselves -- they are well worth your time -- but as is my wont here from time to time, I'm going to give you a summary then tell you what I think about the issue.

The "war games" proposal first came out of the aborted war between TEST and FA that nearly erupted back in January.  Much as the invasion of Poland kicked off World War II, the invasion of FA space by TEST likely would have caused the first "Great War" New Eden has seen in years.  But as I wrote back in January, Shadoo nearly single-handedly terminated the conflict before it started, talking Montolio off the ledge by reminding him that while blowing up spaceships is fun, wars apparently aren't.  After writing his "The Madness of Montolio" piece, Mittens has been remarkably silent about how "wars start for reasons of rage and hatred"... except when they don't.  His two TTH columns since then have been unrelated fluff, and his April column looks unlikely to cover it, too.

About this, mr0ts is unyielding and sarcastic, stating "the real reasons for the avoidance of war is the thought of losing all they’ve built" and that the "combatants" are going to "blame CCP while [they] conceal the fact everyone is really just fat and happy in null-sec".  And while I'm not sure I would go that far, there's certainly an argument to be made for that perspective.

In his piece ending the war, Shadoo promised that he would come up with a plan for the HBC and the CFC to have massive battles without having to do sov warfare.  And that's what we now have.  Shadoo claims that an HBC-CFC war would stretch out for two years in much the same way the first and second Great Wars did between Goons and Band of Brothers.  He then further claims that... let me make sure I quote this accurately...
I think the reality is that we, the OLD players, have now played this game for 10 years and too many people know how to bore an attacker out of invading you, or how to most effectively crush a noob lead assault. The ladder is too high for new blood to accomplish anything...
And if that wasn't condescending enough, he goes on!
EVE is now so polarized that the only war soon left to be fought would be one most of us would not come out of still playing EVE.
And then just to make sure the point is clear, he says it again!
So what do we do while we wait for people to get SO BORED they're prepared to end their EVE "life" fighting a war no one wants to start, which will last longer than most reading this post are willing to commit to this game?
Let's be clear here, kids.  The ten year vets have now been playing this game so long that playing this game actively bores them, yet they keep playing it anyway for our sake.  They prevented this war so that we wouldn't have to stop playing EVE.  So we should really honor their sacrifice and very great wisdom.  Amen.

*cough*  Sorry.  But if anyone wants to know why "been playing this game since beta" people aggravate me, this arrogant little screed is a lovely example.  Hell, one imagines SirMolle saying that very same exact thing about the invasion ladder being too high in 2007 or 2008.  Why yes, I am getting that headache.  Thanks for asking.

Welcome to Cloud Ring.  What color do you want?

Anyway, Shadoo has a solution, and his solution is: a thunder-dome.  Yeah, that's pretty much his solution.  Oh, he's not calling it a thunder-dome, of course.  Instead, he's inventing Chinese Checkers for EVE.  Or maybe just a really big game of Slay.  He visualizes anyone who wants to get involved in his Chinese Checkers game joining corps that will then be attached to corps in Executive Outcomes, the sov owner in the Cloud Ring region.  Why Cloud Ring?  Because it's easy for the people involved to get to.  That beats Delve, I suppose.  Then these three corps will be given three stations (presumably the ones in Z-Y7R7, B-DBYQ, and 00TY-J).  And then the three corps will have daily fights of between 50 and 1000 ships to a side.

If that weren't contrived enough, there will then apparently be judges who will decide who wins any given fight, whether that means a system changes hands because of the fight, and how that system changing hands alters the score of the war game.  And this will go on for a couple of weeks until a winner is declared.  At which point... I don't know.  Shadoo doesn't go that far.

I swear I am not making this up.  As far as I can tell, this is how this thing is going to work: Red vs Blue, only with rules ("no supers!" "don't bring too many caps!"), and judges, and a winning side that gets a trillion ISK and maybe ten technetium moons if ten tech moons can be pried out of someone's colossal moon empire to be handed out as prizes to the "winner" in this enormous game of Chinese Checkers.  Again: I swear I am not making this up.

You'll forgive me for saying so, I hope, but I think any EVE player who goes in for this immediately loses any moral authority they may have once had to make fun of high-sec players or care-bears.  This.  Is.  A.  Farce.  And what's more, Shadoo knows it and recognizes it.  He says flat out the goal of this thing is apparently to provide CCP with evidence that their sov system is shit and needs to be changed... to include "borders", whatever the hell that means.

Shadoo, I'll save you some time, mate: I think CCP got that message right around January of this year if not before.  How CCP is going to respond to this farce is anyone's guess but for my money, I hope they do one of their trademark over-reactions.  I think we're about due for one.

Someone call Ron Perlman and let him know he's on in five.

EDIT (15/Mar/2013): Oh, and before someone asks, "Well Jester, what's the alternative?"  The alternative is that the people involved here use their well-established bat-phones, they call the other guys and say "We're forming up a fleet of 200 guys.  We're headed for CCP-US in Deklein.  Form up a response fleet!  See you in 20!"  I'm not sure why that's too difficult, but apparently it is...

55 comments:

  1. There seems to be a awful lot of people not involved with cfc/hbc crying about how we are not killing each other for their benefit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why shouldn't they HBC/Goons propaganda machine did the same for how long for thier own schudenFreude?

      Delete
    2. I'm in CFC and many of us aren't too happy with the carebearish state of things in null, either. A lot of us joined up, in order to participate in the next great war, not sit around playing themepark games in null or ganking high sec miners who never fight back.

      Bad enough we have to put up with bulls**t politics in RL, we don't need it messing up our game time, too.

      Delete
    3. because at that point you just become bloated leeches on the game that generate no interesting content.

      in fact you take interesting content away from the rest of the players who want a chance at null sovereignty

      Delete
  2. 1) I think this whole idea is dumb and probably won't actually happen, when everybody else realizes that.

    2) It messes up my jb route from syndicate to deklein :(

    3) That thing you mentioned in your edit? Yeah, that already happens with some regularity.

    ReplyDelete
  3. According to the old null crowd, RvB is nothing but high sec carebear PVP, something that "true" PVP players should look down upon - yet it is funny how many null players actually now have alts in RvB, to get in some casual PVP, when there is nothing to do in null, except mine and run missions. So, why not copy the whole RvB thing to null, since no one wants to allow non-consensual PVP in null anymore.

    Perhaps, Jester, your "How safe is too safe?" post should have been about null, not high sec.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right now obviously Thunderdome(tm) is way to safe?!?!?

      Delete
    2. @Darth - sure it is. If you break the rules, you get kicked from the alliance, after everyone gets a chance to rape you over and take your stuff. Didn't you know that? Ask Shadoo.

      Delete
  4. you will make a fine csm sir!
    is it possible to ask the oh so say savior of highsec (James 315), what he thinks of this? and possibly advise him that said nullsec is worse off a patient than high sec.. and it is this patient that needs saving 1st..
    Thank you

    You have my vote

    ReplyDelete
  5. What's most amusing, is that as Shadoo is saying all this, Pandemic Legion is taking sov for the first time in over a year.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yep this is pure BS, with the amount of supers on each side grinding anything could be done in such a short time it is not worth talking about. To me the players of eve have screwed up eve and actually maybe the 10 year old players NEED to leave the game if staged fights is now the answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you've crunched the numbers on this, I'm sure.

      Oh wait, no you haven't. But Pandemic Legion actually DID and discovered that even with optimal conditions (full fleet of sieged Dreadnoughts grinding 23/7 with no interruptions) it would take over a month of actual time to fully grind Goonswarm's holdings.

      Delete
    2. Your saying 250 dreads siege running 23/7 would take a month to burn 6 regions? Are you an idiot, or do you just think everyone else is?

      Delete
  7. Or we can just unsub and play Planetside until TESO and CU come out. I really doubt CCP will ever seriously look at Null again. They announced their "Return to Apocrypha Expansion Model" right before they would have started working on the nullsec focused expansion. CCP still subscribes to the "If only a few people use it, its not worth looking at" school of thought. As has been repeated here in and many other places CCP makes their money off of Hisec.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is probably one of your worst of a normally well done blog...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. scared of a real fight?

      Delete
    2. Null bears only want fake fights where they can blob safely 20:1

      Delete
  9. Wow sounds a lot like…. A theme park.

    FW now has much more, and the people put more at stake that 0.0

    ReplyDelete
  10. So the alternative is to actually do the thunder-dome? Batphoning each other to meet up is the same concept, just less formality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. if it was they wouldn't propose this.

      Nope, the thunder-dome takes any real risk that the corps and alliances are destroyed in a sovereignty war and you know it. Ask Nulli or -A- the difference.

      Delete
  11. As I said in a reply in your previous post, it is all about the money, ingame and with RMT. The null sec leadership wants to control as much of the economic engine of Eve as possible. Hence the propaganda campaigns to increase null sec's share of the economic pie, working hand in hand with the cadre within CCP that are sympathetic to their goals.

    Wars destabilize income streams. No way the null sec leadership wants that to happen, when some unknown percentage is siphoned into RMT. It is utterly naive to think that no one at the top of the null sec pyramid does not RMT.

    And those same people are the ones deciding what wars should be started. They also tell CCP devs, their good buddies who are recent hires from null sec alliances, that the null sec income stream must not only be preserved, but enhanced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I smell money at the heart of this.

      Why else would you not want to play Eve for what it is - a game for those who like consequences not farces.

      Delete
    2. Put the tinfoil hat back on, mate.

      Delete
  12. If you can't find a sane reason for their decision in the context of the politics, it's time to look at the meta-game. If you can't find an answer in the meta-game, it's time to look out of game.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thunderdome(tm) is a propaganda farce to blame CCP for not giving coalitions an EZ button out/risk adverse alternaive that NULL bears cry HI SEC is.

    CCP you want to deride the big blue doughnut... then you have to bite the bullet quick & disperse the moon goo ISK drastically else you wantthe big blue doughnut for another 2-3 years sit around with your thumbs up your bums like you have since CCP Soundwaves suggestions or ring mining

    ReplyDelete
  14. Several years ago CCP Wrangler (Community Manager at the time) wrote that "EVE isn't designed to just look like a cold, dark and harsh world; it's designed to be a cold, dark and harsh world." I guess Shadoo has rewritten that to read "So long as you are in the Blue Donut, sov null is player designed to be a happy peaceful lala land where we can farm ISK/moons without fear of interruption or threat"

    I really do hope CCP over-react (maybe the fabled tech moon changes would be a good starting place - for instance, they move them all to WH space). I have a feeling something might be in the works since the several threads devoted to this or related issues in the EvE O forums has been devoid of any CCP dev comments.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Jester, I hope that one day you will write about rmt and third party plex referrals. These are the most important drivers behind alliance politics.

    ReplyDelete
  16. To be fair, this too is emergent gameplay, and if there's any truth about it is that no one side is required to like what emergent gameplay does, not even the spectators.

    What is really hypocritical in my opinion is how these very same blocks that claim they don't want war because of the current sov mechanics are also the ones that permanently hold CSM seats that lobby for no changes in it.

    It comes to mind some people that go "nullsec needs to be way-way-way more appealing than it currently is, but for the love of god and all that's holy don't ever touch sov".

    ReplyDelete
  17. I find it funny PL calls sov grind boring after they got those awesome battles with Solar. That's the kind of fight that can't be arranged.

    I know it cames after a month blue balling and boring grind... but N3 are building their empire. It wasn't just lots of effort for nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PL is sov grinding right now too.

      They, like Goons and Test are perfectly fine with sov grinding if the odds are in their favor.

      Delete
  18. Yo Nony 9:31, you may not have paid attention, but a big part of the reason why James 315 wants to "nerf highsec to oblivion" is to push people who, he thinks, ought to be out in null carebearing back out to null to carebear. Because according to the foodchain theory he espouses, the way to make a place lively is have have soft targets there. If there are miners and ratters there will be solo gankers following. And these become targets for solo PVPer, then small gangs, etc., on up the food chain.

    If, on the other hand, everyone who wants to carebear is doing it in highsec, then there's few targets to be had in null. Basically only small gang stuff, and the small gangs will have trouble finding each other unless they collaborate. Because there are so few fights, there are few opportunities for fights to spin out of control. And also there is no lively hatred building up on either side of a line. And thus no wars. And therefore boredom for PVPers. Who will do funny things like organize nullsec RvB just to get a fight.

    ReplyDelete
  19. So when you get elected is there any chance you could get us a blops battlecruiser?
    Right now my options are hound and falcon/rook?. Panther in 90days+more support training. Blops seem to have skipped bc. Will attack battlecruisers get blops for t2 down the road?
    Any chance you could put together a state of the blops so to speak?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Is it not time to seriously consider euthaninizing the gerontocracy of EVE, as Mittani once called it? Put them out of their miserable boredom?

    Hey, there's a CSM platform for ya -- "Euthanize the Gerontocracy"! That's sure to be a winner.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I know this is a little off topic. Thought you would like to read this and would like to know what you think of this idea? http://thelazypilot.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/a-solution-to-fix-moon-mining/

    ReplyDelete
  22. I don't really see the problem here.

    1. Nobody want to fight boring, shitty sov-wars.
    2. People wanna see spaceships blow up.

    I don't like preplanned pvp, thunderdomes, consensual pvp or whatever you wanna call it, but surely anything...ANYTHING has to beat sov warfare?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll believe you when you give up your sovereignty.

      If sov warfare is so bad give up your sovereignty and get out of it completely rather than proposing this Farce.

      Delete
    2. How is this a farce? It's exactly what it looks like, an attempt (the thing is still an experiment waiting to happen) to generate fights without shooting structures or burning out an alliance's logistics groups moving material, setting up POS's and dropping SBU's. Nobody wants to ever do these activities and combine that with the fact that the corp management system making it difficult to assign roles to pilots leads to maybe 20 people in a coalition of thousands actually stepping forward and being able to do the real legwork needed to win and run a sov-war.

      That's where this 1-2 week experiment comes from. You pile 50,000 or so characters into one region who are willing to undock and see what happens. It might be fun, it might not be. The rules are very vague too, and essentially are there to prevent people from fielding slowcats all the time and causing blueballs all around. We'll see, I predict we will have some rule-breakers who will generate some hilarious results.

      Al the haters on this just want to see the CFC and HBC killing each other. Well what does either get for killing each other in an epic sov-war to end all sov wars? They'll get a couple of good fights, possible 2-3 per region, structure grinds, and more space either doesn't need. There's no incentives beyond ideological reasons for these two groups to fight, and entities from outside null lack the income stream to ever break into null. Until the situation on that front changes, then this experiment will roll forward to try and generate fights in the numbers similar to those you hear. If you don't like it, then why not do something about if yourself. We could use more pizza deliveries.

      Delete
    3. If Shadoo hated sov war so much, why is PL still doing it without even the excuse of "gotta kill -A-"? Messing around with that SOLAR war... The whole thing rings totally false. SOV war might need improvement, but it's only a deal breaker for Shadoo when it's HBC v CFC because, as jester says, they enjoy being nullsec fatcats too much.

      Delete
  23. Why is it so difficult? Because real money transfers. They are so rich they are making money off Eve. So like mega-corps they collude to keep the monopoly.

    Fighting takes a back seat. It's staged and phony. Yes they are the ultimate industrialists or as they would put it "carebears"now.

    ReplyDelete
  24. For the edit: why is that particular course of action, "hey we're forming up a fleet, come fight us", better than what Shadoo proposes? Honest question. It seems like thunderdome will result in more fights, especially small gang/black ops, than having to set up every single engagement ahead of time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ask yourself a question - why couldn't Shadoo propose to do Thunderdome IN ADDITION to sovereign warfare? Why wouldn't he? And why haven't they stopped sov warfare grinds when it's against smaller enemies anyway?

      Because it's all just about an excuse for Test and Goons not to fight each other and put each other at risk to lose some of their bloated sovereignty. And why do they care so much about sov? Simple. Real Money Transfers. Follow the money, always when things don't make sense on the surface.

      Delete
  25. I think this is all going to soon be irrelevant and moot. According to an anonymous source, certain CCP senior folks are seriously considering a "reset" of null, as the best (ie. cheapest) solution to breaking the current deadlock. Whether this will be a simple redistribution of Tech moons (which only requires some minor database changes), or something more drastic, remains to be finalized. A major nerf to super caps, to put a permanent end to the super cap proliferation barrier to new null alliances, seems to also be on the table.

    Apparently, the execs aren't too happy with the static situation in null, and prefer in-game open warfare to metagame politics. They were willing to sit on any decisions, pending the outbreak of a CFC/HBC war, but now....

    I guess war makes for better PR and brings in subscribers, while peace (and Thunderdome) does not.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Jester, I love your stuff and I read you regularly, but there is a non-sequitur that seems to run through these discussions and it revolves around the concept of "moral authority". As I write this there are six ten-year-olds outside my window screaming at the top of their lungs because they don't like the way their mates are playing basketball. The name-calling is non-stop and ferocious. Which ones have the "moral authority" and how in the world can you tell? If you are making fun of people, then I would submit that the idea of "moral authority" is well, lost on you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My moral authority says, you shouldn't be locking kids up. And you should also stop being a pedophile.

      Delete
  27. I want to see the galaxy burn, from end to end.
    Fire that rises so hot nothing stands.
    I want to see the Stars pale in comparison to the glow of death.
    A fight that turns black holes inside out
    I want to see the galaxy burn!

    ReplyDelete
  28. If you want a great war, go ahead and do it! Oh wait you're too much of a little bitch to get into an alliance like you're talking about and put your time and effort where your mouth is hehhehee

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is strange.

    Farce is close to it, but even more I'd say it's sad.

    ReplyDelete
  30. How is "farce" an indictment of anything? Eve is a video game, a decade-long multi-million dollar exercise in fakery. This is a small sliver of artifice that will last two weeks, tops, while people from both sides have said an actual sov war is inevitable.

    I don't understand why any bloc owes "authentic" anything to anyone. What the hell does that mean in a spaceship vidyer? Why is "authentic" important? You've argued against writing off highsec play as invalid; 0.0 resolves to play a certain way and you're suddenly all judgey.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I don't understand why everyone seems to regard this as such a travesty. Yes, certain groups are fat and happy in null. They've gamed the system effectively over a period of years. (And since "the system" is a game, that's fine.) Now, they're protective of what they've built. The argument that Pandemic Legion or Goonswarm or whomever should be willing to burn all their stuff to satisfy the peanut gallery's blood-lust is one I can't take seriously.

    I don't see how the Thunderdome is any more of a farce than the Tuskers' Death Race or the Alliance Tournament. They're all contrivances that apparently don't fit within somebody's cold, dark, Emo Online vision of emergent gameplay, and yet things still explode. If the people that participate in these events are having fun, why should they listen to the bitter chorus that sees so fit to tell them "that's not what Eve is *really* about."

    What this all comes down to is one guy telling another how he should be playing Eve. The only sensible response to that is a cheerful "fuck off" -- and getting back to business.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The travesty my friend, is these fat and happy people are masking their true intentions with the farce that the game is broken and "you wernt there man, sov grind is horriable, you dont want it trust me".

      And its not just the outside peanut gallery seeking a conflict dude. Apparently Monty wanted to fight and had to be bitch slaped down by Shadoo. Who knows how many other corps.alliances on both sides want to fight, and its only a matter of time until those pro-war parties form up and have more influence?

      If you dont want to fight a massive war fine, but dont go blaming the game mechanics and making CCP look bad. It hurts the game and dosnt attract new players.

      I have grinded sov for months and while it wasnt always fun all the time, looking back it was enjoyable and exciting. I have seen an invasion grind out systems hella quick. So I am so not buying the OMFG its going to take forever for us to wipe you off the map.

      Bullshit. Critical systems can be taken quickly and have massive impacts on the owners. Who knows what would happen after just 2-3 weeks of attacks on key systems.

      We will never know if they continue to convince everyone war is "boring" and the game is broken. Know what, peace is boring and CCP's only mistake was making the moons too productive for such little effort.

      Delete
  32. Well done saying exactly what everyone is already thinking Rip. This is a farce and to me it is more of an example of what it wrong with the meta-game, not Sov.

    OMFG it will take a months, and months, and hell YEARS to fight this war! Bullshit.

    Imagine all the new war tactics that might sprout up from a conflict like this? The new fits that would change a huge fight somewhere? Imagine all the new FCs that would climb the ladder to greatness as a result of a war like this? FCs who would step up when all the old FCs are replaced because it is apparent they don't have the playtime, will, or passion to continue the fight, let alone even start it.

    These are the exact people saying no war....

    Maybe its time for new people who still have "fun" with the game to lead for a while. Because to them the game is not boring....even with the oh so horrible sov warfare.

    Its not CCP's fault that we have not come up with a better way to beat the sov mechanics to make them faster, more efficient, more fun.

    Get creative people...go fight and shape the game! Your not going to improve the EVE for CCP or YOURSELVES just sitting in station spinning your ships and counting your stacks.






    ReplyDelete
  33. All this strikes me as is stalling for time to get Newbs into ships so when the war does start GSF has a fighting chance vs what will probably be the remaining 2/3 of 0.0.

    In terms of actual merit, the idea falls short on many tenets of play that were supposedly established long ago by these very same folks. Do I think it will work?...only to the very easily led. Comms discussions of this aren't very favorable and many players aren't too pleased with the thought.

    Im sincerely hoping that CCP WILL do something horrifically drastic (IE kill Moon-Goo, etc) to shake the current situation up. Because if they dont, the meta game for EVE will be dead by years end.

    Or then of course, Groups tired of this crap could easily form their own group and go for SOV and be willing to fight all those "horrible time-sucking" battles. You know, PLAY the game the way it was designed.

    Mittens, Monty and Shadoo have all overstepped themselves here horribly and are risking much.

    ReplyDelete
  34. We came to EVE from our boring theme park games, where nothing really mattered, we came to EVE for the cold and harsh universe, that was so utterly unfair and unkind that it challenged and intrigued us like nothing before.

    And yet, after 10 years we finally build our own theme park into EVE.

    All those years of crying about CCP making the game easier and the fear that they would mold into one of those dreaded theme parks seem to have been in vain. What has EVE come to when we as players choose for ourselves that a themepark version of EVE is actually more fun than a sandbox version ?

    But one question remains: what is the consequence of this ?

    Is the game flawed or the players ?

    ReplyDelete
  35. "EVE is now so polarized that the only war soon left to be fought would be one most of us would not come out of still playing EVE"

    When I read this the first time around, I had two immediate reactions: one was "That wouldn't be such a bad thing!", the other "Isn't that how EVE wars are supposed to be won?"

    ReplyDelete
  36. This is a really late entry, but I have a question. What exactly does this mean for the Eve Dust Link? The long term goal of Dust is to connect directly with Eve's Nullsec game for control of player owned systems. But if players are having intramurals instead of wars... what does that spell for the future of the two games?

    ReplyDelete

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