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

Thursday, October 18, 2012

COTW: Scouring the Shire

Mord Fiddle has written a thing, which you should go read, because it basically comprises the longest comment to a blog post around here that I can recall in a while.  ;-)

His post, which he calls "Scouring the Shire" (and dear Heaven do I love that reference) essentially makes the argument that Rote Kapelle is angry because people will not PvP in Syndicate the way we want them to.  In other words, just like I said yesterday morning he's essentially asking "how dare Rote tell other people how they should play EVE?"

Told you that perception was getting around.

Then Mord accuses me of closing my mind to the argument while at the same time making a series of ancillary points about how:
  • maybe Rote Kapelle has outgrown Syndicate; or,
  • maybe we shouldn't get angry because people want to moon-mine atmospheric gasses; or,
  • maybe people really are fighting us, they're just doing it in tech 3 ships supported by ECM.
That last one isn't happening, by the way: I'm sure I'd remember if I saw that.  And Rote Kapelle is smaller than we were a year ago, so I'm pretty sure that first point isn't the case either.  Matter of fact, all of the alliances in Syndicate are smaller than they were a year ago, where they haven't disappeared entirely, or been absorbed by this or that blob south or east of us.

Maybe it has something to do with this entire play style getting crushed.

A commenter on Mord's blog named Hoarr summed this up by saying:
Unfortunately, Mord, you are completely wrong. Syndicate actually IS the ancestral home of 'elite ' pvp. The only reason people moved (or at least used to) to syndicate is for the small gang pvp. Shit true sec, shit moons, and really hostile neighbors.

And I think my reply there deserves a hearing here.  I've edited it slightly:
Yeah, you've got it exactly Hoarr.

As I as telling someone [outside of Rote Kapelle] yesterday on Teamspeak, while it's fun to hurf-blurf on forums over this, in reality RK has no emotions associated with this maneuver at all.  We're not doing this because we hate people but because we love a certain type of play style and we don't want to see it (quite literally!) ganked.

Outside of Syndicate, fights only seem to happen any more because there's a reason for them.  Well as the old Billy Crystal(?) joke goes, "Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place."

Syndicate has always been a good place.  ;-)

Mord's article is built partially on the false assumption that bigger is better and RK has somehow "outgrown the pond"... even though we're smaller than we were a year ago.  In truth, that's never how RK or Syndicate has operated.  One guy contacted one of our "diplos" yesterday or the day before and basically argued that instead of pushing out all of these alliances, RK should be trying to build a coalition out of them to go take some null-sec space.

Something more foreign to an alliance that has lived in Syndicate for years, I can't even imagine.  We don't want to NAP our neighbors, we want to shoot them!

Last night, the first Damned Nation POS timer was up and for the first time in memory, I-RED showed up in a fleet with no logi to help DAMN.  Of course, they did it three hours before our TZ and they left system the instant our pilots started logging in in any numbers, but hey, you've gotta start somewhere.

In the meantime, RK soloists and one small gang zipped around a system where we were outnumbered 3:1 assassinating stragglers and having a grand old time.  I-RED even got themselves a nice kill out of it.  Maybe they'll find that addictive and come back, and just maybe next time they won't flee the moment the POS is re-stronted and they'll take their logi-less fleet into a fight with us and get even more kills.

That's what this is about.

At the end of the day, we don't care if people moon-mine, rock-mine, run sites, or grow tangerines, as long as they form up to fight us occasionally.  But if they won't do that, then we're going to do something about that other stuff until they do.  The RK campaign really is just that simple.
Guess I was gonna reply to a question about play styles.  Oh well.  ;-)


  1. fwiw, I think the 'hordes of logi' is actually going to become more common due to the Great Retiering. I mean, it's not just your small gang scimitar but all the logi frigates.

    The fact that logi will suddenly be available to players with just a couple of weeks play under their belts instead of after a year or so of focused training will change a lot of things.

  2. Actually, I wrote my post to continue a line of discussion opened by comments to your original post on the topic. In your follow on post you shut down and refuse to entertain further that line of discussion. I felt some of the points were valid and needed a forum.

    Most of the points you attribute to me are rough summaries of collections of comments posted here by others, and my reading of the Rote position as described in your post and the Failheap post you reference. And yes - I was deliberately cheeky in my reading of the latter.

    Now, as to you and Hoar's comments above:

    "Mord's article is built partially on the false assumption that bigger is better"

    That's incorrect. I do not say that bigger is better. Never have.

    I merely summarized a number of comments from your own post saying "Others have pointed out that Rote Kapelle may have become too good at PvP to draw decent fights in Syndicate any more."

    When I say you've "outgrown the Syndicate pond" I don't mean you have gotten too many members. In fact I point out you are a small but elite alliance. And at no point do I say you need to grow larger.

    As Kaeda pointed out, you don't have to be big to get good fights in SOV nullsec.

    The essence of your original post is that Rote is going to scrub Syndicate of anyone who doesn't fight the Rote way. You want Rote to impose their flavor of PvP orthodoxy on everyone else in Syndicate and evict those who don't meet Rote's PvP purity standards.

    Now I'm sure this goes down easier when the declared target is the cancer of carebearism in Syndicate. But I note Rote has changed the definition of carebear to mean anyone who fights in a manner of which Rote does not approve.

    Thus, as Kaeda points out in a comment on my own post, even 100% PvPers can be called out as carebears if Rote decides they don't like *how* they PvP. Which is all fun and games until that smear is pointed at you.

    Now, as I say severally, none of this is against the EULA and I say go have fun with it. Embrace your inner fatwa-declarer. I'm interested to see how it works out for you and/or Rote. Interesting times.

    However, don't attempt to drape the activity in the mantle of virtue. All the lipstick in the world isn't going to make this pig any prettier or make Rote look less silly for dating it.

    1. When exactly did I say we were specifically eliminating care-bears? Care-bearing in Syndicate is a *symptom* of the problem, not the problem.

      The problem is people who sit 175km off gates with a triple-TC'ed, triple SigAmped Tornado ready to gank the first thing that comes through with two Falcons cloaked nearby in case there's even the slightest hint of danger.

      The problem is alliances whose idea of a small gang is five Zealots, two Lokis, a Damnation, and four Guardians.

      Those are the targets, not care-bears.

      Who said we felt particularly virtuous? As I said in this very post, we don't have any emotion attached to this "fatwa" at all. We're in it for the fights.

    2. Mord, what Rote can be it must be.
      If they want to make Syndicate the small gang arena systems of New Eden it is important that they do so.
      I'd just like to add that their stated intent is in keeping with the lore of that region and in that respect, I approve.

    3. So, what are the barriers to basing in Syndicate and then just raising hell in Cloud Ring, Fountain, and Pure Blind? I mean, you know, fuck Damned Nation, just seems that the chosen theater is too narrowly defined.

  3. Trying to get rid of your neighbours because they are not hostile enough sounds weird, but having lived a while in on of those Syndicate coalitions, I definatelly understand why you are doing it. We once even tried to settle in syndicate with a small corp of friends but had to sucumb to the blue ball to be able to get a place to base of.

    Go forth with it and purge Syndicate so smaller, more agressive corps can move in, and the small gang can thrive once again!

    The new NotSoLol-T1 cruisers will give plenty of ships for small corps to burn without needing to be filthy rich, giving risk aversion a kick in the groin.

  4. I don't read the other guy's blog, so I don't know the particulars of the argument, but, I don't think they mean you've grown in size. Just competence. You're ready for the big leagues. I think, instead of fighting for sov, you should just demonstrate what a small, highly focused, highly discplined fleet can do against a larger one. I'll never forget doing an Agony class roam with a little horde of frigs and dessies taking on a mixed DNS + some other corp hot drop fleet that was jumping on us all over Providence. We ripped them to shreds on the 3rd engagement. Awesomeness. I was there. Cetera. I'd love to see you guys use the hit and fade against cap fleets. Then we could get more dead SC articles.

    1. The problem with tackling a super is that you have to have a plan for the 45 other supers that will come in to rescue it if you don't immediately put 45 of your own supers on the first one to ensure the kill.

      Which is exactly how every successful super kill since I started tracking them a couple of months ago has gone.

      Problem is, we don't have 45 supers. ;-)

      A similar problem exists trying to take on much larger fleets these days. Skirmishing fleets are one of the few ways to successfully up-engage at this scale. But anti-skirmishing tactics have been polished to a high shine. I really should write a blog post about that, come to think of it.

    2. You don't read my blog??!!


    3. Actually there is a proven other way to kill a super: drop a bunch of suicide dreads on it. The FW guys were indeed counterdropped by a bunch of supers and lost their fleet, probably with the ISK war too. But they still killed that PL Titan.

      You got to top 10 of alliance tournament. Your competence, SP and financial power way outgrown whatever the random NPC-null living corps can put to the field. You are literally breaking into the kinder garden and pick a fight against children. They won't be ABLE to fight back, you either clear up Syndicate or you just create a "Syndicate coalition" against yourself that just blobs you.

    4. Also correct about killing supers with dreads. Problem is that we don't have the income to replace suicide dreads. It took us literally months to recover from that dread fight we had in EF-F six months ago where we killed a dozen or so capitals but lost eight or so of our own. I'd say only in the last few weeks have we really recovered from that.

    5. Not to be a huge dick, but why is Rote failing the Faction War IQ test?

  5. From experience I've found that doesn't end well to get all mad about something and then declare I'm going to go do something about it.

    The task to see it through requires more time than the motivation will last. And then there are the bad surprises that can go wrong along the way.

    I expect you'll get bored shooting structures, they'll learn to blue ball the structure fleets, and then you'll get crushed by blobs of mercenaries. After those things have happened and you've stopped the crusade, these posts will still be here and the public will have ample opportunity to point and laugh.

    1. I obviously hope you're wrong. IF that happens, the final fall of small-gang PvP organizations will follow shortly thereafter and it will be hard or impossible to find a fight with fewer than 40 ships per side outside a wormhole.

      And Guild Wars 2 will be put on top of EVE Online in my list of "Current MMOs" at top left while I look for a new third option.

    2. You can't even get many of those sorts of fights in a wormhole these days. The big fleets are only for capital escalations inside home (in which case there usually isn't much a fight to be had).

      People are rarely in fleets of any number outside their home system - they've learned to optimize and so solo/duo sites in cheap ships - some high class content is broken enough that you can solo it in a T1 Frig if you know what you are doing.

    3. Cap escalations used to be good to force a fight... However, you just need to store your subcaps in the carrier and log off your capital the minute you notice a new sig... If you miss the new sig opening, you can log them off as soon as the fleet jumping you lands. The hostile fleet won't have time to trigger a pvp flag on your capitals... Your rapiers might even have time to warp off.

      Wormholes fights are more like a date now. Unless you arrange them, they won't happen.

  6. As a fellow resident of syndicate, I appalud your descicion to rid syndictae of the risk adverse carebear scum that inflict a terrible blow. Gone are the days when there would be multiple roaming gangs, now, it is meerly MOAR T3's of both kinds. If you contact rote before a fight, they will happily comp down or up to fight you.

    Much love, FIGL

  7. Sorry Jester, you have this all wrong.
    This is a slightly modified case of "If you won't play our way, we're packing up our bats and balls and going home", with the modification being "We're picking up our bats and smacking you in the head with them until you willingly sacrifice your ships on demand to us".

    You say you want Syndicate the way it was? That's absurd. Even the game itself is not "the way it was", going back even as little as 12 months ago.

    Everything changes, you have to adapt to grow. You mention RK numbers are smaller than a year ago? I wonder if that's because RK has failed to adapt and grow?

    Your view seems to be that everyone else is wrong, and RK are right.
    I suggest in this case, the reverse is true.
    You guys need to look at your play style, and see what you can do to best the gangs currently flying in syndicate.

    1. He doesn't have it wrong. Just like you don't have it wrong. In EVE, the sandbox means it is impossible for people to 'have it wrong'. They could be doing some grossly stupid and never succeed, but they're never wrong. You're always right. That is what's so great about this game.

      Sure there are aspects (like ship fittings) where you can basically prove you should never do something, but that doesn't mean people who do it are 'wrong'. Just not optimal.
      It is very much like real life in that.

      Although you could be one of those people you accuse Jester of being, and thus won't ever see my point.

    2. Zenver,
      I'll never be so ignorant as to assume I'm never wrong.
      I appreciate the point you make, but I feel you may have missed mine. Let's take a walk...
      What is small gang PVP? Is 3 drakes, a cane, and a ceptor small gang? Sure.. To most of us.... To the lone dessy out wandering the stars, it's a blob.
      "Small Gang" is relative, and we'll never have a consensus that defines it.
      My point is, that this doesn't really exist as much as it used to in this game. As players, we either need to fix it, or adapt.
      RK is trying to fix it.... I believe they're better off adapting.

      I would love to see alliances and corps capped, but that's pointless as people will always form NAP's if it's in their interests. I could try to change it, or realise the futility of trying... I choose the latter.

      The game is changing, and there's not much we can do except adapt, and try to etch our own fun out of it..

  8. Jester, there seem to be two separate, contradictory issues here.

    Firstly, that people aren't flying small gang PvP. And that's a valid concern, in an area where people go to look for small gang PvP. Working to encourage small gang PvP is a great idea.

    Secondly, and this is where I lose all sympathy for you, that some people are flying small gangs that are too good, as if they're somehow flying small gangs wrong. If you're unwilling to fight multiple Logi, or ECM, then get the fuck out of mainstream PvP and go fly in the Alliance Tournament. EVE shouldn't be the sort of game where people are neutering their own compositions in order to be nice to the special snowflakes who refuse to adapt.

    What's particularly frustrating is that you list multiple counters in your original post, but you refuse to use them because then people will complain about it. So instead... you're going to complain about it?

    I don't get it.

    tl;dr - Chase away people who refuse to small-gang PvP, sure. But you don't get to define small-gang. If someone's small gang is too tough for you, counter it, don't whine.

    1. OK Ben, you encounter a small gang of five Zealots, two Lokis, a Damnation, and four Guardians. Tell me what YOU bring to fight that.

      Obviously, you know a fleet comp that can fight these 12 ships that won't cause them to immediately run away or where you'd not lose massively. So please let me know what this comp is.

    2. If they're just going to immediately run away, then fine. Burn them out of Syndicate.

      But a composition to counter Zealots, Lokis, Damnation and Guardians? You listed it in your original post. E-War. In fact, pretty much all of it.

      You can't complain that you can't get fights, while simultaneously being unwilling to fly the compositions that can actually fight the ships being flown.

      Yes, it'll cause more people to run away. But that's precisely why I specifically said I agreed with the idea of pruning people unwilling to fight/fly small gangs from Syndicate.

    3. Hmmm. A gang that is effective against most fleets their size but can retreat of they encounter someone too big to take down. Some would say it's an effective fleet if one's goal is loss avoidance and/or buffing one's killboard stats.

      One approach would be to put them in a position where retreat is not an option, or their likely line of retreat brings them into a killing ground. Then blob the snot out of them.

      I appreciate that their fleet offends your sense of honor and fair play, but that's your problem, not theirs. And, ironically, the only way to effectively punish them is to break from your code of honor and fair play.

  9. I'm not sure why people are saying RK is wrong. Putting all the rhetoric aside, what they're essentially saying is that they want to play a certain way in Syndicate and they're going to take the necessary steps to make the residents of Syndicate play the same way. Sounds like what a sandbox allows to me.

    Arguing that RK has to adapt or leave seems to be making it less of a sandbox.

    Bear in mind that RK has no guarantee of success. The other corps can find their own way of handling it, whether to fight back (which is what RK wants), to dock up and avoid all conflict (which would probably lead to them leaving Syndicate at some stage, also a RK win) or adapt their tactics in some other form (hiring PL?).

    The other thing that seems to be missed in the responses is that it seems to be difficult for RK to get good PvP now. So responses about how RK should just blob or use ECM to fight back is ignoring the fact that such tactics just leads to the other side running away yet again. RK is trying to force the other side to fight, which sounds valid to me.

    1. I don't say they're wrong. I say they're being a bit silly and inflexible.

      The trouble with taking on change in a stand-up fight is that the very act changes you. By taking the 'necessary steps' needed to force everyone to their preferred style of play, Rote becomes a contributor to change. They may alter the vector of change, but they add to its velocity. Usually 'neccessary steps', particularly those of a violent nature, do not end well.

      But it will, at least, be interesting to watch.

      It's one of

    2. Anonymous... L2comprehend......

  10. Here is a Blog from one of The Nyan Cat Pirates on the activities in the ORE region and our take on these events. http://blog.nyanpire.net/?p=281

  11. The I-RED fleet was defending the POS for four hours. They did not flee they needed to let their euro's goto sleep.


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