Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Don't make us get out our spaceships

Just a quickie.

2013 has barely started.  But I'm increasingly struck by the irony that what is likely to be the biggest fight in EVE Online in 2013 was:
  • accidental; and,
  • almost literally fought over nothing.
The Mittani wrote his monthly column over at Ten Ton Hammer about the fight.  What's interesting about his piece covering it isn't so much the facts; I think by this point most of us knew those.  What's interesting is that the piece is mostly concerned with the inhibitors that should have prevented the fight from taking place in the first place, and didn't.  At a couple of points, he directly or indirectly mentions such safeguards and compares the fight itself to a nuclear reactor accident, an airplane crash, and a failed rocket launch.

For those not keeping track at home, I'll remind you that nuclear reactor accidents, airplane crashes, and failed rocket launches are horribly bad things that should be avoided at all costs.  And here we have the King of Space comparing an Internet spaceship battle to them.

"Jester, that's not what he meant," I can hear some of you saying already and yeah, I get that.  But the subtle implication is there and I don't think this is the first time we've heard about it.  The truth is, at the sov level, spaceship battles are slowly becoming incidental to our spaceship game.  The meta game is becoming more important and anyone who wishes to take sov is having to think more about how they're going to fight the meta game than how they're going to fight the spaceship game.  Make no mistake: the meta game comes first.  By the time spaceships are actually involved, the winner and loser will have already been decided at the meta level.

"Don't make us get out our spaceships," the sov coalitions seem to be saying, "because you won't like it."

Where does this come from?  That isn't too hard.  Granted, I haven't blown up hundreds or thousands of SBUs, TCUs, POSs, and stations like I know a lot of you have.  But I've blown up a couple of dozen and you don't have to clean out thousands of septic tanks to know that the activity is no fun; a couple of dozen will do.  ;-)  Do it hundreds or thousands of times and I can definitely sympathize with sov coalition pilots when the last thing they want to see is the inside of a spaceship.  I still have enough friends in the CFC to know that even though I don't think they just went through a war, they do and they have the structure KMs to prove it.

Which is why when you have Shadoo promising members of the HBC spaceship fights without having to do any of the un-fun stuff, I can see the appeal that's going to have for a sov coalition.

But isn't it kind of ironic that it's come down to this?  Sooner or later -- hopefully soooner -- CCP is going to have to get around to fixing this and I suspect you're going to hear a lot about it during CSM election season.  I've written on the topic lots of times before and I want to do so one more time, this time simplifying my beliefs on what should be done about the problem down to the core.  But that's another post.

For this one, I just wanted to quickly point out the irony of a coalition leader letting us all know that spaceship battles are bad, m'kay?


  1. Mitten's "King of Space" crown is slipping as his inner carebear breaks out. For Mittens, and others of his ilk, it isn't space ships but their indirect ISK faucet from moon goo they are fretting about losing.

    Are we about to see sov null alliances involved in NPC null and low sec skirmishes (or even high sec wars!) because they are too afraid to fight on home turf against a meaningful opponent?

  2. In a previous alliance we were firmly told not to fight in our own space. The view was that high kill stats on DOTLAN mark us as a target for roaming gangs which makes life difficult for our miners and ratters. We had just had a really good fight against Brick Squad and were told that's exactly the sort of thing we don't want to happen in our own space.

    It was really depressing.

    It's also why we see deployments used as conflict avoidance. FA have deployed to Great Wildlands, partly to help SOLAR as their propaganda triumphantly claims but more to run away from TEST black ops secure in the knowledge their structures won't be touched.

  3. So you took what I wrote out of context and crafted a bullshit straw man out of it. Good work: you were so transparent, even EN24 commentors noticed the cack-handedness of your fantasy argument.

    1. Go have another drink, Mittens. Looking forward to you making a drunken ass of yourself in public again at Fanfest.

    2. It's always best to burn the straw man in effigy, after all, this is internet spaceships. We wouldn't want to take it too far and cause/inspire real life harm over an online game, would we? Oh, wait . . .

      I bet the SRP for 800+ billion in ships really put a dent into this months RMT income.

    3. Borrowing a term used by your minions, you sound butt-hurt. Surely the head sociopath, who makes his living spinning deceit and mis-information, can handle a little criticism?

      Bottom line, you clowns have converted null into a themepark, and the only "content creation" you can claim now is when mistakes are made.

      If Soundwave made good on his apparent wishes to turn moon goo into an actively scanned/harvested product, then we would see some life in null. But we all know that is not happening. The tech must flow.

    4. "The tech must flow."

      Esp. since the ISK from tech moons is flowing into the hands of the RMTers. Even if these null sec clowns eventually get perma-banned, they have already made thousands of RL dollars - and, as we say, "are crying all the way to the bank".

    5. u mad shittani?

  4. You are generalizing, you are saying nullsec pilots don't want to fly their spaceships? I have small/medium/big fights everyday currently in Delve . Enjoying it thouroughly, as are my alliance mates.

    This has nothing to do with sov, sov is lame for every party involved, whether you have 30 supers at your disposal or not.

  5. I have to go with "Jester, that's not what he meant."

    Mittens compared a catastrophic loss in a spaceship battle, and the many checkpoints that should have prevented it, to those various disasters, not a spaceship battle in a general sense that a reasonable person, not pursuing their own specific agenda, would accept.

    A coalition that maintains a fleet doctrine that it expects to lose... welp fleet... isn't exactly solid in the "spaceship battles are bad" column.

    1. In fairness Jester was talking specifically about sov-level fights; I'm not 100% on CFC doctrines but I believe the welpfleet is more about goodfights, roams etc than serious sov warfare?

      Considering that the Asakai battle was by all accounts enjoyable for most of the participants and has sparked interest in EVE players who normally have nothing to do with this aspect of the game as well as gamers who have nothing to do with EVE, seeing Mittens basically refer to it as a perfect storm that shouldn't ever happen and going through all the safety procedures that exist to prevent is is pretty disheartening.

    2. I am not sure how you (or Jester) derived a "sov level fights" conclusion, since the whole "spaceship battles are bad, m'kay" retort was built up from a fight that not only had nothing to do with sov warfare, but which took place in low sec, so sov couldn't even enter into it. It was an attempt at a "goodfight" gone wrong. So straying into "this is why sov sucks" seems to be trip into completely unrelated territory.

      And, to attempt fairness from another perspective, Jester has specifically called me out, personally, for saying that I had fun in a fight that we lost and which was in heavy TiDi. Cognitive Dissonance was what he said it had to be. So bringing up "but it was fun" doesn't really put you on his side. Jester has declared such things to be unfun.

      As for the fight itself, I missed going to it by mere minutes, but had a friend in it who sent me updates and screen shots as things went along. He reported that it was interesting and fun in the way that such big, TiDi bound battles can be, until the node got so overloaded that even TiDi wasn't helping and people started getting black screens and disconnects. That was, by all accounts, not fun.

      But, the fun of individuals aside, at an alliance level it was still a loss, with a lot of cap ships lost for little return. That is what the safety procedures are supposed to prevent, as alliances that bleed cap losses at that sort of ratio repeatedly do not last long. And then where will the fun be? Spinning this as "the doctrine prevents fun" seems to willfully ignore reality.

      And, as a FYI, welp fleet is a throw-away fleet designed to kill super caps or die in the attempt. It is a super cap murdering doctrine, though any fight fight that kills a super cap is a goodfight I suppose, so that makes it a goodfight doctrine as well.

  6. Yes, I noticed the same thing after I read the article. Mittani did not comment that fights like these are the lifeblood of EVE's new player attraction.

    And from what I read - the pilots involved had a blast - even if they lost. They were part of something epic, made EVE history, that is what this game is all about. The Mittani seems more comfortable piloting a website than a space ship.

    1. "What's interesting is that the piece is mostly concerned with the inhibitors that should have prevented the fight from taking place in the first place, and didn't."

      This is priceless.

      EVE is all about catching someone derping a click here or there and casueing pain to the fool. Its what we all love seeing others do when we take such great care in not letting it happen to us.

      These little errors are what help make the game awesome and attract the best mmo players around.

      Just say no to easy-mode MMOs that make "inhibitors that should prevent derps".

      Toughen up wimp

  7. Yeah, one of my account recently joined a nullsec alliance after spending a while in OR. I don't recall shooting at some many POS, Stations, SBU or TCU, What-have-Us in a long time. We get a lot of fights out of it but still. I'm so glad we're not actively trying to grind sov for sov's sake.

  8. Will you be commenting on the T1 and T2 ship skill changes devblog?

  9. I thought, a lot of pilots chewed you out for putting up fits that had deadspace or faction modules on them.

    So now, are you gonna be bringing those back?

    I mean you woudn't say to not fly and lose them in combat would you? Who cares if they have to grind more to replace them. All that matters is flying in space right?

  10. "Granted, I haven't blown up hundreds or thousands of SBUs, TCUs, POSs, and stations like I know a lot of you have. But I've blown up a couple of dozen and you don't have to clean out thousands of septic tanks to know that the activity is no fun; a couple of dozen will do."

    Absolutely. This is one of the *worst* game mechanics ever... in any MMO game.

    Hell, even grinding down a single POS is nothing but tedious, and absolutely no fun. And, personally, I'd just like to see an end to reinforcement timers and force fields. The whole idea that your POS should be invulnerable until you can get around to defending it is absurd. If you don't have enough members in your corp/alliance to defend it 24/7, during a war, then you should either be forced to take it down or risk losing it.

  11. That sums it up pretty well -or at least why I personally don't play Eve right now.

    The whole game is about preparing to get into internet spaceships to do "stuff". Well, guess what? That internet spaceship part isn't fun... Uh oh... You think CCP has a problem?

  12. Jester, that's not what he meant,

    He was comparing the mistakes that where made to those that would result in a reactor melt or an airplane crash, not the fact that there was a fight at all.

    The large majority of sov alliances aren't pvp'ers. At least not in the sense you and I are. They have an empire and they have resources to defend or expand that empire. If those resources get committed to accomplish the wrong goal "mistakes are made".

    Now that is not to say they don't fight, don't have fights or don't roam or whatever. They obviously do. But they do so without using strategic resources. Resources that secure their empire. Their titans, their supers, their full arsenal. The loss of a few fleets worth of BC's or BS's can be replenished straight from Jita. Strategic resources not as fast.

    That is what went wrong. Strategic resources where committed without a high-level of safety or success to accomplish a strategic goal.

    To be honest, it's not even remotely related to sov. The large sov alliances are playing an old-school game of Command and Conquer and are turtling in their base, keeping a massive army at home while sending out much smaller groups that are expendable. Leaving most of their assets safe in the base so there is no risk in losing.

    Because if you eliminate the chance of losing, the only 2 outcomes are a stalemate or winning.

    1. But that seems to be exactly the point Jester is making.

      "But they do so without using strategic resources."

      "The large sov alliances are playing an old-school game of Command and Conquer and are turtling in their base, keeping a massive army at home while sending out much smaller groups that are expendable. Leaving most of their assets safe in the base so there is no risk in losing."

      NOT deploying those strategic resources is a deliberate and explicit goal. They have ships whose primary contribution to combat is to dissuade it, or at least dissuade it in places that might matter to them. It's a safe, strategic, and thoroughly boring strategy.

  13. I never really thought of this in terms of countries and a cold war.

    But rather in terms over the breakup of the railways or AT&T. Two rather large monolopies of null is zero benefit in a game intended to revolve around conflict and chaos. So when is CCP going to step in as government should, site anti-trust as the reason, then proceed to breakup the blue donut into red slices?

    Shall we compare this to all of the noise on the eve-o forums concerned the lack of risk in hi-sec and the status-quo of wardecs. The argument touted is either the defenders in wardecs jump corp or decline to undock, sited as "un-eve" because it is avoiding non-consenual combat. But wait, the king of space has declared that when victory is not assured, do not engage. a prime example for us all to follow.

    and Mittens wall of text? I stopped reading after page one, all the spin was making me dizzy.

  14. Being in the Goons is a major yawnfest these days. The leadership is too caught up in meta-gaming and isn't doing a whole lot to keep us PVPers busy and interested. My mates and I are probably going to be moving over to the Tuskers - at least, they are having more fun than we are.

    1. If you can't find action in goons, it's your fault for not being in one of the multitude of deployed squads who are getting great fights every day.

    2. "... the multitude of deployed squads who are getting great fights every day."

      lol... what a joke! Let's see... everyday, you log on, wait a couple of hours for some idiot to pull everyone together, and then log off when the whole thing is called off, for one reason or another. If you are very lucky, you'll get one great fight a month. In the meantime, you roll an RvB alt, like a lot of other Goons....

  15. That is what Mittens ment and I'm glad someone is calling him out on his BS.

  16. Rip what is happening to you? You had insight, knowledge and damn good writing. Is Evenews24 going to your head? I liked you better before you chose a side.

  17. Anything that reduces the sov grind and makes it easier to take sov away will by the same token make it harder for the defender to hold on to their space.

  18. your're wrong jester. and to prove it.


  19. @Anonymous: Please, leave the black/white, non-GOON/GOON, EN24/TMC propaganda out of this. It's just trash talk and propaganda.

    He's pointing out that Mittens' article compares the exact sort of gameplay that both CCP and much of the playerbase want to see to various kinds of real-world catastrophes. That's making an observation, not picking a side. It's not as if GSF is the only alliance in the game that's unwilling to field supers. Hell, they've rolled alliances that couldn't even get their supers to *log in*.

    He's not saying that this is unreasonable behavior, either. In fact, if there's a problem with it, it's that it's eminently reasonable behavior.

  20. Welcome to Jester's Trek. Where your perspective is widened to angles you had never suspected to exist.


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