Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Who won the battle?

Let's talk about an imaginary battle between Orange and Lemon alliances. It takes place at a Sovereignty Blockade Unit. Lemons enter with a 80 men Legionfleet with logis trough the gate, while Oranges have a 150 men fleet with various things from Rifters to T2 Battleships based 5 systems away on a titan. Orange FC tries to maintain close combat, bubbling the whole zone and ordering every pilot to fit a web. Since he knows that most of his fleet are rookies, he commands only a wing of battleships (mostly Abaddons) while the rest of the fleet operates under "fire at will" with the only order "if it's faster than 200m/s, web it". He calls primaries on the logis for the BS wing. The Lemon FC wants to keep distance so orders the massacre of the webbing frigs/destroyers/T1 cruisers.

In the first 10 minutes the Oranges lose about 50 various crap and some pods. Lemons are down by 3 logis. All the dead reship and return. Lemons manage to get some safe distance and start sniping the Abaddons. Orange logis can keep up due to Abaddons being tanked to the teeth and low alpha of Legions. They can't effectively return fire due to distance.

Orange FC orders the crapfleet to target and multiweb everyone whose name starts with "A" (5 Legions). These ships can't run with the rest, the Abaddons get to optimal and tear them apart. While doing this, the rest of the Lemon fleet burns out of the bubbles and kill 2 bubblers. They warp away and warp back to the other side of the battle, 60km from the Abaddons, 150 from the web-crap who were chasing them until warp. Focus on logis this time, killing 2.

The dead reship, 20 Legions warp away. Orange bubblers return and re-bubble Lemons, the web-crap is closing in. Lemons are running to the side, keep shooting dictors. When the web-crap catch them, the Legions are already at the edge bubble. They start multi-webbing everyone whose name starts with "B" and "C". The rest of the Legions keep running and take down another 2 logis. Before the Abaddons could get in optimal, the retreated 20 pilots warp to the webbed Legions in smartbombing battleships. Few seconds later the web-crap is down to a few T1 cruisers who fitted tanking modules. 80 crap ships lost with all pods. The Orange FC sees that he won't web anything again and the Abaddons can't get into optimal, so his cloaked alt lights a cyno and 10 carriers jump in 40KM from the Legions . 2 drop triage, the others send fighters to the primary. The Lemons run out of range while sniping down a few Abaddons who can't be kept up as half of the logies relogged carrier. The Lemons warp to a gate and go away.

The killboards show 210 Lemon kills including pods (7B only as Orange flies crap) and 8 Orange kills (9B as a Lemons fly top-fitted ships).

The question to you is "Who won the battle?". The possible answers are "Lemons", "Orange", "Tie" and "Important data is missing". Please stop for a while until you have your answer.

Seriously! Stop and think! Find your own answer and explanation.

The correct answer is "Important data is missing". The story doesn't tell the fate of the SBU. Hell it doesn't even tell who owns the SBU or the system! It could be a Lemon SBU and then the battle ended with Orange successfully defended their sov. It could be Orange SBU and it means they driven away the owners and now happily onlining SBUs to start removing Lemon sov. It could also be that Lemons left because they recognized that Orange don't have enough SBUs to blockade 51% of the gates, so their single SBU worth nothing and will be killed out of Orange timezone. It is also possible that either or both sides are third parties (not sov or SBU owners) who just roamed here.

In EVE many people don't play to win. The majority of EVE PvP culture is the same as the bridge-fighters of WoW: watching killboards instead of objectives. This culture is so permeating that many people don't even ask the major question: who completed his objective and who failed. If you focused on the "who killed who" aspect of the story or on the obviously bad fleet doctrines of the sides, ignoring the aim of the battle, you are subconsciously poisoned by this idiotic culture.

The fate of these people is totally out of their hand as they don't even attempt to shape the future of EVE. Since - unlike Arathi Basin in WoW - the situation of EVE can be changed by players, the future can be quite grim to them: all null controlled by strong entities and they can do nothing but wardec newbies in highsec. Or the opposite, EVE can slip into chaos with no one owning anything. Either way, it will be totally out of their control. Exactly as Sirlin said "The scrub has many more mental obstacles to overcome than anything actually going on during the game. The scrub has lost the game even before it starts. He’s lost the game even before deciding which game to play. His problem? He does not play to win."

Of course - like all play for ego players - they keep belittling the "cheap" alliances for blobbing, calling them "F1 monkeys" or "sov drones" and show off their killboards as proof of their "skillz". But at the end they will be massacred by "F1 monkeys". The only possible outcome that doesn't end with them being in highsec shooting Ibises is anarchy in sov space, but it won't be their doing. Either alliances can't defeat each other or crumble under corp thievery and spying. While these "play for ego" players can hope for this outcome, they don't - and without changing their play can't - do anything for it.

I was bugged by some guy with idiot name on the goblinworks channel. I did not kick him instantly as his nonsense was good material for the blog. He kept suggesting to join a roaming pirate gang for fun. He even told it would be great blogging material that "Gevlon joins a pirate gang and things happened". The poor creature couldn't even comprehend that nothing ever happens in a pirate gang. They might blow ships up, they might lose ships but the dead will easily re-grind the lost ship and at the end of the day all actions will be undone. If you look at the game world the next day, you can't figure out that anything happened the day before. If you build sov or destroy it, that has lasting effect. If you destroy multi-billion ISK fleets, that won't respawn in a day. You did things. "Play for ego" PvP-ers just shot at red crosshairs, just like missioning carebears and think of themselves higher just because their crosshair had the name "Amarownzzor" instead of "Guristas invader".

Finally I'd touch the most bizarre action in EVE that can only done by really idiotic socials: self-destruct in battle. Instead of shooting the enemy, causing them some damage or covering the retreat of teammates, the social self-destructs to "deny them kills". Like anyone will care of the killboards when both them and their victim will be kicked back to highsec to camp decced noobs in Jita by those who played for win.

Obviously, there are true casuals in the game who just wander around aimlessly enjoying the scenery. There is nothing wrong with that. But these casuals don't make themselves believe that doing random things matter or make them "l33t". They probably don't know that killboards exist. They are doing their merry things which can be PvP too, but they do it for the experience itself. Not for rankings and definitely not for "tears". The general classification apply:
Question Elite M&S Casual Bored
Is he winning the game? Yes No No Yes
Considers gear, achievements, toplist position as "reward" and something that brings respect (or should)? Yes Yes No No

Don't try to misuse the term "sandbox". In a way that you'd use, World of Warcraft is also a sandbox as it allows you to collect pets or mounts or cosmetic gear. You can actually spend all your life as a level 1, fishing at Stonebull Lake. No one can question your right to play the game the way you want. But it doesn't change the fact that you are not winning (= losing) the game. Any claim that Sov wars are not equal to "winning EVE" can very easily be disproved: the Sov holders are capable to stop or even totally destroy you while you can only be thorn in their side and you only live by running when they come with force. (Note: while you can't hold sov in WH in the technical terms, I consider WH ownership an equal system ownership)

The proper meaning of "sandbox" is "you can choose how would you participate in winning": you can fly DPS and support ships, do mining, manufacture, industry, salvaging, exploration, missioning, trading and many other way. Each of them are useful in the game and contribute to the victory. The opposite, "themepark" means that only one activity (for example raiding in WoW) matters and all other activities are irrelevant-cosmetic. A pet collector gives exactly zero contribution to the success of his WoW guild, while a miner or anomaly scanner who never flies into a single battle is a valuable addition to any EVE corporation. The efforts of the carebear are not wasted because he is just running missions, but because he is not part of an entity that aims to win EVE. The same guy, under the flag of a null-conquering alliance doing nothing but the same highsec missions could meaningfully participate by donating ISK to the corp wallet and rightfully claim that "we captured NX-1234 in an epic battle" despite he wasn't there: his money was (this is an exaggerated example, he should do missions in NPC nullsec using the protection of his alliance, but you see the point).

Wednesday morning report: 67.7B (1.5B spent on main accounts, 1.1 spent on logi, 1.0 on Titan, 0.5 on Rorqual, 0.9 on Nyx)


Monkeytroubles said...

Well, if you want to analyze battles in depth, you should also ask this: "What was the value of the pilot time spent by both sides?".

A battle of your description probably caused the involved pilots to spend ~1-2 hours participating (shipping up, forming up, fighting, reshipping, etc). The non-newbies among them could have earned 100-200 mil each running high sec incursions, or about 10-20 bil a side (~100 non-newbies per team). Was the objective worth spending 10-20 bil attacking/defending? (what kind of revenue stream was at stake?) Were the odds of doing massive ISK damage to the enemy good enough to spend 10-20 bil pursuing them?

If you really want to win the game, you should probably consider such questions.(Maybe hiring some mercs or bribing the enemy FC would have been cheaper than a direct engagement).

NoizyGamer said...

Just curious. Where does Chribba fit in your matrix? Because I would definitely consider him to be winning.

Gevlon said...

@NoizyGamer: no, he isn't winning anything. He is no doubt a celebrity and creator of various tools but has no power over the future of EVE (nor he aspires to have any).

Chris K. said...

Chribba did have Sov under his name and from what I can tell he had his station open, like a safe harbor. And people respected that. So when the system got SBU'd, all sorts of people rushed to his aid.

Now, if THAT isn't winning, what is? Even under your classification, he got a piece of EVE and made something unique, essentially shaping the game world (even if it;s just a little bit).

Anonymous said...

I think Gevlon means that Chribba may have influence, but he has no power.

Anonymous said...

nice post - I almost didn't read past the first paragraph though - your ignorance shows through every time you talk about nullsec specifics.

I like how you include the industrials/minors in the "winning eve" group - since joining my current alliance I've gained a huge respect for our mining fleet - I could say that they're the first "hardcore/elite" miners I've ever met. they do their thing well and for the greater benefit of the alliance to assist with the war effort.

On another note: if you want to be part of what I predict will be one of the largest confrontations since the bob wars - come join the fray in Delve - within the next couple of weeks the entire left hand side of the sov map is going to explode.

I'll certainly be blogging about it and although I love a good fight, I far prefer to be fighting for a reason and now we have one: Take delve from the southern alliances. and there are certainly some very serious people being very serious about this goal.

I mean this in the nicest possible way: stop talking and start doing! even if you have to join up with scout alt just to be part of the bigger game.

Gevlon said...

@Evemonkey: give me 36 days, 13h, 27m and I'll be in null/WH with my Guardian logi.

The blessing of remaps is very fast learning. The curse is that before it completes, I'm completely useless. I mean my almost 5M SP nullsec combat (logi) pilot has 11K skillpoints in spaceship combat (the ones you get for free). So I must wait a bit. And you too to hear of my (mis)fortunes in null/WH.

Belloche said...

depending on how it is framed in the above situation, both sides could have won or lost.

Eve online is a game, we all agree on this, right? Don't we all play games with the intent of having fun? In my opinion, a sandbox game means that everyone has set their own objectives for fun. No one way for having fun should be considered "better" or "wrong."

Gevlon said...

@Belloche: but some can ENFORCE their view to others. For example the Hulkageddoners could enoforce their "fun concept" to the miners, destroying their fun.

Similarly, large blobs can take away the fun of roamers.

The ones who can enforce their fun on all, won. The rest lost. Above all, they lost their fun.

Logan Fyreite said...


I would very much like to have a conversation with you regarding your take on Eve pvp. On that probably won't just fit as a comment on your blog. If you are interested shoot me an eve mail.

I find it interesting and telling that you haven't pvped in Eve yet you state so many things as facts. Just because your definition of "winning" is one thing, that being obviously "total dominance of 0.0" does not make that everyone's goal. Good luck out in 0.0 when you get there.

Semakka said...

Considering is a fictional battle (no null alliance that defends or attack a system will go with "various" rifters and crap).But let's assume this "notgoingtohappen" scenario, Orange wins.

Important data missing? No important data is missing, Orange won, because, DUH :
-they did more ISK damage
-droped caps
-lemons had run away.

If the SBU was Lemon's, the Orange cap fleet would have been destroyed.If the SBU was Oranges...lemons running away means that orange deployed more SBU.

Anyway...just go already in null, stay there, live there, FIGHT there for like 3-4 months than start making fictional scenarios.

Agent Black Cat said...

@Logan - perhaps, but I personally find his definition to be pretty spot on. The Goons, for example, win whenever anyone kills a Hulk because of their Technetium control. They win because they can elect the CSM chairman by themselves. They win regardless of wheter they are "Orange" or "Lemon" as long as the keep or take the system in question.

Sov in the right systems gives you access to more resources per player in your alliance than just about anything. It gives you a negotiating platform stronger than any non-Sov holders. Cap ship combat came into existence in the first place because people will sink incredible amounts of ISK into keeping sov.

The only place I disagree with Gevlon on this is that every member of a Sov alliance is "winning". Most successful alliances have a single leader and/or a small council to back up that leader. A renter corp may have effectively zero say in alliance policy and zero ability to hold a system on their own. A low grade pilot within that corp may have no say in the corp, making him an interchangable part in a big machine. That's not winning.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon ...

Eve is different to all of us, yes. But your take on "winning" is much like Charlie's. Yours is no where close to ours.

The Killboards do mean a lot to us PVPers. We laugh and cry over what goes there.

While your 2 losses are interesting. Your lack of... any kill means you have no idea how PVP works. You somehow keep assuming this 2004 rendition of EVE PVP pirating as the PVP of the game. It's simply not true. And while I get that wasn't the entire point of why you posted, it's lost on those that do heavily PVP, because you are dancing around an issue you don't understand.

The only reason I comment is for a simple suggestion. You cannot simply train for Logi and then get into whatever fleet you want. Gaurdian pilots are a must for Armor fleets and inexperienced ones are not welcomed in most cases.

You need to go get some basic PVP experience under your belt before you go balling in Logistics. And no, I don't mean go in a rfiter and greif hulks. I mean you need to go be in fleets and understand fleets. Then after some time maybe someone will show you how Logi channels and comms work.

Anonymous said...

My first answer, although not included on your list, was "tactical draw, probably strategical victory to one side but cannot tell for sure".

I won't bother finding a quote, but Sun Tzu emphasizes how all military actions should play towards a political goal that caused the conflict in the first place. Looks like it applies here as well.

Anonymous said...

@mrmeh - most nullsec'ers will certainly agree that gevlon is in for a shock if he expects to just go into null with a basilisk and nothing else, not even experience. but multiple comments from multiple experienced people haven't persuaded him otherwise (I've multiple times mentioned that he should at least get in and learn how to scout in a covert ops)

Someone with this attitude will either learn very quickly and possibly spectacularly what's wrong with this approach, or they will rage quit and call the mandatory fleet doctrines or comms rules "stupid"

However, I think we'll all agree that he's unlikely to fall into the second group of people so I'm just waiting for the humble pie to hit him in the face in 35 days or so.

Anonymous said...

"But we won the strategic objective" is one of the standard excuses of alliances that are losing the war, right next to "we won the isk war", "all losses have already been replaced" and "didn't want that system/region anyways".

In EVE there is one strategic objective that matters - to make your enemies stop logging in.

Usually that objective is achieved long before one of the combatants runs out of funds (although insufficient funds for reimbursements can cause supercap pilots to stop logging in) and before the majority of territorial objectives are taken (e.g. IT was dead by the time 6VDT was under siege, cleaning up Delve (IT's home region) took a long time but there was no hurry as it didn't matter anyways).

The aggressor will try to achieve this main objective by any means necessary and it is important to understand that actual combat is not necessarily the most efficient one.

One spy that has infiltrated your alliance for two years to gain director roles, drops sov in your home system and then runs off with your alliance's reimbursement wallet will destabilize you in a way that a defeat in the field usually won't achieve.

One RoyOfCA ( who has a talent for pulling just the right triggers in his propaganda efforts can do more damage than a whole fleet.

However, when it comes to pvp what usually matters is who truly *feels* like the winner. This is a function of the various objectives (achieve the OP's main objective, hold the field, win the ISK war) but if you feel the need to remind your members and the world at large that you won one or more of these chances are you lost the fight.

So, yes, important information is missing but the missing information is "which side ended up smugposting all over CAOD?" and "which side felt the need to remind everyone than by objective criterias they should be considered the actual winners?".

Agent Black Cat said...

Not to nit pick, but I'd say the objective is to make your enemies lose the will to fight. Not logging in is one way. If your opponent can be convinced that they never wanted sov anyway and will be happier as roaming pirates, or that alliance leadership sucks and they should jump ship to another one, that works, too.

That said, when it comes to Sov, I do agree that one man can make a much greater difference with propaganda or infiltration than with any ship.