Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The "opportunity cost" fleet

Since I'm sure that griefing is the best way to make the World a better place, by liberating participants from the bonds of outdated (rather ape-age than medieval age) mental schemes, I'm thinking about the way of implementing it. No matter where I will go, I will have to fly with a fleet doing it, so it's time for me to think about fleet doctrines.

ISK efficiency is a goal for all alliances. On the top of that, CCP designed the game as "every ship is playable" which can't be done without diminishing returns. A 2x more expensive ship isn't 2x more effective. This pushes fleets towards cheapness. It's better to field 100 Drakes than 50 Tengus. Hell it's better to field 50 Drakes with 250 spare ships waiting for reshipping than 50 Tengus with no replacements. However more expensive ships are still better (otherwise everyone would just RvB in T1 frigs). They are rarely fielded because they are not ISK effective.

Avoiding polishing the sneaker is a major goal in ship fitting. The hull, fitting and consumable prices should be balanced. You should spend your money on the weakest link of the system. If the hull with T1 projectiles, gyrostabs and the tanking modules give 300DPS for 100M, spending 100M for gun/gyro upgrade that increase DPS by 20% is a waste, as the cost would be +100%. Spending the same 100M on the same modules on a 1B hull+tank ship would increase DPS by 20% for 10% cost lost, clearly a good trade. So overfitting a lame hull or underfitting an expensive one is to be avoided, that's basic knowledge.

However the "I farmed it for free" attitude appears here well, valuing time spent in the battle zero. You know, the veldspar is free too, since you spent no money on it. Just 10 hours of your life. Everyone has an income. For some it's 20M/hour, 50M/hour for others, 500M/hour for me (and planning to cut my trading to half, trashing the least profitable items, hoping to get 800M/hour with the rest).

If you wouldn't be in a battle but farming something, you'd be making that ISK. Being in the battle is losing on that profit. Consider this value a consumable cost. Now imagine that someone shows up with the idea to fly a 70M BC hull with 50M fittings and 500M spent on a booster. You'd call him the largest idiot ever. However if I'd fly a Drake, I'd do just that.

Imagine that I participate in 5 battles, each cost 2 hours. I lose 4 logies with 120M hull, 100M fittings, 10M faction cap boosters each. My losses would be 5.9B. 85% of it would be lost time. Now let's consider 1B carrier hull, 1B fittings, 2 lost ships. My losses would be 9B, only 1.52x bigger than before. I can't give exact power relation between a Scimitar and a Carrier, so as quick and dirty method I just compare capital shield transporter (300HP/sec) and large shield tranporter II (85HP/sec). So for 52% more cost I buy 353% power increase. Let's repeat the calculation for a guy with 30M/hour: 920M logi, 300M time, 4B carrier, that's 400% cost increase. For him, upgrading to carrier would be a bad move.

The fleet of traders would naturally fly T2 and faction ships, well-fitted strat cruisers, carriers, dreads. Of course others field such ships too, but we could and should field them like Drakes. Lost one? Jump home and reship. My point is that it's not luxury action, not a "give everyone a finger by wasting billions", it's the proper choice of ships. Anything cheaper would be an unacceptable waste of ISK.

The leaders of any alliance we'll move to must understand this. We will not and we must not fly doctrine drakes. We must fly 1-2B ships just to break even with our time costs. We must not care of losing them, just like a drake pilot must not care about his drake. The FC must accept this and consider it an asset, not an annoyance. The pilots are intelligent enough on their own (remember, they did not get their ISK from AFK-mining) to find a unique niche in the fleet, replacing one of the doctrine ships with something stronger, probably a capital, knowing that they might get left behind if the enemy drops capitals. Remember, no need to worry for ISK, the pilots can pay for the replacement easily.

For a obvious reasons no alliance used a "throwaway 1B ship" doctrine, so it will need some thinking to figure out how can these ships be used out of their standard rules. Tracking dreads against enemy BS fleet? Neuting/ECM carriers in the place of alphafleet scorpions? 15-fighter (or 15-drone) carrier against enemy BCs? Covert ops battleships as moving target beacons to bombing runs? Or equipped with ECM burst and smartbombs, sneaking in the middle of the enemy BC/Tengu fleet? My knowledge about it is very limited, so it is of others. However figuring such things out will be the only way to effectively incorporate traders/industrialists to fleets. Or "keep it simple stupid" and let us blow up the structure while the drakes are busy with the enemy subcaps?

Of course the global optimum for a trader/industrialist is to fly nothing, but make ISK, giving it to the alliance which would use it to allow others to fly. I mean the 500M opportunity cost + 500M spent on pimped combat ship could buy 6 drakes + 6x1 hour of average guy. 6 drakes are definitely stronger than whatever pimped subcap I can create. However the question arises why is it so good for the trader? The problem isn't "fun" in the sense that pressing F1 is inherently more fun than updating orders. The problem is power. The 6 pilots who fly on my ISK will have higher weight in decisions than me. The current culture devalues industry and worships combat, so the one who contribute to the common victory by ISK is considered "whore" or "slave". The only way for breaking it is indeed joining the fleet in a globally sub-optimal, but at least locally optimal ship.

I see that this isn't something great. I'm seeking the answer here for the question: how can a dirty-rich trader meaningfully join a nullsec alliance neither being altruist who just gives nor just one guy in the crowd who collects billions of unused ISK while flying Drake#1532.

Since I'm tired of deleting "get experience FFS" things, let me reformulate: "imagine a pilot who is very skilled in flying any ships. He is also damn rich. What ships shall he fly?" I know I need fleet experience and without it I can't fly anything. I will get it (as soon as my logi skill is ready)

You can join trading discussions on the Goblinworks channel.
Wednesday morning report: 95.2B (1.5B spent on main accounts, 1.3 spent on logi, 1.0 on Ragnarok, 0.5 on Rorqual, 0.9 on Nyx, 1.3 on Avatar, 2.6B received as gift).


Dave Rickey said...

Interesting. Back in the day, similar reasoning led me to go straight from coverts I was suicidally aggressive in (in the days of the CovOps Cloak cartel) to carriers. A CovOps scout who really didn't care how many times he got burned trying to set up the perfect tactical warp-in was far more useful to the fleet than Yet Another Sniper Battleship.

On the other hand, a carrier pilot prepared to light up a cyno for a hotdrop in the middle of the enemy blob was also uniquely useful. All of this was before alliance-purchased ships, though.


Steel H. said...

You make a direct equivalence between time spent fighting and time spent carebearing, that I don't think quite applies in the real world. Maybe if I didn't have the change to spend 2 hours owning nerds, I wouldn't necessarily spend them carebearing, maybe I'd spend those hours going on a date instead. Now that's opportunity cost...

As for your theory about why you just have to fly expensive ships, you are still not grasping metagame layers. You don't want to fly shiny exactly because it draws and catalyzes the blob like flyes to rotten meat. You broadcast in jabber "x shiny spotted, get in fleet now now now" and suddenly 200 Drakes! Enemy taklers always go for the expensive stuff first, enemy FCs will learn your name(s) and instantly call your rich ass primary. Blinging is counterproductive, all you do is fatten everyone else's killboards and spend most of your time in a pod. The way you fight against (with?) the blob is exactly the opposite, you don't stand out, you don't bling, you blend in with drake #1526, you pick a name at the middle of the alphabet, and enjoy not getting primaried and raking up them killmails. The drakefleet/welpfleet are not just cost effective doctrines, they ARE a form of griefing in themselves, because you just dump 5x ships on top of expensive, xxxBillion isk, xxxMillion SP, xxxEcelitePvpxxx and just clog-murder them to death with t1 insured reimbursed hulls. Oh, pro tip, if you think of welping T3s a lot, you need to learn multiple racial strategic cruisers, this way you can rotate around, and so after losing several Tengus in a row you then switch to losing Lokis while you retrain caldari subsystem skills (hi -A-!).

As for me, I'm dissapoint. When I read the first paragraph about griefing I thought for a second "Yes, finally! 250 t2 Taloses and Tornados roling through hisec like locusts, suicide murdering anything it their way!" (do it)

Bozzor said...

Man...just GO already in null and stop writting things you HAVE NI IDEA ABOUT !

You do not understanfd how powerful the Drake is, outside the cheap cost.

I fly Drakes since 2007, solo, small gang or 1,000 Drake fleets.
It is not only about oportunity cost, it is about the fiability of that ship.

A Drake can have 200k EHP (comparable with a command ship, BUT 3 times cheaper) and 300 DPS. a Drake can perma run MWD while having enough shield EHP (around 70k) to get reps, a Drake can be a face-melter (mainly in low sec) if fitted with HAM's, going to 600 DPS and over 100k EHP.

There is no BC or BS out there that can be better in fleets than a Drake.ALL other BC's have half of his EHP (EHP matters in fleets) or can have his EHP but SLOW as fuck and NO WAY perma running a MWD.

So you see, it is NOT about a cheap is about the DRAKE as cheap ship for fleets.

You maybe think 50 Tengus can win against 50 is not so simple, in fact most of the times, the 50 Drakes win against 50 Tengus, simply because the Drakes have more firepower against the LOGIS.The Tengu logis will die much earlier that Drakes logis.

Yes, a Tengu vs a Drake wins most of the times, because speed and sig tanking...but in the above scenario, without logis (and beleieve me, the Drakes have more firepower - because the Tengus are 100 AB FLEET fit with 5 launchers).

This is why, if you want to join a null alliance, you MUST fly most of the times this : Scimitar, Drake, Basilisik, dictors, ECCM ships or caps and supercaps.

HACs and the T3 fleets are awesome...but they are not winning a war.They win some battles, but the wars are won by the DRAKE fleets.

I fly 2 HACs, Ammar (mainly Sacrilege) and Caldari (mainly Cerberus), I can fly Tengus, I can fly all BS's (have all BS racial at 5 and large weaps spec at 4) I enjoy flying them, know their capabilities, but I know that they CANNOT beat Drakes in wars.

It is just TO HARD to counter a Drake blob with anything else that ANOTHER Drake blob and hope to win at ISK ratio.It is just not possible.

Anonymous said...

"ISK efficiency is a goal for all alliances. On the top of that, CCP designed the game as "every ship is playable" "

Two bold statements without any prove behind. Second one may be a true. But fist one is definitely wrong. Pilots won wars, not only ISK. But if ISK-s are easily replaceable, pilots are not.

Anonymous said...

Simple answer Gevlon - you join as "the money guy" and you start making money for your corp. You will never be a valuable fleet member because you don't have the PvP attitude needed - or at least you don't show it yet.

Get in zeroes and start moving goods both ways - to high sec and back. Logistic is a major chore in 0.0 and if you are eager to do it - supplying cheap ships, modules and ammo - you will be more valuable than flying drake #1432

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: if ISK is not important, why do everyone cry about Tech moons

@Steel: what the hell are you talking about? It's nullsec war, not lowsec lolling. Of course if I show up in lowsec in a 1B thing everyone in 3 systems will team up. But in null they are already teamed up, there is a blob fight you know.

If I'm being primaried always, that's an ASSET. I know that I need tank and can ease down on firepower. Every bullet hitting my 90% resist is a bullet not hitting the 60% of a drake. The fleet logies know to always have me targeted.

Maybe the best way for a trader to participate in a fleet action is to show up in a max-tank T2 battleship and openly troll the enemy.

Babar said...

Isk efficiency is not important to a lot of alliances. One of the reasons the CFC/Honeybadger coalition is crushing SoCo, is because SoCO cares more about "green killboards", while CFC/Honeybadgers only care about the objectives of the war, that is taking sov. Of course one of the reasons they don't care is because they have so much isk from their techmoons.

Znybar said...

I think you're making a point about the natural progression of things. Carriers and dreads will become much more common (for example in the current Delve conflict the CFC is using them rather frequently, even if they lose them). Aside form the current 'omg we lost a 1bil ship' thing, the limiting factor I think is more the lack of capital pilots, which will increase over time. You are correct in your assessment of carriers, we estimate that carriers are the equivalent of roughly ten logi pilots, if triaged. Plus, they are insurable. Dreads, unfortunately, don't scale as well (about 10 BS dps, but not ten times the HP).

Anonymous said...

There have been several implementations of ideas like that before. Pandemic used to field faction fleets. The Tengu fleets we see quite often nowadays. the Supercapital fleets used to crush NC...

If I'm being primaried always, that's an ASSET. I know that I need tank and can ease down on firepower. Every bullet hitting my 90% resist is a bullet not hitting the 60% of a drake. The fleet logies know to always have me targeted.
you will buy your fleet about 20 seconds.

and please, a t2 battleship is a black ops or a marauder - which both are ships that are quite stupid to bring to the blob. The Black-Ops compared to the T1 variant tanks horrible (while costing a multiple), and the marauder, lol sensors.

However if you mean a T2 fit T1 battleship, please call it T2 fit Battleship, not T2 battleship. with your unprecice wording you are just causing confusion.

My suggestion to you would be that you join a 0sec corp for a while, visit a few battles and *then* post about it.

Azuriel said...

Every bullet hitting my 90% resist is a bullet not hitting the 60% of a drake.

I imagine that a dead drake "tanks" more damage in the few seconds after destruction than your ship ever would, by virtue of the wasted firepower flying through space. It might depend on how synchronized the barrages are, of course.

Gevlon said...

@Azuriel: I tank the same wasted DPS after destruction. However the point is that they will shoot something. It's clearly better if they shoot something tanked than something not.

dobablo said...

Winning combat in EvE is about depriving fun to the opposition. To the irrational mind, one big bang is more fun than lots of little banks It doesn’t matter if your expensive fit improves fleet efficiency. Your fleet could convincingly win in ISK destroyed, but the “losing” fleet will come away happy if they see you topping the killboard in a ship worth 20 times more than anyone else and unconventional fittings.

Anonymous said...

"For a obvious reasons no alliance used a "throwaway 1B ship" doctrine"

-A- does.

Steel H. said...

I'm talking about the "participation game" which IS a game mechanic. Yes, in sov 0.0. Did you think the CFC always outnumber and outblob their enemies just because? Ever wondered why SoCo is getting owned so badly? (in the previous post?) There are complicated social and psychological mechanics, and the goons excel at them. For example, there are standards on how to post an op on forums, where it is mandatory to be interesting and have a funny image - if it's boring and plain, no one will show up. The SOTG is more that just an opportunity for Mittens to hear the sound of his own voice, it also brings 2000+ nerds online at once, that you then shove into 5 fleets and hurl at the enemy in a massive shock move. "Broadcast: titans tackled, dreads have been dropped, get to x-xx now!!!" will make 1000 people drop whatever they are doing and log in. After that comes "Hugeass fight in progress NOW, get in fleet get on the titan" and "100 dumbasses undocked in pimped Tengus, remember last time we fought them". If you broadcast "5 more ihubs to ref into armor with subcaps, join shitFCs fleet" you get 80 lethargic nerds that couldn't find a better game to play or a girlfriend to screw, and no logis, and then after 3 mind-numbing hours you get counterdropped and owned by the enemy.

Trolling the enemy fleet with a supertanked shiny is a valid tactic, that I have seen used myself several times. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, it all depends on circumstances.

If you do want to PvP in shinnies, the natural place is wormhole space, where mass limits keep The Blob away, and is necessary to extract the maximum performance from a hull weight. And personal skill has an opportunity to shine, instead of mashing F1 until you are instablapped by 200 Maelstroms. And you get to be in shit like this:

Anonymous said...

I think the obvious answer to your question is "you can seed markets" and "you can go into supercap production" - but then you end up with even more money that you don't know how to use.

Unknown said...

@Gevlon: "how can a dirty-rich trader meaningfully join a nullsec alliance neither being altruist who just gives nor just one guy in the crowd who collects billions of unused ISK while flying Drake#1532."

The answer is simple and i don't understand why it hasn't been given. By definition a "trader" can't be usefully on the battlefield, this is simple logic. On the other hand a "dirty-rich" rich trader has all the ISK in the world to buy multiple combat toons from the character market and can go on the battlefield, without feeling gimped.

So like always, get the right tool for the right job.

bye Andy

Anonymous said...

Ever thought that an edge, at any cost, is the difference between winning and losing a fight? Ever thought that winning a fight is more important to a lot of people than killmails and raw isk efficiency? Or do you stand by your false consensus that the goal of "all alliances" is isk efficiency?

as for doctrine, your "will not and should not" fly doctrine drakes is hilarious. If you don't fly to the doctrine, you will be kicked out. Our small wormhole alliance instructs logistics not to rep smartasses who constantly insist on not following doctrines, because they think about the fleet in terms of individual ships, when an FC expects the fleet to operate as a single cohesive unit. Going off the reservation just because you can does not equal you should. You shouldn't. You should follow the instructions of those who know better, who have the experience, and know what they are doing. If you cannot comprehend that you don't belong in a fleet. Stay in highsec and earn isk hand over fist, because you'll never be a productive member of a fleet.

The FC wont care that you've made a fortune in a few months. You're still just a newbie who knows nothing about PvP. You want to roll up in your 3b carrier which you have no experience flying, no understanding of what its threats are, why its on the field etc because you haven't done your time. If you try to turn up in one (most likely fitted inappropriately), you will be sent packing.

You also fail to realize that while the advantage of higher end ship scales, the difficulty of piloting them also increases.

Go join a PvP group - and see how far you get with your anti-doctrine approach. I'll be watching with great interest, and popcorn.

Kelsier Chevalier said...

Dear Gevlon,

as some people before me already stated, i too would give you the advice, to just GO into 0.0 instead of theorizing about it so much.

To answer your question: I think you already found the answer. One Toon cannot do everything in EvE, so you need specialized toons.
Get a Tengu Toon, to fly shiny. Get a Grunt Toon, to fly every (T1 Hull, T2 Fit) Battleship.
Get a Carrier Toon, to move your assets around.
Hell, even get a Super or Titan Toon, cause you have the money to afford it.
Use your own money to have at least one ship for every battle doctrine your Alliance fields. Just dont care what the doctrine is, as long as you can fly it.
As someone mentioned before, the power of a Fleet Doctrine is in everyone following it. Not someone flying something else. Because that something else is either not as capable, as the doctrine. Or more capable, and will be primary.

And who knows, maybe you'll even have fun flying a cheap Ship, if you succeed not thinking about the opportunity costs.

But most importantly: Join a Nullsec Alliance.... ANY Alliance.
Live in Nullsec and you'll find your next goal to achieve on the road, not before starting the trip.

And if you really wanne achieve something, join a smaller Entity, the big powerhouses won't have that much opportunities for you to shine.


evemonkey said...

"I'm seeking the answer here for the question: how can a dirty-rich trader meaningfully join a nullsec alliance neither being altruist who just gives nor just one guy in the crowd who collects billions of unused ISK while flying Drake#1532."

Short answer: your intelligence and situational awareness and ability to learn are far more valuable than your isk. drakefleets still have a component of specialty ships: small, cheap Tackle (which you don't want to fly), HICs (which I love and fly despite their expense), and Logistics (which you wish to fly). These ships need intelligent people to fly them and in general do not get reimbursed by alliances and so require a measure of self sufficiency. When you can fly capitals - fly a carrier or whatever you wish.

Long answer: Gevlon, you're on the dangerous borderline of becoming a Moron. You write about them that "The moron refuses to learn". you are in danger of launching into your first nullsec fleet as a critical logistics pilot with no idea about fleet pvp, and despite nearly every person commenting on your blog, (whether they be wormhole, lowsec or sov-based nullsec players) ALL telling you to stop theory-crafting and to get out there and fight, you refuse.

Other short answer: Get out there and fly, then gradually you will come to know the answers to your questions without having to ask them on your blog.

Please, Please don't just go out there and be a meatshield like you mention. I know that a person like you can be more useful than that. Please also don't be discouraged (this post seems like you're a bit that way). get out there and fly your logi and learn. you will then be able to theory craft with far more effectiveness. you will even be able to apply your theories to experiments. you will then be able to make an actual difference.

Gevlon said...

@Evemonkey: what people practically are telling is "shut up and fit in, be Drake#351, I'm Drake#350 and you are no better than me". The problem in short is I clearly am. I have 90B to prove it.

Anonymous said...

"The problem in short is I clearly am. I have 90B to prove it."

And this is actually passing the borderline of being a moron you were told to be walking above.

You actually believe that the amount of ISK you have says *anything* about your skills of flying a Drake in any combat situation?

Proof? Get into a Drake and be better than others, anything else will not prove anything about your flying skills.

What you basically just said out loud was: "I'm better at flying model airplanes than others because I'm a trained accountant!"

If you really believe in this, you've gone down a long way, Gevlon.

evemonkey said...

@Gevlon what people practically are telling is "shut up and fit in, be Drake#351, I'm Drake#350 and you are no better than me". The problem in short is I clearly am. I have 90B to prove it.

hmm, I don't think they are so much (or maybe I'm taking it from a different perspective). Car analogy time: you have read a manual and you are telling us that because you're rich you should get in a ferarri and drive it only because you can. not only this but you're theorycrafting and telling experienced drivers that the break and accelerator pedals should be on the steering wheel like a motorbike and.

Whereas, we're just trying to tell you to get in any car as early and as often as you can for practice, then you can look at improving the vehicle. The analogy falls down of course because you can die in a car....

if people tell you to fly drakes, I'm sure what they are really meaning is "get experience". they suggest the drakes because with your inexperience, that is the best way to not screw up the rest of the fleet. as a logi pilot, you have a higher chance of diminishing the effectiveness of the fleet until you have more experience.

There is also merit to playing different roles (not so much the drake drone, but tackle vs dps vs logi) playing a shaman as a second character made me a better mage, playing a paladin tank for a bit made me a better shaman even though I still preferred the healer role. knowing the WoW fights as a tank certainly made me a better healer in higher level instance as I didn't know just the theory from videos, but had experienced it myself.

Gevlon said...

@Evemonkey: the problem is that the "get experience" answer don't contain any ANSWER. They don't say "If you get experience you'll see that X is true". They merely say that whatever I say is wrong just because I did not fly a Drake. I can be wrong, but they posted no counter-argument. My arguments are right or wrong on their own, regardless of my time spent in Drakes, logies, titans.

Also, I did NOT try to redesign the car. I did not say that Drakefleets are bad and people shouldn't fly Drakes. My question is "with lot of ISK how can someone be more useful than Drake#132". The answer CAN be "you can't because the game is designed that Drake is the ultimate ship and nothing can defeat it than more Drakes". However this can ONLY be answered by theorycraft and my time flying Drakes won't help in it.

I do NOT question that whatever I'll do first (flying Rifter, Scimi, Drake, T2 BS, whatever) will fail miserably and I'll lose several ships before I learn to hit the proper buttons and find the proper info on the screen. I have no doubt in that. However my ineptitude to fly has nothing to do with the question of the post.

evemonkey said...


Then I guess my answer boils down to: Until you can fly capitals effectively, your intelligence is worth far more than your isk.

Gevlon said...

This is indeed an answer and probably the good one. I tried to EFT a better "alpha maelstrom" than the doctrine, got one 13% higher DPS and 10% better tank for 500% more money (a Machariel)

However I hoped that someone can help me and mostly others in my place as I already found my subcap: the logi.

I listen to commenters and WILL get experience. The first logi I'll learn will be the Scimi, just as you suggested. I learn now the skills that others suggested as necessary, delaying me another 3 weeks, but soon(TM)

Monday I publish my long-term plans in null and start getting in. Can't hurry it as the damn logi skills won't learn faster.

Anonymous said...

heres your answer - which has been stated in round about ways in several comments on several of your posts.

The highly skilled (either SP or real skill, whatever) pilot who happens to also be exceedingly space rich flies.....

wait for it....

wait for it....


More SP means you can have more variety, when an FC calls for a drake fleet you can put your hand up and chose to fly a HIC - assuming you're the best person for the job. If you are not you'll be promptly put back in a drake. If an FC calls for an alpha maelstrom fleet, you will fly a maelstrom. Or one of the supporting ships in the maelstrom fleet doctrine. Exactly as the doctrine has laid out, with no deviation from the standard fit beyond approved adaptations (there may be a couple of variations of a fit which is still considered valid by a doctrine).

Boiling this down to the small wormhole engagements I get involved in. Our alliance has a lot of highly skilled pilots, with years of experience in low, nul and wormholes. When we form up in a 30 man gang for a fight the FC will generally call for 3 guardians. Those who fly the guardians are invariably the 120m SP guys who've flown them for years. A dread pilot will be asked for and again the highest experienced dreadnaught pilot online at the time will get that role. Tackle, cap warfare, ewar roles are filled and then everyone else jumps in a DPS boat.

Now in a wormhole we don't usually see 'drake drone' blobs, but we have a set of prescribed ships for given roles which must, absolutely must be followed. Pilots are expected to fit their ships exactly as the theory crafters have laid out. Failure to do so will mean ridicule at first, then a lack of reps coming your way, and if you continue to do it you will be podded by your own corp mates back to highsec. Why? because idiots who don't follow instructions are worse than incompetent. They are dangerous fools who get other people killed.

bringing this back around to your situation. If you were to join a PvP alliance tomorrow given your a) supreme lack of skillpoints and flexibility to fly ships, and b) (more importantly) a complete lack of any combat experience or understanding in the slightest of how PvP mechanics work you will be told to fly a tackle boat, or a dps boat which you cannot possibly hope to screw up. You will be instructed on how to fit it and you will be expected not to deviate from this.

As you gain skill points and experience you may be asked to fly more 'interesting' ships. Once you are competent at flying T2 with all the requisite support skills you will probably get more say in what you fly and at this point you will probably be able to fly the precious guardian or scimi. This won't happen with your skills. It probably might happen initially if you buy a toon but your lack of experience will almost certainly guarantee your stint in flying T2 with no experience will be your last for a very long time.

Now, you might not agree with this - I don't care, but this is the reality of mid to large scale fighting. You may be better then many of us at market pvp, but don't for a second kid yourself into thinking that somehow entitles you to a fast forward through the hard yards of learning the art of pew.

Kelsier Chevalier said...

Gevlon, you have a good point there: You aren't getting good answers to all of your questions.

On the other hand, your approach on things ARE that of an accountant.

As long as you think like a desk warrior about the matters of war, your results will be flawed and people will look down on you.

Let me give you one example.
You stated the following in your recent Post:

If the hull with T1 projectiles, gyrostabs and the tanking modules give 300DPS for 100M, spending 100M for gun/gyro upgrade that increase DPS by 20% is a waste, as the cost would be +100% [...] So overfitting a lame hull or underfitting an expensive one is to be avoided, that's basic knowledge.

From the ISK-spending standpoint, your logic is correct.
But what happens, if you fight against people, who are not that logical?
Your fleet meets an even numbered fleet of the same ships, but your enemies have spent 100M more per unit to improve their effectivness by 20%.
In the first 5 minutes of battle, your fleet kills 10 Ships. Your enemies kill 12.
120M ISK lost, 200M ISK destroyed.
The accountant is smiling, but the battle isnt over, yet. And you're smart enough to think this to an end without me.
Now factor in the ability of logis, and the decreasing damage output of a fleet that gets decimated. Add also that you fight for an objective, a station to take, an i-hub to defend.

The Result is, you lose the battle, you lose the objective, but you saved some ISK.

And isnt ISK making the easiest thing?

Bottom Line. You are very intelligent and you shouldn't stop with what you're doing.
But also, take a step away from the high road and get your hands dirty by actually PLAYING in NullSec.
I'm sure your future Alliance Leader will have a proper task for you, that doesnt involve only flying Drake #351


DSJ said...

The overall answer you are seeking isn't in combat ships or fittings or anything to do with fleets. How can a filthy rich pilot join a nullsec alliance and contribute? You should seek to convince an alliance that your management and ability to generate profit for the alliance is a strategic advantage. In almost every null sec alliance there are pilots that are running the critical backbone logistics, moon mining, and capital production. You specifically need the critical experience of understanding how a null sec alliance works behind the scenes rather than the combat theorizing. PURE Industrialists and traders in null are disdained because in nullsec the failure to fleet up causes everyone to lose their space. Watching someone run their hulk for personal profit while you are in fleet defending the space is demoralizing regardless of whether that isk is going to the alliance (which is hard to police).

Steel H. said...

So you're a filthy rich industrialist and want to contribute more than drake #1208? As many have pointed, the best place for you would be the high level, inner circles of alliance logistics, leadership and metagame. There's an entire game going on beyond the scenes that your average F1 grunt has no clue about. Finance wars, supercapital scams, moves like Aryth's FW exploit, market manipulation and warfare, espionage, and many many more.

Take one market warfare example that I know of: during the opening days of the Branch invasion against White Noise, while 1000 Maelstrom pilots were shooting structures with artilery, the GSF directorate market wizards went out and bought every Abaddon on open markets in Branch, which for a critical few momenta deprived WN of their main doctrine ship, which affected the outcome of several important battles. During large scale wars between blocks, there are constant moves on the Jita market, where each block will try to blow up the other's critical supply chains and chockepoints, like exotic components in doctrine fittings. Then you have even bigger schemes, such as OTEC. All your grunt suddenly sees is that this module/hull is suddenly 50% more expensive than it used to be...

Then there's logistic supply, JF services and nullsec markets. So you think you are having fun hauling and trading to Jita and exploiting 5% price difference or whatever? Wait until you see a nullsec market hub with 20%, 30% markup over Jita, and with only a couple suppliers. So a new block war is launched, and 5000 pilots arrive into a staging system at the other side of the galaxy. The first thing they'll do uppon docking up is to open the market window, because they forgot to bring ammo, drones, hulls, food, air to breathe, or they just didn't bother and just brought isk. Oops, there's only 10 drones on the market, at 5x Jita price. If you listened to the latest SOTG speech for the Delve campaign, you may have heard said several times "... and market jews, start stocking up the staging markets with everything". Like in real life wars, an army lives and dies on it's logistics. If you can quicly respond and supply critical staging points with needed equipment, you will have a tremmendous impact on the entire alliance morale and participation, and make a truckload of money in the process.

You really want to contribute to alliance warfare? Become an FC. A good FC that is. You'll only need some 10 years of fleet combat experience, the ability to multitask 20 things at once, and you will have to direct over comms 250 morons telling them when to inhale and when to exhale - each time (otherwise they'd suffocate to death...). You will practically have the world at your fingertips.

And, when you just want to have fun, you can then show up in a Machariel for an alphafleet op. Gangsta.

Chris said...

One of the most amazing pilot was not a combat pilot while I was in the CFC. All I remember was fighting over a pos with a large battle and he tossed up our pos during the middle of it. Also, all those goon logistic guys made life simple for a grunt like me with their constantly refueling towers and putting up safe towers. Don't think flying a combat ship is the only way to help win the war.

Steel H. said...

@DJS - at high levels, it is very important to have proper logistics, well stocked market hubs, decent prices, ship replacements readily available, JF services to empire, well maintained JB networks, SRP programs, capital manufacturing programs and many other. These all form the metagame content of keeping an alliance running smoothly, keeping your line members and logged in, and in your fleets. The logistics divisions put in enormous amounts of work in order to make this happen, and those people are highly valued. It is one of the main factor for the success of the entire CFC

At the same time, at the lower levels, you want to foster as much of a warlike, violent, bloodthirsty culture as possible. No one needs to entice pilots to go carebearing for their personal gain, but you need considerable social effort to make them log in for 3 hours of POS shooting on a saturday night. Use propaganda to demonize your opponents, feed forum porn and tears, foster a mentality of hatred and cruelty. Constantly run PvP ops, take your entire alliance to "vacations" to Curse/Syndicate, run hisec ganking campaigns, everything you can to keep the sharks frenzied. Constantly inspect corp activity, fleet participation and demote/kick the lazy bums. Just like in real life, empires will get fat and lazy, get soft, get decadent, and eventually collapse from within, just like the old NC.

Hivemind said...

Gevlon, I think you're reading an awful lot into comments that isn't there, particularly with your interpretation that all the comments suggesting you get null experience demand that you fly a Drake and become an F1 drone.

Here's the thing: The commenters who are specifically suggesting you fly a Drake aren't doing it because they want to drag you down to the level of F1 drone, nor are they (mostly) simply demanding you go through the same process they had to go through. They suggest the Drake because it's a very newbie-friendly ship; it has generous CPU/powergrid, enough mids and lows to do things other than raw tank/dps and there are no "must-have" modules that all Drake builds are focused around. It requires relatively low SP to fly effectively, is reasonably cheap to replace (not an issue for you, obviously) and has the advantage that it's unlikely to be called primary in a fight, meaning a new player gets to spend more time in the fight, learning how nullsec fleet combat flows, and less time warping to a safespot or a POS in their pod, or outright dead. Even the fact that it requires very little work to fly adequately is an advantage for a new player learning about null, because that means you can spend more time watching what’s going on around you rather than staring at the broadcast window or your cap status or the like. The point isn’t “Get a drake, stay in the drake, shut up”, it’s “Get a drake, learn what to do, then use that knowledge”.

That said, it really doesn’t have to be a drake, the drake just offers the best platform to learn from (the combination of ease of use, survivability/longevity and ability to observe surroundings and not compromise performance is unbeaten). Even Drake blobs will have non-Drakes providing fast tackle (which can be performed by T1 frigates, fairly poor survivability though), heavy tackle (that one’s trickier since it normally relies on T2 bonuses to tackle range, but you can cook up a more-or-less viable fit with T1 cruiser hulls) Ewar (definitely doable in T1 hulls, Blackbirds especially) and scouts (anything with a cloak on it). There's also Logi of course, but there's no viable T1 alternative to an actual logi; ships like the Osprey and Scythe just don't compare to their T2 versions.

The point is, any of those ships can perform in the role of a T2 ship well enough that you can often get into fleets in those roles, provided you do not expect reimbursement. Obviously there will be some people who scream DOCTRINE OR NOTHING! (though note that the person who did that with the most volume here said he's a WH dweller, where mass limits mean you really do need your best and brightest) but a lot of FCs are more flexible provided you can keep up with the fleet, have a sensible fit for your role and are footing your own bill. This is especially true in the smaller null alliances, the ones that don't (or don't often) make EN24 front page. It may not be glamorous but plenty of Null players started out in a pet or renter alliance which was lax enough to not call for strict doctrine and moved up to the major powers from that early start.

Druur Monakh said...

Gevlon, I'm going to mirror what Hivemind said: the base motivation of telling you to get experience is not so much to prove you right or wrong or to put you down, but because when it comes to fleet pvp, you simply don't know what you're talking about. You don't have practice.

It needs practice to perform fleet warps without thinking about them. Practice to recover if you did mess up a fleet warp. Practice to listen to fleet comms and know what information is important and what isn't. Practice to translate the FC commands into your own actions (if you want to be more than a F1 drone). Practice to know the capabilities of your ship. Practice to exploit the weaknesses of your targets. Practice to know which ships are a danger to you when. Practice to hold discipline when a fight goes bad. And so on.

And this applies double if you fly a specialist role like Logistics. Logistics have often different warp ins, have to select their own primaries and do so quickly. At the same time, they need to be able to follow and read the battle so they can decide whom to repair first.

You'll notice that none of the above mentions your ship skills or fittings at all.

You do acknowledge that in the beginning you will be awful, which is good. But you fail to consider that if you are an inexperienced specialist pilot in a fleet, you are using up a squad slot which could have been given to a more experienced pilot. You'd be a liability for that reason alone.

As Hivemind says: look for smaller 0.0 entities, who do have room for learning and experimentation, so you can learn the fleet basics while you wait for your specialist skills to complete.

Alternatively - why join an existing alliance? You claim to have dozens of people in your Goblinworks channel, so you could get organized on your own, create your Trader Fleet, and go make a name for yourself in NPC-0.0 or in an area like Providence.

Anonymous said...

You may want to 0.0 for curiosity, for market research ("how the 99% live and what to sell them") or to shut up the "omg get to 0.0" commenters.

However, the title of this post is opportunity cost. It seems to me the opportunity cost of you fight is prohibitively high.

For one thing, almost all serious EVE players are about combat. So it does not take as much to hire some of them - they are looking for costs & excuse.

Opportunity costs seem that you should hire mercenaries with the occasional "disband/betray your corp who wronged you so unjustly for 20B" espionage attack. I can't see a non-social reason for you to do combat with your opportunity costs.

hg said...

@Gelvon I think you underestimate the DPS that will be thrown at you. If you have 90% resists compared to 60% resists you won't take any more time to kill in the average nullsec fleet, it'll take everyone one cycle to kill you the same as everyone else

Lochiel said...

Pilots are invaluable. 10 drakes are > 1 ship of the same isk value.

My suggestion would be to find pilots willing to be your hired mercs. They would support you both on the battlefield and in the alliance politics.

Hell, I am currently involved in piracy against any target that my patron pays the war bill against. No questions asked. Once this project is over (weeks, months, who knows?) I will gladly pilot the ship of your choice against the target of your choice in the manner to ask, as long as you pay the bills (or I find it boring). And while I may disagree with you in private over your ideas and suggestions, as your hired man I will remind people in public that if they want my DPS, they need your signature.

BTW, just to make it clear; I'm not disagreeing with you. I don't take my own advice; I use my isk from trade to pay for whatever ship I want to fly this week. Isk is meant to be spent.

Just keep in mind that with your wealth, your options aren't limited to buying ships.

BTW, I'd love to see a spider-tank Kronos Fleet. Just saying.

Agent Black Cat said...

+1 Steel H. PLUS
here's some things you can do right now:
Lead or fund a blackops drop on your enemies. (Strikes at enemy logistics)

Start hauling to Delve's staging area.(Take their money)

Become or hire someone to become a spy in one or more major Sov alliances. (Small returns over time with a chance at wiping the whole alliance)

Send a single cloaky ship into enemy territory to stay logged in 23/7, broadcast propaganda and be a lingering threat of cyno. (Massive enemy efficiency loss for <$100M and <1M SP. I know a guy.)

All of these are going to give you a better return than Being NOTDrake #123. Giant fleet battles are necessary to take Sov (barring a really good spy) but there are plenty of ways to hurt that fleet before it even gets built.

vibramycin said...

Gevlon, you're underestimating a few things which have been partially pointed out to you. It sounds like you _want_ to fly in a 0.0 fleet and make a difference. In light of that, the following:

You implicitly assume time spent flying in a fleet doesn't yield any utility (fun) to the pilot and talk only opportunity costs. That's not true--not even for you, or why would you be trying to do this--so your formula is already off.

Also, you don't talk (in this post) for a second about marginal utility of the isk you could be making... Until FCs trust you to fly caps in fleet or they let you bring truly bling ships (which makes you and your corp a big target if you get yourself killed in them, including in null), you will not need anywhere near the isk you're making to fleet fight. Time spent making isk doesn't help you much. Yeah, you can keep making tons of isk to buy high SP toons for the roles you want, or to bankroll an alliance or something, but if you want to learn fleet fights and be useful (not drake #2354), you need more _null sec PVP experience_ in rolls like scout, logi, tackle, basically anything beyond DPS that requires real skill. And you won't just be dropped into a key roll on day one... you'll have to fly that drake (or suicide tackle, perhaps logi) and watch experienced people do those roles and learn from them, before you can take those roles and make a difference.

So, I submit to you that if you want to make an impact on a corp/alliance/fleet in 0.0, you need to get your ass out there and start (on the bottom rung of the ladder, probably), because the commodity you'r short on is experience, not isk, and your calculation of the value of your time is exactly backwards--time in fleet pays you well, time making isk doesn't help you much.

Sugar Kyle said...

It is a complex question because a lot of the game becomes intuitive. Non skill point based ship flying skills comes into play. Fits and ships and skill points can still not save.some people from being terrible.

Also, you won't know what you like to do until you do things. Some times theory falls out the door. What seems to be missing is raw enjoyment in your clinical break down.

But then, I'm someone who found people and asked them to teach me. It ment swallowing a lot of pride. I'm glad that I did because I was ignorant about what things were. I almost desk that you are resisting being the trained.

And maybe 0.0 isn't for you. Maybe your niche is in a smaller group in low sec or wormholes. I'm not Drake #1542. I'm hurricane #4 these days. I did not dare step into that ship till I was in the minimal spot I was told to be in. I was there to learn. No one expected my rifters or rupture to win the fight. They did expect me to learn and become a valuable member of the team. I am still here learning. The entire process improves all the time. The more I learn the greater I understand the amount that I do not know.

It was not a slight against me it was their expierence as teachers. I'm not sure how you will be sucessful at this without the social aspects coming into play.

Also, why do you want to skip the building blocks of knowledge? No one says you have to let others waste you as an asset, but the day I figured out my value as a tackle rifter, even as I exploded, was an eye opening moment.

I respect your ability to earn isk hand over first and would love to learn some methods. However, isk is its own game inside eve and it does not define your abilities as a CEO or pvpr or a diplomat or an explorer. They are all different.

Peter said...

Kelsier Chevalier said...

"Your fleet meets an even numbered fleet of the same ships, but your enemies have spent 100M more per unit to improve their effectivness by 20%."

Your example is flawed. In the original post the basic ship cost was 100M. The upgrade was 100M too. So if they even numbered, then the upgraded fleet has double resource cost! Do you wonder why they win? Make it twice the number normal(200%) vs. (120%) upgraded fleet.

Or if the number of the pilots is limited, then they can bring 200M valued different ships, in basic loadout, even if that ship just has a power value of ex.180% of the original.
Then it still 180% vs 120%