Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"War bonds toplist" for alliance PvE?

As I wrote, I consider industry and trade, generating wealth a crucial backbone of an alliance after the Tech nerf. I also wrote that I find it a must for me joining. I wouldn't feel home in an alliance which runs with the idea "We are PvP-ers" or even "We are PvP-ers, but industrialists with teeth are accepted". I'm sure that an alliance with a properly ran industrial branch would be able to field much stronger ships (like BS+carrier slow fleet and Tengu-Scimi fast) and they could reimburse them too, not to mention capital/supercapital fleets.

I don't think that alliance directors are idiots who don't know that. However there isn't a single successful implementation of an industry branch. I proposed some, they were all failures. Taxing or licensing PvE doesn't/wouldn't work because most nullsec people hate PvE and won't do it. Those who like it are either fine in highsec or welcomed for free. No alliance can demand payment in any form because the result would be simply zero PvE or leaving.

I tried to build up the industrial branch using economic ideas, neglecting the fact that EVE is a game for fun where players cannot be forced to log in. Real world economic laws work on the axiom that without money you starve and you don't want to starve. However this doesn't need to lead to nihilism "everyone just do random fun, nothing can be done". The alliances have serious PvP fleets despite pressing F1 and doing 1% damage on the targets is rarely considered fun.

I considered nullsec alliance membership fully altruistic since it provides no wealth or even good kill:death ratio, highsec and lowsec for these is much better. The alliances can make PvP-ers donate time to the alliance. If I can figure out how they do it, I can finally transform it to industry and have the recipe of the working industrial branch. In a sov-holder alliance you can simply stay logged out during CTAs (call to arms) or show up in a Rifter (which is about as good as logged out) and no one blames you. You can have all the membership benefits without donating time, yet most members donate their time.

You might say that "socials are social and give gifts to their friends", but they could donate ISK to the alliance wallet too, and they don't. When I sent 2.6B to Evemonkey to support their battle against MateDot he sent it back a few days later. He simply couldn't find anyone who knew how to deposite money to the proper wallet as no one ever tried to donate money before. Spare me from the "people donate PvP time but not PvE because PvP is fun" comments. Most players live in highsec where PvP is very limited and they still don't quit. So we can be sure that PvE/industry/trading is fun for big part of players.

The solution for players donating time is not altruism. They receive something in return, even if that's just something social. What can it be? I was browsing alliance webpages and it hit me: the front page is often the killboard. Now, there are some alliances that care for their kill:death ratio, but killboards are on a central position even for alliances that openly state that they don't care about losses. What is going on here?

The alliances might not care about kill:death, but they do care about kills. Having a higher kill count means more time donation to the alliance as in a large-fleet action kill count is mostly unaffected by individual skills. If you fly more battles, you get more kills. Having more kills is a source of pride and respect. The group celebrates the member who donated much. Competitive ones want respect. They are in the race with others "who can donate more to the group". Controlled competition: the core element of my permanent page. The alliance leaders created a race where members can excel by being useful for the alliance: donating more PvP effort.

From this point the PvE version is straightforward. Just as PvP time creates kills, PvE time creates ISK. All the alliance need to create is a "donation board" next to its killboard and an API reading script that checks the proper wallet or donation collecting char. This way PvE players could compete too with each other, in a race that is clearly beneficial to the group. Since they were donating to the group, they would no longer be outsiders but respected members. As a bonus this system would make taxing obsolete. There would be no need to create fees that distort the market and drive people into less profitable, but less taxed activities. They could do as they please since the profit would be donated to the alliance anyway, as this would be the way to compete with others on their field. Also this scheme needs no special corp or rights or licenses or any other administration besides the API check. The participating members wouldn't be separated or differentiated in any way from those who contribute by PvP.

Killboards are public, so the competition goes between not just players of the alliance but between alliances too: "we killed more than you". Similarly industry-boards should be public to allow similar competition: "we gathered bigger wallet than you".

What do you think? Would this idea finally bring serious industry and PvE to sov-null? It worked in the real life:

Tuesday morning report: 148.5B Some more items liquidated. No more liquidation until late September. (3.5 spent on main accounts, 2.4 spent on Logi/Carrier, 2.2 on Ragnarok, 1.6 on Rorqual, 1.4 on Nyx, 1.8 on Avatar, 2.6 received as gift)


Serpentine Logic said...

Pvp kills aren't a donation; they're a mutually-beneficial transaction. The player gets status and enjoyment, and the alliance gets status and security at the cost of fairly low amounts of reimbursement (with the subtext that good pvp players lose less ships anyway)

Also, kills are easy to measure.

I think the corresponding pve metrics would be isk or minerals taken by the alliance in the form of corp taxes, station fees etc, rather than donations (although I suppose they can be factored in)

It shouldn't be too hard to parse the API logs for that data and make a 'workboard' like existing killboards.

Gevlon said...

Yes, existing fees could keep existing and count into the workboard, that's a good idea. However donations are needed simply because tax is paid by PvP players too and they have PvP losses so the tax can't be as high as it should be with PvE players.

Azuriel said...

War bonds "worked" based on guilt and nationalism and the confines of physical reality. You donate because the Other Guy will kill you/make life unpleasant, and you care about the feelings of the people who live around you.

But an Industrialist voluntarily goes to null-sec. At any time they can simply leave. Where was the Hitler-free zone IRL? Potentially nowhere. If one did not like that outcome one had to do something. Similarly, if one enjoys participating in 1000+ person battles, being in a null-sec guild is it. Conversely, an Industrialist can do that anywhere.

Since they were donating to the group, they would no longer be outsiders but respected members.

1) What makes you think respect can be bought?
2) You never answered the fundamental question of why an Industrialist would join such a Corp in the first place.

Face the facts that you demonstrated yourself. The only reason for a station trader to undock is because they want to be social. Listen to yourself. A "competition" to see who donates the most money? What possible benefit does that give the individual other than warm fuzzy feelings and Corp chat?

A PvPer who donates gets more PvP and access to blobs. An industrialist who donates simply jetcans ISK into space.

Sugar Kyle said...

Killboards are also about showing that you do 'stuff' and not just speak words that you do stuff.

Many corp descriptions say "we go on frequent roams" or "we PvP" or "We have a low/null sec ops" but their killboards do not support this.

When a player goes on about low sec, null sec, or PvP one looks at their killboard to see what it says.

It is not just K/D Ratio and efficiency (although those can be used as weights in arguments). It is the fact that something is there and that thing is there recently.

A character's killboard in some parts of the game is another aspect of their bio.

Anonymous said...

you take a 1940's war bonds example for alliance warbonds

the difference between the two is
- a non-existant threat to personal safety in eve's case

aka a carrier jump and your stuff is out of contested space should the shit hit the fan and evul gewns cant touch it

- a lack of idealism in any sensible player

evul gewns might just do the trick, but isk is hard to part with
and rolling over is a lot easier than donating a large part of a players income
mind you, for the ratting nullsec bear a few hundred mil is a lot
it digs into his non-reimbursed roaming fund

and completely forgetting the player part of the equation:
larger entities have renters, smaller entities have moons
even smaller entities are failscades waiting to happen

so...who is your target audience?
its a nice theory, but i really dont see your utopia alliance or something resembling it anywhere

Anonymous said...

There are a few problems with your post.

1) Post tech nerf, alliances will still rely on tech. The nerf doesn't go nearly far enough. Prices will drop which will make alchemy viable but this will impact supply which will lift prices up and so forth until equilibrium. Tech will continue to be the cornerstone of the "tech" alliances. The proof that an industrial utopia won't exist is visible in non-tech alliances who don't have an emormous well organised industrial branch supporting them. Sure industrial branches exist in alot of alliances but it isn't the backbone now and won't be the backbone in the future.
2) You continue to claim that turning up in a rifter doesn't matter and you'd be better off logged out which shows your lack of appreciation for how fleet actions work. Tackle IS important. The stories of great nulsec fights are litered with 'hero n00bie tacklers'. These are cheap fast ships which pin down enemies fleeing bubbles, tackle people jumping through gates and generally harass the enemy. These people ARE contributing to the fight in a very real and important way no matter how distasteful you find it.
3) Most players don't live in highsec. Most *alts* live in highsec. Alts Online is pretty much the order of the day here. Yes, I have several highsec alts. More highsec alts than I do any other kind of character. Do I consider myself a highsec resident? Of course not. I place alts in highsec to trade, earn a semi-passive income and keep an eye on prices.

The concept of a 'donate board' or 'pve board' is a fairly solid one though. The alliance I am in uses a number of custom tools for managing payouts. Those who contribute the most to the group get paid the most and this information is accessible from within the group. A score based system for a public "contributors" board would be a fairly straight forward thing to do. how beneficial it would be in the scheme of things is anyones guess but I can see it would be a worthwhile project to some alliances.

Consider some of the other activities that people do to support an alliance. Alot of those activities are out of game (development, organisation, recruiting etc). How do you see those unquantifiable actions being recognised in some sort of public scoreboard?

Gevlon said...

@Azuriel, anonymous: your donation made little effort in WW2. If you would donate nothing the allies would still won and you could personally freeload.

Why would an industrialist join? My answer is a question back: why would a PvP-er join? They could get PvP in lowsec without CTAs, without that jerk FC, without waiting, without outblobbed, without ordered to stay docked, without ordered to fly that damn Drake.

@Sugar: my point is exactly to create a board that shows that industrialists do stuff. You have killboard to prove that you are better PvP-er than me. Could I PROVE that I'm better trader than you? No. All I have is words and screenshots that can easily be faked.

Anonymous said...

Could you combine the two? Make a board that combined your kill count with your ISK generated. It would need balancing but for example 10 kills could be worth a "point" as could 10 million ISK generated.

To extend it further ship reimbursements could work against your score. Every 10 ships reimbursed (regardless of ship) loses you a point.

Every SBU kill you are on could count for a point.

And then you create squads or groups within your alliance that only let in high-point members.

Anonymous said...

I think it makes sense to distinguish between two kinds of war bonds - on the one hand you have those that can be considered reasonable investments (which will be repaid with interest) and on the other hand you have (more or less voluntary) donations.

Politicians sometimes try to dress up the latter as the former (see, buy in war bonds and you'll get a complete tax exemption, we'll pay everything back after the Endsieg, If your company wants to bypass rationing you better show us some patriotism, ...) but at the end of the day the distinction is pretty clear.

Actual financing of alliances via loans/bonds has been tried and failed (EBANK & KIA, KIA did allegedly pay about 200b in interest over the duration of their cooperation with EBANK - but allowed the default of a 275b loan they had guaranteed which made the venture a big net loss for EBANK).

Specific projects (especially in smallish alliances) are sometimes financed internally by selling bonds to members (new outpost, new titan, ...) which is overall probably successful afaik (consider that nobody expects you to pay back hostiles and it's only a matter of time until a sizable part of your creditors have let to neutral entities).

But what you seem to suggest is donations rather than bonds and that's sth I haven't seen anywhere yet - and it suffers from the same issue as your 1b/month membership fee: why pay for sth that can be had for free?

Gevlon said...

@First anonymous: no need for point conversion, PvP board can be measured in enemy ISK destroyed.

@Second: remember that people volunteered both in real life and in EVE to be foot soldiers. Why do you think they wouldn't volunteer for donating money? The difference is that soldiers both in EVE and IRL are celebrated while money donators are not. You can't get a medal of honor if you buy even an aircraft carrier to the Navy, despite that ship will surely contribute bigger to the war effort than even the biggest hero ever.

Anonymous said...

I've seen a few PVE corps from the inside. Since my take on gaming in general isn't far from yours, I'm not much of a donator. However, I've always found it surprising how much people donate from a seemingly altruistic standpoint. The corps Im in now is ran by a RL friend of mine. We often chuckle at what the members are prepared to donate for simple returns as:
- a thank you from the corp leader
- a corp-wide mail with a callout
- a role promotion (not functional, just in name)

These examples are proving that your donation board might work! However, we've come to the conclusion that this is not the main reason people donate. Most people donate because it makes them feel more connected to the group. It's like they are buying people into liking them more.

My friend is a very a-social person. Still, by pretending to be social, by lobbying, organising social events etc he rakes in more ISK then I ever thought possible.

Anonymous said...

i still think you're trying to solve a demand that's particular to very few EVE players.

The intersection of these three sets:

(a) Rich high sec ISK generators
(b) that want to join a null sec alliance
(c) but not PVP (or just PVP a little on their own terms)

Is likely so small that bothering to create anything systematic is a waste of time.

Why don't you just find a null sec alliance and strike a personal deal with them (let me do what I want and I'll give you X ISK/month) and get on with it?

Anonymous said...

All Armys and all big organisations work like this: you have to grind through some stuff to get a promotion .. and you have to show that you are
a) trustworthy
b) active
c) not a idiot
d) competent in your field ..
So basicly in each Corp you could be the "handler of the isk" or "fitter of all fleets" and get some share of the big corp isk .. but the more you work the less this public stuff matters .. because everybody knows you as the guy"to ask for an titan or a fleet or a good fight" .. you have to make yourself a name .. and all boards etc dosn't matter .. Hell most of the best military Leaders in most corps have a bad kill ratio .. because they sit in a cloaky ship to command the battle not to fight it ... and if the hole alliance knows that you are the isk maker and the corp would die without you .. what does a little nice title or isk board change here ?

Gevlon said...

Being known in a small corp is more or less irrelevant. In a 10K block no one will know you without boards.

Also, it's easy to be the "best pilot" out of 10 guys. How do you compare yourself to others in EVE?

Anonymous said...

You will be known .. fit like 100 Drakes and sponsor your op .. "This fleet is brought you by ... " Look at somer blink they sponsor atx teams etc .. beeing the Best FC .. you will be known without stats .. being a nice guy recruiting 100 good guys a month .. you will be known ... building all alliance titans .. you will be known ... running the ship replacement programm or sellign corp fit ships on the corp contracts you will be known ..

Frostys said...

The problem is most outsiders don't care about the supply line of an alliance/corp. They want to know about the flashy fighters on the front line where the "action" is. As an industrial, you and anyone joining a corp as an isk providers basicly become the logictic division of an army. They are extremely important to keep the fighting going but nobody really care about them. Just as the army can't use the best grunt for anything when he is out of supplies, the best eve pilot without a ship is useless.

The problem is you are trying to bring fame to a group of people which most people are not interested into. They don't care who brings the ammo on the front line. People just assume it's there in soem way. I'm pretty sure it's the same for ships in EvE.

Anonymous said...

" In a 10K block no one will know you without boards."

This is just wrong. If you want to get *known* you need to make yourself visible. Killboards aren't the way to do that.

You become visible by posting on forums, being active on chat channels, and becoming an FC.

Killboards stats aren't really a factor in becoming known.

Anonymous said...

The industry does not expect the same rewards as the frontliners.

Not a lot of people care that individuals such as Fermi and Oppenheimer have gone so far as to make all the war engine irrelevant, and that their, and countless other scientist's, prevented major wars for the best part of a century - they still aren't military heroes, even though their contribution to the war was enormous.

Still, it's not military recognition you seek. EVE's most known is Chribba, not Mittani: and Chribba is a carebear, who is known as a beacon of trust in an universe of mischief.

Just sponsor some fleets, if you want alliance-wide recognition.
Provide 200 standard tengus, which clocks at 100b, and for a week you'll be remembered and thanked.

Eaten by a Grue said...

To all this, I have to ask - why bother? You do not like PvP. Why would you want to donate your time to helping strangers PvP. Seems like a very social thing to do.

If you like industry, just do industry and keep your profits to yourself.

Azuriel said...

Why would an industrialist join? My answer is a question back: why would a PvP-er join? They could get PvP in lowsec without CTAs, without that jerk FC, without waiting, without outblobbed, without ordered to stay docked, without ordered to fly that damn Drake.

I already mentioned it: the opportunity to participate in 1000+ battles. To PvP with the "winners," knowing that you pressing F1 contributed meaningfully to holding sov. RvB exists, but it's all fake and arbitrary; a demolition derby is worlds different than fighting for virtual nationalism.

Regardless, even if a PvPer could get everything they needed from low-sec or even high-sec ganking, that still does not get around the fundamental problem with your schemes: it is not asocial. An industrialist wanting Corp chat and to feel "big" in EVE has plenty of reasons to be in a null Alliance. Same with a social PvPer. But asocial players? Why would they care?

Bottom line: it is at least possible for an asocial PvPer to get a unique PvP experience as part of a null-sec Alliance. What would an asocial industrialist get? Do industrialists make more ISK in null?

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: I want a working system where you don't have to be a very rich blogger to do that. I want even smaller (but still 1-2B/month) industrialists to be able to join. I fight for industry itself.

@Eaten by Grue: EVE is a game. I want to win it. I want the One Empire.

@Azuriel: Industrialists (miners, manufacturers, haulers) make better ISK in null. Traders not. For them, it's rational to join. For me, it's winnin the game.

Bonds guy front said...

War bonds "worked" based on guilt and count into the workboard, Mostly PvP players paid tex and an Industrialist can do that anywhere. that's another thinks.

Dale J said...

Actually the idea is a sound one. I have been using this technique for a few years now. It does spark competition between the ratters/mission runners. They know that it is the amount being given to the corp, but they are making isk too. Kind of a gauge as to who is making more in a month or week.