Greedy Goblin

Friday, December 7, 2012

CFC: bad implementation of meritocracy

The new GSF update declares acts of meritocracy: "Mordus Angels was a useless shitpile, didn't deserve blue standings, and reset them without notice ... we showered Circle of Two and Legion of Death with love, space, and tech moons ... this coalition is a retributive meritocracy; the only thing that matters for an alliance in the Clusterfuck is showing up in strategic ops with doctrine-appropriate ships. Serve on the line and be rewarded, fail to do so and be flayed".

I'm probably the biggest fan of meritocracy: judging people after their performance. Yet this made me almost scream. HBC isn't that meritocratic: unless you cause trouble, you can stay around even if you are mostly useless. Yet HBC conquers regions much faster than CFC. I don't think that it's the glory of socialism: "effort according to ability, rewards according to needs" over meritocracy. The "leech" doesn't leech on anyone, he receives nothing from anyone, he is just an obstacle. It's the glory of live and let live over a bad implementation of meritocracy.

What do you need for a fleet? Pilots in doctrine-appropriate ships. Pilots, not corporation or alliances. The problem with the CFC implementation is that it doesn't motivate pilots at all. "To have a CEO in Illum and have a 'voice'" isn't motivating at all for the little guy. Seriously! You expect him to spend hours doing something he doesn't like just to get rewards for someone else, especially for someone he probably considers a bossy no-lifer nerd?!

The chance that his corp gets fired from the alliance may scare him, but still not motivating, simply because of the tragedy of commons: if there is a 100 man corp, I can increase the corp performance by 1% if I increase my performance by 100%. Even with doubling my efforts I can do little to avoid the scary end. On the other hand if I decrease my performance by 100%, turning into a total freeloader, the chance of being punished for it only increases by 1%, good trade.

The "meritocracy" model CFC uses is the outdated middle-management economic model: you reward/punish the boss and the boss makes his minions work. This model worked with blue collars and we can consider F1-spamming blue collar work, so it should work in EVE corps, right? No, because in the hierarchical setup of a standard sweatshop of the `50-es or the ones exist in developing countries are based on coercion and lack of options: you keep slaving or fired into starvation. The in-game small corporations on the other hand are "families", positive social circles. The members join as volunteers and they have positive social connections with each other, including some leadership members. The corp leader can't assume the position of the heartless boss with timecharts, kicking every slacker because he won't kick his friends and they know that. Also, the corp leader probably don't want to be a hated heartless boss and burn out quick if he is forced.

The proper implementation of meritocracy is an alliance-wide individual pilot evaluation. This case the demands come from above, your friends can't help you, there is no place for favoritism or excuses.

To point out another problem: what exactly do you measure? In the standard blue collar jobs you are hourly paid: you do X hours, you get X*Y salary. This allows people of different time schedule (part-time mom, full time guy, workaholic doing overtime) to work together. How do you implement this in EVE? If you demand X hours/month for every person, then two part-time workers (casual players) can't fill the same slot as one full-time despite the same results. Even worse: how do you define "salary", the benefit from membership that the member must reciprocate? ISK he makes in alliance space? He could do better in highsec! WoW guildmasters has it easy as the loot comes from raids. The only benefit of EVE alliance membership is fun and I doubt if you can make a proper measurement system for fun. My best guess: non-stratop PvP kills.

To make meritocracy work you must define the unit of fun, measure how many units an individual pilot got, set the expected amount of stratop-time/fun and check who worked too little for the fun he received. This is the only way. If you find this impossible to implement, then just go with the TEST way and don't punish anyone for slacking. And please never-ever evaluate corps or alliances, only pilots.

There was probably national holiday on the land of pants-on-head retards as only one 7B ratting Mach died on Wednesday and yet another shield tanked (rather non-tanked) Moros on Thursday.


Anonymous said...

I think you misunderstand the dynamic here - if the corp CEO would try to coerce his members into being more active his corp would be removed from GSF even faster. While the corp CEO does face certain activity requirements he is not expected to pass these on to the individual pilot.

The accepted means of increasing activity on the corp level are reward programs, propaganda and most importantly recruitment policy.

Low corp activity is a sign that something is going wrong within the corp - GSF does put out professional propaganda on alliance level, offers comprehensive ship replacements on alliance level, has great alliance and bloc-level FCs, ...
In theory the corp CEO should be able to lean back and let the alliance do the whole "motivating people to log in" thing for him.

If the alliance-level propaganda does not reach his corp members (when it is obviously working for the majority of the corporations in GSF which is a very important point) then something unusual is going on within the corp - maybe the cause is internal conflicts within the corp (people stop logging in because the CEO is a dick), maybe the corp is pursuing its own goals before the alliance goals (e.g. doing corp level fleets and deployments instead of sending pilots to alliance-wide operations), maybe there is a cultural mismatch between the corp and the alliance (which causes the alliance-level propaganda to appear unappealing to the corp), ...
GSF leadership does not have the time to monitor the internal ongoings of every single member corp - simple metrics such as corp participation in stratops serve as early warnings that something serious is going wrong within a corporation.

But why care about deadweight at all? It doesn't hurt anyone to have a few lazy pilots around, does it?

It does hurt:
* Each pilot is a security risk. If (s)he doesn't contribute anything useful you're better off purging him/her.
* Many resources are limited, especially the number of good ratting sites (Forsaken Hubs, Havens, Sanctums) is massively limited. Why let deadweight clog up the best sites causing your active pilots to struggle for isk?
* You don't want corp CEOs to craft a recruitment policy that only seeks to maximize tax income. Allowing this leads to a plethora of issues - corrupt leadership (ask your TEST bros about OWN alliance and the events leading to the UN Aid Fleet), botting/RMT infestation, (cultural) conflicts with members of other corporations,...
* You don't want carebearism to spread within your alliance. Tales of how some deadweight pilot earned more than X billion ISK on a single weekend can contaminate other pilots and corporations.

I also think you are massively overstating the differences between CFC and HBC in this case. Just because activity requirements are usually not talked about openly does not mean that activity metrics are not monitored and acted upon.

-A- does exercise individual meritocracy :3

Anonymous said...

"Yet HBC conquers regions much faster than CFC"
"The problem with the CFC implementation is that it doesn't motivate pilots at all. "
When you start with half of your premise wrong, you can hardly manage any meaningful reasoning. The first reason the CFC had a harder time conquering Tribute was that their ennemies at that time, Black legion and NC, were actually defending it, whereas -A- and ROL did not oppose much of a fight to HBC, contesting much less timers and winning much less fights.
The second reason is that the number of pilots doesnt matter as much for grinding sov as what they're flying. Alphafleets in themselve will be slower to take a timer than foxcats, but whereas the HBC had Raiden and PL, two of the most supercap intensive alliance, to drop a few supers or a bunch of dreads on uncontested timers, CFC was always under the threat of BL, another supercap intensive alliance, which would have liked nothing more than counter dropping half a dozen super carriers on a deathstar POS.

TL; DR: if the CFC grinds sov slower than the HBC, it's not a motivation/participation problem.