Saturday, December 15, 2012

Do wormholes and lowsec matter?

I got lot of criticism for my statement made in comments: "what I experienced in the last 3 months were intensive, complicated and very real. I'm still dazed by the amount of information I got, the systems I was introduced to. It was ... real from the moment ISK got me in to the moment my big mouth got me out. It wasn't related to mundane questions like "how many shield moroses can you fit into a C6 before it collapses?" I've seen SoCo being destroyed. I was there when -A- was evicted, when RoL was broken. I wasn't just an observer, I turned TEST circle-jerk upside down, forced them to face with their "we just don't give a fuck to words" idea. I injected ideas in it which will take part in shaping them to SOME direction (I can't predict where). My EVE was real. Your WH life is a video game. And EVE as a video game is shallow compared to WoW."

Since I didn't want to derail my own blog post, I didn't allow these comments, however I'm not happy silencing valid points, so here is the place for standing up for wormholes!

I repeat that I don't question that WH gameplay is valid or fun or profitable (not as much as Jita but still). What I question is that it has metagame. It makes stories. It has "depth" beyond the gameplay: two fleets of pixel spaceships clash and the one with better skilled players (not skillpoints) win. Please note that this is the same as World of Warcraft battlegrounds and WoW is shinier than EVE.

So please, prove me wrong (it's a real request, I'd love to join some "eve is real" project). To explain the magnitude I'm talking about here is the plan of "Resistance From Holes". Please don't criticize it, I know it's silly, it's just an example to explain "story".

The RFH is a wormhole alliance. It's a loose alliance, rather a non-aggression pact between corps which own their respective holes. No top management or orders or CTAs or such. The corps are aligned in one thing: they bring PvP not to other WHs but to nullsec (unless attacked by other WH-ers). RFH corps close holes until they get a nice one to some populated nullsec system and bring death, destruction, reinforced structures and AFK cloakers to the ratters or mess up with some stratop by showing up as third party. The aim is to bring the nullse alliances into paying ransom (which is listed on the URF website and honored by setting them light blue). Now a bunch of WH dwellers ransoming the "mighty empires" would be a story. It would have narrative, it would have progress (there could be a world map with paying alliances colored light blue), it would give players deeper reason to log in than padding their killboard or grinding sleepers for ISK.

Do you have something like that? Or do you just pad your killboard, grind and socialize? You can do that in WoW and they have pandas!

Update, thanks to commenters who linked the epic battle of Hard Knocks defending their home. I do not claim that it's lesser feat than HBC defending 49U or taking 4-07 or GE just because less people were involved or because it had lesser media coverage. However I maintain that battle did not matter to those involved! Let me explain: if Hard Knocks were evicted from their home, that would cost them ISK and pride. But they could carry on with their lives as they did. They would find an empty or carebear-filled hole and re-settle. If a member would return after a 6 month hiatus, he'd find his corp doing what it was doing when he left. Even more importantly, they are now doing the same thing that they would do if defeated: rolling holes, finding fights, grinding sleepers. They wanted that victory but did not need it. On the other hand a returning -A- veteran finds a very different -A- than he left: they are living in lowsec. They needed those systems to do what they used to do and lost them. Similarly had HBC lost 49U they wouldn't just lose that system and the region. They'd lose the ability to remain independent, had to crawl back to VFK defeated and ask Goons to save them. Had 49U was lost TEST would be like Spacemonkeys Alliance. TEST needed to win 49U to remain what it is now.

As far as I can see, the best story and narrative outside of nullsec is provided by James315.

PS: lot of TEST members mailed/convoed me to express that they liked me and sorry for how I was treated. It would be touching ... if they weren't cowards who were hiding when I was fighting the circle-jerk all alone. You didn't even dare to throw a downvote to the 1-line haters! Where were your words when I was trying to stop that [redacted words] Cappricca from harvesting upvotes abusing someone IRL dead he couldn't care less about? I don't need the kindness of the weak and cowardly thank you very much! If you aren't weak and cowards go and post what you told me on the TEST forum, I gladly send you the logs so you can copy and paste!

Don't worry I won't post them here. Your cowardly butts are safe from me.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wormholes don't usually hold the big blocs to ransom - the nature of wormhole space is, as you correctly point out, 'smaller' entities.

The nature of living in a wormhole is that for all intents and purposes a "serious" entity can only really hold a single system. The random nature of the connections make supply lines into multiple systems difficult and while it is far from impossible it is not very defensible so a great number of the major entities consolidate their efforts in a single system which they turn into a fortress of capital ships and POS towers.

However, incursions into nulsec happen frequently. A chance connection into a nulsec power bloc space will likely be deep behind their border system gate camps and running lightening raids with "suddenly moros" landing all over ratters who believe that they are totally safe then being chased around by a defense fleet, popping in and out of wormholes to kill of stragglers happens daily.

Does this "matter" to the power blocs? no probably not - but it matters to the line members whos days we are messing up. Frankly hurting large Nulsec entities other then poking them in the eye doesn't interest us - even if we had the power to do it. A great number of the skilled pilots in wormholes are ex-nulsec who left it for very good reason.

In terms of the wormhole meta, it is a lot different. The wormhole community will outwardly stand by the "no blues" and "friendly aggression pact" (that is the unwritten rule to give fights and not evict PvP entities) and for the most part that is true however there are some bitter feuds and certainly there exists (if only when circumstance requires it) a certain element of wormhole power blocs. These groups will likely band together to assist one and other.

The territory meta game in wormholes is vastly different but every bit as rich as it is in K-Space. We don't have sov maps, and we live roughly in 1 system each, but incursions and invasions do happen and there are bloody and sometimes protracted campaigns between entities. The AHARM vs RnK 'war' was hot for the better part of a year, and then became a cold war for quite a period after that. There is an excellent (if somewhat biased) video called "Clarion Call 3" which describes some of the war.

Wormholes matter to wormholes. The fights in wormholes are as important to us, and have as much of a baring on our game play as the massive bloc wars in 0.0 have to nulsec pilots. To k-space pilots we are the boogy man who can come out of nowhere and mess up their days and disappear without a trace shortly after. But in unknown space it is very different. Wars exist. Real hatred, real agendas, real opportunity, and very very real fights.

as an aside there was recently a fight between 0.0 and a w-space entity.. go back a few months on goonswarm's killboard. I believe a maelstrom fleet was whelped inside a w-space hole after they happened to take some bait and pick a fight on the wrong side of a wormhole.

There was also the whole "Everyone in W-Space evicting -A-" thing a while back....

There are stories which matter and "eve is real" to be found everywhere if you will go and look for it.

Steel H. said...

Aha, so finally the metagame got you. I'm wondering if you now view Burn Jita, OTEC, and the other goon campaigns as what I was telling you at that time - awesome user generated content and metagame narratives.

If you are looking for more nullsec, try Goonswarm. I'm sure there's a corp in there that'll take you. Different posting culture than TEST.

Gevlon said...

@Steel: will consider, however I think posting rules are just a symptom. More about it on Monday.

@Anonymous: I know that WH-ers can't form blobs but they could still form blocks. A network of independent cells acting for a common goal.

WH is ignored mostly because they fight each other in small scale. 1 WH corp can't put more than a dent into anyone. Hundreds acting independently could make serious threat. Their independence would make it impossible to solve it via spying, an important thing in null. If I plant a spy into WH_corp_26, I'm still surprised by everyone else.

Anonymous said...

"Where were your words when I was trying to stop that [redacted words] Cappricca from harvesting upvotes abusing someone IRL dead he couldn't care less about? "

Time for a history lesson

It is 2005. Well-known EVE player Smoske (m0o veteran and creator of the first eve killboard) is run over by a car and dies. His father informs the eve community in a heartbreaking post and the overall reaction of the EVE community is comparable to what you have probably observed after Vile Rat's death (of course on a smaller scale but EVE is was pretty niche in 2005).

In 2006 Goonswarm member Tetsujin sets his signature on their internal forums to "a bunch of emoticons jumping aboard a truck labeled "bandwagon" which was all set to run over poor Smoske"/"a bandwagon truck running into a stickfigure smoske". (according to The Mittani in 2009 the signature was actually "misconstrued as mocking a dead player"...

Some BoB member discovers this signature and in July 2006 SirMolle uses it as a rallying cry when calling for the total extermination of Goonswarm. The famous words "There are no goons." and "And this is as personal as it will ever get." are uttered.

Goonswarm reactions at the time range from (paraphrased) "You just don't get SA culture, trololol" to "This was an extremely tasteless joke. Tetsujin has already apologized and been forced to change his signature. SirMolle is the one dishonoring Smoske's memory by instrumentalising him to vilify us (taking the conflict OOG by claiming that we are bad human beings) and to give him a pretext for war. This signature had been in place for 4 months, why the outrage only now when it is politically convenient for BoB to use it?"

In 2009, after BoB is disbanded (and goons have access to BoB's director forums), The Mittani concedes that "In June of 2006 a BoB member found a forum signature of one of our members, Tetsujin" which finally puts the "BoB knew about this signature for 4 months before they decided to use it" claims to rest but continues in the same sentence to claim that the signature was actually "misconstrued as mocking a dead player" (technically right, I guess? It was mocking the reaction to Smoske's death, not his character...).

Anyhow... back in 2006 goons do in turn decide to be deeply offended by BoB claiming that all goons are bad people IRL and spam about Smoske at every opportunity when facing BoB. CCP reacts heavy-handedly by handing out gags and bans which only fuels the rage (as everyone knows or at least suspects that BoB leadership has informal access to several CCP employees via MSN).

The stage is set for a war that dominates the history of EVE for almost 5 years - until the collapse of IT Alliance in spring 2011.


I am not a TEST member and I don't know anything about the incident you mentioned. Maybe I misunderstood your post and that Cappricca guy "abused" some dead guy's memory to harvest upvotes in an entirely non-offensive way (create a sympathetic thread for the sole purpose of getting upvoted).

However, you have to consider history to understand why many CFC/HBC members will react extremely hostile when you try to take away their "right" to mock and make fun of the dead (unless it's Vile Rat ofc). They fought for five years to get rid off the accusation that they are bad human beings IRL because they mocked a dead player.


Anonymous said...

Gevlon:
We don't *want* to form blocs. That is the point. We 'bro up' when it suits our purpose (i.e. to throw -A- out when they said they'd come and take over wormholes), and to defend our friends from incursions by wormhole entities we don't like, but the formation of formal and permanent coalitions is something the wormhole meta simply will not allow. Every time anyone has tried to do it the rest of the major entities band together and throw them out.

The formation of power blocs doesn't mean that WHs don't matter.

Note that in terms of voting WH space will be bloc voting at the next CSM election in probably the most organized candidate support movement since mittens 'won' CSM7.

Could all the WH entities band together and start being a serious threat to 0.0? yeah sure why not. There are probably a few thousand of us in w-space who are not farmers and we have elite fleets worth a fortune (you laugh a shield tanking purple moros's but the guys that lose them probably have 3 more spare or the isk to put one together immediately - most of our fleets are purple. Its how we roll).

The point is we don't WANT to get involved in 0.0 politics. It is a meaningless circle jerk which is not 'fun' for the vast majority of people. Those of us involved in the w-space metagame get all of the diplomacy, spying and politics we want and our line members don't have to put up with "red pen CTAs" and "all hands on dick" crap that goes on in 0.0.

What matters to us is the politics of *W-space*, of which there is plenty.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: it was the opposite. He made a CALLOUT thread about a director who kicked a years inactive pilot. The pilot was inactive because the player died. He called the director heartless for kicking the "dead bro". He just referred the deceased as "some guy we didn't really know but he kicked the bucket".

He harvested upvotes because Vile Rat made "honoring the dead" cool. I pointed out that both an unused pixel avatar is an inappropriate memorial and that he clearly didn't give a shit about the dead. Then I was the evil one who mocks their mourning emotions.

So I was kicked from TEST for being a "heartless fuck with no human emotions". Seriously. I mean this was the official reason. The real one was obviously hurting the circle-jerk but they couldn't write that.

Druur Monakh said...

@Gevlon Your link to James315 is useless: you seem to be referring to a particular story, but the link leads only to the blog in general.

But if you're looking for a good story: http://www.hardknocksinc.net/index.php/blogs/item/31-birth-of-rage . You can find the metagame (as it was already described by the first commenter) alluded to in the afterword.

Though I expect you dismiss it as irrelevant, since WH occupancy doesn't have a reflection in a high-score counter anywhere - it is real "only" for the people actually involved.

Oh, and "heartless fuck with no human emotions"? I think that's a pretty apt characterization of anti-social persons in general.

Gevlon said...

@Druur: James runs a campaign to eradicate AFK-mining and botting. Success of that would indeed turn the mineral market upside down.

@Anonymous: I read the story of Hard Knocks and I don't want to lessen their achievement. They proved to be very good players. However let me tell you why the story did not *matter*: It's not that only the involved were involved, it's true for nullsec too. When we evicted -A-, it affected -A- and Solar, Nulli and WH people couldn't care less.

However the outcome did affect -A-. They are now living in Sendaya, lowsec.

Had the invaders evicted Hard Knocks would that affect Hard Knocks? No, they would just find another WH to live in. Not like there aren't empty or carebear-filled C5-C5s. They'd lose some pride and ISK but wouldn't been defeated. In a few weeks they'd be back as usual. Similarly, their attackers might lost some dreads, Bhaals and pride but I'm sure they capital-escalated it back.

To make a fight *matter*, it must affect someones (gaming) life. A wormhole empire taking holes one by one would matter NOT because it's big and get to the news, but because if it reaches your hole, you can't live your life like you did if you lose. You can join them on their terms or leave WH space. That matter.

This is something that many nullseccers did not understand too. Montolio and other HBC leaders did and started bluing.

The defeat of -A- matters NOT because they lost systems and ships. It matters because they can't live their lives they used to.

Anonymous said...

It seems like you are once again twisting a definition to satisfy your own preconceived notions about things.

But to play along - evictions in w-space *do* matter. These fortresses take a long time to build and the logistical efforts involved in building them mean that usually if the killing blow is dealt in an eviction, fail cascade follows soon after.

Even if cascade doesn't happen large scale fights like this have wide reaching ramifications throughout the wormhole community and beyond. It is clear now that the wormhole fleet strategy for evictions has now escalated to larger dreadnaught heavy fleets and the fact that large entities are getting better at projecting force across W-space quickly means that the game has changed for everyone in wormholes. This has actually been a long and progressive change.

It doesn't have to "matter" to 0.0 to "matter" to the game play of others and make sweeping and irrevocable changes to the way that they play.

Whilst it is true that people can just "move in" to another wormhole, the exact same is true of 0.0, and in fact has happened a number of times before with your old enemy -A-. They *will* return to 0.0 and take sov again, if lessons of history are anything to go by. They have been evicted from 0.0 several times. It may take longer to move a 0.0 empire in and out of space then it does to move into a single wormhole system but in the wash the outcome is the same. People leave and come back all the time.

I've been evicted from W-space before and watched my alliance crumble within weeks. I've been in W-space alliances which have done evicting and watched enemies capitulate, be rolled into other entities or disappear from w-space altogether as a result.

Anonymous said...

Have you been on the receiving end of a wormhole eviction? If not, on what basis are you saying such a thing wouldn't change the loser's gaming life? I could make the same accusation that any null entity that loses space can just go dick around on the other side of the map like nothing's changed. How is your accusation true yet mine false?

Anonymous said...

It is also worth pointing out that there are some very 'special' wormholes out there. There are only 2 C6 magnatars with a static C6 - and only 1 of these has 'perfect PI' for POS fuel manufacture. These 2 systems are highly desirable from a PvE perspective because you can run through capital escalated sites in less than 5 minutes with proper fleet comps, and they allow for relatively easy chain collapsing into other C6s for finding fights.

There are other desirable combinations - C5s with static C6s, C2s with a nulsec and a C5...

So once evicted from a nice wormhole it is true you may come back in a couple of weeks but you wont have your prized home.

Johnicholas Hines said...

Would wormhole space be more interesting if wormholes could be stabilized via some sort of player-owned structure?

"Hate Eve geometry? Forge your own geometry!"

Sugar Kyle said...

I'm going to give this a try.

Gevlon, you often like to use real world analogies, events and theories in your argument. So today, I shall do the same thing in my rebuttal of your definitions of what matters and what is real.

The world exists on both micro and macro levels. What matters can not be defined by the macro events that happen in the world because the world is not only composed of these events.

This holds true for the game. Eve is not only major events. As much of a living, breathing organism as it has become what happens in one place may not matter in another but its lack of impact does not invalidate it.

Nor does the logging of information make it more or less real. The reality of the past is still as real as the known of today. Anthropologists work to colect information from cultures that are dying and only have verbal records. Their past is still real and valid even though it is not written and was not known.

Let me move to my story of micro and macro changes and the reasons why I feel that defining something and someone as more or less real based on their size and seemingly over whelming important is an injustice to yourself.

I once got into an argument with someone over a website. The website was for a world renowed show dog kennel. This particular kennel had dominated this particular breed of dog for decades and everyone used them as a base of what was right in this breed of dog. Their blood lines were everywhere and who and what they were were everywhere.

They made a website and asked for opinions. I commented that the website was pretty but the way it was written the fact that it had links to more content was completely obscure. I thought that a more clear and less complex interface would allow greater accessibility even at the loss of some of the design elements.

I was jumped on by someone who defended them. Pointed out how special and important they where and how we should be happy they'd taken the time to make a website. He went into their contributions in the world of show dogs and ended with, "What have you done today?"

I didn't answer his comment. Because what I had done that day didn't matter. His attack was about how important they were and how unimportant I was.

What I had done was spent the last 12 hours as an emergency firefighter. From cutting someone out of their car, to putting out a car fire, to holding the pregnant teenagers hand to calm her as she entered preeclampsia, to the dozens of things that I had done that day, I could have defended myself. I, perhaps, could have even shamed him.

But I didn't have to defend myself. I've never seen any of those people again. I doubt if I did I'd recognize them. It doesn't matter. That minute in their day mattered. It was as real and important for them as the events that effected the entire linage of one type of pure bred dog.

One was small and fleeting. One spans generations. Those people may not even remember me anymore. I have dogs laying on my floor affected by the bloodlines this man raved about.

All events were real. All events were valid. All events happened. All events mattered.

Standing and defining what matters, what was real, what should count is only a matter of opinion.

From the newbies that are helped in Rookie chat to gather their balance and put their feet on the ground and enter Eve to the massive battles that render the server in lagged agony, it all matters Gevlon.

It just doesn't matter to everyone.

No more then I care about Sov Null Sec war on a personal level then Sov Null Sec war cares about my corporations existence.

Do wormholes matter? Yes.
Does low sec matter? Yes.
Does Sov space matter? Yes.
Even the much despised carebears and empire matter.

Gevlon said...

@Sugar: you misunderstood me, I did not debate any of the things you say. Maybe I wasn't clear, after all it was a Saturday quickie. I'll gather my thoughts more and write a decent post.

TheOneNite said...

James315 only claims to be stamping out afk miners and botters. Really he is setting up the framework for an extortion racket on miners, regardless of their afk/bot status, and for some reason feels the need to layer on the RP as the "lord and savior of high-sec"

Gevlon said...

Please! James315 collects 10M/year. If he'd want money, he'd be better off mining veldspar himself.

Anonymous said...

James315 extorts money due to a EULA quirk. Griefing miners by bumping them endlessly is bannable. Extortion and racketeering are perfectly legal in this game. Demanding money provides an income and also allows one to bump noncompliants without fear of a ban. Simple, elegant.

Anonymous said...

I don't really understand the point of the post. It doesn't matter because Hard Knocks can find another WH. Just as AAA can find other nullsec. They may or may not choose to, but at the end of the day, everyone can muster their forces and start again, regardless of the space they are in.

That being said, I'm in NoHo and it matters more than you think. One does not simply move into a C6 WH, much as one does not simply move into sov.

And it matters that NoHo lost....which is why you will hear about more battles.

Regardless of that, I live in a C6 and shot other people because it's fun. I find it more fun than Null.

Maybe I'm a touch lowbrow for this blog, but I still play games for fun. Eve - and WHs - are my fun. WoW is not. Each their own eh?

Anonymous said...

Also, it occurs to me what "matters" is very much in the individuals perspective. Null doesn't matter to me. I don't care who owns what or, in fact, if it's there at all. CCP could turn off null tomorrow and the only thing I would notice is more targets in WH space and less K162s.

So, rephrase the question, do WHs/LS matter to YOU? No. To me? Yes.

Much as clean drinking water for African's matters to them and season tickets to the Yankee's matters to others.

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