Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Solo is alone

I've written about it multiple times: EVE Online is very solo friendly MMO and does not support group play outside of nullsec Sov war (where it support huge fleets). Now I can talk about another aspect of it: suicide ganking.

I started it in the New Order fleets. I couldn't gank anything alone due to low skillpoints and no clue how to do it. I flew dozens of fleets as scout, ganker and even as FC. I learned it inside out and also gained skillpoints to T2 guns. From there I was able to hit Retrievers and Covetors with pods in 0.5-0.6, Hulks with pods in 0.5, without in 0.6 and Mackinaws in 0.5. Solo I wasn't bound to other people, I could act completely according to my own schedule. It was much more efficient, even if I was bound to 0.5-0.6 and had to pass on juicy but somewhat tanked targets. Since its easier to find targets where dozens of other people don't gank, so I moved away from the main New Order fleet and started to solo gank, never looked back.

Why is it a problem? Because it's another example of the "better alone" design of EVE. No matter what aspect of the game you look at, the skilled player has no reason to team up with others, as he can get the highest efficiency by playing alone. The best gankers of the New Order are playing (mostly) solo, therefore the fleets, where the newbie members could learn, are suffering. Of course we could play in fleets, but it would be an altruist move, sacrificing our own efficiency to help others. I saw the same with missioning, mining, trading and now with ganking.

On the one hand it's great as it allows the player to rely on no one else, therefore his results coming only from his own performance. On the other hand it's expelling social players, since it limits "team" aspect to "chatting while playing solo". I am on the minerbumping channel but my participation is limited to sharing kills and answering technical questions. We no longer play together, despite we keep on fighting the same campaign.

I'm not sure if it's a problem at all. After all I always supported a-social approach to problems. I enjoy playing this way and clearly others too, or EVE wouldn't exist. It's a weird way of "EVE is real", being much more life-like than other games where certain activities (raiding, battlegrounds) demand players to team up. In EVE not only you can do everything alone but you are better off. Sov is the only exception but Sov is itself an altruistic activity, its income is way below what you can gain in highsec.

No wisdom here, no solution. This post is just what it looks: even ganking is a lonely activity.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's not true man. Solo is good only in PVE (you do charity when teaming up less efficient players and split rewards) and in few cases of PVP.

Your rule is Only applied given the fact that target is weak enough for you to take it out solo. If it would so happen that you needed atleast 3 cats to gank simple mackinaw, you could throw your "solo" through the window eve if you multiboxed, assuming not using macros. Try soloing that latest Orca kill in MB.

As a solo player, ganker and a hunter, I was furious often when found juicy targets bigger than i could take on. Only solution was to multibox, then i could gank them on my own schedule or call in others, which is not flexible in time, but much more efficient.

Solo is best in every game up to certain level. But try "solo" play and get some kills in low sec, wh, or even null. And I am not talking about trash frigate fights, but something more Juicy. See how many opportunities you miss because you are too weak, because you get outgunned, how many targets escaped because you could not hold them off.

In short. Solo is for PVE, and group is for PVP. That is how eve is designed. It's a sandbox where you can shoot everyone in the face. And how big prey you can get is same rule as in nature, when you see a lot of hyenas "ganking" bigger target.

Anonymous said...

"EVE Online is very solo friendly MMO and does not support group play outside of nullsec Sov war (where it support huge fleets)."

what makes you assume this? I guess you have heard about Incursions.
Try to fly even the "easiest" of them solo. You would be surprised no matter if doing them in 0.0, low, high-sec.

Or what about cap escalations in C5/C6 Wormholes lesser size the Assault/HQ/Mom Incursion sites yet a group is required to handle them.

Yes those are not a group activities of a matching size compared to 0.0 Blobbing.
Nevertheless they are at current stage impossible to experience solo (multiboxing left out).

Anonymous said...

"I've written about it multiple times: EVE Online is very solo friendly MMO and does not support group play outside of nullsec Sov war"

And you have been shown to be wrong on this numerous times by commenters. The thing is - if you look only at numbers, you might be right that certain aspects of the game are better solo. Missioning is usually better solo, trading is better solo, industry probably too. But there's a crapton of things that are better in group, both in numerical and psychological terms. The first commenter gave a couple of examples. In fact, you are a little bit socializing yourself:

"I am on the minerbumping channel but my participation is limited to sharing kills and answering technical questions."

You are bragging about kills (thus profiting from a psychological point of view) and helping others (thus making them profit more by being sociable). You have proven yourself wrong, dear goblin.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: my participation in minerbumping could be completely done outside of the client. We aren't playing together, we play alone and talk about it. It's not different from two footballers talking on some forum.

Anonymous said...

I've been gatecamping a bit recently. It's best done with eyes at least two systems out in every direction, and you want several people to spread that work.

Solo gatecamping means you need to put a much shinier ship on the line, and suffer worse intel, which makes you a tempting target for baiting, and worse equipped to detect the trap.

Pretty sure one three-man gatecamp beats three one-man gatecamps.

Anonymous said...

Your post is totally accurate except that you completely disregard PvP. Pretty hard to even dual box when in the middle of a figth, ask dbrb about it...

But i guess that doesn't really count for a carebear like you :)

Kristophr said...

You just need bigger targets is all.

More Orca ganking.

Anonymous said...

"my participation in minerbumping could be completely done outside of the client. We aren't playing together, we play alone and talk about it. It's not different from two footballers talking on some forum. "

Yet, you ARE doing it, which basically means you are socializing for increased profit/effectiveness. In fact, if you were doing it on some forum, would it matter? Eve still made you socialize with other players.

Malcolm Shinhwa said...

OMG please say it isn't so. Reading minerbumping.com the past few days has re-energized my enthusiasm for Eve. I was ready to just let my sub lapse after only 3 months. I found that the Eve promise of a "cold, dark universe where PvP can happen any time" was a farse. The most isk/hr to fund anything is in hisec and PvP is almost non-existant in hisec mining freakin' scordite.

The only group activity I've found is people 'grinding missions.' That sounds like a blast and if I have to rescue that f-ing damsel one more time I'm going to self-destruct my ship.

So I go on minerbumping and hear about groups of bumpers selling permits and wonderful ganking fleets raining holy antimatter on the infidels. I started a trial just so I can start skilling my own pirate! Only now you're telling me.. skill up a few alts and go alone??

Wonderful game. All the PvP could apparently be replaced by sleeper NPCs who could also produce tears in local.

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