Friday, February 8, 2013

The "little guy" bullshit

The EVE blogosphere has a new, extremely annoying theme: "the little guy can't compete". Two probable CSM candidates, Mynnna and Jester are already on the bandwagon.

The story goes as "the space (sov-null, C5-6s) is already taken by large players and newcomers can't compete". Of course like every bullshit debate, it has two equally wrong sides, one claims that CCP should make the mechanics supporting coexistence of alliances of various sizes while the other claims that newcomers should take space by fire, the same way Goons took from BoB and TEST did from SoCo.

The debate is even more wrong than the non-consensual PvP one. The reason for it is that neither the large power actors, nor the small, weak alliances are guys. The pilots are players. The corporations and alliances are not.

Now, if players who started after 2008 would all be in highsec as all nullsec alliances would be veteran-only who don't take them, we'd have a problem to debate. But as long as a few weeks old players can join practically every color existing on the map, there is no problem. Due to the purposefully messed up economy of EVE nullsec, the only resource on this theater is players. Nullsec is a place where you spend the money you PLEX-ed or earned on your highsec alts. The more land you have, the more you have to spend. For this reason, an upcoming alliance with more players can always take land from an existing one with less.

The reason why no upcoming alliances break into the map is simply that they suck and players choose not to join them. When you say "X corp is struggling against Y", it doesn't mean that players in X are in trouble and need help from CCP. It means that the leadership of X is crap and the members are better off without them. Demanding CCP to help "small alliances" is actually demanding help for a handful of bossy nerds to become more pixel-important, to force players to be their minions.

SoCo - once home to 20K+ players - crumbled and disappeared without a trace. Does it mean 20K+ players lost the game and forced to quit or reroll as newbies? Of course not. Most of them are living in the same stations, just under different colors. Hell, Makalu himself, the de facto leader of SoCo found a new home in Pandemic Legion and soon will happily hotdrop the same ratters as before and can yell "you don't talk back to PL" to the same blues. Of course some corp and alliance leaders lost their power. But who cares about failed bossy nerds?

31 comments:

Foo said...

I don't know about null, hardly ever been there. I do know that wormhole space already protects 'the little guy'.

Anonymous said...

You are so wrong.

and then you use Goons vs Bob and TEST vs SoCo to "prove" that you can take space.

Here is a history lesson. Goons were already HUGE when they took out BoB. An enormous entity locked in what could have been an eternal struggle. It was the metagame that won it for them in the end. Without it they would never have broken BoB.

And TEST vs SoCo? Despite the fact that SoCo itself didn't even exist at all - TEST was already an ENORMOUS and entrenched entity in 0.0 when it faught -A- and friends. They used their existing position within the CFC as a major space holding entity as a launch pad for an invasion.

No new entity has this ability. At all. There are no ways for a new entity to form and carve out a piece of space by itself. They have to buddy up with others who already hold it.

The problem is actually terrible for the game. Without a mechanic which drives conflict the social nature of the human being is such that blue donuts will be formed as null reaches a state of equalibrium.


As for Wormholes.. I live in a C6. I have a static C6. I roll into completely empty systems all the time. There is no problem breaking into wormhole space. 0.0 is now essentially 3 power blocs and this doesn't make for a very interesting or fun game. Given the game is about fun, and CCP "sells fun", the blue donut is actually not very good for CCP's bottom line either.

Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

If a given challenge seems to be hard for players to overcome, it is up to the game designer to sit down and figure out if he really wants that challenge to be so hard.

In a lot of cases, the challenge is actually too hard, and "helping the small guy" would actually make the game better by making it more fun for more players.

Now, there are players who seem to take pride in their ability to tough through unfun scenarios and "win". These players have existed since the dawn of gaming, call themselves "hardcore" "true" gamers and generally insist that the entire game should be about them. "True PvP" is just a facet of this larger phenomenon.

Sometimes (and by sometimes i mean a lot of times) though, the game is better served by metaphorically telling those self-appointed elites to stuff it and help out the "little guy".

You are right that Eve suffers from having an additional layer of "little corps" on top of the "little guys", and that design that helps "little corps" won't necessarily make it more fun for the actual guys inside.

But bashing the entire notion of helping the "little guy" just because Eve design has issues with direct access to individual player experience is not the way to go.

Chris K. said...

"The reason why no upcoming alliances break into the map is simply that they suck and players choose not to join them."

Can you honestly say Rote Kapelle "sucks"? Because in terms of skill and dedication they rival PL.

So far it just happens that you've been part of very popular/famous corps and you think this is the norm everyone should strive for.

Anonymous said...

So, you're trying to say that it ONLY takes an alliance to get the size of CFC or HBC and there would be no problem? I don't see any chances of that happening.

Gevlon said...

You are still missing the point. If HBC would capture the whole map and hold it eternally, it's still not a problem as long as the "little guy" can get into a HBC corp.

You - A PLAYER - has no problem getting to sov-null or C6. Alliances be damned, they are not players and no one cares for their fate than their leaders.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon

So you're saying that there is a way for a new entity to claim some space in null... by joining a large bluedonut alliance. I don't think that's what null was designed for.

Chris K. said...

"You are still missing the point. If HBC would capture the whole map and hold it eternally, it's still not a problem as long as the "little guy" can get into a HBC corp."

So essentially the answer for the small corps is to be assimilated by the Borg? And then everyone lives happily ever after, in a sea of blues?

"You - A PLAYER - has no problem getting to sov-null or C6. Alliances be damned, they are not players and no one cares for their fate than their leaders."

Corps & Alliances = players. You are asocial and as such think that all social ties are utter nonsense. I'd love to see you try to sell this to a small group of firends (say, 10 people) that want to play EVE together.

I know, I know, friends... pfff... who needs those losers, right?

Von Keigai said...

If HBC would capture the whole map and hold it eternally, it's still not a problem as long as the "little guy" can get into a HBC corp.

No, you are missing the point. Let us agree that any player can go to null by joining a corp in a massive bloc. But why would that player want to go? What is the draw of null?

Now, I have never lived there so I am not an expert. But I can tell you the outsider perspective: null is cool because of sov warfare, and only because of sov warfare. Other than sov warfare, it has little to offer. If you want solo PVP, go to wspace. If you want small gang PVP, go to lowsec. If you want to mine or do industry, go to highsec.

Alkarasu said...

@Chris K.
"I'd love to see you try to sell this to a small group of firends (say, 10 people) that want to play EVE together."

Now can you, please, elaborate, why the hell that small group of friends can't play EVE together if they using this method of getting into sov-holding alliance?

"I know, I know, friends... pfff... who needs those losers, right?"

Wrong. Nothing in this post claims, that you can't play with your friends as much, as you'd like. And you hadn't provided any insight in why joining some big alliance will suddenly stop them from being your friends, especially if they are very well capable to join it as easy, as you did.

Gevlon said...

@Von Keigai: "little guy" or "newbie" can only be defined on a player. There is no such thing as "newbie corp". If Shadoo would start a highsec corp for whatever reason, that corp would be anything but newbie despite 1 day old.

If we agree that newbie players can get to sov-holders, we don't have a problem.

It's obvious that some corps can't win a competitive game, but it's inevitable.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon

"It's obvious that some corps can't win a competitive game, but it's inevitable."

And THAT is the point of "little guy" having no chances in null. To fully understand it, replace the word "some" by "all who are not coalition-size with appropriate assets". No one at the moment can challenge null-holders except null-holders themselves.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: again, it's an error. The "guy" and "one" refers to a player/pilot and not organization. Does the corp name matters? Does it make any difference if you live in VFK as a Goon or as member of an alliance destroyed the Goons? You live on the station, shoot reds along with blues. Who cares if blues are called "Goons" or "TEST" or "My little pony fanclub"

Anonymous said...

"Does the corp name matters?"

Of course it does. You see, most Eve players as social and they (more or less) identify themselves with the corp/alliance they're in. They would like to take sov with their friends and have fun doing it. Right now, they are blobbed away. Pretty much everyone who knows a thing about nullsec, also knows this. CCP knows it too and they already made it clear that they want to address thys exact issue in the future.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: the idea that you can get sov with whatver friends you have is bizarre. This way highsec AFK miners could demand CCP to change sov system that they can get and hold sov with their mining corp.

Anonymous said...

"the idea that you can get sov with whatver friends you have is bizarre"

To you it may be bizarre. To social players it's just natural. Without it, Eve would be de facto a single player game, not a MMO. Let's take your proficiency for example - trading. Would it make any difference if your market opponents were just AI (without changing their behaviour)? No, it would not. Players bond together and want to do things like sov together. That's why they are speaking out loud about the problem.

whatever said...

Things are going bad for the CCP corporate vermin and the Nullbears?

How strange. It is a puzzle wrapped in an enigma. You weren't around in early 2012. Jester and other drooling scumbags declared Holy Nullsec War on anything but being a slave to Nullbears.

1.Drone Minerals-> removed

2.Invention-> gutted

3.Incursions-> gutted

4.Various other things I can't be bothered to look up.

And now it's gone bad! Instead of prancing about mocking a few sane High Sec people they are desperately whining.

I mock them.

I wonder when they purged the people who actually made Eve?

Dersen Lowery said...

AFK miners should certainly be able to give it the old college try. Whether they succeeded or not would depend heavily on how much they remained AFK in null.

Nullsec was originally described as a "frontier," with the clear implication that, as with my ancestors, you stake your own claim in unsettled land and carve out your own life. The *whole point* is to put together a corp/alliance, pack up the Conestogas, and head west.

"You can be a renter/pet in nullsec" is not an answer to the desire for *sovereignty*, which has a very specific meaning. I've seen TEST's terms for renting a system, and I've rejected them. In effect that means rejecting sov null, and so I've done that, too. There is nothing about it that is attractive to me, and nothing that will be until there are cataclysmic changes. Literally every other part of EVE is better for the little guy, especially if they don't take the game so ~seriously~.

Gevlon said...

There is no CCP code that stop you and your friends from joining PL. If you are all accepted to PL, you can play together in null.

If you can join all together to TEST, or SOLAR, or whatever, you can play together.

The problem of socials is that their friends are in different play level. While some might get into PL, others not.

However this problem cannot be solved by any competitive game developer. In a competitive game you can't carry your weaker friends around.

Alkarasu said...

@18:33 Anonymous
"To social players it's just natural."

The idea, that you can (and, by all means, must be able to) take and hold territory with a group of any size, involvement and skills can be "just natural" only to natural morons, sociality have nothing to do with it.

"Players bond together and want to do things like sov together."

So the only thing they need to do it is to spend sufficient effort. What they speaking about is not that, it's "we don't want to do anything, but we feel entitled for some rewards". Because if they really want that sov, they can get it, if they spend the same amount of effort, as those, who got it earlier.

@Dersen Lowery
"The *whole point* is to put together a corp/alliance, pack up the Conestogas, and head west."

I see, you successfully managed to miss a huge chunk of life of your ancestors. Like, you know, no one guranteed, that while heading west they will come out of it alive and with land. Because they understood pretty well, that "you stake your own claim in unsettled land and carve out your own life." is bullshit if you are not ready and capable to protect your right on your claim.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon

"If you can join all together to TEST, or SOLAR, or whatever, you can play together."

That has already been shown to be a flawed argument.

"However this problem cannot be solved by any competitive game developer. In a competitive game you can't carry your weaker friends around."

You are true on that, but the power imbalance of Eve is so absurdly large, taht it threatens the gameplay itself. Null is a blue all around and there is nothing powerful enough to challenge that. Witch each day, the problem gets bigger and bigger.

Anonymous said...

"The idea, that you can (and, by all means, must be able to) take and hold territory with a group of any size, involvement and skills can be "just natural" only to natural morons, sociality have nothing to do with it."

I agree with you. That's why I didn't say the things you're talking about. Please read with coprehension if you want to contribute to the discussion.

" What they speaking about is not that, it's "we don't want to do anything, but we feel entitled for some rewards"."

No, it's exactly the opposite. Potential new sov holders like to spend effort, but current game situation proves that to be unrealistic. No matter how much effort they spend, current null holders will get even more powerful at the same time. That's the point - new people have no chance in null, unless null changes itself.

Alkarasu said...

@09:30 Anonymous
"That's why I didn't say the things you're talking about."

But you did! Let's retrace the conversation:
Gevlon said: "the idea that you can get sov with whatver friends you have is bizarre."
You replied: "To you it may be bizarre. To social players it's just natural."

In this context it's as good, as directly saying, that you think the wish to be able to get sov with any group composition natural to any social player. And next you say: "Players bond together and want to do things like sov together." - which is direct indication, that they not only have that wish, but you support it as completely natural.
So, who's in need to read with comprehension?

"Potential new sov holders like to spend effort, but current game situation proves that to be unrealistic."

...exactly because that effort is quite big and they don't want to spend that much. You somehow forget, that current sov owners had to spend it, already. Remember, how Goonswarm was at the beginning? No supers, no sov, just a bunch of Rifters, no clear goal, just a bunch of friends doing things together. And BoB at that time was in exactly same position, as Goons are now - everyone thought them near invincible. They had sov, they had income as no one else, they had most of caps and supercaps in New Eden, they had numbers, they had everything needed to complete the blue circle, if they ever wanted to... where are they now?

"That's the point - new people have no chance in null, unless null changes itself."

That's the bullshit, yes. New people have all the chances in null anyone ever had. They just don't want to spend several years making those chances come true. Like Goons or TEST did, or others before them. Like someone yet unknown will do again some day.

Azuriel said...

@Gevlon

Do you realize that you are directly suggesting leeching? "Don't bother with your own corp, just join the winners and reap the benefits." You had to assuage your own cognitive dissonance in TEST with billions of donations, but why? Why not take your own advice and have simply joined and automatically won the game?

Because it's boring. People go to null to take ownership over something. If a handful of friends join HBC, they get access to hundreds of systems they did not earn themselves, e.g. they're boosted.

You are correct insofar that the current situation is a natural, inevitable result. And I would probably suggest that wormholes are CCP's concession to latecomers being able to own fake-sov. But the underlying dissatisfaction is both real and understandable. Any sandbox with player ownership of resources is going to fill up such that new players never get the experience of throwing down their own flag on unclaimed land.

Anonymous said...

"In this context it's as good, as directly saying, that you think the wish to be able to get sov with any group composition natural to any social player."

Your implication is flawed. There was no mention of any skills, just the social aspect. Needed skills/resources are obvious.

"So, who's in need to read with comprehension?"

Still - you do. You are making wrong assumptions, which you use to support your arguments.

"...exactly because that effort is quite big and they don't want to spend that much"

Nope, they want, but they can't.

"You somehow forget, that current sov owners had to spend it, already."

Yes - when the situation was less dramatic than today. Now, current coalitions can just blob with supers anyone that comes in their way. And there is no force that can go against it. The core problem is that their strength is increasing faster then non-sovholders. It's a race that cannot be won by any new group.

"New people have all the chances in null anyone ever had. They just don't want to spend several years making those chances come true."

Oh, yeah and CFC/HBC will just sit there waiting, right? They won't be building new supers, creating bigger blobs, right? Their pilots won't be getting more skills, right? They won't be getting absurdly rich, right? Think before you write, cause that's just bad.

Alkarasu said...

@01:21Anonymous
"Needed skills/resources are obvious."

If it's so obvious, then all this "Little guy problem" is an obvious bullshit. Because it's quite obvious, that sov game is not made for the little guy anyway.

"Nope, they want, but they can't."

And why? Bad Goons don't let them log in? Nasty TEST don't let them cooperate with other players? Evil CCP removed sov contest mechanisms from the game? No? Then where is the problem?

"Now, current coalitions can just blob with supers anyone that comes in their way. "

Then you can either wait untill they start to super-blob each other from pure boredom, or you can infiltrate them and undermine their claim from the inside.

"The core problem is that their strength is increasing faster then non-sovholders."

And that's bullshit because it doesn't matter, how fast their strength grows. There are much worse enemy, then any fleet or alliance, and it will inevitably hit them.

"CFC/HBC will just sit there waiting, right?"

Right. What else is there for them to do? There are no enemies of any significance left. Only thing left for them is to wait for one to appear.
Or to blow each other up, liquidating the problem of them being too powerful directly.

"They won't be building new supers, creating bigger blobs, right? "

And what's the point for them to do it? No one can take on them as they are now anyway, there are no even a place to build that super fleet, that they don't control. The only reason for them to continue producing titans is to rat in those titans. Or to wage civil war.

"Their pilots won't be getting more skills, right?"

There is only one set of skills, that affect any given ship. The moment you got them all to V, no amount of time will make you any better with it.

"They won't be getting absurdly rich, right?"

You can get absurdly rich, blue circle alliance scale rich, without ever leaving Jita or even undocking, do it really fast, and with no prior knowledge of the game. Look at Gevlon, for example. So no, it doesn't matter.

"Think before you write, cause that's just bad."

I'm always thinking before I write. And you, as it seems, forgot to do your homework on how and why invincible empires fall apart. And they always do.

Anonymous said...

@Alkarasu

Judging by the things you wrote, you're either one of the few who don't understand the situation in null at all or you're just pretending to support your arguments. Either way, you have stated your opinion and people will judge you on it. I see no point in continuing this farce. Just don't be surprised when (not IF) CCP fixes the very problems you claim to not exist.

Von Keigai said...

Gevlon, you seem to have missed entirely the point of what I wrote.

I agree with you that newbies -- people -- can get to null. I suspect that corps can actually get there too, if they work hard and kiss ass appropriately. But this does not matter. As you say, not all corps can be Goonswarm. This is not a problem.

The problem, if I may reiterate, is that a blue donut without conflict eliminates the one thing that null has going for it: sov warfare. The problem is not that a man cannot get into the blue donut. The problem is that there is no reason for him to want to.

Alkarasu said...

@09:51Anonymous
"I see no point in continuing this farce."

How predictable. You didn't bother to provide a single viable argument above "everyone can see it", and when you managed to finally notice it, it all suddenly became a "farce", where I don't understand simple things. It's so cliche, that it stopped being funny about 2000 B.C.

"Just don't be surprised when (not IF) CCP fixes the very problems you claim to not exist."

Me? Be surprised, that people may try to fix something, that is not even slightly cracked, instead of fixing something obviously falling apart? And from CCP, who are famous for such a behaviour? You still can tell funny jokes.
On the other hand, don't be too dissapointed, when your invincible gods of null will suddenly blow up without any outside interference. It's inevitable as sunrise, but you look like one who may find it unexpected.

Anonymous said...

@Alkarasu

So, despite most people living in null recognizing and talking about that every problem, CSM members/candidates talking about that problem, countless articles written about it, CCP recognizing it, recent events showing how easy is to current powerblocks to blob anyone with supers and even Gevlon indirectly admitting it by saying that newcomers should join EXISTING alliances if they want to take some sov, you claim that I have no arguments and the problem doesn't exist. Your arguments? Because in the early days, when there was no problem... there was no problem. More - when I say that null has to change to overcome it, you say that... null has to change by current holders to start shooting each other. When I say current powers increase their power faster than any other can, you say that this is not a problem because they can suddenly stop to increase their power ("And what's the point for them to do it?" - so no one can challenge them, obviously). Ok, let it be your way - you have won the argument if thinking that makes you happy. I will continue to call it a farce.

Alkarasu said...

@Anonymous
"So, despite most people"

You see, there are one interesting notion about nearly anything, that "most people" agree on. It's that nearly every time they are, indeed, very wrong. Remember those happy days, when most people agreed upon the Earth being flat? It was quite obvious thing for everyone. They even burned some stupid people, who claimed otherwise, you know.

"recent events showing how easy is to current powerblocks to blob anyone with supers"

And the reason for the "most people", allowing them to keep that flawless record of the endless chain of stupid mistakes is exactly that - infectious inability to see the forest beyond all those pesky trees. Yes, recent events show, that current powerblocks can easily decimate anyone, who looks at them funny. And I don't remember ever denying that! They most obviously can, but that can't and won't save them. because you, and your "most people" fail to see, that "can" in this context is very-very present tense. Right now there are no power in New Eden (except CCP), that can really challenge null powerblocks. And that would herald an eternal peace and stagnation - if, and only if, those powerblocks consist of a single man, sworn to lay his life on maintaining the blue ring. Fortunately, that's not the case. In the current situation them getting at each other throats is not a matter of "IF", only of "WHEN".

"even Gevlon indirectly admitting it by saying that newcomers should join EXISTING alliances if they want to take some sov"

Sure, if you want your own piece of sov right now, you should really consider joining them immediately.
The thing is, this "right now" is in present tense too. Most people can't take waiting - any amount of waiting, really, so for them that's a viable solution of getting in null with no waiting. They may even get some "real" sov when it all will start to crumble once more.

"Because in the early days, when there was no problem... there was no problem."

But in the early days there was a problem! The very same one. Blobbing was possible in EVE from day 1, from minute 1. That mechanic was never really changed. And in early days there was invincible powerblocks around, Goons got known and feared for destroying one of those.

"More - when I say that null has to change to overcome it, you say that... null has to change by current holders to start shooting each other. "

You have some very... strange reading skills. I don't say null have to change, directly the opposite. They will start shooting each other with no interference. Actually, the less interference they get, the faster this process will be.

"When I say current powers increase their power faster than any other can, you say that this is not a problem because they can suddenly stop to increase their power "

And why not? To increase that power they need to expend resources. With the goal in mind it's a normal thing to do - you can never be sure you got enough. With no goal... well, that's another story. There are very limited amount of people, ready to do something boring to, well, do that same something boring some more.

"so no one can challenge them, obviously"

No on can challenge them already. You know it, I know it, they know it.

"I will continue to call it a farce."

Too bad. What can really make me happy is to see someone to start to think and see. You had barricaded yourself beyond the wall of "everyone knows that" and refuse to look outside. That's sad.

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