Friday, August 30, 2013

Corporations/guilds only have their restrictions to offer

Each MMOs have player groups. Guilds, clans, corporations. Why to join them? The answer seems obvious: because these groups control resources: a successful WoW raiding guild can get you heroic epic items, a sov-holder EVE alliance can provide you access to jump bridges, stations, reimbursements and blob kill reports. They all give a collection of players who will help you in various things.

However this is a dumb answer. The corporations and guilds have no resources. Every item, station and piece of currency is claimed by the members. Unless you join to be a leech/thief at the first place, you will work for your own stuff. I mean as all resources are created by members and distributed to members, the average member gets exactly as much as he gives, by definition of the term "average". It is true that often the form of contribution is different from the form of reward. For example the typical EVE Nullsec alliance pilot contributes his time flying in a fleet that capture moons and rented space and he receives ship reimbursements. But such specialization is done without formal grouping in highsec by trading: you run missions that give ISK and LP and can trade the LP shop items for minerals that others mined.

If not resources, then maybe it's "friends". The groups facilitate positive interaction between a subset of players. However such groups could be created by game mechanics too and such attempts are not successful. The NPC corp in EVE has no corp life and the "Looking for Dungeon/Raid" feature is considered a horrible social experience suffered only for the extra rewards. Considering that these features connect you to a sample of the playerbase, collecting another sample of the same playerbase should provide exactly the same result: annoyance.

"But my corp/guild isn't just random players" - you might say and you are right. Not everyone can get into your group. Since your group is a subset of the playerbase, the only thing the group can do is set restrictions. For example a HC raider WoW guild only recruit people who can keep 95%+ raid attendance, have X ilvl and Y bosses killed. In EVE Pandemic Legion only takes you if you have a carrier and decent killboard history. These are all restrictions, locking out large segment of the playerbase.

The restrictions the group looks negative to the player at first glance: "I can do X, Y and Z in the NPC crop, if I join this group, I will be banned from doing Y and Z". Why does anyone submit to such restrictions? Because he gets something important: groupmembers who are similarly restricted. Joe might want to do X, V and W. Since you don't like V and find W especially disgusting, you can't play with Joe in an unstructured environment. But you can both join a group which bans Y, Z, V and W, letting you do only X which you both like. The only thing that the gaming groups have to to offer is a set of restrictions that ban other players from activities that would harm/annoy you.

This came up when comments questioned what my corp has to offer besides restrictive rules? The answer is - just like for every other EVE corp is: nothing. Restrictive rules are all I have to offer. Let me explain these rules from a "what do I get" perspective:
  • Provide 5B worth of solo highsec ganks every month. This rule guarantees that every other member is a seasoned ganker. If you see an Orca that needs 8 Catalysts to gank, you can form a fleet of 8 without having to worry that someone sits in a T1 cata, cannot overheat, has his safety green or fails in some other way. You, just need to do your job, they will do theirs.
  • Zero nullsec, lowsec or WH kills. Killboard is a simple way of measuring activity and performance. But it has the technical problem of giving every killer the full value of the kill. If you had a noobship in Asakai, you could get nearly a trillion ISK kills by your civilian guns. This rule guarantee that the killboard data of the other members are not inflated by such killmail whoring.
  • The corp chat is for sharing kills, asking questions, discussing strategies, trading equipment and forming fleets against whales. Not for jokes, stories, "funny" picture links or other random crap. This guarantees that the corp chat will never turn into something you'd like to turn off, it won't be spammed by irrelevant nonsense and it's not ignored by everyone but trolls. If you ask a question, you get an answer and not trolling and lols.
  • Teach! This is why we are here. Your bio should contain teaching (see example below), you should link the kill on local channel to alert others, and to send them to your bio. It guarantees that others are doing the job too, so the goal of changing EVE is reachable, it's not just you against the legion of morons and slackers.
  • Be self sufficient, don't beg for ships or modules! This guarantees that no one leeches on you.
Many people think that such restrictions make the game not fun. Which is the point! These people don't belong to the corp and the only way to keep them out is making the game not fun for them if they still join. I want to find people whose fun is not limited by these rules - on the contrary, their fun would be damaged by the activities I've banned: non-performance, kill-whoring, idle chat, porn links, griefing people and begging.

While I claim that every single game group works this way, I do not claim that they use formalized rules. They often run by "we are a friendly group, join and let's have fun". Here the limits are set by actions of the leadership, what they do, what they tolerate and what they don't. This is what's dubbed as "the personality of the leader matters". I could run the same corp without written rules, simply by constantly bitching on kill-whores, yelling on porn-spammers celebrating performers and trolling beggars. I simply prefer a formalized ruleset instead of "unwritten rules".

The main positive of written rules is less noise. No one will join here who doesn't belong. The main negative is harder start. By having a generic "join and have fun", you can collect filler people to make the corp lively and active, make the impression that it's not a "start from zero". I terminated my business, focused all my efforts here, I'm here for the long run, I am fine if the corp will be very small for months.

I seriously hope that people will find this kind of play desirable. I find it desirable, I don't find my play limited by the rules above. Unless I'm one-of-a-kind, the corp won't be empty. It is very likely that 99% of the players would find this corp not fun. But considering that there are about 200K players in EVE, I still have 2K prospective members. To get them in, all I need is to stick to these rules and prove that I mean them.


PS: for the first time I started scanning. Mining barges. I just love my new scout Tengu. I also tested that you can't be ganked in a mining mission as the ganker arrives at the mission entrance even if the scout is standing next to you. A ganky catalyst can't just travel 10+ km because the police drones attack it if it's below -5 security status.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I also learned that you can't be ganked in a mining mission as the ganker arrives at the mission entrance even if the scout is standing next to you."

Didn't you already know that?

http://greedygoblin.blogspot.de/2013/04/6-8mhour-for-fresh-newbie-while-afk-20m.html

Foo said...

As a technical correction to your post, corporations own POS, not players.

If you are in a wormhole, and access to (mostly) secure storage you will be in a player corporation.

You may decide that it is better for 7 players to share 1 large POS than to try to pay for fuel for a small POS for yourself. A large POS is significantly harder to destroy than a small POS, at least in class 1-4 wormholes.

All of the above said, I use my own 'restrictions' to attract some players, and discourage others.

My restrictions ultimately boil down to :
* You will know how to fill in an API key (technical challenge beyond some players)
* You will spend 2 days of character time learning industry (i.e. no pure gank catalyst pilots)

Gevlon said...

@Foo: players can own POS-es via a 1-man corp. In the post I was talking about "real corps" with other people.

@Anonymous: text fixed, meant to write "I also tested"

Anonymous said...

So can people mine in your gank corp?

Gevlon said...

yes of course, as long as they provide the 5B/month kills.

maxim said...

@Gevlon

You are discounting specialisation way too easily in my opinion.

While general trading in highsec does provide a degree of specialisation, i doubt it is really enough for all the tasks a specific player may want to achieve in the game. In fact, you having to create your own gank corp to get the kind of specialisation you require is the best illustration of this.

Furthermore, rules not only shield you from things that you don't find fun, they also amplify things you do find fun.

When people ask you "what does your corp offer me", they are really asking: "what kind of fun does your corp help deliver?"

I think it would be helpful if you spent a little bit more time fleshing out the kind of fun you are after, and want your members to contribute to. If you do that, you'll actually be able to answer the question of "what does your corp offer me?" in a positive manner.

Unless understanding what kind of fun you are offering just from the limitations is a rite of passage in itself. I don't think you are yet on the level where this kind of PR policy can be justified, though.

Lucas Kell said...

@Gevlon
I think you misunderstand what we were saying in your other post. Most corps have rules, we accept that. But most corps offer something the individual can't get alone. So for example in my corp, I'm able to rat and mine in null, have easy access to boosts, have shared comms and intel, and have logistics support so I don't need to personally JF everything I need in and out of high sec.

Your corp doesn't offer anything beyond what the ganker can get already. All your corp offers is restrictions, with no gain. A ganker that can already get 3b kills/month solo won't need to join your corp to continue doing that. He doesn't get shared comms, he doesn't get any kind of logistics. At best, he might get a group once in a while, but chances are because none of your members know each other, groups will take a long time to form and coordination will be awful. It's like anyone that joins your corps gives but doesn't get any reward for pushing your agenda. If I were a ganker looking for a home, I'd see what you are asking and say "definitely not" because it looks like you want your members to give everything and get nothing. Comparatively other ganking corps offer everything you offer, but they also offer SRP, comms and structure.

Gevlon said...

Compare the corp with what the ganker has while being alone (this is a corp for mainly solo gankers after all).

You have no chat at all, you can ask help from nobody. So these two rules don't put him any worse position than solo.

The 5B/month is necessary for him to be useful, if he can't pull that, he isn't a solo ganker.

The only real restriction is no null/wh/low kills with his ganker char.

What the corp gives is mostly ability to gank Orcas and tanked Mackinaws.

Zax said...

@Gevlon

"You have no chat at all, you can ask help from nobody. So these two rules don't put him any worse position than solo."

There are channels apart from corp chat. If the point of your corp chat is to ask for help and advice, then what differentiates corp chat from any number of ingame channels? Aside from having the corp history on your employment record of course.

Anonymous said...

"But it has the technical problem of giving every killer the full value of the kill."

Didn't you already offer a solution to this problem? By just splitting the total kill value and giving each player just as much as he contributed to the kill?

I don't understand why you don't make use of that technique.

Lucas Kell said...

The ability to gank orcas and tanked mackinaws is firstly yet to be seen, and secondly not likely to be a huge driving force. And for the restrictions you put in place, it's not likely to be worth joining you. Other ganking corps offer the ability to kill orcas, freighters, tanked exhumers, but at the same time don't restrict their pilots. They also offer comms, which is relatively vital for pulling off a well coordinated gank, and they often offer SRP so you can just grab a ship and away you go. Other ganking corps also offer an orca service, so solo gankers don't need to train an orca pilot on a 2nd account to hold their ships.

This is why we ask, what do YOU offer that no other ganking corp does?
You can't say "our members are more pro!" because that remains to be seen. It's not hard to run a ganker solo, you can grab a fit off of any number of sites run a training plan you can download for EVEmon, then it's just a case of shooting at ships you know will explode after prepping the system. Even you yourself have said how easy it is for a ganker to get his KB up solo. For a coordinated gank of a larger targt though, I'd want to know that the pilots I'm flying with are experienced in group ganking. Other gank corps offer me that and more.

Gevlon said...

No CORP has SRP or orca service. ISK and Orcas don't jump out of the ground. Someone has to drive that Orca, someone has to pay money into that SRP. Who does it I wonder?

And if he does, will he asks nothing in return? There is no free lunch.

Lucas Kell said...

I'm guessing what your trying to get at is that a member of the corp has to provide that service. Well yes of course, but that doesn't mean the service isn't provided. The corp finds a player who wants to provide that service, and that's what they do. That's pretty much our point. In your corp you have to do EVERYTHING yourself, so you have no benefit. In a regular ganking corp SRP and Orca services are provided by people who like doing those roles.

I'm a market trader in my alliance. It's my duty to ensure that sections of the market have a reasonably priced items for sale within my given areas. I enjoy manufacturing and trading those items. I don;t however enjoy running a jump freighter. Another member of my alliance enjoys running a jump freighter, but doesn't enjoy industry or trading. His job is to courier goods to and from high sec. See how in this relationship we both benefit by excelling at our own individual roles? This example is a boiled down version of what goes on in all corporations.

Corps are made up of these symbiotic relationships, and that's what people join corps for. Joining your corp give me no room to use my individual skills to help others in the group and gives me no benefit from other individuals skills. Your corp idea is basically a collection of independent players with the same skillset all under the same label. You are not harnessing the individuality of the players that makes a corporation strong.

Sugar Kyle said...

If they don't have 5b a month in kills they are not a ganker? Maybe not for your corps standards but that is no different from saying they are not a pvper because they haven't soloed a battleship or not a miner because they don't have perfect refine.

Those type of statements tend to run away with with your attempted point.

Gevlon said...

Having a service provided by other is only symbiotic if it's provided to many people at once.

For example you are not trading for one guy, you are trading for hundreds. The JF pilot hauls the wares of hundreds. If someone in your corp want to do it all by himself, he'll be very inefficient, his JF will go with 5-10% load, his market trading alt has lot of orders empty.

But a gank Orca pilot can't haul for more than one at a time as gankers act in different systems. Also, relocating cannot be preplanned, I move when no miners are available to gank. I can do that because I have my Orca which is always right where I want it. No other player can do it for me without being my slave.

Lucas Kell said...

But by coordinating from nearby systems, you could make use of each others orca pilots. By putting someone in charge of sourcing cheaper ships, you could reduce cost. By sharing loot into an SRP fund, you could all ensure you are equally able to continue ganking.

What you have just explained with a JF pilot doing the freighting and the selling himself, your corp does just that. It's horribly inefficient for each individual ganker to need to haul his own orca around. I'd be surprised if mot gankers would be willing to put the time and money into running a 2nd account just to run an orca pilot, especially when there are so many good ganking corps out there offering all the services they need.

Provi Miner said...

Hmmm ok you are wrong, sorry. "Groups can only offer restrictions". Lets use EVE as our basis for disagreement. Example 1: you tackle a carrier in Rahadolin sure everyone will show up (your point of view holds up for the moment) bring a jump freighter in and ask for help (oops here is the first nope, you're wrong) and see what happens. 2: you're a bit short on isk? you can ask in local maybe you get it maybe you don't. Ask in corp and as long as it is a "bit" (call it under 20 million) you should have it. 3: resources? Well obviously you are saying the resources already exist in which case the corp doesn't own them. I however submit that the corp controls access to these materials which in and of itself is a resource. (knowledge, access, and support are all resources just as much as that roid of arkornor). Getting jumped bya cata? solo your screwed in a corp good chance your call for help is actually answered. So in fact I have just given you between 3 and 6 things groups do that are not limiting that would be difficult to accomplish all on your own. Bear in mind that Freinds and associates who could also (offer access, isk, support) in my opinion count as a group as well, just not formalized. Goblin my man I enjoy your stuff but you only seem to look as far as you want to. Several times you have posted XYZ saying it doesn't exist only to have people point it does you just didn't look far enough.

Phelps said...

@Provi Miner -- you are making Gevlon's points. All of that is based on restrictions.

1) (Nonsensical sentence, can't answer it.)
2) People will respond because the membership to the channel is restricted. Local is unrestricted, and as you yourself admit, means no one is likely to do it.
3) The corp can distribute the resources because they aren't available for everyone. The pool is restricted to membership, and the access is restricted even further.
Cata jumped) Because membership is restricted, people will help. No restrictions means you either help everyone or no one (and that means no one.)

I recommend you go read Bastiat's That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen.

Lucas Kell said...

@Phelps
I pretty much don;t understand a word of what you've written.
But corps are not made of restriction. Corps allow players with certain skills specialise in doing what they do best. In the same way a real life company wouldn't have the same guy doing IT, sales and accounting as it's more efficient to have a sales guy, an accounting guy and an IT guy, each specialising in their role. A corp works the same way, with everyone able to contribute in their own way to the pool, then the Corp leadership distributing that pool as they see fit (the pool not being purely isk, but being all assets, resources and services).

Corps also have the added benefit of getting to know your corpmates, forming bonds that are tighter than you would have with strangers. This in turn means you are more likely to give and get help from the individual members.

The reason Gevlon doesn't understand is he's never been a real corp member, and to be honest I doubt he's capable of it. If a task seems pointless or not profitable for him, he will reject it out of hand, so in return, who's going to do anything for him? The "We Gank Because We Care" corp is not really a corp. A public channel where fits and killmails would be shared would accomplish the same thing, but since it's not about learning, it's about building a bigger corp KB than miniluv, he has to form a corp, but refuses to work with the paradigms that make corps work.

Gevlon said...

@Lucas:
1: We operate in highsec, which makes most of the null corp features given. No need for making ships, running hauling service, fueling towers. All these are readily available to anyone in the nearest hub or with a market alt and move it with courier contract

2: Solo gank needs 2 accounts, so there is no extra cost of having your own Orca (if the cost of the orca matters to you, maybe you should be mining instead of ganking miners). Without 2 accounts you can't solo gank and forever bound to others.

3: If I'd wanted to simply outperform Miniluv on the KB, I would announce that as the easiest way to find people who want to beat Miniluv is asking for them.

4: A public channel would serve the gankers, but not the miners. The miners must see a corp from outside, not just a guy who claim that there are others like him on some "secret channel".

Phelps said...

Corps allow players with certain skills specialise in doing what they do best.

In other words, corps RESTRICT people from doing what they do badly.

the Corp leadership distributing that pool as they see fit

Meaning, RESTRICTING everyone who isn't leadership from distributing the resources.

forming bonds that are tighter than you would have with strangers

BECAUSE you RESTRICTED strangers from your social circle.

If a task seems pointless or not profitable for him, he will reject it out of hand, so in return, who's going to do anything for him?

That's EVERY business endeavor. The definition of a free market is one where everyone makes deals based on a perceived advantage.

Seriously, keep going, you are proving the point beautifully.

Anonymous said...

@Phelps

You seem to have a strange understanding of restrictions.

"In other words, corps RESTRICT people from doing what they do badly."

It's not restricting - it's giving a task. Considering it a restriction is like saying a policeman is restricted from committing crimes. He's not - he can commit crimes when he wants to. It's just his "corp" task that is different. When someone mines for a crop, it doesn't mean he can't go out and shoot people when he wants to.

"Meaning, RESTRICTING everyone who isn't leadership from distributing the resources."

Now that is a restriction, but a natural and necessary one. Unless someone wants to end up on another TMC article.

"BECAUSE you RESTRICTED strangers from your social circle."

Say what? Being in a corp prevents you from socializing with other people? Since when? You are just closer to some people than others, but that doesn't mean you can't contact anyone you want. In your RL workplace, can you call people on the outside or not?

"That's EVERY business endeavor. The definition of a free market is one where everyone makes deals based on a perceived advantage. "

Corps, or social aspects in general, are not (free) markets. You can't apply calculating efficiency to bonding with other people or having fun. That's where Gevlon has problems.

Jack said...

Phelps, your logic is illogical. Or rather, inexistant.

In parallell, in real life, no one is restricting you to applying for the accounting job - but if you have an IT diploma, you won't get the job.

It's utterly pointless, and a waste of time and ressource, to put people in positions they are incapable to fulfill appropriately - meaning they lack the skill sets.

Even out of a company, the IT guy won't be able to do accounting if he didn't get a proper formation. He's not restricted to do it, but he's gonna get into a corner. Like the accountant trying to do IT.

Anonymous said...

@Phelps
I am pretty sure that Lucas is not arguing if restrictions that make a corp. He is talking about the kind of restrictions. He disagrees with the selection of restrictions Gevlon has chosen because, to him, they do not provide benefits over solo play or other PvP corps

I could be wrong though.

Michael LeBlanc said...

@Phelps

You are arguing that everything a corp offers is in the form of restrictions. Aside from being untrue (which I think Anonymous and Jack have adequately addressed), this is not the claim that's being disputed, which is: the only benefit of a corp is restrictions in and of themselves, people join because they want their corpmates to be restricted.

Even assuming your statement were true (it isn't), any benefit aside from corpmates being more tolerable directly contradicts the claim, which I think Lucas has adequately covered.

@Gevlon "What the corp gives is mostly ability to gank Orcas and tanked Mackinaws."

You disprove your post by providing a benefit outside of restrictions.

maxim said...

This whole restriction versus giving a task thing is arguing semantics.

You can't give a task without imposing a restriction - "task needs to be done, and time and effort needs to be spent doing it"

And you can't really impose a restriction without justifying it with some sort of a task. You can try, but you will find that this restriction will be impossible or very costly to enforce.

Lucas Kell said...

I'm not tryingto say that there are no such thing as restrictions. What I'm pointing out is:
1) Those restrictions aren't restrictions in the fullest sense. I don't get told I'm not allowed to do stuff. I'm a trader, but I'm not disallowed from ratting or PvP.
2) That those "restrictions" or as I would call them specialisations is what makes a corp strong. The way gevlong runs his corp, he's putting a bigger restriction on.

Every member is RESTRICTED to having 2 accounts.
Every member is RESTRICTED to having an orca on their second account
Every member is RESTRICTED to having 3b solo kills in the month prior to joining
Every member is RESTRICTED to having to achieving 5b kills/ month.
Every member is RESTRICTED on what they can say in corp chat.

These are restrictions that cause each individual in the corp to act only like Gevlon. This destroy diversity, and diversity is important in a corp. Thousands of corps have been successful running in the old way, and thousands of corps offer more than Gevlons corp does. If Gevlon wants to run around screaming "it's because they restrict you, be free with me" that's fine, but it's also nonsense.

@Gevlon
"If I'd wanted to simply outperform Miniluv on the KB, I would announce that as the easiest way to find people who want to beat Miniluv is asking for them."
Come on man, time to be honest. You see miniluv doing their thing, you complain about them being KB padders, then the following week you are running your own ganking corp, with a minimum KB limit and KB as the primary measurement. There's a clear pattern here.

Gevlon said...

@Michael LeBlanc: "You disprove your post by providing a benefit outside of restrictions" I believe that the corp will be able to kill Orcas and tanked Mackinaws BECAUSE of these restrictions.

Most corps can't and don't kill Orcas in highsec. Collecting random people into a corp won't give you this ability. I believe our ability to do so comes from the rules that limits the members to skilled gankers.

@Lucas: I've never said that I wasn't inspired by the interdiction. Or rather by the fact that Miniluv did not kill my procurer. I will make a post about this.

Lucas Kell said...

The fact that they didn't kill your procurer means nothing however. If your goal was to reduce ice mining, would you really have wasted time killing a tanked out procurer owned by a guy we all know doesn't really ice mine?
It would have had no effect on the ice mining and would have simply wasted time. I really don't know why you don't get that one, as efficiency is something you seem to at least in part understand.

Phelps said...

This destroy diversity, and diversity is important in a corp.

This is the ultimate disagreement. This was pretty much disproven in the world in the 20th century. If corps in EVE are all a Krupp type cradle to grave system, then when specialized corps grow, they will destroy the "all in" corps.

Lucas Kell said...

@Phelps
That's fine, except you are not talking about corp specialisation. A Corp specialising in mining will do better than a generic corp at mining, that's a given. But a mining corp with just miners who boost, and trade and do logi for themselves vs a mining corp with some miners, some boosters, some logistics and some traders will suffer. Businesses specialise, but not by making every individual in the business a jack-of-all-trades. Having a diverse group of specialists is better than having a collection of generic jack-of-all-trades types.

You can think of it this way: in the same way that a specialised corp will excel over a generic corp, a specialised individual will excel over a generic one. Thus to have a successful corp that has more than one internal action, a group of specialised individuals will outperform a group of generic individuals.
This would be different if there were only a single action in the corp. If there were no logistics, scouting, purchasing of ships, then a group of pure gankers would excel as the only internal action for the corp is ganking. But because there are other actions to perform that support the ganking, specialisation will always excel.

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