Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Thousands of fleetbears, please ignore

TEST was missing military directors from the start of the war. TEST had so few FCs that its fleets were usually lead by NC. and Nulli FCs (and yesterday Esildra left too). Thieves were taking SBUs, hangars, everything. The wallet was so empty that they were begging for donations. The remaining leadership was feuding. Everything was perfect for a failcascade.

Instead of apathy or line members jumping ship, TEST broke all records in EVE with the fleet at 6VDT. A fleet matching the size of the largest coalition in the game. A fleet that could have won if it had some remotely competent leaders. I mean the kind that asks "do we have POS-es?". How could this happen? How could a complete disaster make history?

"Being a PvP-er" is considered a necessity in nullsec. But fleet action isn't similar to PvP at all. I'd say it's more similar to incursions. Just because the primaried red cross is a player, it doesn't make it PvP. Just think! No one accepted my highsec ganks as PvP despite the killed miners were indeed players. PvP is considered something where player skill matters and the better one wins. In fleet action, your skills don't matter much. You anchor up, click on broadcast and press F1. You don't have to make decisions, you have to follow the optimized protocol. Fleet fights are rather "carebearing" than "PvP". Probably that's why I enjoyed them so much.

6VDT says that I wasn't the only one. The war was already lost, there was no point defending 6VDT. People still swarmed there because it was fun for them. Similarly the various structure shooting fleets on both sides had volunteer players in them. It seems that there is a large segment of players who find fleet action fun, despite the PvP-er canon says it's horrible. Let's not argue with them! If they all say it, they must be right, structure shoots and 1000 v 1000 battles are boring for PvP-ers. But it seems there is a strange form of carebears who like large fleets, winning objectives, placing flags on the big map.

6VDT and 1-SMEB say that TEST has a lot of this strange form of carebears. In the two weeks I was in TEST I collected almost 2000 upvotes for ideas that would support fleet actions at the expense of PvP. Why did these fleet-bears go to TEST? For the same reason I could only go to TEST: this was practically the only place where PvP experience and participation was not needed. You could get into TEST without killboard history and no one expected you to learn PvP, if you had bunch of loss reports and no small-gang kills, no one cared. TEST was the last safe heaven for these fleet-bears.

There are bunch of PvP alliances out there who want to hold Sov. They could use these fleet-bears very much. However the fleet-bears can't get in because of the PvP requirements. So I cooked up an idea how could a Sov-holder PvP alliance gain thousands of fleet-bears without actually having a single one:
  • Create a corp "X fleetbears" where X is the name of your alliance. Make the corp leader the alliance leader's alt, link the corp on the alliance page.
  • Set the fleetbear corp to blue enough to have fleet access, but do not take it to your alliance. Give fleet comm and a limited forum access to fleetbears.
  • Assign enough space to the fleetbears to live in. Remember, they are closer to carebears than to PvP-ers, they need ratting-mining space.
  • Make it clear that they should live in these systems. While they can travel in alliance or rented systems, they shouldn't PvE or loiter there.
  • Tell your renters and own ratters to set the fleetbears to -10. Therefore they show up as reds/neuts on local, so they can't awox your members and renters. That makes HR very easy. You still need some basic HR, but not the usual nightmare as you only have to keep out the obvious troublemakers.
  • There is no need for corp life in the fleetbear corp, carebears don't need roams, events or much socializing. They are here to enjoy the aspects of the game they like: PvE and fleet action. They can cooperate via the corp chat and a dedicated part of the alliance forum.
  • As there is no corp life, no corp sov and the fleet reimbursements are on the alliance, there is no need for corp income. The ratting taxes go to the alliance chest.
  • Make it clear that the fleetbear corp is not "waffles", you can't get into the alliance by joining it. It is a pure business cooperation: the alliance gives ratting space and organized fleets, the bear flies in the fleets and fights for the alliance.
  • Some alliance managers need to have alts as directors in the fleetbear corp to kick awoxers, spammers and toxic people. Make sure that all necessary leadership positions are filled from the alliance and not from the fleetbears themselves. If they would be good leaders, they wouldn't be fleetbears in the first place.
  • Since the fleetbears are outside the alliance, their losses do not affect your killboard. They will have ratting losses which they can easily replace.
  • Create a fleet performance measurement tool. Kick inactives and those who don't participate in enough fleets. I mean if someone is in a fleetbear corp he should be participating in fleets!
If you do these, you get thousands of fleetbears at the cost of some of your systems being unavailable for renting. There aren't other costs: no need to mix with them (no social costs), no need to pay them (PvE pays for it), no need to motivate them (they like flying in fleets) and they can't awox or cause any other trouble outside of themselves. I'm sure it's a good deal.

Why would fleetbears flock to this corp? Because it would be the only place for them. Now fleetbears have to choose between being a solo carebear with no fleets, or having to suffer PvP to get into a sov-holder alliance. There they also have to constantly deal with childish jokes, boring memes and general locker room atmosphere. This corp would be a place where they don't have to socialize with random people and don't have to PvP, just do what they want: join well-lead fleets that go for objectives and do PvE in their space. Since there is no other fleetbear corp, yours could pick thousands of them. Remember 6VDT numbers and remember that's just a segment of fleetbears, there must be thousand others suffering in PvP corps or alone in highsec. Liberate them and they will blot out the Sun for you!

If you want me help building such fleetbear corp, I gladly do, and considering my popularity among TEST fleetbears, my blog-popularity among highsec carebears (many are actually fleetbears just couldn't find a place where he can fleet up), combined with the fact that TEST leadership just abandoned Sov, betraying everyone who flied in fleets, I could poach the initial set of fleetbears quickly. Hit me up if you want such fleetbear armada. (No, I can't start it myself, since I can't offer them fleets due to lack of objectives.) Chances are that your leaders don't read this, so if you are a line member and would like to have a huge support fleet, send this post to your leadership. Don't let your enemy have the fleetbears!

You might ask how is the fleetbear corp is not a pet? Simple: while the bears have no control over the big picture, neither they have responsibilities and risks. A pet must operate a complete alliance with HR, FCs, leadership, sov management, finances, everything, without actually controlling it. Also, a pet makes huge investment in stations, POS-es and CSAAs which is completely at the mercy of the master. The fleetbears don't have to care for anything besides their job and don't risk anything but a few fleet and ratting ships.


Anonymous said...

If you want me help building such fleetbear corp, I gladly do, and considering my popularity among TEST fleetbears, my blog-popularity among highsec carebears (many are actually fleetbears just couldn't find a place where he can fleet up), combined with the fact that TEST leadership just abandoned Sov, betraying everyone who flied in fleets, I could poach the initial set of fleetbears quickly.

Here's a thought. Try this idea of yours in newly opened rent program of CFC. Most of the points you raise (about standings, about kill boards, ...) have already been covered by their announcements. And if it works out for you you can easily move on to SOV holding alliance instead of a renter.

Gevlon said...

Renters have no fleet access, it makes no sense.

Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

This looks and feels surprisingly like a casual WoW guild with mild raiding interests :D

Not sure if it is a good thing or bad thing, but it's definitely interesting.

Chris K. said...

So basically, it'll be a mercenary corp that gets paid with content (pve + fleets)instead of money.

I'm assuming the 'hiring' alliance would be paying reimbursements for doctrine fleets as usual?

Behnid Arcani said...

I like this.

The corporation set up alone is a valuable piece of thinking.

I was toying with a similar idea for raider fleets in FW... essentially a fleet of plex farmers ready to jump into I-Hub siege ships whenever the need arises.

Hmm. Bears more thinking about. Thanks.

Lucas Kell said...

If this is how TEST thinks fleet battle work, then it's no wonder they lost. There's a bit of a joke about "Target primary and hit F1!", but that's not really all there is to it. There's many other things people need to take into account and they need to do it in good time. Sure you can just hammer F1, and you might even win, but efficiency will be low. Couple that with the fact that after 1 whelp, the alliance probably wouldn't be able to afford the reimbursement (since a lot of that is paid for by moon goo) and that the fleetbears could easily fire on friendlies during any deployment, and you've got a whole host of problems.

I also have to ask, how do null sec corps need heavy showings of PvP experience? I've been in sov holding alliances on my main, and I've been in more than 10 others with various "unaffiliated alts", and I think I've only once encountered a situation where PvP was an issue, but in that instance I still managed to get in, with the promise of working on my KB. The only people that null alliances don't want are people that have no interest in helping defend. People who simply want to grind isk in safety while everyone else works to keep the safety in place. Those people can go back to high sec.

Emilia Knight said...

Your Idea has its merits, but your argument about not being a pet is questionable.
I think, you're recreating the pets that BoB had nearly one to one: No Access to the Alliance, limited Space and Interaction, but compelled to show up for big battles as cannon fodder.
So i suspect your Fleetbears alliance would be treated as utter shit by every alliance out there. Maybe not by the leaders, who as i already wrote, can see the merits in your idea. But the normal Grunt, will happily call you a pet and make fun of you.

But if you're think I'm wrong, don't give me your usual "you wrong" answer. Go out there and prove it. You surely have the money to get this alliance started. And if you are as highly regarded by TEST members as you think, they should come in droves to you and the space you acuired for them.

Wouldn't it be sweet, to failscade TEST further by opening a "The United Fleetbears of EvE" Alliance?

And don't bind yourself to one alliance from the start, because that would surely make you a pet. Make it a mercenary alliance, rent some space from someone as home, and see if there isn't a place for a low-key Mercenary Alliance, that can put full fleets of subcaps on the field, instead of a couple dreads, supers and elite attitude.
And getting payed for your services would solve the problem of getting money for SRP.

What do you think?

Gevlon said...

@Emilia: at first it's not an alliance but a corp. There is no need to be alliance, as there aren't internal functions. Leadership and management all comes from outside. This is where the "mercenary alliance" idea fails: neither me, nor any fleet-bears wants to do Sov-logistics, HR, IT, FC-ing or anything that is needed in an alliance.

Sure, random grunts will trash-talk, but block feature is a bliss.

Emilia Knight said...

Okay.... so pretend i wrote "Corporation" everytime i wrote "Alliance"

Can i get a real response to my suggestions then, instead of a typical goblin dismissal?

Gevlon said...

I'm not sure if you read the post, so I write the same things again:

A "real" alliance (or standalone corp) need to have ALL functions in itself: leaders, managers, tower-fueling, HR, FCs, capitals, dictors, scouts, cyno chains, bridge titans.

A pet has all these functions, from outside a pet is a complete alliance, except it is commanded from other alliance.

My plan is unviable alone. A corp that has nothing but line members in DPS and logi ships and a minimal management, limited to kicking troublemakers. It is designed to be a supplement to an existing alliance, giving it the numbers and receiving everything else from it.

Anonymous said...

So just hire some guys to do all those functions you don't want to do. Some players live to do boring logistical work.

Von Keigai said...

Emelia, the key is leadership. It is easy to find carebears who can do the logistics and much of the other stuff that Gevlon says his fleetbears won't do. But you cannot easily get decent leadership, either in terms of the high command or in terms of competent FCs. These things take both skill and inherent ability.

Gevlon has just discovered, due to TEST's collapse, that leadership matters. Gevlon is a follower, not a leader. He does not want to lead. His mindset here is the mindset of the asserted fleetbear. He wants a TEST that has good leadership. How to get it? TEST cannot do it by itself, at least not without substantial evolution. So, subordinate yourself to someone with leaders.

It seems logical to me. Specialization.

Gevlon said...

It's not just that I don't want to lead. It's that there are more than enough leaders out there already. Some of them proved their worth by having a well-lead alliance. Why compete with them instead of enjoying their services and paying with our specialized abilities?

Sugar Kyle said...

Because some of us crave independence like air or water, Gevlon. They may want to join your fleet bear concept but they want to do it not as a part or indentured to another.

Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

You can't "join a concept" and not be a part of a sociopolitical body that enacts that concept.

In pure political terms, joining a concept is the same thing as joining a political body and forfeiting a measure of your independence.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that I agree here, I feel that these "FleetBears" should be arranged into either one or two corps within the rental alliance. Their leadership would retain in the hands of members from the parent alliance, and all taxes would go to paying for operations. Also, by setting them -10 you will end up with a shitload of "blue" kills from the fleetbears perspective, and they will leave as fast as they showed up. Good concept, but some poorly thought out details.

MoonglumX said...

I think Gelvon's point is that this is the faction warfare/incursion equivalent of fleets in 0.0 space. It's just a method to heard a bunch of pilots into one group and point them in the direction of an enemy 0.0 entity (same as an opposing empire faction, or the Sansha).

One issue I see is you could still get stuck into diplo/political hell if the fleetbears are attached to a major 0.0 entity. I don't know much about 0.0, but could a group of pilots make isk out in 0.0 and not hold sov? Could an entity just take the moons and rat/plex?

Oska Rus said...

I think you missed fundamental point. Fleet bears like to fleet up to acomplish strategic goals. THEIR strategic goals. They couldnt care less about someone elses strategic goals.

If you make them feel totaly unwanted and just filler to fllets what of their goals would be acomplished by this? To mash F1 and shoot red rectangles. If they wouldnt wanted that they would be in PvP gangs.