Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Do you want to make history or do you want to mess with people?

"Goal oriented vs competitive", "rational vs social", "morons and slackers". Terms I tried to introduce, explain, defend in numerous posts. Definitions, theories, walls of text. What I really missed is a simple, obvious classification that doesn't need reading my whole blog. While re-reading an old saved TEST forum, a commenter gave it to me:

Do you want to make history or do you want to mess with people?

That's it. Not perfect, not accurate, not scientific. But trivial and everyone can answer it. What do you want? Make something to change or make someone mad. That's the question that everyone in your alliance must answer the same way for it to function. There is no "wrong" answer, but everyone must answer the same.

No, you can't have both. To make someone mad, you have to do something that he didn't expect. Like guy peacefully mines and then bang, Catalysts. To make something to change, you have to do the very opposite: make him understand that things can't go on the same way. Make him expect that doing the old thing won't end well. If a reinforced TCU dies when the timer is up, no one gets mad, because that's the normal way of things. If the TCU dies out of the blue, because a rogue director dropped sov, people get mad. But it won't last, as we saw in the N3 sov drop.

You want a ratter to get mad? Gank him! You want him to go away? Put an AFK-cloaker in his system!
Want an alliance mad? Camp their undock with Tornadoes! Want them go away? Grind down their Sov!
Want a trader get mad? Sell his stuff for a day at loss, he'll be scared that the price crashes for a long time. Want him to stop making profits? Sell the stuff for long time at little profit!
Want to make a solo PvP-er rage? Set up a trap with a pointing-webbing-cyno Mackinaw. Want him to disappear? Dock up every time he enters the system!
Want to laugh on freighter gankers? Get an armor booster fleetmate and Full Slaves for your Obelisk and haul 10B once. Don't want to be ganked? Never haul more than 1B!

Things change when people are no longer mad, but accepted the new status quo. The two goals need totally opposite approach and mindset. Trying both will make you fail badly. Make up your mind!

I guess this is why highsec gankers during almost a decade of ganking couldn't change the behavior of miners: they hit out of the blue, laughed and went on their merry way. Via announcing kills on local and sending explanatory mails I want the opposite: to make miners get used to gankers and don't try to just outlast them but adopt.

Finally a clarification on "making history": you made history if you changed the way people play and not if you climbed to the top in an existing structure. You and your team winning the next alliance tournament would not change anything, we already known that the best team will win it. If it's you, congratulations, your mum will be proud! Examples of history-making changes:
  • The emerge of the blob: individually "bad at EVE" players outnumbering and swarming down "elite"
  • Hulkageddon and Burn Jita: bringing violence where was none before into the lives of those who believed to be out of its reach.
  • The recent fall of moon-based economics and rise of renter-based ones

The change I want to make is the end of the "best EVE ship is friendship" doctrine. People desperately want to be in corps because they assume to be lost and hopeless without them. Hence the existence of completely dysfunctional highsec corps and the famous Goon recruitment scams. I want the people to live by the doctrine: "I can get ISK or kills easily on my own, corps are only social clubs on the way and not something I desperately need". If you want to be part of this fundamental change, join!



Let me introduce the moron of the day, he made a long series of mistakes to gain this noble position:
  • He was mining with a Mackinaw-Orca combo. This is dumb as the Mackinaw is known for its large ore hold. If you stand next to your Orca, use a Hulk for yield or Skiff against ganks!
  • His Mack wasn't even tanked against 2 Catas.
  • He was mining in the system where I had already slain several Rets.
  • He went suspect with the Orca to remote shield boost the Mack. Since he started it instantly, I did not commit the second Cata, warped it home.
  • He did not warp out with the Orca, but continued mining with a flashy yellow Orca. Of course he was safe from my ganker as the faction police would kill me if I stay long enough to kill an Orca. My scout and looter can't shoot. But my main Gevlon Goblin had some level 2-3 missile skills which he used on the Sister Epic Arc. So I logged in, purchased a combat like fit to my transport Tengu and took 5 gates from Jita to the yellow Orca.
  • While I was shooting the Orca, he undocked a Drake and suicide ganked my Tengu. Shields down to 98%, Drake died of course.
  • The Orca died. I warped in a ganker at the end to grab the pod, but he instawarped. That's the only thing he did well today.
  • After all these, he got a new Orca, and went back in the same system to keep on mining. With the same 2-Cata gankable Mack.
  • Since he didn't want to go suspect this time, he saw no reason to be at the keyboard. Bye pod!

Finally let's see an illustration of the power of AFK-cloaking white knights:

14 comments:

maxim said...

I'm glad you finally formulated the "history vs game" conflict. It applies on great many levels, to pretty much all human endeavours of XX century onwards. If you want a strong narrative, this is where you go for the first step.

Sadly, there still seem to be some issues with positive definition of your narrative. You are very certain in terms of what you want to see end, but when something ends, something new begins, and you just don't seem to care about that.

There are four pillars of modern game design: Exploration, Achievement, Socialisation, Domination. A good game needs to have at least one of these at the core. A great game will support all of these to some extent. Eve supports Exploration, Achievement and Domination, but these are not at the heart of it, because they are all predicated on Socialisation providing both the motivation and the goals for the rest.

You are currently formulating your goals as "end of Socialisation in Eve". The only way this approach can ever succeed is if Eve stops being a game and becomes a dysfunctional mess of systems.

There are, of course, people drawn to this dysfunction. People who would rather be playing a more Achievement / Exploration / Domination - focused game, but which, for some reason, just can't let Eve go. Possibly, because they see much more potential for all three behind the current Social-based Eve.
Or possibly, because they are just angry that the cool kids didn't let them have fun together, and instead blew up their expensive ship and podded their more expensive pod.

There is, however, a very long path between a gathering of disillusioned ("we are friends against them") and a true revolutionary body ("this is what we love and we are willing to sacrifice everything for it"). It starts with getting away from trying to define yourself in terms of what you want to stop and destroy, and finding a way to define yourself in terms of what you want to create and support.

Otherwise you'll be stuck with saying: "we fight against social groups, come join our social group (which we will pretend is not social group)".

Dado R. said...

I understand that being relevant and having fun are not the same thing, but they aren't mutually exclusive either.

For instance I could want to have the biggest SOV in EVE, but at the same time fly with the people I like on weekend roams in provi. You make it seem that those things cannot coexist which I call bullshit (sorry for the language but I felt it was warranted).

I liked your first article where you officially acknowledged the difference between the two and I agree 100% with it, but jumping to the assumption that they are mutually exclusive by supporting it by some tangential examples is plainly wrong.

To prove a theory you don't just give a few examples where it is true, you have to prove that no circumstance exists where it is untrue, which you failed to do.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a goal you will succeed with. Eve is a social game at its core. Surely, there are things which can be more effectively solo (I don't think there are much of them), but people in the most part don't play to be a 110% effective robot. They want to have fun, not a second job. And fun in eve is attained by doing things with a group. Typical Asian mmos focus on grinding activities and do away with social interactions. I have a feeling that is what you want eve to become. But eve is a social experiment, not a grind fest. You can see it by reading eve-related sites. I can think of only yours that emphasizes grinding numbers and look how people respond. They keep telling you that you're going the wrong way, while others reach success. The point is, you want eve to be something opposite of what it is now, because you can't engage in it like other people do. But you won't succeed, you never do with such projects. Why not just be social and have much richer experience?

Lucas Kell said...

That's all well and good, but there's a few issues.
Firstly, you will not be able to enforce a behavioural change. You simply don;t have the level of manpower and the level of dedication to do it.
Secondly, in relation to this, you are proving that you DO need a group, since you are unable to do this solo, you need your corp and you need more members to get more coverage. It's no good saying "you don't need a group go it alone!" then making a group to prove it. It makes no sense.
Thirdly, you mention the moon change to rental. You realise that was not a player driven change, but a change written in by CCP through a change in moon material use. By balancing out the moon materials, they flattened the profit, leaving people looking for a better way to profit.
And finally, no matter how much you try to push the status suo of "no friends!", it won;t work, and EVE is specifically designed to favour cooperation over going it solo. Sure, you can buff your KB, and get a pile of isk solo, but if that's your only goal, then why are you playing an mmo?

Hivemind said...

I'm confused.

The main thing I'm confused about by this post is how ganking random hisec miners will bring about the changes you want. You don’t target social players, aside from a tendency to target those who speak up in local. You gank based on ship choice and fittings (and even there, your only criteria is "can my 2 catalysts kill this?") not membership in player corps or playing socially. You don’t even recommend asocial gameplay in your advice to your victims.

I'm also confused why you recommend people join a hisec corp that serves no purpose in order to destroy the concept of hisec corps that serve no purpose. You gain no advantage from having a shared banner; arguably it actually makes you easier to avoid thanks to the shared killboard. It basically seems to be the archetypical "social club" corp. At least the average "dysfunctional hisec corp" has the pretext of organizing its members for things like mining ops or mission fleets, even if it never actually lives up to this.

Aside from the giant question marks raised above, I've also got to disagree with most of the points you've raised:

"No, you can't have both"
- As well as killing lots of exhumers, Hulkageddon also had miners docking up or switching to other activities for the duration. Though its goal was messing with people, it also produced a change in their behaviour.
- The casual use of "blap-fit" Dreadnoughts and Titans to harass players primarily for tears lead to changes in capital turret tracking speed and also at least one instance of FW players changing their behaviour (organizing across opposing factions) in order to kill one of the offenders.
- The original Gallente ice interdiction drove AFK mining players to other empire's space for the duration, while encouraging players willing to mine actively and take risks to come to Gallente space for the higher profit; again, its primary goal was simply to mess with hisec players.
These are just a few examples that prove that yes, you can make historic changes from messing with people.

"Things change when people are no longer mad, but accepted the new status quo. The two goals need totally opposite approach and mindset."
- No; you've said it yourself, people accept whatever was making them mad isn't going away and adapt to it instead. Miners move out of systems or switch ships/fits, large alliances change fleet doctrines, nullsec PvE players set up bubbles, etc. Even in your case you're using the same approach used to mess with miners to try and make a historic change, even though I don't think it's going to succeed.

"this is why highsec gankers during almost a decade of ganking couldn't change the behavior of miners: they hit out of the blue, laughed and went on their merry way."
- No, it doesn't work because ganking has never been the status quo for every miner at the same time. There are systems where ganking is frequent (wherever you are currently operating, for example) but there are far far more systems where it never occurs which players can run to. There are enough miners across all of hisec that for any one of them ganking is a very rare occurrence, barring a few who are unlucky or stupid enough to court death frequently (and some of whom will then adapt as a result). It's nothing to do with the mindset the gankers came in with, it's the logistical impossibility of a small niche of players applying constant, unending pressure to the entirety of the hisec mining player set. Basically in order to enforce EHP tanking you will have to completely break yield tanking, which is not possible without several orders of magnitude more gankers operating basically forever.
[Continued below]

Hivemind said...

[Continued from above]
"to make miners get used to gankers and don't try to just outlast them but adopt."
- I expect that the vast majority of miners 'adapt' by relocating to quieter systems; it's certainly how I handle a sudden influx of gankers when I'm mining. Have you ever investigated this trend in the systems you operate in? Sure, by the end there may not be players in anything with less EHP than fully-tanked Macks, but from the few times I've seen you work I've noticed that the overall population is also a lot lower. Have you considered monitoring a system in advance to see who the regular miners are, then seeing how they each react to a ganking campaign there in order to track how many adapt vs how many relocate or refuse to adapt and keep dying?

"Burn Jita: bringing violence where was none before into the lives of those who believed to be out of its reach."
- While I agree with you about Hulkageddon, what exactly did Burn Jita change? Considering that the 2nd Burn was as effective as the first if not more so, the playerbase in general didn't seem to learn from it. High value freighter ganks continue to be a regular occurrence, so I'm not sure what exactly places it in your "historic changes" category.

"People desperately want to be in corps because they assume to be lost and hopeless without them."
- I disagree that the majority of players are in hisec corps because they would be “lost and hopeless” otherwise; in my experience they are in hisec corps because they like to be social, whether that’s just a case of having players to talk to or more direct interactions like teaching or working with people. Yes, it’s possible to do this while in an NPC corp via dedicated chat channels, mailing lists etc but this is a lot more work to organise and tends to lack the same sense of community as a shared corp ticker and logo. Do you have any evidence that this is not the case and players really are that dependant on corps?

"I can get ISK or kills easily on my own, corps are only social clubs on the way and not something I desperately need"
- Considering that EVE is a highly socialisation-based game and is marketed as such, it shouldn’t come as much surprise that much of the playerbase plays to socialise with other players. As such, socialising is something they “desperately need” – not in the sense of “I must be social in order to have any success in the game” but rather “if I wasn’t being social I would play a different game”. It’s also notable that there is a significant difference between social and asocial gameplay; a player who likes one won’t necessarily like the other. Solo ganking in hisec, small gangs in lowsec and large fleets in nullsec all produce kills, but they are wildly different in their methods and appeal to different people. You are one of the very few who care more about quantity/value of kills more than any other detail, hence why you’re not interested in more challenging forms of PvP, but you are the exception, not the rule. If someone is only interested in running L4s as a social activity with friends or getting kills in a small gang where they can fly a specific role then they do desperately need that “social club” to support them.

Von Keigai said...

The change I want to make is the end of the "best EVE ship is friendship" doctrine. People desperately want to be in corps because they assume to be lost and hopeless without them.

No, people want to be in corps because (a) having friends is enjoyable for neurotypicals (duh), and (b) there are many things in EVE one cannot do solo.

It is true that in highsec, the set of things one cannot do solo is much more limited than outside of highsec. It is also true that many players, particularly inexperienced ones, don't know how useless help is for many tasks. Hence your worthless missioning corps. However, even in highsec there is value in mass for some projects. This is why, for example, you are recruiting. It is why James 315 recruits.

I want the people to live by the doctrine: "I can get ISK or kills easily on my own, corps are only social clubs on the way and not something I desperately need".

So you want to change people. They just are not smart enough on their own. Morons and slackers! You are working "for change". You want to "help people". Congrats: you want power, just like every other human being alive. And indeed, you have travelled the radicalization route charted so well by previous generations of egghead reformers: they agitate peacefully and exhort for years, which yields only failure and rejection. Finally they grasp that the common man is not listening, and probably cannot, and also will not change absent overwhelming force. Then they drop the hippy-dippy peaceful schtick and go full-on revolutionary. They use raw power to force people to change. You, the Communists, the Nazis, the Progressives.

You will run into the same problem as the radical revolutionaries of the 20th century. Humans are not socially constructed; they are somewhat bright animals with a particular nature. While people will bow to superior power, as soon as it is removed, they will return to doing what they want. With great effort, you will be able to force all the people in a small area to use Procurers. But you cannot make any except the dumbest slackers believe Procurers are actually superior to Retrievers in general -- because that is untrue. As soon as you are not around, most people will return to the more convenient and higher-yield barge.

Gevlon said...

How will I make change by ganking? By giving them first-hand experience of the power of a single person. They can't say "Goons are strong, I'm weak CCP help me" about me. I mean "this lone Gevlon guy is so much stronger than my whole corp, CCP help" sounds ridiculous, but according to the killboard, true. I want them to recognize that power lies in knowing the mechanics and not having friends.

I do not tell them to play solo. I want to tell them that "corps are only social clubs on the way and not something I desperately need". That socializing is a luxury activity and not something that will affect their material fate.

It is ironic that I need a corp myself to spread it. However I never claimed otherwise. I claim that you can get anything FOR YOURSELF by yourself. For example I can get a 100B+ solo killboard all by myself. To make difference, to change something, you indeed need people. But not "friends" to hang out with but similar minded cooperators, hence the corp rules that exclude fanboys and such.

Anonymous said...

"How will I make change by ganking? By giving them first-hand experience of the power of a single person. They can't say "Goons are strong, I'm weak CCP help me" about me. I mean "this lone Gevlon guy is so much stronger than my whole corp, CCP help" sounds ridiculous, but according to the killboard, true. I want them to recognize that power lies in knowing the mechanics and not having friends."

This power of yours comes from a simple fact of you using a combat ship against defenseless targets. You are not demonstrating how a solo player is superior to a group, but how a superior ship is, well, superior. If you engage in a real pvp fight, you will loose. Should we take it as an argument against solo play? No, it just means you were outgunned/outskilled, just as with you ganking barges. As for kb, if some 2 guys with as much dedication to ganking as you start their work, they will outscore you, thus proving you false.

"I want to tell them that "corps are only social clubs on the way and not something I desperately need"."

And how many people actually think that? Not many, except those having no life outside a game.

"That socializing is a luxury activity and not something that will affect their material fate."

I get boosts, ships and support during fights, thus my material fate is affected.you are proven false.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: and what is the result of those boosted fights?

I don't question that others help you. They just take away more than they give.

Anonymous said...

"and what is the result of those boosted fights? "

Higher chances of us living through it and winning.

"I don't question that others help you. They just take away more than they give."

Which is what exactly? What do they take from me?

Hivemind said...

"They can't say "Goons are strong, I'm weak CCP help me" about me."

No, they can say "You attacked my unarmed mining ship with a glass cannon, of course you killed it" instead. Then they can turn around and say "Well I/my corp could totally take him in a straight up fight", which is most likely very true thanks to sheer weight of numbers. How exactly does this prove the "power of a single person"?

"I mean "this lone Gevlon guy is so much stronger than my whole corp, CCP help" sounds ridiculous, but according to the killboard, true."

Not really; as I've already noted you're one of very few people who judge KBs purely by the ISK destroyed or efficiency measures. Anyone outside that small group will look at the kills, see they're all hisec ganks and conclude that you're probably not all that skilled at non-ganking PvP.

"power lies in knowing the mechanics and not having friends."

I'm confused who exactly thinks there's no benefit from knowing the mechanics, because I'm fairly sure that pretty much all EVE players recognise that EVE is a complex game which takes a long time to learn but rewards those who invest that time. I don't think you need to do much to prove the strength of mechanical knowledge, and using as obvious a demonstration as "My high-dps combat ship can kill your unarmed mining ship" isn't exactly going to convince any doubters.

I'm also confused why this has to be a one-or-the-other scenario, because I'd think the best choice would be to be knowledgeable about mechanics AND have friends (ideally who also know the mechanics). That concept is the foundation of the likes of Goonswarm and the CFC bloc as a whole, and thus far it seems to be working well for them. More generally, surely anything I can achieve solo through knowledge of game mechanics could be doubled by having a friend who also knows the game mechanics? That seems to be the very root of your having a corporation, and yet you're apparently arguing that it shouldn't work.


"That socializing is a luxury activity and not something that will affect their material fate."

Again, this is a game that people voluntarily play in their free time; from a mechanical standpoint your statement above may be true, but if people are playing this game in part because they enjoy socialising with others within the medium of EVE (and it's a given that many will be, hence why player corps are so popular in the first place) then they won't play if they can't do so socially. That's definitely something that will "affect their material fate". Or, to put it another way, the whole of EVE is a luxury activity and not something that will affect their material fate.

"I claim that you can get anything FOR YOURSELF by yourself."

Really? So, you could get that same 100bn ISK kb by yourself through solo PvP outside of hisec, regularly? Without killing your alts? You could conquer and hold an entire region of sov space by yourself? You could evict a small-gang PvP corp/alliance from NPC nullsec on your own? Take over a fortified C5 or C6 wormhole system without help?

I'm pretty sure the answer to all of these is a resounding "No", though by all means prove me wrong - note that I did say the solo PvP has to be sustained though; bribing a single titan pilot to let you shoot him and then self destruct won't cut it. Yes, you've set yourself a difficult target and achieved it, well done for doing that, but the fact that you could pick and achieve a single objective is hardly proof that you can achieve ANY of them on your own. There are some things in EVE - quite a few things, in fact - which really cannot be achieved without help.

"But not "friends" to hang out with but similar minded cooperators"

I'm not sure what definition you use, but "like-minded people sharing a goal and a group identity" sounds a lot like friends to me.

Nielas said...

"I don't question that others help you. They just take away more than they give."

That is purely an individual value judgement. He is trading one type of resource for another and it is subjective opinion on whether value is generated for both sides of the transaction.

Using a Gevlon-example:
You once paid a WoW guild to include you in their raid group. Was that a moronic thing to do because your gold was 'obviously' worth more than the raiding experience? Or was it a mutually beneficial arrangement where each side traded for a resource that it did not feel like obtaining by themselves?

Nielas said...

To comment on the main article:

I think you figured out the reason why people do not take your 'crusade' seriously but misapplied it.

You are trying to 'make history' but to other people the outcome looks identical to someone messing with people. You are trying to prove that your actions have 'history making' results but you are trying to use metrics that people are not accepting as meaningful. Therefore if your actions do not seem to have meaningful consequences, you might as well just be 'messing with people'.