Friday, November 8, 2013

Don't Fleet up!

Few days ago a member of our corp invited me into a fleet to kill a really tanked, blinged miner. Taking 8 jumps when you are -10 and your fittings are in an Orca isn’t instant. Waiting for another guy took more time. “Oh I have no insta on this station”, “Who can fly a Thrasher” and so on and so on. More time. Needless to say, the miner docked up after trolling in local.

This is the very reason why I built the whole campaign on the concept of the solo ganker. Catching that miner would have been nice. But for that chance we wasted the certain kills of several simpler ones.

You know your own limitations and can count on them. You won’t travel several jumps just to realize that you can’t fly a Thrasher. You won’t accidently notice that your fitting isn’t available. And if you do, you only held up your own dumb self, and not other people. I’ve seen enough wasted time and stupid fails in the New Order, I don’t want to recreate them.

But again, the main problem isn’t that cooperating needs time to learn. The problem is that even if the kill is successful, it cost too much in opportunity costs. Killing an Orca with the cooperation of 3 people running 5 pilots using an hour looks awesome. A 800M kill + a 500M pod yay! Except, if the same pilots would use this time to gank alone, and find nothing but average, lame Retrievers with totally average pods, they would have 5*2*(35+83) = 1.2B kills. Yes, the most basic ganking activity, killing noob retrievers provides almost as good results as an “Oh my God, Orca”.

People often ignore opportunity costs. The comment “Goons can gank in T1 catas or grind regions in Bombers because they have the menpower” is plaguing my blog. An activity always have an opportunity costs, even if you don’t care about ISK. OK, 15 mins you spend on GCC doesn’t cost 10M ISK because you wouldn’t be ratting anyway. But you could gank another target, so the cost of 10 Goons ganking the same Mack in 0.7 costs the not ganking of 5 Macks they could gank in pairs if they had a T2 Cata, skills to fly it and knowledge to pull the gank. The opportunity cost of a fleet Orca kill is a bunch of not killed solo Rets.

The key of my mindblowing 130B/month solo-dualbox kills isn’t doing something mindblowing. It’s the very opposite, doing as simple as easy form of ganking as possible: killing readily available mining barges en masse. Sometimes the best solution is the most lame and obvious. You can literally get more kill value grinding noobs in Rets than hunting down a Titan. Fun fact: if the 258 “bl” (Black Legion, but without capitals) pilots who were involved in the fight trying to kill Makalu’s titan and spent 4 hours there had went ganking Rets instead, with lame 2 ganks/hour ratio, they’d have 250B kills. And they’d still have their supercarriers.

Oh, and the miner who got away? The next day I found the fool mining in the same system in a blinged Hulk. It seems he only used that tanked Mack when gankers were about, otherwise he went for yield. I didn’t even need a Talos, a pair of T2 Catas finished him and his 2.2B pod.


The morons of the day aren't just doing something completely useless: camping the wreck of the miner in the empty ore belt, but they are doing so in a pretty numerous fleet to maximize the wasted time.

13 comments:

Michael LeBlanc said...

So the one benefit you offered for being in your corp -fleeting to kill bigger targets - you now say is useless

Gevlon said...

Yes. And I indeed see the problem.

Druur Monakh said...

Opportunity cost goes both ways.

If the 258 bl pilots had spent their time ganking retrievers, they would definitely had lost the opportunity of trying to kill a Titan or two.

And since killing Titans is /hard/, the psychological win would have been bigger than the ISK win alone, so well worth the attempt.

Ganking untanked Retrievers on the other hand is on the difficulty level of Morons and Slackers, as even your own choice of verbs confirms.

You have your win condition, other people have theirs, whether you accept that or not.

Druur Monakh said...

As for the actual topic of the post: You set the entrance criteria for your corp, you accepted those people in.

I'll be curious to read a follow-up post on how you dealt with this situation, /CEO/.

maxim said...

This is a fleet organisation problem, to be honest.

Specifically, you can designate a specific corporation role of "fleet ganker", which requires all members of that role to have everything required to up and go fleet gank immediately available.

The most curious part for me in this situation is how to make sure all individuals in your corp are ready at the moment's notice. That is, to transfer your individual state of readiness to everyone in the gank fleet.

A good way to start solving that problem is to start with smaller fleets involving 2-3 active players and no more than 5-6 pilots between them, see how much that expands your pool of available targets and then see if you are able to organise these combo strikes as fast as efficient as you can organise your own solo ganks.

If you manage to solve this for small groups, you have a shot at solving it for larger groups involving dozen(s) of players. If you solve it for larger groups, the dream of actual real change in Eve will actually be within your grasp.

Anonymous said...

Once again you forget about the most basic thing - people don't play to grind some meaningless number, like you do, but to have fun and reach some arbitrary goal (with fun usually being the goal itself). What's fun in killing miners, I don't know and probably never will. But I know it's fun to kill a titan, even with hard losses. Goal achieved.

Lucas Kell said...

@Gevlon
So again we're onto that mysterious "opportunity costs" subject again.
Which is great, but opportunity costs are theoretical. Since chances are in the time it takes to take down an orca, you wont find all the targets you need to take down one each. You don't gank 2x every 15 minutes with your characters, so basing opportunity costs on the idea that every player gets a kill is ludicrous. Obviously if you take the on-paper potential and treat that as fact, it will look like your opportunity costs are better. I could say the same. Why are you killing retrievers when there's hulks you could go kill? In your ideal world where finding a target takes 0 extra time, you should just be killing hulks. Or for that matter, why aren't you killing 2 targets every 15 minutes? There's thousands of targets about. I pretty much can't enter a system without seeing at least a few. You really have a lot to learn about calculating opportunity costs.

Lets not also forget that the whole idea behind miniluv is to deal damage to miners. Even with podding, a ret kill is not to bad. they can be back out mining in a implantless pod in a few minutes. An orca however is a considerably amount to just swallow up, so they can either mine without it, or spend the 800m buying and fitting a new one. Either way that has hit their efficiency hard.

Oh and
"The key of my mindblowing 130B/month solo-dualbox kills"
Mindblowing is a bit strong. You realise the only reason the rest of us don't do that is that we can't be bothered to spend every waking moment for months on end shooting at a whole bunch of high sec miners right? When we have a goal to achieve and killing miners is a means to an end, that's tolerable, but I can't think of anything more boring than endlessly shooting at a bunch of unarmed ships that rarely even respond.

Anonymous said...

@lucas Kell.

Seriously, you haven't even bothered to understand what opportunity cost means?

Simple, when you use resources today, you weight it against what you could have done instead. I spent 10 dollars today on candy, missing the opportunity to spend 10 dollars on beer.

It just so happens that when you base it on ISK and time, it's now objective, not magic like you post.

I've never seen one post of substance from you, just smug, with no content.

Lucas Kell said...

@Anonymous
I know exactly what opportunity cost is, but it has to be based on fact, on actual meaningful information. For example, if I were selling an item in Jita for 2m that I bought for 1m, while there was a region with the lowest sell order of 500m, you could say by selling in Jita, I miss the opportunity cost of 498m. However, I'm unlikely to be able to sell that item in the other region. I can list it, sure, but it may not sell.

In the same way, Gevlon is assuming that If I'm killing an orca with 5 people, I could have instead killed 5 people at the same time. But realistically it's not the case. Not all 5 f those people may have ships near a target, or they may not be able to execute a solo gank. We may not have 5 scouts to provide warp ins.

It's easy to simply multiply two numbers together and say "boom, opportunity costs" but it's completely unrealistic. It's like how I pointed out previously that Gevlon could use his 2 gankers in T1s, instead of a single T2 for solo ganks, saving 6m per gank, to which he replied he loses opportunity costs of 10m/15mins, since that's what his alt could make ratting. But his alt ISN'T ratting and has no intention of ratting, and if he did, he would be unlikely to be able to rat, scout and gank multiboxed, especially with his sec status. It's an unused alt sitting idly by while he goes out on a solo gank.

And I find it quite amusing that you would post on Gevlon's blog accusing me of being smug, especially in the post that he described his ganking as "mindblowing". Look, Gevlon and I are generally not on the same page, in fact I think we're often on different books, and I get that the fact that I disagree with him on many occasions saddens you some, but ad hominems are rarely the answer. If you somehow feel my answers lack substance, but are unwilling or unable to clarify why, then don't bother responding.

Michael LeBlanc said...

@Anon I don't think you've understood Lucas' post. Gevlon says the opportunity cost is 1 gank every 15 minutes, which is not actually an attainable goal. Compare to your candy/beer example, if you have to take a 5 dollar cab ride to the beer but not to the candy, the opportunity cost of the candy is only 5 in beer.

@Gevlon Your argument about bl would be correct if their goal was to get as much ISK on their killboard as they could. But that isn't their goal. Their (current) goal is to beat PL, killing a PL titan works towards that, killing anonymous miners does not.

Gevlon said...

@Michael: I wrote 1 gank in 30 mins, not 15. That's baseline, any half-decent ganker should be able to pull it.

PL could be hit much harder by AFK cloaking and blackops dropping ratters in PL renter alliance, chasing their renters away. Also better for killboard.

Michael LeBlanc said...

@Gevlon "Killing an Orca with the cooperation of 3 people running 5 pilots using half an hour looks awesome. A 800M kill + a 500M pod yay! Except, if the same pilots would use this time to gank alone, and find nothing but average, lame Retrievers with totally average pods, they would have 5*2*(35+83) = 1.2B kills."

Looks like 15 minutes to me.

BL DOES AFK cloak and blops ratters. It can do both.

Gevlon said...

oops, meant "an hour" since the whole post was about wasting an hour. My bad, text fixed.

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