Greedy Goblin

Monday, October 20, 2014

In-game conflict and game-monetizing

The writers participating in the "save the blue doughnut" campaign on the Goon propaganda site often cite that finding fights will be harder. This isn't true, fights will happen more often. Actually currently the most fights in EVE happen in highsec between gankers and miners/haulers. Fight needs a conflict when the goals of two people are mutually exclusive. The miner wants to mine without caring for anything but his yield. The ganker wants to fill his killboard. Only one can succeed.

LolPvP is when bored players play with the combat system of the game for enjoyment. Duels front of Orgrimmar and frigroams come to mind. There is no other goal than wasting time and "winning" can't be defined. It doesn't matter who won the duel, both participants had fun and the one who lost his ship can't care less.

As I wrote many times, lolPvP is included into practically all games, usually matched with better PvE and support than EVE. Participating in EVE lolPvP will never be as fun as a WoW battleground. EVE has the unique selling point of offering conflict. Other games tone conflict down as much as they can. Sure, just one team can win in a World of Tanks battle and winning is preferred over losing due to higher rewards, but the matchmaker makes sure that your winrate is around 50%, so a loss is merely a ticket for a win. EVE on the other hand allows full conflict, where the loser suffers heavy losses while the winner claims huge reward (a good suicide gank loot can make even traders envious).

Conflict is the unique selling point in EVE: I can't perform whatever I wish, as other players have conflicting interest and I need to defeat them first. This is the dark universe CCP promised (as social people consider selfishness dark and evil).

To understand the position of those who have out-of-game interests (PLEX-affiliate money, ad-clicks, RMT) we have to make something clear: if you get ISK from RMT or PLEX buy, you are bad in EVE. Hell, if you pay a dime to CCP instead of just PLEX-ing your account, you are bad in EVE. If you don't have an adblocker and scriptblocker installed, you are bad in Internet. In case of real conflict, these "being bad" people would be beaten back to highsec or out of the game, replaced by competitive players coming from other games. This case the only ISK buyers would be random casuals in highsec, who - due to their isolation from the community - would buy ISK by PLEX purchases from CCP or Amazon or other main seller and not from affiliates or RMT-ers.

So to have people who keep viewing their ads, clicking their PLEX-links and use their RMT-ers, they need a community of bad players in nullsec. The monetizers need to protect them from being beaten back to highsec, which can only be done by removing conflict and replacing it with lolPvP. The blue doughnut served that well. The RMT-ers of the East and the affiliate+ad link owners of the West agreed to not attack each other, letting bots and M&S both stay in nullsec.

The real players (whose in-game actions weren't driven by out-of-game reasons) were simply pushed out of Sov-null by the combined might of the game monetizers. They stayed top damage dealers, which isn't that hard if you consider that they are the only ones who intend to deal damage instead of just blow up frigs. Why did they lose to the monetizers? Because the monetizers have no trust issues as they are bound by real money. No spy can get among them and they can trust on the greed of the other one. While the real players are the majority, they cannot build large organizations due to trust issues. Combined they are much stronger than the monetizers, but they are never combined, but small independents who shoot each other too.

The jump changes make it impossible for the game monetizers to be everywhere at the same time, therefore making them unable to crush down multiple independent small groups, effectively ending their reign. The renter-farms of the east will fall (I'll write a post how, renters have no need to worry) along with the M&S hives of the West.


Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

What it sounds to me that you're saying is that the "Blue Donut" (Mega scale alliances like CFC.) are using their extra-game incentives (RMT, Plex sales.) to dictate a policy of alliances that are perpetual "frenemies" that throw "LOLfights" to their members instead of engaging in any meaningful sov conflicts.

And that the new CCP policy of limited warp range will help curtail that.

I don't think it will. All CFC et al has to do to circumvent that is to stage more smartly to defend against the odd Pirate group that gets busy on one it's sov systems. CFC still has the upper level control and deep pockets needed to destroy any candy ass Pirate group.

The problem here is that the Pirate group thinks this is a GAME, whereas the Blue Donut knows it's a real world income stream and is willing to do what it takes to construct the support structures and alliances to make that happen. The Pirates have no chance whatsoever. It's like a Mom and Pop burger stand trying to compete with McDonalds for the choice corner lots in their area. They will be crushed like bugs, relegated to the real estate the big boys don't want.

See the difference? Mom and Pop think it's about selling burgers, whereas McDonalds knows it's about controlling market share.

Provi miner said...

come on don't you get tired of using the same broad tar brush? How often do I have to comment and say "not provi" only to have you say "provi is special" before you start calling your true targets in specific. A: what is a lol roam for n3 into provi is a serious deal for us we form up to fight not for laughs but to protect our interests. Let N3 wander around and soon enough they will try and own the space. B: there are no ads in provi for plex. C: botting and RMT are almost impossible in provi, a few iso's but they die in pretty flamming glory.

My point is and remains "Not Provi" stop painting us with that same ole "NULL" is evil tar brush pls.

Anonymous said...

"To understand the position of those who have out-of-game interests (PLEX-affiliate money, ad-clicks, RMT) we have to make something clear: if you get ISK from RMT or PLEX buy, you are bad in EVE. Hell, if you pay a dime to CCP instead of just PLEX-ing your account, you are bad in EVE. If you don't have an adblocker and scriptblocker installed, you are bad in Internet."

Sorry, what?

You're saying that nobody should ever make money on the Internet, not even to try and make some money to pay for the absurdly high cost of running a server? (not everyone uses blogger)

Gevlon said...

@Iiene: You forget that most good players in the coalition are not paid. You think the odd titan pilot in PL gets real money for fighting in the blob? No, he does, because PL is his best option to win. As soon as pirate groups become viable, the talent will leave the blue doughnut unless paid. And the money isn't good enough to pay everyone.

@Provi miner: Provi isn't an exception. Provi is currently irrelevant, existing only because PL considers its a fun playground. I hope it changes now.

@Anon: people can try to make money. I called people who give them money dumb. You are free to plant an ad. But I refuse to view it!

Anonymous said...

Using an ad block doesn't make you better at Internet than others, it makes you a leech.

Visiting an ad enabled site with an ad blocker enabled is breaking "I give you content for you looking at those ads" and worse: as it lowers the amount of ads shown, it is hurting the prize the site owner gets for the ads.

maxim said...

You are severely underestimating the simple motivation of "i want to beat the one guy in the duel". Stuff like Orgrimmar duelling serves it nicely. It also functions as 1v1 arena skirmish.

It is lolPvP in terms of game rewards and losses, but it is far from worthless.

Ultimately, you seem to employ a weird form of quasi-gamer purism, where you say that nobody who is a "real player" should ever have out-of-game reasons to do anything in a game.

I do agree that there is a dividing line here somewhere - and RMT and the like do cross that line. However, i don't agree that people PvPing outside of Orgrimmar or "friglolling" are to be suspect or blamed for anything.

Ultimately, isn't this how real world works? In terms of grand RL game, what you are doing here can easily be described as "bloglolling", with you (and all your readers) serving as a monetizer for ISPs, Google etc.

Does the fact that you want Eve to not work that way say anything about what you want to see IRL?

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon: Surely capitalism is about making money from the dumb? As is consumerism..turning "wants" into "needs"

Surely the height of smartness in capitalism is getting someone to pay you for writing about internet pixels (Much the same as the community/media subscription & other benefits that sites get for writing a blog about Eve from CCP)

CFC Grunt said...

You know, you should actually watch what's going on prior to calling anything "Blue Donut". Considering that in a Blue Donut, everyone's blue and nothing is happening, the current reality in which N3 is attacking CFC territories is quite different.

And no, the "talent" won't leave for a pirate group because they're not getting paid. Who cares about getting paid - it's easy to earn enough money to pvp freely in null.

One thing this patch will surely change though is buff roams, and that I'm definitely looking forward to - don't think anyone's going to bother hotdropping a roam-worth of sloshed T1 cruisers.

Anonymous said...

@Provi miner
Good lord. I'll be very clear here:

Nobody cares about provi

Understand? You're always leaping in with "but provi, but provi"... "but provi" is completely irrelevant, because it't a bunch of highsec bears who live in the worst nullsec space in all existence, which nobody actually wants to take acting like you own in through superiority. You own in because nobody cares enough to come in and stomp all over you.

Nothing anyone from provi says will ever be relevant outside of provi, so go back to your mining or whatever it was you were doing and just shush.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: sites has the option to check for their ads downloading and refuse to give me access. This case I'll just won't visit them.

@maxim: the friglollers couldn't stay in null if they'd face competitive players. Their "ima null pvpzor" status is coming from the fact that they pay real money to the real owners to the nullsec.

@Anon: capitalism is about creating value. CCP creates the value and the game monetizers ruin it for their own profit. They are organized crime, not businessmen.

@CFC Grunt: are the N3 forces dropping SBUs? Are they taking Sov? If not, they are just lolPvPing.

"Getting paid" is in real money, not ISK.

Anonymous said...

"One thing this patch will surely change though is buff roams, and that I'm definitely looking forward to - don't think anyone's going to bother hotdropping a roam-worth of sloshed T1 cruisers."
At the same time though, those sloshed T1 cruisers can't batphone for support when the local defense teams and everyone within 5ly does drop in on them. Remember, with the changes, you can still jump 5ly, and as long as you wait 50 mins before you jump back and 50 minutes once you're back before doing anything else involving jumping, it's no different from usual. The main difference is, if we drop in caps, we can be well aware in advance if there's a PL or BL hotdrop gang lurking to assist the pirates if we escalate the defense. There's a reason that the vast majority of actual fights (not ratter ganks) involving moa also involve groups like BL.

maxim said...


True, but it in your quest to eliminate "true lords of nullsec" you are also destroying the playground of "friglollers".

You are justifying it by saying that "friglollers are worthless", but this justification doesn't hold really water from game design perspective. It is game for the sake of players, not players for the sake of game (no matter how much complicated this relationship gets later on).

Anonymous said...

"@CFC Grunt: are the N3 forces dropping SBUs? Are they taking Sov? If not, they are just lolPvPing."

So you admit, that your pirates are doing nothing else then lolPvPing?

I look forward to the changes, but I doubt it will be more difficult to hold space for cfc. Just for your information, the cfc is not holding most systems.
There is another powerbloc who is spread over so many systems and will get a real issue.

Furthermore more roaming gangs will make more fun. We get content, you get content, all good. But i doubt we will loose structures or sov to small entities. it is too easy to defend. you even can field capitals now more often for defending, as you can not get dropped so easy.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: friglollers are worthless from the game design perspective, since they aren't the target audience. Making the game design for them would be just as dumb as putting in pandas for the Woot! Panda! kiddies.

Anonymous said...

"friglollers are worthless from the game design perspective, since they aren't the target audience."
They are as much a target audience as any other player group is. The game was designed to allow you to play however you like and for whatever reason you like. You originally chose "collect isk" as a reason. Now you've chosen "hate goons". That doesn't mean that the only reasons to play are those. If anything, sov null players are more of a target audience than NPC null dwellers, since so many mechanics are built purely to support sov null.

But really, what is it you think that defines someone as being the target audience? And why is it you think someone who enjoys shooting other spaceships, but doesn't want to take sov space is not part of that?

I also have to reiterate what the other anon said above: Are pirate groups like moa just pvplollers, since they don't put down SBUs? They have no intention of taking sov or even fighting against the bulk of the CFC forces, only picking out kills where they can get them, and they do it for fun.

daniel said...

"friglollers are worthless from the game design perspective,"

they destroy assets which keeps the (game) economy rolling. consumption/destruction is good for the game.

you still fail to see the bigger picture.

maxim said...

Is "friglollers not the target audience" your own wishful thinking, or are you able to substantiate it with known quotes from CFC?

Gevlon said...


"The dark, gritty, hard reality beneath the pretty ships and nebulas."

Or you believe drunken idiots running around randomly in zero-cost frigs can be fitted into that?

Anonymous said...

""The dark, gritty, hard reality beneath the pretty ships and nebulas."

Or you believe drunken idiots running around randomly in zero-cost frigs can be fitted into that?"

You're misreading and misrepresenting what that is, which is an explanation for why high sec should not be 100% safe. Highsec missioning, industry, trading - none of these things fall into that either the way you are reading into it. Note that immediately following that, it's clarified with "EVE is built on the core principle that you are never 100% safe, no matter where you go or what you do", which "friglollers" are not.

At the end of the day, the game is an open world sandbox with a heavy emphasis on social interaction and emergent gameplay. It doesn't matter if you are in a frigate, a titan, or just sitting in a station throwing isk at other players. There's no right way or wrong way to play EVE, we all play for what we want, how we want and with whoever or whatever we want, and that's what EVE is.

Anonymous said...

@At the end of the day, ... EVE is.

problem is that what frig lolers are doing are contradicting one of the core design structures, that it is real, that loss is tangible.
they should be ignored since catering to the violates core values.

Gevlon said...

I've never said that friglollers should be actively hunted. EVE is a sandbox and if you want to friglol, you can.

What I mean that they should be treated like "Raven upgraders": they can linger, but their demands are ignored when decisions are made.

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

"@Iiene: You forget that most good players in the coalition are not paid."

Of course they're 'paid.' Put they're 'paid' in game terms, which the Blue Donut has to spare, not real terms, which they would horde for themselves.

Their 'pay' is lots of teammates with no effort on their part, and/or free ships to get shot out from under themselves.

Most of them have no reason whatsoever to join the Pirates.

Gevlon said...

@Ilene: their reason is to win battles. In the blue doughnut they can't win battles, because there aren't any. There are staged lolfights without anyone giving a damn of the outcome.

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

"@Ilene: their reason is to win battles."

Well of course they want to "win battles." Who wouldn't?

What they're not saying when asked why they play is the other part of the answer: "I want to win battles if I don't have to pay for the ships."

This is a design defect with the game. Of COURSE people want to be involved in the big, important battles... but they don't want to spend more than a few percent of their play time paying for someone elses's ships.

10% ratting tax? That's acceptable to most people. "Pool all our isk to buy ships that can make a difference", on the other hand, exceeds the risk/reward calculation imposed on them by CCP.

The problem is an inherent design flaw. You can't fix this without stamping out the Blue Donut at the meta game level. And that means curtailing PLEX and RMT.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the people who are playing EVE for merely for enjoyment and not for Real Money are if not Morons then certainly Slackers.
I agree that if you can't PLEX your account, you are bad at EVE. But IMO that does not mean you are bad at EVE if you pay CCP by subscribing. For the average US programmer a subscription is less than fifteen minutes of salary. And the middle class can do it for [well] under an hour. If you enjoy EVE and don't enjoy the drudgery of making ISK in EVE, then you need to look at how much your time, and EVE, is worth to you and make a rational decision.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with it you pay a sub you are bad at EVE. It all comes down to hot much real money, you real time is worth. I can pay for two subs in an hour of real work, and I work 60 hours a week, and I can't be bothered to come home from work, and work at EVE. I would rather just go solo roam, or jump in a fleet.

CFC Grunt said...

"are the N3 forces dropping SBUs? Are they taking Sov? If not, they are just lolPvPing."

No, because they've long learned a thing or two about strategy. Their assault is focused primarily on snapping the CFC jump bridge network.

They're also hitting valuable towers to cripple income generation. Were they to gain.

SBUs would be dropped if they had any benefit in taking the system at this time. They don't.

Anonymous said...

The "blue donut" is a lie. perfectly constructed to cover the truth. As long as there are no other powerbloc leaders the current state of semi-conflict will be preserved.
As long as is there, there will be NO BLUE CIRCLE!

remember goons SA-born purpose is to ruin gameplay! In everything they do.

Petr Deák said...

I think the PLEX paragraf is wrong. If nobody sells PLEX for ISK, then nobody can buy it.
For me, it is time efficient to buy plex, as for 1 hour of overtime at work I earn more money (ISK in case I use them to buy PLEX fo cash) then i could get by 1 hour of eve money making.

Anonymous said...

If failing at EVE consists of me making over 60 dollars an hour at work, and buying three plex(making over 2 bil an hour) rather then essentially working in game for 300 mil an hour or whatever the avg. ratter makes, then I'm fine with failing at eve forever.

If anyone should understand the value of time, I would think it was you Goblin. I simply make five to eight times as much isk an hour by not PvEing, and buying plex.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: if you make enough money to buy a basketball team, does it mean you are good at basketball?