Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Marmite acting suicidal

I'm still pretty ill, spent most time in bed watching very lame soaps with a fever. I can't sleep longer than half an hour in once. However it has a good thing: you literally can't get mad about a video game. My years of investment became trivial compared to the joys of being able to reach the toilet. I'm somewhat functional in the mornings, and did the negotiation with Marmite in these times. Now I couldn't sleep and to my surprise my head is somewhat clear (hey, it's morning).

You probably know that the higsec wardeccer Marmite Collective have been working for me for a whole year doing CFC wars. Contrary their extremely childish mail sent to cheer up Goonies, they did these wars for "free". Maybe Tora is just a bit slow and it took him a whole year to realize that he was never making ISK. Or, he did these wars for "free" because kills feed their members, keeping them happy. Please look at the active wars (they'll end in Saturday unless surrendered):
6 out of 10 wars on the toplist are done by Marmite, paid by me. They also have hilarious ISK ratio. This is why Tora loved these wars. You know, line Marmites don't join Marmite to fill Tora's pocket from POS bash contracts. They join to have lot of kills. The social contract of Marmite - and all highsec wardeccer - is "you do some work for the leadership to make money, in turn we fill your overview with red haulers and missioners".

What happened then? Deadly Fingertips did:
After leaving the Highsec wardeccer alliance that dumbly attacked Marmite, this corp started to recruit highsec PvP-ers and got hilarious numbers. I carefully checked that they aren't at war with Marmite and offered them a pre-elimiary contract: they decced Goonswarm and SMA for me yesterday. The offer was simple: if they get good results on these wars, they get more wars. If they don't, I won't finance the wars anymore. I informed Tora about it which made him clearly mad. But what really made him lose his temper is my explanation: "Dotlan says 4.4M shipkills and 0.8M podkills in highsec in 2014. Zkillboard says 104K kills for Marmite. I know that many kills are NPC losses, but still Marmite grabbed only 2-4% of the kills in highsec. This makes demanding exclusivity a bit overconfident."

Honestly, I was surprised by this very low number. I mean, Marmite is "the" highsec wardec powerhouse, everyone fears their name, yet their kills in highsec are a drop in the ocean. This also explains why CFC kept dying after a year of permanent wars:
Most CFC kept happily hauling all year without losing a single ship. Until they did of course. Highsec remained pretty safe for CFC because Marmite had a very small coverage. I wished to increase this coverage by hiring Deadly Fingertips, but the Marmite Leadership believed that this is a threat to them.

It wasn't. If someone else takes out a few percents of the targets it won't destroy you. What is a threat to Marmite is their attempt to do something impossible: remain the only serious highsec PvP-er. This is a hopeless whack-a-mole: every time they destroy a competing organization, the players reform under a new banner. As long as they have food (kills), there will be wardeccers. Marmite could only stomp them out for good if they could take most of the kills instead of 2-4%.

What will happen now? I keep my test-wars with Deadly Fingertips. If they perform well, they'll take the position of Marmite. They probably won't, as Marmite will attack them. Then I run test wars with the next well-performing highsec deccer and the next, and the next, until Marmite gives up or dies in fatigue from chasing other PvP-ers instead of feasting on idiots passing pipes. Remember, their pilots want a good killboard and anti-deccer wars are anything but. Please check these wars. The point isn't that Marmite is losing the ISK ratio, but the trivially low losses on both sides. A lazy evening in Uedama gets 10x more kills.

At this point it's unreasonable to expect them to come to their senses and realize the truth: they are a small fish in the big ocean, even if the other fish are smaller. They either have to grow (by recruiting other PvP corps) or live with it. Expecting paying clients to act like they are huge and awesome is a narcissistic delusion.

Since the testing wars (GSF+SMA, they are the best targets), cost only 1B/week, I can increase my nullsec activity, giving more to MoA and probably starting supporting another nullsec pirate against CFC...

As soon as I get better. I can't give an ETA on the next post or even on processing comments.

PS: I believed I'm well enough to do a Jita update. I was obviously wrong:
By the way, I hate that incompetent waste of salary developer who replaced the old, usable sell interface for this abomination, without even the option to use the old one. I mean, having an old bad feature is bad, but spending dev time to make something worse is stupid. The old one had a warning box if you typed an obviously wrong value. With the new if your finger slips to the Enter button, you are done.


Basil said...

Their point is not completely without merit- you finance a large part of the cost of these wars, but they finance the ship replacements, and if you weren't paying for the wars, they'd just have to cover the cost themselves (presumably causing a lower efficiency of their corp and wars).

In the end, you're facilitating these wars, but aren't responsible for all the damage. Much of it would have happened if you'd kept your money, and your focusing effect is what you're really responsible for. So compare these numbers to the numbers you'd have seen if you didn't finance anything, and that's a number you can proudly (and credibly) yell from a mountain top :)

Your point is also valid- any corp willing to wardec the goons should be able to have you finance that war, assuming they provide the results you're looking for.

Chris said...

Getting 3% of the kills doesn't mean that they are a small fish. It probably means they are a very big fish - unless I understand you wrong, they are one of the biggest fish out there.
Calling them a small fish is a little insulting to them. What they underestimate is not how big or small they are, but the size of the ocean.
Because even the biggest fish out there is unfathomably small when compared to the size of the ocean.

They should realize that there is plenty of room for other fish, and that the best thing they could do against these competitors is work together for better coverage.

Anonymous said...

Your own statistics thus show that:
1; The threat of marmite (or variants) is low enough that for many CFC members it is appearantly cheaper to occasionally lose a freighter to them than to use red frog/ keep a neutral alt
2; The reason for this is that the pool of pilots who enjoy that type of pvp is quite small and while they may move corps the actual amount doesn't increase substantially even if you (or someone else) throws money at those corps.

My conclusion would be that therefore it doesnt matter what corp I'd finance, the end result would be the same. But I'm happy for random pvp corps that you feel differently

maxim said...

If Marmite is willing to agressively compete with Fingers, that might mean they share a "market" of sorts, in which this direct destruction of each other appears to be an effective stratagem.

This statement of yours makes sure that this market is not the market of your money. Which is a good thing.

But maybe it never was a market of your money?

I doubt CFC traffic through highsec amounts to more than a few percentages of all highsec traffic. 2-3% of highsec kills may be close to 100% of that traffic.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: I assume it's a dumb e-peen thing rather than result of a serious consideration.

Even if they share a market and kills of Fingers significantly decrease their target pool, losing all CFC targets to no wars is clearly worse than losing some to Fingers.

1: it can be true some cases. In other cases the CFC member is just dumb and expects to get lucky one more time.
2: the kills on a gate scales with the number of wars you have. So 2 corps with 10-10 wars will kill less than the alliance of the two with 20 wars.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon gambled and lost.

It's like having employees in Africa. They demand a normal payment, you gamble they will keep working for you or they'll have nothing at all, they tell you to fuck off anyway, you lose.

Amyclas Amatin said...

You finance "war-costs", while the pvpers actually finance and work to train and equip their armies. The real costs of pvp are far above what you pay. It might well be that no group can afford to or be bothered to wardec so many alliances without help, but it still costs them a great deal of time and resources to do the actual fighting.

Anonymous said...

The reason for the lopsided graph is Freight Club's activity dropped.

Gevlon said...

@Amyclas Amatin: the PvP-ers love to PvP. The leadership must give them PvP fun. The wars allowed them to trash lot of easy targets. Sure, they had to pay for them with the small amount of lost ships, but they did so happily. They'd happily pay for the wardecs too, just couldn't afford. Hence Marmite didn't permadec before my support.

@Anonymous: no. They didn't want raise until they heard that I wanted other mercs too. They got buttmad and wanted ISK to compensate which I didn't give them.

It wasn't a gamble, since their wars didn't worth that much.

A concerned Minmatar said...

I guess I'm not the only one that's reminded of the Noir controversy. Why is it so hard to find reliable mercs?

dobablo said...

The most valuable resource in EvE is people. The emergence of a rival wardecker group is a risk to Marmite because they could lose pilots to defections and not any impact it will have on reducing the potential number of targets.

Your money puts Marmite in a position where they can offer unique content to their members. Any support going to a Deadly Fingertips could turn them into a viable alternative and result in Marmite losing their monopoly as the group which wardeckers have to join.

Xien Xiaohui said...

Why is Gevlon now suddenly responsible for reimbursing Marmite ship losses? Losses which occur during normal PvP? Actually in all wars Marmite's losses are exceptionally low - it goes with the territory of minimal-risk PvP (or as I like to call it, carebear PvP).

Marmite can't afford to keep wars against these entities active for any appreciable length of time. Gevlon is pretty much bankrolling their content; he's paying for them to have this content, now people are whining that he should pay for their ships, too?

Pure idiocy.

Degini said...

Regardless of whether 2-4% is considered big fish, it is unreasonable to request exclusivity for such a low market share.

This is a good thing for the project because it outs another manbaby alliance leader. They are bad for business.

Xmas said...

Marmite sits on trade-hub undocks with high alpha ships waiting for war targets.

They make money from looting wrecks, which is more than enough to pay for the occasional lost Rupture with meta 3 guns.

I shoot things said...

Gevlon do your numers take into account the hoards of gank squads goons run. that must account for a huge percentage of their high sec losses which would sway marmite numbers. Second thing to note is that since the interceptor changes more null bears fly them as primary means of transport, and don't forget travel fit cloaky t3s, and cloaky haulers. They did get smarter........somewhat

nightgerbil said...

Im pretty sure Deadly Fingertips is the pvp corp that broke of pursuit of happiness(?) who had/lost a war with marmite over the xmass period.

So summarise my understanding, the highsec pvp communtiy is full of rivalry, they probably aren't willing to work together as they hate each other and trying to harness their arch enemies was likely taken as a slap in the face by Tora.

Which you can understand right? you werent happy when noir started taking Goon money to kill you while taking your money to kill them. Toras been fighting off and on with these guys for a while and probably thought of you as "his" client.

Im really surprised you wouldn't have made even an attempt to soothe him, pointing out just an experiment, spin the "vast coalition of highsec" dream and reassure him hes your "guy" and your primary goto person. Literally "hes the MAN". Marmite are the biggest out there and they keep winning when they compete with the others.

Its like sacking Brazil as your football team, cos South Africa gave you a cheaper offer. Your chance of winning the Grr Goon cup just went down.

Anonymous said...

@Amyclas Amatin

If marmite were having fun and enjoyed shooting CFC in highsec, despite the cost to do so, then this is still a dumb move. This is like someone who really enjoys going to amusement parks getting mad at their rich uncle for being a cheapskate because he's only covering admission costs but doesn't also pay for snacks and rides. It would be different if going to the amusement part was a chore the guy doesn't enjoy doing, but he does enjoy it, and now he gets to enjoy it less because he can no longer afford to go as often paying for everything himself.

Shooting soft targets in highsec is marmite's reason for existence. If they don't actually enjoy doing that, then they wouldn't have picked up Gevlon's wardec costs only contract a year ago.

Marmite got jealous and threw a tantrum, and now they get to have less targets to shoot because of it. I don't see why Gevlon has to keep humoring people like that.

Gevlon said...

@Dobablo: I undersand that. However Marmite REFUSES to grow, so the exclusive content they provide doesn't lead to more pilots.

@nightgerbil: Deadly Fingertips wasn't at war with Marmite when I hired them. So there was no conflicting interest like in Noir case. If they were at war, I wouldn't have hired them. If they attacked Marmite with my contract, I'd call them scammers like Noir.

I understand that there is rivalry, but why should I respect it? There is rivalry between McDonalds and Burger King. Does it mean you are forced to buy from only one? If you say to a McDonalds employee who offers you a cheesburger "I'm here for normal burgers, if I want cheeseburger, I go to Burger King", you are maybe impolite. But can you imagine the McDonalds manager yell at you and throw you out of the shop?

The "Vast coalition of highsec" is something I wanted for a year. Tora refuses to hire more people because "they suck" and "they are jerks". I finally realized that everyone who is not him is either "suck" or "jerk". This means I can't get better coverage without hiring others.

Anonymous said...

Your MCdonalds and Burger King example is wrong. You are no customer for them who buys Cheeseburger.
You are a sponsor for them to make them better/lasting longer. Putting hughe money in.

Ofcourse their management would have something against it, if you support their direct opponent in market.

Anonymous said...

Well, the deadly fingertips route may be drying up. Their dodixie operations have effectively been shut down most of the last week and it's only a matter of time before someone gets pissed off enough to do the same to them in Jita and Amarr. Trade hub camping can only last so long when you have been losing billions of isk in ships on a daily basis.