Greedy Goblin

Monday, February 23, 2015

The necessity of PvE corporations

People don't seem to understand why is it crucial to have non-wardeccable highsec PvE corporations and claim that this could already exist with a chat channel between NPC corp players. Not.

PvP and PvE corporations are fundamentally different. PvP corps are army units. The leader is flying with them and leading them into battle. There is only exchange of information between the leader and the members or between the members. In-game activity is done between the member and the enemy. They could be - and in public roams are - strangers sharing a channel.

A successful PvE corporation on the other hand works as a real world corporation. The leader owns the most important tools and the know-how of the production. The members on the other hand bring their workforce and maybe simple tools. The worker - just as Marx noticed - would be better off if he took control of the tools of production and lead himself. He just can't, because he is too lazy or dumb. Please note he is not moron or slacker because unlike M&S he has work ethic and ability to follow rules and orders.

Such cooperation needs transferring of assets and access to other assets. This can't be done to strangers you'll never meet again, some level of trust needed. Sure, you won't cry if someone runs away with a Mackinaw every now and then, so the trust need isn't that high, but you can't afford just giving out Macks to everyone who turns up in your channel. Also, social people only cooperate if they are among "us", they don't trust any "strangers", so a common identity and tag is needed to keep them interested.

In PvE games these social players are recruited into guilds where the raid leader tell them what to do and rewards them accordingly. The best rewards and the glory of course belongs to the leaders. In EVE this is impossible, because any corp getting significant profit would get wardecced. Fighting back is simply unprofitable, because there is always an alternative: play alone with alts. The simple social members with nothing but their 5-10 hours/week workforce simply don't bring enough extra to the leader (over his own alts) that worth paying mercs to defend or spend his own time (opportunity cost) fighting.

So due to wardecs EVE cannot welcome ordinary players into "exploited proletariat" like in WoW and other games, losing out most of the potential customers. Wardecs also prevent the usual "guild leader" position, where you put in knowledge and capital and get lot of work done. In EVE you have to do the busywork yourself, you can't hire workers.

As usual, I repeat that introducing non-wardeccable corps wouldn't decrease PvP at all, as their future members are in NPC corps or not playing. It's unlikely that any existing PvP corp would suddenly turn PvE. It's likely that existing failcorps would turn PvE, but they already provide no war targets as they dock up/dissolve upon wardec.

PS: talking about PvE: watch this battle between SMA and...
Well, at least he died cap stable.
This fit is pretty good... if you are playing docking games. Otherwise, not.
Finally, the two sins of RAZOR and the retribution by -EH-.


Anonymous said...

"In EVE this is impossible, because any corp getting significant profit would get wardecced."

Apart from all the corps that fly under the radar for years without getting a wardec.
Indy corps, trading corps, many these operate without wardecs.

I know that everyone says all the time that as soon as you make a player corporation there are bad guys waiting to wardec you and gank you out of existence, but this is in the same line of hype as those who think there are gankers behind every gate.

What causes this illusion? People shout a lot about it, which makes it seem much more common than it actually is...and then of course, those shouting about it get wardecced or ganked even more, which reinforces their belief, and leads to the impression that no one anywhere has any sort of corp without being permanently wardecced.

Anonymous said...

Wow. You have nailed it.

It's not that people "can't" understand the needs of PvE corps... it's that they have no profit in defending PvE corps.

Eve Online is MASSIVELY ganker centric. If you go on the forums with your PvE tale of woe... you will be BURIED with posts by ganker trolls. They will be on you in minutes. And it will be brutal and unrelenting.

This is CCP's fault. They set the rules for the game and the forums...

Under these conditions... the best suggestion for people who want to form PvE corps is to cancel their account.

Gevlon said...

My altcorp never got wardecced either. You can indeed hide for years. But hiding and recruiting doesn't really match.

maxim said...

Unwardeccable highsec corps will turn Highsec into yet another version of "blue doughnut". It won't take long for a very small amount of corps to essentially monopolise highsec economy.

While this may propel players like Gevlon into extremely profitable positions (and will allow them to have a LOT of fun getting there over a span of a year or so), this is not good for long-term health of the game.

Gevlon said...

@maxim: surely not. In Null Blue Doughnut you can't leave it. TEST tried to stand alone and was destroyed. In highsec, you can go independent and your old group can't do anything.

Nothing stops a mid-level guy to stop working for the organization and take his scheme to an independent corp.

CFC Grunt said...

No. EVE is a game where your actions have consequences. Giving people more ways to evade them by continuing to rake in cash while completely safe is bad.

Robert said...

"Apart from all the corps that fly under the radar for years without getting a wardec.
Indy corps, trading corps, many these operate without wardecs."
Almost every industry corp in highsec is a guy and his alts. I can't think of any that exist and are more than a handful of people.

"Unwardeccable highsec corps will turn Highsec into yet another version of "blue doughnut". It won't take long for a very small amount of corps to essentially monopolise highsec economy."
The blue doughnut is a problem because they take over a massive section of space. Highsec space cannot be taken over. Beyond that, unwardeccable industry players already exist in NPC corps. Unwardeccable player corps would simply give them a banner to play under.

Gevlon said...

@CFC Grunt: how would that be different from current NPC corps?

Just because they share a chat channel and Orca boost?

These corps wouldn't do anything that they can't do now.

99smite said...

I totally agrre with this analysis. Contrary to the anonymous posters, I have experienced multiple times that player corps in highsec, who emphasize on pve, who try to tutor new players, get regulrarly wardecced. If a corp moves into a dead end system in the hope of being "more safe" than living in a drossroad system, they get soon wadecced 100% by Marmite or forsaken asylum. Apparently the residents see the new corp as a nuisance and try to scare them away...

Nothing gets you wardecced faster than recruiting in help channels...
Those corps who don't get wardecced in most cases do no active recruitment...

Additionally, the relative unsafety of corporate assets and the less than abyssmal corp management interface prevent a certain level of cooperation with "strangers" that is done better and more cost efficient with alts...

No one who is mentally sane would advertize that he has a multitude of BPO's to be researchedn and copied inside a POS for every corp member...

Even though the BPOs may be flagged as corporate BPOs they still are in danger if a POS gets attacked and the assets have not been taken into safety...

maxim said...

You are assuming that there will always be independent corps in highsec. Highsec wardecs are currently the only mechanic in place that prevents a single economic conglomerate from gobbling everyone of any consequence up.

An argument can be made that highsec wardecs work TOO well, but outright removing this kind of pressure from highsec economy is not the way.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: I see absolutely no reason to team up with my clone (a person who is just like me) for PvE purposes. We would rather be competitors than cooperators.

A PvE corp consists of one boss who knows the information and has the capital and a bunch of busy bees who bring nothing but their workforce.

But if it helps: I gladly accept an artificial limit to such corp, like "max 50 pilots".

splatus said...

Is EVE / High Sec really that simple? Are all players either PvE or PvP pilots? This seems grossly simplified. A well-balanced corporation should allow for decent amount of ISK making (= PvE, with trading and industry thrown in) and PvP for defense (POS, POCO) and skirmishes.

EVE is far from ideal in allowing a balanced corporation like that, a larger, more organized corporation will always destroy a smaller, less organized one. There is much room for improvement. But categorizing players as "PvE" and "PvP" players and separating them with corp mechanics does not do the complexity of EVE justice.

Anonymous said...

Maybe make the pve non wardec-able corps not being able to own pos or poco 's.
Else one Corp could monopolize high sec use of those or lock them down.
Also wardecs only make People dock up, unless they have stuff You can always atack like poco' s and pos.

Gevlon said...

That goes without saying. Obviously no towers, POCOs or alliance membership.

CFC Grunt said...

"how would that be different from current NPC corps? "

Name actually tends to play a bigger role. If you had an enemy alliance chased out to hisec and wanted to follow up with another blow, you dec them and continue your pursuit.

If they disband, they theoretically could reform under the same (or different) name - but you often see corps not re-joining, members dropping. It's a hit to the pride of your enemy, and proves to them that they shouldn't have crossed you.

maxim said...

The notion that you can be friendly with all of your "clones" only exists because Eve market is horribly undersaturated in your kind of services. And this happens because, as you aptly described, getting some true scale on your kind of services requires having corps that are somehow safe from wardecs.

Once that limitation is removed, PvE-corps will start multiplying like weeds and you and your "clones" will eventually find a way to work together on that basis. Which will lead to about a half a year of glorious gameplay as you work together to truly cover all the underserved portions of Eve's economy. And, for a while, it will feel amazing.

And then you'll find yourself running out of economic space. Instead of "clones" you become competitors. And start driving each other out of the market and buying each other out. In less than a year, the most competent financial group will have highsec economy in a stranglehold and rule as oligarchy.
Again, glorious year, much content to be had.

Only, after the dust settles, there won't be any economy game left in Eve at all. The most efficient system will be most efficiently functioning and everyone who tries anything different will be stamped out or assimilated. Perfect order = "heat death" of Eve's trading universe.

At which point, CCP would HAVE to trigger something akin to Barbarian invasion of Rome to dislodge highsec oligarchs and reintroduce some chaos.

And that's assuming the barbarians are not themselves highsec oligarchs. In that (very likely) event CCP's control over Eve's economy would be lost beyond any hope of salvage. And the current blue doughnut situation will be remembered fondly as the time when Eve was still a game with opportunities for everyone.

TLDR: i can see how this path is attractive to you, but letting economy players just run free without an entropy factor such as wardecs is not a smart decision at all.

Limitation of 50 people per corp won't function as entropy factor, this role can only be assumed by something capable of actively destroying accumulated wealth.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: while your prediction of the future is possible, I don't see corporations in it.

What would being in corporation give to the oligarchs when everything is managed by market rules?

Anonymous said...


So... you're worried that a massive trader oligarchy will form that will optimize prices by putting in orders .02 isk above of below the last one?

People already do that. And they figured it out all by themselves.

How is this "ogliarchy" going to force you to buy THIER products instead of any other? That's right. They can't. Nor can they have any control over anyone else's buy/sell orders other than what they can already do.

All the current "war dec" system does is create "gank permits" that you buy from CONCORD. There may be legit uses for war decs? But realistically, how often does that happen? It's a horrifically flawed system.

maxim said...

Corporations are required for overcoming various organisational hurdles, the way you yourself explained.
This future implies existence of non-wardeccalbe PvE corporations. Also, in the absence of some universally accepted code of ethics beyond profit, it is also pretty much the only thing PvE corporations can evolve into.

What is happening right now is a small bunch of amateurs thinking that 0.01% undercut is the way to make money, and an even smaller bunch of more intelligent traders using more intelligent ways to trade (and making billions. That some of them use to finance their own wars).

When you are up against people who have actual economies of scale on their side and are capable of using that scale, you find yourself in a situation where they are able to undercut you not by 0.01%, but by 10-20% and still maintain good enough profit margins to just wait till you give up and go away.

Naturally, you can still buy from "good small guys" at 10-20% markup :D. But guess where the 99% of the market is going to swing in that scenario.

Wardecs protect you from having to face off against a real large-scale industrial player in highsec.

You can't build a large scale operation without having PvE corps for reasons explained by Gevlon. And PvE corps don't work because as soon as they start turning a profit they become viable wardec targets - and immediately get wardecced.

Sure, it is a bit like medieval barbarians preventing modern transnational corporations from forming by robbing and butchering anyone who accumulates a bit of wealth. But guess which of the two makes a more fun game :D