Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Green killboard and winning wars

People keep saying "green killboard is nothing, you need organization". They are right and wrong at the same time.

For any successful project, you need to several different tasks and these need different skills. For example succesful completion of a lvl4 security mission needs you to buy a mission ship, fit it up, bring ammo and other equipment, have proper standings to accept the mission, proper pilot skillpoint to fly the ship and player skills to lead it during the encounter with rats. Each can be measured somehow and it is true for each that all else being equal, improving one will improve the outcome. Of course you should focus on the one that is most limiting. It is quite stupid to improve the fit after a point when you could benefit more from improving the ship (T2 Golem instead of deadspace Drake).

When you are one person operating the whole project, you can (and should) improve any aspect and one can rightfully call you dumb for improving one that provides pitiful improvement instead of the one that limits you. If the project involves multiple people performing different roles, you can only improve your own role. Changing roles are often impossible due to those who are in the role are unwilling to let you in. In this case you can only hope they improve or leave the organization.

The perfect example is that you could save much more money by removing taxes than by replacing your light bulbs to LEDs. However you cannot reasonably start a party that gets into the Congress, while you can indeed replace your bulbs. So your real options are "decreasing electricity bill" and "doing nothing". "Becoming majority leader in the Congress to cut taxes" isn't an option, no matter how desirable it would be.

For an EVE empire you need leaders, FCs, combat pilots and industrialists. The performance of a pilot can be measured by his killboard. The performance of the industrialist can be measured by the ISK he provides to his organization. The performance of the FC can be measured by achieving the goals of the fleet (it's also ISK ratio for a non-structure op). I have no clue how to measure a leader.

An individual pilot can only improve his own piloting and an individual industrialist can only improve his ISK contribution. It is true that their effort is in vain if the organization leadership is crap, just like a perfectly fit mission ship will fail in the hands of a drunken moron who doesn't turn on hardeners. However it's also true that all else being equal an organization with better pilots or better industrialist will win. So an individual pilot realistically has the options "become better, measured as better personal ISK ratio" and "stay bad". "Becoming a good leader and organize the existing pilots into something awesome" is no more reasonable option than "Becoming majority leader in the congress to cut taxes".

This is somewhat disappointing, as improving pilots has the same diminishing returns as improving ship fits. Improving 80% ISK ratio pilots to 90% pilots when the leadership is crap is no different than blinging a mission ship of a moron. However the pilot also have the option of leaving the crappy organization and find one that works. However to be accepted, he has to not suck. His killboard is his resume to a better organization.

So a group with good killboard is a group with skilled pilots. Sure, it's not enough. They may fail due to lack of FCs, lack of money or bad leadership. But they surely fare better than the same leadership, the same money and the same FCs with worse pilots.

Final note: before someone would comment about "PvP skill is not equal to ISK ratio", look at this battle and try to explain how could T1 dessies win over larger number of T2 dessies + 2x more kitchen sink? I have no other explanation than the pilots and especially the FC outskilling the opponent by magnitudes.


PS: below you can see the current state of the former TNT sov in Pure Blind. You might notice that MoA took another system, defended the first (MoA TCU is no longer reinforced) and reinforced a bunch of CONDI structures (at the cost of some bad ISK battles):
Update: GA-P6C is also captured by MoA!

21 comments:

Rob said...

"So a group with good killboard is a group with skilled pilots."
But this is wrong. This is what people have tried to tell you thousands of times which you will not accept. A green killboard doesn't mean skill. In most cases it means the pilot is risk averse and attacks only easy targets.

Take this guy for example. He destroyed a structure on an offline pos and got lucky that it had an avatar in it. Even by your method of measurement his killboard is ridiculously green. Yet his killboard is terrible other than that kill. It's all losses with a frigate kill and a rookie ship kill.

Further, killboard mean less when you have strategic goals. You can throw away ships you know you will lose if it helps you win strategic goals. Even from the outside this was clear to see during the fountain war.

Rob said...

"Final note: before someone would comment about "PvP skill is not equal to ISK ratio", look at this battle and try to explain how could T1 dessies win over larger number of T2 dessies + 2x more kitchen sink? I have no other explanation than the pilots and especially the FC outskilling the opponent by magnitudes."
Without knowing the context it's impossible to know why. It looks like a straight battle on a battle report, but that doesn't mean all those ships showed up at the same time. That battle is spread out over an hour and a half or so. It looks like they engaged some ships (many with no guns) then when the t2/3 fleet showed up from goons, most moa disengaged.

Gevlon said...

@Rob: "risk averse" is a scrub term for "chooses his fights carefully".

That guy got lucky because he went out to make his luck. He searched for offline POS-es what others ignored. His op was very successful in causing damage (both ISK and PR) to Darkness.

When the leadership decides to throw waves after waves to hold up the enemy for a strategic goal, the difference between pilots will stay. Who just dies on the stratop will have worse ISK ratio than the next pilot who dies on the stratop and then goes for a solo roam and kill some ratters. I'd pick him!

About the battle: so you assume they didn't win by skillful piloting their ships but skillful assessing the battlefield and choosing when to engage.

Amarr-Zon said...

"[...] skillful assessing the battlefield and choosing when to engage"

Which is in my opinion simply guerilla warfare. And it works not for the first time when facing an enemy while being out-numbered and/or out-euqipped.

Jim L said...

Measuring combat skill by ISK ratio is the way scrubs justify not challenging themselves in a game. You should go play chess with a bunch of 5 year olds and you can then crow about your win/loss record. When anyone points out the flaws in achieving your record you can then justify it to yourself by claiming that you are talented at assessing the field and choosing when to engage. Every one else will just recognize that you are beating up on 5 year olds.

Gevlon said...

@Jim L: so you claim Goons are a bunch of 5 years olds. Good to know.

In more seriousness: in chess (and many games like League of Legends) there is a defined ladder. There is none in EVE, therefore anyone can claim that he's a master and also that "X is a scrub as all his kills are 5 years olds".

Rob said...

"That guy got lucky because he went out to make his luck. He searched for offline POS-es what others ignored. His op was very successful in causing damage (both ISK and PR) to Darkness."
Whatever way you swing it, he's lucky he came across that and not a skillful pilot. It's not likely to happen again, so while his killboard will remain green for a long time, he'll go back to just losing ships and not winning any battles.

"About the battle: so you assume they didn't win by skillful piloting their ships but skillful assessing the battlefield and choosing when to engage."
There was no skill in it. They flew in, shot a bunch of easy ships, got engaged then ran away. It happens every day in nullsec, just most of those fights don't have someone on their blog putting spin on it. All a green KB shows is risk aversion. I'd rather have an engaged player on my side with a 50% isk ratio than a player with a 99% isk ratio who runs away at the first sign of trouble to save their killboard stats.

Gevlon said...

@Rob: but he got it once, and that's enough for him (and for Darkness).

Shooting a bunch of easy ships means they are more skilled than their enemy (who has easy ships).

Of course you prefer a player who saves YOUR killboard stats than his own. It's called leeching.

Rob said...

"but he got it once, and that's enough for him (and for Darkness)."
And now he's useless. His killboard is green yet he is a useless player. Or are you suggesting that he is now skillful at PvP because he shot a structure?

"Shooting a bunch of easy ships means they are more skilled than their enemy (who has easy ships)"
No it doesn't, it simply means that in that one circumstance they were able to win. In all the others they actively avoid (most of the important battles) they would lose. They aren't skilled at PvP, they are skilled at avoiding risk. That's why most groups who focus on killboard achieve nothing except their killboard stats, because they are terrible at fighting the battles that matter.

"Of course you prefer a player who saves YOUR killboard stats than his own. It's called leeching."
It has nothing to do with MY killboard stats, I'd just rather know the pilot beside me will fight when there's a challenge and not simply run away and abandon strategic goals because they are afraid of making a red mark on their killboard.

After reading all of this I'm really not surprised that with your outlook you've accomplished nothing against the goons. You're far too focussed on trying to pretend your stats mean more than they do than actually defeating the goons. It's just propaganda and it really doesn't work as almost everyone in EVE knows how easy it is to get a green KB.

Gevlon said...

He proved that he is willing and able to find vulnerable structures. Hire him and he'll try to do it again for you. Likely he won't find another titan. But if he kills 1B worth of enemy structures every month, he is good in my book. Actually that performance is in the top 2% of damage dealers according to the 2014 data.

What makes a battle important? Taking a TCU? What do you do with it besides ratting that generate ISK that could be generated better in highsec?

Goons not being fully destroyed =/= nothing had been done. That's the #1 Goon propaganda and really just morons fall for that.

maxim said...

I still can't really wrap my head about the idea of the importance of green killboards in a game where resources are not really scarce.

If you are not actually getting choked out of ISK then the only thing that is important is keeping your people logged in. If you can achieve that by giving them a functionally infinite supply of excessively expensive ships, then what's the problem?

It is a weird thing where at one point i think that, certainly, all that ISK damage must really be putting a dent in the goons, huh. And then at the other point i think that, surely, they are recovering all that ISK damage in one day's worth of ratting.

The truth is obviously somewhere in the middle. So, just once, i'd like to read about the actual ISK (or other limiting resource) flows of goons and what exactly have you done over the last year to reduce them.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: the ISK is theoretically infinite. Practically it's not, since most people are lazy and dumb and can't make it. How much an average or median Goon can make can't be guessed.

However we can see for sure that the Imperium as a whole loses around 3T a month. We can rightfully assume that this is the number they are comfortable losing. If we force them to lose more, *something* will happen.

Please note that Goonwaffe Goons are mere 2-5% of the total Imperium population. We can assume another 5-10% "believers" of the "Goon idea". However the rest are just opportunistic ratters and lolpvpers who are in the Imperium for freebies (anoms and SRP-ed lolpvp). They will quit in legions if they can't make the money they want to make.

Anonymous said...

"They will quit in legions if they can't make the money they want to make."
You will never stop this, short of preventing all players in the game from making isk. These players play for fun and fun is what they get. The only isk they need to make is enough to fuel their fun, which will always be possible. The problem is that you do not understand your enemy and so you can never win.

Marek Zaborowski said...

I think the biggest common mistake in examinating ISK ratio is this: people think You use it as THE ONLY thing for measurment.

Its like, they assume You suggest that function for PVP skills looks like

F(ISK Ratio)=Skill

While instead is more like this:
F(ISK Ratio, DMG Done, DMG Recieved, Number of Kills, Number of Losses, Time)=Skill

People think Gevlon use ISK ratio as the only measurment for "skills", but that is false! He also checks how much damage stands after that ISK Ratio and how many kills... Check out his reports, where he analyze groups and stats numbers for damage they have done and recived, shows most juicy kills etc. seriously, Gevlon analysis are most detailed and logical I have ever encountered in EVE.

You can complain they arent 100% accurate, but at least put some numbers into it like Gevlon did. Like shows us example of -elite pvper- with bad ISK-Ratio, cause showing "newb" with green ratio is just proving that statistics can be generous... Also I would pick ISK Ratio and detailed examination by Gevlon any day over alliance propaganda "Casualities: WE ARE WINNING".

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: the Imperium isn't the only place to have fun. You can shoot ships in literally every other corp and alliance. I don't have to (or want to) destroy their fun. I just need to make being in the Imperium less fun than being in the next corp.

Anonymous said...

"@Anonymous: the Imperium isn't the only place to have fun. You can shoot ships in literally every other corp and alliance. I don't have to (or want to) destroy their fun. I just need to make being in the Imperium less fun than being in the next corp."

then you must destroy their perfect network behind the scene, their perfect it-infrastructure, their perfect SRP etc. this makes it a place to be.
they have so many different social groups, it will be hard to break the bounds. ahh, yes sorry i forgot, you also dont count social arguments.


its just funny to see everyday, how statistics can be manipulated to show the posters view and underline his arguments. but if you take an objective look, it is visibile, that the wheel is spinned around in the direction he needs it.

posix compliant said...

Regarding your point about how to measure a leader- it's hard because it's not easily quantifiable, but a good leader is:

-Able to choose a good direction. This requires an understanding of the broad mechanics, as well as seriously understanding the individual components.
-Able to make a group of people move in the chosen direction. This amounts to charisma- the better the leader communicates, the better they motivate and convince, the more trust they get from their team, the better they're able to effect the movement they've decided on.

So in effect, you can measure leaders by the directions they choose and how well they make it happen. It can be frustrating, because bad leadership can lead to success, and leaders often don't realize which of their actions or traits are actually leading to their success.

One other way you can measure a leader is in how much they take as a reward.

Jim L said...

By this metric you are clearly failing. Even though people can have fun and shoot ships in other corps they are not. Since you started your Grrrr Goon campaign the Imperium membership has grown.

Gevlon said...

At first we they didn't. They merely moved PBLRD into their alliances proper.
Secondly, I don't see the activity growth from this growth. They don't rat more than a year ago and they definitely PvP less. So they might recruited some people, but they are useless as they do nothing.
Thirdly: you should compare their number with the (I admit hard to measure) "where were they without me". Good example: if I burn your house but you also win on the lottery, you are richer than a year ago. But that doesn't mean that burning your house had no effect. Many "win the lottery" events happened in the last year that helped them survive:
- the collapse of N3
- Phoebe nerfing PL and BL
- Pizza failcascading
- Tri wanting to have Sov
- Marmite losing many corps
- CCP doubling anoms in nullsec

NuTroll said...

Good grief look at the slaughter of that linked battle. t1 dessies + 1cynabal vs (t3 dessies + crusiers). how does a group of cruisers lose to a group of destroyers, much less a group of t3 destroyers lose to an outnumbered group of t1 destroyers.

Thats some seriously embarrassing stuff right there.

"""Measuring combat skill by ISK ratio is the way scrubs justify not challenging themselves in a game. """

What is the entire point of skill? Its to achieve an objective no? Nobody cares if some random lone wolf is the best pvper in the game, until he makes a youtube video and goes viral. Even then the objective there was to win over the perception of his viewers.

So if someone who scrubs out and only picks targets he can beat has functionally the same results as the guy who can beat everyone, whats the difference? Neither is really that important unless its put to a use. In this case the scrub "eve Jihadist" is beating the tar out of the elite "eve empire" with guerilla tactics. Sure the "eve empire" might even be able to field the absolute best group of individual pvpers (probably not in this case), but that "seal team" cant be every where at once. And the "eve scrub" would be stupid to pick fights with the "seal team" when they can club the "baby seals" instead. So at the end of the day, the guy who achieves his objectives is the winner. Period. So the real war here isn't who is the best in a 5v5 arena or 1v1 controlled arena matchup. The real war here is who is best at matching target to target. Let's face it, thats the real skill the "scrubs" have and they are putting the "elite" pvpers to shame.

Anonymous said...

The only reason the Harkness Sytem, or an other ranking system works, in the sense of having some predictive numerical output, is because you have iterations of the exact same experiment being run for as many times as either player has played a ranked match. This can not exist in Eve. Moreover, unless this system you're concocting has a predictive numerical output, with regard to individual, or group, engagements, it tells us nothing new. Frankly, as far as I am concerned, sans significant numerical output, this system is little more then your opinion tarted up with some numbers.