Greedy Goblin

Monday, April 11, 2016

The long march to Deklein: The dark years

Why Moneybadgers defeated the Imperium? Simple: because they were much stronger. The real questions are:
  • Why didn't they attack earlier, years earlier, even before B-R?
  • Why did the Imperium ignore this danger and acted like they can do anything?
The answers lie in this "the long march to Deklein" series, which archive my time in EVE and the overarching project to prove meritocracy and the power of economy over "friendship", "morale", "leadership", "social bonds", "fun" and other social nonsense. This project finally - after years of experimenting - started the snowball that buried the self-declared space-communism, the empire considered invincible weeks before its destruction.

When I came to EVE, I already had the right ideas to reshape it. I always preached meritocracy and you can read my early posts and see that the crucial core idea, utilizing money to gain control was there. You can also laugh hard on how dumbly I wanted to utilize my money. My first EVE post is from 2012 Feb. The linked ones are from 2012 July. Between them you can find dumb titan plans that I didn't bother to look up. The first GRR post is from 2014 January. The time between them, 2012 and 13 are the dark years, stumbling cluelessly to figure out how to implement it.

Before continuing: it's easy to (and people often do) forget how different life was a few years ago. Now the winning coalition proudly call themselves "Moneybadgers" and the Goons post bad Godfather memes about their enemies being controlled by money. But the "common sense" opinion of today was "this autist can't get eve" a few months ago. Mostly because of Goon propaganda (and factors explained in the third part), most people honestly believed that "the best ship is friendship" and a group with the best "atmosphere" or "leadership" wins because the members are "emotionally invested" and log in. They also believed that no alliance can be defeated without "breaking their morale". What seems like "8 years old girl imagining politics" was the consensus opinion not long ago. While socials are blessed with selective forgetfulness, the Internet is not, you can easily dig up even Moneybadger leaders babbling about the power of friendship, social ties and "metagaming".

EVE before Citadel expansion was a great society simulator and was unlike any other video game. In other games you gather assets to improve your character. Get better sword, build better base, recruit more zerglings, whatever. In WoW I quickly mastered getting gold and utilizing it to get better gear. I came with the same attitude with EVE, expecting that my ISK can buy me a pilot and a ship that can take part of shaping EVE. In EVE this doesn't work. The first thing I had to accept is most players don't want to shape EVE, just "have fun" and "get dank kills". While this wasn't new, in other games such morons and slackers could be safely ignored. You only saw them blocking the postbox with their huge mounts and dancing naked while spamming childish crap. In EVE, they were present in Sov-holder alliances. The Mate War was an eye-opener. It questioned everything I believed. How can a lowly moron or slacker be part of something great? Even more: how can he be part of fleets which shapes the history while I'm not. This gave me awful lot to think about. I didn't want to abandon my beliefs of meritocracy, but I couldn't ignore objective fact: ridiculous morons who wouldn't even be considered for a beginner raiding WoW guild are in large supply in top EVE alliances.

The term that started to help me was "F1-drone". A derogatory term used by "skilled PvP-ers" on nullsec fleet fighters. The apostrophes are there because only they called each other skilled, they had nothing objective to prove their superiority. They didn't own Sov, they often flew cheap ships, they weren't in the news. However the two wrongs added into a right. The nullsec powers win by utilizing lots of unskilled socials (while tolerating useless M&S) to do menial labor: trivial, but time consuming jobs in fleets, often literally just orbiting the anchor and pressing F1. The "skilled players" were capable of much more, but as they did not utilize their skills for anything else but pointless duels, they achieved nothing.

I also saw how cheap the doctrines were of the powers of 2012: mostly Drakes and bombers. So I formed the next idea: I accept the "socials pressing F1 for win" status quo and reshape the universe by putting the socials of "my" alliance into better ships. I choose TEST, because they were flying Navy Apocalypses instead of stupid poor Drakes. Of course PL and the whole coalition did that too, but I could only get into TEST. Yes, I'm fully aware how dumb this was, the title is "dark years" for a reason. My time in TEST didn't go well, mostly because I managed to be invited to the worst possible corp, NORK. The members were the most horrible trolls and haters possible. After they demanded full API, I considered it a sign of imminent betrayal and awox so I jumped to Dreddit, but this made them really mad. Despite I've been on the internet for more than a decade, the amount of toxicity - and how tolerated this was in TEST - surprised me. Finally, Montolio decided that the easiest way to stop the drama is kicking me. Not much after NORK betrayed TEST and awoxed on their way out. This was quite a pleasure to see, but didn't help with the project. I mean, despite I donated money, they still hated and finally kicked me and on top of this, I didn't even see that money really shaping the universe.

A bit later Montolio went crazy, planning an attack on the then-allied Goons for no reason (given to line members), so he wasn't followed and had to resign. Despite the majority of TESTies choose to be friendly with Goons against their own leadership, Goons invaded them for money. I was invited back and my time was much more enjoyable, I donated money and flew as much I could, but at the end TEST lost 6VDT and choose to run to lowsec without leadership, without plans, without anything. I quit, devastated. This time everything was fine, they even made the donation board and many people gave money and yet we lost.

Simply to have something to do, I went ganking. This gave a surprising insight into the life of the "skilled players". Later, when I did killboard analysis, I've found that for two months I was the top ISK destroyer of EVE. That was the missing piece. I wasted my money to empower a group filled with morons and slackers (sorry TEST, I remember 250 men battleship fleets with 40 battleships, 10 logi, 200 frigs). I should choose the group to support more carefully. And so the plans for GRR were made. But that's for tomorrow.


Provi Miner said...

hmm I won't argue you straight across, but I will say this as my personal experience. I started the fight in ewar was fairly quickly shot off the field, reshipped and came with main line DPS (this is your f1 drone) when that was shot out I reshipped again and came back with tackle. aside from the time in the main line dps I didn't anchor on anyone except the boat I was to tackle. 70% of the fights I participate the idea of anchor is foreign but then again sometimes it does come down to N+1 and you have to hold the line with soaking up their best shot while trying to land your own. I know you want to place everyone in slot and leave them there but my experience only a small minority of eve pvp pilots sit in one slot (f1) drone and remain there. Today I flew scout, yesterday I flew ewar, blap boat, tact destroyer, and main line HAC DPS. I think your pigeon holing is to narrow and doesn't express what the majority do on a day to day.

Damon said...

Sorry this has nothing to do with strength of forces. As has been pointed out already by many on both sides of the fight, there is 2 major factors in this fight, No Capital fleets were used, Yes capitals have been used on the odd weird occasion, but B-R type fights or massive capital fleets grinding down TCU's or iHubs etc etc haven't happened.

The second is the new Sov System, which has meant that you no longer need to deploy massive fleets to attack a small number of systems in a pinpointed spear type attack, but use hundreds of pilots in small groups to attack 10's of systems as once, making it almost impossible to defend against.

These 2 aspects coupled with the large territory that each CFC alliance holds has meant defending it from many attackers hitting different nodes at the same time has meant its very painful to try and defend. Plus the fact that each individual CFC Alliance was hit at exactly the same time, meaning they couldn't support each other properly.

However I will say CFC's didn't help the situation by abandoning their Sov and moving to Lowsec. Each Alliance would have done better to consolidate into a single constellation in each region and blockade themselves in. They may have stood a better chance.

This should serve as a message to all alliances that holding entire regions is no longer doable.

Gevlon said...

@Provi Miner: most players sit firmly in the "anom ratter" box and stay there, even if their empire burns.

- Fozziesov was around for a year and nothing happened.
- A group with more power can put up more entosising fleets.
- Defending is easier than attacking with automatic node regen and ADM
- Each CFC alliance should have protected its own land. They failed to form significant fleets, because they are worthless pets.
- SMA was hit alone by TISHU (+ usual anti CFC). The CFC could roflstomp them if they had the power.

Pashko Zpc said...

TLDR version.
Why goons got evicted? (lets call things as is - evicted. Defeat requires some more criterias to be fulfilled).
> they announced "no fun" doctrine which rots line member's morale. He's there not to feed on anoms but for being entertained and shoot something occasionally.
> they tried to fuck with lowsec moon holders recently (viceroy bullshit)
> they kicked IWI
> they abandoned SMA during fade war and proceeded sleeping while meatshield and allies got harassed and burned

That's why they got overwhelmed on all fronts. MBC now has pl supers, attackers from lowsec, npc venal, even drone reg forces. They've got enthosis power of pandemic horde and test alliance.

It's also amusing that all this ops is funded by dirty IWI isk. Rmt isk are saving galaxy from boredom. What an Eve play!

Anonymous said...

What are you going to do now that the Russians are backing CFC against the Drone Walkers? Seems your money could be put to good use there somewhere - maybe get the Russians to lay off the Drone Walkers, who are doing good work against the CFC???

Rob Thompson said...

Thanks for this interesting read, Gevlon. I'm looking forward to the next parts.

Just near the end, you mention briefly your flirtation with ganking. It may have been a time of little consequence to you (apart from your propulsion to the No.1 spot), but it had enormous significance for me.

You - in the guise of Botmuncher Goblin, et al - turned up in system and proceeded to lay waste to a good proportion of the resident mining population. There was literal panic in Local. I watched it all play out, quite bemused initially. Then, I gathered my blasters and laid down my missioners hat forever.

We human beings are complex creatures, aren't we? For the meritocratic vision to succeed, you need people who do not swerve from their aim - and others willing and able to put up with such single-mindedness. A big ask, I think.

Roll on, part II...

rolfski said...

Imo the Imperium is not really defeated until GSF's playernumbers start collapsing. There might be little hope that they can win the war atm, but that should at some point result in unhappy players and corporations leaving, leadership step-down and other sorts of serious failcascading. Until then they still possess the potential to strike back with force.

Gevlon said...

@Rob: thanks

@rolfski: I'm not sure GSF numbers will drop in the short run, as leavers can be replaced by SMA, TNT, FCON... remnants. However the total Imperium numbers are already down by 10000. Goons will only failcascade if they can't get their precious anoms back in a few months.

Damon said...


Ok lets look at your arguments:

- Fozziesov was around for a year and nothing happened.

Yes it was around for a year, however because of that fact NO ONE knew what the new mechanic would do or how it would work with large entities, so many didn't try, because it was an unknown. Hell even the CFC tested it in Provi initially and found it rather easy to attack structures, while our goal was to kill ihubs only, we did goes alittle further on occasion, it proved a point to CFC's that defending against a large scale coordinated Multi point attack was very difficult. CFC's have always been a Fleet powerhouse, this new system meant that those fleets were pointless. Many of the CFC Alliances have still not learn the fact that small roaming battlegroups could easily stop entosis attackers. The issue in the end is CFC's has not learnt from the Provi attack.

- A group with more power can put up more entosising fleets.

Incorrect. One of the issues with the new system is that you can entosis with a single pilot in a rather quick ship, initially this was ceptors(I was part of the SMA ceptor entosis fleets sent to annoy people in Fountain) It was fun, quick and damn annoying for the defenders as they couldn't catch us. When Ceptors ability to fit a entosis was removed, we just switched to faction frigates, sure we weren't nulli'd any more but still were very hard to catch and when a defender arrived on the node, we just burnt out of range at 4000m/s eventually breaking the entosis link, and warping off. We did this time and time again in Fountain. You are making the same mistake as the CFC, thinking Power and size works in this new mechanic. It doesn't. Even your own pets(Moa) are using the tactic of small fast fleets.

- Defending is easier than attacking with automatic node regen and ADM

Partly Correct, however the ADM just means instead of taking 10-15mins it may take up longer, and if there is no defenders, that really doesn't matter. The regen to be honest from my point of view hasn't come into play as a real thing, yes they regen over time, but unless you are dealing with an attacker who is lazy, hits the node once, then goes home after he is chased off, its not really a thing. This is a game, not a military RL situation where a defender can stay on a node for hours on end, and then hand off to the next pilot.

Damon said...


- Each CFC alliance should have protected its own land. They failed to form significant fleets, because they are worthless pets.

Very Correct, The plan to send all CFC alliances to lowsec(Saranen), is still one I'm scratching my head over. This was CFC's leadership call and they screwed that one up. As I said earlier, I would have done this drastically differently. As was proven in the DRF vs RA fights in the east, large scale entities with hundreds of systems doesn't work, if you have a shit ton of systems, you are over stretched and you will not last under this mechanic. CFC Alliances would have been better to consolidate into a single constellation in each region and hold that single constellation, while sending out roam fleets of 10 to 20 pilots to annoy attackers. while keeping the majority of their defenders protecting that single constellation. CFC's effectively retreated before the fights started and I don't know why, this was never communicated to line members from what I can tell, I left CFC's before this current fight.

- SMA was hit alone by TISHU (+ usual anti CFC). The CFC could roflstomp them if they had the power.

Incorrect, Tishu used a tactic that is very hard to combat against. We tried several times without success. They used cloaky bombers, recons, and BLOPS to hit SMA. SMA put together several fleets using between 30 and 80 to combat them, while we could stop them touching the infrastructure, we couldn't actually get them, Yes we did on occasion, but it was more luck than anything, as Fleets verses Cloaky's doesn't work. At the time Tishu wasn't considered a threat, as they were annoying rather than being considered a serious Sov attacker. Effectively the same as what Moa tries to be. This eventually pissed people of more than anything, as we could see them in system, but we couldn't kill them. Eventually this worked as a psychological attack and SMA members eventually started loosing interest in even trying. Cloaky attacks are fun for the attackers, but a pain in the arse for the defenders, especially over time, because you don't know when or from where an attacker will try, you can see them in systems, but its up to the attacker when they attack, defenders get bored and log off. Remember this is a game, and Spending hours online will piss wifes etc off lol.

Kirtizzle GarraChina said...

I would just like to point something out here.

The CFC announced the invasion of Provi many months ago, they are and remain the most knowledgeable group of players on SOV attack/defence under 'Fozzie SOV'... Well they should be, they invaded an entire region in an attempt to master the mechanics.

I don't really know if they considered their operation to be a success, as I don't read the, I know they tactically retreated early, before accomplishing their original goals, there was some expected Goons style change of the goal posts and it maybe helped that MOA kept popping their 'SOV defence Titans', back in Goon land.

What I do know, is that in the constellation I lived in they only destroyed one ihub, failed to free port any stations and took no SOV.

The Provi MO was each constellation / sov holding alliance were to defend their space. And the exception to that rule was the alliance CVA fleeted a super large fleet, for the coalitions overall defence and basically acted as a vulnerability timer meat shield for the entire region.

Goonies/CFC 600 strong T3 Armour Tanked Strat Cruisers outnumbered the CVA fleet almost 2:1 and although the CVA fleet was organised there was a mix of kitchen sink as every resident in the region did their bit, even if they were a simple NRDS npc trash puppies. For those lucky enough to be in the meat shield fleet, they bled out for hours constantly reshipping, the FC got alpha'd numerous times but they stayed on grid to defend their kingdom.

Sounds a bit like a smaller scale version of TEST whelping over and over in their last stand.

Meanwhile small gangs of entosis ceptors and T3 dessies were in almost every system with fleets roaming the constellations numbering up to 100 CFC in addition to the small gangs, but because the main CFC fleet took the bait, these other small fleets, who were expecting to meet little resistance suffered immense confusion as the small gangs fleets were reporting local spikes of 50+ and a game of cat and mouse began.

As our constellation lost only one ihub, it is evident that we must have had some defenders advantage. Hell in our constellation, almost every systems was ADM maxed, we have stations in almost every system to allow for constant reshipping, yet all the time grossly outnumbered.

So the question I ask myself, does the CFC value its space as much as Provi Block?

Well we still live in Provi and Goons retreated to lowsec.

I logged every night for 2 weeks jumped in fleets and my alliance doesn't even hold the SOV, we're simply NRDS obedient residents. I've enjoyed my time in Null sec, being grossly inefficient at everything I do, but that doesn't mean I was willing to hide under a rock, retreat to low/high just because the biggest coalition in the game wanted to use my home as their firing range.

So I'll just end my little story with this reiteration .. CFC knows a lot about SOV capture under Fozzie SOV, they know its a pain in the ass, I think that's why they perhaps genuinely believed that if they retreated to low and put up no fights the money badgers + MOA/OOS etc would get bored and leave. What they underestimated was how much they are disliked and how much people out there in the game have in personal wealth (Gevlon) and collective wealth (IWI) to encourage people to crush them.

I hope they find the grind to take their territories back just as entertaining as sitting in low, constantly dropping jabber pings when goonies don't log on.

Also I pray that TEST / MoA and the Drone Walkers decide to stay in CFC space.

Gevlon you're in inspiration, long live the Goblin.