Greedy Goblin

Friday, April 6, 2012

Goons: enhancing our game, destroying the game

The Goon motto is "Goonswarm is not here to destroy the game, but your game." The burn Jita event is one of their latest action in that. At first I did not even understand how could their idea to blockade Jita make any effect. I mean you can mine ice where the ice is, but you can trade on any stations, and while Jita is convenient, it has nothing that makes it essential. I assumed that people will simply trade somewhere else nearby and the Goons will not shoot down anything but lost newbies who can't read the news, so the event will not fail but drown in boredom as Goons will spend all day in a Tornado, doing nothing, their all day killmails will contain a dozen lowbie ships.

I still think that their event holds no danger to the trade or smart players and their killmails will only contain lost newbies, morons, slackers. However I'm now convinced that it won't be in dozens, but in thousands. Actually they can shoot down so many ships that they run out of Tornados in a day or two.

This is good news for us. Remember that the traders biggest competition is the "i farmd for free lol" moron, who does not purchase services, but do it himself much-much less effectively or undercuts with items he farmed with terrible amount/hour. The Goons now make us the favor of exterminating them. When they finally run out of ships, declare themselves victorious and go home, we will be stronger than ever as our trivial competition is down. Gallepirratlulz will no longer pollute my Logistics book profit by the single books he bought 10 systems away and transported here in his laser fitted Dominix, since he lost that thing to a Goon Tornado. More profit for me.

Everything that make the game harsh, dangerous, widen the gap between those who can and those who can't. We can asses the risks and avoid it, so we'll even make profit on the event. Those who "play for fun" will fall. Long live the Goons!

Except the "play for fun" won't linger defeated, ripped from all his wealth. He'll quit the game. I repeat what I wrote, the griefers are the sole obstacle between EVE online and blockbuster success. Profitable pirates don't really matter here as the morons and slackers don't have anything that worth pirating. If CCP let the Goons massacre the idiot who transports a single Logistic book in his Dominix, thinking that 1M profit is good money for 2x10 jumps, the bad players will leave in masses.

Remember, 80% of the players never leave high sec and something tells me that they aren't station traders or haulers. Rather mission runners and cruiser-miners who want to farm for some "awsom ship". Another 10-15% are consensual PvP-ers. They do the same except they go for some reachable ship and every week or two they team up, have a roam to kill random people and feel like PvP gods. Then they lose their ship, reiterate that "we had fun lol" and go farm more. None of these are up for non-consensual PvP and that's exactly what the Goons are bringing in. The result will be exactly the same when Blizzard made the "scourge invasion" event in WoW. People stopped logging in and raged on the forums as they were too dumb even to relocate to Silvermoon or whatever-named-goat city which were unaffected. And in WoW they lost nothing but the ability to do something now. No property was lost. I know that EVE players keep telling themselves that they are better than WoW players, but my 300M/day income strongly disagrees.

Here the interest of me and the Goons is directly conflicting with the interests of CCP. We don't want morons and slackers (pubies they call them) in the game. CCP wants. The difference between The Mittani and me is that I'm capable of recognizing this and properly responding, he can't. That guy still thinks that he can defeat CCP in its own game. CCP is not another alliance ingame, they are gods here. They could delete every ship of the Goonswarm with a few clicks. Messing with gods don't pay. I learned it the hard way (in short: I figured out how to kick bad players from an open WoW battle, therefore greatly increasing our win chance. Blizzard removed the option instantly to prevent bad players from being kicked). The Mittani don't just want to mess with gods, he wants to wage war on them. Seems his removal of CSM, forcing to write apologies and banning for 30 days did not teach him who's the boss here.

CCP will somehow protect its bad players from being massacred. Has to. However they are indeed in a bad situation as outside the game they are not at all gods. They are a publisher company who has to serve paying customers: us. The selling point of EVE is the competitive environment. The announcement of "EVE turned to space WoW" would cause them lot of lost subscribers and not just Goons. I quit playing WoW as an MMO, I'll just consume new content when available and unsubscribe until another bunch of content is published. CCP can't even hope on that as they don't have storyline content. They can lose their selling point by making PvP actions impossible.

What can they do to protect their bad players from Goon massacre without losing their selling point? In the short notice of April 28 no major overhaul is possible, but they still have options:
  • Increase the security status of Jita to 1.0. There are already such systems, many directly next to it, why not Jita? This way the Concord can respond even faster, increasing the costs of ganking. They could also tune up Concord to throw in more ships, making sure that even a destroyer can't fire two volleys.
  • Increase the strength of the faction polices. They fire on everyone below -5 security status just for being in empire space. They already capable of calling reinforcements. Tune up these reinforcements. If the faction police can't clear the system in 5 minutes, it calls battleships. If they can't kill everyone with -5 sec status in 10 mins, time for the Caldari Navy to drop some Leviathans.
  • Plant some more sentry guns
  • Warn players of this event in a popup window on the loading screen and in official news. Maybe the Concord could send a mass-evemail too.
On the long term, some more permanent solution is needed that protect both interests of CCP: to provide a stress-free environment to bad players and retain the highly competitive nature of EVE. My solution is simple: high sec is almost completely safe and completely poor. The first part is tricky as we want to protect newbies and bad players, not idiots who autopilot a frigate with 20B inside. My suggestion: security status can only be increased by paying to the Concord (they should have "fundraiser for the good cause" agents in lowsec), about 500M to offset the effect of a kill. You can't just rat yourself up, so suicide gankers will only jump on fat targets and ignore the losers and newbies.

The second part would mean removing L4 missions, incursions, wormholes, archeology and hacking sites, battlecruiser and above rats from highsec and ban the usage of miner modules besides Miner I (environmental protection). This way anyone who choose to be a "high-sec carebear" would be able to play safely forever but would be so poor that no serious player would choose this way. Since the bad players are uninformed, they wouldn't even know that the 3M/hour they get for running L3 securities or mining veldspar with an Osprey is a joke and would be proud of their achievement of getting an empty Navy Raven hull after a month.

An interesting comment was addressed to me on Syncaine's blog: "In WoW you have been battling the M&S endlessly, you’ve lead ganking campaigns against the Ensidia fanboys on Magtheridon, you’ve campaigned against bots, you’ve ran a herb interdiction, you’ve ran complicated and evil (for wow standards) metagaming schemes in BGs and Tol Barad, and you even wanted to deny BH to the horde for a week after 4.2 launched. You’ve ran mail and chatlog ‘porn’ sections on your blog. And you dreamed of the day when MMOs would be liberated from all M&S. ... Honestly I was expecting you to be in Goonswarm or some other criminal outfit, robbing morons blind, organising mass campains, and coming up with evil metagaming schemes for domination of all space."

This question is  good enough to get a blog post level answer:
I want two things: first I want the smart and hard working to stop being compassionate towards the M&S. I want them to stop boosting them, attributing their failure to "being new" or "being casual" or "being unlucky". As there is no other way to defend against Jita gank than hiding, the losses of the M&S will only bring sympathy to them.
Secondly I don't think that the M&S is beyond help. They are lazy and dumb because they can afford to be such. They are carried by welfare provided by the game developers (the state) and friendly helpful people (charity). In absence of these they would be broke. I want them to be poor and without status symbols. I want them to be, feel and be observed by peers as losers as only these things can force them to cut the bullshit and start doing something useful. I want them to reform and be better, no less than the worst leftists, I just strictly believe that the only tool that can make it happen is the whip. Goons don't want to change them, they just want them to suffer, die and disappear.

Moron of the day is here.

Business report: 4.63B (0.3B gifts as gave another 100M to girlfriend, 3 PLEX behind for second account). A week ago I was at 2.5 (-0.4), so in a week I made 2.2B. Let me put this number into perspective. In a month I can buy 9 PLEX-es (-1 for second account). Or a more understandable way: if I'd choose to pilot titans, I could buy the materials for the hull and full set of faction fittings before I'd have the skills to use them.

Remember that you can participate in our EVE conversations and soon group activities on the "goblinworks" channel.


Celery Man said...

Just a small note on the motivations behind the Goons attack on Jita - He announced that he planned on doing so as a celebration for getting 10 thousand votes in the CSM well before any of the drama happened. The motivations have undoubtedly changed, as has the scope of what they plan to do I'm sure, but just to be clear this was simply what the Goons do when they get happy and exited about something.

Steel H. said...

Thanks for the reply Gevlon. A few corrections (as always):
- the Jita invasion was planed long before this whole suicidegate business. The first mention was in the victory update after the conquest of Branch, back in January.
- this is not 'waging war' on CCP, but a shock-test to see how they react. But mainly it's epic, dynamic content at it's finest. You can't google the outcome or watch a tankspot video, nobody knows what will happen, goons included. It's a test for them as well. Plus, you can get in a combat ship and try to fight the goons, to defend your fellow bears. You you can join the goons. That's a better MMO moral choice than whether you want to give a rude or polite answer to some NPC, wouldn't you say?
- they already know that you cannot get 2 shots in Jita, that's why Tornadoes are used in the first place. Concord is ineffective against alpha since they only attack after you have fired the first shot, and police can be evaded too, even at -10. Also, you can be sure all the tactics, mechanics will be theorycrafted and fully tested, and lots of preparations made, just like it was for the ice campaign. These people have been playing the game for years.
- the Leviathan is the only titan that cannot blap subcapitals, due to the way missile mechanics work, just so you know. That's why you don't see them used by Raiden&co. Obviously CCP can hax whatever they want - that's what we'll find out.
- Mittens has been playing the game, and dealing with CCP for years, spent months every year in Iceland discussing internet spaceships, intimately knows the devs and their culture, and several exgoons are CCP devs in high positions. Between you and him, I guess I'm going to go with Mittens.
- Reballancing the risk/reward between high and null has been the holly grail of the Mittani and CSM since forever. It's currently the main sucking chest wound of eve. The other is nullsec stagnation, due to supercap imbalance, horrible SOV mechanics and the forementioned risk-reward thing, which has depopulated nullsec. That's why we run campaigns against hisec, there isn't anything else to do in null much. Fixing 0.0 would go a long way towards letting hisec bears leave in peace and love.
- as for the broader 'gank the bears and they'll leave', I'll let Syncaine deal with it, as he never seems to tire of this. Oh, look, it's Friday already

Gevlon said...

@Steel: I have no doubt that it's content and a real choice. I indeed wanted to get a "combat" ship to fight the Goons, but despite prioritizing it above all else I can't get into the hull before May 5. It was an Orca, fitted for 250K EHP, paraded front of the Goons after I publish some post telling that I'm transporting billions in the corporate hangar. Since Tornados can do one volley, to take down my Orca they would need to use 24 tornados (1.7B) while after insurance costs only 250M to me, which is one day income.

However the point is exactly that while I'm capable making such choices, the bad players unaware of the choices themselves and everything seems to be an unstoppable disaster for them, so they leave.

Anonymous said...

Most players tend to understand the Goons' motivations; iirc Bartlett categorizes about 30% of players as "killers". What I completely fail to understand is why CCP would indulge them. In particular, they are going to have a F2P console game through Sony.

I can't see Sony executives or undecided console players being overly excited by true-EVE sorts of PR. And someone who has $0 invested in a game may not be willing to put up with much griefing. And CCP purchased two companies in two countries in order to do DUST.

If they let dozens of millions of dollars of development be dissipated because they can't reign in the players, then CCP, and their shareholders, are far bigger morons & slacker than any you have discussed.

tl;dr: You or the Goons can only succeed if CCP is quite incompetent.

We shall see.

Anonymous said...

You keep repeating the 80% number as the high sec population share. Latest numbers show it as 67%.

While the supply constraints of EVE are impossible to pin down, I'd be very surprised if they can sustain an intense level of Tornado attacks for anything like a day. Thrasher and Catalyst attacks maybe.

More than likely, Jita space shuts down because of high population and allows no one to enter very early that day. Besides the Goons, there will be 10x their number of spectators/kill mail whores.

Galarad said...

You make one false assumption - that Goons will attack with their main/alts and with BC/BS. Much more probable is that they wil make several 14 day free accounts and fit them with cheap destroyers - like hundreds of destroyers per account (or at least I would do it that way).

If someone have the free time - calculate how much destroyers would be needed to kill the same Orca and what is their cost compared to the cost of using Tornados.

Gesh said...

"I want them to reform and be better ... Goons don't want to change them, they just want them to suffer, die and disappear."

Pardon me, but the logo of your blog reads 'It's more fun without morons and slackers', not 'I want them to reform'.

Steel H. said...

"In the long term, I would like to see hisec itself become a realm of misery and fear. In the past two weeks as I have been murdering miners, I have found the average hisec dweller to be truly execrable. Imagine the worst iskmonger of the Northern Coalition, selling supercaps to the very people trying to destroy him, and then imagine that smug fuck protected from any and all risk by Concord. The most common insult I have seen in hisec is some trivial "I'm richer than you" wallet e-peen contest, as if any of them have riches from scrabbling at veldspar with their bloodied fingernails.

Perhaps I've taken the Stalinist gimmick too close to heart, but this enrages me. It is my hope that through a combination of technetium, targeted strikes on bottleneck assets, and the service of Dread Pirates we can send these people into a paroxysm of misery."

Poking for another grand philosophy post. Can you explain again what the difference between these is? Between PvE and PvP? Why, if this stuff is a bunch of scripted NPCs and bad voice acting it's epic lore and content, but if it's actually player driven and dynamic, it's grieving, asshatery, and bad community, and will drive players away? I know you have explained this a million times before, but I just can't get enough gevlonist phylosophy...

Gevlon said...

@Steel: because PvE "threat" is a lie.

The Lich King was just talking about destroying Azeroth, but never actually left Icecrown citadel (not in the "lore" but in actual gameplay). He did not kill a single player who did not went to his room and pulled him.

Same for the Shansas. If I don't explicitly pick a fight with them, they leave me alone. I can even come and go in incursion system, buying, selling, running distribution missions, mining and the Shansas won't come and gank me. I must actively go to a Vanguard to see one.

Rift tried "PVE griefing" and quickly nerfed it, exactly for this reason. M&S players must be left alone or they quit playing.

The difference of WoW and a good gameplay is NOT that in the latter they can be harmed. They should not be harmed if the publisher wants subscriber money. The difference is that in a good game the M&S can't win, can't parade in top ilvl items on whatever colored dragon.

Vanilla WoW was a good gameplay. Bad players could quest and farm unharmed on a PvE realm, but they couldn't get epics or even epic mounts. EVE should be the same: they can run crap missions and mine crap ore unharmed but shall never be flying a faction battleship or higher unless they learn to play.

Anonymous said...

Mining in an incursion system? Hmm.. don't the belt rats get upgraded rather a bit when there's an incursion happening?

Anonymous said...

"I know that EVE players keep telling themselves that they are better than WoW players, but my 300M/day income strongly disagrees."

Wow, seriously Gevlon? I was sure you were smarter than this. Do you have an understanding of even the basic precepts of economics?

Let me ask you this: I presume that IRL you have a job. I further presume that in this job, you earn a solid income. Does this demonstrate that your employers/clients are somehow morons because they're part of an economy that generates income for you?

Of course not. You make money IRL (and in Eve) because generating wealth is a natural function of any economy. Eve, as a consequence of its design, has a particularly robust economy, which means there are many opportunities for one to generate wealth. That doesn't mean the players of Eve are morons, it just means the economy is working as intended.

Bobbins said...

A question about the jita blockade.

If the goons are expending resources doing the jita event won't that leave them vulnerable in their nullsec space? Why can't other (enemy) alliances capitalise on it.

Anonymous said...

I love that you say the goons will drive away the paying players and be bad for CCP, then go on and suggest removing level 4s from highsec.

That's been a suggestion for years, but even the goons admit that it would drive away so many paying customers it might even destroy the game.

Anonymous said...

1) Increasing the security status of Jita won't help. With the insane cycle time and alpha strike of tornadoes, you don't get a second shot in 0.9 space. A suicide ganker will quite literally be loading one round of faction ammo into each of my guns.

2) Suicide ganking isn't new. There's been multiple hulkageddons, where people are rewarded for killing the maximum number of hulks. Suiciding L4 mission runners in pimped out CNR and similar (to scoop their dropped modules) has been going on since 2003. A bunch of bloodthirsty idiots descending on Jita for a weekend isn't more than a bump on the galactic plain.

3) Your orca plan isn't likely to do any good, even if you could pull it off. Goonswarm is rich. Mining a technetium moon pulls in 100 units of the mineral per hour. Jita is currently at 146,615 ISK on technetium buy orders. This is 10.6 bn ISK per month, per moon. The goons have 50+ such moons. The point of the interdiction isn't to make money, or to be ISK-efficient. Indeed, it's designed to waste ISK in an amusing a way as possible.

4) This Jita campaign was being openly discussed well before the post-fanfest shitstorm went down. It's not a result of CCP hastily reacting to the gaming media.

5) Deklein is well-defended. The only major risk from everyone going and riding bikes in Jita for a weekend is roaming gangs shitting up the space for a couple of days. If someone were to launch a major invasion, VFK is only a pod-jump away, and I'm sure Pandemic Legion would be willing to let you know how successful their last attempt at headshotting it was.

antronics said...

..Gevlon, are you really trying to make the M&S safe? Are you really campaigning for hisec to be a sanctuary?

This is a far cry from your WoW days where you were very vocal about ridding the game of M&S.

Your Eve days seem to have you being just as vocal, but towards one of the smartest and able corps. And rallying the M&S!

Reality check, the goon shave been being goons for years.
Eve subscribers have gone up every year.

And as for the pilots who get ganked in Jita and quit, what produce would come from them had they kept playing? Would they provide user created content?

Would they eat up all the minerals that hisec can produce?

Would they wage awesome wars that get people to subscribe?

Or would they keep running their hisec L4 agent. Yeah we need that guy around at all costs!

The real issue, I think, is that you need content for your blog, and goons are low hanging fruit.

You are not competent in Eve yet, but still want to post intelligent posts, so you pick on the goons.

I would really like the old Gevlon back. The one who would be front running with the goons, or setting up a full scale IN GAME war with them.

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity:
Ignoring real world economic considerations (= pve players leaving), would you like high-sec removed completly? That is: ffa pvp as soon as you undock without any npc force interacting?

If no: why not?
If yes: why are you not in null-sec yet?

Anonymous said...

I think that in your blog you are forgetting a important thing, CCP's motivation and goal.

CCP did things different with EVE online, they made a true sandbox and not a themepark. They have full PVP without any safe area's.

Especially if you look at subscriber graphs or login graphs it is clear that eve is different then the rest. Where other MMO's spike hard after an initial marketing blitz and then coast downwards until the product gets discontinued or put in maintenance only mode, EvE has actually seen a humble beginning with a steady growth over the last 9 years.

They are not aiming eve to be a common denominator, they have found a niche that is working for them and especially after last year they are focused to stay in that niche.

CCP also has a culture of hiring from the player base. As some other commenter already hinted at, some prominent CCP members like CCP soundwave (lead game designer) and CCP skreegs (security team) are both ex-goons. Skreegs being a former CEO and soundwave a former director.

Those are only the known employee's but there are many more, a common story employee's will state is that they where already eve players before getting hired.

While it is obviously nothing more then speculation, I truly think that if CCP ever made a hard split and would say "hi-sec is now a designated themepark with fun rides, and if you want sandbox go out into low or null or W space" Eve wouldn't be eve any more, the economy would break, and a big chunk of the current players would probably slowly trickle away.

Eve is eve because space is cold uncaring and harsh. You have to make social connections to survive, to compete and to get stuff done.

And that's the biggest part of eve anyway, the social aspect. Stories get made in eve because people interact with each other. That's the content.

Doesn't matter if it's a lowsec FW alliance that kills a titan, or the goons who lay siege on Jita; Perhaps even a single player who decides to pour billions of ISK into dominating a certain market item.

It creates stories, unscripted events. Things we can experience and share. Even if that sounds a bit mushy, it's what eve is. Doing things that effect the world for everyone.

Anonymous said...

All mmo are theme parks because theme parks make the most money. The 67% that never leave high sec, and the 80% that never enter null sec shows how much of a theme park eve online really is. The fact that high sec even have security if the first place is certain that it is a theme park. The difference between this theme park and other theme park is that the slum (null sec) is nearby, and that law enforcement (concord) does not exist in this slum (null sec).

Gevlon wants to convert the slackers into more informed and better quality players. However, he knows that the morons are unchangeable, and it is not his task to convert these people into better players. His delusion is that he believes that he can convert all of them, even though he does not know which people are morons and which people are slackers. However, the more he tries, the more he can differentiate between the morons and slackers, and that he will see that morons will never change. Some people, on the other hand, believe that there are only morons and don't bother with trying to help others. Another group of players want to get rid of morons by the method called "grieving," but that fails too, as the game company itself does not like the method of grief. Converting the slackers into able players is one thing, but trying to convert the morons is such an idiotic idea that only fools would continue to try to enlighten the morons.

Anonymous said...

"Vanilla WoW was a good gameplay. Bad players could quest and farm unharmed on a PvE realm, but they couldn't get epics or even epic mounts."

Let me guess: You didn't play in vanilla WoW? In most MC raids I was with about 10 of 40 people of the worst kind of M&S*, the level you find in LFR now. Wearing epics afterwards anyhow. Or maybe that was just my realm.

*Sure, what was an informed player was a lot different now and then. But I am talking about simple stuff like not being afk during a boss fight. Owning a shield as warrior (as they were the only real tank class then). Or actually knowing how to heal as hybrid as that was their only raid role, emphasized by the heal-only drops.