Greedy Goblin

Friday, November 30, 2012

The largest corp in EVE Online

As you might know, I'm in the largest corporation in EVE Online. No, not Dreddit you silly, it's Science and Trade Institute with 461K members, 100x bigger than Dreddit. OK, some inactive cleansing might be in order, but still, at prime time 1000+ members are often on, much more than in Dreddit. This glorious corp is in an alliance "NPC" that holds around 20 regions. Like all alliances, its members are not shooting each other (mostly) and can dock in the alliance stations.

Now can you imagine the administrative load on this corp?! How many hours are spent planning and leading fleets, organizing the logistics to get the ships and modules where they need to be? If we consider 3-4 leaders for a 100-men corp and 50K active members for STI, we must have 1500-2000 altruists doing nothing but the hard work of herding cats.

STI is an NPC corp and has exactly zero managers. The "NPC alliance" living in highsec has exactly zero management either. Yet ships are right where they need to be, mining and ratting fleets go out without delay, station slots are full, everything runs like a well-oiled machine. What is the secret of STI?

Simply the size. The huge amount of people create enough demand for your work. If you are a miner, you don't need some mining co-ceo who organizes you a fleet, makes sure that a Mackinaw is imported or produced and then takes your ore and pays you some form. No, you buy a ship in the nearest hub, go out to the rocks and sell the ore to buy orders in the same hub or even to regional orders (if you are lazy and dumb).

Who would set up a regional buy order for ice in Period Basis or Detroid? Only an altruist as it's not profitable. Due to small size everything needs to be micro-managed. If you want to buy something you need to find the person who sells it, without that there is little chance that anyone even checks for buy orders. The smaller you are the more work you need to do for tasks like getting ships, ammo, fuel.

TEST deployment stations are always seeded. While it's done by a specialist group, it's not an altruistic action that you must organize and make effort to. They get profit for importing. K6, the "civilian" home of TEST is free-for-all market where you can buy practically everything you need (fancy stuff might be missing, but you can always find something as replacement). Who organizes K6 imports? Nobody! Profit-oriented haulers fill it using capital of profit-oriented traders. They need no boss, no schedule, no groups, they do it on their own for their own good, simply because there are enough buyers.

With size comes profit, with profit comes a "volunteer" who does the job properly and without organization. Without profit you need to find altruists, organize them, lead them, motivate them. The smaller your corp is, the higher the management/player cost is. If you are a leader already on the edge, believing that you can't do more work, just merge with another corp and see how the workload shrinks.

Sugar wrote a great introduction to ship construction for newbies.

Wednesday did not pass without more retarded freighter kills: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Please don't be idiots and don't put more than 1.5B into a freighter.
Also, driving , purple smartbombing tankless battleships to lowsec is bad.

In the meantime in Esoteria, the Navy Apocalypse fleet was out again to destroy cyno jammers to let capitals grind down the region:

While the locals never show up in ships, they set the timers to alarm clock range, have cyno jammers and even POS gunners. POS gunners have the ability to choose weak tanked ships, like an instacane, which caused my next "first time in EVE" moments: gun overheat. Instacane saved at 20% hull, CCP should really put in hull repper drones. Tip: have nanite paste to repair the overheated items:

After about 2 hours, we headed home with trivial losses and several systems reinforced. Esoteria will fall!


Unknown said...

Is this an corp-only market, or the CCP market? That is, what's CCP's cut of the TEST commerce?

Could a smaller corp or alliance gain some of the advantages of a larger corp or alliance by allowing nonmembers access to sov systems for buying and selling purposes? If I understand correctly, nobody actually does this - what are the costs preventing that sort of policy (spying? additional merchants mean more soft targets for enemy roams?)

Anonymous said...

I am surprised how you completely misinterpret npc corps.

They are not real corps, but mere placeholders for players with no pc corp. NPC corps do not have any officers or management, are not holding sov, not producing anything, not providing any service and are certainly not organized in any way. They only have a chat channel and that's it.

The reason why they exist is because you don't need a pc corp for most actions in EVE. You can freely mine, manufacture, do missions, trade, haul, rat and shoot other players while being in any corp. You also start the game in an NPC corp, and if you want to do anything of the above, then you can stay there indefinitely. Also note that in an npc corp, no one tells you to do anything, in fact, you can't even be kicked from it.

The reason why hisec is working is not because there is a big npc corp in it. It would work just as well with npc corp members distributed to various pc corps. Its because there are a lot of players there and the game is coded in such a way, that in hisec there is concord protecting everyone, stations are huge, have endless fuel, are available for anybody, are indestructible and cannot be captured. So in other words, ships can freely travel around (provided they don't have an extremely low security status) and a lot of service is provided for free. Regardless of which corp you come from. While if you claim sov, you shoot neutrals on sight and you have to start building your own stations from scratch, and protecting your territory at all times.

Unknown said...

I find it interesting how you moved from individualistic trade interest to meritocracy to advantages of scale.

What's next. Communism? :D

Anonymous said...

Seeing your screenshot I couldn't help but notice that you have your armor hardeners running while you are not currently taking any fire.

This is bad. Don't do it.

When you are called primary you will usually want to overheat your hardeners to get as much survivability as possible.
However, Armor Hardeners have a cycle time of 20s which means that you might have to wait up to 20s for overheating to go into effect if the hardener had already been cycling before you were yellowboxed.
Of course it is primarily the duty of your fellow logistics pilots to ensure your survival but you really want to be able to overheat during those first few seconds until reps catch.

If you take enough stray fire to go into armor you'll have to bite the bullet and run your (not overheated) hardeners but in general it's the better choice to leave the inactive (maybe pre-overheated) whenever possible.
Your damage control should of course be active at all times.

As a Guardian pilot your checklist when yellowboxed is (in that order):
* Broadcast for reps (you should have that on a keybind)
* Activate overheated hardeners.
* Overheat Afterburner
* Consume X-Instinct

Gevlon said...

Theoretically true, but I wouldn't dare to pull this stunt with my lack of routine. The outcome would be not even noticing taking fire until in hull due to so many things to do. Maybe when I find my buttons I'll try to do that.