Greedy Goblin

Friday, December 14, 2012

Corp size and culture (aka why Dreddit is awesome)

Short message from girlfriend: she tried challenge mode dungeons in WoW and loved it, will turn the guild into a challenge mode runner. If you are interested, join.

If you participate in the TEST alliance forum, you get exactly what you'd expect if you believe the hostile propaganda: disgusting derailing of threads with meme-spamming, insults, ad-hominems. The relevant posts - including wrong ones, I mean those where the writer at least attempted to contribute - are down to 5-10%. Mix it with various threats thrown to anyone they don't like, automatic up/downvoting posts according to who posted it, regardless of what he posted. Absolutely horrible place to anyone who wants information or discussion instead of kicking the beehive and laugh on the bees wearing the protective gear of sitting on a different continent.

If you see that, you seriously ask how could these people conquer a single system, let alone whole regions. And the "culture" don't stop at forum-idiocy. It indoctrinate members into outright harmful things like "welping a fleet is fun". I posted various times how the TEST culture is less harmful then the culture of its enemies (undocking even if it leads to complete fleet destruction is better than not undocking unless victory is 100% sure). However this alone couldn't explain the steamrolling power of TEST. I mean TEST isn't "performing better" than its enemies, doesn't just win, it is leagues better than them, crushing them like a hammer does to eggs. There must be something much more important effect in it.

Let's return to the forum to figure out the miracle! On the bottom of it, you can find "301496 Total Posts 10251 Total Members", meaning 29 posts/member. You can also see who is online and how many total posts they have. I did such samplings and found the following: the average post number of the active members is 355. It's 12x more than the big average. It's not so surprising, active members use to be more ... active then inactive ones. However to have the average, it means that we must assume 12x more inactive members, so the active ones belong to the top 8% posters.

I sorted the active members and looked for the big average: 29 posts. Found it at 44%. So 44% of the active members post less than the average. Including inactives, only 4% of the total members posted more than 29. The top 1% of all members (top 13% of active members) produced 2000 posts on average, so 2/3 of the posts came from the same 1%. The second 1% had 600 posts on average, providing 21% of the posts. 90% of the members are totally inactive...

... and no one cares. There isn't any attempt to bring them to the forum. Similarly, there aren't any demands to be on voice comms outside of fleets. Or participate in any chats. So the "culture" of TEST only represent a few % of the members (that's probably true everywhere) and the rest of the members are not required to care.

The amount of hate I got is completely my fault: I went into their lair and poked them with a stick multiple times. They helpfully always informed me how could I avoid it: by stopping posting. So my ultimately unavoidable kicking wasn't because their leadership was evil (weak maybe) but because I choose to do something that I would not advise to anyone else: to selflessly battle the "opinion leaders" instead of flying under the radar and take whatever resource (loot, killmails, "fun") you can get.

However, for everyone else, for the normal people who don't live in a game or don't have a blog aimed on fighting for asociality, just want to play a game casually, Dreddit (and somewhat wider TEST) is a perfect place because he can do just that: play the game and totally ignore the "culture". No one demands him to join the circle-jerk (upvoting and supporting each others idiocy), no one demands him to join any idiot-fleet he doesn't want to, no one demands him to be nice with the "important ones", no one demands him to chat with nerds (hell, not even nerds want to do that), no one demands him anything. The anonymity of the 4500 member supercorp protects him from obnoxious "cultural" effects. No wonder that so many members enjoy the game and keep logging in!

The small corps on the other hand are like small towns: everyone notices if you miss church Sunday ... I mean the "fun roam" or you are "not socializing" or you have low post count or not on the same page with other people about what's cool. In these corps you can't avoid "the culture", you can't avoid socializing with obnoxious nerds. You must be a "l33tPvP"-er spending hours in a cloaky Tornado popping cyno frigs to be in -A- because that's what -A- do. On the other hand you don't have to be a lolling, gayporn- and kpop-link spamming troll to be in TEST, despite that's the "TEST-thing". You can be a totally normal person playing a video game casually. If you are such person, TEST could be a great home for you. Just don't ever come to the forum and keep the fleet chat minimized on battlecruiser fleets!

So here I am, who was just kicked from TEST for posting, telling that currently TEST is the best alliance in EVE and you should join. I doubt if I can be in a more believable position.

Important update: until Sugar's comment I missed something serious what made these posts weird for people. A lowsec or WH corp is a social group. A pirate can be completely solo PvP-er. A 10-man pirate roam isn't "better" or even "stronger" than a 5-men roam as the first might get hotdropped (the smaller ignored) and everyone else runs away when the intel channel reports them while the small group gets a fight. Similarly a small C2 WH corp isn't "worse" than a large C6, since the second gets bigger intruders due to bigger wormholes. You first form your social group and then find your niche. Since your group is volunteer, you obviously like their culture and need no "escape" from it. Nullsec is very different. A 20000 man coalition is better than a 10000 man one. It will roflstomp the latter. Below 5000 you don't even have a chance to get a place unless you are a renter. You clearly can't have 5000 friends and you have limited options to choose a culture, especially if you don't want to be evicted. So your group is created by outside factors and your culture isn't your choice but something you must suffer for your goals. So in the large nullsec entities your ability to evade the culture is important, which is an alien concept to anyone who isn't living there.

PS: the post was being prepared for days, the reference for kicking just added (learned it this morning since it took place while I'm asleep), so I can't present you with plans for the future yet.


Anonymous said...

Get in on James 315's mining crusade. They're looking for industrialists to get those gank ships together, and their activities are surely something you can get behind.

I'm surprised you weren't kicked earlier, honestly, when you were like "hey I'm gonna be kicked". Strange they waited to do it.

Pirate John said...

there is an alternative to avoiding and/or trying to change your corps culture
you could find a corp with a culture you actually like....
but hey, why do things the easy way?

Gevlon said...

@Pirate John: the problem is that the corporations I culturally like are not playing on the sov map. For a reason.

More on that on Monday.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean instead of argue against you, they trolled you out like a social?

Gevlon said...

They didn't "troll me out" as I did not leave (trolling someone out means making him feel so bad that he can't take it and leave). I was kicked. If I was not kicked, I'd stay indefinitely. I've never even considered leaving.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, w-space thataway. Consider it. Seriously.

Gevlon said...

W-space is irrelevant. It's a hideout for people who couldn't take the heat of nullsec and wasn't satisfied by being a "highsec bear".

Anonymous said...

W-space is irrelevant? Yes, the place all of the bittervet, best PvP FCs, and best pilots end up is irrelevant?

Eve on *hard mode* is irrelevant? What? why? because you can't hold sov and build titans?

Nulsec entities, no matter their numbers, their level of competence, or their technitium blood money refuse to come knocking on the door of W-Space entities. The last time it was tried Nulsec was beaten to a bloody pulp...

Irrelevant you say? That is utterly hilarious. Doctrines which require ridiculous fittings (the kind which make your napocs look like poor scrub fits) commanded by the best in the game for the purpose of being properly good at fighting in both small and large engagements.

You are a very funny man Gevlon. You (and pretty much all of nulsec) wouldn't last 5 minutes in a wormhole fight. And yes that is actually a challenge. Bring whatever you can. We'll happily take it from you.

Gevlon said...

I didn't say w-space is easy or skilless. It's irrelevant. It affects a few people and even they are just affected in their pride and killboard stats.

The gameplay of EVE is shallow compared to WoW. The interesting part is the meta-game and WH-space lacks it completely. In other words: there are no stories, news or conclusions. Just people shooting each other in a silly video game.

Maybe with bigger words: what I experienced in the last 3 months were intensive, complicated and very real. I'm still dazed by the amount of information I got, the systems I was introduced to. It was ... real from the moment ISK got me in to the moment my big mouth got me out. It wasn't related to mundane questions like "how many shield moroses can you fit into a C6 before it collapses?" I've seen SoCo being destroyed. I was there when A was evicted, when RoL was broken. I wasn't just an observer, I turned their circle-jerk upside down, forced them to face with their "we just don't give a fuck to trolling" idea. I injected ideas in it which will take part in shaping them to SOME direction (I can't predict where).

My EVE was real. Your WH life is a video game. And that video game is shallow compared to WoW.

Hivemind said...

"The interesting part is the meta-game and WH-space lacks it completely. In other words: there are no stories, news or conclusions."

Completely untrue. There is a metagame in WH space just as there is in Sov Null, it's just that it's a lot less well-known to those not involved in it - there is no WH influence map for a quick glance of who owns what and there aren't 10,000+ player coalitions that have literally hundreds of graphic designers and forum warriors creating posters, videos and generally publicising their actions and engagements. Likewise, the two main 3rd party EVE News sites are both run by people/groups involved in Sov Null rather than W-Space, so there's a huge slant to K-Space politics rather than W-Space just based on who they are and who they know. Even if HBC/CFC have just brutally destroyed an Alliance's fleet or conquered its systems, the defeated group may want to contribute their side of the story to the public eye. In contrast, they have nothing to do with what goes on in W-Space and so W-Space residents have little reason to engage with them.

None of which changes that the news is there, the stories are there and conclusions do happen, but you mostly need to be inside the community to find them. I’m not, so only a few of the bigger ones have crossed my path, but from what I gather they come down to the larger WH corps primarily living in their WHs, rather than basing in K-space and travelling into WHs to raid, with alliances owning entire WH systems that they hold as their sovereign territory, arguably in a far more “real” way than Sov Null alliances do since it involves actively monitoring for new entrances, keeping lookout for intruders etc. The nature of WH mass limits favouring the defender makes the process of taking over such an occupied wormhole a very challenging task, but that is where the metagame comes into play and what makes it so interesting when it does happen. (Rooks & Kings: Clarion Call 3) shows this in action, including a successful eviction campaign. You might also note from a recent Jester blog post that the WH corps/alliances are actually holding a primary to elect their next CSM representative from amongst themselves; how can you look at something like that and say there is no metagame there?

Anonymous said...

Where do your experiences about life in 'other corps' actually come from? I get the impression you yourself are a victim of propaganda.

Sugar Kyle said...

I have no idea how you manage to come to the conclusion that small corps are "The small corps on the other hand are like small towns: everyone notices if you miss church Sunday ... I mean the "fun roam" or you are "not socializing" or you have low post count or not on the same page with other people about what's cool. In these corps you can't avoid "the culture", you can't avoid socializing with obnoxious nerds."

Its like you are trying to force asocial definitions where they are not.

-A- is *not* a small corp or a small alliance.

People chose small corps and alliances because they create tight personal circles and interpersonal bonds.

My corpmate goes "hmm I want a Raven to try something" and 2 hours later I contract him a Raven I built because I had all the pieces on hand.

There are also sub-corps. Tight social groups that are not connected by the corporation ticker. People who are together because they like each other but for various reasons being in a corporation together is not the answer. We also call those people, "Friends".

Gevlon said...

@Sugar: you live in lowsec. There are solo pvp-ers there too. You don't NEED a corp, you found a bunch of people you accept for themselves. You like them genuinely and they like you.

In nullsec you NEED 10000+ people or you'll be defeated hopelessly. These people are forced to the same groups by external factors. They did not choose each other.

Anonymous said...

I am a bit surprised, esp given that you live in an ex-communist country, that a setup where you can get everything you want as long as you just keep your head down and never criticise anyone influential is something you find acceptable and would recommend.

And you can see how clearly Goons et al have already won the game in that their internal culture is widely held to be EVE's culture.

There will never be much of a cultural challenge to them, because people who don't want any part of that culture won't play that game.

Anonymous said...

Your "w-space doesn't matter" attitude reminds me of your general attitude about this game the time you first joined. You're once again dismissing something you've never tried. You think w-space is irrelevant just because you don't see a little color map to show you who goes where.

Read an account like that and tell me there's no diplomacy and territorial control metagame going on.

Unknown said...

@spinks Presumably because in communist Hungary keeping your head down and doing as you're told meant maybe not being immediately imprisoned/murdered rather than getting everything you want.

Gevlon said...

@Spinks: it's not like I like communism. It's just communism is the only option for people who don't want to pay money (capitalism is based on money). See Monday post!

TEST member said...

Dude, it wasnt because you sucked, Its what you said made no sense. Yes you actually had some genuine good ideas. others were completely retard,
1) Lets pay massive fleets of 100+ people isk ontop of reimbursments to shoot at structures
-Problems, the number would be low enough to be irrelevant for them to even do it, and it would bankrupt us by telling our enemies, so they pay people to shoot stuff, well lets just put structures everywhere and eventually they'll go broke.

2)Using our forums to create exposure for you blog.

3)Using tracking links on scimitars to quicken their lock time at the expense of switching all the transfers to mediums.

4)say your post about the fact that its no big deal about a dead guy being kicked from his corp. saying " He kicked an unplayed pixel avatar that once belonged to a guy. An avatar is nothing without the player behind it."

Source: Test Alliance forums