Greedy Goblin

Monday, April 28, 2014

Frigate PvP: intensive, fun, hilarious and completely useless

During Burn Jita I didn't just pay people to fight Goons, nor just inspired them via posts, but undocked myself in two ships. My Orca story comes tomorrow. My former suicide ganker pilot fought Goons, slaves and paid mercs (Wednesday post) on Friday and Saturday. In these two days I got 27 kills, all solo, featuring infamous CFC fleet commander Dabigredboat, another CFC FC Reagalan in a battleship and a Tornado. I've lost several ships, most with several people on the kill as I flew 1 vs many, aiming to kill the most prized target before going down. So I did everything and more than the "PvP-ers" suggested. Flew small ships, flew against the odds and got several kills. Considering these and the fact that it was my first day "properly" PvP-ing, 58% ISK ratio (my April stats are just these days) is very good.

The PvP-er commenters were right. It was intensive, fun, emotionally rewarding. Also, I got what every PvP-er wants: "the kudos". My best kill was featured even on the Goon propaganda site. After all the advice to learn PvP says "fit ships and go explode" and not "fit ships and pwn eve celebrities". But did I achieve anything? Besides Goons stopped the incredibly stupid practice of bumping freighters in unsupported wartarget tankless-gunless battleships, nothing. My actions only affected a handful of idiots and did nothing to the gank fleets. My PvP actions had absolutely no strategic effect.

No matter what measurement we look at, my performance was bad. Not just I could make about a billion with non-trading (my trading was unaffected) instead of that 380M kill and 280M losses, but I could kill much more CFC if I just went looking for dumbasses who mission, haul or mine in highsec with wartarget pilots.

So after actually trying out "fun PvP", I have nothing new to say but the same thing I've been saying for years now: frig PvP is stupid lolling and does nothing to shape New Eden. It's a timesink, it's playing WoW in space: no risk (as you can't care about your ship), no real gain (as they don't care about it either) and no possible strategic effect. No one will remember it, not even yourself.

This is the reason why PvP wasn't the solution to Burn Jita. Look at the Lemmings and Marmite killboard. Friday was full of CFC kills. Catalysts and (mostly empty) pods died in large numbers. Saturday, much less. Soon the organized fleets had to be called off since no one could make himself log in again to hunt 2M ships in TiDi. For me it was the first day of my life doing small ship PvP. For them, the initial rush was long over and this was just a chore, so they rather went catching haulers that worth 1000x more than those T1 Catalysts.

Same was true for neutral anti-gankers: on Friday Goons regularly had to throw two waves on a freighter because so many ECM ships hit them that they failed first time. After these PvE players had their initial fun of "OMG I'm pwning Goons", this became a chore and on Saturday I didn't see so many ECM and failganks. Despite they didn't even lost ships like wartarget PvP-ers, they couldn't make themselves do it again. I can't really blame them, since the opportunity cost of camping a gate to save dumb strangers and getting 2M kill reports is pretty high.

So defeating Burn Jita via PvP failed. Tomorrow we'll see what worked.

PS: meet the biggest idiot of Burn Jita!
Also, a strong contender! Do you remember that I called for kicking Emerald Skyy from Goonswarm after he lost 3 Charons to Lemmings and Marmites? They did kick him! So this fine specimen - now being in the NPC corp - drove his 2.7B Charon to Burn Jita.


Anonymous said...

This is only correct if we accept your premise that fun/emotional rewarding activities are somehow not valuable.. I think most people would disagree with you.

Also you neglect places where frig PvP DOES matter and IS NOT lolling. Hero tackle. Ewar frigates. Siege Fleet. These concepts measurably turn the tide of battles - often enabling those battles to occur in the first place.

That is to say, no matter how many Titans you have you need a super fleet to back them up. No matter how big your super fleet you need heavy capital support to back them up. No matter how big your heavy capital support ships you have you need line ships to support those. No matter how many line ships you need, you need frigates to intercept, tackle, jam, etc. The benefit here cannot possibly be overstated.

Also, your bleating that TMC is a goon propaganda site is ... utterly hilarious.

Powers said...

haha get mad fuckface. I've only gotten about 6 hours in a 72 hour weekend. It was bound to happen sometime. I hopped into my backup proteus and kept on dunkin.

Why don't you talk about the contract you broke?

Arrendis said...

I disagree, Gevlon.

The biggest idiot of Burn Jita is the guy Mustache will be telling you about soon.

He'll have more of the details, but the short form is: how expensive does your pod have to be to pay a ransom to be allowed to eject from a full freighter?

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: support frigates aren't fighting other frigates and operate in a fleet. I'm talking about frigs fighting on their own.

@Powers: it's called "safety switch". Even few days old newbs know about it.

Louis Robichaud said...

Why play a *game* if not to have fun? You say " It's a timesink, it's playing WoW in space" "No one will remember it, not even yourself."

But playing EVE, no matter what you do, is just a game! You aren't making a difference in the real world.

Every time you grind for isk in EVE, there is an opportunity cost - you may not be having fun. Of course, there can be fun in making ISK. My alt is a trader, and because my corp moved, my old trading strategy simply didn't work anymore. I was forced to adapt, look for new deals and new ways of making money. And it's working! I'll make more than I used to. This was fun...

... but not as fun as being in a furious, meaningless PvP fight in RvB :)

Gevlon said...

Games are played to win them. While EVE as a whole can't be won, chess as a whole can't be won either. But you can win a chess match and you can win a timer, a POCO, climb on some competitive ladder.

Scrubs play for fun. Winners play to win.

Anonymous said...

No the biggest idiot of burn Jita was emerald skyy. Losing his fourth charon to ganking. Also I do not play games just to win. Having fun is more important then "winning" at eve considering this is just a game.

maxim said...

However, compared to a guy who, say, invests the amount of time spent gaming in earning actual RL money / getting actual RL power/fame/women - both the game winner and game loser are scrubs.

Unless there is some value generated by winning or losing that is RL-worthy. F/ex winning in football is considered very RL-worthy :)

Arrendis said...

Games are played to win them.

Games are played to have fulfilling experiences, and make use of your time in a manner you find pleasing to you.

For you, this means 'winning' - setting and achieving goals and attaining certain levels of performance according to criteria you set.

For others, this means other things. Different people find different things fulfilling. I, for example, do not find playing baseball to be terribly fulfilling. I doubt many Major League Baseball players would have found grinding out Fountain last year fulfilling.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, you link to your play to win article as if it is somehow a fact - this is your opinion. It is an opinion which apparently differs greatly from the majority.

My opinion on winning vs fun is that games are made for FUN. All games, without question, are made for enjoyment. Winning is an incidental side effect that some (not all) games have. Winning is worth chasing because it is one form of fun (it is fun to win, but it isn't the only way you can enjoy yourself in a game). The nature of games would suggest that this position is true. It wouldn't be much of a game if winning involved driving bamboo shards under your fingernails now, would it? Sure you'd win, but you wouldn't do it precisely because it isn't fun.

Also you claim that there are some, shall we call them "micro wins" that can happen in eve - winning a POCO and so forth. Well surely winning a 1v1 frig fight is a form of winning? You get the kill, you are on the killboard as obviously solo or worse - you won, right?

Finally, winning is what you define it to be in a sandbox. I can define my victory condition as "to have fun" and it is as valid as your "to have a trillion isk". YOUR victory condition is taking POCOs, having lots of isk, being in the top alliance, being on the top of killboards for your own contrived measures. Those victory conditions are not shared by others. Some others? Sure. But for Burn Jita the victory condition is disrupting (note, not stopping, just disrupting) the most populous system in eve and to have fun while doing so. And that victory condition is as valid as your own.

Anonymous said...

maybe it would be more precise to call it 'joy from winning / achieving a goal' and 'joy from just being there'.

the implicit goal of the second one is to have (perceived as) positive social interactions. hanging around, chatting via voice and adhering to group standards is a means to reach that goal.

of course, against a competitive player, he doesn't stand a chance in any kind of competitive measure / tournament.

the problem start when 'just happy to be there'-players want their ego stroked by having some additional rewards.
eg. if you want to roleplay a cook in a tavern, go ahead. just don't demand a dragonslayer-armor in addition to it.

Anonymous said...

580bn up in flames so far says something about what "worked" when it came to defeating Burn Jita.


Dunamis said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself Gevlon. :)

I'm looking forward to your Orca post, but I've seen a couple of traders now stating that rather than disrupting the economy, they've seen an increase in profits from the Burn Jita event. From a trading point of view, have you also seen improvements from your Jita trader?

If so, the only thing Burn Jita seems to have constructively done is allow pruning of players (the M&S) who haven't kept up to date with the community events and removed them from the competition for the weekend. I'm not counting any pleasure/fun gained by the Goons as constructive, as that's something you can't statistically measure and is unique to each individual anyway.

Since the Goons seem to be shouting how well Burn Jita 2014 went, I'm sure they'll do a 2015 event too - even if they lost billions in ships. I wonder if it's something that could be anticipated and even used as a money maker if planned for in advance?

Lucas Kell said...

"it's called "safety switch". Even few days old newbs know about it."
Actually, it's something a lot of people miss, including many of the white knights who got themselves concorded this weekend.

And that's actually one of the reasons we were doubling up on freighters on day 1, with another main factor being people not closing distances or early firing. It's always a training day on day 1 to get everyone back up to speed since many of the people will have never ganked before.

In Burn Jita, ECM ships don't really do much, by the time they can fire we've already set off a couple of volleys and concord are well on their way. ECM are effective in a 0.5 when you are spreading damage across a lot of time, but losing a catalyst on a gank in a 0.9 is like 1k damage, which is effectively nothing. we don't even bother checking if they are on grid. Now there are ways to totally fuck up a gank, but as of today, nobody seems to have done any of those, so it's all good.

Von Keigai said...

It was intensive, fun, emotionally rewarding. ...
No matter what measurement we look at, my performance was bad.

Most of us measure by "am I intensely involved" or "am I having fun" or "is it emotionally rewarding". But of course this is subjective. Still, it's better than any other measurement you have. So, there's that.

Gevlon said...

@Von Keigai: if "am I intensely involved" or "am I having fun" or "is it emotionally rewarding" you want to maximize, you should get drunk and masturbate.

Bobbins said...

@Lucas Kell
'Now there are ways to totally fuck up a gank, but as of today, nobody seems to have done any of those, so it's all good.'

I was there when the goons tried to blow up that jump freighter 3 times over two hours. I guess what you must be saying that the majority goons must have trouble pushing F1.

provi Miner said...

win vs fun. First off everyone plays to win. Now how they define win is something else. From the least: I win just by burning sometime doing something I enjoy. to the most : I win because there are no others left to beat me. Eve fills all levels of win. solo pvper's often fall into the latter catagory "I win because tonight no one was able to beat me" fleet members win when their fleet accomplish's its objectives. Ratters and miners win when they spend a cool hour or two just chillaxing. Indy wins when they get paid for their efforts. All kinds all strokes.

My win, kinda filters across them all. somedays a win is just doing what I want (loging in) other days its finally catching a ceptor fleet and watching them pop, still others its surviving that tight 8 on 8 cruiser fight that we were not expecting. And yes some wins are getting back to the home system after seeing 30% plus of the cta wiped out.

Arrendis said...

you should get drunk and masturbate.

Which is, ultimately, less productive than playing EVE... how, precisely?

EVE is a game. It ultimately has no bearing on the real world, no long-term effect on anyone's life outside of the social interactions and networking you despise.

So how is any activity in EVE actually more productive in your life than 'getting drunk and masturbating', Gevlon?

Gevlon said...

@Arrendis: at first I believe that skills we learn in games help us in real life. Otherwise games like chess or football wouldn't have place in schools.

Secondly, my point is that if your goal is to "have fun", playing EVE is a very bad method. The proper method is drinking, smoking weed and masturbating/having sex. Therefore everyone who claims to "play EVE for fun" is doing it wrong.

Nicholas Jennings said...

Love your Blog couple points to clarify though. BNI has consistently changed fights with an influx on cannon fodder style atrons. The reason i bring this up is you claim

Frigates all have their roles.

Tech 3 Battle Cruiser Fleets: Attack Frig fleet roflstomp them

Strategic cruisers: ever traded 100 atrons for 10 strategic cruisers? I have and trust me no matter their tanking ability when u get 50-60-70 200dps atrons hitting something it melts.

InstaLock Camps: Whats the best counter to alpha? MASSIVE NUMBERS OF SMALL DISPENSABLE SHIPS. Sure they will insta pop 3-4-5 before u catch them but when u catch them they die.

Archon Balls?: what happens after 5-6 bombing runs on their drones? Bombing run every 5 minutes when they are trying to grind sov? yes please.

Also the vast success of FAF Fleet in Brave disprove the very thesis we are always frigs and we fight all sorts of shit.

Do we effect the balance of power in EVE? i dunno ask Catch how they feel about our 100 man ceptor gangs that terrorize the locals.

Syds Sinclair said...

.."Intensive, fun, hilarious and completely useless."

Gevlon, you used to play Counter Strike and WoT.

Both of the outcomes of those games are completely useless.

If you absolutely destroy your opposition in either CS or WoT, they can always play another match. Your results, no matter how amazing, did nothing for the grand scheme of things. They were ineffectual.

There is always a new match to play.

So what is left? The intensive, fun, hilarious, adrenalin rush of a game, something that is not completely useless and ineffectual.

Your enjoyment and fun are something that can never be taken from you.

"Winning" can be taken from you. You no longer meet the criteria for "winning." But fun? That the fun that you've had? That is untouchable.

Syds Sinclair said...

my point is that if your goal is to "have fun", playing EVE is a very bad method. The proper method is drinking, smoking weed and masturbating/having sex. Therefore everyone who claims to "play EVE for fun" is doing it wrong.

Gevlon, don't you have fun writing this blog? Do you have fun reading the blogs on your blog list? Do you enjoy replying to these comments?

If your answer is yes, then my reply is you should get drunk and masturbate.

If you say no, then you are a pretend martyr.

Gevlon said...

Are you having fun waiting in line? Yet you don't kick others away.

Are you having fun not having a Ferrari? Yet you don't rob one.

Wouldn't it be fun to beat up your boss? Still you don't.

We do things what are not fun, for a greater good. At the end of the day, you aren't a criminal but a useful member of the society, and you are happy with this, even if being a criminal would be much more fun in the short run.

I believe showing people that rational thinking and objective focus is much more effective than doing whatever is fun. Whenever I see something succeeding, whenever I get a mail where someone tells how he got out of the "fun ppl" and achieved something, I'm happy. Do you think that there is the amount of frig fun in EVE that can match evicting the largest alliance from their highsec POCOs?

Anonymous said...

What does winning accomplish? What are you gaining from it that you are not from losing, if you are not doing it "for fun". Life skills can be obtained in a number of different ways, and victory is if anything a poor way to learning (it is mostly through loss that we learn).

In addition, you have entirely missed the dynamic that eve offers in terms of excitement for small periods of time. People do not engage in constant economic thought processes when it comes to every human behavior because the effort in doing so is unreasonable . Furthermore, for most people, the action of quantifying a behavior's enjoyment factor removes the enjoyment from it.

Not to mention, you are not the arbiter of what is and isn't fun, and what is the most "efficient" way to have fun. Alcohol and marijuana are not intrinsically fun. Having sex, while enjoyable to many, has a considerably more involved processes than "rubbing genitalia"

Louis Robichaud said...

"Games are played to win them"

Then why do people play board games? You have 4-6 ish people sitting down for a while, with only one winner and the rest losers. Seems terrible as a way to spend an evening if winning was the only goal.

"While EVE as a whole can't be won, chess as a whole can't be won either. But you can win a chess match and you can win a timer, a POCO, climb on some competitive ladder."...

And you can win a frig fight or cruiser brawl.

"Secondly, my point is that if your goal is to "have fun", playing EVE is a very bad method"

You sounded like you had fun playing Eve... As far as booze and sex, sure that is a lot of fun, but people enjoy variety.

Lucas Kell said...

"I've seen a couple of traders now stating that rather than disrupting the economy, they've seen an increase in profits from the Burn Jita event"
Being that that is one of the stated goals of Burn Jita, and that's pretty much how we make back far more than we lose, that's not surprising. Shaking up the market pushes for price spikes in a lot of places, so traders should generally be happy with Burn Jita, they just shouldn't be shipping on those days. Smart traders don't.

And just to clarify, the reason profit spikes for good traders is because the economy is disrupted, not evidence that it wasn't. If the economy didn't move, the profits would remain the same.

"I was there when the goons tried to blow up that jump freighter 3 times over two hours. I guess what you must be saying that the majority goons must have trouble pushing F1."
I don't deny there were bad ganks with many failings, but those weren't caused by white knights. Think about it. It's about a 6 second response time meaning you can get at very best 4 volleys off, but usually 3. That's about 800 per volley. A white knight can't fire until the first volley is away (unless there's killrights which are usually cleared). If a white knight has pre-targeted and gets a success on the first hit, they can stop the last 2 or 3 volleys, saving 1800-2400 damage from a single target. Considering they will usually have a few seconds between us landing and firing to target, the chances are they won't be coordinating, so some will double up on targets wasting ECM. With us overkilling by usually 20% or more, the chances of a group of white knights even remotely having an effect are slim. Usually they just get themselves on some concord killmails and that's about it.

Now like I said, we do still fail, but those are usually failings on our end. Counting down from "five" was quite amusing at one point, since it usually meant half the group fired way too early, leading to concord being on grid early. Bad landings spreading us out over too large a gap often meant portions of the fleet were out of range. Earlier on here were the usual "I cant fire, what's this green dot?" issues, and the "whoops I didn't load ammo yet, hold on" which is to be expected. Hero bumpers usually saved the day though keeping them about for another round.

"We do things what are not fun, for a greater good. At the end of the day, you aren't a criminal but a useful member of the society, and you are happy with this, even if being a criminal would be much more fun in the short run."
Well yeah, I'm sure that's the case, but I'm not a criminal for playing EVE. I don't have to make a decision "do I remain law abiding or do I have fun", I can do both. Of course the decision is "more fun now with no fun later" vs "moderate fun throughout".

Truly, I'd hate the idea of ending up on my deathbed and realising all I'd done was slave away my entire life, no matter what I'd accomplished. I'd rather find a balance and accomplish as much as I can while still enjoying my life. I've managed to land myself in a good and rewarding job doing something I love, and outside of that I like to enjoy games. It doesn't suddenly invalidate the rest of my life because I don't want to grind in EVE.

JackTheManiac said...

Ok, this play to win vs play for fun is starting to get annoying.

Play to Win vs Play for Fun is not a good name. Maybe Outcome Oriented Play vs Outcome Independant Play would be better.

Now, let's see how it works in reality, and not in imaginary situations. The Map isn't the Territory.

If the way other people play doesn't affect you (single player, or never grouping with you), they can play however they want. Their group will deal with them if need be, and single player affects no one. Now if you want them to know they're bad and feel bad about it, eeeh not so much. I don't think we need to classify people into groups here, nobody affects each other.

Where Outcome Oriented Play vs Outcome Independant Play becomes an issue is when it comes to multiplayer.

If we're talking a team-based multiplayer game (DoTA, WoW raiding or just instances, TF2) now you have no excuse to not perform at your best in your team. Your inability is affecting other people negatively (waste of time, losses) and that's never good, people don't have to cater to you. Pull your weight! You don't go in an Outcome Oriented Game (NBA) and then fail to carry your weight, fail to catcht the ball, and then say you play for fun. No. You go to the basketball court with your friends, beers, and play outcome-independant.

A combat game (Street Fighter for instance) is 1v1: if you suck you just gives easy wins to someone else. No problem there.

^The above is what got Gevlon started on play to win and he's right. In WoW people sucked in instances and wasted our time, making instances tedious. They farmed bridges in PvP instead of catching objectives in PvP, and punished their team for it. Eve players might not have read this part of his blog unless they read back, but I don't think they are many to do so. Anyway, this is the problem that started the PtW vs PfF thing on this blog. Lolling retards failing their team by being stupid.

Anyway, I don't have to teach you how to play if you're bad. There are Internet resources. You may think I morally have to support you, but I fucking don't. I make sure to pull my own weight, I can expect the same from you.

Just a little specification about the above paragraph. Giving a rundown to someone new takes 30 seconds, and skilled players perform well with it, usually. Baddies who you need to repeat the rundown 10 times, eeeh, NO. OUT. GET OUT.

Just another thing:

Sometimes it's good not to play to win, but make sure you don't waste other people's time. Ask your friends to play with you.

Anonymous said...

"We do things what are not fun, for a greater good."

So you are playing eve because it is for the greater good?

Goblin the altruist?

Faux martyrdom, or perhaps you truly do log into a game that you dislike playing, and spend hours of your time (opportunity cost and all that), trying to educate people that you do not know, have never met, and do not even like, even hate!
Maybe it should have not have been the dead popes canonised on the weekend.

Alternatively, you enjoy trying to be the best, or trying to prove that you are smarter than the average bear, and you enjoy hating on goons, and sit there feeling excited and pleased when you think they have made a mistake.

Or maybe you really did enjoy moving 4 characters around in haulers between trade hubs selling implants and skillbooks...then again, you would now characterise that as moronic, so I suspect it was trying to win some imagined isk race that you had.

To imply that doing something with imaginary pixels for imaginary money is not done for fun, and is for the greater good is perhaps one of the more outlandish suggestions you have made.

JackTheManiac said...

I'd like to clear up one thing about my above comment which I find a little unclear:

The main problem with Gevlon is that he tries to bring his reasoning (which works when applied to a team-based game) to a single player or single player modes of a videogame.

There, your performance affects no one but yourself, so it doesn't matter if you play for outcome or play outcome-independant.

Whatever goals you have (grinding, finishing the game, strolling around in a car in GTA) don't affect anyone else, if you fail to reach your goal, you're the only one "punished".

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: I like teaching people and I like figuring out things. Doing them after that is just a work that needs to be done.

Vulpes Firestorm said...

I actually read the entire book "Play to Win" (thanks to your blog post pointing me to it) and it states quite plainly that that mountain isn't for everyone and it is ok if it isn't for you. It also states that a love of the game is necessary to truly be able to play to win and that involves finding your fun in the game. That is the beauty of EVE; it allows many different forms of fun and allows the individual to define what is "winning" for them in many ways.

First post, like the blog thus far,
Vulpes Firestorm (Firesworn alliance)