Greedy Goblin

Monday, June 30, 2014

Pirates need PR!

Please look at this battle report and Dingo summary. BL/Mordus/Pasta Munnins defeated Initiative Tengus and some kitchen sink. We know that 5B worth of Goon minions were slain and 3.5B pirates (NPC dwellers) lost their ships. We know what kind of ships. We know nothing else. I know this little, because I watch the Mordus Angels killboard to link funny ganks. Now, that you read this post, you know the same little piece of information too.

Is it irrelevant? Yes, because mean 5+3.5B losses aren't that big. A single freighter gank can beat it. But no, it's relevant, because "pirates" cause vast majority of the damage in EVE. You saw the destruction graph of 2013 by CCP. 477T ISK. That's 10.5 million USD equivalent. 43 times larger than B-R. The most destructive systems are highsec hubs and pipe systems which rarely see sov battles.

Goons did only 2.4% of the total damage, yet we hear about them all the time. Zkillboard statistics give Pandemic Legion 14.7T for 2013, and that's not de-whored, so the truth is much less, but even 14.7 is just 3% of the total. Yet we hear about PL all the time. You know what's the funniest? An average Goonwaffe member did 0.5B damage in a year. An average house slave did 1.2. If we assume that there are 350K accounts in Tranquility, we get 477T/350K = 1.4B average damage. Sure, there can be more than one pilot from the same account in GSF and also there can be pilots from inactive accounts, but you get the point: the big coalitions are near the EVE average, which includes the carebears who never shot another player in their lives. Yet we hear about them all the time.

What we don't hear is the story of non-Sov holdres who do about 80% of the ISK damage. Who do a B-R worth of damage every week or two. Unless you explicitly look for them, they are invisible, therefore (wrongfully) considered irrelevant. This is bad for CCP and very bad for anyone who try to see his progression in EVE. It's bad because it tells everyone "go large or go home". Players feel (and usually called) irrelevant unless they have a top alliance ticker next to their name, despite these alliances do small minority of PvP and even less of PvE.

People think that unless they lead coalition fleets or "metagame in the secret jabbers with the important people", they don't matter. So they don't even try to make difference by undocking. When I started the GRR project, did you expect it to outperform Asakai in less than half year? Admit it that you were very surprised when I found data that pirates cause 2/3-3/4 of the damage to CFC and not the big enemy coalitions. You could do the same. You could be a pirate hunting alone or in very small gang. You could be donating to keep pirates in ships like I do. Instead, you either push F1 somewhere or keep dreaming of growing "important" until one day you give up and quit EVE.

CCP should really stop talking about big battles and start talking about pirates. They could publish charts about their overall effect and point out stories of exceptional pirates. Why? Because becoming a pirate is a reachable goal for everyone. Don't you think that "this month, 20T (about half million USD in PLEX) was destroyed by pirates in New Eden" would get some attention? Current and perspective players must know that most of the PvP and almost all PvE is done by little guys like himself and not the big coalitions.

But above all, pirates have to start communicating. EN24 literally begged for more battle reports. Major non-sov holders like BL, Pasta, Mordus, Tri should publish reports. Small gang pirates should have blogs, both to attract recruits and donations. The New Order collected 369B in donations and lot of recruits because they show their exploits to the World. You should talk too! I'm sure many would be interested about the battle I linked at the top.

PS: if you have an at least one month old blog with more than 1-2 posts a week and you are hunting CFC space, alone or as a member of an NPC-based alliance, comment your link and unless your blog is absolutely horrible, it goes to my bloglist.


Sugar Kyle said...

I do not think that you have sold people on your views of ISK efficiency being a metric that people should care about, Gevlon.

You break everything down to it and you devalue the role of support ships in the fleet. You then break it across corporation or alliance numbers that include utility and inactive accounts.

I've been reading these for a while and I have to admit I am as far away from understanding your point of view as I was when you started.

Foo said...

if you have an at least one month old blog with more than 1-2 posts a week and you are hunting CFC space, ... comment your link and ... it goes to my bloglist.

Gevlon's bloglist is a significant generator of pageviews for any Eve blog.

Other places that welcome you to publish your blog are (and leave a comment at the bottom)
Follow any of the options at

Gevlon said...

@Sugar: it's not ISK efficiency, it's total ISK done. If you killed 9 frigates and lost just one, that's 90% efficiency, but you don't matter as no one cares about that 9 frigs. If you blow up 100B every month and lose 80B, you are around 55%, yet you are a major problem to the target alliance.

Ignoring support ships via de-whoring would be a problem if pilots would be compared. But I compare alliances. Unless some alliances fly support in the fleets of other alliances, you can say that "X did more than Y", even if the logies and scouts of both X and Y are invisible.

Anonymous said...

from where you get the info that 80% of damage is done by non-sov holding entities?
just speculation or facts?

still it would be interesting to see a comparison to N3. are they suffering with the same problems, e.g. marmite etc. or pirates. they should have similar problems.

Anonymous said...

Well, I agree in so far, as Gevlon discovered a fact every bittervet knows:
The large alliances do not matter in the scale of their public perception.
It is like Asakai or B-R, CCP takes that crap to the news and gives out comparable numbers of values destroyed in US$, while every given day, much more assets are destroyed .
Yes, small gang ganks cause most of the damage done daily, but they are insignificant for the so-called metagame, an abstract term that doesn't matter to 90% of MMO players.
Most people still play this game for fun, or at least they hope to have fun someday playing EVE...
Whether Lv4's in Highsec, anoms in Nul or doing pvp roams, all these players do what they do out of their free will... At least as long no publinks or cta are involved...

Kaeda Maxwell said...

This may be inconceivable to you, but has it occurred to you that maybe many 'pirates' (I prefer simply small gang PvP'er as I don't shoot things for profit) simply don't care if blocks consider us relevant?

Why would I want praise from people who have no skills I consider particularly praise worthy? A compliment or recognition from another solo or small gang pilot might have some value to me, but being considered relevant by NC. or PL? Why should I care what some 0.0 blob bad in a Nyx thinks about my Frigate/Cruiser piloting skills or relevance to their gameplay?

Many of us small gangers are quite happy to be unknowns. Best local is a local in which nobody has a clue who I am since that places the intelligence advantage with me.

Keep in mind the only reason to hold space is to build supers, there is literally no other thing in EVE that *requires* SOV space, not really much of an incentive for somebody that cares about PvP'ing in smaller ships now is it? :)

Gevlon said...

How will a new player find the pirate life if all he hears that it sucks and the real game is in Sov null?

How long pirate life will continue to exist without new players finding it?

mordis mydaddy said...


This post has a lot of extra noise, but a very sound premise. Gevlon points out that sov null drives most of the narrative of EVE "adventures in combat," yet is actually a very small part of the overall action. You may not personally want the attention, but don't you think your playstyle is fun and deserves to be promoted? Isn't your playstyle a good representative of what is good about EVE, and maybe better at player retention than solo PVE or sov null?

Anonymous said...

Personally I believe isk efficiency argument only arose once it became apparent that it was impossible to bankrupt alliances through repeatedly blowing up fleet after fleet.

However I have two questions.

1) Do you think these CFC losses via pirates / mercs impact alliance balance sheets or those of individual pilots?

2) If you believe they impact the alliance balance sheet, how much isk / damage would you think needs to be done on a monthly basis to create a net value loss to CFC?

Anonymous said...

Without question CFC fleet contain more support ships then a BL, Pizza, or MA fleet, and often it's that stupid amout of celestis that are demping. They do zero damage, but swing the fight, and you imply they don't matter, when they are perhaps the only reason a particular fight was won.

daniel said...

"How will a new player find the pirate life if all he hears that it sucks and the real game is in Sov null?"

have you considered forums, especially the recruitment section?

too lazy to check atm, but i think, when i started playing eve, there was some kind of career advertisement somewhere on the eve hp, and i am fairly sure that "pirate" was one of the paths.

on a sidenote, i do not think that i ever read that the "pirate life" sucks.

Gevlon said...

@daniel: Why should he look for such recruitments, when he "knows" they are all failures? Are you checking highsec missioning corp recruitments?

@Anonymous: the defeated fleet still has to be destroyed by DPS. Since the Celestises are in the same alliances as the DPS ships, there is no distortion on the alliance level. Practically the effort of the CFC support is booked below the CFC DPS.

Jeff Kione said...

"Don't you think that "this month, 20T (about half million USD in PLEX) was destroyed by pirates in New Eden" would get some attention? Current and perspective players must know that most of the PvP and almost all PvE is done by little guys like himself and not the big coalitions."

I like what you said here, Gevlon. These big coalitions seem like they have a large portion of control. Showing people that they can make a difference as a solo or small gang pilot using statistics like that seems like it would be a good thing.

Ryanis said...

"How will a new player find the pirate life if all he hears that it sucks and the real game is in Sov null?"
I disagree. For me, a pilote that read and believe into bullshit is not a relevant candidate to piracy and I won't even bother about him.
In the other hand, someone kind enough to look into forum, venture solo in low sec for pvp, talk with pirates who just out-skilled and killed him and such... is a more relevant candidate.