Greedy Goblin

Friday, October 17, 2014

The value of ganking in games

Tobold is out against Open World PvP in several posts, most recently just linking other posts against it. While there are obviously other reasons to engage than ganking, it would be madness to claim that ganking doesn't exist. Those who like Open World PvP usually belittle ganking and focus on the positives of the feature, allowing real conflict between goal oriented opponents. I won't do that now. I'm protecting ganking itself as a valuable feature, a character-building experience on both sides.

People often experience normal distribution of features. The height of the people in a class are normally distributed around the average. Some people are a bit shorter, some are taller, but most people are +-10% in height from the average. Same goes for IQ, physical strength and so on. The weightlifting World Record is merely 3x higher than what an average man can lift. We inherently get used to the idea that people have little variance in them, our performance differences are mere percents and even the best of the best is in the same magnitude as us.

This is a comforting belief, but completely untrue. In the USA, the top 1% owns about 35% of the total wealth, while the middle 20% (the "average guy") owns 4%, therefore the top 1% is 175x more rich. 1% of the Americans is 3 million people, so we aren't talking about exceptional guys here. People like Bill Gates own more than whole countries and affect our life to a bigger extent. Most of you reading this post is using a Microsoft or an Apple product, made by two exceptional people. This is the true world we live in and we should aspire for such goals. Being "above average" is no longer an acceptable goal. Hell, in several countries slightly above average income doesn't get you out of the poverty level!

Games, by enforcing "fair matches" or giving out welfare are enforcing the belief of equality. In World of Tanks your stats are kept close to the average by the cheating matchmaker. While you can hold a massacre in a WoW battleground, no one cares as even the AFK-er gets honor points for his "performance". This is an evil teaching, poisoning the mind of young people against meritocracy.

Ganking on the other hand is a liberating experience. When I was ganking in EVE, I alone caused 123B damage in a month. The destruction graph reports 477T for a year, calculating with 100K actual players, that's 0.4B/month/players. The targets - despite they were players with equal opportunity - fell before me like trashmobs. They were unable to defend or avenge themselves. I walked among them like a god. Obviously I was no god, they were horribly dumb for being AFK in an untanked mining ship and an expensive pod. Also, I got bored of my "godness" after 2 months and couldn't gank yet another moron. But the point is that by skill I could outperform them by several magnitudes, just like Bill Gates outperforms the average guy. I believe everyone should perform a ganking spree to get first hand experience from the truth: you can be thousand times stronger than an average guy.

PS: Have you donated to Mordus Angels this month? If not, look at this glorious battle report where brave MoA pilots dashed to rescue the besieged Guristas. You can keep our heroes in ships! Remember, 35 million innocent NPCs were massacred in September by the minions of Evil! You can end this genocide! Donate now!

PS2: a bunch of smartbombing battleships managed to grab 1.5M loot. Nothing to see here, move along!


Anonymous said...

Why do you feel, that mastering 100, 200 or maybe 10000 players out of 100-300k makes you exceptional?

Anyways, the opposite of what you describe (which i honestly think noone really believes after being in school for several years) is taking the possibility to be exceptional as granted and we get to arguments like "i made 2 mil for my cancer treatment myself, and so can everyone else", so careful with that :)

Anonymous said...

So by picking easy prey, it is a liberating experience which makes you feel like a god....yet goons are bad?

Your targets: Their fault, they should lrn2play
Goons: Evil which needs to be wiped from the face of the game

Unknown said...

Being 1000 times stronger than the average, unwitting, unprepared guy is easy: carry a gun.

You might be in bad shape though going against a guy like this one:

Long story short, if you pick your targets carefully, with the right equipment at hand, you will face as much resistance as the butcher will face from a lamb.

If you really need to feel that, better to live it out with space pixels than copy

This was a gank in high sec space.

Is it noble? Hell no.

daniel said...

"Also, I got bored of my "godness" after 2 months and couldn't gank yet another moron."

sorry if i am mistaken, but wasn't this more due to the fact that yourt targets started adapting to the situation and you couldn't find easy prey anymore?
maybe i remember incorrectly.

the donation board,
as someone who likes to measure things in raw numbers, what would your conclusion be on the not so very well performing moa-donation campaign?

Gevlon said...

Goons are bad because they DON'T say "learn to play". They say "you can't fight us because we are legion". The first is a good advice, the second is an evil lie.

@Rasmus: your link is not right. Brevivik didn't kill people to feel god, he killed people because he thought this will stop the "muslim threat". He was an idiot, but a selfless idiot, a hero in his own eyes, sacrificing himself for the holy war.

@Daniel: no, my second month was even better than my first. They never learned. I could do it forever, just got bored and disappointed for not getting followers.

daniel said...

"and disappointed for not getting followers."

afair you had them, some even commented here.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Gevlon in one thing: Even peaceful Miners should train up a catalyst char and go and try to kill other miners.
It is not that simple, as one of the wellknown memes depicting Boromir at the council in Rivendell, states:
One does not simply ganke a retriever in highsec...
Therefore it is essential to learn how to gank properly in order to be abler to defend effectively against it.

As Gevlon so effectively has shown to EVE, ganking is still way OP und far too easy to be healthy for keeping a solid playerbase.
While I could say that ganking is for dumbass nolifers, that do not know how to otherwise get ISK in EVE, this same claim could to to a trades, PI industrialist, LV4 missionrunner. ONce you specialize in a certain activity you can get very good and efficient at it...
A well-fit Marauder (no bling needed) with decent skills and any highsec leve 4 is a piece of cake...

As for donations to the MoA board..... If you got money to spare, either join a FFA pvp community like SPECTRE fleet, it's hilarious fun of just waste it on raffles and gambling in eve..
Thanks to certain ISBoxing elements in MoA stealth bombers will be nerfed and declaok each other again... This will, as usual with CCP's badly executed "fixes", let multiboxers still get a workaround and continue multiboxing SB fleets but make it a pain for real pilots...
So, no isk from me...

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

To be sure, as long as a game has "World PvP" there will be gankers.

Game developers can't have it both ways. PvE and PvP are two completely different games. Trying to do both will only result in the dumbing down of both aspects.

The problem is, and I know this from direct experience, is that people developing games think they can combine PvP with PvE because they surround themselves with a dream version of their game that doesn't have any ganking in it. Then they act shocked when people don't do "What they're supposed to do." and add pointless mechanics to try to "force" them to "Do what they're supposed to do." where "Do what you're supposed to do." is fight each other.

Here are three examples from WoW: 1: Forcing people on the PvE "Legendary Cloak" quest to win several PvP matches. 2: Giving the "Azeroth Chopper" to one faction for free because they won some silly "Biker buildoff" contest. 3: Putting PvE world bosses in PvP capable areas.

Let's analyze the third one. What was supposed to happen? Was one faction supposed to all say "Oh! Those other guys got here first, we'll wait."? Or were the factions supposed to fight to the death before or during the PvE world boss fight? Either view is equally idiotic in a world that has at-conflict factions.

Arrendis said...

Goons are bad because they DON'T say "learn to play". They say "you can't fight us because we are legion". The first is a good advice, the second is an evil lie.

Actually, not only do we tell our people to learn to play, we try to help them do so. There are periodic classes during peacetime for all sorts of things. After EVE Vegas, I'm hoping to set up a class for logi/logi anchors - but I'm not sure when I'll get the time. :/

The other part there, though... not exactly. We don't say you can't fight us. You can fight us! Everyone fights us! BL, Nulli, Mordu's, NCdot, PASTA, INK, Kadeshi, Darkness... sometimes all at once!

What we do say is that so far, no-one's beat us at what we do - and what we do is the long game. And we strive to keep it that way, by having a strong organizational backbone that includes our allies. Part of that is by doing our best to aid those allies - like when we mobilized the CFC down to Delve for 2-3 months this summer, to help out LAWN and Init.

We're numerous, and we're organized, and those two things reinforce one another - we were able to go down south, while still maintaining enough firepower in the north to repel attacks by N3 and by the Battlement (while they lasted).

There is a strength in numbers, if those numbers can be properly organized. Numbers without Organization is an ineffective mob, while Organization without Numbers is potential unrealized.

Do we lose fights? Of course! Losing an actual sov war w/the CFC's organizational command and control set up as it is? We could, sure - but we haven't.

The Halloween War came closest - HED-GP was a massive morale hit. But we continued the fight, and then had B-R happen. As far as our involvement went, we left that space in Russian hands. It was well and truly lost only after we left.

Anonymous said...

Hm.. I just remembered, how and why the comparison of PVP statistics are complete nonsense in EVE.
In WoT, it makes sense. Every player takes part in the very same match environment und the very same ruleset.
In EVE, regardless of CONCORD intervention, every kill counts, regardless whether the victim was armed or not.
In WoT one can only shoot targets that can defend themselves.
Now, compairing consensual pvp and nun-consensual pvp stats comes close to literally comparing apples to pears...

Well... I still think that miners should learn how to gank properly in order to learn to defend themselves...

Otherwise, pvp in EVE is really a fun activity. Horde vs Horde would be an appropriate term...