Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Elite PvP

Everyone heard the story, at least a hundred times. Once upon a time there was Band of Brothers who took the game seriously and were elite and controlled half the galaxy until the merry band of Goons came along in Rifters and not caring about anything but having fun and beaten them. Blah, blah, blah, again and again.

This myth is so deeply placed into the minds of EVE players that being any good in the game became a laughable thing. My Grr project gets constant criticism for blowing up ships in a ship-blowing game, because I should care about "morale" and "fun" instead. My unchangeable belief is that being more competent in something brings you closer to success. It should be 1+1=2, but in EVE it's not. Assuming that not everyone is a complete moron, we need an explanation how could a totally anti-competitive belief spread in a very competitive PvP game.

I mean it's an observable fact that the "bad at EVE" Goons are here and "elite" BoB is not. The 2013 Goonswarm data helps a bit. It shows 58% (de-inflated) - clearly green - killboard to Goons, so they aren't that bad. However I have a more interesting idea here, based on the extreme inflation of kills. In short: everyone and his mother is killboard green if we don't remove inflation, because even if he got on a kill with 0.01% damage, he gets the whole kill value on his killboard.

Reliable killboard data don't date back that long, so we'll never know for sure, so this will always be a theory. But it's an interesting one: what if BoB was never elite? What if all they had is good propaganda, lot of kill-tagging and using pets (slave-alliances) as meat shield? Without data, everyone accepted their image as truth, just like most people jumped on the "solo is dead" and "Goons are only harmed by PL and NC." nonsenses. But what if they were just big and not any good, just like TEST was. I mean there was a time when TEST was the largest Sov-holder, while clearly bad at PvP.

Since BoB was accepted as "elite", its fall was the fall of the "elite PvP" idea. But what if they were never elite? This case the "elite" idea wasn't tested and failed. Quite the opposite. Due to flying cheap T1 ships, Goons probably had good killboard ratios from the start, so they were the "elite", so the fall of BoB was nothing but a usual "baddie was kicked by better one" example.

Anyway, extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof, and claiming that BoB was awesome is extraordinary enough to not accept it without solid proof. We should assume that the common sense "better player pwns baddie" is true and plan our actions accordingly.

PS: MoA opened a large chest of CFC tears. I'll start publishing the good ones, consider this the "daily tears" section: [Feb 18] Somewhere in a Goon Ratting system, far, far, away...(JU-OWQ)
[17:36:16] Ferguson Smash > i get to NOT mine
[17:36:24] Ferguson Smash > :cripes:
[17:36:33] M'Kayi Kasic > \O/ OP SUCCESS
[17:36:52] Ferguson Smash > you're fucking with my isk per hour
[17:36:59] Tina McManfist > I hear there is this magical place called "other systems"
[17:37:19] M'Kayi Kasic > Your saying you want me to leave?
[17:37:22] Akenema Erquilenne > didnt want that free afk isk anyway
[17:39:52] Panicus > guess the donkey show is cancel today
[17:39:53] th748 > ratters need isk to pvp lol
[20:29:54] DragonstarSunsoar >M'Kayi Kasic fucking up my jewing
[20:29:57] DragonstarSunsoar > Go away


Provi miner said...

Dude you know the story First it wasn't rioters it was drakes, goons perished in rioters. Second it was goons that won but an epic awox, third it was started because a bob friendly group failed to pay the best spai in the game so when he flipped bob and friends lost 90% Intel. Fourth mercenary coalition did more to cause bob to fail than goons.

It's a story no one buys btw a shout out to merc coalition I so hope people re log and it can be a real force again rather than low sec pirates they are right now.

You know by telling the fairy tail you only reinforced an un truth.

Smokeman said...

Didn't BoB have devs on board? That's something of a considerable advantage.

It seems to me, though. that "Elite PvP" in a game that is based on gank tactics is a moot point. 2 people doing 75% of optimal damage will almost always beat 1 person at 100%.

If you want to "win" you need the biggest gank squad. And that requires diplomacy and system building expertise. Skills that would be better applied in the real world.

And that's why people like "The Mitanni" will always "win." Even if you crush the goons... he'll just rebrand and bring his expertise to a different alliance.

You will never have enough "Elite PvPers" to overpower the onslaught of an F1 army.

Jim L said...

Once again you are making the mistake of using ISK efficiency as a measure of PvP skill. ISK efficiency is not a measure of PvP skill. ISK efficiency is a measure of ganking skill.

Robert said...

"My Grr project gets constant criticism for blowing up ships in a ship-blowing game"
No, you get criticism because you take kilboard stats and treat them like they tell a story, when in fact they mean nearly nothing. The crazy part is I'm sure you've said this yourself before, and yet now killboard numbers you seem to believe are everything.

BoB weren't elite because of killboard stats, they had no killboard. BoB were elite because they won strategic objectives, right up until they didn't. Goons beat them because they came to that same conclusion, that winning had nothing to do with how well you shoot other ships or even what ship you fly, it all came down to strategic objectives. IF you can throw away a whole fleet, only kill 2 ships, but capture the objective then you win.

This is what you fail to see about the grr project. You're paying for the wrong activity to be performed and measuring success by something that doesn't equal success.

Gevlon said...

@Robert: there is a problem with "winning objectives": the fleet does it. The individual F1-pushing player has little contribution. This be interpreted two ways:
- Individual players are irrelevant in EVE, you can't define "being good in EVE", just like you can't tell the difference between two equally fit Caracals.
- Players and their skills and effort matters, therefore winning objectives is a bad metric and rather a side-effect of being good.

I'd go with the second.

Anonymous said...

Does it matter what was in the past? Of course some can learn from past failures but it doesn't matter. simple logic can help out. There is a reason why point based games have limited players involved. Besides the point that nearly all games have a gameover condition where the game ends and losers plus winners are announced.

SOV will be always determined by Zerg v Zerg. Sure some tactics and strategy are involved. SP plans and doctrines. It all helps a tiny bit to bet the odds. But in the end MASS wins always. If MOA had 3k warm bodies you wouldn't give 12b for SRP .. no .. you would join and be a key figure of their financial might.

it is usually bad to compare MMO pvp to RL games. but just imagine a soccer game with 500 vs 70 players on field.

Unknown said...

Please Gevlon, at least rty to keep some grains of truth in your Eve history fairy tales.
BoB were disbanded due to a turncoat. They did not lose a decisive fleet battle, neither Rifters nor Drakes could beat them. Game mechanics did. And that is the whole point of the problem.
You complain about WoT and WoW pvp mechanics as WoT has a match-making algorithm that aims for a 50/50 W/L ratio and WoW does apparently something similar.

PVP im EVE is just a tiny part of the whole game. In fact, it is the most irrelevant part that only gets most PR jerks attention.
When hugs and massive fights occur like BRB or HED-GP or any other irrelevant 0.0 system once the battle losses exceed a couple of billion ISK, PR kicks in EN24 and everyone and their moms write articels about how thousands of RL USD get wasted within no time over some pixels...

Again, this is just PR, no money was lost, it was already paid, no matter whether that Nyx or Erebus survived or not. But that is another religious topic for those ISK/US$ converters...

Skills or "being good at pvp" seldom matter, only in very few situations as Abbadon21 and a few other gifted pilots demonstrate regularly.

Every kill in EVE gives you some points it is a useless "reward system" similar to WOW... Nowhere is taken into account if a pilot engaged solo, against an armed ship, with no GCC or anything...
Catalyst against untanked retriever, OP success, rinse and repeat and pay your plex with the loot... This is also the very reason so many people give a shit about EVE.
They see clearly these flaws and are not obssessed by the complexity of the game. They instead see clear unbalancecd mechanics, WORST NPE ever lack of decent tutorials who actually teach about most game mechanics. Most functions and settings were and are undocumented, so whenever you create a corp, set up a pos or even moe to nulsec to set up home there, you are fucked as nowhere in-game will you find any hints as to how to deal with access rights management, member role management, risk management.

Worst CCP PR lie? Risk versus reward.... You prove every single day that staing in station, updateing market orders for two hours reap a zillion more ISK than undocking, and shooting and blowing up stuff...

OFC single players are irrelevant, it is an MMO!!!! Huge strategic objectives usually cannot be achieved by a single person and should not. Unfortunately , due to crappy mechanics, only well disciplined dictatorships will prosper within these mechanics.

Unknown said...

You said it repeatedly, we will not get deflated killboards as developpers at CCP and admins of such sites want to have as many hits as possible and that happens only when every single pilot is killboard green...

On the other hand, maybe there are people out there, who have an interest in deflated data, maybe you could find some IT wizzard who would gladly "de-whore" the data with some smart algorithms and put processed data on display. The site couls be namen "The REAL EVE killboard", "...where elite pvpers go..."

Again, your "Why was I ganked" campaign was so much fun, informative and entertaining, yet you proved to us readers, that while you single handedly destroyed more ISK than 30% of the large 0.0 alliances together, you also said that you were not good at pvp, as you were almost "only" ganking, despite the killboards putting you at top PVP ranks.

You proved that ISK ration and all that snake oil did not mean anything. And most people were ok with that, but in the GRR goons project, you use the exact same dta to try to convince us that MoA are top CFC killers and therefore are relevant because ├╝ver 80% of their kills are blinged ratting ships or idiots getting trapped at gate camps... Seriously, you might convince readers that have started reading you blog in late 2014 and did not care to read older blog entries, but you can't "un-make" the truth that isk ratio and killboard data and all that stuff is useless for telling how well or badly someone performs... You proved it once, you cannot unprove it. And this is exactly what so many people try to explain to you,
they aren't mostly goon fans or goon members, they are people who have followed your blogs for a very long time, people who once heeded your advice, but now are left speechless and astonished as you try to spin your findings in the opposite direction...

Gevlon said...

Northern Associates dropped Sov by a turncoat too. And regrinded it in a week. BoB could do the same if they could.

Miner ganking provides spectacular kill statistics because barely anyone ganks miners. CODE has 7-800B inflated kills a month: Half of it is theirs, other half belongs to Bat Country and NPC corp alts. That's about 5x bigger than what I did all by myself.

So the few gankers farm fat fish in a barrel. If ISK ratios would matter to people many would gank and miners would either learn to fly tanked, unblinged ships or give up, providing good kills neither way.

My killboard ratio stuff was proven with an assumption: that losses are easily replaced. This was "common sense". Since then I've learned two facts:
- most alliances need SRP and fly cheap doctrines, because pilots can't pay their losses
- the average losses of a pilot in EVE is about 80-100M/month, a pathetic number.

I simply didn't account how poor the players are and how devastating a loss is to them.

Anonymous said...

They were elite because they had aoe and cyno dooomsdays, tracking titans, an old players base with money and battleship V. Basically the same formula in every other mmo; "80% gear and XP you have, 20% your skill". Quite funny since I'm one on of this types of corps. On the application form there is a question about how to fit a vagabond. Yet when the hammer comes down the one and only ship called for are slowcats. So, why the vagabond question? Partly elimination - knowing how to fit one is irrelevant, but *not* knowing indicates a idiot. But mostly, smoke and mirrors, and "perception is reality".

Anonymous said...

@99smite: The problem isn't even programming the software behind such a killboard. The problem is that, unless you can somehow convince a large portion of EVE players to give you their API keys, you'd be at the mercy of the other 2 big killboards for data.

That, and server costs of course.

jedi2005 said...

Why wouldnt killboard data go that far back ? Battleclinic shows stil My losses/kills from as far back as 2006 on a fast check.

Anonymous said...

IIRC BoB was mostly a European alliance with a strong British contingent while a lot of their enemies were much more heavily American, at least in the early days when their reputation got made.

The UK had MUCH lower ping connecting to CCP servers in Iceland than the largely North Americans they killed in their first few wars and at that time having a lower ping was a much bigger advantage than today so often they just slaughtered helpless fleets that were paralyzed by lag.

Robert said...

"there is a problem with "winning objectives": the fleet does it. The individual F1-pushing player has little contribution. This be interpreted two ways:
- Individual players are irrelevant in EVE, you can't define "being good in EVE", just like you can't tell the difference between two equally fit Caracals.
- Players and their skills and effort matters, therefore winning objectives is a bad metric and rather a side-effect of being good."
Sure, players and their skills matter, that's not in dispute. The problem comes with measuring that though,. What you measure on is a useless metric, since you're effectively stating that someone is more elite at PvP based on the value of his targets, not based on the effort required to kill it. Someone nuking an afk frigate full of plex is more elite by your measures than someone taking out a well flown HAC. It should be obvious that isn't the case, yet that's what you suggest.

Success at objectives may not be a good way to measure individual performance, but they certainly show how well a given group is playing and is certainly a better measure of the success of your project since your objective is to defeat the goons right? Your objective is not to make MoA pilots killboards more full of easy yet expensive kills. Groups like goons produce trillions of isk and will manage losses based on what they can afford, so are unlikely to be taken down by people ganking ratters. What they will be taken down by is strategic victories in key areas. Taking out YA0 for example would be a massive success and would cut out a primary null trading hub. Taking out grunt #3892635 in his AFK ratting ship which he likely already replaced 4 times over before it was even killed is not going to do much.

Steve said...

Wow what a bunch of crap. I actually flew in 2 Max campaigns and was there during the fall of BoB. I was in the battle of 49- when it was the largest battle in the game. We all know Gevlon was not playing at that time.

Regrinding Delve…

Nope, not an option. The problem here is that not only did all Sov drop at the same time, but Goons also moved in as well. Nobody moved in to the NC. space when they dropped sov. In addition, the game was very different when BoB lost sov. Supers were not even supers, they were mother ships and had very different PvP applications. Titans also were not like they are today either. So grinding would have to have been done in dreadnaughts and to get comparable DPS for grinding structures would necessitate quite a few more dreads than supers. And the BoB leadership made a terrible strategic mistake at this point as well…they put their dread cache not in just 1 system, but 1 station. Goons hellcamped that station for God knows how long. So not an option.

Further, sov was different. Back then sov was based on the number of POS in a system. If you had a majority you held sov. But BoB had to form a new alliance and start building up Sov all over again. It was not simply shoot the structures anchor a few things ta-da sov. And to be sure you got and held sov you’d have to drop towers on 51% of the moons in each system you wanted sov in. So BoB formed Kenzoku and then had wait…which of course the Goons and their allies were not going to allow.

And speaking of the Goons allies…they had quite a few. The old Northern Coalition and Pandemic Legion came down to Delve and Querious. To give an idea to the numbers there was Morsus Mihi, Razor Alliance, KIA, and so forth.

And as I noted the Goons literally moved into Delve. They were so intent on taking Delve and Querious that they not only deployed they were going to dorp all of their current Sov. It was either take D-Q-PB or GTFO.

As for character skills, yes they matter. Getting into fleets in a BS and not having T2 large guns was generally a big “no, no.” back in those days when the ship of choice was the sniper BS. And not only T2 large guns, but trained to level 4 as that granted an extra 8% damage, which when spread across the entire fleet it made a difference. Advanced weapons upgrades was mandatory as well so you could get the most out of your fits. And so does player skill. I have been in both GBC and CFC/Imperium fleets and knowing what you are doing and when to do it and so forth is important.

And the area that Goons really goddamn excel at is logistics. Look at how big their coalition is, yet they can get to the deployment system surprisingly fast. They’ll have ships on contract for the current doctrines, the market will be seeded with all sorts of modules and ships along with towers, fuel, and ammo.

And of course, Goons use the trope, “Yes, we are bad.” It is part of their culture and their propaganda. If they do win…well the bad players just beat the elite. If they lose…well they are bad what did you expect.