Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Feudal future

A quick poll of the #Tweetfleet on whether Dominion has increased Null sec density returns a resounding NO.  This is a contrast to the region I am in, which has seen a significant population increase since Dominion hit the scene.  I think the massive turbulence that has hit 0.0 with Dominion is to blame for the lack of increased density in most regions. 
The reason my region has seen population growth is stability.  We renters are protected by a powerful PVP alliance which allows us to focus on growth and development of our systems.  With several Sov systems heavily upgraded, we can support a large amount of Industry and PVE.  The upgraded systems are great for these pastimes, providing a huge income boost with Anomalies and Radar/Grav/Mag sites. 
Recruiting PVP players remains a priority, even for renters. A fair percentage of new arrivals, myself included, are enjoying getting into fleet PVP ops with our Alliance.  As we are NEWBs to PVP, we could not cut it yet in a dedicated PVP alliance.  You have to learn somewhere, and many renter corps are delighted to train new killers.  
I think the renter model is the gateway to increased null-sec density that Dominion will bring to regions that are under stable control.  Bringing people in to "farm" upgraded systems provides huge benefits to the Liege alliance.  You have an increased militia for CTA.  Even if they are not expert PVPers, anyone can sick some drones on an enemy ship and be helpful in defense ops.  As some renter alliances develop, they will actively patrol the local areas, increasing security for resource utilization and cynos for the Liege alliance. 
A bigger benefit comes from developed markets which will tend to happen when you let industrialists roam free.  This benefits PVP players with access to mods/ammo/rigs/ships out in the 0.0 hinterlands.  The biggest benefit to the Liege alliance is the tremendous income a dominated region can bring in rental fees and station fees and taxes.  What power-bloc Alliance couldn't find a use for those extra Billions? 
It will be interesting to see if IT makes use of this trend in their new space, or if they just hold onto it in the old low-density fashion.  Will the extra income and benefits from renting systems be worth the extra trouble for the big fish?  The playing field has been changed, it is now time to see what system will be most fit for 0.0 survival.  As we watched CVA get rolled by a premier PVP Alliance, it becomes evident that Dominion is not going to allow small alliances or big carebear alliances to survive in 0.0 without protection.  The price for holding space is being a big, bad, focused PVP force capable of waging high level warfare tactics. 
I am excited to see whether the Alliances who are actively trying to bring new pilots into 0.0 by renting space will find a competitive advantage against the Alliances stuck in a pre-Dominion mentality.  Will the Feudal model be successful?  My instinct is yes, but time will tell.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pointy ears and tights have it all wrong!

Tobold, the WOW blogger, has gone on a rant about how RMT ruins EVE Online. His thesis is that in EVE, you can buy success which breaks the game.

I think that if you are used to playing a game like WOW, LOTRO, or EQ this might seem possible. The important point that the non-EVE-playing "analyst" misses is that EVE is not just about running up to something and pushing 4 keys in a specific order while dodging/changing positions at key times that you can learn from watching You Tube Videos with no risk of losing your stuff if the group or raid wipes. While one can certainly get into a big ship by buying PLEX, one can also lose that ship VERY fast if they do not know exactly what they are doing. Even in High sec, expensive ships are ganked all the time. Just ask Helicity!

I fully support new players picking up a few PLEX to get started with EVE. It helps with skill purchases and getting going with ships early on and also helps established players play for free as they sell ISK to the new player. This RMT does not affect my gaming in any way except in moving ISK to people who are looking to spend it, which is good for my market orders. The only flow of cash is from players to CCP, avoiding the problems with supporting macro-slime or botters.

Tobold is concerned about fairness, "You being able to boost your power with money is even worse if you directly compete with other players in PVP."

At the level of low sec or 0.0 play, buying PLEX does not give one any significant advantage over the other players who are out killing each other. Any decent PVP player can fit and fly T2 to get an edge in battle when that is called for. Having deep pockets will enable you to afford to lose more ships, but it will not make you a better pilot. In WOW, purchasing expensive gear will "twink" your toon and give a tremendous advantage over players with cheap gear. Conversely, a T2 fit Taranis could easily go down to a cheap Rifter if the pilot doesn't know what they are doing.

The skill system which Tobold maligns allows a very young player to be highly useful in gang and fleet warfare with veteran players within a week or two of starting the game as a tackler or scout. I certainly don't think a 2 week player on the WOW rails would be able to interact meaningfully at all with lvl 80 WOW players in a PVP situation.

In EVE, you cannot buy your way to easy mode. Using specialized and expensive ships makes you a tremendous target. You fly ships like that for a specific purpose or role with great understanding of the risk and appropriate fleet backup. There is no uber-unstoppable ship for every situation! (Sorry Tengu pilots...)

To break it down clearly for any traditional pointy ears and tights MMO players reading this: You cannot "buy your way to power" in EVE. You can "buy your way to providing expensive loot drops for the rest of us" in EVE. In fact, I strongly encourage Tobold or any other MMO player to jump into EVE and prove me wrong by buying up some PLEX and becoming "powerful" to demonstrate this uninformed claim. Just be sure to update your clone before you leave the station!


There is no easy mode in EVE.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Blog Banter Contest Winners

With 56 entries, the last Blog Banter contest was a huge success.

Despite a major snafu with terrible formatting in the initial post through Gmail, Crazy Kinux gave me the benefit of the doubt and selected this blog as one of the 10 winners:

  1. 1st Prize - $100 in EVE Store merchandise: Wench with a Wrench

  2. 2nd Prize - $50 in EVE Store merchandise: Don't Fear the Mutant

  3. 3rd Prize- $25 in EVE Store merchandise: Into the unknown with gun and camera

  4. 4th Prize - $25 in EVE Store merchandise: Sered's Lives

    And the following bloggers each win a 14 Day EVE Time Code:

  5. FlashFresh
  7. Vive Virtual
  8. Why do I love EVE Online
  9. An Extremely Complicated Survival Machine
  10. Ecliptic Rift

Thanks for coordinating the contest, CK! I really enjoyed reading through the amazing entries. I also found a few more excellent EVE blogs to subscribe to, which is a nice bonus.

(You can reach me at: Jagginsi0i(at)gmail.com)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Goodbye Goonswarm

Goonfleet and Goonswarm are dead, at the hands of Goonfleet CEO Karttoon. In another twist of fate only possible in EVE's sandbox of chaos, the irritated CEO who forgot to pay the Goon SOV bill causing the loss of Delve decided to strike at his angered Goons and destroyed their Alliance while pocketing obscene amounts of ISK.
Darius J is now re-taking the spiritual leadership of the Goons and they will reform in no time as a new entity. I expect Goons will be back to their shenanigans within a few weeks under a new name, BoB style.
Ex-Goonswarm pilots emulating ex-BoB pilots after getting screwed over by a Goon. This stuff keeps me from even looking at new shallower Sci-fi games like STO. No Dev team can make this drama up. I think the butterfly has been working overtime since Dominion rocked the world.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bloodlust Backlash

Since moving to 0.0, I have had the delight of getting to PVP on a regular basis. While not particularly skilled or talented in that arena, I find the Pew exquisitely entertaining.

My newfound bloodlust caused me some grief tonight, however. We had an incursion of neuts and in my haste to join the rapid response fleet, I forgot that I was in my clone with +4s that I keep at the station I do my production and market stuff at.

Distracted by my 2 year old almost waking from his nap on the monitor, I warped to the wrong gate, got behind the fleet, and got picked off by a sneaky cloaky strike force at a gate my fleet had just warped past. (The sneaky bastards were too smart to engage the fleet, they wisely waited to gank the straggler instead!)

So far in learning PVP I am down a Vexor and a Thorax. Despite my losses, I am feeling comfortable to now fly a Brutix when the FC calls for bigger ships! Hopefully this sad tale will remind some other pilot to check that JC before joining their CTA...