Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kugu swarms Kirith!

Kirith Kodachi over at Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah managed to spawn a multi-page nerd rage thread at Kugutsumen where spaceship nerds with no life rage about Kirith's post lamenting a recent low number of kills in 0.0.

Having a marriage, children, and an active career precludes spending large chunks of time in a game for responsible individuals.  If you want to be entertained by some seriously clueless "hardcore EVE players" response to Kirith's post, you shouldn't miss this Kugu thread!

The tone of superiority and condescension is fascinating.  These guys are actually looking down at Kirith for having a life.  Internet spaceship geek drama can be so entertaining.  

I was pleased to see Kirith's CEO come to his defense in the comments.  He obviously understands that KK brings something positive to their corp.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

EVE News 24

If you enjoy the politics metagame in EVE, you will likely enjoy EVE News 24.  This site provides intelligent articles about the shifting Null-sec landscape as well as realtime news updates involving the big players in 0.0 space.

The site also has an in-game channel: EVENEWS24

If trolling through Kugu and Scrapheap is too painful for your nullsec news needs, you will find the informative highlights and useful info on EVE News 24 can give you the information you want without the hassle of dealing with EVE forums.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Motivated Grief

Welcome to the sixteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

With the recent completion of the 3rd installment of the Hulkageddon last month, @CyberinEVE, author of Hands Off, My Loots!, asks: “Griefing is a very big part of EVE. Ninja Salvaging, Suicide Ganking, Trolling, and Scamming are all a very large part of the game. What do you think about all these things? You can talk about one, or all…but just let us know your overall opinion on Griefing, and any recommendations you may have to change it if you think it’s needed.”

I don't understand how making someone else feel bad creates pleasure for an individual.  It must increase one's sense of personal power.  I can't say that video game "tears" provide any energy for myself, but I imagine it is like kids in elementary school making fun of the dumb kid or the fat kid to make themselves feel better about their existential experience.  

I certainly enjoy the pleasure of shooting a red in nullsec.  I completely understand the lure of piracy, ninja-ing, and suicide ganking as entertaining gameplay, but these pastimes don't strike me as griefing.  EVE is based on competition and economic scarcity, blowing up ships and being at risk of gank at all times adds to the drama and in-game dynamic tension.  We kill each other in EVE because it is really fun, even when you get on the wrong side of a Pandemic Legion death fleet!   We also kill to make ISK, which is also completely legit in my book.  Specifically trying to hurt someone's feelings to create pleasure is lame and betrays psychopathological motivations.  It comes down to the Ego.  What drives your pleasure shows your character.

This question dips into interesting territory as our culture moves more into virtual experience as a social phenomenon.  We have all heard "I am just role playing a griefer, you are just too X-Y-Z to get it."  Being able to dip into the taboo or dark side experience could be very useful for self-definition.  It could also be corruptive.  Who am I? (in game?)  What gives me pleasure? (in game?)  How will I achieve my objectives? (in game?)

Do these virtual choices affect "Real Life?"  Does playing a psychopath in a game lead to antisocial behaviors?  Is there a difference between shooting virtual creatures in Halo and "griefing" conscious individuals for fun in EVE in the impact on one's conscience, empathy, and character?  Maybe it is all "lolz" and I am wasting neurons asking these questions!

For my EVE experience, it all boils down to the fact that there are plenty of antisocial predators in real life.  Having New Eden chock full of griefers just makes EVE that much more realistic, dark, and entertaining.  At the same time, I prefer to surround myself with fun loving, light-hearted, silly individuals.  I also make a point of only trusting pilots I know in real life!

I think motivation separates griefing from gameplay in EVE.  If you are ganking or ninja-ing to make ISK, good for you!  If you experience elation when your team "wins" the battle, you are experiencing the same feeling sportsmen have enjoyed since the ancient Olympians.  If you are getting a charge from ruining someone's day, you are lame and a griefer.  You can gank someone and still be a good sport.   It is a game and it is fun to compete in this way.  If you are trying to hurt someone's feelings just for your sadistic pleasure, I hope it is useful on your personal journey.

The Naked Emperor

Having started my 0.0 time as an Atlas renter, it is very interesting to watch their Empire crumble away. Given the potential upsides of rental situations to landlord and tenant, I was surprised to see how terrible Atlas treated their tenants during my time in the southeast.

Whenever Atlas pilots were around, they made it very clear that renters were nothing but stupid annoyances unworthy of any basic respect. Atlas acted like they couldn't be bothered to defend such worthless noobs when the PL and RUS train came rolling. Looking back, it is clear that Atlas had internally decomposed to the point that they couldn't actually serve as liege or protector. Their leadership didn't care about the renters, but they also didn't care about their Empire.

It will be interesting to see if they can hold onto "Fortress Omist" under pressure.

Null sec holds so much promise for all types of pilots if decent leadership can shepherd a situation that allows a balanced ecosystem to flourish. Atlas has demonstrated very well how not to administer a 0.0 empire.

Despite the never ending criticism leveled at the NC, they are at least respectful to their members. Their model outlasted the recent invasion by Atlas and friends. It will be fun to watch how things develop in the future as the Russian incursion plays out. BFF!

Kugu gems

Eve - lower your expectations and pants

(Thanks, Krutoj)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Null sec overdrive

Dominion has brought serious changes to Null sec that are just beginning to be felt.  Fiddler's Edge has a great overview of the change in 0.0 and the rise of mega wealth derived from Care-Bears.
Most traditional 0.0 Alliances have a love-hate relationship with Industrial activity.  PVPers depend on income from ratting or trade, and benefit from well-stocked markets.  On the other hand, having a defense CTA fizzle because only 10% of pilots are willing to fight is a great way to lose morale and sovereignty.  I have seen that sort of failcascade from the inside out in my brief 9 months in 0.0.  This experience brings some insights into maximizing null-sec resources.
Renting Sovereignty is inefficient and chaotic.  There is drama, corp/Alliance failure and constant turnover that saps the administering Alliance's time and energy.  The "landlord" has to constantly mediate the whiners and obnoxious individuals that sneak through even the best screening processes.  For the subject Alliances, the constant payments sap their strength and this drain makes it very difficult to transition from renter to a position of strength.  The landlord Alliance also will usually prefer that the renter not become too powerful, as that can be a threat to the dominating power.
PVP oriented organizations rightly need to avoid diluting their focus with a cadre of non-aggressive spreadsheet fetishists.  However, the PVP Alliances will hugely benefit from the income and convenience a care bear dominated market and region can bring.  In the past, some organizations have explored splitting their focus with divisions between -A- and AAA Citizens for example.  However, I feel that this approach "dilutes the brand" of the liege Alliance without providing real benefit beyond the lead Alliance not having to maintain the sov space that is rented out in this manner.
Based on my observations in nullsec, I would propose a more efficient organizational structure to maximize Sov space profitability.   In this set-up, all station systems are held by the main Alliance in the region/constellation.  Industrial Corps are recruited into an Industrial-focused Alliance affiliated with the landlord who can negotiate NAP status with major allies.  The mindblowing innovation I am proposing is that NO RENT be charged to the members of the Industrial Alliance.  Instead, the landlord will make their money from Station taxes and fees with very little drama/oversight required.  Office rentals in the stations will alone provide a huge source of constant steady income.  By not charging rent, you alleviate the need to micro-manage while also boosting the perceived value of occupying your space.  I have seen the ISK numbers involved in managing multiple stations, and they are huge.
By setting this system up, huge numbers of "carebears" can be enticed to the depths of nullsec to shoot rats, mine, and run complexes.  These Industrial/PVE focused pilots will spend huge amounts of money in the local markets, which will boom as the population increases.  This market activity along with a cut of refinery activity will make serious ISK for the Military Alliance.  Having huge reserves of PVE fodder is also good for the small gang PVP lovers in the main Alliance, as it will attract pirates and roaming small gangs that need to be fought off.  Controlling shares in the Industrial Alliance would be distributed to alts of the controllers of the main Alliance to minimize risk of betrayal/sabotage. 
In addition, a certain not-insignificant percentage of nullsec "carebear" pilots will develop an interest in PVP activity and eventually be a potential recruitment source for the main Alliance.  Having cross-Alliance ops such as the NC runs can give pilots in the Industrial corps a chance to explore PVP and contribute to the cause without bringing the main PVP focused Alliance down.  Ops that require security can exclude the Bear-squad to minimize spies, who would likely have an easier time infiltrating Industrial corps.
I think this organization would allow huge numbers of pilots to maximize resource extraction without the security risks and "dead-weight" syndrome that can cause "corp-rot" from too much PVE activity in nullsec.  The Administering Alliance would likely reserve a few of the most "choice" low true-sec systems for their pilots to exploit to regenerate needed ISK.  It would be easy to reserve access to certain systems for the Alliance's pilots while radically increasing overall constellation density.  There are very few negatives to filling up your un-used nullsec with carebear hordes.
In summary, Goonfleet Federation needs a Goonbear Federation; IT Alliance needs BoBears; Red.Overlord needs the Red.BearMasters.  I predict that the Alliances that master carebear synergy while maintaining a PVP elite capable of holding onto Sov space will flourish in the near future.  As the ISK flows, supercaps will follow!