Monday, 3 September 2012

Day 78 : Attitude Adjustment and The Glass Cannon Gambit

I spend the start of today confirming that I’m going to feel like crap all weekend. This is almost a regular occurrence for me so I can mentally prepare for the fact that my weekend won’t involve going out. At least I have EVE. Another nail in the coffin of death by EVE addiction, it saves me from feeling like I wasted an entire weekend.

I log on after a slow start and spend some time faffing around. I’m not doing much, just enjoying being online. I’m pottering. I get a bit of scanning done, a bit of industry, a bit of shooting hi sec rats absent mindedly.

I wake up properly when Jax comes online and has a Radar site ready to go. He has the DPS and I have the Hacking skills, so I head in to help him out. The loot isn’t revolutionary, in fact I need to go and look up what the hell it is. I never get round to this today because something else happens. Something a lot more entertaining and amusing.

A character called Agrippa sends me a conversation invite. Now Agrippa has been red flagged by me since the early days when he was one of the first, if not the first, to pod me. Back then, when I didn’t understand EVE so well, I’d have probably ignored the request and flown on. Now though I accept the request and say hi. I no longer have the same adversarial approach to EVE. Early on it was me versus the game and everyone in it. That’s probably because it was harder to get into than any other game I’d tried. These days I tend towards milking everyone I meet for info.

Now Agrippa is a good pilot. I have a very brief encounter indeed to prove that fact. He is also in Local. We’ve got an amount of warp safe time in the Radar site but we are dealing with a lot of rats. What I am not expecting is that Agrippa is entirely cordial, amusing and intelligent conversation. It’s good to chat and say hi and relate how he was an early podder. Unknown to me, despite a one of his corp mates posting in the comments, he has been reading the blog ever since and knows about it. It is interesting, rather than annoying, to hear that my being killed was part of a REPO initiation/application process. What is more interesting to me is that I completely accept and agree with it as part of the game. It makes me feel like somewhere along the line I’ve shed part of my Warcraft skin and become an EVE player. To be totally fair, the experience of podding did delay me in low sec style adventures, but not by much. If I could say anything bad about it I would suggest not podding characters less than a month old, but only because it makes them more wary of going to low. Low could do with more traffic as fast as possible.  

So 2 vs 1. It sounds as if Agrippa has a professional interest in the fight, as if he wants to push his boundaries or evaluate his tactics in a new situation. I’'m of the firm belief he can handle us while watching television or holding an RL conversation at the same time. So, in order to cope, Jax and myself make a plan. This is the glass cannon gambit. Glass Cannon is a term I picked up in Warcraft where it was used to describe mages. High damage, low survivability. Unfortunately it is going to need bait. Not a tank, because that isn’t worth concentrating fire on. Bait. Yep. That's me.

Jax fits a Cat that can pound out over 300 DPS and I fly my usual T1 Incursus named Pale Horse. I once again forget the pre flight checklist and fly out with T2 guns strapped to it.

Arriving at the system we invite Agrippa to fleet, agree not to pod and then warp to his location. As soon as I hit the grid I fire the MWD, making myself as visible as a nova to any kind of targeting system. I roar in, knowing my lifespan is probably limited and so open up all the defences. The cap might last 40 seconds which is a lot longer that I’ll probably last so what the hell. Might as well open up the guns as well. This is where I realise I have T2 guns fitted as I shoot past two launched drones and begin to wail on Agrippas shields. It isn’t enough though, his lasers can still track me and slice and dice me in short order. I do manage to rip through his shields though and Jax is right behind me turning up the heat, ignoring drones to capitalise on my kamikaze attack run. Its a victory for Tatooine Sand Reclamation but not for me as I bob in my pod.

The important thing here, obviously beyond my selfless and heroic tactics ;), is meeting an old adversary like this, seeing their view, undemonising them, trying the PVP angle and realising I’ve made the adjustment to EVE a little more. It is a PVP game, you won’t avoid it, best to be ready and enjoy it. Enjoy loss. Spend the money. Enjoy the moment of looking at the losses as you would the slightly detrimental and disgusting habit of picking at a scab or prodding a bruise. You need to make the adjustment to the game to realise that non consensual PVP isn’t personal, and that there is consensual PVP out there. It is just the nature of the game, get some practice in. There might well be another great guy on the other side playing THEIR game and not yours. Get used to it, adapt and be a good loser. I have a good chat with Agrippa and hope I’ll be able to give him a better 1v1 fight sometime in the future. If I ever manage a victory in that I’d probably run around the room cheering and warp straight into gate guns again. I think this kind of thing happens (not the gate gun thing) more than I ever thought even outside arranged fights like mine ( To top it all off, Agrippa sends me a link showing me that Battleclinic have labelled me a “lowsec roamer”. This, having been ill all day feeling horrible, makes me laugh out loud and makes my day. o7 dude.

Now all I have to do is understand hisec griefers. This is the part of PVP I still don’t get since largely I believe most targets get lured into combat with their inexperience used against them. For many it’s an experience they might not adapt to. It has a faint air of bullying around it which I’m generally inclined to respond to stupidly and raise my hackles. I can see though that I still have tons to learn and if anyone can justify it beyond “they noob, I kill” and in terms of it being good for EVE ( it has to be more than a gunpoint education making noobs leave) then I am at least prepared to listen.


Sympathy for the Devil - The Rolling Stones


  1. "It is a PVP game, you won’t avoid it, best to be ready and enjoy it. Enjoy loss. Spend the money"

    Probably the best description of EVE PvP I have ever come across. /me tips hat

  2. "Now all I have to do is understand hisec griefers."

    You rang?

    Well, I don't know what to tell you. Yes, we lure targets into combat by using their inexperience against them. Not all of them adapt. It is plainly bullying. They noob, we kill (though player age has nothing to do with noobing). There's a hint of gunpoint education to it - but not much really.

    Of course, the question is *why*, and I can only speak for myself on that. I rolled into it after realizing that there was no high-sec profession that could hold my attention for more than a few days, and low- or null-sec PVP still struck me as the realm of serious gamers who would expect a lot from me than I was willing to invest in a pastime. Honestly, I felt EVE was a pretty bad game altogether. But then I stumbled across some blogs by the likes of Aiden Mourn and Paul Clavet.

    The reason I bully in EVE is because in EVE, I *can* bully and what's more, in EVE, bullying is an accepted and (in some circles) even *celebrated* form of emergent gameplay. It adds risk to what are otherwise some of the safest regions of New Eden, and in that way at least it does add something to the game as a whole. It's not like I'm just standing in doorways blocking people, or lobbing grenades at player spawn points.

    Plus, my particular flavor of bullying, ninja salvaging, is actually a bit of an artform. It takes some measure of skill and patience and it's all pitted against humans, not anonymous NPCs. Not elite PVP by any standard (as any ninja will tell you, we suck at PVP) but it does put one of the Ms in MMO.

    For me, it's the trickery, the balls-out impertinence and the sheer hilarity of racing a dirt-cheap frigate into someone's Level 4 mission and stealing all his stuff. And the thrill of getting a fight out of it sometimes. It's great for casual play. Most of all, it's the camaraderie and the warm, drunken embrace of the like-minded pilots I fly with that makes it genuinely enjoyable.

    My fun comes at the expense of others, yes. But this is EVE.

  3. Loved the PVP description and your acceptance of non-consensual PVP. Looks like we have you now!! mwwahahahhahahaha!

    one of us
    one of us
    one of us

    hehehehe =). Well, enough Toy Story! High-sec griefing! The whys and whatnots if you like. Part of the mental shift from Empire to 0.0 involves how wars are fought. You have encountered the Killboard, and you should know that there are a great many corps and alliances that base their worth on what shows up on those boards. They don't generally do well in 0.0 combat because 0.0 combat isn't about kills and battles! It is about attacking the enemy's will to fight, and that is part of where high-sec griefing comes in.

    There are two general styles of 0.0 entity. The first is NRDS or Not Red, Don't Shoot! I can't say I approve of this style of play. You never know who is going to gank you because you can't shoot that neut until he shoots you! It is a stupid system, but you will find some e-honour pubbies still clinging to it in Great Wildlands (we kicked them out last time we were there, but like roaches they keep coming back). The other type of, much more respectable, organization is NBSI or "Not blue? SHOOT IT!" In current 0.0 that can be taken as a religious command more than a guide line. If you aren't blue (please take this as a warning as well ;-)) you are fair game for shooting, scamming, fucking over and generally making their lives miserable. That includes all residents of high-sec and the "join us or die" tactic can be remarkably effective!

    The other reason has to do with reward collection. After a while in 0.0 and as you advance in the game, large amounts of ISK are fairly trivial to get a hold of. 50M/hr ticks for carrier ratting. 20 to 30M/hr just doing normal anomalies if you are into the whole PVE thing. Much much more if you are scanning down escalations. A 10/10 can bring you 3B+. So isk isn't a motivator anymore.. that leaves one thing that drives people to log on. It is such a powerful motivator that I have seen hundreds of people log in to shoot at an empty medium pos in high-sec. It is the most valuable thing that a line member can get: tears! In EVE, we fuel our spaceships on the tears of our vanquished foes!

    I am dead serious here. When ganked, the best thing you can do is reship and say nothing (maybe a GF in local or something). If you get upset, you are likely to see that upset splashed all over /r/EVE, /r/EVEDreddit, kugu and the EVE-O forums. If you get really upset and indulge in a bit of hubris, you may just find yourself dancing in drag on youtube while singing "I'm a little teapot" just to get the heat to come off you (That is how the medium pos in high-sec ended BTW). One guy got so upset that he issued IRL death threats. I think that soundcloud is still floating around. To say the least, IRL death threats are considered pretty much the creme de le creme of tears.

    That is the long and the short of high-sec griefing. It comes from the realities of 0.0 combat and social groups. The NBSI doctrine promotes a real feeling of "us vs. them" and an internal culture that is required to stand out from the crowd. You need to provide a narrative for people to buy into or they aren't going to log in for four hours to sit on a gate with 1,400 other people so that the 700 on the other side won't jump in and take your station away (the battle of 49-U, last timer).

    Then there is just the general lack of respect for those who would choose safety over risk. Just two different types of mind sets really. Lots of our guys have never spent any time in Empire at all, so they tend to look down on those who are afraid to leave the safety of a newbie corp. There is also quite a bit of resentment as the risk vs. reward is WAY over balanced in Empire.. but we are starting to get into long standing game design issues. Bitter vet stuff. You will get there soon enough after you have quit once or twice =).

    1. its always funny to me when goons and/or pets makes comments about high sec safety
      all the rest i suppsoe i can understand and/or agree with
      but the safety thing always makes me smile

      and the risk/reward thing, im amazed you can say that with a straight face
      impressive selfcontrol that is

    2. There is almost no risk in Empire. Level 4 running will actually net you as much or more than anomalies running due to the fact it is safer. Then of course there is the isk facet that is high-sec incursions. Again, an almost totally risk free activity. (Just to be clear: Rats are not a "risk". They aren't even a threat.) The only risk in Empire comes because pubbies are horrible at EVE and don't even take basic precautions. No one can save you from your own stupidity.

      Empire is completely unbalanced. It isn't possible for a corporation or alliance line member in 0.0 to make anything near what is possible in high-sec. Yes, you get "more", but you don't have to replace ships. You don't have to worry about gate camps on the way to your ratting site. You don't have to worry about being scanned down. You don't have to worry about AFK cloakers making it impossible to rat. You idiots in Empire seem to think that tech moons are everywhere and that isk goes into the pockets of the alliance members. Tech is rare and ALL claimed. If you would like some, you had better have a super fleet to go and get it for you. Then you will also need a capital fleet and a sub cap fleet to defend it from the previous owners who WILL come and get it. So you will risk 100B or more to get that 10B/month. And you will continue to risk that 100B just to insure you keep your 10B/month. THAT is risk vs. reward. Empire is bullshit. The pubbies cry over everything and want their cake but don't want to risk anything to get it. They feel that reward with out risk is their right for being in high-sec. Suicide gankers are also not a "risk". The "risks" in empire are pathetic compared to the rewards.

      Empire is supposed to be a place for newbies, not for pubbies to hide from the realities of EVE. High-sec IS getting nerfed (thank god). The tears that will flow form the Empire carebears who will now actually have to take some RISK to get their reward will be delicious!

      PS: Pubbie - Old counter strike term that denoted a player who played on public servers and so would not work with the team. Co-oped by Goons first to mean someone who is not a Goon. It then moved on to general parlance to mean someone who lives in high-sec and leaches out as much reward as they can with little or no risk.

    3. one, since you seem to imply it, im not a highsec dweller in any way or form

      two, i too dont consider rats a risk, i also have read real facts about where most of the rat isk is payed out, perhaps you should look it up?

      three, all your feard gatecamps are easily avoided, unless ofcourse you are half asleep and ignores intelchannels, also ships actually fit for pvp really helps, or so im told....

      four, you say highsec people dont have to replace their ships, they actually do, IF they are participating in PvP, much like a null resident may or may not be a complete bear (most are tbh)

      five, shipreplacement, this is real common in highsec, yes?

      six, i obviously cant speak for all of "us idiots" but yes im aware that personal tech moons is a rare thing

      seven, obviously suicide gankers is a risk, unless you like to claim that other PvPers in null isnt a risk?

      eight, highsec dwellers are terrible at this game? this is amusing considering where it comes from

      nine, despite all your flaws, you are right when you say the risk in highsec is way too low
      but then risk in sov null is near nonexisting

      also i feel you are trying a bit too hard with the whole pubbie thing, but that might just be me

    4. okay, lets address you points (BTW: formatting is generally a good idea for readability).

      1) You talk like one.
      2) Do you actually have a point here? Have you even bothered to watch the fan fest presentation on isk sinks and facets? Would you like me to link it to you?
      3) More and more, I don't believe you live or have ever even been in 0.0. Intel channels aren't that good and rely on someone actually going out and reporting someone. You can ALSO do this in high-sec. It isn't some magic that works only in 0.0, it is just a chat channel. If you rely only on your intel channel, you are going to get ganked while travelling. So those gate camps are NOT "easy to avoid". They also happen to have bubbles, so you can't just warp off. Have you ever tried to catch someone doing the MWD/Cloak trick in high-sec or even low? Without a very specifically kitted out ship for insta locking (and even then you still are not likely to get lock) do you even have a minimal chance of stopping them. Ratting ships are still ratting ships. No one does PVE in a PVP fit unless they are retarded or bait. You really have never been in 0.0 before have you... That means when hunting you know what damage type the ratter are tanking for and you can use the off damage types to kill them. Unlike in high-sec where the ratter is perfectly safe unless in a war, where they simply will drop corp to an NPC corp to avoid the war. You can't just duck out of risk like that in 0.0. You can't avoid the gankers by being in an NPC corp. If you are in space, you are at risk. Why do you think you see multi-billion isk bling shit fits in empire and you almost never see them in nul? If it was so safe, don't you think they would be ratting in the blingyest ship they can find and not a Drake?
      4) High-sec PVP.. it is rare and you need to be in a war dec. If you don't want to PVP you can just drop corp. If I undock in 0.0 I have to worry about PVP, I can't just "avoid it" because I dropped corp. That means in high-sec, you don't have to risk your ship UNLESS YOU WANT TO. In 0.0 you don't get that choice.
      5) Not really. Replacing ships is pretty rare for the vast majority of Empire residents unless they lose them to rats. A few mins of simple research will insure that never ever happens and you will never have to replace a ship.
      6) Really, so where is all this money for the risk coming from? I can earn the same amount running level 4s in Empire, or incursions.. hell even empire exploration income is only slightly higher for income than in Empire. And in Empire I never have to worry about losing a ship. Ever.
      7) Suicide ganking is actually quite rare. It happens, but not as often as you seem to think. If THAT is your big risk.. lololololololololololololol. You don't actually know what risk is.

      It is pretty obvious you have never actually lived in 0.0, or at least lived there with any credible entity in the past 3 years. You are, a pubbie though and though. Thank you for providing an example!

    5. you are right
      im wrong, bad and a pubbie
      after briefly considering seppuku for all of my fail i came up with an alternate plan

      let me know where in null you live and ill drop by to deliver a suitable appology in person

      obviously assuming i dont succumb to one of those horrible gatecamps that i cant read about in intel channels that i dont have

    6. any time you want to come out to Period Basis and want to party, you are welcome to do so. Just don't show up alone, cause I don't have time for that bullshit. You have no idea how many guys like you have threatened me like that. It has gotten tiring and boring watching them slink away with their tails between their legs. Show up with a fleet or don't show up at all.

      what is funny, is you talk about how risky high-sec is, yet can come out any time and fight us in Nul. Interesting how people in 0.0 don't have the same option, isn't it? Unlike the people in High-sec, you know where I am. It isn't like we can hide with our name splashed out in big letters all over the Sov map. You don't have to give me 24 hours warning before you can attack me, you can camp our systems and AFK cloak in them. None of those threats exist in high-sec.

      If you give me your character name, I can let everyone know you are coming and we can arrange a fight. Maybe I will even lead the fleet. Sounds like you should be a match for my, rather poor, FC skills. Time to man up.

    7. As for intel channels.. what? Too lazy to make your own? In nul we MAKE our safety, it isn't handed to us by CCP. IF you are safer in nul, it is because you worked your ass off to make it that way, not because the game mechanics protect you. You must mitigate the risk, to gain the reward. It is the complete opposite of high-sec.

  4. BTW.. just noticed that. Agrippa. As in Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. Friend of Augustus, Governor of Transalpine Gaul and the one and only winner of the Naval Crown, never awarded before or since. Great name!

    1. And here I thought is was about this...

      Inigo Montoya: [Both characters are engaged in a sword fight] You are using Bonetti's Defense against me, ah?
      Man in Black: I thought it fitting considering the rocky terrain.
      Inigo Montoya: Naturally, you must suspect me to attack with Capa Ferro?
      Man in Black: Naturally... but I find that Thibault cancels out Capa Ferro. Don't you?
      Inigo Montoya: Unless the enemy has studied his Agrippa... which I have.

    2. Never bet with a Sicilian when death is on the line!

  5. Oh jeez - I'm getting sucked in to this and I don't even play the damn game. STOP WRITING. I really really really need to quit procrastinating and do some damn work ... but first, did I see that yesterdays post was about REAMDE? Awesome book, I'll just go and read that first then :-)

    ... Schulze

    P.S. to anyone else out there rueing the lost hours (and Space Noob in particular) I apologise. The fool who sent him that fateful "Burn Jita" YouTube video link which started it all? Guilty m'lud.

    P.P.S. is it just coincidence that your Track of the Day is the first song I'm learning to play on the guitar? Good choice.

  6. you are a bad bad person for getting someone hooked on this game and I, for one, thank you! =D

  7. Matt E. and Pirate John, much of both of your arguments come from sweeping generalizations that are easy to refute because there are many specific examples that defy or conform to stereotypes. The debate will rage on about risk vs. reward because RISK is such a subjective thing.

    When I mine, I feel the risk of death is much higher in highsec than null. That is because my alliance makes it safe to mine by controlling a vast amount of space that requires enemies be purposeful in getting to me, and a decent intel channel to see them coming. THAT gives me the ability to avoid combat in can opt out of combat. Unless I was stupid or asleep, I could jump in a POS in practically any system to avoid fighting. In my years in nullsec, I was in three fights in nullsec that I would have chosen to avoid but couldn't. My home systems in nullsec were simply THE safety places to be. With that said, it requires real effort to have that level of safety and no one in nullsec should have to apologize for it.

    In highsec, the 90 other people in system with me and the hundreds that pass through prohibit any meaningful intel. I only have my tank and Concord to help. Suicide ganking IS a real threat for miners, much less so for combat ships. An NPC corp won't protect you from it. Of course, I would never move my 3+Bil PVE down the Amarr-Jita pipe without unfitting and hiding the expensive stuff.

    Don't pretend nullsec is nothing but drakes. Highest ratting income comes from officer/deadspace fit cap ships, according to CCP. I ran sites in 3Bil isk faction battleships and that was the common ship at least for most that I ever saw in nullsec sites. These are PVE ships and are used wherever PVE is done, high or null sec.

    Tech moons don't provide bling ships for the common members. They don't provide cheap ships for common members, except maybe a starter ship for new recruits. They provide replacement ships for officially sanctioned fleet fits during official fleet operations. They don't replace your ratting ship or mining ship or hauling ship. You can insinuate the tech moons somehow make the average alliance members rich, but you'd be wrong.

    Maybe arguments should center on just reward vs. effort/time spent?

  8. Just because A == C and B == C does not mean that A == B.

    I tend to also feel more threatened in High-sec, but I realize that the threat is mental and not very real. You are talking to a JF pilot who has to regularly take a ship worth some 8 billion isk EMPTY through a low-sec to high-sec interface point in order to make sure you have ships to shoot rocks in and crystals to shoot rocks with. Really, the risk that it took to get these items out to you is built, somewhat (not really), into the cost of the item on the market. Just because the risk has been mitigated for you, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Trust me, as big as we are, we can't afford to replace JFs at the drop of a hat, and we do loose them shockingly regularly getting supplies in and out of 0.0.

    As for capital ratting. Go ahead and try it in TEST space and see what happens when your blinged out ratting boat gets tackled. The fleet that will form will NOT be to save you, it will be to kill you and it will draw more people quicker than any defence fleet you can imagine. If you are ratting in a carrier, you are really really dumb and are endangering every single member of your alliance. People travel for capital kills more than even blinged out faction ships. Put it in a POS and assign fighters. Perhaps you should ask people in TEST who lived in the TESTigram what it is like to live in a region "known" for easy carrier kills? If you are in a ship that blinged out in 0.0, you aren't going to be a popular person when you loose it. In some cases it can actually get you kicked out of alliances.

    How much tech do you think is out there? Just a quick question. You have seen the size of TRIBE and the amount of space we own. We have 3246 members and control the region of Period Basis. I would love to hear how many tech moons you think we hold and I am willing to bet the real answer would surprise you.

    Lastly, assuming you are a line member who isn't participating in logistics or leadership, you are unaware of the vast amount of effort that is required so you can have that "safe" space to rat and mine in. Thousands on thousands of man hours went into creating it and go into maintaining it. Leadership in a large alliance is an astounding amount of work. There is a reason that the joke in leadership circles is that they don't play EVE online, they play Jabber Online and the work of someone in leadership in a large alliance, doesn't end when they log out. I have jabber on my phone, I have it at work. People have my phone number to contact me in an emergency. There is seldom a point in my day where I am out of contact with my alliance, and I am currently taking a break!!

    It gets to the point where combating burn out in leadership is a real challenge.

  9. Just to give you an example of risk. So far today TRIBE has lost some 40 ships. It is a quiet day, there have been no real battles. Those ships were lost to ratting to ganks, or simply travelling through 0.0. I believe the only war we currently have is with a 1 man corp.

    The KBs pretty clearly show the amount of risk that day-to-day life carries in 0.0 for your average line member.