Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Survival of the Fittest

If you had asked me 9 months ago who would come out on top in a survival of the fittest war between the Amarr and the Minmatar, I would have  said the Amarr without hesitating. Having experience in both militias, (I was in the Amarr for a year) the Amarr seemed much more able to work together, even with general militia pilots who present a certain risk. They also had several central leaders that could easily pull people together.

The Minmatar were an irate bunch. Many corporations refused to even fleet up with anyone else, or associate with anyone outside there own circle of friends. Not to mention that there was frequent in-fighting and wardecs.

However, over the past few months both militias have changed significantly. The Amarr became quite fragile due to inter-militia bickering, and other issues. While the Minmatar still continued to maintain it's 'tribe' like qualities with various groups having vastly different play styles and opinions, the addition of Alliances into militia helped consolodate many of the groups and solidify leadership.

When CCP announced changes to FW for Inferno, the already fragile Amarr seemed to fracture even further. Corporations and individual threatened to leave under the pressure. Instead of pulling together, the Amarr took on an 'every man for himself' approach, essentially shattering any remaining ties that held the faction together.

The announcement and early proposals had the opposite effect on the Minmatar. In many ways, the purpose that CCP was offering Faction war was the essential catalyst that led toward bringing the various groups together. We now have a common denominator, and although lines between the various groups will never blur, we all ultimately have the same goal.

The Amarr, over the past few weeks, have loudly cried that they are outnumbered and outgunned, having no chance to counter us. They are wrong --not in that they have no chance, but in how we will defeat them.

1. Adaptability. The Amarr still have a pvp-driven pvp mentaility. They frequently smack in local, smirking at the fact that we "brought 20 cruisers to fight their 15 destroyers."

But we're not bringing 20 cruisers to fight their 15 destroyers. We're bringing 20 cruisers to defend our space. The desire for good fights can not offset the power of self preservation. While the Minmatar will always seek good fights, they will not lower themselves, or de-escalate a situation when there is much more then a battlereport's stats at stake.

We will bring a gun to a fist fight, if it means defending what is ours.

2. Adaptability. While the Amarr were whining on forums and begging CCP for a reset to give them a chance, the Minmatar were preparing for the inevitable. While the Amarr were threatening to leave, claiming that they should just give up because their faction had no chance, the Minmatar were coordinating and strategizing.

Does this mean that the entire Minmatar militia is pro-Inferno Faction War changes? Some think that this is the case. Some even accuse Minmatar and CSM delegate Hans Jagerblitzen for 'switching' opinions to serve himself and his faction.

However, there are probably as many Minmatar concerned about some of the changes as there are Amarr. But unlike the Amarr who seem paralyzed by the changes, the Minmatar will adapt to them, and work with them. We will not give up without a fight, or without giving anything a solid try. There is too much at stake to waste time panicking.

3. Adaptability. One strength I've always noticed about the Minmatar, is their ability to adapt to pvp situations on the fly. This adaptability will greatly give the Minmatar an edge when Sovereignty is at stake.

It was often noted by Minmatar FCs, that killing the Amarr's FC often left an Amarr fleet crippled. Sometimes they would retreat altogether, and other times they would act like a deer in the headlights before spreading their damage all over the place, or scattering.

One of the weaknesses of the Minmatar militia was always that we had so many strong personalities, it was hard for everyone to get along. This is also one of our greatest strengths, because no matter how many FCs or target callers the Amarr eliminate, we always have 2-3 to take his place.

Two heads are better then one, and the Minmatar will never have to rely upon one person, or a mere couple of people to strategize and organize the workings of the war.

There are a lot more factors that will win this war then numbers and activity alone. This is no longer the pvp-driven battles of old, where brute force, alone, could be an FC's ticket to winning. This is not the pvp of old where the battle was all there was.

The Minmatar are resolved, and will persevere. They have much at stake.

The Amarr will adapt, or go extinct.

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  1. "We will bring a gun to a fist fight, if it means defending what is ours."
    As someone who doesn't play FW, aren't all fights in FW about defending space? Are you just saying FW will never be about gudfites? Why would I leave RvB for that sort of environment?

    1. FW used to be all about gudfights, since occupancy was meaningless (and still is, until May 22). So yeah, the primary game mechanic is the plexing which is about occupancy, but that was rarely why the buik of the community participated. Instead, most FW players treated it just like RvB - a big wardec, with no consequence or reward other than pure PvP.

      FW is now growing up. It's not becoming JUST LIKE NULLSEC the way everyone is freaking out about, but at the same time the stakes have been raised. FW players who only want the gudfights and nothing else will be more at home moving over to RvB, those that stick around will do so because there will be more PvP than ever before, but it will be a new, more brutal form.

      That's what the community has demanded for years - meaning, value, reward, consequence. We ASKED for the war to become a real war, its pointless to sit around and lament the death of the "gudfight". It still exists in EVE, its just going to be diminished somewhat in the new Faction Warfare scene.

      Keep in mind what most people say when they use the term "gudfight" - they mean something that's arbitrarily balanced in some fashion or another (usually numbers). Which is fun, but forcing it in mechanically is not very compatible with a sandbox game, and especially in a war where winning means something.

    2. Hans, I'm not sure 'good fights' is exactly what it was ever about for most people, anyway. I don't know about RvB but so many times over the years in faction war one side or the other has refused to engage is a fairly even-ish fight because they were convinced they would lose. You don't have to win for it to be GF, but most people are afraid of losing even in a close fight.

  2. We have made several attempts at regaining space. Last night's attempt saw our ~29 outnumbered nearly 2:1. We fought until we realized that it was pointless. It is easy to say you guys are winning b/c of cohesion. You must be, to have 40-50 actively fighting.

    Goal driven pvp works well if the system is balanced. Currently, this is not the case. We will see if things shift some in the near future.

    My point in replying is to remind you that Amarr have been making concerted attempts to take back space. You saw the grand total of most everyone online last night. We worked together. And what was the result? A few solid fights. But, Kourmonen, at least when I logged, was far from taken.

    Basically, Susan, the essence is: yes, there has been complaining. Can't say I blame anyone for doing so. But to say we haven't tried to get our space back, well, that's a lie.

    1. First off - CCP is not going to design mechanics based around the fact that one side is more numerous than the other, or the fact that one group is more coordinated than the other, each militia is responsible for what it brings to the table. CCP is not going to hold hands and force "balance" in a sandbox game.

      Secondly, you guys can keep trumpeting the "we got blobbed" and "we're so outnumbered" but no one cares.

      Here is the battle report, for the record:

      Not only did YOU outnumber US, but you brought force multipliers (ECM). This "its so unfair we don't have the numbers" nonsense is propaganda, plain and simple. You've been bringing out numbers consistently....and still losing. CCP can't fix that. Trying to "fix the system" is barking up the wrong tree when it comes to your militia's success rate.

    2. hey Ryven, I was glad to see the amarr working together and attempting to retake space. If it didn't work last night in kourm, it may well work tomarrow in another system (or kourm again if you try there). The only way to never take back any space is to not try. So props to those trying.

      Plus some solid fights were had. That had to be fun for both sides. It is a game after all, and even if one side must lose for one side to win, both sides can have fun.

      And, I would like to think that corps/alliances looking to join FW in the future will be looking to see what side needs help and aim to join there. Role playing aside of course, since RP will dictate side choices when it is a factor. I hope that people joining are smart enough to see that joining the side that already has the upper hand means getting fewer fights while joining up on the underdog side means more action and more glory when you finally turn the tide.

      If history in FW is an indication (even tho the new mechanics bring a whole new dynamic) than it is safe to say that both sides will have their turns on top!

    3. "And, I would like to think that corps/alliances looking to join FW in the future will be looking to see what side needs help and aim to join there. Role playing aside of course, since RP will dictate side choices when it is a factor. I hope that people joining are smart enough to see that joining the side that already has the upper hand means getting fewer fights while joining up on the underdog side means more action and more glory when you finally turn the tide."

      Joining the losing side means your lp for every pvp kill, for every mission, for every plex will be up to 16xs less valuable than that given to the winning side.

      As far as getting "more fights." Is that what we want or do we want to defend our space and survival of the fittest? Evolution says if that is the concerns you are trumpeting then join the winning side.

      Moreover the winning side will have access to more neutrals to fight because they will be able to dock throughout the war zone. So they will be able to reship and get fights against neutrals more often. If it is a fight between the militias then by definition both are getting a fight right?

      I do agree that if you have a large enough corp that you can singlhandedly balance out the active numbers it will lead to more fights in the militia as a whole but that "good fight" thinking is contrary to thought process of this particular blog.


    4. come on, cearain, Susan has her opinion, I have mine, you have yours. There is plenty of room on this blog and any other for different takes. So Susan is enjoying fighting for space, ok. That dosen't mean I have to be only concerned with space holding, and it dosen't mean you do either. Some people will join a winning side for the better LP and will not help fight, and will leave if that side ever starts to lose. Other people will hopefully join the losing side for better fight opertunities.

      Honestly, if you just want to start FW on the stronger side so you can get more LPs then join the minmatar :)

  3. 2 to 1? 45-50? Either you guys have the worst intel possible, or are really persistent trolls.

    1. Welcome to Sov Warfare... ;-)
      "You gais had like 10 of your own Titans on standby for a hotdrop! and batphoned PL! and got a Dev to loan you a Jove BS, and...and...and...."
      People in the EVE world love to make excuses and point fingers. "It's anybody's fault but mine/ours!"

      From what I'd read on forums and some posts here, it sounds like you guys already had that -- only now, the "Sov battles" will actually _mean_ something, not just a name in the corner of the screen. ;-D

  4. You know, the funny thing is that this sort of falls right in line with game lore..

  5. Minmatar and Amarr actually behave like Minmatar like actually behave like Minmatar and Amarr are supposed to, which seems odd until you realize that the 'cultures' of the races likely play a role in the types of personalities that join them. This would make an interesting study, methinks.

  6. When I was in kourm, local was at 70, we had 29, and there weren't any neutrals. That's my maths.

    1. 70-29=41

      Also I would just like to confirm that local numbers = active fleeted pilots.

    2. We had 18 on field in last plex with 24 in fleet. Local was at almost 70.



  8. Normally I like this blog but it's getting pretty horrible.

    You "defend your space" by bringing 20 cruisers against 15 destroyers???

    First chances are it was one of imperial outlaws fleets of dessies so they likely weren't there to plex. Second if anyone was going to plex in destroyers they would be doing minor plexes so your cruisers would not be able to do a thing about that. So your cover of just “defending your space" is pretty well blown.

    As far as your comment about Faction war no longer being about gudfights now its serious business, so you must "organize" (BTW Amarr now know that whenever minmatar use the word "orgainize" it is code for "form one big blob") that is fine.

    If you no longer care about goodfights and just want to blob ftw to get that isk that is your opinion. But why did you play that video about hans and "fight club?" Watching that seems sort of silly after reading your recent blog posts doesn’t it. Now we need to “adapt” to null sec ways. Now we need to organize be blobs like null sec for our very survival. And if you don’t like too bad you are just a whiner. Did you have a big change of heart because you are definitley singing a different song.

    Few are saying Hans is just being pro minmatar. But several have questioned whether he is sticking to the platform that video. Are you going to play that video anymore when you praise this expansion that makes faction war no longer about gudfights but rather about "big isk" consequences and blobbing for survival?

    I would mention you also sound a bit crazy with your constant amarr are crap and minmatar are so much better. Maybe you are trying to get some sort of bad blood built in so you won't feel dirty when you so eagerly participate in the upcoming "blob to win" expansion. I don't know. But it seems pretty ridiculous from my perspective - just saying. It’s the same sort of thinking that make people say hans is just pro minmatar.

    You keep claiming you are better organized and you are "adapting." But you never really give any specifics other than how all you minmatar now form into one big blob where before we used to run in smaller gangs. Well hooray for you if that is what you want. No doubt that will be what wins the upcoming war just like it wins the wars in null sec.

    If I am wrong tell where you have blogged about some new cool tactic you guys used, or strategy you developed other than forming a big blob. But until you start giving specifics about your strategies and top shelf tactics, your constant prattling about how you are” better organized” and “better at strategy” is going to remain code for "we started forming big blobs."


    1. Cearain, I don't think you properly recognize that "superior numbers = better" is a known problem with just about every single form of PvP in EVE Online. How to address this is a perennial debate, and affects all of EVE's combat, not just null or Faction Warfare. The "you guys can only win by blobbing" excuse is both ancient and cliche. Any experienced PvP pilot has been on both ends of "the blob", the Amarr are certainly no exception despite recent attempts to paint themselves as martyrs.

      As long as EVE remains a free-form sandbox game (which I will defend to the end) and as long as CCP finds a way to make people care about winning Faction Warfare (which is what all of us have been asking for all along) you will begin to see players use whatever tactics are necessary to win a fight. Faction Warfare, by nature of the community's own desire for relevancy, will never again be ONLY about "good fights" governed by some sort of arbitrary E-honor.

      I've always opposed mechanics that specifically reward numerical superiority. That's one of the reasons I opposed full station lockout and was adamant about PvP and plexing rewards being divided up among participants, to incentivize using small teams for maximum payouts. You guys can question my "platform loyalty" all you want, but I haven't changed my message at all either to CCP or to the public.

      The bottom line is that the rules are changing - CCP made some tough decisions, and we all have to live with them for a little while. It's survival time. I may not LOVE the blob, but I'm not about to lose my space by playing Mr. Goodfight E-honor either. I'm going to play according to the rules given, I'm going to play to win.

      You can keep complaining about our "blobs" in the meantime, or you can bring whatever you need to defeat us. But don't expect us to suddenly half-ass the war effort just to give you what you think is a fair fight every single time you undock. The stakes are just too high for that these days.

    2. I never like the "you brought x to fight y?" arguments. So often the ships being complained about were brought for some other reason. Obviously no one would take 20 cruisers specifically to defend plexes from 10 destroyers. The dessies could just enter a minor plex and be unassailable. Things like that don't happen with someone saying, "Hey the amarr have 10 destroyers in Kourmonen! Lets round up 20 cruisers and chase them around! Alright!" More like some Mimatar were talking in a channel and said, "lets make a cruiser fleet!" Twenty pilots x'ed up and off they went. Once in kourm, they see some amarr in dessies on scan at a plex. Etc. Once fleets have engaged and broken off, then the losing side is probably trying to reship to beat whatever they just lost to, but most engagements grow more organically without either side seeing what the other has to begin with but more just going out in whatever and changing later.

      Anyhow, I've been in FW a long time and there have been periods of time months long (like last fall) where the amarr far out number the active minmatar in my timezone. Times when I could field a fleet of 10 tops and there was an active amarr fleet of 30 plus cruising around with nothing to face them. I think the pendulum will swing both ways over time.

    3. Hans

      There are at least 2 ways to divide blobs using the faction war mechanics. 1) by space and 2) by ship type using the different sized plexes.

      Because the flip times take 35 hours the blob will always have time to make the rounds and not have to divide spacially.

      Because we are locked out of stations the side trying to gain systems will not be able to reship into a different sized ship thus making it so we can't divide the blob by ship type.

      I am glad you agree that the station lockouts are a bad idea. But many times you seem to waffle on this and at times seem even to let up on this issue.

      If you just want to ignore these obvious ways that ccp can develop mechanics to divide blobs thats your choice. The election is over.

      But I will continue to push that you drop the defeatist attitude that "well all mechanics will just lead to null sec blobs so why complain." If your going to go that route why did you even run?

      Urik you say:
      "I never like the "you brought x to fight y?" arguments. So often the ships being complained about were brought for some other reason."

      I agree. If you happen to be in cruisers then just say "we came with 20 cruisers because we happened to be in 20 cruisers" No complaints.

      But what is all this null sec "herp derp we are bringing this overwhelming force because we need to defend our existence and achieve our big important objectives other than getting good fights."

      There is a difference between your explanation and the one Susan gave.

      I'm not saying you have to look for good fights. I don't care if you just want to blob for isk like they do in null sec. But really why not go to null sec to do that. Faction war can be so much more fun.


    4. Cearain –

      My writings before the election speak for themselves and are 100% consistent with my stance on the issue today. I’ve always said I was *dubious* about station lockout – It was never how I would have implemented things, but I also said that it *might* be manageable if the system flip time was addressed. You can try to pigeonhole me by claiming I made some absolute promise to abolish it under any circumstance, but that is imposing how YOU feel, not how I feel. I was quite clear I don’t believe in taking arbitrary hardline stances and I was also quite clear that my decisions will always be based on what I SEE happening, not based on what I THINK will happen with a given change. It’s right there in my platform document.

      Trying to paint me as having a “defeatist” attitude is disingenuous, and we both know it. There is a substantial difference between saying “There’s no point in fighting mechanics that encourage blobbing, just deal with it” (which is what you’re blatantly accusing me of) and saying “There’s no point in whining about blobs when you lose as fight” (which is just a matter of good sportsmanship and taking losses well.)

      You can continue the charade of trying to discredit me publicly by calling me a “waffler”, doesn’t matter to me. I think most people understand that saying “buck up and accept losses without whining” has nothing to do with “endorsing blob mechanics”. This self-righteous “I don’t care if YOU want to screw up FW, I want it to be so much better” attitude is totally unnecessary and disrespectful.

  9. "Bring it" "Step up" "Bring what you need"

    Hmmm. No, I think I'll keep doing what I am doing. Enjoy your plexes.

  10. lol. You can keep eating baboon ass on the savannah.

  11. On that subject: the savannah metaphor. Thoroughbred race horses?? on the savannah? Really?