Monday, September 17, 2012

We've Been Here Before

It’s been a busy week, between rolling out the new FW site, and starting to reorganize some alliance stuff that I’ve been working on. I’m slowly heading down the path of doing a mini alliance shop. I ran the alliance shop for Aggression. (at least until the alliance imploded) and I admit that it’s a lot easier now than it was then. There’s this wonderful thing with saved fittings and the ability to hit “Fit” and have the items miraculously pull from your hanger and fit on the ship –rigs and ammo even! Thank you to the brilliant CCPer who came up with that.

Doing the whole ‘shop’ thing with a FW alliance is decidedly easier than doing it for a nullsec alliance. Back in nullsec I had to fit out (or put the fittings in the ship’s cargo bay, which is what you ‘did’ back then) a variety of battleships and other ships. I’m finding that in FW there’s a couple ‘standard’ ships you can fit for people and they’re as happy as clams. Not to mention the fact we live about 5 jumps from a high-sec hub, which divides the difficulty of doing anything shoppish by about 100. YAY for not having to rely on logistic chains being online and etc.

Not much is going on in the FW front. Last night I played around in Huola with Bahamut420 for a while, deplexing and shooting hostiles and etc. At one point local was mostly empty except friendlies, and I was working on some spreadsheets so I told him to warn me if local spiked with hostiles or anything and I’d alt-tab back into game to help him kill them. Just as the words came out of my mouth, local spiked with 9 hostiles. The odd thing is they all entered at EXACTLY the same moment and they all had the same name except a number at the end of it. #1-#9

A bot? Or some dude running 9 accounts through some program that allows you to run 9 things with one keyboard…?

The toons were all in thrashers and they went for the medium plex. Bahamut and I quickly shipped up (being only two of us) and went to wreak havoc. We killed them all, including their pods. That much alpha almost got me to structure, but I simply pulled range, and banked on the fact that one guy could do only so much running 9 accounts at one time. If it had been 9 thrashers run by 9 even semi-competent pilots they probably would have killed at least one of us.

(That thrasher setup could have been highly amusing to try during Hulkageddon, though. ;)

Later, we had a few run-ins with Agony Empire, as we usually do that time of night. They were obviously itching for a fight, as they brought a sizeable Oracle and Oneiros gang and set up shop in a major plex in Huola. (Some would argue that they were obviously not itching for a fight bringing that sort of thing around.) We didn’t have many numbers on to take it, and decided to wait for them to go back home through the gate instead, setting up on the Huola/Kourm gate. Not wanting to fight our counter fleet, they escaped through highsec.

They came back in their infamous Deimos & logi fleet. We still didn’t have many people online to counter it, so we decided to roll out the BSes with the full intention of dropping triage carriers on them. (I know, lol.) We were more than a little obvious about it, and they went home again without taking the fight, obviously.

At that point, having not gotten a fight and reshipping to counter each other for well over a half hour (which was somewhat comical if you think about it) both sides were a bit cranky and the Agony Empire FC finally contacted our FC and began to arrange a good old fashioned BC brawl. But, apparently his guys weren’t cooperative because they ended up backing out of it. Honestly, I don’t blame them. Old fashioned BC brawls are about as much a pvp trade mark as Late Night can have. Out of everything we do, it’s what we do the best and I wouldn’t want to fight that either. Not without some sort of advantage to balance the fact that you’d be fighting a bunch of high SP pilots who can pretty much fly BCs perfectly skill-wise and have been doing so for years.

Anyway, we weren’t attempting to take their system, and they weren’t attempting to take our system, so PVP was not necessary, sadly enough.

Needless to say everyone was cranky at that point, and ready to pounce on just about anything that remotely looked at them the wrong way. It’s usually at this point of the evening that Almity’s I.LAW fleet shows up—though I think this evening we ended up making it all the way to Seisede ourselves. Almity’s cruiser fleet came to gate just as we were arriving to give chase to something or other, and a rather unequal brawl occurred where my Late Night brethren pretty much decimated the I.LAW fleet. I’m pretty sure many Late Nighters were frothing at the mouth at that point. I.LAW lost most of their cruisers  and a Sacrilege, and we lost the whopping grand total of one thrasher.

Susan Black’s Thrasher, to be specific. Which means that one of my customers was flying it. But, of course, not everyone knows that. I cheerfully told people where to contract the fight’s loot to. (Loot goes to them who died, of course.) I had at least one person ready to send over the loot, but being the nice girl that I am I finally told them it wasn’t actually me who died.

The rest of the evening was pretty quiet. I ran a single offensive plex, which I try to do each night so that I at least have a little LP to cash out during the inevitable Tier 5 pushes that happens every so often. There were a few chatty farmers in local. I entertained myself by convincing one of them that I was really a Goon alt. He was about 99% convinced, though sadly didn’t want to join Goons himself. (I told him that if he contracted all his belongings to me, I’d get them moved to Goon space, and that he could send me the 100 mil Goon entrance fee at any time.)

One must entertain oneself orbiting buttons somehow.

We toyed around with a Tusker in local, later. Oddly, there’s been a couple Tuskers that have been floating around our home system the last week or so. They are perfectly welcome, of course, and some of the guys seem to enjoy the 1 vs 1s they get with them on occasion. Of course, there’s always the occasional ‘elitist’ who talks about his Battleclinic stats in local and struts around system in a half a bil frigate setup. We’re not entirely impressed with those sorts. It always amuses me when someone runs their mouth in local about how all FW pvpers are noobs. What does that make them? The ‘elite’ pvper who is looking for easy ‘noob’ kills as opposed to getting decent fights from other competent pilots?

In all honesty, I’ve come to the place in my bitter vethood where I seriously doubt that there is such a thing as elite pvp. At least, not in the way that many people believe. There are different styles. There are people who are in general very good at this game, and win a lot of fights based off their knowledge of ships, fittings, and what they can and cannot take. There are those who take more initiative than others.

There are people good at specific things within the game whether that be maneuvering a super capital, or flying a very specific interceptor setup. But, can you ever truly give people a ‘rank’ of ability in a sandbox? Can you really say that the ‘elite’ interceptor pilot is a better pvper than the PL Titan pilot who has made flying super capitals an art?

Of course, there are some that simply lack any sort of common sense. I’m not trying to say that you can’t be good or bad at EVE in general. But, I’m skeptical over the concept that some people possess some sort of ultra ability that puts them in some sort of ‘top tier’ of players.

Of course, a few elite pvpers who are reading this right now, will probably claim that I only muse this way because I’m not elite myself and cannot possible ‘understand.’

I guess, in the end, this is a game. Whether you find yourself particularly elitish or not doesn’t matter in the end so long as you’re having fun being whatever it is you think you are.

At any rate, I hope that the few Tuskers invite their other Tuskers buddies to also come around more. We could always use more targets.

As far as Agony goes, they are admittedly our favorite Amarr at the moment. Hopefully they plan to stick around a while.

Edit: Don't forget to wish CCP Ytterbium a happy birthday! Here.


  1. Sounds a lot like the times I've been in pod lately...

    1. Susan, the easy fitting options were a suggestion from Shalee and Almity. So, thank them. Then thank CCP for listening to that idea.

  2. I don't consider myself and elite pvper by an stretch (I'm REALLY bad at pvp). But militia pvp never ceases to amuse me.

    The other night in Heyd for example: I was in a Hawk and a Gal militia gang consisting of a 2 Enyos, Thrasher, Merlin and a Cynabal wouldn't follow me into the plex to fight. Thats 5v1 and militia is still scared to fight.
    It's this kind of thing that contributes to the whole "lol militia are crap at pvp" thing.

    Yes, yes I know not all militia are bads.

    1. Yes they are! All of them! D:<

    2. not all milita pilots are bad. there are bad ones in every milita.

      that being said, tho, in cases like this, there is usually a different explanation. It is quite hard to believe that the gallente didn't think they could kill you easily with the fleet you list. It seems more likely that they had another reason to not enter the plex. Perhaps they assumed you were already warping away and they didn't care to chase a single hawk around. or maybe they had intel of another fight and decided to head that way instead of trying to catch a single ship.

      Obviously I wasn't there and I don't know why they did what they did. All I am saying is that there is usually a better answer than that they simply refused to take an easy fight.

  3. I haven't played in a while. But between your blog and and almity's blog, it sounds like the shiny has worn off inferno, and we are finding that nothing has really changed. Shipping up and down and very little good fights outside of a few systems.

    I actually do like allot of what inferno brought. But the problem is faction war is like a bucket. If there is even a small crack it won't hold water. CCP needs to try to mend the crack without making new ones.

    Some questions:

    Are station lock outs no longer bringing the epic fights? Why not? Is it possible they are preventing fights in most of the warzone by making repairs and reshipping too much of a hassle?

    Are large numbers of people joining the losing side "for the pvp"? That was what soundwave said would happen. Or are people just abandoning the losing side? Is soundwaves theory supported by the actual evidence of numbers?

    Are large numbers leaving the winning side for the losing side "for the pvp" despite the economic advantage? That is what a few faction war pilots have said. Is that theory supported by the evidence?

    If we can see soundwaves prediction is not correct, then what sort of economic balance will there be in winter?

    Can amarr make a comeback, or even with no lp for defensive plexing, does the winning side get too much of snowball effect? If we say they still can't make a comeback what effect will giving the winning side lp for defensive plexing do? If right now with no lp for defensive plexing the minmatar are still deplexing systems, what will giving them a reward for this do to the balance?

    Instead of rewarding defensive plexing I think those who, actually look at the facts of what has happened and really want some sort of balance will concede that perhaps defensive plexing needs a nerf. If the underdog still can't make a comeback and everyone is piling on the winning side perhaps defensive plexing should only award 3/4 the vp of offensive plexing and still not pay any lp.

    It seems the winter expansion is going in the opposite direction.


    1. 1. Station lockout only brought epic fights like the first week of inferno. mainly because both sides wanted to dock in the same system. Once that fight was decided, both sides have set up they ships etc however works for them and there are not epic fights over it since both sides have operational setups. That being said, Kourm has changed hands back and forth because both sides like to have docking there. Most other systems that matter to each side don't change hands, and most systems that do change hands don't matter to either side.

      2. Soundwave actually said he thought people would join the losign side of pvp? the economic benefits are too great on the winning side for that to be happening. But, the winter expansion is addressing that. The fw lp stores will go back to set prices regardless of control tier and the benefit for winning will be (docking rights and) increased LP payouts for LP earning activities. The swing from t1 to t5 will be a much smaller range too. Adding LP for defensive plexing will I think make it so you can earn a decent profit on the winning and losing sides. But the winning side will be maybe twice as much (not 16x!)

      3. No one left the winning side to join the losing side. What did happen tho, is that some amarr losing sides left amarr to join caldari, who is winning. But still fight in the amarr zones. Some gallente have joined minmatar too, but fight up there. That way everyone can be on a winning side as far as loyalty point cash out values go and station lock out becomes the only real difference between the winning and losing sides.

      4. Comebacks are a bit vague. I think the amarr lost for a reason over all. Basically, fewer pilots is what did it. They can certainly take systems but doing what they do now; ie plex systems to vulnerable and leave them in that state until such a time comes as to make a push, fliping all the vulnerable systems and upgrading them to cash in lp at high rates before the minamtar plex the systems back. And the minmatar then take them back, do a cash out and the cycle repeats. It is not worth anyone's time to defesive plex nor is it worth anything to maintain high teir levels. That only costs lp even for the winning side. Cash outs are the way to go atm. For the amarr to become the winning side of a period of time longer than a cash in (and by that I mean for them to control systems longer so they have docking rights where they want and minmatar do not) I really think the amarr pilot population would have to grow while the minamtar population goes down. Atm, to me, it seems that overall control, via docking rights, is a basic function of the numbers game. Caldari outnumber gallente and they are winning there too. But both sides sit at low control teirs and periodically cash it (winning side can do cash ins almost at will while losing side has to flip systems quickly to cash in).

    2. 5. I am hoping that the proposed changes coming in winter will help. Winning sides will still be about numbers, tho. And since holding systems vulnerable and still plexing them won't be possible anymore, it might be harder for losing sides to reach tier 5. But at the same time, the benefit of t5 won't be nearly as large. Plus, it will only be useful to maintain higher tier levels; spiking up wont help hardly at all. So while number of pilots may still be the edge for each side, with them being anywhere near close, I think balance will be better. But we shall see.

      6. Cearian, you suggest defensive plexing rewarpd less vp and still not give LP would be useful... but I can't see how. If there are no LP for defensive plexing, then no one will do it. This iteration since inferno has proven that. And making the worth fewer VP would jsut make it that much harder to decontest systems, so it would be even less motivation to do so. The underdog can take systems almost at will (because most systems will not be defended at all). He just can't keep them for very long because he's outnumbered. No one defensive plexes hardly at all. Ok so minmatar defend huola but they will do that even if the vp is 3/4 what it is. And the amarr keep holding kamela, but being out numbered, if you nerf defensive plexing, I bet they wont even be able to do that. Pay outs for defensive plexing is the only way that people are going to do them.