Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekend minipost: moron day in the CFC

There are morons everywhere in New Eden, but in some places people are dumber than others. Being a mindless minion of an Evil probably qualify you as one. Yesterday they proved it at large:
  • Hey, let's fly a JF to highsec, no one will notice!
  • Hey, those guys surely finished camping the same system, let's try it again!
  • Scouting is for sissies!
  • There are dumb people. There are morons. There are institutionalized retards. Finally, there is SMA.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weekend minipost: the day the Evil outsmarted me

You probably seen that I support 3 groups killing CFC: Mordus Angels (based in Pure Blind), Sorry we're in your space EH (Fountain Core) and Space Warriors (Highsec wardeccer).

Space Warriors failcascaded a few days ago, losing 3/4 of their members over yet another drama in the highsec deccer community. Ouch. I needed to recalculate the distribution of the 12B/week support based on the March loss data. MoA did 198, EH did 96B, so the support is:

-EH- is doing great, but they are Fountain Core, and Fountain will be abandoned by the Evil Imperium. I planned to persuade them with money to make frequent hunting trips against the Evil. But the Evil One was smarter and installed BRAVE in Fountain. This will mean two things: at first -EH- will likely be the top killer alliance in nullsec, secondly they won't do hunting Evil, since why bother when they can pwn BRAVEs while watching TV. Damnit!

I'll make up some new plans to replace the missing numbers as the blood of the minions of Evil must flow! However their evacuation will involve lot of dumbasses flying their ships alone, haulers, JFs jumping to beacons and such, making the upcoming months a massacre for -EH-.

PS: even in the darkest days there is light.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Trading vs just selling or buying

Everyone trades. People sell drops, mined ore, spare ships and buy ammo, ships, modules. This means that everyone is a trader. Which is a meaningless statement, just like claiming that "everyone is a ratter" as practically everyone shoots NPCs at some point. Or that Goons are PvP-ers because they get on kill reports. However "ratter" specifically means someone who kills NPCs for their loot and bounty for the living. Missioners who kill as few rats as possible to complete the mission or miners who kill belt rats are not considered ratters.

But then what separates traders from those who trade as part of their everyday life. No, not setting sell orders instead of dumping your stuff into buy orders, that just make you non-moron. Any ratter with more than 2 brain cells will set a 4-800M sell order for his deadspace loot, instead of selling it for a 1M ISK buy order. No, not everyone has 2 brain cells, otherwise no one would bother to set those buy orders.

No, the defining step is investing your liquid capital into some item you don't need and will re-sale for profit. Money is called "liquid" for a reason: it can go into practically any item. You can buy ships, modules, materials, implants or even PLEX. Items have much less ways to go: they have one specific use and they can be sold for ISK. You can barter maybe, but good luck finding a partner who trades your Estamel's Modified Adaptive Invulnerability field for Nanoribbons.

By converting your money into an item, you commit to that item. If its price goes down, you'll have loss. Maybe you'll even have trouble liquidating the item. For non-traders, this step is missing. The miner is stuck with ore. The missioner is stuck with LP store items. Anyone who farms any item is stuck with it and forced to sell. They would all prefer if the ore would magically turn into ISK. Many prefer it so much, that he chooses the not so magical way of dumping it into a buy order.

The trader already has ISK, yet he buys items he doesn't need - for the hope of profit. While he holds that item, he has less ISK. Setting a buy order, waiting and setting a sell order aren't particularly hard tasks. Having the capital and the will to use it makes one a trader.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NPE suggestion: give them missiles and drones!

Yes, I remember what I told about NPE. And it still stands. The idea below isn't an exception, merely one option worth exploring in the way I mentioned: give half of the newbies this update, the other half get the old style and see which side has better retention!

The idea came from being surprised that the wife of Rixx Javix struggles killing rats meant to be killed by newbies. I remember how I also struggled with the final NPE missions when I first did them.

The reason isn't low skillpoints or general fitting dumbness. Those rats are weak enough that it needs serious trollfit to fail to kill them. The problem is damage application aka "optimal, falloff, tracking". These are completely alien concepts to a new player and he is surprised when he hits noting because the target is either out of range or can't be tracked. When I was a newbie, I "solved" this the dumbest way as possible: mixed guns. One of them always managed to do damage and it was an improvement over "damn I'm already in structure and they aren't even scratched". Needless to say how bad it was that I "learned" that mixed guns are good.

If found the solution for this problem in a Crossing Zebras theorycrafting post about missiles. The missile damage projection formula is even more complicated than the gun formula, but it's irrelevant in the case of light missiles, as they project 100% of their paper damage on everything except afterburning frigates and even on those they project over 50%. The only way for not projecting damage with a light missile is that the target is out of its paper range, which case you can see in space how the missile loses power before reaching the target.

So the suggestion is to replace the weapon systems on the noobships and the ships offered in NPE missions of Caldari, Amarr and Minmatar to light missile launchers. Since missiles are alien to Gallente, give them drones. I mean change their noobship and one of the frigates to have no turret or launcher hardpoint but drone bay and bonuses to be on par in DPS with the noobship and basic frig of other races just by drone damage. While drones sometimes have damage projection problems, newbie rats can be tuned to be properly trackable by T1 hobgoblins. Similarly to missiles, drones give a visual feedback for out of range: they stop chasing the target.

I think more newbies would stay if CCP would remove the burden understanding damage projection mechanics at the start.

Everyone knows that the Goons are masters of spying and sowing mistrust, drama and hate among their enemies. SMA trying the same is just hilarious. I hope they never try to commit a crime (like Goons vandalizing the monument) because that would end like this.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

PvE fatigue: skill and PvP over grind

I wrote that PvE activity should be time-limited (per account). However I only explained it by showing how no-lifer and bot activity drives out casuals, newbies and general bad players. These are all valid reasons, as a game which cannot be played - not won but played and enjoyed - by bad and uninvested players is a dead game.

Now I present a different approach: how such limitation enhances the gameplay of involved and veteran players. To start, I tell my own experience with PvE: I am a trader, making lots of ISK on good deals, by understanding the markets, having 300B capital invested and by taking risks of moving 10-20B on a predictable schedule trough Uedama and Niarja in my Tengus. I make enough money to literally give away two supercarrier worth every month.

Or more precisely, I make 1/2-2/3 of my ISK by trading implants between hubs with all that capital and risk and skill. What about the rest? No, not experimental and niche markets, not patch-swing-investments or price manipulation. Mining. Yes, the most lowly and baddie-friendly activity: warp to rock, press F1-F2, wait, dock. Precisely, I'm running mining missions in Hodrold. Zero skill required, no risk (if I get ganked, I shrug and grab replacement ship), capital is about a hundred replacement retrievers and a few replacement orcas, about 5-6B. How do I get about 20B/month with such lowly activity? By insane hours of my pilots. Not me, all I have to do is dock, pick new mission, undock, warp every 10-20 minutes. So when I'm home, there is no reason not to keep them logged in and and rotate them between doing my usual activities.

The problem is that to get more ISK, one doesn't have to play better or defeat competitors. He just have to be online longer. Sure, I could do more ISK by trading better. But why bother, when ISK is just rolling in while I'm not even at the computer? Without this activity I would have to improve if I wanted to get more ISK.

The point of limiting PvE time is to force players to optimize and compete instead of just throwing more accounts and semi-AFK hours on the problem. EVE supposed to be a PvP game, stellar rewards should come from dominating other players, not from running a dozen bots (or behave like a bot). I would very much prefer to find new markets and compete cunning opponents instead of just alt-tabbing back to my miners every 15 minutes. But why should I bother when there is an easy way?

I say close this easy but grindy way! Force players to interact and compete instead!

PS: I think Vince Draken should get the Francesco Schettino medal of valor!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

GRR after Fountain: CFC losses by region

The Goon propaganda site desperately tries to present the next strategic defeat of CFC in a positive light: they are losing Fountain. While they leave it in a more organized way than BRAVE leaving Catch, but the region they betrayed TEST for is lost. To understand why they abandon Fountain, I checked the Jan, Feb and March CFC loss data and combined it with the regional ratting numbers (Jan, Feb, Mar) for the conquerable Botl0rd regions they still have:
Zone B ISK destroyed M rats killed K ISK lost per rat killed
Deklein 950 33.9 28
Fountain 939 9.3 101
Vale of the Silent 719 11.2 64
Branch 551 22.7 24
Tribute 458 4.1 111
Fade 360 3.8 94
Pure Blind 342 2.1 166
Tenal 96 3.6 26
Cloud Ring 76 1.0 79

Fountain is not only the second highest region in ship losses, but also one of the most expensive places to rat. Every time CFC members fulfill their purpose of existence (kill a red cross), they pay 101K ISK in blood. While Tribute and Pure Blind are even worse, these are only bordering with other CFC regions or NPC/Empire space, so abandoning them would allow enemies have new staging points to hit more CFC space. So the result is simple: to destroy CFC, you must kill ships in a home region and they abandon that region for a more silent one where they can continue ratting.

Let's see now who killed the most CFC in their regions, starting by Fountain.
Rank CFC died B ISK lost Killer B ISK killed
1 Fatal Ascension 396 Sorry We're In Your Space Eh 182
2 Get Off My Lawn 194 GaNg BaNg TeAm 122
3 Forged of Fire 126 Black Legion. 99
4 Goonswarm Federation 108 Northern Coalition. 95
5 The Bastion 28 DARKNESS. 61
6 Fidelas Constans 25 Fatal Ascension 29
7 RAZOR Alliance 16 The G0dfathers 27
8 SpaceMonkey's Alliance 15 Nulli Secunda 26
9 Tactical Narcotics Team 12 The Kadeshi 25
10 Circle-Of-Two 8 HUN Reloaded 24
11 - 0 V.L.A.S.T 20
12 - 0 Get Off My Lawn 13
13 - 0 Verge of Collapse 12
14 - 0 #NPC loss# 12
15 - 0 Pandemic Legion 10
- Total 939 Total 939

As you can see, their main killers were not N3, but pirate alliances, with -EH- who I support on top. I guess congratulations are in order for FA for killing more CFC in Fountain than Nulli or Kadeshi. Let's continue with Deklein:

Rank CFC Died B ISK lost Killer B ISK killed
1 Goonswarm Federation 786 Mordus Angels 250
2 Tactical Narcotics Team 118 Test Alliance Please Ignore 76
3 SpaceMonkey's Alliance 16 Black Legion. 58
4 RAZOR Alliance 10 #Corp: Raging Ducks 46
5 Fidelas Constans 8 Hard Knocks Citizens 36
6 - 0 Goonswarm Federation 25
7 - 0 #NPC Corporations 23
8 - 0 Out of Sight. 21
9 - 0 Verge of Collapse 16
10 - 0 #Corp: Hard Knocks Inc. 16
11 - 0 M.I.F 13
12 - 0 Northern Coalition. 13
13 - 0 Pandemic Legion 12
14 - 0 Project.Mayhem. 11
15 - 0 The Gorgon Empire 11
16 - 0 Bora Alis 10
17 - 0 #NPC loss# 10
- Total 950 Total 950

Don't you feel like this result worth a donation? While I have no idea what TEST did in Deklein, I'm sure see that kicking Raging Ducks for not doing PvP was a lie - as usual. We can also see the distribution of forces: while FA and LAWN holds the line against N3 in Fountain, GSF does what it can to protect the anoms in Deklein, suffering twice as high losses. Shall we see Vale of the Silent now, where the Fountain dwellers will be evacuated?

Rank CFC died B ISK lost Killer B ISK killed
1 Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere 353 Legion of xXDEATHXx 83
2 The Bastion 261 Confederation of xXPIZZAXx 47
3 I Whip My Slaves Back and Forth 50 Project.Mayhem. 33
4 Fidelas Constans 23 Shadow of xXDEATHXx 25
5 Goonswarm Federation 16 Triumvirate. 24
6 Circle-Of-Two 7 #NPC Corporations 21
7 - 0 Verge of Collapse 20
8 - 0 Mordus Angels 17
9 - 0 Black Legion. 17
10 - 0 M.I.F 14
11 - 0 Synergy of Steel 13
12 - 0 Out of Sight. 13
13 - 0 Infinity Space. 12
14 - 0 DARKNESS. 12
15 - 0 Pandemic Legion 12
16 - 0 Brothers in Arms Alliance 11
- Total 719 Total 719

No wonder the Evil paid Pizza to leave this region and leave their precious renters alone. Unfortunately for them, the neighboring XXDeath and co are staying. Nothing to see here, move along to Branch:

Rank CFC died B ISK lost Killer B ISK killed
1 Fidelas Constans 290 #NPC Corporations 48
2 Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere 251 Out of Sight. 26
3 - 0 Verge of Collapse 24
4 - 0 Mordus Angels 23
5 - 0 #Corp: Hard Knocks Inc. 21
6 - 0 Northern Coalition. 19
7 - 0 Black Legion. 19
8 - 0 #Corp: Lazerhawks 17
9 - 0 Fidelas Constans 15
10 - 0 Ixtab. 14
11 - 0 Pandemic Legion 14
12 - 0 Sleeper Social Club 13
13 - 0 No Holes Barred 12
- Total 551 Total 551

Since Branch is far from staging areas, only the two renter alliances got significant losses and their killers are pretty random, with lot of Wormhole corps among them. Onward to Tribute:

Rank CFC died B ISK lost Killer B ISK killed
1 Circle-Of-Two 254 Project.Mayhem. 73
2 Tactical Narcotics Team 48 Mordus Angels 41
3 The Bastion 40 Outbreak. 20
4 Goonswarm Federation 34 #NPC Corporations 19
5 Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere 28 Total Absolution 19
6 Fidelas Constans 22 Circle-Of-Two 16
7 RAZOR Alliance 16 Out of Sight. 13
8 SpaceMonkey's Alliance 8 Black Legion. 12
9 I Whip My Slaves Back and Forth 5 #Corp: MAENNLICH UND GEFAEHRLICH 11
- Total 458 Total 458

I have no idea who Project.Mayhem. are, but good job guys! Otherwise, pretty random list. Maybe Fade will be more interesting.

Rank CFC died B ISK lost Killer B ISK killed
1 SpaceMonkey's Alliance 323 Mordus Angels 59
2 Goonswarm Federation 25 Test Alliance Please Ignore 20
3 - 0 SpaceMonkey's Alliance 17
4 - 0 Verge of Collapse 12
5 - 0 #Corp: Hard Knocks Inc. 12
6 - 0 The Camel Empire 11
7 - 0 Black Legion. 11
8 - 0 Ixtab. 11
- Total 360 Total 360

If only their #3 killer would be more active, SMA would be in an even deeper trouble as they are now. MoA didn't have to work hard for their #1 position, the list is pretty random with a long tail. How about Pure Blind?

Rank CFC died B ISK lost Killer B ISK killed
1 Goonswarm Federation 147 Mordus Angels 143
2 SpaceMonkey's Alliance 126 senseless intentions 60
3 Tactical Narcotics Team 30 #Corp: Piratas Leprosos Guineanos 23
4 Forged of Fire 9 #Corp: Raging Ducks 13
5 Fatal Ascension 7 Blood Raider's Corsairs 11
6 - 0 #NPC Corporations 10
- Total 342 Total 342

In the MoA home region it wasn't a doubt who'll be the top killer. I'm a bit surprised that TNT lost so little, and SMA so much. Let's move on to Tenal!

Rank CFC died B ISK lost Killer B ISK killed
1 RAZOR Alliance 77 Verge of Collapse 7
2 Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere 12 - 0
- Total 96 Total 96

I had to lower the limit to find a single killer who isn't lost in the long tail. It seems no one is specifically after RAZOR. Finally here is Cloud Ring:

Rank CFC died B ISK lost Killer B ISK killed
1 Executive Outcomes 39 GALAXY ALLIANCE 5
2 Fatal Ascension 12 #NPC Corporations 5
3 Goonswarm Federation 9 Sorry We're In Your Space Eh 4
4 SpaceMonkey's Alliance 6 Out of Sight. 4
- Total 76 Total 76

Further limit decreasing allow finding a few random killers. Cloud Ring is mostly dead, both for PvP and PvE. No wonder why the cabal leading the Evil Empire doesn't care that it'll be the new front region after losing Fountain. By moving FA and LAWN into the bleeding Vale, they hope to stabilize it.

Which region they'll lose next? Most likely Pure Blind will be freeported after FozzieSov. Its NPC stations mean that MoA and assorted pirates can't be evicted and free to reinforce everything and hunt down whoever dares to respond in less than a whole fleet. I doubt if they bother to install Sov as the CFC would destroy it out of principle, so Pure Blind will be mostly uncontested.

The only thing bothers me is that -EH- is practically only killing CFC in Fountain, so after it's lost, I won't be able to enjoy their great services. But someone else will take their place, I'm sure.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Midget Ani

If you check out the MoA donation board for April, you see a 10B donation below mine from someone I've never seen before. His name, corp and portrait are obvious mockery of the Evil one:

So I sent him a letter, asking to introduce himself. Here is his reply:

Hi Gevlon

You wrote "Would you mind writing a few words about yourself and your reasons to hate Goons?". I'd like to start by saying that I don't "hate" Goons in any way. I don't "hate" people in a computer games, once you do, you'd better stop playing.

I have been playing Eve since 2005. I think I have done most there is to do in Eve, though I have never lived in a wormhole system. Through my game time, I have been involved with several corporations that all (mostly) tried to learn the game and adapt to the rules of the game and its changes. I played actively up until around 2011 when I had my first child. Over the years, Goons have provided me with content on several occasions. In the beginning as easy targets, later as powerful adversaries. Goons was always a bit of an amusement to me. Most players or groups of players that were attacked like them, would either roll over and die or adapt and get better. Goons never did either. Eventually they got more powerful by skill points and numbers, got better ships, stronger allies and so forth, but they never got better at the game, in my opinion. Instead they started playing the game in a way that I hadn't seen before. Instead of adapting to the game, they got the game to adapt to them. I dislike Goons for failing to adapt to a simple computer game, but I respect their right to try and change it. I fully blame CCP for letting them.

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of ISK. I donated most of it, several hundred billion, to PLEX for Philippines. Since then I've started some casual trading and sold of a few of my many characters. I have no real use for ISK at the moment, so I thought I'd use some of them to provide content for others.

It seems to me that Mordus plays the game I originally did, by having fun and not fighting over sov and shit. Had we had SRPs back then, I might have enjoyed the game even more.

What can I add? Mordus indeed does that. So does -EH-.

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